Everly

(Volume 1)

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
274 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2017
Buy on Amazon

    Book Review

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

Many people think that Madison Rosewood has it all – a free ride to college, a great best friend, and the chance to make something of herself. For Madison, though, that isn’t important because, now that she is turning 18, she can finally begin the search for her birth parents. In Everly: Volume 1 by Meg Bonney, Madison defies the aunt who has raised her and plans to find out why her parents left her. Unfortunately, that is not an easy question to answer because the reality lies in a different dimension. Already known for her exceptional speed, Madison discovers many other talents when she and Jason, her best friend, follow a stranger through the portal in an old oak tree in Aunt Ruth’s back yard after Ruth is abducted by hooded characters. Now in the land of Everly, the stakes are high as Madison learns the truth about her birth, her parents and why she was taken from this magical, mystical place by Ruth as a young child. Still intent on her quest to find her parents, Madison and her small group of friends become entangled in the very real challenges in Everly – the attempted destruction of all magical beings. It will take something extraordinary to resolve this problem!

Everly is an ideal YA book on many levels, even if you are only interested in a fast-paced, easy to read fantasy adventure. Beyond the brilliant descriptions of an alternate dimension and its inhabitants, and the depiction of a great relationship between two friends, Meg Bonney has loaded the story with many of the issues that confront most YA readers – the question of belonging, loyalty, family ties and purpose in life. The characters are highly developed, demonstrating deep emotional ties and concerns, and the lessons they learn come naturally, some with a high price. Another significant element this book contains is that not everything works out the way you want it to and that is also an important lesson for today’s readers. There is tremendous value placed on dedication and making personal choices that have lasting impact. Everly: Volume 1 is well worth reading and certainly a great start for the rest of the Everly Series. Well done with great characters, challenges to be overcome, and a clear look at the need to have determination and drive. I look forward to future volumes to see what happens!

Lex Allen

Everly by Meg Bonney is a young adult fantasy tale in which a lifelong desire to find her birth parents becomes a dangerous quest for Madison and her best friend, Jason. Madison’s Aunt Ruth has disappeared, kidnapped, and a mysterious stranger knows where she is. He convinces Madison and Jason to follow him through a portal to a parallel universe. In the world of Everly, where a murderous king rules over fairies, trolls and witches, Madison begins her efforts to find and rescue her aunt. Little does she know the surprises that will alarm and shock her sense of family and reality as she runs headfirst into a wall of intrigue, warring factions, and subterfuge. Fantasy becomes reality as Madison learns things about herself, her family, her new found friends, and her heritage that turn her beliefs upside down.

Bonney’s writing style allows the reader to fill in the colors of her images with their own imagination, while providing enough detail, narrative, and dialogue to both create and grow her characters and provide a smooth path along the main story line and several sub-plots. The author is also adept at blind-siding the reader with twists to the plot that initially create a “whoa, wait a minute” moment. This reaction is quickly surpassed by goosebumps of pleasure as the coolness of the twist takes over. Everly is obviously book one of a series. What I especially liked about this first book was the lack of a steep cliff-hanger. Bonney concludes this episode cleanly, tying up all the sub-plots with a very satisfactory conclusion, while expertly leading the reader into the next episode with a major plot line yet to be fulfilled. Everly is a rollicking good young adult fantasy tale and I’m looking forward to the next novel. Don’t miss this one!

Kim Anisi

Everly by Meg Bonney is book one in the Everly series - and just let me warn you: if you read volume 1, there's no going back and you'll want to read the whole series. Madison, also called Mad Dash, is the fastest runner in her school, wins every running competition, and received a scholarship thanks to her running skills. But to her, running is not one of her interests. It is just something she does well without feeling she's putting anything into it. She has an awesome best friend, and the aunt who adopted her looks after all her needs. But with her 18th birthday coming up, Maddy wants nothing more than to find her birth parents. Her aunt never told her anything about them. When her Aunt Ruth finds out that Maddy was filling out paper work to file for information on her parents as soon as Maddy turned 18, an argument ensues. Maddy's world is shattered. Then Ruth is kidnapped. Maddy and her best friend have to follow her and her kidnappers through a portal into a different world. A world in which Maddy is not the fastest runner because a certain group of beings is naturally stronger and healthier than the rest. How is Maddy connected to them? Will she find the answer to her questions about her parents in a different dimension? And can she save her aunt from being executed as witch?

Readers who love young adult novels with a fantasy twist will immediately feel at home on the pages of Everly by Meg Bonney. The characters are varied enough for readers to find someone they can identify with, and the plot is interesting with some unexpected twists. There are some events I did not see coming - or rather, I expected them to turn out differently. It's always nice to be surprised because there are too many young adult authors who use the same structures, the same plots, the same "surprises." Meg Bonney created a story that had familiar elements, but also felt fresh. It was fun to read, and I am sure other readers would feel the same. I am not a young adult any longer, but I often find that young adult novels are a joy to read.