Ever by Gail Carson Levine


Plot: “Ever” is a story much like that in the Bible, in the book of Judges, where a man in battle promises G-d that he will sacrifice the first person that greets him if they win. Well, in the Bible, they win the battle and when the man returns home; his daughter comes out to greet him.

In “Ever”, however, Kezi’s, our heroine, father promises their god, Admat that if he heals his wife, that whoever congratulates him within three days he will sacrifice. All goes well until Kezi’s Aunt comes over for a visit; they had thought themselves safe from her because she was away. They had set up a guard to keep visitors away, but their Aunt, being a pushy woman, discards all warning and enters to congratulate her brother on his wife’s return to health. However, before the words are out of her mouth, Kezi quickly congratulates her father to save her Aunt and faints. She wakes to everyone crying around her, remembering what occurred, she too cries. After several hours, they plead with Admat to allow her one more month to live, before they sacrifice her. Admat’s alter candle flickers, signing to them that they have one month.

Through all this, the god of wind watches all that goes on; and slowly, without realizing it, falls in love with Kezi. After meeting with her in a wedding, and saving her from a horrible admirer, the god of wind tells Kezi that she can escape her death in only one way, by becoming a goddess. Leaving her parents with a note that she is well, Kezi leaves with the god of wind to prove she is a heroine and become a goddess.

Positive: The writing style in this book is quite different from the ones I have read so far. Instead of setting it from one person’s point of view, Levine sets each chapter from either our hero or heroines point of view. It was unique to me and I enjoyed it.

I believe the authoress makes it clear, that the father’s choice in making the promise he did to his god was completely foolish.

Negative: Our hero and heroine do quite a bit of kissing prior to marriage, and live together for one month, alone. They do not sleep together, except once when the authoress writes Kezi “snuggles close” to the god of winds. There are gods and goddesses in the book, so parents might want to caution their children, if they do not know already, that these gods do not exist.

Overall: I did enjoy this book, not as much as her other fairy tale adaptations, such as Fairest (previously reviewed by Sincerelyornot) and Elle Enchanted, but it was fun. It is a small 244 pages, but enjoyable to the end.

Though I will admit I did not find our heroines ‘heroism’ very heroic, I will not spoil it for you unless you doubt you will never read it.

I recommend this book if you feel the need to break from reality, a mental junk food that has a good story line.


6 thoughts on “Ever by Gail Carson Levine

  1. Good reveiw Hannasus! You got all the main points in succienctly and made me want to reread the book. I thought it was a bit more trivial rabbit-trail-y than need be, personally. What did you think?

  2. A rabbit trail is when the author spends time on parts of the story that don’t go anywhere. Its not always a bad thing (witness Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The Scarlet Letter”, which is read more for the philosophical side discussions and rabbit trails of thought, rather than the plot itself. Great book, by the way), but here I found the side discussions to be unfruitful. The whole one-god-vs-lots-of-gods subplot, for example, was one long series of rabbit trails to me. Whether the one god has jurisdiction over the many gods’s land is never resolved, and I didn’t see the point of all these contortions to account for the one-vs-many controversy. There’s no visible sign that it was even a necessary question (which could be a plot hole, rather than a series of rabbit trails. But, I like giving Levine the benefit of the doubt since she is one of my favorite authors). Anyway, long explanation to say, rabbit trails are parts of the story that are not resolved or seem pointless, and they aren’t bad, they just take up space where interesting subplots could go.

  3. I know what a rabbit trail is, and I began to think part way
    through the book that Levinew as running out of storylines.
    I did enjoy the book though, even if there were a few things she could have changed, I think.

  4. I propose that the “whole one-god-vs-lots-of-gods subplot” was either rabbit trailing or a plot hole. I suggest that it is to get one-God beleivers to see doubt in their position. My young children read this kind of thing and think of it as a good story – and it was- but then have the seed planted in their heads that perhaps this God they’ve been told about does not exist. Now I know that period of questioning will come one day, but perhaps now it will come sooner and with less resistence…

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