At first glance, Nevermore seems like the usual fare from YA paranormal romances; pretty girl gets matched up with weird guy for a school assignment, strange things start happening, and somewhere down the line, a romance blossoms. What separates Nevermore from all the others, though, is a sincere and believable love story interwoven with references to Edgar Allan Poe.Isobel Lanley seems like a typical cheerleader at first – she’s popular, she’s dating football star Brad, and she’s freaked out at the prospect of spending time with Varen Nethers, a quiet goth boy her English teacher has paired her up with. Varen isn’t too pleased at the idea of them working together either, and soon the two of them are exchanging insults while researching Varen’s favorite author, Edgar Allan Poe. As anyone who’s been to high school can attest, social cliques can be brutal, and Isobel and Varen start to feel that when they begin work on their project. Isobel’s fellow cheerleaders and jocks feel betrayed when Isobel ditches them to study with Varen, and Varen’s goth friends mock Isobel every chance they get. Neither Isobel nor Varen are stereotypes, though, and they even call each other out on their misconceptions of each other as they get to know each other better. Isobel eventually dumps her jerk boyfriend and spends more time with Varen to finish their assignment, and she finds it harder to deny that there’s something about Varen that she finds captivating.Then things start to get weird.Isobel feels like she’s being followed, and then hears about an odd occurrence at school when Varen tries to stop Brad from breaking into Isobel’s locker. Isobel’s Poe book starts to move from room to room, and Isobel starts having bizarre dreams featuring a mysterious character named Reynolds. Strange characters pop out at random, wreaking havoc on Isobel’s life, including a character named Pinfeathers who is one of the creepiest individuals I’ve ever encountered in fiction.Isobel is no shrinking violet, however, and Varen proves himself to be sweet and caring. It’s impossible not to root for them to get together even though they face disapproval from parents and friends. Their relationship grows realistically, so there’s no instalove and lack of chemistry, although you might find yourself wanting to yell “Just kiss already!” while you read it.Between the supernatural happenings and a blossoming friendship that leads to romance, Nevermore doesn’t slack on the pace. Plus, it’s never predictable. When the demonic spirits that tortured Poe come for Varen and Isobel, the journey that ensues is horrifying and fascinating. Fans of Poe will be able to spot some familiar characters, and those who haven’t read him will be intrigued by the end of the book. Lucky for us, there is a sequel, but we have to wait until August for it. Still, you won’t regret reading Nevermore, as it’s in a class by itself. If you’re looking for something different, something romantic but truly scary and exhilarating, check out Nevermore (and beware of Pinfeathers).