BLOG TOUR {Review & Giveaway}: Neverwas (The Amber House Trilogy #2) by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed and Larkin Reed

Title: Neverwas
Series: The Amber House Trilogy #2
Author: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed and Larkin Reed
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 7, 2013
Pages: 320, Hardcover
Source: I received an ARC from the Author in exchange for an honest review

"I was sixteen the second time I had my first kiss...."

At the end of AMBER HOUSE, Sarah made a choice that transformed everything--and now she must choose it all again.

Things are very different--better--for Sarah and her family: her Aunt Maggie grew up; her parents are happily married; her grandmother died after a long, productive and respected life. But other things are different too, and not for the better.

After growing up in the free country of the Pacific Northwest, Sarah Parsons has settled in at Amber House, the stately Maryland home that's been in her family for generations. But the world surrounding the House feels deeply wrong to Sarah. It's a place where the colonists lost the 1776 Insurrection, where the American Confederation of States still struggles with segregation, and where Sarah is haunted by echoes of a better world that she knows never existed.

Her friend Jackson shares these visions of a different world--and together, they manage both to remember the way things ought to be, and to plan a daring mission that will reset the universe once again. Sarah must figure out what has changed, and why, and how she can fix it--how she can find her way to another otherwhen.

I doubt there is a more perfect series for me than this one. First, I fell in love with Amber House, and then I fell in love with the story.

At the heart of this story is one old, old house....
"The estate was famous — one of the oldest in North America, owned by a single family, my family, since the 1600s. Dormant gardens surrounded the house, which was all white clapboard and pillars, brick and green trim. Not stately so much as solid. Filled with time.
My grandmother used to tell me how three hundred and fifty years of my ancestors had added to Amber House — a wing here, a porch there, a balcony, a turret. Decade after decade. Generation after generation. Century after century."
and one elaborate family history - cruelty, insanity, death. 

And Sarah can relive it all...   
"'Your gramma called them echoes.'
'It's like replaying a piece of the past. A moment played over again. Like a scene from a movie. But only certain people can see them.'"
I love this idea. Liked seriously LOVE this idea. I loved exploring Amber House - its present and, with Sarah's gift,  its past. The house fascinated me. The history fascinated me. And the combination of the two left me mesmerized. The description that was provided was wonderful. And the story was weaved nicely throughout. I could live in this series.

When Sarah comes to Amber House this time around the world is a different place. So different, in fact, that I had a little trouble in the beginning understanding it. The states are still divided, racial segregation still exists, there are even Nazis! At the end of book one, Sarah changed the past, and consequently changed the future. But since her own life was rewritten in the process, she has no memory of doing it. 
Fortunately, Amber House does. 
"'Amber House holds its share of secrets. But those are in the past, aren't they, and the past doesn't give up its secrets easily.'"
This book has a bit of a slow start as the world is established and Sarah rediscovers her gift. But after it gets going there was no slowing down. Once again we are reliving history, waiting for Amber House to reveal its secrets to Sarah so she can fix whatever change she set in motion. But the stakes are much higher this time. The echoes darker. And the future is not so certain. I loved the adventure. The suspense.
Most of the characters from Amber House are present in Neverwas, albeit a little different. Sarah as an MC still falls a little flat for me, maybe more so in this book. And having grown up with an easier life has made her character less... resilient. But I admire that she will go to great lengths for the one's she loves and her relationship with her Autistic brother Sammy continues to pull on my heartstrings. The love and care with which she interacts with her brother is beautiful. Sammy himself is just fantastic. I love how everything he says is exactly what you need to hear, when you know how to listen. 

The love triangle is still present, but not quite the same, since Sarah is more sure of her feelings. Jackson is noticeably less present in this book, and I missed him. But Richard is considerably better and I felt bad that past memories kept Sarah at a distance.

Overall, Neverwas was a strong sequel to Amber House. I didn't love it more than Amber House, but I loved it nonetheless. I think the care with which this house and its history have been written is truly remarkable and sets the stage for a wonderful story, to which the authors use to its fullest potential. I highly highly recommend this series to fellow readers. It's unlike anything else I've read.

In NEVERWAS, Sarah must piece together the mystery of her forgotten past with the help of clues left behind by her great-grandmother, Fiona Warren. For readers interested in the chance to win a signed first-edition hardback of NEVERWAS -- with an exclusive hint for what's in store for Sarah in the final book, OTHERWHEN, hidden inside -- visit each blog on the tour for the month of December, collect the various lines from the poem, arrange them in the proper order, and submit the final sonnet by New Year's Day for a chance to win the special copy of NEVERWAS!

KELLY MOORE is a New York Times best-selling author, former litigator, and single mother of three. Her latest project, the young adult fiction series THE AMBER HOUSE TRILOGY, co-written with her two daughters and based loosely upon her own family history, examines fourteen generations of Maryland women and their ties to the past, present, and future. The first book in the series was nominated for the 2014 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award for its realistic portrayal of characters with autism; Moore is outspoken about her inclusion in the autism spectrum, and is dedicated to autism awareness. 

TUCKER REED is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer. She has been recognized on the national level for her short stories, essays and poetry. She is also a notable political blogger and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC and HuffPost Live, as well as featured in articles published by TIME magazine, Marie Claire magazine, Ms. magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among numerous others. 

LARKIN REED is a professional photographer, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in filmmaking. In 2013, Reed established her own multimedia production company, and has subsequently produced and directed several short films.
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