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  • Writer's pictureLeoOtherland

Evergreen Review

Special thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for the ARC copy they provided.

I want to start by saying, I enjoyed many parts of this book. Evergreen is an adorable story about a cute, and sweetly naive dryad who’s been cooped up in his family’s magic garden a bit longer than was good for him. The first few chapters, I identified hardcore with Quill because much of my own childhood was spent being overly sheltered, and wishing I could escape.

Devin Greenlee’s concept for this story, a magic garden, housing a deadly secret at its core, is also one I find delightfully inventive and which I would have loved to see, pardon the pun, blossom a bit more. There is an amazing amount of potential, both in this book and its author, and I think we’re going to see some great things from Greenlee in the future.

That said, there are several reasons I’ve rated Evergreen as only a three star book.

While reading, I consistently found developmental issues that, while small in themselves, when compounded by the number I found, rankled and jarred me out of the immersion in the story I needed for full enjoyment. Some of the more notable of these issues are Quill using his phone to text his love interest when he was stated as not having his phone, due to him being grounded, and characters’ motivations being skewed or vulgar.

Another thing that brings Evergreen to a three star is that about midway through the book, it just started to feel too long. A sense everything was dragging crept in, and by the 75% mark, I definitely knew the writing needed to be a bit tighter.

Despite the noted issues, Evergreen DID make me smile like an idiot several times, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching poor Quill bumble through the same awkwardness I remember experiencing with my first few ventures into the world outside my family’s narrow world. I think the number I put down my phone, shook my head, and mentally screamed, “No!!! Don’t do it, Quill, you soft, squishy, naive little cinnamon roll!!!” was worth the read.

All together, Evergreen is a cute, young adult fantasy retelling of a classic story that anyone who enjoys long, rambly tales of fluff and adventure is likely to love. It didn’t quite resonate with me the way I hoped it would when I started it, but it’s a decent read.

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