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Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Everneath is a captivating story of love, loss, and immortality from debut author Brodi Ashton.

Curriculet Details
99 Questions
99 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining characterization, the importance of subheadings to explain how texts are formatted, and inferences. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about the myth of Osiris and Isis and Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth to explain what makes a hero. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of textual connections between Greek myth and the story, important plot elements, and how point of view impacts reading comprehension. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension

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As evidenced by this beginning section, it is clear that the story is written in first person point of view. See below for more information about point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)
What effect does the point of view have on the story so far? 
Sometimes, to make a story interesting, authors don't explain everything right up front. The reader needs to infer what is happening, using textual evidence. You may not know what an "everliving" is, but you can guess, based on textual evidence, that it is rare. 
Based on textual evidence, Nikki most probably 


In some instances, this story echoes that of Thomas the Rhymer, or True Thomas. Thomas the Rhymer is a famous Scottish folk hero, who was taken to Fairyland to serve the queen. When he returned, hundreds of years had passed. See below to listen to a ballad about Thomas the Rhymer.  (This annotation contains a video)
How is Nikki's life like that of Thomas the Rhymer? 
Pay attention to the capitalization used in this story. Words that are capitalized within sentences are words from this other world, and the reader must use context clues to interpret their meaning. 
Based on how she has described the Everneath, it was 
Pay attention to the details of this Greek myth. There are many allusions, or references, to Persephone and Hades in this novel. 
How might the myth of Persephone and Hades be similar to what will happen to Nikki? 
Note the use of flashback here. Hopefully, the author will share some answers about what happened between Jack and Nikki. 
How has Nikki changed since this flashback? 


And now the reader should understand some of Nikki's original motivation. She wanted to feel numb, and Cole promised her it was possible. 
What might this boulder be a reference to? 
Because of the first person point of view here, the reader must infer that allowing Nikki to use her nickname means that Julianna wants to reconnect with Nikki. 
What rumor has started in the town, to explain where Nikki has been for six months? 
Now that it has been revealed that her father is a politician, the rumor of her drug use must be damaging his chances of continuing as mayor. 


Because of the way Nikki describes Cole 
Isis is part of an Egyptian myth. See below for a brief video introduction to this myth. Redemption and resurrection from death is a theme in this novel.  (This annotation contains a video)
How is the video myth of Isis and Osiris different from the story that Cole tells? 
The reader should be able to infer what "Feed" means. She lost the ability to feel her emotions while in the Everneath. What did Cole feed upon that then extended his life? 
Why did Nikki say she returned to Earth? 


Some religions believe actions speak louder than words when it comes to being good. Finding redemption is a theme in this novel. See below for more information about emerging themes.  (This annotation contains a video)
In Greek culture, as in many ancient cultures, those who could foresee the future were often insane. Could Mary be such a character? 
How is Tommy different from other ten year old boys? 


The physical evidence of her choice is growing wider, but Cole's explanation for what it signifies might be a lie. 
Besides the sorrow of missing her mother, Nikki wanted to forget 
This patience is paralleled earlier in the novel, when Jack would sit in the graveyard with Nikki while she talked to her mother's grave. What might this patience signify? 
What can the reader infer was the relationship between Jack and Lacey? 
Which of the following literary techinques is used here? 
The reader should be asking: did Jack actually cheat on her at all? Or did she imagine it? 
Why did Jack ask Nikki out? 
Since Nikki's dad did not like Jack before she disappeared, how might he have treated Jack after the disappearance?  
Why might Nikki's dad feel awkward about the dance? 


Is it possible that Nikki was wrong, and that Jack had never actually left her? Since the author has chosen to write in first person point of view, and since he is using flashbacks to reveal information about Nikki's past, the reader will have to infer the truth. See below for more information about inferences.  (This annotation contains a video)
How does the point of view effect the story so far? 
Remember that Cole told Nikki she could be the replacement for the queen. Why might Cole protect her? 
What unusual clue to NIkki find that might help her understand the significance of the store? 
The man that Maxwell tried so hard to convince and the old homeless man may be one and the same. 


How does her theme parallel what has happened to Nikki? 
Could this be the event or related to the event that causes her to think Jack had left her? 
What is Nikki avoiding in this section? 
By Jack's reaction, and because the reader cannot know his thoughts, the reader can infer that Jack is not upset with Nikki. 
Does Nikki believe that she and Jack feel the same about each other? 


Even though Nikki doesn't believe Mary may be a seer, it is also impossible to be an immortal, which she believes Cole to be. What might she learn from Mary? 
The reader should infer by Mary's reaction that 
Recall the earlier references to Persephone. Her daughters would have to be the daughters of Hades as well. See below for one vision of what the meeting between Hades and Persephone could have been like. What might her daughters be? (This annotation contains a video)
Mary says her mother wanted something. Predict: what thing could it be? 


If the scar only prickles in Cole's presence, could it disappear if she hides from Cole? 
What is the Elysian Fields a reference to? 
This furthers the idea that the Everneath might have something to do with Fairy, by having a queen in charge.  
Based on her reaction to Cole's kiss, Nikki decides 


In many cultures, the eyes are windows for the soul. By giving Cole dark eyes that do not change, what is the author saying about his soul? 
What might be Cole's motivation to change his appearance? 
Nikki feels sorrow for Cole's lack of true understanding of human emotion. Will she feel compelled to try and help him realize what love is? 
Where has Meredith been mentioned before? 
Cole is established here as confident and uncaring about the emotions of others. It remains to be seen why she would agree to go with Cole to the Everneath. 
Why might Cole find Nikki attractive, besides her physical looks? 
Chapters 1-10 


Because Jack is willing to protect her, is it possible that Nikki has been wrong about Jack leaving her? 
What has Jack revealed about his beliefs? 
Nikki believes she has to do the right thing to achieve redemption, a recurring theme in the novel. Is lying the right thing to do to Jack? 
What is Lacey implying? 
It appears that Cole can manipulate the emotions of others, and he is trying to make Nikki forget her love of Jack. 
Cole has expressed his interest in Nikki in many indirect ways. Which of the following is NOT a way he shows he is interested? 
Could Cole's powers be tied to music? 
Based on what occurred before Jack left on the field trip, it is possible that 


Although Nikki interprets their actions as tender and loving, because of first person point of view, the reader should not rely on her observations. They could just as easily be talking about Nikki. 
What type of characterization is evidenced here? 
The Unabomber was a serial killer who was well known in the United States. See below for a video explaining who he was.  (This annotation contains a video)


Based on textual evidence, what might "inordinate" mean? 
Although the teacher offers this story as a hopeful one, Orpheus ultimately failed. 
Defending Jack may help her on her quest for redemption. 
What might Cole's motivation be in this scene? 
Cole's actions may have the opposite effect of his desires. He may drive Nikki closer to her friends, rather than separate her from them. 
What has Nikki discovered about herself? 


Cole doesn't want her to Return to the Tunnels, and Nikki doesn't want to send someone there either. When authors develop their characters, they use two types of characterization. See below for more information about this writing technique.  (This annotation contains a video)
Based on textual evidence, the reader can infer that 
The reader must use inferences to determine that the woman is not ultimately happy with her choice, based on the highlighted words. 
What culture is Cole referencing in the highlighted segment? 
It is clear Nikki does not believe in Cole's philosophy. She is desperately trying to do the right thing. But what might that be? 
Use textual evidence to prove that Cole could be lying here. Consider what might motivate him to lie. 
It is possible that Cole is manipulating her to feel flustered, but it is also possible that Nikki does not feel worthy of Jack's love. 
Although Nikki confesses her secrets to Cole, she 
The band manipulated her so they could feed off of her feelings of fear. 


Notice the structure of each of these chapters. They begin with her temporal, or time, relationship either to the Feed or to when she must go back. 
This sentence serves to remind the reader that 
Jack did many things after Nikki's disappearance. What is one thing he did NOT do? 
NIkki is trying to do the right thing, in her quest for redemption. This action furthers the theme that actions lead to salvation. 
Based on Jack's actions, it is clear that he 
Note the use of simile here, to emphasize the importance of what she has just shares with Jack. See below for more information about similes.  (This annotation contains a video)


What literary device is utilized here? 
With this paragraph, the reader can infer that she actually did notice the passage of time, and those memories not vital to her existence she forgot. 
Based on context clues, what is a lyre? 
And now, not only does the reader know Nikki's last name, but also the origin of the nickname "Becks," used both by Jack and by Julianna. 
What is significant in the way Jack lists what made his year rough? 
Cole has done nothing but stir up trouble between Jack and Nikki. Is it possible that something about their relationship could save Nikki? 


Explain the significance of the highlighted segment. 
Pay attention to how Jack and Jules interact, and decide for yourself if Nikki has the right to feel jealous. 
With what action does Cole take away her pain? 
Remember that Will is Jack's brother, former soldier. 
What is Will inferring? 
Cole can obviously manipulate emotions through music, as well as through breath. If these two young lovers are fighting, what will Jack do? 
How can the reader know that Cole caused the fighting?  
Cole claims that his emotions spilled out because his heart cracked, seeing only tragedy for Nikki and Jack. But is this the only interpretation of why he might feel sorrow? 
What major decision does Nikki make, at the end of this chapter? 


Just like Cole, breath is important to Nikki's perceptions of emotions. 
Why might the author include details about card games in the story? 
Being close to Jack, she comes closer to normal than she thought possible. What does Jack have that helps Nikki? 
Based on what Jack says, it is clear that 
Could Cole have manufactured this, to show her he could take her pain away? 
If she feeds off Jack, then it will be clear to Nikki that 
Even though she was truthful to Jack, he wants his distance. Has she lost her chance? 


Based on the mayor's reaction to the newspaper article, it is clear that 
Her father is concerned about how the public will perceive him, based on his daughter's bad choices. It appears that he may lack buoyancy, a key component of persuading others. See below for more information about remaining buoyant and persuading others.  (This annotation contains a video)
Nikki is trying many avenues in order to make up for her mistakes. What is one thing she has NOT tried? 
By utilizing first person point of view, the reader must take Nikki's word that the others would be better with her gone. What might this realization cause Nikki to do?  


What type of characterization is used here? 
Because Jack is willing to be friendly to Cole, the author is showing through indirect characterization that Jack is a good friend to Nikki. 
Using textual evidence as a clue, what must Jack's text say? 
It is now revealed for the first time what a "Forfeit" is: someone who has been totally drained of all emotions for 100 years. 
Jack's question proves that he 
Although Nikki won't tell him out loud, she still loves him. Because we can't hear Jack's thoughts due to first person point of view, we will have to judge his offer of friendship on his actions. Does he act like he wants only friendship from Nikki? 
What is Cole's motivation, according to Jack? 
Ch 11-20 


By using his real name, Jack is challenging Cole that Nikki told Jack the truth. What will Cole's reaction be? 
What new piece of information does the author reveal happened the night that Nikki decided to become a Forfeit? 
Again, Nikki's dad shows that he cares more about appearances than truth. 
What type of literary device is used here? 
Pay attention to the reaction of the people around her. The author is telling you through indirect characterization that something bad is about to happen. 
What Nikki actually saw was 
Cole, who can shapeshift, might not be in the apartment? This should cast doubt in the mind of the reader that Nikki actually saw Lacey. 
By this section, the reader should realize that 
Even in the beginning, Nikki wanted to stop. By continuing past her request to stop, Cole effectively emotionally raped her. 


Who is Nikki's dad talking to? 
Out of context, it is hard to understand the connotation of a word. Although an anchor can be part of a ship, it can also be the thing that connects two objects together. Does Mary know more than it appears? 
What will Jack find on Nikki's shoulder? 
As in many places in the novel, Cole is lying. 
Why might Cole want to drive Jack and Nikki apart? 
Cole's comments, saying that it was an experiment he didn't think would work, are now revealed to be more than a lie. 
Who has Mary revealed herself to be? 


Here is how one storyteller imagines the beginning of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. (This annotation contains a video)
What theme is common to both this story and the video? 
If she doesn't tell Jack the truth, this sentence foreshadows her doom. 
What do Jules and Nikki discuss at the coffee shop? 
Will Meredith's mom want to help them? 


What lie does Meredith's mother tell? 
If Nikki becomes queen, she can bring back her mother. 
Explain in your own words what happened to Adonia. 
The bracelet is obviously important. 


Why might Neal be so good at painting? 
If Cole has never "tracked someone after the Feed," then how is it he knows about the spread of the Mark? 
What is the most accurate restatement of what Nikki says to Cole? 
Nikki is again not being totally truthful with Jack. Leaving is not the same as being forced to leave. 
What can the reader infer about Cole's motivation? 
The author uses indirect characterization here to show that Mrs. Caputo does not want Nikki near her son. 
What is Nikki most likely to do? 


What did Cole tell her would happen if she ate his hair? 
Joesph Campbell would not agree that there are no heros. Is Cole a true hero? Is there a hero in this story? Watch below for more information about the hero's journey.  (This annotation contains a video)
If love almost saved Eurydice, can it save Nikki? 
Why did Nikki survive the Feed? 


In his way, her father does love her, but he loves his role as politician, too. 
Why might Cole have allowed Tommy to get beat up? 
Jack didn't abandon her; he went after the only person he knew that might help save Nikki. 
What can the reader infer about Jules, based on the highlighted segment? 
This conversation with Jack shows that Nikki doesn't know people as well as she thinks she does. Jack has always loved her. It is possible that she has been mistaken about other people in her life, too. 
Jack mentions many memories that have helped him to love Nikki. What memory does he NOT mention? 
The reader should infer that Nikki has never told Jack she loves him. 
What type of characterization is evident here? 
Notice the similes, as well as the personification of the darkness. 
What lie did Nikki tell Cole? 


Can Nikki be redeemed, if she allows Meredith to return to the tunnels? The theme of actions causing redemption comes through here. 
Why would the Dead Elvises play at the victory party? 
Rather than feeding off the crowd, they are feeding off Nikki. Why might they eat all her emotions? 
Because Nikki is emptied of emotions, she automatically 


Pay attention to what clues the author includes, foreshadowing that something bad might be about to happen. 
Nikki realizes that 
Who is she suggesting could pay Nikki's debt? Who is her Orpheus? 
This chapter represents a turning point in the character development of Jack and Nikki because 


Hieroglyphics were Egyptian writings. See the below video for some more information about this type of writing.  (This annotation contains a video)
Who does Jack suggest they go to for help? 
The climax of the story, or the highest point of tension, is quickly approaching. What will happen? 
Predict: will the professor get back to them in time? 
Leaves of Grass is one of poet Walt Whitman's most famous works. 
Why does the author have Jack put the professor on speaker phone? 
Consider how Cole speaks of their Everliving. It is similar to the Egyptian myth here. 
What object does Cole seem to never be without? 


What does the quickly moving stain signify? 
Note the use of imagery here. Although imagery is not used very often in the novel, using here at the end makes it even more impactful. See below for more information about imagery.  (This annotation contains a video)
What type of literary device is used here? 
She knows that she loves Jack. Does Jack know? 


What connects Nikki and Jack? 
Will needs redemption, too. Will his actions save Nikki? 
Where is Cole's heart? 
In this selfless act, she will try to save her soul, if not her life. The theme of actions leading to redemption continues to be developed. 
What does Jack's statement mean? 
Note the imagery here. The author saves these literary devices for moments of great importance. 


What does Nikki dream about? 
Cole has lied to her throughout the novel. Will he tell the truth? Since the novel is written in first person point of view, it is impossible to say for certain. 
How has Nikki achieved redemption? 
Ch 21-33