Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Impressions: Vampire Kisses (The Series) & By Midnight (ARC)…

The Beginning (Vampire Kisses 1-3)

Author: Ellen Schreiber

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)

Date of Publication: April 21st, 2009

ISBM: 9780061778940


A new guy in town.

Rumors of vampires.

Dangerous first love.

This is where it all begins. . . .

The mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood empty for years. But one day it seems to be occupied, and its mysterious, handsome inhabitant Alexander Sterling becomes the source of much talk around town. Raven, a vampire-obsessed Goth-girl who has always considered herself an outsider in "Dullsville," is determined to uncover the truth surrounding the secretive Alexander. As she gets to know him, and their spark intensifies, Raven finds herself in some unanticipated situations. Can Alexander make her lifelong dream come true? But love always has its complications—especially when it can only be awakened at nightfall. (From

I wanted to read some vampire books that weren’t all about angst and sex. I thought it would impossible to find, but I was lucky and stumbled upon Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses series. So far the first three books have been fast and fun to read. I wish could have been as cool at 16 as Raven is.

They aren’t great books, but would be good to start out with for somebody who hasn’t read any YA or vampire books, before reading other series like Vampire Academy, House of Night, or even the Twilight Saga.

Of course it is vampires we’re talking about so there is a bit of angst, but it’s not the dominant factor in the books. In short; they’re books about being a teenager and finding your place. I know it sounds like a cliché, but sometimes clichés are good.


Title: By Midnight (ARC)

Author: Mia James

Publisher: Gollancz

Date of Publication: July 2010

ISBN: 9780575095526 (Hardcover)


April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception. Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students - and the only place her parents could find her a place, in the middle of term, in the middle of London, on incredibly short notice. So she's stuck with the super-rich, and the super-smart . . . and trying to fit in is when the rest of the students seem to be more glamorous, smarter, or more talented than she is, is more than tough. It's intimidating and isolating, even when she finds a friend in the conspiracy-theorist Caro Jackson - and perhaps finds something more than friendship in the gorgeous, mysterious Gabriel Swift. But there's more going on at Ravenwood than meets the eye. Practical jokes on new students are normal, but when Gabriel saves her from . . . something . . . . in the Highgate Cemetery, and then she discovers that a murder took place, just yards away from where she had been standing, April has to wonder if something more sinister is going on. . . . and whether or not she's going to live through it . . . (From

My co-worker, who handles our book orders, tossed an ARC on my desk one day and told me to “read it and see if we should get it for the store…”. He added that it was my “kind of thing”, meaning a paranormal romance, YA, or both – what he really meant was that it was not “real” book. Oh well to each their own.

I think a lot of these YA books have forgotten a very important aspect; what it is like to be a teenager. It’s not all fangs and eternal love. When I read YA books I often miss the normal things about these teenagers. Yes, I know they’re paranormal and they’re about the supernatural, but often these books have a very normal teenage girl as the protagonist. Yes, she is thrown into an unnatural environment or series of events, but that doesn’t mean the regular daily things should be disregarded.

After reading the first few chapters, I told my co-worker to order By Midnight for the store. It’s refreshing to read a YA which deals with the everyday aspects of being a teenager and doesn’t just center around the paranormal.




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