Because not all vampire books are good...
With my success of reading the terrific Vampire Academy series (see previous post) I was feeling adventurous and ready to dabble in some other books about vampires. So I picked up Evernight by Claudia Gray which had just come in my latest Follett order (eleven delicious boxes of books in that one, purrrrrr). I didn't remember the plot from the reviews, just that it had something to do with vampires and it was at a boarding school (they always get me with the boarding school thing). Recipe for happiness, check.
And I started. It was okay, the prose was fine, not stellar. I got a little irritated that there were so many Twilight parallels initially (Bianca is a pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty, the distant Lucas is so handsome she's shocked he seems interested in her). Her parents are nice faculty members, the school is creepy...okay, I get it. But then, literally half-way through the book when Bianca and Lucas are finally kissing at the gazebo, it happens! WE FIND OUT SHE'S A VAMPIRE. A vampire baby, actually, which means that her parents are vampires and she's kinda/sorta one but not fully (she won't be until she kills someone near death at a nursing home - I'm serious, that's what it says). I think it's supposed to be this huge "twist" (and of course, practically everyone else at the school is a vampire - a group of vampires that look like teenagers but come to the school every century or so to have new developments explained to them, like microwaves and iPods), but I was just really pissed off. How could you not mention your mother loves history because she's been living since the 1600s? Or that you "always" have blood in wine glasses from the butcher's at dinner? Isn't this a big thing to breeze over? Particularly if we're supposed to feel that the reason she's ostracized in the first place is because she's human, but then we find out it's just because she's kind of a "loser" vampire? I don't like surprises like this.
It get's worse from there. Lucas freaks, she sends him a Christmas email apologizing for not telling, big twist where he's a human vampire hunter (how young do they recruit them, exactly?), scene in church when they are trying to run away together, headmistress is vampire Cruella deVille, blah, blah. Yes, there are two more in the "series"; no, I won't be reading them, but I'll probably get them to complete the set and in case someone likes this one. The characters didn't feel real to me and I didn't feel that I understood their motivation a lot of the time. The only characters I was really interested in were the supporting characters of Patrice and Balthazar, the nicer vampires at the school who actually befriend Bianca. I just found out that Claudia Gray contributed a short story about Patrice to a collection put together by P.C. Cast called Immortal - that I think I'll buy and read.