There is a writing technique commonly known as ‘jumping into the action’. All this means is that one starts off with some event that happens halfway through the story. I, personally, dislike this technique, unless there is, you know, actual action.
You may have
deduced that this book started off by jumping into the action. But there
was no action. Our main character tells us that something horrible
happened on her seventeenth birthday (she doesn’t tell us what is, but
I’m pretty sure any intelligent person could come up with an accurate
guess based on the title). She goes on to say that one of her main goals
in life was to not end up crazy like her mother, but now her only goal
is too survive. Which sounds dramatic, right? But she’s just telling us
this. It’s not actually happening.
Suffice to say, this book and me got off on the wrong foot.
Despite this, I hoped the book would improve…
But then the author went and pulled out the most cliché relationship in the book. The boy-girl-best-friendship-romance.
this may just be me being a hypocrite, because I have also said in the
past that I believe boy-girl-best-friendships are hokey unless one of
them is in love with the other. Which just goes to show, you can’t
The MC did admit that it was cliché. So she got points for that.
those two initial mishaps, however, the book quickly improved. It was
the characters of Sofia and Derek that did it for me.
Sofia: is intelligent. She thinks about the situation she’s in and then considers what she can do about it and then, she acts
on it. Another thing about her was that she was brave. It does take a
certain kind of bravery to tell a vampire that he’s playing the victim
in order to make him NOT eat you. It also takes a certain kind of
bravery to knee a vampire in the balls for the same reason.
Oooooh, Derek. If you ask me, he is the perfect vampire character. You
see, in YA fiction today, many vampires suffer from something I like to
call the Cullen Complex. That basically means that you’re a vampire, but
you want to be a good man, so you’re all chivalrous ad you don’t eat
people. But vampires are supposed to eat people, you know? And if you’re
a vampire and you DON’T suffer from the Cullen Complex, then you’re
basically bad-boy extreme or soulless and evil. The thing about Derek,
you see, is that his case of the Cullen Complex was very mild. He did
eat people, which I enjoyed. But he wasn’t evil so we could empathize
with him, and he wasn’t a bad-boy. Derek Novak is the BEST vampire
character I have ever read.
But, now, what would a book be
without conflict? And there was conflict aplenty. There was war going on
between the Vampires and the ‘Shadow-Hunters’. And apparently the Shade
is the last safe place for vampires that the Shadow hunters haven’t
found. And there is a reason for that, which is always good because
sometimes authors don’t give you reasons for things like that, and that
makes us readers wonder why that place survived and the rest of them
And there was Lucas. Lucas is Derek’s (younger?) brother, and
he’s the one who kidnapped Sofia off a beach and brought her to the
Shade. Remember what I said about some vampires being soulless and evil?
I meant Lucas.
And now I have to talk about a third character, Ben.
We actually did not see much of him. In the beginning, Sofia was
talking about him and about how she was in love with him, but we didn’t
actually see him or meet him until towards the end. When he showed up, I
promptly said: “Ohh, shit.”
In between the points’ where Sofia was
talking about him and we actually met him, his character had changed. We
never got to meet the Ben that Sofia knew, and I’m okay with that. I
like the Ben that we met. He showed up and he just had this hatred for
all vampires, and sine at this point Sofia and Derek were a definite
thing, there was DRAMA.
And then the book ended, like, five pages later.
I can not wait for the next installment!