by Rachel Caine
Release: October 3, 2006
Author Info: Website
Publisher: NAL Jam
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenge: Dusty Bookshelf Challenge, Morganville Vampires Challenge
Warning: This book does have quite a bit of language and violent content.
I recommend for 17+.
Welcome to Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they come out fighting when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood... (Source)
Claire's life in nothing bug a big mess; from crossing the wrong people, to having the wrong friends, and learning more than any outsider should know.
Let's back up a bit..
From page one Claire is being hazed and I don't mean innocent jokes and pranks, I mean full on beat down, making her scared to be alone. Which she is. She has no friends, no boyfriend; an advanced student, 16 almost 17 already in college, off on her own for the first time. She more than a little afraid.
Deciding that things will get better if she moves out form her dorm and is away from school (other than going to class) she begins looking through the classifieds. Finding only one decent listing, with little hope but no other options she finds herself on a door step, beaten up, tired, scared, and unsure of what she's doing [in her life]. While at first she is turned away, being under age and all, they do let her stay for a few days to "sort things out". However she never really gets the chance to leave.
As time goes on, things only become more and more complicated, for everyone.
I don't think I have to beat around the bush to say what this book is about, it's a clear as the name of the series; Vampires.
If there is one thing I don't understand, which that really bothers me.. WHY PEOPLE NEVER LEAVE?! I mean in a town like that, I would MOVE. Even with nothing in my pockets. Of course that doesn't make for a good story. As time goes by reasons pop up, excuses are made, and finally things happen that makes them (Claire mainly) unable to leave town. But in the beginning it just doesn't hold together as well.
First Claire doesn't think the hazing will be bad if she moves away, but then it gets worse. Then she doesn't believe vampires exist, only to learn they do. Through all of it she is too focused on not leaving school because she sees it as "quitting" and admitting she shouldn't handle it, is something she couldn't live with. Yeah, IF YOU LIVE THROUGH THE YEAR.
Seriously, that kind of logic made me want to slap her across the face -- but at the same time, it's what I love about her as a character. Not with that applied to school, but how she views her friends, family, those important to her and what matters to her. She will do anything for them and that means not running away, leaving them with the mess she helped me.
I also didn't enjoy that their plans constantly changed. Yes I understand that things don't always go the way you want and once in awhile you have to 'wing-it' but at every turn something changed and everything kept getting more complicated. It's a love hate relationship; kept things exciting but also drove me insane because I didn't know what was coming, couldn't stand it all falling apart at any moment.
I also feel I should point out what I think is Claire's biggest moment of weakness. How everyone finds out the biggest secret going in the house. She gets tired of being the only one that knows, and blurts it out. Then leaves for everyone else to do with it. I was not very happy with that.
By far the biggest thing I couldn't handle, all the psycho characters. I have never met so many insane people in one book. I have no idea what I would do if I met some of them in a dark alley, other than need a new pair of pants. If this is them in the first book, I can't even imagine what they might be like later on.
I love the quirky personalities and the batter between the characters. It's one of those great moments where your characters all fit together but are still strong enough to stand on their own, and you still enjoy it.
One in awhile they did go for a cheap laugh or bad reference, but I'm happy to over look it, given most of the conversations are great.
Thought I'd share a few of my favourite lines.
"Magic was just science misunderstood." - Claire
"Things happen. Things that physics and math and crap that gets measured in a lab can't explain." - Eve
"People aren't just laws and rules, Claire. They're . . . sparks. Sparks of something beautiful and huge. And some of the sparks glow brighter." - Eve
"I'd feel a whole lot better about the two of us if you didn't think I was the go-to guy for breaking and entering." - Shane
I can not tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. I mainly picked up for the Dusty Bookshelf Challenge. This book because it's been sitting on my shelf for longer than I care to admit, I also haven't read a vampire book in awhile, I thought I would give it a chance.
Going in I wasn't sure how I would feel, but I LOVE this book! I enjoyed this book a lot. I would happily read it again and hope to continue reading the series.
I gave it a 4/5 although it's more like a 4.5.
Recommend: Vampire lovers, paranormal, suspense, action, quirky characters.