The very first thing that I thought of after reading this book is they should really change the synopsis on Goodreads.
It's not that the synopsis is irrelevant. The book is very much so about a half vampire girl training to guard her royal vampire best friend against the evil undead vampires called Strigoi.
I don't even know how to pronounce that but that's besides the point.
That is in fact the underlying story. But the book feels like an episode of Degrassi.
The story is less about the Strigoi and Moroi conflict and more so about popular vs unpopular kids, teen sex, teen drinking, dating older men, etc. The Strigoi and Mori conflict seemed more like story line B instead of storyline A.
Yes, every once in a while we're hit with a dismembered fox or bunny rabbit to remind us of the over arching story, but problems with school gossip, and Mia seem to over shadow those moments.
However, what I do like is the author's ability to gradually explain the world. There are not very many, if any, information dumps. We're not having anything explained to us. If anything is explained, its at the right moment and it comes out very naturally. Like Rose is telling you the story and explaining parts you might not get. Which is essentially what all first person POV books should do. The story was fun for what it was. I mean teen drama is always interesting to me, and this is the first book I've ever read that deals with cutting, so I thought that was good in a bringing awareness to it way.
It kept me interested. If it wasn't for life stuff I would have read it a lot quicker. The way the book starts is very memorable and it sucked me in. Those are the moments I love. The first chapter had me like Neo.
Once I got passed the teen angst and hormones, I enjoyed the story for the most part.
Speaking of POV, I thought it was very cleaver how the author found a way to get into Lisa's head (literally). Instead of doing the whole Lisa is one chapter and Rose is another chapter thing, she came up with a very good and believable way for Rose to get into Lisa's head. Kudos for that.
All of the characters were pretty well developed and unique. The dialogue was really good. I've read so many trash stories where the author had no clue how to write a teenage voice, but this author did.
My only problem is Dimitri. I like him but I think his character is way too stiff. I mean he's seven years older than Rose, okay. But even then, he's only 24 or 25. In a sense, he's still very much in his developing years himself. But he acts like he's in his mid 30s instead of his mid 20s. I think he needs to loosen up. I get his personality is supposed to be a guy who's very serious about his work, but still, I think he's a little too serious for his age.
There's a pretty good balance of Lisa and Rose. I never felt like the story was more about one than the other. I never confused them with each other either. Their personalities didn't allow for that. Mia was an excellent adversary. I kept waiting for the author to redeem her in some way but she never did, which I'm happy about. Like i said in a previous impressions from a previous book, let the bad guy be the bad guy. *cough cough* Peter.
If you haven't read the book I suggest you skip this part because I talk about the end. Major Spoilers! You've been warned!
It's unfortunate that the end was the complete opposite of the beginning. It felt so forced. The whole book is about drama among the students and then all of a sudden we have this conflict with Victor, that was never nourished enough for me to even care. I felt like Victor went through some personality change. He was a character that barely ever showed up and when he did, he was just the feeble, about to die uncle. I mean at least make him a little unlikable so that when we get the surprise that he's a bad guy, it's actually believable.
At this point it just doesn't make any sense since he is one of the more underdeveloped characters. The same goes for Natalie, we know her a bit more because she's more developed, but there was still no inkling of a girl that would do whatever it takes to save her father. But author didn't even make that a point. This is a young girl who is about to lose her father and she wants to save him. Any rash teenager would do that and if that was how it was presented, I would have been okay with that. Instead her behavior is just chalked up to wanting attention from daddy.
I understand that it was supposed to be a kind of twist, but even twists are supposed to be set up a lot earlier in the book. You have to plant some seed of doubt or suspicion. It doesn't have to be obvious but it has to be there, and the book is missing that.
Overall, I liked it. Not in love, but I'm interested enough to continue the series.