by Melissa De La Cruz
Published: April 2006
Book Description (From Goodreads):
[box type=”shadow”]When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.
The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?[/box]
I’d been recommending books to my friend for months, and in turn she’d said there was a series that I needed to read. Since we have similar tastes, she Kindle loaned me the first book in Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series and the mania began. When Danny, Pushy, and I were at BEA in 2011, I remember the line for this author’s signing was so huge, it literally snaked around the corner. But since the three of us hadn’t read any of her books and were waiting in line for other authors, I just kind of filed the scientific seed of observation of “so many people in line = high probability that there must be something good between those covers” away in my scientist brain for later. And that time came last month when my friend told me that I absolutely needed to start this series.
If I had to sum up this book in just a few words, it would be Gossip Girl with vampires. Now this book does go a bit deeper than that, but there are a ton of references to who’s wearing what designer and eating at what restaurant and lives at what prestigious address in Manhattan, so it is a lot as I described in those four simple words though too. But I really did love this book.
The book centers around Schuyler Van Alen, a fifteen year old girl who lives with her grandmother because her father is dead and her mother has been in a coma since Schuyler was a baby. She attends a prestigious private school where she keeps to herself and doesn’t quite fit in due to her thrift store clothes, lack of money and status, and the loss of power her family used to have. But she does have a great best friend in Oliver, a loyal boy who’s been her only friend for years.
The first half of the book really focuses on how Schuyler deals with the school’s most popular duo, twins Mimi and Jack Force, while her body is starting to turn on her. While Mimi is the classic Queen Bee of the school–mean to those beneath her and seemingly out to get Schuyler, Jack starts to show some interest in her much to his twin’s and Oliver’s dismay. But the blue lines that are blooming along her arms worsen, and Schuyler soon learns that she is actually a vampire. But not only is she immortal, she is part of the endlessly reincarnating fallen angels that were cast out of paradise for siding with Lucifer, and is now finding out that most of the high society people around her are Blue Blood vampires too.
But it turns out that something can kill Blue Bloods, and teenaged vampires are getting murdered. Schuyler and Oliver team up to find the culprit when their only other friend Dylan is arrested as the murderer. But the road to finding out what actually happened is very difficult and thwarted along the way by members of the Blue Blood’s ruling body as well as Mimi.
What kind of young adult book would this be without a love triangle? While Schuyler and Oliver are best friends, there are hints that Oliver might have more than friendly feelings for her once Jack comes into the picture. While not too much happens in this book, everything is set up nicely for an ansty love triangle in the future books.
The writing in this book jumps from person to person in the third person point of view with a small cliffhanger at the end of each section. While you get inside each of the main characters’ heads, it is sometimes a bit annoying to bounce around so much. The constant mentions of brands, designers, and labels got to be a bit much too. Once you get past the too much telling instead of showing, the story and main mystery of the book is solid and intriguing. The twist on where vampires come from is unique, and it was nice to have a genesis story for them. This was a solid first book setting up this series. I give this one a four out of five.
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