Saturday, November 14, 2009

What is With All the YA Vampire Books? Review: Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz


Good Lord, there are a bunch of books/series that fall into the YA Vampire category: Twilight, Morganville, House of Night, Vampire Academy, Vampire Diaries. The list seems endless. And now Melissa de la Cruz has decided to dip her toes in the Vampiric waters. Blue Bloods (336 pgs, Hyperion, 2007) is Book One is this series that offers a new twist on an old legend.

One hundred and two people arrived on the Mayflower in November of 1620, but less than half lived to see the establishment of the Plymouth Colony the next year. While no one had died during the Mayflower's voyage, life after arrival was extremely difficult, especially for the young. Almost all of the lost were hardly sixteen years of age.

Life in New York City was rather unusual for Schuyler Van Alen. At fifteen, Schuyler is rather a loner. Enrolled at the exclusive Duchesne School, she really only had a couple of friends. Oliver, her best bud since 2nd grade. And Dylan, the new guy at school, who didn't want to conform to anyone's idea of a prep student. Schuyler is also a non-conformist. She prefers vintage to Prada; Converse to Jimmy Choo. While she doesn't know her father, her mother has been in a coma for as long as Schuyler can remember. It is for this reason that she lives with her rather cold Grandmother, Cordelia.

Now that Schuyler is fifteen, she has been noticing some changes. Mainly, the strange blue veins that seem to be showing up on her arms, but also a few others. When a Duchesne student is found murdered, the death haunts Schuyler in ways she never thought it would. Then, she receives an invitation to join the most prestigious charity organization in the city: The New York Blood Bank Committee, or just "The Committee". And while The Committee DID do charitable work, there was also another element to it. It is within this group that Schuyler and the other kids learn about their true origin. For they are not regular human teens: they are all Blue Bloods, a group of immortals. An ancient group of vampires that have lived since the beginning of time and are invincible. Or at least they are supposed to be. But it might not be true. The student who was murdered? A Blue Blood. What does that mean for the others?

First of all, I have to say I wasn't super crazy about this book. I mean, I liked it. And truthfully, the storyline is really unique. But it seemed like the entire book was just a set-up for the rest of the series. And because of that, it made it hard to get to know the characters very well. The characters that did get introduced all appeared a little flat. I mean, they were very stereotypical: Schuyler, the quiet loner. Jack, the rich guy that keys in on the loner. Mimi, the uber-rich, nasty mean girl. Oliver, the loner's best friend. Nothing rang of uniqueness. Also the book felt more like "Gossip Girl" than "Dracula". What I mean, is that it spent way more time talking about rich teens that Vampires.


I will give de la Cruz big kudos for coming up with one of the most original vampire origin stories I've ever heard. Truly a great storyline. Because I really liked the storyline, I'm hoping the rest of series will be better, especially since we've already established the "set-up". So, although I thought Book 1 was lacking a little, I see enough of a reason to continue on with the series. 3/5

12 comments:

austenfan said...

Because vampires are hot? LOL.

The series gets better (well, for me, that is). More twists are introduced in the latter books. I hope you continue reading it. :)

Book Calendar said...

There have been an amazine amount of young adult vampire stories lately. We have Christopher Pike Thirst, Vampire Academy, New Moon Stepehenie Meyer, and a variety of other titles which we have been getting. It is not just books, it is also manga; Chibi Vampire, Vampire Knight, and Rosario & Vampire are very popular. My favorite manga come which is a little more adult is Vampire Hunter D. There is also Hellsing.

It seems that gothic culture has become more mainstream and a lot of young adults and twenty somethings have adopted parts of it. Also the Otaku costumes are starting to include vampire themes.

Miss Remmers said...

I'll agree that the plot does seem to be completely dependent on the 'things to come'. But I really liked this about this books - most times I feel that authors are just writing to see where they end up (which is a great writing style) so it was refreshing to me to have an author have planned out the series that well. But I can definitely see where you're coming from. I can't wait to hear what you think of the rest of the books.

Kathleen said...

I've not heard of this one but the market does seem a bit crowded in this space. I'm afraid most of the best ones have already been published?

Kailana said...

I am getting sick of vampire books. They are getting a bit overdone!

rusvw said...

Thanks, Stephanie! My wife and I are on a bit of a vampire tear these days, and so we'll be sure to check this one out!

Hazra said...

I never knew that there were so many vampire novels, let alone YA vampire novels! Me and my friend just thought we'd make a list for future reference, and we ended up with 15 series! This one is new to me, though.

Clover said...

There are a lot of YA vampire novels, aren't there? There have been moments of exasperation, but I'm not sick of them yet. I've heard of this series, but I'm not sure I've seen them in the bookstores or libraries..

Eva said...

I think most series get better after the first book. :) I don't read a ton of YA, but when I do I like faerie YA more than vampire stuff.

Debbie's World of Books said...

I agree book 1 was a little slow but it gets much better! The latest one was one of my favorites in the series.

Ladytink_534 said...

I have heard of this but mainly reviewers have said that it was just okay. I may give this one a chance one day but I have a lot of other things on my plate at the moment.

Alessandra said...

Vampires are seriously overrated, lol. I'm not such a big fan of vampires myself, or of supernatural romance in general, YA or adult. But I can recommend the Evernight series by Claudia Gray. It's really worth your while. I've only read the first book, Evernight, so far, but I *loved* it. The Twilight series pales in comparison.