Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On the Bookshelf—Review of Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Young Adult

Just out today, Drink Slay Love answers that question we've all been wondering: What happens when a unicorn stabs a vampire?

Teen Pearl has always been a vampire, born into a violent and proud family of bloodsuckers. But after an encounter with a unicorn (her family doesn't believe her, by the way, because of course unicorns don't exist) strange things begin to happen. Pearl can go out in the sun.

Keen to utilize Pearl's new talent, her family sends her on a secret mission to infiltrate a human high school, to lure as many young humans as she can to be a feast for the vampire king at the upcoming Fealty Ceremony hosted by Pearl's family.

But other things are happening to Pearl besides a sudden partiality to sunlight. She's beginning to feel emotions, like empathy, having thoughts and feelings no self-respecting vampire has. Could Pearl be developing a soul?

This novel has elements of Stephanie Meyer, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and Carrie Jones, with occasional ironic self-awareness at the vampire genre. The dialogue is funny, even sometimes hinting at John Green in style and wittiness. Two side characters, a pair of nerdy high schoolers who fancy themselves vampire slayers, steal the show in my opinion, though Pearl underestimates them as amiable idiots, sometimes referring to them as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, sometimes Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The unicorn character is a pleasant ironic twist.

Still, this novel sometimes goes over the top trying to be witty, and in the wide array of paranormal teen novels with a bit of romance, doesn't do much to stand out or push the limits of the genre. If you are a vampire-lovin' teen, definitely read this book. If you enjoy paranormal YA, you'll probably enjoy this book as well. If you're anybody else, your life won't be the worse for having missed this book.

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