Brooke Keller is a high school junior who has never spent much time living in one place. She is finally in a town long enough to almost snag the boy of her dreams, until her life is threatened after killing a fanged man in his attempt to kidnap her. Brooke begins a dangerous journey in an effort to find out who is after her and how to stop them. In a world with powerful and prejudiced vampires, Brooke must tap into the side of her that she never knew existed at the risk of losing her life in order to save it.
I’m really, really wavering on what sort of rating to give this book. While it’s not bad by any means, I had heard so much about it by the time I picked it up that my expectations were through the roof. Unfortunately, those expectations weren’t met. So, I’m going back and forth. I did enjoy aspects of the book but I was expecting to be blown away and I wasn’t.
To start with… Brooke. While I can appreciate that she’s been thrown into a situation that she knows nothing about, I had a hard time (a) relating to her relationship woes when she was in the middle of what could potentially be a life and death situation and (b) listening to her harangue her ex-ish boyfriend on his flip-flopping emotions when she’s doing some emotional flip-flopping of her own between him and Mirko. To be honest, I wasn’t enamored of the love triangle aspect. It felt like Brooke “fell in love” with Jaran waaaaay too quickly and suddenly they were exchanging I love yous and gooey eyes. The Mirko steps into the picture and she’s unwillingly attracted to him. But she still wants Jaran. Who’s human. And will age. And is super easy to kill. I just… don’t see that going anywhere.
Meanwhile, Mirko. He didn’t endear himself to me when we first met him. He was rude and arrogant and I kept thinking “GEEZ! Show a little compassion, her whole life has been thrown out of whack. Jerk.” Admittedly, he got better. But then he got all needy and I was all “WAIT A SEC! Why is he begging Brooke to pick him when she barely knows him?” His begging kind of threw me because it felt out of character. Did I miss something vital about him here? Something that would make this arrogant, strong character act so very differently from how he had acted previously? I don’t know.
Then we have the best friend. Kaitlynn. I can’t figure out why she was included in their little gathering other than to provide Brooke with some female companionship. By adding her to their group, she’s now been put in the line of fire. Her life is in danger when it wasn’t before. She has no physical skills. She’s walking bait, basically. And… I can’t figure out why she was included.
Honestly, I didn’t hate this book by any stretch of the imagination but I could never quite get behind what was happening. If your life is in danger – and it’s something that you’ve experienced firsthand after a brutal attack – is your focus really going to be on whether or not your ex-boyfriend is making eyes at the trampy vamp or is going to be on finding a way to make yourself stronger and faster and better able to take care of your friends? It isn’t until Brooke’s powers put her friends in danger that she starts taking her training seriously. By that point she had been attacked more than once and Kaitlynn had been held hostage (albeit briefly).
Interesting world-building and a nice take on the vampire genre, but I was never dragged into the story like I was expecting to be.