Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
Okay, I'll admit up front that I was skeptical before I started this novel. More vampires. Can anyone blame me when I say that with the saturated YA books out there, vampire books are a little overdone? Also... extremely pretty girl with an exceptionally well done cover? Also overdone in the YA world. So needless to say I was expecting to feel disappointed or let down by this novel. But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. I actually found myself really enjoying this novel.
The Good: The first twenty page or so were a bit rocky, I was a little rocky but it was smooth sailing after that. Once I really go to know Savannah, I felt she was endearing and different than a lot of the protagonists out there. She kind of reminded me a bit of Clara from Unearthly in the fact that she discovers her deep, dark secret early on in the novel. The rest of the book is about her trying to come to terms with it. I think this allowed for her internal struggle to develop her character and in return strengthened her interactions with everyone else in the novel. The writing was well done and I enjoyed many of the secondary characters. One thing I LOVED about this novel was that Darnell didn't immediately entertain the romance between Savannah and Tristan ( I also happen to ADORE those names) like so many YA novel do. It seems like so much anymore, the love interests end up together lickety split and I liked the growing friendship and eventual romance that happens between them. There was a total Romeo and Juliet type of feeling to the novel and I liked that. The warring supernatural families was a cool idea and I think it played into the plot and characters very well. It was a great way to introduce tension for the next books. I liked Nanna and Savannah's mom (although they could have been more played up as well) and I think they will have a bigger role in the coming books.
The Bad: As much as I enjoyed the novel, there were a few things that bugged me throughout. Firstly, there were times where I felt Savannah was a little whiny, a little TOO submissive for my tastes. I kept wanting her to stand her ground, I think that would have made her character even more well rounded. I also disliked her father. I'm pretty sure that's how the author wanted us to feel about him but I just didn't like it. I also wish Darnell would have included Savannah's immediate friends a little more. They kind of faded in and out and there were times where I was like... okay, I understand she's distancing herself but there's no way her friends could NOT know that she was a manager for the Charmers or dating a new guy. Even if Savannah didn't tell them herself, it's high school...they would have found out regardless. I also felt the world-building could have been done a bit better. There was SO much to work with, there could have been some MASSIVE world building.
Overall, I would say that I was very impressed by this novel and I would recommend it to other YA lovers and I give it a B+
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com