First: I cannot write this review without a measure of spoilers. Sorry.
Second: This book is one big cockblock.
Let me explain.
Meena Harper has a gift. She can tell when people are going to die. This power of hers makes her blood a hot commodity to vampires. For someone who really doesn’t like vampires, she manages to pull them into her life—as her neighbors, an attack on the street, her new boyfriend, even in the storyline of the TV show she writes for—and gets herself into an awful lot of vampire-related trouble.
The sexual tension in this book is fantastic. It has some incredibly funny moments. The story and world building was really quite clever, cute at times, the writing tight and gripping, and most of the characters are fleshed out very well.
But, oh my God, I have such a love-hate relationship with this book.
I tried very hard to like it. There were even times when I genuinely loved it—but I couldn’t get past the cockblocking (definition: to obstruct or prevent someone else from having sex and/or reaching a goal), the ridiculous plot, or the at times painfully inaccurate and even condescending pop culture references. The sexual tension, as I mentioned, was fantastic. And hot. Considering all I have heard about Meg Cabot’s books in the past, that factor surprised me quite a lot. After all, she penned THE PRINCESS DIARIES.
However, that leads to one of the major problems I had with this book. The writing style would vary between a very breezy, young adult feel to a very intense style that was more fitting of an adult novel. I had the feeling that Ms. Cabot was not comfortable in her writing skin in this case, because every sex scene was fade to black. This normally doesn’t bother me, but for this book, it didn’t fit the rest of the style of the book at all. Meena is dating Lucien Antonescu, the Dark Prince, heir to Dracula’s kingdom, enforcer of the vampire race, and one of the most powerful badasses around. Women throw themselves at his feet. He’s walking sex on a stick. Fade to black wasn’t tasteful in this instance, it was frustrating and annoying because there was so much painstaking detail as to the rest of the relationship and everything leading up to them moving things to the bedroom.
Later, when the vampire hunter subplot rears its ugly head, a completely unnecessary and fantastically irritating love triangle is introduced with the admittedly amusing Alaric. This could have been a neatly wrapped up package of a love story between Meena and Lucien overcoming the difficulties between human-wanting-to-stay-human and vampire-wanting-human-to-become-vampire-bride, but instead had to veer off into some god awful, TWILIGHT-esque, no contest love triangle territory. It’s like watching Edward and Jacob pound their chests over Bella all over again.
No, thank you, that’s quite enough of that nonsense. The vampire hunter is not going to get the girl in the end. I don’t need to read any sequels to know that much.
When Lucien has his temper tantrum and transforms later in the book, I very nearly threw it at the wall. When Meena declares her allegiance at the end of the book, I did throw it at the wall.
Then I picked it up and finished it, because I’m a glutton for punishment like that.
You know what? The open ended ending makes me want to find wherever I put the book so I can go throw it again. Meena’s waffling and then the decision she made at the end disappointed and angered me as a reader. It still bothers me, even though it has been about a month since I finished the book.
I will not be reading any other books in this series. However, I did appreciate Ms. Cabot’s writing enough that I will not write her off altogether, and will try some of her other books at some point in the future.