Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book Review: Blue Bloods

Title: Blue Bloods
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Urban Paranormal Series
Rating: C

Abbreviated Book Summary (from flap): Within New York City's most elite families, there lurks a secret society of celebrated Americans whose ancestors sailed on the Mayflower. Its members are the powerful and the wealthy--and, in fact, they are not human. They are the Blue Bloods, and ancient group of vampires... Schuyler [Van Alen] wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Review: De La Cruz does a good job of blending traditional vampire lore with new concepts of their purpose and reincarnations, hoping to achieve forgiveness for their pride that got them banished from heaven. The re-inventing of vampire lore helps to keep the genre fresh (which is nearly a necessity these days with the scads of vampire series that are being cranked out for young adults).

Additionally, all the characters in this series have at least one redeeming quality--even the charicatured snob of the elite school, Mimi Force, is seen toward the last two-thirds of the book as a strong character driven by purpose and duty to the Blue Bloods.

What isn't done well in this series is the writing (an unfortunate scenario for books, I'd dare say). Rather than fleshing out a scene or a character, De La Cruz drops names of labels in a Devil Wears Prada knock-off style. What's so bothersome about this, despite the fact that it dates the book and seals its fate as a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon, is that the characters reference several times that it's a big faux pas to be a slave to labels. They spend tons of money to look like they spend no money, so it would seem out of character that the labels would take such a front and center stage in the prose, but they do. Additionally, the amount of smoking and underage drinking, which are completely unnecessary, is ridiculous (again, seems to be trying to do a little rip-off of another successful series, perhaps Gossip Girl?).

This book earned the C rating... for every redeeming quality, it's got a label to knock it back to the average. A recommendation for readers who like teen vampire fiction that are trying to tide themselves over until another book in a better series is released (i.e., The Mortal Instruments).


Book Maniac said...

Interesting take. I enjoyed the book as well but I think you are right on point about the problems as well.

Heather said...

Glad you enjoyed the book (and my review). Have you read any of her other stuff (YA series, adult novels, etc.)? If so, how did they compare?