Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen is an outcast. She dresses funny. She lives in a creepy old house. She's too shy to talk to anyone except for her best friend Oliver. Oliver is: sweet, skinny, brown hair, dorky glasses. A very intelligent nerd type with good taste in music and movies, who is- you guessed it- hopelessly in love with Schuyler. And get this: she has no idea.

On the night that our story begins, Schuyler is on her way to a club with Oliver when she witnesses a should-have-been suicide: a boy throws himself under a cab, but is perfectly fine when he walks away, just minutes later. As he walks away from the cab, Schuyler recognizes this boy, who is no less than Jack Force, the (blond, charming, and athletic, but deep down, really sensitive) most popular boy in school. He proceeds to actually speak to her. Flirt, even! Schuyler is shocked. Reader is not.

At this point, I was a little bit skeptical. I mean, the author's other titles didn't appeal to me at all, so I couldn't really decide whether or not this book would either. So the generic beginning was a bit of a let-down, and made me even more wary than before. But, other than a certain fixation with semi-colons, Melissa de la Cruz's writing was good, so I continued.

Brilliant decision, on my part.

As it turns out, the love triangle between Schuyler, Oliver, and Jack was where the predictability ended, and where the story shifted into one of the most original takes on vampires I've ever read (second only to Scott Westerfeld's Peeps). Manhattan's elite 'Blue Bloods' have been being reborn since they came over on the Mayflower- the same people in the same place, over and over, for two hundred years- and Schulyer is one of them.

Blue Bloods is a fast-paced page turner, full of interesting twists and suspense. My only complaint is that, as I said before, the characters are kind of typical. Schulyer, Jack, Mimi (Jack's twin sister, the blonde, bitchy popular girl) and Oliver, anyway. Great, but not very unique. Maybe all of de la Cruz's creative energy was spent on the fantastic plot, but more interesting characters would have been good.

All in all, Stephenie Meyer keeps her Queen of the Fictional Vampires crown (Scott being the king), but Blue Bloods is great if you want a new take on the bloodsucking creatures, as well as a quick and thrilling read that will keep you guessing until the end (and after!). The sequel, Masquerade, is even better than the first.

Blue Bloods gets three and a half cups of coffee. :)


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