Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

I am not positive whether this book is juvenile or young adult. The character is in high school but the books are rather short and simple for the young adult genre. Either way - it's a really good series.
Vampire Kisses follows the story of Raven who is the only gothic girl in her entire upscale (white bread) community. Her best friend Becky is the other outsider. Raven dreams about being a vampire. She finds herself sneaking into the local "haunted" house, only to find it's occupied by Alexander. Alexander is about her age, from Romania and Raven's dream come true. Turns out he's a vampire but he's madly in love with her.
The romance is really secondary to the difficulty of being an outsider. Raven is so caught up in the dream she living that she has to learn what the reality of the situation is. Raven and Alexander live in two different worlds and neither of them are old enough to make it right. It's a real twist on the whole coming of age genre.
Despite the whole Twilight feel - this book is completely different. Alexander is a bit brooding but he is 17. He has to make really tough decisions and always puts Raven first. There is a little mystery and a little danger but the story really is about having a relationship with someone you really connect with but can't really be with in the world's eyes (neither sets of parents have any problem with the relationship). It's also about growing up and discovering who you are.
I just finished the 6th book and in it Raven is challenged to discover what she wants to be when she grows up. It's an interesting plot because Raven always thought she would be a vampire when she grew up but it's not as easy or as likely as she had dreamed. Being a vampire won't necessarily pay the bills.
I look forward to the next book (and many books after). I really think this is one of the better vampire YA series out there - so much better than the ones that have gotten all the publicity. Ellen Schreiber has a wonderful way of getting to the heart of the matter and giving the characters depth.

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