Monday, February 23, 2015

Reviewing: For the Love of a Vampire by M. Leighton

I'm going to be completely honest: I expected to be cringing and mentally punching (because I'm violent like that) everyone in the book several times over. And while I did get extremely frustrated at a few of the characters, I didn't hate them.

Like most seventeen year olds, Ridley Heller thought she had her future all planned out. What she wanted most in life was to get out of small town Harker. Her only goal was to keep her mouth shut and her grades high so she could win a cheerleading scholarship to Stanford. But that was before she met Bo. 

In Ridley’s wildest dreams, she could never have planned for someone like Bo, for a love so intense it left her breathless. No human girl could.

A haunting stranger that watched her from afar, Bo stole Ridley’s heart from the moment she laid eyes on him. But he has secrets. Bo’s a vampire. Both his past and his present are a danger to Ridley, but the biggest threat is not her blood; it’s her heart. He’s feeding a thirst for revenge that will cost him his life, and it may already be too late. 

The more darkness Ridley uncovers, the more she realizes that her life will never be the same—with or without Bo. Can she sacrifice her future and her heart for someone who has a death wish?

First of all, Ridley: For a seventeen year old, she is really mature. Her one dream is to leave her small hometown and go to Stanford on a cheerleading scholarship. She's doing pretty good-- the only downsides are bratty fellow cheerleaders and a jock boyfriend that she no longer cares for. 

I didn't really connect with her. Why? She's portrayed as logical. Someone who analyzes a situation and then makes her decision based on what she sees. So why, pray tell, would her first reaction to realizing a guy is stalking her be "HE HAS GORGEOUS EYES JUST LET ME DROWN IN THEM." 

She loves him so suddenly, fiercely, and passionately that she never questions him at all until she learns (SPOILER ALERT: highlight to read) [that he was at the car accident that killed her sister and that she barely survived.]. She does wonder about a couple other things (read: extremely obvious hints pointing towards his vampirism), but she shoves the thoughts aside because, as is stated about a million times, Bo has gorgeous eyes and smells really good.

I'm going to get to what I liked fairly soon. But first (because I'm a complainer):

Why are all the cheerleaders described as:

A) cruel jerks who seek to crush and destroy.


B) brainless idiots following aforementioned cruel jerks around.

It was so stereotypical it hurt.

Another final thing:

Ridley's parents are incredible uninvolved in her life. I've read about parents being basically nonexistant in books and most of the time it just feels like a way to enable the kids to be as crazy and reckless as they choose. Why not involve parents? Parents can be awesome! Example: Melissa in Teen Wolf-- she is hilarious and so supportive of Scott. Parents are supposed to be there for their kids, and while I realize that they can't always be there, they should at least try.

Things I Liked:

  • The setting was super overused but not to the point where it felt like every other vampire book. (At least, not to me.) Small town, lots of deaths being blamed on wild animals, lost family member in freak car accident... Vampire Diaries anyone? Anyways, despite all this, the author manages to make it interesting. 
  • Vampires are not your typical vampires. They have ethereal powers, and vampires are capable of killing themselves. Sometimes, they fade to the point where they become invisible, but they still are alive. (I feel like this particular bit wasn't explained as much as it should have been, but this is just the first book in a series so maybe the explaining comes later). 
  • Ridley wasn't brainless or completely helpless. She would fight to the end for Bo, and, even though most of the time I didn't really get why, I was impressed by her loyalty. 
  • Bo wasn't your typical vampire. Yeah, he had his inner demons, but he fought them so hard to try and become a hero. I admired him for that.

He taught me to stand up for what I believe in, to shout it out at the top of my lungs.  He taught me to feel—the deep, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, soul-singing kind of emotion I had avoided for so long.  He taught me about the importance of life.  He taught me about the beauty of death.  He also taught me about love.

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