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The Monster Librarian Presents:

Reviews of Vampire Fiction for Young Adults


        Vampire fiction is probably one of the most popular horror subgenres for young adults/teens. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel hooked a whole generation of teens. There is often a mix of horror and romance in vampire fiction for young adults, I will note which reviews could fall under the horror romance as well as vampire fiction.   I will note to be under the vampire fiction category there needs to be some bloodshed.  There are a large number of books based on the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, I will give these books their own page. There are also lists of vampire books for teens here.


Vampire Author Interviews

Nancy A. Collins author of Vamps

Melissa de la Cruz author of the The Blue Bloods series

Mari Mancusi author of the Blood Coven series

Kimberly Pauley author of Sucks to Be Me : The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)

P.C. Cast co-author of House of Night series


Interested in a little Paranormal Romance, check out our new teen Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy section.


Melissa de la Cruz  shares a guest post on our Musings of the Monster Librarian blog.


We are pleased to announce that our Reading Bites blog is back so stop on over for a visit!


Last Breath by Rachel Caine*New Review
Allison and Busby, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-7490-0814-7
Available: New


Last Breath is the eleventh installment of Rachel Caine’s popular Morganville Vampires series. It picks up where book 10, Bite Club, left off, following the fate of heroine Claire Danvers as she tries to survive in a town run by vampires. In this book, the vampires of Morganville are disappearing one by one, after being seen in the company of creepy newcomer Magnus. As the town begins to realize the danger Magnus poses, Claire has to decide how (and if) she can save the Morganville vampires from this new threat. What if there is something worse than vampires out there?


One of the key strengths of Caine’s series has always been its heroine. Claire Danvers is smart, strong and independent. While she is younger than some YA heroines, starting the series at just sixteen years old, Caine’s creation has proved to be one of the smartest protagonists of vampire series that I have come across. I particularly enjoy the fact that Claire is defined by her intelligence, not by her attraction to vampires. Last Breath is no exception to this – once again, Claire has to answer the questions that baffle the centuries-old undead and save them (again!) from a terrible fate. While this might sound like going over old ground for the Morganville series, Caine has introduced a new antagonist who is both unusual and fascinating, and new history that goes some way to explaining why the sunlight-phobic vampires have chosen to set up home in the middle of the desert!


Like most of the Morganville books, Last Breath ends on a cliffhanger. This does mean that it can’t really be read as a standalone; the series makes a lot more sense if read in sequence. But for readers who have been enjoying the series so far, Last Breath is a great new episode in one of the strongest YA vampires series around. Highly recommended.


Reviewed by: Hannah Kate



Vampire by Amy Mah

Reardon Publishing, 2012

ISBN: 13 9781874192626

Available: Paperback



    Amy Mah’s first book, Fangs Rule: A Girls Guide to Being a Vampire, was a charming, beautifully illustrated work with an adolescent viewpoint that was clever and light. But her new work, Amy Mah: Vampire, is a departure in the wrong direction. The diction and voice are very young, appealing at best to pre-teen readers, but Mah’s constant referrals to nudity, losing virginity, being spanked by numerous adults, and lesbian sex are disturbing and should be left to older audiences. This creates an unsettling and unsuccessful conflict between voice and audience.


    Although Mah’s plot is original and could make a good vampire series, other than Amy herself, the characters are standard and underdeveloped. The voice changes erratically, alerting the reader to new point of view by italics and sub-heading, and these devices make the story amateurish and difficult to follow. There are also several errors in grammar, as well as dropped words. The book needs a thorough editor with a better eye for continuity.


    The most disturbing aspect of the book, and the basis of my recommendation rating, is that there is a blatant misogyny that is fundamental to the plot. Though Amy’s attitude is rebellious and proud, Mah’s nonchalant, often violent subjugation of females in her work is inappropriate and offensive.  Not recommended.


Contains: moderate violence and sexual references.



Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd



Blood Drunk: Faded Blue by Angela Lovell
Ticking Boxes, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1466308282
Available: New


Blood Drunk: Faded Blue is the first in a new YA vampire series from writer Angela Lovell. It tells the story of ‘Blue’ Knightly, a young man from the South who has to travel to New York to identify the body of his younger sister. Lacy – a bit of a wild child – has been missing for six weeks, and a (disfigured) body has been discovered that seems to match her description. However, though the dead girl has the same hair and tattoos as his sister, Blue finds enough to persuade him that it is not, in fact, Lacy. Convinced that his sister is alive, Blue decides to search for her himself, and soon meets with an oddly compelling woman (and her pet alligator) who promises to lead him to Lacy. It’s not long before Blue is dragged into the sinister world of the vampires who live below the streets of New York.


Unlike a lot of recent YA vampire fiction, Blood Drunk is not a paranormal romance. There is plenty of sexual attraction and fascination between vampires and humans, but this is definitely not a love story. The book begins with quite a horrible murder, and the violence and selfishness of vampires is evident throughout the story. Additionally, though third person, the book is told from the perspective of the male protagonist. I found this to be a particular strength, as Lovell’s hero is compelling and believable (which is not always the case in YA fiction). I particularly enjoyed the way Blue is forced to confront his own prejudices (how to react to gay and ‘metrosexual’ characters) through the haze of the ‘blood drunk’ vampiric world.


Another strength of the book is Lovell’s slightly off-beat writing style. Told in present tense, and often focusing on dialogue and action, rather than description, Blood Drunk feels ‘fresh’ and is very readable. One criticism, however, would be that rather a lot of plot is crammed into the final chapter – after a very even pace in the rest of the book – and I suspect this is to set up the rest of the series. This doesn’t detract hugely from the overall quality of the novel though, and did make me want to read the next installment.


Overall, I recommend Blood Drunk as a good take on the YA vampire genre that avoids many of the clichés. It will appeal to teen fans of vampire fiction, but also adult readers who enjoy YA.


Contains: some violence and reference to sexual behavior (not explicit)


Reviewed by: Hannah Kate



Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback by Steven A Roman

StarWarp Concepts, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-9841741-0-2

Available:  Paperback



          Pandora Zwieback is a perfectly normal goth/punk teenage schizophrenic. Since she was six years old, therapists have been telling her two things: “Take your pills”, and “There’s no such thing as monsters.”  Then one day, a thrilling series of intertwining events leads her to save the life of  a gorgeous boy, the godson of a beautiful, immortal, monster-hunter. Her “perception filter”, a veil of naive, limited sight is lifted, and Pan’s reality is rocked forever. Her greatest fears are realized: we live in a world populated by monsters.  


 She meets Annie, an ancient protector of humankind from all misbehaving weirdlings.  In “Men In Black” style, most of Annie’s current troubles revolve around keeping the various monsters of Gothopolis, (the legendary parallel culture of paranormals on Earth) under control. But the deeper plot involves a truly vicious assortment of vampire houses, competing for dominion over the human world. Their frantic quest is to be the coven that reanimates one of the first undead, a wicked fallen angel killed in battle centuries ago. Coincidentally, this demon is also Annie’s ex-lover.


          Blood Feud is a roller coaster read; the action never lets up. Several main characters are deftly defined and become intimately developed within a few pages.  Author Steven A. Roman has an incredible gift for running lateral plot-lines that intersect with a glorious crash, while keeping the reader interested in the fate of each player. The saga is original and sufficiently complex to sustain several novels, and Roman clearly sets the story up for his sequels. Roman’s style is accessible and brisk; I was definitely ready for another story about Pan and her friends in the “Fiend Club”.


          Although the violence (especially the weapon-play) is graphic during several episodes, wry humor and constant references to multi-generational pop-culture somehow keep the book on the comic side of horror. Roman’s themes of friendship and strong family ties play well; the love between Pan and her parents adds tension to the menace of the villains, and gives the reader a tangible reason to hope for the best for the heroes.  Highly recommended for ages 15 and up for complexity of plot and violence.



Contains: moderate violence, moderate gore, mild sexual content.


Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd



Lost In Time: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Hyperion, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4231-2129-9

Available: Hardcover


               If you are a fan of the Blue Bloods series, you need no encouragement to pick up the latest, Lost in Time.  You’ll definitely want to continue Schuyler Van Alen’s epic story even if the previous novel, Misguided Angel left you wanting.  Perhaps you’ll be interested to know that several other characters and their storylines, particularly those of Mimi and Allegra and their loves and familiars, are given equal and fascinating play-time, expanding the vast mythos of the complex world created by Melissa de la Cruz.


               This installment begins with the bonding of Schuyler and Jack, but spins immediately into a fevered search for the ancient vampire queen, Catherine of Siena who holds the secret location of the Gate of Promise, the rapid re-heating of a trail thought to be cold.  In a connected storyline, Mimi enlists her familiar, Oliver, to mount a rescue of her love, Kingsley, from Hell, and eagerly anticipates her fateful blood trial with her twin, Jack.  The suspenseful tales intertwine and are spun at a fevered pitch, creating a real page turning experience. 


               Between the adventures, conflicts and passionate connections, de la Cruz writes vivid and detailed descriptions of exotic locations, illuminating intimate cultural details about Alexandria, Cairo, San Francisco and other cities in the skillful way only firsthand travel could possibly manage.  Her imaginative and original take on Hell, I assume, comes not from a visit, but from a broad, talented vision.  To read her description is experience it firsthand.


               If you haven’t read into this series yet, I don’t recommend starting with Lost In Time.  The plot itself is tangled and de la Cruz definitely assumes you are acquainted with her terminology and mythos, if nothing else.  Her writing is sophisticated and brisk, with themes suited to mature teens, but her diction, style and complexity lend themselves to readers of all ages.  If you are looking for a series to become involved in, Blue Bloods, with its depth of character and detailed treatment of multiple paranormal creatures and themes, is a good one - start at the beginning and make your way to this, the intense and riveting sixth offering. Recommended for ages 15 and older


Contains: mild vampire violence, veiled sexual reference. Recommended for ages 15 to adult.


Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd



Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-1442423732

Available: New

Pearl, the star of Drink, Slay, Love, gets her kicks by having the neighborhood ice cream boy eat her ice cream flavor choice of the day before drinking from him.  One day, while enjoying this treat, a unicorn prances by and stabs her.  She wakes up to find herself caged by a couple of thugs that think they’ve captured a vampire and are planning on killing her by letting sunlight get to her.  Lucky for her, the unicorn has given her a new special power… one that allows her to walk during daylight without fear of death.  You can only imagine the controversy this causes with her family, until they come up with a plan to make her accepted by the Vampire King.

Think the YA Vampire genre is overdone?  Tired of sparkly vampires?  Well, Sarah Beth Durst has come up with a refreshing new take on vampires.  Sure, we’ve seen vampires with a conscience before, but this is the first I’ve seen of the conscience being due to getting stabbed by a unicorn’s horn.  Drink, Slay, Love is filled with quirky dialogue, laugh-out-loud jokes and even a jab or two at Twilight, which only made it more enjoyable for me.  I’m hoping this is the first of a new series and not a novel that turns out to be a stand alone, as I’d love to read more about Pearl.  I highly recommend this to all fans of young adult vampire novels, whether they think the Twilight series are the only ones that exist. It’ll be an eye-opener for those readers, and an enjoyable new author for everyone else.

Contains:  Mild violence

Reviewed by: Rhonda Wilson



The Girl’s Guide to Vampires: Everything Enchanting about These Immortal Creatures by Jen Jones

Capstone Press, 2011

ISBN: 9781429654524

Available: New hardcover


“Are vampires charming heartthrobs or evil undead”? That’s the question Jen Jones poses to her readers in The Girl’s Guide to Vampires. It’s pretty clear what her take is going to be, and it’s pretty clear who her target audience is, with photos from Twilight and The Vampire Diaries splashed across the pages. There is some factual information (including a few images) but it’s brief, and the constant comparisons to the vampires in Twilight distract from that. It’s pretty obvious that, to this author, vampires are definite boyfriend material. There’s even a Cosmo-style quiz to help bedazzled girls identify whether their crush is a vampire.

Unfortunately, Jones glosses over the monster within even the most “charming heartthrobs”.  Jones referred to Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as “mischievous” and Angel as a “good-hearted romantic”.  Perhaps she missed Season Two, where they were both sociopathic monsters.  Even the vampires in Twilight are hardly harmless. Jones does acknowledge that they can be “downright devilish”, but her tone downplays that, and in a nonfiction book about vampires, it would be nice to see their dark side taken a little more seriously. 

The age group the book is intended for seems up in the air. Jones chooses Adele Griffin’s Vampire Island, Sienna Mercer’s series My Sister the Vampire, and Bunnicula as top choices for reading material. These books are aimed at upper elementary school kids. In the next breath she’s recommending the Twilight movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Vampire Diaries, targeted at teens and adults. My local library apparently has this problem too. I found this book shelved in the children’s nonfiction, but it’s now been moved to the middle school books.  Capstone indicates that it’s written at a grade 3 reading level, with a suggested interest level of grades 3-9.  It’s clearly meant to catch reluctant readers, but chances are, that with those designations from the publisher it will be purchased for elementary collections, and third grade is awfully young for Twilight.

The Girl’s Guide to Vampires, with its gorgeous artwork and design, color photographs, and conversational style, will completely succeed at hooking reluctant readers, especially Twilight groupies.  As a nonfiction introduction to vampires, though, it is a disappointment.

Contains: n/a

Reviewed by: Kirsten Kowalewski





Teeth edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Harper Teen, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-193515-2

Available: New Paperback


            Teeth is a ripping collection of nineteen vampire stories contributed by proven authors, including Melissa Marr, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix and Tanith Lee. Each one is dark and original, and many are ethnic tales, making the collection a great world legends anthology. There is some humor, and plenty of teen angst, but mixed among these benign elements are stories with gruesome themes and vampire violence.  Overall, the subjects stay securely in the young adult arena, but most are sophisticated enough for adults.

            The “Introduction” by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow is fascinating reading, dealing with legends and the evolution of the genre. Vampire lovers and short story readers will all find something to love about this collection. Here are a few of my favorite stories:


“Things to Know About Being Dead” by Genevieve Valentine

            Sue is a high school student  who doesn’t quite survive her best friend slamming their car into a tree. It’s not easy to hide being Jiang-shi, an undead blood drinker; and it’s a nasty state; the usual vampiric perks do not apply. Plagued by anxiety over her difficult immortality, Sue takes comfort in her ghostly new friend, Jake, a suicide victim she somehow brought back into the living world. Without the advice and sacrifice of her grandmother, Sue would surely deteriorate into a demonic dirt-sleeper.  How will she cope when her grandmother dies?


“Baby” by Kathe Koja

            Creepy and stylistic, “Baby” deals with the unsavory relationship of a little girl, Jani and a jealous, doll size demon-creature who sweetly “latches on” to her, drawing blood and creating a permanent bond. Bizarre psychological turmoil is uncovered as Jani’s needs change and she outgrows her “baby.” This is a short, haunting tale of obsession and dependency, and, while the text isn’t graphic, the dark implications are effectively disturbing.


“All Smiles” by Steve Berman

            Saul manages to escape from a boot camp for teen offenders, only to land in a far worse spot: the front seat of a sleek sedan driven by Marley and Dutch, gorgeous siblings with dazzling smiles and a demonic will to party. Saul’s happy with the ride until he reveals his tattoo of Hebrew scripture, and the pair reveal their true natures. The ink prevents them from eating him, and Saul will have his chance to be a hero. The choices Saul makes once he’s out of danger are bold and leave the reader hoping for a sequel.


“The Perfect Dinner Party” by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

            Jenny, Charles’ little sister, describes the finer points of Southern etiquette. Courtesy counts, even if you plan to kill your guests and drink their blood. Charles just wants a girlfriend he can keep with him forever; unfortunately, no one measures up to Jenny’s ideal.  As the pair entertain a potential mate, their maker, Mr. DuChamp enters and spoils the whole party. Reminiscent of Anne Rice, the veteran authors paint a gorgeous American Gothic tale with a cool sensitivity to the perils and perks of being undead.


Highly recommended for 6th grade to adult.


Contains: mild violence, veiled sexual and drug references.


Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd





Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires, Book 9) by Rachel Caine

NAL Trade; Reprint edition, 2011
ISBN-10: 0451232917

Available: New

        Ghost Town is Book Nine of Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. The series takes place in Morganville, a Texas town run by vampires, and the heroine is Claire Danvers, a young student who is attending Texas Prairie University. The series is notable amongst YA vampire fiction, as the vampires are the ‘bad guys’ (or, at least, uncomfortable allies of the humans). So far in the series, Claire has come to terms with the vampiric ownership of the town, struck up an alliance with the town’s founder and most powerful (female) vampire, joined in a war against an ancient and utterly immoral vampire, defeated a sentient steampunk computer, and fought a town full of ‘infected’ (i.e. zombie) vampires. Additionally, she has made friends with her older housemates, survived bullying by a malicious ‘queen bee’, fallen in love, and lost her virginity. As such, the series covers a wide variety of the tropes of urban fantasy and YA fiction, with some flair and originality. Claire is a younger heroine, by the genre’s conventions, beginning the series at just 16 years old. The sensitivity and care with which Caine handles her heroine’s age means that these books are suitable for mid-teen readers, as well as older readers.


      The Morganville Vampires books are very much a series, with each book ending on a cliffhanger, which is picked up at the beginning of the next. For this reason, readers who enjoy one book tend to become ‘hooked’ on the series as a whole. Ghost Town follows on from Kiss of Death (Book Eight), and also picks up narrative threads from earlier books. It focuses on a new problem for the humans and vampires of Morganville: they begin to mysteriously lose their memories. Claire, who is unaffected, must discover whether this is the result of the vampire disease that plagued the town in previous books, or of the destruction of malfunctioning sentient computer Ada (which ended Book Eight).


        Ghost Town has fewer episodes of fighting and peril than some of the earlier Morganville Vampires books, and is somewhat slower in pace. However, its exploration and development of Claire’s character is done particularly well. Throughout the series, much has been made of Claire’s young age relative to those around her. One of the strengths of the series (as compared to much other YA vampire fiction) is the frank and sensitive way in which the heroine’s age is handled – and the condemnation offered to hundred-year-old vampires (whether or not they look like teenage boys) who date human girls. Ghost Town offers a nice counterpoint to this. As Claire’s friends lose their memories and regress to age 15, Claire becomes the ‘oldest’ and most mature of the group. This is a nice, and quite unusual, twist in the standard characterization of YA vampire fiction. While Ghost Town is not the strongest of the Morganville novels, it is a must-read for those who have followed the series thus far.


Ghost Town is recommended for purchase, and belongs alongside other YA vampire titles.

Contains: Some sexual references.

Reviewed by: Hannah Kate



Destined by Morgan Rice

Morgan Rice, 2011

ISBN-13: 9780982953754

Available:  New paperback, multi-format digital


        Destined is the fourth book in The Vampire Journals series.  It’s a departure from the first three books, in that it kicks the story back in time to 18th century Italy, before it was an Italy. In that period, Italy  consisted of independent states which sort of got along with each other, most of the time. Caitlin finds herself alone in the northern state of Umbria.  This perplexes her as she was expecting to land with Caleb, who is nowhere to be found. Caleb is in this time, but, as will be seen, is not the same man she knew. She’s not the only time traveler, either. Kyle and Sam have both found their own ways back to this time in Italy. Each has their own agenda. Kyle’s is that he must kill Caitlin before she can find the shield.


        I was a little uncertain of this book, because going back in time felt a little weird at first, but I must say it became a very rousing story, and serves as an excellent if bittersweet adventure. Characters die in this volume, and it’s fairly bleak for a time before resolving itself fantastically. Because Destined is the fourth book in The Vampire Journals series, it’s recommended that you read the books in order. This book is recommended for those who like a paranormal romance, or good historical fiction, or even an action packed adventure.


Contains: Violence, gore, profanities.


Reviewed by: Benjamin Franz




Eighth Grade Bites: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

  • Speak, 2008
    ISBN-13: 978-0142411872

  • Available: New and Used

Eighth grade is tough for every misfit, but being born a vampire complicates matters. Adding to Vladimir Tod’s list of problems are the recent death of his parents in a huge fire, the constant bullying he suffers at school, and the freaky-weird substitute teacher who has taken a huge interest in him. Of course, his major crush, Meredith, seems to prefer his best friend, Henry. Life serves insult to injury.


Two people on earth know Vlad’s secret: Henry and Vlad’s loving guardian, Nelly.  Nelly serves him bags of blood she “borrows” from the hospital and Henry watches Vlad’s back. When their teacher, Mr. Otis, writes “I know your secret” across Vlad’s vampire essay, and starts getting close to Nelly, life becomes more than just complicated:  it becomes a terrifying ordeal where some secrets are protected and others are revealed.  Who is this guy? Can he possibly know what Vlad really is?


The discovery of his father’s journal opens an entire new world full of mystery and possibility, but it’s rife with danger to everything Vlad cares about. This element twists and complicates the plot of Eighth Grade Bites and turns it into a much larger work, capable of supporting its several sequels.  Heather Brewer writes in a brisk, natural diction, relying on her realistic, understated characters to ensnare readers. Her humor lightens the mood of some very dark circumstances, even through the considerable suspense she creates.

Brewer combines the alternate vampire, one born, not “turned”, with the darker legends of an all-powerful, immortal, underground. Vlad’s rebellious teen angst plays well against the larger vampire society, which can’t abide the threat of an outcast. Lessons about bullying, loss, independence, and the larger forces working to squash the individual are well-stated and make the Vlad Chronicles great reading for all ages. Highly recommended for all collections, ages 4th grade and up.


Contains: mild violence, understated vampire attacks


Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd



  • Betrayed by Morgan Rice
  • Morgan Rice, 2011
    ISBN-13: 978-0982953747

  • Available: New and Used


    Betrayed is the third installment of The Vampire Journals. This one is a little bleaker and a bit more tragic, as we start into the really serious and down part of the story. After she was nearly killed by the sword, Caitlin Paine has been turned into a full vampire by Caleb. To make matters worse for Caitlin, it looks like Caleb’s ex-wife, Sera, is now back in his life. Meanwhile Kyle, who now possesses the sword, unleashes his revenge against his coven and starts a great battle in the city of New York, spreading the bubonic plague across the island of Manhattan. Caleb, for his part, must find a way to battle Kyle before he becomes too powerful and eradicates the good vampires from their castle in the Cloisters of Washington Heights. On Pollepell Island, Caitlin trains as a warrior as she considers her feelings towards Caleb. She must decide what to do about this war, as she is the chosen one. Caitlin’s brother Sam and Samantha have a delightfully evil little adventure in Kyle’s coven that is sure to blow minds.


    I found this volume a bit different in tone than the first two. This one feels a bit more high stakes and serious. Whereas the first two volumes had more a cracking open mysteries and adventuring feel to them, Betrayed focuses on the here and now: the battle for Manhattan and all of New York City. If you’ve stuck with the series thus far, this is a great book to read. I would not recommend trying to pick up this book first, though: too much has already happened. Highly recommended for fans of vampire novels, particularly traditional vampire novels.

    Contains: Profanity, Intense Violence, Brief gruesome images, Adult situations

    Reviewed by: Benjamin Franz



    Loved by Morgan Rice

    2011, Morgan Rice

    ISBN-13: 978-0982953730

    Available: Paperback and Kindle ebook


    Loved is the second installment in The Vampire Journals series, and explores the further adventures of Caitlin Paine, and her new vampire friend Caleb. As was discovered in the first book Turned, Caitlin is a half-breed: her father a vampire, her mother a human. She possesses vampiric strength and thirst, but has yet to learn any other things about herself as a half-breed. Currently, she and Caleb are out looking for the sword, a Turkish weapon which can kill vampires. As she is ‘The One’ it’s foretold that she will wield this weapon of ultimate power to save the good vampire clans and the humans from the evil vampires who seek to wipe everyone else out.  However, Caitlin and Caleb must first unwind riddles of her heritage, including an actual riddle concerning a rose and a thorn. They also are not the only ones looking for this sword. Kyle, the evil vampire who nearly killed Caitlin the last time around, has taken a boy that Caitlin accidentally turned into a vampire to hunt her and the sword. Also, Caitlin’s brother Sam has a run-in with a beautiful woman named Samantha who seems very interested in his family.


    The first book, Turned was quite good. Loved is actually a stronger book. Although described as paranormal romance, I found it equal parts romance and action. The action is intense and gripping, much like in any of the Blade films. Caitlin is a kick-ass heroine, and her story reads very well. Highly recommended for fans of vampire novels, particularly traditional vampire novels.

    Contains: Profanity, Intense Violence, Brief gruesome images, Adult situations.

    Reviewed by: Benjamin Franz

Turned by Morgan Rice

Morgan Rice Books, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0982953723

Available:  Paperback and Kindle ebook


Turned tells the story of Caitlin Paine, and is the first book in the Vampire Journals series. Caitlin, an 18 year old from a broken home, has been relocated many times over her short life, and now finds herself in the neighborhoods of Harlem and Bronx in New York City. On her first day of school, she meets the dark and attractive Jonah; he’s sensitive, brilliant and plays the viola. For a moment, you wonder if you’re reading a clone of Twilight, and then the first action scene happens and you are in an entirely different sort of story.  Without giving too much away, Caitlin has vampiric powers that show up at times of great stress – for instance, when she is about to be beaten to death by a gang – but whenever her powers turn on she immediately needs to refuel, and the only food that works is human blood. We meet and hang with Caitlin on the worst and yet most incredible day of her life, as she meets all sorts of vampires, learns how to feed, and starts to understand her place in the world. The story briefly goes into The Matrix/Vampire’s Assistant territory when we learn that Caitlin may in fact be ‘The One’, the vampire destined to find a sword that can a win a war between the good and bad vampires.


To tell any more of this story would ruin a fast-paced, well-written, action-packed horror novel which really blew me away. This is very promising stuff. While at times it feels like you’re visiting other vampire films, comic books, and stories, it still manages to give itself enough unique twists that you really want to follow the adventures of Caitlin and her newfound Vampire ally Caleb. This book is highly recommended, particularly if you like fantasy-horror, Hellboy adventures, and anything with a kick-ass girl as the protagonist.


Contains: profanity, violence, gruesome imagery.


Reviewed by: Benjamin Franz


Gil's All Fright Diner by A.Lee Martinez

Tom Doherty Associates, 2005

ISBN: 978-0765-31471-0

Available: Paperback

          Rockwood is no ordinary Western podunk town. Supernatural incidents are the norm, especially surrounding Gil’s All Night Diner, but the spunky new owner, Loretta, can take care of herself. She fights off zombies, ignores the ghosts in the nearby cemetery, and will clean that persistent blood puddle from the carpet one more time.  Still, when Earl and his best friend Duke roll into town, she’s happy to ask them to stay and help out.  A vampire and a werewolf, especially down-home handy ones, are great to have around.


          Something big is about to go down, and the paranormal happenings are revving up. Tammy, a teenage necromancer, is busy ripping open a gaping hole in the fabric of space so the old gods can emerge, destroy the world in a bloody Armageddon, and make her an evil goddess. The portal is already built--it’s in the dining room of Gil’s. No wonder the place is so weird.


          Gil's All Fright Diner is a comical twist on the “end-of-days” story. The anti-heroes, Earl and Duke, are lonely, understated, regular guys. Duke is a hairy gentle giant with a smooth way with animals, and Earl is the weakest, least attractive vampire ever written. When Earl reluctantly falls in love with a sweet, small-town ghost, we applaud:  the affair renews his interest in life and immortality. Together, with their fearless spectral terrier, Napoleon, the three misfits manage to save the world.


          I laughed out loud throughout the novel. Martinez has a sharp, sarcastic wit and a great talent for dark comedy. For example, when Duke has a run-in with a zombie herd of cows, Martinez writes "One almost human werewolf and two unarmed geezers weren’t much of a match for six walking dead Jerseys."  Martinez is able to sustain his humor while truly gruesome underworld horrors infiltrate the diner in graphic, cinematic, description.


          Gore and sexual content are frequent but mild, though Tammy and her minion boyfriend, Chad, have a few racy encounters. Martinez never seriously threatens us with loss of our favorite characters, assuring the reader constantly of body part regeneration, and wielding comic relief even during the darkest moments.  The story is creative and brisk, making this a great choice for multi-age light reading. Unfortunately, Martinez uses profanity abundantly, creating a dilemma for recommending the novel for everyone. Without this careless misuse of vocabulary, Gil's would serve a broader audience.   Recommended for YA collections in public libraries.


Contains: profanity, mild sexual content, comic violence


Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd



The Parliament of Blood by Justin Richards

Bloomsbury, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59990-140-4

Available: Hardcover


          Victorian London...the poisonous fog so dense you can barely make out the shapes of people around you or see your way safely.  Darker still, an influential, exclusive society known as the Damnation Club meets in ancient caverns deep underneath Westminster. Membership requires an invitation… and the loss of your mortal soul. The head of the order is a mysterious, skeletal, coachman who collects orphaned boys to serve as undead minions; his followers are Vampire. They await the awakening of their all-powerful master, one who will bring them out of the darkness to rule over humanity.


          George Archer works for the Department of Unclassified Artefacts at the British Museum. His dear friend, the lovely Liz, and his spirited young charge, Eddie, become entangled in the gruesome mystery as their friends and associates succumb to the club and become blood-drinking immortals. It’s up to them to save themselves and the rest of the world.


          The Parliament of Blood is one of the best books I’ve read this year.  Richards’ plot is complex and riveting. He sustains palpable suspense throughout, and manages to scare the reader just enough to make it fun. Best of all, his characters are masterfully developed, investing the reader completely in his story.  He creates just the right amount of sympathy for those who are lost, but leaves our heroes intact.


          This is an enjoyable read for fans of any horror or mystery genre, but it’s also a great example of adventure writing.  Eddie is an Artful Dodger figure whose confidence and spunk make him a fearless and attractive hero; he plays well against the steady, mild-mannered George. Richards’ prose is elegant and modern, a timeless story that reanimates the original, demonic legends of vampires, relieving us of the romantic, kinder, gentler bloodsucker and bringing back the monster. Highly recommended.


Contains: nothing overtly objectionable.


Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd 



Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (pseudonym for Lilith Saintcrow)

Razorbill, 2009

ISBN: 1595142517

Available New and Used


     In the first book in her Strange Angels series, St. Crow gives us a compelling story that easily stands up against any adult urban fantasy series. Here is the cast of supernatural creatures in this world:      

vampires (wampyr): Also called suckers, they're 100% evil and have a variety of powers—some can produce fire, and they can enslave other supernaturals.

djamphir: Half-human, half-vampire males who have super strength and some magical powers (e.g., teleportation, production of magic fog), djamphir are primarily vampire hunters and generally belong to the Order (the ruling council for supernaturals that is, of course, corrupt).

svetocha: Half-human, half-vampire females—very rare. Just before they "bloom" into their full powers, their blood is irresistible to vampires and djamphir. They are considered to be queens of the supernatural world. Our heroine is a svetocha. 

werwulfen: Werewolves, who are generally allied with the djamphir against the vampires, but they don't get along well with the djamphir on a personal level (too much testosterone on both sides).

loup-garou (skinchanger): Having been partially imprinted with werwulfen characteristics, they have super strength and other werwulfen traits but don't get hairy like the werwulfen. They are the princes of the werwulfen world.


As Strange Angels begins, the teenage heroine, Dru Anderson, has accompanied her monster-hunting father to a small Dakota town where he is on the trail of a big-time bad guy. When her dad is killed, Dru is suddenly on her own. Her Mom and Gran are already dead (her mom's death becomes very important as the series continues), so Dru is truly an orphan. Dru and her new Goth boyfriend, Graves (also an orphan), try to make the best of their tattered lives, but the bad guys keep interfering, and Dru really wants to find out who (or what) killed her dad. Not long after Graves has a life-changing encounter with a werwulfen, a new guy enters the picture: Christophe, a djamphir who looks like a teen but is actually about 100 years old. Christophe claims that he wants to help Dru, but can she trust him? By the end of the book, Dru has had a face-to-fact encounter with her dad's killer, has learned that she is a bit more than human, and has been whisked away to a special school where she will be trained to handle her future powers. 

Now, let's get to the love interests. Dru and Graves have a deep attraction to one another—a gentle attraction. Dru and Christophe have more of a smoking hot attraction, mixed with a healthy dose of Dru's distrust. There’s no explicit sex for either couple, just simmering undercurrents and heavy breathing. Graves and Christophe, naturally enough, hate each other with a passion (kind of a Jacob/Edward relationship). 

If you're looking for a solid urban fantasy series with strong plots and interesting characters, I highly recommend this one. The characters have all of the adventures found in any typical urban fantasy, with plenty of bruises and broken bones and a bit of veiled sensuality. The books should definitely be read in order.

Contains: graphic violence in monster-fighting scenes but no sex.

Reviewed by: Patricia O. Mathews


Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Razorbill, 2009

ISBN: 1595142525

Available New and Used


Betrayals, the second book in the Strange Angels series, begins moments after the first book ends, with Dru and Graves at the New England schola, which is run by the Order, the ruling council. Christophe is sure that there is a traitor in the Order, and it soon appears that there is also a traitor in the schola. The vampires keep attacking and heading straight for Dru, and by the end of the book, Dru's little group is on the run, heading for the main schola in New York City. As the story progresses, Dru discovers that Christophe is kind of an outlaw. He comes from an unsavory family and is suspected of some nefarious activities, and Dru is never quite sure if she can trust him. Highly recommended, but must be read in order.

Contains: graphic violence in monster-fighting scenes but no sex.

Reviewed by: Patricia O. Mathews



Jealousy by Lili St. Crow

Razorbill, 2010

ISBN: 1595142908

Available New and Used


Jealousy, the third book in the Strange Angels serie, begins at the Schola Prima, the main schola in New York City, days after Dru's arrival. Dru soon learns that the beautiful Anna—the only other svetocha in existence—is the head of the Order's Council and seems to hate Dru with every fiber of her being. Christophe has disappeared, so Dru and Graves are on their own, defending themselves against a variety of dangers and becoming more and more attracted to one another. As the suspense deepens, the vampires come searching for Dru, but Christophe shows up and runs them off. Unfortunately, in all the excitement, Graves disappears. By the end of the book, Dru has been badly injured, and the Council has two new members. Highly recommended, but must be read in order.

Contains: graphic violence in monster-fighting scenes but no sex.

Reviewed by: Patricia O. Mathews



Defiance by Lili St. Crow

Razorbill, 2011

ISBN: 1595142908

Available New and Used


As Defiance (fourth book in the Strange Angels series) begins, Graves is still missing, and Dru's relationship with Christophe is heating up, even though she sleeps each night wrapped in Graves's tattered black coat. The sensuality simmers a bit more in this book than in the previous three, but there are no sexual scenes. Defiance doesn't have quite the charm and action level of the first three. Dru spends much of her time training as she waits impatiently for her "blooming." Although Dru constantly begs Christophe and the Council to find Graves, Christophe keeps putting her off, telling her that she must focus all of her energy on becoming a better fighter and that there is no information as yet on Graves's location or situation. Finally, Dru catches Christophe in some lies, and she has had enough. When she gets some new information about Graves's whereabouts, she strikes out on her own to rescue him, knowing that she will have to face down the terrible Sergej, King of the Vampires, if she intends to survive. By the end of the book, Dru has turned her back on the Order—and on Christophe. At one point in mid-story, Dru is violently attacked by a many-tentacled red monster, but that incident appears without context and seems to have no connection to anything else in the story. Perhaps it will be explained in the upcoming fifth and final book, Reckoning.

Contains: graphic violence in monster-fighting scenes but no sex.

Reviewed by: Patricia O. Mathews


Fangs Rule: A Girls Guide to Being a Vampire by Amy Mah (Vampire)

Reardon Publishing, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1874192480

Available: New and Used


          Amy Mah, known to the vampire world as Lady Amelia, Mistress of the Night Mare, Alpha Female from the Family of the Pink Bat, has compiled an A-Z list of important information for the teenage vamp. Amy was born a vampire, but raised by humans until she was a teenager, so she understands the confusions young blood-suckers often face.

          For instance, it is perfectly fine for a girl to bite a boy on the first date, but under no circumstances should the boy be allowed to drink her blood until at least the third. The exception is a male who was contracted at birth to be her mate; however, in that case, he could end up dead, unless he meets with her approval. Humans are not worth dating; changing them into undead pets can only lead to trouble.

          Amy writes rules for etiquette, for example, one should never need to coordinate one’s panties with one’s shoes, and never show one’s brand, usually burned into the hip, at the dinner table. Males and elder females, especially alphas, must be respected, and family members should never be killed while in the home nest.

          She also dispels several human propagated myths, such as immortality--vampires are only a very long-lived species. Mirrors are completely useful, they allow the application of makeup. It is not the eyes, but special purring vocal chords that hypnotize and calm others, easing life within the nest, or soothing a frantic human dinner guest.

          Amy’s guide is sassy and funny; the egotist voice is palpable. The text is very sexual, but carefully non-explicit. Several of her pointers provide good tongue-in-cheek advice to human teens, and her fashion sense is spot on. Fangs Rule is beautifully illustrated by Mah in manga style, with several color plates. The cover art and one beautifully done piece of Amy and her bestie friend, Ice, sitting in a fantasy hot springs are framable. 

Highly recommended for 12 - adult.

Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd




Luxuria by Nicci Sefton

Total Publishing, 2009

ISBN: 0-88144-367-0

Available: New Paperback


Derrick Clark is a handsome poet who just got lucky at his new school. He will be sharing classes with Annabell Crystal, one of three exceptional sisters who have enslaved Madison Prep High with their beauty, charm and talent. Derrick is instantly captivated by Annabell, and the attraction could be fatal. There are rumors about the dazzling Crystal sisters, and it doesn’t take Derrick and his new friend, Paul, long to discover the truth about them: they are vampires, trying to co-exist in a mortal world.


Roxanne, a student whose boyfriend disappeared after attending a mysterious party thrown by the Crystals, has done her research. Emotionally crippled by her loss and suspicion, Roxanne offers plenty of insight into the family’s dark secrets, and evidence of Annabell’s truly monstrous past. Derrick gains access to her diary, and learns almost more than he can bear.


Nothing can stop his growing affection, however, and, despite serious misgivings about having a relationship with a human, Annabell finally comes to love him. Paul is equally besotted by the sardonic and lethal Precious, Annabell’s petite blonde sister, and encouraged by Derrick’s success, quietly pursues his dangerous crush.


Nicci Sefton began writing Luxuria, the first book in her Deadly Sins Series, as a high school sophomore, finishing it in her senior year. This gives her writing a definite viewpoint advantage, and her limited third person narration is buoyant and sprinkled with direct address, making her voice fresh and very natural. She also produced the dramatic and sensuous cover-art. However, closer style editing, grammar, syntax and even spelling, would improve the work.


The story and characters are very closely influenced by other, best-selling vampire novels; at times uncomfortably close. This resemblance to other works is balanced by Sefton’s inclusion of several pages of Annabell’s diary, which tell an interesting history in a quick and effective way. These passages of historical fiction are strong and passionate, and the book is strengthened by them.


Though familiar types, Sefton’s characters develop as the novel progresses, and they are attractive and lively. The violence and sexual content is very mild and the novel is well suited to younger readers, who are just dipping into vampire literature. The sequel, Invidia, was published directly following, and many of the rough edges were improved.


Contains: mild sexual content and mild violence.

Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd




Invidia by Nicci Sefton

Total Publishing, 2009

ISBN: 0-88144-487-1

Available: New Paperback


Annabell Crystal has the world at the tip of her beautiful, lethal fangs. She has vanquished an evil presence, assumed her rightful heritage as the queen of the vampires, preserved her virtue, and accepted the human, Derrick, as the love of her life and her probable king. Immortality never looked so good. Then Donavon Snider enrolls at Madison Prep High School, and Annabell’s horrific past comes crashing in to claim her soul.


An ancient German family of murderous, sociopathic vampires, the Sniders dispute Annabell’s claim to royalty, and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. Donavon has long been infatuated with the mysterious and powerful young queen. Although the Crystal family’s strength is legendary, they are matched by the psychotic determination of Donavon’s sisters, Eliza and Valisia, and Annabell is brutally kidnapped by the Snider coven. The Crystal family, along with Derrick and his best friend, Paul, will stop at nothing to save her.


Invidia, the second book in Nicci Sefton’s The Deadly Sins Series, provides tangible suspense. The pursuit and battle between the families is vigorous and well described, and Sefton includes several plot twists and a very complex historical narrative. Characters, Paul’s in particular, continue to develop as the novel progresses. He enables a story complication, and his relationship to Annabell’s formidable sister, Precious, becomes more significant. Romance is intensified, and the climax is modern and vividly imagined, set at an outdoor rock concert. Readers can clearly anticipate a sequel.


          However, as in Luxuria, the story and much of the character development is very heavily influenced by other, best-selling vampire series. Also, though improved, stylistic errors in grammar, syntax and spelling continue to damage the writing throughout the novel. Careful editing would improve Sefton’s work.


Contains: mild violence, mild profanity, and sexual content

Reviewed by: Sheila Shedd



Immortal: Love Stories with Bite edited by P.C. Cast

BenBella Books, 2008

ISBN: 978-193561801-0

Available: New


The first book in the Love Stories with Bite anthology collections is Immortal, edited by P.C. Cast, and chock full of vampire stories written by some of today’s finest authors. This collection includes tales from Rachel Caine, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Claudia Gray, Richelle Mead, Nancy Holder, Rachel Vincent, Tanith Lee, and Kristen Cast. P.C. Cast gives a fantastic introduction full of insight into the genre’s appeal and laced throughout with her legendary humor. The introduction segues perfectly into the first tale by Cynthia Leitich Smith, “Haunted Love,” a love story in which a haunted theater is the setting for supernatural revenge. Another fantastic inclusion is Rachel Vincent’s “Binge,” in which mythological muses and sirens, living in the present day, must feed on humans to survive, at a cost.  “Blue Moon” by Richelle Mead gives us a world in which vampires and human co-exist; albeit, not necessarily happily, but one young vampire has the power to change all that, provided her own family doesn’t kill her first.


Chances are likely that you already have this in your collection, but if you don’t, you need to get it. Your vampire readers are going to eat it up (pun intended) and ask for more, which you can provide with the second title in the Love Stories with Bite anthology: Eternal.  Highly recommended for public or school libraries in the young adult fiction collection. This is a young adult title that would work well for age ranges of 14-18, but adult readers who enjoy vampire romances would also enjoy this title.


Contains: Not applicable


Reviewed by: Kelly Fann





Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite edited by P.C. Cast

BenBella Books, 2010

215 pages.

Available: New

ISBN: 978-193561801-0


This second anthology edited by P.C. Cast has more of the vampire romance stories we love. Authors Rachel Caine, Claudia Gray and Nancy Holder make a second appearance in this anthology and are accompanied by Lili St. Crow, Heather Brewer, and Jeri Smith-Ready, all highly praised and sought after writers. A personal favorite in the collection is Nancy Holder’s “Letters to Romeo,” which reinvents the ultimate tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by giving Romeo eternal life as a vampire waiting for his fair Juliet to return to him. Also of note is Heather Brewer’s tale “The Other Side.” In Brewer’s frightening story, Tarrah and her boyfriend Corey have been kidnapped, shackled, and thrown into a dungeon to await their terrifying fates at the hands of an unknown creature; but who in this story is the real monster? In Eternal, Cast has put together another winning anthology with six beautifully dark tales of unrequited love and her own wonderfully written introduction. Fans of Cast, any of the other authors, or of the vampire subgenre as a whole will surely enjoy this anthology.

Highly recommended for public or school libraries in the young adult fiction collection. This is a young adult title that would work well for age ranges of 14-18, but adult readers who enjoy vampire romances would also enjoy this title.


Contains: Not applicable


Reviewed by: Kelly Fann




Thirst No.1: The Last Vampire/Black Blood/Red Dice by Christopher PikeSimon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, August 2009
ISBN: 9781416983088
Available: New and used

           Alisa Perne knows that she is the last vampire.  All the others were killed off centuries ago.  Beautiful, intelligent, and with superhuman abilities, she lives among humans incognito. When she discovers that someone is following her, and seems to know more than any other person alive should know, she starts to wonder if maybe, just maybe, her past lover survived and has come back—to kill her.   

Alisa is tough, smart, and unafraid of anyone or anything.  But she also has morals, skewed as they may be, and it’s easy to see her motivations.  The world that Pike has set up is brilliant, with enough levels to keep discussions lively for hours on end.  The writing, however, was the biggest failure.  It was originally written in the 90’s, long before present tense was as common as it is now.  Unfortunately, it’s poorly done and rather clunky.  But if the readers don’t care about writing and are just focused on the story, it’s an easy sell.

The series is recommended, but please be aware that the content may be too intense for some readers- this is not a title for the Twilight crowd. Ages 14 and up. 

Content:  explicit foreplay, main characters have sex, intense violence, lack of remorse for killing.

Reviewed by: Cherylynne W. Bago



Bloody Valentine: A Blue Bloods Book by Melissa De La Cruz

Hyperion, 2011

ISBN: 9781423134497

Available: New


               Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Melissa de la Cruz has offered up Bloody Valentine, a novella set in the world of Blue Bloods.  The book contains three related stories.  In the first, “Just Another Night In Suck City”, Oliver, Schuyler Van Alen’s conduit and friend, who is in love with her, is trying to overcome the pain of letting Schuyler join Jack Force. In the second, “Always Something There To Remind Me”, we are thrust back to a time when Schuyler’s mother, Allegra Van Alen, is still a teenager, and meets and falls in love with a human, although her soul mate Charles is pining for her.  In “Ring of Fire”, we return to the present, where The Countess has sent a force of venators to attack Schuyler and Jack before their bonding ceremony. 

               Bloody Valentine is an enjoyable, quick read for fans of the Blue Bloods books. It doesn’t do well as a stand-alone book- the reader needs to have familiarity with the Blue Bloods books in order to enjoy Bloody Valentine.  That being said, Melissa de la Cruz does an excellent job in crafting the novella. The stories read easily, and it is a treat for those following Schuyler’s story.  The novella also provides an interesting introduction to a new adult paranormal series that de la Cruz is working on. The first title, Witches of East End, will be coming out in the summer of 2011.

               Blue Bloods is a great follow-up series for those looking for action and romance after Twilight.  Libraries should look to acquire Bloody Valentine as part of their y/a vampire collection.

Contains: Minor Violence



Biblio Vampiro: A Vampire Handbook by Robert Curran
Barron’s Educational Series, 2010
ISBN-10: 0764163418
Available: New


Still Sucks to Be Me: The All-true Confessions of Mina Smith, Teen Vampire by Kimberly Pauley

Mirrorstone, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0786955039
Available: New


Picking up where Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) left off, Mina has made the choice to become a vampire and has been turned. However, the Vampire Council decides that Mina and her family will have to be relocated from Los Angeles to the tiny town of Cartville, Louisiana. Suffering from severe culture shock, and separation from her best friend Serena, and her boyfriend George, Mina has plenty on her plate.

            Mina has an authentic voice.  It’s refreshing to read about an ordinary teen who just happens to be a vampire instead of yet another “special” one. As in the first book, there are lots of little notes and journal entries from Mina about what is going on in her head and life.   While still told with a light and humorous touch, this is a darker, more emotional book with much more complicated choices for Mina and her loved ones, and with more action and tension than the first. Once again, Pauley has shown her ability to channel her inner teen and produce some of the most enjoyable vampire teen literature around, and since she seems to have left the door open for another book, perhaps we will see more of Mina in the future.

Contains: minor violence



Vampireology: The True History of the Fallen Ones by Nick Holt Candlewick Press, 2010


Available: Pre-Order


      Vampireology is a guide to vampires ostensibly written by Archibald Brooks, a Protector, or slayer of vampires. It covers a great deal of ground, from their biblical origins, to the passing of their curse, to powers, vulnerabilities, and even their historical animosity toward werewolves and the Protector. When Brooks is murdered, presumably by vampires, the guide  goes to his successor, Joshua Kraik, a private detective, who adds his own personal notes. Every page of the book has foldouts of Kraik’s notes, his correspondence with the mysterious Contessa, or other relevant items to the topic of the page.  In a growing field of guides and compendiums, Vampireology gives you both a guide to vampires as presented by Brooks and a side story within presented by Kraik's notes. Vampireology is one of the better choices out there. It provides its own interesting and intriguing story, and is a take on vampires that will be of interest to fans.

    Vampireology is a beautiful book to look at, and it is attractively put together, with compelling illustrations and imagery.  For librarians, the immediate concern will be the number of flaps and folds that will be subject to extensive wear and tear.  The book is 30 pages long but is oversized, and each page has foldouts and other materials that, while they can keep readers' attention, can also be easily damaged.  The book captures the feel of a personal journal as well as a guide to vampires, with items such as a train ticket that literally pop out at you as if they are three-dimensional .  It should be noted, though, that its take on vampire mythology doesn’t sync up with that of Twilight or other popular teen vampire mythology- those looking for a romantic tale will want to look elsewhere. Vampireology is recommended more for fans of Bram Stoker's Dracula.  Recommended for public library collections, and as a gift book for vampire fans.  


Contains: Imagery of decapitation of vampires.


Blood Ninja by Nick Lake

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1416986270

Available: New


        Blood Ninja  the distinctive cover art suggests, correctly, that what is offered it's a far different story than other young adult vampire titles. Author Nick Lake takes you back in time to feudal Japan, where Taro, a young man in a fishing village, finds his simple life turned upside down when he and his family are attacked by ninjas.  He is saved by another ninja, only to end up on the run, thrust into a world with grand destiny, vampire ninjas, samurai warriors and more.
       Blood Ninja follows the familiar "hero's journey" storyline, so you have a good idea where you are going, but you'll still enjoy the ride. Nick Lake does an excellent job both with creating the atmosphere of feudal Japan and with plot pacing.  Taro is an interesting character, and as the story continues he finds his world view constantly challenged, creating an internal struggle throughout the book that provides food for thought as well as blood, guts, and violence. The story ends with the perfect setup for Blood Ninja II: The Revenge of Lord Oda, set to come out in 2010.
        Ultimately, Nick Lake has produced a very strong book with plenty of action, and a fair bit of blood and gore along with it. There isn't a romance angle here, although there are two popular teen icons- ninjas and vampires- this is really a "guys' book". However, it's important to note that this is also a fairly long book with complex vocabulary. As with Rick Yancey's recent release, The Monstrumologist, Blood Ninja won't be an easy read for reluctant readers, and while I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it out, librarians and teachers will want to keep in mind that this book is better suited for more advanced readers. Readers advisory note: Readers of Blood Ninja may also enjoy Night Runner by Max Turner.

Contains: Violence and gore


The Vampire Kitty-Cat Chronicles by Ray Rhamey

FtQ Press, 2010

ISBN: 9780615261881

Availability: February 2010


    Patch is your everyday tomcat, with a life any cat would die for. Until he is turned into a vampire, that is. Suddenly, he finds himself in constant peril. He is nearly staked, is being tried for murder, and almost has his tail cut off, all while trying to figure out where his next V1 (that's blood to you non-vampires) will come from and win an election with his associate, Meg. Who says life is easier when you're dead?

    Chock full of one-liners, teens that like a horror novel to have a good dose of humour will thoroughly enjoy The Vampire Kitty-Cat Chronicles. It is fast-paced, a quick read, and the characters, especially Patch, are amusing and engaging. This book will appeal to a wide YA audience, as well as many adults. It does, however, contain commentary on controversial topics (such as religious fanaticism) that may offend and thus, may not be suitable for all YA readers. Recommended for public library YA horror collections.

Contains: violence, murder and some bad language.

Review by Stacey L. Wilson, Master of Library and Information Science candidate at The University of Western Ontario




Marked by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

St. Martin's, 2007

ISBN: 0312360266

Available: New, used and digital


    Everything changes for Zoey Redbird the day a vampyre points her out in the school hallway and tells her she's been chosen. As if being chosen to be a vampyre isn't enough, she has to leave her school, her home (neither is necessarily a bad thing) and her friends and move to the House of Night, a finishing school where she's to learn how to be a vampyre. But even before she arrives she has a vision of the vampyre goddess Nyx, who endows her further, naming Zoey her eyes and ears to help her discover what is wrong with the vampyres of the world.      Marked is heavy-handed at times in its enthusiastic presentation of goddess-based religions, while god-based religions are represented as intolerant. The “teenspeak” will annoy some readers, as will the “super special teen” theme. But Zoey is a smart, energetic lead who is easy to sympathize with and fun to ride along with. Marked is a fast read, with an interesting slant on the world. It would make an excellent addition to YA collections catering to vampire-hungry teens.

Contains: Language, sexual situations and sexual language

Review by Michele Lee


Betrayed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

St. Martin's, 2007

ISBN: 0312360282

Available: New, used and digital


    Betrayed makes a faltering start. The pro-goddess, anti-Christian opening is almost overwhelming at first. But it gains its feet and hurls readers into a fast, engaging story in the world of Zoey Redbird, vampyre-in-training and the chosen one of Nyx, goddess of the night, that shows that actions, not gender or religion, dictate which side of the divide one stands on.
    At her first ever Full Moon ritual as priestess-in-training, Zoey's best friend Stevie Rae collapses and succumbs to a failed change. When Zoey's ex-boyfriend Heath disappears she's shocked to get a vision that puts Stevie Rae to blame. The only one who seems to believe her is Aphrodite, the "mean girl" Zoey toppled to become priestess-in-training, and together they have to solve the mystery of Stevie Rae and the red fledglings before they're lost to the minions of evil.
    Betrayed would make a good addition to YA collections, especially those that always seem to be short on vampire tales. Zoey is a smart, strong lead, surrounded by a variety of sidekicks that seem more accurate to today's multicultural world than other books. The popularity of this series also means this book will likely be in high demand.

Contains: Language, sexual language


Review by Michele Lee



Chosen by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

St. Martin's, 2008

ISBN: 0312360304

Available: New, used and digital


    This volume of the House of Night is series is one of the hardest to read, emotionally. Zoey Redbird is marked not just to become a vampyre, but as a chosen one of Nyx. So far she's taken an elite school club back from human-hating vampyres and saved her best friend from undeath and being a servant of the evil Neferet. But now that she knows Zoey is her enemy, Neferet is striking back in the most brutal of ways, by crushing Zoey's connection to her friends, her loved ones, and even shattering her trust in herself. Zoey finds herself torn between three men, having to keep Stevie Rae's very existence from the rest of their friends for their own sakes, and only having the cruelest girl in class to confide in.

      This series is quite popular, and with good reason. Zoey is a snarky, but not mean, strong, but not perfect lead who is easy to relate to. Chosen would make an excellent addition to YA collections, especially those with a large number of vampire readers.

Contains: Language, Sexual situations and language




Untamed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

St. Martin's, 2008

ISBN: 0312379838

Available: New, used and digital


    Zoey Redbird knows just how much life as a vampyre can suck. She's spent too much time keeping secrets from her friends and letting Nyx's blessings bolster her courage, but not her wisdom. Now the evil high priestess, Neferet, has separated her from her friends, shattered her relationship with her boyfriend and even managed to steal her virginity. Now the visions are still coming, foretelling something massive and evil, rising up from forgotten lore and aching to be in the world again. This time they're determined to take the last thing Zoey has, her grandmother. But Zoey still has some unlikely allies, including the queen of cruel, Aphrodite, not to mention she still has Nyx's favor. So she has to try to get her allies back together, to set things right and prevent Neferet from starting a war against the humans.

      The House of Night series is one of the more popular YA series on shelves today. That alone earns them a place in YA collections, but readers will also find them to be fast, strong reads that are hard to put down.

Contains: Language

Review by Michele Lee




Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2008
ISBN:  978-0316067928
Available:  New and Used

    Meyer's fourth and final book in the Twilight series starts off with Bella and Edward getting married and going off on their honeymoon.  However, their honeymoon is cut short due to the unexpected pregnancy of Bella.  Edward is concerned by the rapid progression of the "baby" and thinks that it is harming Bella and suggests to Bella that she has an abortion, but Bella has grown too attached and wants nothing more than to see the pregnancy all the way through.  Everyone is concerned of what is actually growing inside of Bella though as no human has ever gotten pregnant by a vampire before.  Will Bella be able to survive this childbirth and what exactly will she be giving birth to? 
    Now that I've finally made my way through the entire Twilight series I can honestly say that it was the most painful teen series I have ever read.  Bella's insistent whining throughout the series as well as the fact that she was so wishy-washy about wanting to be with either Edward or Jacob just grates on one's nerves.  Yes, a lot of teenage girls can be annoying, but not that consistently.  Also, this book was to be aimed at teenagers... well, every teenager I know of is aware of the basics of sex at least.  When Bella and Edward had sex for the first time, even *I* as an adult didn't realize what was going on until after it was all said and done.  I mean, how dumbed down did Meyer need to make the story? Was she trying to write it for elementary school kids?  Why omit everything up to the point of pillow feathers flying?  Teenagers aren't THAT naive!  Moving on... to avoid major spoilers for those brave enough to tackle reading this doorstop of a book, the latter part of the book just seemed to drag on forever.  There is a battle scene at the end that I struggled through as it brought in a lot of extra characters that got confusing to keep track of and just got a bit boring for me.  After a while I just started skimming over names figuring it wasn't really important, which for the most part... they weren't!  I initially started this series to see what the hype was all about and once I started figured I might as well see it through to the end despite it appearing to being a waste of my time.  I wish I had never found out though because when all is said and done vampires were never meant to sparkle!
Contains:  Kissing, Sexual Innuendos
Review by Rhonda Wilson



Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009
ISBN:  978-0316027656
Available:  New and Used

    The Twilight saga continues in Meyer's third book with a series of unsolved murders taking place in Seattle, Washington.  A young vampire is suspected, but later the Cullens realize the there is a bit more involved than just one vampire.  It's more like... an "army".  With preparations for battle underway, the ever-growing love triangle between Edward/Bella/Jacob continues.  Bella insists on seeing Jacob despite Edward telling her that it is too dangerous.  Then Edward proposes to Bella, which she hesitantly accepts.  This practically causes Jacob to lose his mind.  Trying to calm him down, Bella ends up kissing him and in return finds out that she cares for him more than she realizes.  Who will she end up choosing in the end?  And how will the battle turn out?
    While Meyer's series showed improvement in the second book of the series, New Moon, I felt that this book took a step back in quality.  The focus on the love triangle was quite heavy and there was a lot of emphasis on Bella whining through the majority of the book.  This left a very sour taste in my mouth and honestly made me hesitant in wanting to carry on with book four.  Younger readers may not mind this as much and will probably enjoy this title more than I did.  Recommended for teens.
 Contains:  Kissing
Review by Rhonda Wilson


New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009
ISBN:  978-0316075633
Available:  New and Used

    The second novel in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series starts off with the Cullen family throwing Bella Swan an 18th birthday party.  At the party, Bella accidentally cuts her finger on one of the gifts she is opening and Jasper Cullen, attracted to the scent of her blood,  attempts to attack her.  Luckily, Bella's boyfriend and Jasper's brother, Edward, is able to protect her.  After this incident, the Cullens decide that it is safest for Bella to move away from Forks.  This leaves Bella sulking and moping around.  Eventually, she finds that her only way to cope with her depression is to put herself in danger as when she is in harm's way she hears Edward's voice in her head trying to stop her.  She goes to Jacob Black, an old family friend, to help her out with this, and he helps her restore a couple of old motorcycles.  Jacob and her become very close as the story progresses and she discovers more and more about him including that he has a secret of his own... he's a werewolf.  How will this secret affect Bella's feelings for Jacob when she knows that the werewolves are the Cullen's biggest enemy?
    New Moon is a much stronger book than Meyer's first, Twilight.  There are not a lot of initial character descriptions to wade through, as readers are expected to have already read book one so the book starts off at a faster pace.  Also, the fact that the Cullens are absent for the majority of the book means there are fewer of the lovey-dovey Bella/Edward scenes to read.  However, there are still numerous scenes of Bella whining about how she misses Edward and how she wants to be with him, etc... etc... ad nauseam.  Many times I found myself wanting to toss the book across the room due to Bella's annoying whining, but due to the entrance of the werewolves, I was able to continue on.  Jacob Black and the rest of the werewolf pack actually made this book fairly enjoyable.  Wondering what is going to happen with the whole Jacob/Bella/Edward love triangle will now lead me to continue on with the rest of the series.  It's like a train wreck I can't look away from.  Recommended for teens.
Contains:  Kissing
Review by Rhonda Wilson


Hybrid by Angie L. Reed

A-Argus Better Book Publishers, 2009

ISBN: 978-09823050-8-9

Available: New


    Emily Reed is a teenage girl who attempts suicide when her life is turned upside down by the murder of her four-year-old sister. In order to get a fresh start, her parents decide to move from Dallas, Texas to Beckley, West Virginia. She soon makes new friends and falls in love with a fit and studious boy named Maxwell Snow. Their relationship grows to the point where Emily feels that she has found her perfect mate, until she spots Julian. He is the exact opposite of Max - rude, mean and cold hearted. Despite the difference she soon finds herself attracted by him. She doesn’t want to betray Max, but when she is forced to study with Julian things get out of hand and she soon finds herself caught between two young men who absolutely hate each other. Things soon get more complicated as Emily finds out that both boys are Hybrids, half-vampire and half-human.

    Hybrid begins slow and stays that way for about two thirds of the novel. There is almost no sign of vampires, hybrids, or anything but day-to-day school life. It would be completely void of anything exciting if it weren’t for the recurring dreams Emily has about her murdered sister. The story focuses more on Emily making friends and her overly sappy relationship with her new boyfriend. Emily herself is also too focused on material things and herself, which is probably true of most teenagers, but it makes her much less sympathetic to the reader. The story does pick up in the last third of the book as Julian makes his appearance and the reader begins to see that the story is going somewhere. The Hybrid concept is also a good one and could make a fine book if it was done in more depth, unfortunately the Hybrid part of the book seemed to take a back seat to dating and hanging out with friends.

Contains: Violence

Review by Bret Jordan



The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

Hyperion, 2009

ISBN: 9781423102267

Available: New


In this fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series, de la Cruz picks up right where the last book left off with three different storylines.  The first follows Schuyler and Oliver, who are on the run from The Conclave, as there is doubt about her story concerning the death of her grandfather and former conclave leader Lawrence.  The second follows Bliss, who finds herself sharing her body with her father who is Lucifer, as she desperately tries to get help.   The third follows Mimi Force, who is working with the Venators seeking the Watcher, and planning her bonding with Jack Force.    The Van Alen Legacy expands and continues the Blue Bloods story arc nicely.  There is a continuation of the love triangle between Schuyler, her human conduit Oliver, and Jack Force.  Melissa de la Cruz once again has written a tale with  a sense of mystery, adventure, and romance.  Fans of Schuyler Van Alen might be disappointed that the lead character is sharing so much book time with Bliss and Mimi.  I found it actually to be a good thing as it allowed the author to make Mimi an interesting, evolving character on her own rather than just an annoying foil to Schuyler. One thing that improves the story considerably over the first three books in the series is that Melissa de la Cruz does a much better job of tying up storylines but still leaves the reader wanting more.  Recommended 
Contains: Violence



Blood Coven Vampire 1:  Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi
Berkley Trade, 2006
ISBN:  0-426-20942-3
Available:  New and Used

    First in Mari Mancusi's Blood Coven Vampire series, twins Sunshine and Rayne (cute, no?) couldn't be more opposites.  Sunshine is the drama student that wants to date the most popular boy in school, whereas Rayne is into the goth scene and won't be caught dead in a pair of pants!  Rayne is all excited about a new goth club in town, Club Fang, and tells Sunshine she has to go with her and also must dress accordingly.  After a bit of a guilt trip, Sunshine caves in and dons a “Bite Me” T-Shirt from her sister, figuring at least it's not black, and goes with her to the club.  Once at the club, Rayne temporarily leaves Sunshine to play the role of “wallflower” while she grabs them a couple of drinks.  In her absence, Sunshine is approached by an Orlando Bloom look-alike that she figures can't possibly be talking to her.  She is flabbergasted, but it's so loud in the club that she can't tell what he is trying to say to her.  He leads her outside of the club in order for them to be able to hear each other.  She is highly attracted to him and once they introduce each other (himself as Magnus) he then asks her “are you sure?” as he leans closer.  She assumes he is asking whether she wants him to kiss her and says “yes” which he does, but next thing she knows, he bites her neck!  Her sister comes running out a minute later and sees what has happened and realizes that there was a case of mistaken identity.  She knows who this Magnus guy is, he's a... vampire!  And not only that, but... he was supposed to have been there that night to change HER into a vampire.  Now what will Sunshine do?
    I have to say that this has to be one of the funniest teen books I have read in a long time!  It had some Buffy the Vampire Slayer references mixed within that slayed me!!!  (full pun intended!)  Mancusi used numerous pop-culture references throughout the book that made the book even more humorous, especially the inclusion of using Stewie from Family Guy as one particular vampire within the book.  I won't say which one because I don't want to give too much away, but you'll realize why it's so funny once you read it!  I like how Mancusi kept up the suspense throughout the entire book.  I wasn't sure until the very end how things were going to turn out for Sunshine.  This is a very strong first book and I'm glad that she has several more to follow it up as I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series! Highly Recommended.
Contains:  Blood Drinking, Kissing, References to Sex
Review by Rhonda Wilson



Blood Coven Vampire 2:  Stake That! By Mari Mancusi
Berkley Trade, 2006
ISBN:  0-425-21210-6
Available:  New and Used

    Stake That! leaves off where Mancusi's first book, Boys That Bite, ended.  Goth girl Rayne is dying to be a vampire, and her sister, Sunny, is the one that is dating the vampire. As if Rayne's life wasn't bad enough, she finds out that her destiny is to be the new vampire slayer.  How uncool is that?  As the slayer, she is given a very special mission... she is to infiltrate the vamp bar where foul play is suspected to find out exactly what is going on inside, wielding a stake carved by her own delicate hands as her only weapon.  Easy, right?  Little does she know that when she poses as a willing human blood donor at the bar that she is going to be approached by such a sexy vampire!  What's a "vampire vampire slayer" to do?
    This second book in the Blood Coven Vampire series focuses heavily on Rayne's character, though Sunny is definitely not forgotten.  Rayne’s new role of "the slayer" takes everyone by surprise and she'd do anything to get out of the job.  I felt a bit sorry for her, but luckily she managed to turn a bad situation into something good for herself.  Mancusi threw in several surprises throughout the book, especially with David's character.  I enjoyed the pop-culture references in the first book of this series and Mancusi didn't disappoint me with this one either.  I especially appreciated the tribute to the movie The Lost BoysStake That! is a strong follow-up to a great first novel, and I foresee many more great books in Mancusi's future.  Highly Recommended.

Contains:  Blood Drinking, Kissing, References to Sex
Review by Rhonda Wilson


Blood Coven Vampire 3:  Girls That Growl by Mari Mancusi
Berkley Trade, 2007
ISBN:  978-0-425-21716-0
Available:  New and Used

   In the third installment of Mancusi's Blood Coven Vampire series, Rayne is faced with her biggest challenge yet.  As "the slayer", her newest task is to figure out why it is that the cheerleading squad is growling. In order to do so she must get close to the cheerleaders, and as ANY teenager knows, the only way to get close to a cheerleader is to BE a cheerleader!  Rayne seeks out her sister Sunny's help in a “prep” makeover so that she can try out for the cheerleading squad in hopes of becoming one of their new members.  From there she must figure out exactly where the growling is coming fro, and find a resolution.
    Mari Mancusi has created yet another fun adventure with Girls That Growl.  The characters of Rayne and Sunny are hilarious and I love how they tend to use their "twin powers" to reverse their roles whenever it helps them out of a situation.  They are such opposites, yet they always manage to pull it off.  There is still a lot more that can be done with this series and I think Mancusi will go far with it.  She is a very strong storyteller and has a unique writing technique.  The story of Rayne and Sunny is fun for all ages, not just teenagers. Highly Recommended.
Contains:  Blood Drinking, Kissing, References to Sex
Review by Rhonda Wilson


Night Runner  by Max Turner

St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009

ISBN: 9780312592288

Available: New


    Fifteen year old Zack Thompson, orphaned at a young age, is a resident of Nicholls Ward, a hospital psychiatric unit.  When a haggard man crashes through the front door of Nicholls Ward and tells Zack someone is after him, Zack escapes his boring, routine-bound life in the ward and goes on the run   He must discover the truth about the malady that has left him in the ward, and find out and who is after him and why.  

    Night Runner is a refreshing addition to the young adult vampire genre. The book breaks out of some of the safe staples of teen vampire novels and is a good fit for the reader who enjoys vampires but is tired of the same old tropes.  The action starts right away, and there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages to see what happens next, with a surprise finish. Night Runner’s nonstop action and male protagonist suggest strongly that the book is targeted to teen boys, but there is a romantic subplot, and there will still be appeal to female readers.  Readers advisory note:  Readers who enjoyed Scott Westerfield’s Peeps may also enjoy Night Runner. Highly recommended for middle and high school libraries and public library YA collections.

Contains: Violence




Hannah's Story: Vampire Love Never Dies by Giulietta Maria Spudich

iUniverse, 2009

ISBN: 9781440135026

Available: New and Used


      Hannah, a woman barely out of her teens, arrives in Cambridge to attend school, but she is also fleeing her past. After recovering from the pain of being abandoned by her boyfriend, Bret, Hannah began to realize just how abusive and manipulative their relationship had been. Since Bret was a vampire, and she narrowly escaped becoming one herself, Hannah recognizes that the break up was possibly the best thing to have happened to her so far. But Bret isn't

quite done with Hannah yet.

      This book is short—it covers more than a year in about 130 pages—but this is by no means a starved plot. Although there is room for fleshing it out, the story is well-paced and focused There are some small technical problems, likely because this is a debut book, but there is a lot to recommend. Although this is a vampire book, the author spends a fair amount of time on Hannah’s trying to resist the urge to blame herself for having been caught in an abusive situation and deal with her feelings of worthlessness that stem from her part in the relationship she had with Bret. The vampire aspect is so light it can easily be taken for a metaphor as well, making this book less about vampires and more about a teen recovering from an abusive relationship.

      The YA and abuse recovery focus makes this an excellent addition to teen libraries, private and public, and Hannah's Story could even be a gateway into helping adults talk to teens and tweens about abusive

relationships. Recommended.

Review by Michele Lee



Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Llewellyn Worldwide, 2009
ISBN: 9780738714745

Available: New


    Fashion-conscious teen Gina Covello is seriously ticked off when she wakes up dead, in a really ugly dress. Even worse, she can’t see her reflection. Her sire, a former chess geek with a crush on her who’s now a hottie, is a definite plus, but unfortunately, he’s also at the center of a prophecy, being used for a political power-grab by Mellisande, the vampire who sired him. Suddenly, Gina isn’t the center of attention anymore. She doesn’t have any true friends, and the surprisingly large population of vamped out high school students treat her like an outcast. But while Gina may be out, she’s not down. She’s charismatic, outspoken, pragmatic, and politically incorrect, with snarky names for her evil nemesis, and plenty of forward momentum.

    Diver succeeds at creating a grim and very creepy atmosphere at times, as well as some very disturbing characters, but she fails to make Gina likable or sympathetic. Instead, she comes across as a former "mean girl", selfish, insecure, and very high maintenance. It’s a little grating to watch her grow more and more dependent on her “boyfriend” and sire, Bobby, and, given her general approach to life, it requires considerable suspension of disbelief as well.  Still, Diver’s writing can be witty, although occasionally repetitive- there are a limited number of times that one can poke fun at a vampire's vanity by pointing out that she can't see herself in the mirror. Vamped is a far cry from Twilight. There’s more suspense and intrigue than there is conflicted romance. Teen girls are still clearly the audience for this book, though, and many may enjoy this original riff on YA vampire lit. It’s kind of fun(if a bit surreal)to watch the high school pecking order turned upside down.

Reviewed by Kirsten Kowalewski



Look for Me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn

Graphia, 2007 (originally published 1995)

ISBN: 9780547076164

Availability: New and Used


    Cynda Bennett has just moved to Maine to live with her father and his new family in an inn that they have that is rumoured to be haunted by the spirit of a girl who was murdered there. When a very handsome older man comes to stay at the inn, she finds herself unable to resist falling in love with him, not knowing that there's something about him, something dangerous, that could ultimately spell disaster not only for her, but also her family.

     This is a superbly written tale that draws the reader in from the very beginning. Hahn's ability to create an atmosphere of bone-chilling intensity will have teens turning page after page and sharing the terror and helplessness of the characters. Set in the dead of winter, readers will definitely feel the chill of every winter storm Hahn describes. Depictions of family relationships are very real and are used to draw fear from the reader. Recommended for the YA horror collection of any public library. This book will appeal greatly to fans of a traditional vampire seduction.

 Notes: Contains violence and murder.

Review by Stacey L. Wilson, Master of Library and Information Science candidate at The University of Western Ontario.


Evernight by Claudia Gray


ISBN: 9780061284397

Available: New


    When Bianca’s parents accept teaching positions at Evernight, an exclusive boarding school, she is thrust into a world of the beautiful and wealthy. Bianca doesn’t quite fit in at Evernight, and becomes close with the mysterious, good looking, but not quite acceptable Lucas. Bianca has an uneasy feeling that all is not quite what it seems at Evernight, and soon she will be forced to face the truth.

     Evernight is one of the stronger young adult vampire books to come out recently. Claudia Gray is a clever storyteller, and her use of clueless Bianca as the narrator keeps the reader in the dark for a full half of the book. Once she flips the switch the reader has to look at the first half of the book in a whole new light. Although the second half of the book deals with story themes familiar to any reader of young adult vampire titles, Bianca’s naivete, paired with Gray’s plotting and storytelling ability, continue to cloud events and build suspense. The ending is somewhat disappointing, but definitely leaves an opening for the sequel, Stargazer, due out in March 2009. Evernight has plenty of mystery, romance, and action. Readers missing out on their Twilight fix might want to check it out. Highly recommended for fans of y/a vampire fiction and for school and public libraries.

 Contains: Murder, violence, reference to alcohol consumption, and blood drinking.


VAMPS by Nancy A. Collins

Harper Teen, 2008

ISBN: 0061349178

Available: New and Used


    VAMPS is book one in a series about the vampire teens of Bathory Academy, a prestigious night school for the richest and most powerful members of the vampire race. The first book introduces the characters and sets up the overall plot arc but doesn't have much of a resolution.

    Lilith Todd is the “mean popular girl” at Bathory. Unfortunately, she’s also the primary point of view character in most of this book. Snobbish beyond belief, paranoid and utterly unlikeable, she has her whole life planned out, fairy princess style. She even already has her Prince Charming, betrothed to her in a vampiric contract

   VAMPS really picked up when the point of view switched to Cally Monture, a half-blood from a much lower tax bracket, and a much more sympathetic character. Cally’s first meeting with Lilith ends in the death of Lilth’s best friend at the hands of vampire hunters. When Cally's vampire father insists she transfer to Bathory, the rivalry between the two girls flares in classic teen novel style.

    Collins delivers the concepts that are most loved in books aimed at teen girls, but with a skill that prevents the characters or story from sputtering into the territory of cliché or "more specialer than thou" syndrome. VAMPS is a solid addition to teen vampire collections, and has the potential to out-dazzle more popular titles like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

Contains: Language, violence

Review by Michele Lee



Blue Bloods 3: Revelations by Melissa De La Cruz

Hyperion Book, 2008

ISBN: 1423102282

Available: New and Used


    The tale of the Blue Bloods and Schuyler Van Alen continues. Schuyler is staying in the home of Jack and Mimi Force while she tries to figure out what is behind the Silver Bloods’ attack. Dylan, who believes Schuyler to be a Silver Blood, also resurfaces. The love triangles continue. Schulyer has to decide between Oliver and Jack Force, and Jack is torn between his love for Schuyler and the bonding with his soul mate, Mimi.  Revelations is a fascinating combination of mystery, romance, and adventure.  The book lives up to its title and provides revelations related to some of the plot threads from the previous books. The ending is more satisfying than in previous books, but there are still enough unknowns to get the reader hooked. Revelations will leave readers anxiously waiting for the next installment of the Blue Bloods series.  

Contans: underage drinking/references to smoking, minor violence


Suck it Up By Brian Meehl

Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2008
ISBN-10: 0385733003

Available: New and Used


    Morning McCobb is coming out of the coffin. The unassuming vampire has been chosen as the poster child for the International Vampire League, an organization of vampires who seek to coexist peacefully with humans. With the help of human publicist Penny Dredful and her daughter Portia, Morning plans to reveal the existence of vampires to the general public.  The problem is that not all vampires want to be outed, and they are looking to stop Morning at any cost.  To accomplish his goal, he will have to fight for his life, as well as figure out his feelings for Portia.   Suck It Up presents a slightly different take on the teen vampire. Morning McCobb isn’t the traditional tall dark and handsome type. Instead, he’s a skinny teenager, an orphan who was turned into a vampire by accident. The book has a nice combination of humor, romance, and action, and the male protagonist will give it broad appeal, attracting boys as well as girls.

Contains violence.


Night Road by A.M. Jenkins

HarperTeen, 2008


Available: New

            Night Road tells the tale of Cole, a hemovore (don’t call him a vampire). Hemovores drink blood from humans, referred to as omnis.   Cole is summoned to help Gordon, a young college student accidentally turned into a hemovore, adjust to his new unlife.  While Cole and his friend Sandor teach Gordon the ropes, Cole also faces his own tormented past.  Night Road is different from most other young adult vampire titles. It doesn’t have a romantic angle or even a great deal of action. Instead, it is a character driven story, and Jenkins draws fine portraits. Its Achilles heel is that the characters aren’t particularly likable and don’t seem to grow or change much. The door is wide open for a sequel for Cole, Sandor, and Gordon. In fact, it almost seems necessary. The question is, will anyone care enough to read it?  Jenkins has taken an original approach and produced a very different y/a vampire title. However,  readers looking for romance and action will be disappointed. 

Contains: Blood drinking, violence


Life Sucks by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece

First Second Books, 2008

ISBN: 1596431075

Available: New

            Life Sucks is an unusual, funny, and unglamourous take on the vampire tale. Dave Miller is a young man whose life takes a dramatic change when he applies for a night job at a convenience store.  The vampire owner turns him, sealing Dave’s fate to forever be the night manager at the store.  Dave’s life changes for the better when he meets Rosa, a goth girl. His attempt to romance Rosa is complicated when psycho-surfer vamp Wes decides to try for Rosa’s affection.   Life Sucks is well-written, with good artwork. But mostly, it’s just plain fun. Those who appreciate a little irony with their vampires will get a kick out of Life Sucks.  Recommended.

Contains: Violence, minor gore


Sucks to Be Me : The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) by Kimberly Pauley


ISBN: 9780786950287

Available: New

    In Sucks to Be Me, Mina is the teenaged human daughter of a pair of vampires, who have hidden her existence. Once she’s discovered, the regional vampire council is adamant that Mina decide if she wants to be turned into a vampire. As if the stress of attending “vampire class” with other potential vampires isn’t enough, Mina also faces typical teen “chick lit” situations and misunderstandings involving boys, best friends, popularity, and the prom.  Readers of teen chick lit will find much that’s familiar here. Although there is a romance angle, Mina’s story is more about the impending decision and her relationship with her friends and family, with a fairly predictable conclusion. Still, Mina is a likable character, and the humor in the story and complications of this particular unexpected situation should satisfy those who enjoy “chick lit with fangs.” Although there’s no real deviation from “chick lit” formula, Pauley’s imaginative setup and entertaining characters were enough to keep this reader turning the pages.  

Contains: threats of violence




Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

Simon Pulse, 2007

ISBN: 1416939784

Availabile: New


  Uninvited is a much darker story than the typical YA vampire fare. Jordan, a troubled teen, is being visited by her ex-boyfriend Michael, now a vampire, who waits outside her window every night begging her to invite him in.  This isn’t a love story, though. Michael plays the role of a deadly stalker, not a romantic interest. It’s pretty clear that even before Michael’s undead appearance, Jordan’s life was in disarray, and her friends don’t seem to be much more stable. Marrone paints a compelling picture of Jordan’s further spiral into darkness and depression. As dark as it is, Uninvited has a surprising ending.   Recommended for those looking for a slightly different take on the young adult vampire book.

Contains: Drinking, drug use, references to sex, violence



Marked: House of Night Book 1 by P.C. and Kristen Cast

St. Martin's Griffin, 2007

ISBN: 0312360266

Available: New


        In a world where vampires and humans coexist, Zoey Redbird has been marked- identified as a potential vampire- and must go to The House of Night, a vampire school where she will either become a vampire or die. After Zoey is marked, she also discovers that Nyx, the vampire goddess, has a special purpose for her.   At school, Zoey makes new friends and develops a crush on the school hunk. She also finds herself at odds with Aphrodite, who heads the exclusive club Daughters of Darkness. Marked has a likable main character and decent plot speed. It is a good read, and, although contrived in places, includes some convincing storytelling. Marked is the first book in a series, and happily for this reader avoids the painful cliffhanger endings often found in series books, while still leaving enough loose ends to hook the reader.  A second title, Betrayed, is already in print.  Recommended for school and public libraries.

Contains: Language, passages of sexual implications, supernatural references.







Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Little, Brown & Company, 2007

ISBN: 0316160202

Available: New


    I love Stephenie Meyer, and spent much of the summer looking forward to the release of Eclipse.  That said, I’m not quite sure what to think, now that I’m done. While this story contains an ever-escalating killing spree in Seattle, some fascinating vampiric history, and the back stories of several characters, the main focus, as always, is on Bella and Edward and what will happen next in their relationship.  As in New

Moon, Meyer uses a literary classic to reflect Edward and Bella’s relationship.  In this case, the story is Wuthering Heights.   While I admire any attempt to put a postive spin on Heathcliff and Catherine’s toxic love story, Wuthering Heights is a story of obsession, manipulation, and

cruelty to others, all in the name of a love no one is willing to actually do anything about. I wonder now if Meyer is cautioning her audience to stop cheering on the relationship between Edward and Bella so whole-heartedly. Eclipse was promoted as the final volume in the series, but now it appears that there will be a fourth book, which seems like a mistake on someone’s part. If anything is making me curious about book number four, it’s this: am I supposed to be rooting for this couple, or am I supposed to be thinking, “You know what, Bella?  This is unhealthy and you’re only seventeen.”  It’s an interesting question, but I honestly can’t tell where I am supposed to stand, in Ms. Meyer’s mind, on this relationship. Recommended to fans of the series.  For new readers, start back with Twilight and see what you think.

Contains: N/A

Review by Havoc


Glass Houses:  The Morganville Vampires, book one, by Rachel Caine

Jam Books, 2006

ISBN: 0451219945

Available: New

    Glass Houses, the first in what looks like will be a four book series for young adults, is the story of Claire Danvers, an academically gifted young lady who, unfortunately for her, winds up going to college in a town populated by vampires and their human food source.   When Claire runs afoul of the big woman on campus, she has no choice but to move out of her dorm and into Glass House.   Once there, she learns the reality of life in Morganville, where vampires rule the night and the only humans safe from them are those who have sworn their loyalty.  Claire’s new roommates live in a no-man zone, living and working in town but refusing the protection of the vampires.    This book is a refreshing change from the more romantic view of vampires that has become popular lately. You really don’t want to date these guys.  Claire makes for an interesting hero, and I love the fact that so much of the action occurs because Claire refuses to miss class for any extended period of time.   Book two in the series, Dead Girls Dance, is already out and just as much fun, and the later books promise to be just as good.  Recommended to anyone who enjoys both young adult literature and vampires.

Contains: N/A

Review by Havoc




Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Hyperion, 2007

ISBN: 0786838930

Available: New


    The sequel to Blue Bloods, Masquerade is the continuing tale of Schuyler Van Alen, a Blue Blood without a past. Blue Bloods are fallen angels transformed into vampires who are reincarnated with memories of their past lives, attempting to redeem themselves during their time on earth.  In this installment, Schuyler and her best friend Oliver go to Venice to ask her grandfather for help in dealing with the Silverbloods, creatures preying on the Blue Bloods.  In the meantime, a mysterious new boy with a knack for creating trouble has arrived at school. Masquerade also continues the development of the love triangle between Schuyler, Jack and Mimi Force.  The Blue Bloods series is better written than the Vampire Beach books, with a stronger plot and better character development.  However, Masquerade suffers from a flaw common to series books: a maddening,  cliffhanger ending that prevents the book from standing on its own, and will leave readers frustrated until a sequel comes out. Recommended for public library young adult collections. Contains: vampire violence, implied incest.




High School Bites by Liza Conrad

Penguin Group, 2006

ISBN: 0451217527

Available: New


    In High School Bites, Liza Conrad breathes a little fresh air into the growing subgenre of “chick-lit with fangs.”  The bones of the story aren’t original- teenage girl with friends slightly outside the norm discovers she’s a vampire slayer, and a master vampire, with unimaginative minions, is out to get her- the plot and character motivations are all relatively predictable. But Conrad does something unusual- she “outs” her heroine, Lucy. In addition to her friends and teachers, her father and uncle not only know her “secret” but cheer her on.  A modern slayer, Lucy has moved on past wooden stakes- now she’s armed with concentrated garlic and vampire-repelling perfume. On top of it all, everyone seems to be related to a character from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula- even the cat! Two things separate this book from the crowd. First, Conrad’s narrator is an average teenager who simply accepts the bizarre as perfectly normal, so she’s a much more accessible character than the outsider characters typical in this subgenre. Second, the book is laugh-out-loud funny. Readers willing to suspend disbelief will find an enjoyable tale in this quick and witty book. Note: Liza Conrad is a pseudonym for Erica Orloff, who also writes paranormal romance. High School Bites is recommended for high school library media centers and general YA collections in public libraries. Contains: kissing and necking, dog fighting, some violence.

Review by Francesca the Librarian



Vampire Beach: Rituals by Alex Duval

Simon Pulse, 2007

ISBN: 1416911685

Available:  New


    The third in the Vampire Beach series, Rituals continues the story of  Jason Freeman, a human immersed in the vampire community at his high school in Malibu.  In this book Jason becomes a target when he is mistaken for a vampire by a vampire hunter out to reduce Malibu’s teen vampire population.  Jason must find out who the hunter is before he or those closest to him die.  To make things more complicated, Jason is involved in a romantic triangle with vampires Sienna and Brad.    For those who enjoyed the first two Vampire Beach books the third won’t disappoint, but readers expecting great literature are in for a letdown.  In a sense the Vampire Beach series is more or less “vampire lite,” and has as much the feel of teen romance as it does vampiric action.

Contains: Violence, murder



Good Ghouls Do by Julie Kenner

Penguin Group, Sept 2007

ISBN: 0425217035

Available: New


    Good Ghouls Do continues the story of Elizabeth(Beth) Frasier, high school student turned vampire.  In Good Ghouls Do, Beth’s unlife gets even more complicated as she continues to search for the vampire master that made her while entangled in a romantic triangle with vampire killer Kevin and her new boyfriend Clayton. Good Ghouls Do is a worthy sequel to The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even and is an engaging read that is sure to please. Kenner plays up the absurdity and chaos of Beth’s unlife as she deals with both the problems of a normal high school student and the logistical issues of being a vampire.  This is a fun book with a good mix of action, romance, and humor. The end of the book makes it clear that fans of Beth’s journey can look forward to her continued adventures.   Recommended for public and high school libraries.  Contains: references to sex, some violence



The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even by Julie Kenner
Berkley Trade, 2007
ISBN: 0425213919
Available: New
    Elizabeth Frasier is on track to graduate as school valedictorian, is the editor of the school newspaper, and has already picked out her dream college. All is going according to plan until she encounters the school heartthrob, star football player Stephen Wills. Stephen turns out to be a vampire and promptly turns Elizabeth into one as well. Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down as her hopes and dreams are lost, and she has to deal with the problems of undead life.  With her best friend Jenny, Elizabeth plans to extract revenge on Stephen and tries to find a way to rejoin the living . The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even is an enjoyable, light read that doesn't take itself too seriously.  It is a well-written book that contains both action and mild romance, as well as a healthy dose of humor.  It's easy to get caught up in Kenner's writing. The book is  lighter in tone than many teen vampire themed books with female protagonists , but fans of the genre should appreciate the break, and readers of teen chick lit who don't normally read vampire fiction will still enjoy The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even .  The only flaw is that Kenner does not provide a satisfying resolution at the end, so the book can't really be said to stand alone. The ending is clearly written to set up for the sequel as it is clearly set up for a sequel.  Still, The Good Ghoul's Guide to Getting Even is a fun, fast, and appealing read, and is definitely worth a look.  A sequel is due to be released in September 2007. Recommended for public and high school libraries. Contains: some violence, teenage drinking.



Bloodline by Kate Cary

Razorbill, 2005

ISBN: 1595140123

Available: New and Used

    Set in World War I, Bloodline tells the tale of the descendants of the the characters from Bram Stoker's Dracula.  The story follows John Shaw, a British soldier fighting under the mysterious Captain Quincy Harker. Sent home after he is wounded, Nursed back to health by the strong-willed Mary Seward, John finds that Harker has followed him and is staying with his sister Lily. Harker and Lily elope and flee to Harker's home in Transylvania, and John and Mary, who have discovered that Harker is a vampire, follow after the lovers.  Narrated through the use of letters and journal entries,   Bloodline is a n original, suspenseful, and well-written vampire book that mixes a number of different genres, and may appeal to readers of military fiction, romance, and mystery. This title will probably appeal to older teens and adults. Unfortunately, the book is flawed by an unsatisfying ending, that, while it sets up the next installment in the series, leaves the reader feeling cheated by what is otherwise is an engaging and entertaining read.  Bloodline is followed by Bloodline: Reckoning.  Recommended for public and high school libraries. Contains: suicide, graphic violence,



Cirque Du Freak #1 A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan  

HarperCollins, 2000

ISBN: 0316605107

Available: New

    Author Darren Shan narrates in first person the story of his entering a nightmare world where evil sometimes wins.   When one of Darren's school friends finds a flyer for Cirque Du Freak, an illegal freak show, the two boys decide to go.  When they arrive, they see amazing freaks of nature, including  Madam Octa, a deadly giant spider.  Darren's friend, Steve, identifies  the spider's owner, Mr. Crepsley, as a real-life vampire.   After the show Steve tries to convince Mr. Crepsley to make him a vampire, but Mr. Crepsley turns him down.   Darren, who loves spiders, is obsessed with Madam Octa,  and  steals her from the vampire.  A freak accident causes Darren to make a deal with the vampire that will alter his life.  Although some of the dialogue doesn't ring true, and Darren's decisions are unbelievably bad,  Shan still captures the reader's imagniation with vivid descriptions, fast-paced action, and edge-of-the-seat suspense.  This makes the book an easy read and a good choice to snag reluctant readers. A Living Nightmare is the first title in this very popular series for teens aimed for ages 10-13. Recommended for middle school library media centers and/or public libraries.  Contains: Violence.

The series consists of 12 books:

Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare

The Vampire's Assistant

Tunnels of Blood
Vampire Mountain

Trials of Death

The Vampire Prince
Hunters of the Dusk

Allies of the Night

Killers of the Dawn
The Lake of Souls

Lord of the Shadows

Sons of Destiny




Thicker than Water by Carla Jablonski

Razorbill, February 16, 2006

ISBN: 1595140239

Available: New

    Seventeen year old Kia feels powerless.  Her mother is dying of cancer and she is living with her father who is uninvolved with her life and often absent.  Her friends have problems of their own and can’t provide the support she needs, and she is cutting herself to release the pain.  Introduced to a world of goth night clubs that cater to the “vampire” community,  she meets and falls for a mysterious DJ named Damon.  Kia pursues Damon through the vampire scene, believing that he may be an actual vampire with the potential to save her mother. Readers of Thicker than Water may recognize familiar themes: the isolated protagonist of Annette Curtis Klause’s Silver Kiss also hopes for a vampiric cure for her dying mother, and Pete Hautman’s Sweetblood also introduces a self-destructive teen who develops a relationship with a person who may or may not be a vampire. However, the book is much more graphic than either of these and very emotionally intense, Jablonski throws so much pain and isolation in Kia’s path that the reader almost gets a sense that the author was in a contest to create a character who was even more disturbed and isolated than protagonists in other titles in this genre.  This intensity makes the end of the story feel a little too pat. Yet, her writing is powerful enough to keep the reader up well past the witching hour. Contains: self-mutilation, underage drinking, mentions of Wicca, mild kissing.




Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Candlewick Press, 2007
ISBN: 0763627917
Available: Pre-Order (To be released February,2007)
    Tantalize introduces us to Quincie Morris a teen who has inherited her family’s Italian restaurant after her parents died in a car accident. When competition from other Italian restaurants forces her to close the doors, Quincie and her uncle plan to reopen the restaurant with a vampire theme. When her head chef is murdered shortly before the grand opening, Quincie’s uncle hires a replacement and she attempts to turn him into a master vampire chef. Meanwhile, Quincie must also deal with her unrequited feelings for her closest friend, a hybrid werewolf, who must make a decision that will affect both of them deeply. The story really takes off at the restaurant’s opening, as supernatural forces collide. Tantalize is an incredibly engaging and engrossing story that sucks the reader in. Filled with adventure, humor, vividly described meals, and a romance angle, the book has something for everyone. While there are plenty of books with both vampires and werewolves out there, Tantalize is imaginative enough that it may surprise even some of the more tenured YA vampire-werewolf readers. The only speed bump in a good fun read is the ending, as the actions of some characters seem unlikely given what has gone before. While the story certainly stands on its own merits, it is clear that the author has left herself room to do more.  Contains: violence, murder, teen drinking, kidnapping.

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
Razorbill, 2006
ISBN: 159514062X
Available: New
    The Last Days, a sequel to Peeps, chronicles the forming of a music group at a time when the giant worms from the first book begin to surface and uncontrolled vampiric peeps are increasing in number. The story is told using multiple first person viewpoints, each from one of the five members of the band. These include Moz, the lead guitarist: Zahler, his best friend and the reluctant bassist: Minerva, the lead singer, who has been infected by the vampiric parasite but is keeping it under control: Pearl, the keyboardist and all-around music genius: and Alana Ray, a talented drummer who has visions/hallucinations when the band plays. It is an interesting way of telling the story, but the fragmented narrative makes it difficult for the reader to understand the connections to and romantic entanglements of the members of the group, slowing the pacing of the story. The band’s relevance to the war between the worms and the vampires is not revealed until late in the book. Some sequels can stand alone, but this is not the case with The Last Days. The pacing and narrative structure, however, are so different from the first book that it will be difficult for the reader to make a smooth transition. The The pacing speeds up in the second half of the book and falls more in line with Peeps, but this sequel just doesn’t pack the same punch. Still, fans of Peeps will want to give it a read. Contains: nothing objectionable


The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
Magic Carpet Books, 1982(reprint 1998 and to be reprinted in April, 2007)
ISBN: 0152017682
Available: Used
    The Darkangel is a fascinating mixture of fantasy and horror. In this book, Meredith Ann Pierce introduces us to Aeriel, a servant to Eoduin, daughter of the head of Aeriel’s village. One day as Aeriel and Eoduin go out to collect hornflower sap for a wedding in the village, a vampire comes and kidnaps Eoduin, intending her to be his wife for that year. Aeriel tries to hunt the vampire down to save Eoduin but is also captured by the vampire and becomes a servant for his “twelve plus one” wives. Aeriel is unable to determine which of the wives is Eoduin, because once the vampire catches a girl to be his wife, he drains her blood, captures her soul and tears out her heart, leaving only a wraith behind. Aeriel has one year to find a way to stop the vampire and save Eoduin before the vampire needs to collect his fourteenth bride. As the tale moves along and we see Aeriel mature from a clumsy, shy, servant girl to a confident woman. Unfortunately, Pierce undermines Aeriel’s character by having her fall in love with the vampire, a cruel, vicious, bloodsucking creature with no redeeming value other than physical beauty. Pierce’s book is a fine choice for those who can suspend their disbelief for Aeriel’s romantic feelings and who are looking for fantasy mixed with a dose of vampiric horror. The Darkangel is the first book in a trilogy and is followed by A Gathering of Gargoyles and The Pearl of the Soul of the World. Contains: cruelty to animals, poisoning, kidnapping, and violent assault.

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening Vol 1 by L. J. Smith

Eos - Reissue ed, March, 1999
ISBN: 0061020001

Available: New and Used

    Vampire Diaries follows Elena, a beautiful and popular high school student who resides in the sleepy little town of Fell's Church.   When Stefan, a tall, dark, and handsome vampire seeking a peaceful existence, comes to town posing as a high school student, he immediately becomes the focus of Elena's attentions.  However, following Stefan is his brother the powerfu,l vile, vampire Damon.  Suddenly people start dying in Fell's Church.   It really seems that this first installment of the series is merely to introduce you to the various characters and through flashbacks give the history of the conflict between Stefan and Damon.   The Elena character is a little flat and one has a hard time really caring about the "queen bee" of the school getting the vampiric guy she likes. The book really doesn't have anything of a satisfying conclusion, and the reader is forced to go to  The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle Vol 2 for the "to be continued" story.    There really isn't a feeling of anything new, but The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening will have many familiar elements for readers seeking a popular teen vampire book.




Vampire Beach: Initiation by Alex Duval

Simon Pulse, 2006

ISBN: 1416911677

Available: New

    Jason Freeman is just getting used to living in Malibu, where the super-rich and beautiful are also vampires, when his friend Tyler from Michigan comes to town.  Jason notices that Tyler is acting strange and has various bruises, and suspects Tyler might be back using drugs. At the same time, Jason also has to deal with his mixed feelings toward Sienna, the ultra-beautiful vampiress who is the "it" girl at school and happens to be dating Jason's vampiric friend Brad.   Vampire Beach: Initiation feels like it comes right out of a prime time teen drama TV show.  Unfortunately, while Duval's take on things can be very enjoyable, this particular book feels unfinished.  Oddly, given the title, no initiation actually occurs in the book, While the vampire teens do go off to an unknown event that could potentially lead us in that direction, the story dead ends. It seems like Duval started to develop a subplot involving the vampire community and then suddenly forgot about it. Contains: 




Vampire Beach: Bloodlust by Alex Duval

Simon Pulse, May, 2006
ISBN: 1416911669

Available: New

    In Bloodlust, teen Jason Freeman and his family move to an exclusive neighborhood, DeVere Heights, in Malibu. When Jason goes to school he finds there are two separate crowds; the rich and powerful DeVere Heights crowd and everyone else.  The families living in DeVere Heights , of course, are vampires.  As in  Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz,  the vampires are presented as a benign group whose members require human blood but do not kill their victims, and even run a charitable and cultural organizations.  When one of Jason's classmates is murdered by a vampire, Jason tries to uncover who is responsible.  Interestingly, Jason differs from the "outsider" protagonists in many other teen vampire books because he fits in easily and well  at his new school. Although the book is set up for a sequel, Bloodlust, unlike Blue Bloods, can stand alone.   Readers who enjoyed Blue Bloods may also enjoy Bloodlust. Contains: teen drinking and scenes of sexuality.


Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Hyperion, May, 2006
ISBN: 0786838922

Available: New

    Blue Bloods follows the tale of Schuyler and her friend Oliver, students at the  Duchesne School, a prestigious private school attended by the sons and daughters of the most wealthy and influential families.   The murder of a student leads Schuyler to uncover the dark secret of the students of Duchesne and their families. Blue Bloods is an entertaining and creative variation on the modern vampire tale, with a romantic subplot.  The ending is flawed, as the story truly doesn't end at all, setting up a sequel book.   It  is the equivalent of the to be continued at the season finale of your favorite TV show. Contains: violence



Sweetblood by Pete Hautman

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, June, 2003
ISBN: 0689850484

Available: New and Used

    Lucy was diagnosed with diabetes as a child and is dependent on insulin to keep her condition in check.  Lucy has always had an interest in vampires and spends her time on vampire message boards looking to talk with the mysterious person whose username is Draco.   When Lucy writes a paper  for school linking the origins of the vampire myth to diabetes, she quickly finds her life spiraling out of control, with her teachers and parents worried about her grip on reality.  While an incredibly well written book and a great story, vampires are more of a theme than a presence.  I would definitely recommend the book, but those looking for  more vampire action I would recommend looking at other titles. Contains:  predatory stalking and teenage drinking.


New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Megan Tingley,  2006
ISBN: 0316160199

Available: New and Used
    This eagerly awaited sequel to Twilight begins with Bella having a nightmare about getting older. Sure, it's only the eve of her 18th birthday, but Edward, her vampiric soulmate, will never look any older than 17 and he's still refusing to change her. Despite Bella's hope that everyone will ignore her birthday, Edward's family winds up throwing her a party that changes everything in Bella's life, and not in a way that she wanted.

    Stephenie Meyer has fun using Romeo and Juliet as a ongoing theme for this novel, beginning with Edward dismissively saying that Romeo did everything wrong and ending with some near-deadly irony. As a fan of novels that are willing to admit that they are borrowing shamelessly from the classics, I loved seeing Bella and Edward's relationship become trapped in a plot written centuries ago. Meyer also does an excellent job of showing the possible costs for a love as obsessive as Bella and Edward's. I also enjoyed seeing Jacob, almost a bit character in Twilight, really come into his own in this novel as a throwaway conversation between Bella and Jacob in the first book becomes a major part of the plot in the second. If you enjoyed Twilight, you'll be happy to return to this world. This was one of those books I couldn't bring myself to put down. It ends on something of a cliffhanger, so I will be looking forward for a third book in the series. Entry by Havoc


Vampire High by Douglas Rees

Laurel Leaf, August, 2005
ISBN: 044023834X

Available: New and Used
    Flunking out of school leaves Cody one option: enrolling at Vlad Dracul Magnet School. He is admitted in spite of his poor grades when he agrees to join the school’s water polo team, which must compete in order for the school to achieve accreditation and remain open (unfortunately, vampires and water don’t mix). He becomes friends with Justin, a vampire student, who explains that as long as Cody stays on the team he is guaranteed A’s. Cody takes the school’s attitude as a challenge and starts working hard in his classes, to the surprise and annoyance of the principal and students. Ileana, a vampire princess and friend of Justin’s, extends her protection to Cody, and they also become friendly. When half the water polo team is expelled, Cody has to find replacements fast so the school will retain its accreditation. Cody encourages Justin to try swimming and Justin turns out to be a natural- and a few other vampire students appear to have the same abilities! The water polo team gets its replacements and the school stays open. Cody’s friendship with Justin leads to the beginnings of a romance with Ileana, with the original Count’s approval. Vampire High is more entertaining than it is horrifying, but readers looking for smiles instead of shudders will be very satisfied. Contains: limited blood drinking, bullying and mild violence, and teen kissing.


Thirsty by M.T. Anderson

Candlewick; Reprint edition,August, 2003
ISBN: 0763620149

Available: New and Used

    Chris has real problems. He has parted ways with his best friend, his parents fight all the time, he doesn't have the nerve to talk to Rebecca, the girl he likes, and he is turning into a vampire. In Chris's world vampires and other supernatural creatures are a scourge of society and are hunted down and killed.  As he turns, Chris finds  that he has a greater thirst for human blood and notices that his reflection in the mirror is disappearing. Chris meets Chet, who claims to be a representative of the Forces of Light. Chet offers to cure Chris of his vampirism if he can first prevent a Vampire God from escaping his prison dimension and returning to Earth.  Anderson has approached the teen vampire book from a different angle and has come up with a great story.  He has departed from the vampire as the attractive and sometimes romantic creature and has turned vampirism into a curse that threatens to destroy Chris.   There are some classic moments in the book such as an invitation for Chris to join a group of vampires for drinks or the letter from vampiress Lolli who encourages Chris to join the world of the vampires.   While Chris does have a yearning for Rebecca, this vampire story really doesn't have the romance angles that others do and the story does not suffer for it.  Contains violence and a little gore.



Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Delacorte Books, May, 2002 
ISBN: 0385327943.

Available: New and Used

   The fourth installment in Atwater-Rhodes' series introduces two vampire hunters from a group called Crimson. Our heroine, Turquoise Drakaour, and her rival, Raven, are hired to assassinate Jeshikah, a vampiress who has created a place called Midnight, where human beings are enslaved and broken for the use of vampires.  Once a young girl captured by the vampires, Turquoise must deal with her tormented past and face her old vampire master in order to complete her mission.  Although this book follows the general formula that Atwater-Rhodes has used in her other books, its descriptions of abusive behavior toward the main character give it a darker tone.  This difference makes it hard to reconcile the story with the universe she has created, so it is more difficult to escape into the world of the book. Fans of Atwater-Rhodes will probably enjoy this title, but it is not recommended as an introduction to her books.  Other books in the series include In the Forests of the Night, Shattered Mirror, and Demon in My View.   Contains: descriptions of physical and psychological abuse.



In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Laurel Leaf, May, 2000
ISBN: 0440228166

Available: New and Used

    In the Forests of the Night is the first in a series of books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She introduces us to the vampiress Riskisa, a 300 year old vampire who finds herself in the territory of a rival vampire, Aubrey, who is responsible for killing her family.  The book is divided up between the time, 300 years ago, when Risksia is first turned into a vampire, and the present day where she must fight Aubrey. When I first started to review young adult horror, author Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's name came up as a must read author for teens.  Much has been made of the fact that she was 14 when she wrote  In the Forests of the Night.  I can see why her books appeal to teen readers, especially reluctant readers. The action moves quickly and the writing style is easy to follow. Adult readers may also enjoy Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' books.  They are quick and addictive little reads, leaving you ready for more.  A core title for young adult collection.  Sequels include Shattered Mirror and Demon In My View. Contains: vampire violence, bloodletting.


Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Laurel Leaf, 2003
ISBN: 0440229405

Available: New and Used.

    Another book in Atwater-Rhodes' world of vampires and witches. This time around the story is about teen vampire hunter Sarah Vida who starts off believing all vampires should be destroyed.   However, when two vampires, Nissa and Christopher, arrive at her school, she finds herself befriending them. She discovers that vampires are more than the simple killing machines her in which her mother has raised her to believe.   An underlying story involves Sarah's hunt for one of the most notorious vampires around, Nikolas.  Another solid entry for the readers of vampire fiction, Atwater-Rhodes is a gifted story teller and doesn't disappoint with this book.  Another core book for the vampire collection. Contains: Violence and blood sucking and letting,


Demon In My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Delacorte Press,2000

ISBN: 038532720X

Available: New and Used .

    Demon in My View is set in a world developed by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes where vampires exist and prey upon humans and are hunted by witches.  In this installment we are introduced to Jessica, a teen who is a social outcast, who has written a popular book about vampires and witches under a pen name.  After the book is published two new students appear at her school, Caryn, who seems to go out of her way to befriend Jessica, and Alex, a teen who resembles the villainous vampire in her book.  Demon In My View is a well written book that will appeal to those who like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer books. This book could have just as easily ended up in the horror romance category but the vampires in this series are more predatory creature.   I would recommend this book for those looking for additional vampire fiction. A core book in young adult vampire horror. Contains: Violent fight sequence, blood sucking.


Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde  

 Magic Carpet Books, September, 2002
ISBN: 0152166696

Available: New and Used

    Companions of the Night is about 16 year old Kerry, who sneaks out of the house late one night to retrieve her little brother's stuffed koala and finds herself in the middle of an altercation between a group of vampire hunters and Ethan, a vampire. Kerry helps Ethan escape and ends up on a terrorizing adventure.  This book has been placed in the horror romance category by many other reviewers but when I read it I didn't find it to be romantic.  The primary emotions that the reader gets from Kerry in this book when she is with Ethan are  fear, confusion, and frustration.   When I mention fear, it is more of a fear of is he going to kill me, not does he like me. All in all this is a great vampire book. Just don't expect a lot of romance. The book appears on many recommended reading lists, such as the ALA Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and ABA's Pick of the List.  Contains:  Murderous threats, arson, kidnapping, and some violence.


Peeps by Scott Westerfield

Razorbill, August 25, 2005
ISBN: 159514031X

Available: New and Used

    Peeps is a fantastic fun story. Cal, a Texan new to New York, finds that he has been turned into a carrier of a "vampire" parasite, transmitted through sexual activity, after a one night stand.  Cal has to track down all of his former girlfriends and the girl who had infected him, while dealing with his feelings for Lace, a journalism student that he meets during his search.  Through his work with the mysterious Night Watch and his own explorations, he quickly finds that there is more behind the spread of the vampire parasite than he expected. Westerfield breaks up the story with descriptions of real life parasites, making this an ideal read for science lovers.    Note: Cal is often distracted by sexual desires, and he mentions how horny he is due to his parasite. Please realize that there is mature subject matter, although there are no graphic sexual descriptions in the book.   Recommended for library teen horror collections.  Peeps appeared in an Unshleved Book Club strip which can be seen here.


Dangerous Girls by R.L. Stine

HarperCollins, August, 2003
ISBN: 0060530804

Available: New and Used

    Destiny and Livvy Weller return from the summer counselor jobs at Camp Blue Moon only to suffer an incredible thirst for blood and an aversion to sunlight.   They believe that they are in the process of turning into vampires but only Destiny seems interested in finding an answer and a cure.  Mean while the vampire that bit them both has other plans for Destiny and there is a band of vampire hunters in town as well.  Followed by Dangerous Girls #2:Taste of Night


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Megan Tingley, October  2005
ISBN: 0316160172

Available: New and Used

     Twilight one of the best books out last year. Bella is the too-old-for-her-years teenager who moves to her father's rainy Washington town when her mom gets remarried. Once there, she winds up befriending Edward a mysterious student in her biology class. Edward misses lots of school, and occasionally saves Bella from out-of-control cars. The plot here is not whether or not Edward is a vampire-- you're clear on that from very early on. The plot involves what happens when strange vampires intrude on Edward's family's territory and the lengths that Edward's family will go to protect the human in their midst. It's a stunningly beautiful read, poetic and romantic without once becoming graphic or overt.  Really, this is a must read. Entry by Havoc.


Vampire Kisses 2: Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

Katherine Tegen Books, July, 2005
ISBN: 0060776226

    The continuation of the story of goth girl Raven, who finally finds vampire love in Alexander at the end of Vampire Kisses the first book only to have him disappear. In Vampire Kisses 2: Kissing Coffins the saga continues as Raven leaves Dullsville in search for Alexander, only to run into Jagger, another vampire whose past is intertwined with Alexander.  If you enjoyed Vampire Kisses you will enjoy the continuing story of vampire wannabe Raven and the love of her life, Alexander.  Like Vampire Kisses, this book is minimal in its scariness and tends to focus more on romantic connection between Raven and Alexander with a little bit more action than the first book.   Contains: simple teen kissing.


Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

HarperTrophy, reprint ed, August, 2005 
ISBN: 0060093366

Pages: 272

    In this little bit of vampire romance, we follow the story of Raven, a goth girl who desires nothing more than to be a vampire.  She is stuck in a small town that she refers to as Dullsville, where she is the outcast at school and subject to being harassed by Trevor, a school bully.  Everything changes when a new family moves into town, and Alexander arrives. Alexander is prone to wearing black, is active mostly at night, and  is rumored to be a vampire.  This book is included on the list for the vampire aspect: there is no horror or gore in the book, so for those looking for bloodletting will be disappointed.  Followed by Vampire Kisses 2: Kissing Coffins and Vampire Kisses 3: Vampireville.  Contains: teen kissing.





Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause

Laurel Leaf, reprint ed. August, 1992
ISBN: 0440213460

    Zoe is a 17 year old girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders.  Her mother is dying of cancer, her father is distant and often away, and her best friend Lorraine is moving away.  One night, Zoe meets a mysterious young man named Simon in the park. Simon turns out to be a vampire with a tortured past, who is trying to stop his brother Christopher, who is murdering young women.   Zoe and Simon connect and find in each other someone with whom they can share their pain.   Zoe  and Simon are crafted as very sympathetic characters. The reader really can connect with Zoe, and it is obvious that Simon becomes a much needed life line. While there is a particularly vivid description of Christopher killing a young lady, the story is more focused on Zoe and Simon's relationship.  I would recommend this title for those looking for teen vampire romance. Contains: Violence


London, 1850 (Vampire Plagues I) by Sebastian Rooke

Publisher: Scholastic Inc., 2005

ISBN: 0439633923

Available: New and Used

London, 1850 is a historical vampire adventure tale of resourceful kids battling traditional bad guy vampires. On an expedition to Mayan ruins, Ben Cole and his father accidentally release the ancient Mayan vampire bat god, Camazotz. Ben escapes on a boat heading back to London and is followed by Camazotz and his vampire horde.  Upon reaching London, Ben runs into Jack Harkett, a wharf rat whose street savvy helps Ben escape.  Together, Jack, Ben, and Ben’s sister must find a way to stop Camaztoz before he unleashes his vampire horde on an unsuspecting London. London, 1850 is a good little horror adventure story with solid writing and a pacing that will keep kids turning the pages. This book is an excellent transitional title for middle schoolers moving on from the Goosebumps books to more advanced horror titles, and may also be enjoyed by readers of Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak books. London, 1850 is the first in a trilogy of books, to be followed by Paris, 1850 and Mexico, 1850. This book is appropriate for middle school collections and public library YA collections.

Contains: violence, murder, and vampire killings



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Vampire Fiction List for Young Adults

Below is a list of books with vampires. The books are from mass market publishers, independent/small press, and self publications. Most of these books have not been reviewed by me nor should be considered recommendations just options if you wanted to find another vampire book to read. Titles are arraigned alphabetically by title, author's last name, and author's first name.

  Arraigned alphabetically by title:
A Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
Bloodlust by Alex Duval
Blue Bloods by Melissa De la Cruz,
Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
Dangerous girls by R.L. Stein
Dangerous Girls II: The Taste of Night : a novel by R.L. Stein
High School Bites by Liza Conrad
In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
Initiation by Alex Duval
Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Peeps by Scott Westerfield
Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
Sweet-Blood by Pete Hautman
The Undead by Bill Meyers
Thirsty by M.T. Anderson
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Vampire Dreams by Tyche
Vampire High by Douglas Rees

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Titles arraigned alphabetically by authors last name:
Thirsty by Anderson , M.T.
A Demon in My View by Atwater Rhodes , Amelia
In the Forests of the Night by Atwater Rhodes , Amelia
Midnight Predator by Atwater Rhodes , Amelia
Shattered Mirror by Atwater Rhodes , Amelia
High School Bites by Conrad , Liza
Blue Bloods by De la Cruz, , Melissa
Initiation by Duval , Alex
Bloodlust by Duval , Alex
Sweet-Blood by Hautman , Pete
Twilight by Meyer , Stephenie
New Moon by Meyer , Stephenie
The Undead by Meyers , Bill
Vampire High by Rees , Douglas
Dangerous girls : the taste of night : a novel by Stein , R.L.
Dangerous girls by Stein , R.L.
Companions of the Night by Vande Velde , Vivian
Peeps by Westerfield , Scott
Vampire Dreams by Tyche

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Titles arranged alphabetically by author's first name:
Initiation by Alex Duval
Bloodlust by Alex Duval
A Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
Midnight Predator by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
The Undead by Bill Meyers
Vampire High by Douglas Rees
High School Bites by Liza Conrad
Blue Bloods by Melissa De la Cruz,
Thirsty by M.T. Anderson
Sweet-Blood by Pete Hautman
Dangerous girls : the taste of night : a novel by R.L. Stein
Dangerous girls by R.L. Stein
Peeps by Scott Westerfield
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Vampire Dreams by Tyche
Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde



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