Monday, February 6, 2012

Bleeding Hearts Review

Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: December 20, 2011

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers

Most appropriate for ages: 12+

How I got it: For review through Netgalley
Other titles in series: Hearts of Stake, Blood Feud, Out for Blood

The Drakes and friends will be tested when an infestation of deadly vampires threatens Violet Hill. 

Lucy's cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult enough. The strict curfew that Lucy's parents enforce is the worst part. Something really dangerous couldn't possibly happen in this tiny town.  

But Christabel has noticed some mysterious happenings, and it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn't understand—one that seems deadly serious. Although she won't admit it, Christabel would love to be in on any secret with Connor Drake. But when she is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, Christabel must cause more and more trouble in Violet Hill, Lucy and Connor finally fill Christabel in on all the undead drama. Together, they must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.
I have really enjoyed all of the books in this series, so imagine my shock and disappointment when I found that Bleeding Hearts was my least favorite in the Drake Chronicles so far.

Immediately I disliked Christabel. She was--there's no other way to put it--pretentious. "Oh, I'm from the city, nothing scares me. And look, I wear combat boots AND I read Pride And Prejudice a lot. So obviusly I'm tough but also have a good heart and overall I'm just cooler than you."* It got really old really quick. And Connor was pretty cool (he gets bonus points for being a Firefly nerd) but I did not love him like I probably should've.

So as you can imagine, I was not a fan of that aspect of Bleeding Hearts. I would've much rather heard more about Solange and Lucy's story-line, because I found that one a lot more interesting and fresh.

It does not help that Harvey is kinda recycling the same story-line for each installment. Vampire boy meets human/vampire/hunter girl, they immediately hate each other but get the tingles for each other, make out, lovelovelove. I don't know why its repetition now starting to bother me after I've already read 3 books of it, but it did. Though I will say that Harvey broke the mold a little towards the end, and for that I was grateful.

But what was with the short story at the end? I was finally getting into this book, when it abruptly ended and switched to a short story about the parents. WTF? I'm not sure if that'll be in the finished copy of not, but for the record, I would've much rather had more about Solange than her parents.

There were things I loved about this book (Lucy's POV! Solange going through weird stuff! Vampire politics! Nicholas and Lucy sexytimes!) but there were also things that really irked me (see above) so I guess overall it was kinda so-so for me. I'll probably be checking the next book out in the library.

*She did not actually say this but SHE MIGHT AS WELL HAVE.

(Also, has their town always been Violet Hill? Like the song? How did I miss this?)

Plot: Fast paced, as always.
Characters: Christabel was probably my least favorite character in the series so far, and Connor was eh, but the rest were as fun as ever.
Writing: Decent enough.
Kid friendly? There was some swearing and mentions of heavy drinking (adult).
Striking up conversations with people instead of reading...mostly.
I'm very wishy-washy about this book. It had its fun and exciting moments, but also moments that made me groan and roll my eyes and talk to the person next to me instead of reading.

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