Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Published by Hyperion Paperbacks on April 1, 2007
Series: Blue Bloods #1
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Young Adult
Length: 302 pages Source: Borders
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Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes to the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler's life changes dramatically. The death of a popular schoolmate haunts her in unexpected ways. And strangest of all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.
Once an outcast, Schuyler is thrust into Manhattan's most exclusive social circle. Its members are the powerful, the wealthy, and - as Schuyler soon discovers - the unhuman. They are Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires, and for centuries they've been invincible. Now something is preying on this elite group, and Schuyler wants to find out the truth. But is she the most vulnerable of them all?
I surprised myself by loving this book.
I find that the summary on the back of the book is a little misleading – Blue Bloods follows not only the story of Schuyler Van Allen, but also the stories of Bliss Llewellyn and Madeline Force (“Mimi”). There are enough cliches to make it familiar, but few enough so that the pieces of originality stood out well. At the beginning, I was afraid that De La Cruz was going to dive into intense descriptions of clothes (hey-lo upper class, teenage NYC!), but she only did so when was appropriate, and in the voice of the one character who would actually care about something like that – Mimi. There isn’t a single mention of a name-brand that Schuyler is wearing (excepting, of course, her modelling campaign, but her discomfort is clear the whole time).
The summary on the back of the book implies that this is a paranormal mystery, but the story itself seems to be more coming-of-age… except it’s not about growing up… it’s about becoming a vampire.
There were enough unique aspects in this book to make it feel fresh in a world that is torn between sparkly emo vampires (Meyer), and vicious, cunning vampires (Rice). She uses enough of the traditional aspects to remain true to the folklore, but explains away everything that doesn’t fit. Even if she doesn’t use aspects like garlic, etc., then I appreciate the fact she finds a justification for not using them. New aspects, such as the flashbacks and reincarnation? That’s just cool.
However, there are points that are a little cheesy – Gabriel and Michael, for starters. Also, Oliver felt too flat after revealing his secret, as though knowing that sucked his character dry for me, and that was a little disappointing.
This book is great for people who want to read a light vampire flick, who aren’t forcefully invented in “vampire” as the word is defined by another author, and as always with YA… people who can dissociate themselves from an adult mindset and recognize that the main characters may have souls as old as time, but their bodies and maturity level aren’t quite as old.
I will be picking up the next book in this series, and I hope it delivers.