by Melissa de la Cruz
Summary: When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.
The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?
I found this book at the used bookstore where I work. The first page was intriguing and the summary certainly got my attention. The whole premise of this book sounds absolutely amazing and creative. Especially since I love new takes on vampires. Sadly, it didn’t deliver. After finishing, I felt torn. The story is so interesting that I want to read the next one, but I know it would be a waste of time and result in another 2 star rating. The writing isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t flow. This book ended up being a mixture of Gossip Girl and vampires, with more emphasis on the rich girls and their high society lives than the actual mythology or plot of anything vampire related.
The first page is an excerpt from the past. There are a few diary entries and excerpts regarding the Plymouth settlements that were interesting and got my attention. But I felt like I had to suffer through present day self absorbed social structures to get anywhere. The main character wasn’t bad, nor were most of her friends, but it was still difficult to read. The plot is actually pretty good, with lots of twists and turns and could have been well done. It just wasn’t. Certain events and reactions felt forced.
This book isn’t badly written, it just doesn’t deliver the way it could. There is far too much focus on the present day society and parties and snobbery and it felt like the author was more comfortable there than anywhere else, so all the other details and events fell just shy of the mark. I felt like this was more about how being a vampire added to the privileged lives of the characters and less focus was put on the (actually interesting) history. I can read and enjoy Gossip Girl, so the focus wasn’t necessarily the issue. Perhaps it was just the way the story unfolds. I just didn’t like it very much, though I still want to follow the story. I’m disappointed because a premise like this one has so much potential and I can’t believe how terribly it was delivered.
Bottom line: This is an extremely intriguing idea with a great plot that is only revealed after sifting through mindless, snobby, high society crap.
I may still continue the series, though. It really is an interesting idea and could end up being worth all the sifting. /Sigh.