Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Drink, Slay, Love by Sara Beth Durst–I Can’t Believe I Liked the Whole Thing
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pearl looked like any 16 year old goth teenager. Maybe a little pale, but it went with the wardrobe. Most teenagers didn't come with a set of retractable fangs and a thirst for human blood. Pearl had both, and so did the rest of her family. After stopping for a quick bite (literally) at the local ice cream shop, Pearl is interrupted from her snack by a unicorn. Mmmm hmmm, you read it right, a unicorn. It stabs her right through the chest. The next thing Pearl knows is she wakes up in her home surrounded by her deadly family. Evidently vampire kin aren't big on affection and hugs. Pearl discovers that the unicorn has given her the power to walk in the sun. This should improve her hunting skills exponentially, and just in time for the feast thrown in honor of the vampire king. A high school full of unsuspecting humans should fill out the menu nicely.
For those who have followed me or this blog for any length of time, you know that YA is NOT my thing. I reviewed this book after requesting it in error, and was sincerely dreading it with every fiber in my being. That's why I'm so freaking surprised that I actually enjoyed it. Ms. Durst must have some magical power in her prose to be able to teach this old dog new tricks. I did not believe it could be done. Not only did I enjoy it, but I am recommending it. *gasp* That's right, it is a well written, entertaining, compelling piece of literature, with zero (yes, that's right) sexual content. Pearl has enough snark and darkness to make up for the lack. These are NOT your sparkly Twilight vamps. These are the soulless, arrogant, sadistic vamps you remember from childhood nightmares. Luckily for humanity, there are also sparkly were-unicorns. *snort*
Despite the fact that Drink, Slay, Love is geared towards a younger audience, it is a very DARK story in places. It is not all fashion tips and prom. I actually wavered back and forth about whether or not Pearl should survive the book. Don't get me wrong, I liked Pearl, but fair is fair. Imagine the Adam's Family without the humorous satire. This is Pearl's environment from birth, and she grows up with the knowledge that to fail means death or at least torturous punishment. Acceptance would be a foreign concept to her. There are some completely fun moments in the book, and it does have it's share of happy, happy, joy, joy. It was actually a very good balance, and I would love to check back in on Pearl and her cohorts in about 10 years and see what's occurred. This was a very good change of pace and a nice palate cleanser. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did.