Published: August 2010
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
# pages: 310
Copy provided by: Library
Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish. Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?
How to describe what I felt about this book? The first word that comes to mind is 'contradictory', but I think that 'conflicted' actually fits better. I'm really not sure at all whether I liked it or not.
I think I liked the story, I certainly finished it, and as readers of this blog are aware, I have no compunction in dropping a book if I'm not enjoying it. But, and it is a fairly big but, at the same time I didn't. See what I mean about conflicted? If I thought of Lenah as just a sheltered teen, the story was fairly believable. But as an almost 600 yr old vampire - forget it. There is no way that anyone with that much life experience - good or bad - would react the way Lenah did. The relationship between Lenah, the girl, and Justin, was quite enjoyable, but then something would be said that reminded me she was a vampire, and the whole thing fell apart. At least for me it did.
My favourite character was Tony - he was just perfect as the art geek who falls for Lenah and doesn't stand a chance - forever the best friend. Unfortunately, as soon as Lenah finds out Justin wants her, Tony takes a back seat. Justin was ok as the romantic male lead, but his easy acceptance of Lenah's declaration about being a serial killing vampire just didn't ring true - not for me anyway.
I really can't decide what it was that didn't work for me. I think it was a combination of things, but all in all the best I can say is, that for me, it was just OK. If anyone out there liked it, let me know. I'm curious to hear other opinions.