Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Drain You, by M. Beth Bloom


This is one of the titles I learned about through "bookbub," an online notification system for value priced E-books. I've had relatively mixed results with this service. Some of the books are good reads, others not really worth the 0-4 dollars you pay for them.

I'm happy to recommend that this title as a promising new young adult series. It is about vampires but I find the characters and their development very intriguing and something innovative within the genre. The main character, Quinn, comes from a family of privilege in the Los Angeles area and is working part time as a punk/Goth/grunge clerk in a video rental store. (An element which is likely to date this book, in a few years readers are not going to remember what video rental stores were.) It took me a little while to become accustomed to Quinn's voice, but once I developed some hypotheses about how to read,  I began to really appreciate her as a unique character.

Of course, Quinn falls for a vampire even though she has a very solid respectable young man who would like to be romantically involved with her. James, her vampire love interest, actually has a brother and sister with whom he lives. Set in the privileged, urban-punk/grunge milieu I can't really speak to the authenticity of the culture of that Bloom portrays. However, I can accept it as believable.  I do wish that parents were not portrayed as quite so neglectful.  Quinn's parents are preoccupied with their social events, although they are present and do seem to support and care for Quinn.  Other parents in the book seem to have gone missing.  James' parents are relatively famous anthropologists out on a "dig."

Bloom it is just beginning her career as a writer. As far as I can tell, this is her first published book. Although some have been critical about her character development, style, and plot development; I think that this will appeal to many young adult paranormal romance readers. She became relatively explicit about sexual encounters between Quinn and James. As a result, I cannot recommend this to all young adults (I would have to be selective and warn them about some brief "PG-16" scenes). However, even though the intercourse but is portrayed in some detail I don't believe it reaches unacceptable levels for mature adolescents. The parties that Quinn attends also include quite a bit of alcohol consumption and drug use is mentioned but not directly portrayed.

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