Saturday, July 21, 2012

Drain You

Drain You
M. Beth Bloom
Published by Harper Collins
Available July 24, 2012
400 pages
Available for pre-order on
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview.
4 / 5 cupcakes

I'll admit that I feel as if I've had it up to HERE with vampires and vampire stories. Oh, Stephenie Meyer, I do blame you, sister. And I'm sure I'll blame E. L. James when the inevitable rush of BDSM books comes my way.

So it was with no small amount of trepidation that I started reading this book. Yet before I knew it, I'd been sucked in to the story. GET IT? SUCKED IN? HAHAHAHA. Okay, maybe not. I'd love to say no pun intended, but I intended it.


Quinlan Lacey is on the cusp of her senior year of high school and fighting the malaise of her life: parents who give her way too much freedom, a boring job at a boring video rental store, a best friend who is too blonde and too rich and too equally bored, and a boy who loves her a little too much. She attempts to battle her dull sheen by dressing in quirky styles, whether donning a bikini top to go to work or plaid flannel accompanied by thick black eyeliner. Quinn needs something interesting to happen, otherwise she might just float away on a flotsam of boredom.

But meeting James Sheets may be more than what she wished for, if not more than what she needs. You see, James is a vampire, but he's a HOT vampire and Quinn falls in love with him.

Unfortunately, he is not the only vampire in town. Some of Quinn's high school classmates are members of that increasingly not exclusive club, and when her best friend Libby is preyed upon, Quinn decides to rescue her. Doing so, however, puts Quinn, James and James's siblings, Naomi and Whit, in a whole heap of trouble.

But Quinn can't help herself. She can't help that she loves James and not Morgan, her video store coworker who she can't help taking advantage of, even if she knows it's hurtful. She can't help that she loves James and not his brother Whit, who, like Morgan, is HUMAN, and therefore a better bet for long-term romance. She can't help that she alternately uses and enjoys the friendship of James's sister Naomi. She also can't help that she wants to rescue Libby, because that's what best friends do.
I waited for the fear to take hold and disfigure every sweet vision I had of James's face into something awful and evil. But the fear didn't flood my mind as much as the loneliness. I felt lonely for James, for Naomi, for Libby, for myself. Loving James was seriously not okay, and I knew it. His whole life - existence, whatever - wasn't real. My taste in guys had gone from lame to dystopian.
See, every time you start to hate Quinn and hate this book, M. Beth Bloom hooks you back in with lines like that. Just as Quinn can't resist James, even though she knows better (Morgan, Whit) is out there, you will not resist this book.

That isn't to say that it's good. It occasionally is repetitive - how many times is Quinn going to leave a note for her parents just before driving off in their Lexus - and not many of the characters are all that likable. Then there is the ending. I assume M. Beth Bloom is setting us up for a sequel, because there is no other explanation for how this book ends. Believe me when I tell you that you will scream in frustration.

Teen readers will probably enjoy this a great deal, for both its romance and its characters, whether vampire or human. While much of Quinn's dissatisfaction may seem off-putting to the grown-ups, it undoubtedly will hit a familiar vein (there I go again) with the teens.

As vampire books go, Drain You is not bad, but it takes work to read it. You need to push through the frustrating, monotonous parts, much like Quinn needs to with her life. It's worth it, if only to want to wring - if not bite - M. Beth Bloom's neck.

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