I know this is escapist YA fantasy, but I had trouble with the premise right from the start.

Why would vampires–all of whom are at least a hundred years old and several of whom were older than teenagers when they became undead—why would they be hanging out at the high school of a small town? Why would the school administrators, the parents, the kids themselves allow this?

What would you think if a group of twenty-somethings—never mind vampires—started frequenting your child’s high school cafeteria?

Oh, but they’re nice vampires, they feed on wild animals. But they still could kill the kids.

So I found the premise kinky and weird from the start, like allowing old pedophiles to hang out at your high school.

Then there’s the heroine, who is passive, self-absorbed, and purposeless. Most teens I know are very clear about what they want to do in life or are urgently searching. I know I did as a teen. Bella has no clue.

She’s also a little mean in a creepy way. She won’t have anything to do with a boy who likes her because he has “a skin problem.” (She makes a big deal about her own clear skin.) She ridicules an older woman with long, gray hair smiling hopefully at her from the woman’s metaphysical bookstore. Then she claims to love books.

She defines most of her great love for Edward in terms of his “good looks.” Much has been made of the author’s repetition of the hero’s good looks and, I have to agree, the repetition is annoying.

Much has also been made of the author’s bad writing. I found the author’s writing pleasant, smooth, and engaging, sometimes quite wonderful. And she captures the course of a teenage love—the insecurity, the breathless waiting for the beloved to appear, the dazzling first kiss, the heroic gestures that feel like the most important thing in the world—very well.

Still, I would much rather give a teen the tough, resourceful Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games as a heroine than this vain, self-pitying, clueless girl.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!