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What's the story?
Claire Danvers finds herself stuck in a small Texas college town attending classes until her parents decide she's mature enough (at 16) to move on to one of the bigger universities she is dying to attend. Funny enough, dying is on Claire's mind a lot these days as she discovers the small town of Morganville is full of vampires and plain old mean girls who are set on making her life miserable, at least as miserable as they can before they end it. She finds friendship and safety with her new roommates, but her presence puts them in danger, too. What power does she have over the horrors that run the town?
Is it any good?
Author Rachel Caine does a great job of creating a sympathetic hero out of quiet and meek Claire, and we fall in love with her roommates almost as fast as she does. The backdrop of the novel -- vampires that run a town and the rules they have set forth -- would be worrisome enough, but add mean girls who like destruction and have a taste for blood on their own, and readers will spend half their time wondering why Claire doesn't get out of this town the first chance she gets.
As the rules of the town are laid out and more mysteries are revealed, kids will find themselves wanting Claire to stay at least long enough to figure out all the secrets. This is a great book for reluctant readers and teens who can't get enough of the fantasy vampire/witch/wizard genres. It's no Twilight, but it's not half bad.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about vampires. Why are vampire stories so popular right now? What do you find appealing? Which stories most interest you: traditional stories, or ones that focus on teens and young adults?
How are relationships and friendships key to the story?
Michael is hiding a big secret; what is he afraid of? How does that affect his relationship with Eve and Shane?