Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Sure Shot: Melissa De La Cruz's Blue Blood Series

While many of our favorite YA series revolve around the "younged down" versions of classic paranormal characters: vampires, witches and weres....our prevalent theme this week seems to focus on the YA Vamps. So, to toss another hat in the ring for series that keeps you hanging on, try Melissa De La Cruz's Blue Bloods: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, The Van Alan Legacy and last month's latest release, Miguided Angel. One would expect the author of the Au Pairs and the Ashleys series to snag teen girl audiences with their high drama, fashion savvy negotiations in the world of boy-meets-girl. What one might not expect would be the appeal to those same teen's mothers.

The sheer number of vampire mythos in current popular fiction (young adult as well as adult) lends itself to dozens of creative options. Melissa De La Cruz, NY Times Bestselling author, takes the standard vampire tale and stands it on it's ear! Not satisfied with blood sucking fiends, she creates a world where vampires are actually the reincarnations of angels, specifically those who fell from grace with Lucifer. Repeating life after life, they continue with the same connections, pairings, allies, until their current incarnations - the wealthy New York teens attending the Duschene School and their "Blue Blood" parents. True "blue bloods" experience a transition phase during mid-adolescence when they suddenly crave raw meat, develop distinctive blue veining, become essentially born vampires. Their greatest enemies are Silver Bloods and one of their own turns out to be just such a creature!

The stories follow Schuyler Van Alan as she navigates the world of the wealthy and priviledged with her best friend Oliver, her crush Jack Force and his uber-popular queen bee sister, Mimi, Bliss and Dylan. Themes such as cliques, drinking and drugs, sex, mean-girls all play frequent and sometimes obvious roles. While some of the story lines read like Gossip Girl scripts, with their over played rich girl hating on poor girl, much of the concepts are fresh and original. Dialogue is snappy and enjoyable and the verbal witicisms shared between Schuyler and Oliver are clever. The mystery is credible and leaves the reader craving more information and feeling at the end of each book like they knew less than when they started! (I love that in a YA series, gets me so angsty and wound up I have been known to throw perfectly good books across the room in abject frustration!)

I highly recommend this innovative approach to the vampire line of YA books - it is well worth the time and emotional turmoil! I remain true tp the Blue Bloods and give this tasty little series (now on book five, Misguided Angel, just released this month) five Chocolate Dipped Strawberries - that's a big ole Yummmmm!
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