Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Drain You

Drain You
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal

I never thought it would be possible for me to find a vampire novel I didn't love, but it has happened. Drain You turned out to be like one of those people who sticks around and annoys you in the hopes that one day you'll strike up a lasting friendship. Eventually, I did enjoy Drain You, but it did require a lot of perseverance on my part. The second half of the book is entertaining and I couldn't put it down once I hit that moment, but I almost walked away from this one several times. 

My biggest complaint with this one is the main character, Quinlan Lacey. She drove me insane with her whining, selfish actions, insta-love, and dialog. I couldn't stand her. I didn't want to be around her and rooting for her to get a happy ending was not an option. I feel she is by far the weakest element of this book. Perhaps my dislike is due to the fact that I am so far removed from 17 at this point in my life - maybe she will appeal to younger readers. Sadly, there were some intriguing characters in this book who didn't annoy me that I would have much rather heard from instead of listening to Quinn. I hated the way she treated Morgan, her parents, and the Sheets family. She only cared about herself and what she wanted. It didn't matter how many people she had to hurt to get her way. She even puts people she supposedly loves in jeopardy on more than one occasion. Her fickle nature and self centered view of life were just too much for me. Also, I was grossed out by Quinn's wardrobe, lack of hygiene, and slovenly ways.

I was never able to lose myself in this story because the narrative felt choppy and disjointed. Bloom has a bare bones sort of writing style which works for some readers, but always leaves me feeling like the story is just scratching the surface. I like to be firmly placed in the setting and that was lacking for me with this one. I was either trying to get through pages of nothing but dialog or having to deal with one of Quinn's drama queen episodes. I was eventually able to tolerate these frustrations enough to enjoy the second part of the story. If vampires are your cup of tea, its worth wading through the beginning to get to the good stuff. In the second half of the book, I felt like the writing improved and Quinn (while still annoying) was a little easier to handle. I kept imagining her as an odd mixture of Ivy Sullivan (90210) and Bella Swan. Quinn does have her moments where good judgment wins out or she made me crack up. I just had to push through the million diet cokes she consumes and numerous bad decisions she makes to find those small gems.

So, what did I like about this book? Well, for starters, there is a little bit of a Lost Boys vibe going on. I loved that movie growing up; it was my introduction into the fanged ones and will always hold a special place in my heart. One of the major story elements in this one revolves around a group of vampires that reminded me of the coven from the film. Anything involving this portion of the plot was entertaining. It was the main reason I kept flipping the pages. I needed to know how all the drama would work out.

In addition, I grew up in the 90's so it was interesting reading a book that conjured memories from that decade. There was so much to love about the time period and it was nice to see that being channeled into a modern book for a new generation to enjoy. The back of the ARC mentioned that this might remind fans of my "So Called Life". I remember watching that show and being so engrossed in Angela's life. While Quinn did share a lot of Angela's traits, it didn't have the same effect. Again, I wonder if this is because I am in such a different place now. 

I also really enjoyed the dynamics of the Sheets family. Naomi, Whit, and James were all interesting characters. I think I would have liked the book more if it had been told from the perspective of one of these characters instead. I really liked Naomi and how she had no problem calling Quinn on her crap. These are the characters I cared about - they are the ones I who made this novel a good read. They are certainly worth your time.


One Last Gripe: The ending was unsatisfying and left so many unresolved issues.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Nirvana references

First Sentence: The canyons were hot at night, even with the desert winds whipping through the hills.

Favorite Character: Naomi

Least Favorite Character: Quinn



Every night I'd lie there in bed and look out at the hills behind our house, listening. I knew there'd be consequences.

Actions meant reactions. Sunrises meant sunsets. My fear was too permanent, lasting longer than eyeliner, something I wore every day and didn't wash off.

Quinlan Lacey's life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BFF Libby. There's also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed-out coworker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn's whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.

But with good comes bad and unfortunately, Quinn's new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. Now, to make things right, she has to do a lot of things wrong (breaking and entering, kidnapping, lying, you name it).

There's normal, and then there's paranormal, and neither are Quinlan's cup of Diet Coke. Staying sane, cool, in love, and alive isn't so easy breezy.

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