Book: Blue Bloods
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Release date: May 1, 2006
Source: Borrowed from local library
Series: Blue Bloods #1
Summary: (from Goodreads) When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.
The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?
First impressions: I'm generally a fan of the alternating time perspective, and it worked really well here. Letters from a woman who came to America on the Mayflower are interspersed throughout the book, giving us clues about the mystery as the story progresses. Loved it! It felt spooky and different and gave the book a touch of old world classiness that mirrored the high society lives of the present time.
Lasting impressions: I thought the book was a giant success and am really glad I decided to try out this series. It was a great cross of paranormal with a contemporary feel. I must say, this whole boarding school theme is growing on me.
Conflicting impressions: I figured out the mystery just a little too easily, and this coming from a girl who NEVER figures out the mystery.
Overall impressions: I breezed through this book in just a day or two, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Prissy, preppy New York girls are not usually my go-to characters, but here I felt they were all fleshed out well, with real personalities that didn't seem ultra thin. I especially liked Schuyler Van Alen (and what a name!), who both fit in, yet didn't. She marches to her own beat, yet can hang at a fashion shoot no problem. Sure, I'll model these designer jeans for you. Sure, I can get us into this club. Yet just when you thought she'd veer off into Mary Sue territory, she'd bring it right back to reality.
The world and setup here is quite interesting. Vampires are some of the most powerful members of New York society, called Blue Bloods because, well, they have blue blood. As teenagers, when they start to turn (because it's hereditary...kind of...but really reincarnative...sort of?) they are at their most vulnerable, and this knowledge is being exploited by something out there killing off the vamp kids, one by one. The narrative follows a handful of these young kids, some are vampires, some aren't, as they sort through these events.
The story builds nicely, and as the kids stumble through discovery after discovery, they eventually start to piece together what's happening. The book does at times feel like one big, long prelude to a larger story arc that will build in subsequent novels, but as a stand alone it is also completely satisfying. I loved de la Cruz's incorporation of the Mayflower history into the story, and I hope that we get to learn more about the vampire culture and how it is exactly that they regenerate. This is a quick, fun read, especially for fans of the vampire genre.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Want a different perspective? Check out this review by In the Good Books.