Morganville Vampires #1
Chapters 1 & 2
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood
I kinda feel like writing Rachel Caine a love letter. It would begin, "Thank you for being amazing. You have single-handedly restored my faith in YA literature." ...too much? I really want to, because that's exactly how I feel. She gets it right. She creates a story with interesting characters that you actually care about -because of the fact that they're not perfect. She doesn't dumb down conversations or even situations because the characters are younger. And she most certainly understands that, all-though romance can be great, and it's basically in every story out there, that there should be a contextual situation to go along with it. Seriously, if there's a fan club sign me up.
The story centers around Claire Danvers and her life as a college freshman in a new town. She's a character I easily wanted to know more about from the very beginning. She's separate from any character I've read before, especially in YA. She's a genius and merely bidding her time at a state school, because she's only 16 and MIT is just too far away for her parent's comfort level. Again, the writer understands that being ubber smart, doesn't mean that you always get everything right. Claire makes mistakes, and is slightly socially awkward. She's not necessarily mousy, but she's not entirely bold either. But she's got conviction, and makes her decisions on what she feels is the right decision. She'll win your favor.
Quickly we're introduced to 3 additional characters in the form of room-mates for Claire, and I liked every one of them. They're also well-rounded, interesting characters of their own, and the story turns into just as much about them as it does about Claire. The camaraderie between Claire, Eve, Shane, and Michael feels easy; in a good way. Their conversations are spot on for their ages and the circumstances at hand. It comes off very genuine.
Even at the end of book 1 the world is still very much a mystery, but I got enough of a taste of it to know I want more. The society of vampires we glimpse, and actually the town as a whole, is pretty terrifying... and I liked it! We're told how things work, and some interesting history about these Morganville vampires, but they really take back seat to getting to know Claire and her roommates.
Bottom Line: If you turn up your nose at YA (something I've been guilty of the past year-ish) come back. This series starter has 3 dimensional characters that act and think like they're suppose to, and deal with extreme situations in ways that make sense. I will be devouring the rest of the series in no time.