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July 19, 2010

Review: Blue Bloods

2010 Finishes: Books

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: YA, vampires
Pages: 302
Rating: 6.8

This book had such potential. For one thing, overlaying the teen vampire craze on top of what is basically the Gossip Girl universe was a brilliant marketing move that one can only respect. And it does that reasonably well, although I'm starting to think that Gossip Girl has a certain level of single-minded frothiness that books like this and the Pretty Little Liars series, with their insistence on including actually plot, can't attain. But this does pretty well with its portrayal of a super-exclusive prep school in a New York seemingly devoid of all under-aged drinking laws.

The reason why I really wanted Blue Bloods to be good, though, was because it took a very different and rather thought-provoking approach to vampire mythology, from the way vampires are created to the way they operate in the modern world. Vampire purists probably won't like this: it's too different. But given the sheer volume of vampire material out there, it was nice to see a different approach, and I really wanted De la Cruz to take it somewhere interesting. (I know I'm being cryptic, but I really don't want to give it away for those who might read it. If you want to know, leave a comment and I'll e-mail you.)

But this book didn't really succeed for me, because there were just so many mistakes. In one category were a plethora of little grammar mistakes - especially apostrophe issues. These drive me nuts, but I can usually get past them, and tend to blame the editing rather than the author. I mean, there's really no excuse for consistently referring to a family's home as "the Llewellyn's apartment." There's more than one Llewellyn! Ahem.

The real issue, though, came when the mistakes got in the way of the plot. The book includes excerpts from a fictional diary set during the founding of the Plymouth colony, and yes, it's fictional, but it's so incorrect that it drove me crazy. People weren't casually popping back and forth between Virginia and Massachusetts in 1620, people! And under no circumstances, fictional or not, unless we're actually changing geography, would you, in Plymouth, avoid danger coming from Virginia by escaping south. That's just careless.

And the worst example: A few of the teen characters keep having visions of a word appearing in a certain situation, and they spent a lot of the book trying to find out what it meant. The problem? Every schoolchild in America learns about this word and this incident. And even if these particular kids forgot or for some reason never learned it, I just tested and Googling the word brings the entire explanation right up. So it makes no sense that the central mystery of the book is a mystery at all, or at least in the way it's framed. And this issue could have been so easily avoided by one line mentioning that the vampires had kept the incident out of human history books, but unless I missed something (which is certainly possible), nothing like that is stated.

So . . . I don't know. This was an interesting idea clumsily executed. I'll try the next book in the series, in case it improves, but I wouldn't necessarily bump this one to the top of your to-read list.

Posted by Kat at July 19, 2010 02:00 PM

FWIW, since I have issues with completing series, I read the second one right after the first. Then I waited until the third came out and was under the mistaken impression it would be the last. I was furious when I realized it wasn't (and it was so not good, stop before you get there). I decided that I'd only read the fourth (when it comes out) if there is no fifth. Because I want closure, but maybe not that much.

Posted by: AmyW at July 23, 2010 09:38 PM

apostrophe errors drive me crazy too! thanks for the review. i think i'll wait to read it til my TBR pile thins out.

Posted by: crissy calhoun at August 20, 2010 11:12 AM
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