Title: Drain You
Author: M. Beth Bloom
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062036866 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062036865 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
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.
Quick & Dirty: This novel fell far below its potential, turning into a Gossip Girl meets the Twilight Saga that relied heavily on YA cliches. The writing, however, was talented.
Opening Sentence: The canyons were hot at night, even with the desert winds whipping through the hills.
I want to start out by saying that I am so angry at this book. At Bloom. There was so much potential in this story, in the voice and it not only didn’t deliver, but it ran in the other direction. The writing is gorgeous, Bloom is clearly very talented, but the plot of this story has been done. The characters I couldn’t like, no matter how much I share Quinlan’s love of diet coke or how hard I tried. And I really did try.
Let’s start with the plot of the story — which is that a bored Quinlan falls insta-in-love with a vampire, who is all things dangerous and sexy and when James gets complicated she falls into a dark depression, etc. Sound familiar? (Don’t worry, there is way more to the story.) Quinlan has a best guy friend that she completely abuses but who is still in love with her for inexplicable reasons and very quickly the story devolves into a Gossip Girl meets the Twilight Saga. The focus of exposition is on skanky clothes and trying really hard to remind us that Quinlan is cool. In an attempt to save her best friend from being preyed on by vamps, Quinlan puts herself in serious danger — and earned herself a few pages worth of respect from me.
Quinlan knows she’s selfish and horrid. She knows and complains about it for ages but never does anything — which turned her swiftly into my least favorite kind of heroine. She’s fickle and doesn’t think about the consequences of anything, but is aware enough to complain about them. James — the vamp — and his brother Whit are very bizarre love-interests in that while reading them I wasn’t at all attracted. I mean, sure they were sexy, but so is every other YA hero. They didn’t have redeeming qualities that I could hold onto and use to even like them. They were just there, and Quinlan wanted them, and all the drama follows.
OK, so I hated the characters and the plot is so much like Twilight that you’ve probably already guessed what happens. The writing, as I said, was brilliant. Bloom’s not afraid to go into dark places and the villains brought chills down my spine. (Not an easy thing to do.) I honestly think she overflowed the book with teen angst because that’s what she thought people wanted to read. Next time, I’d rather she pack the book with tension and suspense, instead of melodrama, and build characters I can get behind.
I honestly think Bloom is an author to watch out for. I may not have liked this book at all but throughout it her writing wowed me and that’s not an easy thing to do.
“Do you have a roommate or something?”
“James leaned up on his side, on his elbow, facing me. “Luke.”
“Do you let him have the bed?”
“No, he has his own closet to sleep in.”
“Right.” I didn’t know if I’d ever know when James was kidding. Never? Always?
I realized it was way too hot: My shirt was damp, my skin glistening with sweat. “CAn you turn that fan on?”
I propped my knees up to let them air out. I was dripping.
“Hy,” he said. “Give me your arm.”
“What arm? I’ve melted into the rug. I’m a puddle resembling a girl.”
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Drain You. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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