Title: Vampire Kisses
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Who Should Read It? This book was very clearly aimed for a middle grade audience, and I think most people in its target audience (middle grade readers interested in vampires) will love it. Unfortunately, I don't think it has much reach outside of that.
What I Have to Say: While I did enjoy reading this cute, fun book, it also sort-of fell flat for me, mostly in terms of the characters. We never really got to know any of them, with the exception of Raven, our main protagonist, and she was just slightly annoying. At every point in her life, she seemed far too grown up for her age while at the same time coming across as exceedingly immature. Because of this, I found it exceedingly hard to relate to her at times, even when I tried to channel my old high school self.
I did enjoy the romance aspect of the book, but at the same time, we never actually got to know the love interest - aside from a small tidbit here and there. It was therefore hard to really care about their relationship. Still, seeing Raven in like/love felt very real to me.
My favorite aspect of the book, perhaps oddly, was the relationship between Raven and Trevor, the school bully. Their interactions were quirky, enjoyable, and spot on. I kept hoping that Trevor would show up random moments, and happily for me, he did!! Unfortunately, though, this aspect of the book didn't play out as I had hoped.
The last thing I have to say is that, as an adult, I felt like things fell into place way too easily, which made it very hard for me to believe (and I'm REALLY good at believing unbelievable things). After much thought, though, I've decided that this was not necessarily a negative thing, as it works well in a middle grade book, and I think, for the right age group, it will make the reading process run far more smoothly and enjoyably.
So, good, but not great! Cute and fun, but also very young and immature!
Summary: The mansion on top of Benson Hill has been empty and boarded up for years. But a new family has moved in. A family that never ventures out during the day. Who are these creepy people; especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town gossip actually be true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander's loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.
Cover Story: I think it's quite cute, with the thumb with the black nail polish holding the sign with the title. At the same time, I find the colors to be kind of dull. It could be more vibrant, I think! The mansion in the background is very appropriate!
Disclosure: I received this book as a gift.