Friday, July 9, 2010

Review: Hearts at Stake

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

3.25 stars

Reasons for reading: 10 in 10 Chick Lit Challenge

Description: "On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.

Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.

First lines: "Normally I wouldn't be caught dead at a field party. If you'll pardon the pun."

My thoughts: Another entry in the teen vampire romance genre. And not a bad one, although not stellar. I liked smart, brave Lucy and her fierce dedication to her best friend and about-to-be-vampire Solange. I liked the loving but rather scary all-son-but-one Drake family, especially that they took Lucy in as one of their own because she cares about Solange. The human-vampire romances were predictable but happily not all goopy - both Solange and Lucy spar with their love interests almost as much as they smooch with them. There was also a lot of action for sucha short book - chases and plots and twists and fights. But there was a lot of lore that I found a bit confusing. For example, vampires are made but occasionally one can be born? And almost all of the bad groups of vampires (and there are at least 4) started with the same letter, which didn't help.

The verdict: I'm pleased to see a cool book written by a Canadian author, yay! And while I don't know if I'll be reading on in the series, for vampire fans it's a good read with action and romance and, in particular, really strong friendships and family relationships as well.

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