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Drink, Slay, Love

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Not Your Typical Vamp Novel

Okay, so the basic premise of Drink, Slay, Love is what you might expect from a vampire story:

A) The vamps drink blood
B) They can't tolerate stakes, holy water, fire or sunlight (no sparkly vamps here)
C) The tale features a vamp + non-vamp romance
D) Takes p...
Okay, so the basic premise of Drink, Slay, Love is what you might expect from a vampire story:

A) The vamps drink blood
B) They can't tolerate stakes, holy water, fire or sunlight (no sparkly vamps here)
C) The tale features a vamp + non-vamp romance
D) Takes place in a high school
E) Involves a love triangle

Here's Durst's twist:
A) The story is told from the vampire's POV
B) The kick-ass, undead "person" of the couple is the female protagonist (not the dreamy male like ALWAYS)
C) The characters are actually funny (as in: laugh out loud)
D) Unicorns

I wasn't sure if the vampire genre could captivate my jaded heart anymore, but I was wrong. Drink, Slay, Love was a great read.

I just love reading a story from the vampire's POV. The disdain they feel for us humans drips from the pages.

Of course, this is how vampires would really feel (if they were real), but we rarely get to read that side anymore especially in a modern YA novel.

I love Pearl's sassy, smart voice and I really hope a sequel is in the works...soon.

posted by KimballSK on September 21, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Good Book, But it Didn't Grab my Attention

I must say, this is actually a good book. The characters are developed enough (though I would have liked to have more background info. For instance, I would have liked to get to know Pearl before she was stabbed and regained a conscious.) The plot is very interesting be...
I must say, this is actually a good book. The characters are developed enough (though I would have liked to have more background info. For instance, I would have liked to get to know Pearl before she was stabbed and regained a conscious.) The plot is very interesting because even if they contain clich¿ vampires (cannot withstand sunloght, die if staked in the heart (unless for Pearl, but you find out why, holy water hurts, can be burned, sensitive to garlic and holy items), since there aren't any love triangles, which are normally fpind in YA books, and the vampire in this case is a girl, and not a guy. This is a perfectly good book, but it just couldn't get my attention. It just didn't grab me and keep me hooked. It wasn't the story that was not good, but it was the author's writing style that I just couldn't relate to. Sometimes it seemed as if Durst was writing in first person, sometimes it seemed like third. Overall, this was a good book, but it didn't have that special quality for me that caught my attention and I could always put the book down. However, I would still recommend this book.

posted by Genni on March 5, 2012

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not Your Typical Vamp Novel

    Okay, so the basic premise of Drink, Slay, Love is what you might expect from a vampire story:

    A) The vamps drink blood
    B) They can't tolerate stakes, holy water, fire or sunlight (no sparkly vamps here)
    C) The tale features a vamp + non-vamp romance
    D) Takes place in a high school
    E) Involves a love triangle

    Here's Durst's twist:
    A) The story is told from the vampire's POV
    B) The kick-ass, undead "person" of the couple is the female protagonist (not the dreamy male like ALWAYS)
    C) The characters are actually funny (as in: laugh out loud)
    D) Unicorns

    I wasn't sure if the vampire genre could captivate my jaded heart anymore, but I was wrong. Drink, Slay, Love was a great read.

    I just love reading a story from the vampire's POV. The disdain they feel for us humans drips from the pages.

    Of course, this is how vampires would really feel (if they were real), but we rarely get to read that side anymore especially in a modern YA novel.

    I love Pearl's sassy, smart voice and I really hope a sequel is in the works...soon.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 9, 2011

    Witty and wonderful!

    I'm a Durst fan and have been from the beginning, but I have to say, this is her best yet! I literally read it in one day. Pearl is the perfect vampire at the start--and she has a sense of humor--but little does she know that her taste for human imbued with mint chocolate chip will lead to her being staked by a unicorn. That is where her life begins to change, radically. The changes are gradual, and never once does Durst go for the easy outs of immediate redemption and love for humanity. Pearl is caught walking a deadly tightrope between her vampire family and the humans she is forced to consort with when family demands force her to attend high school.

    The story is beautifully crafty, laugh-out-loud funny, witty, and edge-of-the-seat tense. A beautifully crafted book with great characters!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Pretty Good

    At first I was a little bored but I figured what the hay I'll keep reading and it turned out to be a pretty good book.I mean who wouldn't love a book with vampires,unicorns,and a little drama?

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very Entertaining

    This is not your normal vampire genre novel. Yes there are some bites to go around, but nothing too bad. What does happen is the main character, Pearl, is attacked after feeding off her ice cream serving boy-toy and what happens next is really weird. Pearl starts to change, she can tolerate the sun, she develops a conscience. But once her family learns she can be in the sun, they recruit her to find bodies for the vampire party her family is hosting. And during all this she finds out that she wasn't staked by a vampire hunter like her family thinks, she was attacked and healed by a were-unicorn. Yeah, it sounds weird when you first hear about it, but the story is really good. I liked how Pearl goes from being a person who only looks at humans as tasty treats to bite, to caring about others and how she really wants to make things better. The characters are interesting, some better formed than others. I thought Antoinette was really funny. Her talk of Molly Ringwald movies was giggle worthy and I can only think about her in the prom dress and laugh now. Pearl goes through so much, but I like her character the most. She's powerful and she takes on so much. But her goal is to make things better on both sides of the fence, and you have to hand it to her, she really does a great job. There is a nice romance in this book, and the vampirism isn't too blech-worthy. Pick it up, you will be really happy you did.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A fun new spin on vampires (and, of course, unicorns too)

    Pearl is like a lot of sixteen-year-old girls. She likes to steal cars and drive too fast with her handsome, dangerous boyfriend Jadrien. She wears a lot of black. She is extremely flammable in direct sunlight.

    Okay. Maybe Pearl isn't exactly an average teenaged girl. But she is an average vampire. Completely ordinary and almost completely evil; Pearl is the perfect predator at the top of the food chain in her Connecticut town. And she is fine with that.

    With the vampire king of New England coming soon for the annual fealty ceremony that marks the start of a vampire's adulthood, it's a good time to be a young vampire. Since her Family has been given the honor of hosting the king's feast things are especially good for Pearl.

    At least until the unicorn comes along and stabs her in the heart with his stupid sparkly horn.

    But instead of dying a quick death, Pearl survives the attack. Not just that, she can now withstand sunlight. No one in her Family believes her about the unicorn (they are mythical creatures after all--even vampires know that), but even they can't ignore her new resistance to daylight.

    Within the king's feast looming and no volunteers in sight, Pearl's Family decides to take advantage of her newfound ability by enrolling her in high school. Securing the king's feast should be easy with an entire high school of students to choose from, right?

    Wrong, as it turns out.

    Blending in among the human students is harder for a vampire than Pearl expected. Some students, like Bethany seem overly eager to befriend her. Others want to prove their dominance (unlikely). Then there's Evan. The deliciously cute boy who Pearl can't decide if she wants to bite or . . . not.

    Torn between what her Family needs and what she actually wants, Pearl finds that after the unicorn incident nothing is black and white anymore. Maybe, just maybe, it's time for things to change and maybe, just maybe, Pearl is the one to bring about those changes in Drink, Slay, Love (2011) by Sarah Beth Durst.

    Filled with twists and turns, Drink, Slay, Love is fun new spin on vampires (and, of course, unicorns too). Durst stays true to traditional vampire mythology (Pearl does not sparkle) while also adding her own unique spin to these familiar mythical monsters.

    Viewing high school through Pearl's eyes brings a level of humor to the story as she evaluates teachers as potential threats and brings her predator mentality to cafeteria politics. (Think Katniss Everdeen walking the halls of Sweet Valley High.) What results, in addition to a satisfying urban fantasy, is a dryly fun commentary on the ins and outs of high school.

    Durst aptly demonstrates her range as readers follow Pearl's journey from scary vampire to something else entirely. There are, in fact, enough drastic changes throughout the course of the story that the opening for a sequel is very wide indeed. Drink, Slay, Love is a clever, entertaining book complete with a winning heroine readers will want to cheer for--albeit from a safe distance.

    Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Rampant by Diana Peterfreund, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    greaat read

    Really good read, lots humor

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    Snarky and Fantastical

    I try not to make judgments based on the summary of a book. At least, not a negative one. But when I read the summary for this book and hit the word "unicorn," my brain just automatically went....uh........hm. Well, this might not be too bad...

    What I liked: 1) Pearl. Talk about a girl who doesn't take any crap from anyone. The things that came out of her mouth were just hilarious, I was laughing the whole time. But she also had some vulnerabilities that, while they didn't show up often, really added to her character and made her all the more likeable. 2) This book didn't take itself seriously, which I loved. I really felt like it was ironic and sort of sarcastic. If a book could laugh at itself, this one would. And I mean that as a really good thing. There are so many vampire books out there that are seriously lacking in the comedy department, and this was a welcome change from that! 3) I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about Evan for a minute. Evan seems to be like, the perfect guy. He's this modern day, teenage version of a Disney Prince (which is, of course my definition of a perfect guy. Sigh.) except for one glaring little thing. Which I'm not going to tell you about until you read it. HA HA! 4) Pearl's mafioso-esque family. Take the Corleones, add fangs, and you've got this Family. This was a neat twist on the common "vampire coven" idea.

    What I didn't like: 1) I questioned some of the events that took place. Like, how easily everyone seems to take to Pearl on her first day at school, despite her lack of knowledge of social norms. And then, just as quickly, they don't like her. And....then they like her again! Bouncing around like a bobble head. Now, I can understand that maybe this is meant as some sort of ironic statement about high school. What's cool one minute isn't cool the next, or whatever (the whole book drips of irony) but it was a little...strange. (Oh, get over it Courtney. There's a unicorn. It doesn't get much stranger than that.) 2) How quick everyone is to believe that she and her family are vampires. That was what startled me the most. Pretty much everyone just kind of accepted it as fact once she told them.

    Overall thoughts: When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I was sure this book was just going to be too fantastical for me to be on board with. Unicorns just have that effect on me. But it worked! It really did! With a great combination of characters and writing that is unabashedly sarcastic and ironic, not to mention great comedic timing, Drink, Slay, Love is a funny novel that you'll laugh your way through.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Vampires + Unicorns = Full of Fun

    I've never thought of vampires and unicorns as a pair before. A vampire + being staked by a unicorn = turning slightly good, is just full of fun!
    Pearl was just like any vampire. She's fierce, sexy, and knows it. Everything Pearl thought she knew was drastically changed after her "unicorn accident". Pearl belongs to one of the most feared and respected vampire families. Which means her new ability to walk in sunlight is either viewed as a disgrace or a prized possession.
    Things start to get very interesting when you take someone as independent as Pearl to rely on others.
    Since she's the only vampire to walk out in daylight, she's put to the test of going to high school to lure all the students to become the entrees at a very important feast. It may have been approved by some members of her family but it's not approved by others.
    Pearl first encounters Evan who quickly becomes her friend at the new high school. What I loved was that Evan isn't the best friend turned boyfriend, he was always a contender from the start. Evan plays such a big part in the story with his kind heart and secrets. Oh, Evan is also a poet. Is that awesome or what?
    There were so many memorable second characters! Bethany is a friend of Evan's and she's the sweet best friend that you just have to love. But Bethany is one of those more than meets the eye kind of person. I'd want her as my best friend!
    A very clever plot with a surprising twist that left me laughing all night. Seriously, I was laughing so much that the guy sitting next to me on the plane kept on shooting me looks.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Refreshing and creative twist on a vampire story

    I know what you're thinking - vampires and unicorns couldn't possibly go together. But in Drink, Slay, Love, they do. I have to admit that I've always had a soft spot for unicorns (I blame Fantasia), so that and the cover were what drew me to this book. And I was not disappointed.

    Pearl knows exactly who she is - a vampire, one of the youngest vampires in her Family, and a vampire with a fondness for ice cream-infused blood. And then one night, everything changes. She is stabbed by a unicorn's horn, only she doesn't die; instead, she wakes up back at her house, confronted by a family who doesn't believe her story of the attack, left wondering if her memories are true. Over the next few days, Pearl begins to discover the effects of her attack. She can walk in sunlight, and humans no longer seem to be simply a source of sustenance. This conscience only grows stronger as Pearl enrolls in high school (what could be a bountiful hunting ground for her Family) and begins to make friends. But no matter how close she becomes to Bethany, or what she might feel for Evan, she can neither abandon her hunt for the unicorn who changed her nor escape her Family. But when the two worlds collide, which one will she choose?

    Though the vampires in Drink, Slay, Love may be very close to vampire canon, this book is certainly not your typical vampire story. While Pearl struggles with her family responsibilities and what she comes to believe is right, she is not afraid to stand up for herself when she needs to. I loved reading about her journey of self-discovery and how she came to realize that sometimes, you can't do things simply because your family or your boyfriend expects you to. The shift in her feelings about Evan and the fact that she finally opened up to him yielded some very sweet scenes. But despite her assimilation into the human world, Pearl still had her vampiric connections. Even though her family frustrated me at times, I really enjoyed reading their family dynamic and watching these different characters come to life. I also liked her Uncle Pascha's quotes from literature. Finally, the fact that unicorns are the antithesis to vampires in this book - pure genius.

    The only thing I did have trouble believing in this book was Pearl's easy infiltration of the various high school cliques - could a new student really have reached that many people, especially after some unusual stunts? That being said, Pearl's many human activities made a nice contrast to her vampiric ones. And it was great to see her classmates work together when they needed to.

    With plenty of action and a little romance, fans of the paranormal will enjoy this refreshing and creative twist of a vampire story. A fast-paced, fun read, Drink Slay Love will leave you wanting more.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Light, fun, and hilarious!

    Let's be honest: it is easy for a vampire story to take itself too seriously. Drink, Slay, Love does not. It is light, fun, and hilarious. I have never read a vampire story quite like it. With the introduction of the were-unicorn (with all the powers you would expect a unicorn to have), it is unique.

    Yeah. You heard right.

    Vampires vs. Unicorns.

    Awesome combination.

    Pearl starts off as soulless and uncaring as the rest of her relatives, but throughout the book, she slowly learns what it is like to be a human--to think, act, and (gasp!) care like a human does. As the changes in Pearl begin to take hold, we are given a really good look at how different she really is. Her struggle with who she was (pre-unicorn staking), who she is becoming, and who she wants to be, is very apparent. I felt sorry for her, because of how she was losing something that was so much a part of herself--her predatory nature. And the pressure she gets from her family doesn't help things at all.

    Speaking of Pearl...she's awesome. Like really, really awesome. She's sarcastic and tough, and goes to school in steel-toe boots. She's a vampire and she knows it, and she won't let anything trivial like gaining a soul get in the way of kicking someone's trash. She was also a great friend to one of the characters, even though she resented her in the beginning.

    The other characters in this book are way cool, and I wish I could say more than that without spoiling anything. I'll just say that Pearl meets a lot of people, and they all have an affect on her, and on the story, in different ways.

    There is fighting, scheming, and manipulating in this book. There is humor, and there are unicorns. There is a hilarious prom theme. There is a love triangle that isn't a love triangle. And although the story is a bit predictable (and I think it took Pearl way too long to figure out who the unicorn was), I couldn't get over the great mood I was in after finishing. It was like I had just been told a good story by a close friend. Sometimes that is just what a girl needs.


    *Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Deliciously Dark Comedy

    Get your palates ready for a new acquired taste. The humanely conscience vampire. Pearl is the bloodsucking maneater with a heart. At least she is now. Impalement has it's annoyances but being kabobbed by mythical creatures should bring the true death not a real conscience. Slowly yet surely Pearl is discovering new powers of day-walking and empathy??? Not good when your at the top of the food chain. Her new un-supernatural abilities haven't gone unnoticed by her fanged family and they've devised a plan to put Pearl's daytime skills to use by moonlighting as a high school student. The hunt is on but there's more at stake than dinner, one wrong move could get Pearl killed by any number of parties, and unfortunately for her the sheep are looking less like perishables and more like people. Even the once mouth-watering, totally edible Evan is becoming yummy in a whole new way. Pearl's new life is looking like it could be the death of her.

    Sarah Beth Durst easily blends some of the most endearing and iconic pop culture references into a quirky new series. Drink Slay Love is the personal journey of Pearl Sange as she transitions from cold uncaring vamp to almost human warm and fuzzy with fangs. I love Durst's approach of using a Mean Girls anthropological veiw point, along with a John Hughes teen quirk and angst backdrop, with a little Buffy camp thrown in to temper the self discovery theme evident in the title's reference. The DVD playlist of inspiration is grounded by a solid storyline. Some plot points might be transparent to some readers but the characters and overall book are just too much fun to let this one slip through your biblio to do list. Pearl's simple and straight forward voice was completely lovable, as was the slowly building budding romance. The whole unicorn thing was a little cheesy but I honestly can't imagine any other way this book would work. Durst created a whole supporting cast of interest personalities and a world you can immerse yourself in for hours.

    Drink Slay Love is a dark comedy that doesn't take it's self too seriously. The ending left a few possibilities as to how the series will progress, Durst can either continue Pearl's narrative or move on to one of the other supporting characters as the lead. Either way I can't wait to see what happens next in this entertaining new series.

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