Publishers WeeklyDe la Cruz combines American history, vampires and a crew of rich New York City kids, delivering a page-turning debut to her new series, sure to appeal to fans of her Au Pairs titles. When 15-year-olds Schuyler and Bliss find out that they are vampires, as are many of the city's elite, they learn what's behind some of their weird symptoms (such as Schuyler's blue veins, which form "an intricate pattern, visible under the skin's surface," or Bliss's cravings for raw meat), and that "nothing could kill vampires." But something is hunting them, even killing some, and Schuyler grows more determined to stop it, even as the Conclave, the vampire leaders, attempts to cover it up. Readers will recognize the character types here: Schuyler the outcast, Bliss the pretty new girl and Mimi the popular queen bee (who nurses a somewhat incestuous relationship with her equally gorgeous brother). Not many question are answered along the way, even for the start of a series. Still, it's hard to resist a book that combines expensive clothes, modeling jobs, blood-sucking and even diary entries from a Mayflower vampire. De la Cruz plants enough seeds (e.g., What does it mean that Schuyler's father is human? Will her mother come out of her coma? Who are the Silver Bloods, and is one of them hiding amongst the vampires?) to give readers a stake in what happens next. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's LiteratureSchuyler Van Alen never was comfortable at her elite private school. Despite having as impressive a pedigree as the next student, she has always felt like an outcast. During her sophomore year, though, she finds the students who once ignored her reaching towards her in various ways. After a fellow student is murdered, Schuyler finds out that she and many other students at her school are Blue Bloods. Blue Bloods are vampires that trace their lineage to the Mayflower and beyond. They are used to being immortal, but now something appears to be hunting them. While teenage vampire stories are numerous nowadays, this title adds new elements about vampires that keep the story and legend fresh. The story is told not just from Schuyler's point of view but also from the point of view of Bliss (a transplant from Texas), Mimi (a spoiled rich girl), Jack (Mimi's twin brother), and even uses diary entries from an ancestor in the 1620s. This book is a worthy addition to the vampire genre. 2006, Hyperion, Ages 12 up.
Amie Rose Rotruck
VOYASchuyler, Mimi, Bliss, and Jack live the good life in New York City. Young, beautiful, and rich, they are members of the exclusive philanthropic society known as The Committee. More than just a charitable board, The Committee guards an ancient secret that the blue-blood members of the American upper class are actually Blue Bloods, a four-hundred-member ancient race of vampires that might not be as invincible as it believes. Combining historical references to the lost colony of Roanoke with high-fashion name-dropping and the threat of an evil hunting the Blue Bloods, de la Cruz takes her trademark brand of high-society chick-lit and turns it into a fresh and engaging vampire tale. The four main characters develop from character types to believable teens struggling with the realities of being both young and undead. To be sure, most teens do not get modeling contracts in the hallway of their high schools, but many deal with distant, ill, or embarrassing parents, much like these teens. With tongue-in-cheek explanations for everything from how the no-sun or garlic myths began, to vampirism being the reason that these elite girls can eat their weight in cupcakes without gaining an ounce, de la Cruz opens the vampire genre to readers who cannot get enough glimpses into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Recommend this title along with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005/VOYA October 2005) as a delicious reading feast and be prepared to be asked when the next Blue Bloods book is due. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Hyperion, 256p., Ages 11 to 18.
Vikki C. Terrile
School Library JournalGr 9 Up-De la Cruz has revamped traditional vampire lore in this story featuring a group of attractive, privileged Manhattan teens who attend a prestigious private school. Schuyler Van Alen, 15, the last of the line in a distinguished family, is being raised by her distant and forbidding grandmother. Schuyler, her friend Oliver, and their new friend Dylan are treated like outsiders by the clique of popular, athletic, and beautiful teens made up of Mimi Force, her twin brother, and her best friend. What they have in common is the fact that they are all Blue Bloods, or vampires. They don't realize that they aren't normal until they reach age 15. Then the symptoms manifest themselves and they begin to crave raw meat, have nightmares about events in history, and get prominent blue veins in their arms. Their immortality and way of life are threatened after Blue Blood teens start getting murdered by a splinter group called the Silver Bloods. This novel constantly name-drops and is full of product placements, drinking, drugs, nonexplicit sex, and superficial characterizations, but the intriguing plot will keep teens reading. De la Cruz's explanation for the disappearance of the Colony of Roanoke is unique and the idea that models don't gain weight because they are Blue Bloods rather than anorexic is unusual.-Sharon Rawlins, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped, Trenton Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsA juicy, voyeuristic peek into the lives of rich Manhattanites-who happen to be vampires. As shown by a diary in a handwritten font, vampires came to this country on the Mayflower. In contemporary Manhattan, the ensemble of protagonists attends an elite prep school. They're old souls, because vampires return in new shells (bodies) indefinitely; however, until mid-adolescence, they don't know it. Fifteen-year-old Schuyler, intelligent and vaguely Goth, has no idea she's a vampire. Neither does Bliss, newly arrived from Texas. Mimi and Jack, glamorously haughty twins with a suspicious bond, already know the scoop; the adults know too. The others are meant to learn slowly and keep strictly to the Code (for example, never suck so much blood that a human dies). Name-brand clothing and luxuries abound, but a mysterious danger lurks: Someone is killing the supposedly immortal. Schuyler's destiny is to bring the vampires-cast out of heaven with Lucifer-back into a state of grace, but her immediate goal for the next installment is to find the murderer. Delightfully trashy. (Fantasy. YA)
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