Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses Series #1) by Ellen Schreiber, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses Series #1)

Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses Series #1)

4.2 985
by Ellen Schreiber

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In her small town, dubbed "Dullsville," sixteen-year-old Raven — a vampire-crazed goth-girl — is an outcast. But not for long...

The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in. Who are these creepy people — especially the


In her small town, dubbed "Dullsville," sixteen-year-old Raven — a vampire-crazed goth-girl — is an outcast. But not for long...

The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in. Who are these creepy people — especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town prattle actually ring 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.

Ellen Schreiber's spooky and stirring romance tells the story of two outsiders who fall in love in a town where conformity reigns, and ends with a shocking surprise.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Readers don't have to share goth girl Raven's passion for vampire lore to appreciate her misadventures in Dullsville," according to PW. "The girl's ill-fated flirtation will bring more laughs than heartache." Ages 12-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Raven, a high school outcast, definitely dances to her own music. She wears black clothes, black boots, black lipstick and black nail polish; she loves Halloween and craves a vampire kiss. She calls her brother Nerd Boy, the town Dullsville and herself Gothic Girl. Then the Sterlings move into the haunted mansion on the hill and Raven's life turns even more macabre. Alexander Sterling is Raven's age and she is smitten with love, hoping he is a true vampire. The book is full of double entendres so we are never sure what is real. The Sterlings are from Romania where Dracula originated and the butler says, "It's been centuries since I've seen [my village in Europe]" and uses blood and bloody in every other sentence. Raven is constantly tormented by the class bully, Trevor. She smashes his hand with her father's tennis racket as he tries to spray paint the mansion Halloween night. For her 16th birthday, she is invited to Matt's party where Trevor tries to rape her. Instead she tricks him into derobing and races off with his clothes, leaving him cold and naked in the woods. Alexander and Raven start dating, but he leaves when he learns Raven wanted him to be a true vampire. In the end we never know for sure about Alexander, but we do know that Trevor is the real monster. This is a great story for teenagers who do not fit into the norm or those who try to mold themselves to be part of the in-crowd. 2003, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, Ages 15 to 18.
— Janet L. Rose
There is not much to do in rural "Dullsville" for a feisty self-proclaimed Goth teenager named Raven. She has always been fascinated by the abandoned mansion on Benson Hill, originally built by a Romanian baroness and said to be haunted. On Raven's sixteenth birthday, Alexander, a teenaged descendant of the baroness, and his eerie butler, Jameson, move into the mansion. Raven believes that she has met her true love in Alexander. He is different from her schoolmates, having traveled all over the world and been tutored at home. He is handsome, artistic, gentlemanly, very cultured, and a Goth like Raven. A rumor begins circulating that Alexander belongs to a family of vampires. At first Raven is thrilled by the idea, but she later becomes ashamed of herself and defends Alexander against the vicious gossip. In a rather odd twist, after the "Dullsvillians" have accepted him, Alexander reveals to Raven that he is a vampire after all. Schreiber, a former comedienne, writes a witty and enjoyable book. Raven's obsession with the "dark side" is a little over the top at times, and the other characters in the novel tend to be poorly formed. Nevertheless, Schreiber portrays the sexual tension between Raven and town bully Trevor realistically, and she captures Raven's bittersweet infatuation with Alexander in a tender way while keeping it innocent. This novel is more romantic than suspenseful, and will be especially enjoyed by female readers. VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P J S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, HarperCollins, 208p., and PLB Ages 12 to 18.
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2003: Schreiber was a stand-up comedienne before becoming a writer; and her talent with humor is apparent in this story. The main character is Raven, who lives in a boring town where she stands out as a "goth," wearing strange make-up and dreaming of becoming a vampire—or at least meeting one. Much of the narrative reads like a comic monologue, with good timing for jokes. Her parents (once hippies but no longer so), her little brother, her classmates and school life all are topics to comment upon. There is a spooky mansion in town—fascinating to Raven, of course—and people come to live in it, including a young man who becomes the love of Raven's life. Raven of course wants him to be a vampire—there are many hints that perhaps he truly is—and the ending is perfectly inventive. A large part of the story consists of the wonderful ways that Raven deals with bullies at school who can't leave her alone—just because she is unusual, perhaps, and also because she is very attractive and smart. Raven is capable of every kind of ingenious revenge, which is highly gratifying to all readers. This lighthearted novel will be fun to read for many YAs. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, HarperCollins, 253p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Raven, 16, doesn't fit in at school or home. This goth-girl is obsessed with vampires and when a new family moves into the old town mansion, she is convinced that the son, Alexander, is a vampire. The story swirls around and through sibling rivalry, peer relationships, friendships, and love. Raven is a feisty protagonist with a quick wit and a real sense of self. She defends herself and her friends, often besting her peers with humor and a quick tongue. As her connection with Alexander deepens, she comes to understand her family better. It is through his shadowy character that readers are kept off balance. Schreiber weaves a tale that is more about acceptance and friendship than about vampire behavior and culture, and sustains a tone that draws readers to the characters rather than to horrific plot developments that would keep them reading. There is far less intensity than in Annette Curtis Klause's Silver Kiss (Laurel-Leaf, 1992) and less moodiness than that found in Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's Midnight Predator (2002) and Shattered Mirror (2001, both Delacorte). While the ending isn't tied up in a neat and pretty bow, it fits the style and tone. All in all, a good read for those who want a vampire love story without the gore.-Molly S. Kinney, Peach Public Libraries, Fort Valley, GA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An awkwardly endearing tale of teen angst and Goth romance. Vampire-loving Raven is a misfit in the town she calls "Dullsville." Her black lipstick, combat boots, and sneering dislike of her classmates leave her nearly friendless. Dullsville has only one exciting feature: the Mansion, abandoned years before. Now the owners have returned, and Raven has never been more excited. A creepy butler, a mysterious Romanian couple nobody sees, and the gorgeous teenaged son, Alexander, populate the spooky mansion of her childhood vampire dreams. Alexander is perfect-a gothic prince, a dark and broody knight of night, maybe even a vampire! Alexander seems equally intrigued by Raven, who knows it must be love. In a sweetly silly climax, troubles in Raven's relationship with Alexander allow the townspeople of Dullsville to show themselves as fun and decent people despite their suburban sameness. Cheesily written, but cute. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Vampire Kisses Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.77(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Vampire Kisses

Chapter One

Little Monster

It first happened when I was five.

I had just finished coloring in My Kindergarten Book. It was filled with Picasso-like drawings of my mom and dad, an Elmer's-glued, tissue-papered collage, and the answers to questions (favorite color, pets, best friend, etc.) written down by our hundred-year-old teacher, Mrs. Peevish.

My classmates and I were sitting in a semicircle on the floor in the reading area. "Bradley, what do you want to be when you grow up?" Mrs. Peevish asked after all the other questions had been answered.

"A fire fighter!" he shouted.


"Uh . . . a nurse," Cindi Warren whispered meekly.

Mrs. Peevish went through the rest of the class. Police officers. Astronauts. Football players. Finally it was my turn.

"Raven, what do you want to be when you grow up?" Mrs. Peevish asked, her green eyes staring through me.

I said nothing.

"An actress?"

I shook my head.

"A doctor?"

"Nuh, uh," I said.

"A flight attendant?"

"Yuck!" I replied.

"Then what?" she asked, annoyed.

I thought for a moment. "I want to be . . . "


"I want to be . . . a vampire!" I shouted, to the shock and amazement of Mrs. Peevish and my classmates. For a moment I thought she started to laugh; maybe she really did. The children sitting next to me inched away.

I spent most of my childhood watching others inch away.

I was conceived on my dad's water bed -- or on the rooftop of my mom's college dorm under twinkling stars -- depending on which one of my parents is telling the story. They were soul mates that couldn't part with the seventies: true love mixed with drugs, some raspberry incense, and the music of the Grateful Dead. A beaded-jeweled, halter-topped, cutoff blue-jeaned, barefooted girl, intertwined with a long-haired, unshaven, Elton John–spectacled, suntanned, leather-vested, bell-bottomed-and-sandaled guy. I think they're lucky I wasn't more eccentric. I could have wanted to be a beaded-haired hippie werewolf! But somehow I became obsessed with vampires.

Sarah and Paul Madison became more responsible after my entrance into this world -- or I'll rephrase it and say my parents were "less glassy eyed." They sold the Volkswagen flower power van that they were living in and actually started renting property. Our hippie apartment was decorated with 3-D glow-in-the-dark flower posters and orange tubes with a Play-Doh substance that moved on its own -- lava lamps -- that you could stare at forever. It was the best time ever. The three of us laughed and played Chutes and Ladders, and squeezed Twinkies between our teeth. We stayed up late, watching Dracula movies, Dark Shadows with the infamous Barnabus Collins, and Batman on a black-and-white TV we'd received when we opened a bank account. I felt secure under the blanket of midnight, rubbing Mom's growing belly, which made noises like the orange lava lamps. I figured she was going to give birth to more moving Play-Doh.

Everything changed when she gave birth to the playdough -- only it wasn't Play-Doh. She gave birth to Nerd Boy! How could she? How could she destroy all the Twinkie nights? Now she went to bed early, and that creation that my parents called "Billy" cried and fussed all night. I was suddenly alone. It was Dracula -- the Dracula on TV -- that kept me company while Mom slept, Nerd Boy wailed, and Dad changed smelly diapers in the darkness.

And if that wasn't bad enough, suddenly they sent me to a place that wasn't my apartment, that didn't have wild 3-D flower posters on the walls, but boring collages of kids' handprints. Who decorates around here? I wondered. It was overcrowded with Sears catalog girls in frilly dresses and Sears catalog boys in tapered pants and perfectly combed hair. Mom and Dad called it "kindergarten."

"They'll be your friends," my mom reassured me, as I clung to her side for dear life. She waved good-bye and blew me kisses as I stood alone beside the matronly Mrs. Peevish, which was as alone as one can get. I watched my mom walk away with Nerd Boy on her hip as she took him back to the place filled with glow-in-the-dark posters, monster movies, and Twinkies.

Somehow I made it through the day. Cutting and gluing black paper on black paper, finger painting Barbie's lips black, and telling the assisant teacher ghost stories, while the Sears catalog kids ran around like they were all cousins at an all-American family picnic. I was even happy to see Nerd Boy when Mom finally came to pick me up.

That night she found me with my lips pressed against the TV screen, trying to kiss Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula.

"Raven! What are you doing up so late? You have school tomorrow!"

"What?" I said. The Hostess cherry pie that I had been eating fell to the floor, and my heart fell with it.

"But I thought it was just the one time?" I said, panicked.

"Sweet Raven. You have to go every day!"

Every day? The words echoed inside my head. It was a life sentence!

That night Nerd Boy couldn't hope to compete with my dramatic wailing and crying. As I lay alone in my bed, I prayed for eternal darkness and a sun that never rose.

Unfortunately the next day I awoke to a blinding light, and a monster headache.

I longed to be around at least one person that I could connect with. But I couldn't find any, at home or school. At home the lava lamps were replaced with Tiffany-style floor lamps, the glow-in-the-dark posters were covered with Laura Ashley wallpaper, and our grainy black-and-white TV was upgraded to a twenty-five-inch color model.

Vampire Kisses. Copyright © by Ellen Schreiber. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Ellen Schreiber was an actress and a stand-up comedienne before becoming a writer. She is the author of the first two books about Celeste and Brandon, Once in a Full Moon and Magic of the Moonlight, as well as Teenage Mermaid, Comedy Girl, Vampire Kisses, Vampire Kisses 2: Kissing Coffins, Vampire Kisses 3: Vampireville, Vampire Kisses 4: Dance with a Vampire, Vampire Kisses 5: The Coffin Club, Vampire Kisses 6: Royal Blood, Vampire Kisses 7: Love Bites, Vampire Kisses 8: Cryptic Cravings, and Vampire Kisses 9: Immortal Hearts. She is also the author of the fully illustrated manga series about Raven and Alexander, Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives and Vampire Kisses: Graveyard Games.

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