Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Drink Slay Love

Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: Already out, buy a copy!
Publisher: Simo & Schuster US / Allen & Unwin AU
Add it: Goodreads
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?
Your 21st century mind, infected with fancy ideas of vampires that sparkle in the pretty sunlight, vampires that are friendly 'vegetarians' who om nom nom on animals or else fight their mean old brother for the beautiful human girl, may be unfamiliar with the old school version of vampire. The kind that revel in the taste of fresh human blood. Who stalk the night and burn in the sun and see humans as just a notch below them on the food chain. That's Pearl and her family. Albeit, they're a dysfunctional family, but they fill the 'ruthless creature of the night role' with heartless grace. Until one fateful day when Pearl is stabbed by... a unicorn? And suddenly she can walk in the sun. A daywalker, a dangerous anomaly with the Vampire King of New England soon coming to visit. But her parents seize this rare opportunity to send their only daughter to high school... and lure the tasty student body right into the heart of the upcoming vampire Fealty Ceremony. A task that should be relatively easy for a dispassionate vampire, right? Except that Pearl is beginning to care for her food.

Pearl is not your average, humble, down-to-earth gal who gets thrust into a scary world of blood and fangs. No, she is that scary world of blood and fangs... who gets thrust into a world of hormonal teenagers and prom. She's confident, cynical and sarcastic. And while those traits still cling to her throughout the novel, they're accompanied by a healthy dose of heart and sympathy. I loved watching as she slowly began to change. Those pitiful humans crawled their way into her heart before she even knew what was happening. And even when she did notice, she sure as hell wasn't going to admit it. She fed herself excuses for the odd things she did, things that suspiciously resembled compassion, because the very idea that she could feel guilt or even affection for these humans was preposterous! A vampire does not feel mercy for its prey.

While she's promised to fellow vampire, Jadrien, it's a high school boy who begins to chip away at Pearl's heart. But I liked that the potential romance was subtle and for the most part, grew as a friendship. Evan is a sweet, boy-next-door kind of guy whose heart is fueled with a heroic need. Often, it's annoying when there's a love interest with a hero complex who won't let the protagonist even duck into the toilet without an escort. But thankfully, Evan isn't like that. He sees something in Pearl and acknowledges that she can look after herself, but that doesn't mean he's not still watching her back.

I absolutely loved Pearl's family! Not that I'd actually want to spend an afternoon in their house, though. I don't fancy decorating the dinner table come feast time. But they are such a wildly amusing bunch of vampires. Although they don't set out to be intentionally amusing, they all have a few shades of varying psycho, but what creature of the night with a penchant for draining human life doesn't? And it was really interesting to see the the dynamics between all the vampires, the mind games and power plays that are constantly in motion. Something that becomes much more tiring to Pearl as her humanity begins to show.

Drink Slay Love is a thoroughly engaging story of a vampire finding her soul, filled with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, quirky characters, a unique protagonist and some dangerous schemes. Sarah's mythology was so fantastically unique. Unicorns! Vampires and Werewolves, I understand. Vampires and Unicorns? Not a combination you see often, if ever. Whether you're new to vampire reads (what rock have you been hiding under?!) or worn out by the influx of 'sparkly, broody and tortured', I think you'll find Drink Slay Love a refreshingly entertaining novel.

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

18 comments:

  1. This book sounds like loads of fun! I love that she gets stabbed by a unicorn. Seriously? A UNICORN!!! Lol.

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  2. Aww, I love the sound of this! It sounds like the romance with Evan is especially sweet and like something I'd adore. I'll definitely have to get my hands on this one!

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  3. Stabbed by a unicorn!? I'm in! Pearl's family and potential love interests sound really fun to read about. Great review!

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  4. Oh my! This sounds interesting! ;) So now I can see the cure to vampirism - for the spiritual/soul/humanity part at least - it's ze unicorn. I love how you describe Pearl. I can see myself liking her. Great review! I'm half-done on my vampire phase but I will consider this one! *puts it on to-read list*

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  5. Hehe! I need to get on and read this. I asked for a copy since it sounded hilarious... Great review ~ the protagonist sounds freaking awesome! And it just has so many things going for it that I'm sure I'll at least like this one. ;)

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  6. Sweet! I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed Drink, Slay, Love so much and that it managed to still be a fresh, entertaining take for a vampire novel. Thanks for the review, Brodie! :)

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  7. STABBED by a UNICORN?! Oh my, I need this book in my life. Now.

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  8. I loved her family too!! They are wildly entertaining! I'm currently Reading this one and it's so funny!!!


    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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  9. I did and loved this take immensely! I think Pearl really stole the show for me. She was just the perfect MC. I found her heartlessness fascinating, and even when compassion was finally leaking through she retained her personality traits that made her such a great character. Totally agree on this one!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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  10. So, as much as I love you and your blog, I'm convinced you're E V I L. Everytime I read one of your ruddy reviews, I have to restrain myself from running out and buying more books, which sucks for a few reasons: firstly, at the moment it's 11:15 at night. While I *DID* just get my P's today, and could probably find an all-night Kmart, I swear that, out of spite, they won't have it in stock. Secondly, I promised my husband, like, ten or twenty purchases ago, that I wasn't buying any more books this year, and thirdly, I still have all the others books that you've made me want to read, to read! Ugh!

    Why does this one have to sound so goooood! You had me at '...a unicorn'. It sounds so funny, and I love the whole idea, and how you've described Evan! And the cover! And diabolical vampires! Husbandman would be so proud I was reading a book that has real vampires and not sparkly vampires... oh, there you go! Now I have an excuse to give husbandman for buying another book: "It's got badass vampires, honey! BADASS VAMPIRES! Aren't you proud I'm reading about BADASS vampires?"

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  11. Mwaha! 'Technically' safe, yes. I have a card with a V E R Y S E R I O U S photo of me that says so... based on the look on the testing officer, driving instructor, and husbandman's face though, perhaps they just wanted me to leave the RTA building ASAP, and thought giving me a shiny card and the red lettered plastic squares would remove me in the swiftest fashion XD

    Maybe I should broadcast 'pulling out of my driveway' tweets and updates for public safety?

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  12. I loved her family too!!great review

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  13. Haha, I love your first paragraph. It actually pains me when I hear these young girls today criticising vampires that don't sparkle... I'm so glad you liked Drink, Slay, Love! I adored Pearl and all her cynicism - thought she was hilarious. Awesome review! :P

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  14. I've seen this book before. I like the sounds of it. Although I don't read these kinds of books, but I like reading your reviews!! Thank you for sharing it! :)

    Sam
    Books For All Seasons

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  15. LOL this sounds like such a fun read! 'stabbed by a unicorn'; I'm already laughing! Pearl definitely sounds like an awesome MC! I love my heroines confident & sarcastic! Glad to hear you liked this so much! I can't wait to read it too :D Fantastic review as always <3 You had me laughing at the first sentence!

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  16. Great review! <3 So glad you liked this one too! Yes, I'm catching up on blog comments right now ;)

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  17. Honestly when I read the summary all I really comprehend is 'sparkly unicorn'. Unicorns!! But beyond that it sounds so fun! Any vampire that doesn't sparkle is one I want to read about haha. I can only imagine what Pearl must be thinking about that darn 'conscience' :P
    Will need to pick this one up on the future :)

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  18. In Drink, Slay, Love the vampires are cold, cruel and calculating hunters. And the author uses sarcasm as if it were an art form. This book is a must read for fans of a vampire story that doesn't take itself too seriously, who prefer their vamps without any humanity, and who want something other than the love story to be the focus.

    Penelope
    Click here for Landscaping Olympia WA website

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