Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Velvet Trilogy
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the first book in the Velvet series by West. I got an ARC of this book to review. Honestly I was drawn to the cover and then reading the synopsis thought; huh it’s been awhile since I read a trashy YA vampire book…I should give this a read. It actually ended up being a lot better than I was expecting; the characters are real, a bit nerdy, and very snarky. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.
Caitlin has lost both her parents, her mother just a couple months ago. She is resentful and angry when she is forced to go live with her aunt and uncle in the small town of Stony Creek. Then while wandering through the woods she is attacked by a demon and saved by the stunningly handsome Adrian, who is…wait for it…a vampire.
Problem is the demon was actually after Adrian but Caitlin’s strong emotions got his attention. Now Caitlin is under Adrian’s family’s protection until they can eliminate the demonic threat against her. So that Adrian can stay close to Caitlin they decide to pretend to be girlfriend and boyfriend…however this relationship is turning out to be a lot less pretend than they were going for.
As mentioned above I kind of wanted to read a trashy YA vampire novel; I just haven’t read one of those in a while. So I had pretty low expectations for this book and was more looking for it to feed a hankering for vampire goodness. Imagine my surprise when this actually turned out to be a very engaging and well done paranormal YA novel. I actually really enjoyed it a lot.
The characters are very well done. Caitlin is angsty and angry, but she is also sad and struggling. She also happens to be a genius designer and artist which was interesting. Adrian is of course beautiful and dark and a bit moody; but he is also a bit of a nerd and has a funny sense of humor. He was not what I was expecting a vampire to be; he was much more human and interesting than that.
The relationship between Caitlin and Adrian is well done; they have great chemistry together and the scenes between them are sweet and occasionally steamy. They are one of those couples you just have to root for. There is a ban on vampire/human interaction which gives their relationship a very star crossed feel. I expected the whole girl falls in love with her vampire bodyguard thing to be very corny, but it wasn’t…these characters are just so real and cute.
All the side characters were very well done too. I loved Trish, who sticks out her head to try and make Caitlin feel somewhat welcome in a new town and place. Trish is snarky and funny and loyal. Many of Caitlin’s new found friends at school are amazing characters that I would love to learn more about.
I really enjoyed the whole mythology and origin behind vampires. These aren’t sparkly vampires (okay they do have swirly grey eyes) but instead are related to demons. They are more human than most vampires you read about although there are differences. I got a kick out of Adrian trying to explain to a very non-science savvy Caitlin why vampires need blood in a very geeky and scientific way.
There are a lot of little hints and some foreshadowing thrown at the reader in this book that isn’t resolved. For example there are hints that Caitlin is special in some way, but we never find out how. There are demons here but they are a bit different than you would expect and we don’t learn a ton about what demons are.
It is a bit hard not to compare this to the Twilight series, but I actually enjoyed the characters more in this book. I also enjoyed the geeky vampire scientific explanations.
Overall this was a well done YA paranormal novel. I loved Caitlin’s snark and Adrian’s geekiness. Pretty much all the characters are just really well done. I loved all the mythology behind the vampire origins and am very curious to learn more about how demons are involved. I plan on reading the next book in the series because I just enjoyed this so much more than I thought I was going to; I loved the snark and witty humor in here. I would recommend to fans of YA paranormal books.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge