Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book
Available at Indie Bound, Powell's Books, Barnes & Noble.
SUMMARY: Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner-and happy that way. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler's life changes dramatically. She has a mosaic of blue veins on her arms, and craves raw meat. The death of a popular girl from Duchesne is surrounded by a mystery that haunts her. And strangest off all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.
I picked up Blue Bloods because I had heard so much about the series and wanted to give it a try. It did take me awhile to decide to read it because it takes place at a private school where the students are extremely wealthy and live for designer clothing and the New York social scene. This is so hard for me to relate to since I grew up on a farm in a small rural community. However, within the first three pages I relaxed, as the main character, Schulyer, is described as chipping at her black nail polish, and wearing duct-taped sneakers. She buys true thrift store finds, not expensive clothing made to look aged. I like that Schulyer is her own person, despite the constant temptation to give into her peers and join the "in crowd". Not that she is isn't tempted. Blue Bloods is a slightly more mature read than some YA novels I've reviewed this week. I would say 16 and up, maybe 15 for mature kids. It will appeal to girls more than it will boys, though it isn't overly sappy as far as the romance goes.
The author's blurb in the back of the book states that she has written for Glamour, Marie Claire and other fashion magazines, as well as appearing on television as a fashion expert. This comes across in Blue Bloods in the descriptions of the clothing, shoes and the modeling scenes in the book. However, the fashion doesn't take over the plot, which has some good twists and turns. As I was reading the first few chapters I thought I knew what was coming, but I was surprised at several turns in the plot. It had the signs of a first book in a series where I could tell nothing would be wrapped up by the end, but it was a good read and ended in a spot that didn't have a horrendous cliff hanger, like some series tend to do.
I enjoyed Blue Bloods, and thought the concept of vampires coming to America on the Mayflower original and fascinating. The author provides pages of a diary throughout the book from a young woman who sailed with the ship and the pieces fall together for the reader as the end of the book nears.
Mom Notes: The sexual elements in the book aren't too detailed, but they are present, including a scene where one couple undresses to have sex but are interrupted. Another female character in the book is especially fond of young men, and "feeding". As I said before, the book is a little mature for younger teens. I thought that over all, Blue Bloods was a good read for older teens as far as lessons in learning to be yourself, not giving in to peer pressure and standing up for what is right.
You can learn more about the author and the books on her website: http://www.melissa-delacruz.com
The series includes:
1. Blue Bloods (2006)
2. Masquerade (2007)
3. Revelations (2008)
4. The Van Alen Legacy (2009)
5. Misguided Angel (2010)
6. Bloody Valentine (2011)
Keys to the Repository (2010)