Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry BooksPages: 400Received: Simon and Schuster GalleyGrab for honest reviewBuy Now: Amazon
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?
I seriously loved this book - vampires and unicorns?!? - two of my favourite mythical creatures in one book! I had no idea this book had unicorns in it when I requested it from GalleyGrab (since I didn't really read the synopsis - the cover drew me in), but loved it so much when I first read about the unicron. How does a teenage vampire explain to her family that she was nearly staked to death by a unicorn?
"It wasn't a hunter," Pearl said. "It was a unicorn. I know, I know, mythical. But I remember everything right up until the moment after the stupid horse skewered me."
"Sorry, dearest," Aunt Lianne said, " but did you say 'unicorn'?"
"Horse. Pointy horn. Kind of sparkly," Pearl said. "Frankly, it was ridiculous. Mythical creature hanging out behind the Dairy Hut like it was on a smoke break." Silence filled the room.
The whole story was very unique - a vampire becoming a daywalker? How fun! Pearl's character is amazing to follow while she learns what it feels like to be in the day light... she devours everything that we humans generally take for granted, like the warmth of the sun on our skin, hearing the rustle of the leaves in the trees, seeing the colours of the birds and flowers, and my favourite thing standing in the library surrounded by the colours of the stained glass as the sun shines through!
The writing is absolutely hilarious and the characters are wonderful. Pearl's human friends Evan and Bethany reminded me so much of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's sidekicks, Zander and Willow (though Evan is smoking compared to Zander, but still has the witty comments and Bethany has zero magical mojo, but is still the super nerd).
Watching Pearl make her way through the human jungle that is high school was so intriguing. She is sassy, yet practical. She befriends many different social circles in the school, stands up to teachers when others are afraid to speak out, and she even joins the prom committee. Since Pearl has nothing to compare this too and has not been pre-exposed to the cliques, she pretty much makes choices based on what she thinks is right and wrong, not based on group mentality or peer pressure. She even develops a conscience and becomes a better person along the way. It's truly a great ride watching her change from this bloodsucking fiend with no regard to human life to becoming someone who would fight to protect the same lives she would have taken weeks ago.
Oh and did I mention - love triangle? Oh yes it's a good one too. Existing vampire boyfriend bent on human destruction versus smoking teenage human with a heart made of gold. What's a teenage vampire girl to do?
There are a few twists in the story that I did not see coming. And the whole sparkly unicorn storyline does get explained, but I don't want to spoil any of it, because it's so good! The unicorns actually become a big part of the story and I am really looking forward to more from Sarah Beth Durst - I want to see more sparkly unicorn/daywalking vampire interaction!