Saturday, 20 March 2010

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

Blue Bloods is the first book in a series by Melissa De La Cruz about the upper-class students at a prestigious school in New York who enjoy fashion and gossip, and just happen to be turning into vampires. We follow Schuyler Van Alen, a 15 year old girl who has never fit in with the other students at Duchesne — preferring to wear charity shop vintage clothes and hanging out with Oliver Hazard-Perry. Little does she realise that her life is about to change forever, as she is initiated into the exclusive Blue Bloods society and finds out that she is one of the ‘Fallen Angels’ — immortals striving to regain the grace of God.

For some reason, I found myself compulsively turning the pages and read Blue Bloods in two brief sittings, but it was rather akin to reading a trashy gossip magazine or eating a meal from MacDonald’s rather than a three course meal. I enjoyed it well enough as a piece of disposable entertainment and would likely read the sequels as well, but I certainly won’t be rushing out to pick them up.

I think the reason it felt so quick and disposable is because I didn’t manage to really identify with any of the characters or to start rooting for them. Schuyler is rather the best of a poor bunch, but even her character does not follow consistent behaviour — oh, and what gives with the name? Upper-class children are sometimes given rather unusual names, but I was jarred out of the prose every single time I encountered her name because I was unsure how to pronounce it.

Schuyler is an outcast with little interest in fashion or of being popular, yet she still ends up falling for the most popular guy in school and taking on a modeling contract! The other characters were barely two-dimensional, let alone three, and I struggled to remember who was who at times. Their motivations seemed slight, to say the least.

I’m no prude, and I understand that kids these days are going further in relationships at an earlier age, but I felt deeply uncomfortable at some of the scenes where the girls, in particular, seemed to think nothing of jumping into bed with the guys they liked. The underage smoking and drinking, to a lesser extent, also left me cold. I didn’t like the idea that these cool and popular kids in the story were presented as being able to do what they liked; impressionable young eyes will be reading Blue Bloods — it’s being marketed to teens.

Despite these things, there were parts of Blue Bloods that I enjoyed thoroughly. The history of the vampires was different and, consequently, exciting (even though it was given to us in a massive infodump disguised as a meeting between new and old members of the Blue Bloods). The idea of these fallen angels is one I’ve encountered in other books, but never combined with the vampire myth, and it ended up being very effective.

In conclusion, Blue Bloods is entertaining enough — but distinctly forgettable.

[Also posted to Fanlit - click for quality reviews and interviews with your favourite fantasy authors!]


  1. This sounds like one of those throwaway reads you go for when you really don't want to have to think too much. All great so long as you recognise it for what it is.
    Not something I would rush to pick up, but if I were in one of those literary hamburger type moods I might give it a go!


  2. That is exactly what this book would be great for! And the reason I enjoyed it well enough - I read it on the train to and from London and it was a great little distraction because I didn't have to spend too much brain power on it :-)

  3. I have this book sitting in my TBR!

  4. It's a shame you didn't really like this novel. I have it for review too so I'm interested to see what I think of it.

    The one thing I always have a problem with when an adult reads a YA is the assumption that just because a book contains drinking/drugs or scenes of a sexual nature that this will some how influence teenagers. I would have found this a little bit patronizing as a teenager.

    Thanks for the review though, great as always :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.