The Friday Five: Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater

In honor of the coolest day of the week, I bring you The Friday Five. Every Friday I will ask the same five questions to myself, or any other willing participant! All my fellow book lovers are welcome to join in on the fun.

5966254From the publisher: Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry… … in a new, horrific, unimaginable way… Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature. All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what’s worse is that he’s a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind. But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation… or her death?

Why did you choose this book? The Bookish Brunette gave it a crowned rating, so I knew it was worth a read. Plus the cover is really gruesome!

Where did the author go right? Or if it’s a turkey, what went wrong? What really set this book apart from the rest is that the author went old-school, meaning these aren’t your happy, friendly vampires that sustain themselves on animal blood. Ooooh no – they prey on humans, and sometimes it gets downright messy.  Just when I thought I was burned out on vampires, she brought me back into the fray with this spellbinding tale of bloodlust, romance and adventure. I love that the vampires abhor mirrors, and that they can’t cross over a threshold uninvited. This gothic throwback is a welcome departure from a lot of the urban fantasy crap I’ve been reading lately.  Oh and did I mention zombies are involved? Think Buffy meets The Walking Dead meets Anne Rice. In case you’re wondering, that’s the trifecta of blood-sucking awesomness!

On a side note, I would also like to mention that I REALLY appreciated the Austin infusion. Clearly this Texas woman loves her home state – and it shows in her descriptions of the rugged Hill Country landscape and Austin’s eclectic nightlife. She even mentions the gingerbread pancakes at Kirby Lane, which is pretty much the yummiest breakfast ever.

Did anything bug you about the book? The fact that it had to end kind of bugged me. Other than that, everything about the book – the plot threads, the characters, the romance – is spot on!

Would you read another book by this author? Absolutely, positively 100 percent YES! I’m already moving on to Pretty When She Kills.

How would you sum up the book in three words? Bloody, intense, fun.   

“Insatiable” by Meg Cabot

 When I found out Meg Cabot, the literary queen of cutesy teen princesses, wrote an adult book about vampires, I couldn’t hit the pre-order button fast enough. For all you ladies who would rather read the instruction manual to your DVD player than pour through another predictable vampire love story – don’t roll your eyes just yet. Unlike many cheap Twilight and True Blood knockoffs – this one doesn’t suck! Very punny, I know.

Fans of Sookie Stackhouse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer looking for a lighter version of the vampire huntress should cotton to Meena Harper, a quirky New York City gal who really wants to be normal, but suffers from pesky precognitive powers that force her to see how everyone she meets is going to die. 

Plagued by images of her pregnant best friend’s untimely demise, Meena’s luck  goes from bad to worse when she gets bypassed for the position of  head dialogue writer for the daytime soap “Insiatiable,” and the producers decide to pump up ratings by incorporating steamy, spiky-haired vampires into the script.

 Things really get complicated when the endearingly dingy protagonist up and falls in love with – who else – the  Prince of Darkness.

 The prodigal son of Dracula Lucien Antonescu  abhors human bloodletting and will stop at nothing to put an end to the murderous vampire hijinx in Manhattan. But despite his noble ambition, Meena sends him packing when she discovers she’s been kanoodling with a walking dead guy.

 Enter the smoking-hot vampire adversary – Alaric Wulf (a very clever last name, I might add). A member of the Paletine Guard, a secret society of vampire annihilators, Alaric has a bit of an anger management problem and a major beef against vamps. Hot on the trail of the Prince of Darkness, Alaric swoops in on Meena and finds that it’s not just her link to Lucian and conveniently useful psychic powers that he’s after.

 With punchy jabs at the Stephanie Meyers vampire franchise and literary references to Bram Stoker’s Dracula,  this fast-paced read will definitely leave readers wanting more. The deft touch of Cabot’s trademark humor is evident in the snappy dialogue. Even the most loyal Twihard will giggle at lines like, “Guys have been asking me to do their hair like his for weeks. Like it’s an actual style and not something accomplished with a razor blade and some mousse. People are psycho for that guy.”