Cannonball Read V: Book #9/52
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
4 stars: Very good. Would recommend.
When I started reading this, for some reason I had it confused with The Mortal Instruments series (I guess because I've seen ads for the movie that's coming out this summer based off of that book). So, I was sort of confused when they started introducing vampires. I generally enjoy dystopian YA books rather than supernatural creature books, but this book kept me interested from the start.
Allison lives in the Fringe - the outskirts of a vampire town. She is also Unregistered, which means she has to beg and steal for food. Her parents are dead and she has a small group of friends who take care of each other. When Allison finds a stash of food buried beneath an old house, she brings her friends out to gather it up, but they get caught on their way back by some rabid vampires (the more "wild" ones - there are different strains of vampirism). All of her friends are killed and, technically, so is Allison. She is dying when a vampire offers to either let her die or turn her into one of them. Allison decides to be turned (these aren't really spoilers as they happen very early in the book and are revealed on Goodreads main synopsis as well).
After Allison is turned, the vampire that turned her teaches her about how to survive by killing as few humans as possible. Before she fully discovers who the strange vampire who saved her is, they are separated and Allison tries to hide among a group on humans who are traveling to a supposed vampire-free island.
This book is a strong contender to help get YA vampire novels away from the joke that they have become after Twilight. The writing was good, the pacing was strong, and I loved the main character. I really liked that Allison was described as Asian too. I'm white, but it gets kind of boring to see every female YA main character as a white girl. Do no other ethnicities survive the apocalypse? But I am kind of annoyed that a generic white girl is on the front of the book. Shouldn't she look like the main character?
The book also had lots of surprises without making them become cliche "twists". It kept the story going as Allison floated from location to location - with her friends, with the strange vampire, on her own, with the group of humans. I sometimes get bored with post-apocalypse books that keep the characters in one spot. I like to see more of the destroyed world they live in instead of just one city or area.
The sequel comes out this spring and I'll definitely be checking it out.