I received an advance release copy of Vamps through the Harper Teen First Look program. I have to admit, it was not at all what I was expecting.
I was extremely put off by the beginning of the book. The reader is introduced first to Lilith Todd, the daughter of a powerful vampire tycoon. She's rich, beautiful, spoiled, and stuck up. I got tired early of the description of every item of clothing she was putting on from her Dior dress and Patek Philippe watch down to her silk Perla underthings. OK, she's wealthy. We get it. Move on, please. The thing that bothered me the most initially was thinking that I was supposed to like this character and her sycophantic entourage of friends. Around page 60, however, there was shift, and it becomes apparent that perhaps she's not intended to be the character I'm supposed to be identifying with / rooting for.
I'm not sure I am best equipped to review this book for it's intended audience, but I'm going to give my opinion anyway.
First of all, this book is being marketed to teens and tweens, and in my opinion it is not appropriate. Perhaps I'm a prude...ok, that's fine. But, I think books with teenagers (albeit teen vampires) having sex in public restrooms, being hungover from the drugged blood they ingested the night before, and hanging out in bars drinking blood laced with alcohol is going too far. I'm not sure when this became ok for teen literature, but it bothers me.
That said, once I got through the first third of the book, I was better able to appreciate the story. The writing is pretty good - not extraordinary, but solid. At times the plot feels rushed - that could just be a genre thing, though. If you can look past the inappropriate bits, the book isn't that bad. It is important to note that this is obviously the first in a series, because there's really no closure in the end. And perhaps a sign that it was a pretty good story is that I was a bit ticked that it ended when it did. It left me wanting more. Although, I don't think I'll actually seek out the second installment.
Teenage girls will probably really enjoy the book. And perhaps the sex and drug references are commonplace in young adult literature now. It just didn't suit me.