Saturday, November 10, 2012

Novel Review: Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses, #8) by Ellen Schreiber

Genre: YA Supernatural Romance

Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Publisher: HarperTeen
Spoilers?: Some.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The morbidly monotonous Dullsville has finally become the most exciting place on earth now that Raven is madly in love with her hot vampire boyfriend Alexander, and a crew of vampires has taken residence in Dullsville's old mill. Raven discovers Jagger's plan to open a new club, The Crypt, right here in Dullsville. But is it her dream come true, or her worst nightmare? Raven and Alexander have to figure out what the nefarious vampire has in store for Dullsville's teen and vampire population. Can Raven convince Jagger to listen to her plans to make the Crypt the morbidly magnificent dance club it could be? Will it be safe for mortals and vampires alike?

And as Sebastian and Luna's relationship heats up, Raven wonders about her own amorous fate: Will Alexander ever turn her? Does he crave her and does he want to spend eternity together? And what does she really want?

With cryptic secrets and cravings, this eighth installment in the Vampire Kisses series is a romantic and mysterious thrill ride.

Available on Amazon.


I did not really enjoy this book. It was a bit nostalgic for me, and had a feel like most Disney Channel movies/TV shows that I don’t like and yet get sucked into anyway have, which is why the rating is as high as it is. Because I do have several problems with this book.
Now, if you have not, then you should go read my review for Once in a Full Moon, because I have somewhat similar feelings to this book as I did to that one.
In this book of the Vampire Kisses series, Raven is wondering more seriously (and by more seriously, I mean more frequently, and in the state of mind as ‘I want him to do it’) about Alexander (you know, her vampire boyfriend) biting her and turning her into a vampire. Also, Jagger, Sebastian, Luna, Onyx, and Scarlet, are all still in town and setting up a vampire/human gothic club for the town. Which of course Raven and Alexander don’t want any vampires, other than themselves, to attend, so they have to try to convince Jagger of that.
First, let’s talk about the club. Jagger’s idea is for it to be like the Coffin Club, but Raven quickly gets everyone to agree that there should be no other vampires, because that would be bad. Which, okay, they don’t want any other vampires causing a mess in the town, or getting everyone’s attention. But I have a problem with the vampires, and how it’s a little racist, maybe, for her to automatically assume that every other vampire out there is bad, when she has only met nice ones (well, aside from Luna and Jagger, but mostly Luna, and that’s just their personalities). But I have a problem with the vampires in general that I will talk about in a minute.
My problem with the club is that, it’s a gothic club. With coffins and spider webs and other dark, creepy things. That no one in town but Raven and the vampires like. So why would anyone else in town want to go there? I get that they want something to do because it’s so boring there, but I don’t think people are that influence-able, that as soon as Trevor, a popular boy, says it’s okay, they’re all on board. That’s a shallow assumption. Not to mention a dumb one.
I just don’t understand why all these people that give Raven crap would suddenly decide to go to a goth club, just because it’s there. And why Jagger would decide that their town would be the place to put a club, out of all the other, more popular, towns. Why would he think that he would make money off of it in the first place? That doesn’t make sense to me.
Now, the vampire thing. My main problem revolves around the fact that most vampires are born that way. You are not born as an evil creature, okay? You grow into that. If they are born with the vampire traits, okay, but everyone is suggesting that vampires are evil, terrible things, when they are born like that. And why, exactly, can’t they look in the mirror or get their picture taken? Usually, as far as I know, that means that they don’t have a soul. But how can they not have a soul, when they are born that way? That just doesn’t add up in my head. Also, Raven called them ‘undead’ once. You can’t be undead if you are born like that. Being undead means that you were dead, are in a dead-like state, and you are not in that kind of state, if you are still growing. If you age, and reproduce. That does not work, okay? I’m just having a hard time accepting the logistics of it all.
And Raven wants so badly to be one of them, to be joined forever with Alexander, while he’s hesitant to do it. He’s smart to be hesitant. Because that would change her life forever, which she doesn’t seem to realize, because she thinks that her life revolves around him and doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. Although, honestly? It would change how she lives her life, yea, and that she would have to drink blood, which is a big deal, but the vampires aren’t dangerous. These vampires are not dangerous, at all, and so I don’t see why anyone should be afraid of them. They apparently aren’t controlled by their thirst, some of them are just assholes. Well, you know what? Some humans are assholes, too; not a big deal.
Another problem I have with this book, is the whole ‘love’ thing. At one point, Raven’s mom asks her about college, and she says something along the lines of how she would go with Alexander, if he went. Because her decisions are made when he makes his. Because, you know, they’re in love and that’s apparently all that matters in life. And her mom just lets the subject go, because she believes that Raven has found true love, and that’s the most important thing, I guess.
And, later in the book, Becky (Raven’s best friend) finds out that Alexander and the others are vampires, and freaks out a bit. Raven tells her that no one else can know. Becky responds by telling her that, oh, yea, of course, she won’t tell anyone. Except for Matt, her boyfriend, because, you know, they’re in love and she can’t keep a secret like this from him. And I get not wanting to keep a secret from him, but this is kind of a big thing. And you’ve been together maybe a year. I think this is something you can keep from him.
Which is another thing. As of this book, they’ve been together a year. A year. That’s not very long. At all. They shouldn’t be planning their lives together after a year, when they’re seventeen and eighteen years old. That is not old enough. Especially when they act like they’re closer to thirteen/fourteen (well, maybe fifteen for Alexander. He does act a bit more mature than everyone else). They barely even know each other. Raven didn’t even know Alexander had a younger sister until this book, in fact. (Who, of course, we will be meeting in the next book.)
It bothers me that this is such an immature book (especially with the way the towns are called ‘Dullsville’ and ‘Hipsterville’), and yet it’s talking very seriously about spending the rest of your life with someone and what their version of getting married is, when the characters aren’t even out of high school yet. I read this in middle school/early high school, which is the age I would recommend it for, but there’s all this other stuff that makes this not a good book for those ages.
Next, the writing. I mentioned in my other review, how much more tell there is than show, and it’s the same way in this book. Alexander is described, several times, as saying something seductively, or in a sexy voice, which isn’t really a description at all. And we’re told, several times, that Alexander is her vampire boyfriend; which is just one example of the repetitivity. And, again, the kissing/romantic scenes are not very good in description, at all, and thus not exciting.
Oh, another thing that’s repeated so many times, is how Trevor is her nemesis. She kind of has feelings for him, but doesn’t want to, because she’s in love with Alexander. And of course, her feelings for Alexander win out by far, but it was a rather annoying subplot that I didn’t really care for.
The writing makes it very easy to get through, but not particularly a nice read. Although, this series is, by far, easier to read than her Full Moon one, so that’s saying something.
I did not really enjoy this book, but it wasn’t completely terrible. And I’ve had it on my shelf since around the time it came out, so it’s been a while. I finally decided to read it, and, because I knew that I’d pretty much grown out of it, I planned to read this book and be done with it. Then I found out that there’s only one more book in the series. Which, of course, means that I’m going to have to read the last book. It's not going to be terrible or anything, but it still might be a while until I decide to get it.

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