Sunday, December 9, 2012

Novel Review: Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1) by C.C. Hunter

Genre: YA Supernatural/Paranormal Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Spoilers?: Minor-ish.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Available on Amazon.


I’ve had this book on my shelf since about the time it came out, and it has taken me forever to finally read it. When it first came out, I thought it sounded pretty good, then I changed my mind and thought it would probably be pretty bad. It ended up somewhere in between.
Born at Midnight is about Kylie, whose parents are getting divorced, and, when she gets caught by the police at some party, her mother sends her away to Shadow Falls Camp, a place that they both think is for delinquents, only is actually for supernaturals. While there, she meets some boys and makes friends with some girls, and learns that she’s not human.
I think my biggest problem with this book was Kylie. First of all, she’s in denial for a majority of the book, trying to find some stupid excuse for why she’s not a supernatural, which were all just dumb and I wanted her to finally just smart up, and it took way too long. Another thing that bothered me was how it’s brought up so many times that she’s a nice person, that she has the nice person disease or whatever, meaning that she has a hard time being mean or honest when it’s hurtful. This bothered me because I don’t believe it. Her actions show that she’s not actually that nice, and she’s actually rather self-centered, and she is so judgmental. The judgmental thing bothered me a lot, how from the beginning she’s calling everyone freaks because of how ‘goth’ they’re dressing, and how some people are sluts or bitches just because she doesn’t get along with them/because they’re going after a guy that she likes, and how close-minded she is about all the supernaturals, particularly how all vampires are out to kill her and all werewolves are cat killers. Oh, also, Kylie is apparently really good with giving love advice, which worked, but was just kind of odd to me.
Another thing about Kylie that I didn’t like, is all the boys. There are three boys that want her in this book, and she tries pushing most of them away, while also trying to push away her want of them. First, there’s Trey, her ex-boyfriend, who apparently broke up with her so he could date someone that would have sex with him, and yet she still wants him back. I didn’t like him from the start, and just wanted her to quickly get over him, but no she has to angst over it until he sneaks into her camp to find her and kind of pressures her into having sex with him for her to actually say no and push him away. Second, there’s Derek, who’s half fae, and generally just a really sweet guy. He’s the good guy, who Kylie tries to just be friends with, but who she actually likes but doesn’t know what to do about. And who, at first, reminded Kylie of Trey, which was just dumb because Derek is a much better person than Trey. Lastly, there’s Lucas, who lived next door to Kylie when they were kids, who’s a werewolf, and who Kylie thinks killed her cat. The whole cat thing was a bit dumb and judgmental, and at first I was sure that I wasn’t going to like Lucas. And then suddenly I kind of did, and now I’m sure that he’s going to be the one who ends up with Kylie, and I think I’m okay with that. Kind of annoying that, of course, the good guy doesn’t get the girl, but whatever. Also, if I do read the next book, or more, I’m not looking forward to the continual angst over the boys until the last book, which I am sure is going to happen.
There was very little actual plot in this book. Mostly, it consisted of Kylie denying her being a supernatural and her angsting over the boys. There were, maybe, fifty pages of adventurous/serious plot movement, plus a small story of Kylie talking to this ghost that’s following her around, and then the surprise ending. I liked the little twist, which I had not guessed at all, although there was absolutely no build up to it. There was no Kylie thinking about it or anything, she just suddenly knew and was questioning her mom about it, that was it. But whatever. Because of that, though, I hope that Soldier Dude sticks around for a bit longer. Also, the ending with the camp turning into a school was, I think, an obvious move to prolong the series, but makes sense, and, really, what else could the author have done?
Also, the swearing. There is swearing in this book, and there is also a lot of going around the swearing which was just dumb. If you’re going to say the word ‘bitch’ then don’t say ‘B with an itch’; what the fuck is the point of that? There is none, okay? And I understand using swear words for emphasis, but it wasn’t needed in this book, there was no emphasis, it didn’t make the scene stronger; it was just annoying.
In some ways, like the swearing and the boy drama, this book reminded me of the House of Night series, and I’m not sure which is better, although I don’t think either are all that good. I think this one had more characters I like, and that one uses the emphasis on swear words better, and that one has more boys to worry about in more complicated ways than this one.
The one thing that I truly enjoyed, and that is probably the main reason as to why I am thinking about reading the next book, are the side characters. My favorite character is Miranda, the witch roommate to Kylie, who is dyslexic and has trouble with her spells, but who is very sweet. And it definitely help that I really like her love interest, Perry. Perry is a shapeshifter, who is the class clown but is actually really shy and is also a pervert, and I just really like him. I would have enjoyed this book a ton more if it had been narrated by Miranda, honestly.
Another of my favorite characters was Holiday, the camp counselor/whatever. She was smart and really sweet, and I was interested in her budding relationship with Burnett. Kylie’s vampire roommate, Della, I didn’t mind, but was not that high up on my list. Probably higher than Kylie, but still.
I was planning on reading this book and then being done with the series, but now I’m seriously thinking about reading the next one, if only to find out what Kylie actually is (which better not be something obvious, like fae, or should come with some other cool powers, if they're going to string it along for a while) and to see more of Miranda and Perry (although apparently some other guy is going to cause drama there, and what’s the point of that?) and Holiday.
Part of me is going ‘I want to know what happens next’, while the other part is going ‘ugh’. I’m kind of leaning toward the former, but I’m still unsure. I could give the second book a try, but I don’t know if I’m curious enough to read all the other four books unless there’s a drastic change in the next one. We’ll see, I guess.

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