Brian Meehl’s Suck It Up

Being the first vampire to come out to the public is stress provoking enough but also being an accidental vampire doesn’t help build up self esteem either. At the beginning of his story we see Morning McCobb, an under developed and nerdy teenage boy, graduating from a school that specializes in teaching vampires the art of shape shifting and society integration. Meaning it’s completely unknown to humans.

Morning is chosen to be the first vampire to ever reveal the secret of the blood sucking world in which he lives to humans. Though the reasoning is not so gratifying. Most vampires that are made are specifically chosen for their good genetics. Implying that most are beautiful and in prefect health. Except for Morning who was accidentally turned by a hiccup during the feeding process. His unthreatening appearance makes him the best candidate for the job because he is the least threatening of their kind physically. Flattering, I know.

After successfully making his day view he goes on a tour with his manager and caretaker Penny who is guiding him through his tour. She also brings along her pretty daughter Portia who Morning quickly develops an expected crush on.

The vampires in the book are peaceful for the most part and survives on Blood Lite, an ethical soy substitute. Though he can transform into any animal of his choosing, a bat, a wolf, a dog. The similarities to that of an original vampire end. If great for those who like a twist on the vampire stereotype.Recommended for young teens making their way through puberty, relationships and life.

The story is attention grabbing but not overly complex. It’s a tale of an under confident teenage boy who gets thrown in to stardom for nothing more than his unfortunate handicap. It’s a nice story about the under dog who had something his flawless peers did not, the ability to be approachable. Seems like a lame super power but in the end it worked out well for Morning.

Ruined by Paula Morris

The story starts out at a steady pace and heads in an unsure direction. Rebecca, a native New Yorker who grew up with only her father is sent to live with her father’s friend, Claudia, in New Orleans while he’s away on business. Claudia is a fortuneteller who makes a living reading tarot cards to tourists on Bourbon Street. She is exactly what you think a tourist trap medium would look like, bangles and all.

In comparison to the life she left behind in the big apple New Orleans feels like another world entirely. Where New York is hip and flashy New Orleans is old fashioned and based on ancestry. Everyone in this new world seems shallow and too centered on tradition. One thing that catches Rebecca’s attention is the cemetery across the street from her Aunt Claudia’s house. It’s full of above ground gravestones where old money teenagers go to drink beer and hang out on the prestigious stone steps of their family tombs.

And if that’s not odd enough the first person that Rebecca befriends is Lisette, a ghost. After a couple small twists some of the characters take a wrong turn down a path driven by fear. Rebecca has a destiny and a family history that can only be described as cursed. At first it was difficult to understand where the story was headed but as it progresses the puzzle pieces began to fit together. Only the picture on the puzzle is still confusing. It’s not until the very end that everything begins to make sense. And though the progression is slow and the romance is dull the well-written novel will keep you interested until the last sentence.

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

The story of Britt Pfeiffer and her monstrous trip to the Teton Range can be called many things, generic being one of them. For instance, you see the love interest from a mile away, the one person you know the main character will end up with in the end, even if you don’t want them too. But I must give props to the author for building such a strong, self-reliant female character who survives a back packing trip through hell.

As a way of getting over her ex boyfriend and best friends older brother, Calvin, who rudely stood her up on a night she felt was most important, her senior homecoming. In order to prove to him that she is independent and can do something for herself she decides with her best friend, Korbie (aka a spoiled brat) that they will use their last spring break of their high school career backpacking through the Tetons- where Korbie and Calvin’s parents own a cabin.

Upon arrival the girls get lost in a blizzard. As bad luck may have it they run into two of the three people on the mountain that lack a moral compass. Or at least it seems that way at first.

The men take Britt captive and force her to show them a way off the mountain. Like the geniuses they both are they follow this clueless girl out into the blizzard where there is an increased chance that they will freeze to death or pass out from exhaustion. The palpable love story starts out rough at first and then blossoms toward the end of their crazy ass journey to keep themselves alive. Beside the romance the plot can only be described as gripping and almost unexpected. Only those who truly aren’t paying attention wont figure out who the killer is before the big reveal.

The Eve Trilogy by Anna Carey

This series is based in a post apocalyptic North America after a deadly plague wipes out a good portion of the worlds population. The story follows a headstrong girl named Eve who grew up in the guarded confines of an all girls school where young ladies of any age and decent health are taught the ways of the world. And most certainly do not get brainwashed. Inside the school walls they’re taught mundane subjects like algebra, why they should fear men, literature and the history behind the plague. Their lives are structured and focused on sustaining their superb health. Though the glamorous life they were promised, after their quickly approaching graduation, remains a mystery.

Eve figures out the secrets to her future and flees, like a low level Pokemon, with one of her least favorite schoolmates, Arden. Life outside the school is less than formidable for the girls as they fight to survive. For unknown reasons the King has ordered a fleet of soldiers to track down Eve and bring her to The City of Sand at all costs. Just when they thought their luck was running out the girls run into Caleb, a handsome and intelligent boy living in an all boy’s camp as a refugee. The intense feelings between Caleb and Eve grow through out the series to create quite a love story.

The girls are in search of a fortress named Califia, run by all women who they hope will shield them to the world. Outside the school walls Eve and Arden learn the truth about the world and leaders they have been taught to love and adore. Life is no where close to how she imagined it and she must fight to keep herself and everyone around her alive. She learns the truth of her past and tries desperately to not let it affect her future.

The series is comprised of three well-written books: Eve, Once and Rise. If you are one for suspense and romance this is the series for you. The series is thrilling and never fails to keep you on your toes. Throwing in just enough humor to keep it lively.  The only qualm being that the ending leaves you a bit in suspense. Overall this series is heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring until the last page.

Shadowhunters

            The Mortal Instruments series, written by author Cassandra Clare, is a world hidden inside a world. Where humans roam the streets side by side with numerous supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and other types of mystical beings. Obviously the human population is oblivious to it all or there would be mass chaos derived from fear. Clary Fray, a young girl who just turned sixteen years of age, discovers that she is a shadow hunter, a race of demon hunters that vow to protect the world from beings with far darker hearts. After her mother is attacked and kidnapped she teams up with a guy named Jace Wayland, a demon hunter living at the shadow hunter institute in Brooklyn, NY.

            In August of 2013 the first book was made into a movie. Lets just say that it got less than desirable reviews and fans were quite displeased with how much the filmmakers had adapted the plot. By adding a magical portal in the institute that never existed, revealing that the main Clary and Jace were not related- information that is not revealed until later in the series, and blowing up the mortal cup after freezing her biological father inside the portal. As anyone who has read the books can tell, it was freely adapted.

            After the movie flopped the production team decided to turn the series into a television show in the hopes that they could win back the fans and get more ratings. The first episode in the series aired January 12. As someone who loves the book series it was a bit painful to watch. The dialogue was dumbed down to the point where every line felt cheesy and overly dramatic. The poetic touches it portrayed in the book and even the movie were all but gone. The main character Katherine McNamara probably had some of the worst dialogue in the whole episode. It’s difficult to condemn the actors when their lines were horrendous.

Not to mention, the character of Clary is described as awkward, nice and ordinary, except for her beautiful red hair. Katherine was a little more overly sexualized than what was necessary, even in comparison too the scene in the movie in which Clary, played by British-American actress Lily Collins, was forced to dressed in a skimpy dress in order to crash a party thrown by a warlock.

Their next mistake was their interpretation of Isabelle Lightwood, the younger sister of Alek who is played by Emeraude Toubia. Isabelle is a tough female character, that at times can be a little immature and codependent. She is known to dress in skimpy clothing but always manages to be respectable and classy in the end. In the episode you see Emeraude dressed in a tacky, white leather outfit with a cheap platinum wig dancing provocatively on a stool in a night club to distract some guards. I have no idea how the guards didn’t catch on to her plan, even when she removes the wig and coat, revealing her tattooed body. The only character the show managed to portray correctly was Alec Lightwood, represented by the handsome. Alec’s character is very jealous of Jace and Clary’s attraction to each other, he’s territorial, always serious, and very much by the book.

It’s hard to believe they had a second chance to create a great television series based on the work of Cassandra Clare and they still managed to muck it up. All in all the show was disappointing to watch and is defiantly something I would personally not recommend any true Mortal Instruments fan watching.