Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Drink, Slay, Love

Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release: September 13th 2011
Genre: Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, YA


Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. 

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees. 

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?


Why do I keep getting disappointed? This book came to me highly, highly recommended, but apparently the best of intentions couldn't save it for me. This is one of those books I never would have touched on my own accord, it's only all the glowing reviews that made me want to give it a chance — and trust me, I really, really tried. I tried so hard to like it and I failed so royally.

And I seriously did try. I took my time reading it, stopping every time I noticed that I grew tired and bored of it; I tried to keep an open mind knowing if I took this too seriously, it would ruin the whole experience for me. But despite keeping an open mind, Drink, Slay, Love was not the book for me.

Maybe it was the whole ridiculousness of it all, the one that I already sniffed reading the premise: were-unicorns? Turning vampires into good people? A vampire named Pearl? Honestly? That's just pure cringe, and even when I try taking it all with a grain of salt, it's nigh impossible to swallow. It's too serious to be purely comical, and it's too laughable to be meaningful. 

But it's not just the absurd premise that kept me from enjoying the book, it's also the semi-abusive boyfriend, the controlling family, the stalker love interest and the almost-taking-no-space-at-all plot. The final climax happening within the last ~80 pages was everything the plot really had to offer in terms of actual action and things happening, otherwise, the whole novel was about everyday high school drama life and talking about /preparing for the end climax. Whoop dee doo.

The characters themselves weren't even that bad, but I can't decide if I only feel that way because I didn't connect to any of them or because they just really weren't bad. I guess a mixture of both. I liked Pearl well enough at the beginning, because she was what I expect a vampire to be, although some of her behavior was already a little irritating right from the start, like her describing the sunlight for two fucking pages. However, as she slowly starts growing a conscience, I started to like her less and less, which ... I mean, that was the whole point of the book, Pearl's character arc from a soulless vampire who doesn't feel love or guilt into a person who has a moral compass and cares, but I just didn't feel that, you know? It felt like Pearl was suddenly too stiff and compact, like she was cut off from her true self. 
And let's not talk about the other characters, cardboard cut outs that they were. Neither of them have any character development arcs, and thus, I feel can easily be disregarded.

Why do so many people like this book? To be quite honest with you, I have no idea. I see the appeal here and there, or at least I thought I did, but even on a good day I don't see anything about this book that would merit more than maybe 3.5 stars at the very most. Personally, while I didn't exactly dislike the book, I also didn't really enjoy it lots either, and I'm glad it's just a stand-alone and I can close the final pages without having this feeling of "Ugh and there's more of this out there." So far, it seems that this author is fated to be my next Kiersten White... maybe 3rd time's a charm, seeing as I have her The Lost lying around here somewhere as well, but right now I'm a little less inclined to start with that one.

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