Saturday, October 21, 2006

braced2bite - Serena Robar

We are getting quite a few entries in this months contest, both in the comments section and through e-mail. Thank you to every one who is entering and spreading the word, and ThankYouThankYouThankYou, to the wonderful authors that are giving away signed books. The contest is still running and you have until Sunday, Oct. 29th to enter, so if you haven't yet, don't worry, there is still plenty of time! Remember, to enter the main contest this month, all you need to do is leave us a comment or send an e-mail to telling us what superpower/paranormal trait, you would like to have and why. Also, don't forget the mini contest we are running for a chance to win a copy (un-signed) of Playing With Fire by Gena Showalter. All you have to do to win that book is leave us a comment or send an e-mail to the above address with a catchy title to this review. And now, on with the review...

braced2bite by Serena Robar

Meet Colby Blanchard-cheerleader, fashionista, Daddy's little princess, bloodthirsty vampire...

I had it all. I was the popular cheerleader with the looks, the grade, and guys falling all over me Aidan Reynolds was destined to be my date for Homecoming, and I had the crown in the bag. Now wait, before you start hating me...

Things are going bad, way bad, Like, I'm turning into a vampire bad. Yellow eyes and pasty skin are not the hot look right now. And let's just say it's a good thing my dad happens to be an orthodontist, since he's had to fit me with special headgear to feed: My canines were taken out long ago so I could have this perfect smile. It makes it even harder to fit in with my new partners in blood sucking, especially because I'm only half vampire...

Can things get worse?

In two words: Uh, yeah! Now I have to defend my eternal life in front of a Vampire Council that doesn't see the point in a half vampire roaming the earth. Not to mention snag a date for Homecoming, get a college scholarship, and not fall fangs over heels for Thomas, the hottie Vampire Investigator who's trying to track down my attacker. I just can't give my heart to someone who secretly wants to run a stake through it. I have to protect myself from mortals and vampires. It's not just my life on the line here-it's my reputation...

It must just be a YA thing, because I have no beefs with this BCC either. My guess is, publishers think that younger readers will be less forgiving of the, ah, embellishments that they sometimes use to lure avid readers into buying books. Whatever the reason, this BCC was well written, it captures the tone well and describes the story even better.

Colby Blanchard has it all going for. At 16 she is Captain of the Cheerleading Squad, a star student taking AP classes, looks, friends, and her future well planned out. Sure there is some creepy attacker on the loose knocking girls down and scaring them, and sure they all seem to fit her description, but that sort of thing doesn't happen to girls like her. At least, that's what she thinks. Then one night after being stood up by her future Homecoming date, Colby walks home in shame, only to be surprised a short distance from her house by him.

When Colby wakes up by a ravine she walks home hoping that she can sneak in unnoticed by her parents. Imagine her surprise when she finds out TWO days had passed. Imagine her families surprise when she now has yellow eyes and powder white skin! Thank goodness Aunt Chloe is with them, because she seems to be the only one that knows what Colby has become. A vampire?!!

"...we are a family and what affects you, affects all of us. We stick together. That is what family does." I've mentioned before that one of the daunting tasks a YA author faces is adding in a few life lessons without seeming preachy, and Robar managed this task beautifully, as you can see by that quote. Shortly after Colby learns she is newly Undead, her family bands together to help make her transformation as easy as possible. Her mother helps her research vampires, her aunt tells her of her real life-experience with the Undead, and her dad makes her... "A fang headgear set. As if life wasn't hard enough for me, now I would be the laughingstock of vampires everywhere."

But even the love and understanding of her family offers little help when Colby is visited by two Investigators from The Tribunal Group. Thomas and Carl show up on Colby's door, both looking far better than any vampire has the right to, and begin to question Colby of the circumstances that lead to her being turned into one of the Undead. They serve Colby with an official summons to appear in front of the Vampire Tribunal. Suddenly, newly Undead Colby will have to defend her right to exist to a bunch of ancient Vampires. As if college interviews and Homecoming weren't enough to deal with.

Thomas has decided to help Colby with her defense, but can she really trust this hunk of a vampire, when his job very well may be to kill her? Or can she trust the maniac vampire "Chuck" who is responsible for her transformation?

I cannot express to you how much I enjoyed this book. Picture a cross between Legally Blonde and The Undead Series and you have the highly enjoyable Braced. Robar's next book Fangs 4 Freaks will be a continuation of Colby's adventures and will be available November 7th, and I for one cannot wait to get it. I have an appointment with an oral surgeon that day, so I can't think of anything more fitting to read.

Take Care

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