Sunday, April 12, 2009

Review of Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. Hyperion 2007 ($8.99 paperback version)

The first word that pops to mind when I think about this novel is "Pffftt." I know that "pffftt" isn't REALLY a word, but it's the sound I made after almost every page. I had Blue Bloods on my "to-read" list since it was published in hardcover, and chose to read it this weekend as a bit of pleasure reading. Big mistake. Reading this novel was more pain than pleasure. It reads like a list of "hot" designers written by a 16-year-old girl who watches too many reruns of Sex and the City. It shares a lot of the same aspects of the popular Clique novels, which I liked as fun pleasure reading, but lacks the sense of humor, the ability to see itself for what it is. Blue Bloods, unlike the Clique novels, takes itself WAY too seriously.

The major problem with Blue Bloods is the premise. I could forgive the slow development of the plot, the lack of depth in characterization, the rampant historical inaccuracy, the bizarre "twins-but-sometimes-lovers" dynamic, the dialogue that is vapid, sour, boring, stale (etc., etc.), and the just plain bad writing. Really, I could. If it weren't for the fact that these rich Manhattanite vampires are supposed to be the descendants/reincarnation not only of the original Separatists who landed at Plymouth in 1620, but also the legion of angels cast out of heaven after Lucifer's rebellion.

Yes, seriously. The archangels Michael and Gabriel are even characters. See why "Pffftt" is the sound I associate with this novel? You just made that sound, did you not? I loved the idea of "blue bloods" being not only a term for the richest of the rich but also a unique conception of the vampire, but de la Cruz ruins the unique idea with this bizarre and completely unbelievable twist. It would have made more sense to have the creatures be just angels rather than try to make them angels, vampires, Puritans, and everything in between.

I won't waste any more time on this review, other than to say this novel is definitely not going on my suggested reading list (it's in my box to take to the used bookstore). If your students are fans of vampire fiction or the new batch of upper-class fluff, suggest that they pick up a copy of Twilight or The Luxe and leave Blue Bloods alone.

(You may notice a lack of classroom applications accompanying this and the previous review. This is not because I am abandoning the creation of apps; I simply didn't feel they were appropriate. For Wintergirls, the novel is not one that would work in a classroom setting because of the intense, personal, emotional content. For Blue Bloods, it is because the novel is not classroom quality.)

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