I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Sarah Beth Durst
Published September, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry
Provided by: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
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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?
Drink, Slay, Love is a quirky and original tale about vampires – and unicorns! While the first half of the book felt a little dull, the second half quickly makes up for it. With loads of pop culture references, laughs and handfuls upon handfuls of characters, fans of the YA vampire genre will most likely enjoy.
I’ll admit this one took a lot of getting into initially. I think it had something to do with me being totally burnt out on the whole ‘vampire’ thing, so delving back into almost classical vamps was hard. If I’m going to go back to their little niche in YA, it has to be something really different and unique for me to take interest. With Drink, Slay, Love I thought I was getting just that. I mean, vampires AND unicorns? A vampire getting staked by a unicorn? I had to read this! Unfortunately the first portion of the book felt a little droll and slow-moving.
It’s taken me a while to finish this one. I guess I just kept putting it off and finding other things to read in the mean time. Last night, however, I finally pushed myself back in this book and was able to read it quite quickly. Once the action picks up, it’s really quite good. I almost gave it a four, but decided I needed to knock my rating down a notch since it’s taken me so long to complete. For a while at the start I debated even finishing it or not.
Pearl, as our lead character, isn’t exactly likeable. I was hoping my feelings toward her would change as the book went on, since she goes through such a transformation. While she’s quite witty and takes no crap, I didn’t find myself warming to her. I mean, she’s okay, but that’s about it. A few of the things she said to people and the way she still treated them (even though they were now her friends) just rubbed me the wrong way. Still, I think the story had to be told through her eyes in order to play out the way it did. She went well with the story, I suppose.
I was thrilled with the unicorn aspect of the book, and the twist that came with it. I’m sure lots of readers will enjoy that uniqueness. Once the whole unicorn aspect of the book played more of a central role, that’s when I felt I was really enjoying Drink Slay Love.
Sarah Beth Durst really wrote some interesting dynamics between Pearl and her Family. At first the numerous cousins, aunts and uncles boggled my mind but as the book went on I started to distinguish between them. There’s still a few I get mixed up (there are loads!) but for the most part I respected their individual personalities and quirks. There’s also a lot of pop culture references sprinkled throughout this book, so that’s also a fun treat if you’re familiar with them. Look out for handfuls of Twilight references; the Prom is even decorated with Edward and Jacob standees.
I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it hadn’t followed the typical YA plotline of ‘girl adjusts to normal high school routine’ and ‘climax of the story happens at dance/Prom night’. I found myself predicting just where the story was going to go, and dreading it because it was foreseeable. But, like I mentioned, although the whole unicorn twist was hinted at – I thought my predictions about it was too wild and crazy for it to actually happen. When it did I was so impressed Sarah Beth Durst went there!
If you’re interested in this book, give it a try. If you’re struggling with it as I did, keep pressing on. You’ll find a quirky and enjoyable story if you stick with it.
Recommended to: Fans of vampire stories will probably enjoy this unique spin on things.