Friday, May 7, 2010


The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

I mean, my god, I need to explain how I got my hands on this...

Because I'm sadist like that, I dared Aithen to read Beautiful Creatures for the simple reason that it had 'Attempt # 1753 at being as good as Twilight and utterly failing at it' labeled on it. Of course, because there is no way she'd suffer a bad read without having me suffer beside her, she picked a book for me in return that had 'Yet another Vampire book that is so bad no one knows why it even got published in the first place!' labeled on it.

Here's the kind of book that makes me desperately sigh and rub my forehead. And to think I swore to myself never to read such a... thing... ever again! But a challenge is a challenge and I'm not one to deny especially when I'm sure I'll win yet again. Aithen always picks the worst for me ever since I made her read some crap called the 'Prophecy of the Stones'. Oh noooo, she'll never forgive me for that.

Anyway, I had forgotten how much a book can be filled with so much stereotypes. Here's the story, and no I won't skip over spoilers:

Random girl is marked as a vampyre (Can't even bother finding a more original name? Do you really need to mess up the word already?) but instead of being like everyone else and having her forehead crescent moon tattoo only outlined, she has it filled in because she's so special and on top of that, the Goddess of all the vamps chooses her for some cliche prophecy and foreshadows a super destiny! Yay!!!1 Then, random girl arrives at this super awesome perfect school where vampyres have a salad bar (drinking blood is so last decade!) and where all the teachers are nice and cool and where everyone is just simply amazingly gorgeous and has long flowy hair. Double yay!!!1 But you know what!? There's this evil gang of prigs who want our super special protagonist to join their Dark Daughters or Whatever club because she's so special like them, and because they are the evil prigs of the story and get to do what they want! And they are all total sluts. No wayyyy. But, oh, oh, this is not the end! Our protagonist, not only being somewhat of a full vampyre (when it is completely illogical because she was marked two hours ago and it takes about 3-4 years to become a full vampire!) because of her filled in mark, can also control the elements! And you know what else!? She's probably the first vampyr ever to control the five elements! How amazingly amazing! Oh and, she gets to hook up with the most beautiful guy in the school even if she has known him for a total of two days.

Right. This was as much of a laugh as Evermore, my previous challenge but at least this got me going till the end. (I just really wanted to see how cliche it could get).

Ok, first thing first. The authors here tried way too hard to put moral in their story and cover issues such as oral sex and getting drunk and what not, making Zoey, the protagonist, a super smart, alert and conscious teen who is supposed to be the role model for every teenager out there with her perfectness and innocence. You know, as much as I want the young society to get smarter and act smart, the way these issues were presented was just ridiculous.

I don't know what this deal about connecting with teenagers was all about, but I don't think the dialogues, interactions and overall voice of the book needed to sound so stupid. I mean, you had those parenthesis comments and monologues popping out every few pages, such as 'Speaking of boob, I was totally sounding like one. (Boob... hee hee).' or 'You scared the poo out of me!' I mean, hello? Is Zoey really supposed to be 16 years old!? This book was so just written in such a plain and primitive way. At first the bluntness of it all made me laugh, but really, this is not the kind of book that is worth being read again or that contains any passages that really draws you in, inspires you. The attempt at connecting with teenagers is a failure, because if they think we teenagers act like this in the real world, then we're all a horde of immature dorks.

The characters weren't as bad because at least they had personalities, but those personalities were your international cliche. Zoey was way too much your stereotypical good-girl and her friends were the way too stereotypical good-friends including the stereotypical gay boy that giggles like a girl and the bad guys were the way too stereotypical 'bia-tches' and the love interest was flat and there was as usual nothing stable and concrete and logical behind the relationship. Why can't authors take the time to develop their characters and relationships!? Yes here I am telling that some of them are pitiful writers and should go hide in shame!

I did like the whole marking and changing thing. It's a nice concept, though unattractive because vampires are included (even if there was as much of vampire-ism in this book as there is gold under your pillow) and vampires have been way too much overused during the past years to stand as a possible interest. This book was more like a Harry Potter reloaded in bad quality and involving vampire pagans doing sacrificial witchcraft instead of wizards who wear pointy hats and fly on brooms. Ugh, really. Where Twilight completely misunderstands the concept of vampires, The House of Night completely passes beside the point! At least they don't sparkle. Yet.

This is the kind of book that will make twelve year-old girls who know no better squeal and fangirl. It was an easy read, ok, funny at times ok, but in truth ridiculous and a big waste of my time. I just know I won this challenge.

Sorry if I sounded rude. Just blame the book for it.

Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Rating: 6,3/10

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