“Whenever I said the word vampire, I felt like a complete tool. Like I was in a bad horror movie or I was being Punk’d. It just wasn’t a possibility.” – Alice in My Blood Approves
As for her writing… yes, she could use a new editor. But her stuff is Young Adult fiction with a lot of pop culture references (to items like Chuck Taylors and Dickies, and artists like Kanye West and the Violent Femmes) and it does its job, which is to carry a story that readers find engaging. It’s a fast, easy read – though editorially excruciating – and 56% percent of the way through the first book, it may or may not start to grow on you.
Now, I’ve been told that I’m exceptionally quick at predicting plots, but I’d think with a title like My Blood Approves the gist of the book is pretty evident. Alice, the main character, doesn’t think so. One of the other characters finally has to reveal the book’s premise to her out of what I presume to be exasperation at her slowness at figuring it out.
Alice is the average girl; apparently her pretty friend Jane’s sidekick, she isn’t used to a lot of attention at home or socially. Jane, on the other hand, is a pretty, fast girl with a drinking/drug habit (she doesn’t start rolling until book two, if you make it that far). Alice’s mother is busy working swing shift, sleeping, smoking, and drinking, so her closest family member is her brother Milo, who cooks and cleans for the family.
When Alice and Jane unsuccessfully attempt to go clubbing with fake IDs one night, the book borrows a page from Twilight as they’re followed by some menacing men and rescued by a stranger. That stranger is Jake, a thin, trendy, sensitive, and bored vampire that lives with his wealthy “family” of vampires:
- Peter, who Alice is irresistibly attracted to
- Ezra, the head of the household
- Mae, the sweet, nurturing vampire woman
True to form, Jake has nothing better to do with himself after a few hundred years than hang about with a teenage girl whose thoughts are, for some reason, enigmatic to him. She spends her time being torn between her strong bond with Jake and her strong attraction to Peter, and obsessing about becoming a vampire herself. Alice is less interesting than Bella, but the vampires are equally or more likeable if you can overlook the seriously awful spelling, punctuation and usage and some clumsy plotting to get to know them.
I’m incredibly impressed with Amanda Hocking’s persistence, savvy, and narrative ability. Despite the editing gaffes, I’m going to download the third in the series soon.
You can download My Blood Approves for $.99 here.