DRINK, SLAY, LOVE
By: Sarah Beth Durst
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: Sept. 13, 2011
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads Summary: 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?
I know what you're thinking - vampires and unicorns couldn't possibly go together. But in Drink, Slay, Love, they do. I have to admit that I've always had a soft spot for unicorns (I blame Fantasia), so that and the cover were what drew me to this book. And I was not disappointed.
Pearl knows exactly who she is - a vampire, one of the youngest vampires in her Family, and a vampire with a fondness for ice cream-infused blood. And then one night, everything changes. She is stabbed by a unicorn's horn, only she doesn't die; instead, she wakes up back at her house, confronted by a family who doesn't believe her story of the attack, left wondering if her memories are true. Over the next few days, Pearl begins to discover the effects of her attack. She can walk in sunlight, and humans no longer seem to be simply a source of sustenance. This conscience only grows stronger as Pearl enrolls in high school (what could be a bountiful hunting ground for her Family) and begins to make friends. But no matter how close she becomes to Bethany, or what she might feel for Evan, she can neither abandon her hunt for the unicorn who changed her nor escape her Family. But when the two worlds collide, which one will she choose?
Though the vampires in Drink, Slay, Love may be very close to vampire canon, this book is certainly not your typical vampire story. While Pearl struggles with her family responsibilities and what she comes to believe is right, she is not afraid to stand up for herself when she needs to. I loved reading about her journey of self-discovery and how she came to realize that sometimes, you can't do things simply because your family or your boyfriend expects you to. The shift in her feelings about Evan and the fact that she finally opened up to him yielded some very sweet scenes. But despite her assimilation into the human world, Pearl still had her vampiric connections. Even though her family frustrated me at times, I really enjoyed reading their family dynamic and watching these different characters come to life. I also liked her Uncle Pascha's quotes from literature. Finally, the fact that unicorns are the antithesis to vampires in this book - pure genius.
The only thing I did have trouble believing in this book was Pearl's easy infiltration of the various high school cliques - could a new student really have reached that many people, especially after some unusual stunts? That being said, Pearl's many human activities made a nice contrast to her vampiric ones. And it was great to see her classmates work together when they needed to.
With plenty of action and a little romance, fans of the paranormal will enjoy this refreshing and creative twist of a vampire story. A fast-paced, fun read, Drink Slay Love will leave you wanting more.