Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I’ve been in Austin, Texas for SXSW and visiting with my family. Even with all of the great bands and food, I was able to keep reading! In fact, I completed Amanda Hocking’s four book vampire series, My Blood Approves. There is really no way to review a whole series without some spoilers, but I’ll try to keep them minimal here.
The series follows Alice Bonham, a seventeen year old high school student living in Minneapolis. While clubbing one summer night with her best friend Jane, Alice is accosted in a parking garage by some thugs, but the men are run off by a strange boy, Jack. Jack is friendly and fun and immediately takes a liking to Alice. As their friendship progresses, Alice learns that Jack is actually a forty year old vampire.
When he takes her home to meet his vampire family, Jack’s “brother” Peter has a physical reaction to her blood. Similar to soul-mates, when a blood bond exists, it is like beyond love…more like destiny. Unfortunately, the 200 year old Peter has been burned by love before and resists Alice with all of his strength, eventually fleeing to another part of the world to avoid her.
In Peter’s absence, the relationship between Alice and Jack grows. With her blood longs for Peter, it is Jack who gives her the emotional support and love that she craves. Knowing the territorial nature of vampires, if their love progresses and Peter returns, he is likely to kill them both.
Unfortunately, Hocking sets up this brilliant love triangle with hot chemistry, but then lets if fizzle out. Peter is this amazing character who has serious depth to him, but I feel Hocking barely scratched his surface. On the other hand, Jack is fun and all, but tends to be immature and jealous. I kept expecting some big thing to happen with this love storyline, but it never really went anywhere.
The character of Alice was also a bit disappointing. She starts off as this bored teenager who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life and then she turns into a bored vampire who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her eternity. Hocking solves this issue in the end, but not until I suffered through three and a half books of her sleeping all day and moping around all night. Don’t get me wrong…I liked Alice. In fact, I think she was one of the more realistic teen heroines that I’ve read in this genre. But I would have liked to have seen more of a growth in her character earlier in the series. She had a lot of potential and it would have been fun to see this explored.
Some of the supporting characters were really fun. I loved Alice’s brother Milo. Actually, I think Milo was the most developed character in the series. He was younger than Alice, but he was also her caretaker since their father was MIA and mother was never home. We got to see Milo turn from a little boy to a strong man. Other characters that I liked were Mae, Ezra and Bobby.
As teen vampire series go, this was a good, but not great. I think it is worth the read, but I enjoyed Hocking’s Trylle Series much better.
Overall, I give the My Blood Approves series…
Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character Development - 3 bookmarks
Love Story - 2 bookmarks (Disappointing because it had so much potential)
Interpretation of Vampire Lore - 3 1/2 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Rooney Mara (Alice), Hunter Parrish (Jack), Robert Pattinson (Peter), Peter Fachinelli (Ezra), Ke$ha (Jane), Alexander Gould (human Milo), Thomas Decker (vampire Milo)