My Vampire Summer
by Elle Casey
Website: Elle Casey
My Vampire Summer, a novella, the first novella in a series of four ... Reserved bookworm Iona Candella and her best friend, wildchild Cheri Blake, are spending the summer before college in a small medieval town in France. Iona plans to spend the time reading 100 books on her Kindle and Cheri plans to spend it interfering in Iona's book reading/hibernation plan and finding gorgeous French boyfriends to help them pass the time instead. Both of them get more than they bargained for or even imagined. Ancient curses, haunted castle ruins, crypts protected by supernatural serpents. My Vampire Summer is a veritable YA Fantasy banquet, all in a novella-sized package.
Have I told you how much I love Novellas? This one is almost book length, plenty of time to develop characters and flesh out the story. Everyone, absolutely everyone should have a best friend like Cheri! She is an absolute blast of a friend and I so hope she stays in this story. Cheri is the friend that makes you go to the party after a crappy day at work. She's the one that makes you go on the blind date you don't want to and you find THE guy! She's the one that makes the trip to the math symposium F-U-N! And she was only one of my favorite characters in this novella.
There is also the very cute Phillipe who is so in love with Cheri which they change to Cherie(dear one) in France that on the second day he wants her to go to college with him there in France! He's got as much energy and life as Cheri and keeps up with her. And he's got such an adorable accent! On the first day he meets the girls he tells Cheri he will call her later maybe or "yesterday" and they burst out laughing having to explain yesterday, today and tomorrow. I was grinning and laughing at the whole exchange. Any time Phillipe spoke, I was looking like a fool. I felt like I had to explain what I was grinning at to everyone around me. Luckily, I was reading in the car and no one really cared.
Iona, she's a bit harder to warm up to, but I think you aren't supposed to fall for her too hard in the beginning. She's quiet. Got her KINDLE! Yes, she's a reader and has downloaded fifty books to read over the summer. But come on Iona you're in FRANCE for the whole summer! Have a fling! And boy does she find someone to fling with. Not a Phillipe at all, but Francois. Ooh la la! Guess what he is??? C'mon you know the name of the story.
Just when I thought a vampire story couldn't be fresh, Elle Casey proves me wrong. She puts curses and new twists on the old tales and like I said at 200 pages, it was enough to get me hooked, but not enough to overwhelm me. If I have one complaint, it's that toward the end of the story the summer was summed up with "The rest of our summer....". There were some details but I wanted everything to happen in France over the summer. Doesn't look like that's going to happen. But that's such a minor complaint.
I felt everything! I might have written this when I reviewed Elle's novel Changelings: War of the Fae. She is amazing at making you feel the feelings of the characters. I swear I was blushing when Cheri was flirting with Phillipe. I was fricking scared out of mind in the church especially of the snake. You'll understand that when you read it. And I felt a sincere warmth toward the guardians of Sommieres, the dogs. Elle makes you care about everyone and everything. Even mom, who was a background character, you feel for her because of her sadness at being divorced.
So do I recommend this one? Absolutely! Anyone that loves paranormal romance, vampire stories, ya paranormal, just a good short read. It's really a new, fresh idea when it comes to vampire stories. I can't wait for the next installment! Again, though it's called a novella, at 200 pages, it felt longer and it came to a satisfactory stopping point. Totally recommended!