From the Publisher:
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 entrÉes.
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 love reading vampire stories, but it is getting harder and harder for authors to create something unique in such an overpopulated genre. Sarah Beth Durst pulls this off quite effectively with Drink, Slay, Love. Pearl, the main character, begins the book as a rather dark vampire that uses her looks and charm to sneak a quick human snack when she feels the urge. One night, however, she is stabbed in the chest by a unicorn. That's right, a unicorn. After this, she starts to develop a conscience and that change is what this novel is all about.
The writing throughout the book is witty and very personable. There are quite a few characters and Durst does a good job making each unique. I loved some of the wacky vampires in Pearl's family, especially Antoinette, who was fascinated with human television and culture. The main characters are all strong and that makes for some interesting interaction as the story ramps up. I loved the strong, funny, yet somewhat geeky Bethany. She makes all of us that did well in school seem cool.
This book does share a few things with most of the other books in the genre: prom, social cliques, forbidden romance. I am not sure why most YA authors insist on having prom be a part of their story. I guess it is a big part of most teenagers' lives, but even this book had a strong Buffy feel to it with the prom story line. Even with some common themes, this book stands out as something different.
Drink, Slay, Love is a stand alone novel, but there is room for a sequel if the author so chooses. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I recommend it to those that love vampire or young adult fiction.
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of the young adult novels Enchanted Ivy and Ice, as well as the middle grade novels Into the Wild and Out of the Wild. She has twice been a finalist for SWFA's Andre Norton Award, for both Ice and Into the Wild. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children.
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.