Title: Blood Calling (ARC)
Author: Joshua Grover-David Patterson
Length: 325 pages
Plot Basics: Poised on the cusp of adulthood, high school senior Lucy Leary isn't taken seriously as a kid or a grown-up. Neglected by her family, and desperate for attention, she goes to a party where she makes a serious mistake. The consequences -- hours of community service at a local homeless shelter -- brings her in contact with an underworld full of vampires that she couldn't imagine. And as she navigates her own family's connection to vampire hunting, Lucy finds out that adulthood -- and childhood -- aren't quite so easily distinguishable and that family always matters.
Banter Points: Patterson has done it again, taking a popular genre -- this time vampires -- and turned it on its head to tell a new kind of story. Like with his debut novel, "Mercy," the vampires are the backdrop to the story, but not what its really about. Patterson is pitch-perfect emotionally, giving Lucy the voice of maturity and insecurity that anyone who's ever been a teenager can relate to. The fears about growing up and living and dying and finding one's place in the world cleans off the showiness and sparkles that have been the trademark of YA vampire fiction and gives it characters of grit and substance.
Bummer Points: I think Patterson's setting this up for a sequel, or at least that's how the end felt to me. I would gladly read more about Lucy and was bummed there wasn't any more.
The other bummer is that there was a character named Wash. While not at all like the Wash from Firefly, my geekiness got in the way and I kept thinking of Alan Tudyk while reading and having to remind myself it's not that Wash.
Word Nerd Recommendation: When this hits the e-book stores, you want to read it.