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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst (ARC Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Supernatural, Romance
Publication.Date  September 13th 2011
Published By:  Margaret K. McElderry
WebsiteSarah Beth Durst

Drink, Slay, Love - Goodreads
My review copy:Provided by the publisher (thank you!)
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon      | Book Depository

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?

Please note:  Quotes are from an ARC and will be verified against a published copy.
The unicorn stood between the dumpsters. At first she thought she was mistaken. Unicorns didn't exist, which made his presence here unlikely at best. But there was no chance that he was simply an ordinary white horse (which, she quickly realized, would have been an odd addition to the parking lot too). Despite the thick shadows by the dumpsters, he sparkled like a horse-shaped disco ball. His traditional spiral horn beamed like a toy light saber.

Pearl burst out laughing. "Seriously? A unicorn? Please."
 “A brush with extinction does not excuse unladylike behaviour. You weren’t raised in a barn.
Beathany beamed at her, and the other three girls looked as pleased as cats with milk. She met their smiles with her own until a terrible thought occurred to her: Oh, crap. I have friends.
"You messed up my life in a high-handed, daddy-knows-best, alpha-male way and reshaped me to suit your own ideals without any regard for my culture or family background, not to mention my personal wants and needs - and that's if I'm being charitable. If I'm not being charitable..." Her lips touched his ear as she breathed the words. "No matter how you rationalize it or how wide you open those shining eyes of yours, you treated me like a lab rat. Worse, an expendable lab rat."

      One word: WOW.
     Never before have I read a vampire book that left me totally speechless.  Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst is, hands down, one of the best (if not THE best) vampire novel I have ever read. And the best part is I wasn’t at all expecting it! It was one of the first five books I received from the wonderful people at Simon & Schuster Canada, and – I’m sorry to admit that – one that I was least excited for. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know I was getting it – it came as a total surprise!  I picked it up thinking “yet another vampire novel to get through” and before I knew it, I was completely engrossed in the story and absolutely in love with Sarah Beth Durst’s unique take on the vampire world! I enjoyed reading Twilight series with its friendly (&sparkly) squirrel-sucking vampires (don’t judge me, you know you liked it, too, at one point!), I really loved CV Hunt’s dark Curt Cobain look-a-like bloodsucker, I devoured Anne Rice’s gorgeous Vampire Chronicles, but this… This was beyond awesome. In Drink, Slay, Love, Durst reached a whole new level of fabulous. I could happily sit down and read it all over again. And who knows, I might just do that!

     Pearl is a teenage vampire. She’s also stunningly beautiful and undeniably evil. Being a typical, heartless (figuratively speaking) creature of the night, Pearl not only has no reflection and no heartbeat, but also no conscience (or any other human feelings) whatsoever. Just like others of her kind, she’s a nightwalker – even minimal exposure to the sun could prove fatal for her. Same goes for playing with fire – apparently vampires are also highly flammable. Despite all that, Pearl is perfectly content with her “life”. Sure, she might not be very fond of some of her family members and yes, she could use a little bit more freedom, but she has her drop-dead handsome vampire boyfriend (Jadrien) and she enjoys “snacking” on the young Dairy Hut worker. Smart, strong and irresistibly gorgeous, she makes a perfect predator. What else could she possibly want?

     Pearl’s “perfect life” gets turned upside down when she crosses paths with… a unicorn! Unfortunately for our blood-sucking friend, this unicorn is not here to happily bounce around and poop rainbows. In fact, mr-sparkly-and-pointy stabs our heroine straight through her heart with his horn. And, believe it or not, that’s just the beginning of her problems. Next thing she knows, the sun doesn’t hurt her anymore, she can see her own reflection and – wait for it – she starts feeling bad for her prey! And all that happens at the worst time imaginable – just when the vampire King of New England is about to come to town for The Fealty Ceremony. Not to mention that this once-in-a-century event is going to be hosted by her family, and she’s the one responsible for providing, uhm, let’s call it “refreshments”.  Before she knows it, she’s attending the local high school and making human friends. What will she do when the time comes to serve up her new friends as party snacks? What’s a vampire with a freshly awakened conscience to do? 

     Vampires and unicorns – doesn’t it sound freaking amazing? Well, it totally is! Actually, it’s even more amazing that you guys can imagine. Not only is the story line fresh, original, deliciously quirky and completely engrossing, but there’s literally nothing in this book that I would change. Not a single character that I wouldn’t like, not a single boring passage, no loose ends, no what-the-hell-is-going-on moments. Non. Zero. Null. The plot is nicely thought-out and skillfully executed. All the missing puzzles are graciously falling into the right places as we read. The unicorn mystery didn’t really surprise me – I actually figured it out quite fast – but the way Sarah Beth Durst unraveled the whole thing was very exciting, rather than get-over-with-it-already-you’re-annoying-me kind of thing. The chemistry between all the characters was top-notch. Especially between Pearly and Evan. Would someone try to tell me a couple of weeks ago that there will come a day when I will be getting excited over a vampire-unicorn romance, I would probably give you my best hell-no look and told you to get lost. But then Durst came along with her fan-freaking-tastic novel and next thing I know I’m reading about it with a heart beating ridiculously fast in my chest. It was really good. And she didn’t overdo it either, which I really appreciate! There’s barely any actual romance at all, I was mostly getting excited for what might happen in the next books (because there are going to be next books, right? RIGHT?!). 

     Pearly is a wonderful heroine. She’s just plain gorgeous. I loved her snarkiness and dark sense of humor. She was going through a lot, her whole life was getting messed-up and yet she wasn’t whining or feeling sorry for herself. She was tough. She’d much rather find the one responsible for all her problems and kick his/her ass, than sit around crying and hoping for a change of fate. She’s a doer, she fights for herself. I really liked that about her. 

     Evan is hot, but he’s also all kinds of awesome and sweet. And on top of everything else, he’s also quite mysterious and charming. Plus he has a not-so-dark secret and adorable hero-complex. I love Evan. Period. 

     There are, of course, many other fantastic characters in Drink, Slay, Love. Some are more essential to the plot than others, but each and every single one of them brings something unique to the story. There’s not a character that I would say was unnecessary or a waste of ink. Take the nerdy duo –Zeke and Matt. They’re like ripped straight from the Big Bang Theory! I could read this book again just for their awesomely geeky conversations! Sarah Beth Durst really knows how to make her characters vivid, realistic and three-dimensional. I’m so in love with all of them! 

     I’d recommend this book to everyone, regardless of your usual reading preferences. I am pretty confident that once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down.


roro said...

got it also from simon and shusters , was thinking that way 2, was going to read it but read it halfway, cause i tought it was gonna be dumb hav 10 days left b4 it gets published
300pages r not many
tnx 4 your review
readin it now

Kathy said...

Love your review and I love this book (my review is set to be posted next week).

I couldn't agree more. The characters are awesome! Pearl is awesome. I love her sense of humour.

I am so glad you loved this too, and your review really makes me want to read it again.

Maria said...

Awesone review! I loved Sarah Beth Durst's Ice, as well as Enchanted Ivy which I recently read and reviewed. If this is anything like her previous novels it's sure to be a fantastic read! Plus Vampires and Unicorns - who doesn't wanna read that.

RhiannonPaille said...

I always seem to rush to read your latest review Evie! You lay it all out there and I love how detailed you are. Haha vampire cat, these pics are just too much for words. Hope you're having a great labor day weekend!

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

So I've seen this one all over and other than a ooo the cover looks cool and hey maybe I'll read it one day I didn't give this book a second thought. That was till I discovered it included unicorns. Your review is awesome. Thanks for adding to my TBR mountain.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

I too loved that book! :) Great LOLcats by the way :) Drink, Slay, Love very much reminded my of the snark from Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I love this kind of humor. It was brilliant.

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Those LOLcats made my day =D

Fairday Morrow said...

Super review! I will put this on my TBR list now that I have read your review!

Shae Carcar said...

Okay... I read the summary at the beginning of this review and my face was like... -_- ... but I scrolled down anyway, and read your review. Now, it's on my TBR list. LOL! I am going to read it because your review made it sound really good, and the cover is awesome!

Miss Page-Turner said...

This sounds like a strange and very cool book at the same time. And it has unicorns in it? Great:D
I never intended to read this book, but your review makes me want to. Evan sounds like someone who could make swoon;)

Bonnie said...

I loved your review of this book Evie! I have to admit I've seen it around but it didn't grab me enough to really read the blurb or consider it. Now after reading your review you can be sure that I am adding it to my TBR pile. You've got me excited for this book now!!!

Margaret said...

This book definitely sounds intriguing! The unicorn is different but I like the sounds of the characters being worth reading about. Sounds good!

Barbara E. said...

I enjoyed your review and now you've got me all excited to read Drink, Slay, Love. It sounds like a fantastic story with a lot of humor, which I always love.

Hoot said...

I have never heard of this book before but I love the sound of it. I can’t wait to read it.

Denise Z said...

Thank you for sharing. I was really a bit doubtful about this book, but I find I am getting more on board here:)

Giselle said...

Unicorns! Huh. Great review. I'm looking forward to reading this book. I think characters often make or break a book! So glad to know they're good in this one.

Giselle at Xpresso Reads

SweetShenanigans said...

Awesome review! There's been so many vampire books lately; I love the incorporation of a unicorn- and loled at the cats :)

Nikki said...

Wow...Ive seen this book popping up here and there but that review really makes me want to read it. Thanks Evie!

Sierra Cullen.♥ said...

I really want to read this book! I overlooked it, thinking that it's a typical book about typical vampires. But now that I read your review and seen a different side of this book, I really want it! :D

Munnaza said...

Great review! I'll admit that I'm a little wary when it comes to vampire novels (other than the tv series, The Vampire Diaries, I haven't been able to enjoy anything centered around vampires, even though I've given a ton of books a shot), but considering you were cautious before reading this yourself, and it completely blew you away, I am now definitely adding this to my TBR list. The characters sound intriguing, the book sounds exciting, and I am definitely interested in seeing this author's unique spin on vampires, especially since books focusing on them are so prevalent in YA lit today. Thank you so much for the recommendation!

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

OMG! It sounds so fabulous. I'm one that still picks up every vampire book that comes my way. I'm in no way over the vampire phase. Throwing in a unicorn--that definitely sounds like a games changer. Can't wait!

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Anna said...

Loved the review and can not wait to read it.


Angel Snyder said...

Great review! Pearl sounds like JUST the heroine YA needs! :) And Evan sounds all kinds of hot and amazing! :) I can't wait to read this! Thank you so much for the review!

Mickey @ imabookshark said...

Great review! I'll have to check it out! :o)

juhinareadsitall said...

The red on this cover is so eye catching! and im all for hot male protagonists! for sure reading this!

The Story Queen said...

Definitely agree with you! I loved this book - my new favourite vampire novel. Pearl was such a strong character (although a little evil perhaps) and I loved Evan and Bethany too. Great review! :)

SweetestLittleBookworm said...

I remember seeing you rave about this on twitter, and I had seem some people not like it too much.

The premise of the unicorn is different, and I think the whole vampire-thing (while I still enjoy it a lot) is done, well, a lot. So to hear of it done differently makes me interested for a fresh spin.

And this: "I’d recommend this book to everyone, regardless of your usual reading preferences. I am pretty confident that once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down." -- is a great recommendation.

~Asheley (Into the Hall of Books)

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

Okay, LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. Officially, my fave vamp book. HILARIOUS! Great review :D

Angie said...

I'm very impatiently waiting on this from the library, and your review just makes me want it more!

Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

jacqlineveve said...

After I read your review of this book I'm planning to read it :D
It sounds Fabulous!!!

Hazal said...

I've really liked the sound of this book since my first day blogging and its always just stuck with me so sometime in the near future, I WILL have to find/buy a copy!

Jaime Lester said...

I love this book with a passion. It, in my opinion, is the absolute best vampire book that I have ever laid my hands on. Pearl was such a great character. All of the characters were so believable and real, but Pearl took the cake. The growth that she showed throughout the book was one of my favorite parts. The plot was unique and the vampires and their history was different. The way they lived was different. I was blown away. Thanks for your great review of Drink, Slay, Love. It makes me happy every time I see a positive review for this book. It deserves it. Sarah Beth Durst is an incredible talent, and this book cemented her as one of my faves!

Lili said...

I've never heard of this book before! I want to read it now, though. Recommending it to everyone is a big deal. yeah, definitely putting this on my TBR list.

Thanks for sharing!

kaya said...

You totally made me wanna read this book. It seems awsome!

Grace Lo said...

To be honest, I'm not a fan of vampire books, but I love this one! Instead of making a new vampire version (BTW, I'm definitely not a sparkly Cullen fan.), Sarah Beth Durst took a classic vampire and made Pearl able to withstand sunlight with the introduction of a unicorn.
If unicorns aren't it, I don't know how this could get better. I think because unicorns are typically thought of as sparkly horses that prance around meadows that writers don't like using them, but a badass vampire-stabbing unicorn? Do like.
This totally overcame my dislike of vampires, and your review pretty much summed up what I thought.

Karina A. said...

Aside from Twilight series, I haven't read other vampire books and I think this is a good one. You gave 5 stars!Wow!

Katy said...

Seems like this one is a MUST read, so I have to read it especially if it's about vampire ;D

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