Thursday, October 21, 2010

Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampires Book One by Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers is sick of Morganville, Texas. Okay, so she's not technically old enough to be attending college, but she's a bright kid and finished high school early. And not only did she do that, but her grades are good enough to get her into Harvard or M.I.T. Unfortunately, her parents wanted to make sure that she could handle being on her own well enough before they sent her so far away, so they sent her to Texas Prairie University, based in Morganville, Texas, instead.

But Claire hates Morganville, which is filled with mean girls who take deadly offense to Claire being so smart. And when she pisses off the Chief Mean Girl, Monica, by correcting her on who was involved in the second World War, in front of a sexy boy that Monica has her eye on, it means war to Monica and all her mean friends. Not only do they throw away Claire's clothes, but they push her down the steps of the residence hall near her room, nearly killing her. Claire feels she can't complain to her parents, because they already think she is unsuited to enter college at such a young age.

Instead, she decides to find a room elsewhere and leave the Mean Girls behind. She finds an ad for a private house looking for a roomate, and, legs still shaking, goes off to look into it. There she meets housemates Eve and Shane, who are at the very least friendly to her. But she will have to meet their other housemate, Michael, to get his approval for her to move in permanently. However, once she reveals she can actually cook a little, enough to prepare some meals that the others can't, she is pretty much golden.

But her state has the others asking questions about what has happened to her, and she receives some bad news. Monica's father is the Mayor of Morganville, so she isn't likely to receive any help from the University in dealing with her, additionally, living in Morganville might be dangerous for Claire, because everyone in Morganville has to have a protector- a vampire who watches over them and takes care of them, and Claire, being an outsider, has no one.

Things might not be so bad if it wasn't for the vampire in charge of the Morganville wasn't such a horrible man, but Bishop is cruel and cold, and not only that, he's the Protector of the Mayor and his entire family. The only way for Claire to buy the safety of herself and her roommates (and now friends) at Glass House is to find the book that the vampires want, a book written by the oldest vampire in town, Amelie. But will Michael let her stay in the Glass House, and can she escape the hatred of Monica and the "Monickettes"? And what about the fact that she seems to be falling in love with Shane, who is way too old for her?

As the campus police search for Claire, she may never be able to leave Morganville, as she knows too much about the town to be allowed to live. And worse, her parents have arrived, called by the school because she left her home in the residence hall. But can she protect her parents from the Supernatural threats in town, and her roommates from the vampires who would wipe them out? If Claire ends up trusting the wrong bloodsucker, her life could end very shortly... Will she be able to make the right choice?

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was hard for me to read about Claire's mistreatment at the hands of Monica and the Monickettes because I was also mistreated in school, although, admittedly, not as badly as Claire is mistreated. I never had acid dumped on my back, nor was I pushed down a flight of stairs, but reading that part made me dream up revenge fantasies on Claire's part against her tormentors.

I liked how the rest of the story was handled, and the twists and turns that kept me interested, and kept me reading. So many reversals of fortune happen, and at the same time, you are consumed with Claire's safety, along with that of her roommates. And her roommates have their own secrets, too. Some of them are revealed, but some of them aren't, and the story ends on a cliffhanger that makes you want to seek out the next book to find out what is going to happen.

This book is marketed as a Young Adult novel, but Rachel Caine's writing will appeal to both adults and teens, as she is also responsible for the "Weather Warden" series of Novels, and it gives teens something to look forward to reading after they finish the books in this series. I can't wait to see what happens with Claire and her new friends, and how she'll deal with having a boyfriend who is older than her when she is just a young teen. I guess I'll have to keep reading to find out. Recommended.

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