Title: Drink, Slay, Love
Author: Sara Beth Durst
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Buy Link: Buy Drink, Slay, Love Here!
Rating: You Gotta Read
Reviewer: Wendy Mitchell
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?
Sixteen year old Pearl didn’t grow up in the bosom of a warm loving family. She was born into a family of vampires, and NOT the sparkly, loving kind. In her family, failure or weakness meant at the very least painful punishment and in some cases true death. These were the vampires of nightmares, soulless, merciless, and hungry. So far, Pearl had exceeded her family’s expectations and they couldn’t be prouder. That is until they find her curled up on the door step with a gaping hole in her chest. It seems Pearl had run afoul of a unicorn with an attitude, not that anyone in the family believes that story. The attack changed Pearl, however, she is now immune to the deadly rays of sunlight, and she might just be developing a pesky little thing called a conscience. The family sees the advantage to Pearl being a daywalker, but if they find out about the developing emotions, her days are numbered.
No one can be more surprised than myself that I actually enjoyed this book, because there is zero sexual content. Cover to cover, it held my attention and kept me enthralled. This is only my second foray into the burgeoning genre of YA in decades. The first book was, Meh, so I wasn’t overly optimistic on my second attempt. Hooray, Ms. Durst! You taught this dog a new trick. This book had enough darkness balanced with just the perfect amount of tongue in cheek whimsy to win me over. When I talk about the darkness of this book, I’m talking serious, big time evil, the eat small children and use their bones as furniture evil. There are also were-unicorns, proms, and Ms. Durst’s version of the Frog brothers (Lost Boys reference). It is not all death and darkness, it is in fact an extremely nice balance which moves along very quickly. Will I become a regular patron of YA? Probably not, but if she can reach me, then she is indeed a miracle worker, because my tastes are set in concrete. I found this to be an excellent palate cleanser and a refreshing change of pace. I give this my highest recommendation and would love to check back in on this crew when they get a few years under their belts.