The Eternal Kiss: 12 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire edited by Trisha Telep (3.5 stars)

  • The Eternal Kiss: 12 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire
  • Edited by Trisha Telep
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • ISBN-13: 9780762437177
  • Authors included: Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Tithe)
    • Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty)
    • Melissa De La Cruz (Blue Blood)
    • Cassandra Clare (City of Bones)
    • Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires)
    • Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie (Wicked)
    • Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof, Queen of Cool)
    • Kelley Armstrong (Women of Otherworld)
    • Maria V. Snyder
    • Sarah Rees Brennan
    • Lili St. Crow
    • Karen Mahoney
    • Dina James
My review:

I was skeptical with this book based upon its title and cover.  I was worried that something that seemed very sexual (parted lips, tilted neck with the bite marks, no hint of a shirt) would not be appropriate for my students.  How could something that looked very much like a romance book be marketed for young adults?  After reading it, I don’t know where the cover came from.  I know that I am not supposed to judge something purely based upon the cover, but this led me to believe something totally different from the books was.  The only thing that it managed to get right was that the book is clearly about vampires.  In most cases, these stories had nothing to do with romance, even the young adult kind.  This leaves me ambivalent about the story.  Some of the stories were really good, but it just didn’t seem like they should be in a book with this title and cover.  I don’t think that is enough for me to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, but it was like getting a candy that you expected to be strawberry and it turned out to be apple.  It’s not bad, but not necessarily good either.

Regardless, this was my favorite story:

My favorite story was the first one “Falling to Ash” by Karen Mahoney.  It wasn’t too long, but I felt like I actually had a good idea who the characters were.  Moth has been called back from her “time off” by her master.  We know that she was turned against her will, she is stubborn, a thief, and young.  She is told that she needs to break in to a hunter’s home and steal an urn.  In the process she meets a cute boy that lets her into the building.  Little does she know, this cute boy is the son of the famous hunter.  How does she get out of this mess?  Read and find out.  This one was actually pretty good at defining the main characters and pulling off some tension.

This was my least favorite story:  (SPOILER ALERT)

My least favorite story was “Ambition” by Lili St. Crow.  Admittedly, I can’t think of anything that I have read by Lili St. Crow, so it could just be her story, but I feel like I could tell you everything that happened in this story and not give anything away.  The scholarship kid at a fancy school is starting to feel like her best friend is pulling away from her.  They go to a party and people try to pull a dirty trick on her, so she leaves the party and goes to a club.  At the club she meets a guy.  This guy is hot and draws her attention.  She sneaks out to meet up with him.  He bites her and drains her of most of her blood.  He then tells her that she has a choice.  The author says that he tells her what the choice is, but doesn’t share it with the audience.  Then the girl goes to her best friend’s house for a sleepover.  Once everyone is asleep, she lets the boy into the house and goes to the car.  That’s pretty much the end of the story.  Who knows what the choice is, or what happens to the people in the house, or if the boy even comes back to the car.  I like stories with some ambiguity, but this is just ridiculous.  It’s fun to make up your own ending, but you need something to work with in order to do that.  This story just doesn’t give you enough to work with.  You don’t know much about the characters, there is nothing that may lead you to any conclusions about what the choice is, or what may happen if he does or does not come back to the car.  It’s rather ridiculous.  I think this is a pure failure of a writing technique to draw an audience in.  It makes me feel like she had a limited amount of time to throw something together and didn’t have a clear idea of what she wanted to write.

Anyways,   the other stories are in the middle.  Some of them are better than others.  There are some fantastic writer’s in this collection, but in most cases this is not the best version of their work.  Also, there are some author’s that use characters from their novel series.  I tend to enjoy this, but if you haven’t read anything from them before then you may be lost.  Also, most of the stories are more about growing and making choices than connecting with other characters.  This should be an important part of the setup of the book, and I think that Telep fails the audience by not doing that.  I hesitate to offer a ranking that is set in stone, but I would give it about 3 ½ stars.

It’s average.

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