Title: Drink, Slay, Love
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
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?
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I have enjoyed Sarah’s books in the past and was very excited to get my hands on another title by her. Drink, Slay, Love is about Pearl, a sixteen year old vampire without even a sliver of a conscience. She views humans as her meals and nothing more. And at the same time, she was also hilarious and a refreshing heroine in the YA world. I know that does not sound like it would work but it does. Too often we see the guy coming to the girls rescue and Pearl would never tolerate that. She has always taken care of herself and wants to keep it that way. She is also very happy with her life at the moment; she has a hot boyfriend, a family that is high up in the vampire hierarchy, and her choice of humans to feed on. The problem comes in when she gets stabbed one night by a unicorn and wakes to learn she can now walk in sunlight. Walking out in daytime is not the only change in Pearl’s life though; she begins to grow a conscience and hates every, single, second of it. She does not want to start feeling for the humans that she has to feed on, or see what being her snack does to their body and mind afterwards. The day after for a human is not pretty and Pearl does not like that she is starting to feel sympathy for them. She wants her old life back, so she immediately starts searching for that unicorn and a way back to her old life.
Her parents on the other hand, see Pearl being a daywalker as an opportunity and send her to the local high school to gain the students trust. They want her to lure them to an event where the Vampire King of New England will be, so the humans can be served up as dinner. At first, Pearl is okay with this plan, but when she gets to know the students and her conscience starts to emerge further, she is not so sure it is a good idea. As she tries to cope with this new attitude she begins to befriend two students at her school, Evan and Bethany. They always seem to show up when she needs help and go out of their way to make her feel welcome in high school. Bethany is always perky and gets on Pearl’s nerves quite often, but Evan just gets under her skin. She reacts to him every time he is near and she has no idea why. Her bad-boy boyfriend was all she ever wanted, but now Evan, the Good Samaritan, seems to be wiggling his way into her heart. This was another great aspect of the book, the good guy winning out over the bad-boy. How often does that happen in a novel? Not very often in books I have read. I enjoyed seeing the good guy getting a chance and watching Pearl’s idea of a perfect guy change as the story progressed.
The vampire mythology in this world was also fascinating. These are not the vampires we typically see in the paranormal world. They are ruthless, heartless and evil. They have no love for humans and want nothing more than to just snack on them and move onto the next one. The idea that a vampire in this world could grow a conscience was fascinating and I enjoyed Sarah’s exploration of this idea and watching Pearl go through a difficult, but necessary transition. The other creatures in this book were unicorns, and not just unicorns, but were-unicorns. I don’t think I have ever heard of that before and soaked up every detail Sarah gave us about them. I did not think that vampires and unicorns could really mix well in the same world, but Sarah blended them together flawlessly. The way the unicorns fight and their purpose were both very interesting. I have never thought of Unicorns as creatures who go on the offensive much, but Sarah has redefined my expectations for them through this book.
Another bonus to this book was no teenage angst. No one was sitting up in there room crying over a guy or pondering their next move while pouting. Pearl was a take action girl and not one to sit around and mope. I appreciated Sarah’s ability to have the story be about kids in their teens, without all the whiny behavior and sullen attitudes that can sometimes come with it in the YA world.
Overall, I really enjoyed Drink, Slay, Love and LOVED Pearl! She was a kick-butt heroine and had me laughing out loud multiple times throughout the book. I am not sure if this book is part of a series or not, but I would love to see more of Pearl in the future. The way this book ends it could just be a stand-alone, but Sarah has left the door open for the story to be expanded into more. Either way I loved this book and following Pearl through her metamorphosis from cold-blooded killer, to a vampire who cares about the lives of humans. Sarah has written another engrossing world filled enchanting new mythology, an exciting plot and a strong heroine you will be cheering for.
FTC: Thank you to the author and publisher for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.