Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1)
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88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
I picked up this book suspecting to be an unconventional, interesting vampire tale. I am a fan of vampire lore, or good ones, at least, so I had to pick this up at my friendly local library. Was I surprised - or perhaps not, coming from the author of 'Au Pairs'- that this book had very little to do with vampires. The first 100 or so pages had absolutely no vampire mentions, and hardly any insinuations that vampires would come up later. Even after that the whole 'Guess what, I'm a vampire, and nearly everyone around you is too...oh yeah, and blood is indeed a necessity' thing is merely a side plot. Mainly, this book concerns Schuyler, an outcast of sorts, dealing with the Queen Bee, Mimi Force, and her gorgeous twin brother, and other high school dramas such as that. It takes a look at the high end of society, where teens learn to drip money without showing it off. Schuyler later learns that she is a 'blue blood', or a very special vampire who is descended from a very old line. You do not learn of this until you're 15, and then signs of it come to your attention, like visible veins and a raw meat craving. Those who are blue bloods seem to be always rich. This exclusive group seems to be HIGHLY metaphorical to the upper-class. She is told that she is immortal, yet blue bloods seem to be dying very rapidly...

Quite frankly, if the whole vampire thing got chucked out, a good percentage would still be a solid story. I was a bit disappointed at first, due to the lack of vampirism, but it was still a good read. Do not read this if you're looking for an Anne Rice twist for teens, or something to that effect. If you are a fan of Ms. de la Cruz's previous novels, i.e, the Au Pairs, and other chick lit, you will find this book a very good one.
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64 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2006
This is one of the best teenage vampire books out there, a fantastic read for teens and adults alike. Schuyler Van Alen lives alone with her grandma, and has only two friends: Oliver and Dylan. However, she begins experiencing strange things, like the intricate, raised pattern of blue veins on her arms. When she is invited to join the New York Blood Bank Committee, the most prestigous charity group in the city, she is reluctant. She attends the first meeting at her grandmother's insistence, where she is informed that she, as well as all the other Committee members, is a Blue Blood, an ancient breed of vampires. She is also informed that she is immortal and cannot be killed. If that's true, why are there three vampire teens who have recently been found dead? Schuyler begins a race against time to find out what could be killing vampires, as well as some shocking facts about her heritage and that of her friends, fellow vampires, and family. Will Schuyler find out what is happening...or will she be killed herself? Blue Bloods is an excellent book, the wonderful descriptions and storyline totally suck you in. I recommend this book for anyone, and can't wait for the sequels!
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49 of 64 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book because I expected it to be a long-awaited branching-out of Ms. de la Cruz's from teen chick-lit to something a bit more serious. Being a bit of an outcast myself I expected to sympathize with the character of Schuyler van Alen. However, while the main plotline of the story was just as shallow, if not more so, than The Au Pairs, the secondary prologue plotline was what truly disappointed me.

I am a writer. I am not published, and I'm only eighteen, but what I do a lot of in my free time is write. And when I'm not writing about made-up fantasy worlds, sometimes I actually have to do research about our own world for the book to make sense.

Ms. de la Cruz, and her editors, seem to not care about this at all. I realize that she grew up in the Phillippines and therefore the history of the Mayflower might not have been as ingrained into her childhood as it was into mine. But a bit of internet research could have prevented her from making the painful errors she made in writing this book. For example:

1. On page three, the first entry, the writer states: "it has been a difficult winter" as her opening comment. If you will notice the date on the top of the page, it is November 21st. November is not winter. Nor, as the narrator later states, have the settlers even docked yet. The difficult winter did not occur until the settlers had arrived in Plymouth.

2. About Plymouth. They spelled it `Plimoth' at the time.

3. On page 56, the second entry, the narrator writes: "... joyful news-- the people of this new land have welcomed us with open arms and many gifts. They brought us wild game, a large bird that could feed an army, a bunch of vegetables, and maize." This is supposedly the 25th of November, 1620. The Indians did not meet the Pilgrims until March 16th, 1621. The first Thanksgiving, as de la Cruz alludes to, was not celebrated until August of that year. The reason the Pilgrims suffered through their first winter was their isolation from other people, including the Indians. The narrator also states: "...we are heartened by the sight of the verdant land, the vast virgin acres." Other than the nauseatingly blatant and inept attempt at alliteration, I wonder exactly how `verdant' the `acres' could have looked in late November in Massachusetts. Interesting how de la Cruz first calls November winter, and then suddenly it's spring!

4. On page 80-- diary entry three-- the narrator states: "Today Myles Standish took a team down the coast the Roanoke to bring medicine, food, and supplies to the settlers there. It is a fortnight's sail, so they will be gone a good while." This is the thirtieth of November. Need I reiterate my previously made point about the Plymouth settlers' isolation? They would have had no contact with Roanoke. Furthermore, the Plymouth/Plimoth colonists did not have extra medicine, food or supplies, they barely had enough for themselves.

5. On pages 125 and 184, the last two diary entries, the narrator writes: "The men have been gone for days now, and still there is no word. We are frightened. They should have arrived there and returned by now, with news of the colony. But all is silent," and "Alas! Alas! Everyone from Roanoke is disappeared. Myles and the men found nothing of the colony," respectively. These entries were for December 20th and 23rd, respectively. Let's think about this, shall we? Aside from the fact that the words "Alas! Alas!" reek of something I might have written to show `emotion' in the third grade after reading too much historical fiction, the "journey to Roanoke" would take a fortnight, as stated in entry three. That means a round trip would take two fortnights. As in four weeks. November 30th-December 20th isn't even three weeks. The men should not have been back by then, nor should they have come back on December 23rd. They should have come back on December 28th.

As I said before, I am eighteen. My elementary school teachers drilled the story of the pilgrims into us from a very young age. I am surprised, after reading the reviews by everyone else on here, that no one else picked up on this very crucial fact.

How do I catch things that published authors and paid editors do not? Are the powers that be at Hyperion all exceptionally bad at American History, or have they let Ms. de la Cruz get away with shoddy writing and fact-checking simply because they know the success of her earlier Au Pairs books would lead to millions buying this book (followed by the continued dumbing-down of American teenagers)? That they would let something so blatantly wrong onto bookshelves astounds me. Most authors know to do research before writing-- in fact, most high schoolers do-- and this was a slap in all of our faces.

I already wrote all of this in a letter to Hyperion asking them to revise or recall the book, but like the ostriches they are, they have done nothing to this effect.

People! Don't accept this sort of shoddily-written tripe! Look at what I have to say and don't hesitate to follow me in petitioning Hyperion and Ms. de la Cruz!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit that I didn't finish this book. The way the author presented the book made this impossible. I did not want to spend half the time reading this book being forced to hear about bad fashion sense and the intricate details of what they were reading. Besides, the characters were very unlikable, especially Jack and Schuyler. I wanted both of them to shut up and have actual personalities.

I will give the author one thing. She had an interesting concept going for her. The problem was that she really did not know what to do with it. The way she went about using her cool, interesting concept was completely wrong. She made it seem extremely cliche and boring, which ruined the entire book. My advice would be to cut down on the description of clothing and actually use the concept for what it is - not throw it into the realm of Gossip Girl and try to be a Twilight clone.

This book was dreadful in my opinion. Maybe for a young teenager/tween it would be amazing, and I have heard this from my friends in teaching/childcare, but for someone in their twenties it just dragged on and on about clothes and other mundane, vapid details that did not interest me in the least. 1/5 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2011
Could have been an intriguing premise, and the author does actually have a few original ideas about vampire lore, but WOW was it difficult to get through. I realize it's a "young adult" novel, but I don't think that's an excuse for bad writing. I found it SO puerile! Just plain badly written. Throwing around brand and band names in the vain attempt to lend edge or modernity to her story was a very bad idea. The modelling aspect was just ridiculous; it read more like a young girl's fantasy of what being a model would be like. The dialog is sludgy and stupid. There's no suspense; the characters are caricatures. The book reads like a 9th grade creative writing assignment which warranted--maybe--a B+. I literally had nothing new to read and had purchased this used for a quarter awhile ago, so I struggled through it. It was not worth the time. At all.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2007
I suppose Melissa de la Cruz should get credit for combining two popular teen genres: high society chick-lit and urban vampires. Unfortunately, this means we are subjected to endless descriptions of designer brands and the lifestyle of the super-rich as well as convoluted pseudo-historical back-story. But even this would be endurable if the characters were interesting or at least, well-constructed.

Schuyler Van Alen, the protagonist, is ostensibly a loner who doesn't go in for the conspicuous consumerism and cliques of her prep-school classmates. But the characterization is pasted on rather than shown in any meaningful way, and an outsider heroine doesn't keep the author from devoting most of the novel to descriptions of parties and "Mean Girls" tactics. In the end, we have to supply Schuyler as a bookish loner-type stereotype because de la Cruz clearly intends that, even as she has failed to portray it at all convincingly.

Furthermore, the writing is poor. There are periodic howlers: a lunch of strawberries and cream is described as "nutritiously deficient," and clear examples of poorly understood words: the decrepit mansion where Schuyler lives demonstrates her family's onetime "largesse." (I pass over de la Cruz's abysmal and embarrassingly bad attempts to incorporate Latin into her vampire culture.) The prose often has a distinctly purple tint, overburdened with descriptions of eyes, hair, clothing, and skin-tone.

In short, this book demonstrates the author to have jumped on the bandwagon of popular teen themes while lacking to ability to make them interesting.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2008
First of all, the storyline was good, the book-not so much. The writing itself is clunky and I was surprised to find that Melissa De La Cruz was actually an experienced writer because for most of the book, I had to take the cover summary's word for everything. Schuyler Van Alen is supposedly the main character of the book but, like I said, I had to take the cover's word for it. The point of view hops around a lot and the it doesn't really settle on Schuyler (or a plot for that matter) until the last quarter of the book. In those few minutes with our "main character" I still didn't feel a much of connection with her.
[..]. This book is completely obsessed with what every character is wearing at every moment and I quickly became frustrated with seeing this long list of brands I didn't give a crap about attached to characters I barely knew anything about.
Overall, if your looking for a different take on vampires and have a LOT of patience for clumsy writing then Blue Bloods is definitely worth a check out at the local library-just don't buy first.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2006
BLUE BLOODS traces the history of some of New York's elite teens all the way back to the Mayflower. But their history isn't just about Plymouth Rock and maize. Their cultural depth and fabulous clothes aren't all that make these teens special. AU PAIRS author Melissa de la Cruz brings a twist to this tale of modern wealthy teens: they are also vampires.

Bliss moves from Texas to New York and can't figure out how to fit in. She wears white when others wear jeans to her famous school Duchesne. Mimi, the resident It Girl, takes a shine to her until Bliss starts falling for bad boy loner Dylan. And what's up with Mimi's extra close relationship with her twin Jack?

Schuyler Van Alen is also wondering about that, as Jack is a total hottie. Both girls are curious as to why they are craving red meat and spotting blue veins in their arms, until they get invited to a special Committee that shows them their vampire history. The fangs, the glowing skin, the need to feed --- it's all normal for the Blue Bloods.

They are just starting to deal with immortality and their new powers when ugly rumors about a teen from their class who supposedly died from a drug overdose emerge. She was a blue blood too --- so how did she die?

When Dylan is arrested and then disappears, the girls join forces with Schuyler's best friend Oliver to try to find clues in their history that would explain why vampires are targets now. But no one is talking. Jack, who shared some memorable kisses with Schuyler, decides to shut her out. Her mother, who has been in a coma all of Schuyler's life, starts getting a mysterious visitor. And her Grandmother isn't telling her what is going on now or what happened in their previous lives.

Secrets, intrigue and suspense --- it's all here in this first installment of Melissa de la Cruz's spine-tingling new series.

--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2007
Despite the fact the author seemed to give up on the last 5 chapters, and hurried the book to an odd conclusion, this still proved a fun book. The concepts behind the plot were facsinating. The fashion world as vampires? Of course! Why didn't I think of that! The explantion for the disappearance of the colony of Roanoke was very unique. As an adult reader of YA literature, I'm always on the look out for something that will tempt a reluctant reader. This will do the trick.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2007
Though I loved the concept of this book, and the storyline---I'm not huge on the writing style. I felt that even by the end of the book, the author never really gave me a chance to create an attachment to any of the characters. They were just pawns in the storyline rather then anything else.

Again--great storyline and I like where it was heading, but I prefer a more character driven book.
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