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281 of 308 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Amanda!!
OK so here goes.. I never write a review for books unless they are just too good to be true! However I read them all the time to see if I want to chance it and download it. I happened upon this book while searching around to try to find a good book to read over the weekend, and hey it was 99 cents so I gave it a shot. WOW I was just blown away!!! Totally hooked from page...
Published on June 14, 2010 by MICHELLE

versus
260 of 284 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Title From Indie Writer.
(Let me `splain: I made an offer recently on a discussion board to spend the month of May reviewing books from the authors on that board. I told folks that, in this case, I would need their consent since my reviews would be absolutely honest. I didn't want anyone to be blind-sided or to feel they're being picked on since I like hanging out there. I also made it clear I...
Published on April 30, 2010 by Michelle R


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260 of 284 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Title From Indie Writer., April 30, 2010
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
(Let me `splain: I made an offer recently on a discussion board to spend the month of May reviewing books from the authors on that board. I told folks that, in this case, I would need their consent since my reviews would be absolutely honest. I didn't want anyone to be blind-sided or to feel they're being picked on since I like hanging out there. I also made it clear I would purchase my own copies to further distance myself from people I do know casually. I'm hoping to promote some new authors, particularly while big name pubs duke it out over e-books, but I won't do that at the expense of honesty. My first obligation and responsibility when I review remains is to the readers.)

My first selection, coming in a few days before the May start date, is The Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking. I selected it because, well, she was one of the first people to give consent, but because I really liked the title. Somehow I missed the fact that she's also a fellow Minnesotan, but that's icing on the cake. I'd called this young adult.

The story follows Alice Bonham as she becomes involves with Jack and then his family. Jack is somewhat mysterious and she's attracted to him, because she's less attracted to him than your average girl. Huh? What I mean is that she sees people looking at him like he's a rock star, and he strikes her as a slightly above average looking, charismatic, guy. She feels drawn to him, sure, and her moods seem to mirror his, but she seems to also see him more realistically than other people they meet. Now, his family is another matter...

I don't think anyone could get through the first scene with Jack, let alone the second, let alone looking at the cover, let alone the title, without knowing Jack's big secret. I'm not sure it's to Alice's credit that she doesn't get it for half the book, but she makes a guess much earlier that would be in the old hot-cold game pretty warm. There were just too many clues. I think the reason it still worked is what wasn't revealed. There were still enough details and blanks to be filled in that, even with the various flaws, I kept hitting next page on my Kindle. I think that's the important thing - that I had issues with the story, almost quit fairly early on, but just had to see what happened next. Amanda kept pulling me back in and that's a mark of talent.

The other flaw, which I expect to be prevalent as I read the indie books, which many of these choices will be, is that the story lacks proper editing. "They weren't moving very fast enough..." - two ways that sentence could have worked out, but not both. ::grin:: Beyond mistakes like that, the story could have used an overall tightening for pace. Some things would have been better expanded and others shortened. I think the book would have benefited from someone pointing out moments of illogic or the occasions when Alice seemed a bit slow on the uptake for plot driven reasons.

Much of the story involved feeling that Alice is being drawn in, perhaps supernaturally, and there are moments when this is done quite well. Other times, I "believed" Alice, but thought the descriptions could have been improved so that I could feel and better "witness" Alice's attraction to these people. Alice was also a very passive character, leaving major life decisions up to other people. This changed a little towards the end, but it still read as humorous when she told a character that it was her life and he couldn't make decisions for her.

One of the most interesting things about that book was Alice's relationship with her brother, Milo. I think he's a better brother to her than she is a sister to him. Occasionally he acted way too old for his age, just like Alice was pretty casual in her language skills most of the time and then would pull out major vocabulary, but he seemed like a really interesting kid. There was some foreshadowing that he might have a limited future in these books, but I think he's the person who grounds Alice. I also really hate the thought of him being hurt.

I do feel Amanda has a nice touch with humor and dialogue. I hope very much that she's committed to writing, because there's clear talent there that can only get better with time and experience, and I enjoyed the moments when that raw talent came through. I'm giving this a recommendation, with the provision that people realize that the writing is a little rough around the edges still. It did keep my interest and I did want to keep reading. (Please note that this is a series and that the book ends with a lot of unfinished business.)

More importantly, I believe I will read the sequel at some point so I can get the remaining questions answered -- including two fairly major ones. I'm going to give this a smidge under 3 stars. I believe that the essence of the story is 4 stars, but the execution and errors force me to mark it down some.
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281 of 308 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Amanda!!, June 14, 2010
By 
MICHELLE (South Carolina, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
OK so here goes.. I never write a review for books unless they are just too good to be true! However I read them all the time to see if I want to chance it and download it. I happened upon this book while searching around to try to find a good book to read over the weekend, and hey it was 99 cents so I gave it a shot. WOW I was just blown away!!! Totally hooked from page one and quickly found out as someone previously said it is a young adult book with a adult take which I love to find since I am in my 30's. I really cant believe I am saying this but I enjoyed it more than TWILIGHT... I know I cant believe it either. So we meet Alice who meets Jack and I love how she doesn't just fall all over him like most do. Then we meet Jacks brother Peter and thats when the fun begins with such steamy tension between him and Alice. I read this book in one Saturday and didnt want it to end. I went online to see if Amanda had any other books I could try and was too happy that she had 2 more in this series!! I got them right away and read them in 2 days, trying to find ways to sneak and read it so my husband didnt get mad I wasnt spending time with the family. LOL I just cant wait till August to read the next one and I hope there is much more to come. Trust me read it and you will love it too. And the price of 99 cents is way to low it was worth much more than that!!
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85 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So...definately not her best piece of work, February 28, 2011
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Paperback)
First off, I think Amanda Hocking is a very talented author, I loved the Trylle Trilogy, and I am sure that this series just wasn't her best but there will be more good ones to come.

That being said, I was very disapointed, I gave it 1 star only because she put the work into it and so I felt it deserved at least 1. I could not get through this book, it is too Twilight Saga. The similarities led me to believe she possibly took Stephanie Meyer's work, copied it, and then went and changed some of the details and sequence of events. Let me explain.

We start off with Alice and her friend trying to get into a club. They leave and get chased by a couple guys into a parking garage where Jack suddenly shows up in a car and saves them both. Definitely reminiscent of the scene where Bella is chased by a few guys and Edward suddenly shows up in a car to save the day.

After saving her life Alice and her friend get into the car with Jack where her and Jack discover that they have the same taste in music and, indeed, like the same artists. Again reminiscent of Twilight with Bella and Edward.

We then get to a point where Alice is "different". Jack's charm, so to speak, doesn't have the same effect on Alice as it does everybody else. That would be the part in Twilight where Edward realizes Bella is "different" and he can not hear her thoughts.

As we go on we get to the point where Alice is required to guess what Jack is and, even though it is entirely obvious, she has trouble coming up with the answer. Once again, very Twilight

Eventually we get to another point where Jack is driving a very expensive car that belongs to his brother, similar to the Cullens. After that, Jack suddenly decides it's time for Alice to meet his family (again, that would be Edward deciding Bella is to meet his family). As they drive up to the house we are told that it is a very expensive house with a 5 car garage. So Twilight.

I could go on and on about this but I think I will stop there as that is the part in the book where I had enough.

This book was fairly captivating and I probably would have continued reading if it had not been basically the same story as Twilight with a few changes where need be. I do give Amanda Hocking credit to some of the details that were changed *spoiler alert* such as Jack bleeding and not having insanely cold skin that is rock hard *end spoiler alert* but those appear to be about the only things that were changed dramatically from the Twilight Saga.

Maybe if I had continued with this book I may have found some more changes that make the book original and unique but all of the copy-cat work really turned me off and I found that I could no longer continue. For any die-hard Twilight fans, you may like this piece of work, I however did not.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really?, March 14, 2011
By 
Loelle (Northern California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
While I am not a young adult, I enjoy most YA books that are popular right now, like the Hunger Games, Twilight, etc. However, My Blood Approves makes Stephanie Meyer look like a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. And while I am on the subject, this book is such a blatant rip off of Twilight, I am not even sure how this was published? The author didnt even bother trying to come up with her own names for characters, she isnt even trying to hide it! The family of vampires that dont kill humans, the 'mother/father' vampires that just love and welcome this strange human to their house? The moody teenager that is so unpopular that no one will notice she is gone? And Jack is supposed to be her LOVE interest? He is an annoying pesky friend that wont ever leave you alone! Even their histories are similar. Ezra who has been around forever and just 'knew' how to give her a transfusion? Mae (Esme, anyone?) who hates that she cant have children now (Rosalie?). All of the vampire family drive fancy cars and live in a big mansion?

And whats with all the wishy washy on who she loves/doesnt love? She spends most of this tedious book explaining Jack as a brother type, and then suddenly, she has feelings for him? But wait wait, she has feelings for Peter too! This book is utter crap; its edited poorly, I dont like ANY of the characters, and I am just thankful that I only paid 2.99 for it on my kindle, and with one click of a button, its deleted off my device and I never have to see it again!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is "Nightlight," Part 2. Except the author wasn't joking., July 18, 2011
By 
seaglass (New England, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
I hurriedly bought the Kindle version of 'My Blood Approves' while waiting for a plane based on the multiple stellar reviews it's gotten here on Amazon. What the heck, I figured--it's dirt cheap at just 99 cents, and it'll be a nice candy-floss diversion somewhere in the air between Houston and Philadelphia.

Well.

The book is just awful, so much so that I found myself guffawing out loud on occasion. Very quickly I wanted to stop reading it and delete it from my Kindle, but it had the insidious effect of a bad wreck--I had to keep going just so I could see if it somehow redeemed itself eventually.

Gentle reader: it didn't. And now I'm stuck with its taint ricocheting around on 'repeat' in my brain. It's like hearing Tiny Tim doing 'Tiptoe Through The Tulips,' and then you can't quit humming it internally for days. It really does call to mind 'Nightlight,' the Harvard Lampoon's 'Twilight' parody, except unfortunately this one was apparently written in all bodice-ripping seriousness.

The plot is thinner than one of the protagonist's vampires' seductive whispers. It is nothing more than a sordid, panting ripoff of the entire genre. Our incredibly annoying, vapid and weak heroine--the ultimate Mary Sue--basically orgasms explosively on cue when breathing in tandem with her vampire abductors. I wish I was kidding here. The Kindle edition is also absolutely rife with spelling and punctuation errors. Capping things, the writing is weak as dishwater, though in all fairness if you're a 16-year-old--who I found too late is the target audience the story was meant for--mea culpa!--you probably won't notice, nor will you care. If you're savvier, be sure to see how many other readers have cottoned on to the fact that the book sucks (pun intended) by wryly highlighting, in passage after passage, things that are unintentionally hilarious and oh-so spot-on.

Apparently there's a popular serialization of this story. That's far scarier than this book could ever be.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So not good, May 21, 2011
By 
Brandon Peterson (Akron, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
For me, there are two factors to this book that left me incredibly underwhelmed. I will not read anything more in the series. First was the unoriginality. Seriously, Stephenie Meyer would have a pretty strong case for plagiarism - a 'family' of vampires, none actually related, choosing not to kill humans but living among them. Their home is a mansion, they drive a slew of fancy cars, and they are ridiculously attractive. This is Twilight all over again, only with no major conflict. Imagine if Twilight had ended with Bella figuring out Edward and his family are vampires, grappling with herself over whether she is in love with Edward or not, and whether or not to continue to hang out with his family. That's it, end of story. Yeah, not great.
Also, this heroine, Alice (yes, even some of the names are borrowed from Ms. Meyer) is the most pitiful one I've ever encountered. She's lazy, whiny, and selfish; not to mention incredibly slow, because it takes her 2/3 of the book just to figure out this is a family of vampires. No, wait, she doesn't figure it out on her own, they finally just come out and tell her. Groan.
For a strong and admirable heroine, read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Want My Dollar Back, May 20, 2011
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Paperback)
Seriously...I want my dollar back! In the first 25 pages this book is SCREAMING...I want to be just like twilight...but it does NOT come close. The similarities are purely stolen right from Stephanie Meyers, that is obvious. However she could not steal Stephanie Meyers ability to breath life into her charachters and make them lovable. If you are not a twilight fan then you will hate this book and if you are a twilight fan then you will hate this book. I myself love YA paranormal romance and I rarely give a bad review but this just stinks.

Love interest: Boy vampire who saves Bella...ooops..I mean Alice from boys harrassing her in a parking lot late at night...sound familiar?

Alice: Parents non-exsistent (how original), & takes half the book to figure out that her really strong, tough skinned, really fast, really strange non-exsistant body temperatured boyfriend..sorry "friend"..is a vampire.

The writing was poor, character development non-exsistent and story line non-original and frankly boring. Unless this is your first ever book and your 12 or 13yrs old...dont waste your dollar. If you want a GOOD vampire romance try: "A Discovery of Witches" or The "Jolie Wilkins" series.... if you want a cool YA paranormal try "Beautiful Creatures" they will put this book to shame.

I dont understand the 5 star reviews...have they ever read a good book before?
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, August 20, 2010
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
This book had definite potential, but was way too rough around the edges. It needed some serious editing - or at least some proofreading. The book was rampant with gramatical mistakes which were extremely distracting from the already thin plot.

The book follows a young girl, Alice, and her relationships with a mysterious young man, Jack, and his equally mysterious family. For the first half of the book, despite many obvious clues, Alice seems unable to figure out what Jack is, even though she seems to fully accept the fact that he is obviously not human. It makes her seem a bit slow and is very frustrating.

Alice often describes being "drawn" to Jack and his brother, Peter, but it often seems a bit excessive. Even though Alice doesn't seem to mind being drawn to them, to me it seemed less like she was drawn and more like she was forcibly shoved to them without a choice. It seemed like she was forced to like them from the second she met them and from that moment on, her life stopped being her own and became theirs. This girl has no choice but to desperately want these guys in her life. She even goes so far as wanting to die when it seems she might be separated from them, which is a bit extreme when you take into consideration that she barely knows either man.

The book was too slow in some places and too rushed in others, with some things requiring a bit more explanation. I kept waiting for the book to reach some sort of climax, but it never did...it just sort of chugged along, then fizzled out. I never really made any kind of emotional connection to the characters, who were either a bit unrealistic, or rather one dimensional. Also, the parts of the book that were meant to elicit an emotional response were a bit lacking for my tastes.

All in all, the book had potential to be great with some editing, but as it stands it is simply disappointing.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If I could do the time warp, I'd get back the time I wasted reading this book., July 26, 2011
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**Light Spoilers Ahead.**

My Blood Approves is indeed a blantant Twilight rip-off, but that isn't what bothered me. The characters and the pace were sooo thin and dull. There are constant pop-culture references and two main characters that don't seem to do anything but watch movies and text each other... It's just BORING. The pace was sooooo slow and the characters were all barely there. For instance, the most information I got about any character was about Jack, and that's just because every time he showed up, we got a shopping list of labels that he was wearing. The guy loves Dickies and Chuck Taylors. Why bother telling me this? Like that's supposed to set him apart from any other hipster teenage boy. It's kind of fitting that when Alice touches Jack his skin feels like fabric with no real temperature. That's the same experience I got from Jack: Nothing.

As slow as the pacing was at times, it also felt occasionally rushed and illogical. Early in the book, after being nearly attacked, Alice hangs out with Jack, whom she JUST met, in a diner. That didn't make any sense. Didn't she want to call the police? See her mom? Freak out? SOMETHING?! Having almost been attacked I can tell you the last thing on your mind is getting a cup of coffee with a strange boy in a pink shirt afterwards. Then, on that same night, Alice passes out while Jack is giving her a ride home. WHILE SHE IS PASSED OUT in the car of this boy that she has JUST met, he takes her phone and enters his number into it with the ringtone of Time Warp. Really? Not only would you get a kick in the groin if you touched my cell without my permission, but the Rocky Horror Picture Show is the most over referenced cult classic in existence. I kept thinking, What if they fight? What if there is a tragedy in one of their lives? Do they really want to hear "The Time Warp" every time the phone rings when things like that go on? How annoying.

This is a book about a magical world with all the magic taken out of it. Once again, the best example is our romantic lead, Jack. Jack is an immortal vampire, but Jack spends his time playing Guitar Hero and consuming other media like music, movies and TV. Wow. What a catch. He didn't make art, he didn't play any real instruments, he didn't even have simple ambitions like volunteering or starting a band, or having his own apartment to get away from his CREEPY family. The guy had no dreams or hopes for this special life he has been given. He just played video games all day and lived off his mommy and daddy's money driving fast cars which I assumed he only used to go buy more Dickies. That's not material for a romantic lead. That's my brothers stoner roommate with a wasted trust fund.

Then, Peter shows up. He's gorgeous, but also kind of abusive and mean. Like the face of Edward mixed with the personality of James. No thanks.

The other thing that really annoyed me were all the references to pop music and popular 'alternative' clothing. Dickies, Guitar Hero, all the name dropping of current indie-ish bands like Rouge Wave. Look, I love most of the bands Ms. Hocking name drops. And sure, this might appeal to SOME teenagers (let's face it, these books are written mostly for suburban white girls, many other girls would be isolated by the band references) within 10 years this book will be very sadly dated. It would be as if Twilight were written in the 80's and Edward was obsessed with Atari, his Swatch Watch and A Flock of Seagulls. I feel a truly good book is a story that will outlast all of us. But MBA will not be a timeless book that teenagers in 30 years will be reading. Except as a comically outdated cult classic. How ironic. Put that on your ringtone.

That said I give big props to Amanda for doing what she does. Although I didn't like the ending, her Tryle trilogy was downright magical for me. I simply couldn't put it down. I had dreams about it, all that. I think she is truly one of the best independent authors out there, and she is taking the risk of writing. Many people dream of writing, but she actually does it, and that's saying something.

Every author has a few flops. I sincerely hope Amanda keeps writing, and finds a good, trusted editor that will keep her career afloat. It certainly won't last long with books like this, and she has too much talent to have it all go to waste simply for lacking a good editor.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth .99, February 14, 2011
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This review is from: My Blood Approves (Kindle Edition)
Where to I start. Okay here goes.... the book sucks. I read a lot of independent books and it wasnt the lack of editing that got me. The storyline was just awful. The only character that is even somewhat likable is Milo the brother. The author seriously needs to rethink her target audience because a lot of the crap in this book was not appropriate for teens. A little adult content in teen books is okay but the author went a little overboard and presented the wrong message. Additionally, this book is not a romance which is the category its under. A girl liking a guy but not being sure why then lusting after his brother is not a romance...sorry but its not. It might have worked with a better author but not with this one.
I should have quit reading after the first chapter....seriously....the book opens with the chick about to be raped or something by a few guy then the hero *coughs and laughs* shows up in his car and scares them off (sound familiar). Sadly that was about the best part of the whole book.
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