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Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine

Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires
Number in Series: 1
Format: Audiobook
Time: 8 hrs. and 43 mins.
Narrator: Cynthia Holloway
Release Date: October 3, 2006 (audiobook September 28, 2009)
Publisher: NAL Jam
Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy










 Synopsis from Goodreads


From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.



     I haven’t read too many Young Adult books especially ones that are Urban Fantasy. But I wanted to get into this because I have heard a lot of things about it, read reviews ranging from 1 to 5 stars, and Rachel Caine is quite a big name in Urban Fantasy. So I gave this a try. I am happy I did even though I had some issues with it. I enjoyed it and once I finished it, I immediately placed a hold on book 2 (still waiting unfortunately).
  
     Glass Houses is about a 16 (almost 17) year old teenage girl named Claire Danvers. Claire is quite the genius which is why she is a college freshman at her age. So as though being a 16 year old in college isn’t hard enough, Claire has a bully. A bully surrounded by friends who would do anything for her. So one day Claire is walking down the hall and passes the bully named Monica who has her history mixed up and Claire just corrects her on it. No maliciousness, no yanking her chain at all, just letting Monica she has her wars mixed up. Monica doesn’t take this lightly, however. In order to pay Claire back for her “embarrassment”, Monica shoves Claire down a flight of stairs. And Monica makes it clear that it was just the beginning.

      As you can imagine, Claire is now frightened to go back to the campus because she knows Monica and her puppets will kill her. So Claire sets out to find somewhere else to live and she stumbles on an old house with two guys and girl. They are close knit which gives Claire second thoughts, but she needs a place to go since she is far from home. After finally being allowed to live in the house for at least three months, Claire finds out that she was lucky because Morganville seems to be a weirder small town than she thought.  The creepiness she felt before getting into the house wasn’t an illusion because Morganville is run by vampires. And it just so happens, those protected from vampires are those she really wishes she hadn’t met.

     I enjoyed this book. The characters from the actual house were all fun and different. First, there is Eve who Claire meets first before entering the house. Eve is this gothic chick who is not as crazy as she seems. Then there is Shane, the hot guy who is really laid back and carefree. He is the take action, think later type and this makes him seem dense in the book, but I don’t think he truly is. Then there is Mr. Glass himself, Michael. He is the owner of the house who has some very suspicious sleeping habits. He is always asleep in the morning and shows up at night. He has a secret none of them know about, not even his best friend Shane who he took into the house first.  The one confusing character for me was the main antagonist, Monica. I am not sure why or how she is able to get away with so much. I mean she is protected, but I feel like there is something I am missing. Protected or not, the things she does and gets away with are quite overwhelming. So I am hoping I can find out more about her.

    Now I did have issues with this book, I won’t lie. For instance, the whole reason for Claire’s turmoil was so juvenile; I couldn’t believe this is how it all started for her. I find it hard to imagine this book is set in college.  I honestly thought of a high school hallway, not a college dorm. I am not saying there aren’t immature college students, but Monica starts this one-sided war over the dumbest thing. It may be an abuse of power, but jeez, the amount of energy she put into not only making Claire miserable, but actually trying to kill her, is utterly insane.  

    My next issue is our main character Claire. Claire is supposed to be a genius; she wants to go to MIT and all, which is great. But she makes some incredibly dumb decisions in this book that made me want to slap the hell out her. She knows Monica has the entire town in her palm, but she doesn’t want to miss school and risks her life and goes back twice to class and each time, something happens to her. I like school too (I know, I am a nerd), but my life is definitely more important than my grades and I am surprised Claire wasn’t genius enough to figure that out. Then again, I guess being 16 and away from home for the first time with no life experience causes you to do some dumb things.

    Her roommates were my favorite part of this book though. Eve made me smile and she had the tough girl persona, but she was sweet deep down. Michael was my favorite. Hot guitar player is always a win. He was so against Claire coming into the house because she was underage, but overtime, he treats her like a sister. Shane was a lot of fun and he becomes the love interest in the book. He is the one that takes a huge step to save Claire which leads to a much bigger build in the storyline.

    I love the world of Glass Houses and the surprises that we get throughout the book.  The last couple of chapters really had me on the edge of my seat. The cliffhanger left my mouth hanging wide open which is why I am in a rush for book 2, Dead Girls’ Dance. Freaking libraries. Nonetheless, even though the story starts off very high school, it ended on a high note (well technically, you’ll get it once you read it). It is recommended for those looking for a unique YA Urban Fantasy. But be warned: some teenage brains are involved.


Rating:
 



*This book belongs to the following challenges:*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011
Parajunkee's View Vampire Challenge 2011

6 comments:

  1. I don't read much YA but, this is one of my favorite series. Rachel Caine is the ish!

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  2. @Jen D - I don't read much YA either, but I really liked this. Can't wait for more. I understand the hype now LOL!

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  3. I agree the book is pretty juvenile. The tone in general seems better suited to high school. Eve doesn't seem much more mature the Claire.

    My review of the same book: http://supernaturalbookclub.blogspot.com/2009/11/glass-houses-by-rachel-caine.html

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  4. I've seen reviews on this and I've seen the variety of those reviews. Now I'm a bit more interested to see what I would think about this book. I knew a lot of people who went to college who still acted like they were in high school so I'd like to see if I also feel like she should have just written about high schoolers instead of college kids. Great review Diana!

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  5. Love your review. I love cliffhangers. I bought this series a while back and the next day returned it. I have no idead why I did. I always say I am going to try it but still have not bought book. Reading your review makes me want to try it soon.

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  6. @Wickedly Delicious Thank you hon. You should start it. It gets better and better with each book and wait until you meet Merlin. He is one of the most fun characters. He isn't 100% stable, but that is apart of the fun. Thank you again hon :)

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Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D