Wednesday, June 29, 2011

YA Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Review: Glass Houses
Series: Morganville Vampires – Book 1
Author: Rachel Caine
No of Pages: 239
Release Date: 3 October 2006

WELCOME TO MORGANVILLE TEXAS. DON’T STAY OUT AFTER DARK.

It’s a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows – one that will spill out into the bright light of day.

Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections – to the undead who run the town.

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...

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for Glass Houses, but it didn’t really live up to my expectations.

Claire is a nerd, she’s sixteen and already in college. She moves to Morganville which is the closest college she is willing to go to that’s near her home, because she also wants to escape her parents, but what teen doesn’t?

When she gets to Morganville though Claire is faced with more than just being top of the class; extreme bullying, violent abuse and vampires are added to her list of worries. Claire can never seem to catch a break. One thing after another after another seems to be going on and it’s only until she moves into the Glass House that she finally is able to make a few friends that things can start to mildly resemble normality.

Claire for me wasn’t very interesting. Trouble follows her everywhere she goes it seems and at the start I felt sorry for her but it got old really quickly to the point where I was thinking “not again”. Caine wrote some cringe worthy stuff when it came to the extent of the bullying Claire faced at the hands of the cheerleaders.

Eve was probably my favourite character in the entire novel, purely because she was the rocker chick that didn’t want anyone to know she cared. She is the epitome of cool because she has a heart to go with her smarts.

Glass Houses also introduces us to some traditional vampires, and by traditional I mean blood-sucking, evil, human controlling fiends. These vampires are very similar to the mafia, expecting protection money so the humans can feel safe.

What detracted from Glass Houses for me was the intense bullying situation. Claire was nearly set on fire in the back of a van at one stage and no one does anything! A few school girls held her down as someone held a lighter to her clothes. Who does that? What kind of people are these? It was infuriating for me to visualise not because of the situation, but what kind of teenage girls would set someone on fire and not face any repercussions? What was the response to this atrocious act? That Claire needs to stay out of her way. She was pushed down a flight of stairs and laughed at, not helped because of the fear of this teenage girl. Even her over-protective parents who came rushing to see her when she didn’t answer their phone call just dismissed it.

For me Monica had too much power. It was more than just Queen Bee she was getting away with things that are illegal. Beating people is illegal, soliciting hit-men is illegal, ordering policemen to shoot people is illegal, and arson is illegal. Not just mean, but against the law and she was just getting away with it. It was unrealistic and it annoyed me that it was the only thing interesting about this book but also the most far-fetched.

I think I will continue this series, just to see where it goes and to find out what happens after the major cliff-hanger at the end, but I am not going in with high-hopes.

3/5

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