A copy of A Shade of Vampire was kindly sent to me by Bella Forrest in exchange for an honest review.
I really disliked A Shade of Vampire. It seems to me that Forrest has taken a book from the Stephenie Meyer school of writing and followed it exactly. The plot is bland, it’s full of purple prose, the characters are completely unlikable and the heroine made me want to throw things and scream. It manages to be sexist and misogynistic on practically every page – our darling protagonist Sofia is even flattered about being the property of a blood sucking vamp. You go girl. Derek, said blood sucking vamp, is Edward Cullen incarnate – sulky and remorseful, he even wants a music room.
It’s only saving grace is that at its most shallow and superficial, at its most basic level as a teen chick lit vampire thing, it succeeds – it’s readable and easy, and, as long as you don’t even think about analysing anything in it, will not fill you with indignant rage. Tweenie girls who won’t read too much into it will probably love it, as will fans of all things Twilight. Educated twenty three year olds with feminist tendencies and a moral code, however, will not.
My stream of consciousness notes when I was reading it are below in a spoiler – if you enjoyed this book or don’t want to be enraged further by its contents I suggest you ignore the next part entirely.
Read: August 28th 2013
– Sofia: weak willed woman, seems to think she has no substance without a man. Pathetic, imbecile. Only cares about what men think – Ben, Derek. Ridiculous in every situation, especially when kidnapped by vampires. She doesn’t even try to defend herself. Bland, no personality. All anyone cares about is physical appearance – Derek is pretty so everything’s okay. Okaaaaay.
-Enter evil sex pest vampire. YAWN.
-Casually throwing around mental health issues for lols – ADHD, OCD, bipolar. Oh yes, it’s extremely funny for the main character to go ‘ha ha I’m probably crazy, look at my laundry list of problems that aren’t going to be expanded on at all’. Slut shaming is also thrown into the mix later on. Fantastic.
-No likeable characters. AT ALL. No redeeming features. AT ALL.
-Sexist misogynistic bullshit all the way through. I thought this was the 21st century?!
-Derek – you’re an asshole. You claim a ‘harem’ of innocent, terrified girls as property but we’re supposed to swoon because you didn’t immediately eat them? Hell no. You’re an evil whiny piece of work.
-Sofia and Derek – well, we ALL know where that’s going to go. Stockholm syndrome incoming.
-Sofia – you’ve been kidnapped by vampires and you’re probably going to die. But that’s okay because the vampire lair is pretty and shiny. HELP.
-Nothing about this book appeals to me.
-Women are seen as property. Women are not allowed to be anything other than a pretty face and a pair of tits. The vamps are all smirking and ogling, I get it, you don’t need to repeat it every other sentence. Derek ‘owns’ Sofia and doesn’t like it when she speaks out and tries to be bold. NO SHIT.
-BUT, ‘I wanted to believe we could still be gentlemen, after all.’ p.45, REALLY. SERIOUSLY. WHAT.
-This is just too ridiculous. Let’s snuggle up to the tormented vampire because he poured his undead heart out to me. Oh, Sofia. I despair.
-‘In the middle of his performance, it dawned on me that this was exactly the effect Derek Novak had on me: he always managed to – in one way or another – take my breath away.’ p.53 I’m going to get an injury from all this cringing and eye rolling.
-Still no redeeming features. The narrative just becomes more ridiculous and unlikable.
-‘blood runs thicker than water.’ Technically, yes, blood is indeed the thicker substance, but I still call bullshit on the notion of protecting your murdering rapist of a brother. Funny that. You don’t have to stick by family just because of blood, idiot.
-Of course there’s something ‘special’ about Sofia. Seriously, eye rolling so much it hurts. ‘Low latent inhibition.’, honestly this whole thing just makes me want to scoff it’s so poorly done.
-Ben appears for the first time as another vamp’s slave. How convenient.
-Cringe. Eyeroll. URGH. About as eloquently as I can sum up.