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Review: Drink Slay Love

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst was released in the U.S. on September 13, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 400 pages.

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Goodreads description:

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

***

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Every vampire knows that unicorns don’t exist. Zombies, sure. Unicorns, no way. So when Pearl Sange claims that she was staked by a unicorn, no one will believe her. And if she hadn’t been so sure about what had happened to her in the parking lot of the Dairy Hut, she might have thought she was crazy, too.

As luck would have it, on her very next trip to the Dairy Hut, her favorite place to enjoy a late night snack named Brad, she’s grabbed by two wannabe vampire hunters who force her into a cage so that she can “watch” the sunrise.

Much to her surprise – and that of her bumbling captors – she doesn’t burst into flames. Proving to her that her encounter with the unicorn was real and that it changed her somehow.

But while being able to walk in the daylight seems like a gift at first, it’s really much more of a curse. Instead of spending time with her boyfriend and possible future mate, Jadrien, and getting ready to meet the Vampire King of New England, Pearl is forced to enroll in high school. And spend time with humans.

How she’s supposed to make friends with her food supply is beyond her. But her parents need to prepare a feast fit for a king, literally, and so she has to figure out a way. Because, like all vampires, the King is not the forgiving type. And if he isn’t satisfied with his feast, Pearl and her Family will be ended. Probably not quickly. Definitely not painlessly.

If only this new ability of hers didn’t come with a few unwanted side-effects like sympathy, caring and concern. As a soulless predator, she, for one, does not like where this is headed.

***

Drink, Slay, Love is a wickedly entertaining story that will keep readers grinning, shaking their heads in disbelief and cheering for Pearl as she transforms from a bite-’em-and-leave-’em vampire to a day-walker with a conscience.

From the very first introduction to this book – its title – the author reveals her sense of humor and it carries right on through to the end. The dialogue is witty and sarcastic, the premise is outrageous and fun, and the story is action-packed, incredibly captivating – seductive even – and surprisingly clever.

By having the main character, Pearl, react in much the same way as anyone would to such a far-fetched situation like getting staked by a unicorn, allows readers to temporarily suspend disbelief and connect with the character and story, no matter how unusual the premise.

Drink, Slay, Love combines the silly with the serious and the light with the dark. It mixes in humor and clever banter with action, excitement and danger.

Toss in a vampire who’s losing her edge, a mean girl who gets more than what should be coming to her, a sexy, bite-worthy boy with stalker tendencies, a perky good-hearted girl with a secret, a flirtatious bad-boy with a big mouth, a couple of well-meaning blundering idiots who are a cross between Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet and the Frog brothers from The Lost Boys, over a hundred hungry vampires just waiting to make you their next meal and a handful of were-unicorns – yes were-unicorns – and you’ve got a fast-paced and riveting paranormal story that is unputdownable.

In Drink, Slay, Love the vampires are cold, cruel and calculating hunters. And the author uses sarcasm as if it were an art form. This book is a must read for fans of a vampire story that doesn’t take itself too seriously, who prefer their vamps without any humanity, and who want something other than the love story to be the focus.

Reviewer gives this book

On a personal note:

I have to say that I thought this story was pretty amazing, which was a bit of a surprise. A good surprise… a great surprise, actually. I was slightly worried that the cover, title and description love I had would be all this book had going for it. And I’m so glad that wasn’t the case.

I didn’t find that instant love connection with Pearl. She was just way too much the inhuman vampire at first. And the Family was just so odd and different in their actions and their responses that I started to wonder whether this would be one of those stories I loved or one of those ones I just wanted to.

But as the story progressed and Pearl began to show some signs of humanity, I really grew to love her as a main character. For a vampire turned day-walker, she was still seriously bad-a**, she didn’t immediately jump on the “humans for the win” bandwagon and she still retained much of who she was personality-wise.

And once Pearl recovered from the staking, I connected with the story and found that I couldn’t put it down if I tried. I lost an entire Sunday curled up with this book because I didn’t want to set it aside until I reached the end.

There are quite a few things the author did that made this book even more my kind of story, but many I can’t reveal without spoiling the plot. I loved how she gave readers little hints at things that weren’t quite right with some of the characters, but didn’t reveal too much so that it made it too easy to figure out. I certainly didn’t get all of my guesses right.

And the one-liners kept me smiling, and even laughing, throughout the entire book. First was the line about the sparkly vamps. Yes, she went there! Then the line about the lackeys had me practically rolling on the floor laughing.

I also loved all the vampire politics she added into this story, which did give it dimension. And I thought that the way she slowly introduced the King throughout the story was brilliant. But, as good looking as that King was, that is one vamp I would never want to cross paths with in this lifetime or any other.

Since we’re talking about handsome boys, the two main boys in this story were equally gorgeous and about as different as night and day. But it didn’t feel as if they were written that way just so that Pearl’s love interests would be polar opposites. Evan was definitely yummy, but so was Jadrien. And no, it wasn’t a love triangle. Not really.

The vampire cousins were seriously creepy, but so was Bethany to me. Someone just can’t be that perky without hiding something majorly wrong.

I’m not sure if this is a standalone novel or part of a series, but I would love it to be. I think there is a lot more story to be told about Pearl, the King, Evan, Jadrien and Pearl’s mother and father. I may be keeping my fingers crossed for a long time hoping to have answers about a possible second book in the series.

This was definitely worth the wait get a copy to read and review. I only wish I had time to read it again!

***

I had a few favorite quotes and passages, but this one line gave me an attack of the giggles that made me put down the book for awhile until they stopped.

The walls stank of centuries-old dust–or maybe that was the stench of the guests.

To read an excerpt of the first chapter from the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

This review is based on a finished copy I received courtesy of the author and publisher, Simon & Schuster, in exchange for my honest review.

 

10 Responses to “Review: Drink Slay Love”

  1. Glad you liked it. I have been wanting to get this book because of the cover, then add in were-unicorns, what more could I ask for? I think I may have to go pick up a copy.

  2. Fantastic review, Rachel! I need to grab myself a copy of this!

    Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  3. Caitlin says:

    I wasn’t sure about this when I saw it on the GG and now I which I’d read it b/c the reviews are so good! I love the sound of this-thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    The Cait Files

  4. Christin says:

    I really enjoyed this book – glad to see you did too! It was extremely funny and a very refreshing story in a vampire-inundated market. Great review!

  5. Ana Lucía says:

    Love Love Love! Even though is torture because I just read another review and everyone says it’s really good. I was a little skeptical at first because of the unicorn thing…but not anymore.
    I love the cover (as always, I’m a cover lover lol) and everything you mentioned in your review sounds brilliant….vampire politics = WIN. Creepy = WIN vampires are cold, cruel and calculating hunters = WIN…and so on and on haha love your review.

    I won a giveaway where I had the chance to choose between this and Lola and The Boy Next Door and I chose Lola, now I wonder……….=/

  6. A. Knight says:

    I KNEW I couldn’t be the only one in love with this book. I mean, seriously this book is laugh-out-loud hilarious with moments of pure sweetness and seriousness, and full of bad-ass action. Pearl herself is a Snarky Spirit heroine whom I couldn’t get enough of! Love, love, and major loved this book 🙂

    – Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  7. Mindy says:

    I actually really liked this one! I started reading at the perfect time to get a couple of really good giggles.

  8. Avery says:

    I have really been on the fence about this book- I mean unicorns? But after having read your review I think that I am convinced! Especially with Pearl being bad-ass, we all know how much I love me a bad-ass (or kick-ass) heroine! 😉

  9. YEY!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNEW IT! you had to love this one!!!! now I can’t wait to get it!!!
    thank you so much for reading and reviewing it!! I FINALLY got to read this post….even if it was like almost a week after T-T
    ~scolds herself~ I’ve been such an awful follower this week, it’s been happening to often for my liking…I’ll need to drink some magic pills or something

  10. Jennifer Messerschmidt says:

    Let me start with I love vampire books! But I was also not sure this would be that great. The story sounds a little off but I have read many good reviews now and look forward to reading this. Glad it was funny and surprisingly enjoyable.

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