The Dead Girls' Dance
by Rachel Caine
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2007, Penguin Group
Paperback, 238 pages
"Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose."
The books from this series read like a good bowl of popcorn - I read a page and I want another, then another, and another, etc. I flew through this book in less than 3 days, which is really saying something for a mother of two girls under the age of 3. I like how unlikely of a heroine Claire is, and yet she keeps "saving the day." The majority of the characters are well-defined and distinguishable from one another, and I find myself even liking some of the "bad guys" sometimes, which indicates good character development. The plot flows easily and quickly, and I could barely tell I was reading.
I love the comraderie between the characters in the Glass house, and the way they are amassing allies with other people in Morganville brings to mind a favorite television show of mine that has been off the air for awhile, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was not a fan of Michael becoming a vampire - I think that the author could have conceived of a less-cliche way of fixing his half-existence / entrapment. On the other hand, I can see how his new status can be used in future books to further the plot, and his romance with Eve will certainly be interesting, as vampire-human romances always are.
I also enjoy the except of Eve's diary that always follows the main text, as a window into the next book. Eve's character is just as interesting and complex as Claire herself, but does not seem to have as much time devoted to her in the books, and the diary entries seem to help in that area.
So overall I loved the book, and can't wait to get my hands on the next one, Midnight Alley.
Cover: My guess is the girl on the cover is Claire, dressed up for the dance of the same name as the title, but the outfit she is wearing on the cover does not match the description in the book. I can just vaguely make out the shapes of two bikers, which would indicate Shane's dad's biker crew. I don't think the cover was thought out as well as it could have been, but at least it contains a few elements of the plotline.
First Line: "It didn't happen," Claire told herself. "It's a bad dream, just another bad dream. You'll wake up and it'll be gone like fog...."
The first few lines of the book is a good lead-in from the previous book, as well as intriguing the reader to want to know what exactly happened to Claire. I always like a book that opens with dialogue, even if it's just the thoughts of one character - it pludges the reader right into the thick of the plot.
Favorite Quote: "Oh, I am mousy," she said. "All this scares the hell out of me. But I don't know what else to do, sir, except try. Even a mouse bites.""
Read For: The 2nd Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge