Sunday, October 31, 2010


Masquerade - Melissa De La Cruz
305 pages
Rating: 3.5/5
Schuyler Van Alen is starting to get more comfortable with her newfound vampire powers, but she still has many unanswered questions. A trip to Italy in search of her grandfather only serves to make things more confusing. What secrets are the leaders of The Committee hiding? Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the famous Four Hundred Ball. In true Blue Blood fashion, the ball is totally fab, complete with masks, and hidden behind this masquerade is a revelation that will change the course of a young vampire's destiny.

The thrilling sequel in Melissa de la Cruz's vampire mythology has all the glamour, attitude, and vampire lore that made the first book a hit. 

My Thoughts:
Oh my gosh!  That about sums up my entire thought process for at least 5 minutes after finishing this book tonight.  I couldn't even form a complete sentence.  Now that I've taken Bennett outside, had a KitKat, and am jamming to some music, let's see if I can form a complete thought about this book.

First of all, I had to use this cover instead of the one I had simply because I like it better.  The one that is on my hardback book freaks me out just a tad, plus it almost seems to me like it was made too big on a computer - but that's just a personal pet peeve.

I really wanted to give this book a 4.  Honest.  When I finished it, (once I was able to actually form a thought) I went on to Amazon to see how much the next book is (and if I could fit it into my budget).  But I have to say that once again, I was disappointed in the writing.  But kudos to De La Cruz, because she's taken an awesome story and made it into a long book series.  The story's so great that I don't even care about the writing, I will be finishing the series.  But I just cannot give it a 4/5 and put it on the level of Harry Potter, Perfect Chemistry, Middlesex, and Wuthering Heights.

Side note on ratings: Can I just say that I hate rating books?  I despise it.  I feel that my rating system should be something like a 1-100.  Because how can I rate several books as 3/5s when they are so different and have so many different good qualities?  It has become a real struggle for me as a reviewer to give ratings.  I hope I at least explain my ratings enough that those who read my reviews can see if they would like a book or not.  I'm working on a page explaining my rating system, partly because I see myself as a really hard rater and partly because it is so opinionated.  It just frustrates me.  That being said, I really struggled on a rating for this book.  But I feel that all the books I give ratings to should be equal on a level of greatness, even if the way they reach that greatness is different.  Anyway, back to Masquerade.

I decided to divide my review into the different aspects of the book.  First: the Characters - I felt that the characters should have been more developed.  De La Cruz included parts of the novel from many different characters: Schulyer, Mimi, Jack, Bliss, Lawrence, etc.  But I felt that if she had focused on the story being from two or three main characters with more development about each of them, it would have been better.  I just did not really connect with any of them.  And I almost made feelings, emotions, and back-stories for the characters in my mind.  I felt that there could have been a whole lot more detail into each of the characters and their lives.

The Plot/Story:  Awesome story!  I would give 6/5 stars for this story.  It's incredible to me.  I love the concept.  I love the idea of vampires being fallen angels.  I love Gabrielle and the idea that she chose to fall with the vampires in order to help save them.  I love it.  I cannot praise this plot enough.  It's great!  It's fast paced, has enough twists that I still have no clue what's going on, but it's not confusing enough that I don't want to follow it anymore.  The writing could be horrible, the book could be in a different language, I could have to pay large amounts of money - it doesn't matter.  I will finish this series simply because of the story.  It's great.

The Writing:  I'm sorry, but I was not impressed with the writing and the way the book is laid out.  It seems choppy.  The storyline seems to jump from one character to another.  I felt that with details added in the right places - this book could have gone so much farther.  I was excited to find that the designer references that frequented the first novel were contained.  But I got a lot more of a feel for rich society than I did in the first one.  But when it came to the writing, I wanted more.  I wanted more detail and more insight into the story.  I was so excited about the masquerade ball - but (sorry if this is a spoiler) there was only like three chapters on it.  It seemed like it was suddenly there and suddenly over.  I just did not get the significance from the event that I felt I should.  And I felt that way about several things that happened in the book.  I didn't get the significance or detail that I was wanting.  It almost makes me want to take her story and write books of my own the way I think they should be written.

That being said, I can't wait to get the next book.  I hope that the writing is better and that the detail I crave will be in the places I want it to be, but this story can only get better.  I am really excited to see what happens.  I gave this novel a 3.5/5, even though I hate .5 ratings.  I felt that it was better than the first one (which I gave a 3/5).  But not completely up to par for a 4 rating.  So 3.5.  I would recommend it to any Twilight lovers and YA paranormal lovers.  Read it.  Look beyond the writing, and you'll love it.

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