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From the Youngbloods series, volume 1

by Lynn Viehl

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2632-8
Publisher: Flux

Viehl (Dreamveil, 2010) marks her debut for teens with this, the first in a trilogy. Trick Youngblood aims to settle with his younger siblings, Cat and Gray, in Lost Lake, Fla. Cat is glad, especially after she learns, no thanks to her brothers, that the farm is an inheritance from her late parents, about whom she knows little. This is one of many secrets her brothers are keeping. Cat has one, too: Jesse Raven. Inexplicably drawn together, they meet nightly, with Jesse braving the garlic-laden, iron barb wire surrounding the farm (“pest control” according to Trick). Predictably, when their families uncover the bond, they conspire to keep Cat and Jesse apart. Readers will identify with never-been-kissed Cat, who narrates the story. Jesse, while romantic, is strangely lifeless, as are many of the characters. An eternity passes before Cat realizes that Jesse is a vampire, and the revelation of Cat’s lineage (part Van Helsing–part vampire) is anticlimactic. Instead, the action depends on a bullying episode at school, which spins on an anachronistic portrayal of a mentally ill classmate. Several threads are left unexplored, such as the inbred abilities of the siblings and the bad blood between the clans—all, no doubt, to be revealed in future books. The youngest Twilight fans with a taste for chaste romance will devour this; others will find their hunger unsated. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)