Friday, May 13, 2011

Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Title: Vesper
Author: Jeff Sampson
Publisher: Balzer & Bray / Harper Collins
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Date Read: April 30 - May 1, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars

Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human? 

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

Finally, a paranormal book I liked! After reading countless romances for years I've found one that doesn't have an overbearing romance. My long search has finally ended! 

I have never read a werewolf novel mainly because I was hesitant to be disappointed by rip-offs of Big Wolf on Campus. Instead Vesper was quite a surprise with it's refreshing and original take on werewolves. It reminded me a lot of the Uglies series in that everything is based on science and realism rather than fantasy, and that eventually questions will be answered rather than just having readers suspend their belief for the whole series. I also enjoyed how Emily didn't just wake up one day, find out she was a werewolf, and go hunt; the stages, the revelation, the hesitation, the disbelief were all so beautiful written. 

My favourite aspects of Vesper were it's originality and realism. It was so refreshing to read a fantasy/paranormal novel that didn't have a crazy romance, instead offering a simple, realistic scenario. Most novels these days (and most of the ones I read) are written by females, so it was really cool to delve into a male author's perspective of a teenage girl. Also most authors forget parents and other restrictions teenagers may face and I was impressed with how Emily wasn't able to just "sneak out" and not be caught every night, but rather faced repercussions by her family and friends. Paranormal books are known for their uncharacteristic violence, passionate romance, but never for their humour, which Vesper had plenty of.

Vesper is a mystery novel, a forgotten genre in today's world of contemporary romances. By prefacing each chapter with a futuristic interview and revealing plot points bit-by-bit, readers are drawn into the characters and storyline quite easily. The ending was suspenseful and I'm incredibly excited to read the next book!

Favourite Quote: "Forget my giant DVD case filled with movies about teenagers getting murdered - I'd seen so much CGI and makeup and red-dyed corn syrup that when it came to the idea of another teenager dying it never seemed real. I'd never really considered that one day I could walk outside and get shot, and it would all be over."  

Recommended: City of Bones (Cassandra Clare), Got Fangs? (Katie Maxwell), A Certain Slant of Light (Laura Whitcomb), Wake (Lisa McMann)

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've had this on my TBR for a while now but I keep reading mixed feelings about it. I still really want to read it though. Glad you liked it :)


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