Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: Drink, Slay, Love
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Vampires, Unicorns
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon and Schuster Inc.
Format: Hardcover, 386 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2373-2
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: 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 think 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 then 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 vampire to do?


Pearl is a vampire who sees humans as only a food source to be tapped then forgotten until she's hungry again. All that changes one night when Pearl takes her dinner out back of the Dairy Hut and ends up being staked by a unicorn instead. Yes, a unicorn. Pearl can't believe it, either. She also didn't expect to still be alive and resistant to the sun.

What's worse is she's having the beginnings of a conscience. When Pearl's parents insist she go to high school to find a food source for the vampire king of New England's Fealty Ceremony, she never thought she'd start caring for the humans. Especially the luminous-eyed Evan and "Miss Perky" Bethany. When you're a vampire and your "food" becomes your "friend," disaster is just after sunset.

Pearl Sange is a sixteen-year-old vampire who likes her blood sweet, so she visits Brad at the Dairy Hut every once in a while for some ice cream and a quick sip. But everything changes when Mr. Sparkly-and-Pointy stakes her with his horn. She's not only still alive, but resistant to the sun. She's awestruck the first time she sees the sun and how it shines and reflects. Though she loves being able to go out in the sun during the day, she absolutely hates the inconvenient feelings she's having as a result of her impalement. As Pearl changes (in many different ways) she's torn between loyalty to her Family and her new friends.

I didn't know what to expect when I first started reading Drink, Slay, Love. I thought the story would be a lot darker than it turned out to be. There are the cruel, evil vampires and their macabre world, but on the other side there's the unicorns and their world of light and love. And Pearl has one foot on each side, straddling both worlds.

The story is a lot more humorous that I expected, too. I love how sarcastic and witty Pearl is, as well as her I'm-not-a-damsel-in-distress, I-can-take-care-of-myself attitude. And let's not forget the rest of the cast of characters. There's the dangerously hot Jadrien, sparkly luminous-eyed Evan, "Miss Perky" Bethany, the bumbling idiots Matt and Zeke, and a whole assortment of other characters that make this book work.

Everything from the unique vampire society and culture, unicorn mythology, literary quotations, and multi-dimensional characters, combine to make a humorous vampire story that's not afraid to show its dark side.

Excerpt (Pages 127-128):

Last period of the day was new: gym class. According to her trusty schedule, she had it twice a week, and it was her only class that didn't include Evan, which was a relief. For forty-seven minutes, she wouldn't have to worry about his scent causing her fangs to poke out. She didn't know why he, out of all the humans, had such an effect on her, but it was annoying. She should be functioning at peak concentration, but he and his luminous eyes kept distracting her. First opportunity I have, she thought, I'll bite him.

About this Author:

Sarah Beth Durst is the author of Drink, Slay, Love (coming Sept 2011), Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. She has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children. For more information, visit her at

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