Drink, Slay, Love
Sarah Beth Durst
Reading Level: YA
Publishers: Margaret K. McElderry (September 13, 2011)
Source: ebook from S&S Galley Grab
Okay, I loved it. Plain and simple. Pearl is witty and likeable (even if she doesn't want to be). Evan and Bethany are adorable. And the book as a whole is just funny. The dry, sarcastic humor from Pearl is fantastic! I loved her.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 thinks 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 them to the King’s feast—as the entrÉes.
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 vamp to do?
Let's talk about the characters first... Pearl. What a funny name for a vampire, right? How ironic that she would have such a symbolic name. I mean, Pearl, like the jewel that is the epitome of innocence. And don't forget about the other famous Pearl in literature (Scarlet Letter). Coincidence? I think not. Her name suits her. It captures the change that she undergoes after the unicorn attack in such a clever way. Calling her something like Elvira would never work; it doesn't show that new conscience developing in the lovely little blood sucker.
Evan is dreamy. He doesn't initially show that he likes Pearl for anything other than a friend, which is hilarious. It drives Pearl crazy. Evan comes across as a really nice, knight in shining armor sort of guy. Of course, he has one heck of a secret to share. Then there is Bethany. Perky, bubbly, almost annoying Bethany. She befriends Pearl, and it becomes an odd, but endearing, friendship. I can't forget about the would-be vampire hunters (who stink at it) Zeke and Matt. They are a riot. I'm pretty sure there might be a collective IQ of about 80 with these two. The two of them offered great comic relief.
Pearl's family dynamic is interesting. She has one uncle that wants to kill her, one that isn't right in the head, and one that only speaks in quotes from Shakespeare. Add that to a mother that is cold and calculating, a cousin Antoinette that seems a lot like the awful historical figure, and another cousin, Charlaine, that hates her. As if it was Pearl's fault she walked into the sunlight and set herself on fire? Vampires can hold such grudges! I would be seeking refuge at high school too if I lived with this family!
This was a fun read that I enjoyed immensely. It was such an original story, and very refreshing. On a deeper level, though, it's more than just a fun read. There is actually a lot of stuff going on. I already mentioned the importance of Pearl's name. The effects of the transformation are huge as well: Pearl develops a conscience, makes friends, and actually enjoys being in the sun. Those are not normal vampire qualities. Pearl's transformation make it a story of self discovery and change. After all, at some point in the story Pearl is quoting Kafka's Metamorphosis. Again, not coincidence. I wouldn't be doing to book justice if I didn't mention the irony throughout this book! There were puns galore, and Pearl always pointed out the examples of irony in the various situations she found herself in. I personally LOVE a story that is full of irony. Drink, Slay, Love was perfect! The level of the puns and irony were brilliant, and very well executed. They weren't forced and puny. It was good stuff.
I feel like this one is a must read. Plain and simple. I'm not much of a blood and guts kind of reader, so this book didn't gross me out too much. There was minimal blood suckage. It was just funny and delightful. I will be buying this one when it comes out. I actually hope there will be another book featuring Pearl and Evan. I enjoyed them so much!