Friday, September 23, 2011

Book review: House of Night series

Heya people,

Today I felt like writing about books. It probably has something to do with the cold, rainy and windy weather that has gone on for days. I would love to just crawl into the corner of our couch, took my Moomin blanket on and start reading until it's sunny again.

Too bad I can't.

But what I can do is recommend you books I like. So, if you like to read, check this out.

The House of Night series (by P.C. and Kristin Cast)

Being 21 apparently doesn't stop me from liking books written for teens. After reading the Twilight saga, I wanted to find an easy-read vampire series, a replacement fot Twilight, in a way. I've read Sookie Stackhouse novels (few of them) and there's absolutely nothing wrong in them, but I wanted something a bit lighter. So, one day when I was hanging in a local bookstore, I saw the first book of the series. I loved the design of the paperback, and the description got me interested, and I decided to give it a go.

I was a bit surprised that I liked the series. It's written in a kinda young style (which I like), so it's an easy read. The little dislike... well, I'll analyze it a bit later.


The series tells a story about a young girl named Zoey. Zoey is a sixteen-year-old girl who gets marked by a Tracker, and after that her life changes completely. Zoey needs to learn her "Vampyre 101" and all things related to it, to make it as a grown vampire. The story could be described as Twilight meets Gossip Girl story, which means that it includes a vampire high school. (Now do you get why it's an easy-read?) So if you like either of the better-known series mentioned above, I recommend you try this series out.

The series has a colourful range of different characters, which is a great achievement for the authors. The series, for example, has one of the loveliest characters I've found in books; a teenage gay vampire Damien, who's a lovely little bookworm (in the most positive way) with a sense of style. Never have I ever heard of greater character in a book. Love it.

The thing that bugs me about characters though, is the way the main character Zoey is written. I mean, of course you try to make that character perfect in a sense, but he/she also has to be relatable for readers (especially teenage girls) to have a chance to relate to them. And take a note, I've loved every main character in the books that I've read. And that's many books, you know. However, I found Zoey growingly unrelatable when I got further in the series. Zoey is described beautiful, powerful, attractive, wise, popular... and she gets every guy just like that. Seems very Mary Sue to me.

For those who haven't grown up reading fan fiction, here's quote from Wikipedia:

"A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the author or reader. It is generally accepted as a character whose positive aspects overwhelm their other traits until they become one-dimensional. While the label "Mary Sue" itself originates from a parody of this type of character, most characters labeled "Mary Sues" by readers are not intended by authors as such. Male Mary Sues are often dubbed "Gary Stu", "Larry Stu", "Marty Stu", or similar names."

You get what I'm saying?

Well, of course now some of you read the book and like Zoey and might even come here telling how wrong I am. Not that I don't like exchanging thoughts, but let me remind you: this is just my humble opinion. I don't care much for too perfect characters, and was actually very delighted when I found out later in the series that Zoey can also be very morally questionable at times.

And no, I'm not trying to say that the authors don't know how to do their job. From what I've seen, they know exactly what to write to get people to read - even me when I don't like the main character that much.

I don't know how much to tell without spoiling the series too much, so I'll just wrap this up already by saying: All in all, the series is nicely written entertainment for (mentally) young readers, as it reaches them with the style and the themes. I feel that the characters in their diversity reflect well the young American population, which is a big pro for me.

So if you're in need of a light book to read, try this series out. But if you like to read something that makes you think, gets very deep in thought or anything like that... well, just choose something else. ;)

(Currently, I'm reading 'The Post-Birthday World' by Lionel Shriver. Good choice for the little older readers here ;) If any of the things I said here raises questions, you can just ask. I'll answer as soon as I can.)

Until next read,

xoxo

Silvertigo