Infinite Days is one of my BEA books that I picked up without much enthusiasm. The editor promoting it did a wonderful pitch and it interested the heck out of me, but the bottom line was and still is that I am officially vampired out. I can't even bring myself to read the latest Sookie Stackhouse book! But Emma of Booking Through 365 was reading it and tweeting her reactions and asked me to give it a try and see if I agreed with her. What was supposed to be a quick skim to get a sense of the writing and characters, turned into me reading the whole book. And as soon as I'm done writing this review, I'm clicking the "delete all" button on that memory; because I'd much rather devote that people-ram to things like Zombies Vs Unicorns and Inception. You know, things that don't suck.After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah Beaudonte, with the help of the handsome Rhode, has been able to realize the dream of all vampires – to be human again. Now as a raven-haired, sixteen-year-old, Lenah believes her greatest challenge is fitting in at her new school. But the challenges have only begun. The vicious coven Lenah once ruled is threatening the new-found pleasures of her human life, including the one guy who makes her feel most alive, Justin. Can this ex-vamp survive in an alien time and place, or will her past come back to haunt her…forever?
The Good: The Premise
Rebecca Maizel takes the vampire genre the next step further and explores what would happen were a vampire to regain her humanity (though I realize while typing this that the sixth Vampires Diaries book beat her to the punch a bit). Through Lenah, we see her rediscover humanity for the first time in 500 years. But more importantly, we see the collision of her previous existence with a new, normal, human life.
The Bad: The Execution
I think I said it all whilst "Tweeting While Reading:"
I somehow expect a 500+ year old to be deeper than "I hope that jailbait guy in the next room is thinking about me cuz I'm thinking about him" 11:59 AM Jul 20th via web
Maizel's writing is better than much YA I've seen, but when it comes to Lenah's voice, she tries to strike a balance between old-world-vampire - ala Anne Rice - and contemporary teenager and fails at both.
Final Thoughts: I can't judge this book objectively because, as I said above, I am tired of vampires. And this book, while having the potential to be really interesting, trips up so much, in the voicing, the characters, the basic plot (when you're writing about subject matter - like vampires - that's going to be compared to another popular book - like Twilight - don't actively court those comparisons) that I have a sad now because of it.
But a few points that I couldn't file under Bad because it's strictly things that bothered me and which bother me in other novels as well.
How is shoving a girl who's been asleep for 100 years into high school supposed to help her adjust to modern living? Set her up with a laptop and digital tv, and we spare her the horror of cliques. By the way, why are all high schools in YA filled with 'Mean Girl' cliques? I know I was only in real high school for a year, but that was long enough to notice that we had no such things. Sure there were some popular kids and some less popular kids but we weren't The hills or Melrose Place or anything so stereotypically stupid. And friends who demand the group dress alike and have matching accessories; what's with that? Why is high school used as the standard of humanity? I promise all you people still trapped in high school that it's not.
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel is set to hit book stores August 3, 2010
My Rating: 2/5 Mushrooms