Review: Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods series #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

UK cover of Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

I read this series back in 2010; I loved it, but had to stop reading after the fourth book because, well, the rest hadn’t been written yet. Since 2013 seems to be the Year of Rereading and I desperately wanted a comfort book, it seemed like a good idea to return to the world of Schulyer Van Alen. I then finished this book and immediately ran out (literally, the same day) to purchase all the installments I was missing, just so I could sit here and completely engross myself.

Plot summary: Within New York’s City’s most elite familieis, there lurks a secret society of celebrated Americans whose ancestors sailed on the Mayflower. They are the powerful and the wealthy—and in fact, they are not human. They are the Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires. 

Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner—and happy that way. 

But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler’s life changes dramatically. She has a mosaic of blue veins on her arms, and craves raw meat. The death of a popular girl from Duchesne is surrounded by a mystery that haunts her. And strangest off all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her. 

Schuyler wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger? 

I love these books. I would happily sit here and devour them day after day until I’d read every single one of them (which I pretty much ended up doing). It’s possible to completely lose yourself in the world of the Blue Bloods, as Melissa de la Cruz has painted such a brilliant depiction of their society. It’s actually almost believable. The glamour and eliteness of Duchesne seeps from the page to the point where I can still see it in my head, days later.

The author has a real talent for world-building. There’s just something about these books that make them stay with you. The plot itself is cleverer than first meets the eye as it works on three levels: a) young, snooty vampires facing a myserious danger; b) their passage throughout time as various historical characters; and c) the fascinating mythological aspects.

It works so, so well. Interspersed with the story are letters from the travellers on The Mayflower in the 1620s. These provide a little bit of something extra and it’s interesting how the story keeps linking back to the actual history of Roanoke, the ‘lost settlement.’ It’s not an age I know a great deal about, but it was still a nice addition to an already unique story.

So that’s great. Unfortunately there is a pretty big flaw with Blue Bloods, and there isn’t any getting around it. Just keep in mind that I adore these books regardless.

They’re written horrendously. I’ve read these before, not that long ago, and I didn’t notice then so I’m assuming the prose and dialogue get better in later books. In this one though… yeah, it’s not good. Like, the story suddenly halts so that you can be told in detail what everybody is wearing, or a character will ask a rhetorical question, and then the narrative feels the need to point out that the character just asked a rhetorical question. People really obviously mumble things under their breath in a non-subtle plot point – “Oh yes. Mmm… Should be starting around now… Strange that there’s no… Mmm.” You know, like Hagrid in the first Harry Potter film?

The funny this is, I’m usually the first person to slam down a book in disgust due to bad writing. But here, the plot and atmosphere are so amazing that I can actually get past it. This is rare for me, but I can’t emphasise enough how these books are definitely worth putting up with a little bit of clunkiness for a while.

So yeah, you’ve probably got the idea by now, but read these books. Even if you don’t like vampires, or you don’t like YA or you’re morally against… I don’t know, pearls, or something. The Blue Bloods series is so full of atmosphere and uniqueness that there really is something in them for everybody.

Visit Melissa de la Cruz’s website, or find her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. This sounds so bad it's good. I think I would love it!

  2. Hannah says:

    Wait.. it has PEARLS in it?! Why didn't you tell me before I bought it! Pssh.

    But seriously, sounds like these are to you what Morganville are to me. I'm under no impression that Morganville Vampires are high literature but I always find them so immersive, they're just fun! Ahem. I stole your comment box to preach about vampires again didn't I.. *rhetorical question* See what I did there? 😉 I will give these a go when I'm over my.. whatever reading mood I'm in right now. I seem to have a TOWER of chick lit for review to read and suddenly got myself into an epic fantasy mood today. OOPSIE.

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