Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
IQ "About Miranda. Her soul. With faith, repentance and sacrifice, anybody can be redeemed, right? Anybody. She's still somebody. Maybe it's harder for a vamp to be good. But you could say the same of the poor or the oppressed or politicians. She didn't fall, Josh. What she is had nothing to do with free will. She was taken." Zachary
This book will stay with me for close to eternity I'm sure! It was funny, sweet and thought-provoking in a very subtle way. Oh and I now officially love vampires. I understand the craze, because even though vampires are evil in Eternal there is just something about them that draws you in. Cynthia Leitich Smith does a wonderful job of creating this secret world of vampires and angels interacting with ordinary people. I liked learning about the hierarchy of the vampire world (the most powerful and important vampire is known as Dracula, not the original one of course. It's more like a title), and learning about the world of the vampire nobility (it's not a particularly happy or nice world), vampire royalty and nobility like to be called 'eternal' (hence the title!).
Miranda is the main character (she's half-Asian I believe. I know she's Asian just not sure if she's fully or only half) and she becomes the princess of the vampire world after she dies only to have the King of the vampires save her. She is adopted by the current King of the Mantle of Dracula (also known as Dracula). At first she only sees the perks of being vampire royalty. She's now stunningly beautiful and she can have whatever she wants (cars, money, guys, etc.) Miranda lives in Dracula's castle and the descriptions of the castle were extremely vivid and well-done! I would love to visit Dracula's castle (but in the words of Cynthia Leitich Smith, "not without a guardian angel by my side.") Miranda's teenage guardian angel is Zachary. He's hot, caring and well, an angel (so obviously he's perfect), except not completely perfect because he fails to save Miranda from dying and becoming a vampire. Throughout the novel, Zachary is trying to figure out how to rescue Miranda, save her soul and keep from falling in love with her.
The story is told in alternating perspectives, Miranda's and Zachary's. Zachary's perspective was particularly amusing, especially when describing the duties of a guardian angel "I watch my girl slip the oversize Dallas Cowboys T-shirt over her pink bikini panties and turn in for the night, That sounds perverted, I know. But I've always watched her dress, undress, shower and bathe....it's my job to keep an eye on her 24/7. I'm Miranda's guardian angel (GA for short). A newbie created after the first atomic blast in 1945." Zach is such a sweet guy and the budding romance (more accurately described as romantic/sexual tension) between Miranda and Zach is sizzling!
While I read this book I was in constant SHUTUP AND LET ME READ! mode, but this book is worth it. It's definitely a book that you will want to read in one day so students beware (a late night/early morning lies ahead of you), but this book is fantastic so it's worth the lack of sleep. Eternal is funny, romantic, a paranormal thriller and contains a bit of political analysis. But the ending? NO! I mean it was a good ending, but it is the definition of a cliff-hanger. I was furious when the book ended, I couldn't believe the author would leave me hanging like that! But she can and she did. So I will just have to be patient and wait for the sequel. The sequel is called Blessed and it actually picks up from where Tantalize left off, but characters from Eternal are in it, so hopefully the story of Miranda & Zachary and their world will be resolved. For more info on Eternal (some spoilers on this page though!) check out the author's website
Tantalize was Ms. Smith's first YA book. Read my Tantalize review here. I liked Eternal so much more than Tantalize, but they're both good and I recommend them both (although I suggest you start with Eternal!) You don't need to have read one, to read the other. High school and up. Especially recommended for vampire lovers and everyone in the spirit of Halloween!
And here's the wonderful book trailer for Eternal If you have trouble viewing it, go here. Sorry for the inconvenience, I still don't know how to put videos that I didn't create in a blog post. I will learn!
Disclousre: Received from Candlewick Press/Cynthia Leitich Smith to review and give away one copy. Thanks so much Cynthia and Candlewick! And go enter the Halloween giveaway already ;)