Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Review: Glass Houses

I was super excited about this book for a couple of reasons. It is a super talked about series for one. It takes place in Texas!! That is BIG reason number two. And reason #3: Rachel Caine was born at White Sands Missile Range---which, for those of you who don't know---is super close to El Paso. Apparently, she graduated from Socorro High School, which is also here. But anyway, I picked this one up from the library, and it was part of my Summer Reading...so it is book #4!

What I'm Listening To:

  • Devil Town by Tony Lucca  (Completely fits this book! Heard on Friday Night Lights and while I was reading, tossed this song on. Couldn't help it)
  • We Love Like Vampires by Sparks The Rescue (A friend of mine from forever ago liked this song. It popped into my head when I was reading this book)

Glass Houses
Book One of The Morganville Vampires
by Rachel Caine
Rating: 3/5

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Blurb:

Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1){Welcome to Morganville, Texas. Don't stay out after dark.}
It's a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows--one that will spill out into the bright light of day.

Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn't have the right connections--to the undead who run the town.

When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life. But they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.....

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Wasn't sure what I should have been expecting, but I did like it a little. It wasn't the best book ever, and I had to switch my mindset while reading it, but I might keep reading the series (especially since Caine had to put in that stupid cliffhanger moment at the end).

Claire....didn't like her at first, for several reasons. (I'll list those in a moment) As I was reading though, I realized something. I was reacting. I may not agree with everything she did and we may have our differences, but she was making me react. In the world of reading, that's exactly what I want. I want to care, and I want to react. So that was the "A-ha!"
moment when my lightbulb turned on and drove me to finish this book.

So, why didn't I like Claire?

1. She cries a lot,...but I guess I could be guilty of that sometimes

2. She says she's the stereotypical smart girl (nerd, friendless, picked on). I don't quite agree with this stereotyping, but I've had different experiences being a "stereotypical smart girl." (everyone wants answers and they only know you as 'that one girl who sits up front and knows all the answers' --just forget I have a name) I had plenty of friends, even being a nerd. Not all smart girls are friendless, but I guess I'll just roll with this one being unchangeable.

3. Claire seems rather obsessed with wanting to be 'hot' in Chapter 1. This upset me, because if she was genuinely smart, she would realize that 'hot' isn't necessarily the best adjective for a girl to be labeled with. Plus, there are more things in life besides how you look. Oh well, let's hope she learns in time.

4. Clothes aren't everything, Claire. Especially in a town where you can end up dead.

5. She "loved books, and reading, and learning things-okay, not calculus, but pretty much everything else." This is actually great! Except for the calculus part, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with calculus (quick shout-out to Mr. Fish's 4th pd School of Cal Fish!). I actually enjoyed learning calculus. So I guess that makes me a bigger nerd than Claire....

6. This was one that was just kind of personal. Its probably only me who reacted this way to this little detail. Claire doesn't like video games...*sighs and shakes head* I'm just weird I guess, because that's not really something that would bother the average reader.

That's pretty much it. I kinda wanted to yell at her in some instances (but I wouldn't actually do that out loud, since she's a fictional character in a book and NOT a real person). I was reacting to her character though, so I'll cut her some slack and let her slide this time in the hopes that she'll grow as a character in the long run.

The characters were all pretty interesting. Monica is a first class witch who should have all of the blood in her body sucked out. The plot was interesting, but in a way it was unoriginal. I honestly felt like I had read this already (I haven't, I promise!). Maybe it was deja vu, but who knows. Claire's house mates are all really interesting and I want to see more of them in the future.

There were also a couple of Texas references placed in the book. Some were better done than others. As a Lone Star Teen, I feel it my duty to present these to you.

When she first goes to Glass House, "It occurred to Claire, as the door boomed shut behind her, that there were a couple of ways to interpret that, and one of them--the Texas Chainsaw Massacre way--wasn't good." Ok, this one felt like it was kind of just tossed there for a scare factor set-up. Claire's in a creepy Texas town, so we're just gonna toss in the most popular horror film that takes place in Texas. That's basically what it felt like to me.

Not much later, she is offered chili (which happens to be the state dish of Texas). "Good chili, from the way it smelled. With...garlic?" I guess Caine was trying to make the point that the people living there weren't vampires, but that was really unnecessary to me. All of the good tasting chili bowls have garlic (especially in Texas). I can prove it! Go here: History Of Chili or Here: WCCC Recipes. The vampire-garlic thing in Texas wasn't necessary.

I think that this was the best Texas reference, props to Shane: "Sorry. Last stand at the Alamo." That was good timing with that one, to the point where I didn't even see it coming. Well done.

Overall, the book was good, the characters were interesting and best of all: I REACTED!!! So this book was saved by reaction, making it a 3-star book. I need to read the second book, because Rachel Caine decided to use that cliffhanger marketing technique that I've kind of come to hate.

Enjoy your weekend!
Don't stay out after dark
        Sam

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