Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Turned by Morgan Rice

Publishing Information:
Title – Turned (Vampire Journals #1)
Author – Morgan Rice
Publisher – Morgan Rice (Amazon Digital Services)
Date Published - 2011
# of pages - ebook (about 150 pages)

Genres & Themes: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult

GoodReads – 25 Ratings, 3.72 Average Rating – 10 Ratings, ~4.8 Average Rating

My Rating: 3.5/5

Plot Summary:
In TURNED (Book #1 of the Vampire Journals series), eighteen year old Caitlin Paine finds herself uprooted from her nice suburb and forced to attend a dangerous New York City high school when her Mom moves again. The one ray of light in her new surroundings is Jonah, a new classmate who takes an instant liking to her.

But before their romance can blossom, Caitlin suddenly finds herself changing. She is overcome by a superhuman strength, a sensitivity to light, a desire to feed--by feelings she does not understand. She seeks answers to what’s happening to her, and her cravings lead her to the wrong place at the wrong time. Her eyes are opened to a hidden world, right beneath her feet, thriving underground in New York City. She finds herself caught between two dangerous covens, right in the middle of a vampire war.
-- taken from the Goodreads description

What I thought:

When I was contacted by Morgan Rice asking if I’d review her book Turned I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. But then I began to look closer at the cover and description of the story and got just a little more drawn in. I liked the idea of reading a vampire story where the main character wasn’t changed into a vampire because she was bitten. You see, Caitlin isn’t a victim of a thirsty creature of the night nor a victim of some lonely heart who wants a new companion for all of eternity. Although I do love both those storylines in other books, it was intriguing to me to see that Caitlin would be slowly turning into a vampire for causes unknown. So I picked up the book and started reading to see what this was all about.

It’s a young adult story and the prose is a little easy going. I actually enjoyed this. It reminded me of the kind of books I used to enjoy reading when I was younger. There is a lot of dialogue and a lot of action. The internal thoughts and descriptions of surroundings are still there but they are kept to a minimum. I also liked the introduction of Caitlin and her situation. She starts out as just a normal teenager, her first day at a new school. She meets a boy that is about the only good thing about her day, home life after school included. This also happens to be the first day she starts feeling a little…different. What I didn’t like is that after the initial change, everything else happens so fast. Caitlin goes out with Jonah to Carnegie Hall and while there, her blood lust overwhelms her so much she ends up killing someone. The rest of the story follows Caitlin as she runs from the police, encounters two factions of vampires and attempts to find out what exactly she is.

I enjoyed the story and would read the next in the series if they were available to me. As I said above, I find the concept really unique, I liked the story-telling style, and I like Caitlin. There were some things I did wonder about though. For instance at the beginning of the book Caitlin seems to really like Jonah but when she’s in trouble a vampire named Caleb saves her. She immediately falls in love with him and thinks that he is saving her because he loves her too. This really had me shaking my head. I understand love at first sight but what I don’t understand is why Caitlin got all huffy and puffy when she thought he was just “using” her and didn’t love her back. I also didn’t understand Caleb’s reaction to her reaction. I wont say any more to avoid spoilers but I think I just needed this flushed out a bit. The second thing I had problems with is that the editing sort of fell apart near the end of the story. There were lots of spelling mistakes. I can somewhat ignore this because that’s the sort of thing that can be easily fixed but it was a bit distracting for my personal enjoyment of the story.

I would recommend this book to older teens. The writing is meant for teens and the relationships feel to me like teens might understand them just a tad more than adults. I don’t necessarily recommend to younger teens because I found Caitlin’s lust for blood and a few gory scenes a bit disturbing.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book (via PDF) in exchange for an honest review.

Recommended to: paranormal fiction fans, older teens

Where you can purchase this book:

Amazon (Kindle) – 0.99
Smashwords – 0.99

Add this book to your tbr list:
Go to the Turned Goodreads page.

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