My Blood Approves

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My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking, book reviewMy Blood Approves is the first novel in the series of the same name by Amanda Hocking. I discovered the series while browsing cheap supernatural fiction on the Kindle store, and thought it sounded reasonable for the bargain price of 70p.

Since the first time I read the Twilight saga, I’ve been searching for more series that had a similar effect on me – like Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings before it, the stay-up-all-night-to-finish-reading effect. I’ve read some great stories, some mediocre, and a reasonable amount of rubbish. Could My Blood Approves be the one?

Alice, our heroine, is 17 years old and lives in Minneapolis with her mother and younger brother Milo. One night Alice and her friend Jane are followed after they leave a club, and a stranger called Jack comes to their rescue. Alice and Jack are drawn to each other but it is clear he is something more than human – and neither is his brother Peter, with whom Alice feels a compelling attachment and attraction.

The basic premise of My Blood Approves is not exactly new. Girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy is “different”, trouble ensues. Yet despite this, within a fairly short time the story had me hooked. The opening of the novel doesn’t seem promising, but it soon picks up.

Alice as a lead character wasn’t bad, but I didn’t find myself forming any attachment to her. I felt more sympathetic to Jack, who was quite sweet and stuck in an impossible position.

Like many current writers of vampire/supernatural fiction (and there are a lot), Hocking isn’t a brilliant writer and is unlikely to win any prizes. However, what can be said in her favour is that her writing is definitely not bad – no glaring mistakes, no bad grammar, no annoying styles. And in this genre, that really makes her stand out as a good writer – there is a spectacular amount of rubbish out there.

Another refreshing feature of My Blood Approves is that it gets on with the story without distracting the reader with daft character names or pop culture references. I’ve read some supernatural fiction where the characters have ridiculous names (Ever being one) and which are jam packed full of references to iPods, MTV and popular bands and actors. Hocking doesn’t do this – if a reference is appropriate then it is there, but not for the sake of showing she is down with the kids (which I assume is why the others do it). I like that the characters have normal names – Alice, Jane, Jack, Peter. There are a few which are a bit different – Milo and Ezra for example – but these are the exception not the rule, which is perfectly acceptable.

I’m quite happy to compare Hocking favourably to the likes of Stephanie Meyer (Twilight) and P.C. Cast (House of Night) who are the current market leaders in young adult supernatural fiction. When you look at her books on Amazon (they only appear to be available on Kindle at present), they don’t look like much – you might dismiss them as cheap rubbish, but they’re not. They’re fantastic stories, and not cheap – bargains.

To indicate how impressed I was with My Blood Approves, I read the second instalment as soon as I finished it, I’ve already downloaded the third, and I have also finished reading another of her series, the Trylle Trilogy. And all this in the space of just over a week.

My Blood Approves comes highly recommended from me – especially if you’ve also been searching for another unputdownable series.

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My Blood Approves
by Amanda Hocking

2 Comments on "My Blood Approves"

  1. jdfield
    22/06/2011 at 10:32 Permalink

    I like this review, mainly because it almost completely agrees with my own opinion… :)
    Though I would add that Amanda Hocking has a really easy-to-read conversational style of writing that completely pulls you along. At times it’s more like having a chat than reading a book…
    The thing that annoyed me a little about this, though, was the way the vampires were all cool and beautiful and EVERYTHING. Why aren’t they sometimes a bit geeky or whatever, that’s always been
    a bugbear of mine!

  2. eilidhcatriona
    22/06/2011 at 11:04 Permalink

    Hello JD, thanks for your comment – if you want an imperfect teenage vampire, try Diary of a Wimpy Vampire; not a particularly great book, but the lead character is a typical teenager – except for being a vampire.

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Written by eilidhcatriona

A Scottish lass in her late twenties living in London. A prolific reader always interested in something new.

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