Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: Walker Books, January 2010
Cover Score: C+
Overall Grade: A+
Summary: Solange Drake is dreading her 16th birthday. Born into an ancient family of vampires as the first female in 900 years, Solange's destiny is to become vampire queen. Unfortunately for her, this prophecy has caused outrage in the world of vamps. There's a bounty set on her and her family, and gross vampire suitors are sending her everything from jewelry to blood in pursuit of her hand in marriage and impeccable bloodlines. But when Solange is kidnapped days before her dangerous bloodchange, it's up to her best human friend Lucy and Solange's handsome older brother Nicholas to save her...before it may be too late.
My thoughts: Hearts at Stake is a book with serious bite! At first glance, I was expecting a cheesy, vampire-themed romance. Instead, I got a fast-paced, intriguing, action-packed read that blew away my low expectations.
First, let me gush about the characters: the book alternated perspectives from Lucy to Solange, which gave the reader a look into their heads. Lucy was a kick-butt protagonist with a wicked sense of a humor and a realistic way of speaking. Solange was elegant and poised, and Nicholas is definitely the new vampire heartthrob!
The story was described in a vivid way, the descriptions bright and easy to be imagined in your head while reading. I loved the vampire aspect of the novel, and how well thought-out it was. Ms. Harvey has created a whole, unique vampire history. To me, this was the best part of the book: all the little facts about the ancient Drake family that she created really boosted the plot and made it different from any other vampire novel.
The action in this story was fast-paced, exciting, and enchanting. I literally could not put the book down, and was reluctant when I had to. However, I found that after all of this thrilling lead-up action, the ending was a bit of a letdown. It just seemed a bit too brief.
I guess you could say that I'm dying to read the sequel, Blood Feud. I'm definitely recommending Hearts at Stake to anyone I know, particularly fans of Twilight who want better writing--you won't be sorry!
Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother