Friday, July 26, 2013

Review for Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Morganville is a Strangely Fascinating Town with Unique and Colorful Characters

4.5 stars. I am hooked on this series. Glass Houses was filled with lots of fun imagery, interesting characters, and twists I didn’t see coming. Rachel Caine does a wonderful job making Morganville feel like a real place, freaky happenings and all.
A lot of this book felt like it was setting the scene for the entire series. There were a lot of people to meet and places to get to know. It wasn’t until I was about half way through that the plot for this book got interesting, but I was sucked in from the beginning just the same.

Morganville is a small college town run by vampires. I enjoyed reading about vampires that were truly scary, but at the same time there were enough interesting twists in their mythology to make them feel original.

The main character Claire is brave and smart. She’s an advanced placement student so she’s a college freshman but she’s only sixteen. Even though she was incredibly smart she didn’t come across as shy or nerdy, maybe  a little naive at times, but also gutsy. There are times when you notice how young she is and others when you can see that she’s really mature for her age. I liked seeing the give and take of everyone around her thinking of her as a kid, and then later thinking of her as an equal but still knowing that she’s only sixteen.

Claire’s roommates were fun characters as well. Eve was spunky and fun. She’s goth, and I loved that she rocked her own style. Eve is her own person and despite the black and skulls she has a bright and cheerful personality. Shane felt like your typical college guy, but he had layers as well. There were moments when he got a little intense, like when he did things to try and look out for Michael or eve, but he was also funny. And Michael is thoughtful and calm. He’s not really any older than Shane or Eve, but he’s the one looking out for them, and he’s the one they look up to. Michael is really the grown up of the group.
Claire crushing on the guys in the house was cute and completely believable. Also, I was glad that while she noticed the attractiveness of both Shane and Michael that Caine didn’t go the love triangle route with this story. By the end of the book it was clear where all the relationships fell and who liked who. The kiss scene between Claire and Shane literally gave me butterflies. It was cute and sweet, and just perfect.

Monica, however, bothered me. I felt she was portrayed a little too stupid, and her interactions with Claire in general felt too immature for her age. I believed that she was the kind of girl that got by on her looks, but there is an evil streak to her that I didn’t quite understand. It was more than just doing bad things because she could. I feel like there had to be a reason why she was so cold and it bothered me we weren’t ever told why exactly.
There were a few other small things that bothered me as well. For example, many characters had black hair? This is a silly detail, but it bothered me. Monica, Claire, Eve and Miranda are all described as having black hair. Couldn’t someone have dark brown hair? But, I did like the contrast between Eve, a human who dresses Goth, and one of the vampires who was blond and wearing pink, in essence dressing like a preppy human girl.

Also, I had a hard time believing that Shane and Michael were so closed minded about Miranda being psychic. After all, they grew up in Morganville with vampires and freaky stuff happening all the time. I could understand Claire being skeptical, she was still new. I just don’t get why they had such a hard time believing that maybe Miranda had a gift, even if she was nuts.
Be warned that the  end is a huge cliffhanger. There was resolution with the main plot, and then pow – Caine makes it impossible not to pick up the second book, Dead Girls’ Dance, immediately. Which is exactly what I did. If you're looking for a series to suck you in pick up Glass Houses.