Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: After Midnight - 1st in the Youngbloods series
Author: Lynn Viehl
Release Date: May 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: YA ParanormalFiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
Year/Setting: Present day, Lost Lake, Florida
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Lynn's Website/Blog: www.pbackwriter.blogspot.com
This NY Times bestselling author has published forty-seven novels in six genres, so that’s saying something. With this new novel, Lynn Viehl walks into the dark lair for yet another YA about - you guessed it - the fanged ones. But…wait! This is no ordinary "Bella and Edward" look-a-like, as there are already so many out there it’s ridiculous. This author, thankfully, has put a spin on her story that’s a breath of fresh air where this particular subject is concerned.
In this book, three young people who lost their parents are, yet again, settling in a new town. Trick (Patrick) Youngblood is the oldest sibling; he is the hardworking young man who will do anything to keep his family together…and do even more to make sure they know as little as possible about the Youngbloods’ special "skills" and history. The younger brother is Gray (Grayson), who is very large, doesn’t say much, and simply loves TV, food, and to be left alone. The one person he does seem to care for with his whole heart is his younger sister.
Enter: Cat (Catlyn) is the youngest and wants to stop moving all the time, and STOP having to walk into a brand new school on a brand new first day to deal with the teenage scene all over again. Coming from Chicago, the Youngbloods have settled in a tiny town in Florida that doesn’t even register on any of the maps. Trick has bought a ranch and will breed horses to keep them all fed. With this move, however, Trick has told his siblings that they’re staying; they’re settling down and no more moving will occur. So, at least Catlyn figures this is the last "first" day of school she’ll have to go through.
The school has been written before. There is a yappy one who is the "eyes and ears" of the school named Barb who befriends Cat as she walks in the door. There’s a huge football player who is Mister Popular who has his eye on Cat, and his girlfriend - the head cheerleader, of course - is already upset with Cat and wants her gone.
The one thing that is new is a young man by the name of Jesse Raven. Now, he doesn’t go to school but Cat meets him on a midnight horseback ride and falls for him. Jesse is a boy who can’t go out during the day, has a special diet, etc., etc., so all readers know who Jesse is. The spin? There is something about the Youngbloods that they’ve inherited and…nope, not going to tell you. You have to read this one to find out.
There is a place in the middle of Lost Lake - a mansion - where the Raven Family live, and they never "come to town." Lost Lake was actually settled by circus-folk who came to America after a tragedy in Europe. (which, by the way, is another interesting plot point.)
So, yes, there is a romance that shouldn’t happen that all family members are against. There’s a Sheriff in town who hates the Youngbloods on sight and really doesn’t want them there; there are wild animals that refuse to attack Cat because of some power she holds; and, there is a conspiracy among Cat‘s brothers to make sure that Cat forgets about Jesse Raven…permanently.
You know how I feel folks. And I want to tell you I am so tired of vampires (which, of course, I am), but this author did inject a certain "something" that has definitely been missing from all the other millions of "clones."
Until next time,
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