2 out of 4 stars
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Cordelia Slade has enemies who want to kill her, which is why she decided to move back to her hometown in West Virginia while her family remains behind to deal with these problems. A senior in high school and the new kid in school, she doesn't expect to meet anyone particularly interesting, but one young man captures her interest. Paul has a past that he doesn't want to share, but it defines him. Life isn't simple for either of these two. Did I forget to mention that Cordelia is a vampire? Will they each find happiness or will their pasts interfere?
Crimson and Clover by Crystal Schultz is a young adult book of around 600 pages. Vocabulary such as "bituminous" make the read more difficult but not impossible. With no explicit content but some profanity, the book is suitable for high school age and older.
I'm always up for a good vampire story; however, since they're a dime a dozen, uniqueness is key. Though the vampire protagonist is a woman, this reminded me in many ways of Twilight, and Edward Cullen being mentioned in the book didn't help the author avoid the similarities. Both contain romance. Both protagonists have enemies that would see them, and their loved ones, killed. As Edward saves Bella's life, Cordelia manages to save the love of her life. Eerily similar would be an understatement.
On the plus side, Ms. Schultz manages to tackle some more difficult topics such as PTSD and bullying, which I appreciated. Many of the characters have a tormented past, making them more realistic. However, that's not to say that one should use this as a guidebook on how to deal with bullying, as most of us (I'm assuming anyway) aren't vampires or don't have a vampire friend.
To continue, the pacing of the book could use work. The story builds slowly with little action to start. Still, I was engrossed in learning more about Cordelia, Paul, and their past. The problem came towards the end. We finally get to the climax, but it's over as soon as it starts. It needed to be more intricate, more suspenseful, and longer.
Furthermore, there were errors aplenty. Spaces were missing often. Words were missing or included where they shouldn't be. The author also enjoyed semicolons, which was quite distracting. For example, "I groaned, getting pretty annoyed; even though; I was used to her revulsion of our former home." My pet peeve, one of the character's names even changed halfway through the book. Proofreading is a must, and I was disappointed at the sheer number of grammatical issues within the book.
It's worth noting that the author did leave the story somewhat open-ended. The major arc is wrapped up, but there's a loose end. I can only hope that in the second story the action is more developed and more crucial to the story.
To summarize, this is a fun vampire romance, but don't expect anything you haven't read before. For this reason as well as the errors and anticlimactic nature of the story, I give Crimson and Clover 2 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to hardcore vampire lovers that don't mind the same plot with different characters. With work and rewriting, this could be a great book.
Crimson and Clover
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