Teenage love, ancient hatred and a Romeo and Juliet-style feud fuel the fires in this compelling first-person drama. A likable heroine struggling with her place in the world showcases Gray's excellent use of characterization. The wide-open ending invites more adventures set in this modern gothic world.

Teenager Bianca Oliver doesn't want to leave her hometown to attend the Evernight Academy, where her parents will be teaching. Pondering running away, Bianca meets fellow new student Lucas Ross and decides to stay. There's something a bit creepy and too perfect about the students of Evernight, and other than Lucas, Vic and Raquel, Bianca feels out of step.

Teenage hormones and a magnetic connection bring Lucas and Bianca closer, but dark secrets are poised to keep them apart: Although Bianca is a rarity -- a born vampire -- Lucas is human and unwelcome in their world. Moreover, Lucas has his own set of secrets that may rip the young lovers apart. (HARPERTEEN, Jun. 336 pp., $16.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith