Published by Bay Horse on January 21st, 2014
Genres: horror, post apocalyptic, young adult
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Sixteen-year-old Lola is a daredevil. She likes playing hooky, making out with bad boy Everett James, and stealing cars. The reason behind all of her rebellious antics? Because she can. But what can one girl do against a horde of murderous vampires?
Aided by her sometimes sober father, her best friend Travis, and Maximus, the mysterious stranger who appeared out of no where to save her life, Lola must accomplish what the rest of the human race has failed to do in the aftermath of the world wide massacre: survive.
But how do you survive when everything you know has been destroyed... and the one person you thought you could trust ends up being the most dangerous person of all?
Finally! Scary vampires! It’s been a while since I read a book about vampires. These days, they aren’t too popular a subject in YA and that’s probably due to the oversaturation that came just after Twilight. So color me refreshed when I discovered A Night Without Stars, the first vampire YA I’ve seen in a long time that shows these suckers as the villains they’re supposed to be.
My favorite part about this novel was the main character, Lola Sanchez. She’s plucky and sarcastic and carries inside her a boatload of seething, unpredictable anger. She’s the bad girl of Revere, PA, and when we first get to meet her, she’s readying herself to hotwire a car. And when everything goes to shit, she maintains that badass attitude, which I loved so much. I feel like a lot of the books I read are about timid, shy girls, but not this time. Lola is a fighter, no just because she has to be, but because she always has been. Because she can.
Lola’s relationship with her dorky best friend Travis is endearing. They’re an unlikely match and yet they somehow make perfect sense when they’re together. I also thought her relationship with her father was one that was easy to relate to and one that isn’t explored very much, I don’t think. Her father is an alcoholic, and she’s very, very pissed about it. But the author did a wonderful job of showing just how hard it is to love an addict.
Now, A Night Without Stars obviously wasn’t a big Kumbaya-talk-about-your-feelings-over-a-campfire kind of book. There was a LOT of violence and some gore and a ton of action and blood. Lola’s entire hometown is completely slaughtered over the course of two days and the wreckage, including the bodies, is left on display in the streets. This is not a quiet novel. It kind of punches you in the face and never lets you have any doubt about how much shit Lola and her loved ones are caught up in.
There are some things I don’t quite understand just yet, though. I don’t totally understand the vampires’ endgame, why they picked this particular small town, or what they plan to do after they’ve killed all the humans in the world, which is obviously their plan. I also don’t understand the vamps’ powers. At one point, Lola is bitten and it gives her some supernatural healing capabilities and it also means the vampire who bit her can track her. I find that weird, only because most vampire stories I’ve seen have it the other way around – if a human ingests the vampire’s blood, then all that weird stuff happens. I’d also like to know what’s up with Maximus, but I guess all my questions will be answered in the sequel.
The writing style was okay – it was fast paced and Lola didn’t tend to carry on too much inside her own head. I did find some problems, though, especially in the last 50 pages of the book. There were quite a few spelling and grammar issues. It wasn’t bad enough to take me out of the story entirely, but I do wish they weren’t there.
A Night Without Stars does end on one fucked up cliffhanger, and I can tell you that I will definitely be reading the sequel. There are some questions I definitely need answered and I am anxious to find out what’s in store for Lola and how she manages to get herself out of this horrible situation.