ARC Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted August 30, 2011 by Carmel in / 5 Comments

Title: Drink, Slay, Love
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 12, 2011
My Copy: Galley Grab

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

I was first attracted to this book by the promise of unicorns in the synopsis. I know, I know… I may technically be pushing 30 but age is just a number, right? Anyway, my favorite toys as a kid were My Little Ponies so I thought, if anything, Drink, Slay, Love would provide me with a nice walk down memory lane. Sarah Beth Durst then throws vampires into the mix! What an unlikely yet intriguing combination! I just couldn’t refuse. I gobbled this book up over the course of a weekend. The story is unique and Sarah’s writing is absolutely hilarious! This novel is better entertainment than a live comedy show! Also, cleverly hidden behind all of the antics is unexpected depth and some pretty good morals to live by.

Pearl is among the rare vamps who can be out and about in daylight. This little tweak on vampire lore really shakes things up by turning this fledgling’s whole world upside down. All of a sudden Pearl finds herself thrown into the world of humans and not only that but she has to attend high school. Talk about all or nothing! I really enjoyed experiencing an outsider’s perspective on teenage life. All of the social constructs and rules of high school are throw out the window. Pearl walks into this new life without any of the prejudices that all of the other students have developed over time. Needless to say, she chucks a pretty big wrench into this high school’s hierarchy! This sixteen year old vamp challenges teachers’ authorities, jumps from one social clique to the next and even joins the prom committee! Not only that, but she does it all with style and sass.

As the story progresses Peal’s conscience becomes for prominent. She slowly transforms from being a cold blooded killer to a considerate, conscientious, compassionate friend. The transition isn’t obvious at first but as the book moves along it becomes more apparent that Pearl is turning into a nice person. Gasp! I enjoyed watching her priorities shift from her undead family to her living one. She develops a moral compass and a better sense of right vs wrong. Drink, Slay, Love explores issues like abusive families and the importance of confiding in someone. This book also demonstrates that it’s possible to change your situation no matter how dire it may seem. There’s actually some strong parental figures in the story as well. I think Durst does a great job of telling a fun story while not loosing sight of the bigger picture.

The unicorn side of this novel is incredibly unique. When the twist is finally revealed it caught me completely off guard but in a good way! I also enjoyed the humane way in which the vampire problem is dealt with. I’m used to the stake, sunlight or holy water approach. Durst shows readers that there’s always another way and that violence isn’t always the answer.

Drink, Slay, Love has a great plotline that’s both funny and meaningful with tons of catchy pop culture references and of course, sparkly unicorns! I never expected to find such a fantastic variety of content in a Young Adult book. Keep your eyes peeled for more reads from Sarah Beth Durst. She’s an author worth following!

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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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5 responses to “ARC Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

  1. I agree that the unicorns are what caught my attention! But I’ve already read some rave reviews for this one and it’s on my WL! It really sounds AMAZING!