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Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: Fifty Percent Vampire D.K. Janotta

My Rating: 
Fifty Percent Vampire
Author: D.K. Janotta
Pages: 281
Release date: September 5th 2015
Living at home is driving seventeen-year-old Astrid Sonnschein nuts. She's desperate to leave her parents behind, and why not, with stepfather George a foul-tempered old vampire, and Mom - well, the less we say about Mom the better.

And our heroine has another compelling reason for getting out of Dodge. If she stays home much longer she's in grave danger of being transformed forever, and the last thing she wants is to become the newest Nosferatu.

So it's off to Rosenberg High and relative safety. Except it's far from safe when her relatives are holier than holy Aunt Jean, beer-swilling couch potato Uncle James and devious, cat-loving cousin Emma. And that's just evenings and weekends. Astrid Sonnschein's schooldays teem with teeth-sinkable challenges, the man of her dreams refuses to play by the rules, and the plethora of pitchfork-bearing peasants are beginning to mutter.

Peasants-schmeasants! It's when the full moon rises that Astrid's real troubles begin ...

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Blog Tour Organized by:YA Bound Book Tours

My Review:

I received a ARC from the author via YA Bound Book Tour to read and review in return.

The synopsis intrigued me immediately as I am very much into the paranormal and completely into vampire stories, but unfortunately for some reason, Fifty Percent Vampire was not as quick as a read as I had expected it to be. I do however need to give the author strong props on the story's originality and amazing writing skills which kept me hooked till the end...Let me get into the details.

Astrid Sonnschein  is half vampire, living in this town she calls Vampville with her mother and her evil scary stepfather. Her stepfather is a full fledged traditional Romanian vampire (he kind of reminds me of an even evil-er form of Dracula) and has all the intentions of turning Astrid into a complete vampire. Seeing that Astrid's mother was once human, and knowing her own daughter very well, she's afraid this might not be the best path for Astrid and is somewhat relieved when Astrid announces she wants to give her human side a chance. After much deliberation, she is set free to live with her Aunt Jean, Uncle James and her cousin Emma to finish off her high school and obtain all her diploma's in order prove to her stepfather and herself that she is capable of living with the humans.

Astrid knew she was in for something very different and challenging, but the things happening to her during her stay was something no one could have foreseen. At the beginning of Astrid's stay, things seem to be going blissfully well for her; she seems to catch the boys' attention and is making friends quickly. But after the first devastating death, things take a major turn around in this small town, and its inhabitants start blaming Astrid for these mysterious and strange deaths and happenings. No one is supposed to know that Astrid is half vampire, but she somehow feels someone knows of her secret and is leading her into a trap. It doesn't help that Angus, her crazy vamp step brother, is back from Iraq and taunting and threatening her in any way possible. Astrid struggles to find her ground as half vampire and as a new human teenager as she tries to continue high school and reach her goals.

I loved the concept of the story, but unfortunately I found that it sometimes dragged on a little longer in certain chapters than it should have. There were so many moments when I thought something exciting would happen, or the author had set up the most perfect scene for something sinister to happen, but unfortunately this was not always so. On the flipside, the moments that were full of suspense completely drew me  in and I can tell Mr. Janotta has a true talent for this (we want more, we want more!)!

Astrid is unfortunately not my most favorite typical protagonist. I found her truthfully a little whiny, too accepting of how people were treating her, and possessed a level of assertiveness compared to a 5 year old. In her defense, everything and everyone was new to her, but I just hoped she grew some backbone a little quicker.

What I found an immense pity was that Astrid never really practiced her vampire side, or in other words her paranormal strengths. Mr. Janotta gave hints and some fragments in the story that Astrid is very strong and powerful, but when it came down to the nitty-gritty of it all, Astrid either refused to use them or simply... couldn't... Astrid's mother's character felt a tad bit unbelievable to me, and at times I found her equally immature as Astrid. No matter how many bad things were happening to Astrid, or the amount of suspicions she was having concerning the happenings, it didn't seem to faze her as much as it should faze a mother. I really liked Astrid's cousin, Emma, and her friends. They seemed to play their roles very well, I just hope in the next book we see a little more of them.

There is definitely some (hot) romance in this book, but Astrid's crush on the town's local hunky cop, Mike, was a little far fetched at first. Throughout the book Mike doesn't seem to show any sign of interest in Astrid, until a sudden build up in his character which seemed to have changed his opinion on Astrid completely. I do feel like they make a perfect fit and I can't wait to see how the sequel further explores this relationship.

The writing style is simplistic, clean and easy to follow. I felt that all the elements were there, but to me it seemed the author didn't always accomplish piecing them together to produce a solid wholesome story. I felt some things were quite random and all over the pace, was it the plot of the story or the character's emotions or actions, it didn't hundred percent do it for me.

I know many Young Adult readers adored this book, so if you are interested, definitely give this book a go! I definitely want to commend Mr. Janotta on is his excellent sense of creativity on the concept of the story and his way of depicting sceneries and emotions throughout the book.  I feel like he is an amazingly talented writer and I am sure his sequel will be very popular amongst his readers!

About the Author:
D.K. Janotta was born and raised in England and Wales but now calls a chalet on a mountainside overlooking beautiful Lake Geneva in Switzerland home. He has worked in Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, France, South Korea, and several states of the USA. He subverts the vampire genre to ask questions about and reflect on the meaning of human life.

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