Book Review: Bloodlines by Janice Harrell



Struggling to cope with their dark vampire legacy, Anne Marie Montclair grieves over her mother’s tragic death, while her twin brother, Paul, is torn between his love for his sister and his hatred toward the father who had abandoned him.



This was kind of fun. It took me back to my late middle school / early high school days, the style very much reminds me of paranormal books by other authors I was reading back then (Christopher Pike, Lois Duncan, L.J. Smith).

YA of today certainly doesn’t read quite as young feeling as it did twenty-five or thirty years ago, in my opinion. But I would have happily gobbled this up in my teens. As it is, it’s still an engaging read but is also unlike a lot of YA currently being published. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The two main characters, sixteen year old twins Anne-Marie (Ari for short) and Paul, are in the dark about a lot of things and you’re getting information filtered through their perspectives. At first, things are weird and creepy but they don’t seem too out of the ordinary. But over time things start adding up. The kids are having weird visions and they don’t know if they’re just dreaming or hallucinating or what and they keep trying to come up with logical explanations for everything they’re seeing and experiencing in their Aunt’s house. I think we, as the reader, are able to perfectly piece together what’s happening for the most part–after all if you’re reading a book about vampires you know the signs of vampires and what to look for. So part of the engagement of the story is the reader being in on the secret and wondering when they’re going to figure things out. Of course, there are still some things that aren’t spelled out for the reader and those little mysteries provide some entertainment as well.

Paul and Ari were okay as characters, although the way this is written we’re kind of kept at a distance from them in some ways. I didn’t really start connecting with either of them much until near the end of the story. I would like to see both of them fleshed out a little more, or have more personality. I think even their aunt had more personality than either of the kids. Also, there’s this bond between the kids that was giving me a weird vibe like maybe they were too close at times, but maybe that’s just a twin thing and wasn’t properly written or maybe I’m reading too much into things. But why are they kind of jealous of each other dating? Ummm….lol.

My only other major complaint is that it ends on a huge cliffhanger! Now I kind of want to find out more about these kids and what happens to them. Are they finally going to meet their mysterious father? Was their mother’s death really an accident? What’s up with all these vampires in the DC area? (As a side note, I just want to say that I knew it, I knew there were vampires in the area–there’s always so much more traffic around here as soon as it gets dark out earlier and that’s the only logical explanation, of course πŸ˜‰ )

Overall, this was an okay read for what it was, certainly had me entertained at the very least. I’ll probably pick up the next one at some point just to see what happens. 3/5 stars.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Bloodlines by Janice Harrell

  1. Tammy says:

    I don’t think the term “young adult” even existed 25 years ago, lol. This definitely has a younger vibe to it. But if you’re willing to read the next book, it must have enough good things about it😁

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Yeah it’s weird I think things geared towards ‘young adults’ read a lot younger back then? Like inwas still reading Christopher Pike books in early high school but they feel so much ‘younger’ than the YA that is out nowadays, it’s kind of wild.
      This wasn’t bad for what it was and I’m kind of curious how things end up lol.

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    Probably not one that I’m going to pick up – thinking that this is for your bingo card books?
    Anyway, good to know you enjoyed it enough to pick up the next at some point.
    Lynn πŸ˜€

  3. Sarah says:

    LOL about traffic in DC. I’ve never been but that was funny. I live in a state with really only two interstates, and only one that’s heavily used. Glad you mostly enjoyed it.

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