Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Vesper, by Jeff Sampson

Vesper (Deviants #1)
Jeff Sampson
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
January 25, 2011
Hardcover; 304 pages

Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

This was one of those books that I chose randomly from my reading pile, devoured in one sitting, then sat there staring at the novel for a while longer.. just thirsting for more. It's kind of like when you watch the season finale of your favorite TV show. They give you an ending, but they leave enough unanswered questions to keep you hooked for the next season. That's how this was. I read it, was perfectly satisfied with the ending because it ended at a good spot - but that didn't stop me from going, "Well, what's next? I want to know ... NOW!" I felt like Veruca Salt... I wanted to stomp over to my parents' house and scream, "Daddy, I want the second Deviants novel and I want it now," in a completely horrible fake English accent.

Well played, Sampson.

In all seriousness, I did love this novel. The interrogation transcripts placed between some of the chapters left you guessing about what was happening just as much as Emily's actions kept you guessing. It's a little confusing, but by the end it wraps up nicely. That's the easiest way for an author to win my heart with their novel: keep me guessing until the end! I don't like figuring things out too soon in the book... it makes the novel fall flat for me.

Emily, oh Emily. I loved her willingness to accept her geekdom. She was completely wonderful and all of the pop culture references made me nerd out right along with her throughout the book. Actually, I was probably nerding out a little more. I tend to do that. She was also a strong character and didn't go completely head-over-heels for the romantic interest and spend the rest of book talking about how gloriously perfect he was. This also won me over - have a love interest, but don't make that the whole story! The other characters were pretty spiffy too, though the two characters that caught my eyes the most (Spencer and Amy) didn't take the spotlight as much as I'd like. For the story, you get enough of each character. For the series? I need more. Lots more! ;) And the twists on a certain friendship and romantic interest? My head was spinning because I did NOT see either coming. At all.

Alright, so I'm sure that you've probably figured out that I'm in love with this book. I will sing its praises from the highest mountain tops.. well, if I could. The best way I can do this book justice is to just tell you that if you want a great YA paranormal read, you'll want to pick up this book. This is Jeff's debut novel and he definitely does not disappoint!

Source: SFBR, ARC, Publisher

Avg Rating: 3.5

Other Reviews
The Nerd's Wife
Good Books And Good Wine
I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read

**Jeff is participating in my Before & After feature. Be sure to check back soon to read how he feels with his book now published!


Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I just read the most amazing author interview with Jeff, and you can tell how passionate he is about Vesper. I'm so glad to hear that resonates in the book! Awesome review, Missy :)

Smash Attack Ash said...

Yay for geeky characters!! Great review. Look forward to reading it someday. :)

Holly said...

Great review, maybe I should move this one up on my TBR pile!

Sharli said...

The mention of geeky pop culture refrences totally won me over! Now I need to read this!
Awesome review!

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