Friday, May 18, 2012

Immortal Hearts by Ellen Schreiber

Title: Immortal Hearts
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Pages: 260 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon; Barnes & Noble; Book Depository

Athena "Stormy" Sterling is coming to Dullsville, and Raven is both excited and panicked in anticipation of Alexander's little sister's visit. Alexander tells Raven that she and his sister have a lot in common, but can the mini-Raven be everything she hopes for? Alexander calls her Stormy for a reason.

Stormy's visit stirs up the perfect immortal whirlwind. Raven is forced to take a good look at what it would really mean to become a vampire in the Sterling family, aside from some of the things she already loves, like shunning the sun and sleeping in a coffin with Alexander. When Raven compares her life with Stormy's, she can see that it's not all starry skies and black roses. But Raven knows she's always wanted to be a vampire.

Alexander is as romantic and dreamy as ever, and though he keeps showing Raven how much he loves her, will she ultimately be able to convince him that it's the right thing to turn her?

This final chapter of Vampire Kisses' nocturnal romance will keep all mortal and immortal hearts racing.


In October 2007, when I was a mere lass of thirteen, I discovered the Vampire Kisses series and fell in love. Four and a half years later, in May 2012, Immortal Hearts brought the end of the series and I, ever the dutiful fan, blubbered like an infant when I finished reading it. The final book of the series was fluffy and brought the resolution all the fans have been waiting for, but it was also pretty badly planned and doesn't actually offer very much resolution at all.

Everything I've come love the series for and expect from each installment was here: failtastic clothing descriptions ("her tights were ripped in all the trendy and cool places" (p. 55) doesn't actually tell me very much about where her tights are ripped); ridiculous emphasis on the greatness of Goth fashion; Jagger (and nothing more needs to be said); Raven drooling over Alexander and being a brat over wanting to become a vampire--you know, the usual stuff. And we get a tweenage vampire with braces!

Heck, the writing was pretty repetitive too. More than it usually is, and it's not that great in the first place. Two paragraphs on pages 202 and 207 reiterated the same main point. See?

 "The offer was attractive, and though I didn't want to become a vampire with Jagger, I was flattered that someone wanted to change me. I knew Alexander did, but Jagger was offering it to me only last night. It was something I couldn't shake. If Jagger wanted it, thought about it, and tried to make it happen, did that mean Alexander would too?" (p. 202)

""I need to know," I said again. Jagger's offer was flattering but not something I'd really consider since I loved Alexander. And now that Stormy wanted me to be part of the Underworld, I realized that the only one who was reticent about my being turned was my one true love." (p. 207)
But we learn a little bit about Jameson! It may have taken nine books to say something as small as what he is (a half-vampire), but it finally got put out there. Funny Raven never got curious enough to ask before now, but whatever. She was too busy going on graveyard dates and partying and stuff like that.

I make this series sound so horrible, don't I? It is horrible, but I love it. So what if these two teenagers moved way too quickly after just over a year of dating? They're fucking adorable. I don't read this series for quality work, I read it for the fluffy love and nostalgia. Raven's story reads easily, Alexander's little sister Stormy turns out to be adorable and fairly realistic for a twelve-year-old in her situation, and it's all good as long as readers can read it as tongue-in-cheek.

Yeah, I'm failing pretty badly at getting across why I love these books. When I read them, they take me back to when I was thirteen. Back then, my biggest worry was getting a cell phone and Raven and Alexander's love story was the cutest damn thing I'd ever seen. Raven spoke to the teen in me and Alexander, the sensitive artist, and Jagger, the driven bad boy with eyes two different colors, made me swoon in equal measure.

(I've really grown up in four and a half years, haven't I? Now if only Raven could show that kind of growth...)

And so ends Raven and Alexander's table, but it will always be with me. Now it's time to indulge my inner fangirl with crackshipping (Raven/Jagger could have been canon!!!!!11!!1!) (sorry, she took control for a second), imagined fanfic, and unrestrained squeeing. I think a quick reread of some of the previous books is in order.

Okay, that's where the review ends for everyone that wants a spoiler-free review. SPOILER CITY AHEAD. If you want to see how it all goes down, don't mind massive spoilers, and care about my qualms with the ending, keep going. You still have quite a ways to go. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER. Got it? Okay.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Raven is a vampire now, but the minute character growth she gained got negated by her transformation. So she started pressuring Alexander about becoming a vampire RIGHT NOW, they fight, and she realizes pressuring him about it is wrong for multiple reasons (she isn't considering how much pressure is on him, she sounds selfish, it makes her sound like she's only in pursuit of vampirism and not in love, etc.). Hooray! She figures out she's being an idiot! But then Alexander comes back and gives her exactly what she wants. Fucksticks!

The last two pages of the novel are Raven going through the covenant ceremony and becoming a vampire. What happens afterward? For all intents and purposes, Raven is now a high school dropout and married woman at the age of seventeen, all without any input from her parents. Actually, she waited until her parents went out and then went to the graveyard to have her covenant ceremony in secret. How will they react when their daughter tells or shows them she is now a vampire and Alexander's eternal partner? Because they can't not find out. Will they--or Trevor, now that he knows about the vampires too--spill the beans to the rest of the town? Does everyone get staked or chased out of town? Is everyone okay with it? Does Scarlet kill Trevor?

Open-ended series endings are fine, but there are limits. Immortal Hearts is way beyond that limit. So many questions like the ones I asked above are left open that I feel there needs to be a tenth book or more length to Immortal Hearts in order to answer them. I can't remember an open ending that screwed up quite this badly before.

Non-nostalgic rating: 2 stars!
Nostalgic rating: 4 stars!

What am I reading next?: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading Immortal Hearts last night and I completely agree with everything you said. Even though I am 30, I love this series. And while I was happy she was finally turned, I wanted MORE!


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