House of Night: Chosen by Kirsten Cast and P. C. Cast
Alright so I really, really meant to start this series from the beginning but I didn’t. Someone I trusted told me it was the first book. It wasn’t and I realized it and was going to stop. But then I had an inconvenient lunch break and I had nothing else to do so I had to read it.
I regret it because it was great and now the first two books are kind of ruined for me so I don’t get to enjoy their greatness. But I also don’t regret it because it was great.
The story picks up, I assume where the last book left off. Zoey’s best friend Stevie Rae has died and come back as a… well no one’s quite sure. Everything’s going well with Eric, her fledgling boyfriend other than one thing – she’s imprinted on her former human boyfriend Heath. And suddenly Loren, one of the teachers, is talking about how much he wants her. On top of all that, Zoey knows Neferet, a teacher and high priestess, has something to do with Stevie Rae’s death and she can’t tell anyone – not her boyfriends, not her best friends, not even her family. But there’s one person she might be able to – her worst enemy Aphrodite.
As far as teen paranormal fiction goes, there’s a lot of good stuff in this book. On the teen front there’s a lot of fun and genuine teen experiences, or at least wish fulfillment. Having 3 hot potential boyfriends, one of whom is much older and talks about how you’re the only person who’s ever made him feel that way may not be completely realistic but boyfriend drama, group dynamics, keeping secrets and family tension are all things teens will relate to really well. Unlike a lot of love triangles, or in this case love squares I guess?, it’s really hard to guess which one Zoey really loves and the Casts do a great job of showing what she loves about each of them. Her circle of friends, all of whom are pretty fun and well developed for secondary characters have a great dynamic and realistic response to Zoey keeping secrets from them. Zoey also struggles with her family – her mother and stepfather are slowly severing ties with her, but it’s messy. You know, like a real family.
The paranormal aspect is pretty neat too. The world building is comprehensive and beautiful and I love the focus on Nyx, the goddess of vampires. The rituals, the elements and the process of becoming a vampire are all beautiful, original twists that make a lot more sense then “they sparkle”.
This book also did a good job of seamlessly incorporating characters who could use some representation. Zoey is Aboriginal and details included in her identity without making her into a stereotype. Her friends Damien and Jack are gay but their relationship is more important, which is unusual – they aren’t Jack from Will and Grace, they’re a couple who have separate and overlapping identities. I’m pretty pleased with that.
I’m going to read the whole series, you know, one day when I have time to do nothing but read and happily recommend it in the meantime.
Last TV show I watched:
Unbreakable Kimmy Smitt. LOVE IT.
Last movie I watched:
The Backup Plan. Babies are cute.