Grief changes people.
Brittany used to be a normal teen. She ate like one, slept like one, and had typical teenage mood swings. But after she found her best friend dead, everything changed.
Grief might explain her loss of appetite and her lack of sleep. It might even explain why she sees her dead friend everywhere she goes. But it certainly won't explain why everyone she touches develops bruises or why she's attracted to the smell of blood.
And, she's pretty sure grief doesn't make you want to rip apart your boyfriend just to get closer to his beating heart.
But what happens when it's the choices we make, not the creature inside, that proves the monster is in us all?
After finding the body of her best friend, Brittany begins to feel different. Taken over by more than grief, teenaged Brittany has now started to see her dead friend, she has no appetite for food and her insides feel different. Something has invaded Brittany, shut down her organs and has given her an appetite for blood. Brittany must learn to live with the parasite, her new appetite and the changes that come with it. As Brittany reveals the true nature of what resides in her, Brittany must choose if she wants to be the hero or the monster.
I thought this was a really interesting take on vampires. I was intrigued by the way that the parasite, which Brittany calls E.V., explained its purpose and its history, fitting in with well-known vampire lore. Brittany is a complex character who meets the challenge of being invaded by E.V. head on; she asks questions, test boundaries and tries to find a way that they can live together. Most of all, Brittany gets to know E.V. personally. Much of the book is Brittany’s internal struggle with E.V. and her need for blood; this was interesting but did drag on for a bit. The suspense picked up when Brittany’s friend, Coby begins to realize that something is wrong with her and begins to seek help with someone who seems to know exactly what Brittany is going through. The end really picked up as the intentions of the parasite were revealed and through me for a huge loop when Brittany and E.V. decided to solve it on their own. The writing in the book is very fast paced and chapters are very short, almost to the point of being choppy; however, it did make me want to keep reading. Overall, a different YA, paranormal, vampire read for someone looking for something a little different.
Aviva Bel’Harold writes young adult fiction: Horror, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, etc. — as long as the characters are young, full of life, and out for adventure.
When she’s writing, you’ll find her curled up on a sofa with a pen and a pad of paper, surrounded by her adorable puppies.
Born in Winnipeg and raised in Vancouver, Aviva Bel’Harold currently resides in Calgary with her husband, four children, and six dachshunds.