Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Freakishly smart Claire Danvers has always lived on the outside. Never exactly the popular girl, Claire has been fine with her low social status until she started her freshmen year of college in Morganville, Texas at sixteen years of age and took the role of social outcast to a whole new level. After innocently making a bad impression with the reigning Queen Bee of Cruel, overnight Claire turned from simply unpopular to walking punching bag. Claire decides to ditch her on-campus lodgings in favor of an off-campus abode hoping the old 'out of sight, out of mind' adage will do the trick. Even though she isn't exactly crossing her fingers. As luck will have it, Claire manages to stumble across a listing for the Glass House: occupied by Michael Glass (owner and local man of mystery), Eve (bubbly goth girl), and Shane (slacker hottie who likes x-box) - all of whom have secrets galore. In the Glass House, Claire discovers her sleepy college town is actually controlled by vampires and that none of her roommates (Claire included) are currently under the protection of a vampire - effectively branding them all as fair game. Suddenly Claire's got a lot more to worry about than just midterms.

One of the main reasons I was looking forward to reading Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series is because her vampires are just that. Evil bloodsuckers who basically want humans controlled and docile. Or dead. None of this sexy, misunderstood souls business - Morganville vampires can be easily labeled as villains. And can I just say that for once, it's nice to be on sure footing where the bad guys are concerned. Vampires = bad. Humans = good. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Well, that equation normally holds true, but like any good story it isn't always so black and white; but more on that in the next book, The Dead Girls' Dance.

Claire's story was decent, but it wasn't until she meets up with her three roommates in the Glass House that the pages really started turning. Not that I don't like Claire - I do, to an extent - but Michael, Eve, and Shane just happened to up the entertainment ante much faster than our bookish heroine has previously accomplished. It also helps that Claire develops a backbone while living in the Glass House, making her infinitely more likable. Her three roommates have a nice, comfortable banter with each filling a specific role which helped me relax and fall into the story more than anything else.

Glass Houses is fast-paced and quite short and I quite enjoyed Claire's story but every so often little details would pop up that would end up completely pulling me out of the story. Like when this scary old vampire lady calls Claire 'winsome' and Claire has no idea what she means. Really? A girl who reads anything and graduated from high school at 16 doesn't know what winsome means? Huh. I guess those SATs aren't as tough as they used to be. I mean, I know Claire is mainly math and science smart, but it happened a couple of different times and just didn't fit.

series reading order:
~ Glass Houses
~ The Dead Girls' Dance
~ Midnight Alley
~ Feast of Fools
~ Lord of Misrule
~ Carpe Corpus
~ Fade Out
~ Kiss of Death (April 2010)

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
The Book Bag review
The Bookette review
Confessions of a Bibliophile review
Just Listen Book Reviews
ya Reads review

book source: my local library

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