Under the Desert Moon by Emma Meade
Publisher: Soul Fire Press
Release Date: August 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal/Romance
17 year old Erin Harris spends her time daydreaming, hoping to escape her small town life in Copperfield, Arizona. When a movie crew arrives unexpectedly to shoot a vampire film over the summer, Erin’s small town world changes forever. Erin is positive she has seen the star, James Linkin before in a thirty year old TV show. He hasn’t aged a day. How is this possible? Erin is determined to find out, but how will James handle the scrutiny of an all too intelligent teenage girl?
Under the Desert Moon is such a gem of a book. Not only is it a cute and light read, but it also had a lot of depth and realness to it. You may inquire why I am calling a vampire book cute, but the romance in this book cannot be labeled as anything else. It was, I have to say, incredibly sweet and endearing. The main characters in this book have such a likable quality about them. You just can't help root for them amongst all their drama, because, oh yes, there is quite a bit of drama in this story. This book is a vampire story after all.
And now on to the main characters in Under the Desert Moon. They were so layered and well developed. The female lead in this story, Erin, is such an amazing heroine. She is intelligent, determined, emotionally strong, and has a very fun and sarcastic sense of humour. Her strength comes from having lost her mother and having to deal with a drunken and careless father and boy does she handle her family drama with incredible grace. James, our male lead in the story, is a vampire and an incredibly gorgeous, charming, and smart one at that. The story of how he became a vampire is compelling since he was pushed into a life of darkness that he didn't want and in Under the Desert Moon, we find him trying to reclaim his life via his profession as an actor and the intricacies of being a vampire in a world where according to everyone, they don't exist.
The romance in Under the Desert Moon is what makes this book so special, though. The relationship dynamic between Erin and James is just really amazing. It can be said that both the main characters are on the opposite spectrum in life. Erin is a human girl, who is a dreamer and is dying to get away from her family drama and small town. James, on the other hand, is a vampire who is much older in age than he appears, and is used to getting his way, as his vampire nature, makes him a predator and natural seductor. What brings these two characters together you may say? Well, they both are lonely souls, who are skeptical about life. Erin due to the loss of her mother and verbally abusive and alcoholic father, while with James it's his vampire nature and necessity to be hidden from the world, that has submerged him into isolation. What is special about their relationship is that both characters, unknowingly, kinda bring light into each others life and awaken desires and dreams in each other, that they didn't know they had.
Oh, and for those of you readers who are weary of insta-love in Young Adult novels. No worries. There is none of that going on here and no love triangles either. The way in which James and Erin get to know each other is quite adorable. Erin is a headstrong girl, who is very smart. She doesn't it take it lightly that James is a vamp. Oh, no. As swoonworthy as he is as a character, Erin remains quite level headed and skeptical about him, but it is a fun skepticism, due to her sense of humour. James on the other hand, as a vampire, is not used to not wooing a girl right away, and out of this initial indifference, eventually, a lovely relationship is born, with a lot of fun banter, as both characters start to figure each other out. And for those of you, who love cute romances, this book is for you. James and Erin are so sweet together. They have such a respect for each other, because like I said previously, they both are really surprised at the fact that they do fall for one another with time. And what is so awesome about Erin, is that she may fall for James, but it doesn't mean she throws all caution to the wind, and lets her life revolve around James, just because he's gorgeous and has awoken feelings of love in her. Nope. She throughout the novel remains a female lead, that still is focused on her dreams and helping her loved ones.
Speaking of, there are some awesome secondary characters in this novel. From Erin's brother (Nick) - who is brainy and a good brother, to the mean girl girlfriend of Erin's older brother, Steve, to mention a few. There is also this tremendously evil female vampire villain who is as manipulative and psycho as they get. And really, all these characters add a great depth to the story and the lives of the main characters, in my opinion.
I would seriously recommend this book to anyone who is a huge fan of vampire stories. It is so easy to get into. You can't go any better than a story where the main girl falls for a guy who is a vamp, who is an actor, who comes to her town to play a fictional vamp in a movie. I just loved the irony there, and there were some awesome analogies in the story on to why people love vamp stories within the book itself that were to me, oh so very clever.
My Rating: 5/5