Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Birth of the Vampire by Gayla Twist

Birth of the Vampire by Gayla Twist
Release Date: May 25th 2014 
Genre: Young Adult paranormal romance
Source: Author
Format: E-book

Goodreads Summary:
 Dorian is a vampire who doesn’t believe in love. Haley is a human who doesn’t believe in vampires.

At seventeen, Haley Scott’s life is pretty miserable. She lives with her uncle in a small town where she has absolutely no friends and barely any social life. Haley knows for a fact that there are very few people on the planet who care if she lives or dies.

Dorian Vanderlind is a vampire with a past he’s reluctant to face. He visits his cousin as a favor, only to find himself entangled in the enticements of the mortal world.

What happens when these two are thrown together in the most complicated of circumstances? Find out in Birth of the Vampire ~ Book 1 in The Vanderlind Realm. 


My Review:
Yes, the Young Adult genre has a lot of vampire books. You might ask yourself if it's worth taking the chance on YET another vampire book. Well, I am here to tell you that you should take a chance on Birth of the Vampire. It's a fun quick read, and even though it is not the lengthiest book, it has a lot of interesting life observations; hidden nuggets of wisdom, if you will. Oh, and it stays true to it's genre, it does vampires justice. I loved that even though this book takes place in a modern day setting, the vampires in this book have an old school flare and sophistication to them. It added an air of intrigue to the story.

Now on to characterization. This book is told from several point of views, the principal and most prevalent of them being of the protagonists, Hayley and Dorian. Hayley has had a rough life, being bounced from foster home to foster home, a mother who has a mental illness and an abusive half uncle who has taken her in until she graduates high school. This girl is the epitome of loneliness. She has no friends, no stability and a whole lot of abandonment issues that have made her a bit cynical about life, but still a girl who has within her, a hidden goodness. Not to say that she isn't flawed, she definitely has a lot to work on, that is introduced to the reader in this book, but if she goes the right way, I think she has the potential to grow. Dorian on the other hand is a vampire who is quite sophisticated, he is handsome, blonde, with gray eyes and described as looking like a male model. Yes, the immortality in this book makes you good looking. No old school dracula's here. He reminded me a lot of Lucius Vladescu from Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside, one of my all time fave vampires and male leads. Like Lucius, Dorian has that special quality about him, where he starts off as really skeptical on motrals and humans, but still there is a part of him that is fascinated by human nature and knowledgeable about it, despite feeling jaded by having lived so long. Dorian doesn't believe in love, and that just makes him so interesting. You can't help but wonder what's happened to him in his life.

Though this book is labeled as a romance, it's not the biggest focus of the book and I loved it. There was a big focus on being inside the characters heads and I thought that was really cool. Because even if a book is a romance, it doesn't have to focus on that all the time, there has to be insight into each character to further understand the romance going on in the story. There is a lot of heart break in this book, jealousy, betrayal. I loved that this book addressed slut-shamming. This happens a lot with young people, where they are shamed in a wrong way over the decisions that they make in their romantic life, especially for girls. It felt very real, the issues that Hayley confronted with other characters.

The setting of this book is a small town in Ohio and the author did a great job of placing the reader there and also creating a separate vampire world that is intermingled with the real world setting of Ohio.

I really liked how easy it was to get into the writing of this book. Dorian had a distinct voice. You could immediately tell he was a vampire who had his reservations on modern day youth and humans. Hayley definitely was a conflicted young woman and that came through in the writing.

My only complaint is that I got frustrated with Hayley at  times. But it's a good frustration in the sense that I really want her to grow. She is witty and snarky, mature, but at the same time for being a smart young woman, she would be very naive sometimes. I could easily say: "where did that come from, her poor choices?" But the reality is, Hayley has been so starved of love and affection and support, that like most people who struggle with that, she falls into the pitfalls of falling for anyone who whispers sweet nothing's into her ears. I also felt like she also needs to figure out in future books to get over her past and just become a better person for her and not care about her haters and past bullies.

As this book title says, this book is about the birth of a vampire. Someone who goes from being a conflicted human to a newborn vampire who doesn't quite adjust well to being a vamp and has to figure things out. If you want a look into what a human might feel if they became a vampire and didn't know how to understand it in their head, this book is for you!

My Rating: 4/5



  1. Great review. Yep, the vampire genre is pretty flooded, but I'm always up for another good vampire read, and I like "paranormal romance" books where the romance isn't the central aspect.

    1. Thanks so much, Emma. Same here. I'm always up for a good vampire book and I like it when the romance doesn't take over the whole story even though the book is a paranormal romance.

  2. Yay! For vampire justice! It's so hard to find good vampire books, for me at least. And it does feel like they are all over the place! And I used to just love vampire stories, yet I don't read them anymore. I do like the sound of the storyline and the characters. I might really have to give this one a try!

    Lovely review!

    1. I know what you mean and thanks so much for reading, girl! :)

  3. Oh, I can never get enough of vamps!!! The one in this novel sure sounds very enticing! I've already added this book to my Amazon wish list, and now I'm off to Goodreads!

    Your review was very detailed and thoughtful, and succeeded in selling me on Dorian and Hayley. Great job!! : )

    1. Yay. I'm so glad to hear that you added it to your to read list. I hear you. I love vamp stories, too.

      And thanks so much for reading and your words. I appreciate it! :)

    2. You're very welcome, Jen!! Thanks for putting this one on my radar! : )


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