Review: TURNED (Vampire Journals, #1) by Morgan Rice

TURNED_by_Morgan_Rice_small3Author: Morgan Rice
Release Date: March 10, 2011
Pages: 196
ISBN #: 9780982953723
FTC Disclaimer: Book was purchased by the reviewer, with no publisher or author involvement.

I enjoy surfing online to find new paranormal novels to devour and, as I have repeatedly said before, I am skeptical reader. But I always give every book I encounter a try, so when I downloaded Turned, the first novel in Morgan Rice’s YA Vampire Journals series, I tried to keep an open mind.

As I read, I realized that this wasn’t your everyday girl falls for vampire boy, vampire boy seems unattainable…you all know the drill (not that I dislike those books–in fact, I can quote some of them chapter and verse). It starts with eighteen-year-old high school senior Caitlin Paine is starting yet another new school, this one in the heart of New York City, where she feels even more alone and outcast than usual.
She hates being here, hates moving every so often when her mother’s “plans” don’t work out and, to be honest, sort of hates her mother, too. She doesn’t expect to find any rays of sunshine in this particular Hellhole, but it turns out she’s wrong when a cute boy gives her his seat in class. His name is Jonah and immediately an attraction forms between the two.
He is a classical musician and unlike every other student in the school, which makes him an easy target for the bullies. When Caitlin stumbles upon him in an alleyway on her way home from school, surrounded by four huge hulking guys, she wants to help him. She feels the rage that she has had ever since she came of age boil up within her and, before she knows it, she had successfully incapacitated all four men, all of whom were about double her size. She doesn’t know how she did it. She doesn’t understand what’s happening to her.
Her mom is of no help, she isolates herself away from her beloved younger brother (who runs away from home) and she never knew her father. When she finds out something she hopes and prays isn’t true about her mother, she runs, too. She is utterly alone except for Jonah, who invites her to a classical concerto as a date.
While on the date, everything that has happened to Caitlin culminates in her pain and hunger getting out of control. During intermission, she dashes out of the theater and into the backstage area…where the perfectly delectable young singer is taking a fifteen minute rest.
When Caitlin drains him of his blood, she is satisfied, but terrified as she cannot remember what she’s done, only that she is in serious hot water. She runs again and is persecuted by the NYPD and by two separate groups of vampires.
But what is Caitlin? She was not turned, she was never like this until she turned eighteen. Can these disparate groups of the Undead teach her who and what she is or is she doomed to run forever? And who will help her if she does? Jonah? Or the mysterious and handsome vampire Caleb, who rescued her (…or did he)?
I really enjoyed this read, though it was much too short for my tastes, even for a YA novel. Still, the characters–especially Caitlin and her baby brother–are well-rounded and the internal workings of the vampire lifestyle are wonderfully imaginative.
I didn’t like the length and that there story wasn’t very descriptive but it was quick-moving and had not one but two guys for the readers to fantasize over.
The story ends up in a tantalizing cliffhanger that will leave the reader nearly desperate to find out what will happen next.
This was not just a YA read; I believe that adults will enjoy this as well. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Rice!
Great work!
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