Published July 19, 2022
For fans of VAMPIRE DIARIES and dark academia, two queer teen bloodsuckers at an elite vampire-only boarding school must go up against all of Vampirdom when they uncover a frightening conspiracy on campus.
Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.
Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.
When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.
Paranormal isn’t usually a go-to genre for me, but when I heard about YOUNGBLOOD, I kinda couldn’t resist. I have hardly kept up with current vampire books, so it’s possible some of the things that appealed most to me have been done in other places, but a lot of things in the description of the story felt pretty fresh and new to me.
I loved the idea that the vampires have developed a blood substitute and that because of a pandemic, it has become unsafe to feed on human blood. The changes that brought to the vampire culture and community and the way that’s explored in the story were things I’ve never seen done anywhere else.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a boarding school that’s 100% all vampires, either. I liked that element to the story, because it created room to really explore some of the vampire culture ideas that I thought made this book really cool.
Not only is it a vampire book set in a boarding school, it’s also part murder mystery. YOUNGBLOODS has lots of layers to explore, and I loved that as each chapter unfolded, those layers kept getting exposed, and I kept getting more and more drawn into the story.
In terms of characters, I liked Kat immediately. She’s so sweet, and really wants to find a way to have connections with her people. Taylor had to grow on me. At the beginning especially, she kind of came off like the super judgy, too cool for the cool kids type that just tends not to be a character I connect easily with. But as I got to see some of her more vulnerable moments and see her use her anger and her power for good, I grew to love her as much as I loved Kat.
On the whole, it took me a few chapters to really invest in YOUNGBLOODS, but once I did, I really enjoyed reading it. I think readers who like paranormal romance like THE FELL OF DARK by Caleb Roehrig will like this one.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Taylor is a lesbian. Other characters have romantic relationships with girls. Main characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between two girls. In one scene, a girl is topless while kissing. References to sex between two girls. Kissing between a boy and girl.
Main characters are vampires and immortal. Vampires have the ability to glamour humans, which enchants them into doing whatever the vampire wants them to do.
Vampires feed on humans who are under a glamour and helpless. A girl tries to stop them and is knocked into a glass table. A girl discovers the body of a vampire.
Teens drink alcohol in a couple of scenes.
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