Paperback, 250 pages
Published November 3rd 2011 by Scholastic
Description via Goodreads:
What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.
The premise of this book is absolutely fantastic and I'm sure that a lot of readers will be able to answer with a definite yes to this books tagline - 'Ever been in love with a boy in a book?' - I know that I can. If you like vampires and/or you've ever had a crush on a fictional character, this is something that you might enjoy.
Full marks to the author for the idea of this book, it sounds really interesting and did make me pick up this book immediately. There were a few issues that I had with the actual contents of the book, though, and I do think that it could have been executed slightly better. Saying that, the book itself is only 250 pages and so I think that van Diepen has done a good job of getting what she did into this relatively short story and I'm sure it'd have been better if it was a longer read. It is a fun, light read and not at all tasking.
For me, the most interesting part of this novel was seeing how Alexander adapted to his new, modern surroundings. The scene was set well and the descriptions were good. It did seem as though the Otherworld characters did adapt exceedingly quickly to all of the new technology, though. I was impressed with how the 'fictional characters coming to life' situation was explained through some scientific theories. Van Diepen did a good job of putting a story-inside-a-story with the Otherworld characters and I think that the idea of the Otherworld story would appeal to a lot of fans of the paranormal genre.
I did like our protagonist, Amy, as she seemed to be realistic and level headed. Alexander certainly came across as charming and I can definitely see the appeal that he could have on readers, but I wasn't completely enamoured with him. As separate characters, they are interesting and have good potential, but when they were together, it all felt a little awkward. Of course, it would be slightly awkward if you were suddenly faced with your fictional crush in the flesh, but their chemistry just seemed to be lacking and unnatural. There was not much progression in their relationship - Alexander hardly seemed to know Amy - and it all felt a bit whirlwind.
I will admit that I was disappointed with the ending. Whilst it was predictable, It felt like it was a sudden decision it felt untrue to what would've actually happened - it just seemed the easiest way for things to be wrapped up.
Although this book wasn't perfect, it was a very quick read and was enjoyable for the most part - it's not something that I regret reading. I think that a lot of vampire fans will enjoy this book and I'd be interested in reading more books from van Diepen in the future.