Blood Orange Soda by James Michael Larranaga

blood Darius Hunter is a bullied high school freshman. When he drinks Blood Orange Soda to transform into a Vampire and earn respect, he soon learns life as a Vampire has its own challenges.

Set in the future on the rural landscape of St. Cloud, Minnesota where pre-Vampire teens are required by the government to take a daily Red pill to prevent their urge to bite, Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story of love, life and death.

I really liked the sound of Blood Orange Soda, picturing a gritty dystopian future in which Vampires are are somehow forced to suppress their urges. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet my expectations…any of them.

Blood Orange Soda is written in diary-entry format from the perspective of protagonist Darius, a goth teen who is constantly bullied at school and plays in a rock band. Oh, and he’s a pre-vampire. If he stops taking his pills he will become a full vampire, although that’s not really recommended until he turns 18.

Although I did find some things I liked in this story – enough to keep me reading – I felt constantly let down. I was waiting for things to get interesting but they never did. There’s this whole sub-text about under-age sex (biting-before-love, surely not!) and drug culture (the Blood Orange Soda of the title which speeds up the transformation in pre-vamps, and ‘Normals’ just get ‘juiced up’ on) which could have worked well but was just too transparent and read as immature.

I thought it was going to get interesting when Darius’s Uncle Jack was training him for his impending fight (a ridiculous concept in the first place). There was pretty much a Rocky-style training montage and everything, and I started to think Jack may have ulterior motives for helping him and encouraging him not to tell anyone about taking the Blood Orange Soda, but no, it was just another false alarm and led nowhere!

I found the characters one dimensional, and not a lot happens. I did like that it had an urban feel to it, but Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story with no bite, excuse the pun!

unicorn rating 2

Disclosure?: I received an advanced copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: Blood Orange Soda
Author: James Michael Larranaga
Details: ebook, 350 pages
Published: Expected March 15th 2014 by JML
My Rating: 2/5

WWW Wednesday 26.02.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: I’m fiiiiiinally reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Loving it so far!

Recently Finished: Kissing with Fangs by Ashlyn Chase. I’m totally behind on reviews but I’m hoping to catch up over the weekend!

Up Next: Same as last week as I forgot I had Cinder and wanted to start it so bad! So either Blood Orange Soda, Monsters of Men, or Eden Forest.

Leave the link to your post and I’ll do my best to come visit!

Update: Back to work & what’s coming up!

I am back from an excellent holiday in Iceland (I’ll post some pictures soon) and I’ve also been revamping my flat as my friend and flatmate Dora (Hi Dora) moved out before I went away. It’s the end of an era! But I am looking forward to living by myself for the very first time. EEEK.

I’ve been pretty busy (mainly deciding where to put ALL THE BOOKS) but now it’s time to knuckle down. I have loads of awesome things lined up for the blog so I thought I’d let you know what to expect for the rest of Feb and March.

Guests Posts

hunterwimb
I have two wonderful guest posts lined up from two (well technically three as one is from a fantasy-writing husband & wife duo) authors who talk about the inspiration behind their respective titles.

ARCS

I did the bad thing and went a bit NetGalley crazy a few months ago, which is good because I have some awesome- looking books to review, but is bad because I HAVE NO TIME.

Blood Orange Soda by James Michael Larranaga

blood
Darius Hunter is a bullied high school freshman. When he drinks Blood Orange Soda to transform into a Vampire and earn respect, he soon learns life as a Vampire has its own challenges.

Set in the future on the rural landscape of St. Cloud, Minnesota where pre-Vampire teens are required by the government to take a daily Red pill to prevent their urge to bite, Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story of love, life and death.
Released 15th March 2014 by JML

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

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The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.
Released March 11th 2014 by Spiegel & Grau

Frog Music by Emma Donaghue

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Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman called Jenny Bonnet is shot dead. The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny’s murderer to justice – if he doesn’t track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women and damaged children. It’s the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts. In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue’s lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boom town like no other.
Released March 27th 2014 by HarperCollins

A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick

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In 1944, just days after the liberation of Paris, Charles Jackson sees something horrific: a man, apparently drinking the blood of a murdered woman. Terrified, he does nothing, telling himself afterwards that worse things happen in wars.

Seven years later he returns to the city – and sees the same man dining in the company of a fascinating young woman. When they leave the restaurant, Charles decides to follow…

A Love Like Blood is a dark, compelling thriller about how a man’s life can change in a moment; about where the desire for truth – and for revenge – can lead; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about the question of blood.
Released March 27th 2014 by Hodder

Blog Tours

I’m chuffed to be reviewing Aoife Marie Sheridan’s Eden Forest as part of her Blog Tour, hitting Lipsyy Lost & Found on March 6th.

I better get to it!