Some book are just hard to rate! I liked this interesting and atypical teen vampire novel, but parts of it still bugged me.
Lenah is a sixteen-year-old girl, attending a prestigious boarding school for the first time. She's nervous, timid and at times naive. But Lenah's got a secret - she's been hibernating for 100 years underground, and only recently awoke from the ritual that turned her back into a human, after hundreds of years of existing as a powerful vampire queen.
In Lenah's world, being a vampire truly is a curse. Vampires lose their souls and therefore can never experience happiness or kindness. They delight in evil and give no second thought to killing humans. The thrill of the kill gives them a temporary respite from the constant pain and suffering, but there is never a relief that lasts. Lenah was tired of the suffering, and after much begging and threatening to walk out into the sunlight to end herself, Lenah's love Rhode performs the ritual that will give Lenah her humanity back. Rhode sacrifices his life for her.
And so Lenah wakes up in a unfamiliar place and time period, with virtually no instruction on how to live. She makes quick friends with a boy named Tony, and despite promising that she not "one of those girls", she soon finds herself falling for the heart-throb of the school - Justin Enos.
However, Lenah's time is running out as she knows her old coven will soon discover she is missing and hunt her down - and she's sure they won't be happy to find her human.
So the premise of this book is what grabs me - a girl who's hundreds of years old, turned from vampire back to human, trying to live a normal teen life in a time period so foreign to the one she's known. Lenah is smart, but she's also often clueless - she doesn't know what snorkeling is, or a prom. The book is peppered with flashback sequences where we get to learn what Lenah was like as a vampire. However, I didn't understand her many times. She makes friends with Tony, but gradually ditches him when she discovers that Justin likes her. She trusts Justin more than Tony even though Tony has given her more reasons to trust him.
Also, I really didn't understand why Rhode waited 100 years to perform the ritual. The hibernation was supposedly to throw her coven off the trail so Lenah could escape them to become human. If that was the case, why didn't they just tell the coven she was hibernating 100 years, then Rhode could dig her up after 5, perform the ritual, and then Lenah could live out her entire life before the vampires ever figured it out. By the time they realized she wasn't there anymore she'd be dead! Maybe there was a reason for it, but it wasn't explained and therefore made the whole time line of the story seem silly.
I'm still interested though, and anxious to see where Maizel takes this story with the next two installments in the trilogy.