Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) Plot Overview:
Super smart sixteen year old Claire Danvers has gained advanced placement to college but her over protective parents feel she is too young to move too far away. Instead they chose to send her to the closer, seemingly 'safe' town of Morganville, Texas where she will spend two years at the small local college.
As a college freshman Claire should only have to worry about classes and term papers but she soon finds out that in Morganville, college life is far more difficult. Between psychotic mean girls and a town run by vampires Claire will need to learn more than her classes have to offer - like how to survive and how not to become dinner.
Claire finds a safe haven at Glass House, the current tenants are wary of her young age but realise that at she needs their help. With her new housemates, Claire begins to uncover the secrets of the town she has unwitting become a part of and manages to cause enough trouble to draw the attention of Morganville’s power players – now it’s not just her but her new friends who are in the line of fire and Claire will do everything she can to ensure that they all stay safe.
What I thought:
Glass Houses is an interesting new twist on the vampire genre; in the town of Morganville, Texas vampires run the show with mob-like dominion. Although it is written as a ‘Young Adult’ book, older readers will find it just as captivating – it has much more of a ‘grown up’ feel to it than you might expect with the main character being only sixteen. I found that the book was humorous, entertaining and has a well crafted new world that was and will be exciting to explore.
Claire, the main protagonist is young, determined and a very sympathetic character right from the start when she is mercilessly bullied by the ‘mean’ girls in her dorm. She is very smart in some ways but naive in others and she has a lot of growing up to do - we really see her develop over the course of the book as she finds her strengths.
Other characters are also well written, they all have their own backgrounds, secrets and flaws. In saying that some of the vampires are a bit lacking in personality and the human villains motives are hard to understand; mean girl Monica in particular towards the end goes madly overboard with her bulling and it all seems a bit unrealistic. It will be good to see the villains fleshed out over the course of the series.
I found the story ideas and the reactions of the characters towards many of the situations a lot more plausible than some other novels I have read. I liked that the vampires are not ‘fluffy bunny’ types – they are monsters who are unpredictable and far from human. There is more of a fear factor to the story because of this although it's not over the top. There are some romantic story lines, along with the requisite teen angst, but the rest of the story is well built around it so no complaints on that score either.
Be advised that the book does end on a cliff-hanger so if you want to know what happens, you will have to read the next one too. The Dead Girls’ Dance picks up straight after Glass Houses with no time passing. The good news is that they are quite small books – easy to read page turners that are nice forsome light reading.
Final Comments and Overall Rating:
If you like YA or vampire books in general, you should really look into this series. You won't be disappointed the books are a lot of fun – fast paced and humours with a good amount of action and scare in them.
The first in the Morganville Vampires Young Adults Series, there are 13 in the series so far so too many to list here but you can find them on Fantastic Fictionif you want to see a list of them all.