Mother and daughter team, P.C. and Kristin Cast created a series called A House of Night. In the first book, Marked, Zoey is tapped to become a vampire, literally. It happens at school. Some creepy undead guy is waiting by her locker, taps her on the forehead, creating the outline of a sapphire blue crescent moon tattoo. Zoey is chosen to make the dangerous change from regular teen to vampyre. Vampyre is not a typo. This is how they spell it in the book. She is both horrified and intrigued. She must go the House of the Night, a vampyre finishing school where she learns about her new life and how to worship the vampyre goddess.
What the grownup vampyres eat is still unclear, but the fledglings do not yet have the bloodlust. That is except for Zoey. The Casts describe the bloodlust in a way we can all understand. Imagine what you most love to eat in the world. How the smell affects you. This is how Zoey feels when she witnesses another fledgling slice the leg of another. Then when she is tricked into drinking human blood she is ravenous and disgusted at the same time.
Zoey figures out really soon that she is no regular fledgling. She runs to the comfort of her grandmother who is a Native American while her conservative mother and step-father convene their prayer circle. While searching for her grandmother, Zoey falls into a crevasse and into a dreamlike trance where the vampyre goddess herself appears before Zoey. She awakes to find her sapphire tattoo completely colored in. This is something that is not supposed to happen to a new fledgling. She is also the only witness to something truly creepy about several fledglings that did not survive the change.
Being a new vampyre fledgling is a lot like being the new kid at school. Zoey has to make new friends. She gets a crush on a handsome boy. She is extra special which does not make life any easier for her. This is a fun twist on the new girl story only this takes place in a magical nighttime prep school.
This could be a good series to recommend to teens waiting who have just finished Twilight. I give this one to teens when I put one of the Twilight books on hold for them. Sorry, Twilight is never on the shelves.
Ideas for discussion:
1. Talk about the differences in the vampyres in The House of Night compared to the Cullens in Twilight.
2. What is it like to be the new girl in school? Especially if you have an extra talent.
3. What do you think is happening to the kids who do not survive the change
I went back and forth whether I really like this book. I like it enough to keep reading the series. I will start Betrayed, the second book in The House of Night series very soon.
Pretty soon Zoey learns she is no regular fledgling. She has special powers and is not sure who she can trust.