Monday, October 6, 2014

Beautiful Monster by Bella Forrest

  Amy is a senior in high school who is HIV positive.  She lives her life day in and day out knowing that eventually it will turn into AIDS and she will die from it.  While there is no cure for AIDS, there is medicine to help her condition.  Amy is home schooled, doing most of her work online.  She is an excellent student.  But Amy also gets tired of staying home and away from everyone all of the time.  It is for her own good, but she longs to do more with her life.  Her dad works at a school nearby that is very prestigious and regularly turns out students who go on to be famous in movies, ads, ballet, and more.  The headmaster there is now a 23-year-old retired movie star named Liam.  When Amy sneaks out of the house to go to the school one day, they are holding auditions for the next scholarship winner to the school.  Liam is presiding over it.  Amy ends up auditioning and winning.  She moves in to a room there and starts taking classes.  It doesn't take long for her to be labeled the teacher's pet.  It's obvious how Liam favors her.  But it soon turns into more than that and the two find themselves in a secret romance.  That is until one night when Amy finds out that he's a vampire.  She doesn't think she can handle anymore going on in her life so they stop seeing each other.  While all of this is going on, Amy has befriended Liam's good friend and shield, Porshe.  Porshe is HIV positive too, but much sicker than anyone realizes.  The sicker a shield is, the more powerful they are.  They can get to the point where vampires near them can no longer change at night.  But this is when they are on death's doorstep pretty much.  Liam has promised her immortality for helping shield him from other vampires, especially his sire, Selene.  She seems to pop up at the most inopportune times to check in on Liam and make sure he is doing what he's supposed to.  Right before their big production of Beauty and the Beast, Selene turns up again, watching and waiting.

    I don't know about how everyone else felt, but, while this was a decent read and all, it had some places where you were just sitting there saying "no way".  My main point?  The 18-year-old senior is dating the headmaster.  Where I live, that would be more than just frowned upon.  It doesn't matter that they are both consenting adults.  She is a senior and he is the headmaster of the entire school.  Period.  This hot-for-teacher stuff is not my cup of tea.  I realize at some point a lot of kids and teens have a crush on one of their teachers.  That doesn't mean you act on it.  It makes Liam look even more like the beast that he is.  Not to mention it bothers Amy so much that it looks like everything is being handed to her on a silver platter because of Liam.  Well, maybe she shouldn't have gotten involved with him to begin with.  Instead of squelching rumors, they give everyone something to talk about, especially when he is sneaking in and out of her room.
   Another thing was how in the world has Amy been sneaking into this school for so long and never gotten caught?  She's been sitting in on class and theater and getting the free education without the connections.  Yes her dad works there, but he has never come home early or sick to find that she wasn't there?  I am pretty sure she would have been barred inside her house if he had.  He seems very overprotective, but for good reason.
   On the other hand, the book did have some good qualities to it.  It was a very different kind of vampire novel with Liam only turning into a vamp after sunset.  Then he gets all blood-thirsty.  Also, alcohol seems to help dull the need for blood for him.  Then there is the whole shield thing that you will understand more of as you read the book.
   Porshe was an amazing character throughout the book.  She was kind and thoughtful, always taking care of others before herself, even though she was deathly ill.  I liked her much better as a heroine of this story than Amy.  Amy wasn't bad, but Porsche was the hidden heroine of the story.  Without her, Liam and Amy would not have been where they were.
I'm saying 3 out of 5 stars for this one, because there was some creativity in it.

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