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Youngblood – Sasha Laurens


Sasha Laurens

Synopsis: Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.

Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.

When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.

My Rating: 4.25 Stars – rounded to 4

Cover 5; characters 4; plot 4; pace 4; writing 4; enjoyment 4.

My Review: There are A LOT of 1 star reviews for YOUNGBLOOD. I had already purchased the book (and had read Laurens’ debut) so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot and make my own opinions. This review may contain mild spoilers so… know that.

Please note that everything I say here is said by a (mostly) white girl. So if someone who is part of an effected group tells you this book was harmful to them or their culture, then they should be believed. Period. That being said, a lot of the reviews I’ve seen have been from people who look like me. And they haven’t read the book. They just keep repeating the same two instances in the book that taken out of context read horribly.

I think there was a point to Kat being “the wokest white girl of all white-girldom”. I found it to be an allegory of modern society. How these old traditional vampires and their super rich offspring (regardless of gender or race) are stuck in their old ways. They think life was great 100+ years ago and they want to shove everyone else into that box as well. They think they’re better than the rest of the world and they don’t care about what happens to the great unwashed so long as they get to continue being rich and happy.

You’ve got pharmaceutical companies creating the diseases their medications cure. A bunch of rich kids who have been taught they’re better than the rest and rules don’t apply to them. No one can drink human blood anymore? Doesn’t count for me, I’ve got money. They play sports with regular humans to “keep up appearances” when it’s completely unfair. It’s not a competition, the deck is stacked in their favor but they act like they’re just SO MUCH better than everyone. Yeah, because you’ve got advantages they could never dream of.

This book is literally the 1% vs the 99% and our MC Kat just happens to be part of the 99% and she is trying to navigate this world that just doesn’t look like anything she’s ever seen. Honestly, I would liken this book more to Gilmore girls than Vampire Academy, based off of theme.

This book is about Kat shaking things up for the 99%. How there are a few (JUST a few) of the 1% who by the end begin to see that they’re not the only people who matter. The kid who says “it’s not that bad” when Kat mentions his mom is Indian and his dad was part of the East India company? Yeah, it IS that bad. But he realizes that his parents are shit people by the end. He learns that he’s been told this story is “fine” his whole life. But it’s not.

Honestly, my biggest issue with Kat is that she was an absolute moron. Trusts people she just met more than people she’s known her entire life.

I will say I’ve read through a LOT of reviews and I’ve seen some quotes that I’ve actually not seen in the book. So I’m assuming there were some major changes after the ARC’s went out. That being said some of those things probably never should have made it to the ARC stage.

Again, for me this book was more about the cultural issues than anything else but I highly suggest that if you’re interested in reading this book, search out reviews from BIPOC reviewers you enjoy.

To see more reviews & purchase links, check this book out on Goodreads.

To see more of my reviews, head over to the reviews page on my website.

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