by Amanda Hocking
Of course I was curious - Amanda Hocking started as a self-e-published writer and has projected herself into a best-selling author, picked up by St. Martins with a $2 million dollar advance - you bet I was curious. And now I've read this first book, and I ask myself why she wasn't picked-up by traditional publishing sooner.
My Blood Approves is a book about teenagers, vampires, and an everyday place where these two things collide. The story is easy to read, with a similar style to Twilight, except there's less drama here and stronger characters. In My Blood Approves it's the characters that move the story along, lead by the main character Alice as she learns that her new "friend" Jack turns out to be a vampire. These vampires are not as glamorous as the Twilight vampires, more of an everyday-type of vampire, but the characters are real. The dialogue is real. When you're reading the story, you feel like these could be your friends in real-life, and that's the real appeal of the story.
There's no apocalyptic, end-of-the-world drama here, the action is more subtle.
I truly enjoyed reading this story, and will continue to read more Amanda Hocking books. I highly recommend it for YA readers who enjoy paranormal & vampire stories.
What I learned as a writer from My Blood Approves:
When the characters are well-developed, it doesn't matter if there's a big climax in the story or not. If readers care about the characters, then they'll follow the story to the end, and ultimately care about about what happens no matter how big or how small, just as you would a good friend.