Title: Walking in the Shadows
Author: Cassandra Giovanni
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Blurb: Seconds seem like a lifetime when the life you lived is slowly drained out of you by those who care not what you felt, hoped, or dreamed. When the darkness comes it is all-consuming; there is no light and there is no pain. It is the never-ending loss of hope that now consumes me as I die in his arms.
This is Abigail Martin’s nightmare. After her parents become the first victims of a serial killer obsessed with the vampire saga, “Crimson Reign,” Abigail does the only thing that she thinks will save her from her parent’s fate–she becomes some one else. As Vera MacIntrye, she falls in love with the very handsome Tad Knightley, and then walks into her first day at her new school to see him standing at the front of the classroom. He’s every teenage girls fantasy, but as he writes “Mr. Knightley: AP British Literature” across the white board Vera realizes the one person who filled the gaping hole in her heart will soon rip it wide open again.
Vera struggles to adjust to being a ‘normal’ teenager with very adult responsibilities like paying the rent, buying groceries and making sure that lights stay on, while being drawn time and time again back to her off-limits teacher. What’s worse is he is drawn to her too, and their worlds refuse to stay apart when Tad finds Vera screaming in terror in the parking lot after the winter formal. The murderer has struck again and is getting closer to the next target–Vera. Tad will do whatever he can to save her, even if it means losing his dream job, but will it be enough when the murderer is closer than anyone ever thought?
My Review: Imagine walking in to your Lit class the first day of your senior year and seeing your boyfriend teaching the class… So that’s exactly how Walking in the Shadows starts. Yep, Giovanni definitely caught my attention with that intro.
Vera, the main character, is someone with a very traumatic past. She is independent and strong. She is also closed off and hardly let’s anyone in. She is drowning in secrets and protects herself and those she cares about by not revealing them. Yet when her past starts to catch up to her she is forced to confide in someone and it is at this point that the story gets even better.
Tad is living out his dream as a British Lit high school teacher. He is smart, protective and very much in love with Vera. He is put in a position where he has to decide what matters more to him: Vera or the job of his dreams.
I love the theme of forbidden love and Giovanni does it very well. Tad and Vera are head over heels for each other but with her being a high school student and he her teacher, the risk of being together is always hanging over their heads. Yet their romance was very sweet and I enjoyed it.
Now for the negative: Have you guys read the blurb? The last line if the blurb states will it be enough when the murderer is closer than anyone ever thought? This line left me in suspicion. That’s right, it made me suspicious of every character and it took away from the novel for me.
Also Vera, I found, was a strong character. She was dealing with a lot of problems and a lot of emotions but she found a way to hold it all together. I found her to be brave and smart and headstrong. However, at some point in the book she starts to unravel. Honestly, I found her weakness at the time to be reasonable. Yet it took away from the novel for me. After all, what I enjoyed most about her character was her strength. I dislike weak characters and once her strength started to shatter, I tended to get really frustrated with the book. I have a whole shelf on Goodreads dedicated to books like this- “cringe inducing”. It is mostly reserved for novels with weak and needy protagonists. And although this faze did not last long for her, it took the book out of the 5 star range.
Even with that, there is something about this novel that really got to me. It may have been the beautiful romance or Giovanni’s take on modern vampires. It was a good read with its action, suspense and drama. Walking in the Shadows is unique and a book I enjoyed reading.
*I received a free copy of this nil in exchange for an honest review