Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Ever since the death of their parents, Catlyn Youngblood her two older brothers have shared a nomadic existence, always moving from place to place. When they at last settle down for good in the sleepy backwoods town of Lost Lake, Florida, Cat thinks they might finally have a normal life.
While riding her horse late one night, Cat meets an enigmatic and handsome boy named Jesse Raven. Even more strange than her overpowering attraction to him is Jesse's apparent aversion to daylight. Only under the cover of darkness can they meet. As Cat and Jesse’s bond grows stronger, Cat discovers an incredible secret about the Ravens’ and her own family’s past – a secret that could destroy their love. Their families, knowing the truth, conspire to keep them apart. But Cat and Jesse will risk everything to be together - including death.
As I love Lynn Viehl’s adult books, I just had to try her YA series as well. And I am not disappointed. After Midnight is a well written novel, with lots of action, and NO LOVE TRIANGLE!
Catlyn Youngblood is a 15 year old schoolgirl, and she is always the new girl in school. Her brother, who is her legal guardian, has to move for his job every six months or so, meaning they never get to make real friends or put down roots. But now he has quit his job, and is planning to stay in Lost Lake, Florida, for good. Starting a horse breeding ranch. They have always had their horses with them, wherever they have been living, and now Patrick (Trick) is planning on adding some more. Patrick is 30, and a big and strong muscled man. He cares deeply for his brother and sister, and is a bit overprotective. Okay, a lot.
Cat’s second brother is Grayson (Gray), or Grim as she calls him, due to his sunny nature. Cat and Gray have to go to highschool, Tanglewood, something Cat hates, as she is always the loner there. But to her surprise, this time it seems to go a bit different. If only that bully of a jock, Aaron Boone, did not seem to like her so much. She is totally not interested in him, even though he is the star of the school, of a rich family and the schoolteams quarterback. He has been with his girlfriend Tiffany, who is ofcourse head of the cheerleaders, since 5th grade. So why is Tiffany acting so hostile against her? It is not like she is trying to steal him away or something.
Trick has forbidden it, but Cat loves to ride her horse at night, without a saddle so he won’t notice it is wet at the underside in the morning. She has excellent nightview, and Sadi is very steady, so she is not afraid of having an accident. Then one night, she sees another rider on a big black horse. He is going straight for the new fence Trick build, as if he is used to riding there without there being a fence. His horse doesn’t try to jump it, but swerves, throwing his rider in the barbed wire fence. Catlyn does her best to free the boy, who is tangled badly, at the cost of some bad scrapes on her arms and hands. She likes the boy, who is very handsome, and smells good, and is kind to her, but then she faints.
A few hours later, she wakes up, alone, and manages to make it home just before her brothers wake up and she is busted. Will she ever see that boy again? She doesn’t even know his name! All she has is a ring he was probably wearing, and lost when he fell.
At breakfast, her brother Gray has a surprise. He wants to go to the tryouts for the football team. He never has wanted to before, so why now? Trick doesn’t like it, and forbids it, but for once, Gray is going to defy him. If they are going to stay here forever, he wants a normal life and try to blend in, be a part of the community. And then the local sheriff pays them a visit, seeming to warn them away.
Cat keeps meeting Jesse in secret, she knows her brothers would never allow her to date a boy. Her mother was pregnant when she ran away with their father, and for some reason they are afraid she will do the same.
During the next few weeks, Cat discovers secrets about her own family, her parents, and Jesse’s. It was surprising to me, and I enjoyed it. Of course they fall in love, and Jesse wants her to run away with him for a chance to be together. His parents don’t want him to see her anymore, and her brothers will also keep them apart. But Cat loves her brothers too much to do that, they will work something out. Especially after the attack …
I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated, and the ending made me really happy to have book 2 ready to grab to continue reading. I liked Cat, she is levelheaded, even if only 15 and in love for the first time. She doesn’t do really stupid things, strange things keep happening, but she deals with it. And highschool is not easy for anybody I guess. At this point, I really dislike her brothers for what they have done to her, but it will be explained in the next book. And wow. It is really hard not to tell a bit more, but that would mean spoiling all the nice surprises, and I don’t want to do that.
If you like YA vampire books, I heartily do recommend this one. Remember, no love triangle, intrigue and mystery, and originality. (But perhaps I have not read enough YA to be the judge of that).
What I still cannot comprehend at all, and perhaps never will, is how a boy who looks 18, but is in reality well over a hundred, can fall in love with a schoolgirl. His body might be 18 but his mind has to be looking for something else. And that is perhaps my main issue with reading paranormal YA as a genre.
And one note of displeasure: I was thrown out of the story more than just a few times, by the missing of small words in the sentences. This book needs to be edited again.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian