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Sex on Earth: A Celebration of Animal Reproduction
Jules Howard

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1)

Glass Houses - Rachel Caine 1.5 stars

Overall I felt like Glass Houses could have been executed much more effectively, perhaps by another author. The book would have been improved ten-fold had the main character, Claire, simply been as intelligent as is proclaimed throughout the book. Granted, intelligence does not necessarily equate to common sense, but shouldn't an advanced 16-year-old already attending college have some semblance of logic? For being so intelligent, Claire is a complete nitwit. Someone with a low IQ could have made better decisions than she continually made in the book. She does so very few logical things in the book that I marvel at Caine's choice to make her 16. Why not a regular 18-year-old in college? You then do away with having to make her come off as intelligent...oh wait, Caine DID do away with that. Just because a girl comments on testing out of calculus or enjoying physics does not mean she comes off as smart. (And I did not appreciate the comments about how someone who loves physics is "abnormal" and being "hot" was what life is all about. Ah!) In addition to Claire being a nitwit "disguised" as intelligent, she is also immature. Her voice made the book feel younger than YA at times.

So let us dissect a few of Claire's choices. A bunch of girls harass her, throw her down the stairs and pretty much say she is going to be killed in the near future. Claire does not tell her parents, does not tell any authority figure, does not even truly consider going home. She decides to look for a place to live off-campus! Great idea. She also becomes very attached and close to her roommates in a very short period of time and proceeds to do stupid things on their behalf. Such decisions abound in the book, including putting herself in danger every chance she gets (stupidity rearing it's ugly head again). My main question is this: why would Claire, or anyone, stay in a town where one had to face death every time one exit's their home?

The vampires of the book were not terribly creepy in my opinion. Yes, there was a vampire "presence" but in terms of being disturbing I found the "mean girls" of campus much more creepy than the vampires. I rather thought this would be the opposite of what Caine was going for. I found some aspects of the story/world to be interesting, such as Michael's "affliction", but it largely fell flat for me. Also, i found it terribly annoying that characters in the book thought it was ridiculous that someone could be psychic, but these very same people knew and believed in vampires. Why are vampires accepted but psychics nutcases? It came off very absurd to me.

Caine also left the story on a cliffhanger, in what felt like a desperate attempt to get people to read further. Well I cannot say I have terribly much interest in reading further, there are too many good books waiting!