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Merin is a teacher, a book blogger, a baseball addict (Go Cardinals!), lover of music, movies and TV crime dramas, and YA/MG connoisseur. Follow me on my blog at http://ahandfulofconfetti.wordpress.com!

Currently reading

Her Highness, the Traitor
Susan Higginbotham
Progress: 23/323 pages
Jane Eyre
Ruben Toledo, Charlotte Brontë
Progress: 162/453 pages
The School for Good and Evil
Soman Chainani
Progress: 40 %
Rainbow Rowell
Progress: 46/433 pages
The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa 3.5 of 5 stars.This was the first vampire book that I've read since New Moon, and I was a little leery of diving into this one because of my feelings for that series. Luckily there are NO similarities between the aforementioned vampire series and The Immortal Rules, for which I am eternally grateful.Allison Sekemoto lives on the Fringe, the human "city" outside of the Vampire City of New Covington. She survives by stealing and scavenging. When one of her trips outside into the "ruins" (actually what's left of the suburbs) ends with her getting attacked by Rabids, she's given a choice: take immortality and live as a vampire, or die. Allison has lived her entire life hating the "bloodsuckers" and not wanting anything to do with them, but when faced with death decides she would rather live, and becomes what she's always hated. After circumstances force her to flee New Covington, she stumbles upon a group of humans and finds herself falling for the handsome Zeke. But it's hard for Allison to maintain her humanity when the Hunger is constantly rearing its head.I really and truly enjoyed Allison. I liked her struggles to survive, and her inner strength, and her stubbornness and unwillingness to give up. Even when she becomes a vampire, she decides early on that she will be a different sort of "monster" and not hunt humans for sport; she is determined to hold on to what's left of her soul and her humanity. She is a wonderfully strong heroine, and I loved that the author wasn't afraid to show her faults; they made her a more real character, and someone that I was really rooting for the entire time. I really appreciated that we got to see Allison's struggles with her vampirism; this is so often overlooked or glossed over in vampire books nowadays that it was just nice to get a bit of realism (or, at least, as much realism as you can get when dealing with fantastical characters).As for the love story, I was a bit torn. Zeke is a very determined character, who will stop at nothing to get those he loves to safety, but he's sort of an anomaly because he has such faith that things will work out. In a world like the one they're living in, I can't imagine that having such faith is a very easy thing. You also have the whole "human and vampire in love with each other" trope, but it was handled in a very interesting way here. Allison really struggles around Zeke; her Vampire nature can't help but view him as prey, but she cares so much about him that she doesn't allow herself to give in to her desires. I can't help but wonder what's going to come of their love affair, because it seems to impossible; Allison is immortal, Zeke is not, and I can't see Allison ever doing anything to bridge that difference. They just honestly belong in two separate worlds, and it will be interesting to see what happens.This isn't just a vampire novel, though; it's also a dystopia, which I tend to have a lot of trouble with simply because of the overwhelming depression that's prevalent in many of these post-apocalyptic stories. And while that's certainly there - a disease known as Red Lung has decimated humanity, creating horrifying creatures called Rabids, which are a cross between vampires and zombies and are truly quite terrifying - I think the fantasy element helped me get through this more easily than some other dystopian titles I've read. The overwhelming arch of this story is the search for a cure, some way to rid the world of the Rabids and overthrow the Vampire rulers who control everything from food to who gets to live where. There's a lot going on in this book, and I am definitely looking forward to how everything is going to come together in the following installments.All in all this was a really solid first book in a new series. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Allison does next, and where her journey takes her. If you're looking for a new twist to the vampire genre, definitely check this one out.An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.