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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Emmy's Song by Christy Trujillo

Emmy's Song by Christy Trujillo
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: Full (233 pages)
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Asphodel

Life is good for eighteen-year-old Emellia Ortega! Not many teenagers can say that, but Emmy isn't your average teenager. On the fast track to making her dreams come true, she has her sights set on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and nothing can stop her. Nothing, that is, except Cale Cruz.

With perfect pitch and unbelievable good looks, he quickly weaves his way into the hearts of everyone around him. Drawn to him with an intensity she cannot explain, Emmy soon finds out that Cale has a secret. He is Maldito, half-human, half-vampire and has returned to seek revenge on the vampires that slaughtered his family. Thrust deep into a world she never knew existed, Emmy will risk everything she has worked for to join Cale in his fight as tragedy slowly tears her perfect world apart.

When a link between their past is discovered, fate's perfect plan begins to spin a web around them stronger than anyone could have imagined. Together they tackle impossible situations, fight impossible battles, and embark on an impossible journey that will change both of their lives.

"Bienaventurados los malditos porque son los Ășnicos que pueden salvarnos." Blessed are the cursed for they are the only ones who can save us.

"Blessed are the cursed, for they are the only ones who can save us" is the quote that begins the Maldito series. This quote won't actually make much sense until much further into the story however, but I found it very intriguing, just as I found this book. This is a somewhat different take on the whole vampire craze effecting the literary world (young adult or otherwise), drawing inspiration from an old Spanish legend.

Music plays an important role throughout the better part of the book. From the song that plays in Emmy's dreams, to the music she listens to, music a heavy component in her life. She wants to be a music therapist and is working hard for it. Obviously, as this is a book, you can't hear the music itself, but Trujillo chooses to highlight several songs that will be familiar to most and a few less well known songs. After the halfway point, music takes a backstage to the true drama, but for the first half we learn about Emmy's moods depending on what song is playing in the back of her brain.

Feisty, Emmy speaks her mind most of the time, accepting everyone and cheering people up just by being who she is. Some of this is explained later on, but I think it had a lot to do with her personality. She came off as being very sincere, even when wishing her best friend Sarah luck at scoring a date with Cale, the guy that Emmy has found herself reluctantly crushing on. She is jealous, which is natural, but mostly she wants her friend to be happy. As the novel progressed she became a little more uncertain of herself, but given the circumstances I understood that fine.

Cale is a very mysterious guy for the first half of the book. Always smiling, always watching Emmy, always seeming to be there, Emmy isn't sure if she's flattered, irritated or pissed off by the attention. We learn about his history in bits and pieces, from a variety of sources, and he definitely screams 'smooth customer'. Then something tragic happens and the world is turned upside down while he scrambles to figure things out. I liked him better after the tragedy honestly. He came off as being much more genuine and less cocksure of himself.

Chris was the most confusing part of the entire novel for me. Most of the time he acted like a jealous boyfriend, or disgruntled old man. He was hot and cold throughout the novel, changing emotions so quickly I often had to re-read things to make sure I didn't miss anything. And I'm still not certain he's on the level honestly.

The romance between Emmy and Cale began hot, simmered for a little while and then erupted full steam. There was reluctance on both their parts, for different reasons, but once they got over those hurdles they quickly made up for lost time. Too quickly in my opinion, as it felt like they were moving so fast and committed to things so rapidly that it was hard to take it seriously. Its not that I doubted they didn't feel so deeply, its more that the development seemed to be put on the backburner after the two admitted they couldn't stay away from each other. There was tension.

The story itself reads a little unevenly, some of the transitions being rough and some characters, Chris in particular, had a misleading characterization. How he regarded Cale by the end wasn't such a big surprise, everything in between however was tangled and muddled. The 'bad guys' were also kind of one-note and throw aways, without much fleshing out beyond the fact that Emmy is important to them.

Emmy's Song was an intriguing beginning to what the author says will be a trilogy. It answers most of the questions presented throughout, but opens the gates to more exploration later. It leaves me wanting to read the next book, which is of course always a good sign.