This is another book where I’m breaking my own rules. I’ve never visited Janine McCaw’s website, but ThatFantasyBlog recommended the story to read in one of their book reviews. Respecting their decision, I decided to try out Helens of Troy, which is the tenth book of my reading challenge.
Here’s my thoughts:
“The Gilmore Girls meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer”
Fifteen year old Goth-chic Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch. All on the first night!
But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having–the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy–because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.
Then there’s the little match between Helena and Gaspar Bonvillaine, the teenaged vampire who is learning to feed on young prey. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.
To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether its time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy.”
I really enjoyed this 32 chapter book. Since the author lives in Vancouver, if she ever sees Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki, please let each actor know I love them! I loved that there was a part in the story where Helena comments to her daughter that she should upgrade to Dean’s car. I loved that the two adults watched Supernatural. You can’t go wrong with that LOL.
My favorite scenes were 1) Ellie and Helen’s trip to Troy in the van. Their conversation was hilarious. 2) Ryan and Ellie’s walk home from the football game. 3) Tom’s baby-sitting escapades before Stan gets snatched by the vampire. My favorite exchange:
- “You’re sixteen. They’ll toss you in the slammer.”
- “I won’t go to jail,” Tom assured him. “Stop watching old movies so your vocabulary has a chance to meet this century. Okay.”
In fact, the dialogue was very realistic and entertaining throughout the novel. Janine McCaw has a gift of keeping conversations going without it becoming boring page after page. I enjoyed the sarcasm, and readers get a sense of the characters’ personalities by the way they talk and their body language. My favorite characters were Helena, Ellie, and Ryan. The author also has a wonderful talent of creating complex characters, therefore making them relatable and three-dimensional. It was cool to see them outside their comfort zone.
I laughed from beginning to end. The jail scenes were funny, especially when Ryan had to use the bathroom. The novel also had cute elements; it was adorable that Ryan (a teen) had a crush on Helena (a grandmother). And, it was so sweet that Mr. Wagner had a crush on Helena too. I felt bad that he died–it was eerie that he was the dead man on the porch for Halloween. Talk about trick-or-treat.
The format issues (no paragraph indentations, a tiny bit of head-hopping–no scene breaks) was worth getting past. It was refreshing to see all the characters working together to protect themselves instead of waiting for help. The poor police were hopeless LOL. The ending scene where the characters band together to save Ellie from Gaspar was awesome.
- I have to admit that even though Gaspar was the villain, I felt sorry for him. Being a Leo, I can relate to being misunderstood. All the answers were revealed at the end. I was surprised of all the twists! The clues throughout the beginning and middle were very subtle; it was a nice job of keeping the mystery going.
I enjoyed the cliffhanger. It promised something interesting will happen in England. I can’t wait for the next book to find out!
I RECOMMEND this book to read.
For more information on Janine McCaw or Helens of Troy, please visit: