No doubt someone will like this book. It's just...not me.
I love Meg Cabot's books because of their sly humor, their underdog heroines, and their zany take on paranormal anything. I came to Meg's writing via her teen novels when I was working as a teen librarian.
However, THIS book lacks humor, fun characters, witty dialog - in short, it lacks anything that is fun about Meg and gains nothing good from the vampire genre. It's really like Meg was asked (forced?) to write a vampire novel and just gave up halfway through.
The main character, Meena, truly falls into the 'too stupid to live' category. She's boring, whiny, cries all the time, and has none of the kick-butt attitude of Suzanna from the Mediator series or the clever, plan-ahead smarts of Jean from Jinx. The vampire, Lucien, is dull as the dirt he lives in and the only character I found even remotely interesting was the socially awkward Wulf, who is about as much a stereotype as you can imagine.
The REAL problem, I think, is that this is the first book I've read from Meg that is written in 3rd person ("he drank blood," "she cried," "it was awkward"), rather than told from the 1st person point of view ("I found her earlier books were better.") It's like Meg doesn't know HOW to write in the 3rd person. Her 1st-person books are hilarious - the heroine tells the story of her adventures (and run-ins with the requisite male hottie) in an engaging way. We root for her because we see her insecurities and her struggles through her eyes. The heroine's humor also shines through. This book, however, is just cold when told from the outside. Also, Meg doesn't transition well between whose head we're 'in' at any given time. It takes a moment to figure out if we're being treated to the world through Meena's eyes, Wulf's eyes, the narrator's eyes, or what.
For example, there was a sentence that read "Dental hygenie was clearly not a big part of [this vampire's] priorities anymore."
Now, normally, that would be said BY the heroine of the novel, in that wry, off-the-cuff way that would make her out to be this Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer type, cracking jokes in the face of danger. But the way it's written, it DOESN'T come off that this is Meena speaking. Instead, Meena cries all the time. This doesn't seem like something she'd say. So is it another character talking? Well...no. It's sort of like it's the narrator talking - or...Meg talking? It just comes out of nowhere, this moment of humor in an otherwise overly serious book, so the whole line just comes off as very insensitive. It didn't come off as funny at all.
Basically, the narrative voice - the strongest part of so many Cabot novels - is totally off.
As for the vampire stuff? Totally derivative. The slayer is blonde, the vamp is dark haired, the girl is caught in the middle. I swear I saw this once before and it was a vampire manga from Japan for teenagers (Vampire Knight). I thought the story was a little stale THEN and it, at least, had this boarding-school plot to jazz it up.
With the craze for all things vamp, I'm sure this will find an audience. And it was something I read for a breezy afternoon. But truly, Meg, you can do (and HAVE DONE) much better.