VESPER by Jeff Sampson
Series: Deviants #1
HarperCollins: Balzer + Bray
Released: January 25, 2011
Page Count: 288
Rating: Really liked it!
Emily Webb is a geek. And she's happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she's never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she's definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls' boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates - also named Emily - is found mysteriously murdered.
The thing is, Emily doesn't know why she's doing any of this. By day, she's the same boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it's no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she's not just coming out of her shell . . . there's something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely - something not human?
As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she's not the only one this is happening to - some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters - and how many people will they kill to get what they want?
I've gone back and forth on this book, as I just couldn't get a good reading on what the book was about. But after reading a few positive reviews from book bloggers with great taste, I went ahead and pre-ordered it anyway. That was definitely a worthwhile decision! When Vesper arrived on my doorstep and I saw the backcover blurb from K.A. Applegate (whose Animorphs series I am currently devouring), I moved it to the top of my TBR pile and finished up my current read as fast as I could.
I don't want to include any spoilers, so this will probably end up being pretty short. Vesper is told in two forms: the first is a transcript of an interview between The Vesper Company and Emily, and the second is Emily's flashback version of events. I thought that was ingenious, as it gives a fascinating overarching theme to the story. I hope there is some way to continue it in the next book, though after the way things wrapped up that may not be possible. Anyway, Emily is a great character who doesn't let circumstances overwhelm her, and her story is full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. It's hard to say too much more without including spoilers - just go pick it up, already! :)
Fun trivia: I looked up "vesper" in the dictionary, as it's not a word I'd come across before, and it definitely relates to the story. For those who've read it, take a peek at the link to see if you can put it together!
Books two and three of the trilogy are slated for winter releases in 2012 and 2013. It's going to be a long and arduous wait!