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My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking

 

My Blood Approves
Amanda Hocking
Createspace  (Paperback)
Date:  March 17, 2010
332 pages
ISBN-10: 1453816720
ISBN-13: 978-1453816721
Lexile : 900L** based on the analysis of a short text sample

Book Overview:

My Blood Approves is the story of Alice Bonham, a seventeen-year-old high school student, whose entire life changes one night when she is rescued by Jack. Alice and Jack are drawn to one another immediately, and soon, Jack and his family become more important to Alice than anything or anyone else. When Alice discovers that her new friends are vampires, she must decide whether to walk away or lose everything even, possibly, her own life.

Amanda Hocking is a great example of a self-made author, and in spite of approaching her career in a way that’s different from most, she has garnered a large following and proven that the world of publishing has changed, perhaps forever. One of Ms. Hocking’s strengths is her pacing; she keeps the reader turning the pages to discover what’s going to happen next. Ms. Hocking’s characters are believable with strengths and weaknesses the reader can understand.

Positive Content:

  • Alice is devoted to her younger brother, Milo. Alice also loves her mother, even though her mother is neglectful and only acts parental when things get out of hand.
  • Alice acknowledges, at least to herself, that her behavior is self-destructive and irresponsible.
  • Alice is loyal to her brother and to her best friend, who isn’t much of a friend. She is also sensitive to the feelings of others around her, even when she is hurt by them.

Content to Consider (Spoilers):

Violence: OCCASIONAL

  • This is a vampire story, so there are many mentions of drinking blood from humans and even deaths of humans due to vampires losing control.
  • There are no guns or other weapons used during the course of this book.
  • Four men follow Alice and her friend, Jane, down a dark street. When the girls begin to run, the men give chase. The girls are afraid; Jane hides, but Alice is frozen with fear. The mean obviously intend to assault her sexually, and she expects to die.
  • Jack confronts the men and shoves them hard enough to send them flying out of the ground level of a parking garage.
  • Alice is injured once when she accidentally cuts herself with a knife.
  • Jack kills a rabid dog by breaking its neck; the account is not graphic.
  • Peter slams Alice up against a wall with his hand at her throat, holding on tightly enough that she isn’t capable of speech.
  • Jack fights with Peter (twice), but they don’t injure each other.
  • Alice thinks of suicide when she realizes that she might have to live without her vampire friends.
  • Peter, Jack’s brother vampire, almost kills Alice after she begs him to bite her.

Crude, Vulgar, or Profane Language: FREQUENT

  • There is one instance of the f-word.
  • There are several instances of d—.
  • “Hell” is used many times, as well as “oh my god”.
  • “Bastard” is used twice in a derogatory manner. “Bitchy” is used once.

Sexual Content:

  • Jane, Alice’s best friend, doesn’t think a weekend is complete without having sex with at least one guy. These encounters are mentioned but not detailed.
  • Jane, Alice’s mother, and even Milo obviously want Jack sexually. They can’t help their reactions to him since it’s part of his vampire mystique.
  • Peter has the same effect on Alice as Jack has on most humans.
  • Drinking blood from a human is better than sex for both the vampire and the human. Drinking blood from a human is often equivalent to a sexual encounter.
  • Jack and Alice have one heavy breathing episode on Jack’s bed, with hands under clothes, lips fused, and Jack covering her body with his. She bites her lip, it begins to bleed, and Jack nearly follows through with biting her.
  • Alice tempts both Jack and Peter, at different times, to bite her and to drink her blood.
  • Peter kisses Alice, and she begs him to bite her. When he gives in to her seduction, he almost kills her.
  • Alice discovers that her fifteen-year-old brother, Milo, is gay, which explains his initial attraction to Jack.
  • Mae recounts her transformation, acknowledging that she went with the vampire even though she loved her human husband. While under his influence, she also chose to drink the vampire’s blood.
  • Ezra, Mae’s vampire husband, informs Alice that when vampires are “with” someone, they also drink one another’s blood. This just underscores the link between drinking blood and sex.
  • Alice is a virgin; however, her brother thinks she might be sleeping with Jack since she is over at his house during nighttime hours.
  • Jack is “24” (actually more like 40 years old, since he is a newer vampire). Peter is almost 200 years old, even though he was turned when he was “19”. Either way, both vampires are much older than the girl of 17 who attracts them.

Drugs/Alcohol:

  • From Alice’s comments, it is obvious that she gets drunk with her friend Jane on a fairly regular basis. Jane gets drunk at every opportunity.
  • In the opening scene of the book, Jane is smoking cigarettes, one after another.
  • Alice’s mother is a chain smoker and smells of cheap brandy; the story makes it sound as though this is a frequent occurrence. She spends most of her off hours in the casino.
  • The vampires sometimes visit a night club to pick up humans who are either drunk or high for an easy meal. Jack insists that they don’t “blood rape” the unsuspecting humans; the humans just think they are with a good lover.
  • Bloodlust, the hunger the vampires experience, is like the craving for drugs that comes from drug addiction.
  • The vampire’s “donors” are under their influence, as if they are drugged.

Negative Content:

  • Jane, and by extension, Alice, are engaging in risky behavior in the opening scene as they try to get into a club using fake ID’s. If not for Jack’s intervention, both girls would have been raped and/or murdered by a gang of men.
  • Alice considers herself to be Jane’s less-attractive sidekick. She allows Jane to lead her around by the nose, doing whatever Jane wants to do, going wherever Jane wants to go, and enabling Jane to engage in her self-destructive behavior.
  • Partying on the weekend, with underage drinking, is depicted as Alice’s normal way of life.
  • Alice and Milo’s mother is an absentee mother. She works odd hours to support her children, but she only spends a handful of hours per week in their presence. Alice and Milo take care of everything, including shopping, cooking, and laundry.
  • Alice is not serious about school, even before she meets Jack. After she gets involved with him, she starts missing school most days. She ceases to care what happens to her in the future as she becomes fixated on her vampire family.
  • Alice has a major fight with her mother which results in Alice’s departure from their apartment. Alice moves into Jack’s house temporarily.
  • Jack, the male lead, is an eternal boy in the Peter Pan mold. He lives for his own pleasure, and seems very immature for his age even if he is a “young” vampire. He doesn’t work, plays video games for hours on end, drives too fast, and lives in the moment.

Spiritual Content:

  • There is no spiritual content in this book beyond the idea that vampires live forever unless they are killed.
  • Jack mentions that Mae wanted to marry Ezra in a local cathedral, but Ezra didn’t agree. He also mentions that they are not Catholic.

My Personal Opinions:

I have read all but the last book in this series (which has not been published as of this writing), and I will include another spoiler here for the benefit of parents and teachers. Jack and Alice eventually consummate their sexual relationship. Even after Jack and Alice get together, Alice remains attracted to Peter. The violence and sexual content in the series escalates with each book, so in my opinion, this is a series for true young adults, 17 and above, and not just readers who can read at the young adult level.

Also, Alice is not a heroine that I can admire or a good role model for girls. Ms. Hocking does “grow” Alice into a more mature person as the series progresses, but I can’t say the same for Jack.

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About the Author

Kathrese McKee started life as a Systems Engineer at EDS, spent time in real estate, taught middle grade Reading and ESL in Texas, and settled down to blog and write speculative fiction for Young Adults.

As a teacher, she fell in love with books written for Teens and Young Adults. Her favorite books are “coming of age” stories about young people on the difficult road of self-discovery.

Comments

  1. Does this make me a bad person as an adult to be curious to read it now???!! =)

    • Go ahead, but my advice is to borrow it from the library instead of making a purchase just to make sure you really want to invest in the series. Again, your choice. Thanks for your input!

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