Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Cryptic Cravings - Ellen Schreiber Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.Jagger and Luna are back and this time, they want to open a club in Dullsville called the Crypt. Raven, seeing a place where she can finally belong in Dullsville, is excited about it and yet cautious; if Jagger makes the club a place for humans and vampires both, all the vampires coming to Dullsville could cause trouble and put Alexander's secret in danger. Raven and Alexander work to find out what Jagger has planned for the Crypt in case he's up to no good yet again. Meanwhile, Luna and Sebastian's relationship is blooming and Raven wishes more than once that Alexander would just turn her already. But is she ready to give everything up for her love?I may as well admit now that this review is totally biased. The Vampire Kisses series changed my life and made me love reading, which led me to reviewing books and aspiring to become an author. I couldn't be critical of something so meaningful, beloved, and fluffy even if I tried.Raven and Alexander's romance takes a little bit of a backseat in this installment to plans for the Crypt and Raven's slight introspection on whether or not she's prepared to give everything up, but they still have their moments together, including a half-gross, half-romantic birthday surprise for Alexander from Raven. These two may be cliches, but they make a cute couple when they're put together. It may not be completely healthy (Raven has insomnia from staying up late to be with Alexander), but it's better than some of what else is on the market (see Hush, Hush and Fallen, among others). They never manipulate and abuse each other, at least. I shouldn't have to settle, but with young adult trend as they are now...One thing I do like about the books is that while Raven constantly thinks and says she would be willing to give up her world to be in Alexander's, she can't do it as easily as she thinks she can. All these vampires telling her that it isn't as romantic as she thinks and those moments with friends and family that she'll never have once she's a vampire are getting through to her! You know what would make this series legendary for me? If Raven decides her love for Alexander, not matter how true, isn't worth giving up her friends, family, and human life and she stays human. It's a shame it won't happen. I know Schreiber's books too well.I also had some fun laughing at Raven. I don't think I've ever met such a dense character in my life. So there are seven books' worth of evidence that Trevor is in love with Raven, including buying a painting of her at auction, multiple people telling her he likes her, a guy who can read blood telling Raven that Trevor wished he were having a covenant ceremony with Raven instead of his then-girlfriend (long story, see the end of book three Vampireville), but it takes her all the way until now for her to figure it out? Her thickness is so impossible that it would cause the world to end if she were real. At least she recognizes by the end of it that if Alexander weren't there, she could have easily started dating Trevor.Very few major events happen in Cryptic Cravings. There isn't much action and I can count on one hand how many events seem like they'll have importance in the future. Those few events are the reason I'm not going to call it filler that the author is using to make more money. I would love for Schreiber to write a larger Vampire Kisses book one day because the longest one is the first one at a short 253 pages, made shorter by how easy the books are to read. All the others barely extend past 200 pages.The ending is all sorts of messy (and I should say that beyond this point are SPOILERS FOR THE ENDING OMG I'M WARNING YOU!). What happened to Jagger and Luna? The plan to trick Sebastian into a covenant ceremony is a bust, so do they leave Dullsville again? Do they hide in the coffin room? Do they just leave the building? I have no idea. I would have liked some resolution on that end. And then all of a sudden, we learn Alexander has a sister: Athena, or Stormy. This and Alexander's excuse of "oh, she never came up because I was too busy snogging you" are both huge buttpulls. It's been eight books and a year inside the bookverse! This is the kind of stuff that comes up! And Raven is barely concerned with him never mentioning a sister. Does she not wonder what else could he be hiding besides a sister? The only reason I can think of that he wouldn't mention his sister is that he doesn't like her, but he likes her enough to convince her to come to Dullsville, so that can't be it.Bonus: It appears that "nefarious" is the word of Cryptic Cravings, just as "chagrin" was a common word in Twilight and "engage" was common in Abandon by Meg Cabot. I'm going to go through this book one day and count how many times the word appeared. I swear it must have been at least once per chapter.If I were capable of looking at this series critically, this would surely be a two-star due to the stereotyping, lack of complexity and depth in its characters, subpar writing, and having very little happen. However, I love it too much to do that. These books keep me smiling and going when everything sucks and even I need fluffy, cheesy reads every now and then. Even if those fluffy reads cost eighteen dollars for barely two hundred pages and next to no progression. I honestly don't think the book is worth that much money.