Blood Is The New Black
Published 2007 293 pages
Summary (from the book Jacket)
The Devil may wear Prada, but real fashion taste is in the blood…
When Kate is offered an internship at a top fashion mag Tasty, everyone tells her she’s the luckiest girl alive. But Kate’s not so sure. Her fellow interns are bitchy, her superiors are backstabbing, and she’s constantly getting it in the neck from her boss.
Then people start to go missing, and Kate starts to really worry. Why is everyone condescending, black clad and emaciated? Doesn’t anyone sleep? What’s with the sharp teeth? Are they…vampires?
Armed with a stake, a crucifix, and James the cute photo assistant, Kate sets off for a showdown – only to realise that she’s more out of her depth than a homeless person in Hermès. Starting your first job may be difficult, but working at Tasty is draining. Literally…
Blood Is The New Black is an entertaining debut novel from Valerie Stivers. According to her bio, Valerie has worked as an intern for a major fashion magazine so if anyone is in the position to dish the dirt on the fashionistas of the publishing industry it should be her.
What new light does she shed upon the glamorous New York fashion magazine editors? Well, fashionable people are so thin they look half starved, wear designer clothes, are snobby, obsessed with their looks and go around in their own clique to which an outsider (or newbie employee) will never be welcomed unless they are wearing the right clothes and attending the right parties. The author’s interpretation of their behaviour is that they are obviously vampires, hiding in plain sight under their designer pashminas (or maybe pashminas were last season?)
If Ugly Betty hadn’t already had two seasons of poking fun at the fashion industry, the premise for this novel might seem more fresh but Ugly Betty has already been there and done that (only without the vampires.) And let’s face it; you don’t really need the fashionistas to be vampires because they have already been exposed as soulless ghouls of the human variety.
Ugly Betty meets Buffy? I don’t think so. Kate McGraw is no Buffy - nor is she a Betty either. She isn’t a vampire slayer, chosen from birth and imbued with super powers in order to save humanity from evil vampires. She has too much personal style and fashion sense to be a Betty either, although she does share some of Betty’s naivety and outsider status. Kate proudly wears environmentally friendly shoes – clearly showing that she is both conscientious and trendy – while being confident enough to tell a room of Jimmy Choo wearers that she is wearing shoes made from recycled car tyres.
Blood Is The New Black is a well written read and its chick-lit subject matter should appeal to a wider audience than just vampire fans. The plot is well paced this novel has no problem keeping the reader entertained with its light humour and gossipy mystery. Vampire and fantasy fans may find this novel lacking in vampiric thrills but overall there is nothing objectionable about this book.
The more astute reader may notice that I am somewhat conflicted when it comes to reviewing this book. It’s not a bad book, I honestly think most female readers will enjoy it. I just feel that fashion magazine editors as vampires is a little obvious and makes the book something of a one trick pony. However, do not allow yourselves to be constrained by my prejudices (and its not often you’ll hear me say that!) check the book out for yourself and make up your own mind.
Blood Is The New Black has been left with a few loose ends flapping in the gentle breeze of a possible sequel, which we will no doubt see if the book is as popular as I think it will be.
LoveVampires Review Rating: