When I got this book, I admit, I didn't know it was about vampires, to be honest. I'd heard that Susan Hubbard was a good writer so I thought I'd try one of her books. If I had known it was about vampires, I probably would have left it because Twilight really put me off vampires and werewolves - with no offence to anybody who likes Twilight, it just doesn't appeal to me. Since I've read this I've read other vampire books, there are some other good ones.
Anyway, what I originally loved about this book was the style and the detail, and the way Hubbard writes about Ariella's life so we clearly get a picture of her daily routine and her personality. I didn't expect the quality of her writing to be so good. Ariella is much more mature than a thirteen year old though, so don't think this is some immature, childish narrator. I often forgot that the protagonist is actually younger than me, I kept thinking she was seventeen or something.
What I didn't really like was the second half I guess. Not just that there wasn't that much action, but the first half is so good you think it will just keep getting better but it just seems to come to a halt. I also thought there were quite a few loose ends. Bear in mind this was before I knew this was just the first book of a series so I'm sure it fits better when you've read the next two books - which I'm likely to read sometime - but still, the climax felt a little bit rushed for such a well planned out beginning.
I'm giving this four stars though, rather than three because it is still a well written story about a family with a more than mysterious secret.