My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was SO MUCH FUN! I devoured this book, and had to put it down so that I could sleep around 3:30am, but I had a little internal tantrum when I did, because as tired as I was, I was enjoying the book so much that I just did not want to set it down.
I really loved everything about this book. I loved all of the characters, all of them, even the deviously evil ones. But I especially loved The Quad, as I lovingly referred to them in my head: Sam (the main character), Ramon (his best friend), Brooke (the awesome girl next door) and Frank (the up & coming flunky friend who tries really hard). They were all hilarious and so down to earth and awesome that I wish that they were real people. They all came off with some off-the-cuff one-liners that made me envious, because I can NEVER think of pure comeback awesomeness in the moment. It's always like 4 days later and I'm like, "DOH! I should have said...!!"
And then there were the secondary characters who were just as great. Brid especially. I loved her spunk and her charisma and tenacity and ass-kickery. Sam's mom and neighbor were also hilarious without even trying. All of them felt real and true, and I felt like I knew them rather than like I was reading about them.
I will say that this book is more for the mature teen set. There was a bit of cursing, a bit of defiance, and a bit of sex, all of which fit perfectly in the story and didn't feel out of place at all, but might be a bit more than someone looking for a more innocent brand of YA is bargaining for.
The paranormal characters and characteristics felt fresh and true to the story as well, and I loved the way that it was represented here. The "creatures" felt traditionally modern, if that makes sense. Like they are true to how folklore represents them, but also are changeable and adaptable to modern times to stay ahead of the curve. I really enjoyed that, because the paranormal genre is in an upswing in popularity right now, and things can get a bit stale. But this wasn't like that at all, and I really liked the way that things were subtly modernized without that taking over the whole story.
Because this story is about Sam, full name Samhain Corvus LaCroix (yes really), and he is full of awesome. Between him and his friends, I was hooting with laughter so much that my boyfriend started looking at me funny. This book was chock full of my favorite type of humor - sarcastic, dry wit that you could almost miss if you blink. In fact, I read a few lines that hit me later and had me cracking up and feeling slow at the same time, because I'd missed the funny the first time around. Sam's voice and personality is just so great that you just can't help but love him and root for him.
I loved the narration as well, how it shifted between Sam's first person narration and then a omniscient third person narration. You'd think that this would be distracting, but it wasn't at all. It was like scenes in a movie - some of them contained the main character's thoughts as a voiceover, and some showed action elsewhere.
Overall, I loved this. I hope that this is the first in a series, because I definitely want to revisit these characters again... and again. This is definitely going on my Wishlist and To-Buy list. :D
Plus... There was a zombie panda. O_O