[amazon template=image&asin=B005EP277K]I wrote the following book review in July of 2009. The review is basically one big spoiler, so if you think you may want to read the book, don’t read this post.
The woman who wrote The Outsiders wrote this mess of a novel. Ok, I am no longer under any illusion that The Outsiders is great literature. I appreciate it for what it is, but I can see its faults too. I also cut S.E. Hinton some slack with The Outsiders, as she wrote that book when she was 16. She was all grown up when she wrote Hawkes Harbor, so I don’t know what her excuse is with this one.
She’s still basically writing about the same character: handsome young man; difficult childhood; no parental figures; lives rough and takes care of himself; gruff, but with a good heart. Who is this guy she’s still obsessed with? Her father? Her brother? Her first love? Whoever he is, he was still on her mind when this book was published in 2005.
The handsome young man is in a mental hospital. He’s been shot. He has had a mental breakdown. What, oh what, has happened to him?
The story is spun out slowly, in a series of flashbacks. The young man is a criminal. A pirate of sorts. He loves the sea. Ho Hum. Then the vampire shit starts!
A vampire? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe it. A vampire. In 1960s New England.
It’s as if Hinton were trying to think of some gimmick to make this book popular in an early 21st century market and hit on the popularity of vampires, so decided to go that route.
But it gets even dumber. The vampire becomes human again (through some rituals never fully explained to the reader). Although the vampire originally had total control over the young man, threatened to kill him if he didn’t do what he was told, by the end of the book, the vampire becomes the young man’s best friend. Weird. Weird and corny!
As I read this book, I kept laughing aloud, because the premises of the story were so ridiculous.
I realize that the theme of this book is redemption. Redemption is a good theme. But a vampire! Give me a break. If the captor had been a military torture expert, the young man the torturer’s captive soldier, the plot may have worked, but a vampire? That’s just silly.