(Courtesy Sarah Beth Durst ’96)

New book: Drink, Slay, Love, by Sarah Beth Durst ’96 (Simon and Schuster)

The author: Durst, who writes fantasy fiction for teenagers, has been drawn to magical worlds – dragons, fly griffins, and fairy-tale kingdoms — since her youth. Enchanted Ivy, published last year, is set at Princeton and follows Lily Carter, an eleventh-grade high school student who attends her grandfather’s 50th reunion and stumbles on an alternate Princeton — a magical and dangerous place. Durst also is the author of Ice, Into the Wild, and Out of the Wild.
The plot: In this story of a vampire girl gone good, Pearl, a 16-year-old vampire, is stabbed in the heart by a unicorn. She survives and now can withstand the sun. Her family finds a way to use her new ability — they send her to high school so she can make human friends that she then will lure to the Vampire King’s feast. But Pearl has developed a conscience and doesn’t want to deliver her new friends — particularly one cute boy — to be slaughtered.
Opening lines: “‘One hour until dawn,’ Pearl said. She leaped off the roof and landed catlike on the pavement. ‘Oodles of time, if we steal a car.’
Her boyfriend, Jadrien, stretched out on the roof of Outback Steakhouse. He was a shadow, a lovely shadow, against the green tin. ‘Come back up, Pearl,’ he said. ‘I’ll compare your eyes to stars, your lips to rubies, and your breath to industrial-strength air freshener.’”
Reviews: Durst “crafts a fresh, modern, and humorous twist on the vampire novel,” wrote Publishers Weekly. A critic for Kirkus Reviews wrote, “Combining a sense of humor with dark appeal of supernatural romance, this book is funny, scary and thought provoking all at once. Pearl is a feisty heroine who meets her match in the unicorn, who refuses to give up on her.”