And the second...
By Chloe Neill
2010, Signet, 256 pages
Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.
They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
— Amazon.com description
"Most people are oblivious to the currents around them, to the hum and flow of the city," Scout tells Lily. "We're part of that hum and flow. The magic is part of that hum and flow. Sometimes people say they love living in Chicago— the energy, the earthiness, the sense of being part of something bigger than you are."
Oh, hi, Chloe Neill! Did you know I would be reading this and write that part just for me? HELLO! I wish there was magic in Chicago, my home sweet home. Totally digging that this paranormal series is set in an area I looooooove. I'm not sure if I would have responded to this book differently if it weren't based in my hometown, so let's all just accept I'm biased and move on.
Lily's been shipped off to this creepy old boarding school with a bunch of richy-rich mean girls. Thank goodness she meets Scout, whom I totally picture as Eva Amurri. Their friendship is teasing and funny and very true to life. Too bad Scout's messed up in all sorts of bad shizz...
Which brings on the paranormal. So it's not very original. And it's a little slow to get to the action. But things pick up at the end, when I found myself really invested in the outcome. It's a nice start to an original series that I'd read more of. Which I will! In the sequel, Fright Night Bites. (I don't know whether to laugh or cringe at that title?)
On the plus side: Cute werewolf boy. And I usually HATE werewolf boys. So kudos to Neill for that one.
On the down side: Yeah, I said I love the Chicago stuff, but some of the references I was like "Oh, seriously? Rainbow Cone? You're bringing that up?" But I'm probably just a snob. Also, she writes this about a fancy wallet: "It's not real; just a good fake I picked up in Wicker Park." Wait, where can you get good fakes in Wicker Park?!?!
Moral of the story: Lily said it herself: When the opportunity rises, do the right thing, even if it's the hard thing.
If you are interested, just for a quick paranormal read, check out the sequel, Early to Death, Early to Rise.