Saturday, October 6, 2012

Midnight Cravings, Book One of The Eternal Dead Series by Joelle Sterling, aka - Review

CONTENT WARNINGS: Sexual Situations, Cannibalism

Goodreads Synopsis:
The first book in a new trilogy is a supernatural fest with teenage witches, vampires, and zombies in an urban setting. (I am interjecting here - there are NO ZOMBIES IN THIS BOOK. There is some sort of creature who is into eating animals or cannibalism.)

With her acne under control, the braces off, and a new haircut, Holland Manning has discarded the nerdy girl image for a bold and edgy look. This is the year that she’s finally going to snag her long-time crush, football star Jarrett Sloan. But being realistic, how can a bookworm like Holland compete for Jarrett’s attention when Chaela Vasquez, his uber-gorgeous ex-girlfriend, is going full throttle to get him back?

Holland’s mom claims to be a witch, but her spells go awry and sometimes even backfire. Holland warily asks her mother to cast a love spell on Jarrett, and not surprisingly, the spell doesn’t work. But something strange is happening at home. Night after night, Holland awakens to flitting shadows outside of her bedroom window and eerie whispers, causing her to suspect that her mother may have mistakenly opened a pathway that unleashed something unspeakably sinister.

Discovering her own powers of sorcery that have been lying dormant, Holland sets off on a dangerous mission to vanquish the nest of teenage vampires that are picking off the students at her school, one by one.

My Take:
CONTENT WARNINGS: Sexual Situations, Cannibalism
Amazon states this is Book One of The Eternal Dead Series. This paperback version ONLY states this is a series on the back cover at the very bottom and nowhere else in or on this book.
Where do I start with this review? First, I might give away some spoilers because I don't know what the spoilers could be. This story has no point to it, it lacked in direction, and if there ARE spoilers, I could not tell you where or what they would be.
What is the point of this book? Can I explain what this book is about? No, not really. There is no story line. I can tell you it includes and is not limited to  Witches, Spells, a Vampire, Haiti Black Magic, and Cannibalism! People getting bitten or scratched by another person who was bitten or scratched, thus making these people bite and eat more people. Whatever these people turned into, they needed to hunt and kill warm blooded animals and humans to 'eat', and the body parts it chooses to eat first is just sickening.
Allow me to make this clear - this creature described in this book is NOT A ZOMBIE.
This book was edited so poorly (as is the above description stating there are Zombies in this book and there are not.) in that this story is all over the place. It did not read smoothly. The sentences were choppy, and what could have been said in one sentence, the author took two or three intentionally, as if the young adults who are going to read this book are less intelligent. This author also had a few favorite words she used over and over again, such as 'bashful'. (How can you have that word in this book and then be so descriptive about sexual things, which I'll get to). Bad editing.
The book starts off with this guy coming over to the US on a boat from Haiti. We don't find out this occurred back in the 1700's until later in the book. On the ride over here the owner of the boat found a woman who was riding for free, so she was to be thrown overboard to be eaten by sharks. This very upset woman threw white powder on the floor and at the other passengers as she damned them all. It went all over the people on the boat and on the floor killing some people instantly, and where this one guy was standing, it turned him into some type of animal that had to hunt things living animals or humans  to feed on. This character did not fit the definition of a Zombie, as he ate anything off of a human body. He lived to hunt and eat. That is the gist of his story in this book, over and over again. The humans he just bit or scratched, all turned into whatever he was. 
Then we have Holland. She just got a new haircut so she did not look like a nerd, and now she is hot. Guys were looking at her like crazy, and she was loving it. 
As to where the story was going, and as for character development, well, there was none. I could not relate to any of the characters whatsoever. Even this  Holland, I just spoke of, the author never gave the reader a way to form a bond with the character other than listening to her story about her haircut as she looked at herself in the mirror. 
Supposedly Holland's mother claimed she was to have 'witch powers' handed down to her now at the age of sixteen, from her Grandmother, which she did not want. Did the author make me feel like I cared? No.
The things that did occur were not easily readable, nor did they make sense to the story. There was so much going on, I could not keep track of where the story was going nor understand what was happening. 
What could I understand? The main focus of this book was 'flesh eating cannibalism' and a lot of sexual scenes. 
I read this 278 page book in 1 1/2 hours. I flew through it as it was so simplistic to read. It was written as if the Reader did not understand simple things. Just because young adults most often tend to be teenagers, does not mean  they are ignorant and/or do not understand things. In fact, many of them are highly intelligent and understand a LOT more than what we may give them credit for. This book is written in a too simplistic form for YA.
A middle grade reader could easily read this book and understand it. (As for how and where the story line is going IS confusing and they would be, too.) I highly suggest NOT to allow middle grade readers to read this book. (Besides, I hate to say this, but, young boys would be aroused with this writing. Did I just say that? Yes, I did. I'll get to that in a moment.)
The end. The end was so confusing. I could not understand what the author was trying to do, except . . . leave this hanging for book 2 in this trilogy. Yes, that is the worst part about this book. It is part of a trilogy. Ugh!
First and foremost, let's talk about the genre of this book. This book is supposed to be in the YA genre, which is very debatable for me. I would almost consider this as a type of soft-porn/erotica, in many occurrences throughout the book. This author took the liberty of going way to far with her writing for Young Adults, so much so, in the MANY Adult Contemporary books I read, I have NOT come across scenes that are written like they are in this book ever before. This book crosses the line between 'Young Adult' and 'Erotica for Young Adult', of which I never would have thought would become a genre, or, that someone would take the liberty of writing it for that matter. There are just some things you do not write so descriptively and in detail for Young Adults. Where was the Editor? Shame on both of them taking this book as far as they have!
You should know 'about the author', and maybe this will help you understand why this book makes me even more upset about the things that happen in it. I found this out AFTER I read the book, as it is in the back of the book, "About the Author". It states she has penned nearly a decade of erotic bestsellers. So then I read the book. After reading what I did, I went to Amazon and found more information. This explained everything to me as to why I did not like this book. This book crossed over into two genres. Young Adult and Erotica.
Joelle Sterling is a pseudonym name for this author writing Young Adult books. As I said, no matter what the name, there is no excuse for writing Young Adult books and adding erotica to them. On the back of this book it states "her pseudonym of Joelle Sterling presents her with the  opportunity for Allison to share her fascination of the supernatural and broaden the scope of her readership" (with this series of Young Adult books, may I add). Joelle Sterling is a full-time writer in Philadelphia, Pa."  When I read further about the author, her most well-known author name is Allison Hobbs, and according to Amazon, she has written 12 erotica and paranormal/erotica books. Let's say I felt this book crossed the line way too many times into her comfort zone of the erotica genre. Now I understand why. 
I 'almost' made the mistake of asking my nieces, 13 and 15, (prior to my reading this book) if they wanted to read this book as they enjoy Vampire books. I read it first, thank gosh, because if their mother who is my sister-in-law, or my brother found out "I" gave this book to the girls to read, I think a family spat would have occurred given the HIGH cross-over of genres in my opinion. This really bothered me. 
I found the way the author delivered her story, was outright sickening in many parts. One, for instance, is CANNIBALISM.
I quizzed my son and his friends. They are 14, 15 and 16. I asked them if they would read a book with Cannibalism in it. They said, "NO WAY!" They said "We  read "The Hunger Games", and that there 'could have been' cannibalism in it, but even THAT AUTHOR DID NOT TAKE IT THAT FAR!"
Dating scenes went to far. The main character, Holland, started kissing her date, and it was described explicitly in detail about the private parts of the body to the point of her 'almost' losing her virginity. She was completely naked at this point, and again, to get to this point, it was written very explicitly. Thankfully it didn't go into description of her losing her virginity to the most popular guy in her High School as they were interrupted. (Thank gosh because I was not about to read that.) 
I asked the boys if they would read a book that included descriptive scenes like this. "NO!" They were dead serious! They were NOT smiling, nor were they red. 
Even the 'bite' scenes that take place in this book by people who turn into some sort of animal happened in the private areas of the body. For instance, the Farmer grabbed his wife, yanked up her skirt, and . . .  I almost think this author forgot "who" and "what genre" she was writing for. Again, BAD EDITING! This should NEVER be put into a Young Adult book. 
The boys answers to this scene: "It's just NOT RIGHT!" They said, "whoever writes that is a sick and twisted person. They could have picked the stomach or another place instead."
There are a lot of detailed sexual and sickening scenes describing flesh-eating cannibalism throughout this book. Need I say more? 
These scenes were written with words that I would NOT want my Young Adult to be reading, and the boys said they would NOT read it. I literally had to force myself to read this book so I could write a review on it. I honestly have to say that I have not read an Adult Contemporary book that is 'this' descriptive sexually in it's scenes as this one is.
I really wonder WHY this author dipped into the Young Adult category? She really has no business 'broadening her readership' in this way of working into the Young Adult category because she is NOT writing Young Adult books, in my opinion. She is weaving these supposed YA books into YA Erotica. Because  Young Adult is so popular, perhaps she felt she could make more money by 'broadening her readership' as she quoted, by writing in this category as eventually these Young Adults DO grow into Adults, which will then bring these readers into her Adult Erotica books. (I AM entitled to MY opinion.) I don't know exactly why, as I am just guessing, but . . . as I stated above, I feel this book makes a NEW Genre of "Young Adult Erotica". 
I am very glad I did get the opportunity to read this book so that I can warn people/parents about this author's writing style. They should know exactly what kind of book this really is, especially for the young adults under the age of eighteen, and also glad that the young adults I interviewed had NO interest in reading a book like this.
I am glad I got to seriously ask teens in this age group if they would read this  book. They said "We are put off by it. It's just gross!"
On the back of this book it also gives the history of this author, under the name of Allison Hobbs, as 'penning erotic bestsellers . . . '. This should be a warning to parents right there.
I will NOT be reading the rest of this trilogy. This author under the pseudonym of Joelle Sterling, has written two other Young Adult books to complete this series. They are coming out in the very near future. They are: The Dark Hunger, Book Two in The Eternal Dead series, coming out January 22nd, 2013. Book Three: Forbidden Feast, Book Three in The Eternal Dead Series, due out on April 30th, 2013.   
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Strebor Books International LLC, bringing you the future in minority literature today!, in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but, of my own honest opinion. “Free” means I was NOT provided with ANY MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading the book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Interesting information I found at NetGalley about this book. It is listed as Literature/Fiction/Adult. NO mention of Young Adult AT ALL. Consider this! I found it interesting.


  1. Wow... what a review. It almost makes me want to pick up this book and read it. But I'll pass/

  2. Hi MoniqueReads!
    Thanks SO much for leaving a comment!
    I LOVE when people interact, don't you! I went over to YOUR blog and LOVE it! VERY nice! I am now a Follower via GFC as lauriehere! Makes me #69 for you! LOVE the 'Friday Finds' you do! All 4 of those books you have posted looks super good! Enjoy reading them! Let us know when you post the review! Wow! I also found the disclosure policy you have and LOVE it! Thanks for sharing and giving the addy for it, too! SO helpful! I've been writing my own, but I LOVE yours! GREAT job with that! The more I look at your blog, the MORE I LOVE it!
    Yes, this was a hefty review, sorry! Although, I had to write an "honest" review, and really felt I needed to write what I did. Interesting thing I just found this book listed over at NetGalley. At NetGalley, this book is considered as Literature/Fiction/Adult. NOT Young Adult! Makes MUCH MORE sense to me given the content. Although, the Publisher IS pushing this book as Young Adult. I don't get it now?
    What I'm about to talk about here does not really apply to this book (in a way) because the Publisher IS pushing this book as a Young Adult book, but, I have recently heard a LOT of discussion among Indie Authors who happen to have teenagers in their books, and because of that, the book has been put into the YA category when they do NOT want the book in the YA category. I guess it has something to do with self-publishing with Amazon. Their books are mainly about Adults, and because a teenager happens to have a hefty role in the book along with the adults, Amazon (I think, as I am not involved in this discussion with them personally, but it is how I understood it to be) automatically marks the book as a YA. I have to side with the Authors on this one! They have it tough a lot of the time. They are their own 'everything', especially Publicists, and when they don't get their books in the genre they want it in, it makes it all that much harder on them.
    I found it VERY interesting this book IS listed as Adult. I found this book under the Publisher's name of Strebor, just like I put in my disclaimer, too. Interesting. This book WOULD fit much better, and I would feel much better about the book if it WERE in the ADULT category! If only . . .
    GREAT to meet you! LOVE your blog! I'll be watching for more from you!
    Thanks again for leaving a comment!


I LOVE Comments so please leave one! After I review the comments and make sure they are NOT SPAM - I HAVE BEEN BOMBARDED WITH SPAM - YOUR COMMENTS WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE! Thanks SO MUCH for your patience and for leaving a comment!!! Comments are ALWAYS welcomed, YET THEY WILL NOT LINK TO GOOGLE+ EITHER DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF SPAM!!! When I say this blog is experiencing SPAM, we are talking 30+ comments PER DAY that are spam! Please understand!! Again, thank you!!