Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay's doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire. At first, she thinks she must be imagining the visions, but when she begins to see Martin's office in them, she knows she has to check it out. That's when she finds Gabriel, a sexy, teenaged vampire, imprisoned in Martin's office. The connection she has built with Gabriel compels her to set him free. But when he kidnaps her in an attempt at revenge on Martin, their lives become deeply intertwined. She doesn't know the half of it.
A chronic illness shapes not only the awareness of the sufferer, but the dynamics of an entire family, a tactic cleverly used by frequent collaborators Burns and Metz to structure the plot of this vampire romance. Shay McGuire has been sick from birth with an undiagnosed blood disorder. Now 17, she longs for even enough normalcy to make it through a week of school. When her physician stepfather offers her a new kind of blood transfusion therapy, Shay is unprepared for the startling visions and unusual vitality that follow. During her spurts of energy, Shay acts out recklessly, until her mother demands a halt to the new treatment. Breaking into her stepfather's office, Shay finds a man chained to a table a man she recognizes instantly from her visions. He is the source of her transfusions, and a vampire. Though not marketed as such, this volume is clearly first in a projected series, ending on a cliffhanger. Smoothly written and offering a thoughtful look at the very human reactions of "the Sick Girl," it's a promising entry in an overcrowded field. Ages 14 up.