High school sucks. Especially for the undead.
“This is the lesbian vampire boarding school story I've always needed, but it's smarter, nastier, and more fun than I ever could have dreamed." —Kylie Schachte, author of You're Next
Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.
Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.
When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.
Set at a prestigious boarding school for vampires, Laurens's (A Wicked Magic) vibrant, voice-driven paranormal romance explores sexuality, privilege, and belonging. High school junior Kat Finn is a Youngblood, a generation of vampires who are born, not turned. She and her mother live a solitary existence, barely acquiring enough Hema, a human blood substitute, to survive. Yearning for more out of life, Kat applies—and is accepted—into Harcote Academy, an ultra-exclusive vampire school. Aided by a mysterious benefactor who sponsors her tuition, Kat is determined to blend into the Youngblood elite. But when her roommate turns out to be former best friend, prickly "gay weirdo," and academy pariah Taylor Sanger, and Harcote high society threatens to push them both out, the pair must reckon with their shared past and the academy's toxic environment to determine who they are and where they truly belong. Kat and Taylor's alternating perspectives read as authentically teen, and every elation and humiliation is palpable. Without eschewing impassioned queer exploration, Laurens elevates this fresh look at vampire society, which is brimming with classic boarding school tropes, by astutely tackling timely issues, including homophobia and classism. Most characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephanie Kim, New Leaf Literary and Media. ■