Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tea Time: The Night House
**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**
The Night House, Rachel Tafoya

Bianca St. Germain works at a Night House, a place where vampires like the aristocratic Jeremiah Archer, pay to feed on humans, and she doesn’t much care what others think of her. The money is good, and at least there, she’s safe. Bianca also doesn’t care that the Night House is killing her. All she cares about is: nauth, the highly addictive poison in vampire bites that brings a euphoria like no drug ever could.

But when Bianca meets James, a reclusive empath who feels everything she does, for the first time, she considers a life outside of the Night House and a someone worth living for. But Jeremiah has decided to keep Bianca for himself; he won’t allow her to walk away.

As she allows her feelings for James to grow, she struggles to contain nauth’s strong hold on her life. If they are to have a future, James must make her see what she’s worth, what she means to him, before Jeremiah and nauth claim her for good.

Narrative-This book is told from the first-person POV from two perspectives: that of Bianca, and that of James. Bianca's voice was by far my favorite of the two: not only did it do an excellent job of portraying Bianca's most important characteristics, it felt amazingly natural. James, on the other hand, took some getting used to. His sections felt a bit more strained; there was a lot more telling, and ultimately it made his perspective feel forced.

Which leads me to this: I'm not entirely sure this book needed two different POVs to it. Bianca was completely immersed in this world; James was brand-new to it. James has characters in his life that Bianca didn't have access to, but Bianca had a lot more information about the world of vampires that basically swallows them both. Bianca also has access to the main players: James and some other vampires that have much to do in the book. Part of me continues to think that the entire book could have been told from Bianca's POV and it still would have been a wonderful read, even strengthened since there would have been more time to expand on things only she knew about.

Despite me saying that, let me also amend to this: the last part of the book was fantastic and made me really rethink a lot of my thoughts. There, James' voice was incredibly strong and I was finally pulled into his head. So my revision is this: maybe the POVs shouldn't have shifted so often (every chapter); if it were every five chapters, for example, instead of every other chapter, I feel that maybe the first two parts of the book could have been strong enough to equal the last.

Plot-I think it's safe to say that the plot was by far my favorite piece of this book. The premise is that Bianca lives at the Night House, where vampires come to feed on not only her blood but the other girls who live there. There's one vampire who wants to claim her-Jeremiah-one vampire who kind of wants to look out for her-Finn-and one vampire who's been her friend and savior since she was young-Micah. Then she meets James, the empath, who for some reason is able to develop a strong bond to her feelings and emotions after their first meeting. Together, they try to free Bianca from her life as a "vamp tramp" (hey, Bianca said it, not me).

While I'm not entirely sure that the plot was well executed (mainly due to my notes on the narrative), I did fall in love with this idea of Bianca trying to rid herself of this life that she was never meant for, and of James' intense care for her (although his character kind of comes off weird; see my notes in the next section). There could have been a lot more world-building in terms of the vampire courts and how their politics worked, but the main story of Bianca's life and how James is able to help change it had me hooked, and is probably the biggest element that kept me reading.

Characters-Bianca and James are the main characters, but I had wildly different opinions of both of them. Bianca was strong and independent: able to keep to her values and determined to keep at least a semblance of a human life. She cares for those who have deserved her affections-the vampire Micah, for example, and another girl at the Night House. She's wary of other people and highly distrusting, but she's able to recognize a friend and knows when she can trust them with her feelings.

James was different. He's understandably dependent on his sister-by-adoption, Ally, and his best friend, Shiloh. They're the only other two people he's ever had a strong bond with, and who can help him remain calm when assaulted by the emotions of the world around him. It's debilitating, this emotion, and it appears to get both worse and better when he meets Bianca for the first time. Like her, he's an incredibly fierce friend.

However...what really bothered me about James was his willingness to sink into the role of the guidance counselor. he's fast in labeling Bianca a junkie and dug-addict (rightfully so, though, so I'll add that), and without even knowing her he makes it a life mission to get her clean (and, yes, I realize that he also feels everything she felt, but it was for me). Then he's really quick to label her with Stockholm's Syndrome. It made me question his motives for getting close to Bianca, but not in a good way; I felt that instead of falling in love with her and wanting to care for her for that reason, he was trying to help just to make himself feel better. So. Yeah. Off-putting.

Besides them, the other characters of the vampires (Jeremiah, Finn, and Micah) were incredibly interesting. Micah had my heart from the very beginning thanks to his love for Bianca. On James' end, Ally was incredibly sweet and has a history with vampires that I felt wasn't expanded upon like it could have been; Shiloh also fell a bit flat at times, and I wondered if there were any ways for him to be something other than a support group member for James.

Final Answer: 3.33 / 5 

Meet the Author:

Rachel Tafoya studied creative writing while at Solebury School and was published in their student run literary magazine, SLAM. She attended a writing program for teens at both Susquehanna University and Denison University, and the Experimental Writing for Teens class and Novels for Young Writers program, both run by NY Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Rachel is the daughter crime author Dennis Tafoya.

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Time for a giveaway! Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of THE NIGHT HOUSE (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
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THE NIGHT HOUSE @RachelTafoya gets 3 / 5 stars from blogger @Rae_Slater. Read the review @chapterxchapter @month9books (Click to Tweet)


Special thanks to MaryAnn from Chapter-by-Chapter for organizing this blog tour, who also provided me with an ARC copy of THE NIGHT HOUSE, courtesy of the publisher, in return for an honest review.


  1. The premise sounds amazing. It sounds a bit familiar but overall, great review!

    1. Thank you! And the premise, itself, is pretty good overall :)

  2. I can't wait to read this book!

    1. Let me know when you get the chance! I'd love to hear what you have to say about it!

  3. Sorry but I noticed that when you tweet more than once, it does not add more entries to the amount of entries you already have...Um, is there a glitch or something?

    1. Hi, there! I wish I could answer your question; the rafflecopter and giveaway are sponsored by Month9Books, so, unfortunately, I can't say for certain if there is a glitch or some other problem with the widget. I do know that sometimes you need to wait a full twenty-four hours between entering a category a second time, or else the creator of the giveaway might not have selected the option to allow more points for extra tweets. I wish I could offer more information about it, but I hope this helps?

    2. Ohh okay, thank you, it does help.