Release Date: 25th January, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Emily Webb is a geek. And she's happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch horror flicks, she's never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she's definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls' boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates - also named Emily - is found mysteriously murdered.
The thing is, Emily doesn't know why she's doing this. By day, she's the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it's no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could do before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she's not just coming out of her shell . . . there's something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb something else entirely - something not human?
As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she's not the only one this is happening to - some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters - and how many people will they kill to get what they want?
When the lights go out, Emily Webb - the main character - becomes a different person. Literally. She turns into a total badass girl instead of her usual movie-book-geeky self. VESPER begins with a confidential interview transcript of someone going by the codename of Vesper 1 and another deemed with the name A. Savage. Now I don't know whether to call this book a paranormal or a mystery book, but with the mixed-in elements of both genres, I can see the appeal of this book and I enjoyed it enough by the time I reached its ending pages . . . though I can say it was definitely a different book to the one I expected to read.
It's rather unusual to have a male author write a book in a girl's perspective and I found that the debut author, Jeff Sampson, wrote a pretty realistic character. I found Emily Webb was very easy to relate to - or rather the geeky version of Emily, not the wilder one. Much like her, I love horror movies and I would rather stay home watching those movies instead of going to the high-school parties where out-of-control teens tend to hang out. Plus she has a stack of books in her room which reminds me of me. Like you didn't know that already. Anyway, when another girl named Emily dies . . . this Emily starts to become the other dead Emily and between the two it does - at times - becomes confusing and let's just say Emily is your modern day Jekyll & Hyde. But despite some of those confusing moments and the interesting transcripts that are placed between the chapters, I found the book quite entertaining, especially when you start putting all of the pieces together - ones that surrounded Emily's life - and also trying to solve the murder mysteries around her town. It was a heap of fun.
There's not a lot to say about this novel because for one, it would spoil it for you guys, and two, you will have to read this book to fully understand its concept because there's plenty to take in and you might get confused a little bit. But overall, the debut novel VESPER had many interesting details inside of it and the premise immediately had gotten my attention. And also, the story lived up to its beautiful, haunting cover. It's an awesome cover, right? While there's still many questions left unanwered, but I'm still looking forward to reading the sequel which will hit our shelves early 2012!
3 1/2 / 5 stars