ARC Review – Blood Orange Soda by James Michael Larranaga

Title: Blood Orange Soda
Author: James Michael Larranaga
Series: No
Source: Received for review from Netgalley
Release Date: 3/15/2014

 Description from Goodreads:

Darius Hunter is a bullied high school freshman. When he drinks Blood Orange Soda to transform into a Vampire and earn respect, he soon learns life as a Vampire has its own challenges.

Set in the future on the rural landscape of St. Cloud, Minnesota where pre-Vampire teens are required by the government to take a daily Red pill to prevent their urge to bite, Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story of love, life and death.


This book was received from the publisher for review via Netgalley.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting when I read the description for Blood Orange Soda and decided to download it from Netgalley, but it definitely was not what I got.

For most of Blood Orange Soda, Darius is just a Goth, a pre-Vampire, who is being bullied at school. After standing up to his bully one day, and then agreeing to a one-on-one fight with him, he starts the transformation process into a Vampire and starts drinking Blood Orange Soda to speed up his transformation. Oh, he also meets Shelby, a girl who is also transforming into a Vampire.

I’ve got to admit that I seriously considered DNF’ing this one. For probably close to the first half of the book, I didn’t feel like much really happened, other than Darius agreeing to the fight and meeting Shelby. It was really a lot of day-to-day, tedious stuff. However, Blood Orange Soda does open with a funeral, so I was a little curious about who died.

Right about the halfway point, I felt like things picked up a bit. I started getting a weird feeling about Shelby and was curious to find out whether she was actually going to be good for Darius or the absolute wrong person. I also got a bit more curious about the funeral, the fight, and Darius’s mom’s health. These few things are what kept me reading, and I do believe that the story got better as it went.

It’s really hard to say too much about Blood Orange Soda, because it’s definitely a different take on vampires, and it was kind of weird but interesting at the same time.

Overall, I don’t think that Blood Orange Soda was a bad book, and it had a really good ending, but it’s hard to fully recommend it with how slow it was for me to get into. I guess give it a shot if you think it sounds good, and at least you’re forewarned?

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