The Silver Kiss
(August 1, 1992)
Another 'vampire' book that I read a long time ago (not as long ago as I could have given the book is sixteen years old, but I did read it several months ago) but this one is definitely YA. The Silver Kiss is one of the few books that I think (now this could be my memory failing me) is actually well suited for younger teens, too-maybe that's due to the year and it's recently that the sex and language has been so amped up, but either way this is just a good story.
Simon is still a good vampire-but not 'good' as in fluffy puppies and rainbows good, though. And Zoe is a very believable, very relateable sixteen-year-old. Zoe's mother is dying of cancer, no one's talking about it, and she's hardly allowed (by her father) to visit the hospital--it's in this lonely environment that Simon first visits her home and they strike up what could, I suppose, be called a friendship though not a normal one.
There is darkness to the story (Simon is still, after three centuries, trying to avenge his mother's death) and Zoe's mother is dying and she and her father are learning how to deal with the dying and the new situation they're finding themselves in. And Simon is frightening--both to Zoe and, if I remember right, himself.
This may not be a perfect story and I will be the first to admit that it's short (and was a very fast read for me) but I really enjoyed the way it wove the very human story of a girl dealing with losing her mother and growing up through it, with a low level love story of a teenager and a vampire who, while caring, is still a dark, not 'nice' creature. It might not be up to Twilight (it's not very long and Zoe and Simon's relationship really didn't seem the main focus--at least not romantically) but it would be a good book to read either between any of those book or after you finish them.