Saturday, July 26, 2014

High Stakes by Brandy Schillace

This review was written by: C
Received: Free Electronic Copy from Author
Publication Date of Book: April 2014
Pages: 142
Stars: (4/5)

Short summary of the story:
Jacob Maresbeth is just your average sixteen-year-old boy, well, aside from his vampiric tendencies that is. As a child, Jacob developed a strange blood disorder that his father has come to call "epilemia." This disorder has a strange set of symptoms, including nocturnal habits, fast healing, and, of course, the consumption of blood.  This is why one should not be surprised that Jacob's sister, Lizzy, prefers to call him a vampire.

The story begins with Jacob and Lizzy being sent to live with their Aunt Sylvia, in Ohio, for two weeks. Aunt Syl is one of those great quirky english majors that possesses so many lovable qualities.  Of course, Jacob is less than thrilled to spend time with her and must keep up the appearance of being an invalid and the fact that he drinks blood, a secret. Aunt Syl seems to be a bit overbearing and loves to joke about Jacob's  "irritable bowels."  Jacob soon meets Syl's Hungarian research assistant, Zsófia. This beautiful graduate student just happens to be writing her dissertation on vampires (ironic right?). Soon Jacob is spending quite a bit of time with Zsófia and hoping that his love for her will be returned. The universe, however, has different plans. 

Jacob has a nasty habit of overeating when he's depressed, leading up to the fact that he drank about almost over a two weeks supply of blood. Why is this a problem? Well, now that he has met Zsófia, he plans to stay another two weeks so that he can spend even more time with her. Nothing can possibly go wrong as long as he rations the remaining packs of blood, but then strange things begin to happen. The remaining blood packs go missing and Jacob's health declines, bringing forth drastic changes in his demeanor and appearance. Perhaps Jacob's "epilemia" is a lot more than what his family believed it to be and Zsófia is definitely hiding a few secrets of her own.

I loved the fact that Brandy Schillace wove so much humor into this tale. Jacob possesses that lovable sarcastic humor that I absolutely adore! The sibling banter was also great and the witty remarks and comebacks kept me smiling and laughing the whole time. I also enjoyed the fact that this story was much more of a take on a modern day vampire. The possibility of vampirism being a disease was wonderful and refreshing, too. Overall, I found Jacob to be a protagonist that felt believable and real, and one that I would love to read more about.


  1. This sounds very interesting. I'll definitely have to read it!