“At an exclusive girls’ boarding school, a sixteen-year-old girl records her most intimate thoughts in a diary. The object of her obsession is her roommate, Lucy Blake, and Lucy’s friendship with their new and disturbing classmate. Ernessa is a mysterious presence with pale skin and hypnotic eyes. Around her swirl dark secrets and a series of ominous and violent disasters. As fear spreads through the school, fantasy and reality mingle into a waking nightmare of gothic menace, fuelled by the lusts and fears of adolescence. And at the centre of the diary is the question that haunts all those who read it: Is Ernessa really a vampire? Or is the narrator trapped in her own fevered imagination?”
I bought this for the school library thinking that it would go down really well with my students as vampires as mentioned in the tagline and it has an intriguing cover and title. I skimmed through the first pages just to see whether it seemed well-written and was hooked and ended up reading the whole thing myself before it even made it onto my library shelves. Bad librarian. Klein really has a way with language, the book is super creepy and involving and you never quite know what is going on. The question at the end of the blurb about whether Ernessa is really a vampire seems flippant and silly when mentioned in passing, but in fact it is in fact compelling and unnerving. This was a much better read than I expected and is very readable, despite its flaws, and not your typical teenage vampire novel, in fact not really a vampire novel at all. Klein adeptly creates a claustrophobic novel of teenage femininity and obsession.
First Line: ‘When Dr. Karl Wolff first suggesting publishing the journal that I kept during my junior year in boarding school, I though I hadn’t heard him correctly.’