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By Midnight

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April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception. Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception. Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students - and the only place her parents could find her a place, in the middle of term, in the middle of London, on incredibly short notice. So she's stuck with the super-rich, and the super-smart... and trying to fit in is when the rest of the students seem to be more glamorous, smarter, or more talented than she is, is more than tough. It's intimidating and isolating, even when she finds a friend in the conspiracy-theorist Caro Jackson - and perhaps finds something more than friendship in the gorgeous, mysterious Gabriel Swift. But there's more going on at Ravenwood than meets the eye. Practical jokes on new students are normal, but when Gabriel saves her from... something .... in the Highgate Cemetery, and then she discovers that a murder took place, just yards away from where she had been standing, April has to wonder if something more sinister is going on.... and whether or not she's going to live through it...


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April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception. Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted April Dunne is not impressed. She's had to move from Edinburgh to Highgate, London, with her parents. She's left her friends - and her entire life - behind. She has to start at a new school and, worst of all, now she's stuck in a creepy old dump of a house which doesn't even have proper mobile phone reception. Ravenwood, her new school, is a prestigious academy for gifted (financially or academically) students - and the only place her parents could find her a place, in the middle of term, in the middle of London, on incredibly short notice. So she's stuck with the super-rich, and the super-smart... and trying to fit in is when the rest of the students seem to be more glamorous, smarter, or more talented than she is, is more than tough. It's intimidating and isolating, even when she finds a friend in the conspiracy-theorist Caro Jackson - and perhaps finds something more than friendship in the gorgeous, mysterious Gabriel Swift. But there's more going on at Ravenwood than meets the eye. Practical jokes on new students are normal, but when Gabriel saves her from... something .... in the Highgate Cemetery, and then she discovers that a murder took place, just yards away from where she had been standing, April has to wonder if something more sinister is going on.... and whether or not she's going to live through it...

30 review for By Midnight

  1. 4 out of 5

    DayDreamer

    Okay, well the first bad thing that comes to mind is the line that basically Twilight said, and it's pretty bad, quote: "You're a honey trap for vampires. Everything about you is designed to draw them in: the way you look, the sound of your voice, even your smell." Not to mention pages after pages of long paragraphs dribbling on about nothing. Seriously - get to the point. And when it does get to the point, like Twilight , it all erupts at the end of the book. So basically you have to read up to Okay, well the first bad thing that comes to mind is the line that basically Twilight said, and it's pretty bad, quote: "You're a honey trap for vampires. Everything about you is designed to draw them in: the way you look, the sound of your voice, even your smell." Not to mention pages after pages of long paragraphs dribbling on about nothing. Seriously - get to the point. And when it does get to the point, like Twilight , it all erupts at the end of the book. So basically you have to read up to the last few pages to have the girl being thrown about and badly injured just to not make her a Mary Sue, which she kinda was in a way. Then , like the end of Twilight, she is in hospital with Garbriel and then it is revealed what she is on the last few pages...literally. So this book was really a Twilight wannabe. I hate when I read other reviews and they say that that book is like Twilight, well, this basically was trying to be. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure some of you loved it. It's all about taste, and quite frankly, I hated this book. Even worse, the blurb was good and I bought this in a hardback copy, which costs more. Please don't let the front cover or back cover or blurb fool you. This is definitely a book to send you to sleep with the masses of sentences that had no use to the story. What teen wants to read all that?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Vampires, death, school, love, friendship. This book was quite a fun read, and definitely better than I first anticipated it would be. It's a slow building story, so unless that's your thing you'll probably get bored a little quickly. It wasn't until over half way through the book that the story really got started and picked up. And for a while (after the big reveal) I thought it might all start going downhill. But it didn't, it stayed pretty awesome. There are plenty of twists and turns, 5 Words: Vampires, death, school, love, friendship. This book was quite a fun read, and definitely better than I first anticipated it would be. It's a slow building story, so unless that's your thing you'll probably get bored a little quickly. It wasn't until over half way through the book that the story really got started and picked up. And for a while (after the big reveal) I thought it might all start going downhill. But it didn't, it stayed pretty awesome. There are plenty of twists and turns, and as a reader I could really feel April's frustration - we knew as little as she did and just wanted to know everything! Although the secrets did get a little annoying and by the end you still don't know the big family secret. The ending of this book just smacks you in the face with a whole load of action and drama, but at the same time it wraps the story up nicely enough for there to be no immediate pressure for the next book. It's pretty self-contained, but because of that I'm even more likely to read on.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    April is deeply upset when her father takes a job at a small paper in London, and moves his wife and daughter from Edinburgh to do so. At first she is just miserable because she misses her friends and has to start a new school, Ravenwood, where many of the students are either stunningly beautiful or frighteningly clever. But then the deaths start, and April realises that she might be in danger as well. Suddenly there is no one she can trust — not even the beautiful and mysterious Gabriel, who Ap April is deeply upset when her father takes a job at a small paper in London, and moves his wife and daughter from Edinburgh to do so. At first she is just miserable because she misses her friends and has to start a new school, Ravenwood, where many of the students are either stunningly beautiful or frighteningly clever. But then the deaths start, and April realises that she might be in danger as well. Suddenly there is no one she can trust — not even the beautiful and mysterious Gabriel, who April is drawn towards. Set against the backdrop of Highgate in London, By Midnight tells a tale of love, loss and quiet horror. There are a lot of vampire stories around now, mostly thanks to the massive success of Twilight, and I have read a number of them. Some are definitely better than others. I regret to say that this is one of the worst that I have read, for various reasons which I will deal with at length shortly. Firstly, I wanted to mention the few parts of By Midnight that I did enjoy. One of these was the ‘Clueless’ style of the school, involving cliques and bitchiness and makeovers. Tasmina Perry (one half of the writing team) draws on her particular expertise from the bonkbuster-style novels she usually writes to make this aspect exciting and fresh. I also enjoyed the relationship between April and her father, William, which is heartfelt, warm and realistic. However, these facets of the novel are not enough to make it a compelling read. One of the reasons for this is the pacing, which seemed snail-like for the most part. If I was feeling charitable, I would term it a slow burn mystery, as the different parts of the story reveal their secrets — but, really, I just found it incredibly boring. It takes forever for the meat of the tale to begin, and then it is just very dull. I ended up skipping passages to get to ‘the good bit,’ but it never materialised. The climax of By Midnight begins incredibly close to the end of the book and whips past with little tension. Mia James (a nom de plume for a husband/wife writing team of John and Tasmina Perry) uses lengthy exposition in a clumsy manner to convey much of the back story: the use of dry textbooks to explain away the Highgate mystery; the long conversations between Gabriel and April, where he talks without any passion about vampires; a final discussion involving Miss Holden towards the end of the novel where an entirely new concept is dropped into the story in a dull paragraph of discourse. I appreciate that it can be difficult to convey history to the reader without long sections of explanation, but other authors have managed to do this successfully. In addition to this, Mia James employed another clumsy method of passing across information to the reader: that of two people being familiar with something discussing it for the benefit of the person reading By Midnight. In this case, April and her grandfather Thomas discuss a picture hanging in his house — a picture she has seen many, many times before, showing a portrait of one of her ancestors. Thomas reveals it is Alexander Hamilton, something April would have known. I find this unloading of information very frustrating and amateur. The dialogue does not read smoothly, often jarring the reader out of his or her immersion in By Midnight. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason for a character to say what they do. For instance: “I think you might be right,” she said. “No one laughs when you say Stonehenge has a certain feel to it, or even that a wedding ring does.” Umm, what now? What is the connection between Stonehenge and wedding rings? Who says that a wedding ring has a certain feel to it? I also felt extremely uncomfortable at Mia James’ fairly obvious ‘lifting’ of ideas from other, more popular, vampire stories. As an example, we have a section of dialogue in By Midnight that felt like blatant stealing from Twilight: “You’re a honey trap for vampires. Everything about you is designed to draw them in: the way you look, the sound of your voice, even your smell.” Edward says something extremely similar to Bella. In addition to this, the concept of Furies — girls born to hunt vampires, three a generation, destined to have super strength to combat vampires — sounds remarkably like another vampire slayer we all know and love. I don’t know whether Mia James was popping these in as an homage to the source material, but it made the novel feel like a rushed mish-mash of other vampire stories. The last point I want to make concerns the nature of the relationship between Gabriel and April. I found myself unable to accept it, because there seems to be no basis for their mutual attraction. I mean, I know teenagers do sometimes involve themselves with people purely based on looks (as do grown men and women) but I want to see more from my literary relationships! I want to see the characters connect with each other and talk, learn about each other and find things in common. Instead we have April mooning over Gabriel and saying things to herself like: "No, if she was honest, she was hoping that Gabriel Swift would decide he wanted to marry her, sweep her off to the Bahamas for a beautiful beach ceremony, and then, after a bout of amazing lovemaking, reveal that he was stupendously rich and personal friends with Justin Timberlake." At this point she has had a brief conversation with him, hasn’t even kissed him, and yet is thinking about marriage! In conclusion, I found this novel dull and unimaginative, with very few redeeming features. At my most cynical, I would say it is a blatant cash-in on the success of the Twilight novels, and that it fails on every level. There is plenty of very good YA fiction out there, some of which includes vampires. Please try something else rather than spend any time on By Midnight.

  4. 5 out of 5

    chucklesthescot

    OK why did I hate this book? I read the first 23 pages and it seems well written enough despite the usual plot of girl-goes-to-snobby-school-and-is-picked-on-by-bitches-then-spooky-stuff-happens. I thought maybe it might be better than some of these school based crappies that I've read recently. Instead the author managed to totally piss me off with her continued negative steriotypes of Edinburgh and Scotland which were totally untrue and give a very false and inaccurate view of life here, making OK why did I hate this book? I read the first 23 pages and it seems well written enough despite the usual plot of girl-goes-to-snobby-school-and-is-picked-on-by-bitches-then-spooky-stuff-happens. I thought maybe it might be better than some of these school based crappies that I've read recently. Instead the author managed to totally piss me off with her continued negative steriotypes of Edinburgh and Scotland which were totally untrue and give a very false and inaccurate view of life here, making it sound as appealing as going to Siberia in January. It does NOT always rain and freeze you to death up here. Her comments that you need to always wear wool to keep warm and that you get a few weeks of weak sun every year are total nonsense and make us sound like we live in the coldest place in the world. The weather is much colder in winter in both the USA and Canada than it is here. We have a mostly mild climate with sunny or cold days just like everyone else. The comment that there is no autumn in cities in Scotland is also complete tosh. There are trees EVERYWHERE up here and autumn colours are spectacular to look at in Scotland as my Canadian friend who visited in September was commenting. And you get foxes everywhere in urban areas thank you very much. Ms James, you need to get your facts right when you write about a place and our tourist board does not need you telling a world of readers that you'll freeze to death in dreary, colourless Scotland.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Todd

    By Midnight is one of those hard books to review. I won't give a recap of the plot outline as this has already been done, instead give my thoughts while I was reading it. The first was that By Midnight isn't at all what you think its going to be. While reading the back in the bookshop the other day I thought, I kinda want to read this, but feel like I've already read it. Couldn't have been further from the truth. While yes, By Midnight has supernatural elements and the good old fashioned human-vam By Midnight is one of those hard books to review. I won't give a recap of the plot outline as this has already been done, instead give my thoughts while I was reading it. The first was that By Midnight isn't at all what you think its going to be. While reading the back in the bookshop the other day I thought, I kinda want to read this, but feel like I've already read it. Couldn't have been further from the truth. While yes, By Midnight has supernatural elements and the good old fashioned human-vampire trysts, it isn't the main focal point of the book. It reads more like Ruth Rendell, just with a few vamps chucked into the mix - a whodunit for teens and vamp lovers. The characters at times are grating but it doesn't distract too much from the story but my biggest complaint is all the loose ends. Don't get me wrong, its clear from the beginning this is going to be the first in a series, but still, readers like a few answers after 400 odd pages, not more questions. Anyway, I'd be more inclined to recommend this to mystery lovers than paranormal romance lovers as there is very little of this in the actual book, despite what it says on the cover. I will be buying the sequel when it *eventually* comes out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deni's Inkberries

    Alright.. So I got this, and there really were parts I enjoyed. Yet, still, I have to agree, the book really did go on, and on, and on. Unbearable at some point! -Spoilers Ahead- I won't say it's a bad book; because it isn't. I've overlooked the whole quote from Twilight thing, seriously guys, we get it. I read many reviews about it as well, but still, we get it. Taken from Twilight, yada yada. Now, one thing I truly adored about it, was the amount of research put into it. Really, who can do so muc Alright.. So I got this, and there really were parts I enjoyed. Yet, still, I have to agree, the book really did go on, and on, and on. Unbearable at some point! -Spoilers Ahead- I won't say it's a bad book; because it isn't. I've overlooked the whole quote from Twilight thing, seriously guys, we get it. I read many reviews about it as well, but still, we get it. Taken from Twilight, yada yada. Now, one thing I truly adored about it, was the amount of research put into it. Really, who can do so much about a cemetary and find so much as well; then make a story on it that is eerie and chilling enough? I enjoyed learning about it! Of course, it being a vampire story was a little.. bland. Vampires are getting old, specially when they're used pointlessly, just to add dazzle into the story. Though in this one.. I couldnt quite judge. I liked Gabriel a lot, he was a very sweet, careful character. April was a bit of a bipolar person. One minute she was screaming her head off, the next she's stammering. That was a bit annoying when it went for everything she did, and she ended up over-doing her outbursts :I And the Fury thing.. Yeah, didn't fit so well with me. For some reason, I found it a bit overcrowding in the plot however it made way to the second book so I'll see where this goes. -Spoilers Finished- But overall, I've found that people look at it from a more romantic point of view, and call it dissapointing or bad.. but if you look at it from a thriller, action, mystery point of view, it really IS worth a read! Not that much romance in it at all, actually. Even though I'm a very avid reader or love stories, I have to say, I enjoyed this book. I would LOVE to read more about Gabe and April's romance though, hopefully the next installment will be full of it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    My biggest problem (when it comes to my unhealthy book obsession ;D) is I cannot just put the book down and walk away when I'm not enjoying it. I have to read the entire book. Word for word. Top to bottom. Counting the pages until it ends. And so on and so on...and that is how i feel about "By Midnight". The characters were lifeless. There was no connection, no passion between any of the characters. Not with friendship, family or the love interest. I could feel the author trying but it never real My biggest problem (when it comes to my unhealthy book obsession ;D) is I cannot just put the book down and walk away when I'm not enjoying it. I have to read the entire book. Word for word. Top to bottom. Counting the pages until it ends. And so on and so on...and that is how i feel about "By Midnight". The characters were lifeless. There was no connection, no passion between any of the characters. Not with friendship, family or the love interest. I could feel the author trying but it never really got there. Nothing was believable. I will give two thumbs up for the cover because that's what made me pick it up and buy in the first place. *sigh* the covers get me every time. And what makes everything worse is that when the next book comes out in this series I will most likely go out and but it. :D

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Rogers

    I loved this book it. I cried and i laughed but i thought that she acted silly because i thought that the she was a bit simple. but it just made her like a normal teenager. i hope i dont have to wait 4 years for the next ravenwood mystery as it is left open for a series and i am like please please be another i felt lost without it. The plot murders are happening all of the village and then when one happens to someone close to her she vows to find out who did and why not knowing she could be in mo I loved this book it. I cried and i laughed but i thought that she acted silly because i thought that the she was a bit simple. but it just made her like a normal teenager. i hope i dont have to wait 4 years for the next ravenwood mystery as it is left open for a series and i am like please please be another i felt lost without it. The plot murders are happening all of the village and then when one happens to someone close to her she vows to find out who did and why not knowing she could be in more danger than anyone in finding the murder

  9. 4 out of 5

    April

    I really liked this book. It's a mixture between fallen and twilight only so much better...I liked the twists in it and the emotions that are so much stronger than twilight, and April is so much better than Bella because she has more depth to her and Gabriel isnt everything and all that. The weirdest thing about it was my name is April and it was really strange reading my name all the time haha but i would recommend it to everyone who like paranormal romance!!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I love it!! I am so excited for the next one!! This is one book that has a twist your never get!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    April isn't happy about being forced to leave Edinburgh behind to move to London with her parents - all because her father lost his job. She is struggling to fit in at her new school and make friends but things get even worse when she almost witnesses a murder. Strange things are happening at Ravenwood but who can she trust to help her solve the mystery? Being a massive vampire fan I was really looking forward to reading By Midnight, especially as it is set in London which I thought would add som April isn't happy about being forced to leave Edinburgh behind to move to London with her parents - all because her father lost his job. She is struggling to fit in at her new school and make friends but things get even worse when she almost witnesses a murder. Strange things are happening at Ravenwood but who can she trust to help her solve the mystery? Being a massive vampire fan I was really looking forward to reading By Midnight, especially as it is set in London which I thought would add something special to the story. Unfortunately I ended up feeling disappointed. I know a lot of people who have loved this story but I'm going to have to go against the trend and say it just wasn't for me. The best thing about the book was the setting, I have to give Mia James (this is actually husband & wife team Tasmina & John Perry working together) credit for the great job they did with the Gothic feel of the novel. I loved the descriptions of Highgate Cemetery and as you're reading it really was like being on location. Unfortunately the rest of the story just didn't live up to my expectations. When I'm reading a story I need to have a main character I can relate to - or at least like - but I struggled with April. Yes I can understand how hard it must have been for her having to move away from everything that is familiar to her and start again at a new school and I felt sorry for her at first but I quickly got fed up with her woe is me attitude and constant whinging. She was selfish, self obsessed and childish and I didn't find her a very likeable character. The characters I actually liked the most were her friends Fiona and Caro, both of whom I could have happily spent more time reading about. As for the main love interest Gabriel I didn't get to know enough about him to be interested in him in any way. All you really know is that he's gorgeous and has secrets he can't tell April yet April is madly in love with him within days despite the fact they've never had a proper conversation. I love a good mysterious bad boy but I have to feel like there is some connection between the main characters and for me it just wasn't there between April & Gabriel. Even by the end of the book I really didn't care if they ended up together or not. I found the story really dragged, it took me ages to finish a book that I would usually have finished within 2 days because I couldn't face picking it up again. I'll admit that I should have just given up but I'm one of those readers who has the "I've started so I'll finish" attitude and I had to know what would happen at the end. The action did pick up but it felt like everything happened in the last few chapters and the rest of the book was too long winded. I understand that with the first book in a series there is a lot of world building to be done but having read a lot of series I know other authors usually manage to do this in a way that doesn't leave the reader wanting to fall asleep. I don't think it helped that the copy I read had several inconsistencies with days and lengths of time since things happened but the book I read was an ARC so hopefully this has been resolved in the final version. There were mentions of Robert Pattinson and Justin Timberlake that I think will date the story relatively quickly and I felt were just thrown in to appeal to the teen audience. I was also surprised at the passage that had been taken almost word for word from Twilight, I'm not sure how that got through the editing. ~~~SPOILER ALERT~~~ Usually I really like it when an author puts a new twist on vampire mythology but on this occasion it just didn't make sense. To become a vampire you have to be bitten by another vampire to get infected with the vampire virus (the virus constantly destroys your bodies cells which forces the body to make new ones which keeps you looking young) however you have to somehow choose to let the virus infect you - not everyone who is bitten is turned. (I wish I could choose not to let viruses effect me and never have to suffer another cold again!). If you want to stop being a vampire you can cure yourself though, all you have to do is kill the vampire that initially infected you & it will neutralise the curse (hang on a minute I thought it was a virus, where does that curse come into it??). Next time someone passes a cold onto me I'll have to remember that if I kill them the virus will somehow magically know that I don't want to be infected anymore! You can also get vampires who are born to 2 vampire parents - I dread to think what they'd have to do to cure themselves (watch out Mum & Dad!). Come on, if you're going to create a mythology at least have one that makes sense. Another thing that was never really explained was the fact that vampires don't show up in photos or on film (apart from as a blurred image). I would have liked to know the reasoning behind this and thought a handy time to explain would have been when Gabriel made a joke about how silly it would be if vampires didn't show up in mirrors. Not sure why he thought that would be so silly considering what happens if you try to take a picture of one of them! ~~~END SPOILER~~~ Although there is an interesting twist at the end of the story and I'm curious about what will happen in the sequel I don't think I can bring myself to carry on reading the series. As witnessed by plenty of other reviews out there I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy the story but personally I'd say with the number of YA vampire books currently on the market there are plenty of better options available.

  12. 4 out of 5

    CeCe

    Unlike many people I loved Twilight and want to read similar books to that story. So when I read the synopsis and then the author's intro, I was excited to start this one. However, I was EXTREMELY disappointed. I found myself skimming because I did not get the point. With Gabriel more or less hiding in the shadows all the time, it felt like a creep was always wondering around. Every single thing in this story dragged. April trying to fit in and thinking every boy she comes across is cute, made he Unlike many people I loved Twilight and want to read similar books to that story. So when I read the synopsis and then the author's intro, I was excited to start this one. However, I was EXTREMELY disappointed. I found myself skimming because I did not get the point. With Gabriel more or less hiding in the shadows all the time, it felt like a creep was always wondering around. Every single thing in this story dragged. April trying to fit in and thinking every boy she comes across is cute, made her look desperate. It felt like she was just looking for her next hook-up. Yes, I know she is 16 years old, but after awhile it became old. April is a whiny, selfish brat who should have been grateful that after her father lost his job that she had a roof over her head and food on the table. The bottom line, the heroine was not likable and the story dragged on and on and on.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I absolutely loved this book as it was a totaly different type of vampire book to twilight. This meant that I was pretty much drawn to it straight away and im glad I ended up reading it. So if you enjoy books like twilight etc. but want to read a book that is quite a bit different, you would probably enjoy this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Winged_One

    Can I smack her? Can I? It started to pick up 80% of the way through the book, but April didn't mature or wise up even when she started to know the truth. I couldn't finish it because she continued to annoy me so much.

  15. 4 out of 5

    royaevereads

    A fun, easy read although I often didn’t find the main character’s behaviour/reactions believable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andie

    http://themoonlitbookshelf.blogspot.d... My thoughts: I discovered By Midnight by accident on Goodreads and since the synopsis sounded interesting, I wanted to read it. And I am glad that I did, because I really enjoyed this book despite its flaws. I knew that this book would be about vampires after I've read the German synopsis, but this book was more than just the typical -girl falls in love with boy and then finds out that he's a vampire- paranormal novel. There was something going on at Ravenw http://themoonlitbookshelf.blogspot.d... My thoughts: I discovered By Midnight by accident on Goodreads and since the synopsis sounded interesting, I wanted to read it. And I am glad that I did, because I really enjoyed this book despite its flaws. I knew that this book would be about vampires after I've read the German synopsis, but this book was more than just the typical -girl falls in love with boy and then finds out that he's a vampire- paranormal novel. There was something going on at Ravenwood, there was a mystery surrounding this school and as a reader you really wanted to find out the secrets behind it. And then there were these murders that needed to be solved and I was surprised when April's family member was murdered all of a sudden. I didn't expect this to happen because I got used to this character and I really liked him, thus I was sad when he was gone. Normally, many YA books start off with a protagonist that is grieving the loss of a parent or a loved one, but here, it was different because you first get to know this specific character and then you are as surprised and sad as the main character is when this person dies. That way, I could really sympathize with April a lot more and I really felt her grief. Unfortunately, the story got a little annoying and predictable from that moment on. April started to act a little childish and she was too self-centered for my taste, especially when she was around her friends. I didn't like how she treated Caro and Gabriel. But maybe the author has done this on purpose in order to show us that this was just the way April handled her grief. I liked Gabriel more than I liked April and I found that he was an interesting character, but the romance between the two was not as great as I would have liked it to be, and this was mainly due to the fact that April treated Gabriel badly. She mistrusted him, accused him and screamed at him and he was really kind and saved her many times, so I really couldn't understand why she was behaving that way. I know, she has lost a dear person, but that doesn't give her the right to treat other people badly. Still, I enjoyed this story because of its mystery elements and although you know from the beginning that this story will revolve around vampires, there are still so many things that will keep you guessing and you just want to find out who is responsible for the murders. What I also liked about this book was that it was set in London and I found it fascinating to learn more about this mysterious city and about Highgate. Conclusion: All in all, By Midnight was an engrossing read full of mystery, interesting characters and intrigue. I definitely want to read the sequel Darkness Falls in the near future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Sfetsos

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. April Dunne is sixteen years old and has just moved to Highgate in north London. She's not happy about having to leave Edinburgh behind, where all of her friends and even her crush lives. But her father has found himself a new job here--he's an investigative journalist who also writes books about conspiracies and other strange phenomena. Having her parents argue all the time, and being distant from her mother doesn't help. Not to mention that she's pretty sure her parents, and even her grandfath April Dunne is sixteen years old and has just moved to Highgate in north London. She's not happy about having to leave Edinburgh behind, where all of her friends and even her crush lives. But her father has found himself a new job here--he's an investigative journalist who also writes books about conspiracies and other strange phenomena. Having her parents argue all the time, and being distant from her mother doesn't help. Not to mention that she's pretty sure her parents, and even her grandfather, are keeping secrets from her. Having to attend the prestigious school called Ravenwood doesn't improve things. Everyone's either super rich, or super intelligent. Still, meeting a conspiracy-nut called Caro, and the gorgeous Gabriel help matters a little. Yet, things don't seem to be normal in Highgate. People act strange around her, especially the boys. But she figures it's just because she's the new girl. When a murder happens in the nearby cemetery and Gabriel saves her, April's life begins to spiral downward. Suddenly, she finds herself in the middle of some very scary situations, one of which takes her father away from her. Determined to get to the bottom of it, she begins to suspect everyone, and is determined to find out who killed her father. Putting her own life on the line. And when she finds out the truth about who and what she really is, it will challenge everything she's ever believed. I absolutely loved every moment of it, and couldn't wait to get back to reading. April seems like such an average girl dealing with typical teenage angst after having to start fresh in the middle of the school year in a new school. But life throws some very serious and painful things her way, things that normal teens don't have to deal with. Being forced to face a myth that actually turns out to be a reality, after she argued with her father about it just before he died, makes everything that little bit harder to deal with. By Midnight was brilliant! Everything about this story was drenched in suspense so thick that every time I turned to a new page, it was with a combination of excitement and anticipation. I couldn't get enough of the events and enjoyed how they slowly unravelled the mystery of Ravenwood, leading to a very violent conclusion. I loved this book so much. It's intriguing, heartbreaking, interesting, deep, and just... wonderful. An absolute page-turner. April was a great character to get to know, and I liked Gabriel. I found him to be an enigma, but I never suspected him. I also love that the vampire lore has been challenged here, introduced, and dealt with in a very unique way.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I was left at the end of it with loads of questions and am intrigued about where the series will go in the long run as quite a few interesting story threads have been set up. The whole was interesting as a whole as it was told from a whodunnit angle. I haven't read a vampire book that has taken this angle before and the whole story arc kept me guessing throughout as I was trying to 'solve' the crimes committed as the characters were also trying to do the same. I f I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I was left at the end of it with loads of questions and am intrigued about where the series will go in the long run as quite a few interesting story threads have been set up. The whole was interesting as a whole as it was told from a whodunnit angle. I haven't read a vampire book that has taken this angle before and the whole story arc kept me guessing throughout as I was trying to 'solve' the crimes committed as the characters were also trying to do the same. I found myself getting paranoid and not knowing know to trust more and more as the book went on. The setting of Highgate made for a good setting and I enjoyed the scenes at school. I am a little puzzled about why April is actually at Ravenwood being that she is neither rich nor gifted but I am hoping that it becomes clear as the series progresses. That said that is one of many questions I have about the school and the whole set up. One of the strengths of this book for me was the characters. There were a whole host of intriging charcaters both main and secondary who I enjoyed. April was very sweet and normal. I like that she was dizzy and had to deal with all of the hundreds of random things that normal teenagers have to deal with as well as being in the situation she finds herself in. I enjoyed the relationships she had with her friends Fee and Caro and how it differed from the relationship she had with Davina one of the 'faces' and the one with Gabriel (I am dying to see where that one goes). My absolute stand out favourite character of the book had to be Miss Townley the 80 year old librarian and despite the fact she had a very small part in the book I loved everything about her. I especially enjoyed the line "break the spine on one of my books and I'll break yours" Definately a woman I can relate to. I wasn't all that keen with the idea of Furies (I won;t say much about it as I don't want to spoil it for others who haven't read the book yet) especially when the idea of a guardian was also introduced as it it seems to be a clear whedonesque slayer/watcher rip off, but I haven't seen too much of the whole set up to judge outright yet. Definately a series I will be looking out for in the future. I have hundreds of questions whirling round my head which I am dying to have answered.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mel Campbell

    I just noticed this book on a pile of books I was hoping to sell secondhand. I remember enjoying it even though it's quite clumsily written (though, as I've observed before, that seems to be par for the course in supernatural YA romance) and owes an obvious debt to Twilight, especially the idea that the vampire hero is attracted to our heroine not because of her intelligence or personality or even really her looks, but some gross, objectifying quality like her scent or her blood or her latent po I just noticed this book on a pile of books I was hoping to sell secondhand. I remember enjoying it even though it's quite clumsily written (though, as I've observed before, that seems to be par for the course in supernatural YA romance) and owes an obvious debt to Twilight, especially the idea that the vampire hero is attracted to our heroine not because of her intelligence or personality or even really her looks, but some gross, objectifying quality like her scent or her blood or her latent powwuhs. This is a fantasy for teenage girls who yearn to be special, and to be recognised for that specialness despite being quite ordinary. So how better than to claim their specialness operates in a supernatural register that's only recognisable by other supernatural beings? But at the same time it's the reason why I could never get into the Twilight books: this completely passive, gormless protagonist who's acted upon rather than an actor. By far the best aspect of the book was its setting in and around Highgate Cemetery in London. I'd read about this cemetery before in Falling Angels , and about its historical context in Necropolis: London and Its Dead . I enjoyed the way James presents the cemetery as a teenager's playground: a place that has new scariness and romance for young people today rather than being a space for contemplation of past eras. I only just looked the book up now on Goodreads to see if James has written any sequels, because by the time I reached the end of this one it ended on a total cliffhanger that suggested it was only really the pilot episode, if you will, for a long-running series. Also, I have a weakness for 'school stories' and I was looking forward to reading more about Ravenwood Academy. God help me. God help us all.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    **Spoilers** This book for me sounded far better than what it actually was. I liked April as a character but she became annoying after a while. She gets so caught up in herself all of the time, she doesn't stop to realise that other people have problems too. I also think she has a serious case of bipolar. One minute were head over heels for Gabriel the next minute we think he is the murderer, we hate him, then we love him... I just found it hard to keep up with April's emotions. She seems to jump **Spoilers** This book for me sounded far better than what it actually was. I liked April as a character but she became annoying after a while. She gets so caught up in herself all of the time, she doesn't stop to realise that other people have problems too. I also think she has a serious case of bipolar. One minute were head over heels for Gabriel the next minute we think he is the murderer, we hate him, then we love him... I just found it hard to keep up with April's emotions. She seems to jump from one to the other when if she just took a bit of time and slowed down she may have actually been able to learn and judge people better. Gabriel was pretty cool, yet the mysterious 'I can't tell you the truth just yet' started to piss me off. I mean why bother leading her on if you're not going to tell April the truth? I didn't like the ending.. Yes Gabriel went all badass and heroic giving her the kiss of life and helping her live even though he was dooming himself to a sickly death. (Normally I love that stuff and love a boy who would do anything to save the girl he loves) But it just didnt do it for me this time. It all seemed rushed, their whole relationship went by in a whirlwind. They went from barely knowing each other to full on were in love with one another. I just didn't see how their relationship could jump straight to that when only hours/days (Im not sure how much time passed) before April thought he was the murderer. Caro is just weird... (enough said) and Simon, did anyone else get the feeling he was gay>? I know he had all these hot dates that Caro was jealous of but I got the vibe that he was gay. :):) I HATED how the people speaking used the word 'honey' it was there all of the time. It made me want to throw the book, I just hate it... (I know im ranting :P) It just annoyed me. Overall not a terrible book but I can't see myself reading it again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Serendipity Reviews

    As soon as I discovered that this book was set in Highgate Cemetery I had to read it. Highgate Cemetery is just one of those places that is a character in itself and one I am desperate to visit. This book did not disappoint in giving it its own omnipresent character status, looming supernaturally over the whole story, shrouding it within darkness and weaving ghostly threads throughout the whole book. This book has the creep factor, leaving you shivering at the thought of it. I loved the fact tha As soon as I discovered that this book was set in Highgate Cemetery I had to read it. Highgate Cemetery is just one of those places that is a character in itself and one I am desperate to visit. This book did not disappoint in giving it its own omnipresent character status, looming supernaturally over the whole story, shrouding it within darkness and weaving ghostly threads throughout the whole book. This book has the creep factor, leaving you shivering at the thought of it. I loved the fact that it was a vampire book set in the UK for a change and I am really pleased to see that it can be pulled off and feels authentic. Mia James has managed to give this book a Gothic Victorian atmosphere in modern day London. Mia is a bit like Buffy but with a twist. This book is definitely more Buffy than Twilight. She begins the book as a typical teenager with all the anger against her parents for spoiling her social life. Yet as the book progresses, Mia has to do a lot of growing up very quickly, as events take a serious and sinister turn. Ravenwood has just as much presence as Highgate Cemetery and probably wouldn't be my first choice of school for my kids. Eeep! The tension within the story builds with each following chapters and you begin to feel a little fearful for Mia's safety. However Gabriel is on hand to sweep her off to safety and actually gives 'love conquers all' a whole new meaning. Definitely one to make your heart leap. Although I did struggle a bit with the instant love between them. This book has some surprising twists and turns throughout the book and as I neared the end, I began to panic as I could not see how it would end happily. So much seemed left unsaid and then...... Bam! The true identity of the murderer is revealed. Safe at last. I did enjoy reading this book and feel quite at home in its dark and stifling atmosphere. I am really looking forward to the second book in the series 'Darkness Falls' which comes out very soon.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carmen G

    I liked this book, read it in one go! It could keep me intrigued all the time, and that's gotta be worth something! Btw, make sure to check out the videos at http://www.ravenwoodmysteries.com/, they rock! This book touched me deep, because some things I can very much relate to and I really do understand the pain April goes through, it cuts me like a knife. Okay, there are vampires in this book and yes they can walk in daylight, but at least they don't sparkle ^^ You just don't notice anything spe I liked this book, read it in one go! It could keep me intrigued all the time, and that's gotta be worth something! Btw, make sure to check out the videos at http://www.ravenwoodmysteries.com/, they rock! This book touched me deep, because some things I can very much relate to and I really do understand the pain April goes through, it cuts me like a knife. Okay, there are vampires in this book and yes they can walk in daylight, but at least they don't sparkle ^^ You just don't notice anything special about them... Does anybody even know they are vampires at all? Is there really such a thing like vampires? If you read this book, you would actually start believing it! Also the mention of Robert Pattinson (read the book, I swear!) cracked me up whaha. That anyone dares putting his name in a vampire novel, wow respect haha. Probably one of the best things about the book! If you like that sort of stuff, that is... I also liked the fact that it all happens in London and that it's all connected to history. References to Jack the Ripper and stuff really made sense. The book is an easy read and very well written, you get what they are talking about. There is some heavy stuff in there too, but they way it's written, it all makes perfect sense. I'm pretty sure there will be a sequel. At least, I hope there will be, because else this is really gonna suck! Because it has such an open ending and so many things still need to be figured out and taken care of. It just can NOT end here, seriously. That's also the annoying part, why can't I just pick up a book anymore lately to read as a stand alone? *sigh* But the characters in this book were very interesting and I seriously want to read more about them (Gabriel <3) So, bring on the next one! Can't wait for it!!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wee Shubba's World

    I bought this book for two reasons. Firstly, I was drawn to this book because of the cover (I know I shouldnt but I tend to always go for the cover first) It really stands out and captures the darkness in the story. Secondly, it is set in England, I found this a great change from most YA books in this genre being set in America. By Midnight its a very good read and really keeps you interested from start to finish. By Midnight takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that I found myself crying on a I bought this book for two reasons. Firstly, I was drawn to this book because of the cover (I know I shouldnt but I tend to always go for the cover first) It really stands out and captures the darkness in the story. Secondly, it is set in England, I found this a great change from most YA books in this genre being set in America. By Midnight its a very good read and really keeps you interested from start to finish. By Midnight takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that I found myself crying on a few occasions. The Characters are a bunch of very interesting people good and bad. My favourite are April, Gabriel and Caro. April is very sweet and normal girl, who is dealing with all the normal teenage stuff as well and finding out some OMG stuff about herself. Gabriel, well what can I say about Gabriel is very mysterious and always seem to pop up in unexpected places. April and Gabriels relationship is a great read because it is all about romance, (actually there isnt alot of romance in the story) its more about the mystery behind the story that keeps the relationship between very intriging. Caro is probably my fave character. She doesn't fit in amoung the "Faces" at Ravenwood. She is funny, a little sarcastic and she believes in conspiracies. Mia James (wife and husband writing team, Tasmina Perry an John Perry) has manage to creature a story with mystery, romance, anger and fear with twists and turns I truely didn't see coming However, By Midnight loses half a star because because there is one bit (I wont say what) that it taken straight from Twilight nearly word for word. Overall though, a fantastic read that I recommend to anyone to loves a good paranormal mystery. And I am really looking forward for the next installement of The Ravenwood Mysteries. (Not suitable for younger readers due to some of the language)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer H.

    I have always admired authors that give their story/characters ample time to build and develop. I love lush details and descriptions, and digging deep into a characters mind to find out what makes them tick. It can make any 400+ page book fly by where you are so caught up in it that you want to savor every word, every page until the very end. Unfortunately, for me, that wasn't the case with "By Midnight" by Mia James. It truly felt like I had been reading this book for MONTHS. (Instead of just o I have always admired authors that give their story/characters ample time to build and develop. I love lush details and descriptions, and digging deep into a characters mind to find out what makes them tick. It can make any 400+ page book fly by where you are so caught up in it that you want to savor every word, every page until the very end. Unfortunately, for me, that wasn't the case with "By Midnight" by Mia James. It truly felt like I had been reading this book for MONTHS. (Instead of just one month.) It took FOREVER to get to the point that I found myself taking breaks from it numerous times. In my opinion, it could have been scaled down to 200+ pages and been so much better. Too. Much. Filler. The main character April never brought nothing new to the table. Gabriel - the "love interest" - was stereotyped, but atleast had enough mystery to keep me reading...when he was present, that is. He was practically non-existant through the majority of the book. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a teenager who can stand on her own two feet without the need of "the guy" constantly around her to keep them both interesting. But I also appreciate the little "give and take" interactions that make me want to root for them as a couple. I didn't have that here. It wasn't until there was about 100 pages left that it really started to pick up and Gabriel was thrust into the spotlight, but at that point it was "too little, too late". Even when the climax finally hit and April got all her answers, I was still underwhelmed. I felt like the author had a great story going in, but with all the filler nonsense, it just fell apart. I won this book through the First Reads giveaway @ Goodreads. It was my very first win and I feel it was sadly wasted.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well for a book that started off quite quickly, it sure was a slow crawl to the end. Honestly, I'm not going to bother with the sequel, even though nothing was really resolved. The story starts with April moving into her new home in London after leaving a comfortable home and life in Scotland. She's enrolled at a prestigious school for the rich, the beautiful and the smart. First off, I'm kind of sick of the whole 'poor me I had to move to a new home and a new school and now I have to fit in amon Well for a book that started off quite quickly, it sure was a slow crawl to the end. Honestly, I'm not going to bother with the sequel, even though nothing was really resolved. The story starts with April moving into her new home in London after leaving a comfortable home and life in Scotland. She's enrolled at a prestigious school for the rich, the beautiful and the smart. First off, I'm kind of sick of the whole 'poor me I had to move to a new home and a new school and now I have to fit in amongst all these people who are smarter and more beautiful than me' plot line, especially since it seems to lead into some angsty teen vampire novel. The book was actually quite interesting until I realised it was another vampire novel. The love interest - Gabriel - was compeltely unappealing to me, and had no personality whatsoever. Things just seemed to go downhill. It was a slow and painful journey to get to the end. There was definitely not enough action to satisfy me. I couldn't put a face to April because she was so bland and had no personality. There were no interesting characters at all. I didn't like Caro at all, she was annoying. April's parents (mainly mother) were stupid. I felt sorry that her father died but honestly her mother was a complete idiot. In fact I don't really feel like talking much more about this book because it was completely forgettable.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meg Moggs

    I liked this book. It was unusual, and I liked the fact that the concept of 'vampire' changed again in this book. The vampires can go out in daylight, without sparkling, burning etc. but they do not show up on camera or video records. The story itself was quite good-April Dunne is happy with her life, until she has to move to a dull village called Highgate. She has to attend a posh school for the super rich and the genii of the country, and fitting in will be a real challenge. She finds friendsh I liked this book. It was unusual, and I liked the fact that the concept of 'vampire' changed again in this book. The vampires can go out in daylight, without sparkling, burning etc. but they do not show up on camera or video records. The story itself was quite good-April Dunne is happy with her life, until she has to move to a dull village called Highgate. She has to attend a posh school for the super rich and the genii of the country, and fitting in will be a real challenge. She finds friendship in conspiracy-theorist Caro, and together they try to piece together the mystery surrounding the school: the disappearance of several students, with no proper explanation or further contact. All the while, April becomes aware of the mysterious Gabriel Swift. She doesn't understand his hostility at their first meeting, but gradually they get closer as friends and possibly more (don't want to reveal too much, even though it's kinda obvious). The main part of the story ties itself up, but the book did finish with a cliffhanger. Anyone know if there's a sequel? I hope there is, it was an enjoyable read that kept me hooked :).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    This book was absolutely amazing, better than i had expected! There is already the blurb of the book instead I will give you my thoughts on the book. This book has great detail on scenes and the description on the characters. Mia gives the reader mixed emotions on how the character is feeling which makes you feel like you are feeling the exact same way as the character. If you are looking for a paranormal romance and a mystery this would be a great book for you, especially for those twilight fan This book was absolutely amazing, better than i had expected! There is already the blurb of the book instead I will give you my thoughts on the book. This book has great detail on scenes and the description on the characters. Mia gives the reader mixed emotions on how the character is feeling which makes you feel like you are feeling the exact same way as the character. If you are looking for a paranormal romance and a mystery this would be a great book for you, especially for those twilight fans. This book is being compared to twilight although, i somewhat see the similarites. No offence to the twilight fans but, i preferred by midnight than twilight and preferred April & Gabriel than edward and bella. I'm sick of books always being compared to twilight, honestly i think that books have their own individual quality. Off the topic of twilight i give this a rating of 5/5. I can't wait to read the next chapter of the series because it left me wanting to read more. This book is a turn pager from start to finish! I highly recommend to young adults.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Two stars feels like a push for this book. If you ignore the obvious 'I-spawned-from-Twilight' feel of the whole thing, it was forgettable. I've read just this kind of thing before, and I was really drawn in by the blurb just to be disappointed. I was also disappointed (because there are not enough in YA fiction) that the author was British because... well. April was selfish, nearly insufferable to read at some points, and the only redeeming thing I can think of is that some teenagers are, unfor Two stars feels like a push for this book. If you ignore the obvious 'I-spawned-from-Twilight' feel of the whole thing, it was forgettable. I've read just this kind of thing before, and I was really drawn in by the blurb just to be disappointed. I was also disappointed (because there are not enough in YA fiction) that the author was British because... well. April was selfish, nearly insufferable to read at some points, and the only redeeming thing I can think of is that some teenagers are, unfortunately like this. But not all of them and I have no desire to read about one. The story didn't gel together at all and it was so long with no need to be. April's thoughts were thrown at us time and time again and honestly, I wasn't interested in them. I would not recommend this book. I usually try and continue a series once I've started it, even if I'm not crazy about, but I will definitely not be reading any future books in this series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashton Willson

    I really enjoyed this book, i found it hard to put it down. Characters are easily likeable they don't get annoying like most books who repeat them self's. Also there's a guy called Gabriel that is really hot in the book!! lol and the best bit of the book is that its English and and in the london area, its nice to see something different and good to have an english book instead of American books. defiantly a must read Had to reread this book to read the second book as totally forgot what happened I really enjoyed this book, i found it hard to put it down. Characters are easily likeable they don't get annoying like most books who repeat them self's. Also there's a guy called Gabriel that is really hot in the book!! lol and the best bit of the book is that its English and and in the london area, its nice to see something different and good to have an english book instead of American books. defiantly a must read Had to reread this book to read the second book as totally forgot what happened lol

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    This is a great edition to the paranormal YA book world. It isn't just romance though as it has a lot of mystery and storyline to unravel and alot left undone as there is sure to be more to come. Follow along as April is taken from all she knows and deposited in a strange town, at a stranger school; that suddenly becomes murder central. As she seemingly watches her life unravel parts of the mystery start to fall in place along with a love she can't explain or escape. A rival for the most popular va This is a great edition to the paranormal YA book world. It isn't just romance though as it has a lot of mystery and storyline to unravel and alot left undone as there is sure to be more to come. Follow along as April is taken from all she knows and deposited in a strange town, at a stranger school; that suddenly becomes murder central. As she seemingly watches her life unravel parts of the mystery start to fall in place along with a love she can't explain or escape. A rival for the most popular vampire novels out there; I can't wait for the sequel.

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