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Blood Orange Soda

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  70 reviews
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 So
ebook, 350 pages
Published March 15th 2014 by JML (first published February 20th 2014)
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3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Jan 11, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: paranormal
Nope. I can't read this any longer, it's way too angsty and bland for me to continue. I don't like the way all of the female teens are portrayed in a sexual, vixenish way. It's plain sexist and I have absolutely zero interest in continuing this one.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Blood orange soda is contemporary meets vampy reality. Its everything that most vamp novels aren't. There aren't any angsty teenage love triangles, or blood lust driven vamps.

Its exactly what you would expect if Vampires were real and were assimilated into society. Darius is a Gothic teenage boy on the path to becoming a full blown vampire except he's waiting until he's 18, just like all the other Vamp teens. The idea of it is very unique. Its an aspect of vamp stories I've never seen but the u
Sasha Hibbs
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*Novel provided by NetGalley in exchange for honest review*

Blood Orange Soda was the most delicious novel I've read in quite some time. I absolutely loved this book. The world building was fleshed out in amazing detail. I enjoyed the author's imagination and take on groups: Normals, Vampires, Goth Vamps, Emo' name it, Mr. Larranaga dreamt it.

A truly original spin on Vampires. I loved the slang in the book which only made Blood Orange Soda that much more believable from the perspective o
Emos, Goths, Jocks, Bullies, Normals and – Vampires? Welcome to the near future and rural St. Cloud, MN, where Darius Hunter is the skinny freshman one particular bully likes to use as a punching bag. Darius is a Goth, plays in a band, does the whole black thing from guyliner to nail polish, a vampy kind of look, with good reason, he is a vampire, or at least part vampire, almost. He, like all others who may begin “the change” are required to take Red, a government issued pill that reduces a vam ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I found this to be a really entertaining read, it tells the story from the perspective of Darius, a teenager who takes "Reds", a government pill to stop the transition into a vampire. His mom also takes them but she is also very ill.

Darius is a skinny Goth kid who gets bullied by an exchange student and has also caught the eye of a new girl who is also in the process of the transition to vampire. There aren'
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it
A really interesting take on vampires. A new slant on what we typically read about them. This whole world is built with everyone knowing about vampires.'s okay. I mean, kind of. Vamps as kids can take a medication and have option - full on vampire or "norm" and take the medicine and keep it all in check.

But, as with most high school growing up lives, this is a typical high school, despite the addition of vampires. There is still bullying, still your non-conforming or accepted guys/girls
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
A vampire book with a difference. Grab a soda and dive in to this YA book that wont drag you down.
Take a vampire, add a few morals and you have a coming of age story with all the angst and bite of teenage life. The characters are basic and serve the need of the story, but they are a little flat. The language is very colloquial, but it suits the subject and setting of the story quiet well.
The romance is thin, but they are teenagers and the little they touch on older romance is veiled as the story
Gina Shoen
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While vampire books aren't my normal favorite genre I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this YA book about the coming of age journey of a vampire/human boy and the choice he is faced with, to become a vampire or to remain a "normal". Faced with normal teenage angst, a single parent household, teen romance and school bullies this book was great! I can highly recommend it to anyone of any age! There were quite a few typos, but with a bit of editing I can see it flying off th ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgallery-arc
I recieved an ARC free from publisher in exchange for honest review via Netgallery.I really enjoyed the ebook from start to finish.I liked the way the author made it it not your typical vampire novel.The reference to Twilight for me was not really needed.The ending was sad and unexpected but overall would highly recommend this Novel.For those not into vampires this is not your typical novel so give it a try.
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Imagine the True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse books for angst-ridden teenagers, and you have Blood Orange Soda down to a 'T' (or should I say 'V').  And that's a good thing.  After all, the Sookie Stackhouse books are incredibly popular.

In this book, Darius is your typical teenager, growing up in central Minnesota (St. Cloud).  He's a goth; he's in a band; there are girls he likes, and girls who like him, but they're typically not one and the same; he is bullied; and ... oh yeah ... he's going to be
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Let me start off this review by saying this book has one of the most interesting and unique plot lines ever written.

Blood Orange Soda gives a whole new bloody perspective to vampires. Our narrator, Darius Hunter, is not fully undead. Instead he's on the Reds -- a government-administered pill that prevents pre-vampires like Darius to fully transform into Dracula. The medication also blocks their increasingly growing blood lust. If you want to get a pint of blood, you'd have to avail from a blood
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Blood Orange Soda
by James Michael Larranaga
"Every day, in every way, i am getting better"- Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie
The mantra and theme of this book Darius is a troubled teen. But his conflicts are not skin deep. He has struggles in school, smarter than average, he has been boosted up into higher grade classes. Struggles at home, his mother is ill and dying. His younger sister may need him more than he is willing to admit, and his father is in his grave. Trouble with bullies, and gangs an
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
As we all know, there are an overwhelming number of vampire books out there, with variations to suit nearly every "taste." Blood Orange Soda, while maybe not among the very best, has enough quirkiness that it will make it onto quite a few library shopping lists. It's hard to find decent vampire books for boys, and one that includes not only bullying but dealing with a parents' death as well, so that gives this book even greater appeal for teens.

For those that are curious about the contents of Bl
Elizabeth Curington
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Cobcroft
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Darius is a skinny goth kid who pinches his mum's eyeliner to use as guyliner, has a dodgy garage band, and regularly gets beaten up by a Chinese exchange student. He's also a pre-vampire who takes government issued 'red pills' to curb the blood lust and stop himself transforming into a full vampire. Vampires can opt to take the pills, sip synthetic blood, or feed by biting (illegal). There also a busy black market in blood stolen from blood banks and vampire drugs, such as Blood Orange Soda.

A f
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a different book than what I usually read. I mainly got it because it was set in St. Cloud, MN and I was born in MN. This book took me back to my youth and the different clicks that existed in school. Darius is living life until he is pushed too far and takes matters into his own hands by not taking the red pill anymore. He starts the transformation of becoming a vampire. The book progressed at a slow pace, slower than what I am used to or expected from teenagers going through life. There a ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked the idea of these vampire's co-existing with humans. Not to mention having pills, "Reds", to sort of stop being a vampire. Additionally, there is the blood orange soda which is illegal; the drink speeds up the process of being a vampire, but for humans it enhances their anger.

Blood Orange Soda is about a teenager: Darius Hunter. The story is about how he becomes a vampire and overcomes bullying by an exc
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a surprisingly enjoyable read. I liked that this book was a different type of vampire story. There were no sparkly, depressed, romantic boys rescuing helpless girls in this book! In describing this book to friends I was surprised how many crazy details and plot twists I could share with them that were a central part of this tale. The characters were easy to identify with and I have to admit, I wasn't able to guess whose funeral was introduced in the first chapter until the final pa ...more
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

This is a vampire book seen from a different perspective. Darius is a teenage vampire taking a government sponsored drug that stops him changing. He is being bullied at school, he plays in a band and his mum is dying from a rare vampire disease.

I enjoyed this story set in a slightly different world that accepts vampireism it was interesting to read life seen through the eyes of a teenage boy. Although it would appeal to
Sally Hannoush
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book started out real slow for me then picked up the pace. I love the idea of the red pills and blood orange soda. One suppresses the vampire and one lets it out! This is a YA book so it does show the characters ages. But be warned! I did cry at the end. That surprised me since I didn't think I was that emotionally involved in the book. I guess I became more saturated in the book than I thought.
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, arc, ya
Not your typical teen vampire story, not at all. Darius lives in a slightly different world. In his existence Vampires can choose to be Vampires (transform) or live their life as Normals, thanks to a daily does of the Reds. As the bullying in his high school escalates his mother's illness escalates too. To what lengths will Darius go to save his own life, and his mothers?
This review is based on an ARC provided to me by the publisher.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. The story was really original and at first I didn't realise it was going to be about vampires. I loved the idea that they could prevent being a vampire. I liked the idea of the 'reds' it was something I've never experienced before. I wanted Darius to have a better relationship with someone but I did like the fact that he was not afraid of who he was. This book would inspire teenagers all around the world.
Charli - To Another World
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
pretty good and beautiful ending. review to come!
A. Powers
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in a while. Awesome!
DNF at 20%. Couldn't get into it and didn't like the characters!
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
You can read more of my reviews at

Normally, I am all about a good vampire novel. I just can’t seem to get enough of vampire fiction. I love adult vampire novels. I love YA vampire novels. I love them all. Until this one…

Something was just not clicking between me and this story of Darius Hunter and his teenage experience with transforming into a vampire.

I’m one of those readers that finish almost everything they start. It is extremely rare for me to put a book down and not fin
Alice Atorly
This review first appeared on The YA Buzz .

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

The Scoop :

Darius Hunter is a bullied freshman Vampire-to-be–and a Goth at that. In Darius’s time, that means he’s already at the bottom of the high school food chain, and it only gets worse when the JV quarterback, Bao Wang, sets his sights on him as Enemy Number One. Between staying away from Bao, figuring out his love life, taking care of his sister and his sick mom, and penning lyrics for his band, Darius has a full plate. To
elton dungan
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I liked it . I saw much in it more truth than fiction . I only hope you write much more so that I can read it carry on please.
I got an arc of this book via netgalley for an honest review.

If any of you read my progress while reading, the rating won't come as a surprise.
I found this new take on vampirism very promising. Unfortunately, the novel didn't delivered all its promises to me.

I don't know why but I felt like the whole book was the writer explaining me stuff in order to build the world. I mean, said like that, that's stupid because of course an author is going to write about his story and I'd probably be the first
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.

Darius lives in a world where people know about vampires and it's against the law for vampires to kill humans. It doesn't mean vampires don't do it, but it's ill-advised. There are the Normals who are just humans and there are Vampires, which are, of course, vampires. And then there are those who are in-between. Those who are both Normal and Vampire.

These people have a choice to either stay Normal or to become a full-fledged Vampire. To stay Normal or befo
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