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Almost to Die For (Vampire Princess of St. Paul Series #1)

Almost to Die For - Tate Hallaway Let me start out by saying I can understand why reviews for this book are high/low. I enjoyed this book. However, it is most definitely a YA novel, full of teenage angst, so if that's not your cuppa, best to avoid it. But, if you don't mind spending a few hours back in HS, with boy dramas, parental and BFF issues and a "what do I do now" teen love triangle with some witch/vamp drama to boot, then you should enjoy it as well. There is plenty of humor to keep it light. I give it 3.5★, but rounded up to 4★.Almost to Die For introduces us to Anastasija Ramses Parker who is about to celebrate her 16th birthday, not with a big party with friends, but by going through a True Witch initiation. Only problem is, no one will listen to her when she tells them she cannot do any magic. She should be able to because it runs in her family, her mother being a powerful True Witch.We meet her best friend since 2nd grade, Beatrice Theodora Braithwaite, who is also a strong witch. She'll be going through the initiation with Ana and some of the other young adults in their coven. Including Nikolai. Nikolai graduated HS the previous year, now attends college and is the lead singer in a band. Bea has a crush on him, which causes some hurt feelings when it turns out that Nik has a crush on Ana. He's aware of Bea's feelings for him, but has never had any interest in her. Ana thought her biggest worry was getting through the initiation without embarrassing herself or her mom. That was until Alexandra Ramses, the "High Prince of the dark realms and protectorate of the territories of the New World", shows up. He tells her he's her father and warns her that she must not go through with the initiation. Seems her mother, a True Witch, and father, a vampire, married to form a "peace treaty of sorts" between their people. Her mother is furious at Ramses' intrusion, she's spent Ana's life trying to keep this part of her life a secret, now insisting all people like her father are evil demons from hell. Ana learns she's a dhampyr - 1/2 witch, 1/2 vampire. Each parent wants her to fully embrace "their" 1/2, but Ana's not so sure. When she meets Elias Constantine, one of her father's knights of the dark realm, she starts thinking that vamps might not be evil after all. He is sworn to protect her at the cost of his life and keeps popping up to watch after her. I liked Ana. She's trying to make up her own mind as to who she wants to be while being pulled by her parents to be fully witchy or vamped. She's always felt like a loser at school, having two differently colored eyes and being teased by the school bully doesn't help. Now, she finds herself in hot demand by two different major supernatural groups and two hot "boys". The only (minor) complaints were (1) Ana accepted her vamp father and the existence of vamps pretty quickly. I kinda chalked it up to her having spent her entire life surrounded by friends and family that could perform powerful magic. I would imagine that would help learning that other magic exists in the world a bit easier to swallow. (2) Parts of the relationship issues have a slightly similar theme to that found throughout Evernight.I look forward to reading more about Ana in Almost Final Curtain.