YA Paranormal Anti-Romance Romance
352 pages, hardcover
Available now (July 2012)
Review copy provided by publisher via Amazon Vine
Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity
On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.
Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.
Pretty damned funny. Yep. There’s my entire review in a nutshell. *jazz hands*
Yeah, right. (I can’t resist a good ramble about a well-written book!) While at first glance, this story sounds like it might fit squarely in the over-saturated vampire market, it doesn’t. It’s a parody, poking and prodding at the tropes and themes found in a zillion vampire books glutting the shelves. While there are vampires, they’re weird and quirky and have decidedly human traits. While there is insta-love, Mel the main character rails against it, upset that it’s happening to her friend Cathy. Vampires don’t sparkle but to go outside in the daylight, they do suit up in a protective suit that’s “a cross between Darth Vader and an astronaut” –p.2, ARC. (Oh, and double points for the Star Wars reference.)
Mel hates vampires, believing they destroy people. So when her best friend falls in insta-love with Vampire Francis, Mel does everything in her power to convince her to fall out of love with him, that he sucks (both literally and figuratively). Because of her blind hatred and prejudice, she doesn’t see that she’s destroying her friendship every time she rants against him and his people. The interplay between Mel, Francis, Cathy and Kit (Francis’s human “nephew”) keeps the story moving quickly along in the fascinating world Larbalestier and Brennan created.
It is amazing to me how close-minded and completely sure in her opinions someone who’s only seventeen can be: Cathy proves stubborn in her love for Francis, despite him being so much older than her and a vampire while Mel remains inflexible in her opinions about vampires. One (yes, just one) learns to open her mind to other possibilities. Francis and Kit are pretty intractable in their own ways, too. But a story can’t move forward if no one is willing to change or grow, especially one that features an evolving friendship.
Snort-worthy dialogue, a quick-thinking and witty narrator, non-sparkly vamps who may or may not be the good guys…what’s not to like?
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