A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What's the story?
Nina, a vampire who is stuck at age 15, belongs to a group of vampires who support each other in avoiding sucking the blood of humans, breeding guinea pigs as a poor substitute. But when one of their number is killed by a vampire slayer and they try to track him down, they accidentally cross paths with a murderous father/son team who kidnap werewolves and force them to fight to the death.
Is it any good?
If you haven't had enough of vampires yet, this book should do the trick; it doesn't just demystify them -- it makes them pathetic and revolting. These vampires have no super powers, and they certainly aren't sexy. Perpetually weak, miserable, and pale, they spend most of their time vomiting and hiding from the world, and, when they get together, bickering. And then vomiting some more. They do get to live forever, but never has eternal life seemed so unappealing -- it's like living forever with a neverending, really rotten flu. In this view, vampirism is a disease from which one never recovers -- ever.
While this is occasionally amusing, and allows the author to riff on everything from self-help groups to fanboys, it does not make for relatable characters. After awhile the story does get going, and there are some exciting moments amid all the puking. Some kids, especially those who don't like the vampire craze, will find this hilarious. But if you're a vampire lover, or just someone who doesn't enjoy reading about characters who are perpetually sick and whiny, pass this one by.
From the Book:
It's funny; I hate so much about my life. I hate the cramps, and the nausea, and the boredom, and the listlessness. I hate surviving on guinea pigs, and not being able to get a decent haircut. But that night, when it came to choosing between life and death, I didn't hesitate. Not for one second.
I didn't want to end up as a pile of ashes on a bedroom floor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the current popularity of vampire stories, and the differing views of them. Why do you think they are so popular right now? Do they reflect something in our culture?
What do you think of this portrayal of them? Is it funny, or does it take the fun away?
Do some vampire stories make you wish you knew, or even were, a vampire? What about this one?
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