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Posted November 20, 2012
You know a book is going to be funny when the tagline is, "
You know a book is going to be funny when the tagline is, "You know something is seriously wrong when you wake up in a coffin...." I was cracking up over that line for a good hour or so. The rest of the book is even better. I started this book kind of late, thinking to get a head start on it. Bad idea. (I mean, good idea. What better time to read a story about the undead than the time they're awake and out for blood?)
Jane is a surprisingly compelling heroine. I was expecting a fangirling, silly vampire-obsessed girl, but she's pretty intelligent. Yes, she dissolves into a sobbing mess when she's reunited with her family. Given that she woke up in a coffin and was soon deserted by her sire, I think she has the right to regress into a little kid. She also doesn't blindly trust dashing saviors. She tells them to meet her parents. I love that smartypants. While she may be having some fun with her new vampiric abilities, she also knows how to trust in the wisdom of her elders, but she also doesn't blindly follow them. She knows better than to turn her parents into vampires (I mean, who really wants to have your parents nagging at you for centures, kind and caring as they may be?) She also doesn't fall head-over-heels in love with the ripped vampire hunter (in fact, there isn't really as much going there romance-wise as you'd think from the synopsis.) There's potential for a romantic development, but they recognize each other as enemies and are just beginning to trust in each other towards the end of the book.
I'd also like to give special note of the attentive, supportive family that Jane has. They take their daughter's transformation pretty well given the circumstances. Afterwards, they devote much time to researching vampires and figuring out how to care for Jane's new needs. Rarely is the family given so much focus in YA books nowadays. It's typically all about hiding things to protect them. Here, Jane needs her family--for their emotional support, to protect her, and as mentors. She trusts them enough to know that they'll take care of her and, though she wouldn't want them to do so, she also knows that they'd be willing to sacrifice themselves for her if necessary. Jane has such a wonderful support system within her family, and it was wonderful to see.
There are so many things in here that cracked me up. I haven't been in as much danger of ROFLOLing since The Boy Recession. My absolute favorite? The vampire goldfish. Seriously. Funny. And adorable. Helen Keeble has a gift for delivering seriously true, but seriously funny lines that poke fun at vampires. (And some pretty funny incidents come about through the goldfish.) While I may love me a good vamp book, I do see their inherent flaws as well, and I'm not afraid of laughing at some of these. I am someone who likes to poke fun at things I love, all in good humor, so I appreciate a book that can pull off some good satire.
This is a book that I can safely recommend to middle school students. There is a lot of humor, which will hold the attention of younger readers, and there isn't anything I wouldn't want them seeing. In fact, if they're already vampire-obsessed, bordering on psychotic, this might tune them down a few notches. (Or maybe crank it up if they really swing that way. You never know.) Jane is a smart girl despite being slightly vampire-obsessed. (She does believe in soulmates; she just has a hard time figuring out how to recognize one....) However, she makes the right decisions and doesn't blindly trust anyone, even her own parents, who for all their good intentions do suggest some silly ideas, except under powerful vampiric suggestion. And even then, she'll fight to maintain her free spirit, so it all balances out.
I recommend this to those who love a good satire and humor. I do not recommend this is you are super in love with vampires and would be offended by jokes made at their expense!
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Posted September 30, 2012
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Posted October 5, 2012
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