Over a year ago, I saw Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney at Sam’s Club and thought that it looked too cute. I loved the way it was poking fun at the current vampire obsession. And in researching it, I discovered a couple of blogs that were hosting giveaways. Well, I won a copy from vampires.com! And I pretty much inhaled the book as soon as it arrived in the mail. Sadly, my reviewing leaves something to be desired as I never got around to it. That is, until I did a reread, refusing to allow myself my recently won Dee henderson ARC until I finally posted a review!
First, a quick recap:
Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.
The back cover:
“Attention, all girls reading this: We get it. The message is coming through loud and clear: You think vampires are hot. Your little sister thinks vampires are hot. Your mom thinks vampires are hot. Every single female on the face of the planet thinks vampires are hot. Girls love vampires, and I love girls. Unfortunately, girls don’t seem to love me.
So I’m making a change. For all the guys reading this, say a little prayer to the high school dating gods for me. Here’s hoping girls think fake vampires are hot, too.”
And the inside flap:
“Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before-he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part.
With his brooding nature and weirdly pale skin, it’s surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be paranormal. But, when he meets the one girl who just might like him for who he really is, he discovers that his life as a pseudo-vampire is more complicated than he expected.
This hilarious debut novel is for anyone who believes that sometimes even nice guys-without sharp teeth or sparkly skin– can get the girl.”
And the verdict? I liked it! I really enjoyed the tone of the blurbage on the back of the book and the ironic, laid-back feel that was whitty and fun. The book itself ended up being very different from expected – but in an even better way. The story is told in the first-person (which I normally hate but for once was used to perfection here), by Finbar. He has a very snarky tone that is just hilarious. The story begins in the midst of his “vampire” days but he quickly rewinds and explains everything about himself and how he gradually found himself in such a position. Finbar is instantly likable as a teenager who feels like the odd one out – at home, at school. (Who hasn’t been there, right?) But he is able to laugh at himself and the situations he finds himself in, some of which are cringe-worthy but end up being so funny, too.
His fraternal twin is the quintessential jock, his mother a devout Catholic clean-freak, and his father an ex-hockey player, current-electronic salesman. Finbar finds himself in the unique position of being able to reinvent himself when his family moves from Indiana to New York. Pale skin courtesy of a sun allergy, combined with his social awkwardness (hence misread aloofness) leads to a mistaken identity as a vampire. And when Fin realizes he can use this to his advantage, he sets about perfecting his vampire attitude and in the process becomes a confident, caring young man. The premise is utterly ridiculous but written in such a way that it is fairly believable and so funny.
There’s a bit of language in the book. Most of it comes from the school bullies, and it’s probably fairly tame compared to what many teens say in real life, but some of the name-calling was extreme to me. I felt like the author (who is a woman) tried a little too hard sometimes to stress that Fin was, most definitely, a teenage boy. I could have done with a bit less emphasis on boobs, hot librarians, etc. There is some bullying and Finbar learns to stand up for himself (and others) but there’s very little consequence to the bullies. Teenage drinking (and drug use) is also taken as a matter of course, though it is never glorified and a twist at the end reveals the flip-side to placing too much stock in peer pressure and popularity. Any lessons are implied rather than clearly explained with no exposition to what is right or wrong. And sadly, all the adults are fairly clueless – to everything. While a good story, I don’t think I’d recommend it to middle-grade readers.
Read an excerpt!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”