YA – Reformed Vampire Support Group

Nina has been stuck as a fifteen-year-old vampire for the past fifty years. It is far from a glamorous life, as she will be the first to tell you. There are no amazing super powers, or sexy sparkles. Instead, she’s stuck taking vitamin supplements, sucking on guinea pigs, and trying to combat constant nausea. As one of the nonvampire character later says (I’m paraphrasing) “The vampires aren’t dangerous, it’s more like they’ve got AIDS.”

Not only is Nina stuck with what is essentially a never-terminal illness, she’s also stuck with the other vampires. There are only a handful, for which Nina is incredibly grateful. She sees all vampires as being whiny, listless, unlikeable hand-wringers. She’s largely right. But when one of the members of their support group turns up with a stake in his heart, the entire vampire community is forced into out-of-character action. Nina alternates between being thrilled at finally doing something different and being terrified of the consequences.

Author Catherine Jinks does a great job of making the many vampires whiny, complaining lumps. It would be annoying if the book were not so funny. How she managed to transform “annoying” into “humorous” is beyond my ken, but manage it she did. While not laugh-out-loud funny, the book is nevertheless significantly amusing throughout.

The plot moves fairly quickly, with a number of twists and turns, though I saw most of them telegraphed ahead of time. The characterization is consistent when you consider that all of the characters are acting way outside their comfort zones. A very enjoyable novel, and one I highly recommend.

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