By Helen Keeble
Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:
1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.
Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....
Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.
Um, this book is adorable. Well, you know, as much as a book about vampires can be adorable. I tend not to read the book jackets before I read a book for review. I usually like to read them after so that I can compare and see whether or not it was lying. This one is not lying. I am actually glad I did NOT read the teaser first because I think I would have felt slightly robbed of finding out all of the listed items. At the same time, I think not reading is perhaps what threw me off in the first chapter. Let me explain.
So I picked this up knowing it was "another teen vampire book". And, just like all other teen vampire books, this one is full of cliches. When I first started reading, I sighed to myself, thinking it would be a blah read. NOT AT ALL! Like I said earlier, this book is super cute, and it is because of how the author deals with the cliches that makes it great. Had I read the jacket ahead of time and known it was sort of poking fun at cliches, maybe I would have gotten on board even sooner. However, liking this book as much as I did was a great surprise.
JaneX (as she is known on the website Fang-Girl) is totally all about vampires. She researches their history. She is a regular on the net. She writes fan-fic, for Heaven's sake! She is a vampire nerd. However, she never thought they were actually real until she wakes up as one. And I think this is the best part of it all: she knows all of these cliches and proceeds to essentially test out every one. The part that told me I was really going to like this book is close to the beginning when another vampire shows up to protect her. She is upstairs getting ready and thinking about the guy downstairs... dark, brooding, mysterious. Her response: of course he is my soul mate, that is how it happens! It made me laugh and I continued to appreciate the way Jane is voiced in this book.
Despite the ripping off of heads, this vampire book has very little of the gore, sex, lust, or angst that we have come to see post-Twilight. It is just a really cute clever book. I would strongly suggest reading it, and I think it would be absolutely appropriate for a younger crowd. Even 12 yr olds could relate to this, and it would not be too heavy for them.
The author has established her setting for a sequel, so I hope I get to review that one as well. I look forward to seeing what will happen, and am definitely putting this one down on my wish list for the future.