Saturday, April 16, 2016

Teen review: Vampires! (reformed ones)

The Reformed Vampire Support Group
by Catherine Jinks
362 pages
Companion to The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group
Best for Grades 8 and older

Reviewed by Shadowmancer, grade 8

Nina Harrison is a vampire in Australia, no matter how much she doesn’t want to admit it. But being a vampire isn’t as cool as the books and movies make it seem. You can’t go out during the day, you’re always sick and weak, and you don’t have any cool powers. And she isn’t the only one. Every Tuesday, Nina and other vampires meet together at the Reformed Vampire Support Group to discuss how they feel since the turning and if they're managing to lie low. But at one of these meetings, it turns out one of their members has been turned to ash. Who is the mysterious and possibly lethal vampire killer and will he come after the rest of them? As if that isn’t enough action for these usually useless vampires, they also meet a young werewolf, two werewolf hunters, and a whole lot of danger. If they aren’t careful, they could all end up a pile of ash.

From priests to dog fights, sunglasses to guinea pigs, this book is probably one of my favorites. I love how Catherine Jinks writes, and her characters are just amazing. Some make you want to laugh, some make you want to cry, and some make you want to throw the book across the room. But you can’t help but keep reading. As a companion to another book, it doesn’t really matter which one you read first, in my opinion, but if you feel it’s necessary to do things in order, this is the book to start with. What I enjoy most about this book is how it shows the downside of the vampires; after all, there have been so many books that make vampires look like superheroes. In this one, their achievements seem a lot more important because of how many hardships stand in their way. Altogether, this book is a great new twist on vampires and I recommend it to everyone who loves a fangtastic read!

Editor's note: I also love the cover art! If you like these books, you might like a couple other titles: Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble, wherein Jane is an undead, eternally pasty 15-year old who only wishes she was like the vampires she always read about; and Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride, in which totally normal Sam goes from working at a fast food joint to being hounded and persecuted by all sorts of paranormal folks because surprise! he's a necromancer (a raiser of the dead). Not a vamp protagonist, but with vamps, werewolves, and other strange creatures galore. You might also like Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey.

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