Genre: YA Paranormal
# of pages: 416 (pb)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Recommended for: HS & Beyond!
Vampire Crush Quick Check
I swear, my life was always totally normal.
Normal house, normal family, normal school. My looks are average, I don't have any superpowers, no one's showing up to tell me I'm a princess—you get the picture. But when my junior year started, something not normal happened. There were new kids at school . . . new kids with a wardrobe straight out of a 19th-century romance novel, and an inexplicable desire to stay at school until sundown. And on top of that, James Hallowell showed up. James, who stole my sandwiches in fourth grade and teased me mercilessly through middle school. James, who now seems to have the power to make my heart race any time he comes near. But something weird is going on. Because James rarely goes out during the day. And he seems stronger than your typical guy. And he knows the new kids, all of whom seem to be harboring some kind of deep secret. . . .
First of all, a **huge** shout-out and thank you to Eleni from La Femme Readers for spotlighting Vampire Crush here. I hadn't even heard of this book till I saw it on her site, and I probably would have missed it otherwise!
My favorite review of Vampire Crush (one I read on Goodreads) called this book the 'anti-Twilight' and I think, on so many levels, that is a very apt description (nothing against Twilight that is--I actually like that book). For one thing, the humor in this novel was ah-mazing. I mean, incredibly smart and witty. The author's tone grabbed me from the first chapter and did not let go. By contrast, Twilight and a lot of other vampire-centric novels aren't all that humorous, so that's one thing that gave this book an extra edge, in my opinion.
In fact, the tone of the whole novel was very light-hearted and just fun. Not that it's a silly book or anything - there were still tense situations and moments of suspense, but this was just one of those books that is so easy to enjoy and lose yourself in.
Much of the tone of the novel was set through the voice of the main character, a practical and driven journalism student, Sophie, whose only concern at the story's beginning was being named editor of her high school yearbook. Needless to say, she soon finds that she has a lot more to worry about. I liked her narrative voice, especially at the beginning of the novel, when she was churning out witty commentaries on daily life and being all kinds of hilarious. She also impressed me, as a narrator, with her strong sense of identity. Unlike a lot of other protagonists out there, Sophie seemed to know exactly who she was, what she wanted, and what she was willing, or unwilling, to do to get what she wanted. And I found that very refreshing. I will say, though, that she had a tendency to be a teeny weeny bit 'me-centered.' I'm all for characters having hobbies and being driven and all that, but there were a few cases where she deliberately sabotaged or manipulated people around her to get her own way, which contrasted with her usual maturity and made her seem (occasionally) shallow. But as the story progressed, so did Sophie, so that was good. Besides Sophie's personality, I would have liked a little more emphasis on the love story element, just because it seemed like Sophie and James (the boy next door who used to tease her mercilessly) went from bickering all the time to being lovey-dovey. Wuuuuuut?
Supporting characters were fun, as well. Again, if Vampire Crush is the 'anti Twilight' then you'd expect characters who are more humorous and (dare I say?) entertaining. And they were, overall.
Not only was the overall tone of the story rather satirical (and the vampires here reminded me of a play on the Cullen clan), the characters were as well. Some characters I liked more than others, but overall, they all brought something to the table and they all had their own identities.
And the "villain." Easily the most entertaining character of the story. I haven't seen a villain this diabolically delightful since Queen Redd from the Looking Glass Wars series. I absolutely loved his personality.
Yall, I am so glad I picked up this book. What a fun piece of entertainment! If you're looking for a YA book that offers something just a little different from the norm, you'll want to check out Vampire Crush!