The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
(from the book jacket)
Contrary to popular opinion, vampires are not sexy, romantic, or powerful. In case you hadn’t noticed, vampires are dead. And the only ones who don’t get staked are the ones who avoid attacking people, admit they have a problem, and join a support group.
Just ask Nina Harrison – fanged at fifteen, and still living with her mother. She hasn’t aged since 1973, and the hindsight of her sickly, couch-bound life is probably her Tuesday-night group meeting, which she spends with a miserable bunch of fellow sufferers, being lectured at.
But then one of the group is mysteriously turned to ashes… and suddenly they’re all under threat. That’s when Nina decides to prove that every vampire on earth isn’t a weak, pathetic loser. Along with her friend Dave – a former punk rocker who could be pretty cute, if he weren’t such a vampire – she travels way out of her comfort zone to track down the killer.
It could be that there is more to being a vampire than Nina realized.
This is an interesting look at vampire myth. Lots of times the down side to being a vampire is explored – not being in the sun, no garlic and the like – but this is the first time that I’ve seen a story where it is all downside. There is no compensation for what is lost. And that makes for a rather angry and sad group of vampires who wish they weren’t. Nina is forever fifteen and everything is always the same. And every Tuesday she meets with the same group of rather sullen and depressed vampires who never change either. Until one of them is killed and after about 50 years she finally has to grow up. It’s a nice change from the other vampire stories I’ve read. I think it’s interesting how it can somehow have a coming-of-age feel to it when the youngest person there is 50 years old. And I like how it is about overcoming people’s low expectations of you and the low expectations you have of yourself. The vampires are a group of interesting characters and the story is familiar in some ways but still new. And the mystery and suspense, along with the bickering of people who have been stuck with each other a long time, keep things going at a good pace. It’s not the best young adult novel I’ve ever read, nor is it the best vampire book I’ve read but it is fun, the characters compelling, and the plot enjoyable.