Sunday, October 9, 2011

“They can't expect anyone to actually pay for a shirt that says, 'I (picture of an elephant) the San Diego Zoo.' What does that even mean?”

Fat Vampire – Adam Rex

324 pages

Genre:  YA; Paranormal; Humor

Summary:  On the whole, Doug is a pretty average teenager:  he struggles with weight issues, doesn’t have the highest self-esteem, and gets picked on by his peers.  There is one big exception to this, though:  he’s also a vampire.  As if dealing with bloodlust isn’t bad enough, Doug didn’t even get the perks that usually go along with vampire lore, namely being indescribably attractive and incredibly strong.  Things begin to change in Doug’s life, however, when he receives a mysterious invitation to join someone he’s never met for dinner.  At around the same time, strange things begin to happen in Doug’s life that may expose who he truly is.  Will Doug be able to keep his secret, or will he be forced to deal with torment from a society that doesn’t understand him?

Review:  I had high hopes for Fat Vampire.  Since the paranormal genre is so popular in YA literature at the moment, having a hero who wasn’t perfect sounded absolutely fabulous.   Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Fat Vampire started out quite well, and the beginning of the book was incredibly funny and authentically captured the teenage voice.  As the book progressed, however, Doug seemed to become more of an afterthought in his own story, and other characters melodramas were brought to the forefront.  There also wasn’t a whole lot of explanation in regards to some of the events, and in many instances, these events seemed a bit contrived.

I wasn’t particularly fond of any of the characters, and I found Doug’s personality to be especially repellant.  Sejal had potential, but she was so focused on “the Google” that it made it difficult to feel attached to her.  None of the character seemed very believable to me, and ultimately, they all fell flat.

While I didn’t particularly care for Fat Vampire, the pacing worked really well and the plot moved along nicely.  The humor within would appeal to teenagers, especially reluctant readers, and fans of the paranormal genre may enjoy this book.

Rating:  2/5

Read-alikes:  Eighth Grade Bites – Heather Brewer, City of Bones – Cassandra Clare, The Last Apprentice – Joseph Delaney, Cirque du Freak series – Darren Shan