Friday, August 27, 2010

The Reformed Vampire Support Group ~ Catherine Jinks

"If being a vampire were easy, there wouldn't have to be a Reformed Vampire Support Group."

Published: 2009
Pages: 362
Where I got it from: Library
First Line: "Nina was stuck. She didn't know what to write next."


Nina Harrison was fanged when she was fifteen, in 1973. Fifty years later, she still looks fifteen, and lives with her aged over-seventy mother. Being a vampire isn't as much fun as you would think, either. It means nausea, boredom, never seeing the sun, and killing guinea pigs for breakfast unless you fancied turning murderess. If that wasn't bad enough, she has a support group that meets every Tuesday night. And her fellow vampires are, for the most part, a whiny lot of mopes who never do anything. Never do anything, that is, until they discover one of their members staked in his coffin. Somewhere out there is a slayer, and there's nothing to do but track him down before he finds the rest of them. Nothing is ever easy; along the way the group must escape from werewolf-fight enthusiasts, find some way of keeping out of the daylight, kill their guinea pigs without attracting too much attention, and hardest of all, keep their own members from spreading their disease. It's a lot to handle when you haven't done anything for fifty years!


Ever since Twilight came out and I made a hobby out of hating it (seriously, there is so much fun to be had hating Twilight) I have been torn between seeking out vampire books with REAL vampires in them, and being totally sick of all things vampirical. So it was with mixed emotions that I picked up this book. But Catherine Jinks doesn't try to make vampires glamourous (a fact that never fails to endear an author to me). Nina is an awkward, sickly little girl, and her friends are no better. The idea that "vegetarian" vamps would be sickly and lethargic was neat, and not something I'd come across before. Jinks also respected the old traditions enough to keep the vamps out of the sun, and to give a good reason for the lack of deadly garlic!

As for the characters (always my favourite part), Dave is lovely. How can you not love the rocker-turned-vamp? He's just so cute and emo! And even the appearance of the good-looking teen werewolf didn't tick me off like it should have. Reuben is an anger management boy I could have loved more, if I'd let myself. And Bridget! I LOVED Bridget! Seventy-plus year old vampires RULE!
Nina's voice for her "autobiography" is realistic enough for a fifty-one year old fifteen year old girl. I won't say she didn't annoy me, because she did at times, but she definitely had a good handle on her story.

The ending got a little ridiculous. That's all I'll say.

Overall I'd give it three out of four stars. It was fun, and light, and there weren't any sparkly sunshine moments. That's all I asked!


Some Good Quotes:

"The plain fact is, I can't do anything much. That's part of the problem. Vampires are meant to be so glamorous and powerful, but I'm here to inform you that being a vampire is nothing like that. Not one bit. On the contrary, it's like being stuck indoors with the flu watching daytime televistion, forever and ever."

"I didn't want to complain too much, because that's what vampires do. They complain too much."

"There's only one thing worse than being a vampire, and that's being an elderly vampire with bad hips."

"There's no way we could make you do anything that you don't want to do. Not us. We don't have what it takes."
For some reason, this particular argument struck a chord. Reuben's scowl yielded first to a pensive expression, then to a slow and sweet (though slightly crazed) little smile.
"I dunno about that," he said. "If you wanted me to take you dancing, I reckon I would. And I hate dancing."