After watching me struggle through half a dozen normal adult novels, only to see me complete 2 (maybe 3), Tim finally got me the perfect book. And yes, it’s another irresistible teenage vampire story. I was so excited I actually raced through a book, whose title I can’t even remember, about a 75 year old woman who tragically loses the love of her life and has to deal with the memories of their life together and her future without him. AAGH!
The Reformed Vampire Support Group is the first Catherine Jenks book that I’ve gotten my hands on, but she’s pretty well known in the youngster crowd for her previous titles Evil Genius and Genius Squad. I kind of wish I started with the other books so I wouldn’t appear obsessed with vampires, but, well, this is the one that showed up…
After renaming herself and all members of The Reformed Vampire Support Group in order to protect their identities, 15 year old Nina, who hasn’t aged since 1973, decides to write her memoir. For the past 30 years she’s been writing a fantasy series about the glamorous life of a crime stopping vampire named Zadia Bloodstone. She admits she’s no Stephanie Meyer and that her books don’t make much money, but after the murder of a real vampire and the subsequent events, Nina figures it’s time to come clean.
In real life, vampires are pretty pathetic, especially the reformed ones. They live off of guinea pigs, are extremely weak, are sick and in pain all the time, and can do nothing but watch tv and play on their computers. Other than Nina’s mom and the sympathetic Catholic priest who leads their weekly support group, there is no contact with “other” humans. So when a few of them try to track down this vampire slayer, they are all surprised to find the amount of courage, the sense of duty and moral obligation, the willingness to get involved, and the actual energy and excitement to do something that they possess after all. What follows is a late night mad cap adventure from Sydney to the country and back again that traces Nina’s journey from an angry, useless, sick, self loathing adolescent (hmmm) to a confident, self actualized adult, who just happens to have a disease. And she can live with that.
If you’re looking for a fun, well written, sort of unpredictable break from all the grown up books you think you’re supposed to read, pick this one up. I don’t think you’ll regret it.