Thursday, June 24, 2010
Review: Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it’s just not the same.
Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated—it’s not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings.… Leave it to Adam Rex to create a thought-provoking novel that takes on teen angst, sexuality, identity, love, and undeath in ways that break it out of the genre. YA (August 1, 2010)
He’s not a hot Viking warrior.
He doesn’t sparkle.
There will never be a “Team Doug” pin.
He’s a 15 year old fat vampire.
A lot of vampire rules have been broken in literature recently, but one that holds steady is that you stay where you are physically at the time of your death (or un-death), usually forever youthful and beautiful. But what if you are "made" when you are a prepubescent overweight kid? Well then your shit out of luck.
So is the premise of Fat Vampire by Adam Rex. It starts out as a really witty satire following Doug and his best friend the adorably dorky and loyal Jay. We follow Doug as he tries to get the Goth chicks to let him take a sip of their blood willingly, which doesn’t really go to well and leads to a hilarious trip to the zoo. I was laughing out loud.
Funny stuff, but then Rex adds numerous characters and alternating POV’s and then the whole thing kind of drifts. They do all intersect at some point but no one is ever developed enough and they are never as interesting as Doug & Jay. There seem to be a few different themes going on at one time. I wished that Rex had stuck with the concept of being forever 15 and fat, trying to find his way as a vampire. There is a lot of material there to mine. It would have been a great antidote to the whole Twilight mania. The end kind of pulls it all together and I found myself drawn back in but it was a little too late for me.
It could have been that I was expecting one thing based on the book description (a funny teenage - vampire satire) and I got something different so maybe this book would appeal to someone else more.
Loved: The social satire at the beginning of the story (felt a little forced later in the book) I liked when Doug and Jay delve deeper into vampire lore. I really liked the ending.
Nitpick: The middle just kind of drifts…..
Rating: 2.5 out of 4 Not bad - just not for me.
Author's blog: http://www.adamrex.blogspot.com/
Buy the book! Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story
*I got this book as an ARC at BEA in May and would like to give it a chance to reach people who may like it more than I did and review it. If you’re interested in starting an “ARC tour” of sorts – let me know. U.S. shipping only and you have to have a book review blog and be willing to post a review. Contact me at fwiw(dot)kea(at)gmail(dot)com.