Young Adult Literature


by M.T. Anderson


From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up. Chris has problems?bickering, divorce-bound parents; a domineering older brother; his best friends becoming estranged. Overshadowing everything is the fact that Chris, while churning in adolescent hormonal changes, is becoming a vampire. The good people of his Massachusetts town are almost inured to the murders committed by vampires. Yet violent mobs shortcut justice with stake-through-the-heart lynchings. As Chris's blood lust grows, he's increasingly challenged to hide his transformation. "Chet," claiming to be an avatar of the Forces of Light, offers to reverse Chris's vampirism in exchange for his help in keeping the Vampire Lord imprisoned beneath the local reservoir. The teen agrees and does the deed, then spirals into self-doubt. Has he done the right thing? Who can he trust? If he reveals himself, will his family and friends betray him, kill him? Dark humor runs rampant. The invitation to a vampire gathering is a hoot ("drinks at 12:00"), and the imprisoned "dark god" rages amid the static of late night TV. Sexy Lolli, a vampire vixen, urges Chris to "come out of the coffin." Chris pays the price of making commitments without understanding the consequences. He struggles to the end to stay human and do the right thing, remaining a veritable vampire virgin, inevitably doomed to choose death either by starvation or biological destiny. Entertaining, disturbing, memorable, and sophisticated, this mortality tale will continue to haunt after the last pages are turned.?Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Jr. High School, Iowa City, IA
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