Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: April 20th, 2009

I realize that this book has been out awhile, and while I try to do most of my blogging about newer books, I sometimes like to pull one out of the vault that may not have gotten as much attention as it deserved when it was released.... This book is one of those. So, in honor of the recent release of its sequel, The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group, I am gracing you with my opinion on this book.

I'll start by saying that I think Catherine Jinks is hilarious in a witty and sarcastic way. Not everyone loves her books because frankly, you have to have a decent intellect to get the humor. Fortunately, if you're intelligent enough to be following my blog, you fall into that category. :) I really enjoyed her Evil Genius books, so I was pretty excited to read The Reformed Vampire Support Group. I'm glad I did...

Think vampires are romantic, sexy, and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group, and reform themselves.

Nina Harrison, fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until one of group members is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren't useless or weak) and Dave (secretly in love with Nina) at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter, save a werewolf, and keep the world safe from the likes of themselves.
The perfect antidote to slick vampire novels, this murder-mystery comedy of errors will thrill fans of Evil Genius. 
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Certainly an entirely different take on vampires, and an unglamorous one at that. I loved Nina, the protagonist. She isn't really happy with her lot, but tries to make the best of it and live her death the best she can. She lives with her human mom and makes a decent living writing books about a kick-ass vigilante vampire named Zardia Bloodstone. She hangs out by night with her other reformed vampire friends. When the vampire who "fanged" (created) her at the age of 15 is murdered, the group decides that they need to figure out who is responsible in case the guy is on a mission to kill them all. They embark on an adventure to find the killer and reform his thinking; they want him to realize that vampires aren't bad guys, especially reformed ones. While on their adventure they stumble into a whole other criminal enterprise that balloons into a caper filled with laughs and groans.

Like I mentioned before, I liked this book. I didn't love it like I did the Evil Genius books, but I think the series has real potential. I gave it 3 1/2 stars because so much time was spent developing the characters and sometimes that can interfere with how the story flows for me. Now that she's through with that part, I think this is going to be one hell of a funny ride!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Grade Level Recommendation: 4th+ Contentwise there wasn't anything in this book that would make me object to an middle-grade student reading. I would let my 9 year old read this if she were interested. Some parents might object to some of the violence in this book, but it's no worse than what's in Harry Potter or Indiana Jones, and it's not gratuitous or even a common theme. The only thing that might have me tell a kid to wait is that they would get so much more from it in say, 7th or 8th grade.

Look for the following reviews coming soon:

The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 3)         Where She Went         Human.4         Shine


  1. This looks so GOOD! I'm so adding this to my to be read! Hey, it says 4th+ grade, and the + would be ME! LMAO!

  2. Hello. I think your reviews are very helpful. I dont really read YA but I work at a bookstore and when parents ask about the content in some books i have no idea. I think its great that you tell us about the content so I can better help my customers.


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