Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley

The subtitle reads: The ALL-TRUE confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire ^maybe. And you think “not another teen vampire novel! Argh!” But then you pick it up and flip it over to read the back because you just can’t help yourself.  What you’re awarded with is a top five list of the reasons Mina thinks it sucks to be her. Starting with “bloodsucking vampire freaks” and ending with “please don’t read this book. It’s just embarrassing.” And then you think “Sure. This could be good beach reading.”

Then you’d read it and be glad you did. The American Library Association has awarded this tasty little morsel it’s “Reluctant Reader Selection” approval. I whole-heartedly agree. Pauley allowed her main character to tell her story with an honest voice. Seventeen-year-old slang doesn’t always age well, but it sure is fun to read. I had a few spit-takes during Mina’s confession and even recognized some of her angst because it’s universal: prom, friends, secrets, trying to talk to cute boys.

Mina’s parents are “accidental vampires” who’ve been raising Mina in as normal a household as possible. Until the council finds out that she exists...and that she knows about her parents. They (the way all councils seems to) decide that this isn’t acceptable and Mina either has to turn herself or suffer consequences. In this case, the consequence isn’t death, but to a seventeen year old girl it’s just as bad: never see or talk to her parents again. So she embarks on her quest for knowledge. This includes vampire classes (the council wants everyone to know what they’re getting into so they can make an informed decision) with a group of kids she’d normally not socialize with and an overly helpful (and very weird) Uncle as a mentor. The ending is a bit of a forgone conclusion, but getting there is a lot of fun.

It’s a debut novel, and we all know how I feel about stumbling onto a debut novel before more have been written. Sweet, sweet agony. Luckily, there’s a sequel in the works. I’ll be reading it.

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