Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: Bite Me! [2009]

There are a lot of things to like about Bite Me!, the debut novel by Melissa Francis. First of all, the protagonist, AJ Ashe, is a high school girl who actually is a vampire, rather than being a doe-eyed girlfriend of a vampire. AJ doesn't even like being a vampire, and has spent most of her life being as perfect as she can to compensate. I also liked the basic plot: AJ's mom marries AJ's boyfriend Ryan's dad, and they are forbidden to date despite their deep deep lurve for each other. That's good stuff, people! However, things quickly get muddled with the introduction of the overall mythology of the world. See, there's something about clans of vampires, of which the Serpentines are the most evilest, and scrolls, and runes, and some group of not-vampires called the Frieceadan Druids. I have a rule when I read books for fun (most of which are fantasy books): don't name stuff using words I can't pronounce, or I will have a hard time every time I see that word. Yes, after a little internet searching, I can see that Francis is going for a whole Scottish thing with Ryan's family, but still. The way that the mythology is introduced is very clunky, with AJ discovering information through books and scrolls, and so quickly (in order to move along various plot points) that it seems forced. If you look too closely at the plot, it starts to create a lot of questions--why, if AJ's father is the one behind all the trouble in town, did he wait years to do anything? Why doesn't AJ notice how creepy her recently returned friend is acting? Why on earth don't AJ and Ryan's parents just let them date, for god's sake? They were dating first! On the plus side, at the end of the book, AJ finally chooses to embrace her heritage and kick ass, which was well worth the wait.

Francis leaves the ending open with a major cliffhanger (my copy included a teaser for the next book, Love Sucks!) that leaves the villain on the loose, AJ's vampire father apparently the mastermind, AJ's vampire mother [spoiler!] pregnant with a Frieceadan child, and AJ and Ryan still in love with each other. It might be interesting to see where this is going, but I hope the second book is more tightly edited.

Grade: C+

No comments: