Friday, December 4, 2009

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

Vampire Mania is here again with The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks. However, Jinks does it with a twist and instead of with the typical sexy, glamorous, romantic, and powerful vampires we are used to being subjected to, she has Nina Harrison for a narrator. Nina, who became a vampire at age fifteen and has not aged a day since, is the opposite of what we would typically expect of vampires she is awkward, thin and definitely not powerful. She is a character many adolescents will be able to understand because they too many be feeling awkward and incapable. These qualities make Nina a great narrator in a book for young adults. Nina’s life includes here living with her mother in Sydney, Australia , who is now in her 70’s, and going to her vampire support group meetings.
The meeting attendies are all outsiders just like Nina. This awkward group of vampire misfits meets regularly at a church, and the meetings are even chaperoned by a human priest (Ironic huh?). It turns out, the whole thing about crosses and garlic making vampires ill is more myth than truth in Nina’s reality. Being a vampire in Nina’s world is kind of like being an addict, only she is addicted to human blood. The vampires in this story have a disease that cannot be cured, but can be control, mainly by using willpower, to overcome their desire for human blood and by biting small animals in their case, guinea pigs, and taking enzymes that mimic those in human blood. Some readers may even equate the vampires in this book with real addits or criminals.
Nina does not seem to care much about some of the other members of her support group but when Casimir the strange troublemaker of the group is shot with a sliver bullet and stabbed in the heart the group realizes they need to work together to solve this mystery before another one of them end up turned to dust. Dave another young vampire seems to be one of Nina’s favorite support group members and she begins to like him more than just a friend. This book is a humorous mystery about an unlikely group of individuals working to solve this murder. I believe this book would be a great addition to a junior high or early high school reading list. To find out whom or what behind the mysterious murder of Casimir, what happens to Nina and her budding relationship with Dave your going to have to read for yourself but the journey will be fun and interesting.


schenieka hoskins said...

You do a wonderful job in making this book sound fascinating! Although I am not a fan of the whole vampire thing, the book sounds really good. However, what I most enjoyed about your post is how you relate it to young adult readers because prior to your comment I would have never noticed the connection. I can now defiantly see the relation. I think that young people will be capable of relating to feeling as an outcast. Moreover, I love what you mention about the vampire character using will power to control her situation of being addicted to blood; this demonstrates a vital lesson for our young people. Through will power and determination anything is possible. This can be applied in many different instances. What a book, sounds like it teaches and entertains at the same time, great job!

Krystal Tanami said...

I agree you do a great job of making this book sound fascinating, however; I read it and couldn't get past the first few chapters because it was boring me and my niece agreed. Maybe we should both pick it up and give it another try.