Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)

Sucks to be Me is the delightful narrative of Mina Hamilton, a snarky teen with a big decision to make: whether or not to join the ranks of the secretive vampires. She has to deal with a lot of issues, both normal and supernatural, including boy problems, vampire school, regular school, and prom! Imagine, having to make a life changing decision in a month with only your parents, your eccentric Uncle Mortie, and Grandma Wolfington (AKA Ms. Riley, vampire teacher) for guidance.

Mina is the definitive teenager, complete with gross outs and swoons over boys. She is instantly likeable from page one, with her insightful and funny outlook on life. She alludes to pop culture vampire lore like the Stephenie Meyer novels and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles throughout the novel. Also, Mina’s English class reads Dracula in the course of the novel, and she is outraged at how vampires and even women are portrayed in the novel. (I personally totally agree with her and think it’s a completely overrated novel.) The vampires are shrouded in secrecy, but are pretty normal underneath it all. Kimberly Pauley really reinvents vampire legend in a unique and fun way, not caving in to typical expectations.

Despite the comedic elements of the novel, there are some real issues underneath. When someone makes any decision in their lives, they need to make it for themselves, not their boyfriend or parents or their peers. This can translate to anyone, anywhere, in any situation. The novel also illustrates the importance of family: not just blood relatives, but the people that are most important to us in our lives.

This novel was cute, light, and funny mixed with a dash of seriousness and angst. I hope this is the first in a series.

4/5


4 comments:

Zombie Girrrl said...

Nice review! I think I had this mixed up with Suck It Up, though.
I agree, while Dracula might have been scandalicious in its hay-day, now it's only good in a nastalgic sort of way. It was really kinda frustrating, what with Mina being a damsel and all, but we should be thankful for it or else we probably wouldn't have such people as Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. Or Stephanie Meyer... o_O Hmm...

Misty said...

Mina has been a popular character lately. Though I see why, because I was slightly obsessed with her when I read Dracula when I was like 13. Plus, Mina is an awesome name. I think I'm going to look into this one.
Gread review, very thorough and thoughtful. Thanks!

Misty said...

I just gave away a bunch of awards on my blog, and you received one. Or more. I really can't keep track at this point...

titania86 said...

@Zombie Girrl: I guess Dracula is a necessary evil. A lot of good has come out of it. :)

@Misty: Thanks so much for the award!