Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson
ISBN-13: 978-0061989711
HarperTeen, New York, 2010
416 p.

GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Vampires

TEASER: It’s Twilight done right.

SUMMARY: All Sophie McGee wants is to be editor in chief of her school newspaper. Her inner investigative journalist might get her into some serious trouble. But the new kids in school are very strange. Why do the talk and dress like they are from an old movie? And why do they avoid going in and out of school when it’s light out? Most importantly, why is her childhood friend, James suddenly back in town and hanging out with the new kids? Sophie can’t help it, she just has to investigate.

CRITIQUE: This book doesn’t take itself too seriously. With so many books telling stories of epic love filled with impossible angst, it was nice to read something that could take the vampire clique and laugh a little. The language is highly appealing. Sophie’s character is confident, strong-willed, and funny. However, I appreciate that she is also flawed. Her ambitions to be editor in chief alienates her from her friends. She also gets so ambitious that she endangers others. She has to learn how to look at the big picture and not get so focused on herself. I liked reading about a flawed heroine. Most of the time the protagonists flaws are shyness or vulnerability. I liked that she made mistakes and had to deal with them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vampire Crush is Robinson’s first novel. She grew up in Indian but now works in the publishing industry in New York City. She graduated from the Indiana University with a double major in English and Chinese. She obviously didn’t use the latter.

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: http://www.amrobinsonbooks.com/

READING LEVEL: 12+

CHALLENGE ISSUES: some readers might object to the presence of vampires.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.

CURRICULUM TIES: N/A

BOOKTALKING IDEAS: How do you think this book compares to others in the genre?

WHY INCLUDED: There are so many vampire love stories out there today. One of the reasons I included this book is that the heroine is so appealing. She’s smart, sassy, driven, and independent. One of my many rants against some the vampire novels today is that there aren’t enough strong female characters. They are always so love sick that they almost seize to exist without their vampire lovers. Romance is all well and good but teen girls need to have some love stories with strong willed female characters in them.

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