Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Joe Vampire

You remember that New Year's Resolution I made? I'm sucking at it. Like big time. I wanted to read more this year but it's April and I've somehow managed to only finish two book and one of those I read pretty much the bulk of the year before. Pathetic. But I'm trying.

But I finally finished another and if it's the only one I manage to read this year, well I can at least say it was a blast and one of the freshest, most interesting spins on not just vampire lit but of the notion of a novel itself.

Joe Vampire describes the life and undeath of a character named Joe, your average Joe (ha, see what I did there?) and his travails as he's turned from a human to vampire. It ain't pretty, it involves one too many Sake bombs and a a drunken canoodling with the wrong person, and the worst diarrhea ever.

If you're looking for the next Twilight series, you won't find it here. Instead Joe Vampire is a funny, heartfelt, and refreshing take on the vampire story.  This vampire doesn't sparkle and his romantic entanglements, when he's lucky enough to have them are a bit more based in reality. When a book about vampires talks about relationships and uses the term 'soup stage', it suggests that this book has a better idea of what it takes to make a relationship work in the real world, or how easy it is to have them fall apart. This book is not afraid to get messy about relationships, friendships and having the character find its way around vampirism and life itself. The characters feel grounded and lived-in and messy in ways I haven't had the pleasure of reading in a very long time. 

Another thing I loved about this book was the format. The book was written in a series of blog posts, letting the book feel like a series of essays while still capturing the action and progression of a normal novel. I loved this idea because I love reading blogs for much the same reason. The best blogs are a series of open, honest snapshots's into that person's like that the writer is willing to share. Using this platform as a way into the character's life was just that, a series of glances into Joe's life that added up to a whole more than its parts. 

This was a fun, easy read that I'm glad I finally got to finish. It was so much fun that I just bought the sequel and may dive in as soon as possible.  A+ all around.

P.S, Keep it tuned here for my casting of the movie version of this book.

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