Teenaged Bloodsucking Fiends?

Christopher Moore’s novel was everything I needed it to be: lighthearted, goofy, and heavily entertaining. It was a wonderful break from the more serious fare I’ve been reading lately. The vampires were young and immature, but not so immature as the lusty crowd in the Twilight series. These vampires were trying to make the move from adolescence to adulthood. They were renting apartments, working in grocery stores, and trying to figure out how to ingest coffee by mixing in a little bit of blood.

Moore’s writing is humorous and light, with a fair amount of wit in it as well. It reminded me of Nick Hornby’s writing, actually. You Suck was a quick read, a page-turner in a really unusual way — it didn’t keep me going through suspense and drama, but instead through strong characters and interesting plot lines. The protagonists were actually rather prickly, and I had a hard time figuring out whether I liked them or not. They had moments of kindness and humanity, and they also had moments of intense stupidity.

The most interesting thing about this novel is its investment in carving out a different kind of storyline. [Let the plot spoilers begin!!] The ending, for one, is not a typical happily-ever-after ending. I mean, the two protagonists end up trapped inside a container where they have to stay as vapor in order to survive…and one of them may not even have the ability to do so! The Old Vampire never gets his revenge, the hunky scientist and his underage emo girlfriend seem to have moved in together (but to what end? she’s only, like, 14 years old), and the Animals appear to have been violently returned to their human form (and their desperate lives). Also, the Emperor is quite possibly an old vampire himself…he’s just too senile to realize it, and the reader is left to put the pieces together. In any case, all of that amounts to a highly unusual storyline that caught and held my attention and left me pondering the ins and outs of the novel.

GOOD FOR: Fans of vampire fiction with a sardonic twist, people who like non-Disney endings, and everyone who likes dark humor. Oh, and people who are familiar with San Francisco (especially the Marina).

BAD FOR: Twihards, vampire traditionalists, and hardcore realists.

COMPATIBLE WITH: A Long Way Down, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and One for the Morning Glory.

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