The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

First, a short summary. The main character and narrator is a vampire, but it’s not at all what it’s cracked up to be. She’s in a vampire support group and they work together to keep each other “clean” from fanging humans for blood. Like a narcotics anonymous. One of their own is killed, so they work to catch this vampire slayer and come across human beings who exploit creatures like them. I found it to be a nice little twist, so I won’t give it away.

I got this book during the Twilight hoopla when I was in high school, and I’ve always been a fan of the vampire lore, so Twilight just reminded me of the subject. I’ll admit I read Twilight, and I enjoyed some of it. Some, I stress. I’m not in love with the whole thing.

Anyway, I read this book when I got it. I picked it up again because I think I left Game of Thrones in the old apartment, and I will need to grab that my next trip back. This would be my second time reading it, but it might as well have been my first because I did not remember any of the story line. I didn’t even read the book jacket first.

The cover, the title of this book, The Reformed Vampire Support Group; seems like it’d be a funny, light hearted story. Nope. It’s pretty dark, and I liked that a lot.

I did not like the way the narrator went ahead and told me who exactly a character was at a point in the story where she didn’t even know who he was. It was pretty much a spoiler, but it also made me wonder at what point in time did she figure it out? I always have mixed feelings about spoilers. In this case, I think it would have made for a more exciting read if she didn’t skip ahead to tell me the answer.

The character development was weak. The main character looks fifteen and is meant to be fifty years old, but I didn’t believe that. I thought she was a teenage vampire; the way she narrated, the way she acted. Maybe vampires’ brains don’t age either? Being “alive” that long, there must be some maturity to make me believe you’re not fifteen. Her character change: she couldn’t even explain what came over her.

Turns out, it was meant to be a memoir of the character which makes the spoiler kind of alright. Read like a memoir definitely makes it make more sense. It was an interesting story, but the characters, and their back stories could have been executed better. I didn’t feel much for any of the characters, but the scenes made my heart stop.

Caring for characters is an important factor though. It’s what keeps me watching formulaic shows like NCIS and House. Everyday, a patient, a dead body, a crime, but I watch because I care about the characters. Of course, a book needs a good non-repetitive story, too.

Regarding my own writing, I’m not very good at character development either. I’m still trying to figure out big moments that make my main character go from hating the world to wanting to save it.

It’s NaNo season, so I won’t be picking up a new book to read anytime soon, but here’s my plan:

I have down what my story is and a couple of scenes that I want to happen. How events will lead to these scenes, I’m not sure. I’ve gotten down as much as I can short of sitting down and writing a whole scene. I’m waiting for the first of November now before I begin writing. My plan is to follow my story and just keep writing no matter how farfetched the events. Whatever research I need to do, I’m going to try not to spend too much time worrying about. I’m going to make up my own procedures and laws. This is going to be an interesting experiment.

Here goes nothing…

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