Author: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan.
Published: July 3rd 2012 (first published July 1st 2012)
Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity! On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.
My first book in 2013 is a fact. I’ve won this book a while ago and it's nice that the main character’s name is 'Mel’ I liked this girl! She is smart, she is doing well in school, she is loyal to her friends and she has a fantastic sense of humor. It was so much fun to read this book told from her POV. I could connect with her and she made me laugh out loud a couple of times.
She has a best friend named Cathy, an ex-boyfriend called Ty and another friend Anna, who has been absent after her father left her and her mother for a vampire. Vampires are nothing special, since New Whitby has a place for them, The Shade. When one of the vampires sign up for their school, Cathy is fascinated by him. Mel hates him right away and she can’t stand the fact that Francis becomes a part of their group. When Cathy and Francis fall in love, Mel is desperate to keep Cathy away from him. Her plan doesn’t go that well, but that is how a boy with a strange story, Kit, arrives in the story.
Mel is also trying to find out more about Anna’s father. Her mother is acting strange and she can’t believe that her loving father just left her. When Mel starts to discover many secrets together with Kit – a boy she really starts to like – she is plunged into a dangerous mystery. Can she stop Cathy from becoming one of the Undead and can she unravel the mystery around Anna’s father?
While I really liked Mel, I wanted to smack Cathy most of the time. She is a girl with ‘an old soul’ and that is why she connects with Francis. She is supposed to be very clever, according to her perfect grades, but she lacks of intelligence when it comes to love. Wanting to become a vampire after “falling in love” so soon? (They only know each other for two weeks) I did like Kit. He is so sweet and naive, because he knows so little about humans.
Another thing I appreciated about this book was the normal family. Mel has a brother called Lancelot and two happily married, normal functioning parents. I’m happy to see that they still exist in books. It was refreshing to see someone who wants to stay way from vampires, because they are bloodsuckers despite their gorgeous looks. If you like vampires and you want something else, I definitely recommend this book.