The Reformed Vampire Support Group
by Jinks, Catherine
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Book list It's hard to get too involved in a cast of barely likable whiners and pathetic hand-wringers, but somehow that isn't much of a problem in Jinks' droll vampire send-up. These bloodsuckers are anything but sexy and mysterious, as here vampirism is a cross between a defining addiction and communicable disease; those infected spend most of their time being seriously ill and attending AA-style meetings with fellow sufferers. Nina, permanently arrested at 15 years old, can't stand her fellow group members, but when one of them is found staked they all must work together to uncover the slayer before he can kill again. While readers might feel pushed rather than led through the plot, Jinks offers some wry vampire-centric twists on mystery conventions (having to repeatedly piece together what happened while literally dead to the world from sunup to sundown); and when the humor hits its mark, this can be laugh-out-loud funny. Most of the comedy, though, lies in the wide-angle skewering of support groups and fringe characters more suited to hemming and hawing than biting and sucking.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Nina Harrison has been 15 years old since 1973. That's because she is a vampire. She and the members of the Reformed Vampire Support Group break the mold when compared to the accepted vampire lore that has been around since the time of Count Dracula. They are not beautiful, strong, powerful, rich, or in control. Instead they are sickly, struggling just to stay alive, living on the blood of the guinea pigs they keep, and making the best of their affliction. They have vowed not to drink human blood or be responsible for the creation of another vampire. Nina hates her boring, uneventful life, which changes drastically when Casimir is staked and the group, realizing that the killer knows who and where they are, all move in with Nina and her mother, a nonvampire. With only a silver bullet as a clue to track the vampire slayer, Nina, Dave, and Father Ramon, who sponsors the group, set out on a dangerous journey. Along the way they rescue a werewolf from an illegal fight ring, deal with a villainous father/son team, and discover that their immortal lives might have more to offer than they ever thought. Support Group is truly like no other vampire story. It is witty, cunning, and humorous, with numerous plot twists and turns. Jinks has conjured up an eccentric but believable cast of characters in a story full of action and adventure.-Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Jinks's signature facility with plot and character development is intact as she turns to the topic of vampires-as fans can anticipate, hers are not the romantic superheroes of the Stephenie Meyers books. Hers are a ragtag bunch: anemic, whiny, unattractive, they feed on guinea pigs (because they're small, "their drained cadavers can be concealed without much effort," and they breed quickly), and they turn for support to an idealistic priest. Nina, the narrator, is in her 50s, but was "infected" at 15 and chafes at being treated like an adolescent; she writes a sensational vampire series with a seductive, powerful heroine totally unlike herself, giving Jinks opportunity for comic contrasts. Throwing in delicious details and aperAus, the author works her way from the murder of one of the vampires to suspense and adventure of the sinister yet daffy variety beloved by readers of Evil Genius. The plot twists, more ornate than in previous works, ramp up the giddiness-and, perhaps, camouflage the corpses, blood and other byproducts of the genre. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved