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Little Vampire Women Paperback – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061976253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061976254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up For fans of vampire literature, this book can be fun. It is a retelling of the Alcott classic with the March family as humanitarian vampires they will not ingest the blood of humans. Set as the original is during the Civil War, the story follows the traditional plot. The family must survive without Mr. March, who is off at war, bolstered by his abolitionist views. Marmee is home with her four lovely daughters. They are not interested in furthering their numbers. Jo refuses to mate with Laurie, even though he desperately wants to be a vampire, too. The Marches are not shunned from society and intermingle with some ordinary humans, though there are those who would do them harm. Although vampires are supposed to live forever, a strange illness has threatened Mr. March, and Beth does eventually succumb. Thus the role of the vampire defenders becomes important, and Jo is passionate about joining their ranks. Messina has cleverly interspersed footnotes in the text to explain some past vampire accomplishment or event. The serious, scholarly tone with which they are written makes them quite humorous. The author's prose style is sharp, and her imprint on these characters is distinct. There is certainly an audience for this selection, and it may introduce readers to a classic. Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

“‘Christmas won't be Christmas without any corpses,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.” Alcott's classic receives the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) treatment—and it's surprisingly effective. The original March family was characterized by their poverty, independence, and firm morals in the face of wealthy neighbors and decadent temptations. The vampire version has the equally poor Marches resisting the urge to dine on humans, instead drinking the blood of rats, beavers, and in Beth's case, her beloved kittens. These Marches preach humanitarianism and fight valiantly against vampire slayers, but most of the original plot is preserved. Meg marries John Brooke (after “siring” him as a vampire), Amy marries Laurie (ditto), Jo falls for the Transylvanian vampire Mr. Bhaer, and Beth . . . dies (from poisoned kittens). Jo's tomboyish behavior translates perfectly to a vampire's impassioned need for blood. Though the audience is necessarily limited mostly to those who have read the original, those who have will be delighted by Messina's clever and loving spoof, replete with excellent wordplay and footnotes to clarify vampire history. Grades 7-12. --Debbie Carton

More About the Author

Lynn Messina is the author of nine novels, including Fashionistas, which has been translated into 16 languages, and The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies. Her essays have appeared in Self, American Baby and the Modern Love column of The New York Times. She's also a regular contributor to the Times Motherlode blog. Lynn lives in New York City with her husband and sons.

Customer Reviews

They were both excellent retellings as well.
Holly
This is a good idea because contemporary fiction trends have moved toward the supernatural and paranormal as well as the occult.
BookGirl
Don't trash Alcott's literary reputation - let Ms. Messina take full credit for this one.
Sandy G

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Teen Books on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This fun twist on the classic Little Women has vampires and humans living uneasily together in society. Humanitarian vampires like the Marches try to promote harmony and understanding amongst their human neighbors. Jo is a vampire defender rather than an aspiring writer, and the fight scenes could be edgier, but these are victorian lady vampires after all, and it is still a fun read for those who has a sense of humor about their favorite classic novel being turned into a vampire book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina Hamlett on May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Those plucky March girls - Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth - are centerstage in this campy spin on Alcott's classic. With their father away at war and their beloved Marmee raising them to be humanitarian vampires, this quartet of femme fatales is learning that it's not always easy for the undead to coexist with their human neighbors. You just never know if a vampire slayer has a stake in your future (literally) or, for that matter, if the beau who's courting your sister has a wicked agenda to decapitate all of your kin while they're sleeping. Add to this batty mix the trials and tribulations of young romance, most notably in the form of guy pal Laurie who's so earnestly pining and whining to join the ranks of the immortal that you can't help but fear he'll fall into bad company if one of the sibs doesn't hurry up and grant his dying wish. This snappy spoof has all the earmarks of a fun movie, especially given the current obsession with men who sport fangs and sleep in coffins. Speaking of movies, this book is replete with some pretty hysterical footnotes that - like end credits and bloopers in a film - you might have the misfortune to miss if you don't read past THE END. Here's a sample:

6. International bestseller by Dimitri Strinsky (b. 1294), translated into 37 languages, including Swahili. Its sequel, "Seven More Signs of a Vampire Slayer and How I Missed Them the First Time," is also a classic.

7. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, established in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton, who became famous after foiling an attempt to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln. Pinkerton was the first personal-security agency to hire vampires to screen for slayers.

15.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Etc. VINE VOICE on June 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This novel mashes an abridged Signature Classics - Little Women (Signature Classic Series) with an in-vogue vampire slant. The Marches of this tale are all vampires, though the well-to-do Laurence neighbors are not.

I imagine that Lynn Messina read the original "Little Women" as a girl (as I did myself, many times), because she's true to the spirit of the original. I'm so familiar with the story that I can open the book at any point and relocate myself within it instantly. So the idea of a take-off pastiche was repellent, until I read the opening lines, "'Christmas won't be Christmas without any corpses,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug." The March girls are now part of a "humanitarian" vampire family that doesn't feed on humans, which is pretty funny if you know about Bronson Alcott's dietary ideas about fruitarianism for his family (and the nice dinners for himself in society). Vampires and humans live uneasily in society, but humanitarian vampires such as the Marches do what they can to promote harmony and understanding amongst their human neighbors.

Rather than being an aspiring writer, in "Little Vampire Women," Jo is an aspiring vampire defender. There's a whole new plot line, with Jo attempting to find out who is causing a rash of vampire illnesses, which freshens the familiar story for old readers. If you want to be struck anew with Meg's romance, or grieve over Beth's long illness, this is the book to do it, since we never know just what Lynn Messina is going to do to the family next.

The vampire fighting is insufficient to carry this pastiche on its own, however, and even as a pacifist I found myself wanting more action.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BookGirl on January 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a good idea because contemporary fiction trends have moved toward the supernatural and paranormal as well as the occult. The modern American audience has decided to embrace vampires in the same way that they embraced ghosts in the early 90's and late 80's with R.L. Stein and Steven King. Now with the new fad, it seems to be the British novel, seen as old-fashioned and hard to read, going head to head with the new American teen novel that is battling to return to prominence in popular culture. It seems that the new American reader does not like little women as much as they liked what it represents, a strong female protagonist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Holly on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It stayed true to the style of the original and the vampire storyline was highly entertaining! If you enjoyed this book I would also recommend Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. They were both excellent retellings as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandy G on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Louisa May Alcott most certainly did not write THIS book, and I'm amazed that the publishers actually put her name on it. Don't trash Alcott's literary reputation - let Ms. Messina take full credit for this one. I wish that authors these days would actually come up with their own stories rather than throw a vampire into a story and call it "good" - when I was growing up, it was called plagiarism ("to pass off as one's own the writings, ideas, etc. of another" - just in case you're wondering). And yes, I feel this way about pretty much all of the current writers who can't come up with their own stories.
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