Most high-school juniors face big questions about their futures, but few ask the question posed to 16-year-old Mina: should she stay human or should she become a vampire, like her parents? In this breezy, often uproarious debut novel, Pauley follows Mina through her decision-making process, which includes classes about vampire history and culture and field trips with her eccentric uncle Mortie, the first vampire in the family. The juxtaposition between Mina’s normal, human high-school existence and “vampire camp” creates hilarious contrasts, all narrated in Mina’s wisecracking, authentic teen voice. Mina’s frequent lists, such as “Why It Sucks to Have Parents Who Are Vampires” and IM exchanges between Mina and her best friend, add to the pitch-perfect humor. A chirpy cheerleader considering the vampire life and a cast of handsome romantic prospects round out the appealing supporting cast. Readers will race through this lighthearted debut, filled with vampire lore, to discover Mina’s final decision, and they might recognize Mina’s larger struggle to move between very different cultural worlds. Grades 7-10. --Gillian Engberg
About the Author
Kimberly Pauley loves a good book she can sink her teeth into. As her alter-ego, the Young Adult Books Goddess of yabookscentral.com, she has devoured more books than she can count. This is her first novel. She lives in Illinois.