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Sweetblood Mass Market Paperback – August 10, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author traces a vampire-obsessed 16-year-old diabetic's steep slide downward as she is intellectually seduced by a middle-aged cybervamp via the Internet. "The exotic theme coupled with the heroine's highly recognizable feelings of oddity and isolation make for a tantalizing read," said PW in a starred review. Ages 12-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-Hautman is known for tackling unusual topics in his fiction, and this book is no exception. Lucy Szabo has been an insulin-dependent diabetic since she was 6, and now, at age 16, she has developed an interesting theory that links vampirism with diabetic ketoacidosis. When she explains her theory in a creative writing paper, however, her teacher, counselor, and parents become concerned that Lucy may finally be "too weird" and take steps to find help for her. When her computer is removed from her room and she is unable to frequent the Transylvanian chat room, Lucy decides that perhaps real-life adventures are in order. With a new friend, she ventures into the world of tarot cards and goth, perhaps meeting a real vampire in the flesh, while allowing her diabetes to spiral out of control. Teens eager for vampire stories will find Lucy's link between diabetes and vampirism fascinating and plausible. Most of the characters are stock, but the protagonist stands out as being an intelligent, curious young woman who is dealing with all of the usual adolescent angst, compounded by her condition. No longer wishing to be controlled by anything, she decides to stop conforming completely, with almost deadly results. This book should appeal to a wide range of interests, from those looking for a good vampire book to those touched by the illness.
Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (August 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689873247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689873249
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,430,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Swide on May 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One of my friends recomended this book to me. I was thrilled to hear of a vampire book about a girl with diabetes that was actually written by a guy who is diabetic. I figured he could do a pretty accurate job of showing what its like. Ive read a typical vampire books before and they all seem to use a similar plot and charecters. This book really stood out because of its originality and creative outlook on the history of vampires. "Sweet Blood" is centered around the cynical Lucy Szabo, who as you might have guessed, is diabetic. She has a theory that the first vampire legends were based on untreated diabetics, (untreated as in: when they dont get their dose of insulin when they eat.) She explains the disease and what happens when a diabetic is deprived of insulin. She describes these symptoms as being vampire-like. The story begins with Lucy talking about blood and how she can feel it in her body whooshing around. The imagery is amazing. Very poetic and descriptive. It goes on to explain her theory and the story unfolds as she meets new people who help bring her into the goth subculture. However, this book is not just about vampires, (although a lot of it is....thats hella cool!. It does talk a lot about her disease. It really gives an inside look on growing up diabetic.

Im an insulin-dependant diabetic like Lucy and was happy to hear someone,(even if it was a charecter in a book)felt similar to the way I do about my disease. She talks about diabetes so much during the book because it really does take over your life! Just because you can live with it doesnt mean its easy. Like any disease, it takes effort. With the added vampire element, I think the author created a really well written and poetic book. This is one of my favorite books and will be for a long time.
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A Kid's Review on May 1, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"I am not cool. Dead people are cool. I am not dead. I am Undead." Lucy Szabo, a sixteen-year-old diabetic, believes she is a vampire. She believes that she is not among the Living. When she enters the Transylvania Internet chat room, she meets Draco, a supposedly real vampire. Lucy and he crush, Guy, or Dylan, go to a party where she encounters a strange man named Wayne. Although she believes they have never met, Wayne somehow knows all about Lucy and her vampire theories. But what she also doesn't know is that Wayne will be changing her life. She soon gets lost in her Goth world of vampires, and loses all stability of her life. Lucy knows she needs a change, but how?

Sweetblood is an amazing story of teen angst and Goth culture. Hautman invites readers into a world they may never experience. He creates a universe you can enter, but never exit. As I read this book, I followed Lucy through her life as a young, diabetic Goth, and it opened my eyes to the different worlds and cultures around me. Pete Hautman does an excellent job using amazing dialogue to unlock a story that would have never been thought of.

Sweetblood is a tantalizing, anticipating, and breathtaking read. It will blow you away. I recommend this exhilarating novel to anyone who is not quite aware that there are vampires among us, and all you have to do is believe.

Erica Caruso

Reed Business Information, Inc., 2003, 256 pp., $5.99

ISBN 0-689-87324-7
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Format: Hardcover
Lucy is a bright, depressed-with-goth-leanings diabetic teenager with a theory that historical accounts of vampires are based on the physical effects of untreated, undiagnosed diabetes, who starts hanging out with vampire-wannabes. Lucy's cynical snarkiness gets a bit anooying, but it was nice to see a diabetic character who wasn't part of a problem novel about "oh no, I just found out I'm diabetic! Angst, angst, however shall I cope? Oh, guess what, I coped!" However, be prepared for the vampire stuff to play a less than pivotal part of the book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh, and also awesome.

There's been more than a fair share of "vampire stories" coming out recently. Hundreds of books about beautiful vampires sucking on beautiful maidens. Well, here's a "real" vampire story, one that is plausible, fascinating, amusing, and overall just an excellent read.

Lucy has diabetes, and she doesn't really control it all too well. Lately, she's been obsessed with her belief that she herself is a vampire - diabetics in the middle ages driven so far that their gums receded, their skin turned pasty (from being hidden in the house), and finally resorting to drinking blood just for the insulin. She sits on all sorts of chatrooms, spreading her theory (even writing an essay about it in English, and involving counselors and "concerned teachers") and conversing with vampire obsessed youth, and one man who claims to be a real vampire.

When Lucy befriends a "goth" boy, she's introduced to a world that is almost like hers, but isn't. She goes to parties with vampire loving "goths", is the source of intrigue of an older man, and becomes more and more careless.

The vampire theory itself is reason alone to read this excellent book. Lucy is a character that can be stubborn and frustrating at times, but she is still easy to relate to and her life will suck any reader in. This book deals not only with the increasing vampire-obsession among teens, but also with diabetes, changing, growing up, and a few other things tossed in as well, though never cluttered or poorly done. Hautman is a very good, clear writer and he presents Lucy's story in a believable way that will be enjoyable to youth and adults, to boys and girls, and to fantasy fans and realism lovers as well.

No, this is not a cliched story of the hot vampire and his beautiful prey. This is a funny, wonderful read about a girl.

Highly recommended.
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