To be or not to be…

Sucks to be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (Maybe) Kimberly Pauley
293 pages; published 2008
Pauley - Sucks to Be MeMy parents are trying to ruin my life. Oh yeah, I know that every teenager says that, but I  really mean it. they want me dead. Or actually, undead.
My parents are vampires. Some people might think that sounds cool, but I’m not talking about those romanticised bloodsuckers, like in novels where everybody walks around in ruffled white shirts and can quote poetry. I don’t know where people get that stuff. Nothing could be further than the truth. My dad couldn’t quote a nursery rhyme if somebody paid him. He likes to watch football and CNN. He wouldn’t know (or care) who Stephenie Meyer was if she came up and bit him. (1)

Mina Hamilton is a normal 15 year old girl. She goes to high school with quirky teachers, she has a best friend she adores, and a speechless-rendering crush on the cutest boy in school. Oh yes, and her parents are vampires.
That’s right, vampires, members of the Northwest Regional Vampire Counsel. It’s not so cool as you might think however. For starters, she can’t actually tell anyone (and who’d believe her if she did?), then there’s the fact that they have amazing hearing, so there’s absolutely no sneaking anything past them, and now (how wonderful) Mina has to decide if she wants to be a vampire too – ah, no!
Turns out he wasn’t really supposed to know about her parents at all, and now she has to go to vampire lessons to help her make an informed decision about her life (or should that be her death?). Her choices: 1) become a vampire and *gulp* drink blood for the rest of her life, or 2) face the possibility of never seeing her family again. What on earth can she do?
I’m curious to see exactly how long the vampire book fixation is going to last. I’m good for a while yet, but the end must be coming soon, right? Still, the parents being the vampires was a nice twist. It was new to me at least – anyone know of others?
I found Mina to be a realistic narrator. I felt sorry for the poor girl. I particularly enjoyed her interruptions of the narration to insert varying pro/con lists or lists about why it “sucks to be her”. What can I say? I can appreciate a character with a list obsession.
Pauley’s take on vampirism was an interesting one – blood bars and vampire pamphlets and ‘sponsoring’ – though I’m not sure how I feel about her transformation process (read it and see). Not the most reinvented I’ve see so far though, that would probably have to be the House of Night series).
All in all a pretty good read. Recommended to any YA vampire lovers. 3.5/5


Bluestocking said...

It will be interested to see how long this vampire fascination lasts.

Joanne said...

Great review! It does seem like a neat idea to have a teen who must decide whether to go vamp or not.

Belle said...

Great review. Sounds like an interesting read.

wendy said...

just can't get into this vampire thing ...I'll probably be loving them about 6 months after their popularity wears off (when your reviews will come in very handy). wendy-behind-the-times that's me

Anonymous said...

I'm getting kind of vampired out, personally.

The Book Resort said...

A few Vampire books... yes, but the saturation is a bit too much.

Just like the books popping up on

When something works leave it be don't drown it & leave us burnt out.