I got my first YA book from Harper Collins last week to review, and I actually double checked to make sure they meant me. Then I smacked myself on the head because despite my insistence that I’m NOT a vampire/paranormal stuff fan, I kind of am. Um, hello True Blood, Buffy, Sookie novels, Dakota Cassidy books, JR Ward series, assorted other reads too?! Ok. So I’m a fan but I’m super picky. So I took a lot at this book with the funny title but cool cover look and raised an eyebrow. Would I love it? Hate it? feel somewhere in between about it? I would never pick it up in a store (I don’t usually browse YA, I seek out specific titles) so I wasn’t sure…
Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis
This is the 2nd book in a series (I have not read the first- “Bite Me”) but I didn’t feel like I missed enough for it to have affected my enjoyment. AJ Ashe is a vampire teen/our heroine. She’s got to save the world from her dad & his bad vampire peeps who are out to do bad. Also she’s got to protect her pregnant mom and her step-dad & wizard step-brothers. In this world aside from the super strength and healing and such, it seems vampires can roam day or night, eat regular food, hang out with humans, go to school, etc. She’s also kind of in love with her ex-boyfriend who is now her step-brother. I liked the unconventional family and I would have liked to see more of those characters, as well as more period. At just 285 pages of story (and not small font either) – I felt like this would have benefitted from a longer format.
It’s a quick read, and definitely entertaining but it had a number of problems. I felt like I was listening to a teen girl, that’s for sure… but it disappointed me that she made some poor choices and seemed to get away with it time and time again. Despite thinking she was ‘helping’ it seemed like most of the time her own feelings were all she was considering. Um, if you endanger entire world to save your mom guess what? There won’t be a world for her to live in so it doesn’t matter. DUH! I just wished she had thought a bit more and/or the author had shown us some real thought process vs rash decision-making I couldn’t get behind.
Do I recommend it? Yes and no. I think that the reader who just loves a good light YA read + vampires would enjoy this. It’s very light on the gore front and more warm & fuzzy than the traditional gore/demon/bad guy fare that is more traditional when it comes to all things vampire. I thought it was an interesting take to have her be essentially a “normal” teen too. I could see some teen girls I know really enjoying this one, but I’d get them “Bite Me”, the first book in the series too. I wouldn’t get this for the teen girl who’s into serious and/or more dark reading… this is more a bit of cotton candy in the vamp genre. There is some making out and swearing, in other words it’s about what I’d expect for a book of this genre.
Now, by the time I wrote this review I had to go look up the main character’s name because I’d forgotten in the few days since I’d read it. In other words, for me it’s not a book that will stick with me or be remembered vividly. If you walked up to me and said “Hey May – what did you think of Love Sucks?” my response would be a shrug and “it’s ok I guess” or something similar. I just can’t love a book that doesn’t have any characters I really like, or that I love to hate. Likewise one with big gaps in logic and explanation won’t work for me generally either (unless I’m so in love with characters I don’t care)
So that’s exactly what it is – just ok.