Author: Adam Rex
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Date Published: July 9th 2010
Genre: Paranormal (YA)
Doug Lee is undead quite by accident--attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and 15 forever. Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her--hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her.
Just judging from the name and cover of this ridiculous book, you know you are in for some laughs, some crazyness, and definitely not the typical sexy vampire story that us girls have been swooning over since Edward Cullen came out of the coffin. I was thrilled to be getting what appeared to be a light, fluffy, spoof-like piece of fun in a genre awash with angsty, moody, melodramatic plots and characters. This book is a pretty great depiction of self sentered, attention deficit teenagers as they meander about their high school lives...but with vampires, drama kids, and exchange students from India.
Doug's character starts out great. He's this morose, kind of pitiable kid that just happened to have been turned into a vampire. Unfortunately for him, he was turned right before the age he would have lost all that baby fat, leaving him a chubby homely vampire in a world full of athletic sexyness and elite beauty. He makes the best of it though, using his vampire wiles to get him into Comic Con early and to hangout out with his best friend in the cool parties. Girls dig that vampire vibe nowadays don't they? Doug seems like the kind of character that you are going to love to get to know, especially because of his faults. Unfortunately...those faults quickly overtake his personality and eliminate any feelings of goodness you might have for the kid. It all starts when he starts being mean to his best friend for no other purpose than to make himself look better. He's mean, he's uncaring, and he's arrogant. Not the kind of person you want to spend time with. It seems like he goes a little crazy at the end and he makes a ton of bad decisions that lead others into harms way and you kind of just want to shove a stake in him and be done with it already.
I really enjoyed the quirky tone that the book had. There were constant zingers and some completely insane paragraphs where it was all you could do to hold on and ride out the laughs right along with the characters. I will say that this book has THE BEST description of a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show I've ever read. I really loved it, because as one of the frequent attendees of such a show, I always enjoy finding a fellow RHPS apreciator. There's no better bonding experience than guys in drag, slutty maids and throwing toast at strangers. Things got a little weirder as the book went on though. The tone went from the funny kind of awkward where you giggle about the bizarre things that are happening to the uncomfortable kind of awkward where you're shifting in your seat and looking for the nearest exit. I don't know if it was because of how much the main character changed, becoming someone you wouldn't really want to hang out with, or if the writing style just threw me for a while, but I found myself counting the pages until I could count myself done with the book. It was like the book lost it's edge once it transitioned from hilarious, snarky, and funny to serious and dark. It became just another teen vampire book with an overdramatic and somber teenage vamp as the lead.
Like Doug, Sejal started off as an interesting character, but then she kind of dissolved into a puddle of confusion and boredom. I was really interested when I found out that she was addicted to social networking and the ridiculus discription of Sejal watching the video online of real time Sejal watching herself was pretty funny and ironic and definitely pokes fun at todays teenagers, but then Sejal just kind of stops being funny or interesting or anything really. She is Doug's potential and unwilling love interest but she lacks a certain depth and strength to make you like her. I'll be honest that I just simply stopped caring about her and couldn't decide wether I wanted her to live or be sucked dry by one of the many vamps flitting around the pages.
I'll be completely honest, Fat Vampire fell really flat in my book. I give it 2 out of 5 Keys. The Rocky Horror Picture Show scene gets a 5...but that was one of the only redeeming qualities. It was like Adam Rex had this goldmine of potential that seemed like it was heading somewhere fantastic until he got halfway through, lost his train of thought, then finished the book as quickly as possibly without really thinking about it. I really didn't understand parts of what was going on and Doug turned into a completely unrelatable character that I couldn't care less about. Fat Vampire was definitely something different for those of you who like paranormal. It spoofs on basically everything we know about vampires and our obsession with the interweb, yet has its cute vampirey moments as well. I've read a few other reviews where the reader really loved the nerdyness and the weird senses of humor so maybe it was just me. Still...average book...get it from the library, borrow from a friend...if you find it on sale you MIGHT want to buy it. But it's nothing to run out and get immediately.