Part One of Two. This past weekend I worked at the Pasadena Antiquarian Book Show. Not only did was I the only person under 65 to attend, but I also cemented my youth by reading not one, but TWO ridiculous teen vampire novels. The first one being Braced to Bite by Serena Robar. The book follows Colby Blanchard who is a all around perfect high school blonde. (She's someone I would have hated in HS) She is top of her class, takes APs. She is also the top of the cheerleading pyramid and is friends with some vapid people and is about be asked out by the star quarterback. Well, the quarterback doesn't ask her out, and while she is walking home through the woods after the big game she is attacked. The guy ends up beating her up and making her drink his blood, but she kicks him in the crotch (Awesome!) She then wakes up in a ditch. She walks home and realizes once she gets there that it's been three days. Her mom cuts her hand and Colby actually drinks the blood. Then Colby's crazy great aunt makes the diagnosis that Colby is a vamp! Apparently the aunt worked as a nurse in WWII and she saw a few vampires that way. It's throw away lines like that that make this book hilarious. It has a really light tone and doesn't take itself seriously, which is fun. The only problem is when you apply more logic to them the story's logic starts to fall away. But it really didn't detract too much from the book, it was a $2.99 bargain book.
Anyway. Colby spends the next few chapters adjusting to her new vampire status. We learn that she doesn't have fangs, and this is the one bit of the book that really makes me love it. Colby's father is an orthodontist. So, of course, she has perfect straight teeth. When she was 12 her father had her cainines removed to give her that perfect smile. Yeah, she is a vamp with no fangs, it gets better. He feels so bad about it that he makes her stainless steel fangs that attach to her headgear. Yeah. She has headgear fangs. It may sound stupid, but it's definitely something I haven't seen in Vampire novels yet, so points for originality. I also love how awkward that is, having to wear headgear while you feed is just so ludicrous. Being a teenager is an exercise in awkward futility. You're really not an adult, and you can't really do anything. Your body is changing and you don't really know what to do with it. I just love how embarrassing that image of her is.
The main plot of the book is that Colby is a half-blood vampire. It's explained in the book why, but not very well. To be honest, I really don't care that much. The bottom line is that half-bloods are considered aberrations, they are sought out and destroyed. Her vampire investigator is Thomas and he is the love interest. He tells her that all vampires are licensed by the Vampire Council and your license is a magic ring. Most of the book is about Colby and Thomas trying to get her that ring.
I really enjoyed this book. It was cute and mildly original. Even though most of it was the same cliched stuff you see in teen novels (awkwardness, new feelings, new powers or new talents, and a crush) it was so light hearted and fun that I didn't mind the dumb bits. Like I said, the book didn't take itself seriously so neither did I. It doesn't get serious scrutiny and it was fun. I would read the sequel.
You can buy the book here. Heck, if you want my copy I'd gladly send it to you for free.