Written by a husband and wife team, this book is interesting to say the least. Sadly, Vampire Girl is a typical paranormal romance with nothing outstanding to raise it above any other novel of its kind I have read. To be frank, it read a lot like fanfiction.
What let the book down the most was how undeveloped the characters were. Arianna, or Ari, had the makings of a promising protagonist. She was emotionally strong, hard working, intelligent and caring. However, Kinrade barely took any time setting up their characters. Even when there were clear opportunities, they rushed over major character developments! I’m sure there would be many a teenager shipping Fen and Ari if Kinrade had put a little more effort into making their characters seem more than archetypes of paranormal romance. I can deal with cliché – hell, I’m a fan of romance so I practically live for it – but this really was a let down.
The world building and the effort put into fully developing the plot also fell flat. The ideas behind the novel had the potential to be good, but the execution let it down tremendously. I can imagine reading a novel with the same plot and enjoying it, but I think Kinrade was just lacking in the skill to pull it off. It took me a approximately 3 hours to complete the entire novel, but if the authors had fleshed out the characters, the worlds and the politics behind everything properly, it might have taken me 8 hours. I wanted to like this book so bad. It’s the type of book I can imagine teens loving if done properly. A fun and easy going paranormal adventure to pass an afternoon. There’s a strong female lead, seven ‘dreamy’ demons desperate to win her affection and a magical universe that wants her to be their queen! What more can a girl want? If this was a cake, all the ingredients were there, but unfortunately the husband and wife clearly forgot the baking powder so it was unable to rise.
One element of the novel I did appreciate was the presence of the Ari’s best friend, Es, who happened to be a woman of trans experience. Kinrade also took the time to discuss some of the issues facing Es. Although I appreciated the visibility of a trans character in the novel, it did feel a little forced. I think the author could have included some of the issues into the novel with more skill, making them prominent but not so obvious that it disrupts the flow of the book. It’s clear that the author only has good intentions by including more diverse characters, but it was done so sloppily that it didn’t add anything to the story’s plot and seems thrown in to show off the author’s liberal attitudes. I share the same intersectional beliefs but I wish she would have handled the issues with more skill, letting them enrich the story instead of distract from it. Either way, it’s always good to see representations of all people so I can only applaud Kinrade for her efforts!
One, somewhat, redeeming factor was the ending. It was mildly intriguing and enough to get me to read the second book depending on the price and the state of my overdraft. It’s the type of book I would love if it was free but if I spent £4.99 on it for a kindle version, I might be a little pissed, especially with them being so short.
It’s hard reading a novel with potential and then finding it lacking the whole way through. A bit like watching the Suicide Squad movie. Haha. I still can’t talk about that without getting upset.
Peace and love,