Monday, September 24, 2012
Josie Griffin Is Not A Vampire by Heather Swain
Author: Heather Swain
Publisher: Speak (September 13, 2012)
Length: 272 pages
Description from Goodreads:
A hilarious take on the paranormal trend--Twilight meets The Breakfast Club!
When former good girl turned rebel Josie Griffin gets busted for what was in her mind perfectly acceptable revenge on her cheating dog of a boyfriend, she lands herself in anger management therapy. It could be worse: it could be juvvie, or she could be a zombie cheerleader like the rest of her former friends. But there's something strange about therapy--these are not normal kids. There's the wannabe ladies man with a weird accent, Johann; the blindingly gorgeous Helios; Avis with his wild dreads; and Tarren, the sprite of a girl with a wicked temper. And all of them keep talking about "powers." Josie knows that has to be impossible, but strange things start happening, and nothing weird ever happens in Indiana. After all, there're no such things as vampires, werewolves, Greek gods, or fairies . . . right?
The review will begin in a few short sentences, but first I wanted to take the time to appropriately appreciate this cover. It is an odd little thing in a sea of covers and I just look at it and laugh. It is absolutely awesome.
Onto the actual book. After reading the synopsis of Josie Griffin Is Not a Vampire and being lured in by the quirky cover I just had to buy the book. Josie is a character I could see myself being friends with. She was spurned by her boyfriend and reacts like many girls would love to do...bashing in his windshield with a bat, dumping her lying friends, and changing her look from cheerleader to bad ass. She is then sentenced to anger management group therapy. The kicker is that the kids in her group all believe they are supernatural creatures. Josie knows this is impossible, but she still feels something strange is going on.
I loved the attitudes/personalities of all of the characters. Readers are really able to feel as if they know the characters. I love when I'm able to read a book and enjoy the characters as people. Tarren and Johann are definitely the two who stand out the most. Tarren's spunk and attitude coupled with her word jumble are absolutely hilarious. Johann is the creepy and lovable vampire who never gives up his 80's swagger. Then there was Helios and Avis. Helios is the love interest in the book, but he is stuck up and selfish for 99% of the book. You really want to see some redemption in him, but it only "sort of" happens and the relationship just sort of splutters along. Then there is Avis. At first he has a pretty good role in the story, but as it goes on he seems to disappear and only shows up every now and then. This is a cute and short book on the surface, but for me something was a little off. In Josie Griffin is Not a Vampire readers are introduced to the supernatural world through Josie's point of view, which is that of a human. She knows absolutely nothing about this world. I am a huge fan of world building and this book just didn't do that for me. There was very little information about this world presented and the book could have used some fleshing out on this point. Several times I found myself feeling something didn't make sense because I didn't have enough background story. Secondly, there is one huge coincidence in the book that just never made sense to me. It was too odd and never really explained. ( I can't tell more without giving away who the "big bad" in the story is) I will say it has something to do with why Josie was placed in the group she was in the first place. Josie Griffin is Not a Vampire was a cute and quick read on the surface, but lacked enough information to be truly awesome. Hopefully there will be a sequel that will add more to it. I would be willing to give it a second try. This book gets a barely there 3 STAR rating.