Book Review: Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen

 
 
Emery gets involuntarily turned into a vampire one day just before his maker is murdered, and suddenly he's got a quirky vampire mentor appearing in his bedroom, a group of hunters trying to kill him, and an appetite for blood, which his best friend, Connor, is willingly offering---all on top of his already hectic life of high school and theatre. But then Emery encounters an even bigger problem: he just might be starting to have feelings for his best friend.
 

 
Book Review: Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult, lgbt, vampires, prosthetic
Title: Life as a Teenage Vampire
Pages: 314
My Book Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon
 
Review:

*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has in no way influenced my review.*

This book was sweet, funny, and just a great story about two friends figuring out who they are and falling in love. There was some action and fighting and a plot about vampire hunters who were after Emery, but it was pretty subdued as far as vampire books go since the focus was really on the characters’ lives and relationships.

Emery was adorably oblivious. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he was the only one in the school who didn’t know about Connor’s feelings for him, he then kept misinterpreting everything that happened after he became a vampire. He could hear the way Connor’s heart sped up whenever he noticed Emery looking at him, so he worried Connor was afraid of him. He had the urge to sink his fangs deeper and pull Connor closer while feeding, so he worried he was just becoming dangerous and wanting to hurt Connor in his bloodlust. I was itching for Connor to just admit his feelings already and for Emery to realize his and for them to just end up together! But it was all in a good slow-burn kinda way.

And this book didn’t just have an adorable romantic relationship, it had sweet friendships and family relationships too that made me smile.

I also liked the trope-free portrayal of high school, as well as the way characters sometimes acted immature (as some teenagers do, like breaking up with someone in a note), but those things were never treated as being the normal or smart way to handle things, and other characters always called them out on it. Another great thing was that Emery and Connor were into theatre and robotics, something you don’t see often in YA books.

The only possible negative thing I can say is that I’m not sure it was realistic the way Connor’s robotic prosthetics worked just as perfectly and fluidly as a real hand. Especially since there was no mention of him having had the surgery that, from what I understand, would be required in order for him control a prosthetic using his mind, which was what he seemed to be doing. (I did a little of my own research about mind-controlled hand prosthetics—I’ve included links to some really cool videos at the end of my review.) I could be wrong though since I’m not an expert, or there might’ve been more to his prosthetics that just wasn’t explained to the reader. And though I would’ve liked to see more struggles simply for the reason that most people with missing limbs probably do struggle more, I can’t say his lack of struggle detracted from the story. It was just that, except for the times when he took the prosthetic off and felt insecure about his arm, it was like he simply had a flesh-and-blood hand.

Overall though, this was an adorable and funny YA about finding yourself, falling in love… and vampires!

More Info about Robotic Prosthetics:
The Robot-Arm Prosthetic Controlled by Thought
Will a robotic arm ever have the full functionality of a human limb?
‘Terminator’ arm is world’s most advanced prosthetic limb
This Mind-Controlled Bionic Arm Can Touch and Feel

 
 
Book Blurb

Emery Mavus just wants to survive his senior year of high school. Becoming a vampire complicates things. So does a bizarre mentor, a group of vampire hunters, and an unexpected, new attraction for his openly gay best friend, Connor. An occasional uncontrollable hunger for blood might be the least of his worries.

Basic Info

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Warnings

Sex:
Violence:
Strong Language:

 
 

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Have you read Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen?
Have you ever read about characters who were into theatre?
(Or have YOU ever been into theatre?)

 
 
 
 
 

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  1. Greg

    I love that title- Life As A Teenage Vampire. Being a vamp would have been interesting. lol I always love the vampire hunters thing. And theater’s busy so yeah he’s got problems. :) Speaking of which, I agree- I like it when theater is portrayed in YA, and a realistic depiction of high school is not exactly common either lol. I’ve only read a few YA’s with theater but the only one I can think of at the moment is Get Even.

    Greg recently posted: How Scary Is Too Scary?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, school and theatre is enough without adding vampire hunters into the mix :-P I’ve read one other YA with high school theatre and two other books with just general theatre, but that’s out of hundreds, you know? So it’s definitely rare. And yes, those realistic depictions of high school are rare too lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes, I’m always hesitant about books that take place in high school for that reason! I feel like maybe I need to stop saying I don’t like sweet and adorable books though. I still prefer dark, and I’m not going to like a book if it’s just fluff and instalove, but apparently I can like sweet books if they’re still realistic and written well. But I’m not sure if it’s your kinda book or not. And you’re the second person to mention loving the title lol.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Wait. A trope-free representation of high school?!? Is that possible? *ha* Well, that’s reason enough to pick up this book. :) But I really like that there are so many tight relationships involved in Emery’s story – family especially since that isn’t always the case in YA. Plus, I really like the sound of Emery and Connor’s budding relationship. :)
    I have read a few books where theater was involved – Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange series was enjoyable. It’s YA involving fae. (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3064985-wondrous-strange)

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s so rare, right? And it is nice to see family and friendships in books as well as romance, especially YA. Although their relationship was totally adorable lol.

      Ooh, I will look at that book :-)

  3. Aralyn

    This sounds so cute! And has some unique aspects. I enjoy realistic high school portrayals and theater + robotics is new! Theater doesn’t show up enough in YA books, yo! But robotics is something I have yet to encounter.
    I can understand that little bit of frustration about his prosthetic hand not being elaborated. I would like to know if technology is just more advanced in this setting, what kind of surgery that took, struggles, etc. But it sounds like it doesn’t take away from the story enough to be a turn off :) I wanna read this now!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is! And the theatre and robotics definitely made it unique. I agree that theatre is in so few YA books, but it’s kind of weird since there are plenty of high school kids who do theatre!

      I think she might’ve just used some creative liberties? Since Connor was into robotics, he made his own robotic prosthetics. I don’t know if that would really be possible or not, at least at present, since the videos I watched made it seem like those types of mind-controlled prosthetics are super complicated and there are very few of them at the moment and they take practice and all that, but who knows. It does seem like prosthetics working as well as real hands (or close) will be possible one day though. To me it’s more that I’m just disappointed that almost every book I find that involves disability has the character not struggling at all because then why even include the disability in the first place? But like I said, it was still a cute story regardless. Can’t wait to see your thoughts if you read it!

  4. Lola

    It does sound neat to have a vampire book focused on the characters their lives with less action. I love a good slow burn romance and sounds that part is done well. And a trope free portrayal of high school also sounds nice, although I do think some of those more stereotypical things do happen. But I also believe not every high school is like that and it’s good to see that in books as well that not all high schools are the same. Some books just make me roll my eyes when the high school setting is too stereotypical or cliché, but some immature acts like breaking up in a note do sound like something that might happen.

    The robotic prosthesis does sound like an original touch to the story, although I don ‘t know much about those myself to say if that’s realistic or not. Unless the book si set far ahead in the future I would assume a prosthetic is a bit less fluid than a real arm at least. Great review!

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #202

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love slow burns too! The anticipation is part of the fun lol. I get what you’re saying about the high school which is why I liked the things like the note I mentioned, but it just seems like so many high school books have the mean girl, and being smart/getting good grades is uncool and nerdy, and people in different cliques are shunned by each other, and the super popular boy likes the shy, timid, mousy girl who thinks she’s hideous… and I seriously wonder sometimes if I just had a really out of the ordinary high school experience? Because my high school wasn’t like that. So I like when I see portrayals that don’t have those cliches.

      It actually does seem like robotic prosthetics that work nearly as good as a real hand are not that far off from being real, so it seems like maybe a bit of creative license was used? And I’m not sure if a random teenager would have the resources to make something like that since I don’t actually know how they’re made. But you know me, I’m just always looking for disability in books which is why I would’ve liked to see it impact the character a little more, but it was still a great book regardless :-) Thanks!