Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Boys that Bite by Mari Mancusi

💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: Vampire Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙  

It's been so long since I read a "bad" book that I had almost forgotten what the experience was like! Thank goodness BOYS THAT BITE came to remind me, lest I grow soft and foolhardy in my ignorance.

BOYS THAT BITE is about two sisters named...Sunny and Rayne. Sunny is a prep and Rayne is a goth. (This book was written in 2006, when such distinctions were important.) One day, Rayne drags Sunny to a Goth club and Sunny accidentally gets bitten by a vampire named Magnus. It turns out that he was actually supposed to bite Rayne, who has spent years on a special waiting list for the privilege, but because they're twins...oops!

The next two hundred something pages consists of plot devices that can be summed up with statements that start with "OMG" and end with exclamation points:

OMG, now I'm totally going to be a vampire and that sucks because I'll miss prom!

OMG, but the vampire that bit me is kind of hot, though!

OMG, now there's a vampire slayer but she's totes fat you guys, ew yuck! But also LOL!

OMG, but what about that sexy jock that I like! OMG, being a vampire means excreting pheromones that make EVERYONE like me, including dirty old man teachers, ew yuck!

OMG, so it turns out that maybe I can become a human again if I drink from the Holy Grail!

OMG, but that hot vampire though!

OMG, flying on a private jet to England!

OMG, prom with my sexy jock boyfriend!

OMG, that hot vampire guy though!

OMG, my twin sister is a selfish meanie and I hate her so much!

OMG, I'm a vampire!

This is one of those books that was clearly written with the idea that teenagers are vapid creatures who see all other girls as rivals to be jealous of (Rayne), slut-shame (Rayne), or fat-shame (the vampire slayer). Sunny was intolerable as a narrator, and a useless trash person as a human being. It's been a while since I read a character who was so selfish and shallow who I wasn't supposed to hate. The attempts to inject pop-culture and teen-speak into this book also feel really embarrassing and dated. I grabbed this book when it was free for Kindle a few months ago and I kind of wonder if it was rewritten to be more "modern" and "hip"? Because this book was written in 2006, mind, and yet, the book mentions Taylor Swift (and calls her "T-Swizzle"), the Kardashians are mentioned, and at one point, Sunny says she looks like "Jennifer Laurence." None of those things were hugely relevant in 2006. Those are more like 2016 pop culture references. On the other hand, the references and pervasiveness of Goth culture and punk culture and bands like Green Day make this book feel way more like an early 2000s effort. If this book was edited to be more "modern," it failed miserably, because now it comes across as this Frankenstein effort written by an alien who only understands teenagers from what they have seen on reruns of after school specials.

I'm really annoyed because I wanted to like this book. I love vampire stories, and I even love teenage vampire stories like TWILIGHT. This book wanted to be TWILIGHT but it also wanted to be edgy, and ended up sacrificing the love story that made TWILIGHT so epic for annoying teenage drama and ended up sacrificing the edginess for "OMG, I'm so relatable you guys! G to the whizzle! I'm hip and I'm straight-edge and I'm here to shake the scene, tubular-style!"-type shenanigans that kind of made me feel like I was watching a friend's dad try to sound cool at a barbecue. Oh, and that insta-love. That insta-love. It made TWILIGHT look like A Very Long Engagement.

I think I'll be giving the rest of this author's books a miss.

1 out of 5 stars

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