Did you know that there are a lot of older young adult books you can read for free with Kindle Unlimited? Last night I was gleefully wading through old Point Horror novels and middle grade pulp, when I came across this book, UNCLE VAMPIRE. The title makes it sound like a Goosebumps-esque horror romp, but the execution... well, that's anything but.
Carolyn and her sister Honey live in an emotionally remote household. Their mother has had a mental breakdown and their father has anger and money problems. Their older sister went to college to escape it and their brother seems to have turned to drugs. Honey just does her best to act cheerful and please everyone, but Carolyn is getting angry by what nobody else can see: that their uncle is a vampire who feeds on blood.
The Goodreads summary for this book has a big fat spoiler, so if you really want to get a sense of what this book is like by going in cold, I'd suggest you avoid the summary entirely. Summary aside, though, there were still some twists in this book that I didn't see, including one at the very end that completely took me off guard. Considering that this book seems to be for the younger YA set, I'm honestly shocked at the content and language, and could imagine more than one kid realizing that they'd gotten more than they'd bargained for.
That said, I'm kind of glad. It's a scary book but tackles some glaring real-world issues that really weren't talked a lot back in the day (and still aren't really talked about enough now). Cynthia D. Grant really reminded me of the author Francesca Lia Block, specifically the book I WAS A TEENAGE FAIRY, but also a couple of her others less immediately. I think if you like Block's surreal magic-realism/emotional horror stories, you'll really enjoy this one-- although triggers do apply.
I teared up a little while reading this, to be honest.
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars