Monday, June 5, 2023

Look for Me by Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn



LOOK FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT was so good. It reminded me of other edgy YA books I read when I was younger, like THE SILVER KISS or UNCLE VAMPIRE. I think it shares traits with those books too: vampirism as an allegory for abuse, "unlikable" female main characters with real and relatable problems, and-- oh yes-- a seriously dark storyline that doesn't pander to its young audiences or take the easy way out.

I don't want to say too much about this book because less is definitely more going in, but I loved how much this follows the sort of classic vampire horror route. It reminded me of movies like Dracula and Fright Night where the vampires are charismatic and sexy but definitely very much not morally in the right. The vampire in this book had some pretty sexy dialogue that definitely would have had Teen Me writing fanfiction in her journal (hey, I stanned the Caroline B. Cooney vampire too lol), but this one was also, uhhhh, kind of a CREEP. I genuinely felt uncomfortable while reading this and I think I was supposed to.

What actually kind of makes me sad is how many people were hating on Cynda as a main character. She could be a little bratty but I didn't think she was that bad. She was desperate to be loved and lonely and still trying to figure out who she was as a person. She was in a vulnerable state which made her easy to take advantage of. I'm high-key shocked at the amount of reviews saying they hated her because she reminded me a lot of me when I was young and depressed and feeling misunderstood. I think a lot of young kids internalize their feelings like that. It's selfish but part of growing up. Cut the kid some slack.

Less forgivable are the stupid parents who basically serve up their kids on a silver platter to the vampire because they are SOOOO accommodating to the guests of their inn! Please, take what you want! My son? My daughter? No, no, no, YOU GO RIGHT AHEAD. These parents were the actual worst. Writer Dad bringing the goatee-stroking "I'm not like Stephen King, I am a REAL NOVELIST" energy to the table, and Homewrecker Stepmom had basically totally checked out The twist at the end kind of made what happened a little more understandable but still. Fail parenting.

I am SO creeped out right now; I've got chills. Bravo.

4.5 out of 5 stars

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