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A Reader of Fictions: Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #8: Fang Girl

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #8: Fang Girl

Fang Girl

Author: Helen Keeble
Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Gifted
Recommended by: Jenni of Alluring Reads

Description from Goodreads:
Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

First Sentence: "Just because I like vampires doesn't mean I'm stupid."

Fang Girl came very highly recommended from both Jenni and Giselle, and I have been dying to read it, though with the caveat that I come back to life as a vampire and have eternal life to spend on reading all the books ever. Anyway, Jenni, not convinced my dying plan was all that sound, purchased me a copy, because she's just the best ever. So then I read it, as you can see. Fang Girl is precisely what I hoped it would be: a light, hilarious read, the perfect snack to break up the depressing fare I generally read.

Vampires have been done to death, in just about every way possible. You would think it wouldn't be possible to put a fun, new spin on them anymore, without totally going insane with the mythology. Well, Keeble shows that there's still room for innovation. Her vampire mythos is definitely my favorite aspect of the novel. They've got some awesome powers, like being able to see through the eyes of other vampires in their bloodline, and some serious flaws, like being incredibly OCD. Keeble does a great job of balancing humor and an actual, convincing plot.

Reading Fang Girl, I couldn't help but think of another parody of vampire fiction I read, The Reformed Vampire Support Group. That one came out first, but unlike Jinks' novel, Keeble's is actually funny. Where TRVSG thought detailed description of guinea pig meals were the height of humor, Keeble leaves the guinea pigs alive and has vampires running around like demented Cinderellas, picking up paper clips from the road instead of lentils from the ashes.

The characters are all properly quirky, and likable, even most of the evil ones. Jane herself is awesome, very smart and always trying to make the best out of every situation. However, I feel like the secondary characters really stole the show. Jane's family are delightful and incredibly supportive (*cough* unlike most YA families *cough*), totally excepting their daughter, vampire or no. Plus, they're all hilarious, especially the mom with a penchant for research and Zack, her brother, and his obsession with all things steampunk. Speaking of the mom's research, there's Jane's childe vampire, Brains, a goldfish turned in one of Mum's experiments. Brains is as awesome as he sounds. I also love Sarah, who's sweet and helpless on the outside, but a badass, evil genius on the inside. If this were a movie, she would be Chloe Moretz, which is just how intense she is.

Just so you know, the stress on romance in the blurb with the sixth point about the ripped vampire hunter? It's seriously exaggerated. While he does exist and does have cheese grater abs, there's really not much romance in this book. Fang Girl has enough hints at it to appease those who like a couple to ship, but little enough actual romantic drama to keep those sick of all the romance in YA very happy. Really, all there is to the romance is a couple of comments on the kids being attracted to one another and some jokes. I'm glad about that, because the book would have needed to be longer to really sell the romance.

Keeble has a real talent for humorous writing, and I'm so excited to see what she'll do as she gets even more practiced with it. I'm very excited to check out her second book, No Angel, which comes out later this year.

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote:
"I totally did not need to add eternal love to my towering stack of problems. Sure, it was likely to all come out okay in the end, but there were bound to be misunderstandings and fights and long brooding fits punctuated by fiery glances. And I'd probably find myself gazing longingly at him when I should be scanning the rooftops for paper-clip-wielding maniacs."

Up Next:
The next Sadie Hawkins Sunday book will be The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons, selected by Lisa V. I'm looking forward to it, even though the prequel turned out not be very good... By all accounts the original trilogy is much better, like with Star Wars.

Want to tell me what to read? Fill out THIS FORM with a book suggestion! For more details, check this post.

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Blogger Amy said...

Awesome review!! I really enjoyed Fang Girl. Besides being really funny, I really enjoyed the storyline too. It wasn't just a jab at vampire novels. I am super excited to read more of her books too!!

March 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Molli Moran said...

Hehe, this sounds really cute! I know I've heard the title, but TBH I didn't really pay much attention to it. But it sounds quirky and oh my gosh, a SUPPORTIVE family? I thought those were extinct in YA literature. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one, Christina! :D

March 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Agreed! Keeble didn't sacrifice a story to make jokes. It's a great story in its own right while also poking fun at vampire novel traditions!

March 24, 2013 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Super cute! Her family is so awesome. At first they don't believe her, but after that they're completely behind her and willing to do anything to help Jane!

March 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh, I really want to read that one before the Helen's Angel book comes out. I'm glad you liked it!

March 24, 2013 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Renae M. said...

Hmm, interesting. I'm not a big reader of comedy or parody-esque reads, but in the unlikely event that I do feel the urge for hilarious vampire antics, I will have to look this up. It certainly seems worth checking out!

March 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

Yes yes YES! I am so happy that you ended up liking this one. I remember laughing so damn hard about the paper clips, OMG just thinking about it is hilarious. What's funny is that I actually ended up reading this one by fluke, Giselle accidentally mailed it to me instead of Stealing Parker so I read it quick and sent it back. I'm so happy that all happened because it was so worth the read. Like you, I hope that No Angel is as unique as this one. I definitely have some crazy high expectations for it. Fabulous review darling!

March 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Soma Rostam said...

Wow, Christina, it does sound good
And all Giselle's choices are awesome, so I might try this sometime
Your reader,

March 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yup, I'm glad I could get caught up before that one comes out!

March 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Keeble does a nice job balancing humor and an actual story line, so you might like it, but you definitely will need to be in the proper mood.

March 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

The paper clips were the best. I loved every time all the vampires in the room freaked out and started cleaning. I want one to come stay with me, so they'll do all the cleaning. Does Helen Keeble sell them? Perhaps rent them hourly? Oh, and when Jane couldn't figure out how to sort the Scrabble tiles? LOL.

Oh, I do remember that happening! You were all, "uh, Giselle, what's this?"

March 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's a good choice. And Giselle's a queen!

March 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

This does sound like interesting read, I especially like the quirky/funny family part. I love reading about them, I don't know I find those book more real and humane, they make me smile more than books full of overused puns. I already have this on my tbr, but I am pushing it up now. :D

March 25, 2013 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It is very quirky and funny. Less of a satire than I expected and more of a light, humorous story. I don't feel like she goes for too much cheap humor. There's a lot of situational humor. :)

March 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Dragana Mitrovic said...

That's my favorite kind. :)

March 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM  

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