Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fat Vampire: a fat disappointment

Vampires of course are the latest trend in teen culture, (although it has appeared to die down a little). In a world with beautiful vampires with their their good looks and young love that is intact and lasts forever. BUT, what happens to the not so charming,nerdy awkward guy becomes a vamp ?  The answer can be found in Doug Lee, in Adam Rex's Fat Vampire. As if teenage years aren't awkward enough imagine being stuck as a perpetual adolescent. To make matters worse for Doug, he has to struggle to find blood (he ends up settling for cows). Meanwhile unbeknown to Doug he is being hunted by a reality show, Vampire Hunters. What is Doug to do? Can he survive life as a vamp?
I was very excited to read this for several reasons. I am not a fan of the vampire trend, so a book a mocking vampires, awesome! Then the twist of further mocking Twlight beauties by making the main protagonist an ugly nerdy vampire, I was so there and was ready to laugh! Also the cover, (in Teen Lit, covers sell books) further demonstrated the quirk and humor of the book. So where did Fat Vampire go wrong?
The first few chapters of the book were entertaining. When we first meet Doug, he is already a vampire and the only person that knows is his best friend Jay. Doug's vampire-ism doesn't stop them from going to comic-con where they rob a blood donation bus. In another incident Doug tries to get blood from a panda at the San Diego zoo, when the zoo keepers notice him in the pen, he freaks and accidentally transforms himself into bat. I was under the impression that the rest of the story would be filled with silly hi-jinks as Doug struggles with
new vampire lifestyle, instead the rest of the story well took a weird turn. Just about all of the silly incidents occurred in the first several chapters. A dual narrative is introduced from the point of view of Sejal, a foreign-exchange student from India. She is hoping to reinvent herself because she has 'the google' (a self diagnosed addiction to the internet). The two narratives to meet and catch up, but I really don't know why. At first it seems she is going to be Doug's Bollywood Bella to his awkward chubby Edward, but their relationship fizzles out before it even starts.
Another issue in Fat Vampire was the character development. In the case of Doug, the main character, there was none! Doug is the main character and we know nothing about his home life and his family. In youth literature thats usually an important aspect of the character, it shows the reader what makes the main character tick and makes him a bit more relatable. Doug was not at all, he was a jerk! At one point, out of no where Doug becames a super cool mack daddy vampire and gets a girl friend.. the only reason, to use her, so he can suck her blood while they make out. I hated Doug, I felt more of a connection to the secondary characters, like Jay, Sejal and the theater kids she hangs out with.  
The biggest upset for me was the end.. ::SPOILER ALERT:: 3/4 of the way through the book a plot actually emerges! Doug is told his vampire-ness can be reversed if he kills the head vampire. So he goes out on a hunt and it turns out its his mentor Stephen. So they meet up one night and I expect an epic battle, but the Vampire Hunter guys kill Stephen with steak through the heart. As for Doug he gets hit with a steak as well, Segal is next to him and it seem he might survive. There are several possible outcomes that could occur, and they are all included in the last two pages, with the last option being, Doug dies.
Really? That's how you end the story? That is horrible and makes me feel like I wasted my time reading the stupid book. I wanted to love this book I really did, but that ending drove me over the edge. That is just lazy writing! Bottom line, Fat Vampire was just as horrible as the books it was parodying. As far as vampire books go, it sucked.

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