cover image Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Adam Rex, HarperCollins/Balzar + Bray, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-192090-5

As vampires go, 15-year-old Doug Lee is an abysmal failure. Forever frozen as an overweight teenager, he's stumbling through his unlife. He can't seem to master his powers, can't score a quick nibble off a cute girl, and risks bursting into flames every time he goes to school. Worse, his escapades attract the attention of other vampires, and a sensationalistic cable show dedicated to proving that he exists (before staking him). Things take a turn for the better when he gains a mentor, learns there may be a way to reverse his vampiric nature, and falls for a cute Indian exchange student. But in typical Doug fashion, the more optimistic he gets and the more he embraces his new powers, the more it all stands to fall apart. Filled with a self-aware cleverness, Rex's (The True Meaning of Smekday) deconstruction of the vampire mythos draws some thought-provoking parallels between vampirism and elements of contemporary society, particularly the consumptive power of technology and the Internet. But like its subject matter, it seems to lack heart, and the ambiguous ending may leave readers cold. Ages 14–up. (July)