Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things

Margie Fuston. S&S/McElderry, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5344-7457-4
Fuston’s emotionally charged debut mingles popular culture with the pain of grief, diving deep into the well of vampire mythos and New Orleans mystique. While preparing for art school, Victoria, who is 18 and white, is watching her father run out of treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer. When her mother insists that she take a few days away from the family, Victoria latches on to a last-ditch effort: finding a vampire to turn her father before he can die. Though she’s estranged from longtime friend and neighbor Henry, who’s of Japanese descent, he travels with her to New Orleans, where a vampire revealed himself—then disappeared—several years back. There, Victoria embarks on the quest in earnest, armed with the research that she and her father, longtime “vampire connoisseurs,” have done over the years. When she meets brown-skinned Nicholas, a purported vampire who’s willing to entertain the thought of turning her, he assigns her a series of tasks to push her out of her comfort zone. Told in Victoria’s first-person voice and studded with quotations from vampire films, this desperate journey takes its emotionally raw characters across the Big Easy’s most well-known sites, along the way dipping into faith and spirituality, romance, and the concept of surviving vs. really living. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rebecca Podos, Rees Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/17/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-5344-7459-8
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