Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe), Kimberly Pauley
Mina Hamilton (yes, “Mina” is a reference to Dracula, good job!) is the daughter of two vampires. Not cool, sexy vampires, though: her parents are regular, middle-aged dorks: her mother teaches middle school and her father is an accountant. They just get bad sunburns when they go out on the beach.
Pauley’s vampires are endearingly normal (most of the vampires in the story dress and act normally, aside from the blood habit and that whole eternal life thing), which makes this book a refreshing take on vampire lore. At sixteen, Mina has to choose whether or not to become a vampire like her parents, which involves taking vampire classes, doing vampire homework, and going on vampire field trips (to visit a blood bar in one instance, and to talk to a vampire writer—think Anne Rice—in another). Her weird, badly dressed uncle—also a vampire—is her “sponsor”, advising her along the way.
While she’s dealing with that life-changing decision, she’s also busy looking for a prom date (will it be the popular jock, the dark, handsome, brooding vampire wannabe, or the sweet, funny vampire wannabe?) and dealing with the snobby girls at regular school and at vampire school. She’s got a lot on her plate for a junior in high school.
Sucks to Be Me is written in a diary format, and Mina’s voice reminds me a lot of Mia’s in The Princess Diaries: light, funny, and just a little self-conscious. The concept isn’t just clever and inventive, it’s also well-executed, which is a rare combination: Pauley re-writes a lot of the “rules” of vampires, but she’s always consistent, which will please vampire aficionados. (You know who you are.)
In short: This is a quick read, it’s fun, and it has a good message. Way better than some of that other vampire literature I could mention.
Read it if you like: The Princess Diaries, Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer