Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1)
(1) “Rich people aren’t nicer–they just have better cars.”
(2) “The things that go bump in the night…are probably registered voters in Cook County.”
For Readers Who:
(1) Like snarky heroines.
(2) Don’t mind a bit of formulaic paranormal fiction.
(3) Aren’t White Sox fans. There’s a lot of “Go Cubbies!” slipped into the series that you probably won’t appreciate.
Okay, so this isn’t the most original novel. I’m probably not going to reread it and I might have trouble remembering the particulars of the plot a month from now. It was predictable and could be formulaic. That said, it wasn’t bad. Neill’s writing style was average, but her characterization was memorable and realistic.
I have to give Neill respect for redeeming the character of the “English literature student” from the vortex of shame that was 50 Shades of Grey. Merit is a literature grad student. Unlike another author (cough EL James) who tries to pass off her truly idiotic literature student (cough cough Anastasia Steele) as some kind of wide-eyed ingenue, Neill makes Merit believable and dynamic.
That said, Neill doesn’t avoid the trap that seems to have, unfortunately, become a trope of paranormal fiction. Why is it that so many men have to find the heroine so attractive? Merit hadn’t dated for two years before becoming a vampire and then we get a little bloodsucking action and she is magically the most appealing woman in Chicago? If you’re going to make this annoying plot choice, at least give me a good reason why this is the case. I am much more open to a woman wooing men through her sparkling personality or her ability to make even the grumpiest person laugh. If you want an example of how to employ supernatural explanations, Amy Bartol did a damn good job in her Premonition series.
I can’t call for a moratorium on this literary device of “sudden hotness,” so authors, please abide by these rules: (1) Don’t give your readers no reason as to why your heroine is suddenly so sexy. This is unrealistic and sloppy. (2) Don’t just say that your heroine’s supernatural transformation made them suddenly exponentially more attractive. This defies even the fictional rules of a supernatural universe…your character’s getting an upgrade like everyone else does, she’s not going through second puberty. (3) We don’t like reading about perfect women, so it’s okay to not make heroines perfect either. You can do better than Bella Swan or Anastasia Steele (please give characters personality), but give them some other redeeming qualities.
Read it if you just enjoy light, fun books and aren’t too concerned about the novelty of plot. However, I am campaigning against “sudden hotness” because it’s getting lame.