I found this book by chance, I guess, after Googling “Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.” because I found the book…well, I don’t remember how.
Published by Self-published on 7 April, 2015
Genre: #nothanks, Fantasy, Fiction, LGBTQ+, Mystery, Young adult
# pages: 127
Source: Google Books
Sixteen-year-old Lucas tries to stop someone from attacking his elderly next door neighbor and ends up with the hottest vampire boy on top of him that he's ever seen. He doesn't know if he should be terrified for his life or turned on. He ends up being both.
Kiran has been a vampire for twenty years, but he looks eighteen. All Lucas knows is Kiran wants him, and the feeling is mutual. Lucas thought he would stay in the closet forever, but soon he has his first kiss with a guy. He's losing his heart, but Kiran can't be trusted. Someone more powerful is pulling Kiran's strings, and they're hunting for Lucas. What's so special about his blood that they want him undead?
Since I’ve not found anything on the author, I’m assuming it’s their first novel—and there are not a lot of informational reviews on this thing, other than “it sucks”, “gross”/”disgusting” or other similar, non-informative comments.
So I bought it on Amazon (it was cheaper there). I read the preview via Google’s books section[1. Google seems to have/do everything now, geez.] and had to buy it, because sometimes things are so bad one just can’t look away, and…that was me. I wanted to give this author the benefit of the doubt, despite the constant gay bashing even though the author has this novel listed as LGBT-friendly.
Reviewing books is not my forte, so I’m not sure how this is really supposed to go. I am, however, pleased with and proud of myself, because this is the first book[2. Like, actual novel book. Cookbooks and informational eBooks do not count. This is a novel available only in eBook form, which sucks, but meh. I wouldn’t have liked the physical copy anyway.] I’ve read in a long while—about three, almost four, years.
There are potential spoilers because I can’t articulate/convey certain uncanny pieces without them.
We’ll start with this, because it’s the part that pissed me off most. This is also what damages the book before the rest of it is even consumed. In my opinion, when someone publishes an LGBT-friendly anything, it is exactly that—LGBT-friendly. Literature lacks in LGBT+ diversity, but if you’re going to contribute to it by adding similes regarding how two male characters are like a heterosexual couple the entire time, that isn’t LGBT+ diversity, it’s sabotage.
This sixteen-year-old kid named Lucas fears coming out to his parents and has a best friend who, all the while knowing Lucas is gay, constantly slings around gay insults. After Lucas meets Kiran, the author constantly compares Lucas’ feelings regarding and relationship with Kiran to life with a girl:
- The first punch was “like he would a girlfriend”, which was used to describe the way Kiran handled him. Seriously?
- “He may as well be a girl” because he was feeling weak from Kiran’s actions. Why can’t he just feel weak because that was what Kiran made him?
I’m too lazy to search through for the rest of the things; I actually wound up ranting about it to a friend who agreed with me…and found my commentary as I continued to read it quite amusing. (Eh.)
When books are written in third-person point of view, I see the author as the narrator and the third-person perspective as that of the author. If this was how the character personally felt, it should have been in first-person POV, or it should have been clearly stated that that was how Lucas felt.
Of course, that leads me to my next point…
…or the lack of it, anyway.
Chapter one is as great as the rest of the book is (which doesn’t say much), but when I made it to the second chapter, it was like an entirely new segment in this person’s life. Books are not like television series, with chapters being the episodes, unless you actually develop the characters and make your words make sense enough to adequately convey—and flow together—the same theme, or point, for a story in a way that allows each chapter to be told like that… hopefully that’s not too confusing?
Basically, the second chapter felt as if everything that happened the previous day didn’t matter anymore, because this kid just up and decided he was sixteen, so he needed a job, which… his mom hadn’t pressured him, and the only reason he seemed to need it was so he would have a way to run into Kiran again. If I’d been attacked, I wouldn’t feel confident enough to go out and get a job when that person could still be around, but… what do I know?
Beyond this, the author is constantly time traveling/jumping and just assuming the reader knows things because they should be “obvious”.
I’m assuming this author followed the “write how you talk” advice, which isn’t actually meant to be taken literally and is therefore the worst advice ever. I know how this author talks and thinks now, and it makes me never want to meet them.
Readers need details, and stories shouldn’t sound made up as one tells it. >.>
Almost Undead is like Twilight fanfiction—sort of. The idea could have been greater and might have had potential to be really superb, but everything was halted and stomped on because too little time was put into this; it feels rushed. It’s unfortunate.
I really want to write and publish fiction someday still, because I keep coming back to things I’ve written before, so I’ve been reading about how to do that. In some articles including quotes and tips by well-known authors, a few said to read a lot of books, especially those in the genre(s) in which I wish to write, even if they’re bad. I guess the bad books are supposed to make me realise what not to do and/or feel cautious of what I write, because that is literally what I’m doing now.
I read this book in four hours. It’s shorter than The 100 by Kass Morgan, but it sucks more than her book, from what I can tell.
What sucks the most about it is that it could have been a REALLY cute and great idea, but the plot was not fulfilling…and also, what even is with the cover?
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