Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #8: Fang Girl

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #8: Fang GirlFang Girl by Helen Keeble
Published by HarperTeen on September 11, 2012
Genres: Humor, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted

Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

Recommended by: Jenni of Alluring Reads

First Sentence: “Just because I like vampires doesn’t mean I’m stupid.”

Fang Girl came very highly recommended from both Jenni and Giselle, and I have been dying to read it, though with the caveat that I come back to life as a vampire and have eternal life to spend on reading all the books ever. Anyway, Jenni, not convinced my dying plan was all that sound, purchased me a copy, because she’s just the best ever. So then I read it, as you can see. Fang Girl is precisely what I hoped it would be: a light, hilarious read, the perfect snack to break up the depressing fare I generally read.

Vampires have been done to death, in just about every way possible. You would think it wouldn’t be possible to put a fun, new spin on them anymore, without totally going insane with the mythology. Well, Keeble shows that there’s still room for innovation. Her vampire mythos is definitely my favorite aspect of the novel. They’ve got some awesome powers, like being able to see through the eyes of other vampires in their bloodline, and some serious flaws, like being incredibly OCD. Keeble does a great job of balancing humor and an actual, convincing plot.

Reading Fang Girl, I couldn’t help but think of another parody of vampire fiction I read, The Reformed Vampire Support Group. That one came out first, but unlike Jinks’ novel, Keeble’s is actually funny. Where TRVSG thought detailed description of guinea pig meals were the height of humor, Keeble leaves the guinea pigs alive and has vampires running around like demented Cinderellas, picking up paper clips from the road instead of lentils from the ashes.

The characters are all properly quirky, and likable, even most of the evil ones. Jane herself is awesome, very smart and always trying to make the best out of every situation. However, I feel like the secondary characters really stole the show. Jane’s family are delightful and incredibly supportive (*cough* unlike most YA families *cough*), totally excepting their daughter, vampire or no. Plus, they’re all hilarious, especially the mom with a penchant for research and Zack, her brother, and his obsession with all things steampunk. Speaking of the mom’s research, there’s Jane’s childe vampire, Brains, a goldfish turned in one of Mum’s experiments. Brains is as awesome as he sounds. I also love Sarah, who’s sweet and helpless on the outside, but a badass, evil genius on the inside. If this were a movie, she would be Chloe Moretz, which is just how intense she is.

Just so you know, the stress on romance in the blurb with the sixth point about the ripped vampire hunter? It’s seriously exaggerated. While he does exist and does have cheese grater abs, there’s really not much romance in this book. Fang Girl has enough hints at it to appease those who like a couple to ship, but little enough actual romantic drama to keep those sick of all the romance in YA very happy. Really, all there is to the romance is a couple of comments on the kids being attracted to one another and some jokes. I’m glad about that, because the book would have needed to be longer to really sell the romance.

Keeble has a real talent for humorous writing, and I’m so excited to see what she’ll do as she gets even more practiced with it. I’m very excited to check out her second book, No Angel, which comes out later this year.

Favorite Quote:

“I totally did not need to add eternal love to my towering stack of problems. Sure, it was likely to all come out okay in the end, but there were bound to be misunderstandings and fights and long brooding fits punctuated by fiery glances. And I’d probably find myself gazing longingly at him when I should be scanning the rooftops for paper-clip-wielding maniacs.”

Up Next:

The next Sadie Hawkins Sunday book will be The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons, selected by Lisa V. I’m looking forward to it, even though the prequel turned out not be very good… By all accounts the original trilogy is much better, like with Star Wars.

Want to tell me what to read? For more details, check this post.

15 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #8: Fang Girl”

  1. Amy says:

    Awesome review!! I really enjoyed Fang Girl. Besides being really funny, I really enjoyed the storyline too. It wasn’t just a jab at vampire novels. I am super excited to read more of her books too!!

    • Christina says:

      Agreed! Keeble didn’t sacrifice a story to make jokes. It’s a great story in its own right while also poking fun at vampire novel traditions!

  2. Molli Moran says:

    Hehe, this sounds really cute! I know I’ve heard the title, but TBH I didn’t really pay much attention to it. But it sounds quirky and oh my gosh, a SUPPORTIVE family? I thought those were extinct in YA literature. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one, Christina! 😀

    • Christina says:

      Super cute! Her family is so awesome. At first they don’t believe her, but after that they’re completely behind her and willing to do anything to help Jane!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Oh, I really want to read that one before the Helen’s Angel book comes out. I’m glad you liked it!

  4. Renae M. says:

    Hmm, interesting. I’m not a big reader of comedy or parody-esque reads, but in the unlikely event that I do feel the urge for hilarious vampire antics, I will have to look this up. It certainly seems worth checking out!

  5. Yes yes YES! I am so happy that you ended up liking this one. I remember laughing so damn hard about the paper clips, OMG just thinking about it is hilarious. What’s funny is that I actually ended up reading this one by fluke, Giselle accidentally mailed it to me instead of Stealing Parker so I read it quick and sent it back. I’m so happy that all happened because it was so worth the read. Like you, I hope that No Angel is as unique as this one. I definitely have some crazy high expectations for it. Fabulous review darling!

    • Christina says:

      The paper clips were the best. I loved every time all the vampires in the room freaked out and started cleaning. I want one to come stay with me, so they’ll do all the cleaning. Does Helen Keeble sell them? Perhaps rent them hourly? Oh, and when Jane couldn’t figure out how to sort the Scrabble tiles? LOL.

      Oh, I do remember that happening! You were all, “uh, Giselle, what’s this?”

  6. Soma Rostam says:

    Wow, Christina, it does sound good
    And all Giselle’s choices are awesome, so I might try this sometime
    Your reader,

  7. This does sound like interesting read, I especially like the quirky/funny family part. I love reading about them, I don’t know I find those book more real and humane, they make me smile more than books full of overused puns. I already have this on my tbr, but I am pushing it up now. 😀

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