Single. Curvy. Vampire.
About This Book
Title & Author: When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke
Length: 336 pages
Genres: Romance, Supernatural, Comedy
Publication: Sourcebooks Casablanca [October 4, 2022]
Twenty-five year old Lily Baines is used to waking up hungover, overweight, and underemployed. Waking up with fangs? Not so much. But when little light necking has more serious consequences than she ever imagined, Lily’s determined to get to the bottom of it, or die (again) trying.
Tristan hadn’t meant to harm Lily – it’s against vampire law – but now that she’s here, they need to team up to save both their hides. They strike an uneasy truce, fending off other vampires, Lily’s work-rival-turned-slayer, and her mother’s tone-deaf romance and fitness advice… all while Lily faces down her insecurities about the fact that she lives in a diet-obsessed world with a body that will never age, never die, and never change.
Falling for her maddeningly gorgeous sire? Easy. Surviving an ancient vampire Master determined to see her twice-dead? Piece of cake. But can Lily ever learn to love the woman she’ll be forever more?
Star Rating: 🦇🦇🦇 • 3 / 5 vampire bats
I swear, this whole vampire thing is just one giant kick in the tits after another. Every time I turn around, there’s a new layer of s*** getting piled onto the s*** cake.
This book was fun. That’s really the whole long and short of it, honestly. It was a funny, spicy, Halloween-y read, and relatively light-hearted. I don’t usually read contemporary romance, even when there’s magic stuff going on, and this book kind of reminded me why, unfortunately.(They’re just not my thing, is all.) But I didn’t not like it, so there’s that!
The best part of the book by far was the characters. Our protagonist – Lily Baines 🌺🖋️ – was, in particular, a narrating gem. For the most part. (We’ll get to that.) She’s sassy, funny, and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. But she’s also a nervous, self-conscious, and emotionally vulnerable young woman. A relatively well-rounded character overall, which is what I like to see.
Tristan Newberry 🖋️📖, the love interest, as well as the vampire that sired Lily, is also total eye candy. Or is it word candy, since it’s a book? Whatever, regardless, he was pretty hot, and he had a rather kind personality, if a bit old-fashioned. But don’t worry – Lily sets him straight. I also adored how he absolutely loved Lily, inside and out, though it took her a bit to accept that. Oh, and he also writes romance novels. Sexy!
“Well,” I say – and I can’t believe I’m about to ask this, but here goes: “What did the sparkly vampires do for blood?”
Lily’s friend Cat was also great; she and Lily played off of one another very well, and I loved how they attempted to use Twilight to help Lily figure out her new unlife. The side characters were also decent, though I found them to be pretty underdeveloped.
Annnd, now it’s time for some of the cons…
Okay, so… I didn’t really like some aspects of Lily’s narration. She’d say stuff like “Obvi” a lot, which I’ve never heard someone say aloud, only in like chat messages or shorthand. And the worst part is that she didn’t say it either – because she really didn’t. Oh no, this particularly sucked (no pun intended) because it was on her narration, and like, in her thoughts and stuff. All the time. And it wasn’t just this one non-word, no, she used a lot of Internet speech the same way. And it was pretty friggin annoying.
The other thing that I didn’t like, was that Lily would say that something would happen, and then say something (in the narration, not the dialogue) along the lines of: “Yeah we did this/talked about this, but it was kind of boring and you don’t care, so I’ll give you the Cliff Notes “ Seriously? Show-don’t-tell is one of the cardinal rules of writing, and instead of showing how these characters are interacting and developing through dialogue – ya know, naturally? – you’re just gonna give the scene to us in bullet points?!? What the heck?!
Regarding everything else, it was pretty average. The plot was slightly meh, and the villains and minor characters were soggy pieces of toast. And very stereotypical. Oh, and this is actually another con, but I hate it when the two romantic leads don’t friggin communicate. It’s tasteless, easy, and unnecessary drama.
But yeah, even though I thought this book was mostly average, a lot of the lines of dialogue and the descriptions were really funny. And it was great seeing Lily grow as a character and finally learn to accept and love herself. (Spoilers…?) And Tristan was the (mostly) perfect man, which is always yummy to read about. (Also, he wasn’t abusive like 90% of the other vampires in books! Yay, I guess?) Also, there are a few trigger warnings regarding body image, fatphobia, mental health, and other stuff, so check out all of the TW’s to make sure it’s something okay for you to read.
Anyway, here’s my review for When Life Gives You Vampires. Like I said, it was a fun, easy little romp. If you like contemporary rom-coms with a splash of supernatural, this one’s for you.
Thank you to everyone for tuning in, and have a great day/night! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? What are your favorite contemporary romances? Vampire books?