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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Still Sucks to be Me: More All-True Confessions of Mina Smith" by Kimberly Pauley (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

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Overview: Mina, teen vampire, is being forced to give up her former life and all that she has known. The Vampire Relocation Agency is changing her name, school, and location. As part of the program she must give up her whole former life and start living a completely new life. There was even a funeral that was held, which of course Mina was not allowed to attend!

Mina isn't so ready to give up her former life and move on. Right before leaving her vampire boyfriend has decided to go off to Brazil in an effort to locate the family that abandoned him when he was young. Mina's best friend Serena, is going through a life crisis of her own. Her parents are divorcing and for some reason she is finding crazy death symbols left behind by her car.

While relocating to a small town in the middle of Louisiana, Mina is learning to deal with being a vampire and her not so great new life. A gorgeous teen vampire has noticed Mina and taken a liking to her. Meanwhile, her family is forcing her to start liking her life in the small down.

Although life may be somewhat dull, Mina's life takes an adventurous tone when Serena shows up on her doorstep. Meanwhile, Cameron the vampire teen of the small town has a few lurking secrets of his own that will be revealed.

Format: Still Sucks To Be Me, is a YA Teen book that has vampire, humor and a bit of romance/high school life adventure story. It is the sequel book to Sucks to Be Me. It stands at 304 pages. It will be released May 11, 2010 by Mirrorstone.

Analysis: I know what everyone is thinking, "Oh no not another teen vampire book". This is far from the typical teen vampire book that seems to be hitting the shelf recently. This book is filled with humor, great characters, and a fast moving plot that doesn't revolve around teens falling in love and having forbidden love.

The thing that stands out about Still Sucks To Be Me is the humor. Kimberly Pauley knows how to balance the jokes and side comments with the plot. It's not filled with forced humor, instead it comes across as natural. The humor comes at just the right time to bring a little relief to the story, while making the plot still run. It just is amazingly paced. There were plenty of times that I found myself laughing. This is a really light hearted vampire novel.

The characters are great. Mina is the main character and the story is told from the first person point of view. She acts like a typical 17 year old with humor, concerns about friends, and school but not over reacting and believing that the world is coming to an end. There is just something about Mina that really attracts the reader to her and will cause for a great read. The supporting characters are all very strongly portrayed throughout the novel and really realist in their conversations, expressions, and actions.

The fact that it contains vampires in a non-sparkly, non-violent way is really something that is rather unique to YA books lately. There is teen romance but nothing that resembles Twilight or other vampire books. This book is really about the humor and just having a fun, great read.

Still Sucks To Be Me is a sequel and while the first book would make sense to read before this one, it isn't necessary. I didn't read the first book and had no problems with understanding previous plots and characters. Though there is a referral to the character Raven that would be best understood if the first book was read.

The only weakness of the book for myself was the small sections of text messages or emails. This makes up less then 2% of the book but I detest reading online chat conversations that have "whre r u". As a YA book this can be expected and I'm glad that it wasn't overdone, but I still cringed a little when it did come up.

In the end, I loved Still Sucks To Be Me, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It was a real surprise for myself. Every page was a delight to read and I'd really recommend giving this a try to any lover of YA novels that enjoys a bit of humor and a decent plot. Kimberly Pauley is a very gifted and talented author that will bring a smile to any readers face.


Anonymous said...


Can you answer my query under May spotlight please? Much appreciated!


Kimberly Pauley said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :-)

Cindy said...

Jennifer: So sorry! I'll do that right now ;) I didn't even see it!

Thank you so much Kimberly! I loved it and will now have to check out the first book :)

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