Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam Rex

(Photo taken from Goodreads)

Title:  Fat Vampire
Author:  Adam Rex
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Language: English
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  336 pages
ISBN-10:  0061920908
ISBN-13:  978-0061920905
Source:  Gift

I've been eyeing this in bookstores ever since one of my friends mentioned this book to me.  Just like I Kissed A Zombie and I Liked It, I thought this would make a really funny paranormal story so I totally wanted to read it.  However, the book was too pricey and I could do without it anyway.  So it was a very fun surprise that one of my friends got me this when I got sick this week - sort of a 'Get Well Soon gift,' and I must say, just looking at the cover almost made me better.  The cover itself is funny, with that 'blood slushie' thing going on that really makes me laugh.

The story is about a fat, pudgy, unattractive 15-year-old boy - Doug "Meatball" Lee - who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming a victim to a newly-made vampire, which turned him into a vampire himself.  Interesting?  Definitely.  So I was totally into reading this as it was very different from typical vampire stories where vampires were attractive, sexy, and romantic beings who lured their victims with their charm and cunning.  Doug is clumsy, insecure, and of course, fat.  I was very curious how this story would go - would he be a different breed of Edward and find his own Bella?  Would he ever become badass?  As human psychology dictates, we naturally gravitate to the underdogs, and Doug is definitely that.  

First chapters into the story and I was really laughing out loud.  Why shouldn't I?  Just read these:

"I’m a vampire! I’m a fat vampire, okay? I was trying to lose weight before I got bitten. Now I’m screwed."

"...You know I haven’t had anything to eat or drink except blood for the last month? And nothing. No change. If I can’t lose weight on an all-blood Diet—"

Weren't those funny?   I was laughing the whole time while reading through those chapters.  But alas!  Like a vampire that has suddenly appeared and drunk the blood from this book, it suddenly changed to a not-as-compelling-and-not-as-funny kind of story.  The characters had a lot of promise, especially Dough and Senjal, but despite their amazing back stories - Doug as a fat vampire and Senjal as an exchange student recovering from 'The Google,' a bad case of becoming an internet troll - they've become cardboard-flat and one-dimensional.  I thought their stories were worth exploring, and I believed that would happen but no, the joke in Doug as a fat vampire suddenly became very old, and Senjal turned into a very flat character.  She just stayed in the sidelines, talking when she's supposed to, acting like she's supposed to, having a lot of opinions but never voicing them.  It was frustrating reading about these two 'not develop' into the characters they were supposed to become in the end.  But I guess that's where the 'A Never Coming of Age Story' comes in.  And here I am thinking that that statement was just a joke in the title.

Even the villain - whose story closely resembles that of The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, was too dull.  This story had a lot of laughing moments in spite of it turning into an unpromising novel, but I never once laughed at anything that this villain said or did.  There was nothing likable nor 'hatable' about him.  Frankly, this story could have done without him.

The story starts with Doug as a pudgy and uncool vampire, then he changes into a mysteriously cool and blase vampire.  He drops his bestfriend, confronts the girl he likes, and almost kills his girlfriend.  I never liked the changes that happen to Doug, I never even liked Doug that much in the first place.  He was whiny, selfish, and uncaring about others - and that's when he was just an uncool kid.  But when he started acting like a hot vampire, his attitude grew even worse.  At first, I sympathized with his attitude because I was thinking that was his defense mechanism in order to cope with being a geek and unpopular, but cruelty and taking advantage of your friend?  I thought that was too much.  

This book also digressed A LOT.  There was the main plot, and then some minor plots were introduced without ever being resolved.  Some interesting characters that never got explored, more interesting plots that never got finished.  Seriously, this story had a lot of stories - if not potential - that would have made this book better than what it has become. 

The writing and the premise were both great.  But I did not care about the execution.  Seriously, there were more than a hundred ways this story could have turned out and it would be way better than this one actually became.  Even the ending could have been better, instead of sounding like the author just wrote a hasty ending in order to meet his deadline.  

To be a total geek about it:  this book was full of high-tech features, but it was just used as a calculator.  Didn't get that?  That's the point.


  1. Aw man! That had so much promise! I was laughing at the title and the cover already. Man oh man. I totally got that last line btw hehe.

  2. Aw, too bad. I had been eying this one, but I wasn't sure. Your review has swayed me. Thank you!


I just have to tell you, ARGH feeds on awesomeness, so if you can, drop him some awesome here, and I promise to give some awesome back :D

Right now, because of my really busy schedule, I'm cutting back on receiving awards. So until further notice, me and ARGH would not be accepting awards. But thank you for thinking of us, we really appreciate it!