Book Review: Fang Girls by Helen Keeble

342 pages
Published: 2012 by HarperTeens
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Humor, Parodies/Satire, Vampires

Hello guys! I may or may not be a vampire, reappearing from the depths of my coffin (aka my desk), to bring you a fang-tastic review. Chemistry and Functions may or may not have changed me… but it’s okay because I’m back.

This book came up as a Goodreads recommendation – I was browsing shelves musing about how much I want to read and how little time I have, and this came up. I decided to burden myself even more by adding this book to my TBR list… I couldn’t help but prioritize it because look at this summary:

Summary (From the back of the book): Sure, the idea of vampires is sexy, but who actually dreams of spending eternity as a pasty, bloodthirsty fifteen-year-old? Not me.

Unfortunately, the somewhat psychotic vampire who turned me into a bloodsucker didn’t bother to ask first. Now I’m dealing with parents who want me to vamp them, a younger brother who’s convinced I’m a zombie, and a seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake me or make out with me. Not sure which. Oh and PS, none of my favorite fanfic prepared me to deal with vampire politics- which are looking pretty tricky based on the undead elder trying to hunt me down.

What’s a vampire-obsessed fangirl turned real-life fanggirl supposed to do?

A lot of things, if you go by anything in this book.

“We both looked down at the stake through my heart.
Funny. I would have thought that should hurt more.
From the look on the vampire hunter’s face, he thought it should hurt more too.”
~ Jane Xanthe Greene


What may or may not have gone well in this book?

This book is completely and wholeheartedly a parody. It does not pretend to be ‘serious’, definitely does not take itself seriously, and is seriously funny.
I’m happy to announce that it was exactly what I expected and therefore exactly what I needed. I know some people may not enjoy these types of books, eschewing them for more serious reads, the outlandishness and and decided choice to go for the laughs drew me in.
Basically, this book takes parts of vampire lore (old and Twilight-ified) and has its own fun with it. It honestly had me giggling out loud. Like, giggling-so-loudly-in-a-Math-class-that-the-teacher-stops-the-lesson-and-you-have-to-fake-a-coughing-fit loud. Twilight fangirl? Let’s turn her into a vampire. Normal, loving parents? Let’s have them still normal and loving ~ as well as uber smart scientists. Sibling relationship? Let’s have him insist she’s a zombie. All 756 pages of Breaking Dawn? Let’s break a vampire hunter’s nose.
Everything in the book is calculated for maximum laughs. How do you do that? Put completely realistic characters in completely crazy situations.
Jane Xanthe Keeble (our heroine) is a fangirl. A fangirl who was writing (in her own words) an “epic, multi-fandom, crossover crackfic saga” before she died in a mysterious coma from a mysterious car crash. She’s a hardcore fang-girl, but is completely aware of how insane it would be to actually wake up as a vampire. She reacts like any other normal person put it that situation. She: escapes from her coffin (after meeting her cray sire) and calls her parents. Parental support is extremely important, she’ll have you know because who else would offer you hamsters and chinchillas for your undead breakfast?

“Dad pulled me into a brief hug. “You’re still my girl. Are you hungry? We got, um–“
“Yes, I already met Toast.” I sighed. “Please tell me that Marmalade and Sugar Puff aren’t a rabbit and a hamster.”
He dropped his gaze sheepishly and mumbled, “Chinchilla.”

~ Jane and her dad

That’s right. She’s that kid with the cool parents.

Not that any animals were harmed, but it’s the thought that counted.
Jane basically is the straight man to all the weird and wacky things that happen. All the other characters are outrageous (in different, nutty ways) and she’s there to piece it all together. There are so many funny lines, internal monologues and thoughts that I would frame quotes from this book just to laugh whenever I see them.
The vampire hunter is named Van Helsing (Seriously and non-ironically), there is a completely badass vampire goldfish, a British born, french accented vampire, a maniacal vampire wannabe, and Jane might have OCD when it comes to messes (because who knew the reason why vampires don’t enter houses is the obsessive need to sort?).

Aside from all the side comments and faux vampire hijinks…

‘I wanted to watch her sleep, but then she woke up, so I tied her.’

~ Van Helsing, a la Edward

and this:

“Should I slap him? Threaten to electrocute him with a toaster? Offer him a cup of tea? I was the heroine–wasn’t he supposed to have a change of heart and spontaneously come over to my side, having fallen hopelessly in love with my unique specialness?

~ Jane on how to interrogate Van Helsing

…the plot was actually well thought out, and original. It was complex enough that it wasn’t that obvious, and the jokes rolled with all the weird situations. There is no insta love, only Jane commenting on how she should probably fall in love, but for god’s sake she’s fifteen, so nope, try again in a century.
There is some mystery, a lot of cliches, blatant references and fun. I think most people will relate to Jane and her family, and this stand alone novel was too fun to ignore. If you aren’t looking for anything particular in a book, or just really need a good laugh, pick this one up 😀

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~ otherwise fang-tastic

~ Sarah

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Fang Girls by Helen Keeble

  1. Faye (@kawaiileena) says:

    Dude, this so totally sounds like my kind of book. I love it when books out there take something well-known and then make fun of it – like how Shrek is with fairy tale tropes and clichés (have you read THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL yet? The series is overall dark, but the first book had moments of light-heartedness that it continuously made fun of the tropes and clichés that we usually find in fairy tales and it was hilaaaaarious!). Would definitely check this out!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    Liked by 1 person

    • sublimereads says:

      I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND! Shrek was the movie for me 😀 I loved how all the main characters in Shrek played with those tropes ~ it was the same-ish story with a different and original twist!
      I have read the first and second book, but I dropped it after that because it wasn’t as humorous as I expected (I think I over-hyped it). Yup, the first book was great (and I loved so many of the characters)!
      Please do (apparently she has another book making fun of the fallen angels in YA, so I’m gonna check that out too) 🙂
      ~Sarah ❤

      Like

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