Tag Archive | vampires


book cover of That Way Madness Lies: 15 of Shakespeare's Most Notable Works Reimagined / Dahlia Adler, ed.
Published by Flatiron Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Ah, the Bard!
His classic plays.
retold and retold – now with a twist!

A brooding bad boy becomes obsessed with a young ballerina from a rival high school – Romeo and Juliet, told completely in text messages.

Finally! Among the everlasting whiteness of the Fairy Court, the brown girl stolen from the mundane world as a baby sees another indigenous person in a gender-queer Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Not madness but anger drives Anne to unmask the vampire who killed her father, allowing her uncle to marry Mother for control of Elsinore in 1892 – the journals and letters of an educated young woman rewind the Hamlet narrative.

This anthology includes reimaginings by YA writers (famous and rising)

Dahlia Adler (The Merchant of Venice),
Kayla Ancrum (The Taming of the Shrew),
Lily Anderson (As You Like It),
Patrice Caldwell (Hamlet),
Melissa Bashardoust (A Winter’s Tale),
A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy (Much Ado About Nothing),
Brittany Cavallaro (Sonnet 147),
Joy McCullough (King Lear),
Anna-Marie McLemore (A Midsummer Night’s Dream),
Samantha Mabry (Macbeth),
Tochi Onyebuchi (Coriolanus),
Mark Oshiro (Twelfth Night),
Lindsay Smith (Julius Caesar),
Kiersten White (Romeo and Juliet),
Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (The Tempest)

Each story is introduced by a quote from Shakespeare’s work, and often followed by author’s notes.

Shakespeare wrote in the everyday words of his time; these reimagined works bring his works into our time with clever twists and setting changes (outer space, a school dance, a rooftop greenhouse).

What’s your favorite quotation from the Bard?

Book info: That Way Madness Lies: 15 of Shakespeare’s Most Notable Works Reimagined / Dahlia Adler, ed.
Flatiron Books, hardcover 2021, paperback 2022. [editor site] [publisher site] Personal copy; cover image courtesy of the author.

VAMPIRES, HEARTS & OTHER DEAD THINGS in her life, by Margie Fuston (book review)

book cover of Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things, by Margie Fuston. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Vampires are real,
cancer is too-real,
she can solve this…

Pancreatic cancer is stealing away her dad – fellow enthusiast of all things undead, he and Victoria were thrilled when vampires revealed themselves on live TV, both ready to go find one after public outcry forced them back into the shadows. Her big sister and mom never understood their enthusiasm.

He didn’t cancel their graduation trip to New Orleans though, and asks her to go look for vampires and bring him pictures of everything. In Dad’s place will be her classmate Henry, former best friend (former almost-more-than-best friend) so the California teen isn’t there alone.

Victoria has a checklist of places to visit – the Ursulines convent, St. Louis cemetery – anywhere she might glimpse a vampire and convince them to help her. Being undead is better than being dead, right?

Late-night wanderer Carter introduces her to the vampire Nicholas, who gives Victoria a list of challenges to accomplish that will prove she’s ready to give up her life for undeath. Henry is not amused, thinks Carter and Nicholas are frauds, but won’t let her run around the Crescent City alone.

The first message tucked in a poetry book at a quaint shop directs her to eat beignets while wearing black and take as proof. Ah, some words are underlined in the book, too.

Returning to the shop, Victoria finds the next challenge – break into a certain house and steal something? More words underlined in the poem…

How much will Henry actually help her?
Why does she suddenly long to sketch and paint again?
Will Nicholas truly honor his agreement?

Before he got sick, Dad even looked like Bela Lugosi in the classic vampire movies – she would do anything to save him, anything!

While you’re getting this debut novel about hope and grief at your local library or independent bookstore, check out these vampire tales I’ve recommended:

  • The Hunt, series by Andrew Fukuda (my review of book 1)
  • Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts, by Nancy Campbell Allen (more here)
  • Elatsoe, by Darcy Little Badger (loved it!).

What’s your favorite vampire story?

Book info: Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things / Margie Fuston. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2021. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Avenging his death? It’s up to ELATSOE & her gifts, by Darcie Little Badger (book review)

of Elatsoe, by Darcie Little Badger, illustrated by Rovina Cai. Published by Levine Querido | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Her dreams carry truth,
Every animal, dead or alive, knows her,
Cousin’s death was no accident!

During their dream conversation, Trevor revealed his killer’s name, so Ellie’s sacred duty is justice for her cousin whose Anglo widow Lenore doesn’t fully understand Lipan Apache ways or traditions.

Down the length of Texas go Ellie and her parents for his funeral, to a town that’s shown only on paper maps, with lush green lawns during drought, New England colonial-style buildings, and a strong dislike for newcomers.

The person named by Trevor is rich Dr. Allerton known for his miraculous cures – how did he and a young grade-school teacher ever cross paths?

Like her many-generations-ago grandmother Great-Six, Ellie can raise animals from the dead and has powers against supernatural creatures – will this be enough to stop whatever is keeping her cousin from his final rest?

Vampires, monsters, fairy-ring transport stations, greed and deception – asexual Ellie, her ghost dog Kirby, and best friend Jay try to piece together the mystery to protect her cousin’s son and widow before it’s too late.

Happy book birthday to this debut #ownvoices novel bringing the stories of Great-Six back to the land and waters of south Texas as her descendent Elatsoe lives into her heritage to battle against evil.

How do you support family in difficult times?

Book info: Elatsoe / Darcie Little Badger; illustrated by Ravina Cai. Levine Querido, 2020. [author Twitter] [artist site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Can EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU stop the evil? #mglit by Jan Eldredge (book review)

book cover of Evangeline of the Bayou, by Jan Eldredge. Published by Balzer+Bray | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Gator-skin boots with silver tips,
brain full of remedy recipes,
heart full of worries…

Evangeline has to be braver than ever when the otherworldly forces affecting their client in the too-busy city send Gran to the hospital, leaving the haunt-huntress-in-training to complete their mission – with the help of Julian, who will have to push past his self-imposed limits to save his mother.

Johnny revenants from Civil War battlefields and bayou banshees are easy to banish compared to the evil preparing to pounce on the Crescent City!

Is there a power within you that you’re just waiting to manifest?

Book info: Evangeline of the Bayou / Jan Eldredge; illustrations by Joseph Kuefler. Balzer + Bray (Harper Collins), 2018. [author site] [artist site] [publisher site] Review copy won in contest; cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: In the city on a mission with her haunt huntress grandmother, twelve year old Evangeline longs for their bayou cabin and hopes that her own abilities stabilize before the supernatural menace stalking New Orleans gains full power!

With Daddy working offshore and Mama dead before Evangeline could know her, it’s up to Gran to teach her every skill needed to be a haunt huntress who expels shadow crouchers and dixie demons from the parish.

In their big city house (on a corner – unlucky) Mrs. Midsomer’s sickness worsens at night, Mr. Midsomer is so upset that he’s leaving Mardi Gras float details to others in his Krewe, and their adopted son Julian rigidly adheres to rules of his own making.

All symptoms point to the bite of a rougarou, perhaps from the same powerful werewolf clan that attacked Gran years ago, and the moon will be full very soon!

That black grim follows them to the city – whose death is it foretelling?
Her thirteenth birthday is nearing – where is Evangeline’s familiar?

Evangeline and Julian must track down the alpha rougarou before it’s too late for Julian’s mother and all of New Orleans!

Scary book pair #2 – enemies seen and unseen

Another pair of scary BooksYALove favorites for the witching season: if blood-spatter and dire peril aren’t your thing, search the tag cloud (over there on right) for something else!

Click to read about these gory titles, now in paperback

Cheers to authors from Down Under! (fiction) – Australia Day

Australia Day is tomorrow, so let’s look at some great BooksYALove by authors from Down Under.

book cover of Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne published by Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

Cristy Burne writes adventurous tales about Miku who encounters many creatures from Japanese folklore, like Takeshita Demons (my review) who followed her family to London and  The Filth-Licker (review here) that her classmates meet up with at camp.

Not sure if Sherryl Clark herself has heard the dead, but her character Sasha in Dying to Tell Me  (my review) certainly can! Visions of blood and death in sleepy little Manna Creek at the edge of the Outback…

A being condemned to inhabit another body as camouflage, over and over; she calls herself Mercy  (my review) in the first book of the series by Rebecca Lim. Book 2, Exile, is in my overflowing to-be-read pile and promises a few more clues about who Mercy might be and why she’s existing this way.

book cover of Butterflies by Susanne Gervay published by Kane Miller

Only males may become Dragoneye lords, but one young woman knows she has the power to mind-link with dragons in Alison Goodman’s Eon  (my review) and must save her world in Eona  (my review), both now available in paperback.

Susanne Gervay interviewed many teen burn patients as she wrote Butterflies (my review), which follows Katherine through surgery, school worries, and her choices for the future.

She expected snow, festivals and historic shrines, but there was no way to predict that Hannah’s Winter (my review) in Japan would include ancient evil spirits and a donut-throwing ghost! Kierin Meehan packs plenty of mystery and historical tidbits into this intriguing story.

book cover of I Lost My Mobile at the Mall by Wendy Harmer published by Kane Miller

Elly has such bad luck! I Lost My Mobile at the Mall, she cries to her parents, who tell her that she’s not getting another cell phone from them. Wendy Harmer ably turns her comic touch to this too-common young adult crisis (my review).

The Reformed Vampire Support Group  by Catherine Jinks got to the bestseller list, but I snuck it onto BooksYALove anyway. Be sure you meet this Sydney self-help group that finally has to venture out of its decades-old comfort zone to help someone else (my review).

Mary Arrigan follows a family from Ireland’s Potato Famine to the goldfields of Australia in historical fiction of a time period that we usually don’t see. Surely the dream of Etsy’s Gold  (my review) can come true if they work hard enough?

book cover of The Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar published by Candlewick

A gentle story of love, loss, and friendship starts and ends in the mural-painted rooms of The Visconti House  in a quiet Australian country town – my review of Elsbeth Edgar’s debut novel here.

Stolen: a Letter to my Captor, by Lucy Christopher, might be the scariest book on this list, as it tells of a carefully plotted kidnapping that lands Gemma far, far in the Outback in terrible danger (my review).

Check out these stellar books from Aussie authors today at your local library or independent bookstore!


These are among the 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com. All review copies and cover images courtesy of their respective publishers.

My 12 unmissable YA books for 2012 – a very subjective list!

So many great books waiting for you at your local library or independent bookstore! How do you choose just an armful from the hundreds of titles there?

Well, for 12-12-12, I couldn’t resist recapping 12 of my favorite reads from the past year on BooksYALove. Click on each title to read my recommendation on a new page/tab, then select some for your holiday and/or birthday wishlist – you’ll be so glad you did!

book cover of Ashfall by Mike Mullin published by Tanglewood book cover of Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin published by TanglewoodPost-apocalyptic page-turners:
Ashfall – 16-year-old Alex sets off alone through the ash and dangers to find his family after a catalysmic volcanic eruption.

Followed by Ashen Winter  as civilized behavior begins to crumble – stunning, scary adventures that really could happen beneath those cold and cloudy skies.


book cover of The Wicked and the Just by J Anderson Coats book cover of Jump Into the Sky by Shelley PearsallIncidents of ignored history as historical fiction:
Does God truly hear the prayers of both The Wicked and the Just  in 13th century Wales, as English overlords mistreat local folks to the brink of revolt?

Jump Into the Sky  with the black paratroopers of the 555th Battalion, as seen through the eyes of 13-year-old Levi, whose father is away from home too long as commander of ‘Triple Nickels’ during World War II.


book cover of Teen Boat by Dave Roman and John Greenbook cover of Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

Graphic novels from fave folks:
Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy) teamed up with John Green (the artist one) to create TeenBoat!  Imagine “the angst of being a teen, the thrill of being a boat!”yes, it’s that funny.

In a more serious vein, Doug TenNapel examines friendship, family, loyalty, and greed in his most recent graphic novel involving a not-so-simple gift of Cardboard.


book cover of I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloanbook cover of With a Name Like Love by Tess HilmoMusic changes everything:
The song which instantly connects Emily and Sam promises that I’ll Be There,  but will his crazy father endanger everyone, including winsome little brother Riddle?

Music and hope can heal hearts, according to Ollie’s preacher father With a Name Like Love,  but this rural town is determined to condemn a mother without trial, until Ollie decides to prove her innocence.


book cover of Laugh With the Moon by Shana Burgbook cover of Skinny by Donna CoonerFriends see the true you:  That voice in Ever’s head – always mocking she’ll never get Skinny  through bariatric surgery – almost drowns out the concern and care of her best friend.

Why did Dad volunteer as a doctor in Malawi, so far from Clare’s friends and the things that keep her late mother’s memory alive? Can her new classmates help her learn to Laugh With the Moon  and be whole again?


book cover of The Hunt by Andrew Fukudabook cover of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversNot your normal paranormal:
Vampires rule the world, and if they discover Gene’s true human heritage, then he will become the object of The Hunt  for his savory heper blood.

Perhaps Ismae truly was fathered by the Dark Lord himself, rumors whisper at the convent where young women train as assassins, using the Grave Mercy of Death to keep Brittany free of the greedy French.

Review copies and cover images courtesy of their respective publishers.

V for vampires, preparing for The Hunt, by Andrew Fukuda (book review)

book cover of The Hunt, by Andrew Fukuda. Published by St Martins Griffin | recommended on BooksYALove.com

As a human in his vampire-majority world, Gene learned survival rules from his father:
Never smile.
Never sweat.
Never sleep in public.
Never stand out.
Never forget who you are.

Having to drink water in secret, to remove all body hair, to train himself to always react exactly as his schoolmates react, to stay a loner even after being orphaned – it’s a wonder than he’s made it undetected into his teens.

If the other members of the Heper Hunt discover that Gene is a human with false fangs, then there will be one more heper to be chased and devoured alive by the unimaginably swift and vicious vampires.

Publication date in the USA is May 8, 2012 – The Hunt begins!

Book info: The Hunt (The Hunt, book 1) / Andrew Fukuda. St Martin’s Griffin, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site] [UK book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: No one in his classes sweats or smiles or cries or has trouble seeing in dim lighting like Gene does. He can’t run fast, doesn’t thirst for blood. As a human “heper” in the vampire world, he’s hiding in plain sight, just trying to make it through another night alive. Then the Hunt is announced – a lottery for the right to chase and kill the last known hepers – and his number is called.

His father drilled rule after rule into him as he grew up: don’t giggle, never get any suntan, don’t fall asleep away from home, keep his grades only average. Somehow he knew that Gene would have to survive on his own someday, would have to pass for a true vampire all alone, just a number instead of a name. One look at their house with the unused sleeping perches and drinking water would doom him to immediate death and dismemberment by ravenous vampires.

The Ruler announces the Heper Hunt one night during school hours, and the Director of the Heper Institute explains the rules – training days, Hunt date, and the added bonus of providing some weapons to the slow, warm-blooded Hepers to make the Hunt last more than a few minutes. Everyone rushes to their computer terminals to get their lottery numbers, waiting for the night when the Hunt winners will be drawn. The excitement at school is unbearable – two students will join the Hunt, Gene and a girl he’s always called Ashley June.

And so his nightmare begins. There’s really very little training for Hunt members to do – the waiting is meant to build up the suspense for citizens who will avidly watch the last humans die in a haze of bloodlust and bone-cracking. How can Gene keep his own human sweat from alerting the vampires when there’s no running water at the Heper Institute to wash with or drink? Will someone come into his room and find him sleeping on the floor instead of hanging from his sleeping perch?

When he finds the Scientist’s journal and watches the heper group through the thick glass dome, Gene realizes that they’re much smarter than any vampire imagines. Can he alert the Hepers to the perils ahead? Is he going to survive waiting for the Hunt to begin? Will Ashley June be the one who discovers his secret?

First in a series, The Hunt takes readers to a dim and hungry future where humankind has one last chance to survive. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Reformed Vampire Support Group, by Catherine Jinks (fiction) – ethical vampires hunt a killer

Sneak-in Saturday and another fun book that sneaked onto the bestseller lists before I could blog it for you.

Ahh, being a vampire must be exciting, right? Nah, can’t do much outdoors if bright light makes your eyes bleed. How to explain to the neighbors that you’re never getting any older? And if you just don’t believe that it’s ethically right to fang another human and turn them into a vampire without their consent?

Welcome to the small, but annoying world of the vampires in Australia, all of whom were changed by one vicious vampire. So for years, they’ve held regular Tuesday night support group meetings so they can stay “reformed” and keep their blood cravings under control. When one member is thoroughly and brutally snuffed out, it’s up to the Reformed Vampire Support Group to find the killer, even if they go into coma-like sleep the moment that the sun peeks over the horizon…

Lock up your guinea pigs when you read this funny take on the vampire mythos.
Followed by The Abused Werewolf Rescue Society.

Book info: The Reformed Vampire Support Group / Catherine Jinks. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2009 (hardcover) [author’s website] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy & cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Recommendation: When a vampire is murdered, the other vampires have to find the killer, right? Especially reformed vampires who fang guinea pigs instead of humans. A stake through the heart and a silver bullet and exposing the vampire to sunlight – that’s overkill, even for the undead. A real vampire-hater has accessed doubly-dead Casimir’s online address book and is coming after the other vampires of Sydney!

After complaining for years in their weekly support group meetings that nothing happens when you’re asleep all day and lock yourself up every full moon, suddenly the group has too much to do. Relying on Father Ramon, the human priest who helps them stay reformed, forever-15 Nina (who writes vampire fiction to pay her mom’s rent) and friends travel in a dark, sealed van to the Outback, following clues from silver bullet sales records and online bulletin boards.

Trapping a vampire-killer, finding a werewolf, getting back to safety before their supply of guinea pigs runs out – who knew that being a vampire would suddenly be so complicated?

This story of the good-hearted undead battling a pack of heartless humans is a wild romp with unexpected twists. Dark glasses? Check. Guinea pig? Check. Barf bag? Ooof. Followed by The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Infinite Days (fiction)

No sparkly, baseball-playing vampires in this book which hearkens back to the original vampire tradition with bloodlust and cruelty. But there’s a price to be paid for this blood-transmitted immortality, as these vampires lose their sense of touch over time, rather like being encased in glass (not the usual vampiric super-senses).

So Lenah becomes human and rejoices in the life and loveliness of the mortal world, until… You knew there had to be an “until…” to make the story work, right? Conflict, struggle for power = some things never seem to change, whatever world you’re in, so hang on for a wild ride as Lenah starts living as a modern teenager and trying to stay alive, too.

Release date for the sequel, Stolen Nights, has been pushed back to June 1, 2012. Maizel notes on her blog “As my editor says, second books are always the most difficult. And she is 100% right.” Hmmm…wonder how early you can pre-order a book?

Book info: Infinite Days / Rebecca Maizel. (Vampire Queen, Book 1) St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010. 336 pg paperback [author’s website] [author’s blog] [publisher site] [book trailer] [Italian book trailer]

Recommendation: Vampires lose sense of touch over time. Lenah, a 500-year old Vampire Queen, longs to be human again and to truly feel, after centuries of ruthless hunting and feeding, viciously cruel hunting and feeding.

But the ritual for returning her humanity is hidden and difficult, involving true sacrifice by another vampire, the most selfish of all creatures. Even more difficult would be hiding her new mortal status from the vampires she created, who will then view her as new prey, rather than their leader. So she starts a 100 year hibernation, while Rhode, who made her a vampire and loves her for eternity, finds the ritual’s instructions and steals her body from the English crypt in the 99th year.

Waking up on a New England morning, Lenah sees sunlight for the first time in almost 600 years and realizes that Rhode has helped her become human again, even as he dies in the daylight. Now she must cope with the technology which developed as she slept, along with all the teen tensions of a private high school. Finding friends and relationships, realizing that machines now can capture music, enjoying food and breezes and the sea, Lenah learns about life and new love, even as she tries to ignore the calendar days moving toward her supposed awakening from hibernation.

Will the other vampires find her here? Are her friends at school in danger of losing their lives? Their mortal souls? Did Rhode’s sacrifice buy her time to truly live or merely months before her doom? First in a new series. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)