Best selling author, Meg Cabot’s new book takes on the supernatural romance genre. Technically this is not a teen book and will likely be shelved with adult fiction. However, I think teens will enjoy this one as well as adults. Cabot draws parallels between her modern vampire prince and Dracula. Her main character is named Meena Harper. (Think Mina Harker. Her brother is even named Jonathan.) Meena has a secret. She can tell when a person is going to die by just meeting them. So she’ll warn people to avoid taking a certain flight or to stop eating so much pepperoni. As you can imagine, this does wonders for her love life. She is a writer for the hit soap opera, Insatiable. When the corporate powers that be want a vampire storyline to catch a younger demographic, Meena is not happy. She is so over vampires and feels like the network is selling out. At the same time, someone is killing girls in New York City and draining them of their blood. This catches the eye of the prince of vampires in Romania, otherwise known as Lucien, professor of Romanian History at the University of Bucharest . He is none other than the son of Dracula. He is coming to New York to put a stop to the murders. He and Meena bump into each other during the middle of the night when Meena is walking her dog, Jack Bauer. (He is named Jack Bauer because he is blond and always looks stressed out.) The handsome man protects her as an army of bats attacks. What Meena does not know is that the bat attack is really an assassination attempt on the prince. They meet again at a dinner party hosted by her obnoxious neighbor, the countess, who is a cousin of the prince. Surprise, surprise… they are drawn to each other and spark a hot romance.
Meg Cabot writes very much in the now, talking about pop culture and the current economy. There are plenty of fun references to Sookie Stackhouse and those books where the vampires eat animals and sparkle. This is the first recent novel I’ve read that makes reference to so many people being out of work. We can relate to Jonathan because we know someone, maybe ever ourselves, who have been recently laid off and are struggling to find a new job. I hope there are more books where the economy is mentioned in the plot. It can help readers fell less alone. Like in the Twilight books, Meena also has to make the ultimate choice whether to change herself for a vampire. Her choice is much different than Bella’s. This is my first Meg Cabot book. It was a blast to read!
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Talk about the original Dracula and the parallels between all the different vampire books they’ve read.
Talk about the economy, Jonathan now has to live with his sister because he is out of work. How has the economy changed their lives?
Who would they want to end up with, the vampire or the vampire hunter?
Would they want to be clairvoyant like Meena?
Have they ever watched soap operas?
Meena basically has to give up her life for the man she loves. Would it be worth it?
Compare her ultimate decision with Bella’s in Twilight.
What about the difference between how Lucien wanted her to become a vampire and how Edward did not want Bella to turn.