This Night Sucks
Elizabeth J. M. Walker, 58 pgs, Mirror World Publishing, elizabethjmwalker.com,
$3.99 ebook, $13.95 for paperback
This novella is very high school. I mean, very high school. It’s full of the hormones, snarkiness and judgemental attitudes that make me so grateful I’m an adult.
Our story starts in a “Vampire Ed” class where we meet our narrator, Lana, a human high schooler who has some serious growing up to do.
Thanks to her new bosoms and makeup tricks, Lana’s outgrown her nerdy friends and caught the attention of her big, juicy crush: Pete. Skip forward and in the middle of a make-out session, Pete’s ex, Katy — now a vampire — shows up and is not fucking pleased. Now Lana, who never really cared about “Vampire Ed,” needs to do some vampire hunting.
Sure, like Lana, this book isn’t perfect. However, author Elizabeth J. M. Walker is a consistent narrator, and her writing fleshes out a a perspective that feels true to the character alongside a sense of humour that rarely lets up.
The problem, though, is that from the first page, I basically knew how this story was going to play out. There’s a heavy reliance on stereotypes like nerds, popular kids, chess club, and vampires. Unfortunately, it isn’t particularly subversive. Between the characters, the setting, and the plot, little felt new, and the story instead at times read like fanfiction (complete with literal references to fanfiction, Harry Potter, and Benedict Cumberbatch).
There’s also a lot of fat in this story. Whole paragraphs and pages of dialogue could be cut out, and descriptions at times felt long-winded and heavy-handed, such as “It’s 8:45pm. My bedroom looks like half a dozen nerdy lesbians just tore off all their clothes to have some crazy lesbian orgy and then all decided to leave nude.”
Unless your floor is covered in as many lube smears and dental dams as it is sweatpants, I don’t want to hear it.