Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper

The title is awful. Yes, yes it is. At first, I didn't want to buy this book, but alas, it was on sale, and when one reviewer on goodreads commented that it was like YA authors had a checklist of vampire fantasy (brooding vampire lover caught in a love triangle, living in the south, werewolves, etc.). Well, that's not telling me something I don't like, so I figured I would give it a try.

It did not disappoint. After the awful choice of Discovery of Witches, this was a delight. I found that I need a specific kind of book when I'm at work. I realize that I can't listen to books where I have to pay rapt attention too--I actually have to concentrate every so often, and it stinks if I have to replay what I heard because I was busy trying to figure out a problem.

However, this book, fluffy and silly, fits the profile. It's about a librarian, or well, an ex librarian by the name of Jane Jameson. She was let go from the public library, and decides to drown her sorrow at the local bar, where she meets Gabriel.

It's fantastic, because unlike Discovery of Witches, where Diana slowly turns into a drooling toddler with tits who has be led by the hand by M'estat, Jane openly makes fun of Gabriel but also digging him too. He tries to be the brooding mysterious vampire, but she gets more and more drunk, effectively making an ass out of herself. Though at this time, Jane doesn't know he's a brooding vampire, which makes it all the more charming.

She leaves her car and decides to walk home when she is mistaken for a deer and is shot. Gabriel saves her, effectively turning her into a vampire. And that's when the hilarity begins.

Women in prominent heroine roles with romantic interests in media, sometimes, well, most of the time, don't really make new female friends. Or really, make many friends at all. It might be just that sort of action adventure role where it impacts men as well, but with female empowerment, ditching the patriarchy and calling for more representation of diverse females in media, I really notice it when women don't have other female friends, make new female friends, or just talk about the men in their lives to their female friends.

Which is why Nice Girls is really refreshing. She's multifaceted--she underwent many life changes, snared a new beau but also, made several new friends with varying success. She's presented with a problem, messed a lot up but ultimately solved everything on her own. Jane also befriends both female and male alike, and though she's had a rough love life, she doesn't alienate her new friends for her vampire boyfriend, Gabriel.

Sure, is it eerily like the Sookie Stackhouse series? Yes, it is almost parallel to those books, except Jane Jameson isn't someone who is completely helpless. She makes a lot of mistakes, she makes fun of herself but she keeps on trying and learning. She's smart and wants to solve problems but like a person, she doesn't do it right the first time and doesn't get a guy to help her fix it. Sookie Stackhouse wasn't completely helpless either, but whereas Sookie was a waitress with no aspirations to be anything else (and that's fine), I identify with Jane because she went to school (two advanced degrees, get it girl) but her life veered off in a way that was unexpected, and she has to cobble together something after her transformation. Jane does so, after a few failed attempts at other jobs.

Boy do I relate.

The audiobook is a great listen and by definition the accent should be annoying, it really lends itself to the story. Give it a try, despite the terrible (but kind of growing on me) title.

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