Saturday, January 28, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Fangs Rule: A Girl's Guide to Being a Vampire by Amy Mah

Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Publisher: Reardon
Page Count: 124
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author, via Bewitching Book Tours, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you both!!), as part of the Fangs Rule virtual book tour

Fangs Rule: A Girl’s Guide to Being a Vampire is a Young Adult book for anyone between puberty and senility as it takes a close-up look at life as a female teenage vampire in easy-to-follow A-to-Z advice for the reader. The book is also full of manga art which helps show the human world what life is like in a vampire world...

Everything is explained from how to polish your fangs to fashion tips and ways of climbing across a ceiling wearing a nightdress without showing your underwear.

Fangs Rule is a must for every teenage vampire and from these pages you will see why Amy says “Vampires don’t sparkle! ... they bite!"
What Stephanie Thinks: This A-to-Z guide is an innovative approach to the paranormal Young Adult genre. Rather than hopping on the bandwagon of sparkly sexy vampires (Amy Mah actually dispels these clichés... gotta love her for that, if anything!), a little bit of classical gothic vampirism is shown within the pages of this book, as well as a lot of gore. And of course the sex. But not the explicit adult kind. As a book for teenage girls, all exhaustive information that has to do with sex is more oriented toward how it should be dealt with in the pubescent years, and for the most part, humorously. So I wouldn't call this inappropriate, by any means.

Mah is a real hoot. Her style of writing is rather childish, but it definitely captures a teenage girl's essence—it's so flustered, that I can't help but think it cute. Her liveliness and enthusiasm make for real knee-slappers; I found myself chuckling more than a few times throughout this book. The advice given not only is helpful (for those teen girl vampires out there), but it also all ties together to bring the reader into understanding Mah's world of the paranormal. I appreciate how she is able to do this without writing an actual novel, just with a simple list!

The book has its flaws too, however. The grammar and conventions are poor—as an independently-published book, that much isn't a surprise. There are a lot of "errrr"s" and "ummmms" and ".................."s that aren't fit for a book. It just is incredibly unprofessional, not to mention, annoying. Some topics are also really uncomfortable in a painfully awkward "why on earth would you bring something like that up?" way. For example, there's a whole section about why a certain species of vampire (the undead housemaids) don't wear underwear. Use your imagination to figure out what this reason is (hint: they're basically sex slaves....). Yeah, she went there. It's not that things like that are particularly improper, it's just that they're really, really weird.

The illustrations are well-drawn, but they're a bit irrelevant. Vampire powers will be discussed, and out of the blue, on the next page, will be a picture of an old man with a caption that says "This is my uncle in his nice suit" or something. Gave me lots of "lolwut" moments.

Looking past the editing mistakes (did Mah even have an editor?), and inopportune subject matters, I liked this one a lot. The manic tone is quite amusing, and the teenage experience (that she describes skillfully) relatable. Kudos to Mah for telling a vampire story without actually writing a story... even without a definite plot, this book, with a cast of characters and a detailed exposition, could be considered a great Young Adult novel thanks to the dazzling vampire realm it creates.

Stephanie Loves: Amy Mah brilliantly sums up a teenager's unfair, unlucky, and incredibly awkward life: "For some reason boys are fascinated with boobs, and with plastic surgery so easily available nowadays I don't see why they don't get their own...— so why is it that they like ours so much -___- Us girls don't obsess over their weenies like that.

"[Blooding] is the when quality time is spent with your dad, no longer, in which he no longer is the old-fashioned monster of a male that storms into your bedroom without knocking while you're changing and demanding that you apologize to your mother for something that she is shouting at him about." — the story of my family in one sentence.

"If your boyfriend suddenly decides to go commando, just tell him he looks untidy. A boy standing still naked is okay, but as soon as he walks about, not all his bits move at the same pace, and it is more amusing-looking than sexy. You may have heard of girls swooning (fainting) when seeing a boy naked, but I expect this was just an excuse to stop from pointing at them and getting into a fit of giggles over what they see." — I reckon so too! LOL

"Remember that it is normal to turn the head slightly when you kiss. Nine times out of ten it will be to the right, which of course means that the first time you kiss a boy, he'll be the one out of ten sort, and you'll knock noses.— in every kiss you have as a teenager, he will be the one out of ten sort. It soon shall pass.

"There's a truth in the old saying: 'Go to bed with a stranger and wake up with a friend.'— well I never! This puts a whole new perspective on the concept of sleeping with the enemy. So forbidden (hot!).

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥