The Holy Terror's Reviews > Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story

Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
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's review
Nov 19, 11

bookshelves: vampires, borrowed, male-protagonist, young-adult, paranormal, 2010
Read from November 22 to 27, 2010

This was one of those books that started out funny and full of potential, but somewhere along the way the author strayed off that path. I wanted to read this for myself since the reviews were all over the place, but I'm sorry to say that this just wasn't great. As others have said, at the halfway point this book really starts to go downhill; the characters and story lose their charm, and what once was funny becomes sad and disappointing.

Doug Lee is a recently made 15-year-old vampire, who also happens to be fat and a complete dork. He's struggling with the transition and finds himself relying on his best friend and animal blood to get him through the day. He still goes to school and tries to appear normal; complaining of a skin condition and constantly wearing a poncho to combat the harmful rays of the sun. Through mysterious circumstances, Doug is placed with a vampire mentor, an even more mysterious man who lives by himself in a house full of books. It is this mentor, and Doug's feast of deer's blood, that help him become a "better" vampire.

At about the halfway point, Doug's story all but disappears, and it's the other characters that take the stage. Doug becomes a minor character is his own story. The whole idea was that Doug was becoming the vampire he wanted to be, and so therefor was more cool, menacing, and primal. But we don't really get to witness any of this. In fact, a whole year has gone by in the space of this novel, and I for one couldn't even tell. With the lack of detail and narrative, I was led to believe that the story takes place over the course of a month, at the most.

One of the characters the novel focuses on for a good party of the story is Sejal, a foreign exchange student from India. I frankly would have been happy if she had been the focus throughout. She was interesting, funny, and different - although I wonder if the author included her to spice up an otherwise lackluster story. Every other character was a one-dimensional, walking stereotype, and I didn't care about a single one of them.

It's sad really, because the first half of the novel was pure gold. It was funny and relateable and if the author had continued in that vein I'm sure I would have loved it. He had two many trains of thought going, and none of them really made it into the station. Part of the novel was written like a movie script and I actually thought this could add something, but in the end it just fell flat like everything else.

Without divulging too much of the ending, I want to say that I understood where the author was going with the story. Two characters remark early on about Neil Gaiman's Sandman and what the actions of that character meant at the end of that series. I'm sorry, Adam Rex, you're not Neil Gaiman.

The ending was the worst. Doug's character does a complete 180 again, and we're led to believe he's the sweet kid from the beginning again. I'm sorry, I'm not buying it. And you shouldn't buy this book either.
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Reading Progress

11/22/2010 page 0
0.0% "Dang, this has some bad reviews. We'll see how it goes I guess."
11/22/2010 page 33
10.0% "So I'm imagining a young Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as the protags. I'm enjoying the fact that this takes place in San Diego too - hey, I know some of the places they're mentioning; like Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and Comic Con. I'm liking it so far, but then I'm always one for horny boys and nerd culture. That's just a typical workday for me." 3 comments
11/23/2010 page 92
27.0% "I don't think I've ever read a teen book with an Indian character. Very cool. For her character, I'm imagining Madhuri from Outsourced, but mainly because I really don't have a lot of Indian girls in my head for reference. The character of Sejal seems softspoken but cunning, and that's what I've gotten from the TV show as well, so it'll work for now." 1 comment
11/25/2010 page 133
40.0% "First rule of bite club: you do not talk about bite club, thought Doug. Got it." 1 comment
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Shera (Book Whispers) That's great!

message 2: by Catherine (new)

Catherine 2 stars? Guess it didn't live up to expectations. :(

The Holy Terror Nope, it pretty much petered out at the halfway point.

message 4: by Catherine (new)

Catherine That sucks. Was it the plot or the characters or the writing that crapped out?

The Holy Terror The plot. I might write a review if I feel up to it.

message 6: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Great review! Wow, when I got to "Doug becomes a minor character is his own story" I knew I definitely wouldn't want to try this out. I hate when authors do that!

message 7: by Les (new) - rated it 1 star

Les Couldn't agree more. So much potential in the beginning, so disappointing in the end.

John Two for two. I read this a while back and was not impressed. Sejal was the only character I actually thought was worth the time. Satire or not, the character was far too unlikable for me to care about him. I think I found it worse because he never realized that his actions were that of a dick. They also seemed without purpose, and the entire plot of the book had no real connections. The MC's slight homophobia throughout most of the book urked me, too, even though it did get addressed in the end.

 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Thanks for warning me as I was about to check this out from the library.

message 10: by Les (new) - rated it 1 star

Les Glad you were only thinking about checking it out, not buying it...

message 11: by ~☆ Alice♥♥ (last edited Feb 09, 2012 06:10PM) (new) - added it

 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Les wrote: "Glad you were only thinking about checking it out, not buying it..."

I only buy books that I am sure I will read again unless I can get them very cheap. I recently got about 27 books for 19 cents apiece at the library sale. We are sad that Borders went out of business as we used to spend so much there. Maybe its a good for thing for us since times are tough.

message 12: by Les (last edited Feb 09, 2012 05:44PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Les Exactly why I don't want a Kindle or whatever; it costs the same as buying a real book. We have a really good library system that lets you check out up to 60 items at a time. They also have an annual program where if you donate a new book to the library they'll forgive up to $10 in fines, so why buy new books? I do pick up some good used ones at their annual sale.

 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Similar here only I learned we can check out 100 at time but for me that is too many. I also keep them out for a few days over but they never fine me. I can recheck most of them up to 3 times and some even longer. I like to hold a real book in my hands also.

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