I grant that it’s only my personal taste that leaves me unimpressed by vain, shallow, shopping-obsessed Gina. But I can’t help wondering if the target audience for this story will really find it that amusing. The young women I know who are high school age have far more serious concerns than what their hair and clothes look like, and their eyes don’t glaze over at the sight of a Macy’s bag. Vamped is completely devoid of the crushing adolescent angst that gave Buffy the Vampire Slayer such melodramatic authenticity. On June 6, 2009, a Wall Street Journal article discussed the popularity of grim, gritty themes in YA fiction - a trend that goes back at least a decade, according to this July, 2000 article in the New York Times. I have difficulty imagining that many young adult readers will relate to the characters in Vamped. Isn’t this Valley Girl thing like, just so 1990s? Well... given the explosion of “vampire chick-lit” for adult readers, maybe not.
Lucienne Diver is a literary agent, and Vamped isn’t a bad book. It lacks originality, but it’s nicely written. I look forward to seeing Diver do something a little less trendy. If you enjoy light satirical fantasy like Mary Janice Davidson’s “Queen Betsy” series, you’ll probably appreciate Vamped. It isn’t my cuppa, but that’s not a crime.