Bite me! is the debut novel by Melissa Frances and it was released in August 2009.
17 year old AJ's mother has just gotten married. Having a new family causes quite a few problems for AJ as she has to stop seeing a guy she is insane about because he is now her brother and she also hide the fact that she's a vampire. Breaking up with Ryan was the hardest thing that AJ has ever had to do but knows it is for the best.
At the party for the last day of summer, Ryan turns up with another girl, Lindsey and AJ can't cope with it. Even though she knows she isn't supposed to (because of her vampire powers), AJ has a couple of drinks and gets steamy with Noah to make Ryan jealous. When things get out of hand, AJ reacts in a way that she definitely shouldn't have and panics about the consequences. If thinking she turned someone into a vampire, AJ also has to deal with the fact that the fate of humankind may lay in her hands. Who knew so much could happen in the first week of school?
What I thought
I loved, loved, loved the fact that AJ was such a normal teenager. She was born a vampire so has no choice in what she is and that's something that she has problems with. All AJ wants is to be a normal teenager, have a normal boyfriend and get on with her school work. Tough luck sweetie, adolescence is a bitch! I think the fact that AJ's humanity shows so much is what I liked about her and what made her extremely easy to relate to.
I'm still not sure what I thought about AJ's relationship with Ryan. I did feel really sorry for both of them because there was nothing they could do to change the fact that their parents were getting married. I'm sure having to deal with that must be extremely hard for anyone and especially teens. The emotions, especially AJ's, were described really well and I could feel the jealousy and anger coming out of her. My only real problem with their relationship is what happens at the end of the book and how AJ and Ryan appear to be dealing with things.
Bite Me! was really funny in places and this was because of how well the characters were written. AJ and her friends are typical teenage girls in some places and the conversations they have were just like some I used to have with my friends. Some parts of Bite Me! had me laughing out loud which was a nice surprise. This book has a lighter feel to it compared to other vampire books which will make it more suitable for teens but also good for adults.
One of the things that I like most about reading books with mythical creatures is the history and mythology behind them. Melissa Francis really out-does herself in this department. Although everything isn't explained, enough was to keep me very happy and excited for the sequel, 'Love Sucks'. A lot of books in this genre always seem to throw werewolves in the mix or something along those lines but Francis adds in something completely different which was a total shocker for me and something that makes me want to read the second book.
I'm really liking all of the new authors that I am discovering who can write a book where I don't guess who the bad guy is. I really thought that I had this one all figured out but then I was completely wrong. One of the best parts of this book for me was figuring out exactly what is going on. There is a lot of mystery throughout concerning who is doing what and why but there are also some twists that really made me re-think my bad guy options.
Bite Me! is a well rounded YA novel that was so much better than I had originally thought it would be. I think Melissa Francis is going to be staying on my to be read list for a long time. I can't wait for Love Sucks to be released on July 27th.