Word Spelunking

Fangs for Nothing - Adrianne Ambrose There is definitely no shortage of YA vampire novels these days and after awhile it seems that one vamp story just sorta runs into the next, which is why Adrianne Ambrose’s Fangs for Nothing was such a delightful surprise. Fangs for Nothing is one of the most fun, original, smart YA vampire books that I have read in a long time. This book is delightfully tongue in cheek sarcastic, well written, and full of impossible to not like characters.Herbert, better known as Sherbie, and is best friends Rini and Xander are on an interesting mission: to find vampires…or at least just one vampire. They have spent the better part of their summer traveling around the USA in search of vampires in what they assume are the most likely places to find them (New Orleans, San Fransico), so you can imagine their surprise when they discover a vampire right in their hometown Cleveland. But the trio soon discovers that vampires aren’t really as cool and sensational as pop culture as made them out to be…in fact they kind of suck, and not in the Dracula sense (although they do that too). The group of friends must deal with the new Cleveland Sucker while also dealing with the suckiness that comes with being a teenager.Ambrose has taken our culture’s fascination with vampires and has both paid homage to it and lightheartedly made fun of it, and the end result is a witty page turner with a captivating and enticing story.I read this book in one sitting, simply because I just couldn’t stop reading. The story is neither super fast paced or slow, it has a nice flow and never drags. I didn’t find myself bored once, which is rare for me when it comes to vampire novels. Ambrose’s particular spin on vampire lore/myth is refreshing. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I found the main vampire ‘s (Vincent) abilities and specific hold over Cleveland’s teenagers to be original and intriguing. But what I really liked is that underneath the cheeky sarcasm and fun fantastical elements, there exist a real powerful look at our culture and the lives of teenagers. Yet, at the same time I really enjoyed the fact that this book, and Ambrose, don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.The characters in this book are great! They’re funny, smart, different, relatable, and easy to like. The main character Sherbie is one of those guys that girls may not notice right away, but once they get to know him they can’t believe they never bothered paying attention to him sooner. Sherbie isn’t cool in the traditional sense-he’s a little awkward, insecure, and totally clueless in the way most teenage guys are- and he couldn’t care less. He’s everything poser hipsters want to be, without actually being a poser hipster. His best friend Xander is rich, gorgeous, and has perfected his charm and he knows it. He can come across a bit arrogant at times, but he’s really a good guy and a great friend with a good heart. Rini is a tough chick, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but her insecurities make her very realistic. All in all, the three friends make for a quirky, fun and amusing trio. And I really appreciate how organic and natural Ambrose’s characters come across in their dialogue, actions, and thoughts. Not once while reading did I stop and think “A teenager would never say that or real teenagers don’t act like that”.I must mention Sherbie’s grandma briefly, because I found her incredibly funny and realistic. She was so much like my own grandma that I found myself laughing out loud and nodding my head everytime Sherbie described her or complained about her.I have to talk about romance because all good vampire novels have romance right? Well, Fangs for Nothing is no exception, except it kind of is in the way that there is no intense, fated, “We’re meant to be cause we’re soulmates, I’ve only know you for a week but I’m completely in love with you and you’re my whole world now” kind of romance. Instead there’s very realistic, relatable, hot, actually enjoyable to see unfold teenage romance in the form of new love and unexpected, yet formed from a natural progression kind of love. Basically, the romance in this book is well written, enticing, and actually believable.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, I really liked this book and thought it was pretty awesome. It was original and a refreshing reprieve from other similar fantasy/paranormal YA books. Ambrose writes with a witty, smart, fun confidence that definitely comes through throughout the novel. The characters are well developed and relatable, and the story itself is fun and captivating. If you are looking for a different, fun and clever paranormal book then this is definitely the book for you.Read the original review and many more at Word Spelunking

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