Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Boyfriend Bites (My Boyfriend Is a Monster Series #3) by Dan Jolley and Illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez

 Publisher's Blurb:

Vanessa Shingle has a knack for choosing boyfriends who need fixing—the juvenile delinquent, the school cheat, the slacker….Then she meets Jean-Paul McClellan—the perfect project!
Vanessa is determined to find out Jean-Paul's story. Why would such a smart hunk waste his life as a janitor? She drags her best friend Stork on a nighttime mission to learn more. What she sees makes her blood run cold.
Suddenly, Vanessa's little New Mexico town is overrun by vampires—obnoxious ones at that. And Vanessa seems to be their target. Is Jean-Paul one of them? If so, why is he being so nice to her? When he talks about prophecies and legacies and Romania, what's he really up to?
Vanessa finds herself with a real situation to fix—and she stakes her life on being able to rise to the challenge.

If you're looking for a graphic novel full of teen angst, paranormal romance, and adventure, My Boyfriend Bites may be your thing.  (It's the 3rd in the "My Boyfriend Is A Monster" series.   I reviewed Book #2, Made For Each Other, in a previous post.)
Vanessa Shingle is starting her senior year of high school, and has absolutely no idea of what to do after she graduates.  Her uncertainty is ironic, considering that she has a history of telling her friends (and all her former boyfriends) exactly what they should do with their lives.  But she is mired in the mud of senioritis, feeling pressure to pick a path following graduation.  So she tags along with her older sister to the local community college, where she spots a hot and hunky janitor.  Jean-Paul is tall, blond and mysterious, and Vanessa decides to ask him out.  On their first date Vanessa falls down an empty elevator shaft, and is saved (twice!) by the freakishly strong Jean-Paul.  Later, Vanessa decides to follow him home in an attempt to learn more about him, and she sees more than she ever expected, as he guzzles blood and changes into a strange creature before flying into the night sky.
Not long afterward Vanessa is chased by a gang of vampires and is once again saved by the valiant and sexy Jean-Paul.  He admits that he has been assigned as her Guardian and is sworn to protect her, claiming that Vanessa is destined to become the world's greatest monster hunter and her rise to power has been foretold in a prophecy.  Vanessa is skeptical, but since all the new vampires in town seem to want to kidnap her, she begins to believe Jean-Paul.   But wait!  Apparently there was a mistake concerning this prophecy, and now her favorite teacher is in danger from the vampires.  Vanessa and Jean-Paul team up to save her teacher, and Vanessa decides to embrace her new role as monster-hunter.
As a tale of paranormal romance and female empowerment goes, this seems to be an uneven rehash of the Buffy story. (Slightly airheaded teenage girl the object of a prophecy, etc.)  Vanessa's destiny apparently does not come with any skills or fighting ability, and her boyfriend/Guardian does not offer any training, other than having her turn on a shop-vac and approve of her cool new battle outfit.  Rather than gaining confidence and making decisions about her life, she floats along with this destiny while being regularly rescued by the hero.  I was really hoping Vanessa would come into her own, learn to fight, or at least gain something from this destiny, other than learning to be arm candy for the hero.
A promising beginning but ultimately disappointing. 

My Boyfriend Bites (My Boyfriend Is a Monster)

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