Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen

What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world—and came into yours?
Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

A 2013 Red Maple Nominee

hmm.  I enjoyed the concept of this book and even a few parts of the story -  as long as I kept in mind that it was written for young readers.  It felt very light for an otherworldly vampire story and lacked the emotional depths I like to connect with in my reading. I found the action low key and the romance was what I will call: almost there. The relationship between Alexander and Amy worked until it left the realm of possibility and tried to actually take place.  Had it been left as a crush or a flirtation I may not have noticed how it was more semblance than tangible.

 There were several moments where the phrase "oh, come on!" jumped about my brain - for instance the ease with which Amy and her Librarian friend, Mrs. P accept the main premise of a character from a book happening into their 'real' world. Then there was the way in which Amy's mom was so willing to allow a stranger eighteen year-old to move in with her two young daughter based on her teenage daughter's earnest request.  I don't know of any mother, single or otherwise who would be so trusting and allow this guest to come and go from her home with barely an eyebrow raised.  Conversely the relationship between Amy and her younger sister, while more of a background theme, had some realistic moments and felt like a honest relationship to to me.  

Still, the idea behind Vampire Stalker is an intriguing one.  Haven't you ever been reading a story and thought, even fleetingly, that you would like to meet the characters?  Or experience part of their world in your own real life?  Van Diepen hints at the influence, fantasy and power that a love of reading offers fellow bookphiles.  And that aspect is the sum of the attraction I have for this book.  It was not enough.  I hope that  younger, perhaps newer readers, will find more value here than I did.

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