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Mini-Review: Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire (Lisa Shafer)

Lurking in the nuclei of a few rare human cells is an as-yet unstudied gene. It is a gene that makes the inheritor crave mammal blood and faint in bright sunlight. It is a gene that prevents the bearer from appearing normally in digital or mirror images.



It’s a gene that makes life heck if you’re in junior high and trying to fit in.
Eric Wright is a half-vampire with a problem. Several problems, actually. He can’t tell bloodlust from his rollercoaster adolescent hormones. The cutest girl in first period English wants him to become a vegetarian. And the assistant principal suspends him when he refuses to explain why his skin appears translucent in a school security video.
Then Eric’s non-vampire mom, who’s definitely not telling everything she knows, takes him with her on a business trip. To Scotland, where it never stays sunny for very long. The perfect hang out for a vampire. Or several. If only Eric can find one to talk to before he makes any more stupid mistakes....

At first, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this book because it took me a while to get into it. It was funny at times and rather enjoyable once I made my brain realize this was geared toward middle school boys. I can see younger boy readers relating to the main character, Eric, very easily. He struggles with hormones and bullies, like almost every middle school child I’ve met. In that way he was believable, even if he was a half-vampire.

Once it got going, the plot was evenly developed. There were a few bullies scattered throughout that added to the conflict nicely. Eric has to deal with not knowing anything about being a vampire, and realizing that knowing his father is not a good thing. He also has to learn an important lesson about standing up to bullies instead of running away from his problems. Isn’t that a lesson that applies to most kids at least once in their lives?

The problems Eric faces throughout the story were resolved by the end of the book without being too sweet and contrite. It has a satisfying ending that doesn’t leave any questions unanswered. I liked that Eric, the main character, learns the value of acceptance and friendship by the end of the book. Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire had several lessons that are relevant to its readers, and that makes this teacher happy.



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