Fat Vampire by Adam Rex. Balzer+Bray, 2010
While on vacation in the Poconos, fifteen-year-old Doug Lee is bitten by a vampire. Life is already hard enough, but now he will live forever in his short, fat body. He has resorted to feeding on cows and hiding under a poncho to avoid the sun. His best friend, Jay, is trying, without much luck, to help Doug adjust to vampire life. Sejal, an Indian foreign exchange student with an Internet addiction, moves to town, and Doug is smitten with her. However, Sejal does not have the same feelings for him! Doug is invited to join a secret vampire society and begins to be tutored by a shady, elderly vampire. He learns that Victor, a handsome football player, is the vampire who attacked him in the Poconos! All the while, Doug is being hunted by the host of a vampire hunter reality show and is trying to figure out how to reverse his vampire curse.
Fat Vampire is a hilarious, satire of the current common, popular vampire romance. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the antics of Doug, the main character and hero. Especially funny was the scene where Doug steals blood from his school’s blood drive, and the theater group attendance at a performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sejal’s reactions to American life and customs were, at times, hysterical. Author Adam Rex touches on many sensitive subjects, including sexual orientation, racial stereotyping, and Internet addiction. However, I felt that the sexual references were overused and many of them could have been eliminated. Additionally, there is a cliffhanger ending, which was disappointing. Instead of ending the book, there are a number of plausible endings presented, which leaves the reader to choose the one he prefers.
Overall, I found the book extremely funny and engaging. I recommend it for upper high school and public libraries.