Mike Chen is an auto-buy author, hands down. And Vampire Weekend might just be the one I recommend to everyone. It combines vampires, musical references, and found family! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Everything you’ve heard about vampires is a lie. They can’t fly. No murders allowed (the community hates that). And turning into a bat? Completely ridiculous. In fact, vampire life is really just a lot of blood bags and night jobs. For Louise Chao, it’s also lonely, since she swore off family ages ago.
At least she’s gone to decades of punk rock shows. And if she can join a band of her own (while keeping her…situation under wraps), maybe she’ll finally feel like she belongs, too.
Then a long-lost teenage relative shows up at her door. Whether it’s Ian’s love of music or his bad attitude, for the first time in ages, Louise feels a connection.
But as Ian uncovers Louise’s true identity, things get dangerous–especially when he asks her for the ultimate favor. One that goes beyond just family…one that might just change everything vampires know about life and death forever.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Vampire Weekend is equal parts hilarious situations, emotional found family themes, and charm. There are so many musical references you are going to want to make a playlist! It’s a story which dives into the nitty gritty behind being a vampire. The ups and many downs all with a comical tone. Plus there’s a corgi! At the beginning, Vampire Weekend becomes a story about family trauma (and forgiveness) with a theme of (re)found family.
As a broader theme, Vampire Weekend delves into the individual and the community. What kind of change can one person make? If we’re faced with only the time we have left, the connections and the people which make us truly live, then what do we do with it? Louise being a vampire complicates things. In Vampire Weekend, I love that Chen doesn’t shy away from this apathy that vampires can have. How having all this time in the world – or practically – can cause us to shy away from living. From the experiences and people which bring us joy.
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Lousie is reminded not only of the fear of losing the people we love, but also with the life they can bring. The experiences which make any day worth it. Vampire Weekend manages to balance emotional beats with ease like your favorite song. Using music as a universal connecting force, it’s a book that pulls at our heartstrings. For fans of vampires and music, this is a must read. But if you’re looking for that signature Chen style of characters and found family, this is an utter jewel. Find Vampire Weekend on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.