Admit it: At some point when you were a kid, vampires totally freaked you out. It's cool, it happens to the best of us. But did you ever consider that maybe vampires just aren't that scary? That instead of flying fiercely through the darkness to pierce your neck and feast upon your blood, they're actually… kind of weak? Enter The Reformed Vampire Support Group, a book that features a fresh take on vampires and focuses on a whiny cast of characters whose vampirism keeps them so weak that lifting a finger could cause a week-long migraine.
Join Nina and her dysfunctional vamp friends as they try to figure out who killed a fellow vampire in Sydney, leading to a wild goose chase in Australia's outback involving a silver bullet, an underground werewolf fighting ring, and a whole lot of guinea pigs. This is a tale of bloodlust, snark, Internet stalking, and bad 70s haircuts.
Author Catherine Jinks is a three-time winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award and a Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian Children's Literature. She's won other awards, too, so this lady is definitely not someone to mess with in the literary arena. We're definitely inclined to follow her down the rabbit hole and see where her crafty writer-brain takes us.
The Reformed Vampire Support Group has made a few ripples since it came out in 2009. A charter school in Texas banned it, citing reasons of violence and horror, but readers can't seem to get enough since they keep asking Jinks if there'll be a movie or another book in the series (after the sequel, The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group). So far, the answer is one big no to both of these questions, but that's no reason not to enjoy the ride in The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Just make sure to read during daytime.
We've all felt powerless before, right? It's easy to feel helpless in the face of icky things, like death, illness, pop quizzes, parking tickets, and pimples… to name just a few.
If you look at Nina's life, though, you'll see that she has to constantly fight against the vampiric infection that keeps her sick, lethargic, and practically helpless. If she gives in to the infection, she'll become a lazy, selfish parasite that only looks forward to the next meal (which is blood, so yuck). And yet somehow, Nina pulls herself out of her funk and rallies to go on road trips, rescue missions, and all kinds of crazy adventures. This girl has some serious get-up and go, no matter what's stacked against her.
She makes new friends and helps save her existing friends, and despite the fact that she's facing a lot of limitations—like how sunlight could kill her, plus she's constantly nauseous and/or in pain—she still sucks it up and takes action. Nobody puts Nina in a corner.
The take-home message here is that if a sickly vampire with migraines and a bad haircut can conquer her inner demons and kick butt, so can we. No matter how powerless you feel, there's something you can do—you've just got to make yourself do it.
All Things Jinks
Learn more about the author behind The Reformed Vampire Support Group, and get the scoop on her other books. Warning: This lady is prolific.
Where Do Books Come From?
In this interview with Jinks, there are a lot of good tidbits about her inspiration for The Reformed Vampire Support Group.
Jinks in Twenty-Five Words or Less
Read on to find out about some of Jinks's writing habits and preferences, and to check out how she sums herself up in less than twenty-five words.
All About the Vamps
This interview is specifically about The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Curious about which character is Jinks's favorite? This is the link for you.
Book Trailer for The Reformed Vampire Support Group
Nina actually looks healthier than we'd have thought she would.
Time For Some Answers
Which came first, the image of the pathetic vampire or the support group? Was Jinks influenced heavily by Twilight? Watch to find out.
Jinks on the Radio
While this focuses on Jinks's Australian Book of the Year award-winner, City of Orphans: A Very Unusual Pursuit, we get to hear about the plot's involvement with monsters, which should sound familiar to readers of The Reformed Vampire Support Group.
Photo of Catherine Jinks
Here our author is shown next to a plaque honoring her at her old high school.