October is here and it’s time to trick-or-treat. If you’re looking for a treat, then When Life Gives You Vampires might be a good book to pick up.
Romance books with a paranormal twist have always captivated audiences. In particular, Sourcebooks Casablanca has tons of different books and series to choose from. However, the newest release is one a lot of romance readers have had their eyes on.
Pitched as a paranormal Dumplin’, When Life Gives You Vampires has a lot of expectations to live up to and is no doubt going to be a cornerstone when it comes to a lot of October TBRs. Plus with a release date of October 4th, 2022, it makes sense.
If you’re curious about whether you should add When Life Gives You Vampires to your TBR, then Culturess has you covered.
When Life Gives You Vampires is perfect as a Halloween read.
While the comp title for When Life Gives You Vampires is Dumplin’, this book is more akin to a Halloween read. Obviously, if you couldn’t tell by the title and cover, this book follows Lily who gets turned into a vampire. The ramifications of that are huge for her and make up a majority of the book. Even so, the book has such a light and fun tone to it which is perfect for a Halloween read.
The number of references to Twilight is in a word: iconic.
Obviously, when readers think of vampires, a lot of us immediately think of Twilight and boy does When Life Gives You Vampires reference Twilight a lot. While it might seem like an annoying quirk, I found it hilarious and refreshing. Personally, if I was turned into a vampire, I know I’d be referencing Twilight, its characters and probably watching the movies to find a way to try to navigate my newborn vampire status.
When Life Gives You Vampires has a swoony love interest.
Maybe you don’t like Twilight or Halloween…okay so you’re a monster. Just kidding, but if you’re a romance reader, then you’ll absolutely adore the love interest, Tristan. As previously mentioned, he’s a vampire and he’s also secretly a popular romance novelist. When that was revealed, I swear to goodness, I actually swooned.
If that wasn’t enough, he’s mysterious, dark, and broody at times while also being super protective and obsessed with the heroine, Lily. To bring it back to my previous point, he’s Edward Cullen in looks yet without all of the creepy stalking. Plus in this world, vampires can’t get pregnant so it’s a win if you don’t enjoy the Twilight CGI baby.
The book isn’t afraid to touch on difficult topics.
A lot of times, it feels like paranormal romances tend to zone in on the paranormal aspect without fully embracing the former humanity and unlearning what the characters have always known to be true. When Life Gives You Vampires does the exact opposite. Throughout the majority of the book, Lily grapples with the fact that she’ll be in the same body she’s always been in and has no way to change it.
Personally, I can’t imagine being in that situation and it’s clear Lily doesn’t, either. For Lily, it’s a constant battle within this book for her to accept not only her body but herself. She really goes on a journey of learning and unlearning certain habits. It isn’t pretty but that’s just how life is sometimes.
However, you don’t have to just take my word for it as the senior editor also shared some thoughts with us.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own experiences and interpretations, but as a life-long fat woman, I chose to publish this book because its representation of negative body image evolving into body acceptance was extremely cathartic. So many books with fat representation seem to willfully gloss over the struggle of internalized sizeism, and while I love that these books exist, I do feel like we need to consciously make room for books that show a heroine initially struggling, too—not because we hate our bodies but because so much of the world tells us that we should, and seeing someone push through that media conditioning can be exactly what we need to push through it ourselves.”
When Life Gives You Vampires leaves the door open for more.
The final reason might be a copout, but When Life Gives You Vampires leaves the door open for more books within this world and this series. Personally, I’d love to see a romance between Lily’s best friend, Cat, and a certain someone so I’m crossing my fingers they get a book. As a debut book, When Life Gives You Vampires was good but not without a few hiccups which are typical when it comes to a new author.
While I did enjoy this story, it wasn’t a perfect book by any means. I do think the writing style won’t work for everyone as the author’s humor can be a bit off-putting at times. In addition, the way Lily was turned into a vampire just felt uncomfortable, to put it mildly. While I do think she warmed to the idea, it did feel like Tristan wasn’t picking up on what she was putting down.
Regardless, When Life Gives You Vampires was a lot of fun and that’s exactly what we’re all looking for.
When Life Gives You Vampires releases on October 4th, 2022.
Do you plan on adding When Life Gives You Vampires to your TBR? Be sure to sound off in the comments.