Review: Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston

Posted April 26, 2022 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review: Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie FustonVampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on August 24, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Young Adult Fiction
Format: eBook (346 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
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In this heart-wrenching debut YA novel that’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown meets They Both Die at the End, a teen girl takes a trip to New Orleans with her estranged best friend to find a vampire to save her dying father.

Victoria and her dad have shared a love of the undead since the first vampire revealed his existence on live TV. Public fear soon drove the vampires back into hiding, yet Victoria and her father still dream about finding a vampire together. But when her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it’s clear that’s not going to happen. Instead, Victoria vows to find a vampire herself—so that she can become one and then save her father.

Armed with research, speculations, and desperation—and helped by her estranged best friend, Henry—Victoria travels to New Orleans in search of a miracle. There she meets Nicholas, a mysterious young man who might give her what she desires. But first, he needs Victoria to prove she loves life enough to live forever.


Proceed With Caution:

This book deals heavily with grief, death, and cancer.

The Basics:

Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things is narrated by eighteen-year-old Victoria. She’s a recent high school graduate and is suppose to be starting art school in the fall. However, she hasn’t drawn in months, ever since her father was diagnosed with cancer and grew sicker and sicker. Now, he has a month to live, but Victoria isn’t giving up on him. She and her father are obsessed with vampires, and she knows they’re real and hiding in New Orleans. She’s going to go, find one, and save her father.

My Thoughts:

I loved Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things. Yes, it originally caught my attention because of the title. I’m a vampire junkie, much like Victoria and her dad, although I prefer books over movies. But that blurb really sold me. Then as soon as I got into Victoria’s story, I knew this was going to be something special! Even if you don’t believe in vampires, you’ll get sucked into Victoria’s earnest journey to find one in order to keep her family together.

Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things is not a light read. It’s not overly dark and heavy, but it’s not all sunshine and roses either. Victoria’s trip to New Orleans is a mix of fun, carefree moments with her friend Henry, and deep, devastating moments when she actually lets herself sit with her emotions. There’s also this mystical feeling over the entire book, since we’re never sure if Nicholas is just leading her on, or if he is the real deal. I wanted him to be a real vampire! I was so caught up in Victoria’s belief, so maybe I more believed in her than in him.

In addition to being focused on Victoria’s need to keep her father from dying, while also remembering to live her own life, there’s also a sweet estranged friendship reunion and blossoming romance. Victoria and Henry were close as kids, but then hormones happened and made things weird. Then his grandmother died and Victoria didn’t know how to be there for him, so for the past year they haven’t spoken. He accompanies Victoria on her trip to keep her grounded in reality and the high emotions of the trip force them to really face each other. It’s not a huge part of the story, but I enjoyed it.

Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things is a hard book to describe, particularly genre wise, since I don’t want to spoil anything. When I started, I knew it had to go one of two ways. Either vampires really were real and went back into hiding, or Victoria is just so consumed with grief that she’s desperate to see real vampires in a hoax. So is this Paranormal or Realistic? You’ll just have to read it and find out for yourself. It’s absolutely worth a read.

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