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Review: Bite Me by Parker Blue

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
4 Stars: A Great Read
Series: Demon Underground #1
Paperback: 229 Pages
Publication: September 30, 2008 by Bell Bridge Books

An edgy book for teens that spans the gap between YA and adult fiction. Life after high school is tough enough without having to go 15 rounds with your inner demon. Val Shapiro is just your ordinary, part-demon, teenaged vampire hunter with a Texas drawl. And a pet hellhound named Fang. Soon enough she finds herself deep in the underbelly of the city, discovering the secrets of the Demon Underground and fighting to save those she loves. Whether they love her back or not.

Val Shapiro is thrown out of her house on her eighteenth birthday because of her bad influence on her younger half-sister Jessica, not that she can help the fact that her dad was a lust demon. Desperate for a steady income now that she’s banned from her family’s bookstore, Val finds a job partnered with Dan Sullvian, a detective in San Antonio’s special crime unit. Her new job? Hunting vampires, which is sweet considering how she’s already been doing it for free.

Val Shapiro is as kickass as her name. She doesn’t let Lola, as she nicknames the succubus within her, direct her life, and she isn’t afraid to take action, especially to protect her family even after all they’ve done to mess up her life. Despite the tough kid attitude, she loves her family, and she’s emotional at heart. It’s hard for her to come to terms with her demon heritage. All her life, she’s treated it as a curse. It’s hard for her to view it any other way after being pressured—and struggling—to keep it hidden all her life. The reason she’s been hunting vampires is because the lust of the hunt is the only way to sate Lola’s hunger without resorting to seduction.

Immediately upon acquiring her job, Val and Dan are assigned to watch the New Blood Movement, a group of vampires claiming that they want to leave in peace with humans. Because the vampires aren’t attacking humans, the scuzzies can’t stake them, though they’re suspicious of their motives. This is complex because they’re so beautiful and seemingly good-natured that you want to trust them (especially since Dan’s ex-fiancée stands among them), and yet they seem too perfect, too good.

Her troubles grow with her increasing attraction towards Dan, her work partner, who knows something is up after seeing how easily the girl can take down a vampire on her own. Having seen his black-and-white views of vampires, Val knows that he won’t be able to accept Lola’s existence. Nevertheless, I do like Dan. He’s a sweet guy with strong morals and a stubbornness that works to his advantage in blocking vampires from manipulating his mind. He’s the kind of guy who’ll buy a girl cake when he hears her family celebrated by kicking her out of their house and who will find you a room with his younger sister when he hears you need good but inexpensive lodging (and when he knows you’ll help look out for her).

Another character that I love is Fang. A part hellhound that looks like a red-haired terrier, Fang is the best thing that could happen to Val after losing the home she thought she had. He’s part-demon with a sense of humor. In fact, you’ll love all of the new friends that Val makes. She may be in danger of losing the family that raised her, and hopefully her mom will come around with time to give Val the emotional support that she needs. However, she does have new friends who back her unconditionally, and I can’t wait to read her continued adventures in Try Me.

Bite Me is about accepting yourself for who you are. It is about making friends and finding love. I recommend this book to older teens and even adults, who are fans of urban fantasy and darker, edgier books. If you like Bite Me, don’t miss Try Me and Fang Me, books two and three in the Demon Underground series!

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A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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