Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things

Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things
Age Range
Release Date
August 24, 2021
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In this “equal parts heartbreaking and joyful” (School Library Journal) 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. She agrees to complete a series of challenges, from scarfing sugar-drenched beignets to singing with a jazz band, all to show she has what it takes to be immortal. But truly living while her father is dying feels like a betrayal. Victoria must figure out how to experience joy and grief at once, trusting all the while that Nicholas will hold up his end of the bargain…because the alternative is too impossible to imagine.

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Learn to Live
Overall rating
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While her sister and mom are ready to give up on their father, Victoria is not. Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer, her world has been turned upside down. Knowing it isn't going to get better, her family is ready to let him go. But not Victoria. Growing up, she and her dad shared a fascination with vampires since the first one came out of hiding. After receiving too much heat, the vampires went back into hiding.

So, as a last resort, Victoria travels with her childhood friend Henry to the heart of New Orleans in hopes of finding a vampire. If she's turned into one, then she can save her dad. In New Orleans, she meets Nicholas who makes her go through a series of tasks to prove she has what it takes to live the life of a vampire. While most of them seem ridiculous to Victoria, she has no choice but to do as he asks. Nicholas is her only hope of saving her dad and she will do anything to make it happen. Anything. But the question is, will Nicholas hold up his end of the deal?

VAMPIRES, HEARTS, & OTHER DEAD THINGS is a YA contemporary with a twist of paranormal that takes the reader through heart-wrenching grief. While fighting for her father, Victoria has forgotten how to live for herself. She hides behind her mask and pretends like everything is okay when the truth is her heart is shattered. Experiencing her emotions elicits ones of my own, especially since I recently lost my Gran. Then, there's Henry who is just the sweetest. No matter how hard Victoria bites or pushes, he comes right back and is there to pick up her pieces. This is a book that will leave you in tears and remind you how important it is to love life.

Final Verdict: VAMPIRES, HEARTS, & OTHER DEAD THINGS is thought-provoking and makes me want to take a step back and appreciate what I have. While I love the vampire twist to things, the focus of this story is Victoria and her stages of grief. It's perfect for readers who are still reeling from a recent lost and for those looking for a unique read.
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