Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen
It is not uncommon while reading a book to wish that you could meet your favorite character, or characters. Maybe, you have even developed a crush on the protagonist. Possibly, you have even fallen for the antagonist. It is certainly a common phenomenon for the women who read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice or Stephenie Meyer's Twilight.
Allison Van Diepen's The Vampire Stalker is a story about a high school girl, Amy, who meets the man of her dreams -- who also happens to be the main character from a popular book series.
The Vampire Stalker takes place in present day Chicago and there is nothing strange about Amy's life. She goes to school, spends time with her two best friends, and she reads. Amy, though, has fallen for Alexander Banks of the Otherworld series, which revolve around a very different Chicago where vampires exist. Alexander Banks is a vampire hunter in the books' version of Chicago. Amy writes fan fiction for books and even has an account on a fan site where her name is Mrs.AlexanderBanks8021.
Then one night after a school dance, Amy is attacked. Who comes to her rescue? The very Alexander Banks from the Otherworld series she loves. He is in her Chicago to hunt down the main antagonist from the books, Vigo, a menacing vampire.
The aspect I love most about this story is that Van Dieper brings a literary character into Amy's world. Unlike many books out there, the leading guy is not a vampire. Instead, he is a vampire hunter. To me that is a nice change of pace from the scores of vampire books out there now after Twilight's success. In the story Vigo has no seemingly no morals and is therefore not against killing humans for sport. Vigo does not go against the monster he has become.
In the 257 pages of the book, Amy manages to fall in love with Alexander as a person, learn to stand up to bullies, and help kill a vampire. Amy's infatuation quickly turns from a hardcore crush on a book character to love for the man the character really is. Within a week or so Amy admits to Alexander that she loves him.
In my opinion, Amy confessing her love so early on did not seem realistic. Certainly the "real" Alexander Banks and the book version are similar and therefore it would be easy to know and love the character. However, what about the man himself? I did not feel like there was enough transition between Amy's feelings for the book version to the "real" version of Alexander.
The story was quick, and I wish that more had been written about Amy learning to love Alexander as a man, rather than a character. I felt like that could have been addressed further in order to show a lesson to readers that reality is so much different than fantasy.
Amy's relationship with her father could have used more attention as well. Her father is brought in towards the end of the book and then nothing more is said of him. Did he return back to the woman he left Amy's mother for? Did Amy say goodbye to him?
The Vampire Stalker was nice, quick read. The story is perfect for young adults, mostly girls, who have ever developed a crush on a literary character. Amy is relatable because she is an average girl, but who also becomes more comfortable with herself throughout the story. I think two important points that Van Diepen touched on were that it's okay to be different, even nerdy, and that you should stand for yourself, like Amy does with the bullies at her school.
-- review by KJ