Vampires

Anybody drawn to vampire stories? I’ve joined a YA (young adult) book club for exposure to books I might not choose for myself. Today we discussed one entitled, Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, written in 2012. I’m not a fantasy or sci fi reader, but I reminded myself that I joined this group to broaden my reading experiences. It’s divided into sections; the first section is about blood and more blood. I could hardly keep reading, but I continued, reminding myself why I had this book checked out from the library. Protagonist Ali as a human care-giving member of a small family-like group, barely survived conditions, continually searching and stealing food for herself and others. Subsequent sections complicate her life until she is forced to make a choice between death and becoming a vampire. She chooses vampire that requires finding healthy humans with whom she has to bare her fangs and harvest blood. I’m still grossed out at that point, but hanging in. Through more complicated circumstances, she aligns herself with a human family on a search for the Garden of Eden. Have I bored you with details yet? She falls in love with the group’s children and eventually the group’s leader, all the while hiding her vampire status, which she eventually has to reveal. This leads to my amazement (after hearing others’ responses to the story) that this is really a story about incorporating her ugly parts (vampirism) with her remaining humanness. The challenge of embracing her evil influences with the grace of love and compassion. Wow! Never would have thought I’d come to that conclusion. Our book club protocol is to discuss our reactions to the book chosen for the month, respond to reviews and questions, then rate the book’s value, in our opinions. On a ten-point scale, I gave it a five—highest in our group of seven readers. Two take-aways: (1) Good and Evil coexist in many forms of life, and (2) value and share your opinion while being open to more insights and information from others.