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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book Review: Undead and Unwed (Queen Betsy, #1) by MaryJanice Davidson

Title: Undead and Unwed

Series: Queen Betsy
Book Number: 1
Author: MaryJanice Davidson 
Genre: Fiction - Paranormal Romance 
Finished: August 1, 2009

In book 1 of MaryJanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy series, Undead and Unwed, Betsy Taylor has had a horrible day. First, she loses her job as a secretary. Then, when she gets home and goes outside to retrieve her cat, she is hit by a car and instantly killed. So that’s the end of everything... right? Not exactly. Betsy wakes up in her own coffin, dressed in a cheap pink suit and horrible shoes all courtesy of her gold-digging stepmother. It seems that thanks to a late night attack outside of a Mongolian restaurant, Betsy is now a vampire. As she is soon to find out, not just any vampire. She is, in fact, the supposed Queen who has been prophesied to free the vampires from their current leader, an iron fisted man named Nostro. She doesn’t believe it at first and only wants to live her undead unlife the same as she lived her life, including shopping for expensive, designer shoes. But it is hard to ignore that not only is she unlike humans, but she is different from other vampires, too. Men and dogs are drawn to her, conventional weapons such as crosses and holy water are ineffective, and she doesn’t need to feed nightly as other vampires do. She is extraordinary for a vampire, which gives credence to the claim that she is meant to be the Queen. 

Undead and Unwed isn’t one of those serious 'the plights of a new vampire’ type novels. There’s no Louisesque pondering of the soul and spirit, that 'mortal coil’ that is referenced. No, this book will have you laughing from page one. You are drawn in by the utter insanity of this poor young woman’s life, by her failed attempts at self-annihilation, and her personal opinions about what she has become. Because, really, how would your every day girl feel about suddenly becoming a vampire? It would be a little surreal, yes, but I also think anyone would react the way Betsy did: with a logical, “nu-uh!” Though I have to admit that sometimes I was frustrated by Betsy’s inability to be serious or mature for even a moment. The conversations had throughout the novel were nothing more than witty banter back and forth... I don’t think anyone had a serious conversation the entire book without something 'clever’ being said somewhere in retort. I like the book a lot, but I do hope that as Betsy gets used to being a vampire, especially as Queen, she matures a bit and cares a little less about sarcasm and shoes and a little more about the big picture. I don’t know if I would want someone who can’t so easily look below the surface of a situation as my Queen! But, hey, that is what development is for and none of us is perfect, right? Betsy provides a lot of amusement and laughs, so I have to think her for that even as I sometimes wanted to strangle her. I mean none of the above as criticism, don’t get me wrong, because I loved the book. And I like a character that is imperfect because, come on, how many annoyingly perfect leading female characters are there out in the world of literature? Too many. We need a good, ultimately heart-warming but superficial shoe lover to remind us that some characters can be great and entertaining without being perfect. I hope that the next book is as much fun as the first. And, of course, that she continues to both love and loath Sinclair. It would totally ruin the fun if they get all lovey so soon. I really enjoyed the two of them mutually disliking but wanting each other.

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