Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sucks to be me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)

Sucks to be me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)

Kimberly Pauley
For ages 14 and up
Mirrorstone, 2008   ISBN: 978-0786950287

Mina does not have what you would call an average family. Her parents look like everyone else's parents, and they have everyday normal sort of jobs, but they are not like her friends' parents for the simple reason that they are vampires. For practically her entire life Mina has known what her parents are, and she has guarded their secret carefully. It is not that she is upset about what her parents are, it's just that she does not want someone sticking a stake into them.

Despite her unusual parents, life for Mina has, so far, been pretty ordinary. Now however, it has taken a decided turn for the worse. Apparently the Northwest Regional Vampire Council has just found out about Mina and they are demanding that she has to decide whether she wants to stay a human or become a vampire. To help her with her decision Mina has to attend a series of classes so that she can learn more about what it means to be a vampire. The Council does not want young people to decide to make the "turn" unless their decision is an informed one.

And so Mina starts to attend the classes where she meets other young people who are considering making the turn. One boy in particular, Aubrey, catches Mina's eye because he is simply drop dead gorgeous. She can hardly believe her ears when Aubrey invites her to have coffee with her. This is surely too good to be true. Could it be that her luck with boys is starting to get better at long last?

Things get even more unbelievable when Nathan, a boy Mina has admired from afar for ever, starts to become friendly. Mina is delighted by all this attention but under the surface she cannot help worrying about the decision that she has to make. Does she really want to become a practically immortal "bloodsucking freak?" There again, if she doesn't she may be forcibly separated from her parents forever. What kind of choice is this?

In this debut novel Kimberly Pauley tells a wonderful story that is funny, touching, and at the same time that addresses issues that are meaningful to today's young people. Mina comes to realize that just because he is beautiful, a boy might not necessarily the right one for her. She also discovers that there are times when you do things for a friend that hurt, but that are the right thing to do.

Written from Mina's point of view, the author has created a compelling voice for her character. It is a voice that is true to how a teenager thinks and feels, and for this reason readers will quickly find themselves becoming attached to this quirky and thoroughly likeable girl.