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  • funny, sweet and bite

    August is 16 years old and he lives in Fulton Heights. It’s a perfectly normal, boring town to grow up in except for the fact that it’s infested with vampires. Vampires… in this book are known about… and live around people. Sure, they’re annoying and bitey and they do kill the occasional human. But, it’s not as weird as you might think. At first. Then it gets weird. One evening, August meets a really cute vampire named Jude. He tells him that August is important… that he’s going to be changing and when he needs him, to call him. He tosses Auggie a burner phone and disappears. I’m not even going to try and explain the amazingness that goes on in this book because I really think that Caleb Roehrig is amazing! He is a wonderful writer, and one of my favorites. So… there are a few things going on in this book. Sure, there are vampires but they’re not the sparkly kind that you might expect! These vampires range from adorable teen boys (at least that is how they appear) to old monsters! There are magical practitioners! There are historical figures woven into this tale. There are cute first dates and passionate kisses. Do I even need to continue? It turns out that August is the vessel for a terrible entity that is arising. The problem is that there’s really no consensus about what’s going to happen when he’s taken over. There are warring factions trying to determine Auggie’s future… and suddenly he is left feeling as though he has no control over anything. There are some really great scenes in this book about love – it’s not a romance, so don’t go there! But Auggie is 16 and there are cute boys all around him and even if some of them might be bitey and fangy, he is still 16! There are some really great discussions about love, relationships, and friendship. The characters in the book are complex and interesting! No one is really all they seem when they are first introduced. I have always enjoyed that about Caleb’s characters. Auggie is my favorite, but some of the vampires are really intriguing. I loved how Caleb delved into what it might be like to consider living forever. What if you’re turned when you’re very young? What if you outlive your entire family? There are so many practical things to consider when you think about becoming a vampire. There is a great story in this book. There’s great attention to detail and I love how the entire story comes together in the end. There might be a few things that are unresolved…but I can’t help hoping that there might be a sequel in the future. A girl can wish.

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  • Buffy, but gay

    With The Fell of Dark, Caleb Roehrig gives us a queer story in a fun blend of genres. It has bits of fantasy, thriller, and contemporary YA and feels like watching a season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Buffy is a gay art student. This book was not what I expected at all, but I was enthralled with what I found. Much like Buffy, this book has a sarcastic sense of humor, a healthy dose of teen angst and romance, and a looming apocalypse. The world building is exceptional, as we're introduced to bits of vampire lore and the different sects of vampires in small, steady doses. We also see glimpses of historical figures and learn slowly how they relate to the situation in which we find our hero, Auggie. Oh, and this story has witches too! It's a fun read and a well-crafted story. Auggie is all too relatable as our main character who has to worry about vampires, college, his friends, boys, and worst of all, Algebra. The way he processes his situation feels authentic. The themes of changing friendships, wondering who to trust, and the fight to control one's own destiny are evergreen in YA, and Roehrig offers a fresh and creative take on them. He also expands into some political and environmental ideas and musings on immortality.

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