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A Never Coming of Age Story

by Adam Rex

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-192090-5
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Teen vampires are a dime a dozen nowadays, but how many attend Comic-Con? Doug does, under a white poncho because sunlight sears his pale, new-vampire skin. The title word “fat” stands (gratuitously) for dorkiness; this geek-culture romp bubbles with computers, comics and bodily teen-boy awkwardness. It’s hilarious but also sharply meaningful—exchange student Sejal arrives from Kolkata ill and wounded from a traumatic case of “the Google.” As Doug seeks blood (deer’s better than cow, but human’s best) and chafes at vampiric education from a creepy elderly enigma, Sejal bonds with her host family’s daughter and tries to recall her sense of self, recently misplaced on the Internet. Cable TV’s cult show Vampire Hunters tracks Doug, who’s ever more powerful—and ever less palatable. Rex addresses kindness, ethics and racism directly but also indulges in a hipster irony peppered with race and disability jabs, romanceless-but-Twilight–esque gender dynamics and a troubling sort of post-homophobia exploitation of gay stereotypes. Nevertheless, horror chills, humor, crisp prose and excellent secondary teen characters make this one fun read. (Humor/horror. YA)