Written by: Brian Meehl
Published by: Delacorte Press
Will I ever get over my addiction to vampire stories? It shames me to say it but no, on second thought it doesn’t shame me. With the hundreds of books out there I have plenty of reading material to keep me entertained for years. Every one of these stories has a variation on the true character of the Vampire. From sexy and a vegetarian to evil, ugly and true horror. I love them all. In Suck it up and Die there’s the variations we’ve seen before but there’s a twist. Vampires are openly living among us!
Suck it up and die is the sequel to Suck It Up. I didn’t read the first book in the series and I think that is what made me more critical of this book than perhaps it deserves.
The story centers on Morning McCobb, a forever 16 year old vampire that is in love with Portia Dredful. Yes, I was laughing at the names. McCobb and Dredful are indicative of a dark story to come and this is what I though until the second paragraph of the book. With a line like “When it came to the big ride in Cupid’s Pedicab of Everlasting Love, that wasn’t even around the block”, I revised my thinking. Maybe it’s a comedy? I hope so, because honestly I was not in the mood for yet another vampire love story.
Morning is part of the International Vampire League, a movement started by Luther Birnam after Morning “Came out”. Although coming out can have another meaning ,in this instance it is the coming out of Vampires. Morning made his presence known to humans and became the poster child for the league. League vampires do not drink human blood, instead they drink a synthetic soy blood product. The League wants to be recognized by the United States government as a new minority population with the rights every citizen enjoys. This is the main thrust of the story that was the first book, Suck It Up. As I mentioned, I did not read the first book but I can tell you that the sequel does a good job of revisiting the major highlights of the original and as a reader you fully understand what is going on.
The harmony that the League is trying to create is hampered by a congresswoman, Becky Dell. She is a zealot with an agenda of driving all vampires out of the country. Even though league vampires have been living in peace among humans there is still the old guard vampires that sits in the wings and want’s to prove they are the superior race. Humans in general have accepted the league vampires and have made a TV show, ”The Shadow”, #1 in the ratings. A big deal when you know that the shows lead is a Vampire.
There is action, evil and wonder intertwined in the story. The much needed dark character, DeThanatos, is compelling and a master at manipulation. The reader can appreciate the form changing abilities of every vampire while still being somewhat leery of the possibility for evil.
Suck it up and die successfully weaves a story of a minority group trying to integrate and the characters that either support it or don’t. It is a story that will perhaps give the young reader a new perspective of these struggles because it showcases individuals and their stories.
As an avid reader I enjoyed the story. Word of warning, it is a young adult novel and as such you will have to scale back on your internal monitor of analyzing every jump the story makes. That being said, I enjoyed the story and was surprised (OMG! I thought that wasn’t possible in a vampire story) by the ending. I won’t tell you what it is but I can tell you that my reaction was “Really?!..that’s awesome!” I can’t go without mentioning the similarities to True Blood. In True Blood the vampires have also “come out” and there are factions that are trying to build harmony and those that are not. While this isn’t a new idea it has been made most popular by the True Blood books and subsequent HBO television series. Of that I would say that Suck it it Up and this follow up book are True Blood for the younger set.