Years ago if someone had told me
that a book about a Latina who finds herself smitten by vampires
would be published by a relatively large publishing house, I would
have laughed--but perhaps not as hard as when I read this book.
Marta Acosta has to be one of the sharpest-witted contemporary
This novel is a
love story--albeit one mixed with zany characters and ironic twists.
Milagro de Los Santos, the protagonist, is a writer who gets mixed
up with the "wrong people," or more specifically, Oswald, a vampire
who "infects" her. She is boy-crazy and at the same time,
vulnerable, falling in love with men who are not the best match for
her. As she tries to make sense of her attraction to Oswald and the
world around her, she winds up in a home full of vampires who care
for her in their own way. There is some of what we would
expect in a vampire novel--the erotic, the dangerous, the
mysterious, but what truly stands out in this story is the character
of Milagro. She never takes herself too seriously, and that is
precisely why it is so easy to laugh at her exploits.
This book is a fun read.
Nothing more, nothing less. Those expecting more from a book about vampires should look
elsewhere. Acosta's creative imagination moves the plot
forward with funny line after funny line. In fact, her use of
humor is a bit reminiscent of Louie Garcia Robinson's The Devil, Delfina Varela and the Used Chevy
(1993), which was so outrageous that it had the makings of a
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
does not have the same combination of social commentary and humor as
works by a novelist like Edgardo Vega Yunque,
but then again, that is not really its purpose.
In part, this
book is a credit to the tremendous growth of the Chica Lit market.
I know that some authors don't consider it a compliment to have
their books classified as such, but when a book gets into detail
about women's clothing and women's conversations about sex,
is it really written with both genders equally in mind? The
fact is that this is still a very creative work and although we're
in the middle of winter, I'd say it's a good, fun, summer read.