Heather Swain’s latest novel, Josie Griffin Is Not a Vampire should really be called Josie Griffin Is an Angry, Angry Girl. Coming to terms with her boyfriend and best friend’s betrayal (they were hooking up behind her back), the humiliation of everyone else knowing about it before her, and dealing with her anger at the situation and practically the world has been made slightly easier through Josie’s favorite outlet: her blog. Sharing her stories and feelings is therapeutic and some of her readers have become her circle of virtual friends.
Bashing in her ex’s windshield with a bat also helped, but it landed Josie in a lot of trouble. She’s been sentenced to community service at HAG, short for Helping American Girls. HAG houses runaways and helps them move forward with their life. Josie is also required to take anger management classes, which pisses her off even more because she doesn’t feel like she needs them. And as she sits in on her first session, she realizes that she fits in even less than she thought she would. Everyone else in the group, including the councilor, are some type of mythical creature. Josie realizes that a story on these crack pots could be good practice for her dream career–investigative journalist–and decides to infiltrate the group and pose as one of them. But as Josie gets to know the members of her group better, her eyes are opened to how unsafe a place her town really is and begins to question what exactly makes someone a monster.
Josie is a pretty bad-ass girl even though she definitely makes some big mistakes. Josie Griffin Is Not a Vampire is a very fun read, and it’s mostly because of Josie’s attitude, snarky comments, and how much she cares (even though her anger won’t let her admit it at first). All of the characters were very well developed and don’t necessarily conform to what their mythical creature is supposed to be like. Everyone in Josie’s group is pretty bad ass in their own way, and they are all funny. Heather Swain wrote everyone really well and managed to make the story funny and compelling even when parts of it are on the scarier side. (Note: That’s scarier. I don’t do horror, so don’t expect blood and gore here.)
I highly recommend Josie Griffin Is Not a Vampire for anyone looking for a fun, light, paranormal read. (I could also see this novel becoming a great movie, btw.)
Genre: YA paranormal
Release Date: September 13, 2012