Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Seventeen-year-old Maggie Cunningham is tough, smart, and sassy. She's also not like other girls her age, but then, who would be when the family business is monster hunting? Combat boots, ratty hooded sweatshirts, and hair worn short so nothing with claws can get a grip, Maggie's concerns in life slant more toward survival than fashion or boys. Which presents a problem when Maggie's mother informs Maggie that she can't get her journeyman's license for hunting until she loses her virginity.
Something about virgin blood turning vampires into pointy rage monsters. Blood and gore and insides being on the outside and all that.
Maggie's battled ghosts and goblins and her fair share of house brownies, but finding herself a boy - fitting in with her peers - proves a much more daunting task than any monster hunt. Did you know normal girls don't stuff their bras with holy water balloons? Nor do they carry wooden stakes in their waistbands. And they care about things like "matching" and "footwear." Of course, they also can't clean a gun blindfolded, shoot a crossbow, or exorcise ghosts from a house. Which means they're lame and Maggie's not. Because Maggie's awesome. The Awesome, in fact. Just ask her. She'd be more than happy to tell you.
After she finds herself a date.
"That felt like a waste of a perfectly good Tuesday, and there were much more exciting things to do, like hunt ghosts and punch pookahs. Maybe stab an elf in the neck for shits and giggles"
Well, this book is awesome by name and awesome by nature, and I know you're all probably groaning and rolling your eyes at that comment but it's true! I am in two minds right now, however, because the synopsis doesn't tell the whole story, the entire book isn't all about Maggie trying to get laid, there's other stuff going on, that I would say is the main plot, and I'm in two minds because I kinda wanna tell you about it but then I'd spoil the book! So yeah, just know that this book has a way more complex plot than the synopsis may lead you to believe.
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading, but it was even better than my expectations. This is the kind of book you pick up when you're having a bad day, feeling crappy or generally want a laugh. Seriously. There many, many points during this book when I was reading, and I just couldn't stop laughing at Maggie's comments, I was practically gasping for air and snort laughing and it wasn't pretty but it was fantastic. Don't read this in a public place. Seriously. Just don't. I challenge anyone to try and contain the laughter this book will bring you.
This book is so vastly different from all the other books out there, it's twisted. Really it is. But it's also hilarious like I said. It's got it's originalities in it's vampire lore, it's got some other lesser creatures you don't really come across much in books, and it's got quirks.
"But he was cannon fodder, a victim waiting to happen. He might as well be the token slut in a horror movie with a sign that said "Me First" hanging around his neck."
Like Maggie. She is a giant quirk. A giant quirk that sort of reminds me of a female version of Dean Winchester. No kidding. I loved her. She's straight talking, snarky, says what she thinks, and she's a badass. This book has some serious punch, and the snappy dialogue is a huge part of that. Maggie as a narrator is incredible engaging, because she's an interesting character, and she's witty, and like I keep saying...frigging hilarious and badass and also mildly inappropriate. She's also a normal girl. I loved that, I really did, there was none of this "my toned *insert body part* Maggie's just all talking about her untonedness and her muffin top and it was glorious because that along with her other worries and stuff made her seem so human and realistic. She really wasn't perfect and that was the best thing about her. She's literally my hero right now, I can't even.
Maggie is also very confident, you can't help but admire her for her continued confidence no matter what the hell happens. She's so realistic she practically jumps out of the book and smacks you up side the head. The whole firs time thing could have been reaaaaalllyyy awkward to read, but it wasn't because it was so very well written, so realistic, not at all overly romanticised like most books do. The whole virginity thing was handled so well in the book, especially by Janice, I mean....her and Maggie where so comfortable talking about it, and so Janice-y about it, while still making sure all the bases where covered, and telling her to be comfortable with her body and safe and so on.
"Ripping out someone's spleen was an anti-friendship activity"
I loved Janice as well, she was also a touch Winchester-y with her music choices, which I fully approved of. If they made this in to a movie it would have the most banging soundtrack ever. Seriously. Her and Maggie's relationship was just so strangely hilariously inappropriate, antagonistic, swear-y, snarky, ridiculous, almost sisterly, but it totally worked, and at the same time it was also so loving, and you saw it in certain moments and it was beautiful.
"My mother forced a smile so bright, I thought sunshine would blast out her ass like a Care Bear Stare."
There where so many characters in this that where just perfectly pitched, and unexpected and interesting and you want to know more about. Like Jeff. Jeff is a vampire, and I find it oddly hilarious that he is called Jeff because it's not very vampirey and there's this line where Maggie's like "SOME HELP HERE JEFF" and I literally nearly cried laughing, I found it so funny because he's a vampire, and he has all the vampire teeth and I could just picture the scene so well and yeah. But anyway, I want to know more about Jeff because he's clearly some sort of big badass.
"These were not the dulcet Russian tones of a kidnapping giantess. No, this voice belonged to one Jeffrey Sampson, resident pain in my ass and fang bang extraordinaire."
Ian was not at all what I first thought he was going to be. He ended up being surprisingly cool, and kind of the exact right match for Maggie, even though they where kind of totally different from each other. Their romance was sweet and really cute, and seemed very natural and organic.
Lauren was like the worlds most socially acceptable Zombie, she was so nice and thoughtful yet badass at the same time, and I really want another book because I want to know what happens to her! Does she get to go home? Which would actually kind of suck because she totally should just stay with Janice and Maggie forever and ever and be awesome.
"It was Clash of the Titans, except in this case Titan One was an undead girl who murdered ducks and Titan Two was a giantess with a propensity for tit smother."
There where some other characters as well, I particularly want to know more about the other hunters we met, and see some more of the creatures of the world the author created.
Regards to the setting, it was very well described, you could picture it, but the main thing that draws you in to the world is Maggie and the other characters as well as all the action. The setting was well written, the atmosphere suiting each occasion. I enjoyed the bits of lore thrown in here and there, and the unique little details about vampires and holy water and other various beasties.
"That's it, Maggie. Defend your cereal choices 'til your dying breath. Possibly literally. Focus, you boob"
Plot wise, like I said, this isn't about Maggie getting laid, there's all these politics going on between the vamps and the hunters, and there's a small incident with some repercussions and it's pretty much a huge adventure that has you racing from page to page. I read most of this in a couple of hours before I had to stop to sleep, it's easily read in one sitting, mostly because you don't really want to put it down.
The book was very surprising. I've read so many books at this stage, and a lot of the time the same things keep happening again and again. Not so with this book. While I was reading certain parts, every single time I thought I knew what was going to happen....the exact opposite did or something totally surprising, and it was fantastic and incredibly refreshing, I was really kept on my toes. I mean I was like "Okay this is the part where she walks in on her mum getting murdered.....wait...okay.......still kind of similar to what I.....omg.....no way.....AWKWAAAAAAAAARDDDDDDDD". So yeah.
"I realised it was time to break out the song trick. All my row-your-boat intentions flew out the window; for some horrible reason, the only song I could think of was the Sex Pistols "Friggin' in the Riggin'"-possibly the crudest song in the history of rock and roll."
The Awesome is fast paced, profanity laced, badass, action packed and completely and utterly twistedly hilarious and also kind of dark, surprise of a book. It's punchy, it's snappy, it's so very slick. It's the best thing ever to be honest, and it really needs to be a series because I am SO ready for more, I mean there was a freaking vampire doing pilates and listening to freaking nature CD's. I haven't read anything quite like this before, and it was just.....uuuh....dammit.....I can't think of another freaking word.....awesome. There. I said it. Again. BUT IT'S TRUE.