by M. Beth Bloom
To be published on July 24, 2012
Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss. Read my review policy/disclosure statement here.
My summary: Quinlan "Quinn" Lacey is a 1990s L.A. princess, an only child who sulks her way through shifts at the video store and torments her co-worker Morgan with her skimpy outfits and her refusal to acknowledge his infatuation. She's spoiled and bored, the VJ of her own MTV universe. One night after work, she spots a classmate, Naomi Sheets, crying by the side of the road. But when she meets James, Naomi's mysterious brother, Quinn has finally met her match. He's frustratingly unavailable, enigmatically aloof. But no one denies Quinn anything, so she sets out to have him. She doesn't even care that he's part of a sinister world of the undead.
My take: Words I never thought I'd say in a YA review: I think you might have to be over the age of 30 to fully appreciate this book.
In the marketing copy on my ARC, Drain You is pitched as Twilight meets My So Called Life. While I do see the parallel between the Angela-Brian relationship in MSCL and the Quinn-Morgan one in Drain You, I'd call this book The Lost Boys meets Heathers. Like Heathers, Drain You is a black comedy. It wittily skewers overly permissive modern parenting, 80s slasher movies, and girl-meets-vampire stories, among other things.
Main character Quinn is quite the piece of work. More Rayanne than Angela, she's gloriously self-centered, eager to keep Morgan slavering over her while simultaneously wrapping vampire James and his non-vamp brother Whit around her little finger. Quinn's relationship issues may not be entirely her fault -- her affluent parents raise her with benign neglect, communicating with her through cheery, passive-aggressive little notes as they social-climb their way through the L.A. party scene.
I enjoyed Drain You so much that I didn't even need a plot, but there is one involving a pair of evil vampire twins, hilariously nicknamed "the Spaders" by Quinn. The Spaders are vampires by choice who enslave Quinn's best friend Libby, necessitating a somewhat farfetched kidnapping plot and a gruesomely comic scene involving drain cleaner that comes straight out of Heathers. Remember that? "It's one thing to want someone out of your life, but it's another to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer."
I will have to accept the fact that not everybody may get this book. Me? I could have read it forever. Kurt? Dave? Flannel? Heshers? Discman? Sassy magazine? Nine Inch Nails? If you're nodding, you're probably with me in that over-30 demographic. If not, it's not your fault you're so young. One day you'll be reminiscing like this about Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.
Under 30's, I want you to love this book as much as I did, so here is my...
Helpful 90's Glossary for the Tragically Young
Discman: crappy successor to the Walkman and precursor to the iPod. Played CDs. Not that portable and skipped like crazy.
Drain You: a 1991 Nirvana song from the album Nevermind. In the category of 90s Vampire Themed Songs, I prefer "The World is a Vampire" by Smashing Pumpkins.
Hesher: Mulleted, acid-jeans-wearing metalhead. You know, like Wayne and Garth on Wayne's World? Oh, never mind.
Overly permissive parenting: Kids, I am here to tell you that there was life before helicopter parents. Some moms and dads who came of age in the 60s practiced this kind of hands-off parenting. Looking back, it seems kind of awesome.
Sassy magazine: 1990s era magazine aimed at indie-alt teen and twenty-something girls everywhere. R.I.P.
Spader: person reminiscent of ubiquitous 80s/90s smirking, pastel-wearing preppy movie villains played by James Spader.
Video Store: place you went on weekend nights to rent movies on VHS. This was before DVRs, video on demand, Hulu, etc.
VJ: video jockey -- the newly minted celebrities who played and introduced videos on MTV. Martha Quinn -- remember her? Downtown Julie Brown? Carson Daly? Is anyone with me here? Sigh. I'll just go sit in my rocking chair now.
I selected this post to be featured on Book Review Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!
Now that I've seen the cover, I do remember seeing this book around although I didn't know much about it. I may not be quite old enough for it but it sounds like a different kind of vampire book and that part may appeal strongly to me.ReplyDelete
If you like black comedy, then definitely try it. It's a funny, irreverent take on vampires :)Delete
Greatest. Review. Ever. :) Love that 90s glossary, too...it's tragic that it's necessary, but I love it all the same. I wasn't going to give this book the time of day, but you've convinced me otherwise.ReplyDelete
Try it -- I loved it!!Delete
You had me at "Heathers," lol!ReplyDelete
Yes, I think because of this book, I am watching Heathers today. It's on Netflix streaming...Delete
hahah LOVE this post chick! I've been wanting to read my copy and was drawn to it even tho I'm not into vampires. Your post just made me want to read it even more! I don't remember Sassy but I think its because I was too busy drooling at pics in Tiger Beat LOL And your gonna laugh but I totally didn't know what a Discman was! And I had one!!!! bahahaha I remember being so proud of my FREE Sony Walkman I got from Kraft for saving enough points off of their cheese and koolaid packages. ROFL Do people even do that anymore? And OMW do you remember Carson Daily on TRL? I remember watcing the first episode..it was just Carson in a totally dark room, no audience, no guests. It was kinda creepy, and only 30 mins long. They only did top 5 and then it exploded a year later. WOW! Those were the days heheReplyDelete
So young and so wise you are....Delete
Love the Kraft story -- the Discman was SO stupid. Walkman actually worked better. Thank goodness for iPods.
Yes, as you know I watch The Voice and tell my kids about Carson Daly's past life and their eyes glaze over.
It did!!! My sis who was older got the almighty Discman. I'd always rub it in her face that it never worked and she was always borrowing my "cheesy" walkman. bahaha Hail to the Sony!Delete
I love this book too Jan, and I get it lol! Thanks for the Awesome review! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by -- love your blog :)Delete
Dude!! Totally loving your review on this one. I was so nodding my head and going yes!! OMG!! I am dying at Crissy's comment. I remember when TRL was brand new!! So funny. And I agree that discmans were crap, I used to just record my CD's onto tape and use my walkman instead.ReplyDelete
Me too. I watched MTV all the time. I bought a Discman and actually tried to go jogging with it. The thing was the size of a salad plate. Lame! Like Crissy, I went back to the Walkman, which is a classic.Delete
I miss the 90's. MSCL (I'm still and they cancelelled it), Heathers (really you could have just stopped here), the music, the clothes. I really do miss it. And I totally agree that "the world is a vampire" is better than "drain you". I will also admit I had the hugest crush on Carson daly.ReplyDelete
I didn't think I missed the 90s -- I was in school and busy -- but reading this book brought it all back and I felt a wave of nostalgia.Delete
Yeah, I wasn't the hugest Nirvana fan, but I am putting on my iTunes 90s playlist (Spin Doctors, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Gin Blossoms, Soundgarden...) right now in honor of this review :)
Oh My God, I love James Spader. I can't quite tell you which smirking jerk won me over first but I think upon my 5 hundreth viewing of Pretty in Pink I knew it was 4 real. While I am only 31, my sister is 6 years older than my and I stewed on all of her teen angst glory and had much of my own. I often felt that I should have been born a couple years before I was to properly fit in with the people who felt most like my peer group. Your review slayed me...I seriously cannot wait to read this book!ReplyDelete
Really? You have a thing for evil, smirky guys? I would never have guessed....Delete
I know, I know. He was super hot in Secretary even as an old dude...Delete
OMG -- that was the weirdest, most twisted movie!!Delete
Ew Justin Bieber ew no.ReplyDelete
also: I know most of those terms. I was born in the early '90s! but um yeah. O___o I do like this review, though! I do want to pick up the book now...
But you're just cool like that...Delete
This is the first I am hearing of Drain You but it sounds really good. Quinn doesn't seem like the greatest character I would want to read but I do want to read those scenes with her and James because they are the same and those should be very funny lines. Another book to add to the list. Oh and Katy Perry rocks but I don't care for Justin Bieber.ReplyDelete
Yes, you have to take Quinn in the right way. She's pretty narcissistic. But I still was fascinated by her.Delete
This sounds awesome. I didn't really have much intention of reading Drain You but now I definitely do! Great review :)ReplyDelete
Loved! Stopped by your blog -- also love the idea of cousins blogging together :)Delete
I am under 30. If I waited till I was above it would I understand then? I think you would have to have been alive in the 1990's to get it maybe ;) alive abd aware!! Great review though. It looks like an interesting vampire book.ReplyDelete
I think to enjoy it you have to get that it's black comedy, not to be taken entirely seriously. I think some reviewers on GR were reading it as a paranormal romance, which doesn't really work.Delete
Great review Jen! I'm definitely over 30 so this will be great! LOL! Love your glossary too! This one has been on my TBR for awhile now :-)ReplyDelete
I loved it!!Delete
So, I'm reading Drain You right now. I am so completely on-board w/everything you've said in this review. The story practically won my heart when Quinlan put in her flannel shirt and Morgan told her "Kurt's dead. Let it go." (paraphrasing)ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by -- can't wait to read your review!Delete
Mother-sucker, I am SO MAD that I didn't get this one on NG! I had NO idea this one was full of 90s references! NIN (Pretty Hate Machine is still one of my fave cds, EVAH), Kurt C., My So Called Life (Jordan- freaking-Catalano!), The Spaders (effing Brilliant, that one), my namesake: HEATHERS & The Lost Boys (yeah, I got the anniversary edition dvd of both) ALL of this I TOTALLY get and love, for I am WELL into my 30s:) I think this book may have been written just for me. I'm broke but may have to pre-order...ReplyDelete
And now that Smashing Pumpkins song is going to be stuck in my head all day...The world is vampire....sent to drain...secret destroyers...hold you up to the flames..;)
I love this review (obviously) it just might be my favorite one of your's YET:)
Thanks. I know how much you love 80s and 90s pop culture -- like me-- so you should love this!Delete
You totally crack me up! So true though. I was just telling my husband the other day that I remember when there wasn't YouTube (it got big when I was in college I think or maybe even after). Here is something that made me feel old and dates me even though I'm really not: I was with my sister-in-law who is only two years younger than me in the car listening to music and somehow we were talking about Top Gun (she hadn't seen it!!!) and the great music on that album - she didn't know who Kenny Loggins is, at all! I'm just 33, but really? I'll have to read this one - thanks for the review. :)ReplyDelete
I remember watching Top Gun. And I'm always telling my kids about life without Google, YouTube, Facebook. It's weird that there are people who don't know the world without it.Delete
Sounds like a blast!ReplyDelete
Funny, in real life James Spader's eldest sister is named Libby.
Spader trivia?!?! Love it! Thanks so much for stopping by :)Delete
Fun review. I wonder if this is on Netgalley....or if I can figure out how to request from Edelweiss. I'm signed up but I've never requested anything.ReplyDelete
Give it a try!Delete
This book sounds super creepy. I love all the references harking back to the 90's.ReplyDelete
I thoroughly enjoyed it!Delete
I graduated in '93 - this is bringing back SO many good memories! I will definitely be getting this one as soon as possible! Thanks :)ReplyDelete
Hooray for the 90s!Delete
I... only knew one word on that list. I was born in the 80s. :) However, this was a fantastic view and I totally want to read this book now. I've never seen heathers. Don't hate me. I hear it referenced a lot.ReplyDelete
Okay, I have to ask. Which word did you know?Delete
Heathers is on Netflix streaming. I think it holds up pretty well!
I knew Discman and Video Store..lol I was born late 80s soo...ReplyDelete
This book does sound pretty interesting though! Maybe it is one I should give a try, I do like a good vampire book ;)
ALSO! I just want to let you know... I found my cat!!!!!!!!!
I've seen this book on soo many blogs, but I've never once thought to pick it up and read it because well...I didn't like the cover. I know I know don't judge a book by its cover, but yeah guilty as charged I do judge a book by its cover...:/ but after reading your review o it I think I should get the book lol:) oh and I love the movie Heathers:))ReplyDelete
I've also seen this book on so many blogs, but I haven't check it out. I'll maybe read it if I find some time. :)ReplyDelete
You had me at the Heathers reference! I haven't heard of this book, but it is getting pushed up on my to buy list!ReplyDelete