Arc Review: Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston

Title: Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things
Author: Margie Fuston
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Vampires
Publication Date: August 24th, 2021
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“In this heart-wrenching debut YA novel that’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown meets They Both Die at the End, a teen girl takes a trip to New Orleans with her estranged best friend to find a vampire to save her dying father.

Victoria and her dad have shared a love of the undead since the first vampire revealed his existence on live TV. Public fear soon drove the vampires back into hiding, yet Victoria and her father still dream about finding a vampire together. But when her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it’s clear that’s not going to happen. Instead, Victoria vows to find a vampire herself—so that she can become one and then save her father.

Armed with research, speculations, and desperation—and helped by her estranged best friend, Henry—Victoria travels to New Orleans in search of a miracle. There she meets Nicholas, a mysterious young man who might give her what she desires. But first, he needs Victoria to prove she loves life enough to live forever.

She agrees to complete a series of challenges, from scarfing sugar-drenched beignets to singing with a jazz band, all to show she has what it takes to be immortal. But truly living while her father is dying feels like a betrayal. Victoria must figure out how to experience joy and grief at once, trusting all the while that Nicholas will hold up his end of the bargain…because the alternative is too impossible to imagine.” (Goodreads)

I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for vampires. I always have been since I was teen. This was an interesting urban fantasy about a girl who goes on a trip to find a real vampire to save her dad. It’s definitely a unique plot!

I could relate to Victoria in a couple ways. The first one is because her and her dad are both obsessed with vampires. I love them and understood all of the references when it came to the movies and books they talked about. I could also relate to her when it comes to wanting to do anything to save a loved one from death. Death is hard. I’ve never had to watch someone wither away as Victoria did when it came to her dad and you can tell her, her sister, and mother all deal with it in different ways. She is very determined which also makes her reckless. Some of the choices she made were pretty selfish and cause ripples but I’m glad she found a way to cope in a weird but interesting way.

Another character that is very present in the book besides Victoria is Henry. He is the estranged friend who lives near her but they had a falling out. If you like friends-to-lovers then you will enjoy what these two have to offer together. It isn’t always easy between them and there are arguments and a bit of a love triangle. I did like reading about them trying to reconnect because it felt real and Henry truly wanted what was best for her even if that meant him not being around. He seriously is a cinnamon roll.

The book does talk a lot about grief but from a different perspective than most as the person hasn’t died. It shows the different ways people handle it and understanding that it is okay to still live even if a loved one is facing uncertainty. Victoria learns a lot about herself on this journey and the setting was fun since it’s in New Orleans. It definitely made me want to go there even more.

I will say that there were a lot of things that I liked and even though the plot was unique for the most part I still didn’t love it. I didn’t fully connect to the story or characters but I did enough to still like it.

Overall, this was good. I do love the cover and the messages that can be found within the book.


13 thoughts on “Arc Review: Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston

  1. Ooh, I hadn’t heard of this one before but I love that cover and the premise sounds really interesting and unique! I might chuck this on the TBR wishlist anyway and see if I ever get around to reading it 😂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went through a vampire phase in my teens through to my early twenties. I feel like I read so many vampire books that I burned out. It would be fun to try it again 10 years later to see if the fun is still there for me now that I’ve had a long break from it!

    Liked by 2 people

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