Sienna Mercer,
My Sister the Vampire #4: Vampalicious!
(HarperCollins, 2008)

Two 13-year-old girls bump into each other at school. Ivy is goth and has lived in Franklin Grove most of her life, while Olivia is sunny and has just moved into town. When these two girls meet they soon discover that, under the goth dark looks of Ivy and the peppy pink cheerleader looks of Olivia, they are identical twins.

Identical except that Ivy is a vampire and Olivia is a human. Both girls have known they are adopted, but neither knew that they had a twin out there somewhere.

This is the fourth book in Sienna Mercer's My Sister the Vampire series and takes place after the third book where the girls discover that the man Ivy thought was her adopted father is actually Olivia and Ivy's biological dad. Ivy's dad doesn't know the girls have uncovered the truth, and he is determined to move to Europe for a new job and separate the sisters once again. Ivy and Olivia don't know why he wants the move so bad, but they are determined to stop him. This book is a series of plans, most of which are humorously disastrous, concocted to keep Ivy and her dad in Franklin Grove.

Written to be read by 8-12 year olds, this is a short and sweet age-appropriate read, and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It had the potential to be a little hokey and too cutesy, and I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Instead it delivered a FANGtastic (grins) afternoon read that left me smiling and glad I decided to turn the pages. I started this series at the end and I have already ordered books 1-3; I really adored Olivia and Ivy.

The author pens a story reminiscent of The Parent Trap that really worked for me. There are some stereotypical vampire behaviors like coffin sleeping and blood drinking, and some unexpected vampire lore like the Holiday Bat that takes the place of the human Santa Claus. Creative and clever, this short story is really not that much about vampires and more about the relationship between two sisters. They are uniquely their own person, yet they have a deep and unbreakable bond after such a short time of knowing each other.

I would highly recommend this book to parents who are struggling to find both exciting and appropriate reading material for their young daughters. These two heroines are lovely. Olivia and Ivy aren't sassy or bratty, they are well-behaved and respectful, yet still manage to be funny, fun, cool and popular. Imagine that.

book review by
Cherise Everhard

4 December 2010

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