Reviews for Thirsty
The Book Report Reviews 1997 September-October
The town of Clayton, Massachusetts, holds the Sad Festival every year to keep the Vampire Lord, Tch'muchgar, locked in another world for another year. The town has been hunting and disposing of vampires with deadly force for years, but the undead still live among the townspeople. Chris, 15, has always considered himself a typical teenager too shy to ask a girl out for a date. As his 16th birthday approaches, Chris finds his hormones are surging but in unexpected ways. Chris fears that he may be turning into a vampire. When Chet the Celestial Being confirms Chris's fears, he agrees to help Chet carry out a mission to destroy Tch'muchgar. The Forces of Light may be willing to lift his curse. While waiting for instructions, Chris discovers that he was stillborn, according to the attending doctor, but revived by a mysterious nurse. This convinces Chris that he really is one of the undead but he resolves to hold on to his humanity at all costs. Chris completes the mission for Chet but finds that Chet is a fraud who used Chris and has no intention of lifting his curse. Chris continues to resist the overpowering impulse to feed on human blood, although he knows that without sustenance he will die. He also knows that if he does become a vampire he will inevitably be caught and executed. While he struggles for control, his family lies sleeping in their bedrooms. Chris is not sure how long he can hold off his thirst. This is an impressive first novel. While the story is essentially a dark tale, there are also some lighthearted and extremely funny passages as Chris anti Chet converse. Teens will find it appealing for its dramatic cover and its ambiguous ending. Readers can argue at length about what happens on the last page. This book joins the select company of intelligent yet compassionate horror stories for the young adult audience. I eagerly await Anderson's next book. Highly Recommended. Charlotte Decker, Librarian, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio © 1997 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
The ordinary and the extraordinary are matter-of-factly juxtaposed in a wry narrative set in present-day western Massachusetts, where vampire executions draw large crowds. High school freshman Chris, horrified to learn he is becoming a vampire, struggles desperately to remain human. The suspenseful plot and the unusual blend of camp horror and realistic adolescent turmoil affirm a new talent worth watching. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1997 #3
In present-day western Massachusetts, vampires proliferate in the spring like mosquitoes in the damp woods. Vampire executions draw large crowds and television crews, and the Sad Festival of Vampires is held each year to keep the world safe-though some of the rituals now take place in the White Hen Pantry that stands on the ancient site. This matter-of-fact juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extraordinary is set forth in the wry narrative of high-school freshman Chris. The dark, sometimes laugh-out-loud, humor is extended in the sarcastic banter and exchange of insults between Chris and his friends. Caught in the throes of a crush on intellectual Rebecca Schwartz, Chris is too nervous to speak to her and unable to relate to his best friend's "male boob-boast maneuvers." Chris's feelings of confusion escalate dramatically when "Chet the Celestial Being" appears to him and confirms his worst fears: he is becoming a vampire. Chris's turbulent transformation into a vampire is paralleled by and inextricable from the changes of ado-lescence: insatiable appetite, sleepless nights, and a deep sense of insecurity and isolation. Horrified by the prospect of killing for his survival, Chris agrees to perform a task for Chet to win back his humanity. But Chet may not be what he seems, and as the Sad Festival approaches, Chris's struggle to remain human becomes more desperate, and the tone of the novel darkens. The unusual blend of camp horror and realistic adolescent turmoil and the suspenseful plot affirm a new talent worth watching. l.a. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Library Journal Express Reviews
In Chris's small Massachusetts town, vampires are hunted by lynch mobs and killed in public executions. Chris is much more interested in getting a girl to go out with him. Then with the approach of his 16th birthday, puberty takes a turn for the worse and he discovers, to his horror, that he is thirsty for human blood. Why It Is Great: From the first paragraph, Anderson's nonchalant mix of horror and humor tells you this is not your average teen vampire novel. "In the spring, there are vampires in the wind.... My father claims we have them this year because it was a mild winter, but he may be thinking of tent caterpillars." Later, Chris will tear at his own forearm for sustenance and in the very next scene attempt to explain his twisted braces to his orthodontist. Why It Is for Us: The uncompromising conclusion asks what price we are willing to pay for our humanity. Chris is left with two ugly choices: starve as a vampire or give in to his nature, knowing he will be hunted and executed. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 September #1
"Chris finds his teenage lusts becoming the thirst of the undead. Horror fans will find this vampire novel a bloody cut above the usual fare," said PW. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 January #4
"In the spring, there are vampires in the wind." So begins this blackly atmospheric first novel, set in a New England that is under quiet siege by elfin changelings, mongrel swamp creatures and other inhuman beings. Chris, struggling through the awkward changes of adolescence, finds his teenage lusts becoming the thirst of the vampire. He narrates the pull of his own evil nature with rhythmic, morbid accuracy: "I tear at my arm and slash downward with the teeth, rutting up little tracks of meat while the thick, sour tang of my own gore sweetly fills my mouth and cheeks, puffing them out." Chet, a so-called celestial being claiming to be from the Forces of Light, contacts Chris not yet a full vampire and asks him to interfere with a ceremony that will release Tch'muchgar, the vampire lord, from his bondage in another world. But can Chet be trusted? The overtly supernatural climax and a disappointing plot twist squelch the sparkle of Anderson's prose somewhat, but horror fans will find this vampire novel a bloody cut above the usual fare. Ages 14-17. (Mar.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1998 September #3
"Chris finds his teenage lusts becoming the thirst of the undead. Horror fans will find this vampire novel a bloody cut above the usual fare," said PW. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal Reviews 1997 March
Chris has problems bickering, divorce-bound parents; a domineering older brother; his best friends becoming estranged. Overshadowing everything is the fact that Chris, while churning in adolescent hormonal changes, is becoming a vampire. The good people of his Massachusetts town are almost inured to the murders committed by vampires. Yet violent mobs shortcut justice with stake-through-the-heart lynchings. As Chris's blood lust grows, he's increasingly challenged to hide his transformation. "Chet," claiming to be an avatar of the Forces of Light, offers to reverse Chris's vampirism in exchange for his help in keeping the Vampire Lord imprisoned beneath the local reservoir. The teen agrees and does the deed, then spirals into self-doubt. Has he done the right thing? Who can he trust? If he reveals himself, will his family and friends betray him, kill him? Dark humor runs rampant. The invitation to a vampire gathering is a hoot ("drinks at 12:00"), and the imprisoned "dark god" rages amid the static of late night TV. Sexy Lolli, a vampire vixen, urges Chris to "come out of the coffin." Chris pays the price of making commitments without understanding the consequences. He struggles to the end to stay human and do the right thing, remaining a veritable vampire virgin, inevitably doomed to choose death either by starvation or biological destiny. Entertaining, disturbing, memorable, and sophisticated, this mortality tale will continue to haunt after the last pages are turned. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews