Bite Somebody

by Sara Dobie Bauer

Reviewed by Scott T. Barnes

Ever wondered what happened to chick lit?

It died.

And came back to life.

As a vampire.

Danny lied to Celia Merkin. He told her he’d make her perfect. (Spoiler alert.) He then bit her and turned her into a vampire. But the chubby Celia discovers that her insecurities don’t disappear when she becomes a vampire. She doesn’t instantly develop Cameron Diaz legs, or Electra’s fighting ability, or James Bond’s confidence.

In fact, she’s pretty much the same girl as before, except if the sun gets a look at her she’ll burst into flame, she can only feed off of blood, and she gets a dose of super strength--without any increase in endurance.

Celia’s chief insecurity involves men. She can hardly imagine that a man would be interested in her. The only men she’s ever known either ditched her in the morning, or turned her into the undead and then ditched her in the morning. Not much of a confidence builder. She’s seeing a vampire shrink for her problems.

“Danny said becoming a vampire would make me more special,” she complains to Doctor Savage.

Dr. Savage’s voice went all sing-song. “You are special. We’re all special.”

Two things happen. First, she meets an experienced, party-girl vampire named Imogen. Next, she meets her delicious-smelling, former surfer turned bicycle racer named Ian. Together they rock Celia’s world.

Despite, or perhaps because of being near perfect in every way, Ian seems to be falling for Celia’s down-home innocence. He calls her beautiful. He asks her out on dates. He gets into watching Pretty Woman on VHS tape with her.

Seeing the attraction (which Celia can’t believe is genuine), Imogen sets out to get Celia laid.

Err, I mean Imogen becomes a mentor figure to our hero.

It turns out that while vampires can’t eat food, they can enjoy alcoholic beverages, weed, and other mind-alternating substances of dubious origin. They frequent night clubs, and with their glamouring ability successfully feed off their more-than-willing victims. Celia has far too many scruples for glamouring anyone, but she does enjoy loosening up a bit with weed and alcohol.

Together, Imogen and Ian, with a little help from the shrink, begin to restore Celia’s confidence.

Of course, when things are getting too good to be true the vampire who first turned Celia turns up to throw a monkey wrench into everyone’s plans.

This book is absolutely hilarious. You will cheer Imogen on with her quest to empower her friend to experience her first-ever orgasm. The setting, somewhere just off the mythical Spring Break land on the Gulf of Mexico, is perfect for this light paranormal rom-com.
By having the hero reading Twilight to seek out information on vampire culture, Bite Somebody gives a nod to the most widely read of this genre, but I’d say that the book has more in common with Legally Blond or Shopaholic than Stephanie Meyers’ opus. It is definitely a 20-something book, deeply instilled with Cosmo-style values.

At times as I was reading I thought Bite Somebody might have something profound to say about life in general. Most of the time I didn’t really care. I went along for its hilarious—and touching--ride.