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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    You can have a heartbeat and still be dead I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would; oh well. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 You can have a heartbeat and still be dead I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would; oh well. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  2. 5 out of 5

    human

    book: "something-or-another meets They Both Die at the End" me: *slams want-to-read through the tears* book: "something-or-another meets They Both Die at the End" me: *slams want-to-read through the tears*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    What do you mean by meets They Both Die in the End??

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    July 21, 2020: I run so fast towards books with vampires...and other dead things. Is it because I'm a vampire myself? You would never know. July 21, 2020: I run so fast towards books with vampires...and other dead things. Is it because I'm a vampire myself? You would never know.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cosy_pages

    Firstly, I would like to say the biggest thank you to Simon and Schuster for agreeing to send me a NetGalley ARC!! It was a book I’d been really excited about and it did not disappoint!! This book is the first book in quite a while that has pushed me to think about people and situations outside of the fictional world. It made me think about grief, the people I love and my own dad. I went into this very excited about the vampire pop culture references, I myself am a big vampire film fan and I was i Firstly, I would like to say the biggest thank you to Simon and Schuster for agreeing to send me a NetGalley ARC!! It was a book I’d been really excited about and it did not disappoint!! This book is the first book in quite a while that has pushed me to think about people and situations outside of the fictional world. It made me think about grief, the people I love and my own dad. I went into this very excited about the vampire pop culture references, I myself am a big vampire film fan and I was impressed with how many Fuston has managed to get in! I’m glad we got to see so many vampire myths and stereotypes, the seductive qualities they are often presented as having and also the cold-hearted killers that they can be too. The plot is that Victoria’s dad is dying of cancer. They have always shared a love for vampires and in her desperation and refusal to let him go she agrees to go on the trip they’d planned to New Orleans; but instead of a fun week away... she is looking for a real vampire. Her best friend Henry who she’s been pulling away from convinces her to let him join her and a vampire she believes can help her sends her on a ‘game’ in order to prove she loves life enough to commit to eternity. Henry and Victoria are such well-written characters! Their flaws are clear as day but you can’t help feeling for them. You can’t help but admire Victoria’s strength and determination but I was also so moved by her desperation. Yes, she made some risky choices, but can you blame her when her dad’s life hangs in the balance. And Henry, yes he often couldn’t decide whether he wanted to help Victoria or not but you could see how much he cared for her and respected her at the same time. In fact, the level of respect that both Henry and Nicolas showed for Victoria was admirable. They didn’t always get it right, but I’m convinced they had the right intentions towards her. I cried multiple times while reading this. And after I finished it I cried for about twenty minutes. The last chapter especially made me emotional towards both the characters and my own dad and the people I love. The way grief is discussed both for people who have died and for the grief that Victoria is feeling about the loss of time with her dad during his illness is heart-wrenching. I want to thank you Margie Fuston. This was one of my most anticipated reads and has definitely become a favourite of the year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    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. i don't Love vampires to the same extent as everyone else, but 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. i don't Love vampires to the same extent as everyone else, but this sounds amazing Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim Zarins

    My student wrote this book!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    This story was hopeful, heartbreaking and often hit a little too close to home, as I lost my mother when I was sixteen after a long illness. I could relate far too much to Victoria's desperation as she sought the one thing that might save her dying father - a vampire. This plot should sound completely ridiculous, and yet, it really worked. There was always a question of if this was a true contemporary novel or if there was a supernatural creature lurking in the streets of New Orleans, as Victoria This story was hopeful, heartbreaking and often hit a little too close to home, as I lost my mother when I was sixteen after a long illness. I could relate far too much to Victoria's desperation as she sought the one thing that might save her dying father - a vampire. This plot should sound completely ridiculous, and yet, it really worked. There was always a question of if this was a true contemporary novel or if there was a supernatural creature lurking in the streets of New Orleans, as Victoria and Henry are sent on weird and wonderful tasks. I have a soft spot for any kind of treasure hunt, and the tasks Nicholas sends Victoria and Henry on lead them to an adventure filled with poetry, new experiences and for Victoria, a conflict as she battles not only her father's limited time but her feelings for both Henry and Nicholas. The love triangle works really well here, because Victoria is grieving the loss of the time she could have had with her father. Her emotions are all over the place and Henry offers her that familiar stability of someone who has known her her whole life, while Nicholas offers a blank slate where she doesn't have to think about everything that's happening. Overall, this story took me on an incredibly emotional, poetic journey though New Orleans and left me feeling hopeful for Victoria's future. The ending was a little bit of a surprise but a great one, and the only thing I could want more of is a story from Nicholas's perspective.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Huge thanks to Edelweiss and Margaret K. McElderry Books for the arc! Vampires are back! Okay, okay, I know they "never went away", but let's be honest, they did. We had a good run back in the Twilight/Vampire Diaries/True Blood years, but I saw a tapering off of the genre. We didn't get many vampire books or movies and we all just sort of moved on. But ever so slowly, vampire books crept back into the light (hahaha), and with books like The Beautiful, Crave, Slayer, and Vampires of Portlandia we Huge thanks to Edelweiss and Margaret K. McElderry Books for the arc! Vampires are back! Okay, okay, I know they "never went away", but let's be honest, they did. We had a good run back in the Twilight/Vampire Diaries/True Blood years, but I saw a tapering off of the genre. We didn't get many vampire books or movies and we all just sort of moved on. But ever so slowly, vampire books crept back into the light (hahaha), and with books like The Beautiful, Crave, Slayer, and Vampires of Portlandia we having another vampire craze! I recently read two more that you have to read BUT let's focus on this one. Victoria and her dad have always loved vampires. When real-life vampires decided to show themselves, only to skulk back into the shadows, Victoria decides to travel to NOLA in order to find one to save her dad from dying of terminal cancer. She arrives in the city only to find that her own fears of losing her dad have overshadowed the very real idea of losing herself to this task and that sacrifice comes in many different forms. If you take away all the emotions, humor, and sadness, you may have a hokey book about a girl on a search for a vampire. But with the layers added in, Margie Fuston creates a heartbreaking and very real portrayal of a girl losing a parent and the visceral desperation in trying anything to change it. The vampire aspect was cool. Being in a world where they were once believed to be real and knowing they still lurk in the shadows created an atmospheric setting. Let's add New Orleans into the mix and we have perfection. I once visited the city and went a few ghost tours there and I can say without blinking how much history is buried beneath that city and some of it may scare you and some of may sound really cheesy, but overall, NOLA's past is a character in itself and makes for a great setting. The relationship between Victoria and Henry is strained. Their falling-out some years prior created a tension between them that both sizzled and made me want to reach through the pages and shake their shoulders. YOU LOVE EACH OTHER. JUST SAY IT! AHHHHHH. But we all know it is't that easy. Their journey to save Victoria's dad was also one of realization that love can emerge from grief. Love gives us all hope. The ending was satisfying, although I would have been fine if one part was handled a bit differently. Overall, I loved the book, so it didn't affect my rating much. I am utter garbage for this vampire come back and if you are too, this book will make a great addition to your shelf. INSTAGRAM

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Gah! I saw The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and New Orleans and that’s all that’s needed to make me *squeeeeee* 😱😍 01/18/2020 Gah! I saw The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and New Orleans and that’s all that’s needed to make me *squeeeeee* 😱😍 01/18/2020

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tala

    Margie Fuston writes emotion so raw and visceral, flipping a page will disorient you because you’ll realize, for a second, that you forgot that vivid feeling lives & breathes in the pages and not in the air around you. It’s just — I’m — GAHHH. It’s so. fucking. good. This book is exquisite. If it’s not already on your radar, I’m here to yell at you until it is. You need this. Trust me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abbey's Reading Corner

    Welp, creating a new “anticipated books of 2021” shelf now... THIS BOOKS SOUNDS AMAZING! Vampires are making a comeback in novels and I AM HERE FOR IT! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Victoria thought her world had come crashing down when her father was diagnosed with cancer, but the last standing pieces crumbled when she learned he was terminal. With no medical hope left, Victoria set out to find the only solution she could think of, a vampire, who could give her father the gift of life. The search was not easy, and it left Victoria grappling with the question of what she was willing to sacrifice for an eternity with her father. Reading this book was a no-brainer for me. Ever Victoria thought her world had come crashing down when her father was diagnosed with cancer, but the last standing pieces crumbled when she learned he was terminal. With no medical hope left, Victoria set out to find the only solution she could think of, a vampire, who could give her father the gift of life. The search was not easy, and it left Victoria grappling with the question of what she was willing to sacrifice for an eternity with her father. Reading this book was a no-brainer for me. Everyone knows I love a good cry, and I seem to have a place in my heart for grief and loss books. One of the reasons I enjoy these books is because they tend to focus on the healing part of loss, and that was a big part of what I loved about this story. I found this to be one of the most interesting and creative explorations of grief I have ever read. Dabbling in the world of the undead had Victoria thinking of all the things she would lose in exchange for eternity. The entire idea of that is something I have seen play out in paranormal books in different ways, but I always forgot how much one could lose. Victoria’s grieving began with her father’s diagnosis. Seeing him suffer as he battled cancer was difficult for her. She believed it was unfair to enjoy what life had to offer while her father was in pain. She pushed her friends away and stopped doing the things she loved, and in a way, stopped living. The concept of trying to still live and enjoy life while also grieving was beautifully discussed here. What a wonderful way to make me contemplate this idea too. The challenges Victoria had to complete in New Orleans ranged from fun to YIKES!, but I loved the way they slowly brought her back to life. Finally, the part I was really total trash for, the reunion. Victoria and her best friend Henry had been estranged for some time now. When she approached him to cover for her as she journeyed to find a vampire, he did not hesitate to help. I felt so much as I learned about their past and what pushed them apart. My heart ached for both of them, but you know, the heart wants what the heart wants, and mine wanted these two to make up. I talked all about the really emotional parts of this story, but it was infused with many other fantastic elements that contributed to my overall enjoyment. The vampire lore woven into this tale was interesting. Fuston tapped into many different aspects of vampirism and that world. I was familiar with some, but some was new to me. I also loved being in New Orleans. I got a great tour of this this town, and Fuston used just the right amount of local flavor to transport me there. I predicted this book would be a hit for me, and it was. Fuston’s exploration of grief was stunning. I felt Victoria’s pain from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. My heart ached and swelled from all the emotions. Though I shared that sadness, I also reflected on the gratitude I should have for having had the opportunity to love and be loved by the special people in my life who I have lost. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    I am a big vampire fan, so I went into reading this book with a lot of excitement. I loved all of the vampire references and seeing the myths/stereotypes come to life. I loved the main character, Victoria, and her friend, Henry. I wish she treated him a little better, but it’s understandable with all the emotions she was feeling. I also enjoyed Nicholas’s character and how he helped Victoria throughout the story. This book made me think about grief and all the people I love. Losing a loved one is I am a big vampire fan, so I went into reading this book with a lot of excitement. I loved all of the vampire references and seeing the myths/stereotypes come to life. I loved the main character, Victoria, and her friend, Henry. I wish she treated him a little better, but it’s understandable with all the emotions she was feeling. I also enjoyed Nicholas’s character and how he helped Victoria throughout the story. This book made me think about grief and all the people I love. Losing a loved one is a pain like no other, but I feel like it’s such an important topic to address. This book did just that and definitely made me shed some tears a couple times. The last part of the book was so intense and emotional. I feel like it was a perfect and beautiful conclusion. Thank you so much to the incredible author, Margie Fuston, for sending me an ARC. This book definitely lived up to the hype and made my vampire loving heart very happy ♥️

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily Gilbow

    This book is heartbreaking and such a fantastic read. Seriously, everyone read this

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things is such an incredibly heartfelt book, and frankly a love story about a young woman's beautiful relationship with her dying father. Victoria and her dad have always had a strong bond in general, but extra especially about vampiric lore. They love the movies, the shows, the books, and became extra fascinated when people claiming to be true vampires cam You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things is such an incredibly heartfelt book, and frankly a love story about a young woman's beautiful relationship with her dying father. Victoria and her dad have always had a strong bond in general, but extra especially about vampiric lore. They love the movies, the shows, the books, and became extra fascinated when people claiming to be true vampires came forward. But when her dad's cancer is diagnosed as terminal, Victoria simply cannot come to terms with it, as you can imagine. Her dad, wanting only the very best for his daughter, insists that she go on a trip they had planned to New Orleans. She doesn't want to, obviously, but then she has an idea: she can find an actual vampire and thereby remedy her dad's death sentence. She agrees to go with next-door neighbor and former longtime friend/now ex-friend/always crush Henry, but only so that she can track down a vampire to, you know, do his or her vampire duties. It's gutting, honestly. You don't even have the chance to find it a little strange that Victoria believes she can find an actual vampire, because she's just so incredibly sympathetic. She feels completely let down by conventional medicine, so she's willing to try anything, and the author does an amazing job making us understand Victoria so well. I understood why she was pouring her whole heart into this (likely fruitless) search- because she couldn't do anything else. She felt beyond helpless, and needed to focus on something, anything other than her father's likely impending death. And the trip to New Orleans does help, not always in the way she expects. She and Henry will obviously have time to discuss what went wrong with their friendship. She is able to explore this beautiful city (and I loved the way the author describes it- nails it, more accurately), and we get the true pleasure of seeing Victoria live a little. Through the entire story, I rooted for Victoria. Not necessarily that she'd find a vampire, just that she would find peace somehow. I adored Henry from the start, and I loved the characters they encountered along their way in New Orleans, I equally loved Victoria's family. And certainly, I loved how Victoria had to sort of find herself again during the process, and begin to really delve deeper into all her relationships- with her family, with Henry, and most of all, with herself. Bottom Line: Such a gorgeous and heartfelt story, told in a wonderfully unique way.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bree Ogle

    Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston Length: 320 Pages Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars A special thanks to Netgalley and Margaret K. Elderry Books for an ARC of this book! Trigger Warnings in this book for Cancer and Death of a Loved One "I cry until I'm so empty it seems like I might float up into the sun and combust if Henry lets go of me. I actually move away from him to see if it will happen. Nope. I stand still in the sun as he watches me, waiting. I am Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston Length: 320 Pages Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars A special thanks to Netgalley and Margaret K. Elderry Books for an ARC of this book! Trigger Warnings in this book for Cancer and Death of a Loved One "I cry until I'm so empty it seems like I might float up into the sun and combust if Henry lets go of me. I actually move away from him to see if it will happen. Nope. I stand still in the sun as he watches me, waiting. I am empty, but not broken. Empty things can be filled again." As an unrepentant lover of anything vampire related, I knew I had to snatch up Margie Fuston's Vampires, Heart, and Other Dead Things, which promised vampire hunting in a place I've always dreamed to visit: New Orleans. And what better place for vampires than New Orleans, with it's buildings -- dating hundred of years back -- its nightlife and of course, Anne Rice. I was really expecting to love this book more, but in the end, I was just okay with it. Victoria and her Dad are obsessed with vampires and love to rewatch their favorite flicks (Underworld is mentioned several times, which is one of my favorites, too) and debate what real vampires would be like. Can they really not stand garlic, or the sign of the cross? Can they control the weather, like the undead Draugrs of Norse myth? Their love for their beloved stalkers of the night is only solidified when a man goes on television and claims he's a vampire and even stabs himself -- and seemingly heals in the blink of an eye. It's been years since that fateful moment, and vampires, if they were ever really real, have gone underground after a string of murders are attributed to the one who revealed everything on live TV. But Victoria has never stopped believing. And it is this belief that is holding her fragile life together when her father runs out of options to beat cancer. They had always planned to go to New Orleans together, but now Victoria takes the opportunity to fly there herself. And, hopefully, find a vampire. Tagging along is her bestfriend and lifelong crush Henry Nakamura. They had a falling out when he started dating their other bestfriend, Bailey, and have been excommunicado for a year. However, Henry is not going to let that get in the way, and forces himself back into Victoria's life, possibly when she needs him the most. While there, Victoria finds Nicholas, who is handsome, nocturnal, and powerful, and he wants her to play along in his game. If she can prove to him that she loves life, he might just let her live...forever. My favorite part of this book was the lush descriptions of New Orleans, in all its gothic beauty. I especially loved the inclusion of a little vampire folklore which I'm familiar with -- the Ursuline Convent which once housed the infamous "Casket Girls" of New Orleans. There were many juicy tidbits of vampire lore sprinkled throughout, and I loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, I had a hard time connecting with Victoria, who was so hard to empathize with I kept wondering why in God's name Henry wanted to have anything to do with her! She was selfish and treated him like garbage. The poor boy deserved better! While Victoria is going through possibly the most difficult thing a person can go through, she did it with such a lack of regard for anyone else that it set my teeth on edge. I'm also one to bottle up my emotions, but that doesn't stop me from being there for family and my friends. Overall, I think Vampire, Hearts, and Other Dead Things is a great choice for a vampire aficionado, like myself, and if you can get past the less than loveable protagonist, I think it'll be a fun ride for someone who wishes they could go to New Orleans and find them a real creature of the night. I know this would have been something I really liked as a teen, so if you have any like minded ones, let them know! For more reviews visit my blog!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Homosexualelf

    1.5 It was pretty sad but actually I did not enjoy this book. Tbh I wouldn't recommend it at all. But I like all quotes from books and movies 1.5 It was pretty sad but actually I did not enjoy this book. Tbh I wouldn't recommend it at all. But I like all quotes from books and movies

  19. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: fatal cancer When vampires came out of hiding, it should have changed the world- but years later, most people want to pretend it was a hoax. Victoria and her dad are far from most people. Lovers of all thing vampire since before the news even broke, their dream trip to New Orleans, apparent home to vampires, should have been happening the summer after Victoria's high school graduation. But her dad's cancer is worse now than she ever let herself imagine. So I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: fatal cancer When vampires came out of hiding, it should have changed the world- but years later, most people want to pretend it was a hoax. Victoria and her dad are far from most people. Lovers of all thing vampire since before the news even broke, their dream trip to New Orleans, apparent home to vampires, should have been happening the summer after Victoria's high school graduation. But her dad's cancer is worse now than she ever let herself imagine. So now the trip isn't a vacation- it's a secret mission. Determined to find a vampire to turn her so she can save her father, and accompanied by her former best friend and crush who doesn't even believe vampires truly exist, Victoria finds herself needing to prove that she loves life enough to have an everlasting one. I think this is a really cool twist on vampire lit! I love the idea of vampires being lovers of life, and the positive tone of the whole idea of being turned and turning others. This isn't a fluff book, it definitely still has its heavy moments, but it's probably the lightest vampire-centric story I've ever seen. And that heaviness? It's written so well. This is, at its core, a really emotional story. Victoria is dealing with the potential loss of her father and trying against all might to reject the very idea, which means repressing a lot of her emotions. She's also struggling to connect to the rest of her family, and still stinging from losing a longstanding friendship, hurting two of her friends without meaning to, and is so depressed she can't do the one things she fought for and actually make art. She's a character who has so many fractures in her life, and so many hurdles to jump. And the emotion is deep and honest in her story. Victoria's management of her grief is depicted so well, too. She keeps herself put together in the strictest of ways, making rules for herself and keeping distance so she can just focus on what she thinks matters most and not risk any messiness. She's a desperate and self centered character, and she makes choices that line up with those qualities, and so make complete sense, while also never making her unsympathetic. The messiness of everything is actually something I liked a lot in this. Both the jumble or high stakes meeting low stakes and not having a clear separation, and the messiness of Victoria's love lif & friendships, as well as everything going on with her family. None of it is a clean break, nothing is easy to just push past, and nothing is obvious. However, I do have a complaint with one piece of that messiness- the love triangle. I was really glad when it looked like the love triangle wasn't going to be legitimate, and more based around jealousies, and when it become an actual love triangle I was disappointed, frustrated, and exhausted. It was just too much, it didn't add anything to the story or Victoria's personal arc, and it didn't really make any sense to me. I also had higher hopes for the ending. It felt a little cheesy to me, especially because it could have been something more interesting. Particularly because one of the main points was easy to see from a mile away so didn't work as well as it could have as a twist, and the follow up just felt a little commercial. Here's what I was expecting/hoping for: (view spoiler)[Obviously Nicholas is a liar, and not a vampire. But I was hoping that the old woman from the book shop was going to be a vampire, and used Nicholas to vet people for her, since he seems more like the dashing vampire type. I wanted her to be a benevolent vampire not really interested in attention, but to be won over by Victoria and offer her eternal life if she really wants it, and for Victoria to realize that that isn't actually what she or her father would want. Plus, new vampire pen pal! (hide spoiler)] This is a really unique take on vampire stories, and deals with its themes extremely well. The ending didn't quite match up to the rest of the book, but I still enjoyed reading the story. Pre-review comments below Vampires as a medical option, vampirism being associated with loving life and brightness instead of sulking angst... I honestly can't explain how much I am into this. 🎉

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this to review! Honestly, the cover jumped out at me and the premise sounded so unique and interesting. Plus, the cover really pulls you it because it’s so beautiful! At the heart, this is very much a book about grief. It’s Victoria’s journey working through losing her dad, and you can feel her desperation to do anything to save him. Adding in the vampires worked as a nice foil to her journey working through her emotions. Especially Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this to review! Honestly, the cover jumped out at me and the premise sounded so unique and interesting. Plus, the cover really pulls you it because it’s so beautiful! At the heart, this is very much a book about grief. It’s Victoria’s journey working through losing her dad, and you can feel her desperation to do anything to save him. Adding in the vampires worked as a nice foil to her journey working through her emotions. Especially her interactions with Nicholas, going out and doing things she never would have done before. Fuston does this aspect of the book so well, bring all kinds of emotions into the story and really fleshing out the characters. Outside of Victoria, Henry and Nicholas were also really fleshed out. They all bounced off each other and worked well together, bringing even more to the story. Especially the relationship between Victoria and Henry. You can tell there is so much history between them and I loved the way the interacted. They care for each other, even if their flaws sometimes get in the way of that. All in all, this is a unique, emotional novel that will definitely make you feel all the things. Plus, vampires! They’re making a comeback, and I’m kind of here for it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    I've not been reading much lately since my final exams are coming up, but this was very touching. RTC I've not been reading much lately since my final exams are coming up, but this was very touching. RTC

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Crivilare

    Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release August 24, 2021. "Nobody knows if vampires are inherently bad or if they're like people—bad and good mixed together so thoroughly it's hard to tell who is which until someone's ripping your heart out." This book perhaps perfectly illustrates that the way you feel about a story is not just a matter of it encompassing all the th Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release August 24, 2021. "Nobody knows if vampires are inherently bad or if they're like people—bad and good mixed together so thoroughly it's hard to tell who is which until someone's ripping your heart out." This book perhaps perfectly illustrates that the way you feel about a story is not just a matter of it encompassing all the things you love, but also it reaching you at the right time. I have absolutely no doubt that if I were going through a turbulent time in my life, I would have latched onto this book the way I did A Monster Calls my senior year of high school, like a life raft. Because Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things hits so many of those same elements that made me love the former: grief, denial, learning to let go, a fantasy element—this one is even vampires, which are my favorite! But I don't feel the same pain as the main character, Victoria, so ultimately it didn't affect me as much as I know it would have done in other circumstances. (Honestly, I was worried while reading that I wasn't going to cry at all at the ending, since I didn't truly share in Victoria's despair through the rest of the book. I'm glad to say that I was wrong.) Victoria's father, from whom she got her love of vampires, is dying of cancer. While she is focused on being the strong one in her family, the one who is determined that he is going to recover—even after his terminal diagnosis—and the one in denial, her mother and older sister are far more realistic. They would never do what she does: have a revelation, while watching Interview With the Vampire that there's only one solution to her problems. So at her dad's behest, she goes on the father-daughter trip to New Orleans that never quite came to pass with her sort-of estranged friend Henry and gets more than she bargained for, in so many ways. Victoria is a great, sometimes-unlikeable heroine, but one with whom I actually identified despite that. (Actually, I think that's part of why I didn't cry so much at the end of this book; I was too busy being like her and compartmentalizing.) Since she's a teenager, she makes some heartbreaking choices that made me want to reach out and shake her and ask her what the hell she thought she was doing, but—that's what being a teenager is like, and in that she's an extremely realistic protagonist. There were a few times where I thought that the anger that other characters were feeling towards her were totally justified, but at the same time I almost admired the fact that she knew she was willing to be incredibly selfish, reckless, and disappointing in order to save her dad. Like, there was just something about that level of purpose that I've always admired in characters/people, and Victoria certainly had it. (But that's not to say I condone any of her more eyebrow-raising choices, because some of them were... certainly Choices.) Of her relationships, the two strongest are with her dad and Henry; the first centered around their mutual love for all things vampiric, and the second despite an incident that broke up their friendship, or so Victoria thinks. The depth of caring Victoria has for her father is immense, and I was honestly glad to see how close they were. And because of that closeness, it was also easy to feel the distance between her and her mother and sister, and to a degree, Henry. But he is the perfectly patient friend we all wish we had when going through something difficult, even if as a reader I simultaneously wished that he wouldn't be quite so forgiving sometimes. (Also, there's a description of him doing the CUTEST THING EVER for her when they were kids using stuff from the grocery store. It's not weird, it's cute, I promise!) Apparently I have a thing for books that purport to be about something else, even in part, but are really about learning to deal with grief. Like, I'm pretty sure I will never get over that; even unconsciously I gravitate toward that, and I often wonder if it's because I'm attempting to prepare myself by internalizing those lessons. These are one of the strongest parts of this book, and the way in which they're conveyed—particularly the "lesson" (I hesitate to call it that because the book in no way feels like it's preaching) about living is accomplished in an extremely effective way. I don't want to say too too much about how this plan ends up going, as I think it's more impactful to actually experience it yourself alongside Victoria, but suffice it to say that the reveal left me shocked, embarrassed, angry on her behalf, and ultimately sympathetic, to a degree. I think you can probably make an educated guess about what happens based on my feelings, but reading that scene is a whole different thing—as is the reality of what she thinks she wants, which is actually rather harrowing when it comes to pass. Really entertaining, full of complicated characters and emotions, and an excellent twist on learning to love life. Also, the fact that there's an old lady who says "Undergraduate English majors tend to be a bag of pricks" is ICONIC.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shima

    Do not read this if/when: - You're triggered by or don't want to read about dealing with grief or cancer. - One of the main reasons you like reading is beautiful writing. - A pet peeve of yours is when artist characters use colours to describe their emotions. - You think this will be similar to They Both Die at the End, or even to The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Read this if/when: - You love vampire stories, more specifically, you'd love a character who loves vampire stories. - You like to read abou Do not read this if/when: - You're triggered by or don't want to read about dealing with grief or cancer. - One of the main reasons you like reading is beautiful writing. - A pet peeve of yours is when artist characters use colours to describe their emotions. - You think this will be similar to They Both Die at the End, or even to The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Read this if/when: - You love vampire stories, more specifically, you'd love a character who loves vampire stories. - You like to read about a story set in New Orleans. - You want a book to pass the time, that's neither particularly hard to read, nor will make you extremely invested. My thoughts: The idea behind this book is really great. A girl goes to New Orleans to find a real-life vampire to save her dying father. There is so much room for depth in that idea to explore mortality and grief, and why we're so fascinated with vampires as a society. You can see glimmers of those ideas coming through the book, however, it just doesn't have the necessity emotion depth and gravitas to deal with them appropriately. The writing style, in particular, seemed to carry the themes of the story, some YA tropes were thrown in that really didn't add anything to the book, and as much as I love New Orleans, at times the book read like a tourist list of things to see without capturing the essence of what makes that city so wonderful and magical. Overall, despite the potential, it was an average YA novel, with a better than average idea that was never really fulfilled. However, to give credit when credit's due, it's still a decent look at grief and something that isn't nearly explored enough in the genre.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mariya T (msbookworld)

    In Vampires, Hearts and Other Dead Things, Victoria is a girl, who grew up watching vampire movies with her dad and considers herself the resident vampire expert. When her dad gets sick and the doctors are ready to give up, Victoria thinks she knows exactly what might help. So she enlists her childhood friend and one time crush, Henry to help her track down the one creature who might be able to save her dad: a New Orleans vampire. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This book completely blew me away. It was such an emotion In Vampires, Hearts and Other Dead Things, Victoria is a girl, who grew up watching vampire movies with her dad and considers herself the resident vampire expert. When her dad gets sick and the doctors are ready to give up, Victoria thinks she knows exactly what might help. So she enlists her childhood friend and one time crush, Henry to help her track down the one creature who might be able to save her dad: a New Orleans vampire. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This book completely blew me away. It was such an emotional ride for both the main character, Victoria and for me as the reader. I picked up this book thinking that it would be a quick vampire novel set in New Orleans, but ended up with a powerful story of loss, family and trying to re-discover how to enjoy life. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On a lighter note, being a fan of the vampire genre I loved all the vampire movie references in this book. And of course, New Orleans was the perfect setting for this story. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And last, but not least the romance between Victoria and a Henry was fantastic. It felt so raw and real, which is something that I can only very rarely say about YA novels. Highly recommend picking this one up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    yup that was sad

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alayna

    I truly wanted to love this book. Between the plot of vampires and the setting of New Orleans I thought it would be a for sure 5 star read. The only thing keeping this book from being great is the main character herself. Victoria is going through a terrible experience of watching her father become sicker and sicker with cancer. Her behavior and choices in response to this experience makes her a difficult character to relate to or understand. Bluntly, she is unlikeable. I think the writer is fant I truly wanted to love this book. Between the plot of vampires and the setting of New Orleans I thought it would be a for sure 5 star read. The only thing keeping this book from being great is the main character herself. Victoria is going through a terrible experience of watching her father become sicker and sicker with cancer. Her behavior and choices in response to this experience makes her a difficult character to relate to or understand. Bluntly, she is unlikeable. I think the writer is fantastic at world building but unfortunately the MC of this book draws away from this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paola

    BRB, I'm still crying over this. This hit a little bit harder than I thought. It's like my mind blocked out the fact that Victoria's dad had cancer lol. This caught my attention because it's about a young girl who decides to go vampire hunting, how cool is that? It was a very wholesome book and really enjoyable. I liked Victoria as a character, she seemed like an actual teenager, but not too immature. She has a good head on her shoulders, even if at times she does questionable things. She only wa BRB, I'm still crying over this. This hit a little bit harder than I thought. It's like my mind blocked out the fact that Victoria's dad had cancer lol. This caught my attention because it's about a young girl who decides to go vampire hunting, how cool is that? It was a very wholesome book and really enjoyable. I liked Victoria as a character, she seemed like an actual teenager, but not too immature. She has a good head on her shoulders, even if at times she does questionable things. She only wants to save her dad, and you have to admit that it takes courage to do what she does in this book. Do yourself a favor and read this book (and maybe pick up a box of tissues while you're at it).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston is an emotionally charged story about love, loss, and living even when life gets hard. Victoria and her dad consider themselves vampire connoisseurs. They’ve seen all the vampire moves, watched every season of every vampire tv show, debated on if they’d rather be a vampire or werewolf. Her mother and sister don’t understand - can’t understand - their obsession, so when Victoria’s dad is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the doctors give hi Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston is an emotionally charged story about love, loss, and living even when life gets hard. Victoria and her dad consider themselves vampire connoisseurs. They’ve seen all the vampire moves, watched every season of every vampire tv show, debated on if they’d rather be a vampire or werewolf. Her mother and sister don’t understand - can’t understand - their obsession, so when Victoria’s dad is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the doctors give him months to live, she knows she’s the only one who can save him by finding a vampire and turning her dad. Reuniting with her childhood best friend Henry, Victoria takes the trip she and her dad had always planned to take: a week in New Orleans, a city rife with vampire legends. With her singular goal of finding a vampire to save her dad’s life, Victoria sets out on a journey that will turn out to be emotional, life-affirming, and altogether not what she had planned. Based just on the book description, I knew Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things was going to be an emotional journey. I immediately felt Victoria’s pain and her disconnect. I thought she was a very realistic teenager; I, too, would have pulled away and shut myself up emotionally if put in the same situation. What I didn’t expect from the book was the interweaving of paranormal and real-world elements. I don’t know how I feel about vampires being real in this story; I loved the journey Victoria went on, but I think I would’ve loved and appreciated the journey and the ending more if vampires had remained a myth and Victoria had to instead rely on faith in herself, her friends, and her family to get her through her journey. Despite the title, making vampires real didn’t actually do anything to the story for me. I do think Fuston wrote an incredible story for Victoria; the emotional wreck that was this lost, mourning teenage girl was tangible on the page. I loved how every other character pulled Victoria out of herself, especially when she wanted to disconnect, forcing her to face a lot of her past heartaches and her current loss. Losing a parent is hard, and Fuston did a wonderful job at writing that character full of anger, sadness, emptiness, and desperation. I was initially sceptical of a love triangle among so much pain and fear, but it was actually done really well, forcing Victoria to feel things she didn’t want to acknowledge at the time. I definitely knew who I wanted Victoria to end up with, and I’m glad things went the way they did. And, despite the heartbreak and heartache, Fuston left readers with a kernel of hope and happiness and I think Victoria is going to be just fine even after all she went through. Overall, Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things was a well-written story that consistently pulled at my emotions while I hoped, loved, and lived right alongside Victoria.

  29. 5 out of 5

    RMA YA Books

    WOULD I RE-READ: Probably not, but I’m recommending it to friends and family for sure! PACING: I’d say this had contemporary YA pacing even with the vampires NUMBER OF TIMES I CRIED: Once. So hard. FAVORITE LINES: “I always thought of him as the kind and sweet one—I was the brave one, always jumping in headfirst. But maybe it’s braver to be kind time and time again, even when people push you away.” FAVORITE CHARACTER: Henry STAND-OUT QUALITY: I really love how this story includes vampires, but is a c WOULD I RE-READ: Probably not, but I’m recommending it to friends and family for sure! PACING: I’d say this had contemporary YA pacing even with the vampires NUMBER OF TIMES I CRIED: Once. So hard. FAVORITE LINES: “I always thought of him as the kind and sweet one—I was the brave one, always jumping in headfirst. But maybe it’s braver to be kind time and time again, even when people push you away.” FAVORITE CHARACTER: Henry STAND-OUT QUALITY: I really love how this story includes vampires, but is a contemporary at heart, rather than an urban fantasy. I almost believed Victoria’s world—where a vampire revealed its existence on live TV—was our world. SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. First, I’d like to talk about the main character. While Victoria is sometimes reckless and nearly always stubborn, her determination is something I respect. She hurts people close to her, but wouldn’t you do the same if it meant there was a chance you could save your dad? I can’t fault her. Her motivation is strong enough to carry the plot. I also enjoyed the backstory and development of Victoria’s relationships with her mom, dad, sister, and Henry. This book definitely captures the strain that grief can put on families and friendships, as well as the growth that it can cause. There is a lot of sadness and hope throughout its pages. Speaking in vague terms, I was very afraid of the end of this book. I knew it would not be an easy one to wrap-up. After finishing though, I think it was actually the perfect conclusion to the story. I am glad I read this one. Also, this is my favorite book title in a while! YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE: 1. Tenacious main characters 2. Love triangles that aren’t really love triangles. If this doesn’t make sense, read the book and tell me a better way to describe it! 3. All things vampire (duh) 4. Reading about families coping with terminal illness 5. New Orleans! Find more reviews at https://rmayabooks.wordpress.com/

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yulia ♔

    A book featuring vampires? For me it is. I read it in literally two days, it was so incredibly fast. However, it was not what I expected it to be. I felt so many features lacking as well as sense and structure. Everything happened super fast, and the fact that she went on vacation with somebody who she didn't really have a close relationship with blew my mind. I would not be capable of doing that haha. But the fact that she did it for her father was so heartwarming, their relationship was one of t A book featuring vampires? For me it is. I read it in literally two days, it was so incredibly fast. However, it was not what I expected it to be. I felt so many features lacking as well as sense and structure. Everything happened super fast, and the fact that she went on vacation with somebody who she didn't really have a close relationship with blew my mind. I would not be capable of doing that haha. But the fact that she did it for her father was so heartwarming, their relationship was one of the best things about the book and I wish that they had more scenes together. But it was a fun time, I love the quotes featuring “the vampire diaries” and “the originals” and so many things remind me of the respective shows. As if the author had watched them and then decided to write the book basing a bunch of the vampires characteristics off of the TV shows. I am not mad about it since I loved them and reading something that remind me of them was so fun. There were some twist and turns that changed the whole plot and some of them were predictable but some of them weren't which made it a bit more interesting. The main characters were lacking in chemistry tho and I didn't quite liked the love interest, I did preferred them as friends, it just made more sense. I am honestly not sure how they ended as, it wasn't very clear to me. It is a fun time, remembering TVD and TO was absolutely amazing and unexpected but not much more than that, I just can't see myself remembering this story for ever! if you liked this review, don’t forget to check out my blog for more! ||🪴➡️ https://readingbetweenflowers.blogspo...

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