I finished reading MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Unwed - the first book in the Queen Betsy series - while in Paris for the weekend. The book was excellent - what fun! The back cover describes it as 'what would happen if Carrie Bradshaw ever met a vampire' but it also bring back Buffy to me. I love Buffy, largely thanks to the brilliant Joss Whedon script. The dialogue in Undead and Unwed was really quick and witty and the story moved along well. And it was that silly-kind-of-funny that really makes me laugh - with puns galore.
The story is about a girl named Betsy who is killed and turned into a vampire - but she doesn't want to live in the shadows and participate in vamp politics or anything like that. She doesn't see why she can't just continue her life, even if she is dead. Umm, undead. She wants to hang out with her friends, go shopping for shoes and visit her Mom - not fight other vampires. But she has to come to terms with some new experiences - like learning to hunt for dinner and not being able to eat real food. And it doesn't help that the other vampires she encounters seem to think that she's the foretold Queen and won't leave her in peace.
I'm giving it 4 stars - not because it's a masterpiece of literature but because I had so much fun reading this book, I had to convince myself not to go out and buy the next one in the series right away!
And while in Paris... well, I came back with a bag full of books. As it happened, the hotel that Joe booked for us in our favorite St Germain disctrict was two steps away from what is apparently the biggest second hand English-language bookstore in continental Europe; San Francisco Books, I think it was called. How's that for meant-to-be? Around the corner was the second-biggest one. And two doors down from the pub where Joe was watching the rugby in the afternoon was a lovely quaint book shop, where I spent about an hour. And while we were deciding what to do on Sunday we happened upon, totally accidendally, the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, which I'd read about on Sassymonkey Reads just a few weeks back. Sassymonkey posted more on the history of this bookshop over at BlogHer.
I hope that all this allows you to understand the long list of books we came back with:
1. Paris - A Secret History by Andrew Hussey
2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
3. Perfume by Patrick Suskind
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
5. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
6. Watership Down by Richard Adams
7. The Thomas Covenant Trilogy by Stephen Donaldson
8. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
9. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
10. The Gathering by Anne Enright
11. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
12. A Hundered Secret Senses by Amy Tan
13. The Witch of Portobello by Paolo Coelho
14. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
The non-reading related parts of our trip to Paris were also great - I'm really developing an appreciation of France, I'd like to see more of it. Maybe Bretagne will be next! :-)
Undead and Unwed also reviewed by:
Kristi at Passion for the Page