Blue Ribbon, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
American Library Association's Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Quick Pick
Synopses & Reviews
All Chris really wants is to be a normal kid, to hang out with his friends, avoid his parents, and get a date with Rebecca Schwartz. Unfortunately, Chris appears to be turning into a vampire.
So while his hometown performs an ancient ritual that keeps Tch'muchgar, the Vampire Lord, locked in another world, Chris desperately tries to save himself from his own vampiric fate. He needs help, but who can he trust? Chet, the oddly cynical celestial being, who has offered his assistance or the Thing, who claims to be from the Forces of Light and follows Chris wherever he goes? Or is Chris without hope and utterly alone?
In this tale of terror and teen angst, author M. T. Anderson creates a startling world of suspense and dark humor that will haunt the reader long after the book is closed.
"[A] blackly atmospheric first novel....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." Publishers Weekly
"One of the pleasures of this book is that it...is smart, taking the old vampire story and really thinking about it rather than merely letting the vampire go through his traditional paces until the story ends. Anderson fills out his mundane view of contemporary vampirism with credible yet surprising details....[The book] is also relentlessly and sarcastically funny, often with an adolescent flipness that's bound to please the audience....The tone is deftly handled, however, in that the humor eventually begins to seem a despairing mockery of defiance, like whistling in a graveyard in flames. Which is good, because what's ultimately impressive here is the horror....Teenagers, whether with fangs or without, will immediately empathize with [Chris's] dilemma, and they'll suck this one right up." Deborah Stevenson, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[A] first novel for which the word offbeat could have been coined....Anderson leaves this desperate, naive protagonist in doubt until the end, then finishes with a breathtaking twist. An eerie jacket painting enhances this startling, savagely funny debut." Kirkus Reviews
"The ordinary and the extraordinary are matter-of-factly juxtaposed in [this] wry narrative....The suspenseful plot and the unusual blend of camp horror and realistic adolescent turmoil affirm a new talent worth watching." Horn Book
"Dark humor runs rampant....Entertaining, disturbing, memorable, and sophisticated, this mortality tale will continue to haunt after the last pages are turned." School Library Journal
"Thirsty is not for the squeamish or faint-hearted....There's good dialogue, but rather shallow characters (we aren't supposed to like them, anyway.) The plot has some nice twists. The style is similar to Daniel Pinkwater." Children's Literature
"[A] stunning debut....[Anderson's] tongue-in-cheek take on the undead finds unerring expression in just the right descriptive detail or phrase of dialogue. The teen characters in Thirsty are really teens, acne and all....Look for more exciting work from this young author." St. Petersburg Times
About the Author
M. T. Anderson studied English literature at Harvard and Cambridge universities and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. He currently serves as fiction editor for a journal devoted to experimental writing, and enjoys hiking and kayaking, while trying to "stay away from pâté, amateur dentistry, dog movies, and the influenza." M. T. Anderson lives in Boston, Massachusetts.