Mina made her decision and became a vampire, like her parents. But being a vampire is not all super-human strength and fun special powers – although the shape-shifting is superior to boring old makeup. Stuck in small-town Louisiana after her family is relocated by the VRA, Mina quickly realises that life can still really suck as a vampire… and that’s before things start getting dangerous.
Still Sucks To Be Me picks up where the original left off, with Kimberly Pauley’s heroine, Mina, having just become a vampire. Given that the first Mina book focussed upon her conflict over being forced to choose between life and undeath, it would have been easy for the sequel to fall into the all-too-common trap of trying to create further plot and interest where there is none. Instead, however, Pauley has delivered a new story that is as appealing – if not more so – than her first.
Most of the main characters from Sucks To Be Me reappear, although some in a greatly reduced fashion. Uncle Mortie, in particular, has a much more minor role in Still Sucks To Be Me, which will come as a disappointment to fans of his eccentricity. Nathan fans will be even unhappier; while he is definitely not forgotten, he is not directly involved in the sequel at all.
Mina is back, of course, and she remains an entertaining and creative protagonist. Her voice is consistently strong – which is one of the best features of the book. She has an impulsiveness which is very much in keeping with her age, but also possessed the ability to consider the needs of those around her, making her both likeable and realistic. Well – as realistic as a teenage vampire can be, anyway!
On the romance front, George is back, although his role varies over the course of the book and he is missing for a portion of the timeline. Any gap that his absence may leave, however, is amply filled by the addition of Cameron – a local vampire who Mina befriends early in the piece. With his good looks and intoxicating smell, he might be competition for George in the hearts of Pauley’s readers – as well as Mina’s.
Still Sucks To Be Me is a light, but engaging, paranormal offering, with an ever-present sense of humour and a plot that justifies the existence of a sequel. I personally found it a more entertaining read than the original so, if you read Sucks To Be Me and didn’t entirely fall in love with Pauley’s universe, it might still be worth visiting Mina and her family for a second time.