Posted 20 hours ago

Mina and the Undead

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On her first night in Louisiana, Libby takes Mina to work with her at The Mansion Of The Macabre, a house which puts on an interactive horror movie style show for guests. After growing up in Whitby, the town that inspired Dracula, Mina loves nothing more than a creepy horror movie. This experience has been fantastic primarily for the children, the school and also for me (professionally).

At the conclusion of her audition for a position in the interactive walking tour of the Horror Mansion, Mina tries to find the girl she is supposed to hand her costume off to. She can't wait to explore the city's darkest secrets - vampire tours, seedy bars, spooky cemeteries, disturbing local myths. It wasn't just the nostalgia making me carry on turning the pages though, the plot and writing are strong and I look forward to reading more from Amy McCaw in the future.I really enjoyed this YA horror which took me back to my 90's teen days when I devoured every teen horror book that came out. Shortly after arriving in New Orleans, 17-year old, Mina, can already tell it will be a summer she'll never forget. If you’re a fan of vampire tales, sink your teeth into Mina and the Undead and enjoy a thrilling tale of murder, obsession, and romance. I haven't charted out my visits for the summer term, but I'm sure there are several in the south) and thanks so much for being so fantastic! This one had me hooked from the start with the incredible New Orleans setting and all of its spooky, supernatural vibes.

Yesterday a parent came over to tell me how impressed she was by the book fair and that you did a fabulous job of selling the books to the children first. I don’t read a lot of YA mysteries but when I saw the cover for this book and read the synopsis I wanted to give it a try and… I’m obsessed. It’s a fantastic independent book seller that will actually be responsive and select appropriate books for you. My main gripe with this book is the writing style though: It seemed a bit too simple to me, almost as though the book was aimed at a much younger audience, but that doesn't match the characters being college age and the serious themes and gory imagery in the book.

In the end, this might have been popular in 2012 during the vampire YA craze but in 2021 I expected it to bring something new to the vampire genre and it just didn't. A very exciting and non-stop journey of a book that transports us to New Orleans in the 90s for a gripping and gruesome story.

From the moment I picked this book up, I knew it was going to take me back to some of the vampire stories of my younger days; figuratively as well as literally. There was just the right amount of choice to suit everyone without being overwhelming and I received comments from parents and staff about the quality of books offered compared to previous sales which have always been based around current crazes and well known celebrity authors. It is such an atmospheric presence throughout, equal parts alluring and dangerous, and I can’t help but feel that the setting plays a major role in how well the book works.In this story we follow seventeen year old Mina who visits her estranged sister Libby in New Orleans where she is attending university after their mother suddenly disappeared, leaving them behind. Libby and Mina are very alike, but both react to the events of the book in very different ways, Libby closing up and becoming increasingly unwilling to engage in confrontation, whereas Mina is far more open to talking things out and being proactive. From the eery silence and smell of ancient dirt of the St Louis Cemetery, to the gentle Jazz music and acrid tang of alcohol on Bourbon Street, you are so completely immersed in this story that it all comes to life right before your eyes. Amy tells the story so very well that you seem to slip into the book and become part of it, rather than just a mere reader.

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