The Vampire Shrink by Lynda Hilburn

Posted March 29, 2012 by Kate in Just Okay, Review / 0 Comments

A sizzlingly sexy urban fantasy sure to feed the hunger of ravenous, vampire-loving fans. Kismet Knight, a brainy Denver-based psychologist with a stalled career and a nonexistent love life, is about to have her world rocked. Not only does her newest patient, Midnight, long to become a vampire, but the teenager insists that a coven of the undead hangs out at a local goth club. The always-rational Kismet dismisses Midnight’s claims as the delusions of an attention-starved girl–until bodies start turning up drained of blood and the hottest self-proclaimed vampire ever to walk the face of the earth enters her office.  What’s real? What’s not? As inexplicable events and romantic opportunities pile up, along with the corpses, Kismet finds herself in a whirlwind of passion, mystery, and danger. But this tough and funny heroine–who doesn’t do damsel in distress–is about to turn the vampire-meets-girl convention on its head.

And back to vampires I go, I was actually pretty excited about this book. It has a really cool premise. The idea of a psychologist who is catering to the vampires of the world is really a fun look at the vampire universe. I mean really when you think about it, what would you do if you were told there were vampires, you most likely wouldn’t believe it, so it was fun looking at it through the eyes of someone who is trained to diagnose mental illnesses. 
One of my biggest complaints with the book had to do with the continued references to Twilight. Actually the first alluding to Twilight was actually kind of amusing, because it had to do with Kismet (the psychologist) asking the “vampire wannabe” what vampires are like, and she asked if they are really sparkly. But the Twilight references go even more with blatantly referring to the book over and over again, and even refers to the movie, or rather the actors by name. It just kind of felt to much. 
Another one of the issues I had with the book was the inner monologue of Kismet, the main character. I understood that she is a psychologist, and that she is trained to diagnose people who have mental illness, but she looks for it everywhere. In every single conversation she has with another person, she diagnoses them after like 3 lines of dialogue. Well maybe not diagnoses them, but goes over every possible diagnoses and then changes the prospective diagnosis based one how they reply to her. It just didn’t feel right or organic. There was even this part where Kismet is pretty much attacked and her response to the attack was purely clinical, it really just felt wrong. 
I guess the main thing that I did enjoy about the book was kind of how the entire thing almost worked like a perspective of how society has become so involved with vampires in a pop culture sense. Especially in the beginning of the book when Kismet is really looking at the phenomenon in a purely analytical way, which I enjoyed reading. 
Overall, I think the book had a really unique way of being told/concept. But I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. I kind of think when you include so many references to other books or pop culture it really kills the shelf life of a book. But on the plus side the writing was pretty okay, so if you want to try an unique take on the vampire phenomenon then this might be the book for you.

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