Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
Marta Acosta’s debut has potential. While this one didn’t knock my socks off, I will keep my eye out for future books by this author. She was able to combine Chick Lit with a hint of paranormal very well. And this was a book that improved as it went along; as much as I disliked the first third I liked the remainder.
Putting a paranormal spin on the average Chick Lit had potential. Milagro de Los Santos (Translation: Miracle of the Saints) is a sarcastic Latina trying to find herself. But aren’t they all? She attended an Ivy League college despite her humble beginnings and graduated with a degree in literature. She hopes to become a novelist. Currently she is working as a reading consultant to the rich and supplementing her income working at a local nursery.
At a party given by a client for her old college crush, Sebastian, Milagro meets Oswald. He’s a strangely dressed hottie who flirts with her until she agrees to have a drink with him. They end up in his hotel room where things start to get a little steamy. After a tumble to the floor, they accidentally exchange blood. Before any explanations happen, Milagro high-tails it out of there.
After becoming very ill, she is kidnapped by Sebastian. He is part of a corporate yuppie conservation group out to find vampires, and he’s very interested in her encounter with Oswald. Oswald’s family rescue her and she is secreted off to their ranch until things die down with the yuppies.
All of this occurs in the first hundred pages, which were murder to get through, mostly because of Milagro. Her forced and weak attempts at humor attempts at humor grated on my nerves, and the story’s dialogue was more reminiscent of a Superman comic than a modern novel for adults.
I liked Mil more after she decides to become a bit more serious. As for Oswald, what we see of him is great. I only wish the story weren’t in first person so I could have experienced his point of view upon occasion. He had a sweet manner, good looks, and flaws. I would have fallen for him, too. Unfortunately he has a fiancé, and I’m not talking about Milagro.
I not only enjoyed Mil and Oswald’s relationship, I liked Edna, his grandmother, immensely. She was a gem who made this book. The aptly named conservative group – CACA – was a necessary villainous foil, but came across as weak.
While I didn’t initially care for Milagro or the first part of the book, I don’t regret finally getting hooked…it just took some time to get there. The Chick Lit formula was followed to a T: Young female whines, tries to find her reason for living, sleeps with at least one other man besides hero, and miraculously finds herself in the process before falling in love with Mr. Right. I had hopes it would veer just a little considering the different story line, but sadly in didn’t. Truly average read, but not a horrible one.