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Still Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
With vampire boyfriend George and best friend Serena by her side, Mina thought she had her whole life—or rather afterlife—ahead of her. But then Mina’s parents drop a bomb. They’re moving. To Louisiana. And not somewhere cool like New Orleans, but some teeny, tiny town where cheerleaders and jocks rule the school. Mina has to fake her death, change her name, and leave everything behind, including George and Serena. Not even the Vampire Council’s shape-shifting classes can cheer her up. Then Serena shows up on Mina’s doorstep with some news that sends Mina reeling. Mina may look a lot better with fangs, but her afterlife isn’t any less complicated!
In this eagerly awaited sequel to the popular Sucks to Be Me, Kimberly Pauley addresses many of her fans’ most pressing questions (Will Serena become a vampire? What happened to Raven? What’s next for Mina and George?) with signature humor and breezy bloodsucking style. (courtesy of Goodreads)
Just as good or even better than Sucks To Be Me! Still Sucks To Be Me starts right off where Sucks To Be Me finished. Mina is now "dead" and just missed her own funeral. She and her parents are going to be scurried away to a secret location to start life anew in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana. Without her best friend Serena. Without her boyfriend George. Life really does suck.
Cartville, Louisiana is a caricature of small-town Southern life. You have overly enthusiastic neighbors, a charming young man, friendly Southern belles, and somewhat evil southern belles - not that different from life anywhere, really. Mina finds herself the new most-popular girl in school. The school hunk, Grady, is head over heels for her. People imitate what she eats, what she wears, etc. She's also made a new enemy - Kacie - a skinny, blond popular girl who hates Mina for being popular and attracting Grady's attention. Her only friend is a really cute, mysterious vampire named Cameron. He comes from the Carter clan, who may or may not be evil vampires.
Mina is lonely in Cartville. George is off in Brazil with her parents and Serena is still in California. Her dad is busy with his new history internship with Dr. Jonas and her mom is busy trying to be happy. I noticed that Mina and her family don't really try all that hard to ingratiate themselves with their new neighbors and/or classmates; they're more insular than in the first book. Having such a big secret to keep and being temporary residents (hopefully) creates a barrier between the "Smiths" and the outside world. The only fun part of Mina's new life are her shape-shifting classes and her practice partner, Cameron.
Still Sucks To Be Me has much more of a plot than its prequel, which was largely an introduction to Mina's world. We see why vampires aren't just cute fun creatures. Mina's old nemesis Raven is out to get Serena and Mina. We learn more about the Black Talons, complete with a heart-racing, action-filled climax.
I still love Mina. She takes life in stride and with a sense of humor. She loves to roll her eyes and complain about the injustices in her life. But nothing keeps her down. She's a loyal friend, eternal (mostly) optimist, and all-around happy person. When she makes bad choices, she learns from them and fixes them.
The ending of the book is fabulous, although a little bittersweet. It sets up perfectly for a third book. I sure hope Kimberley writes one!
Rating: 4 / 5