Book Review: Vesper by Jeff Sampson

A compelling debut novel in which a teen girl must figure out who’s causing a rash of murders in her small town–and what’s causing her to turn into a monster. Ideal for fans of “Heroes” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want? 

Hardcover: 288 Pages

Series: Deviants #1

Publisher: Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins

Find on GoodReads

I knew I wouldn’t love this, I read reviews before picking it up, but those damn references to Buffy and Heroes called out to me.

After reading the book I have to wonder if whoever wrote the description on GoodReads has ever, EVER seen one episode of Buffy? Or Heroes for that matter.

Vesper’s heroine, and I use the term lightly, is Emily Webb, the most insecure, whiny and complexed 16-year-old novel character that’s ever been written. If I had to read one more time about how her breasts and shapely form made her “different” and “weird”, I seriously would have needed to punch a random chinese woman in the face. There, RWJ reference. Anyone? No? Okay. Horribly insecure, horribly inadequate heroine. For eg:

The day I sprouted breasts and hips before all the other girls in my grade was the day I learned what it felt like to have everyone stare at me, not knowing what they were thinking. Wondering if they thought my lumps and bulges were as hideous as I did, feeling ashamed as other kids pointed, snickered behind their palms, brushed their hands against parts they shouldn’t have gone near.

It didn’t matter what I said to myself, though, because I knew this to be true: All that mattered was how others perceived you. If others saw me and thought, Big ol´fatty hambeast, then that’s who I was.

The night one of her highschool mates dies, a girl with the same name, Emily starts changing, transforming in Nighttime Emily. Which is another name for the same annoying teenager, but more confident and outspoken (read reckless and horny) and stronger/faster etc.

She has no idea what’s happening to her and where all her new moods and impulses come from. To top that off, once she knows what’s going on, she goes after a killer, finds her one true love – kind of – and starts seeing weird “shadowmen” looming around her while she’s out at night.

Ohhh and probably one of my favorite parts? Nighttime Emily and Daytime Emily are complete opposites, but what finally makes Daytime Emily gain the same confidence her other “personality” has is..(view spoiler) Whoopee!

To say I couldn’t connect or relate to her character would be an understatement.

Next off, we have the best friend, Megan. A one-dimensional character and the only friend Emily has and a complete twat! She couldn’t care less about people dying – she keeps on joking and bashing them and the people who mourn them – and she flat-out tells Emily she’s better off dead than changing her status quo as geriatric nun of the highschool. With friends like that..

Boring, uneventful and fake. That’s what Vesper seemed like to me. Not to mention that abrupt ending.

If you knew me you’d know I’m one of those people who think Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the BEST shows ever made. Brilliant. Heroes wasn’t that bad either. So after finishing Vesper, I felt cheated.

Like a little kid who goes to the doctors to get his tonsils out and the only incentive he has not to struggle is the promise of a lollipop afterwards. And he doesn’t even get it.

Take that, Vesper!

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Vesper by Jeff Sampson

  1. Ohhh god, this one sounds disastrous!! How could they possibly compare it to Buffy! And the main character is complaining for having a figure every girl wishes for. How does that even make sense?

    Does the cover have anything to do with the book?

    I hope you enjoy your next read more!

    • I have no idea. By the time you get to the big reveal – what she is – it makes absolutely no sense and has nooothing to do with Buffy.

      Yes, she is. Because she’s “weird” and people apparently talk about her behind her back because of her body. Moronic you ask? Uh-huh.

      Uhm..besides the fact that I think the girl is her, the cover has nothing to do with the book lol.

      Thanks 🙂

      • I know, right? Me too, dammit! Oh man, and you gotta see the book trailer. I made the mistake of viewing it before reading the book and for the rest of the book I couldn’t help “hearing” the voice of the heroine in the voice of the girl in the trailer. And lemme tell you, she’s WAY annoying.

      • Hahaa ohh dear god that is truly terrible! How can someone who made that not look at it and realize how bad it is? I can see how picturing her and her voice would certainly not help you to like it!
        Ohh by the way, I bought Immortal Beloved the other day! And the second book as well. 🙂

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