PLOT: 4/5

Maybe when a person turns into a vampire, they acquire an encyclopedic and instantly updated understanding of how best to dress for purposes of blending into modern society and attracting victims.”

–       Jenna Levine, My Roommate Is a Vampire

I generally avoid fantasy and paranormal genres because I find it challenging to connect with them. Instead, I gravitate towards contemporary stories. However, when I first stumbled upon Jenna Levine’s My Roommate Is a Vampire, I was intrigued by its title, even though I had reservations due to my usual preferences. Later, I came across some reviews that sparked my curiosity. The idea of a vampire in a contemporary setting intrigued me, so I decided to take a chance on it. Needless to say, I devoured the book in less than 24 hours.

The plot

Cassie Greenberg, a struggling artist with a degree in fine arts, finds herself in a tough spot as her dream job remains elusive. To make ends meet, she juggles multiple jobs, but it’s still a constant struggle. Her world takes an even more challenging turn when she receives an eviction notice.

Desperate for a place to stay, Cassie stumbles upon a Craigslist ad for a roommate. The offer, a spacious apartment in one of Chicago’s most beautiful neighborhoods, seems too good to be true.

Initial skepticism gnaws at Cassie, but the allure of the apartment is hard to resist. She decides to pay a visit to the place. There, she encounters Frederick J. Fitzwilliam, an enigmatic man who explains that he’ll be away at night due to business commitments and will sleep during the day – a peculiar arrangement that oddly aligns with Cassie’s needs.

The apartment itself exudes an ancient charm, and even Frederick, the man offering it, seems like a relic from the Regency era. Left with few options, Cassie takes the leap and moves in.

Frederick leaves notes in beautiful handwriting as his way of communicating with Cassie, which utterly charms her. Even when they find themselves together, she can’t resist her attraction towards him and is drawn to him.

One day, having forgotten something, Cassie returns home mid-day to find her fridge full of blood and a vampire party in full swing. It’s at this moment that Frederick decides to come clean, revealing that he is a vampire who has awakened from a 100-year slumber, and he seeks Cassie’s help.

The burning questions are: How will Cassie react to this revelation? Will she agree to Frederick’s unusual proposition?

My thoughts

The first third of My Roommate Is a Vampire was the most enjoyable, filled with fun moments that had me chuckling. Frederick’s habit of leaving notes for Cassie was utterly adorable. His cluelessness about living in today’s tech-savvy world and his efforts to blend in provided great entertainment.

His dressing style, mannerisms, and overall outlook on life reminded me of characters like Mr. Darcy and those from Bridgerton. I especially loved their exchange of letters, a delightful touch of old-fashioned charm in our modern times.

Frederick’s attempts to navigate modern life, from ordering coffee to figuring out the subway system, were hilariously portrayed. His behavior, still in the spirit of the 1920s, despite being awake in this century, was skilfully executed.

As for Claire’s character, she had her ups and downs. There were moments when I liked her, and there were times when I didn’t connect with her as much. The chemistry between the characters felt justified given their proximity and strong attraction.

However, the last third of the book seemed a bit over the top, especially when it came to unveiling the past, and the resolution happened rather swiftly without significant obstacles. I did find myself wanting more, particularly in terms of exploring the vampire history and their existence among humans.

As a human in Cassie’s shoes, I would have wanted to know everything about their species, and these unanswered questions left me craving a deeper reading experience. I’m hopeful that the author, being a debut writer, will delve into these aspects in the sequel, which I look forward to.

Despite these minor qualms, I thoroughly enjoyed this book as a perfect Halloween read. I’m definitely planning to pick up “My Vampire Plus One,” which follows the life of Reginald Cleaves, Frederick’s friend, and promises some fake dating and enemies-to-lovers vibes.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of My Roommate Is a Vampire right away!