Review: Afterlife of the Party by Marlene Perez (Afterlife #1)

The Afterlife of the Party by Marlene Perez // VBC Review

Afterlife of the Party (Afterlife #1)
Marlene Perez
Published: Sept. 8, 2020 (Harper Voyager)
Purchase at: Amazon or Bookshop
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Tansy is less than enthused when her friend Skylar insists she accompany her to see a band play at a party in Hollywood Hills. Her enthusiasm wanes even further when she discovers the band members are actually vampires who use their fame as a way to enthrall their fans thereby using them as blood donors. Unbeknownst to Tansy, Skylar has become one such donor.

Rating (out of 5): 2.5 stars

When Skylar disappears with the band, Tansy and her would-be crush and best friend Vaughn will embark on a roadtrip to follow the band to their next concert venues in hopes of finding Skylar. While Skylar’s presence seems to continuously elude the pair, Tansy and Vaughn discover all the other young women who need their help too. What started out as a quest to save her friend, has now turned into a quest to save the world.

With the publication of another book in that other popular vampire series recently, I was drawn into Afterlife of the Party because I was really feeling the YA vampire vibe.

Afterlife of the Party has the most wonderful campiness about it. I do not mean that as a bad thing whatsoever. While reading, it brought back memories of watching like part seventeen in a horror movie franchise. Not quite as good as the original, and reaching to some far-fetched heights, but still mighty entertaining all the same.

I liked the play on the romanticizing of the vampire. Yes, Skylar is drawn to the band, as are many others, but it’s through compulsion. If she were able to think clearly she would be running in the opposite direction from these predators. Tansy, who by virtue of her witchy roots, is able to ward off the compulsion and see their true natures which she describes as everything from rotting to putrid to greasy to dirty, is not the, dare I say, sparkly, ethereal visage we are often given.

While I can take all these aspects and enjoy the story, I do have to review it and in focusing a more critical eye, things pop out that may not have bothered me otherwise. Such as the abruptness to some of the character’s movements. On one page you have a character who is critically wounded (a page before they were almost dying) and then turning to the next page they’re up and walking around like nothing happened. This is just one instance, but it is something that happens constantly throughout in varying situations. Enough that I had to keep going back and making sure I didn’t skip the moment where we hear about so-and-so’s miraculous recovery. It felt like the book was written in small snippets and then pieces together to make a whole but without the important parts that make it cohesive.

Plus, the story doesn’t seem to know, yet, how to utilize Tansy possibly becoming a vampire while also having magic in her family, specifically witches. She seesaws too much between owning her inherent powers, and not believing they’re real. It comes across a little messy. I don’t think it helps Tansy deal with who she’s becoming if she doesn’t believe in who she was before.

If you are able to get past some of the inconsistencies within the story, I think Afterlife of the Party is enjoyable. It definitely sets the mood for the fall season. As the first book in an apparent series, I’m hopeful it will get stronger with each book.

 Sexual Content: Implied sexual assault, scenes of emotional abuse, references to sex, kissing

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