Reviewed: September 6, 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Jane Jameson, Book 2
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 376 Pages
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Nook
Poor Jane. She's got the bridesmaid dress from hell, a dead great aunt with a penchant for getting some ghostly nookie in her living room, a mother who refuses to come to terms with her less-than-alive status (and still foists food off on her at every chance), a grandmother who's a black widow - maybe, a sister who loathes her, a boyfriend/sire who keeps disappearing for weeks at a time with suspicious reasons...when there are any, and a best friend who's begun to make some disturbing sexual and emotional advances on her - despite his engagement to a werewolf (whose family could eat him). Oh yeah, and she's a vampire.
Jane's life is like a cross between an I Love Lucy special and an episode of Punk'd. And it's hysterical at times. Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men is a definitively original, character-driven narrative of life on the other side of a pulse for the ex-librarian and slightly geeky Jane. It's not always easy, it's not always comfortable, but she's making do with what she has as she comes to terms with it all. And man, her inner monologue makes me laugh.
I personally enjoyed Harper's first Jane book, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, Book 1), just a wee bit more, though this one was funnier. I just prefer books with a bit more of a story-driven plot and this one was light on that. That's a personal preference, though, not a critique, because without a doubt, Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men is one of the funniest books I've read in a very long time.
The few critical issues I have with the book is centered around Jane's family. I hate them. I really, really do. I think her mother needs to get her head out of her a....er...nether regions and her sister needs to have a house dropped on her - or a tree (can we get Gabriel to do that? I've heard he's good for that sort of thing). I'm not sure why Jane hasn't smacked the stupid out of her sister and I'm not sure why her Dad hasn't gotten control of his wife - and the fact that he hasn't tried and goes around looking helpless about it doesn't exactly warm him in my estimation). I also had a problem with Gabriel's comings and goings and how Jane dealt with it - or doesn't. There wasn't any true development of that relationship because he just wasn't around enough, and when he was it seemed very uncomfortable for him and Jane. Left me feeling sort of weird about their whole relationship.
I can't stress enough, though, that this book is perfect for a laugh. If you like your comedy reading with a bit of a bite and don't mind a Seinfeld-esque story-about-nothing, I highly recommend the Jane Jameson series. It's an absolute charmer.
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