Cassie is a struggling artist and the eviction notice on her apartment is proof of that. So when an apartment listing pops up on Craigslist that looks too good to be true, she is just desperate enough to jump in headfirst. Her new roommate is definitely weird - sleeping all day, out all night, and speaking as formally as the characters in the Regency romance novels he leaves laying around. But when Cassie finds a stash of blood in the refrigerator one day, everything clicks into place. Her new (very sexy) roommate is a vampire…and he needs her help.
This story felt like TWILIGHT fanfiction, but in a way that made it less awkward (no hate to TWILIGHT, I too still weirdly love it in my heart of hearts). Frederick is very much stuck in the nineteenth century and Cassie is very much a modern day girl. Both characters are written in ways that feel very authentic to who they needed to be in order for the story to work.
There were times when the pacing of the story felt a bit off, dragging in some places and moving quickly in others. The jump between the mundane and exciting gave me a bit of whiplash at times, though the nature of the story called for it in a sense. While it was a bit choppy, the overall story came together in a fun, campy way.
One of my favorite things in this story was the referencing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my all time favorite television shows. As with most media that involves vampires, Levine plays with different folklore surrounding them, picking and choosing the parts that would serve the story the best. I loved that she used Buffy as a reference point for Cassie and Frederick and allowed that to be part of Cassie’s “education” - it really took me back to my fangirl roots!
That being said, (and this is definitely just a difference in personal taste/preference) the spice felt a little bland. After quite a bit of slow burn, I think I expected a lot more fireworks that what I feel like we get. Maybe it’s my weird love (read: obsession) with vampires, but it definitely could’ve been a lot spicier and gone a lot harder. Which is not to say that what we got was bad, I just personally think that it could’ve been even better.
Cassie’s struggles as a wayward creative was the most grounding part of the story. She fell in love with something in college and went all in, only to find that the real world is not really that wonderful to creatives. As a writer, I found myself feeling deeply for her and relating to the imposter syndrome she felt. I’d imagine a lot of creatives would feel the same.
If you’re looking for a cute, quick read, Jenna Levine's debut MY ROOMMATE IS A VAMPIRE will definitely get the job done. It hits shelves August 29, 2023 and you can grab a copy here.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."