Neurotic teen pretends to be vampire to get girls

“Bloodthirsty” (Poppy, $9.99), by Flynn Meaney: Sure, there’s no such thing as vampires. But that doesn’t stop dorky, neurotic Finbar Frame.

Fin is tall, has pale skin and is sensitive to sunlight, so he believes that he’ll have no trouble persuading girls that he’s the next Edward Cullen.

Trouble is, he has no fangs — and faints at the sight of blood.

Bullied and humiliated at his previous school, Fin has the opportunity to reinvent himself when his family relocates to a new town. But when he tries to adopt a mysterious allure and a vampire attitude, he is ultimately betrayed by his nerdy persona.

Over time, and with a few subtle suggestions, his female classmates start to believe that he’s the Dark Prince. He’s so convincing that at one point, he’s forced to flee an angry mob of “vampire slayers” at a sci-fi convention.

Relocating to a new town also gives Fin a fresh start in a new school where no one knows his past. Unable to confront a bully at his previous school, Fin unleashes his wrath on the resident bully, earning praise from students and the principal of his current high school.

Flynn Meaney’s “Bloodthirsty” both capitalizes on — and pokes fun at — today’s vampire craze. Fin is a lovable character who braves those humiliating adolescent moments with humorous flair.

“Bloodthirsty” isn’t a vampire romance, it’s a coming-of-age tale about an awkward teen.

The author’s pop culture references may confuse younger readers, but they will definitely reel in adult readers and trigger flashbacks to those awkward teen moments long thought forgotten.

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