THE SINGLE UNDEAD MOM’S CLUB: It Takes a Village (Giveaway!)

The Single Undead Moms Club

the single undead moms club coverHalf-Moon Hollow #3
By Molly Harper
Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster | 320 pages | ISBN 9781476794396 |
October 27, 2015

Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own, except as noted.

In the next book in Molly Harper’s Half Moon Hollow paranormal romance series, Libby (a widow-turned-vampire) struggles with her transition, and finds out it sucks to be the only vampire member of the PTA…

Widow Libby Stratton arranged to be turned into a vampire after she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. It wasn’t the best idea she’s ever had, but she was desperate—she’s not about to leave her seven-year-old son to be raised by her rigid, overbearing in-laws.

On top of post-turning transition issues, like being ignored at PTA meetings and other mothers rejecting her son’s invitations for sleepovers, Libby must deal with her father-in-law’s attempts to declare her an unfit mother, her growing feelings for Wade—a tattooed redneck single dad she met while hiding in a closet at Back to School Night—and the return of her sire, who hasn’t stopped thinking about brave, snarky Libby since he turned her.

With the help of her new vampire circle, Libby negotiates this unfamiliar quagmire of legal troubles, parental duties, relationships, and, as always in Harper’s distinct, comedic novels, “characters you can’t help but fall in love with” (RT Book Reviews).
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My Take Oblong

The beauty of Molly Harper’s work is that it is funny and great story telling. But, it is also beautiful in its use of  comedy and story to highlight real-life issues like societal attitudes towards single parents and the difficulties of being a single parent.   It is also about how one mother could show so much love for her son that she would sacrifice her very life for him and demonstrates the power of community in the face of bigotry and how as a force love can change a person and a relationship. 

Now, after a rave like that not much more needs saying, right? Molly takes this piece of genre-fiction and transforms it into something that spoke to me beyond its humorous paranormal romance format without being pedantic.

Nah, I still have a couple of things to say about this fun, but meaningful novel.  We also get a love triangle, and find out what happens when a person refuses to look at evidence and logic and responds with fear, allowing their own response to preclude any rational behavior. 

Another theme in the book is how children are shaped by some alchemy between the person they are when they come into the world and the guidance and influence of the people who love them or want to mold them.  In my very first course in college, RCO 100,  in 19mumble mumble, I hear something that has stuck with me for many years: We are not just what we want to be but what our significant others allow us to be. In other words, we are each an amalgamation of not just our own aspirations but those of the people who are significant in our lives.  Some  overcome the people who raise them and others are either supported or sunk because of them,but either way they influence who we become.

The romance in this one is cute, and both a little obvious and a bit surprising. I don’t see the attraction of the the first side of the triangle, and then I don’t see anyone being attracted to the third side of the triangle.  I wanted to say, “Look! he is bad news and sleazy! Don;t you see it?!” But since the other characters in the book do this I don;t know how Libby can just ignore them. The usual cast of Half-Moon Hollow’s characters come out and show us the kind of village it really takes to succeed in life and raise a child. Having said that we’re not subjected to an overwhelming cast of characters from the past.

I liked the reconciliation offered towards the end of the book between a couple of the characters, but the asshats at the PTA, who reminded me of Cinderella’s step sisters, are allowed to go on, demonstrating how we really can’t change the minds and hearts of heavy duty bigots.

Another thing Molly does with this book is describe characters with an almost Austenian sense of archetype. For example, the grandmother/mother-in-law comes out as that particular form of husband-cowed, overbearing but able to change given enough reason and after having her blinders removed. In my head she looked like Hoyt’s mom in True Blood: All big hair, chunky earrings and a casserole for every occasion. Molly’s Half-Moon Hollow isn’t filled with southern stereotypes though: There are no banjo-picking hayseeds in the books, although the church life we expect from the American South is present in the background.  I always find the inhabitants of this small backwater rather cultured and well-educated.

The only flaw I can find in this book is the cover which violates Molly’s world building. It’s not possible for her vampires to eat non-liquid foods; in fact this books protagonist is remarkably repelled by them.

The book isn’t too steamy; Molly’s love scenes are always a little shy, even if the characters are not. But it just isn’t intended as “that kind of book.”

This is a MUST READ and while it would be enjoyable on it’s own, it would be an even better experience with at least some of Half-Moon Hollow and or the Jane Jameson/Nice Girls Series books.  But, they are mostly charming and delightful so it wouldn’t be a hardship.

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Would you be turned to have more time with your loved ones? Or, would you just like to be a vampire?

Or, maybe you would just like to read about it!

Here’s a chance to win a copy of this new book! OPEN TO US SHIPPING only and you must be at least 18 years old to enter.

To enter comment below and then use the rafflecopter form to complete your entry.

You can comment as you wish as long as it is meaningful, civil and relevant.
Here are a couple ideas if you want an idea to comment on – you do not have to respond to all:

  • Would you be turned to have more time with your loved ones?
  • Or, would you  like to be a vampire?
  • If you created a world with vampires what would they be like? Could they go out in the sun (like Lynsay Sands’ Vamps); could they eat solid food like Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vamps, would their skin be sparkly like Twilight? Could they withstand holy object.

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