I don’t read stuff like this. The truth is, I would have never have picked up Jennifer the Damned if someone from my church had not asked me to check it out. Holy Crap! Am I glad I did.
Forget what you know about old-school Dracula and those sparkly, sex-crazed teenage vampires of late. First-time author Karen Ullo is about to set the vampire world on it’s head. Jennifer Carshaw is a sixteen-year-old who has gone to Catholic school all her life. In fact, for the last five years, she’s been raised by nuns in a convent. She’s also been hiding a secret.
She’s a vampire. And when she feels the urge to make her first kill (during math class no less) her world spins out of control.
Caught between the nuns who have raised her and loved her like her vampire mother never could, and her thirst for life-giving blood, Jennifer is thrust into a world of her mother’s choosing. But don’t be fooled. This is no Young Adult read. This, my friends, is literature, rich with vampire lore and intertwined with Catholic doctrine.
Jennifer battles her own demons as she struggles with her need to kill and her yearning for a soul.
Ullo is at her best in Jen’s kill scenes. Dark, horrifying, and at the same time beautiful. She give us reason to be repulsed, while reflecting on our own morality and the savagery that can be part of our world. She walks a fine line without ever becoming preachy.
Jennifer the Damned is a rich story with a lesson about love and forgiveness that even the most blood-thirsty can learn from. If I could give it six stars, I would.