Vida Nocturna by Mark Diehl
Publisher: Self published
Available in ebook or paperbook.
Never before have I loved, pitied, and hated a character more than Sara. As soon as the story begins, Sara is in trouble. She’s failing all of her college courses and tries to hide this from her father, who both pays tuition and expects only the best from his daughter. And then we find out that she’s involved in a vampire club. Then the books flashes back to a younger Sara and we get the first glimpse of her childhood. The first flashback is a happy one. Most of the ones that follow are not. At first, the non-lineral narration is confusing, but about a quarter into the book I was thankful for it. The present Sara is falling deeper and deeper into a fantasy world of addiction and Vampires. Some of the scenes are so intense that I want to scream at the book and the characters. Sara isn’t your typical heroine. She makes very bad decisions, but worse are the people that surround her.
I think that Sara’s parents are the most developed and intriguing set in any YA novel. Any child of divorced parents can vouch for the constant back and forth hatred and jealousy. Sara’s father is jealous of her seemingly happy relationship with her mother and vice versa. Her parents have a huge impact on the decisions she makes and had either one of them acted like an adult, Sara might not have chosen the path she did.
Overall, this is a story about addiction. The powerlessness of addiction. This is a psychological horror in the fact that Sara loses control over herself and her life chapter by chapter. There are sections where the only relief to the darkness is the flashbacks.
The only escape for hardcore druggies is rehab, jail, or death. At different parts of the novel, I was hoping for a different one of these things. I hoped that she’d get better. I hoped that she’d get caught. I hoped that she’d find peace in death.
As for the ending, I firmly believe that she deserved it. And it scared me that I felt that way.
Only the need will last forever.
Sara has always escaped her real-world fears by reading fantasy and horror stories. Now, as a social-phobic college freshman, she enters a dark world where horror is not supernatural and fantasy is a trap.
Evil is contagious.
Victims become predators, and every predator was once just like Sara. Imagining she’d be different was her first step toward them. Now, draped in the decadent 80s subculture, she’s rendered helpless by powers she never imagined.