Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me access to the advanced copy of this book to read.
Full of dark humour, and smart characters, I enjoyed this story, and enjoyed getting to know its fascinating characters. I love the premise (Sapphic John Tucker Must Die with VAMPIRES???!!! Literally, ripped from my mood boards haha).
I think the book could have used some more world building, and some more character building. It felt in some ways unfinished, in a way that is hard to articulate - not quite that it needs a sequel, but that I wished for more within this story, as I think it would have helped me connect more deeply with the book, or its characters.
The characters were intriguing, but we barely got to know them, so I feel we were left in this awkward space in between wanting to know more about them, and not being emotionally invested enough to care that much about them, They were *almost* multi-dimensional, and I wished we could have gotten more background, more context, more personality! Parker especially was bland and personality-less, and I literally did not understand the appeal.
I would have loved more about Elton - he could have had such a fascinating story, but instead we're given scraps - and it's hard to really hate him or feel any strong emotion for him as a villain or even as a character. I get that the story isn't about *him* it's about the women he's manipulated and hurt, and dragged along in his wake - but without compelling and more in depth depictions of the characters, it was hard not to feel ambivalent.
The vampire mythology is interesting, and I love the little details of people being frozen in time EXACTLY as they were when they were turned - down to each pimple, and blemish, and hair style. Fascinating! There were little details that I quite enjoyed (I loved the former teacher).
Overall, the story is slow and not quite what I was hoping for - but overall, The Lost Girls is campy, queer, and a lot of fun.
If you’re looking for a serious vampire book, look the other way. This is fun but still deals with some deeper issues such as being tied to your creator and never aging past the point when you were turned – and it can be rough when you’ve been 16 years old for thirty years, and you can’t get a job besides overnight at Taco Bell.
This book has a lot of humor to it which, for some reason, I wasn’t expecting but really enjoyed. Holly was turned into a vampire in 1987 by Elton, and still has the crimped hair to prove it. She meets Rose and Ida, also stuck in their respective eras, also turned by Elton so the three of them feel connected. Rose and Ida want to kill Elton before he turns another innocent girl and they need Holly’s help to do that.
Holly doesn’t much care one way or another until she meet Parker, Elton’s newest girlfriend, and Holly finds herself developing feelings for Parker too. This is the sapphic vampire book you never knew you needed, but you do need it! The slow burn romance had me eager for more the entire time and I loved it.
There are some gore-y parts, as any vampire book would have, but nothing is gone into such detail. I’d say this is a PG-13 rated book with just mild ripping off of body parts. I mean, it IS a vampire book. This is the perfect read for spooky season, but hey, I read it at the end of December so really its perfect any time of year!
I loved this book! The sapphic vampire story is all I’ve wanted in a paranormal story. The revenge plot was all I’ve wanted in a story
John Tucker Must Die but make it with bisexual vampires. Do I need to say more? But seriously, this was a quick, fun story about a group of vampires getting revenge on their maker who they all dated and were in love with at one point in time. It's the perfect mix of hilarious, heart warming and surprisingly bloody which made it a super fun read for spooky season. A big part of me wished that this was longer so that some of the plot points/romance could have been drawn out a little more and not feel so rushed but other than that I really enjoyed this!
A highly fun read to finish in one sitting. A full dose of dark humour, sapphic romance and heartwarming friendship with the common goal of revenge. Okay, I had very high expectations while going into the book, AND I was not disappointed. I loved the revenge-made-me-find-romance trope so much. There is something about the writing of Hartl which made me burst laugh but still had a dark undertone to it. I adored the romance, literally so much. Though beside all the positives this book is very gory, well of course you should expect it since it is a vampire book, just a heads up beforehand.
This book was the campy, vampire revenge story that needed! This book was described to me as John Tucker Must Die, but with sapphic vampires. And if that doesn’t sound amazing to you, than we probably have very different taste in the types of media we consume.
This book had me cracking up the entire time! It look me longer than usual to get through this book, because I kept having laughing fits while reading!
The pacing in the second have was a bit off in my opinion, but the fun, campy vibes more than made up for it! Overall, I would definitely recommend checking out The Lost Girts: A Vampire Revenge Story!
Thank you to NetGalley and Page Street Kids for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a review!
Over the years, I acquired a taste for the pampered frat boys, bored with a life of endlessly being told yes. The kind of guys who thought they deserved more than all they’d been given.
Holly’s afterlife was supposed to be exciting. It was supposed to be encased in neverending love for the vampire who turned her. But after 34 years of moving from city to city, scrounging for a living, Holly finds herself tossed to the wayside—forever 16, with crimped hair, bad posture and zero prospects beyond closing shift at Taco Bell. Holly thought she was the first and only girl Elton had turned, but when her two predecessors contact her, she realizes she’s just the latest in a long line of girls used and discarded by an immortal boy who won’t stop making vampires. And he’s already got another mark. Someone has to stop him, and Holly and her two new friends are the only ones who can do it.
“You have two seconds to leave,” I said. I always gave them a chance to run.
Enjoyable, and it took some vampire tropes and twisted them in a way that was pretty fun. Overall, however, it was underwhelming.
I enjoyed the girl gang teaming up to destroy their asshole maker, but despite the constant reiterations that Holly was stuck in a 16 year old’s body with a 16 year old’s mind, I couldn’t get past the fact that she still had an extra 34 years of existence on top of those 16 lived years. Yes, she was stuck living as a 16 year old, but in her mind she was ancient and it still didn’t quite get over the ick factor as she courted an 18 year old (who yes, technically is an adult but still the kid’s in high school).
There were some timing inconsistencies as well, but I imagine those will be cleaned up by the time of publication.
I did really enjoy Stacy and Holly’s relationship, and I wanted more of their reconciliation! And I wanted more personality from Ida and Rosa, aside from one’s quirky artistic inclinations and the other’s cleaning tendencies (of all of the characters, I liked Rosa most of all). I also wanted to know how Holly kept getting library cards without a parent’s signature/presence or an address. And how they could kill so many people and get away with it without really taking a lot of effort to dump the bodies (wouldn’t there be a media uproar over missing people—even missing undesirables? Because that many missing teenagers…).
As for the feminist overtones and the rah-rah sisterhood…it was kinda meh? The whole vampires don’t care about humans because who cares about their food lost steam with Holly’s fascination with Parker and the weird fast food goth kid enterprise thing.
Anywho, this had a really fascinating premise but I was underwhelmed by the characterizations, the writing and I’m just tired overall by the immortal teenager trope. I felt like it had a lot of potential to be amazing (particularly with the underlying theme of forgotten kids and adults who give a damn about them), but didn’t follow through as much as I would have liked.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
This was such a fun read. I loved how the book debunked the basic YA vampire romance book (which I'm also a big fan of, mind you). The Lost Girls starts after the heroine, Hope, has been turned, 30 years after actually. And in all that time she's realized being an immortal 16 year-old teenager wasn't the fairytale she had expected. On top of that her vampire sweetheart, Elton, turned out to be an abusive prick who dumped her when he got bored, so life as a vampire really wasn't what Holly had dreamed of.
On top of that, she discovers that she wasn't the first girl Elton had pretended to love and turned and abandoned. There had been 2 other girls before, and now they want to kill him and they need Holly's help to do it.
I feel like there could have been more action, but I really liked the characters. They were all so interesting and great to learn about. And there's a very cute sapphic romance.
The idea of The Lost Girls is excellent, I would have liked a bit more action, but the characters and romance made this book really fun and easy to read.
I think there's a lot of potential here! I love the core of the book, girls getting together and reclaiming their power. I think Elton was a little too mustache twirling for me, and I didn't know enough about Parker to really care about the romance, but the bones of the story are good.
WHOA! This is exactly what I needed for the start of this Spooky Season! Vampires need revenge too and it's exactly what we got from this book! Phenomenal storytelling and I loved every single character in this book!!!
On this episode of Everything is Canon, Steve talks to Sonia Hartl all about her brand-new book, The Lost Girls: A Vampire Revenge Story, which is described as “Sonia Hartl’s the Lost Girls is laced with dark humor and queer love; it’s John Tucker Must Die with a feminist girl gang of vampires.”
Yes, despite the grim nature and buckets of blood, The Lost Girls is one of the most fun books you’ll read this year. Sonia cuts off the vampire crust, removing most of the familiar tropes to give us a welcome new version of vampires we don’t often see, and its wonderful. It will have you thinking twice next time you romanticize the notion of eternal life and definitely make you think about things in a whole new way.
We talk about being a long-time mentor on pitchwars, lots of vampire tropes, crimped hair, the extremely fun nature of the book, The Lost Girls of course, and much, much more.
For the full interview, click the link below...
I loved the premise of this book but for some reason I had a hard time getting through it. I loved the modern take on vampires and the not-so-glamorous take on living forever. The lgbt representation was a plus and I loved Holly and Parker together. Unfortunately the pacing just felt slow for me and it took me a while longer than I had anticipated to get through it.
Lesbian John Tucker Must Die meets The Lost Boys! Love it! The characters and the romance kept me hooked. All the characters kept me hooked and I actually loved the depressing take on what is normally portrayed as glam undead lifestyle. Reminds me of a series on TikTok I like !
Holly is an excellent MC! I'm just going to start with that, because while this book felt too long and yet too short at the same time, Holly kept me entertained through it all. For starters, working at Taco Bell, which I found really funny for some reason. Like the thought of a vampire working at a fast food restaurant, hating her life and her decision, basically sulking, is absolutely hilarious. And then we find out her ex-boyfriend is the one who turned her and lied, saying she was the only one, when there were two other girls.
And, and, to top things off, he has another girl set in sight. So the three of them decide to kill him.
I love this idea.
The book started off super strong. Like I was so invested in this story, but halfway through, it started to fall flat. Some aspects of the book felt rushed, like the romance between Parker and Holly, while other parts felt really dragged out, like Holly and her best friend reconciling.
This book was such a conundrum. At some points, I wanted more to the story and wished it was longer. And then I would wish for certain parts to be cut down because it was just dragging on. One thing I wanted to see more of was the relationship development between Parker and Holly. The start of their relationship felt a little rushed and then as it was developing, there wasn't enough interaction between the two of them to really justify them falling in love.
Elton was such a great antagonist, because I wanted to reach through the screen and throat punch him the entire book. Though I wished we had something other than killing Elton for the motivation for this book. At only 250 pages, there's not a lot of plot to fill up the book, so we're left with a minimal plot with some side plots that sometimes add substance and sometimes make the book drag on. The few times we see Elton, the whole reason for this book, he's being a complete jerk with a one sided personality. I wanted to see more of those original memories with Elton: him as a sweet boyfriend, convincing girls to end their mortal lives for him, and how he was pre-immortality. But we don't get much from him, other than he's a manipulative, abusive jerk.
While there are some things I wasn't a fan of, ultimately, I liked this book! Holly was such an interesting MC and I loved seeing the aftermath of the change and what life is like during immortality. I'm sure most 16 year olds who dream of being immortal don't think about the life long Taco Bell career because they can't get a job anywhere else. Or the logistics of finding a place to live with no money. The premise of this book was so cool and I was really invested in the story!
Overall, I loved the lore, the background/set up for this book, and Holly as an MC in general. While there were some things I wasn't a fan of, overall, I really liked this book and think it's a great vampire novel! Though it's more cynical, this book has some great humor and important lessons every teenager dreaming of becoming immortal should think about.
As someone terrified of living forever, the thought of losing my mortality terrifies me.
Therefore the grief and loss that the girls known as the Lost girls feel were very real; I also love the rage and bitterness towards Elton because that asshole deserves all of that and more.
The revenge and the new (well, new to me) lore about vampires and how to kill them or master were exciting. I love balance magic in books and discovering that killing him would cost them something so precious -like that cost was so deep and really hard to justify unless necessary in a person/vampires mind.
However, no matter how enjoyable those aspects were, one was too repetitive, and the other was a fraction of the story. The other points were just letdowns; I didn't grasp how Holly and Parker could be in love so fast. Attracted and have chemistry? Yes. But in love and ready to give up human life? UM NO! (I know there were more pushing factors for Parker, in her mind), but it was so cheesy and unrealistic.
Also, the tone or the storytelling/narrator was strange; I couldn't fully get into it, no matter how much I enjoyed parts.
Thanks to NetGalley & Page Street Publishing for the early copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Lost Girls are vampire women that have been wronged by a sleazy, self-centered vampire that had been convincing women for decades that they were in love with him. Until he dumps them and leaves them on the side of the street. They band together to fight him and discover more about themselves along the way.
A good premise, but the writing falls short in many ways. It's still a good vampire story with a lot of meat (ha) to it in terms of character motivation. A really sweet romance though between the main character and another new character!
The story of a vampire's wives/made-vampires getting tired of him and destroying him to be free is not a new story. I've read it in many iterations. But I give props to Hartl for making this more about decisions, choices, and regrets than the actual revenge killing of the suave Elton, who only turns girls to control them and then dump them when he gets bored.
Holly is barely scraping by in what used to be her hometown when she meets Elton's exes, two other girls who fell for his charm and lies only to be dumped as soon as he grew tired of them. The catch is that they have to always be near their maker, so there's no getting away from Elton so they're stuck following his whims forever because vampires are pretty much impossible to kill. Or so Holly thought because Rose and Ida found a way to get rid of Elton and they need Holly's help. Thus begins a story of regrets, accepting your choices, and deciding how you want to live your life after death. The fact that Elton's found his next victim and Holly discovers she might have feelings for her only adds to the stakes (heh) and gives the story an extra dimension to explore.
I really liked how Holly's story goes all-in on exploring what it really means to be forever 16 and looking exactly as you did when you died. It's minimum wage jobs, no respect from adults, and living forever with your questionable fashion choices and that one spot on your knee that you missed when shaving. I like reading stories where becoming a vampire isn't all gothic glam and beauty.
Overall, it's a fresh twist on an old tale.
Happy thanks to NetGalley and Page Street Kids for the early read!
Unfortunately, I was not able to read this book due to the formatting. I contacted Netgalley and received a response, but I never got a readable copy. I look forward to enjoying this book when it comes out. The cover is fabulous!
Thank you to Page Street Publishing for granting me access to this title.
What worked for me- I definitely had my vampire fiction phase as a teenager so this whole premise sounded exciting. The female friendships, the sapphic romance, I was fascinated by the implications and exploration of being turned at specific ages and in certain eras.
What didn’t work for me: the romance was...rushed? It felt a little instalove to me which isn’t always my scene. The big thing for me was probably the execution.
This is one of those cases where I think I set my expectations a little high and I let myself down rather than the book itself. And I just feel bad because I specifically emailed the publisher to be granted access to this book because I was so excited, it just wasn’t what I was hoping. I guess I was wanting it to be more unapologetic and vampiric or even more stereotypical in the vampires but a lot of the vampiric rules and norms were adjusted or changed in ways that just felt arbitrary to me just to make things more difficult.
Also, vampire books for me work best when they either truly embrace vampires being baddies or when they work out how to make them not kill people and therefore good, but like, it felt like in this one, the author couldn’t make up her mind. Holly has a code about only killing creepers and giving them a chance to run and the whole plot revolves around the girls wanting to stop Elton because he’s selfish and he’s just going to keep making more vampires and hurting people and manipulating them but then like you’ve got Stacey killing her cult without batting an eye and Ida’s gruesome art projects. There were so many moments where I was just left wanting Hartl to commit one way or another. It just made it all muddier for me. Like yeah, they are vampires and girls who didn’t deserve what Elton did to them but there were moments when it was harder to feel sympathetic. The Lost Girls just came off a little messy to me and that was a shame. I feel like if it really committed to a direction: campy, bloody, villainous, feel-good, romantic, or melancholy, it could have really done well. But as it was, it wasn’t executed as well as I would have liked.
I would say that I read this while listening to the new Billie Eilish and Halsey albums and it was a whole vibe and I highly recommend those that can read and listen to music at the same time repeat the experience. You’ll have a great time. I also listened to Halsey’s Badlands and that was also great for this book.