Girls That Growl by Mari Mancusi

Girls That Growl
by Mari Mancusi
October 2007
Romantic/Paranormal Young Adult

Why I read it: To decide whether or not my boss should put it in our stores (along with the rest of the series).

Synopsis from Barnesandnoble[dot]com.
Third in Mancusi's hip, sassy vampire series, featuring the heroine of Stake That!
She's a vampire. She's also a vampire slayer. (It's a long story.) And now Rayne McDonald, Goth girl, has to carry out her most deviant mission yet: trying out for the cheerleading squad.
Rayne already has enough on her plate: her twin keeps whining about whether or not to go all the way; her mom's boyfriend is moving in; and her man, Jareth, who's now allowed out in the sun, has turned from a dark, brooding hottie vamp into a surfer dude.
But this vampire slayer is still on the clock, and she has a new assignment. A member of the football team has disappeared-and her bosses at Slayer Inc. think the cheerleaders had something to do with it. Now they want her to infiltrate the squad and get the dirt. But first, she'll need an extreme prep makeover. If only they'd let her wear fishnets under that revolting uniform.

I read this back on 4/16/10, things are starting to sort-of coming back to me since I took notes (two note cards worth!) so I may have a lot of "if I remember correctly"s and "I believe".
Rayne was doing the thinking again in this book. And now she's vamp. And a vamp slayer.
Their mom still knows how to rub me the wrong way, I swear. I believe she had a boyfriend staying for a while and he was using one of her daughter's rooms to sleep in. I had a MASSIVE problem with this. If your already sleeping with the dude (implied) then just have him stay in your room. Don't disrupt your kids' lives further by kicking one of your daughters out of her own room so that you can play house with your boyfriend. If you're not sleeping with him and you don't have an extra room, TOO BAD!! A grown man can't afford a hotel room for a couple of weeks and you're with him? I don't think she was even seeing him for very long either. Picture perfect of a stupid mom, in my humble (psh) opinion.
I asked for this in my review of "Stake That": for Rayne to lose control. And it looks like she finally did on her mother. notes literally say: "Finally, Rayne loses control. & the mother just keeps looking worse." From what I remember, Rayne confronts her mom about her boyfriend and they get into a fight. Her mom chooses boyfriend over the emotional stability of her kid. Yeah, kids don't have much to begin with, but there's a point when they need you more than normal. Sadly, that's usually when parents run away from them fastest.
Jareth and Rayne spend a lot of time together in this book. The feeling I got from Jareth is that he's an idiot. He's too easily fooled by a young girl with no extraordinary talent for mischief. I'm not very good at it myself, which leads me to the point of "Jareth is an idiot" because even I could fool him. I think Ms/Mrs. (not sure) Mancusi's idea was to make Rayne cunning and sneaky, and there were times when it really just made Jareth look bad. Their dialogue was hard to follow, they'd skip (leading) sentences. They both are in crazy-town if they can understand each others half-explanations. Which, I find myself doing in my own "babies". I make that illogical jump in my head and I don't explain the steps my mind automatically skips over for others to understand. Reading it a long time later or a few projects later helped me realize that there was no sense in what I wrote. I think using that method would have helped this book immensely.
Notes: "Rayne's a bitch". hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. She just kept torturing everyone around her (minus her mom) and when Jareth FINALLY scolds her, she responds by crying like the world is out to get her. Hey, I know how it is to be a bitch. Grew up being one in fact. But the one thing I noticed when I lessened my bitch was that: hey! The world was only out to get me because I was out to get it! Crying for a hard ass after getting just one scolding doesn't seem authentic to me. Especially if it's made to believe that she's feeling the hardship of it and has remorse. It all felt like guilt-play to me.
Once again, Mancusi wraps the story up in some expensive paper and a huge bow. All of her plans go so smoothly it makes me wonder why she's "goth". She was supposed to have Jareth as backup and still everything went smoothly. I needed a glass of wine to go with all that cheese! K, not really, I can only drink wine if I chase it with coke (yeah, not joking). The comment still means the same thing though, I can't handle all that fakeness! The supposed challenges that aren't challenges when Rayne can get through it without sweating. If she's supposed to be so smart then make her challenges harder. That's easy enough if you throw in a failure or two. Make it so she fails and someone else has to save her. Or even that she's getting tired and then up the ante by bringing in another bad guy. who's holding someone she loves by the neck. at knife point. Add tension. Add curiosity. What would she do if her arm was dislocated? Would she give up and run or stay and fight? Would she be able to handle the pain or lose consciousness? We don't know this about Rayne because nothing bad ever happens to her. I think the worst thing in her life is her mother (Yes, I know she's a vampire and a vampire hunter, but sooooooo what compared to her mom. She can deal with every other dead thing, her mom is.... stupid)
All that being said, there was a bit of drama towards the end again that made me keep reading. I think I would have loved it if she would have left some opening or tension or unanswered questions in the end (especially since there's still another book in the series). Alas, it did not happen.
Favorite Quote? I giggled when I read it in my notes too, so it's good!
"Does one shake hands with a werewolf? or do they, I don't know, sniff butts to get to know one another? Ew, I so don't want to go there" 
hehe, good right? Which leads me to comment that Mancusi's writing reminds me of shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation (no, not the office). A fast paced sitcom with random silly-ness and dialogue. Which I love. They're great mindless things to watch. Reading isn't so mindless, but it helps to read something that you like watching. No matter how mean that sounds I really mean it as a compliment. I'm the beginning of the "youtube generation" where we like things moving and fast and short. Mancusi does a great job with that audience.

Should you read it?: I definitely think you should read Boys that Bite and Stake That first so you can get the gist of where the characters have been. This one isn't as good as Stake That but it's still nice to read about characters you've put some time in to.

Would I read it again?: Probably not. Just because it's too short and it didn't leave a lasting impression on my mind. I was interested in the well being of the characters, but it was just too neatly wrapped I think. And the passion in there was lacking a bit. (same as the Stake That review)


1.Cover: +1
2. Hooked: +0
3. Finished the book: +1
4. Overall Feeling: Pos +1
5. Re-Readability: +0
6. Suggest to others: +1
7. Lost time: Nope +1
8. Readability:+0. 5

(also the same as the Stake That review)
so it looks like this gets a 5.5 out of 10.

Others in series:
Girls that Growl
Bad Blood


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