Blue, Parker. Bite Me – Book One, The Demon Underground Series. Smyrna, GA: Bell Bridge Books, 2008.
Contributed by Simone Sidwell, Teen Librarian at Grinnell's Stewart Public Library
Bite Me is a well-written and entertaining paranormal mystery/romance with both teen and adult appeal. Val Shapiro seems like your average 17 year old teenager, except that she has to struggle daily to keep her demon side “Lola,” at bay. Lola is a lust demon or succubus, a part of Val (thanks to her demon father) that she struggles to suppress. As a metaphor for teen lust, this paranormal device works well in the novel -- Val is trying to be “a good girl” despite the raging demon hormones. Val learns along the way, however, that totally repressing Lola’s natural urges is just as unhealthy as giving them free-reign, and eventually finds a way to strike a balance between demonic promiscuity on the one hand, and puritanical denial on the other. Val’s uneasiness with her demonic side has made her a loner for most of her teen life, and when she is kicked out of her parents’ house on her 18th birthday she embarks on a positive journey of self-discovery and belonging! outside the confines of school and family: she takes a job in a secret unit of the San Antonio police force and teams up with a telepathic hellhound dog named Fang and a handsome police detective to take on a gang of renegade Vampires that has been attacking the city...Vampires and demons aside, Parker Blue captures a humorous and authentic young adult voice in Val and keeps readers turning pages. Parker’s book would be a popular addition to public libraries teen/fantasy collections. I look forward to the next in the series.