Afterlife #2: I’m With the Banned – Marlene Perez

Tansy got way more than she bargained for when she and friend/crush Vaughan set out to save her best friend, Skylar, from Travis, lead singer of The Drainers, a band that sucks both literally and figuratively.

Tansy, a Mariotti witch, is now a striga vie, a witch/vampire hybrid. Not only that, shortly after acquiring her vamp abilities, she got a serious promotion: queen of the California vampires. The job comes with a surprising amount of admin.

Meanwhile, Skylar has returned to being human, which considering she’s the one who got Tansy into this mess in the first place, doesn’t seem especially fair. I’m not a fan of Skylar; she’s not the best friend that Tansy deserves.

One really good thing happened during the road trip: Vaughan has graduated from crush to boyfriend. Only he’s been MIA recently, learning to become a vampire hunter. Oh, and he’s a werewolf now. So are all of his new friends.

The Drainers have reinvented themselves. They now call themselves Thirsty Thieves and are singing country and western. Badly.

I found Rose and Thorn, who work for the Paranormal Activities Committee, intriguing during the first book but they didn’t seem to do much. In this book their potential becomes more evident and I want to spend much more time with them. They’re training Tansy to become a badass and they’re big on motivational speeches.

“There are other things to worry about besides vampires,” Thorn said.

I stopped moving. “Like what?”

“Werewolves, banshees, Medusas, Narcisi, and stupid people,” she said, “Just to name a few. All of whom can run faster than you. Your granny can run faster.”

Vanessa, Tansy’s mother, comes back onto the scene for the first time since she abandoned her as a baby. Vanessa is doing her best impression of a loving mother but she’s the vampire known as the Executioner so may not be as trustworthy and caring as she’d like Tansy to believe.

“You know she’s about as stable as a toddler on a sugar binge, right?”

I’m absolutely obsessed with Granny. She’s amazing! Her tonic helps Tansy manage her newfound sun allergy, she’s a librarian and her coven is called the Old Crones Book Club. She also knows when to be a sweetheart and when Tansy need a loving push.

“Now, are you going to sit there like a lump or are you going to get off your tush and handle business?”

Unlike most series, I enjoyed the sequel more than the first book. I’m looking forward to meeting Tansy’s father and can’t wait to see where Vanessa’s storyline takes us.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

I never wanted to be a vampire queen.

But on the bright (if not sunny) side of the debacle, I’ve got a super-hot new boyfriend. And he just might be the perfect guy.

Well, if the perfect guy ghosts you for a month and then comes back to school with a new look, a pack of friends, and a secret. But we have bigger problems.

The Drainers are back. They’re singing a different song, but have they really changed?

Even worse, werewolves’ hearts are being ripped from their bodies – which is putting the people I love in danger. I need to figure out who is behind the murders before there’s an all-out vampire-werewolf war.

No one is going to mess with my friends, even the ones who like to get wild and howl at the moon.

Sometimes, all a girl can do is grab her tiara and start kicking some supernatural ass…

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