- Hearts & Other Body Parts by Ira Bloom
ISBN 978-1-338-03073-0 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Esme, Katy, and Ronnie may be witches, but they are first and foremost loving and fiercely loyal sisters. They’ve also got a soft spot for outcasts, so when scarred and hulking Norman (full name: Franklin Norman Stein) starts at their school, the sisters immediately sit with him at lunch and Norm and Esme develop a maybe romance. Then new kid Zack arrives: seriously smoking with the charm and wit to match, Zack steals the hearts of all three girls, leaving Norm in the dust and wondering why, besides basic jealousy, he finds Zack so alarmingly skeezy. (Answer: he’s a vampire.) Deadpan third-person narration shifts focus among the sisters, Norm, and Zack, and each character is distinctly entertaining, even poor Zack, who’s not completely at ease with his own bloodsucking nature. The sisters’ attempts to win over Zack eventually lead to throwing one another under the bus, with Ronnie cursing Katy with explosive farts, Katy hexing Ronnie with epically bad luck, and Esme messing with beauty potions. Eventually Esme sees Zack’s true nature, but that’s not enough to stop him from kidnapping her little sisters, so she and Norm, along with a demonic corpse-eating cat (long story), ride to the rescue and take down Zack and his vampire mentor with glorious aplomb. This will be an instant success with fans of Knudsen’s Evil Librarian (BCCB 10/14) and Fantaskey’s Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (BCCB 1/09).