*3.5 out of 5*
I’ve been meaning to read Glenn Rolfe for a while now, so when Flame Tree presented this ARC as a coming-of-age horror story, I decided the time was now.
I didn’t know it was about vampires prior to reading the book, otherwise I may not have signed up for it. Vampires are up there with zombies and werewolves for me – I’m just not into them. However, Rolfe takes the familiar premise – our lead has fallen in love with a vampire; what could go wrong? – and makes something out of it by creating a Maine beachside setting for awkward teenagers to stumble over one another. I got a nostalgic Joyland vibe, as a result, which helped propel me along.
Set in ’86, our perfectly named lead (Rocky) is at that pinnacle turning point in a teenager’s life; he’s learning to drive and lonely for love. Best yet, he’s just met a sexy and mysterious girl that is into him. Of course, that love interest turns out to be a vampire with a psycho brother succumbing to his bloodlust.
Rolfe’s writing comes easy, like that of a YA novelist. This is generally not a selling point for me, but it actually worked perfectly for this story. There’s not much in here to give it an “adult” rating, which also helps the flow, I think; without the overly dark themes or grotesque violence, Until Summer Comes Around was able to feel like, well, a wonderful summer read about tricky love.
Though there were sections and characters left underdeveloped – my main complaint – I did find myself rather enjoying this novel. I’m also appreciative that Rolfe didn’t follow traditional vampire tropes; he changed things up just enough to get my interest. I’d recommend this for a weekend beach read, definitely.