Carmilla

Carmilla

An adaptation of Shaftesbury's award-winning, groundbreaking queer vampire web series of the same name, Carmilla mixes the camp of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the snark of Veronica Mars, and the mysterious atmosphere of Welcome to Nightvale. Newly escaped from the stifling boredom of a small town, college freshman Laura is ready to make the most of her first year at Silas Un...

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Title:Carmilla
Author:Kim Turrisi
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Carmilla Reviews

  • Lola

    3.5 stars.

    Two books finished in one day… oh boy. It may seem like a positive thing, but really what it means is that I’m unable to focus on my art history notes that I have to review for my exam next week and not that you need to know this but I really, really, REALLY need to pass this exam. So if you see me post another review soon, PRAY FOR ME.

    That is all.

    Except… I should talk about the book a little though, no?

    This is a novel adaptation of the web series of the same name, a web series about

    3.5 stars.

    Two books finished in one day… oh boy. It may seem like a positive thing, but really what it means is that I’m unable to focus on my art history notes that I have to review for my exam next week and not that you need to know this but I really, really, REALLY need to pass this exam. So if you see me post another review soon, PRAY FOR ME.

    That is all.

    Except… I should talk about the book a little though, no?

    This is a novel adaptation of the web series of the same name, a web series about vampires, mystery, university life, and lesbian romance… that I had no idea existed. Seems like the sort of thing that should have made its way to me. I guess it did, belatedly.

    Like most novelizations, this book sticks to the important stuff. I have never read a book adaptation that has lots of extra content, and although I have not watched the web series as of yet, I can’t imagine it’s too different from the book and vice versa. This means that it’s fairly easy to get through, because of the lack of long descriptions and lengthy scenes and such, but I did wish scenes were longer at times. Many characters pop out of nowhere and then disappear, leaving me a bit befuddled, but perhaps that is the way it goes in the web series too.

    I thought vampires were not à la mode anymore, and I never even think about them anymore, but Carmilla was pretty sexy and I did like the whole sacrifice business (but only because it was a fun sort of ridiculous!). I also found easy connecting to the main character and of course I loved that the setting was a university, although a very creepy and unrealistic one.

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  • Amy

    WARNING, a bit of a rant ahead + possibly some slight spoilers.

    Thank you, NetGalley and the Publisher for the chance to read this novel.

    : deadnaming and misgendering of a genderqueer side character (on purpose and by accident), kidnapping and gore.

    Before I start I just want to say I had such high hopes for this one. I mean, kick-ass lesbian vampire and f/f romance in a college setting? I was so excited for the LGBTQ+ rep and paranormal aspect, and while I hate leaving r

    WARNING, a bit of a rant ahead + possibly some slight spoilers.

    Thank you, NetGalley and the Publisher for the chance to read this novel.

    : deadnaming and misgendering of a genderqueer side character (on purpose and by accident), kidnapping and gore.

    Before I start I just want to say I had such high hopes for this one. I mean, kick-ass lesbian vampire and f/f romance in a college setting? I was so excited for the LGBTQ+ rep and paranormal aspect, and while I hate leaving ranty reviews like this, I really think it needs to be said.

    In hindsight, I probably should've watched the web series before requesting this, but I wanted it to be a surprise, as it's probably the equivalent of watching the movie before reading the book.

    I have so much to say about this, I couldn't possibly fit it all into 1 review, even this is longer than anticipated! So I am going to stick to the basics of why this didn't work for me.

    -The LGBTQ+ rep: I was really happy to see that this book features 3 lesbian characters and 1 genderqueer side character (more info on that rep later)

    -That cover is stunning

    -Vampire/paranormal aspect

    -Due to it being so fast-paced, I finished this in one sitting, plus, it's relatively short, at under 300 pages.

    -Major problems with the genderqueer rep in this book. Heres why:

    LaFontaine, a side character in this book, identifies as genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns. This book definitely needs some proofreading because I noticed at least 6 instances where the author used "she/her" pronouns instead of "they/them" here are some quotes to prove:

    I really hope these mistakes are fixed before publication.

    : I do not identify as genderqueer myself, I just noticed these mistakes.

    -Perry constantly deadnames LaFontaine, even after they ask her not to call them Susan.

    -If someone who identifies as genderqueer asks you to use their pronouns/name and you ignore them, and you constantly deadname and misgender them, on purpose, is that right? The answer is no, it's not. Perry was a disgrace of a friend and a disgrace of a character.

    -The worst part is, LaFontaine's feelings on the matter are never addressed until much later on in the book, where they finally have enough of being deadnamed and misgendered and (rightfully so) have a go at Perry. But even then, Perry still has the audacity to call LaFontaine Susan.

    -The thing that really takes the cake is the fact that Perry is made out to be the victim. No one even asks if LaFontaine is okay after being deadnamed and misgendered by their best friend for (probably) years.

    -Lack of detailed descriptions for; characters, setting, magical element.

    -Toxic love triangle and romance. There is zero chemistry between Laura and Carmilla and they only get together in the last 30%, up until that point they despise each other. The cover screams romance, it's marketed as a romance, well it definitely did not read like a romance to me. Carmilla physically attacks Laura and bites her, without her permission. Laura films and uploads videos of Carmilla without her permission. Laura keeps Carmilla hostage for two weeks and forces her to recount her whole life for Laura's blog. It's not a healthy relationship!

    -The only male characters (of which there are a grand total of 3) are all problematic and bordering on sexist. Two of them are even literal stalkers who don't take no for an answer. Laura's dad, who appears for practically 1 chapter, is extremely over the top protective, even going so far as to not allow his 18-year-old daughter anything but a flip phone, as he is scared she will send nudes to random people. The other two constantly refer to all the women in the book as "sexy, baby, hottie" etc. Telling them they are there to "protect" them. Oh, but they will only protect the women they deem worthy, which is a "7.5 or above" to them.

    -The writing style wasn't for me. I felt like It lacked depth and was way too fast paced.

    -Whenever Laura was speaking to someone on the phone, the reader would only ever hear Laura's side of the conversation, never the responses. As a reader, this made me feel excluded from the story and therefore I lacked a connection to what was happening.

    Overall, I am really glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. There are many reasons why this might not have worked for me personally. Maybe it's because it's a novelisation of a web series that I haven't watched. Maybe it's because it's meant to be read in a more humorous way that I didn't catch. Maybe the whole thing just didn't translate well in book format. Nonetheless, unfortunately, it didn't work for me. But I would always recommend giving a book a go and seeing what you think for yourself. Just because I didn't like it, doesn't mean it a terrible book.

    : All quotes taken from the ARC copy, these are subject to change.

  • Faith Simon

    *I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

    I've never heard of the web series that this novel was adapted from until I began reading this, so I'm not really sure if I'd like it should I choose to watch it. I don't know if it was the writing that made me dislike this book, or the content and the story itself, which would be deriving from the web series.

    From the synopsis, I thought I would end up liking this book, but I really didn't. I'm thankful

    *I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

    I've never heard of the web series that this novel was adapted from until I began reading this, so I'm not really sure if I'd like it should I choose to watch it. I don't know if it was the writing that made me dislike this book, or the content and the story itself, which would be deriving from the web series.

    From the synopsis, I thought I would end up liking this book, but I really didn't. I'm thankful that this was a relatively quicker read, and it wasn't like I was trudging through molasses trying to read through it, it wasn't that boring. But the story itself was.... eh.

    A large portion of the problem I had with this book was the writing. It just felt juvenile. It felt like the author was trying so hard to sound like the narrative was coming from a teenager/young adult so much that it came across as trying way too hard and not in the least bit relatable. So, despite the few times I related to the character's lesbianism, I could hardly enjoy the narration of this book at all.

    Also, the unnecessary love triangle. I hate love triangles. And the fact that Laura and Danny had zero chemistry made the triangle even less enjoyable. And Laura just falls for Carmilla out of the blue? Like, there's some hinting before, but there's no transition from enemies to lovers, it's just enemies one moment, a little side comment about Carmilla being hot, her thinking she's trying to suck her blood and then suddenly falling for her and casting Danny aside just like that? What?

    And the other characters weren't enjoyable at all. They were just annoying. The book made a whole point to show one of the characters misgendering her friend and Laura correcting her, and in the book, it sometimes used "her" instead of "they" completely defeating the purpose and making me second guess which character was being mentioned.

    And honestly, the mystery was meh. The entire plot, for that matter, didn't really intrigue me very much. From Carmilla arriving to everyone finding out she's a vampire is a really fast transition. The plot twists came out of nowhere with like, little to no foreshadowing, which made the mystery even less appealing, as a reader, like many others, who like mysteries where they feel they saw some of it coming and can feel like a sleuth. The whole book just felt very rushed, especially the ending. The climax of the story basically happened over 4 pages.

    And the fact that the book always had to go into paragraphs about Laura vlogging, I couldn't have cared less about.

    This book has little redeeming qualities other than the fact that it's queer. Pretty disappointing.

  • Alana • thebookishchick

    I

    wanted to like this one, but unfortunately this was just a big ol' Yikes.

    I was all in for a college plagued with vampires and a f/f romance including a vampire. The writing, however, basically cut short any hope of me loving it. It felt super juvenile and if this wasn't such a quick read this probably would have been a DNF for me. My biggest issue besides the writing feeling juvenile is that there was also barely any descriptions. Like, you're writing a story about a creepy old college

    I

    wanted to like this one, but unfortunately this was just a big ol' Yikes.

    I was all in for a college plagued with vampires and a f/f romance including a vampire. The writing, however, basically cut short any hope of me loving it. It felt super juvenile and if this wasn't such a quick read this probably would have been a DNF for me. My biggest issue besides the writing feeling juvenile is that there was also barely any descriptions. Like, you're writing a story about a creepy old college you could have a field day with setting this story up...but nope. There was so much potential to take what the web series of this gave and build from there but majority of this was dialogue and everything was paced wayyyyy too fast.

    Another issue I had with this was that there is a character that identifies as they/them and the book used she/her multiple times...so just yikes. I hope someone caught that for the final copy.

    All in all, while the plot had

    potential, this basically fell short everywhere else.

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  • ☙ percy ❧

    CAUTION: this is going to be an EPIC RANT of a review so buckle up buttercup for this SALT EXTRAVAGANZA!! (and an overuse of capitals and exclamation points.)

    I expected a deliciously gothic, sapphic vampire novel. Instead I got something that bombed harder than the Tsar fucking Bomba.

    There are no characters here, only caricatures. The writing was so horrendously juvenile, and the characters more so, making it seem like they were freshmen to kindergarten rather than university. It genuinely rea

    CAUTION: this is going to be an EPIC RANT of a review so buckle up buttercup for this SALT EXTRAVAGANZA!! (and an overuse of capitals and exclamation points.)

    I expected a deliciously gothic, sapphic vampire novel. Instead I got something that bombed harder than the Tsar fucking Bomba.

    There are no characters here, only caricatures. The writing was so horrendously juvenile, and the characters more so, making it seem like they were freshmen to kindergarten rather than university. It genuinely read like a 15 year old trying to write about what uni life would be like, I kid you not.

    By a mere 10% in, I was so irritated that I went into Nitpick Mode, in which things I wouldn't mind in an otherwise good book annoy the everloving fuck out of me. Usually I wouldn't have continued reading, except that this was a Netgalley book and it wasn't very long. Of course, I didn't need to go into Nitpick Mode, because there were so many glaringly obvious flaws that essentially slapped me across the face.

    I honestly do not know where to start with all the things that annoyed me about this book. Perhaps some of the "legends" of Silas University, such as students being digitized in the library - a.k.a. something ripped straight out of Doctor Who? Was it that somebody was described as "kinda PTSD"? Was it that Laura was so outrageously judgy it made me want to stab myself in the eye?

    Carmilla is presented at first as The Roommate from Hell, Laura once saying "after everything she's put me through". Bitch!! What did she do?? She was sarcastic to you and ate your cookies! For the love of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the entire Communion of Saints, GET OVER YOURSELF! You're in university, not elementary school!

    An (incomplete, otherwise I'll bore you out of your skull) list of other things that annoyed me:

    - LaFontaine, a genderqueer character who goes by they/them pronouns, is misgendered IN THE NARRATIVE. Ultimate fucking YIKES that nobody spotted that.

    - When the Dean, a.k.a cookie-cutter cartoon supervillain appears, LaFontaine (and everyone else) is terrified of her but then calls her "Your Disapprovingness" to her FACE? Why the fuck would they do that!! That's not realistic!

    - It's at like 40% before they decide Fo Realz that she's a vampire. WE KNOW SHE'S A VAMPIRE!!!!!!!!!!!

    - Laura has some stupid fucking vlog documenting her search for Betty in which she literally says she suspects Carmilla and she's going to spy on her. First of all, if Carmilla WAS the culprit, then she'd OBVIOUSLY be watching the vlog to see if Laura was getting close. Did Sherlock Holmes have a vlog in which he was like, "Hey, I'm pretty sure this Moriarty dude is the guy behind everything, but I'm not quite sure yet so I'm going to spy on him. Stay tuned!" i want to d i e

    - WHY DOES EVERYONE KEEP THROWING FISH?

    - What the entire fuck was that scene were LaFontaine just fucking decked a professor over a disagreement about the Illuminati? It wasn't even a distraction for anything (I don't think). Literally, what the hell was that??

    - What the HELL were the sentient fucking INDEX CARDS that attacked them in the library? I know the original show was supposed to have a comedic slant, so maybe that's why, but none of this read like comedy or satire, it just read like a 14 year old writing their first fanfiction on ff.net without having anybody beta read it.

    - When Carmilla was telling her Super Serious Story about her past and Laura just fucking??? Gets sock puppets??? WHAT. THE. ACTUAL.

    I am. I am genuinely, actually flabbergasted that this got published. It's an absolute joke. It's like if someone edited My Immortal to get rid of the spelling and grammar mistakes. I am legitimately - I am just done. I am amazed. I am - and I mean this in a way I have never meant it before - SHOOKETH. To my core.

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