Matt is 20, a college sophomore living in Chicago, when he strikes up an online acquaintance with another man. They agree to meet for sex—Matt’s first time. He’s really enjoying it when his partner inexplicably bites his neck and starts drinking his blood. A lot. And Matt instinctively returns the favor.
Waking a few days later, Matt is informed by his partner, Silas, that he’s now a vampire. Silas had intended to devour Matt, but Matt is infected with the vampire virus because he drank Silas’ blood. Silas, being a half-decent sire, provides Matt with his own handwritten journal about how to be a vampire—The Basics of Being a Bloodsucker. As Matt reads this guidebook, so do we as readers. And, we all learn along with Matt about how different real vampires are from the “lore.”
Matt’s a bit infatuated by Silas, but Silas makes it clear he’s a lone wolf of a vampirekind, and while he’ll teach Matt how to live his new unlife, he isn’t going to find an eternal partnership together.
Matt isn’t super happy about all of this, but he goies about completing his degree and getting a job. His lack of aging won’t go without comment too much longer, however, and he’s required to fake his death and move on. We follow the rest of Matt’s journey through aliases and disastrous liaisons. He falls for a decent man, with whom he cannot spend his unlife, because that man doesn’t want to be a bloodsucker if it means killing people. Spoiler, it does. He inadvertently turns a power hungry sociopath, and must manage that issue.
The decades pass and Matt continues to rendezvous with Silas. One of these encounters brings hope for a cure to vampirism. Matt is eager to investigate this claim, because he’s been wholly unsatisfied with his unlife. Are they willing to take the step back into humanity together?
Everyday Vampire isn’t a romance, it’s a journey story for Matt, as we tag along on his misadventures in vampirism. The interludes, where we read the journal, are giant dumps of information without moving Matt’s story forward. So that was a pacing problem, for me. Sure, it’s good information, but it could have been delivered with character in context, and Matt’s reactions are almost always muted following these readings. Matt is a man who desperately wants love, affection, and companionship, and he’s unwittingly doomed to a solitary and violent life as a vampire. He’s only ever bonded with Silas, who only wants to be around Matt for short periods. It’s sad and lonely, and the hope of returning to a human state to find a man who will love him and raise a family together is more tempting than Matt can bear.
The end is happy for Matt; he does get everything he wants out of living. It was frustrating as a reader to go through so much of Matt’s trials and not really get to experience the sweetness of his triumphs. I wished to have spent more time with he and his husband than with Silas’ journal. Also, the cover was misleading, to me, because I pretty much expected a ménage story and that isn’t at all what happens here. In all, it’s a new take on vampires, but the sad themes and slow pacing weren’t a hit for me. I liked Matt, and I was cheering for him, and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to actively experience his happiness.