Parasite Life

by Victoria Dalpe | :: Jump to Buy Links ::

Every town has that house in it. Its yard overgrown. Its paint peeling. Its windows blocked by years of accumulated junk. The kind of house that the sun never seems to hit. The one kids whisper about. The one adults shake their head at when they walk by.

Jane knows that house all too well—she’s lived inside it her whole seventeen years, caring for an invalid mother with a strange wasting disease. That house represents the unchanging pain of Jane’s young life.

Then a fun, vivacious, new girl shows up in Jane’s class. To Jane’s surprise, Sabrina wants to be her friend. As their relationship grows, she pushes Jane to unearth the mysteries of her mother’s past and the shadowy history of her missing father. Will Jane be able to face her monstrous lineage . . . and the cost of her dark life?

ISBN: 9781771484466
eISBN: 9781771483988


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Praise for Victoria Dalpe

Parasite Life, the debut YA novel from Victoria Dalpe, was the most intense and unsettling teen novel I had read for quite some time. . . . I highly recommend this outstanding vampire novel which could be read by anybody, not just moody teenagers with a 1980s goth fixation.”
The Ginger Nuts of Horror

“I loved this story. I loved the dark themes, the conflicted characters, as well as the intoxicating relationships that stem from two creatures. From a mother’s love, to the manipulation of lust and affection, Dalpe wields that darkness like a brush, as she dyes the otherwise tragic beauty of romance into black. I would rate this book a 5.0 out of 5.0 stars, and would recommend it to fantasy and paranormal romance lovers in general.”
Horror Novel Reviews

“My favorite thing about Parasite Life is that, even though on the surface it is about the solitary life of a monster, it deeply explores the convoluted nature of human relationships. It points out the selfish aspects of love that can be hard to face, and it prompts the reader to examine their own motives when interacting with others. Family, dating, love, sex, and so many other kinds of relationships are complicated and confusing, and this novel takes them seriously and encourages readers to do so, too. . . . Rating: 4/5.”
—Carla Reviews Books

“Overall, I very much enjoyed Parasite Life. It held a good emotional narrative that kept me sucked in. Watching Jane evolve and struggle internally with the beast inside her was interesting to watch. Even the relationships felt natural and refreshing. . . . I would definitely recommend this book to any horror or emotional drama fan.”
—Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight

“Victoria Dalpe’s stellar debut novel suggests that sometimes you consume the ones you love. The prose is tough and unsentimental, yet evocative in its depiction of the cancerous nature of abuse. Parasite Life battens down on you—insidious and predatory.”
—Laird Barron, author of Blood Standard

“How do you breathe new life into the YA vampire novel? If you’re Victoria Dalpe, you do it by wrapping a refreshingly humanistic interior and an incredibly compelling narrative voice in the Gothic, primal, atavistic horror that made the children of the night sing to us in the first place.”
—Orrin Grey, author of Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts

“All relationships are parasitic. That’s never been truer than in Parasite Life. A visceral and tempestuous ride through a genuine teen hell, Parasite Life is a beautifully written, gothic tale about that give-and-give-and-take in all kinds of love—familial and romantic—that slowly drain us dry even as they feed us. In Parasite Life, Dalpe tells a fine damned story.”
—Susie Moloney, author of A Dry Spell, The Dwelling, and Things Withered: Stories

“A dark and stormy read! Parasite Life is the kind of book that makes you want to lock the doors and draw the curtains just so you won’t be interrupted. Victoria Dalpe is such a charming woman that it’s surprising to realize she has such a dark and macabre imagination—a classic tale whose Gothic roots run deep throughout the story.”
—Adrianne Ambrose, author of Fangs for Nothing, Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice, and the “Betty and Veronica” Archie Comics

“In Victoria Dalpe’s compelling debut, seventeen-year-old Jane DeVry shares a house in a small New Hampshire town with a mother suffering from a mysterious condition whose symptoms include mysterious wounds and sudden bouts of screaming. When the friendship of a new student at school awakens new desires in her, Jane sets out to learn who she is, beginning an odyssey that takes her first into her mother’s old journal, and then to the art scene in contemporary Manhattan, in search of a father she has never known. Smart, gripping, and possessed of real emotional depth, Parasite Life invokes the traditions of the Gothic while taking the form boldly into the twenty-first century.”
—John Langan, author of The Fisherman

“Already trapped in a claustrophobic life which forces her to play caretaker to her own mentally ill mother, teenaged Jane is finally forced to confront the secrets and lies which surround her when her “attraction to Sabrina, a new girl at school, awakens hungers too violent to ignore. Victoria Dalpe’s Parasite Life is a coolly sensual slice of darkness that reads like Anne Rice for the post-Twilight age.”
—Gemma Files, Shirley Jackson and Sunburst Award-winning author of Experimental Film

Parasite Life is a totally unique spin on the vampire genre. This dark and blood-soaked coming of age tale haunts and intrigues as the secrets of Jane’s past are revealed.”
—Abby Denson, author of Cool Japan Guide and Dolltopia

“Sensual, moving, and sometimes grim, Parasite Life explores the tough questions: what would you do for love? What would you do for need? And who would you betray to survive?”
—Nancy Baker, author of Cold Hillside and A Terrible Beauty

“Visceral but polished, grim but lush, and ultimately optimistic. A coming-of-age story in more ways than one.”
—E.L. Chen, author of The Good Brother


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