“Buckle up, Creampuff.” Welcome to the Q&A article of our Nerds and Beyond Book Club! This month, we read Carmilla by Kim Turrisi, the supernatural LGBTQ+ mysterious and magical adventure and love story between Laura and Carmilla at Silas University.
Laura is a freshman in the journalism program at Silas University in Styria, Austria. Her original roommate Betty goes missing, but she seems to be the only one that wants to solve it. She gets a new roommate named Carmilla that adds to all the mystery happening around the university. What is a girl to do when people go missing, and your new roommate turns out to be a vampire, and you fall for each other?
We had our Book Club answer some questions after reading the book! Here’s what they had to say after reading.
What was your initial reaction when reading Carmilla?
Nicole (@nicmanz15): My initial reaction when reading Carmilla was where was it when I was in my YA vampire novel phase in high school?! I really enjoyed this novel, and it kept me guessing the entire time! I loved that it wasn’t the cliché of “girl meets vampire boy in high school.” Instead, it was Lesbian Vampires in college!
Julia (@jahooliaa): I was a little skeptical at first because of the vampire aspect, but I ended up liking the way it was approached. It wasn’t overloaded with vampire clichés, and that made reading much more enjoyable for me. I also thought the mystery/supernatural aspects to it were really cool.
Sarah (@WyldeFandom): It brought back nostalgic feelings from when I would watch the web series. Laura and the mysteries at her school are very Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Three of my favorite things. When I first saw that there was going to be a book, I was nervous it would take away from the shows. But it didn’t. It is beautifully in-sync adaptation that any fan would enjoy.
What is your favorite quote/passage?
Nicole (@nicmanz15): My favorite quote is something LaFontaine said towards the end of the novel: “You can’t make the world conform to your comfort level. It doesn’t work that way.”
Julia (@jahooliaa): “I do not want to be Susan anymore! My name isn’t Susan. It’s LaFontaine. As a reminder, I do not identify as male or female. I insist you treat me as such.”
Sarah (@WyldeFandom): There are so many that are wonderful. The two mentioned above are among them. This one made me chuckle, “That’s insane. There’s no such thing as a vampire. This is all Stephanie Meyer’s fault. We could call Student Health Services. They’re loaded up with meds. We can’t keep her here. Can we?” and the final line of the book, “Here we go again. Why can’t we just have a nice vampire-normal girl relationship?”
What is your favorite moment of Carmilla and Laura’s relationship?
Nicole (@nicmanz15): My favorite moment of Carmilla and Laura’s relationship was the ‘Chez Vampire’ scene when Carmilla made Laura a fancy dinner with the romantic atmosphere of music, lights, and champagne! I thought it was really sweet, and it was the first time I was truly on board with them being a couple.
Julia (@jahooliaa): I really like the chapter when Carmilla opened up to Laura about everything that was happening at Silas and why. I liked that she felt she could trust Laura enough to do that, and it showed she actually had a vulnerable side to her, despite the coldness she initially treated Laura and the others with.
Sarah (@WyldeFandom): In the last few chapters when Laura thinks that Carmilla is gone. You see how much she really means to her. Plus, it leads to a sweet, almost hallmark reunion. You see how much they mean to each other.
Did reading the novel make you want to go (re)watch the web series or movie?
Nicole (@nicmanz15): Yes!! I can’t wait to watch it all!
Julia (@jahooliaa): Yes, it did. I actually started watching the series after I was about halfway through the book. I will definitely keep watching!
Sarah (@WyldeFandom): I ended up going back and watching the web series again. It had been a while since I had seen it. I haven’t seen the movie yet but will be soon for sure. I also hope that they do another convention like they did this year in Toronto.
Kim Turrisi wrote this excellent YA novel. She grew up in a military family (Air Force), and graduated from Florida State University. When writing for a specific character, part of her process includes listening to a playlist she created for that character. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and her website.
If you would like to watch the web series that started it all, you can watch it on YouTube.