I love getting emails asking if I’m interested in reviewing a book. It allows me to find books that I might not have stumbled across. Big Bad Me is one of those. I was a big fan of the paranormal fantasy craze in the 2000s and I was so glad to find a new book harking back to this craze.
In Big Bad Me, we follow sisters Evie and Katie Wilder, whose mum has recently disappeared. After a strange man tries to attack Evie, she realises she’s actually a werewolf. The two sisters run away looking for their mum and wind up in a guesthouse in the town their mum was last seen. He’s dorky hot, but there’s something strange about him, and when animal attacks are reported in town, he and the sisters look into what’s going on.
As I said, this book harks back to 2000s YA, and I had so much fun with it. Like the books back then, it was a little ridiculous. But I enjoyed it so much. Evie is a werewolf who is just discovering who she is. She’s used to the paranormal being on TV, so when she starts transforming, she’s shocked and sometimes loses control. But she’s not the only creature hiding in the dark, and there winds up being a battle between werewolves and vampires.
World-building is important in paranormal fantasy. You need to be able to believe that these fantastical creatures could live in our world. And O’Loughlin does that. It was clearly our world and felt like a contemporary story in places and a fantasy in others. There was plenty of action but some romance as well. It can be difficult to blend these genres, but this book does that oh so well.
This was such an easy read, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was going to be funny, I knew there would be some romance, and I hoped I’d like the characters. And I was right. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that this book was queer as well. Katie is into girls, and there’s a sapphic side relationship there. One that has a happy ending at that.
The characters were pretty entertaining. Kevin was definitely entertaining, and I really liked him and Evie together. They had some fun banter, and I liked how they challenged each other. There were also some fun side characters, and the villain is a character you’ll love to hate.
Something else I really liked was actually related to the formatting. The pages sometimes have illustrations with claw marks and blood stains on them. It made the book fun to look at. The font is also pretty big, so though the book feels kind of hefty, it won’t take long to get through. It’ll be a good book to get through this Halloween, for sure.
I really enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely recommend it to others. The ending feels a little quick and a little convenient, but you like the characters enough that it doesn’t really matter. You’re just enjoying where the story has taken you. There could definitely be more books where we’re following the characters’ future adventures and meeting more supernatural creatures. But this book also had a good ending for a standalone, so I’m happy either way.
If you love found family, campy vampire/werewolf stories, and sapphic rep, this book will be for you.
Title: Big Bad Me
Author: Aislinn O’Loughlin
Age Range: Young Adult
Publisher: Little Island
Release Date: 3/10/2022