Monday, May 21, 2012

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

(Sookie Stackhouse series, book 1)
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of “disability.” She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He’s tall, dark, handsome – and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life…
But Bill has a disability of his own: He’s a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of – big surprise – murder. And when one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next…

I have a confession to make…I started reading this series after I was hooked on the first season of True Blood. Now, reading a book after I’ve seen the movie/TV show adaptation is one of my bugaboos, but I just had to know what happened next and I didn’t want to wait until the second season. Some people don’t understand why I don’t like to read a book after I’ve seen the movie/TV adaptation, and I always give the same answer; I can’t use my imagination as much. I visualize the characters, places, etc. that I already saw on the screen; I don’t get to create the images in my head first and then compare them once they’ve been brought to life. Anyway, back to the book review!

Vampires have come out of the coffin, and are now part of mainstream society. Well, most of them anyway. One night when Sookie, a telepathic waitress, is working her shift at Merlotte’s, a handsome vampire named Bill wanders in and sits in her section. After rescuing him from drainers in the bar parking lot, Sookie realizes that Bill’s mind is quiet; she can’t hear vampires’ thoughts. This heightens her attraction to him considering her dating life up until Bill has been a disaster. Honestly, if I was telepathic, I wouldn’t want to go on dates either! It would be kind of crushing to hear a guy’s thoughts if they were thinking negative things about you while you’re sitting across the table from them on a date. Or even know if they were thinking awful things about you while you're sleeping together! Talk about a blow to your ego!

Sookie and Bill continue to further their relationship, and he introduces her to some fellow vampires in Bon Temps, the main two being Eric and Pam who both work at Fangtasia, a hot vampire nightclub and tourist hot spot in Shreveport. Well, it was time to throw a wrench in their plans of a perfect vampire/human relationship. Not only does Eric have his eye on Sookie and the idea of using her “disability” to his advantage, but now a serial killer is on the loose in Louisiana and is targeting young women who we find out are all “fangbangers.” I’m sure you can guess what that means, but in case not, a fangbanger is a human who has sex with vampires. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the police seem to think the killer is Sookie's womanizing brother, Jason. In an attempt to free her brother and clear his name, Sookie is determined to find out just who is killing these women and keep her relationship with Bill intact at the same time.

This was my favorite book in the Sookie Stackhouse series so far, and I’m up to book 11 as of right now. Dead Until Dark is wonderfully written, and flows between the different storylines flawlessly; I couldn’t put this book down! The serial killer twist had me constantly on my toes, and I was SO shocked when I finally found out who was killing these girls! I also love Sookie’s personality. She’s stubborn, feisty, outspoken, and her telepathy adds to the intrigue of her character. And where do I begin with Bill?! He just seems like the perfect Southern gentleman…you know, besides the whole being-a-vampire-and-drinking-people’s-blood thing. After I finished this book, I was so thirsty to see where Bill and Sookie took their relationship in the second book of the series. (See what I did there? I was thirsty…get it? The book is about vampi…oh, forget it.)

I’ve kind of fallen into the vampire craze, and I can say that I 100 percent prefer the Sookie Stackhouse series over Twilight…although I didn’t think very highly of Twilight in general. The vampires in Charlaine Harris’s are more traditional; they sleep in coffins underground, they will burn if they go outside in the sun, you can kill them using a stake, etc. It’s not like Twilight where they sparkle in sunlight. I mean…really?? Sparkling vampires? Yeah, okay.  ANYWAY, the Sookie Stackhouse series is an adult book series and does involve sex scenes but it’s nothing too graphic. For anyone interested in vampire fiction, I would highly recommend Dead Until Dark

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