I am a fan of a vampire story and I have been for as long as I can remember. My earliest attempt at vampire literature was “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” when I was about 12 years old. This book scared the wits out of me, but I was hooked. In my 20s I got into the Anne Rice “Vampire Chronicles” and fell in love with Lestat! A couple of summers ago, I found myself caught up with grown women and tweens alike when I fell in love with Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series of books. So – when a friend suggested that I read this book for my project, I was all about it. I have never been afraid to suspend my disbelief – and suspend it I did so that I could immerse myself into this novel.
This is the first in a series of books also known as the “Sookie Stackhouse” series. There is a very popular TV show on HBO that is based on these books as well, “True Blood”. I will admit that I did not jump on the band wagon when the show debuted and I still am not a viewer. If there is source material in the form of a book out in the world, I really try to check it out before I get another impression from a different medium. This book follows Sookie, a waitress/bar maid in the small town of Bon Temps, LA. Vampires have been “accepted” as part of society in these United States and it seems that quite a few of them are bound and determined to fit into mainstream society. Sookie makes the acquaintance of one such vampire, Bill Compton. Bill is nearly 140 years old and has been “dead” since 5 years after the Civil War. These two strike up an unlikely romance in this very prejudiced Southern town.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that it was just a tween romance that you could get swept up in. This book touched on how whites treated blacks, how vampires were vilified even after the government gave them rights to be an active part of society, it was a murder mystery and there were some great laugh out loud moments as when Sookie obtains a bodyguard called Bubba who it turns out is Elvis Presley (though the author never says his name – that would make Bubba upset)!
Stronger language and violence than the Twilight series (this precedes those books by 7 years or so) it is a captivating read and similar to Lays Potato Chips – it is going to be hard to “eat” just one.