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The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

“It used to be you’d only see bumper stickers for the Gamecocks, or Clemson, or the Citadel. Now you’ve got people driving around with Alabama and UVA stickers. Any one of them could be a serial killer for all we know.”

Summary

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Read on my Kindle

Horror, Supernatural, Fantasy, Vampires

3/5 stars

Pair with a deep, full bodied red wine such as a Merlot

Review

I thought this book was a really fun read, but it didn’t blow me away like I expected from reading other reviews. The characters weren’t particularly likable, and the writing style wasn’t one of those that really reeled me in. That said, I definitely scare easily and reading this book in the dark before bed didn’t lead to the most restful nights. Incidentally, I finished the book after waking up in the broad daylight (the only time I read the book during the day) and found that to be much easier.

I really felt that something was lacking in the cohesiveness surrounding the women’s relationships with each other. Patricia Campbell is the center of the novel. Everything revolves around her, but there’s just no clear reason as to why. It could just have easily been any of the other women in the book club. I suspect that her job as a nurse and her husband, a psychiatrist were what decided that for the author. But really, any good Southern housewife would have done just as well, and I think that’s part of what made me feel like something was missing.

On the other hand, the plot was great and fun. I’m a mystery/thriller lover so it threw me off a little that we knew who the “bad guy” was all along- but I also found that useful in order to keep reading. The fact that only two people pegged him from the beginning certainly made the book more dynamic and carried the story all the way to the end. And oh! The end! I don’t know how I feel about the ending. Did it provide closure? Absolutely. But there’s something about it that feels way too “tidy” about a vampire novel. I feel like another time skip with more of the character’s stories followed maybe would have helped with this. But I’m also just in a mood with book endings, so don’t mind me there.

I definitely see where all the hype came from for this book, and I think it’s a good read for people interested from the description: “Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.”

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