After Years of Saying I Would, I Finally Began the Sookie Stackhouse Novels and Regret Nothing | Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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Already familiar with Charlaine Harris' characters, via its television adaptation True Blood, and fed up with 2020's general tone, I decided now was as good a time as any to begin this series. And, spoiler alert? It's just as fun and trashy as the show.

I'm going to be real with you guys, though! It was almost overwhelming figuring out what series title to call the Sookie Stackhouse novels by. I sat down for a good half hour asking myself, "Should I call it True Blood? Should I call it the Sookie Stackhouse series? Southern Vampire Mysteries?" I mean, really, we're lucky my head didn't explode in confusion.

Dead Until Dark
by Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out....

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Rating: ★★★★☆

Well, I finally did it! After loving True Blood for so many years, and recently rewatching the series at a record pace, I decided to bite the bullet and finally start in the books that inspired the show. I wanted to see how it deviated from the source material up close and personal. Plus, I genuinely missed the world and its characters.

Er. Minus Bill Compton. Turns out, I just really hate him through and through.

First thing you need to know: I quite literally devoured Dead Until Dark. Second thing: it truly is as addictive, fun, and trashy, as the television series. Charlaine Harris knows how to compel her readers into some bloody southern charm and coax them into coming out of the coffin.

While Dead Until Dark has its fair share of cringy, cheesy moments, it still proves to be wildly fun--I could not put it down. 

Part of me was surprised to see just how closely the HBO series' first season followed book one. It may not be an exact adaptation, but it's clear that the first season really stuck to Harris' essence and built onto it. The biggest deviations being the fact that Tara isn't around for book one. I found that I really like the character of Sookie more in the book, rather than the show, but characters like Sam, Jason, Arlene and Lafayette I appreciate more in the television series.

(Incidentally, I'm actually already not opposed to the endgame that I've heard the books reach in terms of romantic entanglements. Yet.)

Dead Until Dark has this cozy, steamy, quality to it, that makes it easy to slip into. It was equal parts cozy and fiery. While it's not a necessarily groundbreaking series, and has weak points I'm not keen on (see: she let out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding, the way dark skin is described), it's still a complete blast. The perfect summer reading material, especially now that we're living in a pandemic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! And, yes, I did already start--and finish--the second installment. It's that kind of addicting.

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