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review 2014-06-28 05:30
REVIEW - Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

First thing I must mention is that, if you’ve watched season 1 of True Blood on HBO before reading this, heads up it’s pretty much exactly the same. I had a really hard time actually making a dent in the book because of this. Once you get past this book and season 1, True Blood becomes an AU compared to the books (the further you get into the seasons of True Blood, the further away it strays from the story line in the books).

Dead Until Dark is the first installment in the long thirteen book series, none including the novellas, The Southern Vampire Mysteries, or more affectionately know as the Sookie Stackhouse Series. With the novellas, this series goes from thirteen to thirty three, with some novellas have multiple stories from multiple authors, and others surrounding only Sookie written by Charlaine Harris. The entire series is told from the point of view of the main character, Sookie Stackhouse.

Dead Until Dark introduces our lovely heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, whom you follow on all the crazy things that happen on the little town Bon Temps (french for Good Times) Louisiana. Sookie, a young adult, isn’t your average human. She’s telepathic, she can read minds of everyone but vampires. Strangely enough, after her first encounter with Bon Temps very own, Vampire Bill, Sookie learns that she doesn’t hear a sound coming from his mind, that it’s so silent, it’s like she’s finally become normal. Only one year prior, vampires had ‘come out of the coffin’, which was the term used for the undead admitting their existence to the public all around the world. Through Sookie’s journey of meeting vampires and coping with her telepathy, you’ll see her fall in love with one of the undead, have one to many near death experiences, while she struggles to clear her brother’s name, lose one of her closest family members, and try to keep herself alive while staying out of the path of the local serial killer, who’s after women involved with vampires. 

As I mentioned above, it took me quite a while to make a dent in this novel, mainly because of it’s similarities to the show. Before I had finally read this novel, I had picked it up & put it down multiple times, always more interested in watching the TV show, which I had on DVD, rather then reading the book, they where just too similar.
I’ll admit, it took my whole two weeks of christmas break to read this novel, but once I had finished, I realized just how much I did enjoy the story, in the end. I didn’t give it the highest of ratings, a 3 out of 5 stars, because of how long it took me to start enjoying the novel.
Had it not been for the fact that I had purchase the seven book box set, I most likely would have only continued on watching the show and not reading the books. Thankfully, I did have a physical copy of the next six books, and enjoyed every last bit of them.
To this date, I’ve read books one through eleven, and I can honestly say that this series is one of my all time favorites. Before this novel, I had never read an ‘adult fiction’ book, but I must say, even though I’m a YA lover all the way, I do now enjoy Adult Fiction just as much, thanks to this series.

Stay tuned for the next review in this series, book two Living Dead in Dallas.

xoxo – J

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review 2014-06-28 05:26
REVIEW - Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

First thing I must mention is that, if you’ve watched season 1 of True Blood on HBO before reading this, heads up it’s pretty much exactly the same. I had a really hard time actually making a dent in the book because of this. Once you get past this book and season 1, True Blood becomes an AU compared to the books (the further you get into the seasons of True Blood, the further away it strays from the story line in the books).

Dead Until Dark is the first installment in the long thirteen book series, none including the novellas, The Southern Vampire Mysteries, or more affectionately know as the Sookie Stackhouse Series. With the novellas, this series goes from thirteen to thirty three, with some novellas have multiple stories from multiple authors, and others surrounding only Sookie written by Charlaine Harris. The entire series is told from the point of view of the main character, Sookie Stackhouse.

Dead Until Dark introduces our lovely heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, whom you follow on all the crazy things that happen on the little town Bon Temps (french for Good Times) Louisiana. Sookie, a young adult, isn’t your average human. She’s telepathic, she can read minds of everyone but vampires. Strangely enough, after her first encounter with Bon Temps very own, Vampire Bill, Sookie learns that she doesn’t hear a sound coming from his mind, that it’s so silent, it’s like she’s finally become normal. Only one year prior, vampires had ‘come out of the coffin’, which was the term used for the undead admitting their existence to the public all around the world. Through Sookie’s journey of meeting vampires and coping with her telepathy, you’ll see her fall in love with one of the undead, have one to many near death experiences, while she struggles to clear her brother’s name, lose one of her closest family members, and try to keep herself alive while staying out of the path of the local serial killer, who’s after women involved with vampires. 

As I mentioned above, it took me quite a while to make a dent in this novel, mainly because of it’s similarities to the show. Before I had finally read this novel, I had picked it up & put it down multiple times, always more interested in watching the TV show, which I had on DVD, rather then reading the book, they where just too similar.
I’ll admit, it took my whole two weeks of christmas break to read this novel, but once I had finished, I realized just how much I did enjoy the story, in the end. I didn’t give it the highest of ratings, a 3 out of 5 stars, because of how long it took me to start enjoying the novel.
Had it not been for the fact that I had purchase the seven book box set, I most likely would have only continued on watching the show and not reading the books. Thankfully, I did have a physical copy of the next six books, and enjoyed every last bit of them.
To this date, I’ve read books one through eleven, and I can honestly say that this series is one of my all time favorites. Before this novel, I had never read an ‘adult fiction’ book, but I must say, even though I’m a YA lover all the way, I do now enjoy Adult Fiction just as much, thanks to this series.

Stay tuned for the next review in this series, book two Living Dead in Dallas.

xoxo – J

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review 2013-10-29 21:44
“My gran had always told me that a woman--any woman worth her salt--could do whatever she had to.”
Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4) Publisher: Ace - Charlaine (Author); Harris

Sookie and Bill have called it quits on their on-again, off-again relationship, but that doesn't mean Sookie's life has gotten any easier. Bill still lives nearby; plus, Sookie finds a memory-wiped Eric on the road one day as she's driving home from work. Apparently, a coven of witches led by Hallow tried to extort money from Eric and took his memory. Also, Jason, Sookie's brother, is missing. Can Sookie defeat the witches, retrieve Eric's memory AND find her brother?

These books are pure guilty pleasure, like eating cotton candy at the fair or ice cream on a hot day. They aren't very substantial, ground-breaking or earth-shattering, but they are fun. Reading about Sookie's life, hearing the humorous way she faces the most extraordinary circumstances are what make these books so much fun. Oh, and the deliciously, devilish Eric, with his offbeat personality!

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text 2013-10-19 11:52
30 Day Book Challenge Day 15, Day 16
The Stand - Stephen King
The Awakening - L.J. Smith
Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris
Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4) Publisher: Ace - Charlaine (Author); Harris
Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 5) - Charlaine Harris

"Favourite Male Character". "Favourite Female Character" 

 

Fell a little behind on this challenge, so catch up time. 

 

First one that comes to mind for me is Randall Flagg from Stephen King's The Stand. The Walking Dude. The Dark Man. I thought about all the hot guys from all the YA books, urban fantasy and paranormal romances I've read over the years, but Randall Flagg's name is the one that pops up to me immediately.

 

One of my favourite King villains because he's one of the scariest. I don't think he's actually the Devil himself, he's the Devil's right hand man, the evil in the epic battle of darkness vs light in the Stand. Flagg is the opposite of everything good, he's leading the bad guys but the scary thing is you never quite know what his plan actually is, (other than scaring the living shit out of the reader) even his own followers are afraid of what he represents. He manages to get them to do the majority of the dirty work in his name.  

 

Flagg for me in a morbid sort of way is as fascinating as he is terrifying which makes him my top male literature character.

 

And an honourable mention goes to Damon Salvatore from the first three Vampire Diaries books as he was the first book bad boy I loved. I read the Vampire Diaries books when I was about 14/15 and loved them to pieces, and 15 years later, I still love them. Which also ties into Elena Gilbert being one of my first favourite female characters. In the books she's described as 'cool blonde and slender, the fashion trendsetter'.  She was everything at 15 that I wanted to be. Her friends were awesome, she lived in a cool town steeped in Civil War history, and had two gorgeous vampire brothers fighting over her love. And the end of the third book was a total heartbreaker. (Where the series should have ended and stayed ended) leaving Elena as a teen book heroine with an awesome legend. 

 

And my other top female character is Sookie Stackhouse. Book Sookie is quirky and charming and very easy to identify with.  And with her mind reading ability its easy to see how she tries to keep a low profile and why she's attracted to the vampires who come into her life. Even though the drama takes off right away and a whole world of paranormal creatures comes into being.

 

Sookie still tries to maintain something of a normal life, a normal job, and some of the books go on to mention every day things. Another reason I love her so much, she doesn't let the paranormal craziness completely consume her. She has values and principles as well and doesn't tend to get a swelled head about how these creatures are constantly coming to her door. I love her voice and her character.

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review 2013-10-11 20:50
Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4) First Thus edition
Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Myst... Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4) First Thus edition - Charlaine Harris I love Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries. Sookie Stackhouse is down-to-earth and no nonsense and Harris creates such an engaging voice for her. And for someone like me, who likes a blend of genres, well this series is a fusion of romance, mystery, fantasy and humor. This is the fourth in the series, and you should really read the others first. At the beginning of this novel, Sookie finds the vampire Eric Northman, naked and stripped not just of his clothes but his memory. This brings a very different Eric to the fore, and as the summary in the back of the book states, the vampires, weres and witches aren't as great a danger as this Eric is "to Sookie's heart--because this version of Eric is very difficult to resist..." And that, in a nutshell, is what makes this book in the series my favorite to date and made me an Eric fan and initiates a tension between Eric and Bill as rivals to Sookie's heart (and the readers) from here on end. It's not just that romantic strand though which stands out in these books. I think one of the things that keeps me coming back to this series is all the recurring minor characters that create a sense of the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana as a community. There's this small moment toward the end of the book that encapsulates it for me. Sookie is a telepath and knows more of the secrets of this community than anyone--including Sookie--really wants to know. Two very minor characters that reappear from time to time are Kevin and Kenya. Kevin is white and Kenya black. And Sookie knows something they don't--that they both are in love with the other, but both their families would fiercely oppose an interracial union. It's a very small moment, a paragraph or two, but an example of how Harris bonds me to even characters with very short moments in these books--let alone major ones like the vampires Bill, Eric and Pam or Sookie's boss and friend Sam and her brother Jason.
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