August 25, 2009

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I admit it. I read the Twilight series, all of them, in about a week because I was hopelessly addicted. I wanted to hate them because my 12 year female students were absolutely obsessed and I was convinced that my literary tastes were far more evolved and there would be no way I could even get into such juvenile writing. Well, lo and behold. I read them and enjoyed them.

Let's be clear. Dead Until Dark is nothing like Twilight. Sure, there are vampires in both, but that's right about where the similarities end. I picked up the first of this series based solely on the fact that I became hopelessly addicted to the HBO series "True Blood," which is based on Harris's series. This is probably the first time I will actually say that I preferred the TV version.

Dead Until Dark is about Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse, a quirky, likeable woman who has a "disability:" she can read minds. Along comes Bill Compton, a vampire who takes a certain liking to Sookie and who she is immediately drawn to because his mind is, for one reason or another, closed to her. The first book in the series deals with the initial stages of their romantic relationship and the mystery of who is murdering the women of the small town of Bon Temps who are known to be "fang-bangers."

I enjoyed reading this book, as one might shamelessly enjoy an Arbor Mist while everyone else is drinking Pinot Noir. The writing is far from literary genius, the dialogue can be a bit goofy, and the plot takes some strange jumps at times, but it's a good fluff book if you're looking to be entertained. I will probably continue with reading the rest of the series simply because I had to cancel my HBO to bring my cable bill down, but I'll still rent True Blood when it comes out on DVD to get the racier, edgier version of this story.

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