Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book 28: Dead Ever After

"I'd never imagined feeling this way, but I couldn't handle this emotional jerking around. I'd start to feel okay, then I'd get poked in the sore spot, like taking a scab off my knee when I was a kid. In books, the hero was gone after the big blowup. He didn't stick around in the vicinity, doing mysterious shit, sending messages to the heroine by a third party. He hauled his ass into oblivion. And that was the way things should be, as far as I was concerned. Life should imitate romance literature far more often."

Dates Read: March 6-8, 2016

Rating: 6/10

I can't remember exactly when it was that I started watching True Blood, but I do remember it was with my sister, on her laptop. She told me I just had to watch it  and we binged the first three or four episodes in a row...each episode ended with a cliffhanger so the lure of another one was hard to resist. After I watched the first season or two, I got curious about the books they were based on, so I picked up a copy of Dead Until Dark, the first in the series. Just like the show, I was hooked. I devoured the available books and read each one as they came out until the last one in 2013. I was in the middle of my first legislative session and busy, and then I kept telling myself I could read Dead Ever After any old time, that I should read the more Serious Literature I had accumulated first. So that's why it's three years later and I'm just now catching up.

My preferred genres to read tend to be contemporary and historical fiction...romance, especially paranormal romance, isn't really up my alley at all (with the exception of the Twilight series). So I was surprised by how much I really enjoy reading Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries series, but enjoy it I do. For those who watched the show, Sookie Stackhouse in the books is a different (and much more compelling) character than she is on TV, so if you're thinking you might not want to read these because Sookie annoys you, don't let that keep you away. Book Sookie is stronger, sassier, more independent. She does have the same kind of improbable love life (even more suitors in the books than the show, actually), but hey, it's a romance series.

Harris has stated that she ended the series, which was still quite popular, because (to paraphrase) she was just not really feeling it anymore. And to be honest, it's pretty obvious over the course of the last three or four books that her interest was waning. The "mystery" at the center of the story doesn't build a ton of tension, but it serves okay as a framing device. There was a lot of storyline tying up going on here, and token final appearances by Sookie's very much feels like a "farewell" to the series.

As for the final resolution of Sookie's love life, I know a lot of fans pitched a fit at who she ends up with, and while that wasn't my personal OTP for this series, it's Harris' story to tell and I didn't feel like it came out of left field or anything like that. It's hard to evaluate the final book in a series on its own merits. You can take it on its own to a certain extent, but it's inextricably (to me, at least) tied in with how you feel about the entire series and how the whole story was told. In the end, I feel like my fondness for the series is likely overshadowing the weaknesses of this individual volume. I did really like reading these books, and I'd recommend them even for those who don't usually dabble in this genre. They're quick and entertaining, and I think of them kind of as literary snacks, like maybe a Hostess cupcake or something. Not a lot of nutritional value or lasting fullness there, but every once in a while it's a fun way to indulge a little.

Tell me, blog friends...what books that you've picked up outside of your usual reading niche have surprised you in a good way?

Note: Review cross-posted at Cannonball Read

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