Title: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
Author: Grady Hendrix
Release Date: April 7, 2020
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.
Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.
But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.
I went with the “Talkin’ Bout” instead of review for this one because my thoughts were just running that way.
I picked this book up after the urging of one of my best friends. I clearly saw that this book is labeled horror, but I know my best friend and she tends to be a lot more squeamish than I am when it comes to scary things. Either way, I’m usually up for trying a book regardless. I enjoy talking about them whether I enjoy them or not.
After reading the book, I now might have to reassess when it comes to thinking she’s more squeamish than I am…. But, I could see the appeal for her. She’s a mega fan of Dracula. She usually rereads that book at least once a year. I’ve always found it rather boring. And honestly, I thought she liked it because it was horror, but still not gory or especially haunting. This book changed the way I see it now, though. The vampire in this book definitely has a lot going for him that feels very much like Dracula.
Where are things different? Well, this story has gore. There isn’t an overload of it throughout the book, but when it’s there….it’s seriously there – particularly if you’re like me and find the idea of being eaten alive by rodents disgusting…or maybe animals trying to borrow inside of you… No thank you!!!
Funny enough (or not so funny really…) that wasn’t what really turned my stomach and made it truly horrendous for me. It came down the sexual aspects and his feeding. If you have triggers be sure to thoroughly investigate this book first!
The one thing I found interesting to the book, but also so thoroughly frustrating, were the social issues. This book addresses a bucketful of them! It definitely had me wanting to reach in and knock some sense into these people. Do people like this really exist?? I hear they do, but I’m glad to say that I live in the south, and I don’t know them.
Next Paragraph is Spoilerish
I know a lot of people have praised this group of women for finally all coming together in the end to defeat the vampire. And yes, I was proud of them for finally acting. But, my gosh, the amount of things that were wrong and would never be right again because it took them so long to pull their heads out of their butts!!! I couldn’t be happy for them.
In the end, there were parts that were decent, parts that I found abhorrent, and parts that were just okay. The very best I could give this one is 3.5 stars.
Can you believe I’ve read 2 horror novels this month??? I CAN’T!! LOL! Have you read The Southern Book Club’s Guide?? What did you think. It seems to be one of those books that brings out extremely polar opinions.