First off---what's the deal with Sookie Stackhouse? I had to know. Although we don't get cable and I haven't even seen the show, I was interested in the fascination people have with the HBO show True Blood which is based on Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books. Everyone seems to be talking about it (plus, the hot guys from the show were on the cover of TV Guide last time I was at my mother-in-law's house) so I had to find out what was all the buzz about. The best way to describe the genre of this book, Dead Until Dark, would be to say it's a mystery with vampires, romance, and a unique narrator. Sookie is a small town waitress who happens to be able to read minds. When she finally meets Bill, a vampire whose mind she is relieved that she can't hear, she thinks she's met her match. Unfortunately, things in town begin to go down hill as other blue collar women from the town are murdered one by one. This novel puts a unique spin on the typical vampire tale in that the general public is aware that vampires exist. Bottled blood is available at the bar Sookie serves at and Sookie's grandmother even invites Bill to speak at her Daughters of the Glorious Dead group (essentially the Daughters of the American Revolution except for the Civil War) since he was a soldier during the Civil War. Sookie has an interesting narrative voice. It's Southern, it's sweet, but tough too. I don't think I've ever heard a narrator use "lickety split" before in a sentence, but I did here. Bill is the quintessential hero---sexy, strong, and of course a vampire. I enjoyed this book so much that I'll be picking up the next book in the series to read!
Another book I can recommend is The Host. The Host is an adult novel written by the author of the Twilight Saga Stephenie Meyer. Although I read the Twilight books and enjoyed them, I know some of you probably didn't so please don't judge this book by the author. The Host follows an alien named Wanderer after she is implanted into her female human host Melanie Stryder. Earth has been taken over by Wanderer's species and Melanie was a member of the very small human resistance. Although most humans immediately cede their minds to the parasitic aliens, Melanie refuses to go away. Wanderer struggles with Melanie's presence and tries to use the information that she gleans from her to help the Seekers (her species version of the CIA) find the hiding place of the remaining humans. As time progresses (I don't want to give too much away here), Wanderer develops a relationship with Melanie and realizes she is more like the humans than she realized. Meyer does a great job of developing the main characters (i.e. Wanderer, Melanie, Melanie's boyfriend Jared and her brother Jamie) and the supporting characters as well. I really was able to picture the people in this book, I felt connected to them, and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. The Host clocks in at a little over 600 pages and I finished it in three days. I just could not put it down. Whether you like sci-fi books or not, you really need to check this one out just for the characters. I really hope the author comes out with another adult novel down the road.
I also finished the book The Help earlier in the month for my book club. What an outstanding book! I was inspired by the writer Kathryn Stockett who did not succumb to defeat even after 60 rejection letters! What a woman!