Good Reads, Lifestyle

Good Reads Challenge: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Hello out there …brr, it’s 33 degrees here!

“A reader lives many lives,” James Harris said. “The person who doesn’t read lives but one.”
– The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

How is everyone doing this week?  It’s a great day to have a great day. I hope you are well, taking care of your body as well as your mind, eating some great food, as well as checking in with friends and family.

I’m (sorta) keeping on track with my Good Reads Challenge.  The current book I’m reading hasn’t started off that great so I’ve stalled, and I’ve been checking Libby to see if any of my on-hold titles are available. Today I’m reviewing …The Southern Book Clubs Guide to Slaying Vampired by Grady Hendrix.

The Review

Title | The Southern Book Club,s Guide to Slaying Vampires
| Grady Hendrix
Pages | 410
Genre | Horror, Fantasy, Vampires
GR Rating | 3.82
Purchase | Amazon


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.

My Rating & Review  (☆☆☆)

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires was an interesting read.  Picture this (I’m channeling my Sophia from Golden Girls) Charleston, South Carolina the timeframe is the 90s.  It’s the time of the Southern housewife.  You kept your home clean, you went to church, you took care of your kids, and tended to your husband.

Now…that right there is alien to me because clearly, the wife (Mom) is responsible for EVERYTHING which is very one-sided.  Moving on, a group of 5  friends (Grace, Kitty, Slick, Maryellen, and Patricia) is tired of the boring books they’ve been tasked to read in their current book club so they decide to start their own.

from The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
“He thinks we’re what we look like on the outside: nice Southern ladies. Let me tell you something…there’s nothing nice about Southern ladies.”

The group has a thrust for murder, thrillers, and true crime.  Do their husbands know what they read? Not exactly.  Now…Enter a stranger to the neighborhood, and the book club discussions turn into speculation about the new neighbor.  Patricia (the protagonist of the story), decides to befriend him, after an accident where she was attacked by her elderly neighbor.

Slowly Patricia introduces the stranger to the group and he would befriend their husbands and children bringing profitable gain to all their business ventures.  He would ingrain himself within the group to where he couldn’t be removed.

from The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
“We’re a book club,” Maryellen said. “What are we supposed to do? Read him to death? Use strong language?”

Off in another neighborhood (6-mile), black children are going missing and committing suicide. Patricia goes to visit her mother-in-law’s caregiver and finds out about the missing children. She tries to tell her friends from the book club but, they don’t believe what’s happening because it’s not in the local paper or news, and of course, they blame everything on drugs. (Hey …it was the 90s)

So we know this trope as plain as day.  Affluent women who don’t know anything outside their own neighborhoods, don’t understand people of color and how this can happen and no one knows about it.

This is also where real life comes in.  If it happens in a black neighborhood then it goes unseen.  It’s looked at by law enforcement as drugs, a drug overdose, mothers not taking care of their kids, and other black-on-black crimes. Remember, everything was about drugs in the 90s, if something happened it was always blamed on drugs.  This also leaves a HUGE gap in what people thought about mental illness during this time.  The remedy was to give you a pill or send you to the paster because nothing can be wrong that Jesus can’t solve.

from The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires Cases
“You’d rather get stabbed forty-one times than ruin the curb appeal of your home?” Maryellen asked.“Yes,” Grace said.”

Patricia can’t get what’s happening to the children off her mind so she continues to visit 6-mile only to see the newcomer’s (James) car parked in a hidden area.  This would seem strange as right at this moment another child would go missing.  Upon further investigation, Patricia would learn that her neighbor is not human, and he’s been watching her every move.

She tries to tell anyone that would listen that she doesn’t trust James and she thinks he’s responsible for what’s happening to the children.  She confides in her husband but what is the first thing he says…You’re crazy.

Patricia’s husband says “it can’t be him …do you know how much money he’s invested in all our businesses”? Mind you it was Patricia that brought him into the group, but still, there’s no sympathy from the person that suppose to be your partner in life.

I tell you this book pissed me off in so many ways and the fact that it got under my skin in such a way can only mean one thing.  It’s a GOOD read.

from The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
“What had been destroyed made what remained that much more precious. That much more solid. That much more important.”

So, I get the gist that the black characters in this novel are in domestic roles (maids, caregivers, etc.), and wives, in general, are only good for taking care of the children, social events, or just being wives, but is it completely accurate?

The answer to that is…I don’t know because I wasn’t a housewife from the deep south in the 90s.  The book does make remarks about big cities and how we’re so nonchalant and people don’t give a shit, which yes part of that is true. But, cities are made up of small neighborhoods and those neighborhoods are very close-knit and everyone knows everyone.

from The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
“A no-good man will tell you he’s going to change,” she said. “He’ll tell you whatever you want to hear, but you’re the fool if you don’t believe what you see.”

Other people’s parents looked out for you so this whole stigma around small towns and how they are the best places to live is just plain silly and one-sided in my opinion.  It’s really hard to get into this book without just typing out the whole story, but I will say it’s worth a read and an opinion of your own.

My Good Reads Challenge Progress

That concludes my short review.  Thanks so much for visiting the blog today.  I’ve finished Disco Deathtrap (review coming soon!), and I’m currently reading Slash-Her, an anthology of Women in horror.

Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Peace

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