Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

It's the 90's in Charleston and Patricia could really use some time away from her home.  She's dealing with a teenage daughter, son with odd interests, live-in mother-in-law with dementia, and a mostly absent husband.  So, when she starts a book club with other women who like to read true-crime, it's a nice distraction from her life.

Then, a new single man moves into the neighborhood.  He's interesting and likes to read too, and at first Patricia likes the interest he brings to her boring life.  When some odd things start happening and some local kids go missing, Patricia thinks maybe a serial killer straight out of one of their book club books has come to Charleston-- but it's far worse than that!!

OBSESSED!!!  This is definitely one of the best books I've read this year.  I completely loved it-- and it especially impresses me because I've been struggling to read something that captures my attention.

But what's not to love?? It's about a book club AND the 90's.  With Vampires!  Well, one anyway.  And he's not sparkly.  I enjoyed so many parts of this book, I think a list is in order:

  • The Book Club: I loved the group of ladies-- they were all different personalities and all had purpose in the story.  I especially loved Slick and Grace because they were so authentically themselves.
  • James.  Now we get to the vampire.  I really liked how he was a version of vampire that I've never read or seen before.  He fed in a really disgusting and unique way-- it really freaked me out.  Also, he didn't "turn" people in the way that I typically think of when it comes to vampires.  His way of turning people was really traumatizing and something I never would have imagined.
  • One of my favorite parts was also the most frustrating.  An important part of this book was that these book club women (but mostly Patricia) know that something bad is happening-- and no one will believe them.  They are dismissed as hysterical women with over-active imaginations due to the books they've been reading.  They are chastised like children.  I loved this aspect because it's true.  Women have been minimized for centuries.  I loved that the housewives were shown as the ones who do it all-- keep the family running, do all the household duties, and STILL find time to save the day in spite of the way the men doubt and diminish them.
  • The gross.  This book was so gross at times.  I mean BUGS.  I just can't.  But at the same time it gave the book that extra Horror punch that it needed.  But I'll probably have nightmares from some of the scenes.
  • The way the author tackled some tough themes.  There was a racial aspect that was difficult to read about-- but sadly, is the way things have played out historically in many instances.  I can't speak to the accuracies or the way it will be taken, but I liked that it wasn't something that was glossed over.
  • Friendship.  This group of ladies go through some SHIT together.  Some serious shit.  They break apart, but always come back together.  I was rooting for them so hard that it literally hurt my heart.
If there's one thing you take from my review, I hope it is this: READ IT!!!  It brings the horror, the gross, the scary, the anger-inducing characters, the anxiety, the fresh-take on vampires, the 90’s!!! I could not ask for more!

OVERALL: LOVED, LOVED, LOVED!  I've loved so many of this author's other books, but this one was the best!!  It weaves a vampire story into the flawed world of Southern housewives.  I thought it was perfection.

Date Published: 4/7/2020
How I got this book: Thanks to Quirk Books and ALA for or providing me with an advanced copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Quirk Books

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5

Here's me meeting the author (which I swear had no bearing on my thoughts on the book)

Character: Patricia's book club
Book: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

  • I just really want this book club to read another one of my favorite Horror authors


  1. I was SO interested in this (90s! Vampires!) but I'm worried about the gross out factor. I'm going to request it at the library and try it!

    1. There are some definite gross scenes, but nothing gory!! It's more bugs and rodents scenes that got me.

  2. Ooh I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, I really want to check it out and now you've boosted it up my TBR! =)

    1. It was so good and unique!! I hope you love it!!

  3. I don't think I would have given this book a second glance, but now you've convinced me that I should check it out. I'll have to see if my library has the audiobook.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. YAY!!! If you like Horror, you should totally check out his other books too. But this one is definitely my new fave!! I've been wanting a book about vampires that wasn't anything like Twilight!

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