After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse

Beware, this post may contain the disgruntled thoughts of an upset Sookie Stackhouse fan. Viewer discretion is advised.

AfterDead

Earlier this year, we were given the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series…or so we thought. However, as soon as the book released, fans found out another book would be released fully finishing off the story that is Sookie. Translation: epilogue. Is that what we got? Hell no. So what did we get with After Dead?

Basically, with After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse, we got an address book of the series’ cast of characters. For $18 USD (or $10.80 if you buy it off Amazon like I did), you get 195 pages of characters, most getting no more than a paragraph summing up the rest of their life, but some getting no more than a sentence.

ONE SENTENCE!

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To make matters worse, I don’t even remember 1/2 of these characters and I could care less about them. You almost have to read ALL of the books and then go back and read this to fully appreciate the characters. The characters she put thought into (Bill, Eric, and Sookie), we get a bit more than a paragraph for an explanation of their lives, but it still left me unsatisfied and wanting closure; closure the last book did not provide. The only character in this book it sounds like we might hear more from is Barry the Bellhop, who worked with Sookie in the past. I’m not sure why, I always found his character to be annoying.

The best part of the book is the illustrations. They give us one last glimpse at the characters we will never see again.

SAM & SOOKIE 

Sookie & Sam

I still hate this and think Sam is all wrong for her. Team Eric.

The story started with a vamp, it should have ended with a vamp.

ERIC NORTHMANEric

For me, his story was the most depressing. His love for Sookie will live on.

BILL COMPTON

Bill

For Bill, he still talks to Sookie, and TV and book merge.

Below is Bill’s wrap up/summary. It leaves a lot to be desired. I still don’t have closure and I guess I never will.

Bill Compton

If you read Felipe de Castro, you discover Bill buys Louisiana from him and ends up being a great king.

Bottom line – Don’t waste your money on the book. Take a trip to Barnes and Noble or Books a Million, get a nice coffee or tea, and read it there. It will take you all of 10 minutes. Thanks Charlaine for getting my hopes up as a Sookie fan and then crushing them into tiny pieces once again. I finished this book feeling disappointed. It seemed more like a ploy to get money from fans than anything. A pyramid scheme in disguise of a book. The product we think we are getting is NOT at all what we get.

Yes, this is harsh, but I bought the book, I read the book, and I’m allowed to be disappointed in the book. RIP Sookie. I’m going to go read fanfic now, it’s probably a million times better anyway.

Dead Ever After– Is Parting Such Sweet Sorrow?

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This book marks the end of the journey for Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse Novels AKA The Southern Vampire Mysteries that HBO’s True Blood is based. There are quite a few novels and I’ve read them all – many of them more than once to revisit the characters in between the show’s hiatus, but there are only so many things poor Sookie can go through before the story line becomes redundant.

I will not give the story line away – I will however, tell you that I was completely let down. Charlaine Harris posted on her Facebook that this is the ending she has thought about since book 2, but it’s not an ending she prepared her readers for. Based on the previous 13 books (including the Sookie Stackhouse Companion), this book was a slap in the face.

I felt emotionally drained at the end of the novel because my blood boiled so much. I felt betrayed because the story line was null. Out of the 300+ pages, I noticed in the last two books Harris wrote, most of it was filler. She would say, “I washed my hands,” and spent pages explaining how Sookie would cook dinner and clean her house – providing no information that moved the story along and gave me an opportunity to put the book down or skip paragraphs because nothing was learned. If the stupid filler was eliminated, each book would have probably been 120 pages. Another thing that bothered me is that Harris spent the novel TELLING us everything instead of SHOWING us what was going on. The icing on the cake was that she wrote almost every page in passive tense. The gif below sums up my feelings 100% as I finished.

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What’s sad is Harris created this amazing world for us in Bon Temps, LA where supernaturals exist and Sookie Stackhouse was kicking ass. Married by vampire standards, Sookie had quite an exotic life to look forward to, however with the end of the last book, I knew things weren’t going to go as planned. I had hope that Harris wouldn’t let her readers down like that, but in the end, she did just that.

dead-ever-after-endpaper

As shown above, the inside of the book lets you know all of Sookie’s loves (both past and present) will make an appearance. To me, the entire book felt forced. She tried to end the series by tying up her loose ends and giving us details on each of the characters (there are a lot because she has a tendency to introduce way too many new ones in each novel) even though for some, we honestly don’t care. After I finished this novel, I found out this really isn’t the end – Harris has found another way to squeeze more money out of her adoring Sookie fans by releasing a novella, After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse, due to be released October 29, 2013. I’m guessing it’s the epilogue, where I hope beyond hope the ending changes for Sookie. Eternal optimist, I know because this ending just SUCKED. I’ve already pre-ordered this book hoping to see a better ending – I’m sure I won’t get it.

I was very surprised to read in an EW interview that Harris created the supernatural story of the Fae for Sookie because she was bored. Quite honestly, I hated that story line b/c it took away from Sookie and the whole reason for her story – dating vampires.

Bottom line: Should YOU read this? I say yes if you are a devoted Sookie Stackhouse fan. If you aren’t really that into the series, then don’t waste your time – check the reviews on Good Reads, they are HILARIOUS and filled with sardonic humor of bitter devoted fans. I have yet to talk to one person that liked the ending. If you read it, share your thoughts!

Goodbye Sookie, I’m going to choose to remember you as you were in your earlier books and not how your creator left you because you deserve better.

Fifty Shades of…WHAT? Trilogy

 

I will be the first to admit, that I started reading 50 Shades of Grey with no intent to finish it. I first saw the book while shopping in Carytown in the heart of RVA. This was still during the school year and I hadn’t really read any good books in awhile. I’m a visual person and I was attracted to the cover. My husband came up beside me and laughed, asking me if I was going to read erotica now. Having no clue what the book was even about, I did what 90% of America did, when confronted – I put the book down. Then, my facebook, pinterest, tumblr, and twitter timelines blew up with talk of Christian Grey and Fifty Shades. 

5151HrC4o0L

 

I’d been under a rock apparently as I discovered the origin of this story. I couldn’t believe it when I found out this was originally a Twilight Fanfic that made it to publication. What the…seriously? Makes sense though – innocent girl meets not-so-innocent filthy rich man. I pictured this is what Twilight would have been like had Stephine Meyers allowed us to see Edward and Bella having sex. Then, I hear the news that it surpassed Harry Potter sales in the UK, breaking a record for the number of books sold ever. Again, I reread the first pages and couldn’t put it together. Now that I’ve finished the series, I feel that I can see how this all happened.  This is really your basic story of boy meets girl and in a sense could be a coming of age story for Ana. What makes this novel so controversial is that it allowed the world to see that sex doesn’t have to be routine, monotonous, or a chore (oh the sarcastic things I want to write, but have decided to be good for this post). This story says you CAN be successful and respectable and still be kinky. Just wait, next year there is going to be a baby boom thanks to this book!

I vacationed at the beach many times this summer and it never failed that at least three women would have that book in their possession. I’ll never forget how one group of housewives were having their own book club while they read by the pool. Funniest thing ever. 

THE FLAWS: 

As I mentioned before, I had issues with the writing style from page one of Fifty Shades of Grey. Some people have a hard time reading in first person, whereas I LOVE IT. All of my stories are told in first person, so this could be a pro or a con for the book.  It’s a simple book series to read, as long as you look past the overuse of phrases, terrible passive voice, lots of telling vs showing, and basic sentence structure. I found myself skimming the long descriptive passages that didn’t move the story forward and concentrated on the conversations. 

The worst part about all the flaws in this novel is that the right editor could have fixed every one of them. I was told that the author had ghost writers on the second and third book, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised because the writing improves. It’s not great, but it’s better. 

THE FABULOUS: 

 I couldn’t pinpoint what caused me to like this story until I talked to my husband and he shared his thoughts on why I like reading books he calls, “garbage.”  

…if you think the writing is bad but you like the characters and the same for Twilight, you must just love badly written people lol
I think he’s right. I like characters that are flawed. They fall for someone against their own judgement and decide to let the cards fall as they may. This happens repeatedly in this series. Yes it has BDSM, but according to all my friends that have that sort of lifestyle, it’s very inaccurately portrayed. So inaccurate, they refuse to read the books. In all honesty, the sex became so repetitious (maybe it was the language), it becomes boring. For those of you that don’t want to read it because it’s considered erotic, know that  the amount of sex tapers off dramatically in each book, and with each book, a plot develops. 

So, bottom line – if you are going to read it – you MUST read ALL THREE. You must LOOK PAST the fact that it’s NOT very well written, and ENJOY a story that proves love is worth fighting for and everyone deserves it. I liked the relationship they built, even though I wanted to slap Ana at least 10 times every book and tell her to get her s**t straight. If you are a hopeless romantic like I am, then you need to read this, even if everyone else says not to. 

Can’t wait to see how they portray this in the theater! 

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The Host

I know there are a million and one of these online, but not written by moi, right? ;
Right!
So the first book I am reviewing is the most recent one I finished today – The Host by Stephenie Meyers. ;
I want to start this review off by saying I am a fan of Stephenie Meyers work. I love The Twilight Saga – so much I have read each book multiple times. I might read The Host again. Hard to say.

The Host is a book that is not classified as Young Adult. It is considered to be an adult book, but I think any age group would enjoy it. There is less sex and violence in this book than in the entire Twilight Saga. There really isn’t even a lot of bad language. So again, if my 8-yr-old asked if he could read it, I would say yes.

I bought this book, super excited to read another story by Stephenie Meyers. I am a huge fan of her ideas. I feel that she gets lost in tangents from time to time with her writing, which causes my adult ADHD mind to kick in and I put the book down.

From the book jacket, I could tell this was going to have romance intertwined – just like Twilight. I am a sucker for romance, even though I hate romance novels. There has to be something different about the world we live in for me to read a novel that is primarily romance.

I will say if you have the patience and time (clocking in at 619 pages), the story is generally worthwhile. I picked this book up and put it down time and time again – for months probably – telling myself I had to finish it. Mabye, I was just too tired when I attempted to read it, but for the first hundred or so pages, I found my eyes glassing over within minutes.

Then, out of nowhere – the story gets good. At least to me it did. Chapter 14. From that point forward I was content with the way the characters started to develop. I found issues with all of them, but I wanted to turn the page. There was quite a twist with one character – a complete 180 with attitude – and I really liked that in the story. Trying to write my own first novel, and watching an interview about this character, I know exactly how S.M. feels to have what you thought was an insignificant character develop into someone of huge importance. It happened in my story too!

Anyhoo…

One of the biggest problems I had with the novel was imagery. I found it difficult to actually see the characters. She described them basically all with the same adjectives and I just couldn’t see Melanie, Ian, or Jared in my head. They were faceless. Literally faceless. I pictured bits and pieces of them, but only puzzle pieces. For Ian all I could see were his sapphire eyes. For Melanie I pictured her frame (she is described as being tall & athletic), and for Jared I couldn’t really see anyone. Just a general bad boy figure so I always saw James Dean or a young Marlon Brando. The only character I could see was Wanderer, and that’s because in her true form she has no human characteristics at all.

The lengthy novel had some twists and turns, but ultimately ended abruptly. In the wrong place. When I got to the last page and read the last line, I WAS MAD. Originally intended to be a stand alone novel, the way she left the characters to me just felt incomplete. I pictured her getting harassing phone calls about how she wasn’t going to make the deadline for her editor or publisher, and just ended the novel where it was. I didn’t feel a lot of closure for a novel that was intended to be a stand alone.

For all you Stephenie Meyers lovers out there – don’t get me wrong – I love her. I really do. She creates a world where you have to question if you are a good-guy or a bad-guy. I found myself ultimately rooting for Wanderer and not so much Melanie. Does that make me a good guy or a bad guy? I don’t know. Read the novel for yourself and you decide.

Even though I had issues with the book. I liked Wanderer (mostly) and Melanie (mostly).
If you’ve read this – tell me your thoughts.

xoxo
Nat

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