I did it. I read the next Sookie Stackhouse books, both Club Dead and Dead to the World. Yes, yes, despite my outrage at Living Dead in Dallas. My excuses went from already owning it to being sick and wanting to read something that didn’t tax my brain too much.
For those of you following me on Twitter, you might’ve noticed my #LifeAdviceofSookieStackhouse tag. As I read these novels, I couldn’t help but think Sookie was attempting to give me advice on life. Her advice ranged from fashion — mostly due to Harris’ obsession with detailing everyone’s outfits — to boyfriends — write it down when you get hurt due to them — and wisdom passed down from her grandma — situations were even grandma would swear. I find the idea of compiling all of Sookie’s advice, both good and bad, pretty hilarious.
Pearls of wisdom:
On friendship: When you dump a body together, that creates a bond.
On playing hostess: When hosting a vampire, he’ll love watching Buffy: the Vampire Slayer on tape.
On lust: If there was an international butt competition, Eric would win hands down — or cheeks up.
On fashion: Ash green tracksuits can be prim-but-sexy when accompanied by a bow in your hair & beaded sneakers.
On patriotism: Bad should be stopped; bad should be overcome. That’s the American model.
On feminism: A woman — any woman worth her salt — could do whatever she had to.
But getting back to the books: Spoilers ahoy
My Club Dead thoughts aren’t much besides being so glad that Sookie broke up with Bill. And while not being surprised, being sad that it took Bill raping Sookie in a Lincoln’s trunk (with Harris never referring to the attack as rape) for Sookie to finally ditch him. Or at least rescind his invite (and Eric’s) to her home. But, not Pam’s, because Pam is now her awesome girlfriend/bff. You know, when Sookie and Tara aren’t performing sexy dances to Pat Bentar in a room full of horny vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters.
As far as Dead to the World, this is Harris’ best Sookie novel I’ve read so far. I always enjoy a beach-reading novel more when the author learns as she continues writing. Sookie here seems far more independent (maybe just lack of Bill) and more confident in herself. I loved the part at the beginning where Sookie vowed, as her New Year’s resolution, not to get beat up. Which she succeeded in. Even if Harris hung a lampshade to satisfy her critics. Also I cannot wait for Season 4 of True Blood as there’ll be lots and lots of naked Eric. (I’m not a Sookie/Eric shipper, just a proponent of naked Eric.)
On the queer character count, in Club Dead, there’s Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi, and his human boyfriend. Here Russell is evil, from Sookie’s POV, as he holds Bill hostage and tortures him. Sookie clearly dislikes him due to Bill, and overall, she seems non-judgmental about his sexual orientation compared her previous interactions with queer people. However, looking at Russell from the vampire politics POV, capturing Bill was purely political and torture is how vampires get their information. There are also more hints of Eric’s bisexuality in that he agrees to sleep with another male vampire from Russell’s coven in order to absolve himself of association with Bill’s rescue.
In Dead to the World, the only queer character is werewolf Adabelle Yancy. Adabelle is second-in-command of the werewolf pack in Jackson and a successful bridal shop owner. However, Adabelle is never alive in the book. Sookie and Alcide find her and possibly her girlfriend dead — ripped apart by rival werewolf witches — and Adabelle’s death serves as motivation for the Jackson werewolf pack to join the vampires in their war against the werewolf witches.