Book Review of “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendrix

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

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This review is a part of a series of book reviews where, instead of providing a star rating review for each book, I provide the top three things I like about each book, and the top three things I dislike about each book. This means that even if I absolutely adore a book, I’m still going to find three dislikes to list and even when I despise a book, I’ll still find the three things that I enjoyed. Then you get to decide if the book sounds right for you.

Because of the nature of this review, there will occasionally be some spoilers, though I do my best to minimize them as to not completely ruin the story for those who haven’t read it. 

**Some spoilers included.**

I was excited to read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires after my mom described it to me as, “You’re reading along and it’s light hearted and funny, then suddenly it’s a total horror novel and you’re not sure what’s happening, but then it changes and it’s back to being a cute southern comedy.” So, since I can’t sum it up better than that, let’s get started.

Top 3 Likes:

1. How real everything felt, especially the gaslighting. It’s hard to imagine what would really happen if you discovered your next door neighbor was a vampire, but I think this book does a really good job. The characters were realistically flaky and unreliable. The social themes were relevant. But what I thought was most impressive was the gaslighting and emotional manipulation. As a victim of much emotional abuse as a child, it’s always been hard for me to describe this to others and exactly how damaging it can be.

2. They came through for each other in the end! I was worried they weren’t going to get there at times, but they did. That’s the power of a good book club. Speaking of, would anyone like to invite me to their book club?

3. When James wouldn’t shut up as they’re chopping him into pieces. This imagery had me laughing hysterically. I was crying. It was beautiful.

Top 3 Dislikes:

1. I am sad that every husband in this book was awful. It would’ve been nice to see one shining example of a good husband and a good relationship. It makes me wonder if it’s because more people have bad relationships than I realize or if a good husband would’ve taken away from the woman solving things on their own. Either way, it made me extra grateful for my husband.

2. They needed to do more to that body than bag it and hide it. *Shudders* I wanted to see them bury it in cement or burn it & scatter the ashes across all seven continents. Leaving it as they did gave me a sense of impending doom. Is this author planning a sequel?

3. I wish I had a full rule set for James and his powers because I have questions. Lots of questions.

Overall Thoughts:

Overall, I thought this was a fun and unique book. It really is true to how my mother described it. Sometimes it feels like you’re reading a funny book about southern housewives, and then you’re thrown into the middle of a horror novel, then it’s back to normal while they decide what to cook for dinner after getting your earlobe bit off by your next door neighbor. An interesting reminder that life goes on even after surreal and life altering events.

The way the author made everything seem so real and the way they wrote the gaslighting is what has me recommending this book left and right. If you’ve ever struggled with or wondered about the concept of gaslighting, read this book.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

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