“We’re a book club,” Maryellen said. “What are we supposed to do? Read him to death? Use strong language?”
Rating: 4/5 stars
Format: Physical copy
Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.
But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.
Well this was…wild. I had no idea what to expect when picking this up other than it was getting some pretty good reviews on Goodreads and anything that has vampires in it is pretty much an auto-buy for me. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires was equal parts thrilling and infuriating and will surely leave you thinking about how badass a book club can really be long after you’ve finished their story.
What I Liked
🧛🏻♂️ There’s a new vampire in town. I thought that it was a lot of fun how the author made it well known from the very beginning who the vampire was. It made the story more intriguing and infuriating at the same time to see a neighborhood of people hand out their trust so easily when there were so many red flags from the get go. It was also equally as fun to slowly see Patricia (the MC) piece together how deceiving and manipulative her new neighbor really is.
😖 Gave me the creeps. It’s not often that a horror story will actually give me the creeps – movies are a whole different story. But there were actually two instances in this book that made my skin crawl. I mean, we’re talking rats biting off body parts and cockroaches burrowing themselves in ear canals with some nice detailed descriptions while it’s happening. So, you tell me that wouldn’t gross you out just a little bit.
💪🏼 Don’t mess with these southern ladies. While it was rather annoying that it took them quite some time to get their shit together and realize James Harris wasn’t leaving town unless they either forced him out or killed him, I have to give credit where credit is due – these ladies DELIVERED. And honestly, I wouldn’t want to get on their bad side… let’s just leave it at that.
What I Didn’t Like
📉Pacing. This started out strong, kind of fizzled out a little towards the middle, and then picked back up for the ending. I’m not sure if it was because this book takes place from 1988-1997 or if was just the writing but there were a few instances where I found parts to be a little dull and I knew I had to power through it hope for the best. Luckily, I really enjoyed the ending so it did help make up for the areas that dragged a bit.
👬 The husbands. These guys legitimately made me want to put my fist through a wall. This book is written over the span of a decade and it’s certainly written in the times. The husbands are the “breadwinners” yet stupidly losing all of their money to the vampire next door whose draining their bank accounts dry because they would rather believe some random dude who mysteriously shows up to town rather than their wives who try to warn them about their new neighbor. But ya know, the women are only good for popping out babies, cooking meals, and cleaning the house. I would have loved to deliver a few uppercuts right to all of their jaws for how dumb they truly were. However, I was happy to see at least one of the husbands get the karma he deserved because at the end of the day…bitches get shit done.
Another thing I think is worth mentioning – if you need fiction to understand white privilege this book will help you get the gist of it since it highlights issues where it comes to a Black person’s concerns and needs being diminished compared to people who are white.
tw: suicide attempt, rape, gore, violence, murder, child death, racism, sexism
Until next time,