It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a book review here! On our Spring break trip, I finished The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. This is the first book of Grady’s that I’ve read. I first shared it in a ‘what I’m reading post’ here. My review might be a little controversial. Since I’d shared it on my post a couple weeks back, I wanted to follow through with my thoughts. My thoughts definitely changed between posting that book round up and this review today.
For the life of me, I can not remember where I saw this book recommended. After reading it, I couldn’t imagine any of the book influencers I follow recommending it. All that I knew going into it is that Grady wrote a previous book about Charleston, and this book is set in the same area.
I saw it described as “Fried Green Tomatoes meets Dracula.” I’m not averse to either of those genres, so I thought it would be a great read.
Patricia Campbell is married to her doctor husband and they live with their two children in a small Charleston neighborhood. She gave up her life as a nurse to get married and have a family. Her life feels small and she does not feel appreciated by her husband and children. She is a member of a book club that is, honestly, very boring. So, her friends split off and create their own book club that focuses on true crime novels, real and fictional.
A stranger moves into town, claiming to be their old neighbor’s nephew. After a series of strange and, honestly, gruesome events Patricia puts the pieces together and realizes he’s not human. The problem is, she is the only person in her circle who thinks something is wrong. She has to convince her friends and family that something evil has taken over their neighborhood, but she fails over and over again.
Per the usual, I will leave the plot there. I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone.
But I also wouldn’t recommend this book. The first half was great. The plot was moving at a good pace, but then it all crumbled and the story line jumped three years in the future. It was strange. There was minimal character development, the gore and horror was unneeded, and the action at the end came out of the nowhere. It was very strange and cheaply written. It’s shocking that this got through the editing process and that someone, anyone, thought it was a great idea to publish. I just think it could have done so much better. I am still questioning whether or not the guy was a vampire.
It was that bad.
Have you read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires? What did you think of it?