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Cannonball Read 2 #8: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark is the first of the Sookie Stackhouse series, better known as the basis for HBO's show True Blood. I started watching the show earlier this year and became absolutely hooked on it. Dead Until Dark introduces the characters and the world (and is the basis for season 1 of the show.)

Sookie is a waitress in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. She is a pretty girl who lives with her grandmother, and is mostly normal except for the fact that she is telepathic. Being able to read the minds of others has made her life especially complicated, keeping her from being able to date or have any real close friends. In Sookie's world, vampires are real, have just come "out of the coffin" and are trying to join mainstream society. Most of them either drink synthetic blood or feed from willing hosts, however many "normal" people are still fearful or distrusting. One day, a vampire named Bill walks into Merlotte's, the bar where Sookie works, and sets in motion a series of events that will change her life forever.

To me, this book is the literary equivalent of pork rinds: They contain absolutely no nutritional value, are mostly air and fat, are embarrassing to be seen eating, but ohhh mmmm delicious...where did that whole bag go? This is a trashy mystery/romance novel with vampires--I'd guess it's like Twilight except there is a bunch of steamy sex and Sookie isn't a wishy-washy dishrag of a human. I enjoyed the characters and the settings, and I found Sookie's voice engaging (benefit over the show: you don't have to hear Anna Paquin trill "Biiiiiiiiiiill" over and over in a tone strangely similar to having a dental drill applied directly to your eardrum.) I am extremely anxious to get hold of the next books in the series and can't wait to read the further adventures of Sookie: Psychic Waitress.

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