Preface: other than a brief obsession with Angel (after he got his own show) I was never a big fan of vampires. It is like the horse phase, I figured, some girls get it and some girls don't. I never much cared for horse or vampire books... and I figured I never would.
So much for that theory!
This book is not "just a vampire book." I found it shelved under mystery in the bookstore where I work and, really, that is how I would shelve it now that I have read it. The whole book I found myself doing something I associate with Nancy Drew books: trying to solve the puzzle before the heroine. In this case, I was stumped on every turn- which is nice, really.
Like Nancy Drew, I know this book cannot possible be as good as my opinion of it. I love mysteries, fun characters and well built settings- all three are offered here. Still, at the end of the day... this is a guilty pleasure.
In conclusion, here is are some of my early thoughts while reading the book (from my blog):
Sookie Stackhouse. Reading the first book as my library read for the week. I figure it was only fair, after all... I gave Twilight a fighting chance, didn't I? So far it is not horrible. There is a great awareness of how silly vampire fandom is hanging over the whole thing, the main vampire is name Bill (of all things), the heroine kicks serious ass without being a Slayer-type, the mystery plot is intriguing and I am a sucker for the deep South setting, as a Northern lass who tries to avoid the place like the plague. Oh, and Sookie being a waitress, I like that. Waitressing is actually portrayed unromantically and realistically (all the bits about covering tables for the other girls, getting called in, ect. ... as an ex-waitress, it makes my feet hurt in remembrance!) and, really, I do love that it sort of grounds Sookie and the story in a more believable world. No one is rich, she worries about taxes when her Gran dies and sleeps in a giant Mickey Mouse t-shirt, not some fancy PJs.
There is plenty of vampire lovin', of course. (What kind of vampire book would this be if no one got laid? Oh, right, TWILIGHT. I never read the sequels, but the whole first one was like "Edward, do me!" "Not 'til we're married, which will be never. Let's go play baseball in the rain.") There are fang-bangers (a not so subtle nod to vampire fangirls and boys the world over), people who get off on being bitten and such, but there is a line drawn between these types and Sookie, who honestly seems disgusted by most other vampires and sometimes by Bill as well.
Anyway, it's a fun vampire read. I expect it would be more fun if I actually liked vampires to begin with (or would I just feel insulted by the fang-bangers?), but there is enough of a plot to keep me going despite my indifference. If I ever need a quick read in the future I might even try some of the sequels, that's more than I can say for a certain other vampire series.