Adult, book review

The Southern’s Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (ARC Review)

Title: The Southern’s Book Club’s
Guide to Slaying Vampires

Author: Grady Hendrix
Type: Fiction
Genre: Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Publisher: Quirk Books
(Penguin Random House Canada)
Date published: April 7, 2020

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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.

⤖ My Review ⬻

I went into reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires already a Grady Hendrix fan. I read and loved My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and also enjoyed Horrorstör and Paperbacks from Hell! So, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was when I heard that Hendrix’s next book was going to have vampires! (As if all of this wasn’t enough, before picking up The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, I also found out that it would become a movie!) I love the paranormal aspects of the South, and how Southern culture interacts with horror elements. So, I was very happy when this book mixed those elements for me.

What I didn’t expect was the pacing of the book, as well as the focus placed on Patricia, her family, as well as her friends. This book took a look at social aspects of the setting—societies, the culture, the difference between neighbourhoods. And this brought my attention to the fact that overall, The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires could very easily be a commentary on Western society (particularly in the South), and how society interacts with monsters (be they vampire or human).

But I’ll stop myself from going in too deep on these speculations and let you make your own opinions if/when you read this book. What I’m trying to get at, I suppose, is that I didn’t expect the focus on society but that it made sense when I think about it. And I also want to bring up that I wasn’t a big fan of the pacing that I previously mentioned, as well as how parts of the story felt like they were missing something for me, almost as if they were just sketches or an undeveloped version of the final product.

Therefore, My Best Friend’s Exorcism still remains my favourite Hendrix book, but I am definitely still looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do with the movie version (p.s. I’m hoping for some True Blood vibes, but would also be totally down for something different and/or completely unique). I will definitely also be keeping an eye out on what Hendrix will write next (and still plan on tackling his backlisted books that I haven’t gotten to yet) because I’m still one of his biggest fans!

⤖ About the Author ⬻


Grady Hendrix is the author of the novels Horrorstör, about a haunted IKEA, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is like Beaches meets The Exorcist, only it’s set in the Eighties. He’s also the jerk behind the Stoker award-winning Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the 70’s and 80’s horror paperback boom, which contains more information about Nazi leprechauns, killer babies, and evil cats than you probably need. And he’s the screenwriter behind Mohawk, which is probably the only horror movie about the War of 1812 and the upcoming Satanic Panic.

⤖ Purchase the Book ⬻


⤖ Let’s Chat ⬻


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