Just like with The Twilight Saga, my sister introduced me to the world of Sookie Stackhouse and all of the fine people and supernatural citizens of Bon Temps, Louisiana.  My sister loaned me her copy of Dead Until Dark and I was hooked.  I ended up getting the rest of the series and reading all of them over the course of about three weeks this summer.  I also got the first season of True Blood from Netflix and subscribed to HBO so that I could catch the second season when it aired.

I was recently asked what it is that I like about the Sookie Stackhouse books.  After giving it some thought, here are my top five reasons why I like this series so much.

  1. Vampire love triangle!! Like in The Twilight Saga, there is a love triangle between Sookie, Bill, and Eric.  At times, it’s more of a quadrilateral or a pentagon because of a few other love interests with some other supernatural beings, but you get the point.  There’s plenty of romantic conflict to keep things interesting throughout the series.  Bill Compton has been a vampire for close to 150 years and wants to do whatever he can to hold on to his humanity.  Eric Northman has been a vampire for more than 1000 years and has no qualms about what he is.  Both men are vying for Sookie’s heart, and she has no desire to become a vampire.  Bill was Sookie’s first love, but will he be her last?  Only time will tell with the last books in the series yet to come!
  2. First-person narrative from Sookie’s POV. I prefer the first person narrative so much in these types of stories because it allows the reader to really experience what the protagonist is really feeling and experiencing throughout the story.  Known around Bon Temps as being crazy or a freak because of her telepathic ability, Sookie is so likeable that you can’t help but enjoy being along for the ride.  The fact that she can read thoughts makes it even more entertaining and eliminates the need for any third-person accounts.
  3. Characters I can relate to. Sookie lives in a small town in the South and I can completely relate to that.  While Bon Temps, Louisiana, may be a fictional place, it could very easily be the small Southern town where I grew up.  As I read the books and watch the show on TV, I can easily associate each character with a real person.   It’s easy for me to imagine a real-life Jason Stackhouse or Lafayette from my own hometown.  About half of my friends’ mothers or grandmothers could fit the role of Gran.  It took me about two shakes to figure out who my real-life Andy Bellefleur could be, as well as Hoyt Fortenberry.  These are just ordinary people with ordinary jobs in a small town.  It’s much more believable than something from The Real Housewives or Keeping Up with the Kardashians – not everyone gets to live a glamorous life.
  4. Plenty of grown-up content. While I am fine with Stephenie Meyer’s approach to the relationship between Bella and Edward, many fans of The Twilight Saga have complained that Stephenie Meyer left out too many juicy details of adult situations between them. Charlaine Harris picked up that fumble and ran it the other way for a touchdown.  Poor Sookie was lacking in the adult relations department before she met Bill Compton and she certainly made up for lost time once she began hanging out with “supes” of all varieties. The language is also quite colorful, not that it really matters one way or the other.  However, it is certainly quite effective for making a point in these stories.  If you’re looking for more adult content, you will have no trouble finding it among the people of Bon Temps.
  5. Another nice escape from reality. In a time of economic uncertainty, corrupt politicians, war, and Tiger Woods with his many mistresses, it’s very relaxing to read about a small-town barmaid who can read minds who has several suitors who are crazy about her.  She goes off on crazy adventures trying to help solve crimes in both the human and supernatural worlds.  What’s not to like? When you’re a stay-at-home mom who spends your time shuttling kids to and from school, dance, church, and soccer in between cleaning, doing laundry, and all of the Christmas shopping for the entire family,  it’s just incredibly nice to escape reality for a while. 

What about you?  Have you read the Sookie Stackhouse books?  If so, why do you like them so much? Join us in the forum and share your thoughts!