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

by | Jul 15, 2020 | Books

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I owe it to Grady Hendrix, author of “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”, for sparking my interest in reading for fun. I still read on occasion, but after college, I was so burned out from reading/studying that I needed to give myself a break. After reading “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”, I was inspired to read more and find new books to read. Hendrix’s latest release, “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” is a great nostalgic read that sprinkles in relevant social issues like sexism and poverty.

While it is not a direct sequel to “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”, “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” takes place in the same town [a suburb of Charleston, SC] and also features the same high school, but the story is set in the 1990s. This time, the story is told through the perspective of Patricia Campbell, mother of two kids, a teenaged daughter (Korey) and pre-teen son (Blue), and married to Carter Campell, an investor. Patricia is a stay-at-home mother who is part of a book club with similar women, but they don’t like to call it a book club. One night, Patricia is attacked by an elderly neighbor who we presume has gone crazy. Her relative, James Harris, comes to town to settle the neighbor’s affairs after she dies and decides to stay in town. Eventually, the reader learns that Harris is actually a vampire that is feeding on the book club’s children and taking advantage of their husbands.

What’s interesting about this telling of a vampire story is that James spends more time seducing/impressing the men of Charleston rather than focusing on gaining attention from the women. The men are scarily sexist towards their wives. He would rather win the ‘affection’ of those who have steady full-time jobs rather than focus his attention on the wives of the book club. As the story begins, we learn that Harris has been targeting the children of a poverty-stricken suburb of Charleston, but everyone assumed it was a drug problem and the police did not want to be involved. Even though the story is set in the 1990s, it tackles issues like feminism, poverty, and police responsibility that would make sense during that time period.

For my 2020 Reading Challenges, I used “he Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” for the following prompts and challenges:

I always love a good supernatural thriller, and this was a good fit to keep me on my toes without scaring me enough to quit reading. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, Hendrix has a similar writing style/niche where his stories can really stick with you. There are different vampire tropes that I was not familiar with, such as the bloodlust of the person getting bit and how vampires can control animals, which Hendrix uses as part of the storyline in a creepy, sadistic way. While “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” is not perfect, it’s a captivating read that you should add to your “to-be-read” pile.

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  1. Leslie @ Mama Needs A Book

    I’ve been wanting to read this one!! The comparison to Stephen King has me moving it up on my TBR for sure!!

    Coffee & Books: August 2020

  2. Crystal Green

    I’m a huge fan of vampires. I like this unique spin this book sounds like it has. Thank you for sharing it and the reading challenge.

  3. the joyous living

    Lol. what a very unique plot. Wanting to win the men with the jobs versus the women in book club. lol.

  4. Angelika

    An interesting story line and very unique plot. I kind of laughed out loud about “seducing the men rather than the moms of the book club” part lol.

  5. Digitaldaybook

    Very interesting storyline!

  6. Taylor

    Oh. My. Goodness. This book sounds AMAZING. I have been trying to get back into reading but my attention span is limited right now 🙁 I think this book would be great for me and keep me entertained thank you for sharing!!

  7. Stephanie

    It’s always good to hear an original storyline, this sounds like an interesting read!

  8. Marissa

    I would be interested in reading this. It sounds like a good read.

  9. Artemiseats

    This sounds quite interesting, is it available as an ebook?

    • Jenn Kalchik

      yes it’s available as an ebook and audiobook

  10. Tracy Lee @Little Slice of Joy

    I will need to check this out…I admit, I am not up on authors after 1990 lol. But Hendrix sounds like someone who’s works I would like.

  11. Jen @Jenron Designs

    What an interesting take on a vampire book, it has a more modern feel for sure. I wish more time to read for pleasure, it seems like I do more work reading than reading for enjoyment.

  12. Surabhi

    I’m not a fan of reading books but this one has definitely aroused my interest

  13. TheHappyMommie

    I am brushing up on my reading collection and this sounds like somethingI can add to my collection.

  14. Nidhi

    The book sounds very interesting. Going to add it to my Reading list!

  15. Cristina

    My interest was piqued because of this article! Thank you for this!

  16. Cristina Petrini

    Will it intrigue me to know that it is on King’s false line? I’ll give it a chance!

  17. Dorit

    Thank you for that review. I have to admit that I had not heard of Grady Hendrix. If you say he has a similar writing style as Stephen King I might keep him in mind for my next book purchases.


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Lifestyle blogger and digital marketer based in Wisconsin. Michigander at heart. I'm here to provide my take on life through my blog. Fueled by chardonnay, cast recordings and chocolate.