I don't recall who first recommended the Sookie Stackhouse books to me. It could have been Colleen, who also recommended the Undead and Unwed series, which I enjoyed (well, the first three anyway - I don't think I read more than that because Becky, who was reading them too, said they started to get strange at some point. The author was taking the series, which I thought originally was a bit reminiscent of Stephanie Plum when she was funny, into a different direction). It might also have been some of my high school friends, now reconnected with on Facebook, who are also fans of the vampire genre that recommended Sookie. I know I do have friends who are huge fans of the HBO series, True Blood, based upon these books, who have never read a single one though.
Anyway, looking for something light and fun to read and also wanting to watch True Blood, I decided to start reading these, in order, and then once I was caught up with the books, get True Blood from Netflix.
By the way, I find that "in order" comment important. I hate reading series out of order (did that with Kay Scarpettta ... back when I still read those ... but that's another story). You can't really get a feel for any character development if they're out of order (unless of course, there isn't any, a la the aforementioned Kay Scarpetta - I mean really, how many times are we going to let serial killers into our homes? Okay - sorry - I went there.). I never understood why Amazon doesn't display the books in order, or at least, give you the number of the book, but often they don't.
Luckily, I found this list, Sookie Stackhouse Books in Order, so I knew where to begin.
Dead Until Dark was pretty cliche in that girl meets vampire, girl falls for vampire, kind of way. But I like the premise of her mythology, that vampires (and other creatures) have always walked among us but are now starting to reveal themselves since they have methods of surviving (a la synthetic blood), that don't require them to feed on humans any longer. I also like that they're more mystery than love story.
SPOILER ALERT - read no further as I'm going to divulge stuff from later books
I also like, that as the books progress, we realize our heroine, and others are not perfect. They screw up, they do bad things, and oh my god, they break up in their relationships and move on. The world doesn't end - they get involved with others. (Yes, a tiny dig at the Twilight series, which I just couldn't abide. I'm living with teenage angst now - must I read it over and over and over again in my books too? I think not - and don't get me started in the mythology changes either. Anyway...) I know there's a bombshell coming in regards to Sookie's special abilities too only because as I was flipping through channels in the hotel in Boston last week, I stumbled upon True Blood and heard the tail-end of the revelation. I'm powering through the books now to get there.
But anyway, my point is, if you want some fluff, have enjoyed vampire books before, and like a good mystery too, give these a try. Like Janet Evanovich, it took me through the second and into the third before I really appreciated them (basically after Sookie and Bill broke up), but it's definitely a guilty pleasure of mine now.