Not My Genre with Dead Until Dark

Not My Genre is a personal reading challenge I have created for myself, and for others to participate in if they wish (for both readers needing a challenge and fans, just grab the badge and get reading). For more details and back story to the Not My Genre challenge you can read my initial post, but please feel free to ask me any questions if you feel stuck or are unsure.

Spoiler Note: As this is mix of read-along and reading challenge, spoilers will be unavoidable. Following are the details for the book being read, including intervals set for jotting down thoughts, if you wish to take part and haven’t read the book yet. Spoilers will crop up after the synopsis.

Previous Not My Genre Posts: Introduction

Not My Genre with Dead Until Dark

  • Book to Read: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, book 1 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries.
  • Intervals Set at Pages: 108, 220, and at End
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance


Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself and doesn’t get out much – not because she’s not pretty – she’s a very cute bubbly blonde – or not interested in a social life. She really is…but Sookie’s got a bit of a disability. She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill: he’s tall, he’s dark and he’s handsome – and Sookie can’t ‘hear’ a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting all her life for. But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s fussy about his food, he doesn’t like suntans and he’s never around during the day… Yep, Bill’s a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind. And then one of Sookie’s colleagues at the bar is killed and it’s beginning to look like Sookie might be the next victim…

Pre-Reading Thoughts

  • It has been awhile since I read Dead Until Dark, but I vaguely rmember being irritated by Sookie’s, um, first time. I hope I’m not as irritated this time ’round, and can grow to love the characters as much as I have in the television series.
  • Why am I doing this to myself? (when thinking about lovie dovie-ness between vampires and humans) Oh, that’s right (remembered the above).

Side Note: The bookmark I’m using matches the cover (basically the mouth area). I did not purposely buy a bookmark to match the cover, but already had this one handy and decided I must use it because what are the chances? I know, I know, I’m such a geek… Such an easily entertained geek…

Impressions on Section One: Interval Taken at Page 108

I’ve watched the show so many times I found myself questioning what happened in the book with thoughts like, ‘That’s not how it happened,’ ‘But, -whatever scene or detail- is missing,’ and ‘Wait, who the hell is that person?!’ The usual response I find reserved for when going from reading a book to watching the movie adaptation. That’s what I was doing! Without really knowing it and eventually I realised what was going on.

I told myself to recognise it when it was happening and to stop doing it. It was difficult to switch off my memories of what occured in True Blood, but once I got the hang of it I found myself being able to follow the story far easier and, dare I say, enjoying it.

Predominating Thought(s)

  • I can’t get over how much is the same in the show as in the book! I’m so impressed by that.
  • Sino-Aids? What is this?

Impressions on Section Two: Interval Taken at Page 220

I find myself wanting to skip the rest of the book and just start the sequel. I’m not particularly fond of Sookie or Bill in the show, and I find it’s the case in the book as well. I don’t know, maybe it’s the way Sookie relates her story. I find it a tad tedious at times, but for the life of me I want to keep reading. I think it might be the promise of what’s to come. I’ve read, and been told, how the first few books in the series aren’t the best and it really picks up later.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying Dead Until Dark, but I feel like there’s far more padding than I would prefer. There isn’t really much happening at the moment. Gran has passed, Sookie and Bill’s relationship is tentative, and it’s only just starting to bring Eric in as a complication to their lives. When I think back to the show I realise I prefered following the story line of the other characters and perhaps that is what has made me love the later seasons as well. Will this happen in the series? I have to keep reading to find out.

Predominating Thought(s)

  • Hmm, would I miss much if I skipped the sex scenes? They’re actually boring me.
  • Bring on Eric already!

Impressions on Section Three: Interval Taken at End

I was impressed with how much the TV adaptation was in tune with the original story, but it seemed to veer off course at a point around the second half. It’s ok of course, but I don’t remember so much difference, so many liberties taken beyond a certain point.

I think I began to enjoy it more again once the mystery picked back up and pretty much read as much as I could during the night and the following morning. Now I have to wait for the next one. Bah! But I have a reading schedule at the moment so I have to wait…

I could see why the adaptation went with the character arc chosen for Jason, but I think I prefer Jason’s no drug, lack of heavy drinking, policy in Dead Until Dark. I just want Lafeyette and Tara to hurry up and appear! They’re my favourites, especially Lafeyette, in the adaptation. Yes, Lafeyette is in Dead Until Dark, but he hardly makes much of an impression. Please, someone, tell me he does at some point…

Predominating Thought(s)

  • I can’t believe I finished that so quickly.


Overall, Dead Until Dark wasn’t too bad. I was trying to remember what it was that threw me the first time I read it and I’ve come to the conclusion of how I wasn’t much of a PNR reader when I first picked this story up. Maybe that’s what put me off. In all honesty, the sex scenes were boring and awkward beyond the need for awkwardness, the descriptions were simplistc, but it was not as bad as I remember. Just goes to show, you should probably not right things off first time around. I definitely will be reading the next one, and hopefully the next one after, especially seeing as I’ve been told it does get better.

Expectations for Next Instalment

I expect a more fleshed out and more engaging story for the next one now the first one and introduction to the series has gotten out of the way. I’m assuming there’s going to be some Eric time and that’s about as far as my expectations go.


That was my reading experience. Did you take part? If you have or do please share your link in the comments. I would love to read your thoughts and see how your mind works while you’re reading.

4 thoughts on “Not My Genre with Dead Until Dark

  1. I don’t know if you’ve read beyond book one (doesn’t sound like it), but don’t get your hopes too high for Lafayette making much of an impression. The books and the show diverge significantly after book 2, so much so they the only thing they have in common is character names. I like both the show and the books though!


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