Dead Ever After, Charlaine Harris

On Monday afternoon, I told my mother that I should probably try to finish The Ghost Brigade up pronto because I had a vague recollection that I had pre-ordered the last Sookie Stackhouse book and it was due out imminently. I think my exact words were, “If I don’t finish this book before the new one arrives, all bets are off.” Well, I woke up on Tuesday morning with a sore throat and an email in my inbox telling me Dead Ever After had been delivered to my kindle. A sick day AND the final installment of a series I fell in love with last spring? Sorry, Scalzi – I’ll get back to you Monday.

There was no way I wasn’t going to shirk all other duties in order to read the whole thing. I have one load of damp laundry and another that’s wrinkled in the dryer, not to mention a terrifyingly filthy kitchen to prove it.

And, God, was it glorious.

I mean, legitimately, it is one of the best days I’ve had in a while, and that was with the sort of sickness Tylenol doesn’t make much of a dent on. I didn’t answer the phone when it rang. I didn’t have even the faintest desire to check email. I just dove into those sweet, long-awaited and pages and didn’t come up for air until I was done. And I know my followers are bookworms who understand this kind of desperate page turning. It’s not about the book being the best one ever written – it’s about the rabid desire to know the fate of a character who has become a friend over the previous twelve novels.

It’s an obsession that is painful to ignore. If I’d had to stop to cook or write or even put on real pants, I would have been unreasonable, and most likely, completely enraged. I’ve been there before. It’s not pretty. In fact, I’ve been there before with Harris’ books, although since many of my newer readers might not have gone into the archives, they may not have stumbled upon my passionate rantings a year ago. They might not know that I managed to read about eight of the Sookie Stackhouse books during a week-long visit with my parents, utilizing the kindle app on my phone to make it look like I was doing something that conceivably could have been important. My parents know me pretty darn well though, so I probably wasn’t fooling them one bit, but still. I’m not sure they realized quite how late I stayed up every night, or why their child, who usually takes less than ten minutes to shower and get dressed, was suddenly taking forty-five minutes instead.

I haven’t changed that much since I lived under their roof though – at least not when it comes to reading. They raised me to love books, and if that sometimes meant chores didn’t get done in a timely manner, or I seemed distracted or antisocial, I think they chalked it up to the very best part of their parenting. I certainly do. I wouldn’t trade the part of me that obsesses over a good book for anything. I wouldn’t want to erase the hours we spent as family reading together, both aloud and to ourselves, and it gives me real pleasure to know that as my brother and I grew up and left home, it was something special we all still shared.

Sure, you wouldn’t catch my brother reading a bunch of books about a telepathic woman from Louisiana  but he sure did marry the woman who got his sister hooked on them. And while my dad pokes a little fun at my mother and me for our love of genre fiction when he’d rather be reading Shakespeare analysis or biographies, he’s never once suggested we shouldn’t read whatever makes us happy. My mother sneaks her chapters in while drying her hair at the gym, and I get a perverse pleasure from sending both of my sisters-in-law books to read from brilliant, unfinished series just so I’ll have people to lament the wait with.

I love having this connection with my family, and now, with my readers – this mutual addiction of the unread word, and an unapologetic passion for the books we know and love. I adore the feeling of a long-awaited book sitting in my hands. I cherish unexpected titles I find when wandering through the library. And I definitely can’t keep from allowing myself to be head over heels for the books that encourage me to put the world aside for a day.

So thank you, Sookie, for being one of hundreds of characters I’ve encountered in my life that I can’t wait to know more about. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s been a damn good ride.

 

For more about Charlaine Harris, head over here.

11 thoughts on “Dead Ever After, Charlaine Harris

    1. Let me put it this way: I’ve read nearly all Harris’ books in all of her series, and this was not one of the best. That being said, I love Sookie, and I was happy to get the ending I got. Could it have been done better? Yes. But was it still a good book to read while sick? Definitely. :)

  1. I’ve loved Sookie from the beginning, but I stopped reading at one point when the plots got a little too ridiculous (and I love the ridiculous!). I need to go back and give her a proper sendoff! Thanks for the reminder.

    1. The plots did get pretty off the rails, but my love for Sookie helped me power through :) Plus, I read so few really ridiculous, soapy books these days that somehow, they filled a need! I also think (and my friend Tiff confirms) that reading eleven of the books back to back made the crazy seem less…crazy. It all sort of blends together into murder and sex and cute outfits…

  2. OK so you are resolutely anti-spoiling, and I admit to a major faux pas in that regard in the last year, but tell me more, tell me more …

  3. The Skokie Stackhouse novels are amazing. I only read the first 3, and I absolutely loved them. But I think they put too much sex into True Blood.

  4. I love how horribly good these books are. They’re cultish and a serious guilty pleasure for me. It’s kind of like they extended my embarrassing obsession of the Twilight series but in a more adult fashion. I started reading them several years ago and have bought almost all of them (I require real life pages rather than a screen) though it takes me longer than it sounds like it takes you to read. It takes me about a week to get through one of these books. I also don’t want to pay for hardcover so I’m just now grabbing last years release and look forward to the last installment when it hits paperback. Thanks for sharing your affinity for this series and I can totally relate to the obsession books can cause.

  5. I’m halfway thought this book at the moment, and once I’m out of my child’s room tonight (when he falls asleep, eventually!) ill probably stay awake until it done…I’m actually considering using theme version on my iPad right now…(I don’t need two copies, I DO need to know the rest of the story!)

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