Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13)
by Charlaine Harris
Ughhhh. This book was pretty painful reading. Look, I've never been a huge fan of Charlaine Harris. I enjoyed the first few books of the series like I enjoy Cheetos -- it's total crap, but it's easy going down and kind of fun. There were things that annoyed me about Harris' writing right from the beginning, but I just tried to overlook them. The longer this series went on, the more these things bugged me and the less I cared about these characters. When I heard this was to be the last book in the series, I was relieved. I felt too invested to stop reading them, even though I didn't enjoy them anymore. It's like the bag of Cheetos was 3/4 empty and I figured I may as well finish them, even though I felt slightly sick and could no longer taste them.
I could tell very early on in this book who Sookie was going to end up with. I knew before reading it a lot of people were upset about it, and I'd thought I really didn't care who she wound up with in the end. But I'll admit, when I got the first whiff of it in Chapter 1 or 2, I was surprised to find out I had quite a negative reaction. It seemed wrong somehow. By the time they actually hooked up, I was more resigned to it and back to my state of apathy. It's far from the truimphant homecoming I assume Harris feels it to be in her own mind. But that's not the reason I gave this book such a low rating.
I've got to be honest - this was just a generally shitty book. It reads like a first draft, like Harris never went back to polish it at all. Maybe she didn't. It's sloppy, lazy, and often tedious. Do we really need an item-by-item inventory of Sookie's dresser drawers? This book was so laden with filler, the actual plot probably couldn't even carry a novella. As far as I can tell, nearly every character that made an appearance in the whole series was either mentioned or showed up in person to give Sookie a piece of the puzzle. And of course, each time someone popped in out of the blue, we had a short history lesson along with a "how's the family" dialogue, neither of which added anything at all. Every piece of plot information these characters provided (if they provided any) could easily have come from someone more centrally involved. Harris threw her story's integrity under the bus in service to her wish to have a parade of former cast members.
In this book, Sookie is downright rescued by everyone she's ever known (who's still alive). She does absolutely nothing to help herself besides play hostess to a bunch of people who inexplicably arrive in desperate desire to help her, and then, one by one, leave before the job is finished. While the only three friends that remain in the end are off tracking down people who are actively hunting her, Sookie leaves her protected house to go out for a fun line-dancing double date. I can't even. I just. No.
See my reviews of
Dead Until Dark (#1)
Dead in the Family (#10)