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BOOK REVIEW: DEAD TO THE WORLD

The fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (why can’t I be dead to the world?)
Image+of+the+book+Dead+to+the+World+by+Charlaine+Harris
Alexis Long
Image of the book Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

WARNING: Spoilers

 

The Plot Points:

  • Eric the vampire loses his memory

Sookie has to help keep Eric safe while the other vampires try to get rid of the spell placed on him.

 

  • Jason Stackhouse goes missing.

Jason mysteriously disappears. Sookie has to do her best to protect Eric and search for her brother at the same time.

 

  • War breaks loose.

The vampires and werewolves come together to defeat the witches who are trying to take over.

Yikes. Yahoo. Yum.

— Charlaine Harris, Dead to the World

The Tolerable:

  • She’s kind to her friends… sometimes. 

There’s not a lot of tolerable things in this series, let alone this book in particular. Everything is more rage inducing or questionable at best. Really the only tolerable thing is that Sookie finally is uplifting women (at least her one friend) instead of constantly shaming them. 

When Sookie sees her friend, Tara, after not seeing her for a couple of months, in her head she comments on how great Tara is. Sookie thinks to herself: “Tara always looks great… she has a lot of intelligence” (72).

It’s not a lot, but it is an improvement for someone like Sookie, who in previous books slut shames women and makes rude comments on how they’re dressed.

 

The Rage Fuel:

  • Sookie’s relationship with her brother, Jason.

In the previous book, Club Dead, there were a couple points where the reader saw the unusual relationship between Sookie and Jason. However, in this book it’s ten times worse. Not only are they calling each other “big brother” and “little sister”, they talk about weirdly sexual things with each other. 

After the first night Eric spent at Sookie’s house (since he lost his memory), Jason decides to ask Sookie a disgusting question after seeing that Eric’s feet are bigger than his own: “Big feet… Is the old saying true?” (32). Is this not an inappropriate question to ask any family member?

A little bit later in the book, when Jason goes missing, his boss is trying to tell Sookie that it wouldn’t be unusual for him to miss work because he’s “popular with the ladies”. However, in the middle of his boss saying this Sookie’s thoughts interrupt his sentencing thinking to herself that Jason “drill[s] anything that stands still” (60). Again another inappropriate and disgusting thing to think about your sibling doing. 

Closer to the end of the book Sookie ends up killing a shifter and in the moment she thinks to herself that “when you have to clean the blood out of the kitchen, it’s family you want” (258). Now compared to the above, this isn’t as bad. Although it’s not weird sexual comments, it is still odd. Though maybe she just has a better relationship with her family than most. 

Just like mentioned in the previous review, Sookie calls him “big brother” to his face (284). No real siblings say that to one another. 

 

  • The awful wording and phrasing.

These books were published in the early 2000s, but some of the phrases are just inexcusable. 

While Sookie is reading a letter and reads “unfortunate events” she proceeds to say “‘unfortunate events’ my round rear end” (2). The phrase should simply be “my ass” or even “my rear end” adding in the “round” part is unnecessary. The author really wants to make sure the readers remember that Sookie is that girl. 

Sookie just happens to be showering with Eric (the vampire whose memory is lost) and when she feels him on her she says “Yikes. Yahoo. Yum” (121). Is there really anything to say here? It’s just uncomfortable to see as a reader. 

One of the times when the werewolves are helping Sookie and the vampires, Sookie wants to read the “wolfy thoughts” Alcide (the werewolf who helped Sookie in Club Dead)  is thinking (165). Just say thoughts. The thoughts of werewolves and humans are generally going to be the same. What even classifies a thought as “wolfy”?

Another weird description is when Sookie tries to help the reader visualize with a simile saying the “three vamps looked like chocaholics at the Hershey factory” (181). Of course the reader can understand what the author is trying to describe; however there are better and more sophisticated ways. It does it’s job as figurative language, but it could be better (just like this whole series could be).

 

  • Seriously, what is wrong with these characters?

Not only does Sookie become worse (in terms of controlling herself), but the men are still disgusting. 

Starting the book off strong, Bill (Sookie’s ex-vampire boyfriend) tries to explain why he went down to Dallas in the first place. It’s because he “couldn’t help [him]self” and just had to go down there to cheat on Sookie (4). Now Sookie isn’t loyal herself, but to use this as an excuse… really? Nothing better came to mind?

Pretty much throughout this whole book Sookie takes advantage of the fact that Eric lost his memory and is relying almost solely on Sookie. The whole time she’s lusting after him saying she has her “weak moments” and “thank God” she’s “not married” (33). It’s fine for her to be looking for partners, but it feels like she’s just taking advantage of the situation. She would never do this if Eric had his memory and even says so throughout the book.

Eric also calls Sookie “lover” (156). Some pet-names are fine, but lover? Just reading it the vomit has to be held back. He could’ve used any other name such as: love, sweetie, honey, hun, sweetheart, babe, even baby would have been better, but no. 

This book definitely has more inappropriate scenes and conversations (it’s still pretty PG-13 though) than the previous ones in the series and it is super gross and uncomfortable to read. There’s a time and place and the author just over does it in this book in particular. 

 

The Review:

  • Intolerable: 4 out of 5 disapproving head nods
  • Repulsed: 6 out of 5 swallowed vomit
  • Entertainment: 3 out of 5 well thens…
  • Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars (only because it was entertaining)
About the Contributor
Alexis Long, Reporter
I like to make fun of myself... please laugh.