I enjoyed watching True Blood, so I began reading the Southern Vampire Series. The first book describes Sookie and Bill having sex for the first time. I wouldn't recommend it for teens. The second book in the series isn't so bad. If you think your 13 year old would like to read about vampires, I'd recommend the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers. The first three Twilight books are okay for teens, but the fourth one has gotten criticism over the main character Bella having sex with Edward, who is actually her vampire husband by that time. It's nowhere near as graphic as Dead Until Dark though. Our school library carries the first three Twilight books, but the school (and Scholastic) refuses to carry the last one.
I totally agree with you D. Wegner!! I have read many of the threads on this board and the only complaint I see is about the graphic sex in the show and in the books. Adults have sex and love and this is part of life. There is no complaint about the violence. Sex is natural and normal, violence is upsetting and disturbing. It seems many people have this backwards.
This book is more appropriate for the older more mature HS student. That being said, I would have been ok with my own daughter reading this when she was 14-15 as she was much more mature in her reading than others her age.
BTW: it was my own daughter (who is now 25) that recommended these books to me. She started reading the series with book #5, one where there is no sex scene, and then went back and read the first 4. This was several years ago and the early books were harder to find.
The TV show is MUCH more sexually graphic than the books are. I think if your kid isn't living a completely sheltered life and is in HS, they should be fine with it. The books, while they say the characters are having sex (or are about to), aren't really sexually graphic. They lead you to the point so you know what's going on, their emotions, etc, but it's done w/o becoming sort-of soft porn, like the show can sometimes be... Then again, in the show you're literally seeing them naked and in the book it's just a description. I think the most sexually graphic written part is in book 1, but that's just b/c it's Sookie's first time... Or MAYBE in book 6, in New Orleans, but I really don't think it's that bad & is pretty brief.
And regarding Twilight's last book, Breaking Dawn... The sexual content (description) was so minimal. While Harris' books have a bit more 'sexual detail' than Breaking Dawn did, it's not that much more, in my opinion. Both books/stories take you to the point where they're about to do it, or just starting, and then take you to the point after they're done. There's not really a play-by-play thru the whole thing, which is what I'd think would be concerning for a young reader. (BTW, I'm 29 & would have had no problem reading this at 14/15+). If you're that concerned, read the first book & decide for yourself... it's a quick read.
I wouldn't let a 13 read the books. I think of the Sookie books as young adult fodder. It has some romance in it, but there are many instances that I would not call romantic love. I think a 13 year old could handle romantic love, just not as explicit as this stuff is. There are just too many other books out there to choose from
I agree that the Sookie series is NOT for young adults- I read these first and then moved on to Twilight for lack of anything better to read at the time and feel that the Twilight series is for Young Adults. There are many issues in the Sookie series that I would have concerns about young adults reading. Plus, I wonder if they would truly "get" the complexities of the intertwining relationships between the characters. Not to mention all the sex (which I loved) and violence. Not something I would let my own kids read when there are tons of books geared at their age- I remember reading the Vampire Diaries when I was a young adult and that doesn't quit have the "mainstream" feel as the Twilight series. The vampire diaries were some of my favorites many years ago...
SMH...wow really? I remember reading Stephen King's "It" and all of his short stories by the time I was out of 5th grade. Having a brother 5 years older than me helped me get access to all the real good stuff! ;) I also read a ton of Anne Rice and VC Andrews back in elementary school, and those stories can be pretty intense. However, I excelled in my language arts classes and all that reading gave me a better vocabulary and insight into creating awesome fictional short stories. If the kid can understand the vocabulary, there should be no issue with these books as the Stackhouse series is pretty tame compared to what is on MTV.
L. Hyde, it's like you and I were sharing a bookshelf! I read Anne Rice, VC Andrews and Stephen King in Middle School too! I got my hands on a copy of Clan of the Cave Bear and found it and the next books in the series, enlightening to say the least.
D. Terry is right, sex is natural, violence is not.
When people mention their concern that young adults wont be able to handle the issues, what do they mean? That teens don't understand things like divorce, alcoholism, people who sleep around, profanity, child molestation (one of the characters was victimized by a family member) and grief after the death of a loved one. Wow, I mean, not to brag about all the young adults I know, but they get it and they are the wiser for understanding the pitfalls that can befall a person if they aren't careful.
I would agree. I also read Anne Rice (whose vampire novels are much more sexual than the series discussed here) when I was in middle school. I heard much more perverse things at school back then, and that was a decade ago. Believe me, people, your kids are nowhere near as innocent as you think they are. You'd be better off helping your kids understand the world than sheltering them from it.
The books are slightly young for a 13 year old... but I'm still a teen and the novels weren't shocking or too graphic for me. It's just something all teens know by that point in their lives. The books didn't go too deeply into detail either. The TV show though... thats another story. I had to stop watching it, it was sort of scarring.
See, I would have to say these books - at least the first one - is actually very UNexplicit. If you've seen the show, which goes totally overboard with the sex, it's safe to say the book is a complete 180. There is sex, but it's literally "they had sex" and that's all. Nothing graphic or descriptive at all, and actually a bit of a disappointment to a 30-year-old reader. I'd say it's right about teen level.
The real question is why you would ever stop anyone from reading regardless of the book. I read far worse books than this series by the time I was ten, and I'm fairly certain they didn't damage me irreparably.
First of all, thank you to all the teens that posted and said things like, "I can handle the books fine. We hear this stuff in school all the time. But the TV show...I had to turn that off!" I think that speaks a lot to the maturity level of these particular teens. Secondly, the minute we (parents/authority figures) start dictating what our more than capable young men and women choose to read...well, we have just sewn the seeds of rebellion my friends. And we didn't pick our battle very wisely either. The fact that our young people want to read should be fostered not stifled! Talk to you kids about what they are reading and make it in to a family "Book Night" or something if you want to be involved in their reading habits, but don't start censoring or you just might end up suppressing!