Book 6 of 2014 is also the second book Katie and I decided to read for our book club. I told her I was in the mood for something a little supernatural (particularly vampires, my favorite) and she was down for it. I didn’t want anything that would lead to a series…I’m not opposed to that, it’s just that I think book club books should be a one and done.
I also have so many other books I want to read that starting a series would totally derail me.
After searching for the right book (most vampire books have various sequels), I landed on The Radleys.
(Sidebar: I love that cover in the link…and I love that it comes with a reading group guide. HOWEVER, after reading it, I don’t think the cover is that accurate…and the library is free!)
The Radleys tells the story of the Radley family. They live in a suburban England, a town called Bishopthorpe. Most people can’t pinpoint why they find the Radleys strange, because by all outside appearances they are normal. In reality, they are anything but. Helen and Peter, the parents, are abstaining vampires who settled down to stop their violent behavior and raise their son and daughter. Following an Abstainer’s Handbook (which may be very similar to an Al-Anon book), the Radleys practice normal eating habits and impulse control. Their children, Rowan and Clara, have no idea who they truly are and accept a life of being outcast. That is until something brings out the beast in Clara.
After that, their world is turned upside down with the truth of their nature, the arrival of Peter’s brother, and the attempt to keep everything at bay while maintaining their normal appearances.
When I was describing the book to my sister, she was excited and wanted it to be a movie (the rights were purchased back in 2010, but the fact that they haven’t made it yet doesn’t bode too well…rights get purchased all the time without any resulting movies). The story does have an exciting premise and it was an easy and engaging read.
Did it blow me away? No. In fact, I do feel like it could’ve gotten a bit deeper. The story only takes place over a long weekend, so I guess that’s why it never ventures too far into the past. While reading, I started to realize that vampire books might be a lot like what they say about sex and pizza: when it’s good, it’s good and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. I will always be entertained by vampire movies and books because I enjoy the topic very much,
but it just wasn’t my favorite flavor.