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Halfway to the Grave Re-Read Recap Thread!

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Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost // VBCRe-reading Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave was just what I needed this month. The first time Bones called Cat “Kitten” I was grinning, and the joy didn’t let up until the last page. The real question, readers, is have you continued the re-read and dived in to the next books? I know some of our reviewers have.

Below you’ll find some of the VBC staff’s reactions to reading or re-reading Halfway to the Grave. Please add your thoughts in the comments, and let us know if you’d like to see more of these kinds of read/re-reads at VBC in the future. This was an absolute blast (and reminded me why I always put Night Huntress at the top of my recommendations list).

MARGARET
As often happens to me in a re-read, I had forgotten just how many iconic moments are actually in the first book, like Cat’s first meeting with Spade and the one with Don and Tate, and of course Bones’s line about, “If you run, I’ll chase you.”

As I was reading, I also had lots of thoughts about how things would be different if Cat had started out at 19 as Frost originally intended. I don’t think I knew about that the last time I read Halfway to the Grave. Things like her fake ID, delay in starting college, sharing a room with her mother (yikes!) and most of all her innocence, feel much more natural to me if she’s younger. But for some reason I really can’t explain, I’m much more comfortable with Bones’s cradle robbing when Cat’s 22.

And why am I only now realizing that Halfway to the Grave was my gateway enemies-to lovers-romance? They are my catnip and it’s all Frost’s fault! (VBC Chelsea: Enemies-to-lovers = the best!) Some of those early scenes in the cave still squicked me out though. Maybe even more so now, since there’s the added, “Hey, that’s your wife, Asshole!” element. I’m so tempted to keep reading. Book two has some of that enemies vibe as well. And how could you not want to keep going after that last line?

AMY

I got into this series right before book five, This Side of the Grave, came out. Which means, I binge-read the first four books in the series back in 2011. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many more books since then, or maybe it’s because I’m older (heh), but in going back and re-reading Halfway to the Grave I see how young Cat really is at the beginning of the series in comparison to how much she grows by the time we get to Up From the Grave. If I’m being honest, it’s how much she grows from the beginning of Halfway to the end. It’s exponential and quite impressive in the course of one book. She starts out as a somewhat naïve, slightly innocent young woman thinking all vampires are evil, and lumping herself right in the category as well thanks to her mother’s constant reminder that she’s from the devil. I forgot how much I dislike (okay straight up hate) Cat’s mother Justina. By the end, Cat has matured so much as she is more accepting of herself and other supernaturals.

Also: Cat and Bones. They are a power couple in the urban fantasy/paranormal romance world after all. I really loved how Jeaniene Frost built up the start of their relationship. It wasn’t insta-love/lust, but it wasn’t necessarily a slow burn either. I loved the complexity of it. How Bones, being a vampire, challenges everything that Cat has been taught since birth. Bones is the catalyst for Cat finally growing as a character, as a person. And the risk Ms. Frost took at the end of Halfway I feel is almost unheard of in today’s romance. Off the top of my head I can’t think of another series that has handled the separation of the main couple in such a way leading into the second book. Night Huntress is a truly classic series.

JO

I got way more out of this reread than I was expected. Sure, I knew I was going to enjoy it. Duh, it’s Cat & Bones. What I wasn’t expecting was just how much of this book I had forgotten and this made the whole read both brilliantly familiar and excitingly unknown.

With knowing just how large both the world and cast gets over the course of the series, I was also surprised to see just how late a lot of that comes in to Halfway to the Grave, and how much that works in its favor. This almost feels like an origin stories, with just enough world building to suggest its wider scale but the main focus is heavily centered on the characters.

Cat. Bones. My darlings. I loved revisiting they early interactions—and their total opposite of a “meet cute” still makes me snort out loud every time. Their banter is hysterical and their chemistry off the charts… but more than that I loved seeing that they are a team, almost from the very beginning. My, it was fun to see this all from the start again—I feel a series binge coming on!

BETH …who hadn’t read Night Huntress before!

So, as the newbie in the group, I was curious what all the excitement was about. That’s the main reason I agreed to read along with everyone else! However, having read the book—and enjoyed it—I immediately went out and got the second book. (VBC’s Chelsea: Who wants to ask Beth if she’s made it to Chapter 32 yet?) I like Cat and Bones, their relationship—sketchy as it may be at times—and the ending left me extremely curious to see what would happen next. Definitely a series to have fun with!

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! 

What was different for you when reading Halfway to the Grave a second/third/fourth time? Were you squicked by the cave scene? (Both Margaret and I were!) Did you laugh lots? Did you dive into the second book immediately? Tell us in the comments!

10th Anniversary of Halfway to the Grave Re-Read at Vampire Book Club

One Response to “Halfway to the Grave Re-Read Recap Thread!”

  1. Melissa B says:

    I finished it! This was my second time trying to read this. Not sure what was going on the first time around, but ANYWAY… I really enjoyed it this time! The read along encouraged me to pick it back up. I’m glad I did. Cat and Bones relationship did seem a bit odd at first, so I had to suspend how I would have reacted and just go with it… then I was OK(mostly). It was interesting to see how much Cat grew and changed throughout the story and to see how bada** she was by the end. I haven’t started the 2nd one but will soon. Thanks

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