Archives

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) – Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) – Richelle MeadTitle: Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: December 7, 2010 by Penguin
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 23, 2013
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1), The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.
    Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn't even commit. She's in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She'll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.
    But the clock on Rose's life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back...and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

bookreview1

I finished a series!!! *happy dance* Aren’t you guys proud of me!? I FINALLY finished the Vampire Academy series! It only took me…. forever. Anyway, let’s talk about it, shall we? So I started LAST SACRIFICE, and at first I was scared. Because I participated in the “Who Is Marcus Finch” campaign in the beginning of the year, therefore deciding to read ALL of the Bloodlines series (that’s out so far) before finishing VA, I was very nervous that LAST SACRIFICE was going to be anti-climactic. I guess I can say that although BL did have a few spoilers for the last book here, there were still so many things that I was excited to find out and regardless of spoilers, I still needed to see how it wrapped up!

lastsacrifice

So LAST SACRIFICE starts with Rose in prison for a crime that we know she didn’t commit, but basically everyone else in the vampire world thinks she did. Typical! The beginning was just a tad slow because obviously… Rose is in prison. We can only do so much with that for so long. Thankfully it didn’t take too long for her to get out. LAST SACRIFICE definitely kept me on my toes (once we busted out of the prison part) with the usual chases, escapes, and complete surprises that are so characteristic of the Vampire Academy series.

One thing that I really liked was thinking how Rose has grown as a person/character throughout the series. She will always be a “react first, think later” kind of person, but you can see how much she’s changed and matured to still keep her instincts at the ready, but also to allow herself to use her head and her heart in balance when making her decisions. I think many of the characters have matured nicely throughout the series, an obvious one being Lissa. Lissa has to secure her place on court since she’s part of a royal bloodline, but with no living relatives, has to find a way to do it (because for those of you who don’t know, you need that one extra relative to validate you). It’s obvious for people who have read LAST SACRIFICE and/or The Bloodlines series (since it is a spin-off series) how much Lissa really has changed, grown, and overcome in these last couple books. She’s actually one of my favorite characters from the series and I don’t think I realized that until very recently.

The Rose and Dimitri Story… The romance between Rose & Dimitri has basically been half of why I loved this series so much. I don’t know why but a good forbidden romance just GETS me. They love each other… but no! They can’t be together! Anyway… I actually felt just a tiny bit let down by that forbidden romance aspect in LAST SACRIFICE because as silly as it is to say, it just wasn’t angsty enough for me! Ultimately, okay. (This is not a spoiler because this has been my OPINION the entire series) In my mind, I KNEW they were going to end up together and yes, that’s what I wanted… But there wasn’t enough tug on my heart with the back-and-forth in this book. I will say that I’m glad the book wrapped up this romance the way that it did and it definitely had to happen in the very last book because well… It just wouldn’t be exciting if that carried on in future books! That angsty romance just lost a tiiiiiny bit of its spark for me in the last book, but who am I kidding. I still love it!

The killer twists are always a very, very favorite part of Richelle Mead’s books, but like I mentioned earlier, I kiiiind of spoiled a really big one for myself but reading BLOODLINES. *shrugs* Can’t really do much about that now, but I got to enjoy LAST SACRIFICE in a different way: After reading Bloodlines and getting a very brief idea of what happened in LS, it was actually kind of fun to “go back in time” and see how it really happened. I actually had pieces of the puzzle in Bloodlines so it was actually fun to see how those pieces came together in LAST SACRIFICE. I didn’t quite enjoy the book the way it was intended with the total shockers, but I got to almost see a different side of it and that was kind of cool too.
There were still some things that were able to surprise me that hadn’t gotten spoiled by reading Bloodlines first and then even still, there were some more moments of clarity where I would stop and say, “Ohhhhhh, I get it!” Would I recommend finishing VA before starting Bloodlines? Absolutely. But if you don’t, the rest of the VA series should still be enjoyable, but in a slightly different way.

character_breakdown1

Rose Hathaway // Character obsessions: Dimitri, kicking Strigoi ass.
I clearly never hated Rose (since I read the entire series) but I will say that she grew on me over the course of the series. I’m actually a little proud of her for maturing and starting to act like an adult in this last book. Haha, Richelle Mead really did a number on me here — I’m acting like Rose is a real person so I guess she did a really great job with that!
Lissa Dragomir // Character obsessions: Spirit magic.
I don’t think I knew it for a long time, but Lissa is actually one of my favorite characters. She was a balance of head when Rose acted with heart and she’s always had a sort of maturity about her that I really appreciate. I like how she changed in this book as well — She’s always been good with a crowd and diplomatic, but here she really owned it and started to not just be appropriate amongst the Royals, but really take charge and start acting like she really had something to fight for.
Sydney Sage // Character obessions: Work, looking presentable, responsibility.
So I’ve read all three of the Bloodlines books that are out so far and… I like Sydney more in VA than I did getting Bloodlines from her POV. The Sydney in VA is seen through Rose’s eyes, so she’s serious and focused, but also sarcastic and clearly out of her element considering she’s helping vampires. In Bloodlines we read from her POV and just allllll the insecurities I read from her stream of consciousness kind of negate the badassness that I saw so much of in VA. It was much easier for me to read her through Rose’s POV than from her own.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Vampires. I realized that the books in this series were the only vampire books I’ve read since Twilight! I was “over” that phase even when I started reading VA so they’ve definitely held my interest!
Left Me Wanting More: Swoony times. Rose & Dimitri’s relationship was basically half of the fun of these books and I felt like there weren’t a lot of good swoony moments in LAST SACRIFICE!

Addiction Rating
BUY & RECOMMEND.

While it wasn’t my favorite of the series, Vampire Academy will always hold a special place on my shelves. I have to round out my collection of books by completing the series!

book_recommendations1

     Bloodlines      something Strange and Deadly

Sweet Peril (Sweet Evil #2) – Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril (Sweet Evil #2) – Wendy HigginsTitle: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins
Publishing Info: April 30, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 15, 2013
Related Posts: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)

    Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.
Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

bookreview1

This is a spoiler-free review for SWEET PERIL but if you have not read SWEET EVIL yet, beware that there may be some spoilers for book one!

It’s no secret that I fangirled over SWEET EVIL pretty hard when I first read it last summer. I was allll about Kaidan and he truly made the book for me (ALL THE SWOONS) so when we left Sweet Evil with Anna and Kaidan separated, I had a great fear building up until I finally got my hands on SWEET PERIL that we would suffer from one of the common occurrences in the second in a series in which the two lovebirds are apart the whole book. Well, I feel it’s important to warn you (and there’s no way I can talk about the first half of the book) to say that… It happened.

I can’t. Get. Kupono. Out of my head.

First: I liked the book. I really did. Despite my wariness for angel/demon books, I really love how Wendy Higgins creates this other world and mythology and legends… But Kaidan, my main reason for loving the book, was gone the whole first half. There was tons of Kopano (which I’m sorry, as a SYTYCD fan, I keep wanting to say Kupono haha) but really, he just doesn’t do it for me. I actually didn’t really like him that much in the first book as a friend and here we go turning a slight love triangle and I just really felt let down. I was actually pretty disappointed with the direction that took. Then I run into another second in a series issue in which the characters are on a mission and traveling. The road trip in book one did not bother me at all because it was more road trip and not mission. The road trip was low-stress and we got to see a lot of character interaction between Anna and Kaidan there. The trips in book two are all over the world and pretty much are the only things we get in the first half of the book. They felt rushed and pieced together instead of a flowing story.

The second half of the book was where the magic really happened for me. It was back to the old times! The good times! Just like in Sweet Evil. We finally get to see Kaidan again for more than two seconds and he returns to all his steamy glory!! Anna finally seems a little more confident because I really felt like she was a bit passive and naïve (well, she’s always going to be naïve) in the first half. After what I felt like was travel, travel, more travel and introducing new characters, we get to know a bit more about the other Dukes, Neph, and angels in the second half. More pieces to the puzzle! More interesting facts!! YAYYY. It was a relief because I got really scared for a while in the beginning.

The second half definitely felt more like the “home” that I found in Sweet Evil so I was thankful we finally got back to that! The only thing I was a bit confused with is Anna’s character is kind of back and forth. She’s been learning how to defend herself but half the time she’s still the sweet, little naïve girl and the other half she’s badass and ready to wield weapons. I’m just not sure which Anna we should be expecting or if we truly should expect both in one. Clearly Anna’s going through a lot of personal changes throughout this whole discovery of her true ancestry and truth be told, I kind of enjoy the badass Anna BUT I also want her to stay true to her character so it’s kind of a toss up for me!

Overall, I did enjoy a lot from SWEET PERIL but it was a slow start for me. Superfans of the series will love it, I’m sure, and I’ve seen tons of five star ratings already!

character_breakdown1

Anna Whitt: For some reason when I read Sweet Evil, I didn’t think Anna was that naive (and Wendy Higgins herself said to me, “Really? I think she’s incredibly naive!” but for some reason it just didn’t come across to me that way in book one. Book two, however, gave me a lot of that feeling and it bothered me at times. I think I was just in a different place when I read book two and it totally change my outlook on Anna’s character. Regardless, I’m happy that she’s learning how to defend herself but still hasn’t lost her morals or beliefs. I hope she stays true to her character in book three!!
Kaidan Rowe: Kaidan, why were you hiding in LA half of the book!?! Don’t do that to me!!! Once Kai finally shows back up in the picture in full force, the book really took off for me. I needed that tension between Anna and Kai for the book to work for me, I think, because that was what I loved so much about Sweet Evil!
Kopano: Eh. Kope just doesn’t do it for me. I wasn’t really a fan of his character in Sweet Evil — nothing personal, but he just didn’t stand out for me — so his major presence in Sweet Peril brought me down a little, to be honest!
Characters I loved seeing so much more of: Blake makes a strong appearance in this book and I loved him! Loved seeing more of Marnie and Ginger as well as Baleil/Anna’s father.

addiction_factor1

Try it

I didn’t like this one as much… and I’m afraid my love for this series is starting to die! It was still a fun read but I feel like that magic is gone.

book_recommendations1

     Sweet Evil      PIvot Point

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) – Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) – Richelle MeadTitle: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: February 12, 2013 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 23, 2013
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1), The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets--and human lives."
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

bookreview1

THE INDIGO SPELL for the win!! When reading BLOODLINES and THE GOLDEN LILY, I was enjoying the books but really kind of “ehhh” on how I felt about them. The stories were great and I loved the way the plot was unfolding, but the whole time, I just kept thinking “It’s just not Vampire Academy”. Well, I guess THE INDIGO SPELL still isn’t quite on par with VA for me (I know you’re tired of hearing it), but I felt like it had a lot more action and intrigue than the first two books did!

Guys, not only are we dealing with vampire magic, we’ve got more of the occult in here. That’s right. Witchcraft. I think this was a great turn in the overall plot of the Bloodlines series because it helps us edge away from the vampire focus and get more into Sydney’s life. Maybe this will finally help me stop comparing the two series!

SYDNEY. You guys know how much I was struggling to get along with Sydney and I think we’re finally starting to become friends. She’s really starting to figure out her own life and question everything she was taught as an Alchemist and I’m loving it! She’s becoming her own person, loosening up a bit, and it’s really helping how well I’m getting along with her character.

Oh, and PS — There are KISSING SCENES. With ADRIAN. Swoon.

character_breakdown1

Sydney Sage: You go, girl! Sydney is finally starting to think for herself and it makes it so much better for me to read. She’s still a little reserved but becoming more and more confident. I think I really like bold heroines, especially in books where they’re acting as protectors and weilding magic, so I’m totally on board with the new Sydney.
Adrian Ivashkov: Still loving Adrian! I don’t think that’ll change.
Angeline: Ehhh I’m warming up to her a little bit….. But I still kind of hate her guts. I think I’m just understanding her more than liking her.

QUOTES

Please note that these quotes have been taken from the ARC copy. Please refer to finished copy for final text.

p28: [Adrian] “You’re not as much of a lost cause as she was. I mean, with her, I had to overcome her deep, epic love with a Russian warlord. You and I just have to overcome hundreds of years’ worth of deeply ingrained prejudice and taboo between our two races. Easy.”

p86: [Sydney] “Something I’d learned over the years: It was never a good thing when people said, ‘Here’s something I never told you…’

Haha that reminds me of Death Becomes Her: “NOW a warning!?” (I actually tried to find a gif with no luck… Bummer.)

addiction_factor1

Buy it!

If you’re this far in the series, it’s worth the read! Personally, I think the series keeps getting better!

book_recommendations1

                

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) – Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) – Richelle MeadTitle: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: June 12, 2012 by Penguin
Source: Library
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 20, 2013
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1), The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.
But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.
Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?
  

bookreview1

Okay, I will say that I enjoyed THE GOLDEN LILY more than BLOODLINES, but at the same time I still had the some of the same issues. Sydney is a good heroine for these novels, but I’m still not quite convinced on how much I like her. She definitely has some deep-seeded personal issues that stem from the strict rules of the Alchemists and these issues make her more reserved which gets a bit tiresome at times. She’s incredibly intelligent and studious, but so much so that it makes her incredibly naive and unaware of social surroundings. All of that kind of got on my nerves so I was still having a little trouble really supporting Sydney – The good thing about all of that is that slowly but surely, Sydney is really starting to come into her own ideas and beliefs and question the rigidity of the Alchemists’ beliefs, like any good MC does.

I definitely liked where the plot was heading in THE GOLDEN LILY. We see a few more secrets unearthed and some more truths come to light that really puts an interesting twist on the relationship between the vampire community and the Alchemists. I really enjoyed some of the plot twists, but at the same time, I can’t help but compare the series so far to that of Vampire Academy and in doing so, I’m just not as into it as I was with VA. Sydney’s world is still intertwined with the Moroi and dhampirs, but when we were following Rose’s story, we got to see the school atmosphere where she was learning how to be a guardian and I really felt like that explanation and creation of the vampire world added a whole separate aspect to the story that I’m missing with BLOODLINES so far. I’m not feeling as connected with the world of the Alchemists because Sydney is actually removed from it and attending a normal school.

Overall in the series so far, I feel a general lack of action-packed scenes. I think normally, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference, but after coming off the jam-packed thrill ride that was Vampire Academy, I’m just missing all of those different fight scenes. There’s also a lack of “OMG moments” that were so prevalent in VA that I’m still missing in BLOODLINES as well.

As far as secondary characters and their story lines go, I’m kind of take it or leave it. Adrian is still a great main character and I’m loving how much more we see of him in BLOODLINES and THE GOLDEN LILY, but I’m pretty much ambivalent about Eddie and Jill, and I’m actively disliking Angeline. I AM more interested in Trey, especially after his character’s development in THE GOLDEN LILY, so I’m really curious to see his role in future books.

character_breakdown1

Sydney Sage: Sydney is still pretty blah for me. I’m kind of over the plain-clothes jokes and how clueless she is about picking up on social cues. I mean, I get it. I guess in her Alchemist training it really wasn’t a part of her life. Still, I’m hoping she’ll just hurry up and become a little more normal because whereas it was just okay in the first book, it started to really wear on me in TGL.
Adrian Ivashkov: Yay Adrian! He really has the best lines. Ever. They’re so snarky and sarcastic and absolutely hilarious. He’s becoming such a great, well-rounded character.
Brayden: Oh. My. Gosh. Hated him. So incredibly boring and pretentious.

addiction_factor1

Read it!

I’m not TOTALLY sold yet but Richelle Mead’s books are always enjoyable! If you’re a VA fan, chances are you’ll still really enjoy this series too!

book_recommendations1

           

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) – Richelle Mead

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) – Richelle MeadTitle: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: August 23, 2011 by Penguin
Source: Library
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 13, 2013
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning... 

bookreview1

BLOODLINES is a great spin-off series from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series (And may I say, you really HAVE to finish VA first as there are some major plot points as spoilers from the last book that you will be missing if you don’t). We get to follow the story of Sydney Sage and her duties as an Alchemist, viewing the very anti-vampire feelings that the Alchemists hold dear. It was really interesting to see this side of the story with Sydney bridging the gap between the vamp-hating Alchemists and her duties to protect a Moroi, constantly debating whether she should feel bad for being friendly with Moroi and dhampirs or if maybe it was time for a new wave of acceptance to come through.

I actually felt like the story line was just a bit slow for my tastes after the constant rush and excitement of the Vampire Academy series BUT I do remember reading book one of VA and remeber that one being slower than all of the other ones that followed it. Maybe it was just that we needed to take book one to really establish some of hte new characters and fit the familiar characters into a new surrounding? I’m not really sure. I was just hoping for a tiny bit more action and maybe we’ll see that in book two since we have our series plot line all set up.

Guys. GUYS. With BLOODLINES, I’m finally understanding the Adrian-factor! I think in VA I was just too blinded by Dimitri. I mean, how could you not be? So I never really gave Adrian a fair shot and I felt like he always kind of fell to the background. BLOODLINES, however, totally delivered a fun, snarky, and charming Adrian character. I can’t wait to see more of him as a prominent character.

I think I was just missing a little bit more action from BLOODLINES and felt like some of the plot turns were a little bit predicatable whereas with VA, Mead always found a way to knock me off my feet. I’m still really excited for the upcoming books and can’t wait to see where else this series goes!

character_breakdown1
Sydney Sage: I definitely see similarities and differences all at the same time between Sydney as a main character and Rose as a main character. I was glad, though, that for as much as the other characters tease Sydney about being uptight, she’s definitely not boring! She’s strong and has a mind of her own, refusing to blindly believe everything that the Alchemists follow. I’m really looking forward to seeing her character develop throughout the series.
Adrian Ivashkov: FINALLY. I GET IT!!!! I loved Adrian in this book. He was funny, snarky, witty – everything that he was in VA, but this time he gets a spotlight and has several hilarious lines in the book. I’m still not quite feeling the possible romance between him & Sydney but I don’t doubt that that’ll quickly change.
Eddie: I loved that Eddie is a part of BLOODLINES. He was a great secondary character in VA and here we get to see his character shine a bit more. What a great addition to this ensemble!

addiction_factor1

Read it!

This was a really fun first book in a new series from Richelle Mead. I had a lot of fun reading this one and I’m definitely looking forward to more in this series!

book_recommendations1

              

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) – Richelle Mead

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) – Richelle MeadTitle: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: May 18, 2010 by Penguin
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 17, 2012
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1), The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...
    After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.
    She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

bookreview1

Okay, friends. Turn back now if you want to avoid any spoilers because the deeper I get into this series, the more virtually impossible it becomes for me not to say anything spoiler-y! Mostly for the books that have come before this one, but I need to talk about other things that happened in SPIRIT BOUND too!

Okay, so first off, I definitely enjoyed this one more than I enjoyed BLOOD PROMISE, but still not as much as the first three books of the series. I think in BLOOD PROMISE, I had my second book syndrome except two books late. Usually in trilogies, I have second book syndrome and I just get so disappointed because too many things change all at once and I get lost in the story. I think that was what happened with BLOOD PROMISE. We were far away in Siberia, away from too many of our favorite characters and introduced to too many new ones. Now that Rose is back from Russia and reunited with her old classmates, I totally got on board again.

What I just realized (since I’m writing the review after literally just finishing the book) is wait a second! What happened to Victor? I just realized in all the commotion from the finale of this book that we lose Victor and Robert in the plot. Hm. Anyway, we did gain Dimitri back and in a whole new way! Wow, the interactions between Rose and Dimitri in SPIRIT BOUND were entirely different from BLOOD PROMISE. I went from being afraid for the both of them to being hopeful to being heartbroken all over again. It’s just a roller coaster ride – Granted, I did lose a lot of momentum in their relationship and the love I had for this relationship since the first couple of books, but I still have a lot of hope for them yet. I can’t wait to see how this evolves in the last book.

Yet another surprise ending from Mead! I’m always amazed each time the plot twists that she throws into our characters paths. I can’t wait to see how the series wraps up!

character_breakdown1

Dimitri: Ahhh, Dimitri! What a roller coaster you have gone on as far as characters go – probably the most changes I’ve seen from a character in a series. I can’t wait to see what his fate (or Mead’s crazy ideas) hold for him in the last book! And everything that happens in this book is perfectly logical and totally appropriate for the way his character would act.
Lissa: I’m loving the development with Lissa’s character. We’re slowly but surely seeing some awesome progress in her character, both emotionally and physically as well as magically. I love how Mead has had her character evolve so slowly throughout the books. I feel like it’s been really believable and much more enjoyable that way.
Adrian: Frankly I feel bad for Adrian! I know he likes Rose but poor guy, you just know Rose and Dimitri are supposed to be together. Even seeing her and Adrian together just seemed so wrong. I guess that’s great writing on Mead’s part — I was definitely following the story line that was clearly laid out to us.

addiction_factor1

Read it

I enjoyed SPIRIT BOUND! Still not my favorite but UGH these books. They just keep me going and going. I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE SPIRIT BOUND

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) – Richelle Mead

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) – Richelle MeadTitle: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: August 25, 2009 by Penguin
Source: Library
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 14, 2012
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1), The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them . . . including Dimitri. He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

bookreview1

I was slightly disappointed in the beginning, I must say. I felt like it was pretty slow to start. Yes, there was a lot of necessary set up, but after the way book three ended I was DYING to know what happened to Dimitri. Weren’t we all!? So we know that Rose is wandering about in Russia, but I was just like, “Come on, already! I’m dying here!”

Finally it start to get REALLY good. We finally get to know what happened to Dimitri, where he went, what his life has become now that he’s a Strigoi. And agh, it’s just so hard to review this book without saying anything about when Rose and Dimitri finally encounter each other since that would be like spoiler after spoiler. I guess the best thing I can say is that even as that part of the story was progressing, I still really didn’t know how it was going to end up. All the while I kept hoping for redemption for Dimitri, but we know there’s not way to “turn a Strigoi back”. So how could it end any other way except Rose killing him? It was quite the interesting situation to say the least!

In true Mead fashion, there were a few nice twists at the end!! Nothing quite as shocking as previous books, but still left me with a lot of questions that I NEED answered. Needless to say, I’m definitely going to pick up book 5 soon!!

character_breakdown1

Avery: I always got a bad vibe from Avery, but it looks like there was a lot more to her character than we really know.
Abe: I was with Rose on this one — I figured Abe for a vampire gangster-type person. But he was a tough one to figure out. He seemed vile and threatening, but then again never really acted to live up to those expectations. For those who haven’t read the book, I won’t give it away, but we do find out there’s more to Abe than anyone lets on (or maybe just knows since our characters are in the dark too).
Dimitri: Oh, Dimitri. It was heartbreaking to read about him as a Strigoi. His and Rose’s relationship is one of my favorites so I had no idea how the series could continue on with him as the undead. I guess we do get some answers to this, but even still, it was so weird to read!

book_recommendations1

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) – Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) – Richelle MeadTitle: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead
Publishing Info: November 13, 2008 by Penguin
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 14, 2012
Related Posts: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2), Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4), Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5), Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1), The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3), Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6), Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1), The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

    It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all... might be seeing ghosts.
As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most.

bookreview1

Wow, it’s almost really hard to talk about this book without being spoiler-y. I really like how Richelle Mead sets things up so well in the book. We get lots of little hints of foreshadowing in the beginning when Rose and Lissa visit the fortune teller. Lots of little things pop up throughout the book and I was like, “Oh yeah! Oh wait… oh no!!!”

LOVE the development between Rose and Dimitri in this book. We finally get to see them taking baby steps toward actually being together (yay!) which is something that they’ve been denying themselves (and us. Come on, already!) so that tension is finally starting to break.

Just like FROSTBITE, Mead leaves us with a HUGE surprise. I literally gasped and slapped my hand over my mouth. I really honestly have NO idea where the next book will take us and I’m so tempted just to keep reading straight on to find out! And who’s the blonde? That’s a really pretty spoiler-y question, but you wouldn’t know what I was talking about until you got to that point in the book anyway!

character_breakdown1

Rose: Well, she’s typical Rose still. Hot-headed, feisty – But I do like that we get to see a more serious side of her. She’s finally starting to understand the real seriousness of her being Lissa’s guardian and she really wants to prove to herself and to the staff that she can do it. She’s starting to think more rationally and maturely instead of like a rash teenager and I love it.
Dimitri: Dimitri, I love you. One of my favorite love interests in any book I’ve read! We get to stir up a little more passion in this book instead of pushing everything down and it’s like, FINALLY. And as always, I love that protector role.
Eddie: I really liked seeing more of Eddie in this book. He had a major part in the end of Frostbite, but I still didn’t feel like he had a major role. He’s a great character and we really start to make a connection with him here.

QUOTES

P131: “Victor had figured it out by watching us and gathering data. I guess when you’re a scheming villain, you get good at that stuff.”

P178:  Rose: Why do you read these? Dimitri: Some people read books for fun.

addiction_factor1Read it!

While SHADOW KISS wasn’t my favorite of the series so far, it was definitely still a lot of fun! These books are just addicting.

book_recommendations1

             

Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil Trilogy #1) – Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil Trilogy #1) – Wendy HigginsTitle: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins
Publishing Info: May 1, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 26, 2012
Related Posts: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2)

    Embrace the Forbidden
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

bookreview1

Okay, before I even start to review this… You know how this whole YA Crush Tourney is going on? I was all, “What’s the big deal? Sure I’ve had book crushes, but I’m not all up in arms about any one of them…” And then I read this book. And MAN I was too late because Kaidan already lost to Finnick (really? Clearly not enough people have read this book) on July 13th (I finished on 7/26… Way too late). So that just shows you how quickly I went from zero to “I love him”!

So now to the review. Umm.. how do I put this? I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a while. And that’s saying a lot considering I’ve given so many books 5-star ratings recently. I mean, for all of those that I adored, I loved this one that much more. Really. It’s like 6 stars, if that were possible!

Right from the beginning, I loved everything about SWEET EVIL. Anna is sweet and innocent and usually those characters are naive and annoying, but that’s not Anna at all. She’s a normal girl! Well, if normal means seeing people’s auras in colors, heightened senses, and oh yeah, daughter of an angel and a demon. But she acts normal, is what I’m really getting at here. She was so completely relatable because that’s who I was in high school. Subtract a little bit religious and Southern and add a little choir and basketball and that was me in high school. In fact, I was actually picturing this taking place in my high school whereas usually with books I just created some random place in my mind based on the details I was given. That’s how much I related!
Kaidan. Oh, Kaidan. Brooding. Sexy. British. Son of the Duke of LUST? What? How can anyone resist that? He was built to tease and tempt us and by golly, I was all for him. Then we get to know Kaiden a little better and see that he’s more then just his father’s son and he may actually care for Anna. Lust, romance, and tenderness!? Swoooooon. Yikes. Bravo, Wendy Higgins! Hands down the first character I’ve swooned for. Honestly.
The relationship that develops between Anna and Kai. SIGH. It’s so “I-want-you-but-I-can’t-have-you” and it kills me! They belong together, but they know they shouldn’t be together. I love where the story takes us and it just really tugs on your heartstrings to see these two apart!
I also really loved the best friend Jay! And I’m so glad this was NOT a love triangle situation! Anna can read auras as colors and right off the bat, she knows that Jay is not into her as more than a friend and she’s not into him. She knows his feelings and he doesn’t lust for her and I’m so glad  we don’t divert into love triangle here! It was a highly fascinating story and I think the presence of this love triangle would have ruined it, honestly.

Okay, and onto the actual plot — Once again, absolutely loved it. I think this could have easily crossed the line into religious with all of its dealings with heaven/hell/angels/demons, the fact that Anna’s religious and prays and goes to church — And (not so secret confession) I went to a Catholic school for 10 years. I almost felt like I was forced into religion (that’s a talk for another day, different time) so I always get so frustrated when characters are really religious. It’s just something weird that I have from how I grew up, but when a character is religious or I feel a book is preachy, I get immediately turned off. I feel like this danced perfectly on the line of sacred and secular and played extremely nicely interweaving the two.
I loved the creativity with it being so much more than just Nephilim being the children of demons, that Anna was the child of an angel AND a demon, which is not supposed to happen. I love that it was a little bit more of paranormal when we learn about that the way that Anna reads auras by seeing the colors of people’s emotions. The heightened senses also played a really big part. It was just so much more than Angels vs Demons and it just really drew me in.

QUOTES

  • P 13: He was smokin’ hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I’d never understood until this moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra-T worthy.
  • P 15: Kai, like Thai, only yummier.
  • P 136: I’d had my first kiss, and I’d never be the same.
  • P 231: I’ve heard the saying that you can’t miss what you never had. Only I did. The disappointment hurt.

addiction_factor1

Read it!

I’m not sure if everyone will love this one as much as I did… I think it was right place, right time you know? But I still had a ton of fun with this one!

book_recommendations1

https://i0.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1337042881l/9565548.jpg?resize=165%2C250     

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra ClareTitle: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
Publishing Info: March 27, 2007 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 6, 2012

    When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Breaking It Down Further: When Clary Fray stumbles upon a group of Shadowhunters – and a full paranormal world that normal humans don’t even know exists – she begins to rethink her whole path in life… And how normal the paranormal actually feels. The Shadowhunters (specifically Jace, Isabelle, and Alec) inadvertently take on Clary when her mother goes missing with several signs of foul play, including obvious demon attacks. The more Clary learns about this new world, the more she worries for the safety of her mother from the powerful and dangerous force that is Valentine.

bookreview1

Hmmm. I really enjoyed this book, but I still have somewhat of a mixed review!  First, as a die hard Harry Potter fan, I couldn’t help but see sooo many similarities!

Harry Potter                                   City of Bones
Voldemort                                      Valentine
Deathly Hallows                            Mortal Instruments
Ancient Runes                               Runes
Wormtail                                        Simon’s accidental transformation
Harry orphaned by evil                Jace orphaned by evil/Clary almost orphaned
Hogwarts                                        The Institute

Totally not knocking it! I’m just saying that I couldn’t help but constantly see all the similarities!

For some reason this is how I’m picturing Jace (Kyle Schmid)? Anyone else?

Okay, so now more into the review. I really enjoyed the amount of sarcasm in the book. I love sarcasm and snarky and I think books need more of that nowadays! I loved Jace’s cocky attitude since it was cocky in a way that was humorous and not pretentious. I liked seeing Clary grow throughout the book and her developing friendships/relationships with Jace/Simon. What I wasn’t really a fan of was the secondary characters. I didn’t really see a whole lot in Isabelle or Alec and since it’s a series, I’m sure they’ll be more developed later on, but in this book, I didn’t really see the point so much.

As for the story — I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I just get paranormal overload. Along with the Shadowhunters who fight the demons, there are still several (or tons, I should say) of “downworlders” who are other paranormals who came from a combination of angels/humans/demons, etc. Along with Shadowhunters, we have the demons, but then vampires, werewolves, pixies, faeries, selkies, and so many more. I was just overloaded with all of the paranormal beings and I’m not sure it was entirely necessary. Again –  since it’s a series, that may play out later. We’ll have to see!

I really did like the development of how the Shadowhunter’s world works and all of the rules and practices. I’m hoping there’s a little bit more focus and development of this in future books because I’m really interested in learning more about this world, and I’m super anxious to see Clary find her place in it!

I felt like there were a little too many similes and metaphors for my taste. They all made sense — It wasn’t like it was random — But I feel like overuse of similes and metaphors takes away from writing rather than enhancing it. I was distracted by some of them, actually, instead of having them enhance the picture in my mind. I think part of the reason is because I get really vivid pictures in my head when I read the story and even if it’s not exactly what the author is thinking, I like to be able to paint my own picture. Sometimes they really distracted me from how I was picturing things.

Um, for all of those people who have already read this (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t) – Let’s talk about this twist at the end. Does this have a better answer!? I was completely blown away (and maybe a little embarrassed that I didn’t see it coming…) but also weirded out. I’m not sure if I got turned off by it or really interested to see how that works out in the next book!

Overall, I really enjoyed it! I definitely look forward to reading the next in the series.

addiction_factor1

4/5 stars
I actually kind of went back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars for this, but ultimately decided on 4 stars.

If You Liked This, You Might Like… 
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling — I just couldn’t help by make comparisons! I think HP fans will like this book and vice versa
…OR…
The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead — I think this could be a good match also. Not your ordinary vampire story, it’s a bit of different “rules” as well as a bit of magic built into its own world. I’m only 2 books in but loving it so far!