Tag Archives: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary | Series Appreciation

Hi, friends! Today I’m sharing a little series appreciation for the Vampire Academy books in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and special edition release! When I got an email from Penguin asking to share some favorite things about the series, I knew this would be a perfect post for me to write.

See, I got into Vampire Academy after the Twilight/vampire craze. My friend Lisa introduced me to the books and I was like, “Ehhh, I don’t know. Vampires? Aren’t we done with this?” I had no desire to read a vampire novel after my Twilight frenzy wore off but Lisa’s a pretty good judge of books and had just gotten me hooked on The Hunger Games (which I devoured) so I trusted her recommendation and became hooked!

Although the Vampire Academy series is about vampires, it has a whole lot more going on than just that. There are best friendships, steamy romances, wonderful bonds, society politics, and a whole lot of “omg” moments! The series is really special to me because it was one of the series that brought me onto the YA scene and into a whole new set of books that I didn’t even know existed because I wasn’t looking at “teen” books. While the series deals with many typical young adult moments like first loves, friendships, mean girls, and high school, it also has so many different levels of politics, plenty of action, a whole lot of adventure, and some pretty wild moments that always left my jaw on the floor! Richelle Mead put quite a few good shocking moments in this series, especially in the first few books, and I was constantly flipping pages to see what she’d surprise me with next!

I can say that it’s “so much more than a vampire series” for those who are hesitant about vampire books but it was also really awesome to see vampires in a little different light. There are different types of vampires within the realm of the supernatural in this series ranging from mortal but with supernatural powers to the “typical” undead vampire. I really loved how the range of the average vampire was expanded and really explored!

Then there’s the romance. There are SO many good romances throughout this series but the relationship between Rose and Dimitri is just so swoony! I don’t know why but it totally got me, despite the age difference which I’m usually not on board with. I just love the tension, how it’s sort of forbidden, and the push and pull that happens throughout the series.

If you haven’t yet, hopefully you’ll give the Vampire Academy series a shot! It was one of my favorites, especially when I first started reading YA, and I think it really appeals to a wide range of readers on a few different levels! Ready to jump into the series? Check out a little bit more on the special anniversary edition of the first book!

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Richelle Mead celebrates 10 years of Vampire Academy with an exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the world and its players:

  • The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty…
  • Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway tracks the shenanigans that ensue when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt…
  • The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes…
  • From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life…

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school–it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s–the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.

GIVEAWAY!

You can enter to win one of five copies of this beautiful anniversary edition that are up for grabs from Penguin Random House! Check out the Rafflecopter form below as well as legal and rules that follow. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Legal:

Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) paperback copies of Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead (ARV = $11.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, 2016. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about December 12, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Celebrity Doppelgangers on YA Covers

Thanks to November 12th’s Top Ten Tuesday and some long-standing issues of my own, I’ve noticed that more and more YA cover models seem to resemble celebrities. Has anyone else noticed this? Is this planned to help get people to pick up this books? Pure coincidence? Am I seeing things that other people don’t!? Regardless, I want to share these covers with you so we can rant/rave/gripe about them together!


  

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Hey, that cover model totally looks like…! Emilie de Ravin

I honestly SWORE that this cover model WAS Emilie de Ravin when I first saw the cover and Googled to try to prove it. No one confirms nor denies, but the resemblance is UNCANNY. I may still think it’s her…..


  

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Hey, that cover model totally looks like…! John Mayer
Also noticed by… Maggie from Just A Couple More Pages


  

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Hey, that cover model totally looks like…! Angelina Jolie
Also noticed by… Amy from Tripping Over Books


  

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Hey, that cover model totally looks like…! Maggie Grace

Okay, okay, I know we can only see part of her face, but still! Resemblance?!


Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
Hey, those cover models totally look like…! Dakota Fanning, a young Winona Rider, Whitney Port, and Warren Kole


   

The upcoming release Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Hey, that cover model totally looks like…!
 Blake Lively


   

Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
Hey, that cover model totally looks like…!
 Casey Wilson


Okay, ALL I see are celebrities here. Was this intentional? Did everyone in this time period look like a famous person? I just can’t help but see the similarities!

[bctt tweet=”Have you noticed any celebrity doppelgangers on book covers? Here are a few @bookaddictguide spotted!” via=”no”]

So what do you think — Is it just me or are more and more YA covers featuring celebrity doppelgängers? What do you think of my match-ups? Any ones that I missed?

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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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     Bloodlines      something Strange and Deadly

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.

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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.

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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.)

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Buy it!

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

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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?
  

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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... 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Series Catch-Up Mini Challenge: Favorite Series Highlight – Vampire Academy

SeriesCatchUp

Time for Series Catch-Up Mini Challenge #1: Highlighting a favorite series of mine. While we all know that I could go on an on about Harry Potter as my favorites series (and really, I have many, many times) so I thought I could choose a different series to talk about.

Let’s talk about THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY series. 

I actually still haven’t finished the series yet. As part of the Series Catch-Up Challenge, I want to finish book six by the end of the year. When I first thought about this mini challenge, I was planning on picking a series that I had already finished, but I realized I didn’t want to gush over Harry Potter again because let’s face it – I can do that all day. We all could. I wanted to pick a series that was more recent and also fresh in my mind (so that ruled out the Hunger Games as well because I can barely remember what happened in books two and three). I just started the Vampire Academy series this year and I’ll finish the whole series in the 2012 calendar year!

Each cover photo will lead you to my review for the book! Please be aware that if you haven’t read the whole series there may be some mild spoilers once you start reading about later books in the series.

Vampire Academy (Feb 2012): I first picked up Vampire Academy when I borrowed it from my friend Lisa back in February 2012. I was really hesitant about starting it because at that point in time I was “so over” the whole vampire scene and I was getting tired of hearing the same vampire plot lines over and over again. Lisa vouched for it and I decided to give it a shot. To my surprise I ended up really, really enjoying it! I loved how Richelle Mead came up with a variation on the traditional vampire idea. I also loved the Rose-Dimitri relationship. I was immediately intrigued and extremely interested in picking up the next book of the series!

Frostbite (Jun 2012): I finally got a copy of Frostbite and decided to read it in June – I think I originally got it from Book Mooch. I was so excited to see a different kind of adventure and action take off in Frostbite. We get a bit more character development – also when we’re first introduced to Adrian who becomes another major character in the series. In Frostbite we also got to find out a lot more about the Strigoi which turns out to lead to a huge twist in events. This book was also the first of many, many WTF moments that Richelle Mead seems to incorporate into the Vampire Academy series. I laughed, I cried, I finished the book thinking “I gotta have more!!”

Shadow Kiss (Sep 2012): Once I figured out I could borrow ebooks from the library as well as physical copies, I browsed through the selections and found Shadow Kiss! I actually read this one in my free time at work (which my work totally did not know about) and quite a bit of work got negelected because Shadow Kiss was an amazing story. I couldn’t wait to find out what the truth was behind Rose’s visions and if the ghost story had any truth behind it. Then once again, I had the biggest WTF moment of the series so far. Oh. My. God. Even though I’ve finished the fifth book, I still can’t believe that twist was even considered much less executed in the book.

Blood Promise (Oct 2012): Once I was done with Shadow Kiss, I knew I had to jump on Blood Promise. There was no way I could leave that ending open for long and I HAD to know what happened. Unfortunately I felt like the beginning of the book was a little hard to get into and I was still on a high from the last the book and I was DYING for answers. I also felt a little lost with the book taking place in Russia. I felt like it just was too far removed from the original characters and the setting – I just got lost in Russia and then the plot was a little weird for me for a while. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed it – but after the first three books, I think I was just expecting a whole lot more!

Spirit Bound (Nov 2012): Spirit Bound was one of the first books I decided to read for the Series Catch-Up Challenge. This was the series I wanted to finish the most! Although I was a bit disappointed with book four, I was still terribly curious to find out WHAT THE HECK was going to happen with this plot! At this point, I couldn’t tell where it was going and how this was going to end. Finally at the end of this book, I got to see the big picture and what was once broken in the previous books, we get to see pieced back together, but not without a price. It was really interesting to see some serious advancements in the magic and awareness of such. We really get to see the Moroi figure out many secrets of the spirit and that also takes us to another major plot twist!

Now I’m reeling for book six which will be one that I pick up before the year is out because I HAVE to know what happens!!! I have to finish one book that I promised to review before the year is out and I had just started The Kill Order which is the prequel to The Maze Runner series, after writing this post, I cannot wait to get Last Sacrifice! I’m getting more and more excited to finish the series.

Favorite book of the series: Shadow Kiss. With a HUGE twist at the end and a lot more history about the entire background of the Moroi/Dhampirs/Strigoi, I found myself most interested and engrossed in this book. I really couldn’t stop reading and I felt like I got the most plot out of this book!

Least favorite book of the series: Blood Promise. I didn’t dislike it by any means, but I felt like this book was a bit slower than the others and with it taking place almost entirely in Russia, I just felt a bit lost. The plot also took kind of a weird turn for me and I was hoping for a bit more action than there was compared to the previous books.

Movies?: While I haven’t heard of any movie adaptations proposed for the series, I definitely would love to see the Vampire Academy series on the big screen! I think it would be excellent to see everything unfold in a movie and I think I’d be a lot more creeped out by actually seeing the Strigoi.  Then again, I would really hate for it to get compared to the Twilight series by the masses and I know it would be. I’m sure even as a book series it’s gotten compared to Twilight, which it really is nothing like it, in my opinion.

Would I re-read?: In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t re-read the series. I really do love it, but the books are just so long and involve so much time that with all of the books I have now to read, I would never have time to re-read all of these books! Actually, I think the only way I might re-read is if they actually did make movies out of the books. I always re-read (or read for the first time) any book that’s being adapted to the big screen so I have the story fresh in my mind. Without that push, I just wouldn’t have the time to read all of the books again! 

Link up your mini-challenge post below! What series did you pick to highlight? What favorite series did you share with us? 


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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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!!

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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!

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Top Ten Tuesday – October 30, 2012: Top Ten Kick-Ass Heroines

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

This Week’s Topic is: Top Ten Kick-Ass Heroines

Oh yes, I will have lots of fun with this topic! Kick-ass heroines are something we’re seeing a lot of in today’s YA literature. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Ismae from Grave Mercy (assassin nun)
2. Katsa from Graceling (assassin and survivalist extraordinaire)
3. Tris from Divergent, Insurgent (Dauntless and a fighter)
4. Katniss from The Hunger Games series (archer, Hunger Games champion)
5. Rose from the Vampire Academy series (dhampir and guardian)

6. Tiger Lily from Tiger Lily (strength and beauty)
7. Alina from Shadow and Bone (powerful and humble)
8. Ember from Rift (fierce and talented)
9. Kat from Heist Society (sly and thrifty)
10. Leah from Such a Rush (strong and a kick-ass pilot)

Can’t wait to see what other heroines other people chose!

This week at The Book Addict’s Guide…

Monday: Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Tuesday: 
Top Ten Tuesday: Kick-Ass Heroines
Wednesday: Something Strange and Deadly Read Along: Week 4 and Review
Thursday: Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Friday: Casting Call [8]: Lola and the Boy Next Door