Showing posts with label richelle mead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label richelle mead. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

10 Books On My TBR For Summer 2015 | Top Ten Tuesday


This summer I'm going for popular books. Let's see if I actually get any of these read. Probably not.

Viking Cover 2009
10. Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson
I've only heard great things about this. I know it's not a very light read so I keep putting off actually trying it out.

9. Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Everyone read this back when Sarah Dessen books were super popular. I didn't get the memo and I've been thinking about giving this a chance now. I really like the idea, superficiality is never addressed in YA novels.

8. These Broken Stars - Amy Kaufman & Megan Spooner
Sci-Fi novels and I - the eternal struggle. I'm still trying to really get into them, usually I don't go further than time travel books. I'm not so much for outer space adventures, but the beautiful cover and great reviews intrigue me.

7. The Leveller - Julia Durango
I only recently found out about this one and I can't wait to get my hands on this. It's about a virutal reality and reminds me a little of Under the Never Sky.

6. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
I've read all five books plus the extra short story Homecoming. I think it's time to finally take plunge. I love the world of Vampire Academy but I wasn't really satisfied with how the story progressed and Spirit Bound ended. I can't just not read the last novel, can I?

5. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. Reading this novel is part of the process of trying to force myself to read more space-related books. Also everyone loves this and it's a series, so why not?
Disney Hyperion Cover 2014

4. Legend - Marie Lu
I have no clue what it's about and I really don't want to find out. I just want to go in blind and see why everyone is so utterly obsessed with this.

3. Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige
I had no idea that this isn't just your average asylum / haunted house creepy novel, but it's Wizard of Oz fan fiction! I had no idea it was about THAT Dorothy. I need to read this.

2. Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
If you haven't checked out the web series by VerveGirlTV on Youtube you're definitely missing out. I'm absolutely in love with the series and obviously I have to read the original novel as well.

1. Alienated - Melissa Landers
Alien exchange student. I'm hooked. I've been saying for MONTHS that I'm going to read it but I never do.



What are you planning to read this summer? Have you read any of these?
Continue Reading...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

10 Books I'd Love To See As Movies/TV Shows | Top Ten Tuesday



Harcourt Cover, 2008.
10. Graceling - Kristin Cashore (TV Show)
If Game of Thrones can do it, why not Graceling? Has there ever been a tv show set in a high fantasy universe with a female lead? Like, ever? Let me know in the comments if you can think of one.

9. Uglies - Scottt Westerfeld (Movie Series)

I think in this day and age it could actually be beneficial to society to get this turned into a movie series so we could get rid of all that superficial BS. 

8. Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins (Movie)

I just want badass teenage witches on screen again. How long has it been? Four score and a seven years for sure. I'd even be satisfied if you turn this into a horribly executed chick-flick like you did with Vampire Academy (RIP), that's how thirsty I am for witches.

7. Cinder - Marissa Meyer (Movie Series)

The world needs another movie series set in space and with that current trend in life-action fairytale movies this is our chance. I want the books to be made into movies and I demand a cast that's true to the books. 

6. Inkspell - Cornelia Funke (Movie)

What did you say? There is already a movie? I believe you must be mistaken, I don't think there's ever been a movie, I refuse to call this piece of ... I don't even know what to describe it as. Bottom line is, we deserve a remake for this epic, epic book series and this time, please do it right. 

5. Hush Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick (Movie Series)

Angels. Give me some accurately represented frighteningly beautiful angels in their own movie. You'd think there's a market for that with all that vampire stuff that's been shoved down our throats for half a decade.

4. Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr (Tv show)

I don't think there's been a movie about faeries in ages. With exception of that god-awful fairy subplot in True Blood a few years ago of course. The world is ready for another movie series about faeries. Bring it on.

3. Starters - Lissa Price (Movie)

Razorbill Covers
It's James Bond with heels and guns. How can you say no to that? I believe there's even an online petition for it to become a movie going on somewhere.

2. Matched - Allie Condie (Movie)

Come on. Soulmate movies are never a bad idea.

1. Vampire Academy Series - Richelle Mead (TV Show, Movie Series, ANYTHING)

You saw this coming, admit it. I'm just so frustrated. How come the shadowhunters fandom gets both a tv show and a movie and we're stuck with a single shitty movie and major book hangovers? 


Which Book Do You NEED to Have Turned into a Movie ASAP?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Favorite Authors of All Time | Top Ten Tuesday





In this week's #TTT I talk about my ten favorite authors and why I love them and their work! 

I'll be linking the work by them that I've reviewed so far as well in case you're curious.



10. Jim Beaver
He's only written one novel and that one broke my heart. I am dying for him to pick up the pen again and write something new, because my copy is slowly falling to pieces. An insanely talented man.
Novel: Life's That Way

9. Lissa Price
She's not only a very lovely person, but has also written one of the most amazing debut novels I have encountered so far. I could not put the series down, no matter how hard I wanted to. And the worst thing is: I usually don't even read thrillers and action-packed stuff.
Novels: Starters (#1)   /  Enders (Starters #2)


8. L.J. Smith
Oh, how I loved her Vampire Diaries Series! Sadly, the series got worse as it went on (because it was ruined by a terrible ghost writer, but let's keep that for another post). I'm so glad I started reading her older novels, because they are just as wonderful as my memory of her Vampire Diaries Series. She builds worlds like no other.
Novels: The Craving (Stefan's Diaries #3)  /  The Hunter

7. Richelle Mead
Razorbill 2013 Cover
She broke me with her Vampire Academy Series. I have been in a massive reading slump ever since I read them and I don't think any fictional world can ever capture me that hard again. She ruined me and set the bar way too high for any vampire literature to come.
Novels: Vampire Academy (#1)  /  Frostbite (VA #2)  /  Shadow Kiss (VA #3)  /  Blood Promise (VA #4)  / Spirit Bound (VA #5)  / Homecoming  (VA #6.5)

6. Meg Cabot
I grew up with Meg. Not literally, but her Princess Diaries novels got me through high school. It's the only novel I own that I've read so many times that the pages are starting to come loose but I'll never ever get rid of that book.
Novels: The Princess Diaries  /  Insatiable  / Underworld (Abandon #2) / Abandon (Abandon #1)

5. David Levithan
God bless assigned reading. I read his first novel at university for a course and since then I've fallen hopelessly in love. The world needs more LGBTQ* novels and this wonderful man is doing his contribution to fixing that beautifully.
Novels: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Six Earlier Days (Every Day #0.5)  /  Every Day (#1)  /  The Lover's Dictionary

4. S.G. Browne
The funniest author I've read from so far. His novels are satirical masterpieces and he somehow always manages to come up with ideas that have crossed my own mind once or twice already. Guaranteed to make you snort while laughing!
Novels: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament  /  Fated
Entangled Teen 2012 Cover

3. Jennifer L. Armentrout
I fell hard and quickly for her Lux Series. I haven't read an entire series in a very long time and I read hers in about a month because I could not, for the life of me, put it down. She hasn't quite managed to live up to that series again, but she'll get there eventually.
Novels: Shadows (Lux #0.5)  /  Obsidian (Lux #1)  /  Onyx (Lux #2)  /  Opal (Lux #3)  /  Origin (Lux #4)  / Opposition (Lux #5)  /  Don't Look Back

2. Sophie Kinsella 
Sophie Kinsella is the pseudonym of Madeleine Wickham, who's definitely gone through a major transformation that you can clearly see in her novels. She's the author guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.
Novels: I've Got Your Number   /  Twenties Girl  /  Wedding Night

1. Jodi Picoult
I love her to death. Every single one of her novels is a work of art, carefully crafted and with a beautiful message. She writes novels about controversial topics, novels about things that other authors don't even bother with.
Novels:  Second Glance    /    Handle With Care


Have you read novels by those authors? 

What do you think of them? 

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

10 Fictional Characters I'd Like to Check in With | Top Ten Tuesday



Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.  


This Week: 

  Top Ten Characters You'd Like To Check In With 

 

Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood





10. Luna Lovegood 
from Harry Potter Series by Joanna K. Rowling
I absolutely adored Luna and wouldn't have minded a spin-off series just about her. Actually I wouldn't even have minded if the entire thing was just about Luna in the first place. She's such a wonderful inspiring character and so wonderfully unique. A role model.

9. Ashley Black
from Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Ok, that's a weird one. Ashley Black is the child of Dawson Black and Bethany Williams if anyone remembers. She's only a baby when the series ends but I'm really curious as to how this whole thing ends?? Can I have a spin-off????


8. Wanda
from the Host by Stephenie Meyer
What happened to the sequels?? Wasn't it supposed to be a trilogy? Instead all we got is a bad movie starring Sashuiaghsia Ronan, or whatever her name is. I refuse to include a picture of Emily Browning portraying my dearest Wanda, because it's so not what she looks like in the book and I am very upset. I want the sequel, the story can't just end there, I'm genuinely upset about this!


7. Hazel Grace Lancaster 
from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I'm going to ask the question that we've all been thinking: DID SHE DIE?! Didn't John Green say something like she died a year later? If so, I'm upset and I'm going to have a serious conversaion with Mr. Green. Let me know in the comments!

Paul Bettany as Dustfinger


6. Dustfinger
from Inkworld Series by Cornelia Funke
Oh Lord, do not talk to me about Dustfinger. I read the series when I was very young and I'm pretty sure he was my first official book boyfriend. I miss that lying bastard and I will never ever forget Cornelia Funke for killing him off. 
(But yeah, I bet she loved that idiot as much as I did, if you've read Inkdeath y'all know what I'm talking about. I'm still upset though.) It's time for a reread I guess.

5. Andy 
from Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne
Ok, before you interrupt me: The ending is totally open to interpretation, alright!! Don't!! Even!! I want to know what happens, I want to have another hilarious novel told from his perspective and most of all I want my precious little angel child to be happy again. Yeah, he's a brain-eating zombie, but it's not like he wanted it, okay

4. Magnus 
from Blood Coven Series by Mari Mancusi
Introducing my second book boyfriend. I read the first book when I was twelve I think and he took me by storm. Magnus is the most awkward vampire you'll ever meet and he's just adorable. I hear there's a lot of sequels to the original novel, but I've only read one so far. It's always weird to pick up old childhood favorites as a wannabe-adult. Maybe I'm going to continue the series and check in on my man.

3. Teddy Lupin
from Harry Potter Series by Joanne K. Rowling
I have no idea why I am obsessed with characters that had -28% screen time in the books. Teddy Lupin was basically non-existent + a baby, but he still managed to snog my heart. Need a spin-off about him, alright?


2. Rose Hathaway
from Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead 
Shush, I know that we had a six-book-series AND a short story starring her but I can't get enough of her and her Russian lover. I want to know everything about their life, if they adopted baby vampire kids, what they have for breakfast - EVERYTHING
Kristen Stewart as Isabella Swan
You do not want to know the true extent of my obsession with her and this book series, you really don't.



1. Bella Swan 
from the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
Yeah, I'm going there, I really don't care. I freely admit to being a TwiHard in my teens and there's nothing wrong with that. Seriously this franchise hit me so hard when I was about fourteen, it's scary. That's actually how I got into fan fiction in the first place, because I didn't want Twilight to end. 

Yes, Bella Swan is super boring, yada yada yada. 
I still want to know every single detail of what happened to Edward, Renesmee, Carlisle, Esme and what their names all are.





What do you think of those characters?

Would you like to check in on any of these?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

[Short Story Review] Homecoming (VA #6.5) - Richelle Mead (from: Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction)

What?! There's a seventh book in the series?! Yes, exactly my thought. Sadly, it isn't a full book, just a short story to be found in "Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction", which is basically an anthology including works of pretty much all popular YA Paranormal Romance writers there are right now.

In HOMECOMING, Rose and Dimitri travel back to Russia to go see his family and deliver the news that Dimitri is alive after all.

I loved meeting Olena, Victoria, Sonya and Karolina again, because I feared that they were only a plot device in BLOOD PROMISE. While I do understand how this couldn't make it into the official series, I'm kind of sad that Mead didn't decide to release a stand-alone novel. 

Back to Russia!

The Belikov family's reaction to Dimitri coming home wasn't as dramatic as I had expected. Even though Mead made them all tear up and hug him, there was just the certain spark missing. No emotion in her words. It all seemed just like she hastily wrote it down to get it over with. Mead is an excellent writer, but she's not so great with big emotions, which are essential to this plot line. Making Dimitri's grandmother Yeva an all-knowing super-witch was really unnecessary and frankly, it annoyed me a bit. It's very easy for authors to insert omniscient characters, but making them believable is a completely different thing. It doesn't make any sense why she would withhold the knowledge that's needed for her to get her grandson back as fast as possible. Yes, you might argue that she knew Rose could do it on her own, but still...?! No. I'm disappointed at how little "on-screen" time the Belikov family got in the first place.

The title suggests that this is about the Belikovs. I was looking forward to cure childhood flashbacks, lots of dialogue and maybe even a chastising for Victoria from her big brother for her Moroi shenanigans. I didn't get either of it, it's all just way to fast-paced. The characters don't have time to breathe, and what's even worse is that Mead tried to cram as many people into the story, only to have them mentioned at least once, even if their appearance didn't mean anything.

Halfheartedly Written Plot

The plot around the Blood King is flat out ridiculous. Starting with the cryptic prophecies that Dimitri's grandmother Yeva makes and ending with an Alchemist looking for help to kill a single Strigoi. Because Mead wrapped up the supposed-to-be tearful and emotional reunion in about five pages, there's nothing more to tell and she had to make up a new plot line.

Because this is a short story, I definitely have to make a note about whether you're able to understand this without having read the Vampire Academy Series. If you've read my reviews to any of the books in the series, you know that I got quite annoyed at Mead always taking up at least a chapter for summarizing what happened so far. When you're reading the entire series in a month, it may be annoying, but if some time has actually passed, this is a great idea. Mead does this again in "Homecoming" and paraphrases everything from Moroi magic to the three vampire types and their dangers.
Still, I don't think this story would appeal to anyone who has no idea what Vampire Academy is. The story is about Rose and Dimitri and filled with little nods to their relationship throughout the course of the novels. For passionate fans, it's just... d'aww. For people who have no idea who these two idiots are and why they're so grossly in love- why would you care? It's understandable in terms of plot lines, but the Romitri relationship is probably not portrayed in a way that could make someone fall in love with them who has no idea who they are. As a short story, it definitely failed.



Rating:

☆☆

 

Overall: Do I Recommend?

I don't really understand what "Homecoming" has to do with the topic of the anthology. Absolutely nothing, I guess. It just seems like a way to get her established audience to buy the anthology. If you look at reviews of it on Goodreads for example, every second review says I just bought this for Homecoming. And for that, it  isn't that much of a great story.

If you're a super fan like me, you obviously won't care, but looking at it realistically, this is just a remnant from the first draft of LAST SACRIFICE. To me, it is not a must-read.


Have you read HOMECOMING?


Continue Reading...

Monday, March 2, 2015

[Review] Spirit Bound (VA #5) - Richelle Mead


In SPIRIT BOUND, Rose is back at St.Vladimir's Academy after her quest in Russia. Having failed to kill her newly turned Strigoi lover Dimitri, she just wants to graduate now and focus on her own life.
I must say that this is definitely my last chance for Mead to turn it all around. I wasn't a fan of  BLOOD PROMISE, the fourth novel, especially because she decided to flip the setting. I'm happy that we're back at St. Vladimir's now and getting back to all the familiar characters instead of those annoying filler people in Russia. 

You don't have to read the fourth to understand the fifth. All the characters that were introduced don't really matter and it didn't do anything for Rose's character. What Rose did in Russia is merely just briefly mentioned and nobody actually cares.

Just another filler story...

As a fan of Dimitri and Rose as a couple it pains me to say this, but at this point I just wish Mead had killed Dimitri off for good in the last novel. I'm sick of that storyline, I just want Rose to focus on herself and becoming a guardian and just let it go. Though Mead made the whole hesitation thing believable and all, it's hard to believe that she actually staked the man and he still survived. Somebody's attached to her characters, eh?

I'm not going to sugarcoat it- I really skimmed a lot of it. Since SHADOW KISS (#3) the series has really started to drag. Things that are said to be impossible suddenly work and are used for another super innovative storyline, and seriously, I can't even tell you in a few sentences what happened in the last novel anymore because everything just seems so irrelevant.You can just tell that Mead is trying to fill pages and beat around the bush up until she's reached that typical point about 80% in where she finally tells the story she meant to tell in the first place.


Really lazy writing and too little stakes

As terrible as the non-existant plot is, the character development in SPIRIT BOUND is just amazing. I loved that Dimitri got a chance to grow as a person and I also loved how Rose dealt with adult life and realized that it isn't all fun and games just like she had imagined back when she was still at St. Vladimir. A major major major thing that bothered me insanely though is Adrian's and Rose's relationship. Seriously. Rose made it clear from FROSTBITE (#2) on that she doesn't and never will like Adrian romantically. Starting the novel off with them together just seems like a lazy way of starting a weird love triangle off.

Talk about things that were dealt with poorly: if you're going to have a lot of casualties and risky battles in your novel, make them matter and don't exclusively kill people you just introduced. The world of the Vampire Academy Series is dangerous, we all get it. There's lot of battles, many occasions where guardians have their life at stake (get it)- but the way Mead deals with it, it's not really believable. Her characters, even main characters are sent into battle all the time, but in the end the only casualties we have are people that remain nameless. At least give the main characters some injuries! It's just bad writing to me to only kill off unimportant people. The battles lose meaning.

Rating:

★★☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

No. After BLOOD PROMISE another very weak novel. I only hang on because I'm desperately hooked on the characters. At this point I'm only here for Dimitri, Tasha and Adrian. Just stop at FROSTBITE and get somebody to tell you what happens. It's not worth the time and frustration.

Additional Info

Published: May 18th 2010
Pages: 479
Genre: YA/  Fantasy / Paranormal / Vampires

Synopsis:
"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."

Have you read the series or are planning to?

Continue Reading...

Monday, February 23, 2015

[Review] Blood Promise (VA #4) - Richelle Mead

In BLOOD PROMISE, Rose Hathaway has dropped out of St. Vladimir's Academy to find Dimitri and hunt him down. After the events of SHADOW KISS, he has turned into an evil Strigoi. Just like she promised him before the battle, she is now off to kill him, because he told her that he wouldn't want to continue life as a Strigoi and would rather be dead. In order to fulfill his dying wish and find him, Rose has to go to Siberia, his home country. 

What intrigued me: I read the first three books. I'm trapped. 
 Interesting Change of Scenery

To me, this novel is definitely entirely different from the previous Vampire Academy novels. Due to it not taking place at St.Vladimir's anymore, the vibe is slightly darker. There's no high school drama as in FROSTBITE and instead of focusing on rivalries 24/7, everyone seems to be preparing for upcoming, possible battles. Because Rose has separated from the familiar scenes, the side characters get very little screen time and are replaced by new Russian acquaintances that she meets on her travels. While I do not really like that Mead decided to simply replace everyone, I understand that with this setting it's hardly possible to keep track of the old characters. For the first time in the series though the bond between Lissa and Rose is now finally useful (at least for the author) to give us at least a bit of information on what's happening back in the US. Clever move, also including the dreamwalking thing that fellow spirit user Adrian does, I have to give that to Mead. 

However, BLOOD PROMISE is solely about Dimitri and Rose. If Rose hasn't been your favorite character before, she certainly won't rise to becoming that now. If you're interested in the two as a couple and Dimitri's family history, you're certainly going to LOVE this. If you've been a fan of other characters in the series, you're most likely going to hate this one. I think it's sad that Mead decided to make such a harsh cut and basically throw in twenty new characters at once that are hardly able to catch the reader's attention as much as those that you've read about since book one. Sydney, who's an alchemist, whose only purpose is to get rid of the dead Strigoi bodies Dhampirs leave around in human territory, is a textbook filler character. I couldn't really sympathize with her, neither was I particularly interested in Dimitri's 34278937 sisters and family members. 

...Wait There Is a Point in This?

Rose's tendency to waste time and go into the whole situation without a plan causes to BLOOD PROMISE to drag extremely. 
When she finally meets Dimitri I was overwhelmed by how out-of-character they both acted. Given that Dimitri is undead now, I was okay with that, not exactly thrilled, but okay. But Rose instantly became such an annoying, whiny, weak and just imbecile character within ONE chapter break that I was actually shocked. I fully understand that Mead wants to put emphasis on the Strigoi being NOT human/moroi/dhampir anymore, but the way she chose to portray Strigoi Dimitri can only be summarized with one word: terrible. It might have as well been any other character, I saw nothing of him in his "awakened" new self and I actually got reminded of Franklin from the TV show True Blood. The situation was almost exactly the same and just as painfully frustrating to watch/read. I lost almost all motivation to continue the novel during Rose's stay at Galina's estate because it was so dull to read and doing nothing for the progression of the storyline. Also, the fact that she lets him take blood knowing what it had done to her previously with Lissa in VAMPIRE ACADEMY... I don't recall Rose ever being that naive. Maybe I was wrong. 

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?


The weakeast novel so far! I said that before about SHADOW KISS, but this is actually worse. Mainly because you can tell that Mead introduced new characters so that she has something to fill her thin plot with and then completely lost herself in giving all those characters a purpose and backstory.


Official Synopsis:
"Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters ... Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?"
 
Continue Reading...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

[Review] Shadow Kiss (VA #3) - Richelle Mead

In "Shadow Kiss", the third novel in the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead, everything is pain and everything hurts. This novel will lure you into thinking that everything's going to be alright, when it isn't and never will be. Everyone's issues are revealed and you're not going to want to finish this novel, fearing that it will get worse in terms of emotions. 

With Mason dying in "Frostbite", the tragedy only just started- seriously. Starting with his death Rose's connection to Lissa as a shadow-kissed is finally proving to be useful, and I actually think that Mead did a great job at incorporating it smoothely into the storyline. "Shadow Kiss" is basically centered around the guardians and fighting off Strigoi. Rose and the other novices are doing the so-called field experience now, which simulates the life they're going to have when they graduate and are assigned to their moroi. The older guardians are pretendending to be attackers and they have to fight them off. Well, unlucky for the novices the real life experience comes right after that.
Initially I got pretty annoyed with the storyline being centered around strigoi again. I vividly remember that time Dimitri put his hair up for the first time and Rose got SO impressed by him having five molnija marks for having killed five strigoi. Funny, how he's considered such a respectable character in the guardian world, yet has only killed five. It's hard to believe that little novice Rose Hathaway killed two Strigoi in "Frostbite" and a bunch of others in "Shadow Kiss" then. While I do love her as a character, I think she really is a Mary Sue. She can do everything, she can fight everyone and when she can't, it's due to her shadow-kiss situation, but not because Rose Hathaway can't manage to do something once. I don't know, it's not like she's becoming a more unlikeable character throughout the series, but I think that the credit she gets and the fights she is involved in, are solved way to easily on her side. She never has sacrifices to make and is almost never really hurt in battle, while experienced guardians die like flies.

I would have wished the novel to dive a little bit deeper into exploring spirit magic and have less action scenes. Mead crammed all the interesting stuff (the big battle) into the end, causing the novel to drag extremely. I found myself putting it aside for days at a time, because I was so bored with everything. The characters didn't really get to me either, because I felt like Mead rushed their relationships. Starting with Dimitri and Rose, I was actually shocked when he said I love you for the first time to her and it wasn't even addressed in the novel. Casual saturday, the dude you've been loving for ages tells you he loves you and you're like "ha, lol, same." Dimitri and Rose are probably the only couple in literature that manage to seem instant-love-y after three books, still. Not that I don't love them together, but, seriously? They went from 0.5 to 100 within fifty pages of "Shadow Kiss" and I didn't even know whether to shake my head or just start lauging.
Mead is truly the master of dragging storylines around and feeding youw ith unimportant, boring stuff as filler material for the middle and then hitting you like a train with a massive cliffhanger ending that leaves you HAVING to continue. I have to give her credit for that.

Overall: Do I Recommend?

As a standalone, it would be a very weak novel. The middle drags extremely, but the resolutions of previous storylines are both smart and logical. It made me want to smack my head on something for not thinking about them myself. I hope that it will remain the only weak novel of the series. So yes, I recommend.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Official Synopsis:
" 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."




Continue Reading...

Friday, January 23, 2015

[Review] Frostbite (VA #2) - Richelle Mead


In FROSTBITE, Rose and Lissa are forced to go on a mandatory skiing trip when Strigoi attacks are happening all over the state and close to St. Vladimir. 

Pleasant Surprise!

I was very excited for this novel mainly because I fell in love with every single character in the first novel. Since it's common knowledge that the second book in a series is always not so great, I was prepared for the worst, and therefore pleasantly surprised when I finished this. FROSTBITE is a little off with the pacing and the middle is quite slow, but it's overall not that bad and makes me want to continue the series still, which is a major achievement because I have serious series-commitment issues.

I loved that the book is centered around the Strigoi, the "bad" kind of vampires that just wants to feed and kill. I really like that the series went for the dark path while still keeping the charm and flirty aspects that I loved about VAMPIRE ACADEMY. FROSTBITE has a very strong focus on character relations, which is probably the reason why the plot suffers so much during certain parts. This novel is the novel of new romance, everyone's falling in or out of love and every character goes through major development.

Extraordinary New Characters

Since the first novel, Rose has a giant crush on her instructor Dimitri, but he thinks that it's pretty inappropriate, given the fact that she's 17 and he's 24. In FROSTBITE we meet Tasha Ozera, Christian's aunt, which is a big, big reason for Rose to get even, because she isn't only stunning, she's ready to get some of Dimitri. That's already where my dislike of her starts. I can imagine that I'm not the only who's frowning at the thought of Tasha, but Mead solves this cleverly by making Tasha such a likeable and smart character that you just feel bad for not liking her. 

The biggest appeal about this series has always been the characters and I'm happy that Mead decided to focus on them a lot and give them space to develop in this. It's just a mystery to me how she makes even side characters so lively and real without a whole lot of description. With Adrian Ivashkov we have another awesome character that I hope we'll see a lot in the future. 

I was also very excited to finally meet Janine, Rose's mother. There's a lot of tension between the two and I think it's just amazing how Mead manages to mirrors Rose's behavior exactly in the way she writes Janine. 




Rating: ★★★☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you've read the first one, might as well continue. It's really not a bad read and exceptionally good for a second novel. On it's own though, this probably wouldn't have made me want to read a sequel. 


Synopsis:
"It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians--including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to- hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks.... This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price..."

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Friday, December 12, 2014

[Review] Vampire Academy (#1) - Richelle Mead: I Smell a New OTP

In VAMPIRE ACADEMY, two vampires in training are forced to go back to school after dramatically taking off.

There they aren't as perfectly sheltered as their teachers assure them they will be - mainly because one of them is the last heir of a royal vampire family and also has a lot of special gifts that everyone is eager to use for their own benefits.

What intrigued me: After seeing the movie and falling in love with each and every character, picking up the novel was just the right thing to do. 

My new favorite characters!

However, the book is just as good as the movie, probably even a little better. Starting with the badass protagonist Rose Hathaway, who's just about the coolest main character I've ever read about.
What I love most about Rose is that she's just all the elements of what could be a Mary Sue combined, but yet she is very far from being that. She's beautiful, she knows it and she doesn't waste any time to let everyone know that she knows how to use her god-given gifts.

Lissa on the other hand, her full-blood vampire best friend, just drives me up the walls. I love that Mead put in mental illness in an actually believable context but I just didn't get Lissa as a character. Due to the novel being told mainly from Rose's point of view aside from a few shifts in perspective, it's rather difficult to get to know Lissa. 

Every YA paranormal novel needs a romance subplot. And boy, do we get it. Enter Dmitri, 24-year-old long-haired hot mess vampire guardian, assigned to be Rose's teacher in all things vampire hunting. It's always difficult to write a teacher/pupil-sort-of relationship without making it creepy, inappropriate or just flat out tasteless. There is nothing actually happening between these two but the tension is in-flipping-sane. I can't wait to find out what will happen in the next novel and if these two finally (FINALLY) get together.

Missing action?

We do have plot twists and plot, but I don't feel like the action had any rollercoaster-y tension going on. Weren't the characters so brilliant and the way she combined magic and vampires without overdoing the clich├ęs, I probably would have had difficulties finishing this. Although I have to say that I didn't see the plot twist coming. I had at no point the notion that something great was going to happen, and I didn't anticipate the ending for the plot resolutions. More for the resolution whether Dmitri and Rose would finally hit it off (oops). 

The biggest problem in my opinion is the point of view. Rose is a great and interesting character with an entertaining character voice, but the story demands some passages to be told from another person's perspective. Yes, using the bond between Rose and Lissa to justify shifts may be nice and a smart solution, but still it's quite distracting and I think that the novel would have worked better, had Lissa been the main character. 

Overall: Do I Recommend?


This novel may seem to people that haven't had any contact with it before like another attempt at beating the dead horse, but I think that it's something refreshingly new. It's not Hogwarts meets Twilight. More of a ... Addams Family meets True Blood. With exactly the same amount of blood. 

It's definitely a novel that revolves around sensitive topics (especially mental illness) and that's why I would recommend it. The novel explores it without being too much in-your-face and while still remaining an average YA read. I like it. You should read it.


Rating:

★★★★


Official Synopsis:
"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. "


Have you read VAMPIRE ACADEMY?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #2: Top Ten For November

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where you will post about one or more books per week that have been on your wishlist for some time, or that you just added and can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto your wonderful shelves. 

I've been hoarding books on my amazon wishlist like it's nobody's business lately. Since my TBR is down to ten books now (god bless!) I might actually get a few of these. 


10. Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Come on, self. Just go through with it. I still haven't started the series even though I've been talking about starting it for ages, I know. I really ought to just get the sequel and get it going. But there is so much else to read!

9. Evermore by Alison Noel
I actually had my eye set on this about 5 years ago already. Back when I was ballsdeep into vampires and immortal creatures I contemplated getting this a few times. Weird that I never went through with it. I really want to try the series now though.

8. Marked by P.C. Cast
Another paranormal romance everyone has probably already read but me. I've been dying to read this but I think I'm going to go with Vampire Academy first. They're said to be very similar I believe. 

7. Charleston Girl by Sophie Kinsella
I'm out of Kinsella. This one is about a woman being visited by the ghost of her grandma that still thinks it's the Golden Twenties. I love that decade and I love Kinsella, so I have to. Just fricking buy it!

6. Fury by Elizabeth Miles
I'm a sucker for greek mythology, especially the furies. The fact that this novel exists just makes me beyond happy. Need!

5. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
The only reason I want this is because JLA references the protagonists in the Lux Series. Any yeah, I devour everything lux. Whoops.

4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
I haven't read a good novel about witches in ages. Since Beautiful Creatures disappointed me a bit I'm eager for something new. Bring it on!

3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I wanted to start this series for ages. I have no clue what it's about but it's been raining recommendations. Don't disappoint me, people!

2. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Yeah, I said she isn't getting another chance, I know. A dear friend wholeheartedly recommended this to me. Also the fact that she also hated Ugly Love encourages me even more. 

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Video games, man. Enough sad. Needing this.


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