Shadow Kiss Sunday, Nov 14 2010 

Hello Readers!

November is flying by and that means the end of the semester will be here in a month or less. Ultimately, lots of exams and papers that need to be written. Methinks, however, I will write about that particular topic in another post…perhaps on summing up Fall 2010 semester at large.  I think I’ll post something for the very end of the year as well. But I digress. Without further ado–may I present Richelle Mead’s Shadow Kiss.

“Suddenly, the burn of that black magic vanished from the bond, along with that sickening sensation. Something hit me like a blast of wind in the face, and I staggered backward I shuddered as a weird sensation twisted my stomach. It was like sparks, like a coil of electricity burning within me” (340).

Probably my favorite out of the series thus far. There was so much action in this particular novel–I can only imagine the coming action in the next novels-I am so excited! I guess you want an example of this action, yes? I figured–you shouldn’t want so many spoilers, my dear readers. 😉 But guess what–the above is as much as you’re getting. Anyway, Mead has done a wonderful job with Shadow Kiss as far as her descriptions and the plot is, as usual, fantastic!

To be ‘shadow kissed’ means to have been to the other side and come back; a second chance at life and forever bonded with whomever brought you back. Rose is shadow kissed and that is why she is bonded to  Lissa Dragomir, a spirit user (keep in mind spirit is highly rare). It is one of the five elements the Moroi use as magic: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water, and Spirit. Adrian Ivashkov is actually another spirit user and fire belongs to Christian Ozera. Speaking of Christian, I really want him to become less insecure–he is such a sweet guy and Lissa loves him. That and he helps Rose kick some serious Strigoi ass. Sweet!!

I’ve come to the conclusion that Adrian is going to be another Mason. Sad day. Good guys who love Rose, but she doesn’t or didn’t want them. Not saying that Belikov isn’t *cough*wasn’t*cough* a good guy, but she can’t be exclusive with him and the really places burden on her shoulders that she shouldn’t have. However, if there is one thing I believe to  be true–just because someone is good to you does not mean you will be happy. I’m hoping that Rose will be able to find someone who can be her equal in most, if not all facets of their lives. Or, I should say that Mead will hopefully write the story in that way.

So, anyway–lots of laughs, action, and a perfect amount of romance… and heartbreak. I leave you to read and discover what happens. I’m still rooting for Dimitri Belikov and Rose–but there’s a lot that needs to happen in order for that to happen. If you’ve read the books, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about…

I loved Shadow Kiss! Completely fantastic and it is because it was so good I read it in one day–I want to say six hours. I’m giving Richelle Mead’s Shadow Kiss a 4/4.5 out of 5. Impressive and truly pulls you into their world.

“Unique and mesmerizing… this little gem is sure to be a hit… Readers will bite on this series for some time to come.”
–VOYA

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Just A Little Bit Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 

Hello Readers!

 I thought I might let you in on what has been going on with my 2010 Reading List and a little bit about me… just a little bit. Here goes…

I have removed a certain number of the titles I had on the list. For a couple of reasons I might add–this way nobody can spit thorns in my direction. There were just too many titles to get through. It was a wonderful thought–read over 150 books in a year or less. Granted, I am still reading most of them–I just took away about 50 titles, maybe a couple more. I had too much of a topic that I love reading about in small doses, namely European royalty. Also, I started reading Nefertiti, but I have to return it–have to read other books, so I’ll be returning to Egypt one day. 🙂 In any case, that is what’s going on there.

New news with me–I am in the process of making a 2011 Reading List. It is very short and reasonable. The books for 2011 seem to have a theme so that should be fun to play with and see where it takes me. I would like it if I could finish it by the end of 2011, that is how short it is. I am giving my 2010 list a little over a year to be done, however, starting Summer 2011, I’ll probably be mixing up the lists just a bit. I will release the 2011 list in the new year. However, I suppose if you want a sneak peek, you could always ask–ya know? 😉

My original list can be found here, 2010 Reading List. My revised list goes as follows:

Anything that is crossed out, I have finished reading and reviewed by October 19, 2010.
** Indicates that it is currently on hold and what is to come within the next month

Singles
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Series
Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
                The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
                The Girl Who Played with Fire
                The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Eve Duncan Saga by Iris Johansen
                The Face of Deception
                The Killing Game
                The Search
                Body of Lies
                Blind Alley
                Countdown
                Stalemate
                Quicksand
                Blood Game
                Eight Days to Live
Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz
                Blue Bloods
                Masquerade
                Revelations
                The Van Alen Legacy
                Misguided Angel
Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
                Moon Called
                Blood Bound
                Iron Kissed
                Bone Crossed
                Silver Borne
                River Marked
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
 by Laurell K. Hamilton
                Guilty Pleasures
                **The Laughing Corpse
                Circus of the Damned
                The Lunatic Cafe
                Bloody Bones
                The Killing Dance
                Burnt Offerings
                Blue Moon
                Obsidian Butterfly
                Narcissus in Chains
                Cerulean Sins
                Incubus Dreams
                Micah
                Danse Macabre
                The Harlequin
                Blood Noir
                Skin Trade
                Flirt
                Bullet
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
                Vampire Academy
                Frostbite
                **Shadow Kiss
                Blood Promise
                Spirit Bound
                Last Sacrifice
Vampire Kisses Series by Ellen Schreiber
                Vampire Kisses
                **Kissing Coffins
                **Vampireville
                Dance with a Vampire
                The Coffin Club
                Royal Blood
                Love Bites

Happy Reading!

Frostbite Sunday, Oct 17 2010 

Hello Readers. Long time, no see. So far, October has been a busy month. And besides, since it is October, you would think I would try to get a theme for all the books I read and make them all supernatural–I already read that general genre, so I’m good and maybe slightly ahead of the game. 76 days (give or take a day or two) until a new year which means I will soon be compiling a new list of books that look interesting. This time I know to keep it looking reasonable. So, to the reason this entry is going up: Frostbite byRichelle Mead. If you haven’t already guessed, the title says it all.

“It had taken me several moments to grasp what she was talking about. Then it occurred to me that in decapitating two Strigoi, I’d earned two molnija tattoos. My first ones. The realization had stunned me. All my life, in considering my future career as a guardian, I’d looked forward to the marks. I’d seen them as badges of honor. But now? Mainly they were going to be reminders of something I wanted to forget” (Pg. 312).

In the sequel to Vampire Academy, our favorite dhampir is back and we meet her mother, Janine Hathaway. I won’t pretend to have immediately liked her character, but the more I read, the more I understood her. While part of me is going, “Yes! I understand the mind of a parent!” While at the same time, my mind is screaming at me, “What the hell!” In any case, based on Rose’s words in Vampire Academy, I’d assumed that her mother would not be in the picture at all. The way it had been worded made me think “working mom who puts her career before her child.” However, reading this novel made all the difference. So, that being said, you will like Janine.

Speaking of people you will like, I would like to bring up someone you will love. I would know, I fall in love with fictional characters–but that’s another blog, another time. Anyway! Guardian Dimitri Belikov. There is so much going on with him and Rose in Frostbite–intense as hell. I mean, you add another woman into the mix–not cool Belikov, not cool. Buuut, things are working out and reaaally going well. Things are amping up! I mean, stuff happened with Mason–he might have been what she needed, but he was not what she wanted.

Btw–RIP Mason. That’s all I’m saying.

Now, I’m very happy for Lissa and Christian. Interesting new character by the name of Adrian. Bad boy in every sense of the word–almost–he has a heart of gold. There are other characters that have been developed a great deal and I am really enjoying seeing them transform into the kind of character that is endearing. Granted, there are some that just need to go away. Permanently. Got to meet some Strigoi–they are nasty pieces of work.

So, overall, I really liked Frostbite. Richelle Mead is consistent in how she writes and she writes well. I am looking forward to reading the next novel and finding out where all this leads. Content was great, plot was fantastic, and of course, I love the characters. I am giving Frostbite a 3.5/4 out of 5.

“In a world that seems saturated with vampire books, Richelle Mead has created characters and a world that is both unique and believable.”– TeensReadToo.com

Heads Carolina, Tails California Friday, Sep 17 2010 

What I would not give for this entry to be a book review. Do you realize how many books I have in my possession–not including the huge pile that is an avalanche all on its own? School has taken up so much of my time and to be honest–I long for summer once again when I can go to work and come home and read. I’ve taken up knitting–it is so calming. I’ve completed two hats and can’t wait to begin making scarves.

My reason for writing this entry which has nothing to do with what I would truly love to be doing right now? I could not leave this untouched for another day. I became so accustomed to reading non-stop, writing a blog, and then starting up again. So, to those who read and those who comment: I appreciate your comments and discussion… and your patience. I will one day soon get another book review up. However, this is not even half of what I am up against:

ENG 203–Introduction to Drama.
We aren’t reading books so much as we are reading plays like “Oedipus Rex”, “Everyman”, “Lysistrata”, etc. The Greeks really knew how to stress SEX without saying it. Okay, that’s a lie. At one point in “Lysistrata”, the women declare they will not be “lifting their slippers to the ceiling” or “go on all fours.” Oh joy. I am currently writing a paper about King Oedipus and Oedipus complex–riveting, wouldn’t you say?

ENG 312–Literary Criticism.
Mostly collected works by Elizabeth Bishop and a custom-made course reader thanks to the Professor. Apparently, my views are incredibly Marxist and reader based. I guess I can agree if it means that I firmly believe how you interpret literature is based on your social location and experiences. No matter, recently read a short story called “The Burning House” by Anne Beattie–amazing. Read it. I could pick apart that story all day.

ENG 326–American Immigrant Experience.
Yep, you guessed it. It is a co-taught class for History and English. The professors banter back and forth–funny as hell. We read historical accounts, participate in lectures, and discuss what we are reading. Six or seven novels and a zillion articles. To be quite honest, the topic of immigration tends to be a very touchy topic. I do not understand why. We are a nation of immigrants. On another note, you could say I am a bit of a feminist. So, despite the fact that I’ve learned to respect various cultures, I became very sad when we had to read a short story about a young Chinese couple who were to be driven apart thanks to being Americanized–which really is so true–we expect everyone to act “American.” Whatever that is–I do not really know anymore. And now that I have gone somewhere on a tangent, let us return.

HIS 211–History of Latin American Civilizations.
The professor, my roommate and I have decided, looks exceedingly like a young Michael Caine. We are reading two books in that class and the sections are so ungodly long. The class lectures are fascinating and it is quite obvious the professor is passionate about the subject: Maya, Aztecs, Incas, etc., but this English major and History minor loves to read–just not texts that are so dense that you could put a knife through it.

SPN 101–Introduction to Spanish.
Hola! Me gusta mucho! I had taken three years in middle school and high school. However, upon being called stupid and lazy, I backed away from the language that I was so close to being fluent in and slowly but surely, it became dormant. Until now. I am staying up late and having fantastic conversations with one of my roommates, Amanda, and the second best part about having these conversations: they are  completely in Spanish! Hell yes!

~~

As much as I love school, (if I could be paid to go to school for the rest of my life, I probably would because I love to learn) I would love to get in a car with my travel buddy, Amanda, take some good music, a couple dozen books, my laptop, and plenty of money for gas and food, and just drive without a damn map. Get lost and just be at peace with a good book in my hands. Flip a coin and go. Escape into the novels that have become (almost) like home. Call me crazy, but I love talking to the characters and sharing in their adventures–but I guess I have to come back to reality sometime. Quite honestly, I do not  enjoy reality right now and a great big bubble of positive something would do me some good. By next week, I fully intend on having SOMETHING up…this two-week business is not okay with me.

To end on a positive note–I am thoroughly excited for my Fall TV shows and supposedly, they are making a show or a movie out of the Vampire Academy series. They will not be able to do Dimitri Belikov justice. haha

Books in my possession that I have not started yet: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs, Nefertiti by Michelle Moran, The Killing Game by Iris Johansen, and maybe three or four other books that are coming in. Oh to be able to write another entry. Until then…

Happy Reading!! 🙂

Vampire Academy Wednesday, Aug 25 2010 

“She became a Strigoi, Rose.” (241)

Five hours. Total time it took to read Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. Incredibly quick read, but an incredibly good book. I could not put it down. Okay,  I put it down a couple of times so I could move around. This might sound familiar, but I have never read a novel like it. It is different from what I have read and definitely different than the Blue Bloods series. I’m not going to lie–I love the idea that Montana (of all places) has a hidden area where vampire teens and their companions go to school.

Mead takes a different approach to vampires and their companions. The main character’s name is Rose Hathaway–half-human, half-vampire–a dhampir. Her best friend is Lissa Dragomir–a Moroi princess–Moroi being mortal vampires. In Mead’s world, there are two kinds of vampires: Moroi, good; Strigoi, evil. A dhampir’s purpose is to protect a Moroi royal. Personally, I’ve never heard of mortal vampires and vampire guardians–but I think it is fantastic!

Character development is very high in this novel–and as such, I hope so in the rest of the series. I am all for the relationships that are forming: Lissa/Christian and Rose/Dimitri. I look forward to future novels, partly for these couples, and partly because I like the plots. Lissa and Christian understand each other because they are the last in their line, everyone else has passed on. Then there is Rose and Dimitri. Hmm… Dimitri Belikov. I am not sure what is to happen with this pair, but I love them together! Don’t know why–maybe it is the older guy thing–the maturity and knowledge that younger males seem to… lack. Ahm. Anyway, the romantic relationships are not nearly as complicated in Vampire Academy as in the Blue Bloods series. Don’t get me wrong–love them both and really love the complications as an outside looking in–that’s it. 🙂

”’That’s part of it, ‘ he said. ‘But also… well, you and I will both be Lissa’s guardians someday. I need to protect her at all costs. If a pack of Strigoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her.'” (324)

I think I will introduce this series to my sister. That is, if she hasn’t already discovered them. So–I like Mead’s storytelling and characters. I’m giving Vampire Academy a 3.4/4 out of 5. I really wish I had come across this series earlier than now.