Since the Rose accident, Sydney has been branded as a disgrace in the Alchemist community. WhThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Since the Rose accident, Sydney has been branded as a disgrace in the Alchemist community. When Keith -- that arrogant jerk -- shows up with a method for her to redeem herself, Sydney jumps at the chance. The pair is sent to California as guardians for Jill, the Moroi princess who has recently suffered and barely survived a brutal attack. Posing as students in an obscure private school in Palm Springs should be an easy task. However, a chain of events have already been set into motion at this sunny “haven,” and the Alchemist-vampire posse is right in the middle of it.
Perhaps I’ve been subconsciously persuaded by the scathing Bloodlines reviews out there. Or maybe I just felt like Last Sacrifice was the conclusion of Vampire Academy, and spin-offs wouldn’t do the original series justice. I have no idea.
But Bloodlines failed to impress me as much as its predecessors did.
You notice right away that the Alchemist Sydney, who has now inherited the important job as narrator, lacks the sarcasm and attitude that characterizes Rose. This naturally causes the reading to seem a bit dryer and less humorous. I’m being petty here, as the character Sydney is supposed to be serious and obedient, but this little observation did contribute to a lower rating than the standard 4-stars I’ve been giving the rest of the Vampire Academy series. It’s hard not comparing the two.
Even with a different set of main characters -- aside from Adrian -- Ms. Mead still manages to stun with wonderfully done plot twists. I admit: I was cocky and seriously thought I had the entire plot figured out about a quarter through the book. Never have I been more wrong, and I apologize to Ms. Mead for underestimating her. I thought the novel did start out a bit slowly and ended up putting it down multiple times in the beginning. I was hooked eventually.
Although Bloodlines is a teeny step below the rest of the Vampire Academy series, it is worth reading for the thrilling conclusion. Old fans will be glad to see Adrian back in their lives, too (I know I was).
What invariably happens when I plump down with a John Green or David Levithan book in my handThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
What invariably happens when I plump down with a John Green or David Levithan book in my hands: chuckle chuckle... giggle giggle snort... BUAHAHAHA choke cough cough...
So yes, this is why I avoid reading funny books in public. My personal sound effects would probably scare away people within a 3 mile radius or something. A teenager with a laughter-inducing book is quite a frightening combo.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is centered around two seemingly different boys with the same name whose lives become intertwined when they accidentally meet inside a questionable institution for minors. Green's Will Grayson is my favorite type of nerd. He accepts his parents advice about life in general, is in love with obscure bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, and has the tendency to describe his love life with scientific paradoxes like Schroedinger's cat. Levithan's will grayson (no capitals), on the other hand, doesn't particularly care about anything (except maybe Isaac), hangs out with emotionally deficient computer programming geeks, and is still striving to discover a niche in the overwhelming existence that is life.
The truly amazing thing about realistic fiction is, obviously, its relatability. Sometimes I feel like the paranormal/fantasy YA I read sacrifice character depth and development for things like descriptions of magic or, oh I don't know, the history of the shapeshifter bunny rabbits. Will Grayson, Will Grayson contains a fantastic set of characters, each with their own happiness and woes. And that is why I adored this book. It felt real, surprisingly real. I will definitely be looking into the realistic fiction genre.
Off on a random tangent: I'm going to start using andbutso in my daily speech, just to confuse the unfortunate individuals I happen to be communicating with.
Various predicaments have presented themselves to Zara since the death of her stepfatherThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Various predicaments have presented themselves to Zara since the death of her stepfather and the unwilling move to Bedford, Maine that followed. There is, of course, the whole pixie situation, but now Nick, her boyfriend and warrior werewolf, is gone, too. Zara, heartbroken and determined, allows the pixie king Astley to transform her into a pixie herself as a last resort to aid in the quest to retrieve Nick. The problem is: the only leads they have are the words of a disdainful Valkyrie and the existence of a mythical place -- Valhalla, said to be the ruling place of the Norse god, Odin. As Zara and the crew continue to search for more clues, evil pixies led by the newly appearing king, Frank, are kidnapping boys left and right. Zara, now the Queen of King Astley, also faces entirely new problems as her relationship with Astley and the trust of her friends are brought into jeopardy by these recent turn of events. However, Zara is nothing if not stubborn, and she will not rest until Nick is safely returned to Bedford.
As I read each of the Need books one after the other, the growth of the author was especially evident. Descriptions of the background and setup of each place, which were lacking in the first two books of this series, are found embedded throughout Entice, creating an even more realistic world for the reader. I adore the steadily increasing plot complications, too. A series that started out with a relatively simple concept -- eliminate the evil pixies and their violent ways -- has successfully morphed into an intense story involving mythical places and the existence of benevolence in an initially evil species.
Young adult books nowadays all seem to contain the classic love triangle scenario, and this book is not an exception. There does seem to be an almost two-dimensional quality to Zara and Nick’s relationship, though. Why are they even in love? I suppose there was a time limit on the development of their relationship since Nick was whisked away to Valhalla so soon after the series started. On the other hand, the author did a great job with Zara and Astley, whose relationship is multi-faceted and angst-filled enough to keep me interested. It also seems obvious who Zara will choose at the end, if one were to observe the popular trend followed by other YA novels. But who knows? Maybe Carrie Jones will spring out a surprise for us at the end of the series.
Entice is packed with action and is easily my favorite book out of the Need series so far. I will be looking forward to the next installment of the series.
I think it's been about five minutes since I read the last word of Battle Royale. My heart isThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
I think it's been about five minutes since I read the last word of Battle Royale. My heart is still pounding abnormally fast, and every few seconds, I have to take a break from typing to watch the French countryside rushing by outside the train window instead.* The view is strangely soothing, and I definitely need some calming right now.
So. Battle Royale. Was. Epic. Dare I say it? It was better than The Hunger Games, and The Hunger Games is one of my favorites. Both have similar settings: a dystopian government that forces children into an arena and makes them kill each other off one by one. But Battle Royale ended up as the more striking, more intense, of the two. The novel grabbed me, strapped me to a poodle, and threw me off a cliff. How does a poodle save a person from a fall off a cliff, you may ask. It doesn't. That's why I kind of feel like an insignificant smudge on the ground right now.
Unlike The Hunger Games, which focuses only on Katniss's narrative, Battle Royale jumps around from one student to another. I didn't find that disorienting or discontinuous. The skipping around revealed quite a lot about each participant of the Program, as the government calls this bloodbath. Such intricate lines bind all the classmates together, and it's so saddening to watch it all fall apart. There are love interests and friendships and histories and their own survival to consider as the 15-year-olds wander around an island with machine guns, scared out of their wits. What a story Takami-san has dreamt up. What a story.
And the ending, too. Wow, if you thought The Hunger Games's ending was jarring, you will be totally unprepared for Battle Royale's. Takami-san wrote it with the flare of a pro, although I kind of want to punch him now...
The only thing I disliked were the gory scenes. Battle Royale was a lot more graphic than I'd imagined. So instead of puking up the contents of my stomach, I just skipped the paragraphs describing blood and bashed-in brains. The human imagination is always a lot more vivid than a movie scene. Normally, that's a good thing, but now, not so much.
I would say that I'm now a fangirl of Battle Royale, but given the book's subject matter, I don't think that'd be entirely appropriate. Apparently, Takami-san is writing (or has already written) a second novel. I must hunt it down.