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Book Review – Spirit Bound

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Title: Spirit Bound [Vampire Academy 5]

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal (Vampires)

Length: 489

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 1234, 5, 6

Related Series: Bloodlines

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Description/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.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

As far as theme and plot go, the start of this book seemed to go really slowly. Granted, serious stuff takes place but it happens steadily so I myself was not swept away with it. I would like to point out though that perhaps my feelings for how the pacing and stuff like that may be altered because I have read the series before and when it comes to major things in books (this means like who killed who what lead to what blah blah blah, I will forget things like their favourite colour and stuff along those lines) I generally remember everything that happens in the book regardless of how long it has been since I read it. Though it can happen, it can also be difficult to be as overwhelmed by plot and theme points when you know what is coming all the time. However, for at least the first half of the book I feel my lack of emotion was more to do with how it was written, because I became much more caught up in the second half of the book.

Even though I have that warning there before the warning even starts, I’m going to say it again now. I’m going to be talking about things that will totally be serious spoilers and could therefore destroy the book for you.

The moment I became more interested in what was happening didn’t happen until the fight that lead to Dimitri becoming his old self again, well physically anyway. This sparks a whole new level of character development between pretty much every single character in the book. The only one that really wasn’t effected by this was Eddie, who pretty much drops off the face of the planet after this point. So before I start talking about everyone else I should talk about him first. During a point in this book, Rose totally betrays Eddies trust and they pretty much have a huge falling out. If they ever get back to the same level of friendship again I will be surprised. I just add this as a notch on the ‘Rose will plow over anyone who gets in her way and barely look back’ belt. I like her, but God, she only ever has three people on her mind, and one of them is herself.

Moving on now to people who still happen in the books. Lissa and Dimitri develop a relationship now, where they didn’t really have one at all to begin with. She takes on this motherly protection of Dimitri and he looks upon her now as a goddess who freed him from hell. This new relationship, though understandable, seriously ticks me off and gets under my skin. These new outlooks they have for each other seriously affect the way they treat and deal with Rose. Lissa though still interested in her puts Dimitri at the top of her list of things to care about, regardless of how she may be torturing Rose in the process. Dimitri on the other hand has sworn her off completely. Though I get why they may act this way, someone has to look out for Dimitri and he is all filled with guilt and what not, and Rose is kind of a bitch, I think they both need to be punched in the face just a little bit. They are the only two other people that fill Rose’s mind, and they have thrown her off like a soggy towel to care for each other when they never even really used to speak. Specially Dimitri. Regardless of any guilt he may be feeling and the fact that Lissa did the final act of restoring him, Rose did huge, losing every other friend along the way kind of stuff, to get to the point where Lissa could help him. I personally think the guilt should make him want to be with her more, he has a lot of stuff to make up for.

All this also effects poor poor Adrian. Rose keeps tossing him back and forth because she has no idea what the hell is going on with Dimitri and she wants to be with him if Dimitri is out of the picture. I get this, but I like Adrian more than Rose, though I do like her, and I am going to take his side. Everyone treats him like dirt most the time, and he doesn’t deserve the way Rose is treating him. Rose and Dimitri belong together, its just a fact, and poor Adrian is getting hurt cause he is looking for love in a place that is just a lost cause.

The story ends on pretty much the biggest cliff hanger. Dimitri turning evil really has nothing on this ending because you get an idea of whats coming in the next book. With this ending however you don’t get that. I seriously suggest having the next book on hand because I don’t think you will want to stop reading until you get an idea of where things are going next.

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OCD & Books Don’t Mix – Book Height

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I would like to point out that I don’t actually have OCD (I think), if I do it’s probably really mild stuff. This series of posts will be about observations that drive me completely insane in regards to books and writing.

I went to get books the other day and I noticed that I’m starting to develop a serious issue. All my books must be of the same height. Now this might not seem like a big issue, and at first it wasn’t for me either, but I’m starting to feel this compulsion restrain me from enjoying my reading time.

At first it started off as a simple kind of thing. All books in the same series must be of the same height. Easy enough and really understandable on the grand scheme of things. They must be pretty, matching and neat. Unfortunately for me this level of the OCD trait is aggravated by one series on my shelf, Twilight, because I was given the first two books in the series at the same time and they were both of different heights.

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The first book in the series just gives me a headache everytime I look at it, but I just can’t justify finding the larger size copy to match the rest of my Stephanie Meyer books because I feel like the Twilight series is one I probably won’t love till the end of time. So that this issue never happens again I have put off buying books for ages. One of my series that is not complete is the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. It has been over a year since the final book Rapture was release and there is still an empty spot on my shelf for it. But, I spose I will continue to wait until I finally see the correct size so something like this doesn’t happen:

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This poor person has THREE different book sizes for this series. Gah I think I would just die.

Then my obsession started growing more. I own the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, and this series kind of branches off and continues in a different characters perspective in the new series Bloodlines. To me, it might as well be the same series, so the height rules was applied. I didn’t want something like this to happen:

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BUT, now a new issue arises for me. The first book in the new series Bloodlines was release in mid 2011 and its now the end of 2013 and I still have not seen it released in a smaller size. A general rule I have noticed with releasing books in a different size is that it normally takes about a year. Its been more than a year. Does this mean its just not going to come out in this smaller size? If so what on earth am I going to do? Do I forever deny myself of something I really want to read possibly forever because I can’t handle the different book sizes, or do I try and get over it (so not easy to do) and then possibly have to risk the fact that I might cry and have to buy them all over again if they finally release them in a different size once I bought the books?

Then the other day while looking at my shelf I noticed that It had turned into something more. Books by the same author but are in no way related to each other being a different size to one another started to freak me out. For example, there two books of mine by Kresley Cole:

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They are nothing alike, Poison Princess is a young adult book and A Hunger Like No Other is one of her adult smutty slightly too rape like adult books, but the fact that I can’t put them neatly next to each other on my shelf has been giving me more and more concern. My chest kind of tightens when I think about it.

Now the fact that I feel like this makes me worry, because I can totally see myself getting more OCD and then insisting that all my books be of the same height. That would make my reading life way more complicated.

Do any of you guys out there in reader land have this issue? How bad is it for you? Or do you not care a bit? If so, how can I stop carring so much!

Till next time…

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Book Review – Blood Promise

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Title: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy 4)

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal (Vampires)

Length: 503

Rating: 4 Star

Book Series Reviews: 123, 4, 56

Related Series: Bloodlines

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Description/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?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

As you may have noticed already that this book fell one star short than the ones before hand.

The reason why this is because for most of the first part of the book it is soooo boring. I’m not saying that there wasn’t a single thing I liked about the first half. There was. Rose travels to Siberia and stays with Dimitri’s family. It was interesting getting to know more about him and where he came from, and to see how Rose interacts with a different set of people, a really normal tight knit family. Despite how her and Lissa are very close she really hasn’t had any interactions like that. It was kind of heart warming.

You also get to meet some new people, like Sydney, and Abe. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Abe. He is shown as a complete stalkerish and threatening mob boss type person, but I can see the jerkish charm underneath that can still be caring and is just funny. He and Adrian both share a likeness, and I spose tha’ts why that they are my favourites.

But despite that the first half of the book Rose was not herself. She was mopey and weak willed and should pretty much could have been more thrilling if she was dead. I get that she was in mourning and all but she really went into the whole thing just way to much. Dimitri’s name came up WAY too much for someone that didn’t pop up until halfway through. I just never picturing her being so weak that she pretty much died when her guy kinda did. Serious character drop.

I also think that things happen just too easily to her considering she really had no idea what on earth she was doing in a part of the world where she doesnt even speak the language…. I just don’t think they should have gone that way. This messes with the time frame as well which I did not enjoy. Rose is only gone wondering the world and being kidnapped and tortured thing only happens just over a month. It should have been longer. There was a time where she was in Lissa’s head and stuff was going on with her then she goes back to her world and stuff happens to Rose and she was like “I don’t know how much time passed,” but then when she next goes back to Lissa’s head it was only if that the next day after the stuff that happened to her. This didn’t make sense because in Roses world even though she said that she didn’t know how much time had passed it was written like it was at least a few days longer than that. It was a serious flaw in the writing and really bothered me.

On page 386 is when Rose finally gets back to her old self, and where I started liking the story more. Lots of high packed theme moving stuff gets revealed and happens after this point and is what kept the story at a 4 star. The ending is a cliff hanger, but not as serious as the last one. This one you can see coming because its talked about, but the one at the end of the last book you just didn’t really expect Dimitri to die.

Page 386. That was the turning point. Just hang in there for page 386.

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Book Review – Frostbite

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Title: Frostbite [Vampire Academy 2]

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal (Vampires)

Length: 327

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3456

Related Series: Bloodlines

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Description/Synopsis:

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose… 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…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I loved this. But I’m going to warn you again, there is going to be huge spoilers in this because I just have to talk it. Serious, ruin the end of the book for you spoilers.

You get a lot more in this one that you got in the first one. It still opens up lots a questions that don’t really get answered because it is written in a very series like manor. You are satisfied with how much you get but it wouldn’t be able to stand on its own very well.

You meet the characters better in this one, its not just focused on Rose and Lissa though they are still the main characters. Lissa becomes a more complete and confident person, and Rose starts to struggle with a many guy issue, she has three of them throughout this book. She also starts to crumble a little bit mentally, but there are good reasons for this. One to do with her and Lissa’s bond which isn’t really completely touched on in this book, but the events towards the end also have the right to leave her tad unstable.

You get to see more of her friend Mason, which was both good and devastating at the same time. He is just a totally lovable and though I don’t think he and Rose should be together, he totally deserved someone better than her, she kinda jerked him around a little bit. I was heartbroken when he died. That scene at the end where Rose is standing over his body covered in blood and holding a sword because she just avenged his death and shes so in shock she doesn’t realise that help has come and shes about to go at them for coming near him, was really well written.

We also get to meet Adrian for the first time, and so far I think he is my favourite character. Most of the parts that had me laughing out loud had to do with him. One of my favourite lines which Rose says about Adrian is “I don’t think anyone had expected Adrian to suddenly take an abrupt trip to Crazyville.” You also meet Rose’s mother for the first time. They have a really awkward relationship. I didn’t really think she was developed all that well, but is hard to completely understand guardians personalities and feelings when part of their roles as guardians is to hide all those things and stay calm, level headed and focus only on those they are protecting.

You also get more action from the Strigoi which livened up the plot a lot more because they didn’t really make much of an appearance in the first book and they are such a big deal in this world which has been created. A lot more action happened in this one than in the first, but because it is written for a series lots of things arent answered or shown completely yet. They probably wont be until the end.

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Book Review – Vampire Academy

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Title: Vampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal (Vampires)

Length: 332

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56

Related Series: Bloodlines

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Description/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.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I have read this book before, and I have to say I liked it more this second time around. I thought I would start reading the Vampire Academy series again because the first movie will be coming out sometime in the near future, and I generally always think that people should read the books before they see the movies.

There are sooo many vampire books out there these days, and there a are lots that are all the same or just not worth reading. This one however to had a refreshing change. There are three different kinds of vampires in this book. There are the Dhampir’s, the mortal half human half vampires that posses strong will and bodies, can walk out into the sun and eat human food, they have no other powers. Then there is the Moroi, have an intolerance to the sun but still handle handle a little bit of exposure, require both daily blood feeding and human food, and posses powers of the earthly nature making them being able to wield the elements like fire, water, earth and air. They however are very weak of body, and do not posses much strength and are mortal. Last but not least we have the Strigoi, who feed off only blood, cannot handle any sunlight, are stronger and faster than the other kinds of vampire but posses no other powers. I thought this was a good way to put in all aspects of what people see vampires as, blood thirsty and cruel and then there are ones that care about life.

I also thought that the main character Rose was a nice change of pace. It was nice to have a female main character that can actually stand up for herself, thought at times she could be a bit much. If she was a male I would say that she was overcompensating for something, but I spose since she lives in world that is mostly filled with males, she might be. She develops quite a bit throughout the book, putting away some of her more teenage tendencies and wakes up to what she is taking on in being a guardian. Also, I loved the fact that the relationship between her and Dimitri doesn’t just explode and is happening straight off the bat. It slowly starts to build up, which I prefer.

The only other character you totally get to meet is LIssa. Not to say we don’t meet other characters, but not as well as we are introduced to LIssa and Rose. We get basic background and room to grow with the rest. I feel that Lissa’s character fell a bit short in general, but that might be the overuse of nice and friendly characters, the fact that she is quiet, and the fact that we are living inside Rose’s head. They try to let us see Lissa from her own perspective through the bond that they share, but really I don’t think we got enough of LIssa for the second main character. Perhaps she is still trying to workout who she is, so its a bit hard for us to know.

As for the plot and what happens in the book, we are given enough to feel satisfied with what happened in it, but you can tell that it is just warming up to things that are to come. We are introduced to a bunch of stuff that kind of but not really is dealt with, and really only one mystery is solved and thats at the very end of the book. There were a few grammatical errors that really annoyed me because the slightest one completely throws me out of the stories world, but I don’t know if many people would notice them or not.

So in conclusion, not really all that much happened on the grand scheme of things and we arent totally given the answers to many of the questions that are raised, but the character are enjoyable as is the story line and the whole idea behind the world we are presented, and by the end you are happy with what you are get, and I for one can’t wait to start the next one and get some more story.