December Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Did I Reach My Goal: Yes!

How Many Total Books Read: 203

Total Books For December: 20

Remember to click on the book title for the review. If there is no link, buy information pills there is no review. I got really lazy in reviewing toward the end of the month haha.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Teen Idol by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Re-Read)

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

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The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

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Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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My Life Next Door by Huntley FItzpatrick

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith 

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 

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Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

This totally counts. My boyfriend got this for me for Christmas, pills because I’m obsessed with penguins and we’re in love, pharm duh! And he also got me this behind-the-scenes experience with penguins, so it all makes sense. And it counts

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What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson 

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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

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So that was 2013 folks! Stick with me in the new year, as I delve into even more books!

How did you do on your own GoodReads challenge? Share in the comments!

The Golden Lily: A Bloodlines Novel Review

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead  

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You Can Find the Books At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, nurse one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
Sydney would love to go to college, viagra sale but instead, cost she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

 

My Review:

Please keep in mind, while there will NOT be spoilers for The Golden Lily in this review, there will most likely be spoilers for Bloodlines. You can read the review for that book here. There also will definitely be spoilers from the Vampire Academy series. 

This series just keeps getting better and better. With Golden Lily, you really begin to see the changes that are going through the main character, Sydney, and I think that’s a huge basis for the entire series. The Sydney that we meet in VA is someone who is willing to help out the right people, in that she helps Rose, but she’s also very adamant in her ways. She was raised by the Alchemists. She deals with Moroi because she has to, but she still finds them frightening and unnatural like Strigoi, and she feels the same about dhampirs too. She’s ingrained in this, and she is scared of it as well. I love that in this novel, you start to see the breakdown of that. She is still scared, definitely, but she is learning. Being around two Moroi (Jill and Adrian), and a dhampir (Eddie) really starts effecting some change in her, which really is going to effect the story later.

Plus, Adrian. Oh, Adrian. You can tell even more in this novel how insanely crazy he is about Sydney, and she just doesn’t see it all. I spent this entire book just dying for her to figure out, but I knew she wouldn’t be okay with it. A human and Moroi? No way. Not in Sydney’s life.

But I love the direction the story is going on. It seems like there are different conflicts in each book. In book one, it was Lee and his desire to become a Strigoi again. In book two, it was the Warriors of Light (tiny baby mini spoiler there). Which seems kind of weird, but I don’t think so, not when I’ve read book three. I think that each step in the story is creating a larger picture in the transformation in Sydney’s personality, her views and her beliefs and I think that’s where the story is leading. I think she’s beginning to transform and that her transformation is part of a larger picture. Just a guess there but thats what I’ve been getting and I’m definitely enjoying it. I think a lot more is going to be revealed in the later books and I love that.

I’m not going to lie, the last few pages of the novel were my favorite. I felt a great moment of triumph and then the quick pain of disappointment in a matter of about five pages. It was incredible that it could do that. I finished it at about 3 a.m. and I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to move on to The Indigo Spell SO badly. Just finished that book a couple hours ago (as I’m writing this) and I really enjoyed it as well. The series just keeps getting better and better.

Now I’m off to go read The Fiery Heart, to read more of Sydney and her journey as a closeminded Alchemist to a battle ready girl.

My Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice Book Reviews

I don’t normally do dual book reviews but I read this so quickly, case and they sort of blended together, so its easier for me to do that. Also, since then, I’ve read three more books and I need to review those as well, so it would just be easier for me to review them together.

Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

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You Can Find the Books At:

GoodReads-SB/LS

Amazon-SB/LS

Barnes and Noble-SB/LS

Book Depository-SB/LS

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Please keep in mind that while there will be NO spoilers for these two books, there will be spoilers for the previous four books. You can read the reviews for Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise by clicking their titles. 

For Spirit Bound:

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.

For Last Sacrifice:

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.
Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

My Review:

I am incredibly impressed with how much better each of these books get as the story goes along. I’ve made it clear before: series that go longer than a few books don’t usually hold up. At least I don’t tend to think so. Its hard to continually keep a story going. But Richelle Mead does it, and does it very well. After the complete heartbreak that was Blood Promise, I was immediately hooked back into the story, and finished these two books quickly.

The characters become so much better than what they were in the first four books. They become more complex, they are more than just teenagers. Rose and Lissa and Adrian and Dimitri and Christian, and all of them, its more than just the typical teen problems. They are now so much involved in their world, in the politics and the sort of dramatics that are going on that they just didn’t see when they were in school. I also think this is the novel where they begin to grow up. They are starting to experience things that make them older, wiser, smarter. Rose went through the entire experience in Russia with Strigoi Dimitri, and that has changed her. The journeys that the characters take as Dimitri returns, as a murder occurs and Rose is framed for it, as Lissa embarks on a challenge that will change her life…they all change. I think Richelle Mead really realizes that her characters are not children anymore and she reflects that so much in these last two books.

I also really enjoyed how she wrapped up these novels. I didn’t expect the things that happened to happen. I know that’s very vague but I don’t want to ruin the story in the slightest for those of you who have never read it. I think she creates all this drama, in the unexpected plot turns, like Rose being framed, and Lissa’s…challenge and I didn’t expect the outcome for any of it. I was gripping my Nook in excitement, staying up until all hours to finish the books. There was so much tension, so much mystery to the end, and it keeps you wondering how on earth it was going to end. I honestly didn’t see it coming at all. I also love all the feelings the books gave me. There was so much heartbreak but also romance, and happy endings too. I had these times of emotions that I could barely handle. There is a part with Dimitri, Rose and a little boy….and that part drove me to tears.

I think that Richelle Mead creates an incredible world, with really well developed characters. Her books have it all: action, romance, politics, coming-of-age-ness (yeah, I just made that up), humor, and so much more. It took me years to read these books because I don’t read vampire novels, but these are so much more than vampire novels. In fact, it wasn’t hard for me to forget that these characters were vampires. Her world is wonderful, and I love Rose and the rest of the characters. Its no wonder that she returned to that world for the Bloodlines series. Its addicting and fun, and I am truly in love with these books.

My Rating:

Spirit Bound: 5 out of 5 Stars

Last Sacrifice: 5 out of 5 Stars

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, visit this hosted by Should Be Reading.

The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading? (Reviews to Come. I am SO behind!)

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

What are you currently reading? 

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Technically this is what I’m reading right now. I’m 90% of the way through it, so I’m going to be reading something different in…an hour or so haha.

What did you recently finish reading? 

I finally feel like I’m back on a roll with reading. I have finished SO many books since last week.

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Once I finished Blood Promise, after it being months since I read Shadow Kiss, I started BUSTING through the rest of the VA books. I think this one is my favorite of all six.

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SUCH a great ending to the VA series. So many unexpected twists and turns, so much action and romance and politics and magic and fighting. I loved the end of this.

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I took a break from the VA world to read the e-ARC of Lindsay Cumming’s debut novel, The Murder Complex. I’ve been following her on instagram and twitter for ages now, and was SO excited to dive into this book. I’m excited to help her promote it in the future.

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I am LOVING this series. I’m reading it so fast. I call this: the series where I find myself ANOTHER fictional boyfriend. Sigh. Adrian Ivashkov. I love Dimitri from the VA series but Adrian is a whole ‘nother level.

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I honestly think this series keeps getting better and better. I love Rose of the VA series more than I like Sydney BUT I like Adrian more than Dimitri so it balances out. And I will say, I love that Sydney is incredibly intelligent, and she is so different than Rose in their approach to conflicts. I am seriously loving this series.

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

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I can’t imagine that I am going to finish Indigo Spell and not want to immediately read this book, so I’m 100% sure this is the next book I’ll be reading. I’m a little sad about reading it because then there will be no more to read. And I’m not good with patience.

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

I keep hearing really good things about this book. I was not a fan of Beautiful Creatures but I keep hearing good things about this, and I bought this a few days ago with my nifty bookstore employee discount so I’m going to read it and give it a shot.

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This book caught my eye and after a bunch of VA and Bloodlines, I’m looking forward to reading more contemporary YA. I haven’t been writing much, because when I read paranormal, sci-fi, and dystopian, etc., it starts to bleed into my own story. So I’m looking forward to some good ‘ol contemporary YA.

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What are you reading this week? Share in the comments!

Book of the Week-Blood Promise

It took me forever to get back into the Vampire Academy series. I read the first three super quickly and Shadow Kiss broke my heart. Then all my friends told me, unhealthy “oh the last three are even worse.”

And my reaction was like, “RUN AWAY!”

And since I have such a long “to-be-read” list, I just moved on to other books.

Well, I’ve had SUCH an issue getting into books lately that I thought it would be good to get back to Rose Hathaway and her journey as a dhampir in the Vampire Academy world. And I’m so glad I did. I busted through Blood Promise, and am currently reading the 5th book, Spirit Bound. These books. Oh man. Addicted.

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Part of a Series?:

The 4th novel of the Vampire Academy series

Please note that while there will be NO spoilers for Blood Promise, there will be spoilers for Vampire Academy, Frostbite and Shadow Kiss. You can read those reviews by clicking the titles. 

You May Like if You Liked:

Rachel Caine’s The Morganville Vampires, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series

Age Recommendation:

14+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

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?

My Review: 

 I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, but what I received was completely surprising.

It was really slow to start, which is a big reason why it doesn’t get a full five out of five stars. The first third of the book dragged on for a long time. I love Rose but a lot of that part was internal and I missed her fighting and her humor, and while I enjoyed the path she was taking, and what she was doing, it was just really slow. Nothing about it was grabbing, not after the epic, action-filled ending of Shadow Kiss.

However, when Rose finds Dimitri and the novel begins to pick up, I busted my way through. I couldn’t stop reading. I was surprised at what happened when they finally met again and I couldn’t handle it. My emotions were on an up-and-down dizzy roller coaster and I honestly couldn’t even guess what would happen next. Because this series has concluded and the spin-off, Bloodlines, is so far in as well, its not hard to run into spoilers. I’ve tried as best as I could to avoid them, but I do know some things. But I just didn’t see this, and it really has me guessing so much at what happens in the last two books. I honestly have no idea what direction this is taking.

And that’s what makes this book so good. Richelle both gives you, the reader, what you want and takes it away as well. She has you guessing at every turn. Rose is conflicted about so many things and she’s such a great writer, that you’re conflicted too! You can’t decide either, and your emotions…they just can’t handle it.

I seriously don’t know how Richelle did this to her fans. Its so cruel haha. The cliffhanger was incredible too. How could someone to do that! Luckily I already had Spirit Bound on my Nook, so I didn’t have to wait more than 2 seconds to start in on the next book, but sheesh. What a cliffhanger. She’s damn good at that.

Now I’d write more, but I’m not going to. One, so you can get off this computer and read the book (or the series, if you haven’t. Which, in that case, you need to be reading the review for Vampire Academy, not the 4th book. I’m just saying). Two, I need to get off this computer so I can go finish the 5th book!

Good Day!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?:

I recommend this entire series. The books just keep getting better and better. If you’re stuck on book one or two or three, keep going! Don’t stop. They are great books. I am NOT a fan of vampire books but these books. My god.

And I just picture the beautiful and crush-worthy Zoey Deutch as Rose, and I’m good to go!

Oh, and Danila Kozlovsky too ;)

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week. I hope you enjoy the addition of GIFs in my posts too. I’m becoming addicted to them. They’re amazing. Get used to it! ;)

Happy Reading everyone!