Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead (Spoiler Free)

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Note: There will be a spoiler filled review uploaded on YouTube within the next couple days.

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical  Fantasy

Pages: 

380

Part of a Series?:

This is the 5th novel in the Bloodlines Series

Release Date: 

July 29th, diagnosis 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, 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.


In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. 

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

My Review:

Please note that while this review will have no spoilers for Silver Shadows, there will be spoilers for the rest of the Bloodlines series. 

When I first picked up the Vampire Academy series just about a year ago, I didn’t know that it would lead to me to two incredible series that would literally change my life. The characters, the stories, all of it, means so incredibly much to me and in such a short period of time. I already have a VA tattoo because of it. After the end of VA, I felt empty, until I picked up a copy of Bloodlines, and literally sped through that series. To say that I was dying to read Silver Shadows at the end of the Fiery Heart would be a vast understatement.

I woke up on Tuesday, on release date, and immediately got ready and went out to buy my copy. I found it, clutched it to my chest and didn’t let it out of my sight until I got home. I then warned everyone that I would be disappearing for awhile while I read the book. I read it in less than four hours, which already goes to show you how much I enjoyed this book.

When I read Fiery Heart, I wasn’t a huge fan of the split point of view. I understand why she did it but it helped me keep my resolve as Indigo Spell as my favorite. Now in Silver Shadows, the split point of view was definitely necessary to the point of the story. Adrian and Sydney are separated, Adrian remaining in Palm Springs and Sydney in some unknown location as the Alchemists attempt to “re-educate” her. In this novel, I found myself eager for each of their points of view, hoping, with each turn of the page, that their stories would finally intersect and they would be back together. I really enjoyed the split POV and I hope she continues this in The Ruby Circle.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this novel, something that just kept me pushing page after page, until the end was Sydney Sage. I know that sounds weird because she’s the main character of the series but I’ve mostly read for Adrian more than Sydney. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sydney but I think she really became one of my favorite characters, period, in this book. The strength that she shows, the resolve, the fact that she is determined and doesn’t stop trying. She is absolutely incredible in this novel. She blows me away, and I always kind of held her second best to Rose Hathaway but I think she’s her equal, just in a different way. I really began to truly appreciate Sydney in this novel.

I also liked the story of it. There was a lot more built into it than just the recovery of Sydney. It was a struggle for Adrian, handling his spirit and his vices and that sort of thing. He is miserable and he literally sends himself into a spiral. Its about his relationship to other people besides Sydney (and Jill and Eddie and Angeline), and his family, and even his friends back at Court, like Lissa, Rose and Dimitri. I love that Sydney’s story is more than just her own in the re-education center. We really get to see the person she’s become and what she’s willing to do to help not only herself but others as well.

And I mean, keeping this as spoiler free as possible, but there are some truly excellent Sydrian moments in this novel. Truly. There’s an entire segment with the two of them that I honestly thought I would be horrified by but instead, I was so full of joy and happiness, I could barely handle it. It made sense to the storyline, which is why I liked it. I don’t like things like this happening just for the sake of it. I know this is so vague and you can check out my spoiler filled review for more on that.

Loving all the appearances that Lissa, Rose and Dimitri make. My loves!

And OHMYGOD that cliffhanger. I can’t handle that cliffhanger. Just when you think …okay, everything is going to be okay, I can handle this, Richelle leaves us literally panicking on the last page, wondering what on earth could possibly happen next. Literally, I would sell my kidney to find out what happens next, maybe even a lung or two. I mean, those aren’t important right? I’m just saying. With a cliffhanger like that, anyone would want to read the next book!

Stay tuned for my spoiler filled vlog coming soon!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (Spoiler Free!)

8755785Genre: 

Young Adult, buy Urban Fantasy

Pages: 

725

Part of a Series?:

The final book of The Mortal Instruments series

Release Date: 

May 27th, stuff 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

My Review:

I will warn you now: there will be NO NO NO NO NO spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire in this review, but there will be spoilers for City of Bones, Ashes, Glass, Fallen Angels and Lost Souls. If you’re reading this and you haven’t read the first five, I can’t imagine why you’re here, but I would suggest not reading this review.

Now I’m going to jump in. I was very excited for this book but also incredibly apprehensive. I loved the way the first trilogy of this series ended, City of Glass is beautiful and it remains my favorite. Fallen Angels was disappointing to me, and Lost Souls was better but I just didn’t feel like the second half of the series was good for me. I was happy with how City of Glass ended.

That being said, now after reading City of Heavenly Fire, I can say…that City of Glass is still probably my favorite of the entire series but City of Heavenly Fire was incredible and I’m highly impressed and I thought that the ending was really great.

It wasn’t perfect though, but I’ll get to that later. I’m going to be as spoiler free as I can possibly be, but if you literally want to know nothing before you read this book, I suggest you go. I promise to be spoiler free, and vague but it still may not be enough for you.

First off, the story. When we leave Sebastian at the end of Lost Souls, with the Infernal Cup, and the ability to transform the Nephilim into darker versions of himself, I thought, where on earth is this going? We know Sebastian is insane, and that the demon blood in his body has made him into a sick person but I couldn’t see exactly where the story was going in this book. It opens up with Sebastian attacking Institutes in order to build up his Dark Shadowhunter army. The fear of him is real, and the building tension and fear throughout the story is very real. I was clutching the pages, anxious to get through because I had to know what happened next. It wasn’t just the whole “it’s the end of the series” anxiety but also the “Ohmygod, what is happening, what is Sebastian doing, what is going to happen to my favorite characters” anxiety.

The romance in the story is absolutely beautiful too. There are so many great romances in the Mortal Instruments series and seeing them interact and struggle and work together, it was beautiful, and I loved all of it. I do love that we get to see Jace and Clary fight together, side by side for the first time in the series. Its the first time we really truly see them as equals and I absolutely loved it. There are a few couples that don’t make it, all heartbreaking but done in ways that killed your heart but also made sense too, if that made sense. Its hard to explain without feeling like I’m revealing stuff but the couples that didn’t make it together, it hurt but it was done in a way that it made sense and it was heartbreaking in all the right ways. Plus there are a lot of FANTASTIC sexy scenes, enough to get all of us Shadowhunters all hot and bothered.

We’ve known for awhile now that we would meet the main characters of The Dark Artifices-Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn-would be introduced in this and I was surprised with the…frequency that they appeared in the story. I won’t say more than that but what little we get to know of them as young Shadowhunters-in-training in CoHF makes me absolutely love them and I can’t wait to dive into their stories later. I also like that we get what seems like hints for Lady Midnight in this book.

Again, from the hints, and from Clockwork Princess (if you haven’t read that, please skip to the next paragraph), that Brother Zachariah would be…no longer a Silent Brother anymore. Again, no spoilers, but this scene caused me to burst into uncontrollable tears and the interaction between him and Jace was beautiful. I marked it in my book because it was truly one of my favorite scenes in the book.

I did have some issues with the end. I think that Cassandra Clare could have been…harsher than she was, and that she could have taken more risks than she ended up taking. I was disappointed that the sort of sacrifices she made didn’t make as much of an impact as she could have. Its so hard to talk about it without spoilers but I just thought Cassie could have taken more risks. I thought that the direction she took with Simon’s story was the sort of risk I was looking for but it changed in the end to something I didn’t expect and was also kind of disappointing too. I think she went safe in the ending of the book, though heartbreaking and heart wrenching, could have been…more realistic, I guess is the word I’m looking for.

The conclusion of Sebastian’s story, I’ll just do words: unexpected. but kind of expected. perfectly written. perfect in general.

I had two favorite parts: when Zachariah, no longer a Silent Brother, meets Jace. Then there is a part when…a group of our favorite characters come into contact with a demon that makes them…see things. The things they see…its very emotional and I had to pause after I read that part in order to wipe the tears literally streaming down my face.

Basically, I am highly impressed with this book, and the fact that it brought together so much that has happened in the Shadowhunter world. We got flashes to the time of Tessa, Jem and Will, we got hints at the time of their children. We have everything of the Mortal Instruments time come together and wrap up and we have hints at what is to come in the future, and I think it all comes through nearly flawlessly and I applaud Cassie Clare a million times. I am proud to wear the fearless rune permanently on my shoulder :)

One last thing that’s SLIGHTLY (very slightly) spoilery: Simon’s band finally picks a name. And its WONDERFUL.

Ave Atque Vale, Shadowhunters. Until Lady Midnight!

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Fictional Crush of the Week-Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries

I hope you’re all having a seriously awesome weekend. I love you all! I hope you enjoy this Fictional Crush of the week. I’m SO tired so I’m kind of rambling and I hope you forgive me!

Character Name:

Caroline Forbes

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Book or Series They Appear In:

The Vampire Diaries

Author/Creator:

L.J. Smith

Played By: 

Candice Accola

Who They Are:

Caroline Forbes is one of the main characters of The Vampire Diaries TV series. I’m not sure about the book series because I got 50 pages into book one and I wanted to punch someone. I was not a fan. But I DO love the show. Let’s move on, erectile and we’ll talk about TV Caroline, since I know nothing about each Book Caroline.

She’s one of the best friends of the main character, Elena Gilbert. She is kept out of the crazy vampire world as much as possible, until she starts dating Damon Salvatore, who compels her to forget. She eventually becomes a vampire herself, and with the help of Stefan, is able to control her hunger and blend in with human society. She’s the fun of the group, and incredibly ambitious. She plans all the dances, and events, and works hard to become Miss Mystic Falls, and wants every day to be the best day. She wants only the best experiences for herself and those she cares about. She dates Damon briefly but falls in love with Matt and Tyler, and when she does, she is incredibly passionate and caring and loyal.

Why I Am Crushing On Them: 

I mean, first off, have you seen Candice Accola? The girl is absolutely gorgeous. I am not usually prone to blondes when it comes to girls but Candice, and Caroline, grabbed my attention on the show almost immediately. I liked how pretty she was, and she has this beautiful blonde hair and…okay…

But I also liked Caroline as a character. No matter what hits her, she keeps going. She’s one of the more resilient characters in the series. She never gets whiny, and when she does whine, its because everyone else is being super emo and she’s just trying to put on a prom or an epic party or something. Caroline’s life changes immensely, once she’s a vampire, and then when her dad dies, and her friends are either killed or become vampires and such, and an evil vampire named Klaus is madly in love with her, but she keeps going. She keeps them afloat. She doesn’t want any of them to fall into completely despair so she keeps them happy and motivated. She reminds them all that there is so much in life to be happy about. And she believes in all her friends, motivates them and takes care of them.

Notable Quotes: 

“Mum if I wanna talk boys I`ll call dad. At least he`s succesfully dating one.”

“I am gonna drink until someone is hot enough to make out with.”

“Vampire 101: Don’t wear your breakfast to school.”

“So, you are not like, switching Salvatores, are you?”

“Dad, I`m okay. I`ve learned to adapt. I don`t need to be fixed. I can`t be fixed.”

*      *      *      *      *      *

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Fictional Crush. I hope you come back next week!

Shadow Kiss Book Review

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, erectile 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.

My Review:

Note: This review will NOT contain spoilers for THIS novel, however there WILL most likely be spoilers for the first two novels of the series. 

I think this is the book that finally sold me fully and completely on the Vampire Academy series. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels, and have enjoyed them enough to continue to read them, especially since everyone keeps telling me to read them, and keeps applauding me the further that I venture into the series. However, I think that with the first two books, I was merely reading them and enjoying them, and marveling at the fact that I was so enjoying books about vampires (gasp!) but after this third book, I can say, officially that I’m converted.

I am a fan. I’m a fan of the Vampire Academy series and I haven’t even finished it yet. This book was incredible. From beginning to end, it had me hooked. There was SO much going on in this book and it was hard to keep track of what was going to happen, what could possibly happen. Richelle Mead has completely mastered the idea of a red herring. She has your attention for so long on something and then suddenly, wham! Something happens that you honestly would have never expected and it leaves you wanting to throw the book against the wall. Not in a bad way though, in the best way. I was left absolutely flabbergasted, unaware that this was the way the book was going to end. I am COMPLETELY broke right now and am unable to purchase the fourth book right now, and I hate that. I want to know what happens next!

I really like that in this book, you really start to see more of Rose’s personality outside of her duty. Because of the events that have taken place in previous novels, she’s kind of a wreck in this novel but she refuses to believe for a moment that she is. She continues to stand tall, and straight and she refuses to ever let anyone think something is wrong because of her duty. She doesn’t want Lissa to know because Lissa will feel anxiety and Rose is extremely protective of Lissa and is her future guardian and doesn’t want to cause burden on her. She doesn’t want to share it with Dimitri, I feel, because it makes her look weak and it makes her look maybe younger, and that’s the last she wants. She’s in the last stages of her guardian training and its so hard for her. But as she starts to sort sift through the things going on in her life, she starts to focus more on herself and less on everyone else. She starts to question all the things she’s been taught is 100% law her entire life.

And I really like that direction that she’s going in, even if I’m confused and scared and anxious about where it will take her. I appreciate that Rose is dhampir, a guardian and that she wants to protect Lissa, but I’ve always felt like everything in the world gets set aside for that, including her own personal choices and life. She doesn’t really get to choose where to go to school; she’ll go to school wherever Lissa goes to school. She can’t choose to be with the one she loves because of her duties as a guardian. There is a lot holding her back and I feel like there is a huge part of this novel where she starts to question that and I like that. I like that Rose is not stuck in her ways, but she questions and she changes and she challenges and its going to be interesting to find out where this goes in the next few books.

I don’t want to say too much more because I fear that I will spoil it all but I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. There was so much that Richelle Mead put into this novel. There was a TON of action, there was friendship and romance and there were loyalties tested, and there was the psychology of what was going on with Rose that causes a lot of tension and anxiety and there’s just a lot going on in this book. From page one to the very end, it had me absolutely hooked and I can’t wait to speed through the rest of it to find out what happens next to the characters. She has a beautiful world built and a wonderful, exciting and gripping story going on and I am already so addicted.

So call me a fan. I’m a bandwagon fan, but I’m here. These books are SO good so far.

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday Top Ten-Books for Fun!

For some reason, remedy I feel like its been FOREVER since I wrote a Tuesday Top Ten, page and its only been two weeks since my brother totally wrote last week’s. But I feel like its been SO long! I have been SO immensely busy the last few weeks, advice what with the end of school, and finals, and my boyfriend graduated college and so it was busy.

And then when I did finally have free time, I was SO lazy and didn’t want to write anything haha. I was like, school is over and I’m not writing ever again :) And I need to catch up on my reading! I have SO many books piling up, unread, because I’ve been busy with other things.

But I’m back :D Ready to rock your world as always.

I have some SUPER cool things coming your way, like a review of Arrested Development Season 4, a post on Leigh Bardugo‘s Siege and Storm release party, some awesome book reviews, and a feature on Cinda Williams Chima!

Its going to be AWESOME.

For now, let’s do the Tuesday Top Ten.

So I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t always read these serious books. Like, not all the books I read have these deep crazy messages with battles, and wars, and questioning humanities and all that sort of thing. I read everything and that means I love to read for fun too! I like reading books about summer, and boys and kissing, and books that make me laugh, I swear I do!

So that’s what this week is, all my favorite FUN books :) The ones that don’t make me cry haha and make me laugh and all that!

Not to say that any of these books don’t have value! Because they all do! They all do hit issues that are important, but they all do it in a light, fun, and happy way!

So here we go!

10. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

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Lena, Carmen, Tibby and Bee have been best friends basically before they were even born. They have spent their entire life together, until this summer, where they’ll all be in different places. As the contemplate on this, they stumble upon a pair of pants, pants that magically fit all of them, despite their very different body types. They determine these pants are magical and that they will keep the girls together over the summer. Lena meets a boy in Greece, and struggles with her feelings for him. Carmen goes to spend some quality time with her dad, but finds he’s suddenly engaged to a new woman. Tibby is stuck at home, without her friends, working a terrible minimum wage job, and Bee is at soccer camp in Mexico where there is a VERY good looking coach, who is also VERY out of bounds.

I think I first read this book when I was about 13, and I just loved it. Its so fun, and its a perfect summer book. There’s all these serious issues in it like a parent remarrying, cancer, dating, love, losing your virginity but its so realistic and so easy to read. There’s no preaching, there’s no lesson, its just there and I’ve always loved these books. I love the absolute familiarity you feel with every single character.

9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

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Yup, I went there. Bella Swan moves to rainy Forks in Washington to live with her dad, as a sacrifice to her mother who she loves. In this tiny town, she’s an attraction, something new to be figured out. But the only person she’s interested in is Edward Cullen, and his family, who are too beautiful for words and keep to themselves. However, Edward shows an intense hatred to her right away. For some reason, this intrigues Bella and she’s determined to find out about him, especially when there’s more to him than she saw at first glance. He’s a vampire and she’s his particular brand of blood and every moment they spend together is a danger to her.

Okay, that just sounded ridiculous even talking about it haha. I know that it is not the most fantastically written book. I know that its not even that good of a story. But I like it. Its one of my guilty pleasure reads. If I don’t want to think and I just need a super fluffy romance to read, this is exactly what I need. There’s no thinking involved here, and If I tune out for a bit, its fine because I just probably missed a super mushy scene that I was fine missing in the first place! But I do enjoy reading it, no matter how bad the writing is.

8. Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita 

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This book follows the life of Kaitlin Burke, famous teen television star of the hit show, Family Affairs. Her entire life is dictated by her very busy schedule, and between the show, various appearances and publicity, she just doesn’t have time to be a normal girl. So she comes up with this brilliant idea to disguise herself in order to go to a regular high school, just to find out what its like. But soon she’s falling hard for the hottest boy in school, and her enemy co-star, Sky Mackenzie, is making her life miserable at every turn.

I LOVE this book. I love love love it. Its so good! I am obsessed with Hollywood and pop culture and all of that, and I was trying to write a novel about a girl who meets a famous actor and this book helped me SO much. Jen Calonita used to work for teen magazines and so knows a bit about the life of these people and so she writes with accuracy and its SO helpful to someone who has no idea haha. But they’re also super fun, and Kaitlin is such a fun character, and I love her Star Wars obsession and I love that she’s a super gorgeous actress and still feels insecurities too, which I think is totally normal, but we don’t really realize it. I like that Jen gives us a super fun, celebrity world with a very real teen girl that we can all relate to, even though she’s famous.

7. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

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Disclaimer: This is NOT a YA book. There is SEX in this book. Just so you know haha. In this book, we meet Kate Mackenzie, whose life isn’t going the way she planned it. Her boyfriend of ten years just dumped her, she is crashing on her best friend’s couch, she has a terrible boss at work, and she feels completely inadequate. Just when things couldn’t get worse, she’s forced to fire the most popular person in her work, and to make it EVEN worse, that person decides to sue her and the company for wrongful termination! But things are going to look up for Kate when the lawyer assigned to the case ends up to be very, VERY hot and is VERY interested in her.

I adore this book. Its the second in the “Boy” series by Meg Cabot but you don’t necessarily have to read them in order. They’re separate books that just take place in the same workplace, the New York Journal. But this one is totally my favorite. I love Kate because things just keep going wrong for her. I know that sounds terrible but I know we’ve all felt those days when nothing can go right. We’ve all had times like these, and its fun to watch her going around like “WTF?”, and struggling to deny her attractive to hot lawyer, Mitch. And Meg Cabot is SO funny, she’s so insanely funny. She’s one of the funniest authors I’ve ever read and so all while this is going down, you’re just cracking up. I hope to make people laugh in my books like she does because its just so ludicrous and hilarious.

6. The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards 

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In this book we meet Kat, who is overweight. Now, this could be an okay thing if she wasn’t so obsessed with it. She’s tried every diet out there, and she lets it rule her life and she lacks self confidence in a huge way. She has a boyfriend in England, that she met online, but she’s lied to him and told him she’s a size four, when really she’s a size 22. Then she finds a way to make it all go away: a weight loss reality show called From Fat to Fabulous. She auditions, and is suddenly on TV! But its not as glamorous as it seemed. The girls aren’t all super nice, and losing weight is hard, and her relationship with her boyfriend is all based on lies. Can she make it out of this show with everything she wants?

Dun, dun, dun! I know I keep saying this but I do SUPER adore this book. Kat is a fun character, who has all these hopes and dreams that are SO out there, and we can all kind of relate to that. Like, I so want a size 2 body with a movie star boyfriend (not really, I love my boyfriend), and I want to be rich, with five cars and all of that. But none of that is actually going to happen and thats okay :) But Kat goes into this show thinking its all just going to be fixed: her relationship, her confidence, everything, just by losing weight and thats not really true. And being on the show shows her a lot more than that. But its fun to watch her on the show, losing weight, and the stupid games they play, and how Kat is branded “The Brat” by the press and its just fun and funny.

5. Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

between the lines

This book follows two points of you. First you get Reid Alexander, the super hot famous movie star, who is all about the glamour of being him: the booze, the girls, the parties, the sex. Then you have Emma Pierce, who LOVES acting and hopes to act on stage, but is pushed to do movie roles. They both end up starring in a modern day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as Lizbeth and Darcy, and there’s immediate attraction. Reid sees Emma as a conquest, someone he’s determined to have, though he doesn’t really realize how hard he’s working for and why he’s doing it. Emma is attracted to Reid but she’s unsure of his intentions, especially when Graham, another actor on set, is showing his interest as well.

Ohmygod Tammara Webber, you’re a goddess of New Adult literature. I didn’t even know what that was until you but you ROCK it. I love these books. I bought the first one because it was TWO dollars on Kindle. (Yeah, so buy it!) and I immediately read the next two in a couple days because they are so good and so juicy. The amount of sexual tension in these books is amazing and I love it! I also love the celebrity life of it, being on set, doing interviews, parties and all that, because again, obsessed with that kind of stuff. Tammara was another inspiration and help for my novel. But everything about this novel is so sexy, and so fun, and you can’t decide which boy you want Emma with because you love them both. And the steamy scenes are to DIE for.

4. Belles by Jen Calonita

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Aw Miss Jen again! This book follows Izzy, a girl living in Harborside, a beachside community that she loves but doesn’t have the best reputation. She lives with her grandma, who is slowly deteriorating from Alzheimers. Its not long before Izzy is yanked away from Harborside and sent to live with this newfound uncle, his wife and his kids in Emerald Cove, a very wealthy town nearby to Harborwide. Izzy finds herself in a world where she feels completely left out and the girls at school, including her own cousin Mira, are not making it any easy for her. Then there’s the mystery of her new family. She’s never heard of them before, and they suddenly appeared when she needed a place to live. Lastly, her uncle’s political advisor (he’s running for the Senate) is on her case, threatening her and her grandmother if she doesn’t stay in line or if she disrupts the perfect family she’s suddenly a part of.

This book is SO juicy. Its like a little mini soap opera for teens. There’s so much going on: the jerk political advisor, the mean girls at school are seriously mean (like, they do really horrible stuff!), a hot boy who, of course, is already taken, and a mysterious family she didn’t know she had. Its all so insanely juicy and FUN. I sped through this book (and the two following) because she has you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out what is going on or whats going to happen. I love it. And when you figure out some of the mysteries, it leaves your jaw open, eyes wide, just as if you were watching a soap opera. Its BRILLIANT and I adore it.

3. Here Today, Gone to Maui by Carol Snow

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I’m not going to lie, the first time I picked up this book, I bought it because the main character lives in my hometown. And that NEVER happens. So this story follows Jane, who is a worrier. She worries all the time. She lives in suburban Southern California and she’s surrounded by families. (Because, honestly, that’s what suburban California is…) She’s determined to spice up her life a bit and so she agrees to take a trip to Hawaii with her boyfriend, Jimmy, even though everything is screaming at her not to. Before she can enjoy any part of her actual vacation, Jimmy goes scuba diving…and never comes up. Now he’s missing, and its absolute mystery, especially when she learns that she’s not the only girl that Jimmy brought to the island….

Carol Snow, you are brilliant and more people should be reading you! I love every single one of your books! I read this one…second, after Been There Done That, and I just laughed at how incredibly ridiculous and hilarious this entire book is. Jane is so funny, and the mess she gets herself into is SO funny. (I’m not trying to be a jerk, I know the plot sounds super serious but trust me, read the book). The entire situation with Jane and Jimmy, and Jimmy’s second girlfriend, Tiara, is just fantastic. She has me laughing the entire book, especially with the descriptions of Tiara, but also has me racing through it to figure out what the hell happened to Jimmy. SUCH a good read.

2. All American Girl by Meg Cabot

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One of my absolute favorite books of ALL TIME. I read this when I was about 14 years old and I think I still owe the Moreno Valley Public Library money for stealing this book from them…and that was 11 years ago! Anyway, the book follows Samantha Madison, a rebellious girl who wears all black, is an artist and completely in love with her sister’s boyfriend. When she’s caught selling drawings at school, her parents force her into art lessons (how dare they!), where she totally doesn’t want to me. After skipping art lessons one day, she stands outside, waiting to be picked up when she notices something: the president of the US coming to buy some cookies at the bakery next door to her art class, and there’s a guy with a gun pointed at him. She doesn’t think, she just moves. Suddenly, she’s a worldwide hero, and is incredibly famous, something she is way unused to it. And it turns out, David, the president’s son is in her art class, and is REALLY cute too.

The absurdity of this book is fantastic but I love it! Its literally one of my favorite books. I love Samantha, because she’s this wannabe rebel, punkish, ska girl who really isn’t any of those things but likes to think she is, which was totally me in high school too, now that I think about it. I love David, I have SUCH a huge crush on him and his stupid little secretive smiles. And I just love the ridiculousness of the situation. I love the idea of a teen girl suddenly saving the president’s life and becoming super famous, and having the president’s son fall in love with her, which she totally does NOT want. I love all the lists too. She makes these lists throughout the book, these top ten lists and I LOVE them. We all know how I am about lists :) Those lists are actually a big inspiration for the Tuesday Top Ten, though Samantha’s are infinitely funnier than mine :)

1. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot 

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Aw, my loves. The entire ten book series follows Mia Thermopolis, a high school girl, in New York City, who is everything that I was in high school: awkward, shy, unpopular, insanely tall (but I was small), no boobs, the works. She’s had a crush on Josh Richter, for ages, and her mom is dating her Algebra teacher, a class she is failing. Then her dad comes to New York to tell her something. He had cancer, and it made him…unable to have anymore kids, which makes her the now known heir to the throne of Genovia. Suddenly, Mia isn’t the normal kid she’s trying SO hard to be but she’s a princess and that takes a lot of work. The ten book series follows Mia from her freshman year to her senior year, following all of her awkwardness, her fun, her life lessons, her ups and downs, the different boys in her life (Michael Moscovitz for LIFE <3) and all the hilarity that ensues.

I first read this when I was 12 years old. I credit Meg Cabot (and Sarah Dessen) with my introduction to the YA lit world. I’ve been obsessed with YA since then and she has been one of my absolute favorite authors and one of my biggest writing inspirations since then. Her books are so GOOD. Written in diary form, you get to be in Mia’s head at all times, which is so great, because since she makes all the mistakes that we all made in high school, we get to see it from her point of view, and her reasoning and her out of control, awesome perspective. We get NO one else and it makes it great because we see how she can overreact or not react enough, and make mistakes and all of that. And Mia is a fun, relatable and hilarious character, and one of my absolute favorite characters ever. If you have not read these books, there is something wrong with you!

Also, the books are SO much better than the movie. I mean, I like the movie. But the books are so good. Its in NYC not San Fran. Her dad is NOT dead, he’s just hilarious. Her mom is hilarious. Her grandmother is NOT sweet Julie Andrews, but scary Grandmere. SO much win.

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So that was the Tuesday Top Ten for you!

Hope you enjoyed!

Stay tuned for awesome things heading your way this week!

And don’t forget to check out the previous Tuesday Top Tens!

What Really Happened in Peru Review!

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Yeah, physician we finally get to see some background information on our favorite sexy warlock, ed  Magnus Bane, of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.

Magnus Bane is a pretty big character in both series. You first meet him in The Mortal Instruments, when he comes to the aid of Clary, Jace and the rest of them, and is the warlock that erases Clary’s memories of her Sight. Then he starts dating Alec. Then as Cassie started to release the Infernal Devices series, you meet him again, in the Victorian age, years before Clary’s time, and he helps out Tessa, Will, Jem, Charlotte and the others and is involved with a lusty vampire by the name of Camille. We’re never really sure of Magnus’s real age, it could be anywhere from 300 years old to 800 years old and he makes odd and random references to his past that leave us dying for more.

And so Cassandra Clare, along with her dear friend and fellow author, Sarah Rees Brennan, decided to write stories about Magnus Bane called The Bane Chronicles. The Bane Chronicles will release a chapter at time over the course of the next few months, starting today (April 16th) and ending with the last story on December 31 of this year (check out the list below).

Eventually all of the stories will be bound together in one print book, but there isn’t any concrete information on that quite yet.

But anyway, the first story that was released was What Really Happened in Peru, where we finally will learn why on earth Magnus is banned from Peru, something he mentions very briefly in the Mortal Instruments series.

Now there ARE spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, go ahead and skip this part, and check out the future release dates for the next installments and their titles!

I LOVED the first installment of The Bane Chronicles…mostly because they were so absolutely random but so…so…so Magnus. They live and breathe Magnus. This story tells of a few adventures that Magnus has in Peru, mostly with Ragnor Fell, and another warlock by the name of Catarina, who sounds like an awesome character and I hope makes more appearances.

The first adventure takes place in 1791, where Magnus and Ragnor explore Peru, and Magnus gets in trouble with a monkey and then they get a job protecting a ship carrying guano, or bird poop. Of course, only madness can occur. We are informed that this incident is NOT the reason Magnus is banned from Peru.

The second adventure takes place in 1885, so after Magnus’s part in the Infernal Devices trilogy. He’s back in Peru but with Ragnor and Catarina. This story is the shortest and involves breaking into an ancient tomb to acquire a lost treasure. Still no word on what got him banned…

Next adventure is in 1890, with both Ragnor and Catarina again. Magnus has fallen in love with a local musician named Imasu who plays the charango…and of course he’s a black haired, blue eyed man (oh Alec Lightwood). This story is the longest and the BEST. It showcases Magnus falling in love with Imasu and his relationship with the man, and even though I’m a HUGE Malec shipper, you can’t help but ship Magnus and Imasu too. And then after Imasu breaks Magnus’s heart, he goes on a crazy drinking bender and has the craziest adventures ever. He does…he does the craziest things. He enchants a carpet to fly and sets guinea pigs free, and its just fantastic. I was cracking up the entire time while reading this story…and yet…he still isn’t banned from Peru…

The last story takes place in 1962, where Magnus runs into tourists and steals away the girl to go on a sort of Bonnie and Clyde adventure for the summer. Its short, and sweet and just…its just SO Magnus.

I think that’s the best part of these stories. Magnus is an eccentric but wonderful character and he’s just so mysterious and obviously has a lot of history. He casually mentions his past often, doesn’t really tell anyone what his real age is and is just one of my absolute favorite characters in the novel, and one of the favorites of most Shadowhunter fans. Obviously Magnus is old, though we don’t know exactly how old, and he’s had to have experienced a lot and we get a little piece of his random and awesome life.

We also start to get a little bit of his past and the way he is kind of damaged by his parents: his mother, who committed suicide after realizing that she had not had a child with her husband but with something ungodly, his stepfather, who obviously wanted nothing to do with him and his father, the demon, whose identity we don’t know yet but obviously isn’t a great friend of Magnus’s. Its very consistent with the Magnus we get in TMI and TID; we get the charming and funny and sexy Magnus but the complicated one as well.

But, oh, Cassie and Sarah, you WICKED wicked wonderful women, how dare you! The stories end with us finding out that the Peruvian government sends Magnus a letter, saying that he is banned from Peru for “crimes unspeakable” but we don’t know what they are and they remain a mystery!

We still don’t know why he was banned! After all of that, we get to see a ton of Magnus Bane’s adventures in Peru but we still don’t know why he’s banned! What brilliance and poppycock! I think if the stories weren’t so good, I would have been so mad but I just laughed and shook my head, thinking of what clever little girls that Cassie and Sarah are.

All in all, five out of five stars for this first installment and I canNOT wait until the next one comes out, which you can see on the list below!

Release Dates for The Bane Chronicles

The Runaway Queen-May 21, 2013

Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale-June 18, 2013
(apparently Magnus has a thing for Will’s dad! Scandalous!)

The Rise of the Hotel Dumont-July 16, 2013

The Fall of Hotel Dumont-August 20, 2013

Saving Raphael Santiago-September 17, 2013

No Immortal can Keep a Secret-October 15, 2013

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)-November 19, 2013
(Alec and Magnus’s first date! Wee!)

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who has Everything-December 17, 2013

The Letter-December 31, 2013

You can read the brief plot hints for each story HERE, on Cassandra Clare’s website. The only one that doesn’t have any hint is the last one, but that is almost to be expected haha.

All of these are ONLY available in ebook format, for Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, Ipad, etc. If you don’t have any of these, don’t worry! You can download Kindle or Nook apps for literally any device, including just your regular ‘ol computer! So everyone gets the chance to be able to read it! Yay!

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For those of you who have read it, what did you think? Did you like it or dislike it? What do you think really got Magnus banned from Peru? Was it something in the stories or something we may never know about? As always, let me know in the comments!