Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

Gretchen here, filling in for Marina this week while she tackles Latin homework and midterms. This week was a hard one, only because there were so many options that I could have picked. Although I may have cheated a little, but only if you’re definition of “sequel” is book two in a series. If not, then we’re good. ūüėČ These are in no particular order.

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Review: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Review: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Four stars

Talk about timing…

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium¬†Council strips them away. With her powers locked inside her, Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies–the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t so sure.

The only known spell that can help Sophie regain her magic is at Hex Hall–the place where it all began, and now the headquarters of the evil Casnoffs. Together with her best friend, the vampire¬†Jenna; her boyfriend, Archer; her fiance, Cal (yeah, her love life is complicated); and a ghost for a sidekick, Sophie must battle an army of demons. But even with her friends at her side, the fate of all Prodigium rests on her shoulders alone.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride… Can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Okay, I should be noted I’m a total fangirl of these books. Did you not SEE my Waiting on Wednesday post a couple of weeks ago? So you can understand that I really, really wanted to like this book. And I did, I really did. But there was a problem.

THIS BOOK WAS WAY TOO SHORT.

Now, I’m really not saying that because I love these books and I’m sad that they’re over. I’m being downright¬† technically serious. So much happened in this book, and Sophie was bopping¬†all over the place and it just went way too fast. I didn’t feel like I got a chance to really get to know any of the new characters (Izzy, anyone?) and some of the biggest, most heart wrenching scenes just … happened. And all the while Sophie is here, Sophie is there, Sophie is back there again and then gone and then–aiyee! You can’t process what just happened because it’s all just WHOOSHED right past. Now, you’re probably thinking, doesn’t she LIKE fast paced books? Didn’t she say she loved Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton because it read “like a rapid fire machine gun”? Yes, yes I did. But this … wasn’t that. It seemed way too choppy in places, and a lot of important things weren’t handled with as much care or as fleshed out as they could have been. It left my head spinning–and not in a good way.

That is basically the entire reason this book only got four stars, unlike the 5 I’d have given Demon Glass or Hex Hall. I wanted this to be the roaring, hysterical, funny finale to an amazing series, but in the back of my mind I was just always a little thrown off by the writing.

Yes, in the back of my mind. In case you were worried, Sophie is still entirely Sophie. I was still laughing out loud at her snark. I still want to be her best friend. Speaking of which, you don’t really need to wait that long in the worry that all her friends and family are missing. They start popping out of the woodwork in ones and twos in the first third or so of the book, which almost made me upset. Hawkins set up that tension so well, and then it kind of resolves itself.

If you were going to bring back Archer that early, there should have been more make out scenes. Just sayin’.

Two last things to discuss: Elodie¬†and Cal. Let’s start with Elodie…

Okay, we get that the girl is a ghost tied to Sophie. Personally, her constant actions regarding¬†Sophie didn’t really bother me too much. They seemed entirely like an angry Elodie¬†would act. The problem was really when Sophie started leaning on said Elodie as a crutch, but that didn’t last all that long (as nothing did in this book) so I got over it pretty quickly. I know a lot of people have been annoyed with how much that certain event happened, but I kinda just took it in and went with it.

Now. Cal. (Please note that we are about to devolve into fangirl¬†rantings, not a technical critique.) CAL. CAL. RACHEL¬†HAWKINS. I… I… I FEEL ALL THINGS. THAT ENDING. THAT ENDING. Personally, I don’t find anything technically wrong with it. I thought it was actually poetic. BUT. BUT. THE FANGIRL IN ME DIED A LITTLE. AND THEN SOARED A LITTLE. AND THEN CRIED A LITTLE. And now you know.

I realize that this review doesn’t sound all that complimentary, but hey, that’s what a review is. It’s basically a place to nitpick at books. ūüėõ I gave it four stars for a reason. Spell Bound was a good ending to the Hex Hall¬†series, and hopefully left it open for Hawkins to return to this world–hopefully from the eyes of Izzy. However, it wasn’t spectacular. Sometimes I think that the endings to series can never be everything you want them to be, but after I had closed the book I just had such mixed feelings. Everything that I had wanted to happen, happened. Just not in the way I wanted it to. Everyone has their own opinions about how they want series’ to end, and maybe I’m not capable of separating¬†my fangirl from my critical reviewer. But I think BOTH of them wish that Spell Bound had taken a little longer to really give itself a finished polish.

Books are the Best Medicine – Here’s My Preferred Prescription!

Today’s post is going to be a little bit of a shorter one, because as you may have guessed I’m so ill as to be seeing stars and hanging out all day in bed. Of course, hanging out in bed all day DOES come with the awesome upside of having a lot of quality time to spend with one’s bookshelf. Therefore, I decided today’s post would be all about those books of mine that I just read over and over and over again when I’m feeling down. After all, who needs meds when you’ve got books? (Let it be noted that the following are just a sample. My books number in the thousands. :P) If you have a book that helps YOU feel better, let me know in the comments! My cough tells me I’m going to have a loooot more time to kill before I get much better. ^.^

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This is probably the newest book I’ve added to this list, but I just can’t get enough of it. You can check out my initial review of the book here–it still shows how I feel about this book quite well. I just CANNOT get enough of these characters or the story or … anything. I actually reread it just the other day and discovered that–despite how many times I’ve read this–I still have to be careful while I’m reading, because I STILL laugh hysterically at the jokes that always happen to show up every time I want a drink.

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins

Yes, Hex Hall¬†too, but at the moment I’ve been reading Demon Glass a bit more with the reason that the third book IS coming out March 13. These books are action packed AND include cute guys and awesome one liners. I’m not one who easily laughs out loud at books, but when I’m STILL doing that on my one gajillionth reread, I know I’ve got something special that I just refuse to let go.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

I COULD have titled this entry “anything by Cassandra Clare” and still be telling you the truth, but I really have a thing for City of Glass. Probably because of all the Jace/Clary-ness but whatever. I just had a new urge to reread the entire Mortal Instruments series (if you want to¬†know just what these are, check out my article here)¬†again after going through Clare’s section of Goodreads quotes and laughing so hard I tipped over my chair. All that goodness undiluted can kill, I swear. These books are also so awesome and widely appealing that my brother read them, so we have quote wars. It’s amazing, let me tell you.

Squire by Tamora Pierce

Now, throughout this post you’re going to notice I have a thing with rereading the final books in series. If you know anything about Pierce’s Protector of the Small series, however, then you’ll know Squire¬†is actually the 3rd of 4 books. Don’t ask me why, but I just adore this book like nobody’s business. I actually broke the spine of the library’s copy before I realized I should prooobably get my own. But hey, how can you go wrong with Kel, Raoul and a baby griffin? (The answer is, you can’t.)

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Alright, here we go, back to the “last book in the series” trend. Well, I’ll be honest, any time I name one book in a series it’s a good bet I just spend all day rereading the ENTIRE series, but this is just my favorite. You’ve got the Shang Dragon AND George AND Thom AND Jon AND her friends AND–erm. Everything. This book has everything. I better just leave it at that…

The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Full disclaimer: I usually don’t reread the entirety of this book. In fact I usually don’t read the entirety of this series. I reread all Rose and Dimitri sections and flip through the rest. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the other characters–Adrian especially after Bloodlines–but…AAGH. Rose and Dimitri. Never have I shipped a couple so hard. Seriously. (Although Sydney and Adrian are coming up close second.) I have reread this book quite a few times, but I have mauled the end pages that include Rose and Dimitri’s “happily ever after.” I may be a sucker, but you can’t tell me it isn’t reasonable with this two.