Weekly Wrap Up + What We Read 4/10/16

This week, I am the queen of posting! I am not, however, the queen of reading. That falls to Michaela. Once again, I genuinely forgot about how much different stuff we put together for you guys this week. There’s tags and reviews and giveaways, oh my! But seriously, you don’t want to miss any of this. Here we go!

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

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Worth It Wednesday: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Worth It Wednesdays is a weekly post where I feature my favorite YA titles. Find out more about it here!

81ep-ouzgalTitle: Vampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead

Goodreads Description: Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

Why it’s worth it: In honor of the release of The Glittering Court, I wanted to feature the series that got me started on Richelle Mead. I picked up the first books in this series kind of on a whim, back when vampires when all the rage. The original covers weren’t all that great, but I did it anyways.

I’m so glad.

My favorite thing about these books is that they aren’t just another vampire novel. There are vampires in it, but there is a lot more focus on relationships and friendships than in a lot of other “vampire” books. The world is exciting and new, and the books are full of adventure.

Rose, the main character, is the kind of person I would love to be friends with. Without a doubt, she makes these books for me. Whether it is her constant sass, her unflinching loyalty or her realness as a person and not just another archetypal character, she is always the highlight of each of the six books. She makes as many mistakes as she fixes, but she always works through it in the end.

An extremely realistic and interesting love interest/story always helps as well. Yes, not realistic in the sense of VAMPIRES but realistic in the sense that it’s messy and fraught but in the end I’m convinced that it is worth fighting for. These books will amuse, hurt and excite you in all the right ways. Not just another vampire novel.

Read it if you’re looking for: vampires, strong female characters, strong female friendships, swoon worthy romance, not another love triangle, magic, humor, sass, action, adventure

Top Ten Books About Friendship

toptentuesday

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

So something I just discovered is that there are a lot of books that just have generic friendships that I was meh about. However, there were also some books that had a bunch of GREAT friendships that made me swoon over their beautiful friendship-ness. Here the top ten of those are!

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Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

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

I am SO excited for this topic, I have NO IDEA how I’m going to pick just ten for this topic! Also, if you’re seeing this, I’m so happy because that means I haven’t been swallowed by Hurricane Sandy. Or wait. I have Auto-Post. Maybe I have… Er. ANYWAYS!

1. Yukiko from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Anybody who can befriend a thunder-tiger deserves to make this list. She isn’t bad with a small knife, either. And she has no problem murdering emperors. (See my review HERE!)

2. Calaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Teenage female assassins? Uh, YES. There is no way she DOESN’T make this list. She also never shies away from violence, and loves to cause a ruckus herself. (See my review HERE!)

3. Allie (Allison) from The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Kick ass theif turned kick ass vampire. It doesn’t get much better than that. (See my review HERE!)

4. Ismae from Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

This girl was raised to be an assassin by KILLER NUNS. I have yet to see an assassin training establishment that awesome. (See my review HERE!)

5. Ellie from Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

She’s snarky, has swords of light and totally knows when to cease the killing and go to a party. Need I say more? (See my review HERE!)

6. Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

The Queen of Snark right here. Also the queen of snarky kick assery. It doesn’t get much better than her!

7. Kel from First Test by Tamora Pierce

Okay, she’s a little less snarky than the other girls on my list, but there is no way you can weild a sword better than this girl.

8. Alanna from The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Not only is she the best at weilding a sword, but she can also kick ass with magic. Her temper is pretty fierce, too.

9. Eona from Eon by Alison Goodman

Pretends she’s a guy so she can prove her kick assness. Also controls a dragon. Do not mess with.

10. Evie from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Her weapon of choice is a pink, glittery taser named Tasey, but don’t underestimate her even without it–she can kill with snark alone, I swear. And also fashion sense.

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Alright guys, this is kinda a strange list. My typical idea for this post would be scary books, but I don’t read many of those. So we’re just going to try this out and hope it goes well.

1. Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

ZOMBIES. That’s Halloween-ish, right? You know it. I also reviewed this book at the beginning of the blog. So yeah. ZOMBIES.

2. Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

I actually DNFed this one because it FREAKED ME OUT. But I’m thinking some of you might like that, especially around Halloween.

3. League of Strays by L. B. Schulman

This doesn’t include any ghosts or ghouls, but it leaves chills at the back of your spine and that counts for me. I used the word “creepy” way too much in my review.

4. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

VAMPIRES. EPIC vampires written BEAUTIFUL and CORRECTLY. You can’t get better than that. See my review for more.

5. The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

DEMONS. Awesome demons. You can never get enough demons on Halloween.

6. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Necromancy. Werewolves. Genetic experiments. FREAKING EVERYTHING. You can’t miss with this one.

7. Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

If you’re looking into snagging your own Edward this All Hallow’s Eve, allow Jessica to be your guide.

8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Arguably my funniest entry on this list, but c’mon. I couldn’t NOT put it on here. It’s HEX HALL. It has EVERYTHING. Spell Bound is the only review I have on the blog, but I loved them ALL.

9. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Given the origins of this holiday, let’s through in some mythology, shall we? Also, demons and demon slaying. My review of the second book in this series, Wings of the Wicked, might tell you more.

10. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

BEST VAMPIRE BOOKS EVER. READ THEM. (AND THEN READ BLOODLINES AND THE GOLDEN LILY.)

Top Ten Books I’d Like To See Made Into A Movie

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Let’s face it. Books-to-movies is a really touchy thing. I even blogged about it once, back when I really couldn’t find many things to blog about, it’s THAT important. 😛 However, I’ll make up this list with the hopes and dreams that studios could get a hold of these books and NOT demolish them. So is my faith in humanity. Some of these books might even have options on them or whatever, but I don’t keep track. I usually don’t even know until the trailer comes out. 😛 So here they are, in no particular order!

1. The Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

Seriously, I want this to be a thing. I’d be very, very vocal about their casting choices because Sophie and Archer and, er, everyone would have to be JUST perfect, but gah. This would be a beautiful thing. Laugh out loud comedy AND magical action? I’d bankroll the project myself if I could.

2. The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

I know this already has on option on it, thank you very much. I’m even a fan of the movie’s page on Facebook. But that DOESN’T mean that it will actually be made into a movie, so just let me lend it some more support. It SHOULD be. For the only reason that I want to see Dimitri come to life.

3. The Angelfire series by Courtney Allison Moulton

THIS WOULD BE AMAZING. Nonstop action, sarcasm and supernatural butt kicking. This would be a spectacular movie; it already reads like one! I would shave my head to have this happen. (Just please don’t actually ask me to shave my head. That would be awkward. I have an oddily shaped head.)

4. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

How in the world would anyone NOT want to see giant dragons flying around spitting acid, a building that moves and talks AND THAT MASQUERADE. I would do ANYTHING to just see that masquerade come to life. Heck, I’d put one on. Any Incarnate fans want to help?

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Quite frankly, I’d be floor if something wasn’t already in the works for this, but hey. I haven’t heard anything about it, so HI LIST! I’d pay good money just to see the scene where they jump off the train. And the scene where their fears come to life. And the scene–er. Ahem.

6. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

This could be the darkest, coolest teen vampire movie ever. At least nothing would sparkle. Plus, those zombie-vamps? That’d be cool to see–especially the fight scenes. Now please?

7. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

I know they’re casting a Mortal Instruments movie, but I’m worried that if they screw it up we’ll never get to see the Infernal Devices come to life, which would be upsetting. The Mortal Instruments is awesome, but their supernatural world mashed with clockwork soldiers? Now that gets even cooler.

8. At least ONE of Tamora Pierce’s series

I mean, come on! You could pick anyone and have awesomesauce right there. They’ve been optioned, apparently, but the studio thinks they’d be too expensive to produce. Pardon me? I saw the Hunger Games. I can guess the fx bill for one SCENE. If there is interest, they will make it. HI, HERE’S INTEREST!

9. The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

Though I can’t share my review of this book with you guys until August, I CAN give you guys a teaser here so you know what I’m talking about. While I wasn’t impressed with some of the characterization, I’d pay money just to see this world come to life. Lightbulb people? Steel wolves? Mirror people? Yes please!

10. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Just finished this one, and it’s one of my new favorites of the year. Historical romance with a girl assassin? How can you go wrong? Plus, I’m a sucker for period pieces like this because I want to marry the costume department EVERY time. Can you blame me? Can you see the dress she’s even wearing on the COVER? This is a definite must for me.

Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Timesbestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive-—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood. ~ (description from Amazon.com)

Shockingly, it did not take me very long to finish this book. I avoided my family last night to finish it. I am a HUGE fan of Mead’s Vampire Academy series (of which is this a spin off, for those of you not familiar with the books, and I was very excited to see the continuation of what seemed almost a closed book in “Last Sacrifice.”

Originally, I wasn’t sold on the idea of Sydney as the narrator. I liked her well enough from Rose’s perspective, but she wasn’t a character I loved. I picked up Bloodlines with the thinking, “Well, if Adrian’s in it, it’s worth it.” Given that, Sydney was a nice surprise. Now that you can see behind her ultra-all-business exterior, there actually is an engaging 3D character who loves to act passive until the second you can’t take it anymore and then she’s concocting potions to use on bullies. Her interplay with Adrian was great as well. Somehow she managed to fire back at him as much as Rose ever did, but maintain a completely different vibe with him then Rose. It was quite well done and very enjoyable to read.

SPEAKING of Rose – she DOES make a cameo in this book, near the beginning, and I was very excited to hear about that. However, the scene that she’s in is very … blah. Being a writer myself, the scene just made me feel like it was something Mead would have known enough to cut, but she couldn’t because it had Rose in it. Because of this scene(s), the book actually gets off to a rather slow start, which is something I’ve never known Mead to do. (Also, there is absolutely no interplay between Rose and Adrian, one of the touchstone points I would have expected to be made, given how “destroyed” he was by her. Sydney may be dense in social matters, but Mead didn’t even hint at it.)

BUT! Speaking of Adrian… Adrian fans, you will not be disappointed. He is back to his drinking, partying, druggy ways as much and worse as he was when we first met him, and it’s amazing. His smart aleckness hasn’t diminished a bit. Also amazing: there is actual growth for him in this book. I was never too sympathetic towards him before, because I wanted him out of the picture and Rose/Dmitri NOW, but I fell head over heels for him here. If you already loved him, well, you’ll probably worship this book. (Also, I am now shipping Adrian and Sydney SO MUCH.)

Now, enough about the characters… The book on a whole was very enjoyable and an easy read that flowed together. Like I said, the beginning was slow, but once Mead actually got to the meat of the story it only went up from there. Several of the key plot points were easy to figure out, but I did NOT expect the end, ESPECIALLY the cliff hanger she leaves it on. I don’t want to spoil it, but VA fans will want to shriek with happiness, and I myself need The Golden Lily in my hands RIGHT NOW because stuff is about to go DOWN. All and all, Bloodlines was a different tone from the VA series, but in a good way. It was a good set up for the rest of the series, and I know it’s only going to go up from here.