Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{Top Ten Tuesday} Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday is a meme by Broke and Bookish, hosted each Tuesday, where bloggers list their top 10 in the chosen topic of the week.

Today's Topic:

Top Seven Books on My Spring TBR List
Yesterday it was 70 degress...today there's snow on the ground.  WTF weather?! WTF?!
Sometimes it feels like spring, sometimes it feels like winter, but here are the books I'm planning to read while soaking up the sun this spring.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
What's your Top Ten this week?
Link me up!

Friday, March 14, 2014

{Review} Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice
by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #6
Pages: 594
Release Date: December 7, 2010
by Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)

Goodreads / Purchase
They come first.
My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won't give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri's face join Lissa's. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

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?

One of the most epic series ever has come to a close.  What am I going to do with my life?  So many emotions, so many feels, so many laughs and tears.  I’m so glad I read this series.
This book was a perfect finish to a perfect series.  It had action, a complex story, twists, turns, and explanations.  It was everything you could ask for in a last book.  I can’t even begin to describe how epic, painful, and beautiful this book was.  There was non-stop action, non-stop humor, non-stop feels.  The beginning was so exciting and from then on it just blasted off into a fast-paced, thrilling ride.  The writing was so good and the story was so good and the romance was so good.
Can we just talk about the two really big twists in this book?  [SPOILER: Jill being Lissa’s sister and Tasha being Tatiana’s killer.  What. The. F**k.  I couldn’t believe it.  First, Jill.  That caught me completely by surprise.  But the big thing that just completely blindsided me was Tasha.  When Mead started hinting at how Rose knew the murderer I started going through all the characters that were women. I counted out Lissa immediately, but I kind of thought Rose’ mom did it (but I only thought that for like 5 second).  Then I thought Mia might have done it.  But when it was revealed that Tasha did I was like “WTF!” ]  What an amazing twist.

But it all made sense.  Everything was staged so well and the mystery was unraveled in a completely believable way.  The ending summed up everything…except for one thing.  [SPOILER: Rose’s death.  To me it wasn’t ever really explained.  From what I can gather, Rose just brought herself back…what?  That’s it?  No explanation?  Just “you were hurt badly but sometimes people can heal themselves”.  No.  Not when you’re shot at least twice in the chest. ] That was the only big thing that I felt needed more of an explanation.
Rose is by far one of my favorite heroines.  It’s really hard to describe her…but I think the best word is difficult.  She is so freaking difficult and she never listens and she’s stubborn and sassy and kick-ass and she’s amazing. I absolutely freaking love her.  The amount that she has sacrificed and done in her short lifetime is amazing, and I have great respect for her.

I feel like I have to mention Lissa.  For me, Lissa is ok.  I don't particularly like her.  She comes off as selfish and entitled sometimes and annoying. I don't really know what Rose sees in her to be so devoted to her.  But sometimes Lissa has her moments of goodness so I guess that's it.  But she's not my favorite.

I definitely need to mention Adrian.  Even though I am one hundred million trillion percent team Dimitri, Adrian is still a really great guy. I feel bad for him, but I love Dimitri more than I feel bad.  Adrian really loved Rose, but they just weren’t meant to be together.
Dimitri and Rose – Romitri – however, were destined to be together.  They just had to be.  After all they went through, after all the little arguments and flirting and training sessions and sneaking around…they just had to be together.  It was so painful reading this book and [SPOILER: seeing Dimitri just refuse to admit he loves Rose.  This whole book was leading so perfectly up to the best possible scene where Dimitri finally allows himself to love Rose and it was everything I had hoped for. ] Dimitri is the sexiest, nicest, strongest love interest I have ever read.  Rose, move out of my way, he’s mine!

I’m so sad to see this amazing series come to an end.  This world was so well-developed and I don’t want to leave.  The story and characters have come so far and done so much and this series will forever sit on my shelf and be re-read many, many times.  I have been through so many emotions reading this series, pain over Romitri, laughing, crying, loving, hating…this series is amazing.

5 stars
Richelle Mead's other YA books:
Bloodlines series (5 and counting books)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{Review} Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Spirit Bound
by Richelle Mead
Release Date:
by Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)

Goodreads / Purchase
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.

This series is killing me.  Each book somehow manages to one-up the previous book and twist and turn the series so much.  It’s killing me!
This book was so full of feels, I was an emotional wreck the whole time. [SPOILER:  I honestly wasn’t expecting Dimitri to be turned back until the last book, so I was totally not prepared for him to come back. ] The story keeps on building on itself, and the twist [SPOILER: with Lissa being able to bring back Strigoi ] was amazing.  The action in this book is so good and breathtaking, and the story doesn’t let you go for a second.  When one thing ends, another begins.  Now yes I realize that these books are by no means the best written, but as far as enjoyment goes, they are number one. I am so invested in this series, it’s not even funny.  The world that Mead has managed to create is so complex and interesting, and her story is so complicated and exciting, that you can completely overlook any minor flaws in the writing.  Her writing is by no means bad!  Just not the best haha.

Honestly, it was really painful to see Dimtri in the state he’s in.  He is damaged and feels guilty [SPOILER: from being a Strigoi, and he’s pushing away Rose. ] He is so vulnerable, but still the same sexy confident Dimitri, and I miss him as much as Rose does. He is really affected by [SPOILER: what he did as Strigoi ] and we get to see a much more vulnerable, depressed side to the “Russian God”.

Rose – where do I even begin with her?  She has got to be the most crazy, funny, and entertaining main character I have ever read.  She is so impulsive and annoying (in a good way.  If that makes any sense) and smart-ass, and she never thinks before she talks and she’s so reckless and I absolutely love her.  She is one of my favorite female heroines ever.

I feel like I HAVE to talk about Adrian.  Now, I am TOTALLY Team Dimitri, but Adrian is such a nice, sweet guy.  Even though I don’t ship him and Rose, he really does love her and would do anything for her…I just don’t think he’s going to end up with her.

Also, Richelle Mead, I DO NOT appreciate you ending each book with a cliffhanger.  It’s like I’m spirit user and whenever you write a cliffhanger I lose my mind a bit, just like I would if used my spirit powers.

 5 stars

Richelle Mead's other YA books:
Bloodlines series (5 and counting books)

Friday, March 7, 2014

{Review} Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise
by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #4
Pages: 503
Release Date: August 25, 2009
by Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)

Goodreads / Purchase
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?

Am I okay?
This book has completely destroyed me and fried my emotions and I am dying a slow death and this series is my obsession now ugh.  This book was just wow.  Not at all what I was expecting, first off.  This book went way out of line with what I thought was going to happen, but I liked it. I was really annoyed with the beginning though because there was a lot of going over the previous books and boring stuff and talking about Sydney’s obsession with cars and love scenes with Dimitri.  [SPOILER: When your favorite fictional dhamper is turned Strigoi you don’t want to read about cars, you want your sexy guardian to come back! ]  So that was annoying, but once the action started, it was like I couldn’t come up for air.  I literally sat huddled in my bean bag all day reading and crying and moaning and dying. (Sing that in Rapunzel’s voice ;P ).  The writing was very smooth and good, and the story line was so well done that I couldn’t believe it.  The staging, while not very smooth at times, was still very good, and everything flowed in the story perfectly.  And there managed to be like no dull moments once the story got going.  As I mentioned in my last review,  the scenes in this book were very well described, [SPOILER: especially the fight scene at the bridge with Dimitri and Rose (that was so EPIC!). ]

[SPOILER: I had a really hard time accepting Dimitri as a Strigoi.  When he brought Rose back to that house and they eventually started kissing and making out and Dimitri would drink her blood, I was so mad.  It was so wrong.  I couldn’t believe that my sweet, caring Dimitri had turned into a monster that essentially treated Rose like a blood whore.  That’s not my Dimitri.  I hate to say it but I was glad when Rose killed him because he wasn’t right.  I have honestly never been so invested in a love interest before.  He was put out of his misery…only he wasn’t. I knew even before I read it at the end of the book because right after he “died” I had a moment of weakness and read the summary of the next book so I knew he wasn’t dead. ]
So many things happened in this book.  I really can’t wrap my head around it all.  One thing that I didn’t like was Lissa.  She was horrible in this book and, [SPOILER: just like Dimitri, ] she was so wrong. [SPOILER: I KNEW something had to be going on with Avery, I just didn’t know what.  That was a huge twist in the book and completely caught me off guard.  The same goes for Abe being Rose’s dad – completely blind-sided by that one! ]

There were just so many things wrong with this book.  Not wrong as in “ruined the book” but wrong as in “morally wrong in the world of Moroi and Strigo”.  I will admit, I hated Rose for a while in this book [SPOILER: when she was kissing and letting Dimitri drink blood from her. ] I was so pissed off at her until I realized Mead was showing Rose’s strength and developing her by showing her so down and then building herself back up into the confident, kick-ass Rose we loved.  I have complete respect for her again.
[SPOILER: I just don’t know how, when Dimitri is turned back, which better freaking happen, they’re going to move past what happened between them when he was Strigoi.  I doesn’t seem like it would be right. ]
Here are my theories for the next book: [SPOILER: I guessed during this one that spirit (Lissa specifically) could turn Strigoi back.  I don’t expect that to happen in the next book, but it better happen by the end.  Lissa and Christian are going to get back together.  I honestly think that Rose is going to take Lissa and go after Victor Dashkov. ]

5 stars

Richelle Mead's other YA books:
Bloodlines series (5 and counting books)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

{Review} Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Shadow Kiss
by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #3
Pages: 443
Release Date: November 13, 2008
by Razorbill (an imprint of Penguin)

Goodreads / Purchase
It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, 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.

Let the feels begin.
I don’t really know where to start with this book, or this series.  It’s just amazing.  Granted, it isn’t very well written, but the story is just so interesting and the world is so engrossing that it doesn’t even matter.  This book was funny, thrilling, sad, and feel-inducing.  I loved how Mead continued the series and the world that she has managed to create is so amazing that I don’t want to leave.  The story line and staging were both very well done and there was, I felt, a lot of information in this book, not just action.  I have to give credit to Mead because she describes everything so well that I feel like I’m actually there when something is happening.  It completely draws me into the book.  The ending was absolutely heartbreaking.  [SPOILER: You have the moment of elation when you think “Yes, Dimitri and Rose will FINALLY be able to be together and gosh they just love each other so much” and then shortly after you have this sinking feeling and think “They just finally truly accepted that they love each other and they’re so happy and then Dimitri has to go and be turned Strigoi and now my heart is broken.”]  Gee, thanks Mead.  But, other than that, I loved the ending, with all the action and fighting, and also all the change that is going to happen.  This book did a lot of world building and setting up for the rest of the series.
On a theoretical note, [SPOILER: I can’t figure out what is going to happen to Lissa.  Rose is going to kill Dimitri, but I think that, somehow, Dimitri is going to come back.  So I guess Lissa will be out of the series for a while. ]  That’s an interesting way for Mead to take the series.

This cast is one of the best I’ve ever read.  Rose Hathaway is like my favorite person ever.  She’s my spirit sister. I really wish I was her so I could be a kick-ass fighter and of course so I could get Dimitri.  I love Rose’s spunk, attitude, big mouth, personality, and inability to follow orders.  I’d like to think we’re kind of the same because we both have short tempers and dark hair haha.  But yeah, Rose is awesome.

I also feel the need to mention Eddie because he was in this book a lot.  I really liked him.  He was so damaged but at the same time so strong.  I kind of have mixed feelings about Lissa though, [SPOILER:  because she refused to heal Dimitri (even if he was still human) and was so selfish when it came to Rose leaving for Dimitri. ] I sometimes find Lissa annoying.  Even though her and Rose are best friends I don't think Lissa realizes just how much Rose is giving up for her.

Dimitri “Russian God” Belikov, get in my bed.  Now.  I don’t even know where to begin with Dimitri.  This man is just perfect.  He’s dark, he’s brooding, and he’s deadly.  But at the same time he’s sweet and caring and gentle and reads Western books and always wants to do the right thing and [SPOILER: I just can’t believe he’s gone and I cried and my feels are hurting and IT’S NOT OKAY!  I’M NOT OKAY!  MY BABY HAS TO COME BACK! ]

I HAVE to know what happens next.  [SPOILER: Dimitri is hanging in the balance and I need to know how this all ends. ] I love the characters and the world for this series, and I don’t want it ever to end.

 5 stars
Richelle Mead's other YA books:
Bloodlines series (5 and counting books)
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