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Tag Archives: Author: Richelle Mead

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books For People Who Like Kirstin Cashore

It’s Tuesday again and over at The Broke and the Bookish that means it’s time for another Tuesday Top Ten! This week’s topic is the Top Ten Books For People Who Like Kristin Cashore,

Kristin Cashore is the author of three novels: Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue. All of  Cashore’s novels are set in an interweaving fantasy world and all three feature an incredibly strong female protagonist. If you know me at all, or you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that’s one of my main criteria for selecting a book. I know that there are plenty of people out there who love the Bella’s of the literary world, but that’s just not me.

So, here are ten books for people who love Kristin Cashore’s strong, sassy females!

1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKInley. I talk about this book ALL THE TIME and that’s because, really, it’s amazing. Aerin is one of my all time favorite fantasy characters and she is one hell of a girl, but at the same time she is human and has her flaws. She fights for her crown, she fights against the expectation placed on her and she fights for love. Oh and did I mention that there are dragons? Cause there totally are.

2. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. The this expertly executed retelling of Little Red Riding Hood  gives you two completely different, yet equally strong women. In alternating chapters you’re given a look at sisters Scarlett and Rosie March. Scarlett’s strength lays in the gift she’s been given while Rosie’s strengthallows her to forge a different path for herself.

3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. A work of epic fantasy Pullman’s Lyra is stubborn, headstrong, independent, often reckless, spoiled, bratty and yet still completely lovable. If you loved Graceling and Katsa, the often difficult to love heroine, then Lyra is sure to charm your heart.

4. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley. Another one of McKinley’s fairy tale retellings, this one gives a unique look at the Sleeping Beauty story. This story gives us two strong women who fall on each end of the social conventions spectrum, Rosie is more likely to wear pants and work on whittling spindle ends while Peony is shown wearing dresses and practicing embroidery. There’s no right or wrong way to be an independent female in YA and McKinley shows that here.

5. Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. Another series of books where you see two equally strong and independent woman, who are very different personality wise. Rose is the punch first, ask questions never type of female protagonist, while Sydney is more analytical, methodical and has to always have a plan for everything. I love both of these characters and I think it’s important to how teens that there is no right or wrong way to be a strong woman.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. A bit of a departure from Kristin Cashore’s world of fantasy, Anna is set solidly in the “real” world but she is every bit as fierce and determines as the heroines you encounter in the fantasy worlds. The spunky protagonist of this story will easily steal your heart and leave you with an Anna shaped hole when the book ends.

7. Goose Girl  by Shannon Hale. At first glance Ani does not fit the mold of strong and sassy female, she’s a princess who is soft-spoken and socially awkward, not exactly traits that help someone run a kingdom. But when things spiral out of control and ANi is forced to take a different path than the one that was laid out for her she shows jsuthow strong she truly is.

8. Belles by Jen Calonita. Another contemporary book, but one that I feel absolutely needs to be mentioned. Isabelle lives with her grandmother and has been her main caretaker ever since she started rapidly decking health wise. While doing this she manages to hold a job and swim for the local swim team. It takes a strong person to be able to patiently care for someone in her grandmother’s state and it’s easy to see that Izzie is made of seriously strong stuff.

9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Not your typical strong heroine, Liesel is a foster child living with a family near Munich in the middle of World War 2. She’s strong willed and that helps keep her alive through the war and she has a thirst for knowledge that drives her to read everything she can find or steal. There are a lot of things thrown at Liesel over the course of the novel and it is only her inner strength that gets her through.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know, I know, everyone has read this already. But on the tiniest of off-chances that you’re one of the select few that hasn’t, I suggest you take some time and get acquainted with Katniss. She’s feisty, loyal, strong willed and determined. She’s willing to sacrifice everything just to save her family.  Katniss is a prime example of kick butt women in YA fiction.

What other books would you add to this list? I’m sure there are some strong females that I left off, so let me know in the comments!

 

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[Review] The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)

Author: Richelle Mead

Publication: June 12th 2012 by Razorbill

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary (Amazon): Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

My Review: Okay, full disclosure before continuing: there will be copious amounts of squealing, arm flailing, gushing and capslock/exclamation point abuse in this review. That is the only way I con properly convey how I feel. Read at your own risk. 🙂

Oh. My. Goodness. This book. THIS BOOK. It’s been quite a while since I finished a book and then immediately turned around and flipped back through in order to reread various sections. There were just some moments that I absolutely adored and wanted to relive one more time before I passed the book off to my best friend.

If you still had any lingering doubts about Sydney as a narrator even after reading Bloodlines, well NEVER FEAR, The Golden Lily crushes them all. I love Sydney and her practical clothes, her vast intelligence, determination, and her courage. She has come a long way since her first appearance Blood Promise, and it’s fascinating to watch her warring emotions between how she feels about her friends, the vampires, and what her Alchemist rules and regulations demand from her. She’s not sure how to feel or if how she feels is right or wrong and I think we’ll see more of this as the series goes on.

Also, her naiveté when it comes to boys and social situations is frickin’ HIALRIOUS! It’s so endearing to watch this calm and logical girl try to rationalize dating and just fail so miserably. As astute as she is, she’s completely baffled and blind when it comes to romantic entanglements. It’s adorably infuriating to watch her, you just want to reach through the pages and shake some sense into her!

So, what we get in The Golden Lily that we didn’t really get in Bloodlines was Dimitri!! Words cannot express how excited i was to see the tall, dark, handsome Russian in a trench coat (does anyone else picture Spike’s Russian cousin or something? Or is that just me? Ahh, just me then…) grace the pages once again. I love watching interactions between Dimitri and Adrian, as it’s vastly entertaining how calm he can remain while Adrian flings zinger after singer his way. And, for all you Rose/Dimitri lovers out there, there’s a moment tucked away that will make you absolutely melt.

The storyline in The Golden Lily had me far more intrigued than I was in Bloodlines, and I was fascinated to see the research they were doing to determine why the Strigoi weren’t able to drink Sydney or Lee’s blood. Other than that I can’t go into too much detail about what happened without spoiling the plot of the book, so you’ll have to take more word on it that’s its all rather thrilling and throws Sydney totally off her game. It’s AWESOME.

Okay, so now that I’ve been good and given my thoughts on the book, let me get to what I’m really excited about. ADRIAN. This book has ADIRAN EVERYWHERE. Words cannot express how much I love Adrian and his snarky ways. He’s my all time favorite book crush (even if in real life I’m not big on binge drinkers and chain smokers, whatevs.) and he’s FANTASTIC. He’s so adorable and OBVIOUS about everything and it’s so cute to watch. Adrian has come a looooong way since the Vampire Academy days and I’m just so proud. He’s all grown up, but still just as smokin’ hot as ever.

And damn, does that boy have some good lines! I warn you, you may melt into a giant puddle of goo. Or maybe that’s just me.

I loved this book more than I’ve loved any other book in quite a while. It had me at Anna and the French Kiss levels of giddiness, which is saying something! If you’re a fan of Richelle Meade’s Vampire Academy and haven’t gotten around to this spinoff, what are you waiting for? Go get Bloodlines and The Golden Lily NOW!

 
 

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Armchair BEA June 5th: Best of 2012 and Giveaway!

I cannot believe that we are already into June! It does not even seem possible that we are now halfway through 2012, but I supposed this is what happens as we get older. Without further adieu here are my top 3 books I’ve read in 2012 and the top 3 books I’m waiting on to be released!

3 Favorites in 2012

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I CANNOT stress enough how much I loved this book. I’ve read it twice since January and it only got better on my second read through. But there are no words really, just feelings and I think this image i found in The Book Smugglers review sums it up quite nicely:

2. Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin. I reviewed this book back in April and I could barely form the words for the review. This book broke my heart into a million little pieces and then ever so gently put it back together again. It’s a true story and a touching memoir of one man’s journey through life and love and single fatherhood. You will not regret picking this one up at all.

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I came a bit late to this party, as I only read Divergent about two weeks before Insurgent was set to release. It was basically a blessing in disguise as I don’t have to wait as long to find out what was happening to Tris and Four. I’ve very much enjoyed this series and am itching to see how it all ends in the third book.

Team Dauntless all the way baby!

3 Books I’m (impatiently) waiting for in 2012

1. Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn. So, it’s no secret that Timothy Zahn is the hero of the Star Wars EU book world and my favorite sic-fi writer. So it’s certainly no surprise that my top most anticipated book is his newest. This one focuses on Han and Chewie (and Lando!) so it’s a bit of a divergence from his normal focus of Mara Jade and Luke. But I’m still hoping the awesome red head makes at least a tiny appearance.

Also, just look at that cover. How will it not be made of awesome?

2. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. Adrian Ivashkov. Need i say more? He’s one of my favorite things about the Vampire Academy world and I can’t wait to see more of him. Oh, and Sydney and Jill and the intrigues of the Moroi court, of course. But mostly Adrian. Cause that’s how I roll.

3. The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima. The Seven Realms series is one of the best YA epic fantasies I’ve read and I can’t wait to see how it all ends. I made the mistake of reading the first three thinking that’s all there was and I was both ecstatic and brokenhearted hearted to realize there was still one more book. Mostly only broken hearted cause fit doesn’t release until October and that’s just too darn far away.

What books did you guys pick as your top of 2012? I know it’s only Juen but there have already been so many great books that it was difficult to narrow it down! I can’t wait to see what made everyone’s else’s lists.

If you get a moment be sure to check out the official Armchair BEA site for a guest post from Joe Foster from Edelweiss. He’ll be talking all about digital review copies and the many exciting changes at Edelweiss that effect us as book bloggers.

OH! Also, don’t forget the first Armchair BEA twitter party! Find our more here: For detailed information, visit the Twitter Party Announcement Post. Hope to see everyone participating!

Okay, so now for the fun stuff (c/mon we all know why you’re here!)! If you’re interested in winning a $25 dollar Amazon giftcard simply signup for my email list here: http://eepurl.com/b8GB1 and leave a comment on this post. There will be a random winner selected from all of the new subscribers/commenters!

(If you’re an existing subscriber and would like to be eligible to win simply shoot me an email and I’ll adjust the signup date manually to allow you to enter the contest).

Winner will be announced on Friday by 4 pm!

 
 

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TGIF: Supporting Characters

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Every Friday she posts a new question and it’s a really fun way to discover new blogs.

This weeks question is: Supporting Characters: We tend to gush over those main characters the most, but what about those supporting roles? Who are some of your favorites? 

I usually tend to gravitate towards supporting characters in books even more so that the main characters. So this is hard to narrow dow. I’m gonna have to go with a top 5 supporting characters list!

There may be spoilers ahead so proceed at your own risk!

Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I know I go on and on and on about my love for the twins, but seriously it never wavers. I love the back and forth conversations, the jokes, the teasing, their bravery and their unwavering loyalty to their family. From the first time this mischievous duo appeared on the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone I was enamored. And clearly I was not the only one  who loved the twins as their roles got increasingly larger as the series went on.

Also, Fred wins out as favorite twin by the tiniest smidgen of a vote.

Also from Harry Potter is Neville Longbottom. For being a supporting character he has quite the character arc starting in Book 1 and ending in Book 7! It’s fascinating to watch him move from being this shy, unsure boy into a confident and brave young man. I was cheering for him all long and loved that he was given his moment of glory. A true Gryffindor til the very end!


Prim from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Prim was, by far, the most important of the minor characters. Wanting to save her and protect her is what drives Katniss to volunteer in her place and then fight to win. She wants to give Prim the life that she never had and to save her from the reality of their situation. I found myself crying in Mockingjay when Katniss is talking to Prim late at night and she comes to realize that her sister has grown up without her even realizing it. In just a year Prim has gone from this scared and unsure little sister someone whom Katniss can depend on and trust with her life.

Winter Celchu from the Star Wars Expanded Universe (first introduced in Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn). Winter was raised as a sister and companion to Princess Leia Organa and later worked for the Rebellion as a soldier and a spy. She had both a holographic and an audiographic memory which made her a kick ass spy. In Heir to the Empire she serve’s as Lei’as aide and confidant, even going on to help hide her children away when they are threatened.  I loved Winter as Zahn wrote her and desperately wanted to get more and more of her backstory. I guess that is the sign of a fantastic supporting character!

 

 

Oh, no list of favorite supporting characters would be complete without Adrian Ivashkov. I LOVE this character so much and he gives me ALL THE FEELINGS. And obviously, so does Richelle Mead, as she made sure there was a place for him in the spinoff series Bloodlines! When i read the series I found myself grinning every time Adrian graced the page. His wit and snark are the perfect foil to the other characters who see things in such black and white terms. In fact, I love him so much I’ve having a difficult time putting into words exactly why. So you’ll just have to read it to understand.

 
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Posted by on 11 May, 2012 in TGIF

 

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Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines

Author: Richelle Mead

Publication Date: August 23, 2011

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary (from Barnes & Noble): 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.

Review:
I was a bit skeptical about reading a book set in the Vampire Academy world that was not told in the voice of Rose Hathaway. Rose was such a gung-ho, fearless girl without a plan who jumped in anyway, that I was worried anyone else would pale in comparison.

Not even close. Sydney was bad-ass in her own way, quietly doing what was right even though those around her may not agree with the decisions that she made. Sydney is not one to sit back and let things happen, she is spunky and courageous and is a girl who most if us can relate to. Sydney slowly grew on me throughout her appearances in Vampire Academy, but this book launched me into a whole new realm of adoring her.

I have to say that my favorite thing about this book is that Adrian is back. Along with his sarcastic humor, dry wit and general recklessness and wild abandonment. I adored Adrian in the Vampire Academy series and was SO GLAD that Richelle decided to bring him along for the new adventure. It’s also fun to see some other minor characters make major appearances here, like Eddie and Jill. It’s fun to start a new adventure and have a few old friends along ti spice things up and keep it interesting!

I adored this book just as much as I adored the Vampire Academy series and I cannot wait for it to continue. Richelle did an amazing jot of moving the plot along and leaving clues here and there that subtly lead us to the big wrap-up at the end. However, it’s definitely left wide-open enough to make you want the next book now. Sadly, we have to wait until April. But I know I’ll be getting it on day one!!

 
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Posted by on 12 October, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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