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Tag Archives: Series: Vampire Academy

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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Top Ten Tuesday, in which I cheated.

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 Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life.

And, I tried to do the topic, I really did. But I couldn’t find even two or three characters that really reminded me of people that I knew. So, I’m cheating and I picked an older topic that I had skipped a while back. So, here are my Top Ten Characters I Would Want As Family Members

1. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I want her as my younger sister. I absolutely adored her and her quirkiness, I think she’d fit right into my family!

2. Charlie Weasley from Harry Potter by JK Rowling. Um, who wouldn’t want a dragon trainer as a big brother? It’d be so awesome to be able to visit him in Romania and see the dragons up close! And, bonus! I bet he has cute dragon trainer friends 😉

3. Gandalf from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. He’d make the perfect kooky old uncle. And, he’d tell the best stories at parties! Also, maybe bring some fantastic fireworks.

4. Dumbledore from Harry Potter by JK Rowling. He would be the kooky uncle from the other side of the family!  And he and Gandalf would be constantly trying to one up each other with stories. I can just see them, Dumbledore with his bowl of candy and Gandlf with his pipe, dueling stories!

5. Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. She’d be the strict aunt whose house you would always dread going to visit. She’d be so particular about how her house looked, but she’d sneak you cookies on the side when your parents aren’t looking.

6. Peeta from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I would like Peeta to marry my real life younger sister. They both love to bake and Peeta could join her in opening their own bakery. And then I would get to eat there for free all the time.

7. Mara Jade from Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. Mara gets to be my kick ass older sister. And she’d take my on adventures and teach me to use a lightsaber and the force. Besides then Like Skywalker gets to be my BiL, which is just awesome.

8. Adam from If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. He’d be my cousin who I love dearly, but also think can be a total idiot. Maybe if he were related to me I’d be able to knock some sense into him long before he hit rock bottom!

9. I adore the parents that I have, but if I had to pick fictional parents then I for sure want Arthur and Molly Weasley from Harry Potter by JK Rowling. They are basically the best book parents ever. And I’d get to live at the Burrow, which would be amazing.

10. Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick gets to be my fictional boyfriend. He’s my current book crush and if I get to have him in my “family” it’s because he’s older and now we’re dating.

Honorable Mentions:
– You all know of my love for Adrian Ivashkov from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. BUT, it would be impossible to have him in my family because it’s really awkward being attracted to a relative.
– The same is true for Fred and George Weasley. Also, Neville.

Did anyone stick to the assigned topic? I’d love to see who you from the books you read reminds you of people in real life!

 

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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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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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