Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases Remaining in 2015

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Woo! So I was going to do something a little different today, but it’s going to take more time than I had anticipated to put it together. Hopefully it turns out well & becomes a regular feature I can do here. Ooooh surprises! I hope to have it done by next week for y’all 🙂

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Most Anticipated Releases For The Rest of 2015 – and boy, do I have a few of THOSE suckers. A few of them have come up in my Waiting on Wednesday posts, but most of the ones I’d posted for that have already been released this year (YAY!) so there are quite a few new ones on this list!

1. Queen of Shadows / Sarah J Maas

2. Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs

3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here / Patrick Ness

4. Armada / Ernest Cline

5. Lair of Dreams / Libba Bray

6. Carry On / Rainbow Rowell

7. The Stars Never Rise / Rachel Vincent (released today: COUNTS!)

8. The Trouble With Destiny / Lauren Morrill

9. Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine

10. Soundless / Richelle Mead

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke & The Bookish
Until Next Time ❤

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet

T3It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s list had me stumped for a little while because while I’d LOVE to meet any author of any book I’ve ever read, there are only a small handful of ones I obsess over. However, once I loosened my grip on the definition of “author”, I was able to fill in the remaining gaps. 🙂

Ten Authors

  1. JK Rowling. Author of my favorite series & just generally a genius. I’d love to interact with someone who has so much imagination that she can create a world as rich & complete as Harry Potter.
  2. Kiera Cass. My next favorite series – especially after reading The Heir. I would spend most of my time fangirling & begging her to tell me whether the cliffhanger at the end of The Heir turns out OK or not! OMG. Seriously.
  3. Ransom Riggs. The Miss Peregrine books were definitely my favorites I read last year.  This is another instance of a rich & wholly complete world that has come from somebody’s imagination & I just want to pick that person’s brain to figure out how you even DO that.
  4. Ernest Cline. Currently reading Ready Player One. I honestly don’t have much experience with Ernest Cline’s work, other than that. But what I’ve read of RP1 has already made me want to meet him. I’m sure we’d have plenty to talk about.
  5. Ted Dekker. Ted Dekker was my favorite author all through high school. Honestly, his books are probably the only reason I SURVIVED high school.  His stories are filled with suspense and wars on morality. There are heavy religious undertones (which was fine for a girl who spent 3 nights a week in church) and lessons about persistence and martyrdom. I’m actually re-reading some of his stuff this year & I still enjoy it just as much, even though I’m not nearly as religious as I once was.
  6. Brian K. Vaughan. I’m such a huge fan of Brian K. Vaughan’s body of work. He may not be a “novelist”, but he is sure as hell an author. Between Saga, The Runaways, Y: The Last Man, and his work on things like Buffy Season 8, I’d just want to hang out with him for a day. We’d get some coffee & come up with a new story to tell. On that note…
  7. Joss Whedon. Totally counts. Forget about the controversy right now & just appreciate Joss for Joss. I do. ❤ The only reason he’s so low on the list is because it’d be cheating to put him up high when his primary career is not “author”. But I’d give nearly anything to hang out with him for a day.
  8. Richelle Mead. I’ve only read the Vampire Academy & Bloodlines series, but I’m fully obsessed with them both. I didn’t realize how vast her body of work is until recently when I started looking into other series to dive into. Someone who can produce such a high volume of HIGH QUALITY fiction is definitely someone I want to meet.
  9. George R.R. Martin. I haven’t READ any of the Song of Ice & Fire books. I will someday, but I hate the feeling of waiting for a new release, so without even having a release date, I’m just not willing to get myself in that situation. I’d still like to meet the man behind Westeros, though. And maybe try to kick his ass into gear on cranking out that new book. Haha.
  10. Hannah Hart. My dream BFF. I love everything about her. This was a no-brainer. I’m just glad she wrote a book so I could put her on this list 🙂

Honorable Mention: Veronica Roth. So I can punch her in the face. Not joking. She ruined an entire month for me. Well, ok. I’d at least give her a stern talking-to.


How about you? Any authors you’re just dying to meet? Let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time ❤

Wildest Dreams: Taylor Swift Book Tag!

I’m a Tay Tay junkie, so obviously I couldn’t pass this up. Anna at Nerdy Alerty tagged me & I kind of jumped for joy. Not gonna lie.


 

1. We Are Never, EVER Getting Back Together (pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with)

   

*cough* DIVERGENT *cough*

UGH. If you’ve read the whole series, you know. I just can’t talk about it. It’s really upsetting.

2. RED (pick a book with a red cover)

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace.

I haven’t read this, but I do own it & my dust jacket is missing, so it’s a red cover. Promise 🙂

3. The Best Day (pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic)

Harry Potter, of course! I just started my re-read yesterday & I was a little worried going into it that I’d just bumble along because I know what’s going to happen. BUT it’s been the opposite. I’m hanging on every single word & loving all the rich detail that I had forgotten by just watching the movies for the past few years. Nothing compares to the original text ❤

4. Love Story (pick a book with forbidden love)

The Birth of Venus. This is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s sexy & about the early renaissance. It’s also really feminist and, well, fantastic. The main character, Alessandra, is falling hard & fast for the mysterious painter her father brought back from northern Europe to paint the family’s fresco. That is, until her family marries her off to a much older, wealthy man. And, well. You know. I totally want to re-read this now.

5. I Knew You Were Trouble (pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love)

The Duff! Wesley Rush is the epitome of this character for me. I mean, he’s not really THAT bad, I suppose –  just kind of ignorant. But still. He’s my pick.

6. Innocent (pick a book that someone ruined the ending for)

TFIOS. Ok, I know it probably wasn’t a TOTAL spoiler, because everyone knew how that book was going to end. But I was literally 5 pages away from the MOMENT things change and my BFF spoiled it over froyo. Rude.

7. Everything Has Changed (pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development)

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Sydney Sage. Girl had what? 7 books to change. And she went from completely disgusted by and terrified of all supernatural beings to *SPOILER ALERT* a witch & vampire’s wife. I mean, that’s quite the development. And it was glorious.

8. You Belong With Me (pick your most anticipated book release)

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The Heir. I’m actually starting to feel like maybe this won’t live up to my expectations. BUT, it’s still my #1 awaited release since I loved the rest of the series so much! There are a ton of unreleased books I’m slobbering over right now, though.

9. Forever and Always (pick your favorite book couple)

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America Singer & Maxon Shreave. Like I said, I REALLY love this series ❤

10. Come Back, Be Here (pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much)

The Birth of Venus. Most of my books are actually on my Kindle, so lending isn’t really an issue. The hard copy I have of Birth of Venus has been through some shit with me & I wouldn’t want to let it go for anything. I actually lost it once & bought a new copy because I couldn’t be without it. Then I found the original & gave the extra to a girlfriend 🙂

PLUS I found these bonus questions & had to include them, duh.

11. Teardrops On My Guitar  (pick a book that made you cry a lot)

Um, TFIOS. I tried to pick something I hadn’t already used, but come ON.  Nothing could answer this question better.

12. Shake It Off (pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters)

SAGA.

I’ve gotten really into this series  and don’t care what anybody thinks – whether they finally realize the extent of my nerdiness or consider it to be porn, IDGAF. This series is one of my favorite things in my life right now.

 

I don’t really have all that many blog buddies, but if you choose to participate in this tag, but if you choose to participate, leave me a link so I can read yours & make some new blog buddies, k? 🙂

 

Series Review: Bloodlines

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Whew. I’m done. I feel like I’ve been reading these books forever – even if it’s only been 2.5 months. The reason it took so long was partially just general book hangover from my end-of-2014 push and partially availability from my library. I had to wait 2 weeks just to get The Fiery Heart (book 4) from the library. Meanwhile, Silver Shadows & Ruby Circle were just chillin in my library basket next to my bed. Taunting me.

So, I’ve reviewed the first half of this series here, complete with a general synopsis. Today I just want to talk about how those thoughts have changed/remained the same since finishing out the 6th book. I do try to keep my reviews pretty vague so as not to divulge too much plot information. If you’d like to discuss this series at any length, you can add me on Twitter or Goodreads & I’d be more than happy to talk about vampires for eternity 🙂

GENERAL THOUGHTS

I had initially said that I felt like Bloodlines is a superior narrative to Vampire Academy. I’m not entirely sure that I still feel this way after reading the last 3 books. Maybe now they’re dead even. Maybe VA is just the tiniest bit better as a whole.  I feel like Richelle Mead tried to accomplish a few too many things with Bloodlines & it made the last half of the series feel disjointed from the first half. Not enough to make me dislike the series, but certainly enough to deflate my lofty opinions following The Indigo Spell.

CHARACTERS

Here’s where this series hooked me. I LOVE the characters. I love Sydney Sage. I LOVE Adrian Ivashkov. It was great that this series had so many characters that you really got the opportunity to know & love. Not just passersby who may or may not be useful in helping the main characters along their story arc. Actually, the attachment I feel to all the characters in this series is akin to the way I feel about the peripheral characters in Harry Potter. You really get the opportunity to connect with them and it’s awesome.

STORY ARCS

TOO MANY STORY ARCS. Sometimes this works. In this instance, it was the biggest downfall, I feel. If even ONE of the ongoing conflicts in this series had been eliminated, I feel that it would have been a more cohesive story. It was just too much at the end. And, honestly, the fact that there were so many conflicts to resolve made book 6 kind of annoying.  Like, I get it. But I almost feel like their solution was too easy. It was practically a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem they were facing at the time. You remember the end of Breaking Dawn? It kinda felt like that….all this buildup & then nothing REALLY happened. Well, ok, not NOTHING. It got pretty  intense. But it didn’t meet my expectations.

CONCLUSION

In the end, I’m glad to have read this series. There’s so much I want to take with me and so many scenes that really moved me. It’s upsetting when the conclusion of a series is less than you’d hoped for, but that’s the way things go, right? God. It sounds like I’m giving the last half a really terrible review, doesn’t it? I’m not. I promise. Here, allow me to clear this up. My individual book ratings:

Bloodlines

5 star

Golden Lily

5 star

Indigo Spell

5 star

Fiery Heart

5 star

Silver Shadows

4 star

Ruby Circle

3 star

 

In the end, if you love fantasy, romance, & vampire books, you DEFINITELY shouldn’t miss Vampire Academy OR Bloodlines.

 

Until Next Time ❤

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PS: I found this at B&N last night and it took ALL of my willpower not to buy it. What is it about a signed copy that is sooooo irresistible?

Mid-Series Review: Bloodlines

I just finished reading “The Indigo Spell” by Richelle Mead, which is the 3rd book in the Bloodlines series, so I thought I’d give a mid-series review & we can see how things change once I finish out the last 3 books.

Series Background

So, before jumping into Bloodlines, you MAY want to read the Vampire Academy series. Yes, it’s another 6-book series, but it is great. It’s everything a YA Vampire series SHOULD be. Romantic, exciting, scary, snarky, & none of this damsel in distress/ depressed over my boyfriend crap that a *certain* series took to the extreme. It’s not 100% necessary to read VA first, but Bloodlines carries quite a few of the characters over into this new narrative, and without really experiencing what they went through in the original series, I don’t feel like you’ll have the same emotional connection to them. The recap is pretty thorough, so I don’t feel like you’d be completely lost, but there would definitely be some holes in your comprehension of the characters’ motivations, etc.

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Jumping into a 12-book commitment might sound a little intimidating, but it’s been completely worth it to me. The books are pretty light (apart from the 400+ page counts) & easy reads with tons of momentum & action to keep you turning pages. Also, there are LOTS of characters – like, Harry Potter lots, not Song of Ice and Fire lots – so even if you don’t identify with the main protagonists, you’re sure to find someone to love.

Comparisons?

Comparing the first 3 books of Bloodlines to the entire series of Vampire Academy is a complicated beast, seeing as this narrative hasn’t resolved itself yet (for me). HOWEVER, I will say that my current opinion is that Bloodlines is the (marginally) superior story line. I find that I connect more with the characters (Sydney Sage is SO much more my speed than Rose Hathaway, although watching Rose kick ass & take names was always a good time) and that the whole Alchemists organization is much more intriguing to me than what I felt to be a very straight-forward good-vs-evil theme in VA. In other words, Bloodlines feels more like a conspiracy theory/ thriller-type plot, while Vampire Academy was more of the action/ adrenaline/ romance plot. Both are great, Bloodlines is just a tiny bit more my style.

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Thoughts on Books 1-3

In the first 3 books of this series, you are re-introduced to somewhere between 5-10 characters that appeared in Vampire Academy. The younger characters go undercover & attend a private school in Palm Springs, and that’s when shit starts to go down.  All I can really tell you is that the Alchemists exist to protect the human world from discovering the existence of the vampire world. Most Alchemists are terrified of Moroi (the good, magic-wielding, sun-dwelling vampires), but the real threat is the Strigoi (evil, immortal, freakishly strong, stuff-of-nightmares vampires). Anyway, the Alchemists view all supernatural creatures as unholy & tainted. They would have nothing to do with the Moroi if it weren’t for their vow to protect the humans from supernatural creatures. The purpose of this undercover-op is to prevent an all-out civil war between the Moroi, and Sydney Sage is among the group sent in the field.

So far, I have loved this series, but the 3rd book took a little while to really grab my attention. I powered through the first two books in a matter of 3 days, but the 3rd one took me a few weeks. I feel like some stuff went down at the end of the 2nd book (The Golden Lily) & should have continued into the beginning of The Indigo Spell, but got put on pause until basically the very end of it. Also, there were a LOT of concurrent plot lines & threats going on in the 3rd book. It was kind of hard to keep track of who knew what & what was top priority. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it did make this 3rd installment feel more chaotic than I liked.

I finished The Indigo Spell pretty late last night, but couldn’t stop myself from picking up The Fiery Heart (book 4) & I’m already hooked on that one (after like 15 pages, because that’s when I fell asleep), so hopefully my qualms with book 3 don’t carry over into the rest of the series. Excited to have a little time to devote to this one tonight!

Until Next Time ❤

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