Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

Here is my list of the top ten books and series that I read in 2011.  I hope you find time in 2012 to enjoy these as much as I have!

1. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
2. Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
3. The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines Books by Richelle Mead
4. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
5. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
6. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
7. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
8. The Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong
9. Love You More by Lisa Gardner
10. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead ★

Bloodlines (Book 1)
by Richelle Mead
August 2011

The drama is only just beginning . . . 

Okay, so I know that I literally just complained about having read too many series lately, but I am SOO EXCITED that Richelle Mead is writing this new series, which is a spin off series based on her Vampire Academy Series. (Seriously too many series in that last sentence.)  While readers may not necessarily have to have read the original series in order to follow this one, I highly encourage it as it lends a depth and understanding to the characters and their actions that you might not otherwise get.

For those who have already read Rose's story in Vampire Academy, know that while her story has ended, her friends' stories have not.  Adrian, the party boy vampire and Sydney, the prudish vampire-hating alchemist are back for even more romance, mystery, and action!  I honestly don't want to give away any more than that, so just go and read these books about paranormal, magical young adults that literally kick butt.

Bloodlines Novels
The Golden Lily
The Indigo Spell (TBR February 2013)

Vampire Academy Novels
Vampire Academy
Shadow Kiss
Blood Promise
Spirit Bound
Last Sacrifice
Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road (Dustlands Book 1)
by Moira Young (no site)
June 2011
Margaret K. McElderry Books

Lugh got born first.  On Midwinter Day when the sun hangs low in the sky.  Then me.  Two hours later.  That pretty much says it all.  Lugh goes first, always first, an I follow on behind.  An that's fine.  That's right.  That's how it's meant to be.

One of these days I really need to find a standalone book to read.  Keeping up with all of these young adult series is getting exhausting.  In any case, this is one that I've been looking forward to reading for quite some time now as it has gotten a lot of hype over the last few months.

Eighteen year old Saba has lived her entire life on the dusty dried up shores of Silverlake.  Growing up with stories about the ancient "wrecker" days when people packed into skyscrapers and drove chariots through the streets, Saba is content to be with her Pa, older brother Lugh and younger sister Emmi.  Everything changes, however, the day that robed and cloaked men ride in during a dust storm and snatch Lugh away from Saba.  Now, little sister in tow, Saba must face a completely unknown world outside Silverlake in order to find the light to her shadow, the strong to her scrawny, her beloved twin, Lugh.

Add to this plot a description from the publisher which claims that Blood Red Road "has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, relentless action, and an epic love story" and I was all but drooling all over the lovely dystopian desert cover before starting the book.  So now that I've managed to find some time to read it, let's address a few of these issues.

Searing Pace - If by searing, they mean a fire that you start in the rain then yes, I suppose the pace was searing.  In my opinion, out of 459 pages, this book crawled and sputtered for about 150 of them.  But once it picked up, it burned like a wildfire.  What you should learn from this - Steady on, but when you get close to page 150 put the book down if it's past midnight and you have to be showered and dressed at any point the next day.

Poetically Minimal Writing Style - This was neat.  Not only does the author make no use of quotations to show when characters are speaking, but the language is very "old west" and somewhat uneducated as the story is told entirely from Saba's point of view.  While this was initially distracting and difficult to adjust to, it soon seemed poetic and I appreciated Saba's strong, unedited voice.

Relentless Action - Again, this is only true once you get past the first bit.  But yes, the action is relentless and at times even reminded me of The Hunger Games.

Epic Love Story - I don't know about "epic," but yes, there was a love story that I found myself emotionally invested in.  For me, however, the greatest "love story" in this book is the development of the relationship between Saba and her nine year old sister Emmi, whom she clearly despises.  Learning to love and appreciate her sister when all she cares about is her older brother Lugh is where all the epic comes in, in my opinion.

Overall, a great addition to dystopian and post-apocalyptic young adult literature.  I look forward to reading more about this fascinating desert world that for unknown reasons swallowed our modern civilization.

Dustlands Series
Blood Red Road
Rebel Heart (TBR 2012)