Friday, September 30, 2011

Frostbite Review

by Richelle Mead
Second book in the Vampire Academy series
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…
I didn't think it was possible for me to love the Vampire Academy series any more than I already did, but Frostbite proved me wrong. When I finished it, I was about ready to run to the nearest bookstore for Shadow Kiss if I had to (I've since bought and started reading it). The characters were all just as great as ever and I adored the voice once again.

I enjoyed getting a closer look at Rose's relationship with her mother. Rose has always talked about how she feels about her mother, but this was our first chance to see it first-hand.

I also loved the development of Rose and Dimitri's relationship. I can't believe how long it took for Rose to realize that there was something more than friendship between Dimitri and Tasha. I'm a very firm Dimitri/Rose shipper (probably more invested in their relationship than I should be) but I wouldn't have minded seeing Dimitri and Tasha together for a little while.

Before Mason died, I kind of wished it was easier for me to ship Rose/Mason but they lacked the passion that Rose and Dimitri have. I absolutely loved the scene where Rose and Dimitri kiss. I might have screamed out loud. Also the roof scene where Rose tells Dimitri that she just wants him to be happy. SO CUTE. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried over Mason's death. I still haven't come to terms with it.

I liked the additions of Tasha and Adrian. Tasha's speech was so amazing. I loved it when she set the guy's sweater on fire. I'm not really sure what I think about Adrian. On one hand, he's a jerk but on the other, I'm intrigued by the fact that he's another spirit user. I just can't believe it took Rose so long to figure it out.

Overall: 9.5/10 Great second installment to the series and I can't wait to continue!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RTW -- Best Book in September

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What was the best book you read in September?

Unfortunately college didn't leave much time for reading for fun in the last month. However, I did manage to fit a couple books in.

I'm very late to the Anna and the French Kiss party, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. St. Clair is a great love interest and the romantic tension is crackling throughout the entire book. After all the wonderful things I heard about this book, it kind of let me down but I think I'll enjoy it much more when I read it again. I can't wait for Lola and the Boy Next Door!

Full review here

Friday, September 16, 2011

Disadvantages of E-Textbooks

Before I begin, I should mention that I don't have any e-textbooks. All of these points are inspired by a friend of mine that bought all of the textbooks she could on her Kindle.

1. No resale
This is the main disadvantage that I didn't even think about until she mentioned it. If you buy hard copies of your textbooks, you can sell them somewhere and get some or most of that money back. But if you buy the e-book versions, you can't sell that anywhere.

2. No highlighting
I'm not positive but I think there are some e-readers that have highlight capabilities. But if you don't own one of those, then you lose the ability to highlight and make notes as you read the chapters in your hard copy textbook. I highlight a lot when I'm reading because I find it helps me focus rather than constantly zoning out.

3. Pages can be messed up
One of my friends with e-textbooks found out that, for one of her books, if she needs to get to another page she has to flip through the section titles rather than just finding the right page number. Also, if you need a certain page and you're not sure what the number (or section title) is, you can't just flip through them real quick looking for it like you can with a hard copy.

What do you think? Would you buy hard copy or e-textbooks? If you've bought e-textbooks, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

RTW: Recurring Elements

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What themes, settings, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find recurring in your work?

I made a list of things that I realized were recurring in my works, but it's quite old. My recent works have been so different in nature that I'm having trouble thinking of something for this post.

A few things that are on the old list are business owner parents, white rooms, and characters that can't pick out clothes on their own (I've had two main characters whose best friends helped them pick out outfits at least once over the course of the story). I think the majority of my early main characters also had brown hair and brown eyes. I was an unimaginative person when it comes to character appearances.

Most of my books have some sort of "coming of age" or "finding yourself" theme most likely because that is the stage of life that I am currently in. I also think it's a fascinating and turbulent time that all teenagers go through at some point and I enjoy writing about different characters' journeys through it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

I did just read this book now after hearing people rave about it so long. I kind of wish I'd read it months ago. Don't get me wrong, I loved this book. But after hearing people talk about how it was such an awesome book, my expectations got too high and I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. Though I did want to read it again immediately after finishing it so that's a good sign.

It started a little slow for me. I started and stopped reading quite a lot through the first third. Then I was using it as a reward for doing homework and I ended up doing more reading than homework because I couldn't force myself to stop. I also felt like the ending was a little rushed.

The romantic tension was definitely hot. I spent about half the book screaming "WILL YOU TWO JUST KISS ALREADY." I want to read this book a second time to just to focus on that.

Overall: 10/10. Fantastic book regardless of my impossibly high expectations.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday...Wait, What?

So...I blame Labor Day for my completely lack of ability to remember what day it is. I told myself I was going to do RTW and then I forgot it was Wednesday (I also had classes from one until seven in the afternoon so that didn't help). But because this week's topic was so AWESOME, I decided to do it two days late.

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What non-YA character would you love to see star in a YA book as themselves?

I'm going to cheat and do a couple because I'll be sitting here all night if I try to pick just one.

Numair Salmalin
If you don't know who this is, you need to go read Tamora Pierce's Immortals series right away. Meaning NOW. I think he was my first fictional love way back in middle school when I first read these books and he's still one of my favorite male characters. I'm not even entirely sure if I should include him on this list because according to Tamora Pierce's website, my dream is becoming a reality.
2013 TBD: NUMAIR: THE EARLY YEARS 1 (very tentative title), in which we learn of Numair's last years at the university of Carthak, the beginning of his conflict with the newly-made Emperor Ozorne (Numair's best friend), his quick departure from Carthak, and how he survives afterward, in Random House hardcover in the U.S. and Canada
I am so excited! I haven't been this excited for a book since Harry Potter. Is it 2013 yet?

Severus Snape
It would make my year if Rowling wrote a book (or a few) from Snape's point of view. I think that would be so incredible just to see everything that he went through and everything that went on that isn't shown. His memories are some of my favorite scenes in the books. I just love his character and I think it would be incredible to see things from behind his eyes and explore him in more depth.

Friday, September 2, 2011

College-Age Main Characters

Sorry about my complete lack of blogging on Monday and Wednesday. College has me a whole lot busier than I expected.

I have now been at college for over a week and it's giving me a whole new perspective on the debate about college-age main characters. I feel kind of lonely knowing that there aren't many main characters out there that are my age. I didn't enjoy the adult books I've read enough to want to read more, but I feel kind of out of place reading YA (not that I intend to stop any time soon).

Why do you think there aren't many college-age MCs? Is it because we're kept so busy that there isn't enough time for interesting things to happen (not true)? Is it because the differences between college campuses (in contrast to the fact that most high schools are relatively the same) make it a difficult task? Is it because there's a stigma attached to college kids that says we don't read (which my hall has repeatedly disproved)?

Does anyone have any recommendations of books with college-age main characters?