Patty Beagle Presents: When Stephenie Meyer Hit the Find and Replace Button

Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.

Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.

Twilight has enraptured millions of readers since its first publication in 2005 and has become a modern classic, redefining genres within young adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a #1USA Today bestseller, a Time magazine Best Young Adult Book of All Time, an NPR Best-Ever Teen Novel, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The Twilight Saga, which also includes New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, has sold nearly 155 million copies worldwide.

Source: GoodReads

Once upon a time, a  woman made millions by writing a self-insert fantasy based on a dream she had where a super glamorous version of her made out with Henry Cavil* in a meadow.

I was not that woman.

Hurricane Patty

Adorable, cute, perfect. All of these descriptions describe yours truly.

For one thing, if I was going to write about my dreams it would involve me being the only puppy in my house-no pesky Chihuahuas or terriers-and eating a big juicy steak.  There would be no vampires because, ew, drinking blood is nasty.

Alas, no one is interested in hearing the fantasies of a perfectly sweet and demure Beagle.

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you people.  Especially when said woman ten years later publishes the same book but hits find and replace on all the pronouns making all the sires bitches and all the bitches sires.

That is just so confusing.

Oh, it could be interesting.  Like you know if there was really a purpose other than changing the genders, BUT there was no purpose.

Instead, it just showed how archaic Ms. Meyer’s views of gender are.

Yes, 2005 was ten years ago but gender norms haven’t really evolved that much in ten years ago.  At least not to the extent that Stephenie Meyer would like you to think.

Take for instance the author’s note that deals with the non-gender swap between Charlie and Renee.  Back in the late 80’s early 90’s according to Meyer, bio-daddies weren’t likely to get sole custody unless the mother was a crack head.

Um, nope.

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.

Times infinity.

This legal beagle knows from her owner’s family law case books and life stories, that plenty of single men raised their kids  back then.  The court doesn’t look at gender generally speaking, and there are plenty other excuses besides the fact that Charlie-who I will rename Charlene could’ve not had primary custody of Beau.  But whatever.

This comes from the same woman that thinks boy’s can’t be raped.  Obviously, she did not watch the two plus year old story on One Life to Live where crazy Margret kidnapped Not Todd Manning and we were forced to endure the year long pregnancy slash baby napping of their son.  Then again, a lot of people don’t get that men can be raped.  Just ask the characters Graham and Robin Hood on Once Upon a Time.  It’s really sad though, that this can’t be addressed and instead Beau and Royal (what a stupid ass name, not even my call name HRH The Pretty Precious Princess, is that ridiculous).

Me while reading this.

Me while reading this.

Even little issues like Bonnie (used to be Billy) not going fishing with Charlie because it isn’t manly and Beau fainting because he has vasovagal syncope-a disorder that might my owner add mainly affects women, she would know because she was handed a handout for said disorder because she  suffers from it-which they proceed to make bad jokes about for half a chapter because heaven forbid Beau faints because he can’t stand blood because he’s a boy.

It’s funny how “traditional” Meyer is with her use on gender.  I say traditional becuase many of what are proclaimed to be traditional gender norms, aren’t really that traditional.  Like the color pink.  Up until the relative recent past, it was commonly worn by boys rather than girls.  And one of MJ’s annoying baby Chihuahua puppies name is Pinky.   And yes, he’s a he.

Pinky the annoying puppy.

Pinky the annoying puppy.  Brainy the annoying puppy is in the background.

So there, Meyer, the so called gender norms you believe in nobody buys it.  See Pinky the annoying Chihuahua for Exhibit A.

Most of Life and Death consisted of Meyer retelling Twilight where Beau likes the color blue better and still cooks Charlie lasagna, but eats it all instead of waxing about not having a bite.

Seriously, it’s lasagna, Charlie.  Everyone loves lasagna.

Well, cartoon orange cats and beagles like it.

Anyway, Charlie throws a hissy fit.  Which I think is so over the top because I eat the last bites of lasagna-or really anything that I’m allowed to eat all the time.

That’s the main difference between this and Twilight, besides the ending which is probably the best part about this book.

If Twilight only ended this way then we wouldn’t have three sequels.  Okay, so Meyer kind of half asses the ending, but it’s a better ending.  Feels much more realistic since no one turns into a pervert, there’s no baby Loch Ness monster, and Beau actually has to deal with (gasp) consequences.

Albeit, the consequences don’t last that very long.

And Beau is like I don’t give a damn I have ultra skinny vampire girlfriend to keep me happy.

It’s truly disturbing how Edythe’s attractiveness is described by her extreme thinness.  I don’t know what Meyer is thinking.  I am a corpulent Beagle and am still considered to be very, very, cute.  Adorable.  Except when there are baby Chihuahuas involved.

I hate baby Chihuahuas.

They ruin everything.  Do you know I have to spend most of my days outside now?  Who wants to do that?  And they poop on my bed-oh, the indignity.

Bed Patty

My bed has been defiled!

The point is, Edythe is like a baby Chihuahua unreal looking.  And that means she sucks*.

You know who I kept thinking Edythe was throughout Lady Edith from Downton Abbey.  Except Lady Edith isn’t stupid enough to spell her name that way or become a vampire.

Vampires suck.

That’s one of the lessons I learned from this book because, you know, you have to learn a lesson from every book you read.

Really though anyone should just skip this because this book is just so bad, I’m not even interested in it even though I got some much needed attention (meaning, more food).  Originally my owner wanted to write an article about gender in YA, but after reading this she couldn’t because she told me it was a book so bad it would be like kicking a puppy to write a review.  Hence, why I am discussing it.

I’ll go back to being tormented by those evil Chihuahuas now.  Look at what my life’s become….le sigh.

Thank You,

Patty Beagle

*Patty states Henry Cavil, because he was the choice Meyer originally had in mind to play Edward before being deemed too old.

*Note I disagree with Patty, personally I think baby Chihuahuas are adorable and don’t look anything like the Cullens.


The Covers Look Like They Were on a Binger Too: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Because of the heart wrenching for my (yes, I said my because in my fictional universe he’s all mine-even though he obviously only has eyes for Sydney in Richelle Mead’s world) Adrian I had to see him have happiness.  Which is why I gobbled down Bloodlines like a fiend.

Like with my binge review of the Vampire Academy series, I’ll be doing almost a mini review for each book and then discuss the series as a whole at the end of this post.

Where Sydney Does a Sad Drew Barrymore Impersonation

Blood doesn’t lie…

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

Source: GoodReads

After reading Rose’s perspective the first thing about Sydney I could think of was drab and boring.  But as I continued reading this book I grew to appreciate her like her.  And you know what, she wasn’t that bad.  Sure, sometimes she had the Drew Barrymore I’m really a thirty-old pretending to be a high school kid going on where you if I was Jill I’d be like chill out Sydney.  But I grew to like her in the end.

Despite her skinny obsession.

Rolls eyes.

I actually really liked the set up for Bloodlines for a spinoff.  Unlike, some (a lot) of spinoffs there was the perfect balance between introducing new fans to the Vampire Academy world and give enough cookies (thank you for the Rose cameo, Mead) to sustain themselves.  Oh and the ending…

Even though I wasn’t a Professor Snape Dimitri fan, I still have to say I was squealing when he made his cameo.

And Adrian.  Oh my Adrian (and yes, the word my is going to be used a lot to associate with him) throughout this binge review.  I felt for you baby, so so much here.  But you were still able to have your one liners and be awesome.  And I loved how you weren’t your typical I’ll take charge macho YA egomaniac in a stressful situation.  It seemed realistic.  Though, you did try to help in your own Adrain type of way.

I think the worst thing about Bloodlines was it was clearly an introduction book.  Which is fine, I expected so much.  But after having all the buildup in the Vampire Academy starting again, well, it took a lot out of me.

Overall Rating: A solid B.  And Sydney, please eat a cheeseburger without cringing.


Where You Want to Tell Sydney that Cheeseburgers are Delicious

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

Source: GoodReads

The Golden Lily  was better than Bloodlines, but the self body shaming that Sydney was doing throughout the book really bothered me.  I really appreciated the Adrian lecture at the end.

The relationship building between these two was excellent as well.  One thing I will give this series is that there is no insta love here and Mead takes her time building these two so it’s an actual believable relationship-unlike some couples (cough, Dose, cough).  That was probably The Golden Lily’s greatest strength.  All those Sydrian moments and they’re not even a couple yet.

What didn’t work for me, well, the side plot.  It just seemed sort of thrown together so that the book could have an action worthy last hundred pages.  It wasn’t bad and as the series progressed it made sense, but it wasn’t my favorite plot.

The side characters were better in this installment as well.  Jill seemed more like  a teenager than a ten year old, or maybe Sydney was less Drew Barrymore than the last book.  And I liked the addition of Angeline.  She provided some nice comic relief.  I also really enjoyed Eddie.  Wish his role was more expanded to be honest because he’s pretty awesome.

Speaking of badass half vampires, Dimitri rears his head in this installment and I actually like him a lot better here than I did when he was the star of the show.  He actually works as a side character.  And since Sydney wasn’t drooling over him, even better.

Overall Rating: B+ a strong second installment.  But there were some things that needed to be worked on-like Sydney eating a cheeseburger.

And This is HOw It’s Done

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets–and human lives.”
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Source: GoodReads

This probably was my favorite book in the series.  And probably solidified the fact that I prefer Sydney to Rose.  Mainly because she’s so brainy bad ass much like Hermione Granger.  But she has waaay better taste in guts (seriously, Ron Weasley-shudders).

Everything is done perfectly.  The world building.  The characters.  The relationship building.  The cameos.  The plot.




Character development  played a big role in this particular installment.  Sydney grew big time and so did Adrian and both of them had to grow for them to be together. And I think Sydney probably would eat a cheeseburger in this installment (yay).

The courtship was as sizzling as ever.  And I loved how even though it was a big part of the novel, it was wrapped around and didn’t overwhelm the entire plot.

Also, both of the characters strengths and weaknesses play a role in shaping the novel.

To be honest, when I saw the cover I was worried Mead was going to throw in an annoying love triangle.  But bless the book lords, no.  It was just terrible cover design (Man, this series really got screwed with the covers).

I was also worried that the overall action oriented plot or plots was going to be messed up here since there were two of them going at the same time, but oddly it worked here.

Really,  The Indigo Spell was one of those weird books where I was glushing the entire time and acting like a fangirl.

Overall Rating: A+

Can We Just AK Umbridge JR Already?

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Source: GoodReads

You know what I really hate when a series narration is thrown off mid series.  Like in Lux when Dameon Black’s POV was thrown  randomly in  Origin.  It just usually seems gimmicky and doesn’t work. Even though I totally know where Jennifer L Armentrout was going using Daemon’s POV in Origin, but in The Fiery Heart (totally worked).

I think it actually helped the novel going into my Adrian’s head.

Especially with the direction Mead decided to go  with this installment.

I loved the fact that she actually had the guts to diagnose Adrian.  Knowing someone who has bipolar disorder the behavior that Adrian exhibited was pretty spot on.  And I love how Mead used how mental illness can effect a relationship.  The whole wellness vs spirit usage was a pretty good plot as well.  It reminded me of how many people will refuse to take medication because they say it impairs their creativity.  I just loved this plot line.

However, as much as I had to love about The Fiery Heart it wasn’t my favorite out of the lot.  Throughout the entire novel, there was just a sense of dread with this book.  It was so fluffy, so I knew to expect the worst.  The fluff was okay for the most part, but sometimes I was like.  Come on.  I miss your banter.  Though I totally get why you two want to be physical…but still I’m the one reading I need to enjoy the banter.

The other big problem I have is Zoe (hence forth known as Umbridge JR).  Sorry, I just did not like this character.  She’s not sympathetic.  And I don’t know why Sydney bothers.  Just by her some horrible cardigans and a blood quill, Sydney, if you want to get in her good graces.  Seriously, though this character is pretty unredeemable and has the maturity level of a toddler. I mean, how can you hate Eddie?  How?

Overall Rating: B+/A- still solid but it’s no Indigo Spell.

The Alchemists are Akin to Death Eaters, but Worse Because They’re So Boring like the Dursleys

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Source: GoodReads

Ah, Silver Shadows currently the most recent book out in this series.  And it ends on such an evil cliffie.

You know it’s odd, in the Vampire Academy series I was always on Mead’s ass about being too long winded with her book.  But I felt like this installment was way too short.

And it was pretty long.  Not four hundred pages, but a healthy three hundred and some odd pages.  And a lot happened.  I just…I don’t know with having Vampire Academy tomes approaching six hundred pages towards the end of its run, I was hoping for a book that was a little thicker.

But man, a lot of story was packed in those pages.

Mead really knew who to twists my emotions.  Because God….I just felt so bad for Sydney and wanted the vampires to finally get fed up with the Alchemists and stick Rose and Dimitri on their butts.  And I kept waiting for Sydney to wake up and save herself, though all considering she was pretty awesome given the circumstances.

But Adrian.  Oh, baby.  I wanted to rip your head off for awhile.  But your regression makes sense.  I just wanted to slap you a lot.  Or have dream Sydney or real Sydney slap you some.

But when you did wake up….Man, you did kick some ass.  And then your plan.

Normally, I’d be annoyed with it, but this is one time where I’m actually giving this cliche my blessing (mainly because Sydney is me, well, if I was a fictional character and could throw fireballs).

Overall, this installment left my hanging but concerned.  While there are some loose ends, I think if it would’ve been a tad bit thicker everything probably could’ve been resolved here.

Overall Rating: A.  Not quite an A+ but this book really left me feeling. Flaws and all.

Series Overall:

Is it odd that I think overall I prefer Bloodlines to Vampire Academy?  While it’s true that when Rose and Vampire Academy were at its peak, I probably liked them better than Bloodlines.  Overall, Bloodlines is a better written series with a character that actually makes sense in her decision making-once she got over the no cheeseburger thing.

The smartest thing Mead probably did was featuring Adrian in this spinoff.  He so should’ve won Rose’s hand in Vampire Academy, but putting with that bore of a wannabe Snape might’ve been the best decision Mead made.  Adrian is able to develop in this series and he and Sydney are just as good if not better than he is with Rose.

All I can say is I want The Ruby Circle now.

If you want something fun, with possible deeper meaning give Bloodlines a try. I know I want more.

Overall Series Rating (books 1-5): A-

Binge Reading: The Rest of the Vampire Academy Series

I had read Vampire Academy and Frost Bite a long time ago (last year).  Because of library delays and holds, I sort of put this series on the back burner until I saw a few of my blogging cohorts binge reading it and was like.  Why not?

So I binge read it.  And ordered the Bloodlines series because after this binge I need more Adrian.

Not so much Rose though.

Who can just stuff it (okay, I do like you Rose but you really need to grow up some).

For this binge review I’m going to talk about the last four books briefly then do an overall series review.  It’s probably going to come up to be a very long review though-it’s four books-but I’m going to try to be as brief as possible.


Shadow Kiss: The Book Where Mead Has Guts

It’s springtime at St. Vladimir’s Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She’s having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all… might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose’s forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line – and choose between the two people she loves most.

Source: GoodReads

This is the way to write a book.

It’s probably one of the strongest books in the series (I should probably review the first two books just to make sure, but it was awesome).  Oh, there were some issues.  Like I got annoyed with the pacing of a certain romance.

Seriously, you go from repressing your feelings to going horizontal?

Grant it, the ending of the book sort of made sense why they went that far.

That aside though.


While Vampire Academy is not exactly the greatest literature known to man kind, these books can keep you entertained.  Which was what Shadow Kiss did. I was on the edge of my seat.  And not bored once. Even the boring scenes were entertaining.

I think what I liked best about this particular installment was the character development.  Not so much for Rose, but for the minor characters in the series.

One thing I love about Vampire Academy is its large supporting cast.  With the exception of a certain love interest, most of these characters are well formed and I love how their relationships play off of each other.

For example, I love the growing Rose/Christian friendship and the Rose/Adrian relationship.  Of course, the Rose and Lissa friendship is still great to read about too.

The action towards the end of the novel is pretty pulse racing.  And that ending.  I know a lot of people are probably NOT going to like what happen. But I like how gutsy it was (if only the resolution was that gutsy).

So, other than horrible romantic pacing.  The third book in the series is a winner for me.

Overall Rating: A-/B+

Blood Promise: The Book Where I completely Hate Dose

Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters … Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

Source: GoodReads

This was probably my least favorite out the series.

Just going to say it now.

I lost a lot of respect for Rose in this one and I really feel like about two hundred pages could’ve easily been chopped off without much thought.

Let me just start by saying up till this book I didn’t hate Dose (Rose and Dimitri).  Yes, I thought their relationship bordered on Sexual Harassment Panda territory and that Dimitri could do with some character development, but they weren’t horrible together.

They had chemistry.

Sort of squeamish chemistry.

But chemistry.

But this was the book where I really can honestly say I can’t stand them together.

The relationship was borderline icky before because there was power issues, but now  it’s downright abusive.

And yes, I know Dimitri can’t help it that he’s a Striogi but…but..Rose have some self respect.

You have a guy like Adrian there for the taking, yet you want a guy that basically has turned you into a blood whore.

Little Life Lesson:  locking someone  up in what’s the equivalent to the Plaza’s version of a padded cell then taking your blood each night to slowly coerce you into becoming a blood thirsty monster does not establish a good relationship.  Especially when you never really touch upon this issue in the later book.  And.  You.  Have.  A. Guy. Like. Adrian.

Yeah, my frustration with Dose is obvious.  But even if it wasn’t for the painful destruction of the Dose relationship in this book, it still would be my least favorite.

As I said before, pacing is horrendous.  While I do like the introduction to both Sydney and Abe, I really could’ve cared less about Dimitri’s family and their mourning-really, a guardian didn’t break the news to them- and the Lissa subplot was a snooze fest at best.

Blood Promise, unfortunately, is just one of those books that has middle book syndrome all over it.

Rating: C.

Spirit Bound: The Book Where I Let Fan Fic Take Over

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won’t rest until Rose joins him… forever.

Source: GoodReads

Better than Blood Promise.

But once again, about a hundred or so pages could’ve been easily cut. Especially at the end.

Honestly, I would’ve been fine had this been the series ender.  I thought the Dose relationship could’ve ended quite nicely here.

Yeah, there I am going off about Dose again.

But seriously…

All Dimitri is, is a prize.  And this book sort of solidifies that.

While Adrian is a real character…

Well, his romance with Rose lasts more than half a page

Sour ships….I swear.

I will give Dimitri this, when he’s crazy.  I like him and Rose better.  I think mainly because they work well as antagonists.  The fact that they are so in sync with each other makes them great adversaries.  I think that same reason is why I don’t see them so much together.

That aside though, I did like parts of Spirit Bound the side characters once again stole the show.  I grew to like Lissa a bit more with this installment and Eddie also grew on me.

I also liked the development on spirit magic.  The world building aspects here were quite well done.

Additionally, I liked the whole quest that took up the first 2/3 of the novel.  However, once that part of the book is over.  It takes a nose dive to make a plot device for what really is an unnecessary six book.  Which is a shame.

Overall Rating: B


Last Sacrifice: The Book Where I Wonder Why it Ever Exists

They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead’s international #1 bestsellingVampire Academy series.

Source:  GoodReads

And this is where I get nasty.


I have so many problems with this particular installment (though it’s still better than Blood Promise) but so much of it is unnecessary.  And Rose has regressed and is now constantly pissing me off.

Thank God for the side characters.

Particularly Adrian and Sydney.

So, yeah.  Sort of glad Sydney is getting her own spinoff (with Adrian).

Unlike Rose, she’s a little bit more pragmatic and not ridiculously impulsive.  So that’s a good thing.

I give Adrian points for being Adrian and telling off Rose, the way I wanted to tell off Rose for about three hundred pages.

Seriously, girl, you were being ridiculous.  And it’s not just because my ship sank.

But God….

I swear I wanted to pound you a lot in this unnecessary volume.

And your response was so cliche, so self absorbed, well, I’m glad we’re done so I won’t have to take you off of my favorite YA MCs list because you were really  not going to be there anymore.

Anger with Rose aside, the book really felt unnecessary.  The whole plot just sort of seemed thrown together to have a sixth book and honestly I don’t want to read a sixth book unless there’s a purpose-that is other than to get a slightly icky couple together.

Overall Rating: C+

Overall Thoughts:

The first half of Vampire Academy is outright fantastic.  It reminds me of a vampire version of The Mediator.  It’s that good.  However, the second half of the series (while having its moments) does drag. And I feel like Rose has regressed as a character.

And it’s not me having sour ships.

I just feel like the series was more evolved than its ending.  And that to ge tthe ending that was intended, Mead had to regress the characters a bit.

Does that mean I regret reading this series?

Hell no.

It’s entertaining.  Rose can occasionally have a quip that isn’t eye roll worthy and the action sequences can be mildly entertaining.  Even exhilarating at time.  But I feel like it was dragged out too long.  Some editing was definitely needed.

And yeah, not that happy with the endgame, but I’ll live.

Series Rating: A solid B.  While the first half kicked my ass, I wanted to kick the ass of the second half.

My Series Resignation: Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

The Vampires of Manhattan is “hipster horror”–the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build “Millennial” lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan’s only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven’s annual Four Hundred Ball–a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay–Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he’s the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer–and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

Source: GoodReads

Dear Blue Bloods Series,

I’m sorry I can’t do this anymore.

I read all seven full length books, the half books, even those two rather hellish spinoffs that I’m forced to read in order to understand you.  But I have to stop here with your hipster horror attempt at New Adult.

Though, it’s not adult.  Everyone is in their later twenties or early thirties and acts like they’re about forty.

So no.

Not New Adult since there are no random hookups with the BMOC.

I sort of wish there was though.

Maybe it would’ve made this book more tolerable instead of  hearing just how old thirty is.

Really, most late twenty somethings don’t act that old.

I guess I actually have to talk  about the actual book that did me in.  This one is broken up into three main viewpoints.  Though, we do sort of  have a couple of interludes in a couple of other people’s heads.

I think the best way for me to fully explain to you why I’m breaking up with you is to talk about each of the parts.

A. Ara:

Why is she even in here?


Change her coloring and she’s basically Deming Chen Part II.  In a lot of ways, this really did remind me of a rehash of Misguided Angel, especially Ara’s part.

Though, Deming wasn’t disgusting enough to like smelling like body odor.

Besides, she liked the way she smelled, like sweat and hard work, after spending the last seventy-two hours sitting on her suspect. (1)

Is that suppose to make her endearing?

It doesn’t.

More or less her POV was used to do all the detective work.  Personally, I wish they would’ve stuck us mainly with Kingsley who actually kicks butt.  Ara was just…well, disgusting.

And I really have to wonder how someone who was nicknamed Minty back in grade school can like smelling like sweat and perspiration.

The romance or romances that Ara has our even more ridiculous. Both seem forced.  One for the pure sake of a lame plot point, and the other one because de la Cruz just can’t couple anyone.

I’m sorry book, people who don’t wear deodorant shouldn’t be viewed as attractive.


B. Oliver and Finn:

Snooze fest.

Honestly, I wonder what happened to Ollie.  In the first series, he was probably the most decent character out of the lot of them.  Now though, he’s an asshole just like the rest of them.

It’s sort of ridiculous how he’s not the same character.  I literally groaned when he started inner monologuing it about how he was no longer the nerdy kid and he was now ripped.  Yeah, there was an actual quote that said that don’t believe me.

He’d been a skinny human teenager, but he was almost thirty years old now, and to put it bluntly, he was ripped. (13)

So, needless to say Ollie’s head has grown about three times the size it normally was.

I was almost gleeful when his bimbo girlfriend ruined his life.

God, I hated Finn.

She really is a sad excuse of a Schuyler replacement who just impulsively decides to do something stupid with little to no buildup.  And I can’t help but saying she sort of deserved her fate.

C. Mimi and Kingsley: 

Mingsley is the only reason I really was giving this book a chance.  To be honest, until I heard that Mingsley was going to be in the story I wasn’t going to even bother.  I mean, the whole hipster horror thing in the summary is a bit (a lot ) of a turnoff.

But what did de la Cruz do to my beautiful couple.

She ruined them.

And that ruined us, book series.  It really did.

The characters regressed.  And Mimi was just stupid and sort of sad to read about.

A receptionist.

Seriously, Mimi Freaking Force a reciptionist. No.  Just no.  She should’ve been at least a brassy news anchor if not the star of her reality show or something that had her face in the tabloids every other week.

But no, she’s just doing a job that pays probably $12.00 an hour and is still living in a high dollar neighborhood. And complains about being old even though she’s barely thirty and has those Blue Blood genes.

And Kingsley. Well, I felt bad for him for about 2/3 of the book until he basically cheated on Mimi with an underage girl.


But he was lonely…

No.  Fucking excuse.

But he looked seventeen…

Still no fucking excuse.

But he and Mimi had great makeup sex.

That apparently is a fucking excuse in Mimi’s world.

Infidelity is a huge issue in any relationship.  And even though Kingsley doesn’t completely go through with it.  If I was Mimi, I’d not have him in my pants the same night.

This is a character who is suppose to be in control.  Having her just be like oh the sex is good and you’re like forgiven is just sort of sad.

No thank you.

D. The Last (Gimmicky) Chapter:

Well, surprise.  Surprise.  It’s Sky and Jack.  Obviously, there to get you to read the next book.  With just a hint about what’s going on with them to make you want to read it.

Funny, I never saw the two of them as vineyard owners.  Nothing in the previous books indicated to me that this would be the route they’d go.  Of course, that’s what Allegra did.  And I guess Sky is suppose to be a duplicate of Allegra.  But like every other character in this book, the career choice makes no freaking sense.  And I’m sorry, I think tacking the kids thing on and having them leave is just stupid.

You know, if you want them to have kids have them wait.  People can still reproduce in their late twenties/early thirties.

Oh, I forgot, thirty=ancient for de la Cruz.  Not flirty like it was for Jennifer Garner.

Regardless, I really don’t know if I’ll continue.  I think this really is it book.  I mean, I’ve read fan fics that have done better justice to these characters.

So excuse me but I’m out of here.  Going to find myself  a new book romance.


The Unofficial House of Night Drinking Game: Revealed by PC and Kristin Cast

I have no self control.  I know House of Night year was 2013, but this one was mocking me at the library and I just had to read it.  I really don’t know why my library’s YA librarian has to pick out such rancid choices in reading for the youth in my community.  I really want to sit down and discuss some of these feature read choices she makes.  But I won’t.  I don’t want to get banned from there and quite frankly her choices are usually pretty good if you want to get tanked.

I swear my librarian is a demon. Hey, it could happen.

I don’t drink though when I do House of Night drinking games.  I like my liver too much and I found that the latest books are even worse than the previous ones, so getting polluted isn’t the smartest thing to do.  That being said if you wanted to get drunk on this book it wouldn’t be that difficult.


You know with a series this long, it gets difficult to know how to review each book.  So, I decided that for this particular review I”d try to theorize why this particular book is so bad.  I think that’s a valid review.  And I thought if you really wanted to have a drinking game to this installment you could take a drink every time the text is geared towards one of the following theories:

1)The Casts are treating the series as a drinking game themselves:

Another draft of HON complete!

I seriously had to wonder if the Casts were drunk when they wrote this.  A lot of the nonsense I read almost read like it was an inside joke of sorts.

Of course, being me being the conspiracy theorist I am (seriously, I think H2 needs to give me a show about deciphering the Casts, it would be much more interesting than that lame America Unearthed) I started believing that there was some sort of drinking game going on here.

It seemed almost as if they’d give themselves points for every time they randomly mentioned brown pop.  Every time Neferet walked around randomly naked or anytime Zoey gets told how special she is.  Having the random Captain Planet ritual also helps.

Being formulaic  doesn’t automatically equal terrible, but in the case of the House of Night it does.  I really don’t care that Zoey is obsessed with soda but never calls it by its real name, that Neferet is an exhibitionist, or that Zoey is the ultimate Mary Sue.  I guess I should be happy there wasn’t a regulation vocabulary lesson in this book…

You actually barely even noticed Damien’s existence in this one.

Really, most of the original cast is gone.  Save for Zoey and Stevie Rae and one of the twins.  But everyone else. Poof.  Prince Eric doesn’t even get a mer mention in this one (guess he finally found Ariel-took him long enough).  Even though a lot of these classic HON tropes were still in there, this book really did feel off. I just don’t know how to explain it. Anyway, I’m going to list some classic HON tropes below that support said theory:

  • Naked Neferet
  • Brown Pop
  • Zoey’s romantic life being viewed as overly complicated but oh so romantic
  • Melodramatic deaths
  • Funeral pyres
  • Grandma Redbird’s fucking lavender farm
  • Nuns hanging out with demons and not acting like nuns
  • Someone being arrested or accused of a crime

2) The Casts are seeing how much they can get away with while fulfilling their contract:

As I said previously, this HON book lacked heart.  And to be honest this isn’t the first book in the series that has been like this.  It’s been a steady decline since the fourth of fifth book, but there was something about this one that really seemed to me like the Casts gave up.

I blame a lot of it on abrupt pacing.  As I’ll mention in theory five there were a lot of moments that felt fake because of the nature they were written.  Instead of digging deeper into scenes, I just felt they were barely scraped by.  It really didn’t work and made the book feel sloppy.

A part of me wants to pacify the Casts and say that just planned too much for one series, but the thing about this series is that eighty-five percent of the books are nothing.  It really seems like they want to write another book so they can get another advance.  I’m not entirely blaming them, it’s good business sense, but why not move on to a new series.  This horse has been beaten way too many times.

Honestly, if you drank to this series expect to wake up in a hospital room.  As I said before I do not recommend alcohol if you want to play this game.

3) The Casts believe they’re edgy and/or are pushing a message:

This is an interesting thought.

But what’s the fucking message.  I ask this because this series really has a dual personality sometimes its trying to be grossly immature borderline elementary  and sometimes it’s just being nasty to the extreme.  I decided to pull out two sections that I’ll use to illustrate this:

Appealing to the Kiddos:

I went to he drink bar and filled up my glass of brown pop-fully leaded- with caffein -calling back to him, ‘Not six-nine..  That’s when I made up the psaghetti madness song.’ I cleared my throat and launched into  ‘Pa-sghe-ti, pa-sghe-ti’ and even did the psaghetti dance the way to the booth. (63)


For the X Rated Crowd:

‘Shiiiit!  I knew you two were abnormally close.  You did fuck her!  And she didn’t even tell me.  That’s a damn shame.  The three of us, we could’ve had a good time.’ (180).

Do you see why I’m perplexed?  I really don’t get it.  I have tried from book to book, but they just keep getting stranger and stranger.  Especially with Neferet.  I honestly skip over her section now because she is a pathetic villain who the Casts try to demonize her by sexualizing her which really just has me rolling my eyes.  But then again what do expect by someone who writes this

‘So you’re used to scaring human girls into giving you some cash?’ What total jerks!

The second guy shrugged. ‘If a girl don’t want to be scared she shouldn’t be out here alone.’ (291)

4) The Casts actually have a target audience that these books works for:

Clearly the targeted age group for HON.

I really don’t know who the target audience is.

Do I know who reads these books?

Yeah, I sort of do.  More often than not readers started the series when they were young and naive and kept reading them as a guilty pleasure series. Many of them though, eventually gave up on the series or some continued it for the pure snark value like I do.  I really dont’ know anyone who read them because they find the books to be genuinely good, though I’m sure there are some people out there that find them to be quality books.

And that’s fine.  That’s their prerogative.  You can’t judge them for that, much like they can’t judge me for hating them.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  But based on the series here’s what I think this sort of person would be:

  • A sheltered individual: Most likely the person who would read this series and like it would have no real life experiences that they could call the Cast on their bull shit.
  • A romantic: Probably a fan of the Twilight Saga to be honest.  Let’s face it, the series was written around the same time Twilight  was published and the vampires were probably inserted to appeal to that audience.  I think that’s the only reason for the love drama in this series.  To be honest, as the Twilight craze has wane so has the romance in these books.  True, Zoey shags a couple of guys in basically every book but it’s more or less just a part of her routine.
  • A person who doesn’t read a lot: I hope this doesn’t sound elitist.  I really hope it doesn’t, but I think these books are geared towards kids who don’t like to read.  They almost remind me of those books they’d try to pitch to kids that reading’s cool.  In other words, it’s not pitched towards readers more towards the non-reader audience which causes lots of  problems just by that statement alone.  I mean, a book is going to be read.  Shouldn’t it be preached towards people who enjoy reading.  Yet, the House of Night series regularly makes remarks about how reading is for nerds and then uses every trope that drives readers insane.  I’m just saying…I think this is a hint at its targeted group.

5) The Casts have been replaced by an eight year old ghost writer of alien origin:

This theory is probably the most logical one I’ve come up with yet.  It would explain how the prose has deteriorated to the quality it is now where  a psaghetti song is a running gag.

I kid you not.

Need another example.  A murder which should’ve effected one of the main characters, is dramatically trivialized to the point you almost think you’re reading a bad fan fic. Human emotions in this story do not ring true.  Of course, you could make the argument that they’re not humans.  But that’s only true for about 3/4 of the text.

It honestly shouldn’t surprise me.  Big emotional events have always been trivialized in this series.  Remember when Zoey got caught with Professor Skeeze by Prince Eric?  The reaction was cartoonish then.  You could say the same thing about the various times Neferet has walked around naked, or the multiple times that old biddy Redbird almost died, or for that matter the “Defying Gravity”  swan song.  The Casts just can’t do emotion.

Overall Rating: No stars (F).  Really, this book is shiteous.  The thing is, I’m perfectly fine with that.  I don’t read HON to expect quality I expect snark.  But the snark value, sadly, is disappearing.

The Immortal Rules: Julie Kagawa

Admittedly, the bloody tears thing creeps me out in the My Immortal sort of way.

General Summary: Allison is a scavenger in a world that’s ruled by vampires.  One day she has to make a choice die or become a vamp.  Either choice is going to have some serious consequences.


This review is hard to write because there were parts of this book that I really loved, but I wasn’t able to finish it.  Maybe because it was ridiculously long and there were just parts of the book that seemed like they needed to be cut out.  But there were lots of good things about, so while this book gets a lower rating from me I will be pretty complimentary about in this review.  Because the good parts were really spectacular.

Okay, so I really was in love with the setup of this book.  I don’t usually like dystopias, but the whole humanity being ruled by vampires was interesting enough.  And the vampires themselves really had me excited.  These aren’t your typical Twilight vampires (immortal with very little consequences), these are blood thirsty creatures who have to survive on human blood to survive. That in itself is refreshing.  And I also liked Allison.  She wasn’t perfect by any means and she seemed likable enough too.

The thing is, despite all the good stuff I couldn’t finish the book.  Yes, bummer I know.

I just felt after awhile, well, the book got boring.  Nothing happened and I really didn’t like the human cult that Allison decides she cares about.  I didn’t even like Zeke.  Who I guess was okay, but he just seemed a little bland for my taste.   I also couldn’t stand the cult he belonged to.   Really, the best part of this book was the vampire stuff and the further the book moved away from it the more my interest waned.

I will say that even though I didn’t finish this book, it had a lot going for it.  I just lacked the patience to finish it.  And I was really sad because if it wasn’t for the horrible pacing, it could’ve been interesting to see where this one would’ve gone.

Best Feature: Real vampires.  I really liked how the vampire element was treated in this book.  Becoming a member of the undead isn’t pretty folks.  And I liked the fact that Kagawa talked about consequences.  Most vampire books I’ve read don’t do that.  And I also liked the fact that these weren’t your veggie vamps either.  Allison had to drink human blood to survive.  It was an interesting concept that I was really looking forward to reading about, but unfortunately this book failed to hold my attention.

Okay, so these blood suckers don’t wear capes.  But they’re definitely closer to the source material than Mr. Sparkly. 

Worst Feature: So freaking long.  If the book would’ve shaved off about a hundred to a hundred and fifty pages I might’ve been able to finish it.  But instead, I just felt like the story was going on circles and eventually my law school workload made me lose interest in the book.

Appropriateness: There’s some violence, if I remember there was some improper language.  The part I read there was nothing that sexual.

Blockbuster Worthy: It might be interesting seeing this one on film.  My biggest fear is that they’d try to ABC Family it up.  The best thing about this book is the fact that its potential grittiness.

Allison: An unknown.  Allie needs to be played by someone kick ass.  It’s not outright stated in the novel, but I also picture her being of Asian or part Asian decent and unfortunately I can not find an actress that’s kick ass enough to play her.

Zeke: Austin Butler.  I imagine Zeke looking like  a pretty boy even though he doesn’t act like one so much.  Austin is a pretty boy.  This role would give him some depth.

Overall Rating: Four out of ten fangs.  I didn’t finish this one because of its omnibus length.  But when it was interesting it was very interesting.  There was lots of potential with this one and it’s sad that it didn’t hold my interest.