THE GOLDEN LILY by Richelle Mead | Review

Title: The Golden Lily

Author: Richelle Mead

Book #: 2 in the “Bloodlines” series

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Publication: June 2012, by Razorbill

Pages: 418

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: comjbine_images

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series

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.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“You need me? You yell. You want to leave? We go. I’ll get you out of here, no matter what.”

Review

I was really excited to pick up this book seeing as I loved the first one, which I read not so long ago! P.S. I rarely read the sequels back to back and usually don’t pick them up for quite some time after I’ve read the first book. I don’t why, it’s just what I do. But with this book I felt the need to immediately read more about the characters and get back to this world.

I generally like action packed books, don’t get me wrong, but I also really like books with a slower pacing that just narrate daily problems and don’t have end-of-the-world catastrophes happening all the time. The problem with these books is that they tend to get boring, and if the characters and the writing is not good enough for me, I get tired of them pretty easily. That’s the thing I love most about the bloodlines series. It has this kind of comfortable pace and it sort of feels like strolling around in the streets on an autumn morning, if that makes any sense at all. It just felt really nice being in this world and hanging out with these characters.

The characters are so perfectly described that I feel like I know each and every one of them. Like I would recognise them on the street and go catch up with them or something. No, seriously, Richelle Mead has done an excellent job creating those characters and making them seem like they’re real. Or well, as real Moroi, Dhampirs, Alchemists and so on can be.

As far as the story goes, well, as I said it doesn’t have a very quick rhythm, but for me it was the perfect pace. The only thing I have a slight problem with is the relationship between Sydney and Adrian. If you’ve read the first book (spoiler alert if you haven’t!), you know that practically nothing happens between them in the first book. Sydney doesn’t even realize that she likes him and there’s almost not a single “moment” between them. This sort of thing also continues in the second book with a little bit of progress of course, but not really much. Can’t say I expected anything more. It was clear from the first book that things were going to be slow, but I wish they were going a little bit faster. I’m so looking forward to seeing some “Sydrian” romance and kissing and whatnot!

So, to sum up, I’m starting to become a huge fan of this series and hope I can get my hands on that third book really soon!

First Line

Most people would find being led into an underground bunker on a stormy night scary.

Mini Review

Recommend it for…

  • People who have read and liked the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld | Review

Title: Pretties

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Book #: 2 in the “Uglies” series

Publication: November 2005 by Simon Pulse

Pages: 370

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: comjbine_images

Gorgeous. Popular. Perfect. Perfectly wrong.

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“What happens when perfection isn’t good enough?”

Review

Well, after the cliffhanger at the end of the 1st book of the series, I couldn’t help but immediately start the sequel to that one. So Tally is pretty now… I expected that one, since it was actually revealed in the first book. I also expected her not to care about her brain being totally altered and damaged, but I didn’t expect that all of her memories would be as fuzzy as they were.

In the beginning of the book, Tally is acting almost exactly as every other pretty is in that messed up town of theirs. David is nowhere to be seen and Tally is pretty much left to fend for herself. As all the pretties are living their pretty lives and going to their pretty partys, Tally is starting to get closer to a certain guy, called Zane. He seems to be a bit different from the others, trying to make Tally somehow “wake up” from the haze  that she’s into and be “bubbly”, and they start falling for each other. And that Ladies and Gentlemen is what we call a love triangle!

I don’t generally hate love triangles. In fact if they’re well made I really like them. And in this case it was definitely well made and it actually had a reason for being there. All of Tally’s memories from when she was ugly are very unclear and she doesn’t think that all of those things are important anymore. So she definitely doesn’t feel a commitment or anything against David, which makes her free to start something new! And Zane is a really awesome guy! In a world were everyone is exactly the same, he stands out. Not much, but still… Even a little makes a difference here.

What I really enjoyed about this book was that I now knew a lot of things about this world, which made me enjoy the story so much more! In the first book it took me a while to understand who were the rusties and the smokies, how was everything working and what the heck there was going on! The second book was not as complicated and I now understood this world and what was going on.

The only reason I ended up giving this 4.5 stars was the ending. I’m not going to reveal anything, but it really pissed me off and I’m not looking forward for the rest of the series as much anymore. I really hope that the 3rd book is going to be good, just because the first book was great and I really want to like this series!

First Line

“Getting dressed was always the hardest part of the afternoon.”

Recommend it for…

  • Fans of Dystopia
  • Anyone who wants to read a really fast-paced book
Add it on Goodreads

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LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green | Review

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Book #: Standalone

Publication: December 2006 by Speak

Pages: 231

Author’s Website and Twitter

Rating: comjbine_images

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.” 

Review

There have been hundreds of reviews written about this book, so I’m just going to keep this one short. There are also hundreads of quotes in this book. The one above is just one of the many good ones I had to choose from.

The first thing I loved about this book was Pudge’s sense of humor and his character in general. I was practically laughing out loud with how sarcastic and cynical he was being towards pretty much everything. Then, when “The Colonel” (Pudge’s roommate) and Alaska make their appearence, the humor in the book becomes even better.

John Green’s writting style is, in my opinion, extraordinary. He manages to write stories with a deep meaning to them, but giving them in a way that is easy and fun to read. I also think his books apply to a very wide audience, from young adult to adult readers. In this case, I also liked the “before-after” style in which the book was written. It was leading to an important part of the book, that you knew was coming, but didn’t know exactly what it was going to be.

Generally, I liked the “before” part of the book more than the “after”. The ending though was also very good, so it just had a low curve in the middle. Other than that, there isn’t anything negative I can say about this book. An extraordinary young adult, contemporary standalone!

First Line

The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a give-away party.

Recommend it for…

  • an easy, but at the same time deep and meaningfull read
Add it on Goodreads

My Video Review (no Spoilers)

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WAKE by Amanda Hocking | Review

Title: Wake

Author: Amanda Hocking

Book #: 1 in watersong series

Publication: August 2012 by Tor

Pages: 309

Rating: comjbine_images

 

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They’re the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone’s attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

Synopsis from Goodreads

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can’t live somebody else’s life for them. They have to make their own choices, and sometimes all we can do is learn to live with them.” 

Okay, let’s be honest here.. The basic – if not only reason I bought this book was because of it’s cover!

And I’m so glad I did!

This is the first book in the watersong series, consisting by wake, lullaby, tidal and elegy.
First thing I loved about this book was the relationship between Gemma and her sister, Harper. Harper is the big sister and since they are growing up without a mother, she has taken the role of taking care of her little sister. They have a love-hate relationship, since Harper is overproctively trying to control Gemma, but we can see that they care about each other deeply and would do anything for one another. I enjoyed every character in the book, with Haper’s love interest being my favourite, even though he didn’t have that big of a part in the book.
The point of view is switching between Gemma and Harper, which is done in a very smooth and nice way; I enjoyed reading both POVs! The pace of the book was somewhere in the middle I would say. In the beginning it was not very action packed, without being boring either. As the story continued it was becoming more and more intriguing, but was a bit too predictable for me, which is why it lost half a star.
 
All in all, an excellent first book in a series I will definately continue with!

My video review:

Also there’s a pretty cool book trailer:
 
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