Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book #46: Blue Bloods

Title: Blue Bloods (book #1 of the Blue Bloods series)

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Date started reading: March 31, 2012
Date finished reading: April 1, 2012

Publish date: March 2007
ISBN: 978-1423101260
Number of pages: 336

Official summary: "Within New York City’s most elite families, there lurks a secret society of celebrated Americans whose ancestors sailed on the Mayflower. They are the powerful and the wealthy — and in fact, they are not human. They are the Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires. Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner — and happy that way. But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler’s life changes dramatically. She has a mosaic of blue veins on her arms, and craves raw meat. The death of a popular girl from Duchesne is surrounded by a mystery that haunts her. And strangest off all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her. Schuyler wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?" (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  • "Life was more fragile than anyone ever realized. One minute, you could be getting a smoke in the alley on the Lower East Side with your friends, having drinks and dancing on tables in a popular night club. And the next minute, you could be dead." ~ Schuyler
  • "Flashy displays of status and affluence were looked down upon. ... It was all right to look poor, but actually being poor was completely inexcusable."
  • "Aggie Carondolet's funeral had all the trappings of an exclusive social event. ... Aggie's untimely death had been fodder for the tabloids. PREP SCHOOL GIRL DEAD IN DOWNTOWN CLUB. ... The city was obsessed with the beautiful, rich, and tragic. (The more beautiful, rich, and tragic, the bigger the headline.)"
  • "Black is the color of night. White is the true color of death." ~ Charles
  • "There was nothing Mimi disliked more than rebellion in a subordinate."
  • "Vampires? Were they out of their minds? The Committee was just a front for a bunch of blood-sucking B-list movie monsters?" ~ Schuyler
  • "They were embarking on a journey into the darkness inside themselves." ~ Mimi
  •  "Life as a vampire wasn't at all like she'd read in books or television, which were just red herrings created by The Conspiracy, a subset of The Committee dedicated to keeping the Red Bloods from knowing their true existence. ... According to The Committee, nothing could kill vampires. Nothing. Death was merely an illusion." ~ Schulyer
  • "Things like vampires and past lives and immortality just didn't exist in the real world. And Schulyer was a card-carrying member of the real world. She didn't want to check into CrazyTown any time soon." 
  • "You're like a vampire slut." ~ Bliss to Mimi
  • "Immortality is a curse and a blessing." ~ Cordelia
  • "It was maddening how your best friend could twist the knobs inside of you so much that it hurt." ~ Schulyer about Oliver


My commentary: I've seen several reviews that said the first book of this series wasn't that good but the series got better later. Frankly, I don't understand why anyone would say this book isn't excellent. It's not my favorite vampire-related book I've ever read, but it's definitely better than many others I have read. The vampire mythology the author has created is totally different than anything I've read before. Yes, there are "good" vampires and "bad" vampires, which is nothing new, but the idea that the vampires are basically fallen angels, that is new. The writing style is intelligent but easy-flowing. I think the book was an amazing start to a series

Buy on Amazon.com: Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1)


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking a look at my actual book collection

I decided it was time to share a visual of my book collection, broken down shelf-by-shelf. I have three bookcases: one large, one medium, and one small.

Large bookcase shelf 1: The space I call the "L.J. Smith World." Vampire Diaries books/DVDs, Stefan's Diaries series, Night World series, Secret Circle series, Forbidden Game omnibus. I read the "Dark Visions" series by L.J. also but it was quickly sold because I couldn't stand the books. I have a feeling the "Forbidden Game" is going to have the same fate once I get around to reading it.


Large bookcase shelf 2: Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series, House of Night series, Blue Bloods series (minus the newest one), some of the Vampire Kisses series


Large bookcase shelf 3: Twilight series, some of the Morganville Vampires books, Sookie Stackhouse series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer related books. The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series will go in the open space above these books when they come in. (Books 1-16 of the Anita series are on their way to me now)


Large bookcase shelf 4: Random paranormal books


Large bookcase shelf 5: The "junk shelf." Random books are just getting thrown in here until I get another bookcase. Plus, there are my school yearbooks and "Who's who" honor books.


Medium bookcase shelf 1: Mostly Sara Shepard-related (Pretty Little Liars books/DVDs and The Lying Game books), other random books


Medium bookcase shelf 1-annex (it's books behind the books shown above): Bible, random books shoved here


Medium bookcase shelf 2: Many mental health/addiction memoirs, other random mental health stuff


Medium bookcase shelf 3: Random stuff


Medium bookcase shelf 4: Mainly large books that were too tall to stand up in other shelves. Includes an actual pop-up book about sex. I had no idea those really existed until I saw this one in the store. Also includes a black binder that includes every single poem I've ever written in my life typed


Small bookcase shelf 1: Most of my DVD collection (minus the "Vampire Diaries" and "Pretty Little Liars" series which are with their respective books and DVDs that don't have cases)


Small bookcase shelf 2: Random books

Book #45: The Divide

Title: The Secret Circle: The Divide (book #4 in the series)

Author: Credited as "Created by L.J. Smith, written by Aubrey Clark"

Date started reading: March 30, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 31, 2012

Publish date: March 2012
ISBN: 978-0062130396
Number of pages: 304

Official summary: "Keep your enemies close. ... For the first time since moving to New Salem, Cassie Blake feels normal. She's dating her soul mate Adam and making new friends in town. But between the secret coven of witches she belongs to and the incredible power she holds within her, Cassie is leading a far from ordinary life. When tragedy strikes the Circle, Cassie realizes being extraordinary can be a curse. The Circle is being hunted by an unknown enemy — and anyone could be the next victim. As they struggle to protect themselves, alliances are formed and relationships are tested. No one knows who to trust or who to fear. Will Cassie be able to save the Circle ... and herself? Or will her choices break it apart forever?" (http://harperteen.com)

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $12.09 from Barnes & Noble

Memorable quotes:
  • "(Faye) had the singleness of mind of a sociopath and a complete lack of conscience. Faye couldn't be reasoned with, and that was what made her dangerous."
  • "If there were a Faye doll, when you pulled its string that's what it would say ... 'Win the battle, lose the war.'" ~ Adam to Cassie
  • "Power always creates enemies. It divides people into two types, good and bad. If you really want to be a leader of this Circle, then you need to pick a side." ~ Faye to Cassie
  • "There's no shortcut to peace of mind." ~ Constance to Cassie
  • "I once ate so many Skittles, I sneezed rainbows for three days." ~ Scarlett 
  • "(Cassie) had been in New Salem less than a year, but it felt like forever and a day." This line made me totally crack up because even though Cassie's only been living there for less than a year in the book series, in reality, it's been 20 years since the first book was written, so really the character of Cassie moved there 20 years ago. No wonder it would feel like forever and a day!

My commentary:
  • I'm glad that the ghostwriter finally is getting credit and is no longer just a ghostwriter. She deserves to have her name on the cover of the books she writes.
  • It's so odd to get back into this book series after so long since I read the fourth book in the series, which was written clear back in 1992.
  • The first thing I noticed when I opened up the book once I took it out of the box was that someone screwed up on the list of L.J. Smith's other books that is printed right before the title page. The title of the second "Vampire Diaries: The Hunters" book should been "Moonsong" not "Moonrise." WHOOPS. That's probably just the copy editor in me that noticed that.


  • Reading this book makes me remember what upset me about the TV show. In the books, the circle consists of 12 witches, while the show only has six. Twelve kids make for so many more storylines and couple dynamics. I know that the show probably had to cut the circle in half because of money reasons (six actors is much cheaper than 12) and to be able to focus in more on the characters they kept. But I miss the extra characters. I do love the TV show though, despite all the changes.
  • This book really starts getting into the dark magic side of Cassie's bloodline. I enjoyed those parts much more than the past books that L.J. Smith wrote that focused more on her good magic side. I want to see the evilness come out...
  • The book also goes hardcore into the witch hunter topic, which is something the TV show has really focused on. That is another thing that is appealing because there are so many possibilities with witch hunters... so many possibilities for darkness/evil
  • I really have to applaud Aubrey Clark for her ability to write awesome cliffhangers. With this book and the most recent "Vampire Diaries: Hunters" book, there are two amazing cliffhangers that have left me wanting to count down the days until the next books are released

Buy on Amazon.com: The Secret Circle: The Divide


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book #44: The Compelled

Title: Stefan's Diaries #6: The Compelled

Author: Listed as L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec, but it's really a ghostwriter

Date started reading: March 28, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 29, 2012

Publish date: March 2012
ISBN: 978-0062113986
Number of pages: 256

Official summary: "Control or be controlled, ... Stefan and Damon thought they knew evil. But nothing compares to Samuel, the ruthless vampire hell-bent on avenging Katherine's death by destroying the Salvatore brothers. Reeling from Samuel's latest attack, Stefan and Damon find help in the most unlikely of places — a secret coven of witches. Together they discover Samuel's plan is more sinister than they ever could have imagined. Their only hope is to stop him before he secures the power to control humans and vampires alike. If they fail, not only Stefan and Damon but all of London will fall victim to Samuel's spell. Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan's Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine — and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began." (http://harperteen.com)

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $9.99 from Barnes & Noble

Memorable quotes:
  • "The only thing in the world that's constant is war. ... It was a truth that had only become more evident in my more than twenty years as a vampire." ~ Stefan
  • "No matter what, it seemed neither decades nor miles nor oceans could separate me from Katherine's legacy." ~ Stefan
  • "I'm a beast on blood." ~ Stefan
  • "A witch, a human, and a vampire, teaming up to fight evil. It sounded like the premise of a penny-paper serial. But thanks to the monster who was plotting our deaths, this was our lives." ~ Stefan 
  • "(Katherine) was the truth at the center of an infinitely complicated riddle. Because of her, I no longer knew good from evil." ~ Stefan
  • "A quiet Damon always made me uneasy." ~ Stefan
  • "I never thought I'd have to depend on witches to save me. But I suppose we live in strange times." ~ Damon
  • "I'd have thought twice before giving my blood to a raven-toting lunatic." ~ Damon to Stefan
  • "In a city of a million heartbeat, I was on my own." ~ Stefan
  • "Together you and Damon complete each other. You think, and he's all about action. But instead of appreciating what the other has, you fight about it." ~ Cora to Stefan
  •  "Even the store catering to monsters wouldn't have me anymore." ~ Stefan
  • "I felt like I was the bumbling villain in a burlesque show. Despite being foiled time and time again, I insisted on a new scheme. Only in a burlesque shoe, there was an audience. ... As I desperately racked my brain for another idea, I couldn't help but feel like the curtains were about to fall on the show. The only question was: How would it end?" ~ Stefan
  • "When I was provoked, I was no longer Stefan. I was a monster." ~ Stefan
  • "Damon's reaction to death and destruction was always to dance through the ashes." ~ Stefan
  • "Apparently compelled vampires are as dull as dishwater." ~ Damon
  • "The only thing more fearsome than a vampire is two female vampires with something to prove." ~ Samuel
  • "We're vampires, Stefan, not gods. We're merely death's messengers." ~ Damon
  • "There was something about that first kill that changes you, but it's how easy it is to murder again that's truly terrifying. As if the first time hadn't been just a fluke, but something you'd secretly enjoyed." ~ Stefan 
  • "Immortality wasn't idyllic or enchanting. But it was powerful. If I had to live forever, I had to make it count." ~ Stefan

My commentary:
  • Out of the six books in this series (so far?), this is by far the best one yet. It was a real nail-biter. The drama kept me reading and reading and reading. The book extends on the Jack the Ripper storyline from the fifth book and brings in witches. It's awesome how vampires and witches are twisted into the real life history of Jack the Ripper. I'm not sure if there are going to be any more books after this one, but I sure hope there are more. I wonder how many people who have read these books have started looking into the real Jack the Ripper story...
  • My favorite chapter involves Stefan being told a story about Elijah, who is by far my favorite of the non-regular, recurring characters from the TV show. It's just a brief mention, but I'm glad that they brought him into it. The previous books had mentioned Klaus, but never any of the other original vampires until now. 
  • Between the TV show, the main book series, and the "Stefan's Diaries" books, there is a really intriguing mythology forming... "original" vampires, witches, and werewolves. If only the three storylines could be brought together into one single storyline.
  • *Major spoilery comments ahead*  .... Before this book, it had already been well-established that the story goes that a vampire was committing the Jack the Ripper murders, but this book explains why. He's looking for a pure-bred witch (one that is directly from the bloodlines of the "original" witches) so he can cut out her heart and eat it. If he eats it, he'll obtain the ability to compel other vampires. In real-life, Jack the Ripper's victim named Mary Jane had her heart cut out, so it fits history in a creepily accurate way. Also, Violet (Cora's sister who had been turned into a vampire) was staked and dropped into a river. In real life, there were reports of an unidentified woman who was found dead with a stake in her body (there are doubts about if this victim really existed or not). Since Violet and Cora had no family in the area in the book, no one who found the body would've been able to identify her, so that also freakishly fits in with what is written in Jack the Ripper's real history. I think I know too much about the real Jack the Ripper story...

Buy on Amazon.com: The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #6: The Compelled


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book #43: Kiss of the Vampire

Title: Kiss of the Vampire (formerly titled "The Night Inside")

Author: Nancy Baker

Date started reading: March 25, 2012
Date finished reading: March 28, 2012

Publish date: September 1995
ISBN: 978-0449149577
Number of pages: 278

Official summary: "Ardeth Alexander’s life is the wholly predictable one of a graduate student. She lives by schedules – for papers due, classes to attend, small jobs of research to complete for extra income. Ardeth is the responsible one – steady, dependable, maybe even a little boring. One day, when she is out for her customary early morning walk, all that changes. Ardeth is abducted by two men, blindfolded, gagged, and taken to a dirty, dank prison cell. Even more terrifying than the abduction itself is the purpose for her presence there – to sustain with her blood the life of another prisoner. But as she observes the strange grey-haired man who is kept mad with torture and hunger, and the men who force her to do their will, she begins to fear and despise her captors even more than she does the man in the next cell. Slowly, tentatively, she talks to him and tries to reach behind the madness to the man she believes is hidden within. As her relationship with Rozokov develops, the nightly feedings become sensual celebrations. Then, filled with desire for the man, fuelled with a desperate urge for revenge, and lured by the promise of immortality, Ardeth takes the final step. From the moment the vampire’s slumbering body pulsates to life until the shocking conclusion in a crumbling old mansion, The Night Inside is a thrilling and erotic tale of the thirst for blood and the lust for revenge." (http://www.nancybaker.ca/)

How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

My commentary:
  • I have an interesting history with this book. I read the book when it was originally published in 1993 under the title "The Night Inside." It was the first "adult" vampire book I had ever read. For many many years, it was my favorite of all the vampire books I had ever read. It set the standard for all the vampire books I read after that. I read it again a few years after the first time I read it. I recently decided to hunt down a copy of it and read it again now as an adult to see if it still holds up to how I felt as a teenager. And boy does it still hold up. It's as good, or even better, than I remembered.
  • Over the years, I forgot the little details of this book. I, of course, remembered the general storyline and remembered that I absolutely loved it. I had forgotten that the male vampire's name is Dimitri. It makes total sense to me now why the Dimitri in the "Vampire Academy" series automatically caught my attention. I have associated that name with drop-dead-sexy vampires ever since I first read this book. It just makes sense that I would fall in love with the "Vampire Academy" series' Dimitri also.
  • One thing I really love about how Nancy Baker wrote this book is that even though there is sex involved, it's not explicit sex. I think too many authors use sex as a plot tool to hide poor storytelling. Baker writes an amazing vampire tale without having to use sex as a crutch to make it sex.

Memorable quotes:
  • "Aching with a passion inside
    Deep as the river of desire,
    The ashes and the fire
    Turning the night inside..."
  • "A vampire, dear God, it's a vampire. Ardeth put her head down against the dirty blanket and tried to think clearly. ... It's not a vampire, her rationality said. It's a lunatic who thinks he's a vampire. Vampires do not exist, except as metaphors."
  • "There was no pretending he was an escaped lunatic, not any more. The solid, undeniable reality of him terrified her. Her universe had been very ordered, the line between reality and fantasy clear and unmistakable. Now that line had been moved, no, shattered forever and she was left in a world without foundations." 
  • "Hide, Rozokov had told her. What better place to hide could there be than in a crowd of vampire wanna-bes?"

Buy on Amazon.com: Kiss of the Vampire


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book #42: Beastly

Title: Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Date started reading: March 23, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 25, 2012

Publish date: October 2007
ISBN: 978-0060874162
Number of pages: 320

Official summary: "I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly." (http://www.alexflinn.com)

Movie trailer:


How I obtained the book: Bought for $1 at Friends of the Library charity book sale

Memorable quotes:
  • "You ever think that school dances are a form of legalized prostitution?" ~ Kyle to Trey
  • "A beautiful thing is precious, no matter the price. Those who do not know how to see the precious things in life will never  be happy." ~ Magda
  • "I don't believe anyone could love a monster." ~ Kyle
  • "Good to know: Doctors can't cure you of being a beast." ~ Kyle

My commentary:
  • This is one of the books that I'm reading solely because I liked the movie (or sort of liked the movie). 
  •  I knew this was a modern take on "The Beauty and the Beast" story, but I didn't think it would be so close to the original story, just set in the modern world. I think I prefer the adaptations the movie's creators made. In the book, Kyle is covered in hair and really is beastly, but in the movie, he's more severely disfigured rather than beastly. The movie seems more like a different story than the traditional fairytale than the book does
  • There are excerpts of a weekly internet support group chat scattered throughout the book. These are rather cheesy because the other group members are basically "The Frog Prince" and "The Little Mermaid"

Buy on Amazon.com: Beastly


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book #41: Nyx in the House of Night

Title: Nyx in the House of Night - Mythology, Folklore, and Religion in the P.C. and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series

Author: Edited by P. C. Cast with contributors Karen Mahoney, John Edgar Browning, Jana Oliver, Ellen Steiber, Amy H. Sturgis, Jordan Dane, Jeri Smith-Ready, Trinity Faegen, Bryan Lankford, Kristin Cast, Yasmine Galenorn and Christine Zika

Date started reading: March 21, 2012
Date finished reading: March 22, 2012

Publish date: June 2011
ISBN: 978-1935618553
Number of pages: 200

Official summary: "The House of Night is no ordinary school — and not just because it’s for vampyres. It’s a place where magic, religion, folklore, and mythology from multiple traditions merry meet and meld to create something incredible and new. In Nyx in the House of Night, some of your favorite YA authors, plus a few experts, help you navigate the influences behind the House of Night series in a guide that would get even Damien’s seal of approval. Travel with P.C. Cast as she gets her first tattoo in Ireland, climbs the ruins of Sgiach’s castle, and discovers the lore that led to the Isle of Skye vampyres. Read Kristin Cast’s defense of women in history and mythology who, like Zoey, have made a practice of juggling multiple men. Sit in on a vampyre lecture by Bryan Lankford, the real-life basis for House of Night instructor Dragon Lankford, on the parallels between Wiccan and vampyre circle rituals. Tour Tulsa’s House of Night landmarks with local Amy H. Sturgis. Nyx in the House of Night also includes an appendix of character names that reveals the myth behind Zoey’s last name, which House of Night cats have ties to Camelot, Egypt, and Middle-earth, and more!" (http://www.smartpopbooks.com/book/nyx-in-the-house-of-night)

How I obtained the book: Checked out of library

Memorable quotes:
  • "Like beauty, tattoos are in the eye of the beholder." ~ Jana Oliver 
  •  "The color of the red fledgings' Marks also communicates a kind of status. Though the crescent moon on their foreheads indicates their membership in the vampyre community, the color marks them as "other." Blue vamps versus red vamps. The established order versus the outcasts. Or from the human perspective: the scary outcasts versus the really scary outcast." ~ Jana Oliver
  • "Superstitions, like vampyres, are hard to kill." ~ Jana Oliver
  • "It’s not easy being the Chosen One. Just ask Buffy Summers. Ask Harry Potter. And ask Zoey Redbird, the latest in this list of “lucky” candidates picked by fate to save the world from darkness—and oh yeah, find romance, keep their friends, and maybe not flunk every class. In their spare time, of course. You’d think the act of getting chosen would be the biggest hurdle of all. Once you know you’re The One, every choice should be easy. Simply “do the right thing,” and the rest will follow. After all, you were chosen for a reason, so you must be destined to succeed, right? Alas, destiny isn’t a straight, well-paved road. Sometimes it’s not even a rocky, overgrown bike path." ~ Jeri Smith-Ready
My commentary: I have no clue why I didn't think to check this out of the library when I was reading the series. I checked out "Destined" and "Dragon's Oath" from the library, but never thought to get this one. This book was labeled as "young adult" by the library, which is understandable since it goes along with the "House of Night" series, but this is so not aimed at teenagers/college students. It was interesting to learn about the mythology and folklore that the series was based around, but it felt like I was reading a textbook at many points. The best sections were on tattoos, the cats, and the names of the characters. The section on Tulsa's real history and landmarks versus how it is portrayed in the series is also a fairly good read, but it never mentioned the bridge tragedy that was taken from the Tulsa area's real history.

Buy on Amazon.com: Nyx in the House of Night: Mythology, Folklore and Religion in the PC and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book #40: You Are Not Here

Title: You Are Not Here

Author: Samantha Schutz

Date started reading: March 21, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 21, 2012

Publish date: October 2010
ISBN: 978-0545169110
Number of pages: 224

Official summary: "Annaleah and Brian had something special — Annaleah is sure of it. When they were together, they didn’t need anyone else. It didn’t matter that it was secret. All that mattered was what they shared. And then, suddenly, Brian dies. And while everyone else has their role in the grieving process, Annaleah finds herself living on the outside of it, unacknowledged and lonely. How can you recover from a loss no one will let you have?" (http://samanthaschutz.net)

How I obtained the book: Bought for $1 at Friends of the Library charity booksale

My commentary:
  • I first learned about Samantha Schutz when I discovered her first book "I Don't Want to be Crazy" in a local bookstore. That book is a memoir about her life... of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. She wrote the book in the form of poetry. It was a very interesting take on doing a memoir. I started following her through social media and followed the progress of her trying to get "You Are Not Here" published. It is also written in poetry form, but this is a fictional story and not a memoir. I was very happy to finally come across this book for a cheap price (if it was another memoir, I would've paid full price, but with a fictional story, I hadn't originally been too intent on reading it)
  • I love the cover Schutz ended up picking. I remember reading her blog as the cover was being decided on. The dried-up roses are beautiful but show the feeling of grief well. I think the right choice was made
  • I wonder how you even sell a publisher on a book like this... "I would really like to write a book that is 200+ pages of continuous free-form poetry" ... That seems like a hard sell to me. With the first book, it made sense because it was based around her own mental illness, and when you're having a mental breakdown, your thoughts are short and choppy and often random. I didn't think a fictional book would work the same way, but in the end it does. The short choppy writing actually works extremely well. It does a great job putting the reader into the mindset of a young girl who suddenly loses her first love (or really anyone who suddenly loses someone they love) and is in utter shock

Memorable quotes (I'm typing the quotes in the poetry form in which they appear in the book):
  • "Brian was healthy.
    Seventeen.
    Just finished his junior year.
    How could he be playing
    basketball one minute
    and then be dead the next?
    How could there be no in-between?
    No treatment.
    No drugs.
    No surgery.
    No hope.
    No nothing.
    Not possible."
  • "How can a person be
    filled with life
    and then be empty?
    Where does it all go?"
  • "I wonder
    how many people
    are walking around
    with something silent
    and terribly wrong inside them.
    Our bodies are so complex.
    So many opportunities
    for something to go wrong --
    it's amazing that people
    aren't dropping dead
    on the streets all day long."
  • "That afternoon, our conversation
    was like an epic road trip --
    but with no map to guide us
    and all the time in the world
    to get where we were going.
    We meandered, lost our way,
    doubled back."
  • "The shower is a good place to hide.
    ...
    No one can see your tears,
    not even you."
  • "It's never fun
    to be realistic."
  • "When the memory fades,
    so does my smile.
    I am alone."
  • "I'm trying to decide what is worse.
    Someone being gone,
    but still out there,
    or someone being gone forever,
    dead.
    I think someone being gone,
    but still out there, might be worse.
    Then there's always the chance,
    the hoping,
    the wondering
    if things might change.
    If maybe one day he'll come back.
    There's also the wondering about
    what his new life is like.
    The life without you.
    Is he happier?
    And if he is,
    you're left being sad,
    wondering what it would be like
    if you were happy with him.

    But when someone is dead,
    he's dead.
    He's not coming back.
    There is no second chance.
    Death is a period
    at the end of a sentence.

    Someone gone, but still out there,
    is an ellipsis...or a question
    to be answered."
  • "My heart is empty.
    But my brain --
    My brain is full.
    It races with thoughts
    of what could have been."


Buy on Amazon.com: You Are Not Here


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book #39: Moonsong

Title: The Vampire Diaries - The Hunters: Moonsong

Author: Credited as L.J. Smith, but is really written by a ghostwriter

Date started reading: March 18, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 20, 2012

Publish date: March 2012
ISBN: 978-0062017703
Number of pages: 400

Official summary: "Evil never dies... After escaping the horrors of the Dark Dimension, Elena and her friends can’t wait to attend Dalcrest College, the beautiful ivy-covered campus where Elena’s parents met. Life with Stefan is better than ever, and with her closest friends Bonnie, Meredith, and Matt by her side, Elena knows it will be their best year yet. Even Damon seems genuinely changed and is getting along with everyone. But for Elena, moving away from Fell’s Church doesn’t mean she has left her dark past behind. When students start to disappear from campus, every new acquaintance is suddenly a potential enemy. Panic soon spreads and the friends struggle to protect each other. Then Elena uncovers a long-hidden secret, one that shocks her to the core, and realizes tragedy may be unavoidable. Will Elena outrun her fate? And will it be Stefan or Damon who catches her if she falls? (http://harperteen.com)

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $11.64 using a gift card to Walmart that I got for Christmas

Memorable quotes:
  • "Honestly, you two have a saving-people complex or something. After I take psychology, I'm going to diagnose you." ~ Bonnie to Elena and Meredith  
  • "At this point, Damon was able to look back and say that no one learned anything in life, not for her first hundred years or so. You had to be immortal, really, to have the time to learn to look out for yourself properly."
  • "Stefan, sweet, darling Stefan, was the love of her life. She had no doubts about that. But Damon made her feel breathless and excited, swept up in something bigger than herself. Damon made her feel like she was special." ~ Elena 
  • "It's like there are two paths in front of me. One goes into the daylight, and it's the ordinary girl I thought I wanted to be: parties and classes and eventually a job and a house and a normal life. Stefan wants to give me that. The other is in the darkness, with Damon, and I'm just starting to realize how much that world has to offer, and how much I want to experience everything it holds." ~ Elena 
  • "Even monsters can fall in love." ~ Meredith

My commentary: I can definitely tell that the publisher and ghostwriter were trying to really draw in the TV show's fans with this book. There were little hints to the TV show... like Stefan kissing Elena on a ferris wheel, like he did on the show. There were a lot of good Delena (Damon/Elena) moments. It wasn't as good as the book before this one ("Phantom"), but it was still better than the ones in "The Return" trilogy, which were the last ones that L.J. Smith wrote. I like this ghostwriter...

Buy on Amazon.com: The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Moonsong


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book #38: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

Title: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

Author: Tucker Max

Date started reading: March 15, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 18, 2012

Publish date: September 2009
ISBN: 978-0806532257
Number of pages: 326

Book summary: "My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world." (http://www.tuckermax.com)

Trailer for the movie (I figure it's close enough to the book that it will give everyone a little glimpse of what the book's about):


How I obtained the book: How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  •  "If the spotlight is not shining directly on me, I feel small inside." ~ Tucker
  • "The problem with oral sex is that it's like writing. When done right, it's amazing, but there are just so many ways it can go wrong, and when it does, it's just not worth it." ~ Tucker
  • "When I am bored or unhappy, my behavior becomes akin to an ADD-ravaged toddler until I find something to occupy me." ~ Tucker
  • “I needed therapy to bury my anxiety, and alcohol was going to be my counselor.” ~ Tucker 
  • "I used to think there was a bright line between a gentlemen's club and a brothel. Now you're telling me it's just gray..." ~ JonBenet
  • "I really hope that God has the capacity for forgiveness that Christians claim, because I am going to test the absolute outer limits." ~ Tucker 
  • "I hope my daughters date guys like me." ~ Tucker
  • “Military guys use very creative curse words. I didn’t even know I had a ‘cock-holster’ or a ‘man-pleaser.’” ~ Tucker
  • “That’s the beauty of alcohol: if you don’t remember it, it didn’t happen.” ~ Tucker
  • “Well aren’t you just spectacular. I’m glad to see that those ‘Worthless Whore’ lessons turned out well for you.” ~ SlingBlade to random girl
  • “I’m a 25 year old socially anxious, pre-mature ejaculator and I’m wearing a Batman t-shirt. Is it really that implausible?” ~ SlingBlade to random girl about how he's single
  • “Two girls called me closed minded. I tell them that they are so open-minded their brains leaked out.” ~ Tucker
  • “Men will treat you the way you let them. There is no such thing as 'deserving' respect; you get what you demand from people.” ~ Tucker
  • “The pen may be mightier than the sword, but I have found that the vagina is stronger than both.” ~ Tucker 
  • "Sometimes the contradictions in my personality amuse even me." ~ Tucker
  • "There is nothing funnier than provoking idiots." ~ Tucker 
  • "For a split second, I honestly thought I'd died and gone to hell, and it was sponsored by Warner Brothers. That was a bit of a shock, because I'd always thought Disney would rule hell." ~ Tucker 
  • "Forget an upper management role in hell; I think I have the CEO position in my sights." ~ Tucker
  • My favorite scene of the movie was based on McDonald's breakfast sandwich, the McGriddle. In the movie it's called a "pancakewich" instead of McGriddle. I was afraid that the scene was mostly just concocted for the movie, but it's in the book. In fact, the movie takes the whole scene almost word-for-word from a true story within the book. Instead of putting the quote, I'm posting a video of the movie scene below so you can see it for yourself...



My commentary:
  • I read all sorts of reviews trashing this book and Tucker Max's writing style. Admittedly most of those reviews were written by women who probably are way more prudish than I am. I decided to watch the movie a while back after I read an interview with the actor who plays Tucker in the movie. The movie (and thus the book which the movie is based on) is very crude and has a lot of really disgusting humor, but I was laughing so hard that I cried. I watched it a second time and still laughed until I cried, so I decided to ignore all those book reviews and check out the book myself. I can handle sex jokes and poop humor better than most people... 
  • After reading the book, I'm fairly certain about 70% of the general population would be utterly disgusting with Tucker and his stories that they wouldn't even make it through a third of the book. About 10% would be impressed that Tucker could get away with the things he does and may even be in awe of him. The other 20% would be some mixture of being disgusted and being impressed. I am firmly in the 10% of people who are impressed. Frankly, I'm a little jealous that he was able to take his misadventures, write about them, and make tons of money and become famous
  • I don't regret reading this book even a little bit. Screw the other reviewers who said it was not worth reading. It made me laugh so hard so many times that it was beyond worth it.

Buy on Amazon.com: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book #37: The Fledgling Handbook 101

Title: The Fledgling Handbook 101 (Companion book to the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kim Doner

Date started reading: March 14, 2012
Date finished reading: March 15, 2012

Publish date: October 2010
ISBN: 9780312595128
Number of pages: 176

Official summary: "Merry meet, fledgling. I trust this guide will serve you well... Every vampyre fledgling who arrives at the House of Night receives a copy of The Fledgling Handbook 101, and now, fans can have one, too, with this gorgeous must-have edition. Inside you’ll find original stories, the complete vampyre history, inside info into rituals, vamp biology, and the Change, and much more." (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

How I obtained the book: Bought for 50 cents at Friends of the Library charity book sale

Memorable quotes:
  • "Within chaos lies opportunity." ~ Shekinah, High Priestess of Vampryes 
  • "I learned fear can be overcome by faith; uncertainty can lead to new beginnings, and trepidation can be vanquished by confidence. Being Marked is truly about the magick of possibilities." ~ Shekinah

My commentary:
  • I didn't plan to buy this book, but when I found it for 50 cents, I decided to go ahead and check it out. 
  • The handbook is mentioned a ton of times in the regular book series. It is nice that the handbook reveals a little more information about the "House of Night" world and gives you images to go along with some of the symbols mentioned in the books.
  • Later in the normal book series, an advanced handbook is mentioned, so I wonder if there will be a follow-up at some point.

Buy on Amazon.com: The Fledgling Handbook 101 (House of Night)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book #36: Dragon's Oath

Title: Dragon's Oath (Companion novella to the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 14, 2012
Date finished reading: March 14, 2012

Publish date: July 2011
ISBN: 978-1250000231
Number of pages: 160

Official summary: "In early 19th century England Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate. Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world…. In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling... But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her — or destroy them all?" (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

How I obtained the book: Checked out of library (I will however be buying a copy of my own at some point once I can find a cheap copy)
  • UPDATE: Ended up buying a copy for $5.84 at used book store on March 29  

Memorable quotes:
  • "When all else fails, turn to duty!" ~ Dragon
  • "Love cannot be bespelled or coerced." ~ Pandeia
  • "Sometimes a vampyre has to do some boasting to get a priestess to notice him." ~ Dragon

My commentary:
  • I didn't set out planning to read this book, but I've gotten so addicted to the main series in the last couple weeks that I decided to go ahead and read this one. This novella is interesting because it includes drawings throughout the book made specifically to go along with the story. None of the main books have artwork contained within the pages. It's an intriguing addition
  • I think it would have been helpful to read this between Awakened and Destined (books 8 and 9 of the main series) instead of after Destined. This novella is told in mostly a flashback, but it's an event that happens in Awakened that triggers the flashback, and the flashback really sets up what happens to Dragon in Destined. 
  • This book is a very cute and interesting. It was nice to learn about how Dragon and  Anastasia met and fell in love and to see how Dragon became the warrior he ended up being.

Buy on Amazon.com: Dragon's Oath (House of Night)


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book #35: Destined

Title: Destined (Book #9 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 11, 2012
Date finished reading: March 13, 2012

Publish date: October 2011
ISBN: 978-0312650254
Number of pages: 336

Official summary: "In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa’s House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side – and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx’s gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow. But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness?" (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

Official book "trailer:"



How I obtained the book: Checked out of library (I will however be buying a copy of my own at some point once I can find a cheap copy) 
  • UPDATE: Ended up buying a copy for $8.54 at used book store on March 29   

Memorable quotes:
  • "My mama always said eight hours of sleep, drinking lots of water, and not havin' any kids was a better anti-aging recipe than anything a doctor or L'Oreal could ever cook up." ~ Stevie Rae
  • "You're not just covered with awesomesauce. You're what awesomesauce is made of." ~ Stark to Zoey
  • "I'm beginning to understand that there is only one real difference between Darkness and Light, and that is the capacity to love." ~ Rephaim
  • "That sounded like I thought the nerd herd and I were turning into a redneck Okie paramilitary group. ... Why couldn't those groups be more attractive?" ~ Zoey
  • "Kalona + a new and improved Rephaim = track wreck." ~ Zoey
  • "I read in People magazine that negativity gives you wrinkles. You may wanna consider your attitude when you look in the mirror 'cause I do know you love some mirror time." ~ Kramisha to Aphrodite 
  • "Over more than one hundred years the one consistent thing I have found is that there really is no normal when it comes to women." ~ Dragon to Aurox
  • "If I didn't have my horses I think I would get very tired of living." ~ Lenobia
  • "That's how Darkness works. It turns love into something bad." ~ Stark
  • "There are worse things than death. Being trapped by your fear of it is one of those things." ~ Rephaim
  • "We each decide what we are by the life choices we make. How we were made, who our parents are, where we are from, the color of our skin, who we choose to love, all those things do not define us. Our actions define us, and will keep defining us even after death." ~ Thanatos

My commentary:
  • This book is more confusing than the others because it switches the point of view that it's told through so many times. There are 11 different people's who take over the point of view in this book. Sometimes I have trouble remembering whose perspective I'm reading
  • One thing I find intriguing about this book series is that each book ends with some closure to the current storyline but then everything is blown apart by the last page. It's like things seem ok, but then one line says that the war is just beginning or something. It keeps you craving more, which in the case of this book kind of sucks because the next book doesn't come out until October

Buy on Amazon.com: Destined (House of Night)


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book #34: Awakened

Title: Awakened (Book #8 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 10, 2012
Date finished reading: March 11, 2012

Publish date: January 2011
ISBN: 978-0312650247
Number of pages: 290

Official summary: "Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over her immortal consort Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either. .. And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart? In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?" (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

Official book "trailer:"


How I obtained the book: Bought for $1 at a Friends of the Library charity book sale


Memorable quotes:
  • "I just came from the Otherworld, but that doesn't mean I have a death wise." ~ Stark
  • "Beauty doesn't last. Friends and family decay. Power is the only thing that goes on forever." ~ Neferet ... "No, love goes on forever." ~ Jack
  • "If cats understood technology and had opposable thumbs, they'd rule the world." ~ Sqiach
  • "Once you've known Darkness, real Darkness, there's always a shadow on your soul." ~ Stark
  • "Darkness is territorial, possessive. Once it's had a piece of you, it doesn't like to let go." ~ Stark
  • "If there was one thing the immortal understood, it was the power of patience." ~ Kalona
  • "Terror could be satisfying." ~ Kalona
  • "Neferet is slicker than hen crap on a tin roof." ~ Stevie Rae
  • "We do not have time to tiptoe around Zoey's feelings. She needs to put on her big-girl High Priestess panties and deal." ~ Aphrodite
  • "Evil wins when good folks do nothing." ~ Stevie Rae

My commentary:
  • I was trying to figure out how much time has supposedly passed from the first book of the series to the beginning of this one. I think it's only like four months or so. It seems like it should be a long time, but I'm pretty sure everything in the first seven books took place within about four months. It's a lot of action packed into four months

Buy on Amazon.com: Awakened (House of Night, Book 8)


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book #33: Burned

Title: Burned (Book #7 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 08, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 10, 2012

Publish date: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0312606169
Number of pages: 323

Official summary: "Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampire High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left.. Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae’s hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world. In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, human, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She’s always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess’s own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite’s loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey’s fate hangs in the balance. Three girls... playing with fire… if they don’t watch out, everyone will get Burned. (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

Official book "trailer:"


How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  •  "She'd almost burned up on that rooftop. For a second she remembered the excellent season two 'True Blood' episode where Goderick had burned his own self up on a fictional roof. Stevie Rae snorted a laugh. 'It looked way easier on TV.'"
  • "If its ass is feathered and waterproofed, it's a duck" ~ Aphrodite 
  • "Did ya see how high-waisted his pants were? No one under the age of eighty with a big brain wears grandpa pants pulled all the way to their underarms. Pea brain, I'm just sayin'." ~ Stevie Rae to Rephaim about security guard
  • "Zoey isn't dead. And believe me, I know dead. I've been there, done that, and got the frickin' T-shirt." ~ Stevie Rae
  • "To be allied with Death is not an easy career path." ~ Thanatos
  • "That's an ignorant stereotype. Just 'cause I'm not from a big city does not mean I automatically know about cows and stuff. Heck, I don't even like horses." ~ Stevie Rae to Aphrodite
  • "Sometimes he almost like Aphrodite -- not that he'd ever admit it." ~ Stark
  • "Celebrity Barbies would only be important if they had interesting accoutrements you could buy with them. ~ Aphrodite ... "You sound like you swallowed a French guy and are trying to spit him out. ~ Erin
  • "That immortal blood of yours is like the Energizer Bunny inside me." ~ Stevie Rae to Rephaim
  • "Venus, you need a lot more than a gold card to fix the mess you've turned into." ~ Stevie Rae
  • "You do use your words like a dagger, and a drawn dagger often causes trouble." ~ Darius to Aphrodite
  • "As Stevie Rae would have said, Kalona was as wrong as manboobs" ~ Zoey


My commentary:
  • When I was looking at this book on Amazon, I cracked up at this part of one of the reviews: "These books are like Twinkies. They're really terrible, yet are a sometimes delicious guilty pleasure. I hate myself a little more after every one I buy, yet I can't seem to stop myself either." ... That totally explains how I feel about the books in a way much better than I could ever put into my own words
  • One thing I've forgotten to mention that I like about this series is how some of the editions of the books in hardcover include posters on the back of the book jackets.  I've noticed that not all the editions have them, but many do. It explains why many of the hardcover books are missing their jackets when I see them in the local used bookstores. If I was teenager reading the books, I'm sure I'd be putting the posters up on the walls of my bedroom. It's always fun when publishers add in some sort of surprise for readers like that. (You can see what I mean below. The first image is the poster from "Burned," and the second is showing the one that was wrapped around "Tempted")







Buy on Amazon.com: Burned: A House of Night Novel


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book #32: Tempted

Title: Tempted (Book #6 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 07, 2012
Date finished reading: March 08, 2012

Publish date: May 2011
ISBN: 978-0312609382
Number of pages: 336

Official summary: "So… you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul?" (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

Official book "trailer:"



How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  • "If I shot an arrow and thought about an ass, would it surprise you that I hit Erik?" ~ Stark
  • "Oh, don't mind me. I talk to myself. Even when I'm not alone. It's kinda like my own version of therapy." ~ Stevie Rae
  • "'Holy crap' is that a curse? 'Cause if it is, I'm afraid I'm going to have to wake up the Potty Mouth Police and have them make an arrest." ~ Aphrodite to Zoey
  • "Suddenly I was feeling very guy-claustrophobic. I mean, a buffet of boys sounds like a good idea in theory, but I was quickly finding out that, much like straight-leg designer jeans, it's only in theory that the idea is good." ~ Zoey
  • "Here's what happens when your city loses light: it doesn't look right. It sounds simplistic, especially coming from a kid who is supposed to be one of the children of the night or whatnot, but the world doesn't look the same when the lights go out." ~ Zoey
  • "Life's about messing up. And I'm startin' to think it wouldn't be exciting if we were perfect." ~ Stevie Rae

My commentary:
  • This book is different from the ones before it because it is told from the point of view of six characters: Zoey, Stevie Rae, Aphrodite, Rephaim, Heath and Stark, instead of just Zoey's perspective.

Buy on Amazon.com: Tempted (House of Night)


Monday, March 5, 2012

Book #31: Hunted

Title: Hunted (Book #5 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 05, 2012
Date finished reading: March 07, 2012

Publish date: March 2010
ISBN: 978-0312577995
Number of pages: 336

Official summary: What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you? At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face? (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

Official book "trailer:"



How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  • "My mama told me don't trust no white boy, even a pretty one. I'm thinkin' a pretty white boy with wings explodin' up from the ground in a mess of blood and ugly-ass bird things is double trouble." ~ Kramisha
  • "I would tell you that you looked really hot today when I saw you naked, but that probably wouldn't be appropriate, being as we're in bed together but not doing anything." ~ Stark
  • "As your girlfriend, you've just pissed me off. As your High Priestess, you've just insulted me. And as someone with a working brain, you've made me wonder if you've lost every bit of your sense." ~ Zoey
  • "Reality shows could make the world a better place and bring peace to all mankind." ~ Zoey
  • "Have credit cards, will decorate." ~ Aphrodite
  • "Aphrodite -- she crazy even when she not drunk and Imprinted" ~ Kramisha
  • "Last time I saw you, I said that it hurt too much to love you. But I was wrong about that. The truth is it hurts too much not to love you." ~ Heath to Zoey
  • "Life isn't a book, Heath! There's no guarantee of a happy ending." ~ Zoey
  • "Pain was good. If I hurt, it meant I wasn't dead." ~ Zoey
  • "You could stick a fork in me and call me so done with all this stress." ~ Zoey
  • "The world is falling apart. It's really okay to cuss a little." ~ Aphrodite. "The world falling apart isn't an excuse to take up bad habits." ~ Zoey
  • "I do not belong to you. I don't belong to anyone expect myself and Nyx." ~ Zoey to Kalona
  • "What is so wonderful about free will? Humans eternally misuse it. Life can be so much happier without it." ~ Kalona
  • "Purses are my spiders. Really big spiders you can open up and they're filled with a whole nest of baby spiders." ~ Stark
  • "Battle scars from the war of good versus evil have a unique beauty all their own." ~ Lenobia
  • "Here's the life lesson I've really been learning: If you have good friends, no matter how much life is sucking, they can make you laugh." ~ Zoey

My commentary: I can honestly say that even though I have issues with it, I'm totally obsessed with this series. I can't stop reading it or thinking about it when I'm not actually reading.

Buy on Amazon.com: Hunted (House of Night)


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Book #30: Untamed

Title: Untamed (Book #4 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 4, 2012
Date finished reading:  March 5, 2012

Publish date: September 2008
ISBN: 978-0312379834
Number of pages: 352

Official summary: "Life sucks when your friends are pissed at you. Just ask Zoey Redbird – she’s become an expert on suckiness. In one week she has gone from having three boyfriends to having none, and from having a close group of friends who trusted and supported her, to being an outcast. Speaking of friends, of the two Zoey has left, one is undead and one is unMarked. And Neferet has declared war on humans, which Zoey knows in her heart is wrong. But will anyone listen to her? Zoey’s adventures at vampyre finishing school take a wild and dangerous turn as loyalties are tested, shocking true intentions come to light, and an ancient evil is awakened." (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

Official book "trailer:"



How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  • "Aphrodite makes us understand why women have drowned their babies." ~ Shaunee
  • "Sometimes chaos and love seem like the same thing." ~ Aphrodite
  • "Free will sometimes sucks." ~ Zoey
  • "I started hearing police and fire sirens, along with gunshots, which made me smile grimly. This was Oklahoma, and us Okies did love our guns. Yep, we exercise our Second Amendment right with pride and vigor. I wished I had a clue if modern weapons would make any difference to creatures born of magic and myth" ~ Zoey's reaction to hearing people shooting at Raven Mockers (It was really spot-on when it comes to how many Oklahomans are with their guns)

My commentary:
  • Aphrodite has become my favorite character in this series. Her personality is surprisingly like me in many ways. She's often rude and mean. She's moody. She hurts a lot of people's feelings, but in some ways it's mainly just because she's so blunt and honest. She's probably the most honest person in the series. Sometimes honesty hurts. I've always said I'd rather be called a bitch than have someone think I'm weak and don't speak my mind, and Aphrodite portrays this attitude well. Deep down she is a good person, but she uses the rudeness to shield herself from pain due to a troubled childhood with nightmarish parents. I totally get how that is...
  • Cats play an important part in the series. I guess that makes sense because cats are often portrayed as familiars to witches, and the vampires in the series perform magic all the time. If the books ever really get made into a movie, it will be interesting to see how they handle the cat situation. Each cat has such a distinct personality in the books, and each one looks a specific way. Anyways, Aphrodite's cat is such a perfect fit for her character. I'm glad she found a cat... or rather a cat found her.
  • With the previous book, I said I was getting annoyed with Zoey's love life. She was seeing three guys. In this book, she is basically single for two days before a fourth guy comes into the picture. Seriously can the authors not put so much focus on being in a relationship?  It puts a bad light on single girls... despite the girl power message in all the other aspects of the series. I really think Zoey should be single until she figures out who she is and what she wants from life.
  • I really hate how I started reading this series because it was about vampires, but things just keep getting odder as I'm going through the books. Now there are bird demons (called Raven Mockers). Why can't authors stick with just the vampire theme without throwing in other random types of creatures into book series? Isn't a bird creature why I started hating L.J. Smith's "Vampire Diaries: Return" series? Why, yes, it was. I was really glad L.J. got fired from writing more VD books because of all the whimsical elements she was throwing in. The "House of Night" books are getting as stupidly whimsical.
  • As much as I complain about various details of the series, it is so oddly addictive. I'm enjoying the books as much as I hate them 
  • *Spoiler alert* --- I mentioned above that cats play an important role in this series, and at the end of this book after Neferet releases ancient demon Kalona from the earth, as Zoey and her friends are running out of the trap door in the school's surrounding wall, there is a line of cats waiting there for them. I have to admit that would be a really hilarious scene if this book is made into a movie. A bunch of people stumbling through a wall's trap door only to find all the cats from the House of Night sitting there. I'd laugh at that scene.  It does make sense because cats do seem to sense evil, so they'd want to get away from the place BEFORE Kalona is released, so I'm sure the cats would've all known something evil was about to happen

Buy on Amazon.com: Untamed (House of Night, Book 4)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book #29: Chosen

Title: Chosen (Book #3 of the "House of Night" series)

Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Date started reading: March 3, 2012
Date finished reading: March 4, 2012

Publish date: March 2008
ISBN: 978-0312360306
Number of pages: 320

Official summary: "Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and Zoey Redbird’s adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare situation of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely affects the truth…" (http://www.houseofnightseries.com)

How I obtained the book: Received through the Paperback Swap book club. (I had to pay to mail a book to another member in order to receive a credit to request this book)

Memorable quotes:
  • "That man is such a damn turd monkey." ~ Zoey's grandmother talking about Zoey's stepfather (I want to call someone a turd monkey now)
  • "Lies don't fix things. They don't even make things easier, at least not in the long run. Best to tell the truth and then clean up an honest mess." ~ Zoey's grandmother 
  • "I'm in the middle of some deep poo. The negatives in my life totally outweigh the positives, and you know what's weird? I'm starting to actually get used to it." ~ Zoey

My commentary:
  • *Spoiler alert* ---- I know I said with the last book that I found it interesting that Zoey was torn between three different guys, instead of the typical love triangle, but with this book, it has become clear that Zoey really isn't a good role model for teenagers due to her love life.  I do think authors of books aimed at teenagers have some sort of responsibility to provide positive role models, so having Zoey dating two teenage boys then going off and losing her virginity to an adult who is a teacher at her school just isn't responsible. It's one thing for her to crush on (and even flirt with) a teacher, but to have sex with him? That's just messed up for many reasons Plus, there was no mention of condoms or birth control before she sleeps with him (yes I know, vampires shouldn't necessarily need condoms or birth control, but I really think the responsible thing would've been to somehow mention them). I just don't get why everything in society today has to center on sex. I know "sex sells" and all, but it doesn't sell with me
  • As much as this book series annoys me, it's also entertaining me... so far. I see a lot of negative things about the books, but I'm also weirdly intrigued. This book was as entrancing as it was bothersome

Buy on Amazon.com: Chosen (House of Night, Book 3)