Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book #64: Ghost Town

Title: Ghost Town (Book #9 of The Morganville Vampires series)

Author: Rachel Caine

Date started reading: April 29, 2012
Date finished reading:  May 1, 2012

Publish date: October 2010
ISBN: 978-0451231611
Number of pages: 352

Official summary: "While developing a new system to maintain Morganville's defenses, student Claire Danvers discovers a way to amplify vampire mental powers. Through this, she's able to re-establish the field around this vampire-infested Texas college town that protects it from outsiders. But the new upgrades have an unexpected consequence: people inside the town begin to slowly forget who they are -- even the vampires. Soon, the town's little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment -- before she forgets how to save Morganville ..." (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

How I obtained the book: Checked out of library (currently trying to buy a copy via eBay, but the auction ends after the time I wanted to start reading it, so I got it from the library)

Memorable quotes:
  • "Vampires were nothing if not practical." ~ Claire
  • "You have an awfully large scale of weird." ~ Eve to Claire
  • "Killer computers. Like we didn't have enough trouble in Morganville already." ~ Eve
  • "I love arguing with you, Claire. You always surprise me. And occasionally, you even make sense." ~ Myrnin
  • "You're not a ninja, Shane." ~ Claire
    "I've watched all the movies. I just haven't gotten the certificate from the correspondence course yet." ~ Shane
  • "I am the queen of careful. Also, princess of punk fabulousness." ~ Eve
  • "You look like a Goth factory exploded all over you!" ~ Shane to Eve
  • "Nobody's cut out for this town. Nobody sane, anyway."  ~ Shane
  • "Who didn't like hamburgers? Vegetarians, Claire supposed. But she didn't think there were any vegetarian vampires. That would be like an atheist priest." (Is that a shot at the "Twilight" series? Haha...)
  • "If you love me, you'll give me a taco." ~ Claire
    "Seriously? That all you got? What about you'll do sexy, illegal things to me for a taco?" ~ Shane
    "Not for a taco. I'm not cheap." ~ Claire
    "They're brisket tacos." ~ Shane
    "Now you're talking." ~ Claire
  • "It's Morganville. Not like anybody here is ever far from the borders of Psychoville. I mean, I want to go nuts about twelve times a day." ~ Eve
  • "When you were going into a war zone, you didn't go unarmed." ~ Claire
  • "You can be Glammera the vampire hunter. I'll stick with being manly and heavily armed." ~ Shane to Eve
  • "Even in an apocalypse like this, surely running out of Coke qualified as a disaster." ~ Claire
  • "You look like a strong wind will snap you off at the knees, but you're a tough little thing, aren't you?" ~ Shane to Claire
  • "Morganville's always running on Standard Insane Time." ~ Eve
  • "Don't expect me to go all Romeo on you or anything." ~ Shane to Claire
  • "I think your friend has a hero complex." ~ Myrnin to Claire about Shane
  • "Promise me, Amelie, that you'll crucify me with silver before you allow me to fall in love." ~ Oliver

My commentary:
  • I solved the mystery of the pink hair on the book before this one. Claire is going through her closet in this book and mentions the pink wig she bought in Dallas, so yeah it was her with the wig on for the cover of the last book. I just don't get why the last book didn't say the wig was pink.
  • Eve and Claire start calling Shane "Mr. McStabby" in this book because of his stabbing of meat at the barbecue restaurant he works at. I love it!
  • I'm very glad that Rachel Caine has decided to stay away from the typical love triangles from most paranormal books. I love that Claire and Shane's relationship is untainted by a third party. Caine has said in interviews that she wanted to stay away from love triangles, but that hasn't stopped some fans from thinking Myrnin and Claire are meant to be. I so don't get that concept. Myrnin wants to take Claire's brain and put it in a computer. How is that love? 

Buy on Amazon.com: Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires, Book 9)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book #63: Kiss of Death

Title: Kiss of Death (Book #8 of The Morganville Vampires series)

Author: Rachel Caine

Date started reading: April 26, 2012
Date finished reading: April 28, 2012

Publish date: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0451229731
Number of pages: 256

Official summary: Vampire musician Michael Glass has attracted the attention of a big-time producer who wants to cut a demo and play some gigs -- which means Michael will have to enter the human world. For this, he's been assigned escorts that include both a dangerous immortal as well as Michael's all-too-human friends. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a road trip from hell... (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

How I obtained the book: Checked out of library
Update: I ended up buying a new copy of the book via eBay for $1.47. Must have a copy as a trophy on my bookshelf, after all...

Memorable quotes:
  • "The Goth look usually didn't go well with hysterical giggles, unless they were evil giggles, but somehow Eve managed to pull it off." ~ Claire
  • "You taste like tacos." ~ Shane
    "You taste like barbecue." ~ Claire
    "And that's a win-win! How about some brisket tacos?" ~ Shane
    "That is so wrong, you know. Brisket does not go in tacos." ~ Claire
    "Twisted, yet delicious." ~ Shane
  • "Jason is not some stray mutt you can take in and feed, okay? He's psycho." ~ Shane
  • "Jason's done his time in jail. Sitting at the same table isn't like swearing eternal brotherhood. ... Unless he uses a taco as a deadly weapon, he hasn't got much of a shot." ~ Claire to Shane
  •  "You do crazy crap, you know. And it's contagious." ~ Shane to Claire
  • "The universe explodes, hell freezes, and Shane does something reasonable." ~ Michael
  • "In Morganville, when you're not one of the sheep, and you're not one of the wolves, you'd better be one mean-ass junkyard dog." ~ Jason
  • "Morley speaks fluent threat." ~ Shane
  • "Brute force. It's what I do." ~ Shane
  • "You've got this chick flick hit-by-the-romance-hammer look. Stop it." ~ Shane to Claire
  • "You couldn't be romantic if your life depended on it." ~ Claire to Shane
  • "One of these days, you're going to be too clever for your own good, Claire. You do realize that." ~ Oliver
  • "Giving up is always easy. It's the peace that follows that sucks." ~ Shane
  • "(Claire had) manipulated the second most powerful vampire in town into taking her side against a psycho bitch-queen sorority girl. She'd talked rationally about putting people's brains into computers. This was a normal day. No wonder she was screwed up." 
  •  "I know it's a disguise, but you even suck at being a hippie." ~ Eve to Oliver
  • "Even for a vampire, you're a ray of sunshine." ~ Shane (sarcastically) to Oliver
  • "Wow. Who got up on the wrong side of the coffin this evening?" ~ Eve about Oliver
  • "Damn. That was stupid, wasn't it? We nearly got killed over ice cream." ~ Eve
    "Another thing I don't want on my tombstone." ~ Shane
  • "I knew no self-respecting small Texas town would shut down ice cream service at night." ~ Eve
  • "Eve, horror movies are not documentaries." ~ Michael
  • "Why does everybody think we're so insane? Honestly, we're nice. Not everybody our age rolls with anarchy." ~ Eve
    "You would, if anarchy offered free ice cream." ~ Michael
  • "Scared people do stupid things. Drunk, scared bullies do even stupider things." ~ Michael
  • "If an old woman can't make her own grandson get out of bed before dawn to do her a favor, there's no point in living." ~ Linda
  • "You don't get fired in Duram; you get embarrassed." ~ Linda 
  • "You're just Little Miss Optimist, aren't you? Do you come with accessories, like a glass half full and lemons to make into lemonade, too?" ~ Eve to Claire
  • "My dad used to say that life's a journey, but somebody screwed up and lost the map." ~ Shane
  • "I've never been in love, and more and more, I'm glad I haven't. It seems to make you foolish, as well as very tiresome." ~ Oliver
  • "My army consists of one unreliable criminal, one girl with a disability, and one incredibly foolish young vampire with a tanning issue. I am not confident." ~ Oliver
  • "Thanks to a thorough education in Morganville -- Survival 101 -- she always assumed there were bad guys around every corner." ~ Claire
  • "Use your superpowers or something!" ~ Shane
    "I'm a vampire, idiot. I don't have X-ray vision." ~ Michael
  • "You staked a vampire with a number two pencil." ~ Shane
    "I didn't actually check the number." ~ Claire
    "Have I told you lately how freaking awesome you are?" ~ Shane
  • "We're in the middle of a three-sided vampire war. Which would be an awesome video game, but I'm not really interested in playing for real. I like my reset buttons." ~ Shane
  • "Claire, if I didn't love you, you'd share me." ~ Michael
  • "Of course I'm a killer, girl. Don't be stupid. It's my nature. We're predators, no matter what Amelie likes to pretend in her little artificial hothouse of Morganville. We kill to survive." ~ Morley 

My commentary:
  •  This book has my favorite of the book covers, at least so far. But I can't figure out who the chick is supposed to be. I can't figure out who supposedly has pink hair. Pink is mentioned a couple times in the book, so maybe it's just reminiscing on that instead of being a direct representation of a character. The official website for the book series says it's supposed to be Claire, but I don't get it. She doesn't have pink hair. She tries a wig on at a store in this book, but it didn't say that the wig was pink. The wig was just "streaked." I don't get why this bothers me so much. I gotta let it go...
  • This is the last of the smaller books in the series. The first 8 books are all fairly small. The books after this one, starting with the ninth book, begin getting bigger. I'm excited for the larger books.
  • I absolutely love how tacos and barbecue keep coming up throughout the series. It's definitely fitting for Texas (or Oklahoma, where I'm from), and it provides for a few humorous scenes in the books. There's also a funny bunch of interactions in this book when Eve decides she wants ice cream.
  • As with the seventh book, this one didn't really have a cliffhanger... unless you count Amelie calling to threaten them about coming back to Morganville. I don't count that. I mean, it was always obvious that they were going to go back no matter what. I don't think she needed to call and demand they go back.

Buy on Amazon.com: Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires, Book 8)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Top 10 favorite book characters

(I hadn't planned on doing any of these weekly memes on this blog, but this one was too perfect of a topic for me not to do it. The characters are pretty much in the exact order of how much I love them, but there are three characters from "Blue Bloods" that are tied, so I'm taking creative license and technically doing 12 characters overall)
 

It’s Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is:

 Top 10 All-Time Favorite Characters in Books

1) Dimitri Belkov in the "Vampire Academy" series by Richelle Mead



2) Damon Salvatore in "The Vampire Diaries" series by L.J. Smith



3) Aria Montgomery in the "Pretty Little Liars" series by Sara Shepard



4) Aphrodite in the "House of Night" series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast



5) Rashel Jordan in the "Night World" series by L.J. Smith



Tied for 6) Mimi Force in the "Blue Bloods" series by Melissa de la Cruz



Tied for 6) Bliss Llewellyn in the "Blue Bloods" series by Melissa de la Cruz



Tied for 6) Schuyler Van Alen in the "Blue Bloods" series by Melissa de la Cruz



7) Rosemarie Hathaway in the "Vampire Academy" series by Richelle Mead



8) Emily Fields in the "Pretty Little Liars" series by Sara Shepard


9) Shane Collins in "The Morganville Vampires" series by Rachel Caine


10) Myrnin in "The Morganville Vampires" series by Rachel Caine

Book #62: Fade Out

Title: Fade Out (Book #7 of The Morganville Vampires series)

Author: Rachel Caine

Date started reading: April 24, 2012
Date finished reading:  April 26, 2012

Publish date: November 2009
ISBN: 978-0451228666
Number of pages: 256

Official summary: "Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again ... Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve’s castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger -- and way more dangerous—than anyone suspected." (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

How I obtained the book: Checked out of library.
Update: I ended up buying a new copy of the book for $3.29 via eBay. That's cheaper than the copy I had my eye on at the local used book store. That was a used copy for $3.40, so I'm happy to have found a new copy for cheaper than that. Yay for me!

Memorable quotes:
  • "Eternal youth doesn't mean you don't get tired of the constant struggles." ~ Myrnin
  • "You ever feel like your life is kind of out of control?" ~ Michael
    "I just went to work for a vampire, was scared by a spider, and got knocked down by a tanning bomb. And that's just my day, not my week." ~ Claire
  • "You're confusing vampires with Spider-Man." ~ Michael 
  • "You bite me, and it is on, bitch. ... I don't mean you're a bitch; it's just an expression. You know?" ~ Eve to Amelie
  • "There's romantic, then there's dramatic, and then there's moronic. Guess which this would be." ~ Eve to Amelie
  • "Homie don't play that." ~ Shane
    "I wonder, sometimes, if your generation speaks English at all" ~ Amelie
  • "I'd say you suck, but why state the obvious?" ~ Shane to Michael
  • "There is a boundary between bold and foolhardy, and I think that if you look, you'll find it's just behind you." ~ Morley to Amelie
  • "I'd like the blue-plate special of you thrown out of Morganville, with a side order of dead, but I'll settle for a mocha for my friend." ~ Eve to Oliver
  • "I've met Kim. She's like a black hole; she just pulls people right out of their orbits. Eve's still your friend. She's just crushing on Kim because Kim never wanted to hang with her before. ... Kim's a force of nature, but like a storm, she moves on." ~ Michael to Claire
  • "Barbecue really was kind of a magic cure for the mopeys." ~ Claire
  • "It's a good thing I've got to live with the two of you, or I'd be putting this on YouTube later. And mocking you." ~ Michael to Claire and Shane as they squabble then kiss and make up
  • "A supersmart apprentice to a bipolar vampire, not to mention just about the only person in town Amelie listens to these days? Yeah. You're dead boring." ~ Shane to Claire
  • "You know, daring women used to smoke." ~ Myrnin
    "Cancer isn't sexy." ~ Claire
    "You all die of something. And we all pay for our pleasures, one way or another." ~ Myrnin
  • "An all-night drive-through! I could murder a cheeseburger. Don't you just love this century?" ~ Myrnin
  • "Any fool can kill. It takes genius to create." ~ Myrnin
  • "I write my own history. I see no reason to entrust it to a human with a video camera. Paper and ink, girl. Paper and ink will always survive, when electronic storage becomes random impulses lost to the ages." ~ Myrnin to Claire
  • "Economics is really game theory, only with money." ~ Claire to Monica
  • "The rules of Morganville existed for a reason. They were meant to protect the strong few from the fragile many. Even a giant may be destroyed by the stings of insects, if there are enough of them." ~ Amelie
  • "(Claire) finally got up around ten o'clock, feeling happy and humming with energy. It might have been the sleep, but Claire knew it wasn't. She was running on pure Shane sunlight."
  • "Claire considered running (away from Monica), but not if Kim was planning on gleefully filming the whole thing. She could live with the same. She just didn't think she could live with the reruns on YouTube. ... (Monica) strode up to Claire and came to a halt a couple of feet away, surrounded by her fashion army. It was like being menaced by a gang of Barbie and Ken dolls." 
  •  "So tell me about you and Monica. Secret love affair? Mortal enemies? Are you each other's evil twins? Come on, you can tell me; I won't tell anybody!" ~ Kim
    "Except everybody on Facebook?" ~ Claire
    "Well, obviously, yeah..." ~ Kim
    "I have two words for you, and the second on is off. Fill in the blank." ~ Claire
  • "Claire decided she liked her normal arrangement of eyes, ears, and nose -- she liked Picasso okay, but she didn't want to become one of his paintings."
  • "I have to feed spiders and put up with a bitchy, homicidal computer. My job really does suck." ~ Claire
  • "No exploring on your own, Dora." ~ Michael to Claire
  • "All science requires sacrifice. ... Sentimentality has no place in science." ~ Myrnin
  • "If you get me killed, I'm haunting you." ~ Michael
    "Wouldn't be the first time." ~ Claire
  • "I'm a predator. Weakness is seductive." ~ Myrnin
  • "Some people come to Morganville and collapse. I've seen it a dozen times. But there are a few who come here and just -- bloom. You're one of those." ~ Michael
    "So you're saying I thrive on chaos." ~ Claire
    "No. I'm saying you thrive on challenge." ~ Michael
  • "Morganville was a dangerous place. Every good-bye could be the last." ~ Claire
  • "If you make me a vampire, I'll make you eat those fangs." ~ Eve to Morley
  • "Vampires are not caretakers of humanity." ~ Patience
  • "As far as Moganville is concerned, I am its goddess." ~ Ada
    "Word of advice, it's time for a change of religion." ~ Eve
  • "Myrnin was like a thrill ride, one of those dark carnival tracks where scary things swooped in close but never quite touched." ~ Claire

My commentary:
  • There is a new character mentioned toward the beginning of the book named Klaus. My initial reaction is: Geez just what I need ... another "Klaus" to keep track of. I'm already having problems sometimes keeping "The Vampire Diaries" character Klaus straight in my head because there are three versions of the same character: 1) in the original "Vampire Diaries" book series, 2) in the TV show, and 3) in the "Stefan's Diaries" books which are supposed to be based on the TV show but have been written faster than the show so the background on Klaus and the other original vampires differ. I'm going to have to keep my focus on not getting Morganville's Klaus mixed up in my head with VD's Klaus.
  • My favorite character in the series, at least so far, is Shane. It is so weird for me. The series is full of vampires (a town full, to be exact), and somehow a human becomes my favorite character. I normally pick out the male vampire character who is torn between the "evil" vampire nature and remaining human to be my favorite. That's the type I normally just gravitate to -- like Angel and Spike (later on in the series for him) on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Damon and Stefan on "Vampire Diaries," Dimitri in the "Vampire Academy" book series (I somehow liked him even as a Strigoi), and Stark in the "House of Night" book series -- but here I am loving human Shane. I think it's his snarky attitude that appeals to me most. He's sexy and snarky ... and he doesn't have that cold-as-ice vampire skin. Love him...
  • Even though he's not my favorite character, I really love Myrnin. A mad scientist vampire. That's a fun spin on a vampire. Of course, if I was a super intelligent scientist and got turned into a vampire, I'd probably be a little "mad" myself after all those years of immortality. After so many years, I think everyone would go crazy. Along with the character Myrnin comes the mention of some crazy vampire bunny slippers. I almost want a pair myself. Click here to check them out on Amazon.




    Buy on Amazon.com: Fade Out (Morganville Vampires, Book 7)

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    Book #61: Carpe Corpus

    Title: Carpe Corpus (Book #6 of The Morganville Vampires series)

    Author: Rachel Caine

    Date started reading: April 23, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 24, 2012

    Publish date: June 2009
    ISBN: 978-0451227195
    Number of pages: 256

    Official summary: "In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace-until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He's kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants-the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?" (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

    How I obtained the book: Bought for $2.96 at used book store

    Memorable quotes:
    • Tagline on the cover: "They never covered this in biology."
    •  "What was the use of being a main evil minion if you couldn't even enjoy it -- or save your own friends?" ~ Claire
    • "Being in love with any boy in this town in dangerous. Being in love with that boy is suicidal." ~ Claire's dad about Shane
    • "For people who lived here, the real residents, Morganville was a prison camp, and they were all inmates." ~ Claire
    • "Morganville didn't look all that different now from when Claire had first come to town, and she found that really, really odd. After all, when the evil overlords took over, you'd think it would have made some kind of visible difference, at least." 
    • "It felt weird, being the person other people were scared to see coming." ~ Claire
    • "It was one thing to be forced to be the devil's foot soldier. It was another thing to choose to do it." ~ Claire
    • "I hate kissing you through prison bars. I'm all for restraint, but self-restraint is so much more fun." ~ Shane to Claire
    • "Secrets are best kept cold." ~ Myrnin
    • "There is no drama so great as that of a teenage girl." ~ Myrnin
    • "Life is pain, child." ~ Myrnin to Claire 
    • "Claire had seen a lot of weird stuff since moving to Morganville, but a living, steam-operated Frankenstein of a computer, built out of wood and scraps? That was just too much." 
    • "Morganville: Come for the education, stay for the terrifying drama." ~ Claire 
    • "What you know about vampires could fit into a mosquito's ass. All you know is what you grew up seeing on TV." ~ Eve to Dean 
    • "That, Claire thought, was a pretty good definition of love: needing someone even after you got what you thought you wanted."
    • "Even in Morganville, making people stick to rules -- whatever the rules were -- was like herding cats." ~ Claire
    • "Myrnin's computer was such a bitch." ~ Claire 
    • "Drinking blood doesn't make me a lie detector." ~ Michael

    My commentary:
    • I'm very glad that the mystery of who kept killing teenage girls was solved at the end of this book. I wasn't too surprised really by who it turned out to be, but that's ok. That storyline needed to be wrapped up.
    • This book was the first to end without a real cliffhanger. There were a few things left up in the air, but no new storylines were blown open by the ending, as the past books had done. 
    • Ada (Mynin's computer) is such an odd character. It's almost too strange to be believable for me, but I liked the idea enough to accept that the spirit of a vampire could've been put into a computer and could be used to run the entire town through magical means. It provides some creepy factors to the series because I've always wondered what would happen if computers decided to turn on humans and try to take over the world, and Ada definitely could do that.

    Buy on Amazon.com: Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires, Book 6)

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Book #60: Lord of Misrule

    Title: Lord of Misrule (Book #5 of The Morganville Vampires series)

    Author: Rachel Caine

    Date started reading: April 22, 2012
    Date finished reading:   April 23, 2012

    Publish date: January 2009
    ISBN: 978-0451225726
    Number of pages: 256

    Official summary: "In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat. Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural." (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

    How I obtained the book: Bought for $1.70 at used book store

    Memorable quotes:
    • "You don't want to make yourself too available for snack attacks. Remember, we're vending machines with legs." ~ Hannah to Claire
    • "You should meet my boyfriend. You two are both masters of understatement." ~ Claire to Hannah
    • "I've learned through my life ... sometime, somewhere, life always comes to a fight, and peace always comes to an end." ~ Amelie
    • "(Claire) went to rescue a crazy vampire from an evil one." 
    • "Vampires fought in silence."
    • "You look like you escape from a Victorian brothel. One that ... specialized." ~ Oliver to Myrnin about his clothing
    • "Terror Aerobics. Just wait until they get it at the gym. It'll be bigger than Pilates." ~ Eve
    • "Living in Morganville really is combat training." ~ Eve
    • "That's Gramma. God forbid we should mess up her house while the war's going on." ~ Hannah about Gramma Day
    • "(Oliver's) named you heir apparent to the Apocolypse. Congratulations." ~ Dean Wallace
      "Yeah, it's one hell of a field promotion." ~ Richard
    • "It was the storybook kind of love, the kind that ignored things like practicality and danger, and never changed or died." ~ Claire about the love between Sam and Amelie
    • "Be grateful I'm not leaving you as an after-dinner mint on (Myrnin's) pillow" ~ Shane to Monica
    • "Even riots don't like rain." ~ Richard
    • "Myrnin? Oh yeah. He did a Batman and took off into the night. What is with that guy, Claire? If he was a superhero, he'd be Bipolar Man." ~ Eve
    • "I think Bishop's willing to let humans do his dirty work for him, and then sweep in to make himself lord and master on the ashes." ~ Richard 
    • "You're a vamp. In case you haven't checked the mirror lately." ~ Shane to Michael 
    • "Life is a work in progress. My mom used to say that. I'm kind of a fixer-upper." ~ Shane 
    • "Silence, or be silenced. When I want to know your opinion, I'll consult your entrails." ~ Bishop to Eve

    My commentary:
    • "Lord of Misrule" is definitely an appropriate way to describe Bishop. It's perfect actually. 
    • There was an episode of the TV show "Friends" in which the character of Joey was reading a book and got so scared that he put the book in his freezer. It is completely ridiculous and illogical, but reading this series, I suddenly understand the feeling. I love the books... totally love them... but some part of me is terrified of what's happening and what's ahead. It's freaky. I want to put the books in my freezer so I can be safe from them

    Buy on Amazon.com: Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires, Book 5)

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Book #59: Feast of Fools

    Title: Feast of Fools (Book #4 of The Morganville Vampire series, second book in the second omnibus edition)

    Author: Rachel Caine

    Date started reading: April 20, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 21, 2012

    Publish date: Originally June 2008 (omnibus edition published in September 2010)
    ISBN: 978-0451232892
    Number of pages: 217 in this book, 464 total in the full omnibus edition

    Official summary: "Claire Danvers' college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it's giving night school a whole new meaning." (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

    How I obtained the book: Bought for $4.24 at used book store (it was a publisher's remainder, so it wasn't really a used book)

    Memorable quotes:
    •  "Just when she thinks things can't get any worse... they have. Amelie's vampire father has come to town, and he's not happy. When Daddy's not happy... nobody's happy." ~ Claire
    • "It was hard to imagine how Claire's day -- even by Morganville standards -- could get any worse ... and then the vampires holding her hostage wanted breakfast."
    • "Look, if they were going to kill us, I don't think they'd ask for eggs first. Not to mention biscuits. If you ask for biscuits, clearly, you think you're some kind of a guest." ~ Shane
    • "I like my ladies with a pulse." ~ Shane
    • "I think if the house had teeth, it'd be chomping down right now." ~ Eve
    • "Morganville looked just like any other dusty, sleepy town in the daylight. ... The casual visitor never knew, at least during the daytime, that this place was so vastly screwed up." ~ Claire
    • "This is Morganville -- we invented the concept of the secret around here." ~ Dr. Mills
    • "That boy can make a paper cut seem like a mortal wound." ~ Eve about Shane
    • "That was basically what friends were for ... to be there to keep you from doing the crazy." ~ Claire
    • "I may be a bitch, but I'm not your property." ~ Claire to Myrnin
    • "My dark side dresses better than I do." ~ Myrnin
    • "Amelie and I are modern predators, tigers in the jungle. Bishop is from a far colder, harder time. A Tyrannosaurus rex, if you will." ~ Myrnin
    • "I'm not letting any vamp eat me, not even by remote control." ~ Shane
    • "When you were more theatrical than Eve, you definitely had issues." ~ Claire
    • "You have to learn to schedule your epiphanies." ~ Claire to Myrnin
    • "(Claire) was on nodding terms with scary bodyguard dudes. Great. She really was moving up in the social ladder of Morganville."
    • "I'm going to kill him. Stake him right in the heart shove garlic up his ass, and -- and --" ~ Eve
      "And what?" ~ Michael
      "When did you get home?" ~ Claire
      "Apparently just in time to hear my funeral plans. I especially like the garlic up the ass. It's ... different." ~ Michael
    • "There was one comforting thing about the theory of complete apocalypse: at least it meant she wouldn't have to fail any classes." ~ Claire
    • "I'm a science nerd, not a cheerleader." ~ Claire 
    • "The Glass House was on what Claire had come to think of as the Impossible Travel Network." 
    • "Breathe. I'm not much for it myself, but I hear it's quite good for humans." ~ Myrnin to Claire

    My commentary:
    • This book starts out with a situation that is so hilarious, but scary at the same time -- Claire, her roommates, and her (very clueless) parents being trapped in the house with Bishop who may be the most evil and oldest vampire in the world and some of his followers. The mere idea of how absurd that situation would be is awesome.
    • I said with the previous book that I was extremely impressed with the author's ability to write cliffhangers, but that was only the tip of the iceberg because this book's cliffhanger blew the last out of the water. So many emotions. This is basically my train of thought immediately after reading the last sentence of the book: "NOOOOOOO ... You bitch!!!! God, she didn’t do that ... Oh God, she did do it ... I hate you, Amelie ... You can’t do that to Shane. I love Shane ... I want to hunt you down, Rachel Caine, and punch you in the face for writing that ... I hate you, Rachel ... *uncontrollable laughter* ... Rachel, you deserve a reward for that ending ... I love these books!"

    Buy on Amazon.com: The Morganville Vampires, Vol. 2 (Midnight Alley / Feast of Fools)

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Book #58: Midnight Alley

    Title: Midnight Alley (Book #3 of The Morganville Vampire series, first book in the second omnibus edition)

    Author: Rachel Caine

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

    Publish date: Originally October 2007 (omnibus edition published in September 2010)
    ISBN: 978-0451232892
    Number of pages: 230 in this book, 464 total in the full omnibus edition

    Official summary: "Claire Danvers' college town may be run by vampires but a truce between the living and the dead made things relatively safe. For a while. Now people are turning up dead, a psycho is stalking her, and an ancient bloodsucker has proposed private mentoring. To what end, Claire will find out. And it's giving night school a whole new meaning." (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

    How I obtained the book: Bought for $4.24 at used book store (it was a publisher's remainder, so it wasn't really a used book). I actually spent about 20 minutes in an internal debate about buying the omnibus versus the two books separately. I could've saved about 40 cents buying them separately, but both of them were used, while the omnibus was new. Sometimes I think I'm too cheap. Arguing with myself over 40 cents is plain stupid, but oh well...

    Memorable quotes:
    • "If the only other person left on the planet was Jack the Ripper, Claire would have trusted him first." ~ Claire about Monica
    • "Making bargains was a way of life in Morganville, and it was a lot like making deals with man-eating fairies. Better be careful what you ask for." ~ Claire
    • "Home is where the heart is. Why don't you leave yours here? I'll take very good care of it." ~ Myrnin to Claire
    • "You know what we call pedestrians in Morganville? Mobile blood banks." ~ Michael
    • "Next time you sell your soul to the devil, I get first contact! Girl solidarity." ~ Eve to Claire
    • "You could put a stake through my heart, and I would simply pull it out and be very annoyed with you for ruining my wardrobe." ~ Amelie
    • "Little girls who take candy from strangers in Morganville get hurt. Or worse." ~ Eve to Claire
    • "One thing she'd figured out about the vampires in Morganville, they were never exactly what they seemed to be, even the bad ones." ~ Claire
    • "If you're going to have a freak vamp friend, you might as well get your money's worth out of it." ~ Michael to Claire
    • "Morganville liked its drugs, but she guessed that made sense. There was a hell of a lot to escape from around here." ~ Claire
    • "You shouldn't be afraid of me because I'm a vampire. You ought to be scared because you just trash-talked my girlfriend to her face." ~ Michael to nurse
    • "Sometimes it hardly seemed that vampires were the bad guys, given the things people did to each other without the excuse of needing a pint of O neg to get through the day." ~ Claire

    My commentary: I am still extremely impressed with Rachel Caine's writing style and the Morganville world. This book ended in a multi-cliffhanger that left me with my mouth dropped clear open several times. It takes a really talented author to pull off cliffhangers that not only close some stories, but open up the doors to so many future possibilities

    Buy on Amazon.com: The Morganville Vampires, Vol. 2 (Midnight Alley / Feast of Fools)

    Book #57: The Dead Girls' Dance

    Title: The Dead Girls' Dance (Book #2 of The Morganville Vampires series, second book in the first volume omnibus)

    Author: Rachel Caine

    Date started reading: April 17, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 18, 2012

    Publish date: Originally April 2007 (omnibus published November 2009)
    ISBN: 978-0451230546
    Number of pages: 258 in this book, 480 in full omnibus edition

    Official summary: "Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose." (http://www.morganvilletexas.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:
    • "Bones in every family closet on Morganville. Yours rattle pretty loud, Eve. So don't judge me." ~ Shane
    • "Your father's an asshole. It's not a disease. You don't have to catch it." ~ Michael to Shane
    • "Boys are idiots. You'd think Shane could just say, 'Oh man, I'm glad you're alive,' but no. It's either guilt or amateur night at the Drama Queen Theater. Boys. I'd turn gay if they weren't so sexy." ~ Eve to Claire
    •  "Friends get you killed in Morganville." ~ Shane
      "No. Shane, honey, in Morganville, friends are the only things that keep you alive." ~ Eve
    • "Texas Prairie University wasn't exactly Harvard on the Plains. ... TPU was like a wildlife park, and the students were the wildlife. And sometimes, the herd got culled." ~ Claire
    • "Having too much imagination was sometimes a handicap." ~ Claire
    • "I've got a PhD in taking shit from jocks." ~ Eve 
    • "Karma's a bitch, and so am I." ~ Eve
    • "This house is twenty-five hundred square feet of tomb. I'm not alive. I'm buried alive." ~ Michael
    • "Regret is like cancer to us. It rots our will to live." ~ Amelie

    My commentary: This one was as great as the first book. It has the perfect mix of horror, teen issues, love, etc. I'm so glad I decided to read this series

    Buy on Amazon.com: The Morganville Vampires, Vol. 1 (Glass Houses / The Dead Girls' Dance)

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    Book #56: Glass Houses

    Title: Glasses Houses (Book #1 of The Morganville Vampires series, first book in the first volume omnibus)

    Author: Rachel Caine

    Date started reading: April 15, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 17, 2012

    Publish date: Originally October 2006 (omnibus published November 2009)
    ISBN: 978-0451230546
    Number of pages: 222 in this book, 480 in full omnibus edition

    Official summary: "Morganville is a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows, one that will spill out into the bright light of day. College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life. But they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood." (http://www.morganvilletexas.com)

    Official series "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:
    • "Nothing like a little virtual violence to make you feel better." ~ Shane to Claire
    • "Shane sat like a statue, if a statue wore headphones and radiated angry coiled tension that made hair stand up on a person's arms. She felt like she was sitting next to an unexploded bomb, and given all the physics she'd had, she understood exactly what that meant. Talk about potential energy..." ~ Claire
    • "Making deals with the vampires in this town will keep you alive on the outside, but it eats you on the inside." ~ Michael
    • "Most of the vamps don't mingle with the little people. Kind of like the Hiltons don't shop at Wal-Mart." ~ Eve
    • "You’re kidding. I thought all geniuses read Latin. Isn’t that the international language for smart people?" ~ Shane to Claire
    • "Run first. Mourn later." ~ Shane
      "It was the perfect motto for Morganville." ~ Claire

    My commentary: I normally try to keep my expectations low when I start a new book, especially one that is the first in a series. But this time, I must admit, I did get my expectations way up. I had read so many positive comments about this series that my expectations went through the roof. I also expected to have my high expectations dashed leaving me disappointed. But I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a perfect intro into the series. I loved everything about this book

    Buy on Amazon.com: The Morganville Vampires, Vol. 1 (Glass Houses / The Dead Girls' Dance)

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Book #55: Assholes Finish First

    Title: Assholes Finish First

    Author: Tucker Max

    Date started reading: April 11, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 14, 2012

    Publish date: September 2010
    ISBN: 978-1416938743
    Number of pages: 416

    Official summary: "What do you do when you've become rich and famous for writing a #1 best-selling book about your drunken, sexual misadventures? I'll tell you what I do: I write another fucking book. This is that book. Assholes Finish First is hilarious in ways you will recognize from I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, and in other, newer ways you won't. Of course it has all the sex and debauchery you expect from my writing, but with a twist. You already know how I deal with women when I am poor and anonymous. You have no idea how I do it when I have money and fame. It also answers the hard questions you've never thought of asking. What's it like to have sex with a midget? How about two of 'em? What happens when you eat too much beef jerky and then drink a gallon of vegetable juice? Or get head in an X-ray machine? The answers are inside, they are absurd, and they are the product of one man's experiences: My name is still Tucker Max, and I am still an asshole." (http://www.tuckermax.com)

    How I obtained the book: Got for free through Lista.com (It's sort of like eBay without the money changing hands. You "buy" and "sell" things using credit points). I'm actually very proud of myself for this one. I almost spent the full $25.99 list price for the book several times, but held back. Finally I found it through Lista. The website gives you free credits when you sign up, which I used to "purchase" this book. The seller originally wanted $4 to pay for shipping, but I talked her out of it, so it totally was free to me.

    My commentary:
    • Some people seem amazed that after everything I've read (or heard) about Tucker that I'd still be entertained by him so much. Frankly I find him extremely intriguing... mainly because he has this power to fuck everything up that he touches but yet he comes out ahead in the end and then has become semi-famous and rich off his asshole behavior. Frankly I respect the fact he has been able to turn behaviors most people hate him for into major profit. 
    • There are so many quotes posted on his website from this book that you can almost read the entire book in the "quotes" section of the site (well ok, not really, but it's enough that I'm sure most people wouldn't bother to read the book after reading all the quotes he posted).
    • It takes me much longer to read Tucker's books than I expect. That's because I'll read a story or two and have to stop reading because I'm laughing so hard that I'm hurting. I think in the future, if I read any more books by him, I'll have to plan to only read it a little bit at a time in between other books instead of trying to read his book straight through. His humor is just too hilarious for me to read straight through 
    • My favorite stories are: 1) a story about a Halloween party at which SlingBlade has duct-taped a fake parrot to his shoulder as a costume and uses the parrot to insult everyone at the party, 2) when Tucker decides to buy a police-grade bullhorn to insult everyone everywhere, 3) when Tucker and a bunch of other guys rent an RV to drive to an event called TuckerFest that can best be summed up in Tucker's own words: "Beginning at 10am, I poured a constant stream of alcohol down my throat, got behind the wheel of an RV, drag-raced an ambulance, destroyed an apartment building, crashed into dozens of vehicles, hurled bottles and cans at random cars, got in a multi-vehicle chase, terrorized the most dangerous part of New York City for hours, started a riot, got arrested, sobered up enough to beat every charge within five hours, went back out, got drunk again, and finished the night by fucking a Playboy girl at 3am."
    • Sometimes Tucker's stories are so insane that I'm almost tempted to think they're fake, but then he goes and includes photos to prove that they're true... like a his real criminal mugshot (which is by far not near as attractive as the mock-mugshot they took for the cover), photos of the midgets he slept with, photos of a girl getting a "I fucked Tucker Max" tattoo, a photo of an amputee that he slept with, and so forth. It reminds me of when I tell my mom about the crazy stories from my own life. She always responds by laughing and saying, "You can't make that crap up."

    Memorable quotes:
    • "I will not apologize for being awesome." ~ Tucker
    • "I will never understand why people get so upset at things I don’t even remember saying." ~ Tucker 
    • "Drinking is a problem only if you're not good at it." ~ Tucker
    • "If God knew where my mouth had been, he'd retire." ~ Tucker
    • "If I understood why I do the things I do when I'm drunk, I'd be ... rich ... or less drunk ... or something." ~ Tucker
    • "Every time I think I’ve hit bottom, every time I think I can sink no lower, every time I think I have slammed face first into the bedrock of depravity, I find a new low. It’s like my life is a limbo contest with the devil holding the stick -- how low can Tucker go?" ~ Tucker
    • "You know that look a cop gives you when he’s so confused that he doesn’t even know how to respond? If you don’t know that look, it means you haven’t had enough fun in your life." ~ Tucker
    • "I don’t want to play you. I just want to have sex with you, and then not talk to you anymore after that. That’s not playing you; that’s being honest." ~ Tucker after a girl calls him a player
    • "Ladies, you may not realize this, understand this, or even believe this, but everything else we do is ultimately for you. Men don’t do anything -- create art, build businesses, donate to charity, invent things, or do anything noteworthy -- for any reason other than to impress women, and thus get them to have sex with us. If women didn’t exist, we’d still just be naked grunting apes living in caves. In a very real way, pussy is the key to human civilization. You don’t have to like it, but it’s a fact; if you understand it, you understand men." ~ Tucker
    • "She was not attractive. On a scale of 1 to 10, she should have hung herself. The pear-shape of her body was so pronounced she looked like a nesting doll made of owl pellets." ~ Tucker
    • "Why would you drink a beer without alcohol? That’s like dating a woman without a vagina." ~ Tucker
    • "Karma may be a bitch, but its because I fucked her and never called her back." ~ Tucker
    • "Even though I’d slept with one, part of me still believed that midgets were mythical creatures, like unicorns and educated guidos." ~ Tucker
    • "You show me a truly funny girl who doesn’t have emotional issues, and I’ll introduce you to my stable of unicorn thoroughbreds ridden by leprechaun jockeys." ~ Tucker
    • "Pretending to be something you aren’t because you’re trying to please a bunch of judgmental hypocrites and shitheads is not the way to be happy; living the life you want to live is. It’s that simple." ~ Tucker
    • "Of all the types of women, I like sluts the best. Mainly because they are the most receptive to me putting my penis in their vaginas." ~ Tucker
    • "Why don’t you go back to your regularly scheduled program of shame fucking retards and crying yourself to sleep, and leave me alone." ~ SlingBlade to Tucker
    • "I love women, I love alcohol, and I love combining the two. If God invented anything better than drunk sex with a hot girl, he kept it to himself." ~ Tucker
    • "Tuuucker Maaaax! Oh my god! I’m so going to drink you under the table!" ~ Girl
      "Sweetie, the only way you could drink me under the table is if I go there to hide from you." ~ Tucker
    • "You love your dog more than you ever loved me!" ~ Alexa to Tucker
    • "Hate and love are emotions. You are a sociopath. You don't feel anything." ~ Tucker to Alexa
    • "You know how when you pine after something really badly, like a cool toy or a new car or whatever, once you get it, it's never as good as you imagined it would be? This was the opposite. This was so much better than I could've ever dreamed. No possession of mine, before or since, has ever completed me the way that bullhorn did; it embodied all of the characteristics that I consider most essential to myself ... and amplified them." ~ Tucker
    • "The double standard makes perfect sense, you just have to see it in the proper perspective. My grandfather put it to me this way: If a key opens lots of locks, then it's a master key. But if a lock is opened by lots of keys, then it's a shitty lock." ~ PWJ to slutty girl, trying to explain why it's ok if a man sleep with lots of women, but women are sluts if they sleep with lots of men
    • "Some people think I'm horrible to women, while the women who want to be treated like shit think I don't treat them bad enough. What the fuck? I can't win." ~ Tucker
    • "I think if the drunk you fought the sober you, they'd both lose." ~ Soylent to Sippy
    • "Friends don't let friends drive an RV alone all night while wired on Red Bull." ~ Tucker
    • "Despite being so close to a fiery death, I could not stop laughing. Soylent is an ex-Marine -- who's been in real combat, with people shooting at him -- and here he was in a state of panicked fear, put there by the driving of a 22 year old entry-level consultant." ~ Tucker
    • "Not even OxiClean and a ShamWow! would be able to get this stain off my soul." ~ Tucker
    • "When you can shock Dr. Drew, you've really accomplished something. Whether it's good or bad -- or causes testicular cancer -- is a different issue. But it's definitely something." ~ Tucker
    • "There is no relationship between sanity and sexual skill." ~ Tucker
    • "You can fuck with me all you want -- I'm a pro, I can handle it -- but you do NOT mess with my doggy daughter." ~ Tucker
    • "It's weird, but super-high-stress situations seem to bring a calm over me. If my vacuum cleaner won't start, I get enraged and freak out and can't deal with it. But put me in a ten-car pile-up or bar fight or something like that, and I'm calm as a baby on Benadryl. That's one of the few benefits of having parents who are yellers; you learn at a young age how to stay calm in the face of serious stress and trauma." ~ Tucker


    Buy on Amazon.com: Assholes Finish First


    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Book #54: Blood

    Title: Blood (Book one of the Mercian Trilogy)

    Author: K.J. Wignall

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

    Publish date: September 2011
    ISBN: 978-1606842201
    Number of pages: 272

    Official summary: "Will is a vampire in danger. Heir to the Earl of Mercia, he was brutally attacked and buried in the thirteenth century before he was able to assume his title. Perpetually sixteen, Will’s life has been lonely. He leaves his tomb every so often, adapts to the present day, feeds his bloodlust, and never gets close to anyone. Until now. Waking from a twenty-year slumber, hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath, he meets Eloise — but can’t bear to make her his next victim. Drawn to a girl he can never have, but whose fate seems bound with his own, he feels the need to protect her. But Will has an enemy who will stop at nothing to find him... and he’s closing in." (http://www.kjwignall.com)

    How I obtained the book: I got an uncorrected proof copy of the book last year through the newspaper I work for. I'm just now getting around to checking it out.

    Memorable quotes:
    • "The more that's known about the world, the more people seem determined to search for what is lost or hidden. There are archaeologists, treasure hunters, and ghost hungers -- the legions of the curious -- searching for secrets and the places that hold them. They ignore the possibility that some secrets are best kept, some places better left untouched." ~ Will
    • "I do not like the name vampire -- it seems so melodramatic, so fanciful. I have long preferred the word undead." ~ Will
    • "I've seen millions die, and I will see millions more. In that regard, death is all I know. ... Death is the backdrop against which I act out my life." ~ Will to Eloise 
    • "People can go entire lifetimes and fail to learn important things about themselves. So do not judge me too harshly when I say that I was five hundred years old before I fully understood that my only long-term relationship would be with loss -- it has been the one certainty of my life, that I will lose everyone sooner or later." ~ Will
    • "Death wanted me no more than life did. I was forever suspended between those two states and I believed it would always be so." ~ Will
    • "Death was as tempting as a warm bed to a sleepy child, but before he surrendered, he had to know the truth." ~ Will
    • "God, sometimes you really do talk like a seven-hundred-and-fifty-year-old." ~ Eloise to Will
    • "If I didn't taste like dinner, I'd kiss you right now." ~ Eloise
      "If you didn't taste like dinner, I'd kiss you back." ~ Will

    My commentary:
    • I definitely like the final cover much better than the one on the cover of the uncorrected proof that I got. The cover I have is just white with blood dripping down and simple text.
    • This book has a completely different feel to it than the normal teen vampire books. I think that may be mostly because it's told from a male point-of-view written by a male author. Most of the vampire books I read are told from a female POV by a female author, and sometimes a male POV by a female author. This book has a darker tone than many of the other vampire books.
    • It makes me somewhat sad that if someone went into a store like Barnes & Noble, I'm sure this book would be lumped into the "teen paranormal romance" section. This book is so much different than other books involving teenagers and vampires, but stores are lumping all those books in together. This book belongs in a "horror" section along with books like Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Ann Rice's "Interview With the Vampire." It shouldn't be anywhere near Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" series or any of the other sad excuses for horror books. 
    • I liked how the author stuck to the "vampires burn up in the sun" myth. Will's skin starts to sizzle when sunlight hits it. There is no sparkling in the sun like the "Twilight" vamps. 
    • Will files down his fangs into what looks like normal human teeth. This made me cringe when I read it thinking about how bad that would feel, but it really showed the physical strength that Will possessed. 
    • The author also stuck to the "vampires kill people in order to live" myth. There was no drinking blood from people and letting them live. Will kills people and doesn't really feel remorse for it. That is refreshing considering that most modern vampires are portrayed as non-killing now. 
    • I'm not sure if the author intended it as a diss at the "Twilight" series or it was just a coincidence, but Eloise and Will have a conversation about a vegan/vegetarian restaurant. Will doesn't understand what a vegan is, so she has to explain it to him. He has a thought that he is completely the opposite of a vegetarian because he drinks blood and kills humans. Of course, in "Twilight," the Cullens call themselves "vegetarians" because they only drink animal blood. So in a way, the author was throwing it out there that Will is not at all the same as the Cullens... whether it was intended or not.
    • Overall, I was rather impressed with this book. At the newspaper, we get a lot -- and I mean A LOT -- of really horrible books. Normally publishers send us books from new authors or the first in a new series like this one. About 90% of what I've seen come through the office is utter crap. I expected this to end up in the "crap" pile, but I was pleasantly surprised. It isn't really ideal for the vampire fans who are seeking out a vampire love story, but anyone who likes a darker look at the vampire myth should definitely check it out. I had no expectation of wanting to read the future books in the series, but I think I will actually read them once they come out.

    Buy on Amazon.com: Blood: Book One of the Mercian Trilogy


    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Book #53: Keys to the Repository

    Title: Keys to the Repository (companion book to the Blue Bloods series)

    Author: Melissa de la Cruz

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

    Publish date: June 2010
    ISBN: 978-1423134541
    Number of pages: 240

    Official summary: "Lavish parties. Secret trysts. Bone-chilling murders. Angels. Demons. Midterms. The day-to-day lives of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Blood friends (and enemies) are never boring. But there’s oh-so-much more to know about these beautiful and powerful teens. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, is a wealth of never-before revealed information about the vampire elite that dates back to the dawn of history. In a series of short stories, journal entries, and intimate letters, New York Times best-selling author Melissa de la Cruz gives you the keys to the Repository and an in-depth look into the secret world of the Blue Bloods." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

    Video of author explaining this book (it's called a trailer, but it's not really a trailer):


    How I obtained the book: Bought for $5.39 at used book store (It's a publisher's remainder copy, so it's not really a used book)

    Memorable quotes:
    • "Blue Bloods must understand our place in the world before we can attempt to change it. You may be able to call up an entire encyclopedia, but nothing is more meaningless than a brain with no heart and no reasoning." ~ Lawrence
    • "Popularity was fickle and elusive, like trying to catch fireflies in a jar. You were either born with it or relegated to wallflower status according to the mysterious and unknowable workings of the universe. It wasn't something you strove for or wished for or worked for, no matter how many silly articles and teenage novels and Hollywood movies tried to convince you otherwise. Popularity was something other people decided for you." ~ Schuyler
    • "The problem with being alienated is that one is never alienated enough." ~ Schuyler
    • "There was never a middle ground with (Mimi) -- she either loved you or loathed you; she was your best friend or your worst enemy." ~ Kingsley
    • "Victory was sweet. Who knew that the path to a woman's heart was through the soul of an honest man?" ~ Kingsley

    My commentary: I probably spent more money on this than I should've, but I couldn't find a cheaper copy without ordering it online. It is definitely not a book someone should read until they've finished most of the regular books because this reveals many of the things that has happened in the series up to "Misguided Angel."

    Buy on Amazon.com: Keys to the Repository


    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Book #52: Lost in Time

    Title: Lost in Time (Book #6 in the Blue Bloods series)

    Author: Melissa de la Cruz

    Date started reading: April 06, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 07, 2012

    Publish date: September 2011
    ISBN: 978-1423121299
    Number of pages: 352

    Official summary: "The stakes have never been higher for the young Blue Bloods of Manhattan. After their brief yet beautiful bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force depart for Egypt, desperate to find the elusive Gate of Promise before Jack must face his twin, Mimi, for a blood trial. A blood trial that only one of them can survive. But everything Schuyler thought she knew about the gate turns out to be a lie, and they soon find themselves ensnared in a deadly battle against the demon-born. Schuyler and Jack take up arms, only to realize that there is a much graver threat simmering in the Kingdom of the Dead. Meanwhile, determined to save the only vampire she still loves, Mimi has followed Kingsley Martin into Hell. With the help of her new human Conduit, Oliver Hazard-Perry, Mimi makes a bargain with the Queen of the Dead that she may soon regret. When the time comes to choose between love and revenge, both Mimi and Oliver will learn the true meaning of sacrifice. Confronted by danger, betrayal, and loss at every turn, the Blue Bloods must find the will to fight — and love — another day." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

    Official book trailer:


    How I obtained the book: Checked out of library, but I'll be buying a copy at some point

    Memorable quotes:
    • "(Schuyler's) fate -- and perhaps the fate of all vampires -- was in (Jack's) hands. She had made her case, she had fought for him, and it was his turn now to fight for her. Jack Force had a dark destiny before him, but Schuyler Van Alen hoped -- she prayed -- she believed -- that together they could change it."
    • "It's not every day I get to visit Hell. Do I get a souvenir?" ~ Oliver
    • "The worst thing about having money is that I don't get to be a starving artist." ~ Ben
    • "Sometimes it was better to keep Pandora's box closed." ~ Allegra
    • "(Mimi) thought of how she had laughed at girls who thought just because a guy slept with them it meant that he loved them. Now she was one of those needy, clingy girls. How ridiculous to find that her heart was so much more vulnerable than she had ever imagined it could be. How the hell had she allowed herself to fall in love with someone like Kingsley Martin? It was infuriating. He was like a shooting star you tried to catch with your hands. She would only get burned."
    • "One of the great benefits of being so privileged was their ability to keep the beautiful things int he world they loved from going extinct and disappearing forever." ~ Allegra about Ben's parents
    • "When there is nothing but sinful indulgence, sinful indulgence becomes a chore." ~ Oliver about Hell
    • "All fairy tales end at some point." 
    • "No one was above the Code of the Vampires." ~ Kingsley
    • "(Ben) was like the sun while (Allegra) was a meteor, debris, a falling star."
    • "Maybe this was what love meant after all: sacrifice and selflessness. It did not meant hearts and flowers and a happy ending, but the knowledge that another's well-being is more important than one's own. It was so awful to grow up and realize you couldn't have everything you wanted." ~ Mimi
    • "(Mimi) had come to Hell chasing a dream, and now it was time to wake up."
    • "She did not know sometimes what she loved anymore: the man or the myth." ~ Allegra about Charles
    • "Love was a drug, a physical addiction." ~ Mimi

    My commentary:
    • The first thing that really strikes me about this book is how utterly beautiful its cover is. This series has had some awesome covers, but this one is so gorgeous. The shade of lipstick and that single black feather somehow just make it so perfect
    • The last book and novella before this book both had each character's story separated and the reader didn't have to jump back and forth between stories. The author went back to the bouncing back and forth between stories in this book. In some ways I liked it because it did speed things up compared to when the stories are separated, but in this case, it was somewhat confusing. The three main storylines are 1) Schuyler and Jack, 2) Mimi, Oliver, and Kingsley, and 3) Allegra, Charles, and Ben. The first two are in present day, and the third is 20 years ago. It was hard going back in forth between today and 20 years ago.
    • The last several chapters of the book made me an emotional wreck. It was a total emotional roller coaster. I kept going from sad to angry to happy and back to sad. I even teared up a little. If it had been a TV show or movie giving me a visual, I'm sure I would've been flat out crying my eyes out. I don't want to wait until January for the next book (and final one) to be released

    Buy on Amazon.com: Lost In Time (A Blue Bloods Novel)


    Book #51: Bloody Valentine

    Title: Bloody Valentine (a companion book to the Blue Bloods series)

    Author: Melissa de la Cruz

    Date started reading: April 05, 2012
    Date finished reading: April 05, 2012

    Publish date: December 2010
    ISBN: 978-1423134497
    Number of pages: 160

    Official summary: "Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shapeshift and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even the strikingly beautiful and outrageously wealthy Blue Bloods, has total control. In Bloody Valentine, bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz offers readers a new story about the love lives of their favorite vamps - the passion and heartache, the hope and devastation, the lust and longing. Combined with all the glitz, glamour, and mystery fans have come to expect, this is sure to be another huge hit in the Blue Bloods series." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

    Official book trailer:


    How I obtained the book: Bought for $3.24 at used book store

    Memorable quotes:
    • "Schuyler was in every part of his soul, in his blood; she was as necessary to him as his skin. He could not let go." ~ Oliver
    • "Sometimes Allegra just wanted to experience life as it happened, without the burden of her entire immortal history on her shoulders -- she was only sixteen years old -- at least, in this lifetime." 
    • "That was new. A Red Blood offering to teach an immortal vampire new tricks. Charlie would sneer. Allegra shook her head."
    • "Jack Force was more than (Schuyler) had ever dared wish for, and he was better than a dream or a fantasy because he was real. He was far from perfect, moody and distant at times, and burdened with a sharp temper and an impulsiveness that was part of his dark nature. But she felt more love for him than she thought possible. He wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for her."

    My commentary:
    • The concept of this tiny book kind of annoys me. There are three short stories in it, which could have easily been included in the regular books, but instead they put them into a book by themselves. It's mostly a ploy to get more money out of the series' fans. A lot of book series seem to be having companion books lately. The publishers do it for the money but mostly because it works. I mean, I bought the book right? They knew that fans would buy this book because it includes Jack and Schuyler's "bonding"/wedding. 
    • It also annoys me because the book is used as a way to introduce witches who become the focus of the spin-off series "Witches of East End." I like that a witch helped Oliver overcome his heartbreak over Schulyer and Jack's love, but I find it kind of crappy that at the end of their story there is a note promoting the spin-off series. (The page also includes a weird recipe for scrambled eggs that are supposedly enchanted with a magical spell)
    • In addition to the wedding story and the Oliver/witch story, the book includes the story about how Schulyer's mother met her human father back in the 1980's. I was somewhat surprised by how it all went down.

    Buy on Amazon.com: Bloody Valentine (A Blue Bloods Book) (Blue Bloods Novel)


    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Book #50: Misguided Angel

    Title: Misguided Angel (Book #5 of the Blue Bloods series)

    Author: Melissa de la Cruz

    Date started reading: April 04, 2012
    Date finished reading:  April 05, 2012

    Publish date: October 2010
    ISBN: 978-1423121282
    Number of pages: 272

    Official summary: "After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the five remaining gates that guard the earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silver Bloods. Back in New York, Mimi has been elected Regent of a crumbling coven. Struggling with her heartache over the loss of Kingsley and with her overwhelming desire to destroy Jack, she must focus all of her energy on a perilous new threat. Vampires are being abducted and their captors are planning to burn them alive online… for all the world to see. Help arrives in the form of Deming Chen, a Venator from Shanghai, who must untangle the web of deceptions before the killers strike again. As the young vampires struggle for the survival of the coven, they uncover a deadly secret, a truth first discovered by Schuyler’s mother during the Renaissance but kept buried for centuries. And as the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler to a terrible choice that will ultimately map the destiny of her heart." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

    Official book trailer:


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

    Memorable quotes:
    • "I don't believe in fate. I don't believe that love is predetermined." ~ Jack to Schuyler
    • "Your open heart is a gift." ~ Jack to Schuyler
    • "Tragedy was wreaking havoc on her sun-kissed cover-girl looks. It had to stop." ~ Mimi
    • "Times really had to be tough if a human was feeling sorry for a vampire." ~ Mimi about Oliver
    • "It was easier to feel a murderous rage against her brother than an overwhelming grief at her lover's demise. ... If Mimi couldn't be happy then she certainly didn't see why anyone else should be."

    My commentary: This book seemed to go more slowly than the one before it ("The Van Allen Legacy"). This one is split up in four parts -- the first focuses on Schuyler and Jack, the second mostly on Mimi with a little Oliver, the third on a new character (Deming), and the last just wraps up all the stories. So no Bliss. That made me a little sad because I like her, but ultimately I didn't really miss her that much because the book was still great.  In "Legacy," it went back and forth between all the characters, so the constant jumps between stories kept the pace going fast. It was hard to switch from that to spend chapter after chapter on one main character.

    Buy on Amazon.com: Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, Book 5)


    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Book #49: The Van Alen Legacy

    Title: The Van Alen Legacy (book #4 in the Blue Bloods series)

    Author: Melissa de la Cruz

    Date started reading: April 03, 2012
    Date finished reading: April 04, 2012

    Publish date: October 2009
    ISBN: 978-1423102267
    Number of pages: 384

    Official summary: "With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss’s true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry; love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Schuyler has made her choice. She has forsaken Jack for Oliver, choosing human over vampire. But old loves die hard... And even coldhearted Mimi seems to suffer from the ties that bind." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

    Official book trailer:



    How I obtained the book: Bought for $3.99 at thrift store

    My totally spoilerific commentary:
    • This series has turned out totally different than I expected... in an amazingly good way. I expected just a teen vampire romance. Even though there are relationships in the series, they take a backseat most of the time to the big storylines, which all are society-based. The main focus is on the society of vampires, not on the vampires themselves.
    • The way the society works somewhat makes me sad sometimes because basically no one has real parents. Spirits are born into bodies for a lifetime (or "cycle"), and even though it appears like a family to the humans, the vampires' "parents" aren't really their parents. The "parents" are just adults to usher the spirits into the world in their new body. So basically most of the vampires grow up without having good parents of any sort. They don't grow up getting showered with love and attention. It sounds like a really lonely way to start out a lifetime.
    • I really respect the author for her treatment of sex in the series. Schuyler and Oliver go on the run for a year, but it is specified that they haven't had sex and are waiting until the time is right (which never ends up happening). Even though it is implied that Mimi has sex, it never goes in detail about it. It doesn't glorify teens having sex. Thank God. 
    • Normally when I read a book (or series), watch a TV show or movie, etc., I get really wrapped up in one or two characters. It always happens. This time it hasn't happened. I'm sort of shocked that I haven't imprinted myself on a single character, but it doesn't seem as weird as I would've thought it would be. The three girls -- Schuyler, Bliss, and Mimi -- are all focused on fairly equally. I like all three, in different ways.

      Mimi: She was once the Angel of Death, so she has darkness in her. At first she seems like just a shallow spoiled brat, an heiress, a mean girl who tortures the less pretty/less rich girls at the school. With this book, though, you start to see that she is capable of having feelings and compassion, like when she helps out a bunch of homeless/hungry children. She's deep, and even though she could feed into the darkness inside her, she still has chosen the side of goodness. She's destined to be with Jack (who in this lifetime was born as her brother, even though he's not really her brother), but she falls in love with Kingsley. She starts to go through with her wedding (or "bonding" ceremony) to Jack, but then at the last minute decides to run off with Kingsley (which didn't end up happening due to chaos). She gets furious and vows revenge on Jack and Schuyler when he decides to turn his back on the bond and run off with Schuyler. It all seems a little petty because she was going to foresake the bond herself. She only decides to get bonded to Jack because Kingsley is gone. She doesn't really have a right to be mad, but I guess it's understandable in the end.

      Schuyler: She was never supposed to exist. Her father is human, and her mother is one of the vampires (one of the "uncorrupted angels"). You feel bad for her because her mother has been in a coma for most of her life and her dad died when she was a baby. Then her grandmother dies. She gets accused of killing her grandfather, and she goes on the run with Oliver, a human/her conduit and best friend for most of her life. She loves him, but she still aches for Jack. She can't really choose between the two of them. In the end, Oliver steps aside and lets her be with Jack.

      Bliss: She starts out seeming like such an innocent girl. She's fairly naive in relation to the world. Suddenly she discovers that the spirit of Lucifer is living in her body. She also finds out that her spirit was created when Schuyler's mother had an affair with Lucifer, so she has a half sister. In all her past lives, the girl she was could never fight Lucifer off and they all went crazy. She ends up figuring out how to banish him from her body at the end of this book, which leaves her as a human, not a vampire. I can't imagine how hard it would be to go from being a vampire to being a human. I'm sure it would be even harder than going from human to vampire in the beginning. You'd think I'd relate most to Bliss because she thinks she's going to crazy when Lucifer starts showing up, and in the past lives, doctors thought she had multiple personalities or was schizophrenic. I do love her character due to that, but it doesn't make me love her any more than Mimi or Schuyler.

    Memorable quotes:
    • "(Bliss) was a stranger in her own life, a tourist in her own body. If someone had asked her what it was like, Bliss would have explained it this way: it's like you're driving a car, but you're sitting in the backseat. The car is driving itself, and you're not in control. But it's your car, at least you think it is. It used to be yours, anyway. Or like being in a movie. The movie is your life, but you don't star in it anymore. ... She was not Bliss anymore, but simply the memory of the Bliss that had been. Sometimes she wasn't even sure that she had ever really existed."
    • "Stepping into someone's subconscious is like discovering a new planet. Everyone's internal world is different and unique. Some are cluttered, stuffed with dark and kinky secrets pushed to the edge of their minds, like racy underwear and handcuffs shoved in the back of a closet. Some are as pristine and clear as a meadow: all hopping bunnies and falling snowflakes." ~ Mimi
    • "When you had lived for thousands of years, going through your memories was like trying to find a contact lens in a pile of broken glass. The past wasn't filed away in a neat tree of folders on a computer screen, marked accordingly with dates and labels for easy access. Instead, the past was a jumble of images and emotions, of knowledge that you did not understand and information you did not remember possessing." ~ Mimi
    • "Memories were tricky things, Mimi thought. ... They weren't stable. They changed with perception over time. ... Memories were moving pictures in which meaning was constantly in flux."
    • "(The Visitor) was like a carjacker, Bliss thought, waving a shotgun and rudely shoving her to the backseat of her mind."
    • "To the Red Bloods (Dylan) was just some troublemaker; to the vampires, collateral damage. No one cared or remembered him." ~ Bliss
    • "Having vampire sight was like watching a show on DVR: you could rewind to exactly the same place and remember everything -- every detail in the room, every nuance, every expression on anyone's face, every word that was utter." ~ Schuyler
    • "Part of me is here -- with you -- and another part is ... somewhere else. I don't know, but I know I am not complete. I'm like ... like a ... template ... you know, like a virtual personality trapped in a computer." ~ Dylan's "spirit" to Bliss
    • "Frightened people make the worst judgments." ~ Schuyler
    • "(Schuyler) loved her mother, she did. But she didn't want an angel who only appeared once in a lifetime to give her some enchanted sword. Schuyler wanted a real parent: one who was there for her when she cried, who encouraged and prodded and annoyed her -- a little bit -- only because they cared so much. She wanted someone ordinary." 
    •  "So far, Bliss's adolescence had, to put it frankly and literally, sucked. She'd moved to a new city, discovered she was a vampire, fallen in love and lost her love, all in one crazy year. And now she'd spent the last year possessed by a demon, who, by the way, was also her father -- however that worked, she had no idea." 
    • "Homesickness isn't just a state of mind." ~ Dr. Pat to Schuyler
    • "For a person -- vampire or human -- to succeed in the world, unlocking the mysteries of the universe was insufficient. One would also need to grasp the mysteries of human nature." ~ Schuyler reflecting on what Lawrence had once told her
    • "So this was how a love affair ends: with a random meeting on a public staircase." ~ Schuyler about her and Jack
    • "The world in your mind is as real as the world outside of it." ~ Lucifer to Bliss
    • "Maybe weakness is a strength of a kind." ~ Kingsley to Mimi

    Buy on Amazon.com: The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, Book 4)