Friday, March 14, 2014

Books I Want to Read NOW!

As I sit here at 10:36pm, I don't think about the book I just finished, or the book I'm about to start - no, I think of all the books that I do not own and feel as though I need right. this. minute.
So I've complied a list of books that - I think - I need right now, and I am going to share that list with you.

1. Vicious, by V.E. Schwab 
I've heard MANY wonderful things about this book. Especially from JesseTheReader and PeruseProject on YouTube. I've gathered that this novel starts off following two pretty cool dudes named Victor and Eli who have a pretty cool platonic relationship. Then it jumps into the future and their arch-nemesi (plural for arch-nemesis, I may have just made that word up). Apparently, it's hard to pick a side because they're both 'evil' and I wonder who I would be more inclined to side with and why. I'm very intrigued by this novel and how the characters came to be, and I need it now.

2. Winger, by Andrew Smith
Again, I've heard many booktubers talk about this one (like Katytastic and BookHunter155). It seems like your typical troubled-teen-living-in-a-boarding school book, but this one intrigues me because of all the hype around it. Plus, as a teen who is sometimes troubled, I enjoy relating to troubled teens in fictional worlds; it makes me feel less alone. This book holds an average 4.19 rating on Goodreads - which is high - so that intrigues me as well.

3. The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson
This book was recommended on Twitter by Mr. Ransom Riggs, and after reading his novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and loving it to death, I can't not read something he's recommended. After looking it up and actually finding out what it's about, the character is so similar to me (except I play trumpet instead of clarinet and my older sister is alive - love you, Rachel!) that it's scary and I must read it.

4. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
Say it with me now, "Emily wants this because it's hyped on booktube!" Also, it sounds really cool. This novel is set in the future, where everyone plays a huge online game called OASIS. The creator of this virtual world is long dead, but before he died he left easter eggs inside the game for others to find and collect to eventually own the game/company themselves. From what I've heard, the book starts off with someone finally discovering the first clue to find the first easter egg and all hell breaks loose. This book sounds so interesting and I must have it in my hands!

5. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
I've loved the movie adaptation of this novel for a very long time, and I had no idea it was a book first until maybe November? I don't know how I never knew it was a novel first, but I now I need it! Stardust is about a fantastical world divided from a "mundane Victorian-English village" by a wall, and in the beginning a half-fairy boy goes to retrieve a fallen star for his lover. In the meantime, many other beings in this magical world are after it - or her, rather - as well. I'm not sure how much was changed for the movie, but I want to find out!

There you have it. A list of 5 books I'd like on my shelf right now. At this moment they're all set to high priority on my amazon wishlist.

x Emily

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I was very hesitant in picking up Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Not because I heard it was bad - I've heard many amazing things - but because it seemed like I wouldn't enjoy it. Honestly, I went into it thinking it was just a book about a bunch of vampires all stuck in a boarding school trying to fight their heightened hormones and not have sex all over the school. To my surprise, this book hardly contained romance at all.
To my ultimate surprise, I rated this book 5 stars.
Not that I'd call it a favourite, (I've read books that I like more) but alas, the Goodreads 5-star system doesn't always fulfill the true needs of rating a book. I think if I had ten stars to pick from, it would've earned maybe a 9 or even an 8.
And so, in my doubts, I checked this out from my school's library and am now wishing I had the whole box set...

Before we get to the synopsis and my thoughts lets clear up a few things;
My vampire knowledge consists on reading the Twilight Saga fifty times in grade 8, Dracula in grade 9, and watching Van Helsing at least once a year since I was eight. Vampire Academy was different in anything else in that there are different species of vampires, so here's your glossary:
Dhampir: half-vampire, half-human, have heightened senses like a vampire but do not feed on blood, are slightly tolerable to sunlight but not completely, cannot reproduce a dhampir with another dhampir but can with a Moroi. They also train to be guardians for members of the seven royal families of Moroi.
Moroi: mortal vampires, all your typical vampire stuff with the exception of aging, being able to contract disease, and a minor tolerance for sunlight. They can harness different elements; wind, earth, fire, and water. They believe in only using this magic for good and not evil. Seven royal families consist in this species and all others seem to be servants to them.
Strigoi: immortal vampires. Dhampirs, Moroi, and humans can be turned into this species by a bite from a Strigoi, or a Moroi can turn into one by killing a human whilst feeding on them. They have zero toleration to sunlight and have no elemental powers. (I'm also pretty sure that they're stronger than moroi)

Vampire Academy takes place in the point of view of Rose Hathaway, a dhampir and guardian of princess Vailisa Dragomir, the last of her royal family. In the very beginning of the book they're on the run from the people of St. Vladimir's Academy, a school they once attended. Why are they on the run? You'll have to read it to find out. However, that is not the entire book, it's only the first chapter.
And so we watch as Rose and Lissa struggle to fit back into life at the Academy... well it's only really Lissa, Rose has a much easier time getting back into it. All the while, Rose and Lissa have a "bond"; an emotional link between them in that Rose can sense Lissa's emotions and sometimes take residence in her head, something very rare between a Moroi and their guardian. But all is not well when they return to the academy cause some weird shit starts going down.
Since Rose is behind at school, the headmistress assigns Demitri Belkov as her tutor. Of course, they develop feelings for each other but not without drama getting in the way. I suspect their relationship has a lot of development to come with five other books, especially by the way this book ended.
Throw in royal drama, blood whores, church, and a mysterious guy named Christian Ozera, and you've got Vampire Academy!

Like I said earlier, this book really surprised me - it could be because I went in almost-blind with only having seen the movie trailer, but I think it would surprise many other people as well. I mainly rated this 5 stars because I couldn't see any reason not to; I had fun reading it, I couldn't put it down, the concept was intriguing, the characters were well written. 
I'd recommend this to anyone who has been thinking about reading it and hasn't yet, or people who enjoy non-gothic fantasy. I do plan on picking up the next book when I get the chance and I think I might see the movie.