Tempted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Welcome back to the House of Night series, children. I know you're excited to return to vamp school but first, let's review what we've learned about the House of Night series thus far:

1. The House of Night is a boarding school for fledgling vampires, who apparently need the supervision and influence of older vampires in order for them to make the transition into full vampires or they die horribly EXCEPT THEY DON'T DIE. Yeah.
2. Vampire customs and beliefs follow a hodge-podge of matriarchal, pagan, greekish, Lori Cabot-esque philosophy that doesn't really make any sense, but would still be rather quaint if it wasn't taken directly from the "Be Like The Girls in the Craft Handbook 101", or if it was in anyway consistent and didn't butcher a plethora of folklore.
3. Panders to every conceivable stereotype in a shameless attempt to suck in readers. (Kudos to your PR people) For instance, the fact that Damien's homosexuality is mentioned EVERY time he appears on page and we get that your book is multi-racial and I'm so glad you have to keep telling us that some of your characters hail from different backgrounds.
4. Zoey (Lady of the Night really does mean whore) Redbird is everything we hope our daughters won't be and please don't strive to be like her.
5. Is correct in it's portrayal of teenage boys being only sex driven hot heads.
6. Is written on a third grade reading level.

Chapters 1-447 (Seems like every five pages we got a new chapter) or up to 55% of the book:
Stevie Rae and the Bird Man (playing at a club near you)

Zoey and Co. have scared off Nefret and Kalona, they are all living in a nunnery, and Stevie Rae saves a Raven Mocker (nasty half bird man created when Kalona raped Cherokee women. Seriously. Pull something else out of your ass). Zoey fights with all three of her boyfriends. Skip forward to just over halfway through the book because that's the next time anything actually happens.

Chapter 447-963: When the World is Crap and Evil Beings Want to Kill You Go Back to School

They return to the House of Night, I forget why. Probably so that they are around adult vamps who keep them from "dying" and turning into blood thirsty monsters that can't go out in the daylight.....wait....I...thought...that's...what...vampires...did...?

Chapter 963-1452: We Couldn't Come Up With Anything Original So We Wrote This

Now they are traveling to Italy to meet with the Voltur- er wait, that's another book isn't it? Let me reread- nope, they are indeed traveling to Italy to meet with the vampire council. *cough* Twilightbandwagonfamewhores *cough*

The Last, Er, Roughly, 6 Pages

In which everything gets REALLY good! I want to know what happens next! Is it wrong that I think Kalona is AWESOME? Can you BELIEVE what just happened!? When do we get another one?

Yes, this is book abuse at its finest right here and I know some people think the sun shines out of Team Cast's a...there, I was good, but there isn't anything even remotely intelligent about this book, the series, the story, the concept. That said, even given my animosity towards the writers and the series, I keep reading because there is just something about the series that makes me want to see it through. I'm giving this book 3 stars, it may be crap, but it's consistently crappy which takes real initiative. Not only that you couldn't write anything worse and still have it be SO VERY entertaining and that's real skill, and well...it has a fabulous cliff-hanger ending.

Congratulations Parents! It's a....BOOK!

Kris from The Cajun Book Lady is the first person to adopt an unloved book from our shelter!

Suzanne at Chicks with Books has also chosen to open her home to a needy book.

Thank you to everyone who supported the No Kill Book Shelter and for doing your part to stop book abuse!

The No Kill Book Shelter

The No Kill Book Shelter will be accepting applications until tonight at 11:59 pm CST. The families chosen will be notified Wednesday, December 9th. Please take a moment to fill out an application and open your home to an unloved book. Bring an abused book home for the holidays!

Click here to adopt a bouncing baby book!

The No Kill Book Shelter Opens Today!

The No Kill Book Shelter for Books I Didn't Like

Just because one person didn't appreciate a book doesn't mean that someone else won't absolutely love it. The books you'll find here in the shelter have been badly neglected and unloved. In some instances they've even been verbally abused. Book violence is a very serious issue, one that we should all do our part to remedy. Support your local No Kill Book Shelter and give a bad book a second chance.

Books currently living in the shelter:

The adoption process is as follows:

1. Submit an application for adoption by leaving a comment on this post that includes: Your name, email address and blog site. This condition is not negotiable. You must have a valid website address in order to insure that our adoptees are given a good home. This step will award you 1 adoption point. (+1)
2. Support your local No Kill Book Shelter by posting about this adoption on your website. This entitles you to another adoption point. (+1)
3. The adoption agency would like to know under what living conditions the adoptee will reside. Describe the bed (or shelf) that you plan to give to your new bouncing baby book. One adoption point(+1)

Two responsible, caring, screened families will be chosen and eligible to adopt the unloved book of their choice. First winner picks first....duh...and so on. Deadline for application is December 8th and I will announce winners on the 9th so not much time!

Books are available for adoption in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico (I did that just for you) only. Not that I don't think they wouldn't be perfectly happy in France or Zimbabwe, but I just bought a house and I'm broke :)

In case you're wondering or yelling at the screen, why only blog/web sites can enter- the purpose of this, not just the give away but the all encompassing "this" is books, and sharing what we think about the books we've read. If you are a book blogger and you win a contest there is more of a chance that you'll post your own book thoughts and thus the circle of book life goes on. It's rather anti-climatic if the book is won and we never get to hear anything about it again.

If you do not want to post your email in comments, you may tell me privately at lifeafterjane@gmail.com.

Edit: In all fairness I have to say The Crimson Petal and the White is complete and utter crap and you shouldn't feel too bad if you adopt it and end up hating it too.

Bookwork 11/22-11/28

Explain to me why I keep buying books when I currently don't have any time to read them?

Was digging through the bargain books at Books-a-Million when I came across:

1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
2. Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
3. The Wide Window: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Which brings my To-Read total up to 42 on the shelf, 3 currently reading and 9 on the Kindle. 49 books to read, that I own. Yeah. I need an intervention

How about you? What's your total?

2010 Reading Challenges

Yay! They're here! Regardless of the fact that I failed miserably in 2009 (although there is still time), I'm planning on jumping right back in there and taking a crack at the following:

Hosted by MizB at MizB's Reading Challenges

The Rules:

•Pick a number of books you’d like to read in one year
•Choose those books from your OWN collection
•Read them between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010
And, that’s it!

Some other guidelines for this challenge:

•Re-Reads are NOT allowed (the challenge is to get more of your own books read that have been sitting there waiting!)
•Audiobooks & e-books ARE allowed
•You do NOT need a blog to participate — you can leave comments on this post with your progress

Sign up begins January 1st.

Hosted by the lovely J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog

The 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. There are four levels:

--The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.
--Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.
--Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.
--Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.

(Aim high. As long as you read 25 by the end of 2010, you are a winner.)

3. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – any book as long as it is checked out from the library count. Checked out like with a library card, not purchased at a library sale.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

6. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

Sign up!

It's 3:00 in the morning....and at 3 in the morning we tell the truth

After 2 hours and 15 minutes of watching a dangerously hot Jacob parade around half naked, inspiring some lusty thoughts that you know your old ass shouldn't be havin' for a minor.....did we really care when a stick thin Edward flashed his puny air-brushed abs? Or did you really just want to feed him a sandwich and go back to looking at Jacob?

Bookwork 11/18-11/21

Good Morning! It's been a long time since my last Bookwork and I know how "oh I'm sorry for not blogging" posts aren't in right now but as I went from lots o' blogging to none I think an explanation is needed. Recently I ran out of book room so I had to buy my books a house. It's a very frustrating process and I don't recommend doing it if you don't have to. That said, I did it and I'm starting to recover. My books aren't happy though as they are all haphazardly stacked up in the spare bedroom awaiting shelving. That's also the reason for the delay in opening the No Kill Book Shelter. The GOOD news is, in unpacking books I've found SEVERAL candidates for the shelter so when it opens there will be more lovelies to adopt.

My schedule is all over the place and I'm reading different things in different locations. For instance:
1. In the bathtub (where you read cheap, free or battered paperbacks) I'm reading Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland.
2. At work on the kindle (don't tell my boss) I'm reading Tempted by Team Cast. I'm over half way through and nothing has happened yet. I CAN'T WAIT to tell you what I think of the latest installment in the HoN series.
3. At stoplights and in waiting rooms I am reading The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

Shadowland by Alyson Noel, the third book in the Immortals series and the follow up to Blue Moon is out. I loved Evermore but was extremely disappointed in Blue Moon but I genuinely feel that Noel has a lot to offer as a writer so I'm giving her another shot.

To-Read list has grown considerably thanks to the unpacking. Once I get things shelved I may have to do some trimming. I've been so out of touch with the book blog community lately that I have no idea what y'all are reading so feel free to tell me about it. I've missed you!

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Good morning friends and neighbors. Long time no see. I bet your thinking that in my absence I must have read countless books. Well you're wrong. For nearly three months I've been reading this one. Yeppers.

Anyone care to explain to me how a series with so much action, adventure, love, sex and humor can still manage to bore you to the point of tears?

We join Sookie, our lovable Louisiana, barmaid clairvoyant and her dreamy, if a little dead boyfriend Bill as they scamper off to Dallas to do some mind snooping work for the local vampires there. If you watch the show, this would be the part where we meet Godric and Barry (bellhop who can also read minds) and we take a tour of the Fellowship of the Sun's "church". That's about where the similarities stop. HBO's version is far more entertaining than the overly long description of Sookie's church going ensemble and subsequent outfits. Godric isn't interesting or cute, or even present for the most part. At the tail end we have the maenad orgy which admittedly was much more interesting on paper than this season's last two episodes would like you to believe.

Shame on me, I'm taking for granted the fact that a lot of you are following the show when you might have come here for an actual book review. This book was incredibly boring. That said, the first one wasn't and I'm not forming any preconceived notions about the third one because one dull book aside, Harris is a VERY good writer. The stories are hilarious, especially if you're from the south and able to laugh at our own ridiculousness and she can certainly dream up some original stuff (take that Twat Meyer), even if she does appear to be a bit long winded. I can also forgive that since she is from Mississippi and none of us ever really get to the point here.

Read this if you're planning on reading the series. Have to reach point B before you can go to C- but if you are happy with your True Blood viewing experience and able to leave it on screen, skip this because it really isn't providing the detail or insight I was looking for.

Support Your Local No Kill Book Shelter

The No Kill Book Shelter for Books I Didn't Like

Just because one person didn't appreciate a book doesn't mean that someone else won't absolutely love it. The books you'll find here in the shelter have been badly neglected and unloved. In some instances they've even been verbally abused. Book violence is a very serious issue, one that we should all do our part to remedy. Support your local No Kill Book Shelter and give a bad book a second chance.

Books currently living in the shelter:

We will begin accepting applications for adoption on Monday. Details on the adoption process will be posted then.


Now before you throw a fit, these are books that *I* did not enjoy, not horrible pieces of crap that I'm trying to pawn off on you. These stories had merit, it's just that personally I didn't find them appealing. So far, I'm aware that the four current books in the shelter were books that many people loved and I bet one or two of them you actually want to read or did at one time. It's a fun way to win a book and give it a review that shows some love!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Once again I am amazed and in awe of the depth and magnitude of Collin's imagination. It's nothing to create a fantasy world that takes us away and makes us wish for a bit of the miraculous in our everyday lives but it's quite another to conjure up a vivid, vibrant world so detailed that it becomes almost tangible and then make sure you never ever want to go there.

In this sequel to The Hunger Games we are once again the spectators- the downtrodden hopeless plebs of the Districts and the spoiled, sadistic privileged people of the Capitol. Only this time, instead of being sold on a victor by means of carefully timed and planned marketing and strategizing, we our watching Katniss and Peeta, our victors- the ones we chose, the ones we wanted to win. When a tribute is victorious in the Hunger Games, and survives the grueling ordeal of a televised, free-for-all murderous battle in which children from each District slaughter each other in an effort to stay alive he or she is sent home to live in comfort and luxury for the rest of his or her life. Until last year, the 74th annual hunger games, there has traditionally been only one victor. But when Katniss and Peeta, the seemingly star-crossed lovers from District 12, in an act of defiance against the very game they're forced to play, threaten a double suicide, the nation of Panem demands a last minute rule change that allows both tributes from a District to win. Now Katniss and Peeta reign as the nations sweethearts, the boy and girl who survived the game due only to their love for each other. To the brats in the Capitol they are the latest fad, and to the withered people of the Districts, their manipulation of the Games is the stuff that can spark rebellion.

The system of government in place in the nation of Panem and the Hunger Games themselves, are all meant to be reminders to the people of the District that they are at the mercy of their government, and at any moment they can crush them. In a place where such a constant show of force and brutality is needed to dim the people's rebellious spark, would Katniss really be left alone to live out her life in the comfort her new title brings? Or will the nation of Panem place new demands on their hero? The government demands that the people's hero helps quell the threat of rebellion. The citizens demand that their hero, the girl on fire, set the nation ablaze.

Oh wow. I just loved it. Best cliff hanger in a book, hands down. I love that Collins is letting her character explore various different types of love. I know a lot of people are unhappy with the Peeta/Gale struggle but I think what the author is showing is very valuable. Katniss is a teenage girl who is learning that one love is totally different from another. That she can love Peeta the way she does and yet feel a romantic love for another. I don't feel that she's written a love triangle at all. And oh I love Peeta! All of the big surprises in this story came from him!

You must read this and then join me in pining for the third book.

Bookwork 09/05 and a note on Shiver

Ok, this is a total no-no BUT the fact of the matter is, I wrote my review of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater at work and well...I washed it. Here's the thing. I didn't like the book enough to sit down and write another review of it. That's all kinds of wrong but the book was barely a three for me, and that goes to Ms. Stiefvater's writing and use of language which is beautiful and very melodic. The story on the other hand, bored me to tears. It was promising until half way through where I felt if I had to read ANOTHER description of Sam dropping Grace off to school in the Bronco I would have to permanently subtract IQ points. Sorry. I know it was a big to-do book and while it was very original (as original as vampires and werewolves can be in this Twilight age) it was boring and drawn out. There you have it. When I wrote the review I had to really struggle with my feelings about the book. It was one of those that the reader is expected to like given the hype and wealth of good reviews. It just wasn't for me.

So I picked up Catching Fire by Ms. Suzanne Collins and I am almost finished devouring it. You WILL get a review of that one. I owe it a bit of thanks too because it made me realize something about my lack of reading here lately and I have discovered that it's not that I'm not really reading much these days, it's just that I'm reading things that suck. I made myself finish Shiver and it took two weeks. I'm making myself read the second Sookie Stackhouse book and so far I don't like it. With Catching Fire I want to drop everything and read read read. There's the difference. It's a great book and the other books I've been making myself endure have not been. So go and buy it, read it, love it, live it and miss it.

That's not my review though :P

My first contest went well. I had far more entries than I ever thought I would and I now have 73 followers who all exhibit various different traits of awesomeness. I do appologize for my lack of involvement in the book blogging community here lately. I'm a new RN, and it's kicking my butt just as my instructors said it would. It's been difficult trying to balance work life and book life when work life takes up 80% and I have to sleep sometime. So thank all of you for sticking with me.

So if you've been reading my blog you know I tend to be rather direct in my book thoughts. I can be a bit verbally abusive when a book lets me down and I tend to hold book grudges. Like the one I hold against Stephanie "T" Meyer for her butchering of the Twilight saga when she wrote Breaking Dawn. Books in a series that disappoint seem to get more abuse than stand alone stories. Having said that, there is no cause for book violence, children. For every book we feel is bad, there is a reader out there who will love it, appreciate it's existance and take away someting valuable from the story. On my shelf are several books that are neglected and unappreciated. Poor pitiful, lonely little things that want only to be read and enjoyed. In an effort to match LA Jane declared "bad" books with owners who will rehabilitate them and love them, I am opening the:

The No Kill Book Shelter for Books I Didn't Like

Support for the No Kill Book Shelter comes from readers like you. Once every few weeks a lonely little book will find it's way into the shelter where it will have an opportunity to be matched with a new owner who will love it. Requirements for adoption will be standard contest entry stuff.

As of right now there are three books living in the shelter (who are they??), awaiting adoption. Details soon.

Eyes Like Stars Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Ms. Wanda B. for being the very first winner of my very first giveaway! I hope you're as freakin' excited as I am because this has been so much fun. Thank you all for entering. I've been rather out of touch with the book blog community lately due to work and you just don't know how much these emails and comments have meant to me. I'd also like to thank my blackberry for being able to handle the increased email load.

I really didn't expect as many entries as I got on this debut giveaway. Welcome new followers, here and on twitter. I will return the favor soon. Also be on the look out for an upcoming silly little giveaway.

Bookwork 08/12-08/15

Once again I am apologizing for being a bad book blogger. Starting to feel like a broken record and once again I blame work. Although my reading has certainly slowed down my TBR has continued to grow.

1. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
2. My copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater arrived in the mail and it made me giddy.

I keep hitting refresh on the Kindle addition page on Amazon for Meridian by Amber Kizer but it's STILL NOT THERE. I remain hopeful and will just continue clicking.

I'm currently on my second Sookie Stackhouse book and the VIVs meet this Friday to watch the last two episodes. My vampire addiction is out of control at this point. Is there a support group for that?

26 Entries for my Eyes Like Stars Giveaway! If I had known how much fun contest were I'd have held one weeks ago. In fact, I lurve it so much I've got another one about to show up. It's a really SILLY one, so stay tuned.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

     I was angry, not just with Annabeth or her mom, but with all the gods for this whole quest, for getting us blown off the road and in two major fights the very first day out from camp. at this rate, we'd never make it to L.A. alive, much less before the summer solstice.
     What had Medusa said?
     Do not be a pawn of the Olympians, my dear. You would be better off as a statue.
     I got up. "I'll be back."
     "Percy," Annabeth called after me. "what are you-"
     I searched the back of the warehouse until I found Medusa's office. Her account book showed her six most recent sales, all shipments to the Underworld to decorate Hades and Persephone's garden. According to one freight bill, the Underworld's billing address was DOA Recording Studios, West Hollywood, California. I folded up the bill and stuffed it in my pocket.
     In the cash register I found twenty dollars, a few golden drachmas, and some packing slips for Hermes Overnight Express, each with a little leather bag attached for coins. I rummaged around the rest of the office until I found the right-size box.
     I went back to the picnic table, packed up Medusa's head, and filled out a delivery slip:

The Gods
Mount Olympus
600th Floor,
Empire State Building
New York, NY

With best wishes,

Percy Jackson simply can't stay out of trouble. He's been kicked out of six schools and in just a moment, he's going to get kicked out of his current one. Odd things just seem to happen around Percy, things that can't be explained or even believed but Percy never fails to get the blame for them. When he accidentally causes the evaporation of his math teacher with an ink pen, it occurs to Percy that the things happening to him may be more than just rotten luck.
Following his most recent expulsion, Percy and his mother take an impromptu trip to the shore, a place that his mother has always had a fondness for. It was at the seaside that she fell in love with and had a one time whirlwind romance with Percy's father, a man he has never met and who his mother won't tell him anything about. Their trip is cut short by your average random Minotaur attack that leaves his mother missing and Percy, at his mother's command, running for the safety of Half Blood Camp, a sanctuary for children who are in the same unique situation as Percy- they are the children of gods.

I loved this book! It was cute and funny and very entertaining. Can't help but compare it to Harry Potter but I don't feel that it was merely riding on HP's coat-tails so to speak since this book had a feel that was very much it's own. For one thing your heart doesn't break for Percy the way it did for Harry, so so far, no tears. I love that it is based on Greek Mythology. Who didn't love studying the Greek myths in school? I think that spin, along with it being a great children's/young adult adventure fantasy, really adds to it's appeal. Percy kicks butt and shows no fear, just as a hero should. The story is written with a great sense of humor, making it just a really great read. Totally on board to read the next one and I can't wait for the movie!!

Bookwork 08/03-08/08

I haven't done a Bookwork post in awhile because truth be told, I haven't fed my TBR lately. I'm so proud of me. I feel like I'm standing up and announcing that I've been book clean for two weeks.

Well...that is until this week. It's not my fault. So many good books came out that it was just too tempting. I blame the authors.

Picked up:
1. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (Who's publisher gets bonus points for making it immediately available on kindle)
2. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange. I know I know...SHAME ON ME and I'm pretty sure my dear Jane would not approve but I'm still addicted to vampires. I'm beyond tacky.
3. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I won this from Goodreads so it's not exactly here yet but I say it counts.

Well the Very Important Vampire Society (VIVs) has finally caught up with True Blood. We will permanently be one week behind the show though since we don't meet until Saturday nights but at least we are semi in the know now. I love this show. It's all kinds of wrong and it's oh so good. Can't we please just clone Eric Northman so that everyone can have one? He'd make a great Christmas present. Write that down please.

Reading The Lightning Thief when I can. Work is taking up valuable reading time so it's slow going. Enjoying it so far. Then...back to Sookie! Book Two!

Eyes Like Stars Giveaway

UPDATE: Contest is Closed! Thank you for your entries!

Because EVERYONE should read this book!

From Goodreads:
All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

I'm so excited. This is my first giveaway and since that's special I chose Eyes Like Stars because it's the most fun you can have reading. I know it's been out a few weeks but some of you haven't read it. I do this for YOU, for your literary education. You'll thank me.

Now for a little shameless self promotion and how to enter:

1. Leave me a comment with your name and email address. Then, for your homework tell me your favorite quote from Shakespeare. That's 1 entry (and if you don't do anything else, to enter you have to do this so that I can track you down if you win.)
2. Stalking = Lurve. Let me know if you follow my blog or stalk me on twitter. +1 Entry
3. And last, add another entry if you post about this giveaway on your blog and tell me the link. Another +1.

I'm probably a bit too excited about this. I just reminded myself that I can't enter my own giveaway. Deadline is August 31st. And for this first giveaway, though it'll cost one arm and one leg, I'll ship it anywhere I possibly can provided that it doesn't have to be delivered by mule, camel, walrus, buffalo, giant squid or yak.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Someone should have taken a sharpie to this cover and written "For a good time, call..." Oh this was goooooood. Hiss with me now "Sookie is mine." Having seen the show before starting the books I was delighted to find that I was reading them with a southern accent. Plus I had the added bonus of having a face to put with a name. While I'd rather not sit here and compare and contrast between the book and the tv series, I can't help it. Both are very different but equally as fun.

The small town of Bon Temps Louisiana isn't frequented by vampires the way the big flashy city of New Orleans is, a fact that most of their residence are proud of. Even though vampires have "come out of the coffin" and joined regular society, their existence is still a lot for most humans to swallow and the little town has managed to stay vampire free and relatively normal. Sookie Stackhouse, is an average waitress with a not so average ability. She can read minds, a trait that has likewise kept her apart from the normal town folk who have chosen to think of her as disabled rather than contend with anything outside of the ordinary. But when a vampire walks into the bar (have you heard this joke?) where she works, Sookie is immediately drawn to him, the one person who's mind is closed to her.

Now women are being murdered in Bon Temps. Women who have been bitten by vampires, and more and more vamps are passing through town. With his mind closed to her, Sookie can't really know for sure that it isn't her vampire who's causing the deaths.

While the show caters to what a HBO viewing audience would expect (raunch, murder, scandal) the book tended to be much more subdued. I can't say that the liberties taken by the show cheapened the story in anyway, simply just changed it. I was happy to find that the book focused more on the love story. Bill was more thoughtful lover than man of mystery and Sookie seemed much less simple minded. Anna Paquin as Sookie has made me want to smack her on several occasions but the real Sookie wears the sweet-innocent persona as a mask. In the book however there were a few instances where I was rather proud of our gal.

Mind you, this was only book one but so far Jason Stackhouse isn't half the idiot that he is on the show.

I can also laughingly type that the book is far kinder to my fellow southerners, not that I can deny anything that is portrayed on the show. Still, even with the negative stereotype I can't help but feel that both of them have a homey quality to them that makes me feel much more a part of the story. The whole True Blood experience is just so much fun and I'm ready for the next book, and the next episode. If you aren't already a fan, it's time. I don't know who's side to chose though. Team Bill? Team Sam? Team......Eric?

By the way, I am completely over anything Twilight related. It started with the J.R. Ward series but then, in this book, published in 2001 mind you, Sookie described Bill's skin as "glowing" I just wanted to poke my finger in Stephanie (T.) Meyer's eye. I'm finding very little originality in Twilight these days. More importantly, REAL VAMPIRES BITE PEOPLE...and well do other things that I can't mention in mixed company. :)

Woohoo Something New!

I'm now a Twit!

Also I will be announcing a giveaway very soon. It'll be a first for lifeafterjane and I'm so freakin' excited.

Ms. Cullen at Bloody Bookaholic helped an old lady get this going. She's awesome and you should stalk her.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

     Kim stops and smiles for a split second. Then she makes this funny noise, a cross between a cough and a throat-clearing. I've heard her make this sound before; it's what she does when she's summoning her courage, getting ready to jump off the rocks and into the bracing river water.
     "I do have a point to all this," she continues. "There are like twenty people in that waiting room right now. Some of them are related to you. Some of them are not. But we're all your family."
     She stops now. Leans over me so that the wisps of her hair tickle my face. She kisses me on the forehead. "You still have a family," she whispers.

Mia is a talented cellist who quite possibly has gotten excepted into Julliard. Her father is a reformed punk rocker now turned square, and though her mother has put away the leather boots, band t-shirts and feminist angst, she's still his biggest groupie. Little brother Teddy at the age of eight is already banging away on the drums while his rocker parents listen on proudly. Mia's love of the classical may be in sharp contrast to the rest of her odd little punk family but they all share a great love of music and more so, each other.

It's a snow day! A rare free day where children and parents are exempt from school and work alike. A picturesque day that starts with pancakes and the happiness that only getting out of what you didn't want to do can bring. So to celebrate, the family takes off to visit grandparents and ex-bandmates, a treat that everyday life usually doesn't afford. But the morning ends abruptly with a car accident, death and Mia, unconscious and barely alive in the ICU.

Mia standbys and watches as the doctors and nurses work away at her near lifeless body, forcing it to pump and breath. But is this what she wants? Does she want to live knowing what she must face when she wakes up? Waiting for her is heartache, loneliness and words that once applied to other people, like tragic and orphan. Or should she move on, follow her family and perhaps join them in whatever comes next?

Which would you choose? Could you choose?

Having heard wonderful things about this story I wanted to read it even though I knew it had the potential to break my heart. It's a big committment, to go into a story knowing that no matter what happens there's no happy ending. Ms. Forman exercises marvelous control in this little story. It quite possibly could have been an uncomfortable snot-fest where you just cried and cried for 199 pages and you'd be too caught up in one feeling to catch the myriad of others she was bringing you. Thankfully, just as you're working yourself up for a good solid cry, the author eases you back down from the present by bringing you into Mia's past where she embarks on some very detailed character building- a big surprise since it's such a short read. I wasn't expecting to really get to know anyone but Mia. Snaps to Forman for letting you leave this story truly knowing and loving all the people you've met.

Even with the emotional mini breaks orchestrated by the author, be prepared to all but lose it in select places. Skip the mascara and keep the tissue handy but most of all, enjoy!

Lover Avenged by J.R.Ward

Hell. Yeah.

Ward is forgiven. Maybe she was smoking the same thing Phury was in the last book and is now clean because this was AMAZING.

Rehvenge is everything your mother told you to stay away from. He's a drug lord, a pimp, a murderer, a whore and a symphath- a race of outcasts, known as the sin-eaters who feed off of and thrive from our twisted darker emotions. He's EXACTLY the kind of bad boy you'd go for anyway. And if that weren't enough, his new lady is a nurse. Winning all kinds of points with me.

I hereby declare myself Team Rehvenge (oh the hawtness) and nominate Xhex as the coolest person in existence. Please Goddess Ward let the next book be John and Xhex's story! Better yet write a new set of books and let them be about Xhex and the hellacious amounts of ass she kicks.

The only thing I would have liked more of was history on the symphaths but maybe we'll get that in the next book. And do I maybe see an induction into the Brotherhood in Rehv's future? That would be unique, considering what he is and open up the possibility of a variety of new Brothers, not just high-born noble types.

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Laura @ A Jane of All Reads
I read excessively and hoard books like a greedy dragon. Theoretically, I also plan to use them to barricade myself against the forthcoming zombie apocalypse.

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