Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I can't remember who made the comment recently that the reason they were reading all this new fantasy YA fiction was because it sort of let them relive their youth- or something to that effect. And yes, with books like Wicked Lovely, Twilight, the Mortal Instruments, and countless silly little romance stories it is very exciting to remember a time when there was a little bit more to hope for, more possibilities- when there was still magic.

That said, we can also remember another side to adolescence, the one that flashes through our minds when we jokingly say "If I could do it all over again? Hellllllll no!" We say that because we remember.

Whether it was your life, a friend's life or a random someone's life, we can all think of a person who's journey through high school was less than ideal. Face it, kids are stupid and mean- not trying to label all high school students, we were all there and we were all at some point, stupid and mean. It's just human nature, a phase and we grew out of it and some of us even turned out to resemble something remotely human :) (Still hoping I'm really a vampire or an adopted fairy princess)

It's simple to pinpoint the big things, major drama, catastrophe, truly shit times, but it's a little bit harder to remember the petty stuff, the stuff that most of us eventually got over (think of something here, something along the lines of I don't know, tripping and your books falling all over the hall while you struggle to keep your skirt down. Something comical now, and no big deal in the grand scheme of things but it sucked then). I am almost positive that every last person was unintentionally (or intentionally) cruel to a classmate at some point in our lives.

Now I'm fixing to write my summary of this book, and I'm going to give you the long and the short of what happened and it won't even be a spoiler since you go into this book knowing exactly what's going on- Hannah has committed suicide. She records 7 cassette tapes detailing 13 reasons why she got to that point and the people she feels played a part in getting her there. Each person on the tape has to listen to them, to find out why they are included. Our narrator Clay, has no idea why he's on the tape, but he'll listen, as will every last one of them.

This is a brilliant work. Hannah has so many reasons, some of them horrible, heart-wrenching, some of them simple and mostly meaningless on their own but when grouped together- well, they lead to her death. Do I agree that all of these should have been misconstrued and lumped with other reasons to end her life? No, but you're not suppose to. Reading them you think, "Why wouldn't you just get over that Hannah?" But that's the author's point- We don't know how things we do or say will affect other people. Little things that mean NOTHING to you can mean EVERYTHING to someone else. We can't judge or dictate the worth another person places on our words or actions.

It's a hard book to read. She's dead, it's not going to get any better and you have to live it knowing that.

I'm really surprised at some of the responses that reviewers have had to this book, and it's funny because it's an issue that Hannah herself addressed and that is people's reaction to suicide. I read so many reviews where people blamed Hannah and disregarded the book because they felt it presented suicide as an only option for some. It's very interesting.

Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone. I'm sorry if I sound a little preachy here and please don't think I'm lecturing, these are just my book thoughts but no one can read this book and not walk away learning something. It's a good book hangover waiting to happen, but you won't miss it and you won't want to revisit.

Book Hunting

And here is what I caught:

Because I like dirty vampire books.

Which I really wanted but I'm kinda disappointed that it was a different cover- yes I am that shallow.

Recommended by the super cool book chick that works at the local B&N who suggested the Mortal Instruments series and hated Breaking Dawn.

There is a little paperback buy/trade store 45 minutes from me that I affectionately like to call "The Crazy Bookstore." It's packed, floor to ceiling with paperbacks- in boxes, in bags, on shelf after endless shelf and it's all organized in some strange system that I could never begin to grasp. I love this store. I can hand my to-read list to the lady and she will return in seconds with any cheap, well loved copies of my books as well as recommendations for others. She can tell you off the top of her head anything an author has ever written, new and old. On top of all that she has half a dozen cats running around the shop. Books and cats. Can't beat that. Thank you Crazy Bookstore lady for these finds.

Fun Stuff

Help Alaine reach 100 followers! There's a nifty book give away in it for you if she does. Not to mention it's a fun idea and a great blog. Go help!

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings: Celebrating 100 Followers with The Luxe

But but but....

Now I don't know what to read next. Nothing can top Mortal Instruments EVER and I will DIE never again reading ANYTHING that GOOD.

This is not true, but you understand how I'm feeling. I have a good book hangover. The kind that makes you wander about aimlessly in circles going "bub bub bub" like Goldie Hawn in the movie Overboard.

Tell me what to read to fix it.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

"The ruined demon towers cast their dull, dead light down onto the moving streets of the city, where things loped and crawled and slunk in the shadows between buildings, like roaches skittering through a dark apartment. The air carried cries and shouts, the sound of screaming, names called on the wind- and there were the cries of demons as well, howls of mayhem and delight, shrieks that pierced the human ear like pain. Smoke rose above the honey-colored stone houses in a haze, wreathing the spires of the Hall of Accords. Glancing up toward the Gard, Alec saw a flood of Shadowhunters racing down the path from the hill, illuminated by the witchlights they carried. The Clave were coming down to battle."

I've had about 2 hours sleep, so as soon as I'm done here I'm going to go pass out. Those of you who have read the series will understand, and those of you who are planning on reading it, be forewarned that this is one of those times when book trumps life and everything has to go on hold (call in sick) until you finish it. I had to finish this book or just about die.

In this third and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series, we are in Idris, in the city of Alicante, home of The Clave, of the Shadowhunters, the warriors of the angels. Since the city's dawning, it has stood, protected by the mysterious, powerful runes that guard the people of the angels, runes that have forever repelled demon entry- but something new threatens the city, something demonic, but not yet a demon. When the safety of their lives is shattered, the people of the Clave must look to new defenses, and accept a compromise they have all long feared...

"How is this to end?
As stories must
when love's denied--with tears and a journey." - Shakespeare in Love

That line came to mind as I was reading, bracing myself for what I just knew was going to happen....

Ms. Clare gave a beautiful gift with the ending of this book. I was prepared for sacrifice, as you should be when faced with something this emotionally involved. In many stories we are given a false fairy tale, which is the true kind, the way the fairies meant them to be, in which you get everything you want at a terrible price.

And here is the part where I can't tell you what happened...I can only urge you (physically push you into the book store) to live in this world for a while.

This was a truly touching, wonderful, heartbreaking, heartmending, agonizing journey and I enjoyed every bit of it. I hate that it's over and that I can't ever go there again for the first time, only go back.

And finally, for those of you who don't know (because I didn't know, and now I do)-

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

"She jabbed a finger at his shoulder. "When did you get that?"
Jace looked down and saw that the spider demon's poison had eaten a hole in his shirt, leaving a good deal of his left shoulder bare. "The shirt? At Macy's. Winter sale."
"The scar. This scar, here on your shoulder."
"Oh, that." Jace wondered at the intensity of her gaze. "I'm not sure. Something that happened when I was very young, my father said. An accident of some kind. Why?"
Breath hissed through the Inquisitor's teeth. "It can't be." she murmured. You can't be-"

I'm going to make this very quick because I have a whole book to devour tonight. Fueled by Almond Joys and Coca Cola, I am immediately beginning the third Mortal Instruments book City of Glass and I'm not going to bed until I finish it. But I needed to go ahead and put down my thoughts about City of Ashes in an effort to make my head stop spinning. I've been on the tilt-a-whirl way too long and now I'm trying to stand up and walk down the ramp but the world is spinning, spinning, spinning.

There's never a moment's rest in Clare's world. It never lets up, no one gets any sleep and I can't really say that things get any better- they just get dealt with. I know I mentioned that the first book reminded me pleasantly of Harry Potter but now I realize it's not the pleasant part I was thinking about. How much heartbreak can you put one person through?

The Clave is suppose to protect it's own, but what will they do now that it's known that one of their youngest, most powerful shadowhunters is the son of the monster who will not stop until their world is remade in his vision? Valentine has stolen the second Mortal Instrument, the Angels Sword and now the Clave and the people he has called family believe that Jace is helping him.

Poor Jace, poor Clary.....poor Simon. It's almost too much.

Like the first book, I give this one 5 stars- a perfect 5 star book keeps you, holds on to you long after you close the cover, refusing to let you out of the story- which is exactly where you want to stay.

I'm a dork. I know it.

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

****Now I wouldn't read this if you haven't read The Summoning- in fact I wouldn't read anything if you haven't read The Summoning. I'd be marching my happy butt to the book store to pick up The Summoning. ****

This was one of those wonderful reads that you flip the page and suddenly realize you've reached the end. Damn it. I didn't want it to be over. I almost literally ate this book, I couldn't read it fast enough. Kelley Armstrong quite possibly has a serious die hard stalker fan in the making here. Just as soon as I can read Bitten I'll know for sure but she is just amazing. Her story flows perfectly, never a hiccup, never a "WTF" moment, no confusion, no clutter, just straight forward suspense, shock and squeals.

We rejoin Chloe, who is being held by the Edison Group, the team of supernaturals who were running Lyle House. The Edison Group has been carrying on the grand Lyle tradition of conducting experiments on unsuspecting children and using Lyle House as a means of "rehabilitating" those subjects who have had trouble adapting to the experiments. Inhabitants of the Lyle House whose recovery has proven successful are released but those who fail...are terminated. Refusing to be just another case study, Chloe and the boys must find safety, and a way to stop the Edison Group before they too are considered failed experiments.

Armstrong got a bit more descriptive with her ghost summoning scenes here (I'd say this was kind of scary but not sleep-with-the-light-on scary) and while the writing was intense, there was still no gore and guts. Excellently done (again) because too descriptive of a ghost/dead body scene would have thrown me off and disconnected me from my story.

And what's this? Could we maybe have a little lurve something something going on with more than one guy?? Chloe! You vixen you- but then who wouldn't love a girl who can raise an army of the dead.

Queen of Dragons

So this is tough- I'm not going to finish reading this book. This has only happened a few times in my life. Once I start a book, no matter how bad, I'm committed. I mean I made myself finish Breaking Dawn (and not beat up the author), I even completed that crap book about the unlikable cow who makes etch-a-sketch art, you know, wossname, I can't remember- it was from Oprah's book club.

I don't want anyone to think that this was a bad book. Nothing Shana Abé writes could ever be bad. It's not possible. She is a splendid story teller. I fell in love with The Last Mermaid and read it over and over. I loved the first two drakon books. BUT THIS BOOK IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE FIRST TWO. OMG, like really could you maybe NOT tell the same story over again only changing the name of the characters? While Abé's writing is almost musical and poetic at times- it's the same song on repeat.

So anyway, read about 2/3 of it and I'm giving it three stars just because I know that if you read it on it's own and not following the first two books, you'd love her too.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

"Books can be possessive, can't they? You're walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. sometimes what's inside will change your life, but sometimes you don't even have to read it. Sometimes it's a comfort just to have a book around." -Zelda, The Sugar Queen

Josey has never left home. Never left her mother- not even for a day. She runs her mother's errands, drives her mother to her meetings, dresses and speaks as her mother wants her to. She hides a secret love for all things sweet- delicious, sugary treats that take her away from her life when she pops them in her mouth. Her whole life has been spent barely living at all until one evening a strange woman crawls in through her bedroom window....and moves into Josey's closet and refuses to leave. Della Lee has been living, a bit too much in fact and the lessons she's had to learn the hard way push Josey to start living her own life before there's nothing left. Through Della Lee's not so subtle interventions, Josey finds a friend, a love and someone she never knew existed- Josey.

A perfect, simple, predictable little love story- a love story that is magical, not a magical story about love. I was hungry the entire time I was reading. Hungry for toasted bread and feeling rather whimsical about the mail.

Definitely a book for book lovers. Probably everyone who reads this blog understands that when you walk into a bookstore, certain books just have to be touched. You have to have your hands on them, own them, read them, love them.

When this book was finished, I had to kiss the cover.

Note to self...


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Chloe sees dead people. Now you know, even though you've seen The Sixth Sense a hundred times that "I see dead people" still SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF YOU. Chloe's sight lands her in Lyle House, a home for mentally ill teens where it quickly becomes apparent that she's not the only one whose condition is far from textbook. As Chloe and her housemates begin to discover their extraordinary similarities, they realize that it isn't coincidence that they all ended up in the same group home together. Lyle House holds a dark, unthinkable secret far more astonishing than their own conditions and the secret threatens their very lives.

This book could have been REALLY scary because the premise was absolutely terrifying. I think it's a testimony to just what a great writer Armstrong is that she was able to reign in and simply tell her story, minus the horror she could have written. How terrifying it must have been for Chloe, to have no one believe her, lock her away and make her question her own sanity. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to not be believed and to be abandoned and betrayed. Not to mention that she's seeing DEAD PEOPLE, which isn't exactly fun either.

Very quick read because I wasn't able to put it down once I started. By far the best cliff hanger ending I've read yet. I'm lucky to have discovered this book after the sequel had been published because I know that had I read it when it was released I would have gone crazy waiting for the next book.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Give me a moment to catch my breath please. The wind was rather unexpectedly knocked out of me.

What a wild ride that was! Sorta like we hit all the Disney theme parks in one day.

Clary Fray is not an ordinary girl. She doesn't come from an ordinary family and her world is like nothing you'd imagine (you wouldn't, but Cassandra Clare did). All facts that have been meticulously hidden from Miss Fray until a chance encounter with a weapon wielding boy slap in the middle of doing his normal everyday job of dispensing with evil, oozing, murderous demons, alerts her to the fact that her life might just be anything but ordinary. The Shadow World, cloaked and disguised by glamour to the eyes of mortals, has coexisted with the only life and reality Clary has ever known- the life she always thought she was a part of. Now this new world and the horrors that lie within it have taken Clary's mother and the only hope of saving her lies in Clary's acceptance that nothing she knows of her life is true.

This was a wonderful book and a remarkable story. Like I said, it was a theme park of emotions that left a very dizzying after effect once the ride stopped. There was nothing predictable about the story to the tune of "I never saw that coming" punched me in the gut.

It was also a nice change to read something that didn't reek of Twilight but instead had the pleasant aroma of Harry Potter. The dialogue was superb. All these young, dark, gothy books riddled with angst made me forget that in real books people actually have something coherent to say. I will devour the next two books in the series after I have had some time to recuperate from this one.

Happy Saturday!

For absolutely no reason what so ever, this morning I have decided to be ridiculously overjoyed about Finger Lickin' Fifteen coming out in June.

I was excited when I first heard about its release but why not be happy about it all over again just because it's Saturday.

If you haven't read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich- you should. They are laugh-out-loud-so-that-strangers-stare-at-you-like-you-are-a-crazy-person funny and absolutely the best time. The first book is One for the Money. Go read it. Do eeeeet.

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

My very first Kindle read! And well, I was a little disappointed. Now I know that once you've read a few books in a series, there's always the danger that the stories will start to run together and sound the same. Pretty much each book becomes like the last one, only more so. That, thankfully wasn't the case. Briggs didn't let me down in that respect, the story was new, exciting and edgy.....


Ok first things first, unless I'm missing something, and I hope I'm not, the writing style was different in this one. Something big would happen in the story, or something about the scene would change with absolutely NO set up. It left me flipping back and rereading paragraphs going "What the hell?" only to find the explanations a few more paragraphs in. Has she always written like that and I have been so captured by the story that I hadn't noticed, or is this something new? It was very distracting. Every time I had to stop and figure out where the hell she was coming from it took me out of my story- my frequent absences were apparently bad for Mercy because....

And here is problem #2- Mercy became a little wussy here. Yeah, I know. Shocking. I always knew that in order for Mercy and Adam to get together there would have to be a certain amount of compromise, and I was already expecting it to fall on Mercy to submit in this case because, well, Adam IS the Alpha and anything else would have made him seem weak which wouldn't have worked at all. So I get that. I'm fine with that part. But this was a bit much. First Mercy is rescued from this, and immediately following Mercy is kidnapped by that. Then oops Mercy's gone missing again. Found her! Wait, nope, someones threatening her life ONE MORE TIME.

And #3, the problem I alluded to in my Iron Kissed post.... This is not a romance story, it's good ol' fantasy fiction. That said there is, however, a very strong romance going on between Mercy and Adam. A gifted walker and the formidable Alpha. Mercy's hesitancy to submit to Adam wasn't in the cheap romance couldn't-give-in-to-a-rogue way. No, it was something more primal, between two very remarkable animal natures who are bound by instincts and laws that humans could never understand and they are trying to find a way to be with each other without destroying who they are. THAT IS IMPORTANT SHIT. It was hawt and fierce and and and...there was no sex. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not asking for porn on paper, but it is very important that someone who is writing a romance (be it the main focus of the book or not) address the emotional aspect that had to be in play when the Alpha finally physically joined with his mate. They had a giggly, hinted at romp which really didn't capture what's been building between them.

But then again, I guess I should be happy that Briggs didn't use the word "balls."

I read somewhere that Briggs has a deal for three more Mercy stories and I will wait on the edge of my seat to see what she comes up with next. I wasn't happy with this story but I am IN LOVE with the series and overall pleasantly surprised by Briggs. I'll forgive her the jumping around she did in this book, because, well, may be the story was a little bit overwhelming for her too. Still a huge fan.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

I started reading the first 70 pages of this one online and had to immediately run out and grab it. It's not vampires, it's fairies but in Marr's world there's not a whole heck of a lot of difference because her fairies are vicious!

Aislinn sees fairies. Fairies are everywhere, teasing, touching, toying with their unsuspecting human prey. Aislinn has lived her whole life as a silent witness to their secret world, a gift (or curse) that has been passed down to the women in her family.

"RULE #1- Don't ever attract their attention"

The Summer King has been searching for the girl who will become his summer queen. His chosen will either be the one fated to wear the crown or give up her mortal life and bear the curse of winter until the next girl is chosen- and the Summer King is following Aislinn.

Mortal love, evil fairies, a wicked queen, broken hearts and magic. I loved it. Marr's fairy world brought back images of twisted Froud fae and my beloved, angular, spindly Rackham fairies- beautiful and terrifying at the same time. I fell into a picture book as much as I did a story.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

***SPOILER*** (in the loosest sense of the word since you can't spoil this book due to it's already being rotten)


Cassie is a clairvoyant, fostered by the vampire who murdered her parents.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

On the run for years, discovered, hot roommate turns out to have been a vampire all along.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

We go to Vegas with our pet ghost and met Cleopatra, Jack the Ripper and various other people pulled out of history.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Big nasty magic/ghost/fairy/vampire/werewolf fight in a casino.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Foreplay in which the author uses the word "balls".

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Go back in time have weird possessed ghost sex and fight Rasputin. At least I think that's what happened, sorta zoned out at this point.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Cassie is now a big bad something or another. Hawt vampire who is not hawt roommate does a Daniel Day Lewis and swears "Stay alive! I will find you!"

The end.

So yeah, that's really all I have to say about that. Well, except- balls.

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson series #3

So Mercy and I were sitting around, chillin', having just gotten over a vicious vampire attack and our friend Stefan's disclosure that he felt more than just friendly towards us, prepared for a night of inner turmoil brought on by all the hawt men(ish) in our lives when our good friend Zee called us up in need of a little scent snooping for the Fae.

On the reservation built to separate the fae from human society, a series of gruesome murders leads to one unexplained human death that Zee is set up to take the fall for. To protect their own interests the Gray Lords intend to see Zee pay, regardless of his innocence and it is up to Mercy to cross all lines to save him. An actioned packed third installment complete with Mercy's hallmark ass-kicking (I helped).

Patricia Briggs is kicking some major buttocks here- though I have one issue that we'll go into when I've finished the series.

Up until now I haven't really considered the story to be dark but Mercy's dealings with the Fae in this book, I'll admit, kind of scared me. There's not much pleasant about them and the descriptions of not only their appearances, but of their natures made me really glad that I was safe under the comforter, sheltered by the glow of my trusty book light. Briggs even took it a step further by adding a very real, very terrifying element that would and should scare the hell out of any woman reading it. It was a very bold twist- uncomfortable, but it was meant to be.

I'm developing a strong attachment to Briggs and Mercy. When this book was over I was left with the familiar (depressing, horrible, awful, WONDERFUL) feeling that comes when you finish a good book but still can't pull yourself out of the story just yet. It needed a thousand more pages, then a thousand more.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I wouldn't really call what I do here reviewing books. That implies a bit more structure than I ever intend to have in regards to what I read. I merely wanted a place to jot down my thoughts about the stories I'm enjoying (or not). Mostly it's just "What I Think." which works for most people since (unless you're kidding yourself) it's what matters. But I'm rather at odds on how to best put into words my feelings on this book since I in no way wish to add to or take away from anything you yourself feel about it.

It is a fairytale, and it goes as fairytales go. It invokes the same sense of wonderment and longing for something quite beyond the ordinary that any of our childhood tales did. Gaiman prompts us to remember magic which, though it may not be as apparent in the mundane day to day, remembers us.

You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather)

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Book 2 of the Mercy Thompson series. What is it about boys and girls?? Why VAMPIRES, of course! I'm oh so happy.

I LOVE this series. Screw being a princess...I wanna be a shape-shifter-coyote-mechanic-who-is-lusted-after-by-the-sexiest-and-most-powerful-of-the-werewolves-and-now-vampires ASS KICKER. I'd be her more girlie side kick- we'd beat the hell out of the bad guys and go get pedicures after (for all our paws).

In Blood Bound Mercy and the wolf pack are hot on the trail of a rogue demon/vampire who is terrorizing Tri-Cities. Though it's something the local vampire seethe should be taking care of, the sorcerer turned vampire has proven to be more than Stefan can handle. In this second book, Brigg's shows us the inner workings of her vampire world as well as some more wolf pack politics. I'm really amazed by the depth and history she's putting into her characters. Even supporting characters are written with such depth that I was left with no doubt of their places in the story. There is a romantic element to the series, that while not prominent (so far) is intriguing because of why Mercy won't let it happen.

I stayed up until 2 in the morning devouring this book and at the climatic moment in the story, the dying battery SCREECH alarm on the smoke detector started sounding. So I balanced on a chair, book in hand, still reading and beat the hell out of the smoke alarm with a broom handle until it stopped. Then I finished my book while the sad little half plugged-in battery dangled defectively from the ceiling.

It wasn't exactly vampire slaying, but still, I think Mercy would be proud.

1st in Series Challenge 2009

OOOh this one will be fun. Hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.

Guidelines for 1st in Series Challenge 2009

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

2. Read 12 books that are the first in any series. You may read & list your chosen books any time during the year.

3. Challenge begins January thru December, 2009.

4. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009

1. Twilight (Twilight #1)by Stephanie Meyer
2. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs
3. Marked (House of Night, #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
4. Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1) by Karen Chance
5. City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare
6. The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1) by Kelley Armstrong
7. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)by J.R. Ward
8. Dead Until Dark (The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, #1) by Charlaine Harris
9. The Lightning Thief (The Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan
10. The Hunger Games Book 1 by Suzanne Collins

Quick note on Wicked Lovely

I ran across a link to harperTeen's site and read the first 70 pages of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Even though I have a stack of to-read books a mile high, I've now got to get in the car and drive to the store in the rain and get the book. Have to. Must. go. now.

Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

I really really didn't want to like this and for a while it looked like I was succeeding.

Zoey has recently been marked as a new vampire by the goddess Nyx and must leave her past behind and take her place at the House of Night, the school where young vampires learn about their new lives. It is in the House of Night that fledgling vampires will complete the physical transformation that will either change them into adult vampires or their bodies will reject the change and they will die. Zoey wants only to fit in like any other student but the goddess has other plans. Zoey is special- or she wouldn't be the star of our show. Destined to one day take her place as High Priestess, Zoey must embrace the powers given her and save the school from the influence of the evil Aphrodite. Yeah you read right.

As I type this, I cringe. But I have to be honest- this book was a lot of fun. Zoey goes from irritating to influential and is supported by a diverse cast of characters that keep things lively and light. This more magical portrayal of vampirism makes for an interesting change. I do wonder if perhaps some might find the combination of vampires and wiccan rites offensive.

This book poked fun at all the teen stereotypes I'd normally mock so it left me without any ammunition. I appreciate that though since to me it shows that Team Cast can recognize the absurdity of their story and nothing moves me more than a book that doesn't take itself too seriously. So yeah, of course I'll read the rest of them. I have no shame.

"I've found that the way a person feels about cats- and the way they feel about him or her in return- is usually an excellent gauge by which to measure a person's character." - Neferet

100+ Reading Challenge

I'm probably a bit behind on this but I figured since I was going to be reading anyway might as well do it with a little kick...

You can sign up for the challenge here.

2009 Book List- Completed

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
4. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
5. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
6. Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
7. Evermore by Alyson Noel
8. Evernight by Claudia Gray
9. Stargazer by Claudia Gray
10. Need by Carrie Jones
11. Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
12. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
13. Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
14. The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig
15. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
16. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
17. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
18. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
19. Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
20. Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
21. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
22. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
23. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
24. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
25. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
26. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
27. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
28. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
29. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) by Lemony Snicket
30. Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
31. Chosen by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
32. Untamed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
33. Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
34. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
35. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
36. Nation by Terry Pratchett
37. Hunted by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
38. Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
39. Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
40. The Bachelorette Party by Karen McCullah Lutz
41. A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
42. Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
43. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
44. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
45. Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
46. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
47. Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
48. The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 2) by Lemony Snicket
49. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
50. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
51. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
52. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
53. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
54. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
55. Tempted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Though this book contains the elements that are currently essential to get me to read it, (Vampires and er...vampires) I really can't lump it in with the other crap I've been reading simply because it was really good.

And oh I mean realllllly good. First, I like how the story just started- No set up, no explanation, you’re just in it. Then a few pages in a little voice within me screamed "IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME!" Finally a strong female character I can be proud to know. It's been awhile since I've met one. Don't get me wrong, I've liked some of my new fictional chick friends but they've all had one really annoying thing in common- they all needed rescuing. I like that Mercy, even at the height of adversity is not helpless. She can always hold her own. Sure, someone may show up to “help” but I never felt like she was being rescued. It’s a nice change from some of the whiny saps I’ve been reading who need to be saved. In fact, it was usually Mercy coming to the rescue. She's a tough hot chick who kills people (um...sorta) who should really be too strong for her to kill.

And she's into vehicular maintenance- something I've sworn to never understand but can respect her for.

This book has a little bit of everything- werewolves, vampires and fae with a side order of humans. But it's not about vampires! Go me! As an animal lover I might find that I’m far more interested in werewolves than vampires. You can take them places and not have to worry about them randomly latching on to your jugular.

I went ahead and picked up the rest of the series. Briggs was a nice find. Her superb writing makes it ok that I'm enjoying urban fantasy and I don’t have to be ashamed of liking her. It’s entirely justified.

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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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