Empower

Empower (The Violet Eden Chapters, #5)

Actual Rating: Infinite Stars

So I got my hands on this little beauty, and to start off, let me just tell you I’m currently crying like a baby and wringing my hands.

‘Kay?

‘Kay.

Synopsis via Goodreads:

It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and – most importantly – her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York … and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.

This is the reason I love reading with a passion. This is the reason I want to be an author.

I’m going to do this post without giving away anything, I swear. It’s going to be hard, but I’ll suck it up and do it.

I would say I’ve read over a million books. I’m an eighteen year old who can read a 400 page novel in a day, easily. And I do it often.

But never, ever have I stayed up past 2:00 a.m. to finish a book. Never. It’s, like, my deadline. Once it’s that time, I stop wherever I am and put the book down to go to bed.

I did an all nighter for this beauty.

The clock hit four a.m. this morning and I told myself I needed to go to bed. I didn’t feel tired, but I’ve never done an all nighter before and I didn’t want to start now. But I couldn’t, I really couldn’t. But I tried. I went to bed and lay tossing and turning for an hour, before giving up and continue reading.

I finished it.

Also, with all the books I’ve ever read, I have never, ever felt this way about finishing a series. Not. Ever. This is – hands down – the best series I have ever read. Ever. And I know, without a doubt, it will forever be my favorite.

And right now (I’m still crying, BTW. It’s starting to get messy.) I’m a hot mess, because I just started thinking about Violet and Lincoln and Phoenix and Spence and everyone, and at this very moment, I cannot bear the idea of picking up the first book in the series to start rereading it, or even going back to my favorite scenes or even so much as glancing at my bookcase where I might see the series pristinely laid out, because it just hurts too much. It just freakin’ hurts too much.

My chest feels like it’s imploding and I swear this must be a piece of what Violet feels. Every. Single. Day. And when the reader can literally feel the emotions of a character, you know that what you have in your hands is completely and utterly priceless.

I love these characters more than any other ones. I feel their emotions. So. Much. More. Than I ever thought possible. It hurts. It really hurts, guys. But even though I’m crying – and I almost cried in front of my parents today at lunch because of this very reason – it’s a good kind of hurt. The one that reminds you that books can still do this to you, even when you feel like you’ve read everything.

Because there are no characters that blend into the background. There are no clear-cut bad and good guys, and even though you know that you should hate a character at some points, you realize that that character is the best one of all. Because sometimes things aren’t clear cut, and we just need to go with gut instincts and realize that we’re never going to get a clear cut answer.

I’m babbling, I know. And I’m sorry, but I’m also really not.

Because I really, really want everyone to read this series. I really do.

Please. Do yourself a favor and just trust me on this. Read the bloody series.

Okay?

Okay.

Hakuna Matata, people.

I’m gonna go cry my eyes out now. If anyone needs me, bring chocolate.

EmbraceGirl1920x1080

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46 Comments

Filed under 5 star books

46 responses to “Empower

  1. Ibitoye Opemikun

    First of all, I did not cry. Guys just don’t do that. But pretty much everything else you said is on point.

    I read all 5 books within a week, basically. All night, all day and in between (yep, even during my bathroom breaks too). The flow of the conversation is just amazing! She writes like she’s just thinking this stuff up and she’s like using her gift to just drop it on paper and the publishing house just took her first draft, printed it and !bam…it’s out on paperback, no edits, no careful storyline plotting. The characters are awesome! And in so much pain too. Phoenix!!!! My favourite. Love was truly the end of the poor guy.

    It’s so not the typical Superhero, Hero saves the world kind of gig. Sure Vi’s powerful, but still not portrayed as invincible, and very fallible too. I like the fact that the characters didn’t simply rely on/use their gifts for everything.

    And the ending, perfection! Yeah, love me a bittersweet deal, as life often is. But don’t blacken out the sun and make one wonder what the whole fight was for in the first case (Suzanne Collins – Mockingjay, an ending I will never forgive her for).

    So maybe I am not in the same ‘One Direction’ with you on the whole ‘Best Book Ever’ thing (pun intended), but I sure do agree it’s one of the best series I’ve ever read.

    P.S. I’m posting a review on Goodreads of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy today. Check it out!

  2. Oh, my gosh. Don’t even get me started on Phoenix. I love the guy. He is probably one of the best written characters. The man is the ultimate crossroad.
    And I totally agree with you on the bittersweet deal. It hurts (still does) but I couldn’t think of a better ending. And as for Mockingjay, I just blocked out that ending from my mind (though I’m oddly not as much as a Hunger Games fan as a lot of people. Don’t really know why).
    And I will check out your review as soon as possible! Thanks for commenting! 😀

  3. Ibitoye Opemikun

    So maybe I was a little more depressed about the book ending when I wrote my last comment (yeah, I admit it. I am having withdrawal issues). I don’t think I gave the series the props it deserved.

    First of all, 5 books is a lot to write! And to read too! I do this thing where I’m reading a book and I read a part I just can’t keep in, so I keep walking around the house, looking for the closest person and babbling my head off and then reading the part aloud to them. I typically find that when I do this , most people are like ‘M’eh’, but not with the Violet Eden Chapters. I got a laugh most times. The books are just so very funny! The day Spence went to visit Vi’ at school glamoured as a girl, the day Lincoln drove Phoenix off and came back with a few bruises ‘just cause they had to punch it out’, Zoe using a tree as a catapult to get into Vi’s house, Onyx at Hades carrying all the bottles when Vi asks ‘You working or drinking those?’, Or when Vi asks how old Josephine is and they answer ‘You wanna be the one to ask her?’. Oh…Good times!

    Okay, lemme do some criticism.
    So what happened to Magda really? That was a loose end to me, if ever there were one. Would have loved to see her get what was coming to her. And the way Griffin just dropped off the map in Empower for a while. If it were a movie, or TV show, I’d say the writers were being creative to mask scheduling conflicts or cast changes, but it’s a book. And I didn’t like the way it ended for Phoenix. No I didn’t. Maybe because he’s the character I related with the most, I kind of felt he just caught the short end of the stick. She should’ve just killed him in the battle. Vi got her Soulmate, Dad, Mum and friends back, what’d Phoenix get? Nothing! Sucks! And he gave everything! Bet he’d give even his Mortal life in a heartbeat for her. Okay, we get it Jessica, life sucks.

    So I take it back. It was a great book. Is a great book. I’m gonna be letting all my pals know, they need to read this one.

  4. LOL. I love how it took a few days for that ending to kick in with you! And, yeah, I’m not crying over the ending anymore, but, gosh, it still hurts. Like a lukewarm kind of hurt, you know?
    And I totally know what you mean when you say you read a part and then had to get up and tell someone about it. I always have to get up and pace my room a few times when that happens and work out a scenario in my mind. I would read a few pages and then be like, “Okay. Okay. Give me a sec,” and then put the book down to go scream internally about it while pacing my house.
    As for your criticism, I agree with you. I thought Magda was going to come back into the picture in Empower, and I was really surprised that she never did. But at the same time, I’m kind of glad, because she just annoyed me as a character. I mean, she’s supposed to be kind of old, like Griffin, but to me she kind of came off as a jealous teenage girl. And for Griffin, I was really surprised he didn’t have that much of a part in Empower. But I basically got a heart attack at the end because I thought Lincoln was going to tell Violet that Griffin had died, instead of Gray. I think I would have screamed if that had happened.
    As for Phoenix, I have a love/hate relationship with his ending. At one end, I think he got the best ending possible for him because the only true ending that would have made him happy was if he got Violet, and we all know that was never going to happen. But being human is the next best thing, because being an angel didn’t make him happy and being an exile was downright cruel for him. He always said he just wanted to belong, and he got that. But at the same time, I just feel so bad for the guy.
    Even though I believe that the trio of them all – Violet, Lincoln, and Phoenix – made this series for me, I think it was ultimately Phoenix that got me hooked. And it’s not even so much that I’m a girl and this series revolves around a love triangle with guys who are depicted as attractive. Despite how much fangirling I do over books, I’m really not an emotional person. In any way. Or a love-crazy girl, either. Sure, I enjoy a good romance, but what got me about the series was how real each character felt, and how Jessica Shirvington could make the reader feel like Phoenix was a real person, or created from a memory of real people.
    I’m not expert writer or anything, but I do believe that a character is only as real to the reader as they are to the writer. And I think to Jessica, Violet, Lincoln, and Phoenix are real to her. They’re in the people she knows and even herself, which is a very rare thing to find in an author, quite unfortunately.
    And another thing that just got be a little upset was how Lincoln reacted to Violet in the series. For the first four books, I felt kind of annoyed at him because he just seemed to be leading Violet on. Like, I get that there’s the soulmate bond and they didn’t want to risk it and I’m fine with that, I really am (even kind of loved that part), but what I hated was how he treated her some of those times. And even in Empower, I would have liked to see a little more of him chasing after Violet. I was basically screaming at her to hang him loose for a little while longer (though I know they were going to end up together). Just because I think he deserved it in some ways, you know? To know and understand what Violet was going through in the past when he kept rejecting her.
    I still love the guy, but really. He deserved it.

  5. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Hey, In defense of Lincoln, the girl wouldn’t stop trying to martyr herself. He wasn’t going to keep waiting around till he became a priority to her? Putting his and her happiness always on the second shelf and jumping of a moving train to save the hapless bystander seemed to be her pattern all through the books and he wasn’t about to stick around and be her enabler. And do you remember all the declarations he made? That he ALONE made? That he alone made FIRST? The part where he first told her that he didn’t know what in this world he could do to deserve her or if it were ever possible but that he would try to forever? Come on…stop hating!

    By the way, I have picked up 3 books since to read after Empower. I’d read the first 3 pages or so and drop them to go read something I missed from Entice, or Endless or one of the other books. Apart from Divergent (Veronica Roth) which is the only other book I simply just did a 180 and started reading again from the first page after I finished it, this is a first for me. I’d just get done with a book, get mad about all the reasons why I thought the ending was botched and move on to the next one. (I never like endings…not if the story was good anyway). And I haven’t eaten an apple since! Lest the senses overwhelm me.

    I typically read Fiction but I stumbled on a few YA books last year and I think I am getting hooked on the genre. Some good stories out there. Wonder when we’ll be critiquing yours.

    Don’t take so long to write it 😀

  6. Oh, I don’t want it to sound like I don’t like Lincoln (in fact, it’s the exact opposite). But like, in the second installment, I felt like he was being a little cruel to Violet because in the first book he made a big deal about not wanting her with Phoenix (for obvious reasons) and telling her how much he wants her, but when she does become Grigori and puts everything on the line for him, he pushes her away. And, yes, I completely understand why. They didn’t know that they were soulmates yet and didn’t want to put each other in danger by becoming weaker if they were together, but still. And what did Lincoln expect from her as a Grigori? Isn’t being a martyr her job? It’s his job too, and I think she understands that and that’s why she doesn’t always jump in front of him if it meant an innocent’s life. Even after they became soulamtes and tied the bond, they’re supposed to put innocents first and their relationship second. That’s why Violet gets mad at Lincoln in Empower about his always trying to martyr himself for her. She doesn’t want that kind of relationship. She wants to be able to martyr herself because she knows it may come to that and she wanted him to understand she would give him the same respect. Is it fair for either of them? No. No, not at all, but that’s what life is.
    As for the declarations Lincoln made, yes, I remember them. And I think that’s what really got to me about him. He obviously loved her, but even though Violet would have (how I feel) given Lincoln everything, even tied the soulmate bond if he had cracked even once (even after Rudyard), Lincoln didn’t like the risk. Violet understood the risk completely, but to her, going on forever like they were would have been impossible. I just didn’t like the way he would make it obvious that he loved her, but then pushed her away every time and even (sometimes) make it seemed as if he downright disliked her. Like in Emblaze when they go to see Irin and Lincoln tells Violet that she is what torments him the most, I mean, come on, how is she supposed to take that? The guy keeps giving her mixed signals, and no matter how much she knows he loves her, it gets rough.
    So I really don’t want to sound like I dislike or hate Lincoln or think he made all the wrong decisions. I don’t think that at all. He did what he thought was best. But sometimes he just frustrated me (everyone did) and I think that’s exactly what Jessica Shirvington was going for, so oh well.
    And I’ve actually been doing the same thing with books since I’ve finished Empower. I finish them, but a lot of the times I have to stop to go back to Empower or Embrace.
    YA, to me, is the best out there. Not just because it’s what I started on, but because I just feel the writing is a lot better (still depending on the author, of course). If you liked The Violet Eden Chapters, I would really recommend that you read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi if you haven’t already. It’s not the same type of story – with angels and exiles and whatnot – but it’s a fantastic story. I love it.
    And the funny thing is that I’ve actually already finished my novel. In fact, I’m currently working on my third. ;P It’s not a series or anything (I prefer writing standalone novels) but I’ve just been working on finding an agent for my first work.

  7. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Reading ‘Die for me’ by Amy Plum. Think I’ll finish this one, good story!

    I read a lot of YA’s too. Shatter Me was a solid book. Oh, I was so impressed. I just didn’t see it coming, that Adam could touch her, and that he knew all the while he was with her in the cell. And the strike through text, brilliant touch. Unravel me was a bit of hit ‘n’ miss for me. I expected it to really take Juliette’s power to the next level, but throughout the book, she was just this fragile mess who was afraid of her own shadow. Annoying! Especially after having already shown so much confidence and resolve in Shatter me to breakout of the Reestablishment’s hold. I guess we’ll see if Ignite me can deliver.

    Three books? You’ve written 3 books, as in ‘trois’ french three? That kind of three? That is amazing!!! I am not even sure I had READ 3 books before I got into college. Consider me recruited into your fan club, okay? Platinum Pass, Lifetime Membership, the whole works. Cos when you writers become big shots and all, it’s difficult to get through the tape. (Veronica Roth’s books will be 1, 2 and 3 on the New York Times Bestsellers list today and she’s only 23! How about that? And I still remember not so long ago after Divergent was released when she used to respond to her tweets and manage her Facebook Page herself).

    Seriously now. From your reviews, I can see how much effort you put into ensuring that the integrity of your opinion is not altered, even the state of mind at the time of writing seeps through the style. I can just then imagine what your book characters will be like! You have got to get an Editor, pronto! I can’t wait! Someone’s gotta believe in one of your three projects to pick it up? (Seriously Universe, some help here please?) Or maybe you’re one of those ‘visionaries’ (read ‘control freak’) who just must have their book presented the way they wrote it, no alterations and have been chasing all the Editors away. (LOL!)

    Books are a messy business (I hear, not like I would know personally). You gotta be willing to make some accommodations, adjustments even sometimes. I am in management though, and there is one piece of good advice I can give you. (Yeah I know, advice. That thing we’re all so quick to give and ever so reluctant to receive!). Seriously. Pattern yourself after those who have the results that you want. So, for example, if you want to be published fresh out of college and never have to take a paid job for a day in your life, I’d try to become friends with Veronica Roth if I were you. If you wanna write books that makes people bond and argue over which character is the most tortured soul on the planet in a fictional world of Exiled Angels and Grigori, Jessica Shirvington would probably be a good role model, so I’d start by sending her a deluxe coffee maker for New Years (LOL!).

    And you’d be surprised to find that many of these guys (especially the successful ones) are probably more friendly and supportive than you may think. I’d bet you can find an author on Goodreads who will be glad to link you up with a good editor/publishing house.

    All you need is a couple of pointers and New York Times Bestsellers list, here you come! You can do it!

  8. Oh, I’ve read Die For Me! The series is really good, I have to say.
    And yeah I agree about Shatter Me and Unravel Me. But I really do think Ignite Me will be more of Juliette coming into who she is and how strong she is. (Try Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo if you haven’t already.)
    And, yeah, three books. I wrote the first one when I was seventeen, during my senior year of high school. (Technically, it’s more like my second and a half novel because I started writing an actual series when I was, like, in eighth grade (???) . . . I think. I finished the first in the series and got halfway into the second book in the series before I figured out it wasn’t very good. And I hope those two books never see the light of day! ;p) And my real first book is about 67,000 words long, which I’m happy with. And then the summer before I started college I started on a new standalone novel that ended up only being about 33,000 words (about half the length of the first one). I finished that one not too long ago and during this last semester I started writing my third novel, which I’m still in the middle of writing (it’s going to be about the same length as the first one or longer, I think).
    And that’s actually kind of why I started this blog and got a Twitter and everything – to get my name into the YA community, I suppose. Though, I have to say I just love ranting about books too!
    And I’m no control freak or anything like that, I promise! I’ve been querying agents this whole last semester, and most of them just gave me a polite no thanks, but I also had an agent that asked for my first three chapters and a synopsis, so I’m just waiting for a reply on that! (Fingers crossed!!)
    And yes, books are so difficult to get published. I had to do so much research just to figure out the process (read: how I became a hermit over the summer).
    I also know that my age can be a big turn off for these agents too. I mean, I have a bit of history with writing (read: Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper, multiple awards for articles I’ve written, etc, etc, . . .). But I’m still really young and I don’t have a degree in creative writing or whatever. Though, I am about to take my first creative writing class ever this next semester. 😀 So that will help, I’m sure.
    I wish I could post a chapter or something of my first novel here, but there’s just so much risk in that and I don’t think an agent would really like me doing that if I’m trying to sell it to them.
    But what I will tell you is that none of my books are “happy-go-lucky” type of books. I try to incorporate some fantasy in them (because I love it) but keep the not-so-perfect endings. Because I feel those are real. And I’m always trying reeaallllyyy hard to stay away from the A-typical anything. I wanted to do something with a character that has a kind of . . . open ended ending, if that makes any sense. 😛
    And thank you for your kind words and advice! I’m doing everything I can to get published, and I hope I’d have someone like you to critique my book on Goodreads when it is published! 😛

  9. Ibitoye Opemikun

    I imagine that your response to pretty much any book I will ever mention will be ‘Oh! I read that book!’ So when the book is such a polarizing read like ‘Shatter Me’, I’d guess you would have read it too, even if only just to form an opinion. I tried to look through your book shelves on Goodreads earlier and I realized I had no right to call myself an avid reader.

    Shadow and Bone must have been the singular best book I read last year. And I am a die hard Divergent Trilogy fan, but I preferred it by very much to Insurgent. I read it just after Siege and Storm was released, so I was so lucky I read both books in quick succession. Waiting for Ruin and Rising is killing me. I want Alina to come back, use all her amplifiers, summon an Almighty cut and slice the Darkling in two, top to bottom! (Too video game-ish?)

    Do not share your unpublished book! With anyone! EVER! I don’t care if he wears a Church Steeple on his head and rides around in a pimped up Mercedes G-Wagen (Pope Francis), even if he is blind and can’t read at all to begin with. Yes it may not yet be the manuscript to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but it may yet be. Anyway, I really hope you’ll get a good response from that one Editor, I sure wanna read your book next year.

    There is little I dislike more about a story than it not having an appropriate meaningful end. I am already beginning to get the feeling that I will not like this your book very much after all. So please reconsider your open-ended endings (if that makes any sense at all). Else, I might have to create my own ‘can-i-punch-the-writer’ bookshelf, just for you. 😀

  10. LOL. Actually, you might find it funny that I’ve never read the Divergent Trilogy. So there are books I’ve not read. :p
    The funny thing about my ending is that it was different when I first wrote it, but then some of my family members told me it would be better if I cut off the last page or so of the ending and just leave it like that. I was against it at first, but then I thought about it and realized it was better this way.
    And I don’t think I described it right before about the open-ended ending. I actually don’t know how to describe the ending, but I do believe readers will find it as a meaningful end (at least I hope. But what do I know, I’m just the author, right? :p). Because these are my characters, and I love them to death, and I want them to have the appropriate ending.
    And if you do read my book and have to add a “can-I-punch-the-writer” bookshelf, I will actually be oddly pleased (of course a little sad too). Because if you feel that strongly about this little world and these characters I’ve created, then I must have done something right. It’s better to hate a book with a burning passion than feel nothing at all for it, because that means you must have loved the book at some point to get to those opposite emotions. :p (At least that will be what I’m telling myself as I eat loads of chocolate.)

  11. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Now this is getting more complicated than I’d thought it would be. Now, in addition to opening a ‘can-i-punch-the-writer’ bookshelf, i am now going to have to open a ‘can-i-punch-the-writers-family’ bookshelf also? That’s going to be very time consuming. Plus I’m not sure my knuckles could actually handle all that work if I were forced to make good on my threats, so I think I’ll pass.

    You haven’t read ‘Divergent’? Why? I am so surprised that you haven’t. really, Don’t like Dystopians then, right? But how about ‘Delirium’ (Lauren Oliver), ‘Matched’ Trilogy even? Or ‘Legend’ (Marie Lu). Surely you must like one of these. What am I saying, ‘Shatter Me’! You like ‘Shatter Me’ and you and I are one of a few people who actually do so take my word for it, you will like Divergent. Go get is and read. Please…

    So I was thinking, how do you do it actually? Read so many books? Don’t you have a demanding coursework load? College is brutal (at least that was my experience) and I am just wondering how you handle it all. Let’s not even consider that you’re also writing. Books and book reviews. No kidding about the obsession part, huh? And the cold these days. I hear it’s epic!

    A good book will evoke some serious emotion, about that you’re right. Good or bad, you will at least read it to the end and then hate on it. And the beauty of books is that it’s all a figment of your imagination anyway, so if you think it sucks, well then… (fill in the gap)!

  12. I don’t know really why I haven’t read Divergent. Just haven’t gotten around to it, I guess. I like dystopian novels just fine (yes, I’ve read the Matched trilogy and Delirium). They’re just not always my favorite (though I loved The 5th Wave).
    As for how I do it, I actually have no idea. I’m about to start my next semester this Wednesday, so by that point I know I won’t be reading as many (or any) books. I didn’t for last semester. And yes, my college is brutal. I’m actually a chemistry major to make it worse, and I’m about to take 18 credits, soooo . . . yeah. And my college is especially difficult for science majors (more so than usual). So I’m not expecting to read almost any books or write any reviews for the next few months, but when summer rolls around I’ll be posting a review a day (though I’m going to be working and taking extra summer classes, so don’t quote me on that!). As for my writing, I just kind of have to do it to stay sane. I get so stressed out at college that I either have to 1.) go run a mile or two or 2.) write until my hands hurt. Sometimes both. But anything writing or book related does definitely decrease during school.

    • Ibitoye Opemikun

      Hey Hannah, great weekend I hope. Probably read 3 more books and wrote a Novella by now. #stillblowingmymind

      I posted a review of Shatter Me on Goodreads. I know, after I had dissed Unravel Me, right? Well, I read Haleema’s rant about it and felt obliged to correct her poor impression of the book (told her as much too).

      You should read it. Tell me what you think. Hope I did well enough to defend Tahereh Mafi’s honor.

  13. You did very, very well.
    (Read: Still jealous.)
    I think Mafi’s writing is one of the unique types that inspires a human’s dominant emotions. And then we can’t control it and either hate that we can’t control it or just learn to love and accept it.

  14. Ibitoye Opemikun

    And I finished the book!!!!

    First of all, you gotta teach me how to do good gifs/memes ok? This would be so much more fun.

    Okay, so I finished ‘Die for me’ and I have the singular displeasure of telling you that I found the book ‘Royally Suck-tastic’. I really wanted to like it, I tried. I endured reading the whole book just so I wouldn’t have to lie if you asked me if I actually read the whole thing. And I still hated it.

    Then I had the audacity to write a review about it and post it on Goodreads. Before you ‘unfriend’, please read the review and maybe you’ll get why I didn’t really like it.

    Besides, I still gave it 2 stars instead of 1 (insert extra large smiley face here). That’s gotta count for something. Plus I didn’t know you actually gave it 5 stars until after.

    Don’t hate me. A little beef is perfectly understandable. Or we could go the way of progressive intellectuals and argue it out to see whose views are more grounded. Or you could just recommend me another stimulating (read terse and deathly boring) YA book to read as my punishment. I’ll behave.

  15. Okay, first, for the memes and gifs, all I do is go to Google, type in something like “tumblr sarcastic gif” and hit search. Then I go to tumblr and just scroll through for funny memes or gifs that I think would be good in my review (always use tumblr for this; just trust me). When you find one you like, just copy it. If your review is on Goodreads, there’s a certain way you have to insert the meme or gif, and it explains it to you on the right side of where you write your review. For this blog, I just have to copy and paste (Goodreads really needs to update their ways to review and post a pic).
    And it’s okay that you hate it! It really is! I think I read the book when it first came out (a few years ago, I think?) and I wasn’t crazy about it. I’m still not. I don’t think it’s completely horrible, but it’s not my favorite. I can’t actually remember much of what happens in the first book.
    I was also kind of young when I first read it, so my tastes have changed, I’m sure. What I will tell you is that it does get better as the series goes on. Do I recommend you do that? Not really. If you didn’t like the first book then I wouldn’t recommend you waste your time with the rest. I think they (kind of) get better as you go along, but not so much that you should continue with the series.
    And I like your review. I really do.
    But here’s the thing: Whenever I start a new YA series with a love interest (aka, every YA book out there), I get in the mind frame that this is going to be a totally unrealistic and A-typical love triangle. I – in all honesty – have given up on the men of YA novels. I can recite the confessions of love and “hot” kissing scenes in my sleep, because they’re all the same! I have little hope for the females as well, but lets not get into that.
    But the reason I didn’t hate Die For Me was because it 1.) introduced a new supernatural being (revenants), 2.) Kate was not as eye roll worthy as so many other YA females and could stick up for herself in the “I-don’t-care-if-you’re-trying-to-protect-me-you-imbecile-I-have-a-say-in-the-matter” kind of way, 3.) she has a traumatic past that still affects her, which I liked, and 4.) Jules. I liked him. He was probably my favorite character in the way he is not involved in your A-typical love triangle, but still has feelings for Kate but is man enough not to steal the girl from his best friend. He should have had more face time in the series.
    As for the love crap happening, I just don’t care for it. There are very few loves in YA books that touch me in any way (not including The Violet Eden Chapters, Shatter Me, and very, very few others). As a female, I have to say that it feels like I’ve read every single crappy love interest and romantic scene out there, and after a while it just feels like you’re re-reading the same love story with characters who have different names.
    Did I love the series? No. I didn’t mean it to sound like that. But it’s nowhere near the worst I’ve read. It was doable.
    (As for the 5 stars part, confession time. When I first joined Goodreads (years ago) I basically gave every book 5 stars, unless it was truly, truly horrific. Why? Because I had an inkling of how much work goes into these books – terrible or not – and I felt bad not realizing that. Since then, I’ve tried going back and changing the ratings of books to say what I actually felt, but some I read so long ago that I just can’t remember. This series would have actually probably been given 3 or 4 stars. 3.5 maybe?)
    Okay, if you want YA series that I have loved, loved, loved, try L.J. Smith novels (in particular, The Forbidden Game or The Night World Series). I was really young when I first read these (like, these are the books that got me into YA), so they may not be as great as I remember, but to this day I still love The Forbidden Game with a passion. It’s up there with The Violet Eden Chapters in my book (ahhh, no, The Violet Eden Chapters still surpasses). Or, try Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, Mind Games, any book by Lauren DeStefano, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Saving Francesca, The Ghost’s Child, Splintered, or just go to my Goodreads page and go under “favorites.”
    Just keep in mind that the love interests in a lot of these can be . . . un-revolutionary. Not all, but some I loved because of the smaller things in them. And most of the books that are my favorites are because they were different to me; they stand out in YA fiction because of something in them.

    • Ibitoye Opemikun

      Then write your own book. Or three! Lol.

      I’m typing on my Smartphone tonight. I’ll try out my hands at the gifs tomorrow when I have WiFi.

      You obviously feel so strongly about the mass produced generic romance elements of all these YA novels. I’d question your sanity due to your apparent compulsion to continue reading them if I weren’t myself all too familiar with the subject matter of obsession.

      To hear you say “I was also kind of young when I first read it”, well that was priceless! So I guess since ‘young’ is in your past, your present now would be ‘whatever the opposite of young is’, right?

      Well, I’m gonna take my reading assignments very seriously Ms Hannah, and update you (as always) as I tick them off.
      While I’m holding out to finally read your book of course.

  16. Oh my gosh, I think I just died laughing when you said that about me being young! (You know what I mean.) But I think I was about thirteen (???) when I read those other books, so it feels like a long time ago. (Obviously I’m not old now, of course. It’s just young TO ME.)
    And the thing about the mass production of “romance” anymore is that they fit into one of two categories: 1.) the Twilight (moves to new school, falls in love at first sight, boy tries to stay away from girl, causing annoyance throughout the novel, supernatural related, blah, blah, blah . . .) or 2.) the somewhat realistic (characters probably in high school and girl is different, falls in love with popular boy and feels like life gets better). Mostly the first one though. It wouldn’t seem so bad if the novel could actually keep me guessing about who the girl was going to end up with, but it’s always so painfully obvious.
    And if there wasn’t a love triangle, it would have been nice if I could find the guy desirable in any way. I mean, I’m a teenage girl for Pete’s sake; if I’m not finding these guys even a little attractive, how is this a romance novel?
    Or, why can’t some of these novels just have the romance as a side note? Or it could still be a big factor, just not something that the whole story revolves around with an anguished teenage girl. It’s all become so . . . cardboard-cutout, you know?
    And I just keep reading so much because every once in a while, I find a book or series that just makes it all worth it. I usually stumble upon those ones by accident, but they’re amazing. I’ve found that going to used bookstores is the best; that’s where I found Saving Francesca.

  17. Ibitoye Opemikun

    So you can imagine my reaction then when I read your words (picture Jaden Smith starting a conversation with Will with the words ‘Back in the day…!) Just in case you’re wondering, you’d be Jaden and I’d be Will.

    Okay, try something different for a change. Have you read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers? The Main Characters are neither Strikingly Handsome or Magazine Cover Pretty. The story itself is not about romance, not really. The girl os quite capable of taking care of herself and often is the one who does the ‘saving the day’ too. Not set in modern times though but a totally brilliant read if I do say so myself. Plus the book is not unnecessarily loooooooong either, something I really like in a good book (lazy reader alert!)

    So are you Team Edward or Jacob? Won’t be surprised to find out you’re Team ‘Nada’ as you seem to really like Twilight so much (yeah, like as in loathe, right?)

  18. I’ve read Grave Mercy actually (who would have thunk it?) and I liked it. I’ve read the sequel too and I’m just waiting for the third one to come out.
    And I actually don’t hate Twilight. I read the series when it wasn’t as popular, and I actually really liked it. (I also went back not too long ago and re-read some of it; it’s not half bad.) It’s just that ever since it came out, I feel like a lot of authors tried to duplicate it in some ways. Not so much the vampire thing, but the “I-love-you-but-it’s-too-dangerous” crap. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just read so many books that they all blur together for me.
    And I’ve never really gotten the “teams” thing. I mean, if I had to choose I guess Team Edward? Though I liked the guy more in the first book; after New Moon he just got way too controlling for me. I suppose I like more how Meyer wrote about Edward. When Twilight came out there were other vampire books, but even though people make fun of the whole “sparkle in the sunlight” thing, to a thirteen year old girl, it was pretty cool of an idea. And the romance is actually pretty good. He’s not a “bad-boy” but he’s attractive in a dangerous blend, and that’s what sells. And Bella? So many people say she’s the embodiment of a weak protagonist, but she’s – what I think – a real teenage girl. If you put a teenage girl in a situation like Bella’s, 99% of them are going to act the exact same way. Weak and all.

    • Ibitoye Opemikun

      Again with the ‘I’m-above-all-this-teenage-drama’ narrative. “If you put a teenage girl in a situation like Bella’s, 99% of them are going to act the exact same way. Weak and all.” Them? Seriously? I rest my case.

      So you’ve read Dark Triumph too? You just have to keep ‘One-up ing’ me now don’t you? Keep reminding me that I am trying to play in the big leagues while I’m still running on training wheels. Have actually been trying to lay my hands on the book, unsuccessfully so far.

      Stephanie Meyers is a brilliant writer. That woman could do no wrong in my book and I have read and will continue to read anything of hers I can lay my hands on.

      Gosh its way past my bedtime. Where’s that cup of coffee? Double Expresso, black please?

  19. Well the thing about the teenage drama scenario is that I like it when it’s done right. (Wow, that sounds presumptuous, huh?) I think for Twilight, Bella came off (to me) as real and I agree that Meyer is a great writer. But for a lot of these books I’ve read recently (etc: Goddess Test, A Beautiful Dark, Shadowlands, The Memory of After, Hush, Hush, etc, etc, etc, . . .) the authors felt like they tried to put their characters into this nice little box that may or may not have been inspired from popular books like Twilight. It felt . . . forced, I suppose. The writing didn’t seem like it was flowing like Twilight was.
    I do believe that creating a character like Bella (teenage anguish and all) can be done again, and in a good way, and there are some books that can do it and have done it.
    But for a lot of these writers, I think they need to let go of this idea of teenage anguish. Violet Eden for example. She still had some teenage anguish, but nothing compared to Bella. Violet told herself to suck it up. It still hurt (with good reason) but she didn’t collapse in a fit of tears the second she finds out the love of her life won’t be with her. So she was (to me) a great balance between a real teenage girl with real issues, but who deals with it.
    But now, whenever I read a book that has a supernatural guy, who falls in love with the girl but then leaves her, or pushes her away because he’s trying to protect her, I groan out loud and want to fling the book (ect: The Immortals, Personal Demons, Hush, Hush, Fallen, Through the Zombie Glass, ect, ect, . . .)

  20. Ibitoye Opemikun

    ROTFLMAO @ “I groan out loud and want to fling the book”. I just saw ‘Carrie’ the 2013 remake of the Stephen King novel based movie, and there’s this scene where she’s telekinetically moving books around. That’s what came to my mind when I read that!

    Okay, so I can see you have a lot of issues with the boys in the books. So I have to ask? What’s bad about a guy wanting to protect a girl who he believes is better that himself and that he probably does not deserve from getting mixed up with all his personal drama by pushing her away? You think taking the high road is the easy way out? You think it wouldn’t be soooooo much easier to just jump in and see what happens? And maybe this is one place where the average ‘nice-little-box’ writer out there has One-up’ed you. Guys are really like that in real-life. At least all the good ones are. Those who don’t care, yeah, they’re the douchebags! It is the males’ primal instinct to FIRST protect the female, even at his own expense. So…sorry, you’re gonna be reading a lot more stories that will make you go all ‘Carrie’ on your books.

    http://nightmare-of-mine.tumblr.com/post/72783577465

    Okay, I’m trying to use a gif. (I hope it works or else, I just effectively made a huge fool of myself).

    Presumptuous much? You said it first, so don’t hate! I simply echoed it. Seriously, what happened to the 13 year old girl who gave every book she read a 5 star rating on Goodreads “because I had an inkling of how much work goes into these books”? Guess I know the answer to that one already though!

    Your book had better be ALL THAT, cos I’m gonna give you the meanest, baddest, mother of all ‘word-bashings’ if it misses the mark, by even the tiniest iota! Oh yes, ITS ON!

  21. Ibitoye Opemikun

    And I made a big fool of myself!

  22. But the thing about the boys in these books is that I am actually okay with them protecting the girl and whatnot. It’s just that it’s the same. Darn. Thing. In sooooo many YA books. Look at a good portion of YA supernatural romances. Not all of them, mind you, but quite a lot of them have almost the exact same scene as New Moon when Edward leaves Bella. And you know what happens in EVERY SINCE BOOK? The girl gets hurt, they’re both miserable, and they get back together by the end of the novel.
    I’m not saying the book itself isn’t good; I’m just saying that it’s getting a little old to re-read similar scenes like that.
    And, yeah, okay, I get the whole taking the high road isn’t the easy way out, but I do think these guys should be at least honest about what they’re about to do. Instead, they pull an Edward and make the girl think that they hate them or something like that. She should at least get a say.
    Oh, for the gif? I don’t think you can use memes or gifs on these comments for whatever reason. But if you ever started a blog or just followed the directions on Goodreads, you should be able to do it without much issue. So no, you didn’t just make a huge fool of yourself. ;P
    And for my writing part? I know it’s not as great Hemingway or Steinbeck and I can’t really expect it to be because that would be unrealistic. All I hope for my book is that it doesn’t fall into any huge stereotypes. And honestly, when I first started writing it, it wasn’t meant for anyone else to see. I just wrote it because I felt like it.
    And hey, I still give a lot of books on Goodreads 5 stars! It’s not like it I find one little thing I don’t like it drops a star in my book.

  23. Geez, I just re-read that and found so many writing errors. Sorry, first day back to school and I’m a little dead.

  24. Oh, I just thought of something. Have you ever read one of Lucy Christopher’s books? They. Are. Fantastic. At least the two I’ve read are. I did a review on the first one I ever read, Stolen. And the second one I read of hers was about just as great (Flyaway). I don’t know why, but she reminds me of Tahereh Mafi. They don’t write the same way, but there is something very different about Christopher’s writing. Stolen is written as a letter from a girl who was kidnapped to her kidnapper and it’s . . . really good.
    You should try it if you haven’t already, and then come back and tell me what you thought. (I can picture it now: Your going to oddly hate it and then we shall bicker about the motifs and if it is amazing or not. And then a few days later it will kick in that it was actually really good and a little light bulb shall light up above your head. It will be awesome.)

  25. Ibitoye Opemikun

    “Ooops! I had totally forgotten that you told me you were starting school ‘next week’ (which has now become this week). So sorry. I won’t be disturbing you with anymore messages then. So you can focus on your studies. That’s what’s really important. And honestly, I’m not much of a book fan anyway, it’s just something I did over the Holidays to while away the time. And I wrote you a comment and you replied and kept replying back, I just didn’t want to seem like a jerk. Work has started here too now and it’s piling up daily. I’ve got more important stuff to do now than exchange reviews on YA books with a teenager (no offense!). So long”

    Lol! Just in case you were wondering, that was my attempt at writing the ‘Supernatural guy…..pushes her away…..because he’s trying to protect her…..and make the girl think that they hate them or something like that’ using our current scenario. If you’re still reading this, I take if you didn’t fling the phone/tablet/laptop/pc you’re using. Just to be sure, you know I was only kidding right? I am surely not cutting you off. No, not today!

    But, how did I do? My writing convincing enough? I know I’m no Maestro like yourself, but I just want to know if you fell for it?

    I know I did embarrass myself (with the gif, for someone who’s supposed to be an Engineer) but thanks for being such a forgiving audience 🙂

    Seriously though, I know I said it earlier as a joke, but I really wouldn’t want you to compromise anything, anything at all that you need to do for school on my account. So please, feel free to zone out for as long as you need to. I completely understand. College is brutal, I know, I only studied Electrical Engineering and Engineers have a lot of fun! I can only imagine how crazy it is for a Chemistry major! Hang in there cos it only gets worse!

    I already started reading Stolen, first 2 pages, and I only put it aside now to cos my boss was in the room (guess I’m not gonna be named ‘Employee of the Month’). Can’t find Fly Away yet, but will keep looking. And when I’m done, I’ll write my review, then read your review and comment. And you’ll comment. And I’ll comment. And you’ll comment again. And I’ll comment again. And you’ll comment yet again. And I’ll comment yet again….you’re beginning to get the picture right? This is gonna be SO Epic! (which is way, way, way, way beyond awesome!)

    My Boss is gone now, back to my book. Bliss 😀

  26. WELL THEN.
    You did good.
    But hey, if you ever start getting tired of reading something again and again in YA books, or if you ever just get tired of the overall themes in them (which, trust me, you will at some point or another. Everyone does) try writing something of your own. That’s how I started and it’s oddly satisfying.
    Stolen is probably in my top ten favorite books of all time. I think I’ve re-read it a few dozen times.
    And I know I’ll be coming back here quite a lot just to get away from stoichiometry problem sets and calc equations . . . Joy to my life. It’s a stress relief, you know? 😀
    Also, have you ever looked at the discussions on Goodreads? Sometimes they’re great to read and you’re able to talk to other people who have read a book you’re thinking about reading or have read. I like going through them just to see a short version of reviews on books I’ve read.

    • Ibitoye Opemikun

      What’s the ‘WELL THEN’ for? And all Caps too. Explain please?

      Glad to see I have been reduced to the role of your Court Jester, for the regular stress (read comic) relief.

      Getting tired of YA? I’m just getting started. It’s funny how when you’re young all you eant is to be older and when you’re older all you want is to be young again. Well…

      I have checked out many discussions and I find them either altogether erudite ( which can be quite challenging for a novice), or merely chatty with no substance (and I am so not a chatty person). Better to be quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and erase all doubt. So you see, usually, I go on there, read a few things I find interesting silently, learn all I can and leave. But every once in a while I find someone on there with an unconventional point of view I identify with, so write them. And then the creator of this really curious rant wrote back

  27. Ibitoye Opemikun

    That would be you, in case you were still guessing.

    Fun Fact: I only learnt the meaning of the word ‘Motif’ as a literary term from Goodreads 3 days ago. Imagine my surprisw when you talked about Motifs in your post yesterday. (Previously to that, the only meaning Motif had to me was for this very expensive Keyboard my Keyboardist and Pastor both have been trying to force me to buy for my church but I have refused to agree to as the Sound Engineer).

  28. The “WELL THEN” was my initial reaction to your first paragraph.
    And, oh no, I’m no where getting close to becoming tired of YA. I highly, highly doubt I will ever grow sick of YA and stop reading it. It’s just certain themes you can start to get tired of.
    And I took AP English my senior year of high school, and we had to do these (read: excruciating) short papers every week on poems we read. And part of what we were required to do was find the motifs, themes, symbolism, type of diction, who the persona was, denotation, connotation, alliteration, etc, etc . . .
    And I’ve never replied to one of those discussions on Goodreads. I just like reading them sometimes (some are kind of funny).

    • Ibitoye Opemikun

      Oh…my bad. Had a feeling you might take me too seriously initially (at least before you read the next paragraph) but the Prankster in me won the battle. Sorry.

      Okay, I really shouldn’t be doing this (commenting on the book before finishing) but this book ia really confusing. Tahereh at least had the good sense of using Strike Througb text to illustrate thoughts that were conflicting but I almost have to read every line twice. Wait…no more comment until I finish reading.

      My Father’s actually a Professor of English Literature, you know. He has a personal library of over 10,000 books (No kidding!). His books occupy 2 rooms in the house (and before last year, I’d probably ever only read 10 books of any sort whatsoever in my life. Just for clarity, that count included my School textbooks too). He has a Ph.d in Philosophy and has been lecturing at a University here for more than 30 years. I have a fairly sound background in the Language but I only studied English Literature in Junior Secondary School (that’s like Junior High). So I’m pretty much clueless! Even the class I took was zero help. I had/have serious ADD (yeah, I was that kid in class who couldn’t keep his mouth shut or sit still to save his own life)!

      So you see (and in no particular order) Reading the #VioletEdenChapters, happening upon your comment, commenting on your blog, you replying my comment on your blog, truly the most unlikely of all coincidences really! And a good one too! 🙂

  29. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Very much unlike what happened to Gemma at that Bangkok airport! (okay, that’s the last time, I promise. I won’t talk about this annoying book anymore until I finish it! Then you can expect 100 page dissertation!)

  30. LOL! You’re allowed to hate it, I promise! I think I had to re-read it more than once before it became one of my favorites.
    And I think I’d like your father. My dad used to be professor in history, so he mostly has bookshelves upon bookshelves of history books. (Not my forte.)

  31. Ibitoye Opemikun

    I’ve abandoned the book (technically, this about the 4th time I have abandoned it)! Maybe it’s because it’s an e-book (I generally find epubs stressful to read, I’m an ol’ fashion kinda guy)!

    Why can’t every book be like Endless (endless was actually my favourite of yhe series. When she fought Decima…epic! The whole ‘you’re not one of us’ and then ‘we want you back’ with the academy. Crossing to the other side to bring back Lincoln’s soul….come on!). But where’s this boring Stolen story headed. Okay the writing stylw is half decent, but I guess I’m obsessed with Supernaturals).

    Books are supposed to be fun right, ergo Fiction/Fantasy/YA is all I do (I would die if I had to spend a day locked up in your Dads library I imagine, not unless he has an unlimited stash of Pringles, a PS3 and a Flat 51″ Screen TV in there also). Seriously, what’s the point of reading a book that you know could really happen (or worse still has already happened)?

    As a matter of fact, I am still trying to determine if you really wanted me to read this book, or if you recommended it as punishment for me dissing ‘Die for Me’. Either way, I should probably just stop complaining, finish reading the book and move on to something more fun (like Dark Triumph which I have just now found)!

    You must be neck deep in schoolwork by now (especially all the over-zealous professors who give multiple gargantuan term projects and assignments). Hang in there!

  32. No, I didn’t recommend Stolen as a punishment, I swear! I really do love the book, but I’ve also read it a few times, so maybe that has to do with it.
    The thing I love about Stolen is that it’s so different from all the other YA out there right now. Like you said, supernatural/fantasy is all the rage right now and sometimes it’s a little difficult to find a good YA book that doesn’t have that.
    I also love Ty’s character. It’s not much at the beginning, but near the end it gets really good. He remind me of Phoenix a little bit, as a lost soul type of thing.
    I have a hard time figuring out which Violet Eden book is my favorite. I would have to say it’s either Endless or Empower . . . or maybe just Embrace. I have a soft spot for the first in the series.
    And I hate reading on a Nook or Kindle. I like to have the physical copy in front of me. There’s something special about it.
    If you want a supernatural book like The Violet Eden Chapters, I’m sorry to say you might be out of luck. As far as angel/Grigori YA series go there’s Hush, Hush and Fallen (off the top of my head) and while I read the whole series for both of those, neither of them compare to this series. This is truly a one of a kind series.

  33. Ibitoye Opemikun

    I’ll finish the book by tomorrow, didnkt have much time to read today. You are right though. Book is making more sense slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly!

    I know you didn’t mean me any grief. You really like the book (though if it was one of the books you last read when you were 13, then I suggest you read it again and refresh your opinion).

    My preference for the Supernatural is not just a phase, I’m afraid. I only watch action, sci-fi, superhero movies/tv. And I will only pay my money for a movie ticket that’s got good special effects and computer generated images. Same thing with my books, YA or not. Mistborn for example would make the best sci-fi movie ever if it ever made it to the big screen. I just don’t see the allure in everyday life, such that I would want to take a break from my life and delve into a Fictional world only to discover the book is just like the world I know.

    Back to my book now, you’ll read my review tomorrow then.

  34. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Oh Hannah, why did you make me read this book?

    At a point I even thought maybe you were trying to send me a message. But by the time I finished reading the book, I realized why you liked the book.

    But didn’t you sympathize with Gemma, the way her choices were taken away from her? Ty was a monster. Nothing at all like Phoenix. He physically stole her. Yes, Phoenix hijacked Violets emotions but he didn’t set out to do it against her will. Ty carefully planned for a loooooong time to kidnap her. (Kidnap just doesn’t sound/feel the same as steal. I’m gonna stick with steal).

    Really would you ever forgive anyone who did anything close to what Ty did to you? (I really hope you’re not that ‘nice’). I really did not like that book. And I hope he really got what he deserved in the end. I just cannot believe that real love could ever do that to the one you love. It is plain obsession, infatuation, and with a side of mental illness.

    Not sure I can read the second book even. And no, I won’t take your word for it. Not this time. I wrote my review on the book though on Goodreads. I will read my ‘Dark Triumph’ now and try to forget all about the book as soon as possible.

    I know you must be very busy by now. I’ll keep it short then. Reply me when you can (only when you can)!

  35. Oh, I made you read it, did I? ;P
    What I liked about Gemma was that she was realistic about how she treated Ty. She hated him, even wanted to kill him. And I know a lot of people think she was too harsh with him, and oh, he’s a victim and blah blah blah. But I think people only say that because Ty’s depicted as a good looking male instead of, say, a pot bellied old man. If he had been the latter, everyone would hate Ty with a passion and think what he did was disgusting.
    But it’s disgusting no matter what Ty looked like.
    And the only reason I compared Phoenix and Ty was that they both just had that lost-souls thing going for them with a dash of insanity. Both are obsessed with the girl and do different things to try to control them. For Phoenix it was playing with Violet’s emotions and making her hate Lincoln in the first book, and for Ty it was kidnapping Gemma and making her think at one point her parents didn’t like her and wanted to send her away. They both were trying to find ways to make the girl rely on them and control them.
    And there actually isn’t a second book. One of the things I loved about this book was that it’s a stand alone novel. (Though I have heard rumors of a sequel, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen.)
    As for the ending, I liked it because it was kind of open ended. You don’t know if Gemma was getting Stockholm syndrome or if she was actually starting to like Ty. But either way, she’s not about to go running back to him and hates him in a lot of ways (as she should).
    To me, this was the most realistic kidnapping YA story I’ve read. And I was so glad Gemma hated Ty.

  36. Ibitoye Opemikun

    OMG!!! The most ‘amazingest’ vampire book I have ever read! Vampire Academy. That’s what I am basically drooling over right now. And I am so happy (read Pracitacly High) that I just only read the first book in the series.

    Btw, how do I send you like a message or sth. I do NOT want to open a WordPress or blogger account. And there are more books out there to rage on about than Empower (Oh dear Jessica! Because of you, I will never read the name Violet the same way ever again). I searched through your blog to see if you wrote a review for the book to comment on but I didn’t find any.

    Back to the present, Vampire Academy is amazing! For a huge movie fan like me, Vampire Academy is the closest thing to ‘reading’ a movie. The way the plot is laid out, the narrative voice, the way she uses ‘flashbacks’, pure genius! I wrote a spoiler-less review on Goodreads (my first).

    I am so sure I will not be doing anything useful at all in the office today. I am already addicted to the ShadowKiss! I’m so stoked, I gotta go read. Now!

  37. LOL. Vampire Academy was one of the first vampire books I ever read. I actually think it was what I read right after I finished Twilight. So I don’t remember as much about the series, but I’m currently reading the side series to Vampire Academy, the Bloodlines series and it’s as good as Vampire Academy. In some ways, I think I like it better. It’s basically the continuation of the same storyline and characters, but instead of Rose and Lisa, it follows another character (I won’t tell you who).
    I think you should be able to send me messages through Goodreads. There’s not really anything from this blog to use besides the comment sections, I don’t think.
    BTW, Shadowkiss was my favorite out of the whole series. Richelle Mead also wrote another series called Gameboard of the Gods, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it. It’s nothing like Vampire Academy or Bloodlines. And even though it’s considered YA, it seemed more like it should be labeled adult to me.

  38. Ibitoye Opemikun

    What I wouldn’t give to have read as many books as you have! These days when I’m reading, somewhere in my subconscious, I am trying to play catch up and finish the book as quickly as possible so I can move on to the next one. (As you can imagine, that has a negative impact on my productivity at work. I just hope I do not get sacked soon. Thank God for epubs though. That way I can read at work and pass it off as something serious).

    So I have to read Blood lines clearly, when I finish Vampire Academy too. And I have read a few reviews of other books by Richelle Mead (some of yours too), and apparently the woman knows a thing or two about writing, so I’m gonna read those books too.

    So here’s to the good old days when I still had my sanity, as this might very well be my final post before descending into the abyss of all-things Richelle Mead. Cos this woman’s driving me crazy!

  39. Welcome to my world!
    I swear that the more books I read, the more insane I get. It completely consumes me.
    Here’s to my eight year old self who was still sane!

  40. Ibitoye Opemikun

    Why. oh, why? Why did Dimitri have to die? Or is it ‘undie’ I should’ve said? Whatever. All I can think of now is my grief!.

    You were right. Shadow Kissed is awesome.

    The intensity of the conversation seems to have dropped considerably though, since Book 1. Books 2 and 3 spent more time describing than retelling. And I didn’t like the way they other books keep including summaries of events and characters/themes introduced in book 1. Too much work was done to make the books self sufficient. The books are continuations of a series. If you wanna know the background to something, go get the earlier books and read them!

    But the woman so knows how to end a book! I pulled an all-nighter and I’m totally knackered. I’m gonna be so wasted today but it was totally worth it!

  41. Oh, that part killed me. I don’t remember much about the series, but I do remember that part. The worst part was that when it happened the next book in the series wasn’t out yet. So I had to wait, like, a year to read what happened next.
    I tell ya, Dante got it wrong. One of the layers of hell should have been waiting for the next installment of a series to come out that ended the last novel with a cliffhanger.

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