We’ll Always Have Page 187, Edward

by Vee ( I know right? She’s back with a sweet goodbye to her beloved Twilight franchise.)

There’s a new break up that has the paparazzi abuzz…the much followed relationship that started in 2008 between The Twilight Movie Saga and millions of women all around the world has ended.  Spokespeople for both camps tell us that they’ve parted ways amicably and wish each other all things wonderful.  They promise to remain friends via DVD and BluRay sales and rentals.

I’m not gonna lie.  For me, it wasn’t always the perfect relationship but as I look back on it, with everything said and done, I will cherish our time together with love, scent of stale popcorn and all.

I remember sitting in the movie theater, as excited as a girl on her first date, to see the Twilight movie on November 21, 2008.  If this had been a first date for realsies I would have said the “dinner conversation” Edward provided left much to be desired, but boy was he a good kisser.  I think all sins were forgiven – cough…Bella’s ceaseless lip biting…cough…and wait, did Edward just say he read that guy’s mind and he’s thinking about HIS CAT?!…cough – the very moment they had their first kiss.  Oh.  My.

Ok, ok, ok, so I think it’s only right that we rewind just a little bit to touch on how we first met, these books and I.  Metaphorically speaking it was through a blind date set up by my homie, and yours, Tee.  True story.  I refused but finally for reasons I don’t remember – perhaps Tee just broke me down – I relented.  And it was as if a clever suitor was wooing me with his delicious, toe curling words.  Who isn’t a sucker for a dude that says stuff like:

You are my life now.”

Be safe.” (Written in free hand calligraphy, no less.)

And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”  (Ha, ha!  Just kidding…that was kinda cheesy, but I was so lost in the romantical saga that I was too far gone to care.)

My fervor for the written story was how I forgave New Moon the movie for making vampires brittle like a piece of frail marble (ick, that was so weird), or how Eclipse never quite captured the deliciously smug Edward handling Jacob after Jacob kisses Bella.  (Jacob: “May the best man win.” Edward: “That sounds about right…pup.”)

Of course, throughout the release of all the movies, I continued to be distraught by Bella’s lip biting and weird choking noises to express distress.  Did she swallow a piece of an apple that was too big?  Maybe her allergies while in Forks were killing her?  No one could explain it to me.  Add to my concerns the pained face Edward made (and the grunting noises?!?!) when he kissed Bella.  I worried, wondering if the good was enough to outweigh the “other” stuff.  P.S.  I totally KNOW he’s “supposed to be in pain”, but still…my own pain was starting to get uncomfortable.

BUT, it is only fair that we do touch on the good, is it not?  (Indulge me.)

Um, there was that one part in New Moon where Bella jumps into a very shirtless Edward’s arms and saves him from the sun’s rays and what they might reveal.

Page 187, as I will forever call that scene, when Edward shows Bella how he, um, remodeled his bedroom in Eclipse.  And though it was never quite as good in the movie as it was in my head, it was, uh, pretty good.

Of course, then came Breaking Dawn Part One, and I saw a true glimmer of hope that the series just might end on the up and up.  I present to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury exhibit A: the headboard scene.  Need I say more?

I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the characters beyond Bella and Edward that I enjoyed in this relationship.  They were like your boyfriend’s friends and/or family that you really, really like hanging out with maybe a little more than you will admit you like hanging out with him.  Charlie – no wait that goes more like this: Chaaaaaaaarlie, Jessica, Mike, Alice, Carlisle, Emmett.  Let’s K.I.T. you guys…love ya.

And so, with some trepidation, much like my first date back in 2008, I arrived at the movie theater to witness the last interpretation of the book series that made me sigh as I turned pages on late nights in my living room.  I know that’s a lot of pressure to put on anyone, so I once again resigned myself to focus on the parts I really loved in Breaking Dawn Part Two, hoping to blur out the parts I didn’t.

To my utter delight I can report that my last date with this movie series was divine.  Not only was the story what I’d hope it would look like on the silver screen, but as the girl turned vampire — gasp — gone were Bella’s annoying quirks!  Not one cacophonous sound coming from her throat, if there was any lip biting, I didn’t see it.  And (BONUS!), with Bella’s scrummy, yummy, human scent a thing of the past, kissy faces for Edward no longer included the look of a man smelling rotten egg; this was replaced by a really H-O-T vampire in love with his new bride, getting steamy and all bothered.

And then all-a-sudden (WARNING: DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE…TRUST ME JUST SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH…OK, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…)…as I was saying, all-a-sudden, Carlisle’s head gets chopped off!  SAY whaaaaaaat?!?!  I know.  All sort of insanity ensues, to the point where I thought this was Melissa Rosenberg having a last, cruel laugh at my expense.  (She is and will forevermore be the byotch-who-stole-my-pads for the butchering of the first movie!)

So in the midst of insanity, just when I was about to cry and run out of the theater, sweet relief, they brought things back to what they were meant to be.  I’ve spoiled things enough already for those of you that didn’t heed my warning, so I won’t reveal what I mean by that…cuz it’s pretty fly.  Once sanity IS restored, the movie keeps the end rather true to the book in a most satisfying way.

I felt peace, happiness, a little breatheless from that crazay thing there at the end – but in a good way – and an all around sense of kumbaya.  Best break up everrrrrr.  And now, with a renewed sense of love  for my Twilight movies I can move on with my life.  I think I can actually watch Bella bite that lip knowing that perhaps, just maybe KStew decided that was going to be a character trait of pre-vampire Bella.  Edward and I will always have Breaking Dawn Part Two (and page 187), and we really do wish the best for each other as we move on with our lives.

Which is good since, now older and wiser maybe a little more mature even, I’m considering accepting a first date from this new guy who’s been giving me a bit of the stink eye for some time now.  Name’s Christian Grey, and word around town is he’s kinda dark and broody, filthy rich, knows how to play a mean piano sonata, loves to do the clever banter thing.  Wait a minute…

City of Lost Souls

City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

The Clave’s magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can’t stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s magic has wrought – Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.

Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can’t help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell – a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series. (Goodreads)

The Story:

If you’re reading this review of the FIFTH (count ’em) book in the Mortal Instruments series, I’m going to assume you’ve read the other four and that I don’t have to bring you up to speed, so I digress.

Jace and Mr. Evilpants himself, Sebastian, are connected in some kooky, dark magic-infested way.  They’re like twin souls, with Sebastian manipulating Jace, molding him into some weird best-buddy. And Jace, clearly under a strange spell, agrees to everything because he thinks Sebastian is the bees knees. Poor Sebastian; he’s just misunderstood, you guys!

While Jace and Sebastian have up and disappeared, Clary and the Lightwoods are totally out of their tree, desperately trying to find the new BFFS and save Jace from Sebastian and from the Clave since they now believe that Jace is aligned with Sebastian.  Of course, all their attempts are in vain because those two crazy kids are next to impossible to find. When Jace shows up, desperate to see Clary and bring her to The Dark Side, an even scarier truth is revealed. The bond Jace and Sebastian have cannot be severed by any normal method.  To harm one of the boys would directly impact the other. Rats!

Clary, in her awesomely stubborn way, comes up with an extremely crackpot, dangerous way to save her lovely, lovely man. I mean, he doesn’t think he needs saving, but Clary decides to do it and the only person she lets in on her plan is Simon, the best friend who puts all other besties to shame.

As with all Mortal Instruments books, there are other important storylines: Magnus and Alec, Isabelle and Simon (be still my heart! These two are so cute!) and some wolfy business, but the most important story is the one that focuses directly on Sebastian because his evil plans will ultimately affect everyone.

My Take:

Overall , I still really love these characters. I love the incredible world Clare has imagined.  And she’s so gifted at the teasers (there are some great Infernal Devices references that I’d love to assume I understand, although I’m certain I’m way off). And there are other positives. I’ve loved watching Simon grow into this strong, amazing, butt-kicking character who, at his heart, is still an utter nerd.  And there’s always an underlying love I have for Clary and Jace and this intense, lovely relationship they have.

But honestly this book was missing some of the charm of the other books.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.  There was nothing inherently wrong with the story (although some of the Stepford Jace parts were a little slow), but it dragged a bit for me.  It wasn’t until the last third of the book, when something very specific happens with Jace, that the pace picked up. Then it was on like Donkey Kong—but in a book that’s 534 pages that’s quite a few chapters to get through before feeling truly engrossed.  I feel like such a traitor saying this, but I think when the final book comes out I’ll be ready to say goodbye to this series.

But don’t quote me on that. I still love Jace.

Crush Intensity: 3.75/5  There were a few parts I really loved. There were some great ID references.  And there was lots of other stuff that just didn’t do it for me this time around, but the end reeled me back in.
Memorable Quote:

Watching me play Scrabble is enough to make most women swoon. Imagine if I actually put in some effort.

I’m sure you can guess who said that.

TGIF- July 20th

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads.

This week we get to pick any past TGIF topic we want. I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! Mostly because I am very easily excited about the smallest things, but partly because I’ve only been participating in TGIF for a little while.  I feel as if I’ve missed out on some fun discussions.

So..drumroll because I’m sure you’re DYING to know my choice right? Ahem.

I want to discuss series finales, ones I loved, ones I, um, didn’t feel quite so happy about.  I mean, the end of a series is a HUGE DEAL. I get very psyched/stressed about the whole thing.  How I remember a series hinges on that last book.  And usually, if I really, really love a series, I have a hard time admitting that I didn’t LOVE the the last book. My loyalty always wins out. Also, I’m a glass is half full kind of girl, so I’ll always look for the positive–but some endings are better than others.

For example, I loved, beyond words, Forever Princess, the final book in The Princess Diaries series.  Here we got to see Mia graduate high school, we got to find out where she’s going to college, to  see what happens with the Genovian elections and we got to see JP (that stupid Corn Hater) go down. Even better, we found out that Michael knew all along that Mia was smelling his neck as a way of calming down.  Oh, and he’s pretty much perfection, as we all knew he’d grow up to be. Hello, it was obvious to some of us thankyouverymuch.

And then there’s Where She Went by Gayle Forman.  Oh, you guys, I was so afraid to read the sequel to a book as beautiful and moving as If I Stay.  I can’t believe it, but I actually love WSW even more.  It’s all because of Adam, his pain, his deterioration, and about the opportunity to catch up with Mia, to see how she’s doing all these years later. I needed to know that she was alright. And I needed to see Adam get the healing and the love he so desperately deserved.

Oh, and then there’s We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han. Holy wow, I love this series. Conrad has been such a d-bag at times, so it was wonderful to see him as a grown up.  It was great to actually have the opportunity to be annoyed with Belly for some of her stupid mistakes (all while totally relating to her and to her love for Suzanne and her boys).  I was so happy to see the young woman Belly grew into and to finally see her end up with the Fisher boy she was always meant to be with–but only after she’d found her way as an individual.

Then there were the let downs. Be warned. The spoilers here are aplenty as, I feel I must rant.

I had such mixed feelings about Mockingjay. For the most part, I liked it. I loved that life in District 13 wasn’t the perfect Utopia we were all hoping for.  I loved getting more Gale and more Finnick (Finnick! Don’t make me cry).  And even though I felt bad for him, I was totally into the whole Crazy Peeta storyline.

I was very unhappy with Gale’s story (yes, I’m biased as I’m totally Team Gale).  He just sort of petered out at the end. He never visited Katniss in the hospital and then he just skulked off to District 2 never to be heard from again. After all they’d been through? Really? I know he felt guilty, but that wasn’t believable to me. And I really wanted Katniss to do two things: 1)To tear Prez Snow’s head off and pee down his throat and 2) To make a definitive choice between Gale and Peeta. Neither thing happened. She wimped out with Snow (and then made some weird comment later about continuing the Hunger Games in Prim’s memory. I’m sorry but, WTF?) and she ends up with Peeta, (who I believe was the right choice for her)—but it was more like they ended up together because no one else was around since Gale was busy spreading his awesome around District 2.

So did I have some issues with the book? Hell to the yes. But somehow I still liked it.

Breaking Dawn and I had some rough moments too, but we made it through every freaking page (there were a lot of them). I was very happy that Stephenie Meyers did some things I felt I needed: she gave me closure with every character I cared about.  She gave me the wedding and honeymoon I really wanted to see. But holy freaking sparkly vampires, did I need an entire third of the book narrated by Jacob?  And did I need that whole Rosemary’s baby thing? I’ll answer that. No.  She lost me a bit there.  Overall, I was happy with how the series ended, but that middle portion bored me.  Also, I hate Jacob. The less I get of him the better.

What about you? Any series endings that you loved or hated?

Top Ten Tuesday-Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we talking about our Spring TBRs. This may seem slightly repetitive considering my post in December about the books I’m most looking forward to this year (because more than half of them were coming out between January and May), so humor me a bit here. I really want to read these!


1. A Million Suns by Beth Revis– It’s only been sitting on my bookshelf forever and I’ve been dying to read it since I finished Across the Universe. It’s a blessing and a curse (but not really) to have so many good books to read.  Why do I need sleep?


2. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand– This came out and I still haven’t bought it. Why???  I have no idea because I want to read it SO bad.


3. Lost In Time by Melissa De la Cruz- I still haven’t read this sixth installment of the Blue Bloods series.  And I should be cause I love me some Jack Force!


4. Fever by Lauren DeStefano– Oooooh what happened to Rhine and Gabriel? And what has become of Linden?  I should probably read it to find out.


5. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting– I’ll be really honest here. I like all the creepy stuff in these books, but what I really want is more Violet and Jay.


6. Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready– Holy cow, I’m both dying for and sad about the conclusion to the Shift books.  What is going to happen?????


7. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle– I can’t explain it. I just have to read this.


8. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare– The only thing I hate about this series is waiting for the next installment.  Can’t wait for this one.


9. Underworld by Meg Cabot– Pierce and John and that whole “trying to kidnap her and keep her in the underworld” thing–I loved that.  And I love everything Meg Cabot writes so I know this will be good.


10. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith– I hear this is super cute. I like super cute.  I love books that make me smile. Also there’s a British guy so I’m sold.

Top Ten Tuesday- Oops

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The topic this week is supposed to be Top Ten Books for People Who Don’t Read.  Since apparently I am unable to follow instructions, a few weeks ago I posted a list under the same heading  (I should have been more specific like, “People Who Don’t Read YA”. My bad!) Anyhoo, if you’d like to see my original list you can do that here. Otherwise, this week I’ll be doing what I should have done then.

So here’s my Top Ten Books for People Who Don’t Read Paranormal. I feel that this is a subject I can totally relate to because I really am not a fan of books about wolves and vampires and the like.  I mean, have you seen the covers of these books? Oh the emo faces! Oh the Twilight ripoffs!  It’s embarrassing to even pick one up, nevermind reading them.  But there are a choice few that I like. In fact, I pretty much love most of these:

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Angels, vampires, faeries, warlocks, wolves

Bonus Factor: Jace

These are considered Urban Fantasy and they fit that description perfectly, but if anyone had told me what they were about and the long list of crazy creatures, I may have skipped them. Thank goodness I went by the legions of ladies who swoon over Jace,  because I seriously LOVE these books. Clare makes this genre totally cool and fun.


The Blue Bloods series by Melissa De la Cruz

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Angels, Vampires, Witches

Bonus Factor: Jack Force

This series has an interesting mix of angels and vampires with some really fun history thrown in.  The love triangles are killer and the relationship of Schuyler and Jack is packed with chemistry. Get ready to fall in love with Jack. Also, dear lord, the tension is fantastic. I could barely take it.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


I’ve read a ton of stories about fallen angels and storyline gets old quickly unless something truly creative is done with it (see Blue Bloods).  Unearthly has nothing to do with fallen angels. This is about a girl who finds out that she is part angel. And this girl’s entire purpose is wrapped up in a mysterious mission she must complete. Of course there are barriers to that mission. And of course there is a great love story. And the characters are wonderful.  I was totally surprised by how much I enjoyed this and at how swoonworthy the romance was.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer


I can’t say this enough: I hate wolves.  It’s just not a storyline that generally speaks to me. This may be due in part to the fact that I absolutely cannot stand Jacob Black.  Hate him! This book, however is entirely about wolves. And it isn’t about some lame girl in love with a wolf . It’s about a tough girl who is a wolf. And she is set to lead her own pack along with the guy she’s betrothed to.  Only problem: she hates him (I don’t know why ladies. He’s pretty sexy). Oh and she falls in love with a human.  I loved the main character, Calla. She made this book for me.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Angels, Mythological Creatures, All-around bad asses

I’ve blabbed about this book an awful lot, I know. And luckily, the review is coming this week because I feel I need to discuss it more.  This story is less about angels than it is about clashing mythological worlds and the “normal” girl caught in crossfire.  It is so good. So good!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready


Oh, I love, love, love these books. There is major swoon here. And the premise— because of some odd, cosmic occurrence, people under a certain age can all see ghosts—is so fun. And our heroine, Aura, can see the ghost of her boyfriend who just died. It’s weird and tragic all at once. Read this series.

The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting

CAST OF CHARACTERS: People who hear dead people (is there a name for that?)

These books are so creepy without having a really big “paranormal” feel to them.  Violet can hear dead people calling her—those who have died violently at the hands of another. And she attempts to use this ability to help find a serial killer who has been stalking young girls in her area. And while she’s trying to figure out that mess, she has developed a major crush on her seriously charming best friend, Jay. This series is equal parts creepy suspense and sweet romance.

Abandon by Meg Cabot

CAST OF CHARACTERS: A guy who runs the Underworld (so, Mythology)

This is a retelling of the myth of Persephone. And it’s Meg Cabot so, while it’s a little darker than her normal stuff, it still has her awesome wit, her great characters, and a romance that leaves you wanting more.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Vampires, Vampire Hunters

This one is funny you guys. Totally funny. And yes, the naughty vampire, Lucien, is pretty darn sexy, as is the vampire hunter, Alaric (who I happen to picture looking like Alaric from The Vampire Diaries. This is not a bad thing). And Meena is caught between her attraction to Lucien and her belief in what is right and safe.  Word to the wise: this girl is no mindless Bella.


Cast of Characters: Zombies

You guys, this book is creepytown.  A virus infects the world so that anyone over the age of eighteen turns into disgusting, brain-eating zombies.  There’s  a few groups of kids outside of London, all of whom are trying to stay safe without starving to death.  It doesn’t sound enticing but trust me, I was sucked in from the get go.

Top Ten Tuesday- Books I’m Psyched About for 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week’s topic is books I’m excited to read in 2012. Now, since there are still a ton of books from 2011 I need to read (as well as older books), I’m only going to focus on new releases.

1. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand- I loved the first book in this series, Unearthly.  It was exceptional. The sequel comes out Januray 17, 2012.  The wait is almost over!

2. Fever by Lauren DeStefano- This is book numero dos in The Chemical Garden trilogy. The first book, Wither,  was so, so good and highly disturbing.  What’s going to happen next?  Fever comes out on February 21,2012. I’m psyched!

3. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver- Delirium was so fantastic. I’m dying to see what happens next.  Luckily, I don’t have to wait until the publish date of February 28, 2012 because the ever awesome Dixie and Maggie at Gone Pecan just sent me their ARC.  Holla!

4. Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter- Oh, I can’t wait to see what happens next for Henry and Kate. And let’s be real, more Henry. I need more. Book two comes out on March 27,2012.

5. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting- This is book number three in The Body Finder series.  I only recently got into these but sister, I’m hooked.  I need more now. This one comes out on April 17,2012.


6. Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth- Well…have YOU read Divergent? ‘Nuff said. The sequel comes out on May 1, 2012.

7. Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready- You guys, this is the third and final book in the Shade series. I don’t want it to end, but I need closure (and more kissing).  I’ll get that on May 1,2012.

8. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle- Serle is a debut author who has written some fantastic, funny columns on other blogs.  This book sounds so good to me. It comes out on May 1, 2012.

9. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare- Can you believe that this is book number five in the Mortal Instruments series?  I still love these and don’t know if I can hold out until the release date of May 8,2012.

10. Underworld by Meg Cabot- This sequel to Abandon (which I loved.  I mean hello, John is hot) comes out May 8, 2012. Also, it’s Meg Cabot. She can do no wrong.

11. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone- Let me just say that anytime you tell me that a book is like a YA version of The Time Traveler’s Wife (my favorite book on the entire planet), I’m there. That’s what the buzz is on this one, which is being released on October 9, 2012.

12. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins- I don’t think it’s possible for Perkins to write a book that isn’t completely charming.  I’m totally excited to read this second and final companion to Anna and the French Kiss.  We don’t have a solid publication date yet, but we know it’s coming in 2012.

City of Fallen Angels (like, finally. I know)

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace. (Goodreads)

The Story:

There is absolutely no way that I can review this book without getting a teensy bit spoilery. In fact, I’ve never even been able to bring myself to review the other books in the Mortal Instruments series  because I’m loving on them SO HARD. I can’t even put it into words because so much crazy business happens.  Let me just rephrase it with a few sentences. 1. Clary is a badass. 2. Jace is hot. 3. The story is good. So, so good.

With that in mind, if you’ve not read any of the previous books, consider yourself warned.

Let me bring you up to speed. Jace and Clary are finally together.  Clary is training as a Shadowhunter. Simon is a vampire who can walk in the daylight (thank you, Jace) and he’s dating Isabel and Maia (the wolf). In the last book, after Sebastian died, unbeknownst to everyone else, Clary brought Jace back to life after he was mortally wounded. Because of this, they are about to pay a hefty price.

The problems in MI books are always aplenty. Outside of the fact that Simon is trying to balance to girls at once (something he isn’t particularly adept at), Camille, an old, evil vampire, is trying to get him on her side. Meanwhile, Jace is having frightening dreams about Clary. They start out all sexy sexy but then in the dream he usually ends up trying to kill her so…not so sexy. This drives him away from Clary because he feels he’s a danger to her.  Yet, in typical guy manner, he doesn’t actually explain why he’s pulling away.  This pains Clary because she loves Jace (and, I suspect, that even cold and aloof he’s still smokin).

And there’s more. While all of this is going on, someone is killing people in an obvious attempt to heat up tensions between the Downworlders and the Shadowhunters. No one is sure who’s doing it, but somehow it all seems tied to Camille and her desire to have someone on her side.

My Take:

What, are you kidding? I loved it. Clare’s books never disappoint. She’s perfected the art of sucking her readers into this crazy, incredible paranormal world by writing books that are practically impossible to put down. Her stories get me. Every single time.

I love Jace and Clary’s relationship, which on the surface seems to exude such passion, but at its heart, it’s one of pure, sweet love.  I love his confidence and his insecurities and his determined love of Clary. And I love Clary’s willingness to risk anything for the ones she loves; her mom, Jace, Simon. She’s perfect and devoted without being mindless and self-deprecating like so many other popular heroines seem to be (Bella, I still hate you after all these years).

I also love the way Simon has grown. He’s become so much more than the lovesick best friend of Clary. He’s come into his own now. He’s funny and brave and his relationship with Clary is so touching now that they have set the right parameters. In this story in particular, the relationship between Simon and Jace takes such a good, interesting turn as well.

Crush Intensity: 4/5 The ending of this book drove me nuts (in a good way) because it just made me wish harder for the next book, City of Lost Souls, which isn’t due out until May 2012.

The Way I See It:

I think that the people who cast the actual Mortal Instruments movie have done a fantastic job, so we’ll stick with their choices.

Lily Collins as Clary Fray

Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Outside of My Comfort Zone

by Tee

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today, the subject they’ve chosen is Top Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside of Comfort Zone.  This includes books I liked or books I didn’t like (although usually I read books by authors I love or recommended by people I trust, so that doesn’t happen terribly often).  So here goes.

1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger-You guys, my neighbors used call me Prudence McPrude the Mayoress of Prudytown (for those of you who recognize, that’s taken from Will & Grace). Anyhoo, I’m not uptight, but I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life.  Growing up, teenagers didn’t have sex (or at least, they didn’t tell Prudence about it) and they didn’t use the f-word in almost every sentence.  So, since I heard that The Duff was chock full of sexytimes which had…gasp…no real commitment involved and that the protagonist was slightly foul-mouthed, I didn’t expect to relate to it at all.  But guess what?  I thought it rocked. Yes,  it was completely different from the choices I’d make personally, but I was still able to empathize with Bianca, the main character, and see the sweet, lusty draw of Wesley.

2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis– This is a science fiction book.  And there really isn’t any sort of swoon. Oh and in the first chapter, Amy gets all kinds of tubes shoved down her throat as she’s put to sleep (to be kept cryogenically frozen).  So, all in all, these are not factors I’d normally appreciate.  But man oh man was this a fantastic book.  It totally took me by surprise .

3. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin-Hello, it’s a book about a teenage girl who is killed in an accident and has to rebuild her life—albeit temporarily—in a place called Elsewhere.  Not subject matter that totally appeals to me.  But it was pretty good.  Sad, but good.

4. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles– The cover worried me.  And then the whole “guy from the wrong side of the tracks meets perfect rich girl” premise really worried me.  But this book sucked me in, baby.  And Alex, well, it didn’t take long for me to love him. Muy caliente.

5. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr- Yeah, I hate fairy books. Have I mentioned that before? I believe I have.  So why would I pick this book up?  I have no idea.  I guess because I know that people love this series.  But fairies and I don’t mix well.  I want to love it like everyone else does. I worry that I’m really missing out and often consider picking it up again, but really why bother? I couldn’t finish it the first time.

6. The Road by  Cormac McCarthy- This is not a YA book, but I had to mention it.  This book didn’t appeal to me on any level. I mean, the characters don’t even have names for goodness sake!!!!  I don’t even think there’s a single set of quotation marks in the whole thing (so its like this: The man says don’t go there and the boy said why.  This is not a direct quote, but it’s how I remember it)!  And worse, there’s a little boy in it who is starving and constantly in danger and a father who is barely able to care for him.  Not a good combo for me.  But, although I would never, ever read it again, it ended up being pretty decent.  Not amazing. Not worth all the crazy Oprah hype, but solid.

7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- Again with the sweet children who are in danger! Ugh!  I’m telling you, my little heart can only take so much.  But lordy, this book was amazing.  I knew it would be, but I was afraid of how it would affect me.  I don’t like worrying about little kids who don’t exist. I spend enough time worrying about my own children.  But this book was everything I’d heard it was. Seriously. Read it.

8. The Enemy by Charles Higson- I’ve mentioned this book before.  It was excellent, but it was totally stressful because I was so worried about the kids and whether or not they would a) get eaten by zombies who may or may not have once been adults they knew and loved b) starve to death or c) kill each other as they battled to be in control.  Still,  it was so stinking good.

9. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer– Thanks to Jacob Black, wolves sort of annoy me too.  I typically avoid books centered on wolf packs because wolves usually just remind me of dogs, and there’s nothing too interesting about the family pooch.  I read Nightshade only because the protagonist, Calla, was set to be a pack leader, and I found that interesting. It was excellent.  She was a great character and the story was good.  And, I’m not gonna lie, Ren was a sexypants.

10. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare- These books have vampires, wolves, fairies and all kinds of other crazy business going on.  You’d think I’d hate them.  But here’s the thing: they’re pretty much awesomesauce.  And they have Jace, who I love like crazy.

Mondays (um, Wednesdays) Bite: The Big Finale

As you know, Vee’s computer has been a bit of a crankypants, turning our final Mondays Bite post into a Wednesdays Bite.  So without further ado, here are her final answers to the questions posted by the awesome Ginger at GReads.

Chapters 21-24 & Epilogue

1.   In chapter 21 James calls Bella telling her he has her mother and the only way he won’t kill her is if Bella comes alone. What would you do in that situation? Come alone or tell Alice and Jasper?

I am a HUGE coward…so I probably wouldn’t have even made it as far as Bellla has already made it down this story line.  Had I made it through I would have fo’ SHO’ have told Alice and Jasper about this.  I also wouldn’t have assumed that all ballet studios looked the same.  For really?  Ugh.  That just irritated me, but alas, how could the story line continue had she not been a little dense about this, right?  It’s like when the girl in the horror film decides it’s a good idea to “walk down the stairs”…we yell at the TV, but yet, it always just happens.

2.   Was everyone else as shocked as I was when I first found out about the Alice/James situation? Do you think this adds to the story line or was it not needed? Why do you think they choose not to include these details in the movie?

I was shocked, it completely piqued my interest, and I almost wished Meyers had more details to share on Alice’s history…especially after I read the histories of the others in Eclipse.  I won’t even talk about how I felt about that being left out of the movie because I’ll combust.  I’ll just say, in as calm a voice as I can…wish it had been there.

3.   Edward had to do something extremely difficult in order to save Bella from becoming a vampire. Have you ever had a similar situation in your life where you had to push your will power to its limits?

Most boring answer ever: no, I never have.

4.   Bella and Edward get into the “to change Bella or not to change Bella” argument in the hospital. If you were Bella, would you want to become a vampire? Why or why not?

If I were in Bella’s situation, feeling the passionate love, and knowing – somehow – that this was my only soul mate and that I was as awkward in my regular human form as I was, I’d tot’s go for being a vampire.

5.   Twilight ends with everyone going to the prom. Did you go to your prom? Was your experience similar to Bella’s? Feel free to include pictures!!

Ha, ha…no, no, no…no pics for me.  But I did go to my prom, and, as I’ve shared before, I went to an all girl school.  Due to my lack of access to the other gender, a friend of mine fixed me up with her neighbor and man, did I wish that we’d met before.  Moral to the story: NEVER get fixed up on a blind date for the prom.  Bella’s prom night was 20 million times better than mine!

EXTRA: So, it’s over…Final thoughts?

Twilight is a delicious read!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Trends We’d Like to See More or Less Of

by Tee

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they’ve picked a super-cool subject, Top Ten Trends We’d Like to See More or Less Of.  I know, right?  How long do you have?

Actually, when it comes right down to it, there are a few really, really annoying trends that continue to be overdone in YA books today (hey who’s judging?  Someone out there loves them), but it was tough for me to come up with a large list of things I wanted to see more of because YA authors continue to inspire me, make me cry, make me laugh and most importantly, make me feel a little swoony.  Still, here’s my list: a combination of things I’d like to see a little (or a lot) less of and some I’d be happy to see more of.

1.  Less Angels, Wolves, Vampires– For the love of everything  holy, I get that Twilight was a colossal, huge, gigantor hit.  I totally enjoyed it and the sequels.  But does every book have to be about these three things?  I mean, I know there were no angels in those books, but you get my point, right?  Many of the ones that have been done are great (Blue Bloods, for example) but many have fallen short (I won’t go into names).  On with the program!  Let’s have some new otherworldly creatures.  Or let’s see more books like The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, where such paranormal creatures are a part of the story, but they aren’t the only story.

2. Less “New, Dangerous Boy in School Coincidentally Assigned to Be Lame Girl/Heroine’s Lab Partner”- Really. I’m astonished at the sheer volume of books that use some combination of this idea to throw the main character and her possible love interest together. Is there no other way for them to meet, hate each other and then fall madly in scary, dangerous love?  And also,  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, where was this abundance of new crazy hot single male students when I was in high school?  Nowhere. There was not a single transfer. Nope. Not a one.  There were hot guys, but not mysterious ones who seemed to come from another world and coincidentally needed a Bio partner.

3.  Less Fairies- I’ll admit it. I hate fairy books.  I can’t explain why. I just have an unfair aversion to them. Maybe it’s because I spend way too much time at Disneyland and so my image of fairies has been completely warped by Tinkerbell.  I know there’s some creepy lore out there about these mystical, powerful creatures, but they just don’t do it for me.

4. Less Annoying Love Triangles- Sometimes a love triangle can be so good in that it stirs up your emotions and makes you say, “Dylan, what the shizz are you thinking? Brenda is a moody, selfish spoiled brat (who will go on to get fired by Aaron Spelling more than once) and Kelly is so much sweeter and so much prettier and so NOT one of those stick in the mud Walshes?”  I mean, come on. Who can hear that Sophie B. Hawkins song, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” and not think of Dylan, Kelly and Brenda?  Is it just me?

Anyhow, where was I? Oh yeah, less love triangles, please.  Don’t get me wrong. I like love triangles, but there are some that feel so manipulative, like the author couldn’t think of another way to throw a wrench in the love story. Or worse, they spend so much time making one part of the triangle look so obnoxious that it’s impossible to believe our heroine could really be that stupid (Bella, for serious. You cannot be in love with two people at once. You can like two people. You can love one and be attracted to another, but you cannot be in love with both. Especially if one is an apeface like Jacob Black). I can go on for days about this.

5. More Ghosts- I really enjoyed Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready. To me it was incredibly unique.  And while I liked the love story aspect of that book, I think any story with ghosts is pretty intriguing if it’s well-written. So bring on the spooky stuff or the creepy stuff or the tragically sweet swoony stuff (or any combination).

6. More Real Girls- The ladies who can skin a squirrel and kick everyone’s arse are incredible to me. I love their stories because they are so far removed from me and my own sheltered life. But give me a real, normal girl any day and I’ll eat up her story in one sitting.  This is why Sarah Dessen’s girls speak to me or why I loved books like Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have).  These are characters who seem like people I once knew (or who are like I was when I was younger).  I feel an instant connection with them. Along with that, I’d love to see more stories about the relationships these girls have.  Not the romantic ones, but the ones they have with their siblings and best friends.  Real-life situations, for better or for worse.

7.  More Retellings- I recently enjoyed the pants off Entwined by Heather Dixon, which was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  It was familiar and yet totally fresh and new in its own right. And there have been other books that attempt to do the same, such as The Goddess Test and Abandon, both which successfully take on the myth of Persephone.  It’s always fun to see a new twist on an old idea.

8.  More Science Fiction- Now, I’m not a huge sci-fi buff, unless you count the fact that I’m crazy insane totally in love with Star Wars (now I know I put up a Star Trek picture, but I got too overwhelmed with the awesome Star Wars options on Google. It was very distracting).  But really, other than that, I don’t really read science fiction.  This year I picked up Across the Universe and was blown away.  The premise is fantastic, but more and more I forgot that I was reading something that wasn’t entirely plausible in this world as much as it was just completely engrossing.  And then as I thought more about it, I realized that my favorite book ever is The Time Traveler’s Wife, which, I don’t know if you realize, is about a guy who time travels (kind of sci-fi, right?).  I think I’m ready for more stories like these!

9. More Historical Fiction- I’ve not read a ton of historical fiction in YA, though I’ve read a few Adult Fiction and loved them. I think the opportunity to learn about life in another time period, especially one that is significant in history, would be a welcome change.  And they don’t even have to be heavy, serious stories.  Think Nicola and The Viscount or Victoria and The Rouge, both by Meg Cabot and thereby both as charming and romantic as any of her modern novels.

10. Fish out of Water/Or More Exotic Locales- One of the things I loved about Anna and the French Kiss (outside of the fact that I loved everything) was that Anna was an American student in Paris, someplace I’ve always dreamed of visiting. Or recently I picked up Falling in Love With English Boys, about a girl spending a summer in England with her mom.  Stories such as these,  where the main character has to get acclimated to a new environment, make new friends and face the normal challenges that girls their age encounter, make the story that much more interesting. And, as a huge plus, they give me a chance to travel, if only mentally, to some wonderful places.