Why yes, yes it is mini review time again! This episode's books are ones that both have a lot of buzz, and definitely did not disappoint... so let's get right to it!
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: I have to admit, this is a book that I had to really mull over for a good while after I finished to truly appreciate it's depth and brilliance. My initial reaction was that it wasn't as engaging and grabbing as a lot of my omfg 5 star reads and yet, I could barely put it down, I wanted to know more... I was completely and utterly invested in these characters. This one is very character driven, which is what I love in most all books. Sure, the story isn't necessarily the most unique, but it is still fantastic. Even better? The writing in this one is just astounding. Yes, it's very different. Yes, it's choppy and a little bit insane. But it works because it just screams Juliette. She is one of the most distinct characters out there, in voice and personality, and her character development from start to finish is astoundingly well done, amazingly handled, and just all around phenomenal. This is a book that made me think, that pulled me in without me realizing it, and made me feel every single thing that Juliette did. Maybe she "falls too fast" for Adam to some, but I didn't see it that way. When you've gone your entire life without ever being touched, without ever even having a friend, then spent the better part of a year locked away in isolation... well, wouldn't you go insane for the first person who not only can and does touch you, but wants to? I would. And add in the holy hormones batman hot hot hot kisses and the tension that is more than sexual and lust, and this one is definitely a must read.
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead: Anyone that knows me knows that Vampire Academy is pretty much my favorite series ever. So was I both excited and scared about this spin off? Yes. But was it well worth the hype and the read? Absolutely. Richelle has such an incredible talent with story telling, with plot building, with pitching things in a way that maybe you did predict some of it, but when that reveal happens, you still feel it, you still stare wide eyed and eat up the pages. But most amazingly about this book is the voice. Vampire Academy was very sarcastic and spry, filled with Rose's take on the world attitude. Now we're in the head of Sydney, who is much quieter, much more used to being bound by rules, and very, very different from Rose. And yet, I fell right into her mentality and mindset, I was found myself right there alongside her. I didn't miss being in Rose's head. And to make it even better is the fact that Sydney's been trained to despise vampires... so now readers are going from a very pro-vampire mind to one that is instantly repulsed at even being in a room with them... and Richelle did this perfectly and amazingly, but still kept it sensitive to both sides and didn't just do away with everything she built in the Vampire Academy series. So was this book amazing and awesome? Yes. Were some of my favorite characters in it, fleshed out even more from the original series? Yes (and rawr, and yay, and yum on some...). Was I engaged from start to finish, and already begging for more? Absolutely. This is how a spin off should be done and this fangirl couldn't be happier. I loved the characters, the plot, the story, the new look at a similar world... just all of it. Fantastic.