The Violet Hour: April 24, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Review – Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Hardcover, 302 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Hyperion
ISBN 0786838922 (ISBN13: 9780786838929)
Author website
Purchase from Amazon

GoodReads When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society. 

Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz’s legion fans.”

I had no idea what to expect when I opened Blue Bloods. I knew it would be something about wealthy vampires, but that’s about it. Melissa de la Cruz definitely has a knack for description. There was very little that was left to the imagination when it came to things like clothing, architecture, or scenery. She was very thorough, and it did help create this new, aristocratic-like world Blue Bloods was set in, but it also seemed to get in the way and make the story move very slowly. I understand that part of that has to do with the environment the characters live in and how they think (very focused on fashion, wealth, etc), but it felt like she was more concerned with throwing in the names of every major fashion designer in one book than building up her characters and plot.

That said, I didn’t connect with any of her characters. They all seemed shallow and underdeveloped. The only character I evenly remotely liked was Cordelia, Schuyler’s grandmother. I love BA old ladies! Schuyler (pronounced Skylar, FYI) herself was alright. I liked the fact that she was a free thinker and didn’t need to be surrounded by an entourage to feel good in her own skin. Her friend Oliver was very loyal and sweet. Their relationship seemed genuine and just like any other team of best friends. One thing that really gave me a creepy vibe though was the relationship between the ‘blood-bound” Force twins, Jack and Mimi. It was explained, to a point, but still kind of uncomfortable.

I love how de la Cruz blended history and the supernatural. It’s just really interesting and fresh; like the idea Life Cycles for vampires, the ‘coming of age’ memory flashbacks, craving raw meat and other side effects. The story really picked up when one of Schuyler’s friends was accused of murder, and from then on I couldn’t put it down. She really stepped up to the plate at the end, even though she had just learned some of who she was becoming and had just suffered a family tragedy. 

I really was expecting a lot more from this book, but I’m interested enough to see what else is in store for Schuyler and the rest of the Blue Bloods crew in the future. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

COVER REVEAL – The Death Cure by James Dashner

Expected publication: October 11th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Book number three in The Maze Runner series finally gets a cover! I really, really like this series. I’m extremely nervous for it to end. (I don’t want anything bad to happen to Minho!) The Scorch Trials (#2) was seriously intense, so I can’t even imagine what James Dashner has in store to bring this story to a close.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday 4/27

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review – Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Hardcover, 441 pages

Published February 1, 2011 by HarperTeen
Purchase from Amazon
GoodReads:  Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. 

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.”

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I took my first step into Lauren Oliver’s world. I was really taken back by how absolutely terrifying it was! Not in the ‘blood and guts’ way, but in the fact that the people in it had no choice in what happened in their lives. Zero. I thought the premise was extremely interesting. I also didn’t think I would be so emotionally involved as I was. 

What would the world really be like if love didn’t exist? A world where mothers weren’t upset and panicky when their children were injured; a world where that butterfly feeling you get when your boyfriend/spouse walked into a room was considered a disease? Here, citizens entire lives were planned out: college, occupation, spouse, number of children, etc. At the age of 18, male and female alike underwent The Procedure to cure them/prevent them from contracting amor deliria nervosa: love. To receive placement with their future, all teenagers must go through an Evaluation. If their answers do not line up with what is expected, there are grave consequences. Any deviance from the rules or hint of resistance is immediately wiped out.

Oliver did a fantastic job at making the rules of Lena and Alex’s world real. I loved that those two characters started out on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Lena did everything she was told, thinking that life would be so much easier once she had the Procedure. She knew that her entire future was being planned by other people and just accepted that. There was no opinion, or distaste, or excitement. Just move along, keep your head down. (It drove me crazy!) Alex, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air in this book. His carefree attitude, that came from living outside the confines of the city, really made me love him. He gently pulled the wool from Lena’s eyes, and showed her what was really going on, that she had a choice, and then let her choose. 

The only thing I didn’t care for was the “biblical” aspect that Oliver added to the mix. I understand the need for some sort of text that the characters all looked to for guidance, but the ugly twist on this just didn’t sit well with me, as actual Biblical context is important to me. This wasn’t a huge part of the story, but I felt it was worth commenting on.

I found myself having to put this book down a few times, simply because I needed some air. As I went deeper into Oliver’s world in Delirium, I felt the same suffocation that the characters felt. Maybe even more so at times. This book really made me think about my life and the choices I have the ability to make. As a dystopian novel, this was the most realistic scenario that I have read. It’s been 4 days since I finished it, and I still find myself thinking about it. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to the second installment in this series. Lauren Oliver is a brilliant storyteller that will definitely grab your attention. 

Tune In & Teaser Tuesday (4/26/11)

Tune In Tuesday is brought to us by Ginger at GReads. This weekly meme is to showcase your favorite music, new or old, or even that annoying song that's been stuck in your had for weeks (thanks a lot!). To get involved, just click here and link up!

My pick this week: Paper Lung by underOATH (the OFFICIAL video! Just released yesterday! This is a very loud, intense song (clean, no cussin'!), so if you don't like that type of music, skip on down and read my Teaser. If you do like it, ROCK ON!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Mailbox/WAYR 4/25

This meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is a great opporunity for bloggers to show what books they bought, received in the mail, or borrowed from the library. (The latter is where a lot of mine come from. I should rename this meme "On My Library Card" lol)

On the Blog overview:
My stop on The Priest's Graveyard Blog Tour
Review – Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Revew – Captivate by Carrie Jones

Review – Captivate by Carrie Jones

Captivate by Carrie Jones

Hardcover, 273 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published September 2nd 2009)
ISBN 1599903423 (ISBN13: 9781599903422)
Primary language: English
Original title: Captivate
Series: Need #2


Zara and her friends knew they hadn’t solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king’s needs grow deeper every day he’s stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It’s made him vulnerable. And now there’s a new king in town. 

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he’s one of the good guys. Nick isn’t buying it, though Zara isn’t as sure — despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it’s a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It’s her life — and his.

I’m not sure why, but I just really did not get into this one very much. I loved Need (book 1). I just had a hard time. The dialogue between some of the characters was so very…pre-teen. It felt like Zara and Nick’s relationship went from intense to fluff. Zero depth. A lot of the things the characters did just didn’t make sense. 

The only redeeming quality for me was Astley. KING Astley.  His character was the only one who had some depth, in my opinion. He was desperate for Zara to be his queen, so much that he put himself in danger and  decided to help her when it had no gain involved for himself. Team Astley, all the way! Zara flat out used Astley, and didn’t even ask what the actual consequences/changes would be when she had a ‘life or death’ decision to make. 

I thought the ending was…ridiculous. I don’t want to put out a spoiler, so all I’ll say is that if I were Nick, I’d be ticked. There’s no way that I’d be able to do anything but search for answers. I’ll continue to read this series. It’s not uncommon for there to be a flop book somewhere down the line. I still want to know what happens to the characters, and see how things between Nick, Zara and Astley turn out.  

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