My Tome Infinity And Beyond TBR!

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The Tome Infinity and Beyond is a Science Fiction (yay!!!) Readathon created by Brushing Bookends

(I’ll leave all  other links at the end of this post).

According to the Tome Infinity And Beyond Mission Log our journey  has already started on the 7th September and it will last until the 21th, leaving us with two weeks to find our new home planet.

This is my traveling itinerary:

I’m leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.

Once I’m in the Asteroid Belt where my goal is to Read A Space Opera Adventure, I’ll read Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey, a series that has been in my radar for a year already.

 

In Saturn I’ll Read A Book With Circles On The Cover: 
The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan

 

Uranus, Hahaha – Read A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief:
I’ll read Armada, by Ernest Cline.

 

Neptune, Read A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa, I’ll read the Clean Sweep series by Ilona Andrews,

 

And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet, Pluto, where the goal is to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old):
The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.

 

I’ll be posting my wrap-up in as soon as I finish my space journey!

 

Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon**CREATED BY**

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2018 – Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG

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Time for my Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG!

I’m sharing with you the best and worst books I’ve read this year so far.

The picture of Pisa’s tower has not much to do with this post, but I visited it in a rainy summer day and, God, it’s so hot and rainy here now in end of July! So why not, right?

If you want to check out who started this, here is the Original Tag:
Chami – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gz6k0IB-Y
Ely – https://www.youtube.com/user/MidnightBluex

 

Questions:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

That is difficult to choose, but one of my favorites this year was “The Diabolic” by S.J. Kincaid.
Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the Audiobook until the last sentence of the story. The reading performance of Candace Thaxton was quite awesome too.

I also must mention The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen, this was awesome fantasy, a real page turner with great characters, story and oh, all the politics! I’ll definitely go on reading this series and Erika Johansen in one of my new favorite authors. This isn’t just YA though, it has some violence and darkness in it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

“The Empress” by S.J. Kincaid was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists.
I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book. In the Audiobook, the reading of Candace Thaxton was as five stars good as in the first book.

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Many books would fit here as an answer, I could make a list with at least twenty books or so, lol. One of them is “Six Wakes” by Mur Lafferty.

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

At the moment there are six unreleased books I’m waiting for, one of them is “A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire, Book Three)” by Jessica Cluess.

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
(I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The writing style, the characterization, the story itself… I could rant here about all the things I didn’t like, but let’s leave it at that.

 

6. Biggest surprise.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a really original and surprising science-fiction book with spiders! This book was so well written, the story world so rich and the characters so likable.

 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Four, new to me, favorites:

S.J. Kincaid

Jessica Cluess

Erika Johansen

Adrian Tchaikovsky

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

Not a crush, but Prince Cardan, from “The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)” by Holly Black is a very interesting character. Let’s see how his character arc develops in the next books of the series.

 

9. Newest favorite character.

Maven Calore from “War Storm (Red Queen #4)” by Victoria Aveyard was an interesting villain. I wonder if the series is really finished now and if we’ll never hear from those characters again. I need more books in this series!

 

10. Book that made you cry.

None, I usually don’t read books that make people cry, so this rarely happens to me. Instead I’ll answer my own question out of the blue: A main character who was so unlikable and annoyed you so much you couldn’t enjoy the book.
This would be Quentin Coldwater from “The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)” by Lev Grossman.
** spoiler alert ** This book was (for me) like if someone would have taken Holden Caulfield and threw him in Hogwarts and Narnia. He disliked every fantastic things that crossed his way, was a depressed teenager dragging himself through a magic story world filled with other equally annoying characters, and met the love of his life, spoiling things completely even though… The only likable character, his girlfriend, dies at the end of book 1 making him even more depressed.
I stopped reading for awhile after Quentin was left stranded, and picked it up weeks later just to see he was meeting the rest of his selfish friends to go on in an epic adventure that will have probably no other effect on him but to keep him tortured and depressed, so yeah, I want definitely out of this character’s emotional mess. I’ll stop reading this series. I gave this book though, 2 stars, for the originality, and its inspiring, latent emotional turmoil, a masterpiece somehow, even if not for me.

 

11. Book that made you happy.

This would be “Herding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3)” by Sarah Andersen
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This comic book was funny and very relatable, especially for artists. Sarah Andersen’s comics are awesome and surely make me laugh.
I enjoyed the thoughts on what’s happening on the Internet today because I have thought about that lately often enough, and I agree that sometimes you need to back away so that you get a pause of the firestorm of opinions. Therefore, the “Guide For The Young Creative.” with its “Part One: What’s Happening?” and “Part Two: Artist Survival” made a lot of sense to me.

 

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

The anime by Hayao Miyazaki based on the book “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.

I mostly don’t write long, essay-like reviews like a professional reviewer, but mainly my opinion on the book, mentioning what worked or not for me.

My favorite review this year so far was on the book “The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)” by Helene Wecker which was: A jewel, I loved everything about this book, the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page. I also liked the Audiobook narrator: George Guidall.

14.Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I consider the cover of “A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)” by Jessica Cluess quite beautiful. This was very much fun to hear, a page-turner in audio format. The story was interesting, the characters reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, and the audio performance from Fiona Hardingham was well done. I’ll surely go on reading this series.

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I would like to read nonfiction books on writing, my goal is ten per year. So far I have been quite slow on doing that, I hope I manage to read them eventually.

And you? Consider yourself tagged if you would like to answer these questions and don’t forget to leave a link to your post here.

2018 r/Fantasy Book Bingo Reading Challenge – TBR and Update

In May I was reposting the original post from Way Too Fantasy about the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge here in the blog.

I started this challenge in end of April and finally managed to make a nice graphic with my TBR in the original Bingo Card.

The white squares are the challenges I haven’t picked a book yet. The challenges are:

  1. Fantasy Novel that Takes Place Entirely Within One City
  2. Self-Published Fantasy Novel
  3. Novel with Fewer Than 2500 Goodreads Ratings
  4. Novel Featuring God as a Character.

I will probably pick two books from my writer friends for challenges 2 and 3. I still have no idea about which ones for 1 and 4. Any ideas? Along the year I’ll surely change my mind about the books for a couple of challenges too, I’ve picked up a tough Dystopia for one of them and I rather read Dystopias in winter. For me, it doesn’t work to read serious Dystopia under a sunny blue sky.

The squares written in blue are the challenges I already completed and the ones in black are still to be read. So far I have read 6 books out of 25, and when 50% of the books are finished I’ll post my midway reviews.

To have less information filling up the card I was putting only the title of the books in each square. To know which challenge belongs to which book please take a look at the original Bingo Challenge card

So, without much further ado, here’s is my TBR Bingo Card:

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And you, are you also doing this or other reading challenges? What do you think of the books I chose? Let me know in the comments.

The One Readathon To Rule Them All – Wrap Up #theonereadathon

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The One Readathon To Rule Them All is a readathon that happened between April 29 – and May 12, 2018.
I managed to read 5 books and complete 5 of the 8 challenges. I’m quite happy with my results since I started this readathon with the very optimistic TBR of nine books. I will go on reading the remaining books even if the readathon has already finished so I can update this blog post later.
So, without further considerations, here is my Wrap Up:

1. Read a fantasy book written by a POC Author

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova
My review: 3 stars. ** spoiler alert ** I think I would have liked this book more if it had not be so centered on the main character and her inner struggle with being a bruja, but more on the people surrounding her which were only mentioned when directly conected to the main character. Many interesting secondary characters, especially Nova and Rishi, felt not fleshed out enough.

2. Read a fantasy book w/ a POC MC

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1) (audiobook) by Helene Wecker.
My review: 5 stars! A jewel! I loved everything about this book, the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page. I’m happy I finally got to read this great book and placed it among my favorites of this year. I also liked the Audiobook narrator.

3. Read a fantasy book under 300 pages

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton.
My review: 1 star. I considered this book thoroughly disappointing. The writing style, the characterization, the story itself; I could rant here about all the things I didn’t like, but let’s leave it at that.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4. Read a fantasy book 1,000+ pages

This challenge will be updated later as it isn’t yet finished. I heard that The Kingkiller Chronicle series that I was planning to read for this challenge isn’t yet finished, so I’ll probably wait for the last book in the series to start reading the first two books.

5. Read a fantasy book that is a stand alone.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.
My review: 4 stars. This was an original take on vampire stories and the world building was awesome. I found it somehow slow paced and thought that a couple of flashbacks were placed too late in the story, but I was happy to find similarities between this book and The Cruel Prince. This vampire story should be getting a sequel.

6. Read a fantasy book written by a non-English speaking author

This challenge will be updated later as it isn’t yet finished. I am though, still quite interested in The Witcher series.

7. Read a fantasy book set in a non-European location

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin.
My review: 3 stars. I liked this book even if I considered it quite slow paced even for epic fantasy. The relationships, magic system and world could have been much more fleshed out too. I’m yet in doubt whether I will go on reading this series or not.

8. Read a fantasy book w/ LGBTQIA+ rep

I acquired China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh especially for this readathon and also The Black Tides of Heaven (The Tensorate Series) by J.Y. Yang later, due to recommendations. I plan to read both books and update here later on.

Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up

Now it’s Easter, time for my Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up!
I’ve terribly neglected this blog the last three months, writing short stories instead. On the plus side I am going forward with my short story anthology, which has now 32k of well revised words. I’ll publish my anthology this year, unless I pick some of the short stories to turn into novellas or even novels. I’ve been thinking on listening to my awesome and inspiring beta-readers who often ask me for 50k words in the world and characters of the short story I sent them, so I’m still considering my options carefully.
Now that I talked about my writing, let’s move to the best books I’ve read in winter.

1. Winter Theme: Faeries

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I must confess to being into books with a new paranormal creature this year: Faeries. Because Shapeshifters were so last year. (Only joking, I still like Shapeshifters).

So far I have found only a couple of five star series reads and a couple of somehow meh, 3 star reads from series I’m not going to pursue further. It’s been a challenge to find books with Faeries, the Political Intrigue and less clichéd romance that I prefer, so I would appreciate any Faerie book recommendation on the comments.I won’t dwell in the 3 star books I read, but praise the 5 star ones, which were:

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

I’ll be looking for more Holly Black books in the future. When it comes to this book the hype is deserved, I loved the world building and the ‘cruel prince’ is a very interesting character. It remains to be seen how this story will develop in the next books. I am, in any case, on board.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1 – #3) by Sarah J. Maas

This series turned into a favorite of mine from book 2 onwards. I even reread #1 and #2 after reading #3 to be able come back to the its awesome Faerie World while I wait for the next book in the series.

2. Winter Theme: Dystopia

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I’ve been reading loads of Dystopia lately. I don’t have a reasonable explanation for it, it’s one of those things that just happen, you reading series after series of pessimistic future scenarios to a point where the series blur.
In the sea of Dystopia most books qualify as four stars for me. They are entertaining, and so quick to read I can binge read the whole series in one or two weeks. From the series I’ve been reading I would give honorable mention to:

Shatter Me series (Shatter Me #1 – #5) by Tahereh Mafi 

This series improved with every new book, with very interesting character arcs, and

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

A very special book. I was listening it as an audiobook that managed to be my favorite so far in 2018; Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the audiobook until the last sentence of this story. This was my first book by this author but I’ll surely take a look at her other books and go on following this series. I found the reading performance of Candace Thaxton in the Audiobook quite awesome too. This book is also interesting if you want an entryway from YA Dystopia into Space Opera, another awesome sub-genre of Science Fiction.

I also read the next book in this series The Empress (The Diabolic #2) and was surprised at all the twists. I have no idea about how the next book in this series will be, but taking from another great series from Kincaid (Insignia #1 -#3) which was awesome I can only think that it will be equally original and outstanding, so naturally I can’t wait until Fall to read The Diabolic #3.

Have you read these books and liked them too? I am looking for more Faerie themed or Space Opera books recommendations so feel free to suggest any you liked.

My 5 favourite books of 2017

So, I’m a bit late, but I got a cold between Christmas and New Year, so I just had time to wrap up the last reading year now. So here are my conclusions:

  • I was reading a lot in 2017. — 153 books — although…

Half of these were comics or graphic novels that I usually read much faster than a normal book.

  • 60 were science fiction, fantasy, or a combination of young adult and other genres.

I rarely read outside my favourite genres, only one contemporary thriller and a couple of historical fictions. I know people advise you to do that, but “je ne regrette rien” 😉

  • My favourite books of 2017 are mostly quite well known.
  • 6 were non-fiction books, all about writing techniques. I started many books on writing but finished few of them, I take a long time to read non-fiction because I don’t only read them, but mostly study them.

In this year it often happened that a hyped book had the right reasons to be loved by all Booktubers, although there were also cases where they would fail to impress me in the same manner.

I discovered new favourite authors and a few “never-to-read-again” and “how-can-people-actually-like-this?” books. Let me know if you would like me to go all ranty here on the blog.

But overall it was a very nice reading year.

So, here are my (kind of) 5 favourites of 2017!

1) The Saga series (Single Issues #1 – #43)
I read all single issues of this amazing series, I just couldn’t stop. It was amazing! Brian K. Vaughan now appears as number one in my Goodreads list of most read authors due to all the Saga single issues I read. I consider him now an auto-buy and read asap author.

2) The Grisha Verse Trilogy
Leigh Bardugo is a queen! (as I heard on booktube). I really liked this trilogy, and can’t wait to read “The language of Thorns” by the same author, now one of my favourites too.

3) The Night Circus.
Magical, awesome, and special. I was looking for more books from Erin Morgenstern and couldn’t find it. I guess I have to break my rule of no-rereading while the TBR tsunami isn’t tamed and reread this book.

4) Artemis
Andy Weir’s books make you laugh (a lot), while you visit extremely well-built and possible, on-the-near-future corner of (thankfully) not-dystopian sci-fi worlds. I like dystopia, but I read this book on my cell phone while my Kindle was recharging. This is saying something about how great I found this book.

5) The Illuminae Files (#1 and #2)
I’m absolutely spoiled for boring sci-fi after this series. These books were page-turners, full of action, great characters (my favourite is AIDAN), and all the graphic elements, for this reason, I would recommend the books even if people liked the Audiobooks too. All the hype around these books is well deserved, I can totally understand why people freak about these books, lol.

17 Book Prompts from my Reading Challenge 2017

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This year was a blast for me when it comes to reading. Since I started tracking what I read with Goodreads I never read so much, the number was 152 ‘books’ although I must confess that around the half of them were comics or graphic novels, in single issues or collected editions. This was the year I read (and loved) the whole Saga, Monstress, and East of West series and these graphic novels were page-turner-addicting reads. Besides them, I also read more of fantasy, young adult and sci-fiction. I also read around six non-fiction books on writing, a number smaller than I wanted to read this year, and a couple of books outside my favourite genres, thrillers or historical fiction, since I consider retellings another branch of fantasy. I discovered new favourite authors (Brian K. Vaughan, Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, Collen Oakes, Brandon Sanderson, Erin Morgenstern) and gave up on others too. So now, without further ado, here are the challenge categories I managed to fulfil this busy year:

1. A book written by a member of The Dragon’s Rocketship:
P.A.W.S. (P.A.W.S. #1) by Debbie Manber Kupfer. (Rating: 4 Stars)
What a cute shapeshifter story, I could not put this book down. I’ll also quite curious to see what will happen to all the characters, so I’ll go on reading this series.

2. The next book in a series you still didn’t finish: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** I liked this book more than the third in the series. Manon is a very interesting character and I’m curious about how she’ll develop in the next book. I was disappointed on how Chaol lost space in the story, but perhaps that was the right thing for the plot. Also disappointed on the extremely rushed-up resolution with the two main villains, not enough was said or developed so it was a well-rounded resolution, and the main character didn’t play the central role in both climaxes, perhaps for emotional reasons(?) For this reason, I rate this book 4 and not 5 stars even though this is a very interesting series and I’ll probably read the next book.

3. A book you can read in one sitting: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal. (Rating: 5 Stars)
What a lovely and poetic short graphic novel! I can totally relate to the questions and answers in this book. After all, what means to be happy nowadays? Is happiness or a pretence of happiness the ultimate goal? Or is it fine to be “busy, interested, fascinated” and “perfectly unhappy”?

4.A graphic novel: Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Manga Classics) by Stacy King (Author) (Adapted by), Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia-Nitouhei (Art “The Tell-Tale Heart”), Chagen (Art “The Cask of Amontillado”), Uka Nagao (Art “The Masque… Read Death”), pikomaro (Art “The Raven”), Linus Liu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”), Man Yiu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”). (Rating: 5 Stars)
Gothic, eerie, and beautiful. I liked this Manga version of Poe’s classics a lot. I haven’t read all these stories in their original version but the dark atmosphere from them seems to have been well translated into this format. The art was overall well done and the classic stories dark and eerie depth strengthened it. My favourite stories were The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven and The Mask of the Red Death.

5.A book with a LGBT Character: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. (Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked the underlying theme, but the hype it’s kind of exaggerated. Still, an entertaining comic.

6. A trilogy: The Grishaverse #1- #3 by Leigh Bardugo. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This was the year of trilogies for me, besides this, I read three others and liked them almost as much, but my favourite was “The Grishaverse”. I liked this trilogy so much, I might get the paperback or hardcover box set of it, even if I already read it on my eReader. There are books that you must have on your shelf for a reread.

7. A book in a genre you don’t normally read: You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes. (Rating: 4 Stars)
The writer’s voice makes this thriller an engaging and page-turning read, while quite original due to the unreliable narrator. And it is indeed a warning on the excessive use of social media.

8.A dystopian: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** This book is slower paced than the most science-fiction dystopia books usually are, but this perhaps due to the characters relationships being in the foreground. This slower pace, in my opinion, also created a better world description and story development, so it was all right for me. I liked the way the story was told even if the book finishes with a hook. And the touching role the Dylan Thomas poem played in the story was so beautiful, that it alone won my good opinion on this book. I’ll probably finish this series later.

9. A book with magic: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (Rating: 5 Stars)

Magical. It deserves the hype.

10.A book over 500 pages: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This book was as fun as Illuminae, and Illuminae was already a lot of fun. I’m totally spoiled for badly written and boring sci-fi after this series.

11.A book that makes you laugh: Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador #1) by E.M. Foner (Rating: 4 Stars)
This book was quite funny and has an interesting story. It’s not exactly a complex and serious sci-fi saga but something light for an entertaining afternoon.

12. A book that makes you laugh literally out loud: Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah’s Scribbles #1) by Sarah Andersen. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This is quite funny. My only complaint: It’s too short! I could read one thousand pages of this, lol

13. A high fantasy: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson.(Rating: 5 Stars)
This book is so good you will take your time reading it, so it lasts longer. And so far I can remember, it’s one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read.

14. A book with a war: Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi. (Rating: 5 Stars)
The author’s voice gives this sci-fi war story a light and humorous (real ROFL like moments) touch.

15.A young adult book (trilogy): Red Queen (Red Queen #1-3) by Victoria Aveyard
(Rating: 3,4,4 Stars for each book)
I found the story with silver and red people quite interesting, so why 3 to 4 stars? Mostly, and this is a pet peeve I usually have with YA, I think that romance took over other, more interesting, plot components.
I would gladly hear more about how silver appeared and came to power. When did that happen? Was it radiation, selective breeding, genetic techniques that brought the silver their special powers? The mentor figure of Julian was quite wasted as he didn’t provide any information, writers nowadays are so extremely scared of boring readers with backstory they just hint at it most times. I would have liked to know how this world came to be, this exploration of a future scenario being more interesting to me than another love triangle. Even though, I still like the characters and plot so I went on reading this series up to the third book “King’s Cage”. I still feel that the science fiction side of the story is mostly left to the side as no background explanations are given to the story world. Instead, the reader gets a lot of action and really long battle scenes, perhaps this was done so the target audience wouldn’t consider the book boring? I don’t know the reason for the lack of depth of the story world but even though missed it. Well, let’s see how the series will go on.

16. A standalone book: Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid
(Rating: 5 Stars)
A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series? 😉

17a.) A book that was later made into a movie, play or tv show: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead
(Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked this book and its vampire/high school drama mixture. I may go on reading this series, I’m just not intrigued enough at the moment to do that right now.

17b.) Watch the movie you read a book based on
Vampire Academy – I can’t really recommend doing that…