Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Perspective: Fan Fiction


I know I usually don't do this, but I wanted to ask your opinions on something that I know a lot of bloggers out there - and readers - spend time doing when they aren't reading novels. And that is, reading fan fiction!

Personally, I'll admit that I've been neglecting reading actual novels lately because of the temptation that is fan fiction. The allure is all there. I mean, while reading an actual published book, I'd find myself asking questions like: Why didn't the author do this? or What would happen if this character did this?

The majority of the time, you'll find that other people are asking those same questions. A lot of them take the time to use the author's characters in their own way and write what is called fan fiction. For those who don't know, fan fiction is basically the everyday person being able to use an author's copyrighted characters in whatever way they please in their own work of literature. (Keep in mind, you have to give credit to the author in disclaimers.)

I think there are ups and downs to fan fiction.

An up is that some of them are really great to read! They're well written and are a way to pass the time while waiting for a book to be published or in the case that the author is done writing that certain book series you're reading fan fiction for. Downs are that some people completely butcher the author's work. An easy fix to that though, is to click away from the page. A lot of people also have issues with the fact that it is basically taking someone else's work and interpreting it in your own way.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you read, or write, fan fiction?

I do both. Read and write. I particularly enjoy doing both!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Author Event: Richelle Mead!

As you can probably tell, I'm a huge fan of Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines Series. I never get tired of reading her books. If you haven't already picked up one of her novels, I suggest you do so very quickly, because you will not be disappointed!

 Anyway, Richelle paid Houston a very wonderful visit last night, and it was hosted by the lovely independent book store: Blue Willow Bookshop, who will also be hosting other young adult author events soon! Click on the link, and you'll be able to see a schedule!

The last time Richelle Mead was here was a couple years back to discuss the release of Blood Promise! It doesn't seem like that long ago, but when I realize that she's already finished that series, and is two books into her next one, it seems like a forever ago!

Richelle Mead was a lovely guest as always! She cracked a couple jokes here and there and read an excerpt from her newest book, The Golden Lily (which I reviewed here). Soon after, there was a Q&A session that had many people asking questions. Some of which included...

Do you think you relate more to Rose or Sydney? To this, Richelle said that she was more like Sydney; however not nearly as organized. She said that when writing in Rose's POV, she thought to herself, would I do this? and if the answer was no, then she made Rose do it.

Which character was most difficult for you to write? Her answer: Evil Dimitri, who is the version of Dimitri that we all hate to love.

She also said that the ending of her next book, The Indigo Spell, will surprise us...she wouldn't mention if it would be a good surprise or a bad surprise though... She did say later that if she let the Bloodlines series end at the third book, you'd be like what? So, of course, now we're all wondering what is going to happen!

All in all, the event was very great, and I'm so happy I went! I always have fun at these things, because I love meeting my favorite authors. It's also great to be in a room with a bunch of other people who are obsessing over the same books as you.

If Richelle is ever in your town, make sure to go!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bloodlines Series News!

And there you have it! The title of the next book in Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series is The Indigo Spell. Here is the first paragraph, which was featured as a reward here.

"This wasn't the first time I’d been pulled out of bed for a crucial mission. It was, however, the first time I’d been subjected to such a personal line of questioning.
“Are you a virgin?”"

Sounds very...interesting!

What can we take away from the title? Well, seeing as how Sydney has been dabbling in spells, I'm guessing she will continue to do so, even though she isn't completely comfortable with it yet.

Looking forward to the next installment in the series! Check my reviews for The Golden Lily and Bloodlines on the homepage.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Release Date: 6/12/12
Publisher: Penguin USA
Pages: 400

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

The Golden Lily sparked so many emotions within me that I'm not completely sure if I've comprehended the book yet. I've been enthralled by the world Richelle has created ever since I read Vampire Academy so many years ago, and this book was a wonderful representation of why so many readers are loyal to Mead and her young adult series.

The characters, I must mention, are very entertaining to read about. Each of their lives intertwine in interesting ways, and even on their own, they're great. I think Richelle has done very well in developing her characters, and in making them all different, yet similar enough to get along well. Sydney, the narrator, is an interesting storyteller in this. Her loyalty to the alchemists is always present, yet as she grows even more friendly to her vampire friends, she finds herself questioning what she's been taught her whole life.

To keep some sense of order in her clustered mind, she starts dating a boy who works at the coffee shop she goes to. His name is Brayden, and as Trey, the boy who set them up, said, the two are exactly alike. They're both very smart and conservative in similar ways, but if they're so "perfect" for each other, why doesn't Sydney feel the "spark" everyone talks about?

There's so much romance in this book, and I loved it! The pairings are great, and while romance plays a major part in this book, it doesn't take over the book. There's still mystery, and like in Bloodlines, you'll find yourself guessing at what will happen next! It's a big secret, and will create even more problems for the alchemists, and probably even the whole vampire world eventually.

Perhaps my most favorite parts of this book were the glimpses we got of some outside characters, Dimitri and Sonya for example. Our favorite characters, including Lissa and Rose, are mentioned in this book as well! While it's little tiny mentions, it makes me so incredibly giddy, because I love these characters! I can only hope that we get more mentions of them, and that I'll soon fall in love with the Bloodlines characters as much as I have with the characters from Vampire Academy. Fans of Adrian, a group that I fit in, will love him in the book, because he's still his witty, charming, and dreamy self!


Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Here's what I'm excitedly waiting for! I love this series and recommend it without end.

Hammond's trying junior year of high school is finally over...but her troubles aren't. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family - and boyfriend - drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.

At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. She finds a blog by someone named Neal Moche, a psychometric who might have clues to Sasha's whereabouts. There is something familiar about Neal, and Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.

But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she's to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?

It comes out under Hyperion in December of this year!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Release Date: 8/23/11
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 432

Blood doesn't lie...

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

Over the years, I've prided myself as being a huge fan of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. Even now, years after its end, I enjoy reading about Rose and Dimitri and the gang. However, because I am such a big fan of Rose, I've been hesitant to start reading Bloodlines. I'm ashamed to say this book has been sitting in my closet next to my other books gathering dust. I didn't want to read unless it was about Rose and Dimitri and if I'm being honest, I always believed Adrian was meant for Rose. Which doesn't make sense because I love Rose with Dimitri...and see? Here I go, getting caught up with the VA series. Anyway, bottom line, I didn't find the idea of Adrian and Sydney as a couple appealing, which was obviously going to happen in the Bloodlines Series. But! Here I am now, giving in, only because I know The Golden Lily is coming out on Tuesday, and I want to be excited. Also, Richelle Mead is coming to Houston, therefore I must have myself prepared! So, now on with my opinion of Bloodlines...

Like I said, I wasn't sure how I'd take this book because of my bias, but once again Richelle Mead has concocted a masterpiece. She has such a way of writing that it feels like you're actually listening to someone tell you the story. It's a simplistic way of writing that is entertaining and welcoming. It's not hard to read at all, but instead very easy to get into the book and get lost in the world of Moroi, dhampirs, Strigoi and alchemists.

I have to say that I also enjoyed Sydney's point of view. Having read a lot of reviews on this book before reading the actual book, I knew others had seen a drastic change between Rose and Sydney as narrators. I have to say I agree with them. While Rose acts before thinking things through, Sydney spends most of her time analyzing her actions and the consequences ahead. While this was a big change, it wasn't a bad one. I found myself getting used to Sydney right away, and I liked that she was chosen as the narrator for this spin-off series. She's more interesting than I thought she would be, having only gotten a taste of her character from the Vampire Academy Series. It's interesting seeing another side of the Vampire Academy world, and I look forward to reading The Golden Lily.

As for the plot, I thought it was well planned out and I was surprised at how this book pulled a fast one on me. Very rarely does a book involving mystery actually keep me guessing at who the culprit is, yet this book was able to do so. And, just when I thought the mystery was solved, a twist was thrown at me and I was left wondering what the heck was going on. But what else should I have expected from Richelle Mead? I will never stop giving this author compliments because she is such a master at writing books!

Last but not least, I must mention the characters. Adrian, who I thought I knew in depth from reading about him in the VA series, is not as one-sided as he appeared to be. Yes, he is hilarious and has the almost child-like ability to make light of any situation, but in Bloodlines we see that he is capable of being hurt and brought down. Thankfully, his emotional scars from the VA series are healing slowly, but surely...at least until the last chapter. And then there's Eddie, Jill, and the new characters that are introduced, like Micah, Keith, and Lee. I was surprised by Jill in this novel. Because of the little time she was given in Richelle's earlier books, I didn't know what to think of her, but this book went into depth about her character, and I've come to like her a lot. I had always liked Eddie, but I like his character even more now, having seen the growth of his character through the process of becoming a guardian. The secondary characters all fit into the story well and all play a crucial part in the plot. It's nice to see it all play out. I also liked the angle of Micah being roommates with Eddie. His striking resemblance to Mason brought a sad smile to my face.

The one thing though that stuck out to me the most is the development of the character relationships. I can't mention how much I really liked the relationships between each of the characters. While they're not all completely friendly yet, because of certain complications, it was a pleasure to see them grow together.

Bloodlines was a happy surprise. I didn't expect myself to like this book as much as I did because of my loyalty to The Vampire Academy series, but I think I've come to the conclusions that I will enjoy any of Richelle Mead's books. She's just that good. The Golden Lily comes out this Tuesday and you can bet that I'll be at Barnes and Noble buying a copy as soon as I can.