Thin Line Between Love and Alchemy (Bloodlines – A Book Review)

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Bloodlines - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt


Love and loyalty run deeper than blood.

Sydney Sage is still suffering repercussions for aiding dhampir Rose Hathaway in a shaky alliance that has deemed her a vampire sympathizer by everyone. Alchemists believe that vampires—Dhampir, Moroi, and Strigoi are unnatural creatures, but they’re not there to stop them. They’re there to protect humans.

Awoke in the middle of the night, Sydney is given a second chance when charged with guarding the young Moroi, Jill Dragomir—younger sister of Queen Lissa Dragomir—at a California boarding school after an assassination attempt. As they try to adjust to being roommates at Amberwood Prep, threats, distractions, and forbidden romance test Sydney’s patience. She can’t risk getting to close to Jill or else she’ll lose whatever chance she has at regaining her family’s trust, but she’s beginning to care about Jill as she gets to know her and discovers her secrets.

This book marks 18 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve heard many good and interesting things about Vampire Academy. I also find alchemy to be intriguing.

I never read Vampire Academy. *GASP* I know. I know. How incredulous. There was and still quite a hubbub about it just like with Twilight and Shadowhunters and I just can’t get myself to. Not right this second anyway. Something about it having so much attention makes it feel overhyped and I don’t want to be overhyped in case my expectations take a shit. So there are a few titles on hold, but I’m going to say this spin-off is a delightful gateway.

Scarlet Reader - Giphy

I must say, while I expected more than just an investigation into students getting freaky abilities from metallic tattoos and Jill being stalked, I was intrigued. I find alchemy to be an interesting subject. Science + Magic = Alchemy. And Richelle brought a mysterious, heroic elegance to it. Alchemists are granted abilities, but like with the vampires of this universe, they aren’t invincible. I found that to be creative. The structure and building of this world was really interesting. I just wish there had been more to the supernatural feel.

Sydney (an alchemist) and Adrian (a vampire) were quite the opposites while Jill was softhearted with her other guardian, Eddie, secretly pining after her. Richelle created a delicate balance with these characters. I really enjoyed how she wrote them. They each had their own personal struggles that you wouldn’t see on the outside because they’re so well guarded. These characters didn’t give me any kind of over-dramatic feels even though there were times I wish they did. Sydney was serious while Adrian was comical. That can always be a fun dynamic. They were sweet, each like a flower. Maybe that’s tacky, but that’s how it was to me. There was an elegance.

I wasn’t thrown for any loops. Some parts were actually pretty predictable, but that didn’t make it any less entertaining when the villainy targeting both Sydney and Jill was revealed. It was the emotional pull that kept me attached. Sydney, though she tried not to, she became attached to Jill and even to Eddie. She didn’t wish any harm to them, though to others they, along with Adrian, are considered unnatural beasts. I could really feel that connectivity and that really kept me engrossed.

Scarlet Reader - Quirk Books


This was a book that had me a little curious, but it didn’t strike me as super interesting. I hope to read the next book though. I’m hoping to see what happens between Sydney and Adrian, because there’s DEFINITELY something bubbling between them. I also want to see more supernatural bits and rebellion. Sydney seems like the type that just might rebel. While this book didn’t feel intoxicated with the usual dose of magic and supernatural, it did strike closer to realism.


“It didn’t matter that people expected everything of me and nothing of him. We were still the same, both of us constantly trying to break out of the lines that others had defined for us and be our own person.” (Sydney, p. 282)

“Something in the way he was looking at me froze me up and made my stomach do flip-flops though I couldn’t quite articulate why. I only knew that he looked as though he was seeing me for the first time.” (Sydney, p. 413)

More to come soon…


P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

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