Hey Jealousy…NOT By the Gin Blossoms (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1: Phantom.)

The Vampire Diaries: Phantom (The Hunters: Vol. 1)
Author: L. J. Smith
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for the skeletons coming out of the closet getting ignored and frustrating the hell out of you.

 

Dear Diary, I am home!

We did it. We saved everyone.

Everyone except Damon…

The supernatural damage and invasion from evil spirits have been erased from the destruction of the town to the trauma of the townspeople. Even those who died have been back from the dead. Almost everyone. Damon Salvatore who’d died saving everyone in the Dark Dimension.

Elena and her friends have been given a second chance. They’ve graduated high school and are determined to spend their last summer before going to college. Fun gets put on hold however when something strange begins to happen to everyone. Jealousies and tension rise between the friends, straining relationships and bringing about truths they didn’t expect.

As things come to light, Elena struggles with her dreams of Damon. That can’t connected be to anything though, right? Damon’s gone. It’s just her grief, right? Then why is she having this gnawing feeling that it’s more?

 

I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to the third part of the TVD trilogy of trilogies. It has been SO FREAKING LONG! Like, seriously. I finished Shadow Souls back in high school and then just couldn’t get to The Hunters until now.

This was not my favorite installation. Elena became so whiney and selfish and I was not having it. Not. At. All. NOPE. All of this shed such a harsh light on her and it made me feel so bad for Bonnie. It’s always been my belief that she deserved great things and when she admitted how she felt in regard to Elena and Meredith—small and living in their shadow—it hurt. It’s what I’ve believed since the very beginning and to hear her confirm it broken my friggin heart. She’s such a bubble of delight and so powerful and everybody just uses her and then dismisses her like she’s nothing! GAH! And this was the worst book to showcase this.

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I was so glad Bonnie got it off of her chest. It was also epic to see Elena fall flat on her face a few times too, both literally and metaphorically.

There was a new addition to the TVD-verse and her name is Celia. Alaric returns to the series with her, his research partner. She’s not my favorite and quite stuck up. But, she made for an interesting half-triangle with Alaric and Meredith.

The big bad being a demon is interesting, but I didn’t find it that well developed. It was very underwhelming. I didn’t get a good visual of it either. It was just…pathetic. Ugh. I hate to say that, but it’s true. There could’ve been so much more to make it more interesting. It fell so short.

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Imgur

 

Overall

A great start and such an interesting result, but the big reveal was not big at all. Not my favorite book of the series. So, low on the bar. On to the next one!

 

Quotables:

“We’ve all been given another chance. We did it. We saved everyone…Everyone except Damon…And vampires don’t reincarnate. They don’t go to Heaven, or Hell, or any kind of afterlife. They just…disappear.” (Elena, p. 9)

“He was a monster. He was supposed to be a monster, to take blood unflinchingly, to kill without a second thought or care.” (Damon, p. 275)

“They’ve doomed you, just like they doomed the one they really loved.” (Jealousy Demon, p. 352)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

  1. S. Song today? Paralyzer by Finger Eleven.

 

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Wet Hot Vampire Summer (The Traveling Vampire Show – A Book Review)

The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated: M for mature themes.

 

See.

Watch.

Tremble.

Scream.

A hot summer of 1963, there are flyers tacked up all over Grandville, advertising for the Traveling Vampire Show for one night only. The main event: the alluring and blood-draining Valeria.

After a bet is made, three teenagers: Dwight, Slim, and Rusty, are determined to get in to see the show even though only those who are over eighteen are admitted. The day is long and after a dog attack, deceiving friends, and strange break-ins, they wonder if they should go and what might await if they do.

 

This was a pretty good book. Definitely not your typical summer adventure. I’ve never read Richard Laymon before. I’m glad I got too.

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Slipping into the paranormal/horror genre, this book takes place in the small town of Grandville and everybody knows everybody’s business. By the end of this book, hell, not even, a good quarter of the way in, I knew the ins and outs of this town. The description, imagery, and world-building was superb! The entire book took place during the course of an entire day and it was so in depth and extended without a boring drag. It was warm, dry, and breezy during a time when you didn’t have to be afraid that somebody would break into your home. It was safe.

Pretty campy and fun and even humorous at times; yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Such a good Fright Night vibe. I was digging it.

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

I really liked Dwight and Slim, but found Rusty to be a horrifying little troll I wanted to shove off of a bridge. His little sister was a needy little imp too. They both made my jaw drop to the ground with horror. Cruel, liars, and completely spineless, the two of them are vicious and I couldn’t believe that Dwight was friends with them. Slim however, was so kick-ass. Tomboy with the curves, she’s gone through her own hell and is so strong for it! And she’s so smart. It’s is my absolute favorite thing about this book that she takes up the names of literary characters over her own name. I am in complete awe of her.

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This book really took me for a ride. There was nothing cut and dry about it. Shockers and sharp turns were around every page and really got me feeling paranoid. Laymon really got my skin creeping with goosebumps on the way to the book’s main event. Fantastic with the build-up and extra side stories that allowed me to get to know the characters so much more. I love it when there’s side stories, and he wrote them so well! I’m mind-blown. So fantastically done without breaking the flow or steering away from the main story i.e. getting to this vampire show.

 

Overall

A pretty good read. I was addicted. It’s not like it was some life-defining read, but it was a good book. Great for a summer time read. Certainly, for mature audiences too.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us tell ourselves we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s because we’re afraid to they might exist. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens from outer space, black magic, the devil, hell…maybe even God.” (Slim, p. 43)

“And even if you could somehow sort out the whys and find the truth, maybe it’s better if you don’t.” (Dwight, p. 51)

“The blood’ll bring vampires like chum brings sharks.” (p. 352)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Song today? House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

 

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New Year’s Resolution – 2019

Hello book lovers!

The new year is officially under way. With the new year comes New Year Resolutions. While I’m dreadful with resolutions since it’s usually me setting a goal to not be a total klutz, which only lasts about a week and a half, I make a book resolution to work on all year.

As promised at the beginning of the month, I have my bookish New Year’s Resolution ready to go. I always enjoy setting a challenge for myself while also getting into new reads and getting to reads I’ve always wanted to.

Last year I made a resolution to read from twenty-five authors I’d never read from before. I really enjoyed that because it really opened up my interests. This year, I shook things up a little. My resolution is to read five book series. I do have a couple rules that I’ve made for myself.

Must have more than two books in the series.

Cannot have read them before.

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I can’t wait to get started on them. They’re ones I’ve been meaning to get to. I’m so excited that I’m like fireworks, bursting, bright, and loud. I’ve been dying to all of these and very grateful that I was able to get them.

Without further ado, the big five of the year!

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Heroes of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan

 

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The Dark Tower
Author: Stephen King

 

Dorothy - amazon

Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige

 

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Wicked
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

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All Souls Trilogy
Author: Deborah Harkness

 

MC - amazon

Midnight Texas
Author: Charlaine Harris

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I can’t wait to read them and get some reviews up! The only problem now is figuring out which series to start with.

And while also working on this, I’ve accepted a Goodreads challenge of reading 145 books this year. Should be interesting and fun!

Stay tip-top, bookworms! Love you all. Read hard.

Scarlet Reader

 

More to come soon…

 -K.

 

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Thoughts? Any book-ish resolutions? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Mutt (Shadow of the Moon – A Book Review)

Shadow of the Moon (Moon #5)
Author: Rebecca York
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Shadow of the Moon

My Rating:Half bolt

 

His gifts help him uncover the hot stories. But his latest investigation will take him inside a sinister world of power and pleasure, alongside a woman who knows how to bring out the animal in him…

 

Lance Marshall is very good at finding the next major story, but that may be because he’s a werewolf. His abilities allow him to have that extra edge. With stealth, speed, and enhanced senses, he’s currently investigating a private nightclub called The Castle. Dark and mysterious, he already knows what goes on there.

His investigation is nearly destroyed when Savannah Carter is discovered investigating The Castle as well. There in the nick of time to help her, they both get away. Turns out, her sister in a coma and it had something to do with her frequenting The Castle. Whatever the case. Savannah will get answers.

Forming an unlikely pair that toils on edge of passion, Lance and Savannah set out to uncover the truth about this dark place and the monstrous evil that lies within it.

 

This is a series that doesn’t necessarily require you to follow any kind of order. I started with this one and it’s where I’ll end. I tried and tried, but I was not into this book AT ALL. In fact, I was astounded and not pleasantly.

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Yup, guys. I’m about to turn into Voldemort and Avada Kadavra this damn book.

I was deeply intrigued about the werewolf part and the sister being in a coma and how two very different people, who actually aren’t all that different, come together with these two plot. This was nothing like that. The passion promised felt very lacking, even for a lush read. It started out mysterious, which is good, but quickly fell apart for me shortly after.

There was an incredible amount of vagueness to everything that didn’t do much for my imagination and I love it when my mind gets to wander. A little over half of this book just made me outright uncomfortable. Not my kind of read.

The characters, Lance and Savannah, were dreadful. Lance came across as domineering, cocky, and immensely chauvinistic and with how he was written, it was really disgusting. He was the kind of guy that thought about himself solely and how he could get Savannah to please him, with no regard of if he was coercing her or even considering forcing her into it. Cue my *shudder*.

Side Note: It is not my usual to be so harsh with reviews, but this book really made my stomach go green. Not my kind of book. I enjoy aggressive and playful and a side of smutty because I can, but when it comes down to the characters getting overly controlling to the point that the character opposite of them comes off as property or just another object, like a lamp or a desk. It riled me up something fierce.

Savannah was brash and lacked common sense LOL. Very common in women that leap with their heart over their head. Thought as bullheaded as she was, she didn’t think twice before sharing everything she was doing with a complete stranger…that lack of common sense bit, remember?

I wasn’t rooting for either of these two. Thus, I decided pretty quickly that they were extremely toxic.

Shattered Memories

Now, I’m not one to complain too much about writing often. It’s usually that I want more detail because I’m greedy and always caving more detail. However, I found myself trying to figure out why there was just random vocabulary that didn’t blend in some parts, as if certain words were just put in to beef of the writing. But, they didn’t do that. They just made it weird. Having to reread some of the sentences, my face got screwy here and there. The vocabulary interrupted the flow and the flow interrupted me trying to get into the story…you know how that goes. That can make you want to chuck the book across the room.

 

Overall

I wish so much that my feelings about this book weren’t so disturbed. I imagine there are quite a few people out there that enjoyed this book and that’s fine because this is their kind of thing. It’s not mine. I’m donating this book so fast that it’ll be like I never owned it. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you branch out. I’m not proud of bad reviews that I make, not proud of how they make me appear, but I believe in honesty and that sometimes there isn’t enough sugar to coat something if it’s really really bad. Sorry, but no, not really sorry.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Open by Rhye.

 

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Bringing 2018 to a Close – My Top Ten Reads of the Year

My bookworms!

2018 is coming to its official close. I don’t know about you, but it’s been one long ass year for me. I wish I could say it had been a good one, but more than anything it’s been a struggle. There have been many up and many downs.

The New Year is upon us though! Soo, I wash away 2018 and welcome 2019.

While doing that, I have my big wrap up of the year where I give you my top ten reads! There were quite a few good books, but here are the ones that drove me crazy, made my heart explode, made me rage in the cage, made me drink (and 1. I’m talking about you), made me fall into puddly love.

Starting at 10…

 

10. We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up

 

9. The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

 

8. Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan

Summer of Fear - SR

 

7. 1984
Author: George Orwell

1984 - flavorwire

 

6. Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

 

6. Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

 

4. Smoke and Iron
Author: Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron

 

3. The Darkest Star
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Scarlet Reader - The Darkest Child

 

2. Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber

Caraval

 

1. Dark Calling
Author: Kresley Cole
Dark Calling

 

My Year in books on Goodreads: Here.

 

2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

Fall From Grace (Kissed by an Angel – A Book Review)

Kissed by an Angel (#1-3)
Author: Elizabeth Chandler
Published: 1998

On Goodreads

Kissed by an Angel

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

25/25

 

A love beyond life…a danger beyond doubt.

After a tragic car accident that killed her boyfriend, Tristan, Ivy is barely hanging on. She can’t seem to move on and her belief in angels is gone. She doesn’t understand why she is alive and he is not. They had a love that was meant to be and now she’s empty. Her new stepbrother Gabriel is there to pick up the pieces, and maybe more…

But when Tristan comes back as an angel he struggles to reach out to Ivy. She’s lost. She can’t feel his presence at all. Through her friends, he hopes to make contact with her. It’s imperative that he does because her life is in danger. He’s learned that the car accident wasn’t an accident at all. Somebody tried to kill Ivy and they still want her dead.

Tristan will do whatever it takes to protect Ivy, even let her go and move on without him. First, he’s going to find out who killed him.

 

This book marks 25 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution. I’m a sucker for a sweet story with a side of forever and love. It’s a guilty pleasure. And it’s even better if there’s that element that makes it complicated. You know, like death.

           

Like The Vampire Diaries, this book hales from the 90s. I could actually see this becoming a show sometime. It’s got all of the plotlines to become addicting.

Lose your love.

Do anything to get it back.

Lose it again.

Move on.

Realize it’s all you ever needed.

Then, finale, after all of the pain and sorrow and hell you put everyone else through so you didn’t have to be alone in it, you two end up together forever…probably dead.

Let’s be honest, we thrive of that high-octane drama of betrayal and love and longing that twists the heart. We cling to our seats for it because it makes us feel.

I don’t know about anyone else who’s read this, but I got Elena Gilbert vibes. She and Ivy could be best friends in their brooding and mooning over their loves. The romance between Ivy and Tristan is certainly one of those forever kinds and definitely beyond the grave types.

Ivy was so broken hearted and I had a great appreciation for seeing her try to work through it. It didn’t just pass by like it was nothing. The heartache was deep. It was very realistic. And though it was realistic, it also dragged the story out a bit too much, coming off too repetitive at times. I was forced to do a dreadful thing. Skim in some places. Ick.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

Tristan, her great, true love, was such a heartbreaker (as in my heart broke for him) and a goofball. Totally sweet and everything you’d hope for in a good boy. The kind that hold the door open for you and lets you have his hoodie when you’re cold. Yup, that guy. Swoon, girls. He’s a keeper. And he’s now dead, so it’s also super freaking tragic.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

The side characters were an array of likes and dislikes. If I had to pick one that really grinded me up, it was Suzanne. She’s one of Ivy’s best friends and she acted like a real…argh! She got so jealous and petty about Gabriel, the creep, because that’s who she decided to get moony over. I got so fed up with her that I wanted to reach into the pages and smack her. Kudos on provoking that out of me. There’s one of those characters in every book.

This is a setting that we all know. High school. Home. Very simple and to the point. Very teen drama perfection. And don’t worry about the money because every family in this book was well off! It was the high school romance that we all know lasts forever that was important.

Sorry, dashed a bit of sarcasm in there. That romance is easy to get swept up in. The setting of the story just came out bland and the character interactions didn’t do well in coming out more important. In fact. It felt as if the setting wasn’t important at all, throwing the story off balance. It was just splashed in there like it was no big deal, which was strange since Ivy’s mother getting married led to a whole change of scenery and that’s a big deal. It all came across bland.

Scarlet Reader - GiferThe style is what I call classic. It’s longing and reminds me of CW shows. The drama is sky high. You get all of that ooey-gooey and heartbreak as well as a crap ton of frustration. This is also where ships began. I can just imagine how people would argue about who Tristan should be with and who Ivy should be with. And the OTPs, oh my.

The way chapters or books would end at weird place threw me off though. It felt as if they’d cut off in random spots like—Oh! This is as good a place as any! Buuuut, uh, no because instead of feeling the cliffhanger that I’m sure was intended, I felt confused. Some parts just moved too fast for me to get a handle on. It left me reeling and trying figure out—Wait, what happened? How? When? Huh?

I will say this. I got shocked a few times. There weren’t shock around every corner, but I got stunned good a few times! Like, whoa.

 

Overall

This was a sweet and tender book, well all three in the one. LOL. I can’t say I have a desperation to finish the series. I’m not clinging to dear life. But they were nice. I have the fourth one and look forward to reading it. In the end, when it comes down to finishing it, if I come across the final book then yay! if not then I’m not feeling too bad about it.

 

Quotables:

“One day she’d have the nerve to say it, all of the words out loud.”(Kissed by an Angel, p. 2)

“Your problem is that you take it all too seriously, Ivy. Romance is a game, just a game.”(Kissed by an Angel, p. 65)

“Ivy realized for the first time that the more you love, the more you hurt. What was worse, you hurt for him as well as yourself.” (Kissed by an Angel, p. 114)

“Life goes on, and you’ve got to get on with it!” (The Power of Love, p. 112)

 

 More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Sweet Creature by Harry Styles.

 

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Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

22/25

 

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.

 

This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.

 

First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

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The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

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I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.

 

The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.

 

Overall

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.

 

Quotables:

“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.

 

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