Friday, May 6, 2016

Nothing is Ever Eternal... Except Change, Perhaps?

Lo and behold, this blog of mine has proven its usefulness by unwittingly landing me a job! Now as a person who has learned to value things that have proven their worth in one's life, I couldn't help but do a little backtracking in my blogposts. Because of this, I realized that I have an "unhealthy" number of movie reviews compared to my book reviews! This probably wouldn't bother a normal person, but as a self-proclaimed "bookaholic" and certified obsessive-compulsive maniac, I tend to have things in proper quantities (blogposts being of no exemption).

Due to the fretful discovery of my uneven blogposts, I couldn't help but remember a certain aspect in my life concerning my involvement with books, (which would later give birth to a bookworm such as myself).

How "cute" can a worm get?

At a young age, my mother discovered earlier on that I couldn't read! Like nada! And the only reason I passed nursery then was because I was good at memorizing ( as my mother claims anyway...) So after at least 3 years of being enrolled in those summer reading "adventures" as a kid, something finally clicked. I don't know if those summer classes really worked, or maybe I was just a "late bloomer" of some sort, or I probably tripped one second and got my brain juggled the next on one of the days I was headed off to class. But one thing's for sure, I learned to reeeeeally love books!

Could have been more tidier though?

Seeing as this post is getting longer than it should be for a book review, I'll be doing a major time-skip from my days of reading Blue's Clues, Magic Treehouse and Geronimo Stilton books up until my very first Y.A Novel which was "The Forbidden Game" by L.J. Smith (which I've already blogged about if you kindly click the "book reviews" tag at the end of this post). During that time, the Dystopian genres weren't a popular thing then compared to the Paranormal genres. In fact, I vaguely remember Twilight was just about to come out (as a movie), so I was still sold on the whole "Vampire Romance" thing since I grew up in the age of "Queen of the Damned" and all those previous gothic, non-sparkly vampires. (I'll pick Lestat anyday over Edward, hell even the name sounds sexier! What a major downgrade... *insert facepalm*)

I just had to add this too, didn't I?

With this little information in mind, it's not surprising why I picked this book up in the past:

No sparkly vampires here, that's for sure! ;)

Sadly, it's already out of print in last I checked. In fact, most of the first books I have in my collection are! But I guess it's never too late to voice one's thoughts out, and before you start questioning my age, I should be moving on with my book review:

"Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney
Our protagonist here is a somewhat "fledgling" vampire named Moth. She takes on a mission assigned to her by her "maker", Theo, in order to gain her well-needed freedom. Said mission happens to be retrieving the ashes of a vampire master which is being kept by a vampire hunter (well, I didn't see that coming... *snickers*). Anyway, she manages to run into the son of the vampire hunter instead, so chaos ensues! But don't worry, there's no insta-love or 4-cheese romance here. (thank God for that!) In the end, I ended up liking Moth's character (she's kinda bad-ass, in her own way...) and wouldn't mind reading more stories about her. Also, the tension with Van Helsing Jr. was kinda cute though.

"Shelter Island" by Melissa de la Cruz
I kinda found this story to be like the wistful or melancholic kind, with this foggy, no-sun-just-clouds setting. I actually imagined the island to be somewhat like the one from the first Harry Potter movie, wherein they had to move just to get away from those owls. But back to the story wherein we have Hannah, our protagonist, who happens to befriend a boy/ghost/vampire or whatever he is, in her bedroom. Yes, because he's like this shadow that keeps lurking in her bedroom long before she moved in (it's actually more of the reason I consider him a ghost rather than a vampire, but hey we're reading a "vampire" romance book here so...) Said "vampire" is prevented from leaving/moving on due to a mysterious entity, so it's kinda vague and all, with the ending leaving me somewhat... empty? I guess it all depends on the reader though so hmmm...

"Sword Point" by Maria V. Snyder
We get another bad-ass heroine in this story from the likes of Ava, who just got herself accepted in this fictional, if not fancy, fencing school! Although before she even begins her proper training, vampires (and not the yummy type) threaten to ruin her dreams of becoming a master fencer. So yeah, you get the point, she has to defend the school and blah blah, you know what is obviously the ending and all, BUT! Yes, but! We get a nice love interest along the way, and no he's not a vampire, and he's actually considered as Ava's senior in fencing school but hey, it's still a romance happening in a vampire-infected world! So by all means, it has a right to be in this book!

"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black
This story took vampirism a different way, like once you're bitten, you still have a chance to retain your humanity if you can manage to hold off from drinking human blood in 88 days. So here we have Matilda, our protagonist, who's exactly facing the same predicament in order to not get sent to Coldtown, (where vampires live and where humans could go and party by bartering their blood), away from her boyfriend. Though the ending did turn out sad in my opinion. Not in a teary-eyed sense but it did leave me cold while remembering this music video by Evanescence "Going Under".

"Undead is Very Hot Right Now" by Sarah Rees Brennan
So far, this had a lighter feel on the vampire aspect as opposed to the previous stories I've read. Here we have Christian, who's a vampire stuck in a boy band. Well not that he's complaining or anything, but maybe he just wishes for people NOT to stereotype him as a "brooding-dark-sexy-vampire-out-to-suck-your-blood". (Nope, no Vampire Lestat here people...) Read on and see how he handles his "groupies" though. All in all, I considered this a quick and quirky read.

"Kat" by Kelley Armstrong
The first story that I encountered in this book which I just couldn't get a grasp on. Maybe there was supposed to be a bigger plot involved, or maybe it's going to be part of a series, but you don't just open a story like that. I mean, yeah it did seem good with the mystery and the right mix of action, but I kinda got the feeling that there were already happenings even before the chapter; to the point I had to see if I was missing any pages in my book. Bummer, I guess...

"The Thirteenth Step" by Libba Bray
The creepiest story I've had the pleasure of reading, really gave off "The Twilight Zone" feels. (For the younger crowd: No, I'm talking about a black-and-white series and NOT the one with the sparkly undead.) Anyway, here we have Lauren, who takes a job as an assistant in The Angelus House. Said house is a Drug Rehab center that leaves their patient with amazing results, and Lauren unwittingly finds out how. Also, her "love" interest in this story just flat out reminded me of Julian from L.J. Smith's "The Forbidden Game"! It's official people, I'm moving to the dark side! They seem to have tastier "cookies"...

"All Hallows" by Rachel Caine
Another story that seemed to be part of a bigger "picture". Honestly, if they wanted to promote a book series at least edit in a story that stands like a prequel than anything else. There were also a number of characters so it was kinda confusing getting to know them, or relating to them for just a short while. Think "Scooby Doo" without knowing what their purpose of solving mysteries is for.

"Wet Teeth" by Cecil Castellucci
A sad, sad story, if not tragic as I can say. Miles, our protagonist, has been a vampire for sixty years, and hasn't felt human ever since. Then he meets Penny, she reminds him of another Penny he once knew,  could this be the start of something new? Of course, we're not reading a fairytale book here so, imagine seeing your most favorite thing and having it violently snatched away from you. And you can't even do anything about it... Sad, isn't it?

"Other Boys" by Cassandra Clare
More girl power! If I do say so myself. I actually remembered this joke about a girl being teased by a guy because it's her "time of the month", unbeknownst to him that it was sorta of a different kind that happens only during a full moon so...  Well, I guess this story was more fun than I thought!

"Passing" by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
A little bit on the action part, this story was more like "The Hunger Games" set in a paranormal genre. Though, I did think everything was happening a bit too fast, it turned out well in the end with all these explanations that probably hade you accepting what the story was all about.

"Ambition" by Lili St. Crow
This story had more of a high-school drama feels to it before the protagonist met her "love" interest. Once they met though, I couldn't very well point out any vampire feels from him you know? Sure he was mysterious and all, but after reading the previous story "Other Boys" by Cassandra Clare, I had the benefit of the doubt. Don't get me wrong though, this story was anything but bad, but it could have been better if it were longer.

"All Wounds" by Dina James
A story that started out okay but left me empty in the end. I don't know, maybe this story was better off being in the middle parts rather than using it as a sort of conclusion to an anthology. Not saying this story was bad, on the contrary I really liked how the female protagonist was portrayed, it's just that the ending was a bit open-ended and it didn't sit well with me having it as the last story of the book. (not that I could change it anyway...)

Honestly, I had to refresh and reread some of the stories in this book since it's been a really long while since I last read it. Though I can't help but point out the ones that really stuck to me even after all these years, unsurprisingly they were the creepier ones or probably just the ones that left me with lots of questions. (hey, I was still considerably young then you know!)  "The Thirteenth Step" by Libba Bray was a winner in the creepy factor, also "The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black and "Other Boys" by Cassandra Clare. Also can't help but add the more "action-packed" part of this book like "Sword Point" by Maria V. Snyder and "Falling to Ash" by Karen Mahoney.

There were also the melancholic one that gave off this uber-sad vibes like "Wet Teeth" by Cecil Castellucci, "Ambition" by Lili St. Crow and "Shelter Island" by Melissa de la Cruz. Though there were some stories I just couldn't get a grasp on or were just plain... boring? For a paranormal book I guess they just didn't hit the mark. Although "Undead is Very Hot Right Now" by Sarah Rees Brennan did prove to be somewhat of a fresh approach in the vampire genre of that time, if not a bit parodic.

In the end, it was a great book, and I really like the reminiscing part that I did today while blogging. Maybe I'll get to blog another one of the first books that I read in the past! (of course minus the really long intro...)

Well, until then, see yah! xoxo

A kiss may be just a kiss, but a kiss from a vampire is an eternal kiss. It's a kiss that can mean forever. Death or immortality. Which would you choose?

That is, if you're even given a choice.
- Trisha Telep