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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Golden Lily

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives. Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist. When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by
Richelle Mead

Grade: 2 stars out of 5

Oh my... I love Richelle Mead. She is my favorite author, currently. I've read a little bit from each of her series, especially Vampire Academy, and I'm totally in love with her heroines and her writing style. Rose, Eugenie, and Georgina are very similar-- strong, witty, beautiful, full of biting retorts, not always thinking before speaking, etc. So, when I heard that she was going to kinda-sorta continue the Vampire Academy Universe from Sydney's POV, I was REALLY excited. I wanted to read her tell a different sort of character, because Sydney is, as Mead stated herself, the opposite of impulsive Rose. Sydney is always calculating, reserved, thinks ahead, etc. I wanted to see Mead write from out of her comfort zone.

I liked Bloodlines #1. Twas good.

The Golden Lily - kill me, but 3 months later, and I still haven't brought myself to finishing it. For a Mead book, for me, that's UNHEARD of. I think someone's dead... or in trouble. I think there's a love triangle. I don't know... AND I DON'T CARE. I even didn't feel like writing my own summary and stole it from goodreads.com.

Sydney is boring. She's perfect in every way. She's smart, she's pretty, she's skinny, she's kicking ass, she's magical (or something). At least Rose had a couple faults. Adrian (and so many people will be mad at me) is boring. More drinking, more underachieving, I want him to do more than just wallow in his pity and Sydney's hot body. Everyone else has lost their pizzaz, their uniqueness. If Richelle Mead killed them all in the next book (what is it called, Indigo Spell?), I would be like 1000000x less upset then I was at the end of Shadow Kissed, and I was INCREDIBLY sad at the end of Shadow Kissed.

I think Mead's throwing too much into here. The pairings are clear, even with the love triangles. Sydney has too many responsibilities and not enough hours in the day. And frankly, I am just not interested in any super powers she may have (duh, I haven't finished the book).

Maybe I'll crack it open the next time I want to procrastinate on my homework. And I'll come back and finish this review.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pushing the Limits Giveaway!

I am tired and busy and stressed. I am very, very behind on my blogging and I can't promise that I'll be blogging again soon. I will mention that Books by Their Cover will not be abandoned; it's just going to be set aside while I focus on my classes and my work. I've been reading a motley selection of books and there's been a couple that I have to recommend. For now, however, just a quick giveaway!

"No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again."

Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?
A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.
Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?
A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it alwaysfelt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek my- thology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil- dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo- ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.
Q: Which character is the most “like” you?
A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.
Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?
A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have un- fortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.
Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The peopleI grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willing- ly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and con- gratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.
Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?
A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang- er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories.
You can visit Katie at her website

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