October 26, 2011

“You're dead, dude. Get over it.”

So my current obsession is vampires. And you’re like “You? No! That’s crazy talk.” But no, REALLY, YOU GUYS. The Vampire Diaries is currently in its third season, and it is so insanely good, that I can’t even stop talking about it. The energy and pacing is amazing. They throw so many huge plot twists and new developments into every single episode, that it’s like sweeps week all the time.

In the first season, and on the surface, it’s very Twilight-esque. A hundred-something year-old vampire falls in love with a human teenager. But right away, the story expands, and it’s not just about the two star-crossed lovers anymore. It’s really funny, and genuine, and action-packed. It’s about love and loss, and betrayal and forgiveness, and trying to be strong in the face of overwhelming odds. And the epic bromance between a vampire and a vampire hunter. But at its core, The Vampire Diaries is about characters. Amazing, flawed, three-dimensional, evolving characters.

The two very different brothers who’ve fallen in love with the same woman… twice. The brooding vampire who’s been betrayed by his brother a hundred times, but hasn’t become jaded or forgotten how to smile. The anti-Bella who loves a vampire, but hasn’t lost her self, who values family and friends above everything, and never wants to become a vampire. The most reckless, manipulative, and self-destructive vampire ever, who loves his brother… and his brother’s girlfriend. The human history teacher who’s lost the two women he’s loved but is trying to be there for two teenagers who’ve lost everyone. The cheerleader turned Vampire Barbie who’s acquired depth and compassion but never lost her enthusiasm for life. The young witch who’s willing to sacrifice herself for the ones she loves. The sullen teenager who’s faced overwhelming loss but is growing up and trying to be there for his family.

Oh, and every actor on this show is mind-blowingly talented and insanely good-looking. The first two seasons are on dvd and Netflix Instant and if you don’t start watching them immediately, I don’t even want to know you.

October 12, 2011

September Reads: 50 Books for 2011

Okay, I can promise I read more than one book in the month of September. I did a bit of a re-reading and then also read a big chunk of The Book Thief for Forever Young Adult book club, but that post will be in the October round-up.

#27: Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead - They finally get the cover art right and it's the last damn book in the series. Succubus Georgina Kincaid finally finds what she's been looking for - a loophole in her contract with hell. But hell doesn't really like losing employees so this could turn out really bad for her. But of course she gets her (mostly) happy ending and the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, it's not the one I wanted her to end up with. Carter 4-eva!

August Reads: 50 Books for 2011

#22: Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler – I was SO excited for this fourth installment in the Jane True series. I’ve been dying for Jane to get together with the big hulking barghest that she has a thing for, but epic forces of good and evil keep getting in the way. Jane basically gets sent on a quest for the holy grail (substitute: powerful relic) and has to decide whether she really wants to be a hero or not. I have to admit, I found this one to be a bit repetitive and not quite as good as the previous volumes in the series. I’m anxious to see where the author goes next.

#23: Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb - This is the eleventieth million in the In Death Series. Or, number 32. This series has been getting pretty stale and formulaic, which is probably what happens after you’ve written 30 books about the same characters. I was skeptical this one would be any better since it was also about corrupt cops within the force, which has been covered in this series before. But the approach felt fresher and the character’s reactions were much more emotional. I think kick-ass homicide detective Eve Dallas is finally allowing her soft side to show.

#24: Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead – Demonic and yet essentially good-hearted succubus Georgina Kincaid is having a crappy Christmas. Some mysterious angels have stowed some random dude in her apartment for safe-keeping, and some mystical force is draining her succubus energy. There’s also more and more discord between her and the human boyfriend she keeps at arms-length out of concern for his mortal soul. This book was depressing.

#25: Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead – This fourth book in the Georgina Kincaid series sees Regina’s boss, the arch-demon of Seattle disappear from the city, which renders the lesser immortals under him temporarily mortal. This allows Georgina and Seth to give into their long denied desires, even though he’s now with someone else. But of course Georgina can’t leave anything alone and feels the need to rescue her boss, even if it means she goes back to being a succubus.

#26: Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead – As a result of what happened in Succubus Dreams, succubus Georgina has been kidnapped by some kind of evil dream-sucking thing. She’s left in an in-between state where she’s constantly dreaming. Some of the dreams are real events from her life and some are fake – just to mess with her. This is all really just a device for the character to relive all the things she’s done in her centuries long life, including all the men she’s hurt. Her friends work to save her, and I have to say, I was surprised at who ended up being the key to ending her torture.