Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, vampire

Series:  Blood of Eden

Pages: 485

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Rating: coffee cup iconcoffee cup iconcoffee cup iconcoffee cup iconcoffee cup icon

Summary from GoodReads:

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness….

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.

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coffee to goCoffee To Go: Go buy the book. It’s so worth it. I will warn you that this is not a light-hearted read*. There is no such thing as a vegetarian vampire–Allie’s world is gritty. You will, without a doubt, fall in love with the characters! They change and grow ever so perfectly. Perhaps my favorite part: the plot is extremely well-paced and natural. Nothing feels forced. I almost couldn’t force myself to put the book down.

Characters—

Allie: Disliked her. Loved her. Can’t put her into a box because she changes so much throughout the novel. It’s so beautifully ironic that she begins to discover her compassion and selflessness as she’s supposed to be discovering her depravity and greed. She’s witty (I might have snickered and laughed out loud more than a few times), she’s brave, she’s fierce, etc. Basically, I would want to count her as a friend because I know that she’d have my back and be super cool while doing so. Very…Underworld-esque.

Zeke: FIN-ALL-Y. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book in which the love interest is not too broody and not too girly. He speaks his mind rather than going through insane mood swings because he “can’t fight his love for her.” Not that I don’t love that, but it gets repetitive. More than that, I love that he’s more than a love interest. He’s a great foil, he’s a whole, dynamic character, and he exists apart from Allie’s universe. No insta-love here (thank GOD). They find each other attractive, sure, but they focus on character qualities. You will LOVE Zeke.

Kanin: He’s so mysterious! He kept me wondering about him, his past, and his future all the way through the book. He gave up enough info to hold my interest, but kept my imagination running wild with “what ifs.”

The World—

So. Gritty. There were a couple of gory scenes that made me cringe, which is hard to do. The vamps in the novel are REAL VAMPS. And the rabids—thank you Julie Kagawa for making the creepiest creatures EVER. Just picture The Walking Dead meets vampires. So choose: live in a vampire city where you can either be a human blood bag or scavenge for your food or take your chances outside of the city and hunt for your food. Don’t forget that it’s smarter to sleep during the daytime because the rabids and vamps come out at night! Never mind that they can see better than your human eyes at night anyway. Oh..and don’t you dare believe that all humans are on the same side. Welcome to The Immortal Rules.

The Themes—

Friendship, sacrifice, and forgiveness show up multiple times. This story also explores the beauty, the faults, and the core of what it means to be human. On top of all of that, I saw some Biblical themes. However, Kagawa does not shove any kind of religion down the reader’s throat. She presents each theme tastefully. Haha. Vamps. Get it…

Final Thoughts—

*gush gush gush*

READ THE BOOK! If I could give it more than five coffee cups, I would. This book most definitely goes on the same shelf as my most favorite series. Originally, I was really hesitant to read these because I was still wrapped up in Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. I thought that anyone who could write the Faery world so exquisitely would have trouble creating an original vampire world. Why I thought so, I can’t explain. But let me tell you—I was proved SO wrong! I hang my head in shame, having read this book.

Memorable Quotes—

“Did he teach you how to bore your opponents to sleep? Because I think I missed that lesson.” – Allie

“What are you doing to me?” he whispered. (Who, you ask? *evil snicker* You’ll have to read it.)

“… [he] finally did what I’d been fearing and hoping and dreaming he’d do from the very start.”

“You will always be a monster; there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you.”

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Book Review: Night School by C.J. Daugherty

Publisher: Atom

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Series: Night School

Pages: 454

Release Date: January 1st, 2012

Rating: 3.5/5

Summary from GoodReads:

Allie Sheridan’s world is falling apart. Her brother’s run away from home. Her parents ignore her. And she’s just been arrested.

Again.

This time her parents have had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to boarding school, far from her London friends.

But at Cimmeria Academy, Allie is soon caught up in the strange activities of a secret group of elite students.

When she’s attacked late one night the incident sets off a chain of increasingly violent events. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, she finds out that nothing at Cimmeria is what it seems to be.

And that she is not who she thought she was.

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Characters—

Allie: I loved the growth I saw in her over the course of this novel. I almost put the book down due to her angst and immaturity at the novel’s start, although I’m glad I didn’t. The author gives Allie great opportunities in which to shine. Her defining moments don’t feel forced or awkward in the plot at all, which I enjoyed. That said, she is kind of…forgettable. Hopefully she will really make an impression and becomes a stronger lead in the next book. I would have liked for the author to explain her OCD and trauma from her brother’s abandonment in more detail. It seemed like Allie only brings it up when convenient. I did, however, love her normal-ness! She’s not crazy insecure (like Bella from Twilight), but she’s not completely careless about her appearance (like Katniss, whom I still love dearly).

Jo: Jo is pretty close to the epitome of a spoiled, rich, elite heiress. Her life is beautiful and tragic. She is full of life and the perfect best friend for Allie. Sadly, she hides a dark secret that everyone seems to know about except for Allie. The author does a great job sculpting her to be a wingman to Allie but nothing more.

Sylvain: The name “Sylvain” sounds like “snake” to me. He waltzes into Allie’s life at a vulnerable and desperate time and is too perfect. His suave act is way too suspicious and he is way too aggressive physically. There is a fine line between whisking a girl off of her feet and tripping her. There’s a difference between pulling her into a secret romantic kiss in a corner and forcing her into something she doesn’t want. I do love when an author keeps me guessing about a character—predictability can be tedious. Sylvain, to me, is anything but predictable. He is sometimes creepy and definitely untrustworthy but those very things are what makes his character so intriguing.

Carter: Every romance novel must have the swoon-worthy hero. Well, hello Carter! From the very beginning of the novel, you will be counting the pages until he finally takes off the apathetic mask and confesses his undying love for Allie. Well…you’ll at least be hoping for it. A bit predictable, yes, but the author does a fantastic job of building their relationship. I’m practically squealing right now! Carter is definitely that guy who can’t handle the depth of his emotions as he’s insanely passionate about everything. You will be pleasantly surprised about his character. He, over any other character, makes the novel for me.

The World—

Conspiracy theorists come one, come all! If you’re into secrets behind secrets, this is the book for you. While some aspects of the novel might be ultra-predictable, the sub-plot is not. The overall plot to Night School contains many layers and the core layer will keep you guessing for the majority of the book. The boarding school is well-described and I get a clear visual of the campus, which is unique and timeless.

Final Thoughts—

Would I read it again? Probably not, unless I found myself without other books to read. Did I enjoy it? Definitely, for an easy read and limited options. I bought this book for almost double the price at an airport because I was desperate for something to read on the long, eight hour flight that awaited me. It thoroughly entertained me, as it is mostly outside of my usual genre and it had Carter in it. I have a character crush on him, without a doubt. I probably wouldn’t pay $17 for it again.

Memorable Quotes—

I found no quotes memorable enough, a fact that pains me.

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