Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Craving (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #3) by L.J. Smith , Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

The Craving (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #3)

The Craving (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #3)

by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by HarperTeen
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
In the heart-racing, captivating conclusion of Stefan’s Diaries, fans of the hit CW television show “The Vampire Diaries” finally find out how the once inseparable Salvatore brothers became mortal enemies 256 pp.
Yes! The vamps are *cough* alive and well. And this is why I have such a problem with it. It’s clearly not L.J. Smith. Her name does appear on the books – along with two others. I’m unclear on how much input she had in this arc of the series but given that she has now been fired from the books and how totally different the style is from her recent Vampire Diaries books I can only assume not very much. If I am wrong, I apologize but sadly this version is 100% better than the last arc she wrote alone which I seemed to be buying solely on some sort fan devotion and not because I felt they were good. This though is truly good.

The Salvatore brothers both end up in New York. Coincidence? Or is one maybe planning on toying with the other? Stalking the other? They do both end up connected to a high society family – surely that is a coincidence? And as always they end up wondering if they are really each others biggest problems or if they need to play nice with each other — if there are things out there so much bigger and badder they are, so maybe they at least need to pretend to be friends again if only long enough to figure out what in the heck is happening around them.

So long as these books keep going this route, I’m in – whoever has taken over has figured out what was missing. Hopefully now that L.J. Smith is free of them she can find whatever it is she was missing in her future books, which I am also in for


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Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #2) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #2)

Bloodlust (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #2)

by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec
Paperback, 225 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by HarperTeen
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
In this electrifying continuation of Stefan’s Diaries, fans of the hit television show “The Vampire Diaries” will finally learn about Stefan and Damon Salvatore‘s first days as vampires and the love triangle that would turn loving brothers into deadly enemies.
Stefan Salvatore, a week old vampire, escapes from the people of Mystic Falls with his brother – Damon Salvatore – and ends up in New Orleans. At first, he believed that they own the world, the people who surrounds them is like a all-you-can-eat-buffet. Little did he know that he was doing the wrong thing. His brother (Damon) decides to go a separate way from Stefan, with two goals in mind; to be strong and make his brother’s life a living hell.Stefan then meets Lexi, a century old vampire who takes him under her wing and tries to teach him how a real vampire is suppose to behave. He learns that if you feed from people you’ll go crazy with Power and get yourself killed, and that eating from animals is not that bad.

Damon then is captured by a horrible man who own a freak show, and wants him to die to sell his blood. But our poor Damon is stronger than what he looks. That is when Stefan then decides to rescue his brother, falling in love at the same time with Cellie, who is the bosses daughter.

After rescuing Damon, Stefan believes that he has done his brother a big favor, and that he should be grateful. Well if being grateful is killing the only human who you found out that loved you for who you were and what you were, and then decides to kill you, then I must be kissing my enemies.

Stefan then leaves New Orleans to stay away from any human contact, and from his brother, living in a ‘cave’ in Central Park, New York.

I really enjoyed the book. It gives you a little idea as to why Damon hates Stefan so much.

If you are a Vampire seeker, I recommend this book.

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Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #1)

Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #1)

by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec
Paperback, 237 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by HarperTeen
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Written in a diary format for smoldering vampire Stefan Salvatore, “Stefan’s Diaries” tells the story, as depicted on “The Vampire Diaries” television show, of the love triangle that would change the Salvatore brothers’ lives forever.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: STEFAN’S DIARIES, by L.J. Smith with help from Kevin Williamson, and Julie Peck, the creators of the hit TV-Show goes back before Elena and before Stefan and Damon were vampires. I saw this book and almost had a heart attack! This is the story of how Stefan and Damon came to be the super-hot vampires they are today!

The book surprised me by starting off in a completely normal setting, Stefan being the responsible son while Damon has joined the civil war efforts for the South then became a deserter. Stefan and Damon’s father clearly wishes Damon would be more responsible and be around more on the estate that should rightfully be his in the future, but he also appreciates everything Stefan tries to do, I was SHOCKED by how normal it was, and honestly a little disappointed. Fortunately it didn’t last long.

Enter Katherine Peirce, outrageously beautiful and she just happens to be a vampire. She artfully snares both Damon and Stefan into a tragic love triangle, but the triangle cannot last, for Stefan is to be married to a local girl. I was sad to hear that he wasn’t going to be able to be with Katherine and of course Damon would move in, but Katherine had other plans, which I wanted to jump up in down for! Stefan’s betrothed goes missing the night of the Founder’s Day Ball only to be found with her throat torn out and that’s when the hunting parties are let loose.

Things really pick up speed just about half-way through, and it is literally impossible to put the book down. L.J. Smith has wowed me as usual and with the help of the TV-Show creators the book is absolutely flawless. If you have read, or even started to read the Vampire Diaries I highly recommend this! And if you are a fan of Katherine like me, and wish for more of her when you can, this is the perfect fix!


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Gone (Dream Catcher #3)

Gone  (Dream Catcher, #3)
Gone (Dream Catcher #3)
by Lisa McMann
Rating: 5/5 stars
The conclusion of the paranormal teen series, Wake. Janie is spending her summer with Cabel, but deep down she’s panicking about how she’s going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people’s dreams starts to take its toll.
This was a great way to end the trilogy. The vibe is somewhat different than the Wake Dream Catcher 1 and Fade Dream Catcher 2 where it was more minor-character heavy with the dreamcatching. It’s more downplayed in this more intimate installment as it focuses on the people closest to Janie. I’m glad Lisa McMann delves more into Janie’s struggling relationship with her mom; her mom wasn’t just there as a background character. What’s revealed in GONE is subtly hinted in WAKE.
I found Janie’s mom a little endearing and more humanized here cuz we get her backstory. I’m also glad that Janie works enough courage to stand-up to her mom’s put-downs. I also found their relationship very real, esp. where they stand by the end of the book. You can tell they’re a bit closer, they’re still struggling but it’s nothing immediate. As for Janie and Cabe‘s relationship, it picks up where FADE left off. Lisa further explores Cabe’s insecurities about his future with Janie.
You can tell, even feel, how scared he is not matter how much he loves Janie. At the same time, Janie is struggling to not think she might become a burden to him, but his recent dreams are enough to convince her to disappear. But for them, it’s the unconditional love they have for one another that has gotten them through a lot of the bad stuff. I found Janie’s connection to the stranger, Henry Feingold, as endearing as her relationship with her mother. His story is sad, disturbing, interesting, and endearing all at once. Him and Janie’s interactions are just as intense. I can’t even tell you how overwhelming it was. Overwhelming, in a good way. I agree with what Lisa decided to do with his character, I think he served his purpose.
In the end, I think Janie’s decision was right in her circumstance/Morton’s Fork, which I think Lisa did a good job of explaining. It takes a while to understand but she gets her point across. It reminds us that it’s important to take the present one day at a time sometimes and try and prepare for whatever the future holds.
That’s where I feel Janie has the upperhand in comparison to Mrs. Stubin and Henry. Even I felt as conflicted as her throughout this one. I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to make a decision. Another thing I found awesome was how hard it can be to love someone unconditionally cuz you’re scared of how they might react. There’s Janie and her parents, Janie and Cabel, and Carrie (Janie’s BFF) and Stu. Each character chose their Morton’s Fork and it made for a bittersweet yet satisfying ending.

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Fade (Dream Catcher #2) by Lisa McMann

Fade (Dream Catcher, #2)
  1. Fade (Dream Catcher #2)
  2. by Lisa McMann
Rating: 5/5
For Janie and Cabel, life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe‘s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

Fade is the second book in Lisa McMann’s Wake Trilogy and just as good as the first one.

In Fade, Janie learns more about her dream catching abilities. She works with the cops, undercover, with her boyfriend Cabel. In the last book, they work together to bust a drug dealer, but in this novel, Captain wants their help in busting a sexual predator in their school. Using Janie as bait. Let’s just say that Cabel does not approve of Janie’s decision to act as the bait. In the end, they discover that her Chem 2, Psychology, and PE teachers are all sexual predators and Captain has them arrested. However, in the glory of the bust, Cabe and Janie go through a rough patch. In the end, though, they work it out and decide to go through their problems as they come.

Again, I loved Cabel’s character. I understood his apprehension about Janie’s situation, not only because it was a dangerous one, but because of all the loss he has faced in his life. He was, at times, overprotective of her, but that was, again, understandable. I didn’t appreciate him practically bolting after they busted the teachers, but I was glad when he finally talked to her about what was doing with him. Despite that, though, I couldn’t get over how much of a cutie he was and how much I loved him still.

Janie was an even more interesting character in this book. She has developed since her time in Wake. I was interested in learning more about her powers and was glad when she finally read that green notebook. It seemed like she was constantly yelling at Cabe in this book, though, and I didn’t really appreciate that. When they worked out their stuff, though, at the end, I was glad she stood up to him and demanded to know why he was pushing her away.

I hated when Janie had the GHB in here. That was the worst part for me because of everything that happened with the teachers when she was under the influence of the date-rape drug.

One thing that was particularly satisfying: Janie and Cabel finally had sex. I was glad they finally did The Deed because, both in Wake and Fade, there was allll kinds of pent up sexual tension that needed to be taken care of and let out.

Again, I lovelovelove this book and eagerly await the time when I get my hands on Gone, the third book in the trilogy, even though I’ll be very sad to see the trilogy end


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Cabel’s Story (Dream Catcher #1.1) by Lisa McMan

Cabel's Story (Dream Catcher, #1.1)
Cabel’s Story (Dream Catcher #1.1)
by Lisa McMan
A free online story by Lisa McMann. A companion to the first Dream Catcher novel, Wake, this is Cabel’s perspective of the field trip that Janie and he took with their English class.
I’m surprised how short this is, and i (as the idiot i am) forgot Lisa McMann’s writing style for a second, and i promise, it was only a second! I totally got back on track and read between the lines and TOTALLY got Cabel’s feelings and reasons for what he does. I am absolutely amazed at the rollercoaster ride she can take me on in 13 pages of reading. This is also the first time i have finished an “eBook” of any way, shape or form (university pdf’s don’t count, they are “compulsory”). Even if it’s only 13 pages, yes i am ashamed, but i love the old fashioned way of holding a book in my hands just too much to let go.This story is short, to the point, and is wonderfully and seamlessly woven into Wakerespective of it’s needed positions and catches up quite a bit of the starting bounces of Cabel’s interactions with Janie. I did actually think that his first non-motivated interaction with Janie was a bit, “Well, wasn’t THAT convenient?” but now i totally see it and is ashamed to have thought otherwise before.

Lisa McMann, you are a genius.

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Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

Wake (Dream Catcher, #1)
Wake (Dream Catcher #1)
by Lisa McMann 
Rating 5/5 Stars
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant
Janie gets sucked into other people’s dreams. She tries to stop it, but can’t resist the overwhelming pull. She first noticed it happening when she was eight-years-old. Janie has witnessed everything from the typical falling dream and standing naked in front of a crowd dream to World War II battle dreams. Most of the time she is just an observer. Even if the dreamers ask for her help, she can’t manage to do anything.

Janie’s life has been hindered by this “curse.” She found out early that sleepovers weren’t good for her. The close proximity of the other girls caused her to experience their dreams and not get any rest for herself. It doesn’t have to be nighttime for this to happen though. Anytime someone around her is asleep – she gets sucked in – at school, on the bus, driving down the road, etc. When she is in someone else’s dream it looks as if she is having a seizure. All she knows is that she loses feeling in her limbs and becomes paralyzed. The more frightening the dream, the faster the numbness occurs.

Janie has an alcoholic mother, an unknown father, and is extremely poor. She lives on the “wrong” side of town and has one loyal friend. She lives in isolation to avoid being stuck in someone’s dream.

A new addition to her life is Cabel. He lives in her neighborhood and seems to be a loner. She has several interactions with him throughout the book, but their lives become intertwined when she has to let him know about her problem while they are on a school trip together and she is stuck on a bus for several hours with her napping classmates being sucked into one dream after another the way. Cabel must help her through. This is a comfort to Janie as well as a new stress. She grows to like Cabel very much, but when she begins to get sucked into his gruesome dream and hears some particularly damning rumors about him, she questions her feelings for him.

With the help of an unlikely person she meets at the nursing home (and some books from the library), Janie begins to gain a little control over her “curse.” The reader will be sucked into the dreams with Janie. Your heart will go out to her and cheer as she makes her way through life given the obstacles she must overcome. WAKE is a very inventive story and I can’t wait for the sequel.


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