My Five Literary BFFs

Cat from The Night Huntress series (Jeaniene Frost)

imageHmm Cat… what can I say about Cat except that she totally kicks ass? Cat would make a great BFF because she’s totally tough, not afraid to go after what she wants, yet still totally tender and caring. She had a hard upbringing, hunting vampires, and has slowly grown into her gaining powers with every book. I wouldn’t mind if she were to bring that Bones over to hang out, either.

Rose from the Vampire Academy series (Richelle Mead)

imageI have a deep, deep love for the Vampire Academy series. I think it is the most concise, well-written YA  novel I have ever read. I think Rose would make a great BFF because she’s totally devoted to the people she loves and risks her life over and over to save them. Rose has demonstrated time and again how she is there for her BFF, my namesake, Lissa. We could totally bond over late night movies and the fact that I have the same as her old best friend. Also, I would never make her choose between me and the love of her life, Siberian hottie Dimitri. She can totally keep him. We’ll all hang out together.

Rachel from the Animorphs series (K.A. Applegate)

imageThis is the book series that defined my growing up. It shaped my adolescence and my reading expectations. I know half of the books were ghost-written, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve had an Animorphs-related dream. Rachel was my first kick-ass girl heroine after Xena, but she was different: she was a teenager. She was so young and fearless and totally without mercy when she needed to be: she was also fiercely protective of those she deemed weaker than herself: her BFF Cassie and her boyfriend Tobias. I totally cried when she died. In MY reality, we’re eating pizza and talking about boys, because I’m totally not allowed to know about the Animorphs – but it was that very adventure that unlocked the Amazon warrior goddess inside the mall rat airhead, and allowed her to flourish into my number one guiding factor when it comes to my own heroines. (Brooke Nevin played a short vegetarian gymnast captain Rachel in the Canadian TV series, whereas the book version was tall, ate cheeseburgers, and sucked at gymnastics).

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)

Come on! How can I not have the cleverest witch of her generation as a BFF? She’s totally awesome! Even in the beginning, when she’s portrayed as a snotty know-it-all, she’s still totally awesome. Yes, she may require the occasional rescue, but she also stands for bloody magical torture and doesn’t break. She figures out almost every puzzle, always has a spell up her sleeve for every situation, and if she doesn’t know the answer to the question, she’s bound to know where to find said answer. She even falls in love with a ginger! What a woman! (Emma Watson portrayed Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series)

Jane from Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

imageJane is my favourite classic heroine. She doesn’t let anyone stop her from getting what she wants, even when she’s not entirely sure what she wants. To compliment that, she’s not afraid of walking away, either. It’s a very powerful dichotomy that we don’t see very often in modern heroines unless they are damsels in distress. Jane is no damsel – she’s not even pretty. And the man she falls in love with, Rochester, isn’t handsome, either. This isn’t an epic tale of the two most beautiful people in the world meeting and falling head over heels – this love takes time to develop, to see past physical appearance and blossom into a love that we know will stand the test of time. I always found it a lot more believable than Elizabeth and that stick-up-his-arse Darcy, anyway.

August is the Book Birthday month for my first novel, The Edge of Darkness, a deep-space cyborg dystopian.

Please go here for your chance to win a paperback copy.
Ends September 30.

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My Five Favourite Fictional Boys

Note – I can’t say ‘book crushes’ or ‘book boyfriends’ because it is near impossible for me to feel attraction to a character that’s purely in my head, let alone an underage one.

Tucker from the Unearthly series (Cynthia Hand)

Book Passion for Life casts this guy as their Tucker Book Boyfriend. Yeah, he looks vaguely how I imagine him. Hand managed to do something amazing when I read Unearthly. She managed to get me to change my mind. I very distinctly remember bitching about Tucker’s dickishness early in the novel, and I believed I claimed he was going to have to work very hard to get me to come around. Well, it worked! I think Tucker is gorgeous and sweet and attentive and patient – all good traits in the boy who’s meant for Clara! I’m not particularly into romances, and Unearthly is definitely a romance, but I enjoyed it immensely. Tucker’s a keeper. I’m dying to know what happens in Boundless, book 3. I’m pretty sure I refer to Tucker as a cowboy lumberjack.

Sam from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Maggie Stiefvater)

I have a very soft spot for Sam and Grace because I don’t see their relationship as bestiality, but as a very mysterious metaphor for a long-distance relationship. I can totally relate to that. Sam’s patient, caring, and wise. He’s mature way beyond his years. I don’t even mind the occasional fur and howling, if he must. He handles his… shall we say… ‘issues’ like a pro. I enjoyed their story in Shiver. The subsequent stories not so much. Even for a romance, I liked them. I guess I’m just a sucker for a teenager who thinks about marriage. That’s dedication for you.

Brigan from Fire (Kristen Cashore)

What I like best about Brigan is that he falls in love with Fire despite her beauty. It’s a reverse Beauty and the Beast. I loved the developing romance – two broken, vulnerable characters discovering a tenderness for each other where hatred and enmity are supposed to reign. I wouldn’t exactly call him abusive in the beginning, but he hates Fire with a passion and treats her a such. I love his turnaround – it creeps up on you unexpected. He’s not even handsome! Oh, Brigan! You’re one of my favourites.

Eddie from the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series (Richelle Mead)

Eddie rocks my socks. I like him a heel of a lot more than Dimitri and Adrian. Which is funny, because the others have so much more screen time. Eddie is like a big brother figure, which is why I like him so much. He’s loyal and doesn’t hesitate to jump into a fight. He’s capable of holding his own, and he’d make the perfect Guardian. I didn’t even mind that he got transferred over to Bloodlines, although I did have an issue with his romantic pursuit in that book.

Bones from the Night Huntress series (Jeanienne Frost)

Do I even have to list the reasons? I mean, Spike from Buffy when he has a soul? How could anyone refuse?
I think Bones is one of the sexiest literary heroes there is. Not because he’s ‘hot’ or possessive, but because he’s unfailingly loyal, utterly fearless, and a little territorial. Don’t get me wrong: a guy who emotionally and physically manipulates or abuses a girl is so not cool. Bones doesn’t manipulate, but he radiates powerful sexuality that feeds off one and only one woman: his Cat, or ‘Kitten’, as he likes to call her. If you even so much as looked at Cat the wrong way he’d rip your heart out. There’s something immensely attractive knowing that a guy has your back no matter what – not because he needs to protect you or that he condescendingly thinks you’re fragile or vulnerable, but because he genuinely loves you. I love this book series.

August is the Book Birthday month for my first novel, The Edge of Darkness, a deep-space cyborg dystopian.
Please go here for your chance to win a paperback copy.
Ends September 30.

My Top Five Favourite Non-Fantasy Books

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (contemporary YA)

Before I Fall

It was kind of a guilty pleasure to ride around in Sam’s head as she exerts her magical popular girl powers to terrify others. I loved watching her figure out the butterfly effect and how every action was linked and had a reaction.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano (YA dystopian)

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Wither was amazing. It made me cry. It make me laugh. I loved the pace and the plot and Rhine’s character. She’s a caring, manipulative, awesome heroine. She never gives up on what she wants, she never loses sight of it and she goes through a lot to reach her goal. She doesn’t need saving, she has goals that extend beyond becoming someone’s girlfriend. She’s realistic and probably one of my favourite heroines.

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (YA sci-fi)

Glow (Sky Chasers, #1)

Waverly is just like the coolest chick ever. I didn’t see as much selfishness in her as a lot of people tend to complain about YA heroines. She’s strong, selfless, and always puts others before herself. She puts her body on the line over and over again and her faith NEVER wavers… heh… Waverly… I made a funny.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (classic)

Wuthering Heights

I love this book because it’s not a romance. I love this book because the characters are all selfish and self-destructive, and completely ruin the lives of those they purport to love. It’s a story of two incredibly selfish people who can’t just love each other but have to hurt everyone around them as well. I think the destruction they cause from their actions is really cool. They’re like little hurricanes sweeping the secondary characters along for the ride. There’s so much drama confined in two houses on the Yorkshire moors that it leaves me wondering why doesn’t this book explode from sheer awesomeness.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (YA paranormal)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

It’s not the story per say that makes this novel so good. It’s the clear writing, the immersion into Rose’s head (and occasionally, Lissa’s), and most importantly (to me), the politics of royalty and high school, the politics between the Moroi and their dhampirs schoolmates, and the whole relationship between Rose and Lissa. This is the best high school book I’ve read, because it goes in-depth into reputations and rumours, and the dirty business behind popularity.

August is the Book Birthday month for my first novel, The Edge of Darkness, a deep-space cyborg dystopian.
Please go here for your chance to win a paperback copy.
Ends September 30.

Foreign Cover Friday: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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Foreign Cover Friday is a weekly meme hosted by The Reading Fever, where foreign covers of the books we know and love are spotlighted and discussed. To join, either pick your favourite foreign cover, or pick many foreign covers, and start discussing!

This week I’ve had a look at the books I’ve read recently and settled on Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines, the first in a spin-off series from her totally awesome Vampire Academy. As Bloodlines is fairly new, there aren’t a whole lot of different covers just yet, so I’ll post the ones we’ve got.

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

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This is the US paperback version, and it’s also the Australian. It’s OK. Sydney’s not terribly pretty but no one ever said she was, and even though we can only see half of Adrian’s face I don’t think he’s that good looking either (for the record, I’m neither Team Adrian nor Team Dimitri: I’m Team Eddie. That dhampir ROCKS!). The focus is on Sydney’s golden lily tattoo, which is mostly obscured by her hair. It’s a well-put-together cover, but it just doesn’t scream ‘Display me!’ to me.

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This is supposedly the UK paperback version, but I got the top one, so don’t ask me. I’m glad I got the top one. I don’t like this one. I like the text with the thorns and the white background (a nice change from the normally darker paranormal YA books) but I don’t like the dagger in the heart and the cheesy rose with the purple paper… what exactly is it trying to say? Just no.

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This is the Bulgarian version. I guess Bulgaria got their foreign rights sorted before anyone else, because I don’t see different covers for any other country. I like this one. Sydney’s got gorgeous brown eyes, the lily is much more visible, and she’s not hiding anything by looking directly at us. I like how her photo is cut off by the golden vines and the white peeks out underneath. Just about the only thing I don’t like is how her shoulders are naked and it gives the impression the model might be nude off-screen. It’s pretty. It’s not exactly genre-specific, though. But that’s OK, because it’s still a nice cover.

Translation: Blood Ties.

Believe it or not, that’s all we’ve got! I want to get back to reading my major influx of books I received this week. Reviews are going up on Goodreads.

What are your thoughts?

Which covers do you like? Which do you hate?

Check back at The Reading Fever for her Foreign Cover Friday!

Kody Keplinger totally tweeted me

If you haven’t heard of Kody Keplinger, I suggest you get acquainted. She’s only like the coolest young adult author EVER. No, seriously you guys. Since most of my favourite authors are dead, I didn’t really have anyone to cyberstalk. Kody is going through that life-altering stage I went through when I learned about feminism at University. She’s written two books: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)  (out now) and Shut Out (September 5). And she’s only 20!

Anyway, so y’all should know that my favourite contemp series is Vampire Academy. And I’m not really into vampires. In fact, I came to the series late, just before book 5 was due out. And the only reason I decided to buy the books was because the protag, Rose, well her best friend is called Lissa. I guess it’s a vanity thing. When no one over the age of 40 can pronounce my name, I get a bit protective of it.

So I really only discovered Kody when I read the blurb for Shut Out. It’s based on a Greek myth called Lysistrata, and in her modern re-telling, the protag is named Lissa.

Yeah, I know. It’s a totally awesome name. Kody thinks so, too.

Kody Keplinger totally tweeted me!