BOOK REVIEW: Unearthly (#1) by Cynthia Hand

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Star Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Short Reaction: Oh dear, I want the second book ASAP.
Published on/by: November 11th, 2011, HarperCollins Publisher
Page Count: 435 pages
Blurb provided by Goodreads: When Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. . . . When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

 

NON-SPOILERY REVIEW:

I really, really loved this book. I recently finished ‘The Last Sacrifice’ less than 48 hours ago and was convinced I could never love again, but boy…was I wrong. I was so anxious of falling into a book slump after reading the last instalment of the ‘Vampire Academy’ series, that I immediately grabbed this book off my TBR shelf and started reading. Usually, to prevent/get myself out of a book slump, I would read a contemporary. A quick, slightly fluffy one as a palate cleanser from all the magic and vampire and sigh…Adrian Ivashkov… Instead, I picked up this paranormal romance/urban fantasy and boy, was I hooked. My first thought when I was thumbing page from page was how surprised I was quickly burning through the pages. It saved me from a book slump, with excellent writing and an intriguing blend of angels and humans.

Clara Gardner is a Quartarius– a quarter angel, having a human father and a mother who is Dimidius (half angel). She has special powers in the sense that she can do what everyone can, but even better and with some Godly grace (trying to be punny, but failing!). 😉 She also possesses unique Angel abilities like ‘Glory’ where she connects with her core self and is able to emanate pure blinding light. How freaking cool does that sound? Clara is a main character I adored. She was smart, beautiful, self-assured and she had a sense of humour! All her quips and comebacks were very enjoyable to read which made her a very fun voice to follow. I thought her relationship with her family was especially interesting and as the book progressed I really felt for Clara and her mother both as their relationship took a shift, with new revelations. The entire Angel premise was very interesting to me, especially the norm that Angels within the ages of 13-20 will receive a purpose, one they must fulfil with the help of visions. Honestly, I’m still a little fuzzy on this whole ‘world’ but I really appreciated that there was no info-dump at all. The information came when relevant and I want to give medals to Cynthia Hand for being able to do this because it created just the right amount of suspense.

The romance…oh my gosh, the romance. This series is heavily entwined with a love triangle. If you are allergic to that, I won’t tell you not to read this book but instead to take caution, because despite of what you think about love triangles, I actually really liked this one (although it frustrated me at times). This is largely because I prefer love triangles with a clear winner and this book HAD NONE. I am TORN between Christian Prescott–who was the boy in Clara’s vision and Tucker Avery, the boy who makes her angelic heart go all buttery. I did more flip-flopping than a fish, alright. I seriously couldn’t decide between the two which made me love Clara even more when she actually already made her choice. I know it’s not a definitive choice, as it is only Book 1, but it made me admire Clara even more as she actually knew what she wanted, even though she was confused (and rightfully so, under the circumstances).

Overall, I thought this was a beautiful Angel book and I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on Book 2! I didn’t give this a full 5 stars because I still felt like there were some missing parts that could make this story more rich, and also I felt that there were TOO MANY unanswered questions. I understand the author’s intentions, but questions I had even at the start of the book were not answered which then only accumulated as the plot deepened. Book 2, I’m coming for you.

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BOOK REVIEW: Last Sacrifice (#6) by Richelle Mead

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Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Short Reaction: My heart is in shambles for my favourite series is over…WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE NOW?
Published on/by: December 7th, 2010, Razorbill
Blurb provided by Goodreads: They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

REVIEW:

This is the end…I can’t believe I reached the end of this series. Oh. My. God. I’m not going to lie, I cried. My book is filled with sticky-notes and tears and love and oh god. I can’t wrap my head around the idea that I will no longer be reading from Rose’s point of view. This book was a roller coaster…it was epic/heartbreaking/humorous and ugh, ALL THE ADJECTIVES.

This was not a perfect book. Neither books in the series were, honestly, but they were close to the perfect action/romance induced book out there. I was very wary on starting this book. It was the beginning to the end of my (now) favourite series ever. How can I ever love again???????

I know I’m being dramatic, BUT IT’S THE TRUTH. It’s been 18 hours since I finished the book and I’m just.. I can’t stop thinking about the ending. It was as carefully constructed as could be, with just enough loose ends to make me rip my hair off my head. I know they’ll be addressed in the Bloodlines series, but I’m going to have serious Rose withdrawals. Sigh. The character development as wll as the plot developments were INSANE and FANTASTIC and Richelle Mead…I think I love you.

Before I go all spoilery and even more dramatic (if that is even possible), I beg of you to READ THIS SERIES. You will not regret it.

Confident, kick-ass main character with great humour? CHECK.
Great friendships and relationships? CHECK.
Action sequences galore that won’t put you to sleep? CHECK.
Amazing love interests/a love triangle that won’t annoy you that much? CHECK.
A very intriguing world and vampire system? CHECK.

It won’t disappoint, I promise.

SPOILER DISCUSSION:


Let’s get down to business. 

Adrian and Rose

That ending with Adrian made me so so so sad. Like I said, this book was not perfect. Case in point: the infidelity. I hate cheaters, and when Rose cheated on Adrian, it made me super pissed…but I liked how it was handled honestly. In no way was it condoned, and what Adrian said to her in the end was kind of true. But again, I’m so conflicted because it was super duper clear even from Book 1 that Rose belonged with Dimitri. There is no denying that. I also felt that this decision brought a new layer on Romitri because they now have to confront something that they are supposed to strive for: honour. They did a bad thing, I know…but it was inevitable. For a spirit user, I’d thought Adrian could see that their aura was in sync. Guess he was in denial, the same as I was.

I kinda knew the premise of the Bloodline series before starting this series, so again I was wary on Rodrian, but that doesn’t mean I loved them together! I truly did, and I’m just hoping in an alternate universe they can be together bla bla bla. I really hated how we left off, with Adrian despising Rose…but I guess we’ll get more of this angst in the Bloodline series.

I truly, truly hope that Sydney and him can find that same degree of love. I want him to be happy, but I’m also kinda sad that it won’t be with Rose. LOL.

RIP, Rodrian.

Queen Vasilisa & her new family member

I loved, loved, loved this development. That’s what’s so amazing with this series. The character development is so incredible. In book 1, I would have never thought Lissa would be Queen and such a poised one at that. It was fantastic. While she went through the trials, I was so excited because I could see how much she came from Book 1. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really like Lissa and less so in Shadow Kiss. She was the perfect choice for Queen and she really was the epitome of grace and diplomacy.

Jill as the illegitimate Dragomir? Oh snap. I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. The hints were all there in Spirit Bound. Especially when we learnt her mother was a dancer…Eric liked to flirt…Eric liked to go to that Las Vegas club… If you think about it…all this information, especially the introduction of someone like Jill who is so far off their age (why does she keep hanging around them?!)…it was like putting two and two together. She had a larger role coming, and boy did it come. I liked Jill, and I felt for her. It was definitely overwhelming for her and all these expectations and the weight of the family name on her shoulders. I felt so, so bad for her.

Lissa’s and Jill’s relationship is strenuous at best. I felt bad for both of them. Lissa proved to be just as poised by not freaking the hell out. I mean, first she learns that her beloved late brother, Andre, used girls at his disposal and now she learns the father she put on a pedestal cheated on her mother and fathered a secret child? It is totally understandable that she was not entirely warm towards Jill. It’s sad for Jill, who is thrown into this huge political mess…but I kinda understand where Lissa is coming from.

Lissa & Rose’s Bond

Oh my gosh. This was one of the biggest surprises in the book. Amidst all the controversy and the death..this was such a shock to me. I understood what Rose meant when she said she’s finally her own person now bla bla bla, but I can’t help to feel that when she was bonded with Lissa…it was just fantastic to see this unorthodox bond between friends. It somehow made Rose have a super power or something, if you know what I mean. It’s still a little shady and confusing on how their bond was severed, but it was such a huge blow. I guess it’s appropriate this happened at the end of the series, because then the books would be 30% less interesting.

Dimitri and Rose

Hahaha, I guess you can tell which guy I liked better, but it’s not to say that I preferred Rose with Adrian! I loved Dimitri for Rose, but I think I’m more attracted and more interested in the unhinged type. Freaking finally, Dimitri realises that he was still in love with Rose. I don’t have much to say about this because all is well in the Romitri area except can we LOL together over Abe & Janine’s conversation with Dimitri?

ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ 

I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved.

ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ

ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ



All in all, I loved this series, I loved the characters (I am emotionally tied to them, as you can probably tell), I loved the humour, the action and the fantastic plot… and you can bet that I’ll be re-reading all the books as well as starting the Bloodlines series where I can get more Adrian Ivashkov. 😉 This world is fantastic and so unique with the different kinds of vampires lurking at every corner. Richelle Mead did not disappoint with this fast-paced, epic finale.

TOP THURSDAY’S: Kick-Ass Female Characters!

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So every Thursday, I figured I’d do a list of whatever’s to whittle down my favourites! From characters I’d go to the beach with to books I’d like throw into the jungle away from humanity…I’ll pretty much cover it every Thursday! This Thursday I decided to be a little generic and talk about my favourite kick-ass female characters! Without further adieu here are my TOP 5!

 

5. Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series/Heroes of Olympus Series)

Annabeth Chase

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you the BRAIN behind Percy’s pursuits: Annabeth Chase. She is so delightfully smart, caring to those who don’t deserve it (ahem, Luke) and she constantly makes Percy (who is also my book boyfriend, ahem) better. And you know what the best part about loving Annabeth is? You can see her character develop immensely from ‘Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief’ all the way to the books in the ‘Heroes of Olympus’ series. That’s a whole lotta Annabeth and a whole lotta kick-assery! (Percabeth is totally my OTP, you guys and I loved how their relationship blossomed!)

PERCY: “What if it lines up like it did in the Trojan War … Athena versus Poseidon?”
ANNABETH: “I don’t know. But I just know that I’ll be fighting next to you.”
PERCY: “Why?”
ANNABETH: “Because you’re my friend, Seaweed Brain. Any more stupid questions?” 

4. Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments Series)

Isabelle Lightwood

Hands down, my favourite female character in The Mortal Instruments series. She is so kick-butt and I remember reading her for the first time: white dress on, whip in hand at Pandemonium. Like DAMN, you do not mess with her. Also, her bantering with Jace and their relationship was so endearing to watch and I really think she’s a funny character. You have Jace Wayland and Simon Lewis providing services as the comedic reliefs but then you also have Isabelle providing quips like these,

“Alec looked at her and shook his head. “How do you manage never to get mud on your clothes?”
Isabelle shrugged philosophically. “I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.” 

I really love the direction Cassandra Clare is pushing her towards as well as the relationship she has with Simon. *SWOON*! Definitely a character who can hold her own in a battle as well as a caring and doting sister towards Alec.

3. Waverly Marshall (Sky Chasers Trilogy)

Waverly Marshall

I really think this is the most underrated sci-fi trilogy out there. This is one of the best sci-fi books I’ve ever read. It’s pretty much a psychological thriller that kept me up all night. Waverly Marshall is the main female protagonist aboard the spaceship Empyrean and she along with all the other teenage girls are abducted by the sister ship, New Horizon, where they are made to do HORRIFIC things.

I swear, I wanted to vomit just reading what had happened but I really really admired Waverly Marshall. She isn’t kick-ass in the physical sense (but it’s not like she’s frail either) but her character and her determination shone in this book. She is damaged by what had happened to her, but she is brave against all odds.

 “You’re so naïve.” Felicity laughed scornfully. “Don’t you see what people are? They’re animals. Every one of them.”

“Felicity.” Waverly grabbed hold of the girl’s hand and squeezed hard enough to hurt, until Felicity lifted her eyes to Waverly’s. “We’re animals, too. We can fight back.”
Felicity yanked her hand away. “You idiot. It doesn’t matter how hard you fight.”
“It matters to me,” Waverly said quietly.
“So fight, then,” Felicity spat over her shoulder.
Waverly stood up, fists clenched. “I will.” 

2. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games Trilogy)

Katniss Everdeen

Cue *gasp*! Call the press! Katniss Everdeen is not number 1! Oh dear lord. Katniss Everdeen is no doubt the most kick-ass female character out there…but why didn’t I put her as #1, you ask? Well for a number of reasons! For starters, she is everybody’s number 1 and for a period of time, she was my number 1 too! Secondly, it’s just been a long time since I read ‘The Hunger Games’ and although the effect of such an influential character is not lost on me, I’ve had read other characters (just one, actually, heh) that has impressed me so much and is fresher on my mind. Now enough explaining myself…

Here is why Katniss is KICK-ASS! …Actually, I don’t even have to tell you…your cousin/brother/grandpa has probably seen the movie/read the book and would know why she’d be considered an amazing character… but basically, for me,  the love she has for her sister is so admirable which really allowed me to emotionally connect with Katniss. The strength she possessed throughout the 74th and 75th Hunger Games and the obstacles she faced? How could she not be classified as kick-ass?

“I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do and we must fight back!”

1. Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy Series)

Rose Hathaway

Rose freaking Hathaway. She is probably my most FAVOURITE character in the universe right now. She is fiery, hilarious, strong-willed and fiercely loyal to her best friend Lissa Dragomir. Sure she has a short temper and she occasionally breaks the rules…but her rebelliousness is well-intentioned. She never fails to make me laugh and I love how protective she is of Lissa and that she always puts her before her own interests. She is by no means a perfect character; yes, she has flaws (and many of them), but there is no denying that she is never malicious on purpose (only when they deserve it, LOL). That’s what I love about Rose: she’s not afraid to speak her mind, even when she is outnumbered. I’ll never forget the scene of her hearing at the end of Spirit Bound…and the scene where she stood up for the Dhampirs against the age decree the Moroi agreed on. I fist-pumped the air, holding back a “whoop! whoop!” at 3 am. Also, we can’t not mention her enviable guardian skills. So. Kick. Ass.

Can we also appreciate that Rose is not only confident in her skills but in her appearance? I’m not saying characters with low self-esteem are bad, it’s just a little nauseating that I’ve read so many in a row that were constantly bringing themselves down and then they’re like *gasp* when their love interest  says they’re beautiful. Rose is confident in how she looks like, and I think it’s amazing. Looks aren’t everything, yes, but it’s great to read about someone who is comfortable in their own skin and doesn’t need a guy to tell her that to feel ‘validated’.

I crossed my arms over my chest. “Are you lost, little girl? The elementary school’s over on west campus.”

A pink flush spread over her cheeks. “Don’t you ever touch me again. You screw with me, I’ll screw you right back.”

Oh man, what an opening that was.

FILM REVIEW: Vampire Academy

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I’ve been waiting for this movie for a while. My group of friends had read the series a couple years back and they’ve been pushing me to read it countless of times. But I was strong. I simply didn’t want to, not because I had a problem with vampire fiction or anything but because I knew if I went down that road, I’d drive myself over the cliff and crack my head open on a sharp boulder, all six books in my arms. Yes, I am that kind of fan. My devotion is like nail to skin, teeth to gum, sun to sky. I will go down with a “ship” if I have to. It was on my birthday that I finally requested the Vampire Academy book set of 6 from my mother to which she responded with “dream on” and bought me the Naked 2 Eyeshadow palette instead. Before I go on I should disclose that my parents do encourage reading, just not the pleasure kind. And so, begrudgingly, I bought the first Vampire Academy book with my own money. And only 4 months later, did I begin reading.

Fast forward to February 15th 2014.

Dressed in a faux motorcycle zip-up jacket and black pants adorned with fake zippers (zippers make everything look hardcore), feeling like the dhampir I pretended to be, I was ready. Tickets were bought and my best friend and I were off to see the movie. Backtracking for a moment, I should impart you with the knowledge that my best friend– who had read every book at least a dozen times, loathed the trailer, the TV spots and about any other marketing clips that were released prior to the premiere. She furiously told me that the Waters Brothers had warped the entire theme of the book and made it look stupid and frivolous. I previously didn’t really have any feelings toward the clips or TV spots as I had watched all of them before I read the first book, so I just baited my time. After reading the first book and going back to the clips and the trailer, I honestly still didn’t share the same views. I just thought that they used the humour in the book and amplified it so that people who’ve never read the books would want to watch it. There hadn’t been a movie with supernatural creatures and dark humour out there yet (I’m assuming here), so naturally I thought the marketing team was trying to distinguish itself from the preconceived comments like “omg ew it’s like twilight!!!!”. Boy, was I in over myself.

Now, on to the movie.

Overall, I’ll give it a C-, bordering on a D. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t goddamn horrible. I enjoyed it better than this other book to movie adaptation cough City cough of cough Bones cough but still…it was bad.

It opened with a really famous M.I.A. song, “Bad Girls”, blaring in the background as the audience was taken into Lissa’s nightmare, where she relived the car crash that killed her family. It was choppy and almost comical. As soon as that scene wrapped, I just wanted more! And not “more” in the good sense of “I couldn’t get enough!”. I wanted more emotion, more drama, more pain on Lissa’s front. It is, afterall, Lissa’s pivotal change in character. From Princess living a charmed life to Princess who had the whole weight of her family’s name, Dragomir, on her shoulders, since there was no one else in her family left to carry it. I felt like the car crash scene should have been stressed in the movie because it plays a heavy part in Lissa’s character development. It was just a bad montage of bloody bodies and broken glass that was ultimately way too short.

Now, I don’t particularly think Lissa was badly casted. It wasn’t the Lissa I imagined, but she did have some redeemable scenes. I especially enjoyed all the scenes where she was walking with Oscar, her cat, in her arms. So queer and yet Princessy, don’t you think? It was that subtle, comical move that people could appreciate. No need to overdo the jokes, Waters Brothers. A problem I had with movie Lissa was that she was a little saucy. Is that the right word? She had a bite that was slightly more Rose than Lissa should be. Also, her accent was so thick at times that I couldn’t catch on to what she was saying. Case in point, when she walked into her dorm room and saw the bloody words “BE WHERE”. She mutters, “they couldn’t even spell beware”. The timing and the circumstance would have made that a very funny moment BUT I COULDN’T EVEN HEAR HER SAY HER LINES PROPERLY. It was just a gurgle of words incorporated in a fake British accent. I only understood her quip after replaying that scene a couple of times on YouTube. And that speech at the end of the movie? I cringed so much that my eye contacts were wrinkled. NO, THIS WASN’T IN THE BOOK, THIS IS NOT WHAT LISSA WOULD DO. It was bad, you guys. The speech was so cheesy, so overly dramatic. And when Rose started crying? *Stabs eyes*

Now, Zoey Deutch as Rose? I kind of actually loved. I really really enjoyed her. She wasn’t perfect or spot on or anything but she was so fun to watch! She delivered snarky lines with pizzaz and I enjoyed her fight scenes. The only sad thing was that I felt no chemistry between her and Dimitri. It was all too quick; their “romance” all telling but no showing. Yeah, you can tell us that they dig each other, but you failed to show us the supposed chemistry. There were some really cringe-worthy scenes between them– actually, you know what? ALL OF THEM. Like in the book, I understood their attraction even though they were not supposed to even consider each other romantically. Richelle Mead wrote their relationship in a way that we can understand why they fell for each other. But in the movie??? Uhm, that chemistry was non-existent.

Honestly, Dimitri could’ve lost the hair. It made him look 40. If he had short, cropped hair, he would’ve looked mid-20s, like the age he was supposed to portray. I know, I know, Dimitri had long hair in the book, but it just looked awkward on the actor, Danila Kozlovsky. I felt weird watching their quick whirlwind romance. Their training sessions were also almost non-existent. In the books they were fun and interesting, the time they spent with each other that led to their bond, but in the movie it seemed so rigid and weird and short. I was so iffed at that point, thinking that I couldn’t cringe any harder…until he called her “Roza”. My best friend and I hid our faces and stuffed our fists in our mouths to suppress our vomit. It was waaaaaaay too early in their relationship to be calling each other cute pet names, AND ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK LIKE A FORTY YEAR OLD. It was just weird, weird, weird. Couldn’t they have waited till waaaay later or something? When we could actually believe they were in love or at least when they’ve started to show some sign of emotional affection? I only saw school-girl crush and creepy Lolita googly eyes at that point. It was way too instalove for me.

Sarah Hyland and Dominic Sherwood played Natalie Dashkov and Christian Ozera respectively and I honestly loved them. The character, Natalie, was a slightly altered version of the Natalie we know in the book. She was nerdy and goofy in addition to the bubbly, talkative book Natalie. She delivered some great awkward lines like, “Nobody has ever seen me, like, naked before?”. But the end. Oh, the end. When she turned Strigoi, I was in hysterics. “Maybe you could join me [in the afterlife as a Strigoi] so we can be BFF’S. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.” It was over the top, sure, but I felt like the film was so off the “acceptable” charts that I just lost myself and started laughing anyway.

Dominic Sherwood was divine, as he was good looking. He is easy on the eyes, I tell ya. And shamefully, that was the first thing I noticed. He played the dark, twisted Christian well, and I enjoyed watching Christian come to life on screen. The weird thing was I didn’t feel that much chemistry between him and Lissa, as when he was with Rose. I really enjoyed the banter between Christian and Rose and every scene he had with Lissa seemed all too instalove and rigid too watch. But you guys. Dominic Sherwood. Swoon.

The notorious Mia Rinaldi, played by Sami Gayle, impressed me less than almost all the other characters, save for Dimitri. She was half the Mia I wanted her to be, half the Mia we all know and hate in the books. She was a watered down, diluted, petty version of the real b*tch we’ve all come to despise. High school has its mean girls, I get it. But the Mean Girl in the movie we were all expecting? Pathetic. I remember meeting her in the first book and was so disgusted with her character. That was a mean girl. Movie Mia? Petty. She didn’t deliver with the gusto required, and therefore the movie had missed another mark. I actually find it kind of unacceptable. You are telling me that the director of Mean Girls couldn’t even pull off a proper mean girl in this movie? Are you joking? Wasted opportunity.

Mason was so-so. He seemed way too pale for a dhampir however, and I was shocked they didn’t cast him as a Moroi or something. He portrayed Playful Mason okay, until that scene where Rose tells him to stop bothering her about Jesse because of his crush on her and he simply said, “OK” and walked away. It just seemed so weird and unnatural. Did anyone else notice this weird cut?! Sloppy, sloppy.

Now, the most anticipated scene: the lust scene. It was…not as bad as I’d imagined, actually. This scene, among a few others, was directed differently than in the book. It was actually kind of…funny, whereas in the book, it was intoxicating and sensual, and oh so very serious; the movie played the scene as a caricature of what it was supposed to be. Every move was exaggerated and it was really weird but sort of funny at the same time. I get that they were trying to make it comical though, so I guess they succeeded in that. It just simply was not the lust scene I was expecting at all.

Another underwhelming scene was the make out session with Jesse. Boy, wasn’t that a letdown? I almost screamed, “That’s it?!” at the screen, with a fist full of popcorn waving in the air. That scene in the book was like the start of Rose’s character development. This was where Dimitri told her she was more than what she thought of herself. The making out was so underwhelming (I sound like a pervert, but c’mon, you thought it too!) and Dimitri’s bust in was even less so. Where’s the dramatic entrance? The deep, concerned talk that eventually evokes Rose’s senses into becoming a better version of herself? I’m sad to say but it seemed almost unnecessary in the movie, as the scene was shamefully unexplored. It was just downright embarrassing on Rose’s part.

Altogether, this movie could have been infinitely better. One of the greatest problems it had was the editing. It was choppy and sloppy and made the entire movie look cheap. Another was the overuse of humour. One of the greatest things about the books is the humour, but the movie overplayed it to the extreme, hoping to distinguish itself from all the other vampire movies out there, but all it did was make the movie seem silly almost to the point where the true nature of the story was lost. It had too much of the faux Mean Girls essence going on (which they also failed at), when really, they could have focussed more on the plot and the character development. I’m not sure if I should hope for a Frostbite movie, as I don’t want the world to sit through another not-so-good adaptation, but I really want to see Adrian Ivashkov come to life. But who knows? Maybe if Vampire Academy pulls through in the box office internationally, they’ll learn from their mistakes and make Frostbite, the sequel, a movie that us book lovers and new audience alike, will love. (Doubt it. Just trying to end on a positive note.)