Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
“Everything’s about my personal entertainment. The world is my stage. Keep it up—you’re becoming a star performer in the show.”

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Owing to several negative reviews, I had reservations about Bloodlines. I was reluctant about starting this book with the fear that it would ruin the love I have for Richelle Mead and every one of her books out so far.

For the first half of the book, I was in total agreement with all those negative reviews. The second half, however, was a lot better and recovered my faith in Mead. It is so great, in fact, that if the first part hadn't been so horrible, I would have given this book 5 full stars.

The First Half: VA is one of the most action-packed series, and it's unfortunate and disappointing that the action in Bloodlines doesn't start until well into the second half of the book.

Sydney is boring, petty, and dull. On top of that, she's highly insecure about her looks, her feelings, her size, her complexion, everything. She even comes across as bitter, and envious of every little thing about Jill. One annoying aspect of Sydney's character is how she constantly makes decisions for other people, meaning well, but failing dreadfully at pleasing the concerned person. What's even more annoying is how said person reacted. Whether it's Zoe, Jill, or Adrian, they all threw such childish tantrums that at times, I felt Sydney was viewed by them as nothing more than a pincushion, one they could always take their frustration and anger out on. But these outbursts led to Sydney finally learning to fight back and stick up for herself, so it's not all bad.

Jill is possibly the worst character in this series. I hate her. She's annoying, irresponsible, and immature. She never realizes the consequences of her actions, and instead, tries to defend them, acting like she's been hugely wronged by everyone. Jill and Sydney are both passive characters prone to random outbursts and tantrums that seemingly come out of nowhere. While I can spare it in the case of Sydney because I did like her half the time and she does have to go through a lot, I can't stand it when it comes to Jill.

At least Adrian is still as yummy as he was in VA. I was afraid he'd be depressed and messed up, but he was rather upbeat for someone who's been hurt so badly. His mood flips are still as frequent and entertaining as they've always been, and it's no surprise that he's the main reason I enjoyed this book.

“You look too pretty to be useful.”
“Truer words were never spoken,” he said.

Micah showed up shortly thereafter and was happy to meet our other “brother.” He shook Adrian’s hand and smiled. “Now I see some family resemblance. I was starting to wonder if Jill was adopted, but you two kind of look like each other.”
“So does our mailman back in North Dakota,” said Adrian.
“South,” I corrected. Fortunately, Micah didn’t seem to think there was anything weird about the slip.
“Right,” said Adrian. He studied Micah thoughtfully. “There’s something familiar about you. Have we met?”
Micah shook his head. “I’ve never been to South Dakota.”
I was pretty sure I heard Adrian murmur, “That makes two of us.”

"Can you draw a skeleton riding a motorcycle with flames coming out of it? And I want a pirate hat on the skeleton. And a parrot on his shoulder. A skeleton parrot. Or maybe a ninja skeleton parrot? No, that would be overkill. But it’d be cool if the biker skeleton could be shooting some ninja throwing stars. That are on fire.”

Despite my personal misgivings about Sydney, Adrian and her would make a perfect couple. He's too irresponsible, she's such a goody-goody. He "feels everything strongly" and she's sort of unemotional. He's lived a carefree life, she's lived a dictated life. They'd balance each other out completely.

Eddie didn't get as much screen time as I would have liked. He's still serious and protective, but he reminds me a little of the male version of Rose, which makes me adore him. And he's also a lot like Dimitri with his upright personality and being good all the time. I love love love both Dimitri and Rose, so Eddie should become another one of my fictional boyfriends soon.

The Second Half: This half is what made me completely fall in love with Mead all over again. The plot twists, the character development, the witty dialogue, the freakin' cliffhanger ending, everything is exactly what I expected from this book, and more. Mead manages to surprise me quite a few times, and that's what makes this book a 4+ star read.

Sydney started acting instead of simply reacting and I even came to respect her personality. She has the strength of Rose, just not in a battling way. Hers is more of an inner strength, and I don't think I would accept anyone else for Adrian.

I still don't like Jill, especially after she made the Grave Mistake of taking a crush to mean true love. Eddie reminds me exactly of Dimitri in the first book of VA, when he refuses to get close to Jill because he's not suitable for her. I have high hopes for him, and am sure I won't be disappointed.

Adrian also came out of his slump, and even became an artist! I always knew he had it in him, I'm just surprised it took someone as inartistic as Sydney to make him see it.

At times, this book still feels like a faded version of VA, but there's still enough mystery to keep me interested in the series. The ending makes me wanna make like Rose and raid Mead's home, steal the manuscripts for The Golden Lily, and read them ASAP. Ending a book on these words should be a crime: Dimitri Belikov had arrived.

One request for future books, please: More Abe!