Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz (Book 4.5)

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz is really a companion book to the series, rather than a continuation of the action. In the introductory letter from the author, Cruz says, “The Repository Files, which include character profiles, were written by rather crotchety historians who work for the humorless Committee, so you might find their estimation of the characters a little astringent.”  (page 5)

The book chronicles the series up to the fourth book, provides some additional short stories/chapters that may have been cut from those books or that provide additional background to the story.  In many ways, these short stories are the missing pieces or scenes that some readers may have wanted to see, like the big breakup scene between Jack and Schuyler or what happened to Dylan Ward when he disappeared.  One of the most endearing elements of Jack and Schuyler’s relationship is the books that they share with one another, and upon their first meeting, he gives her The Plague by Albert Camus and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, two seemingly unrelated books, though both are about love and longing.

“Feeling reckless and giddy, and just a tad plucky — like the kind of girl who tramped around the marshes in the dark — she scribbled a note and slipped it under Jack’s door.

Mr. Darcy, I will be there as requested. — Elizabeth.”  (page 57)

“This was a boy who spoke through books:  longing and exile — The Plague — banter and obstacles — Pride and Prejudice.  He spoke her language.”  (page 59)

Cruz also creates an appendix of characters in the books and their role in the books, definitions of the secret language words and other events in the books.  In one chapter, she even more fully explains the hierarchy of the vampire world from the Order of the Seven to the Committee and the Conclave.  Finally, there is an additional chapter on Bliss Llewellyn and her adventures to find the Hounds of Hell, which Cruz apparently spun off into a series of its own (as if I need yet another series to read, though I’ll likely pick it up someday).

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz is an companion book to the Blue Bloods series that can help remind readers what has happened in the past, shed additional light on the characters and relationships in the series, and offers a refresher course on the terms, history, and customs of the Blue Bloods.  It reads like the notebooks of a writer would, giving readers an inside peak into the characters as Cruz sees them and their story, though there are elements that are “redacted” by the recordkeepers, most likely because they are elements revealed in future books.

About the Author:

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Photo © Denise Bovee

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2012

I’ve unofficially participated in Thankfully Reading Weekend, finishing Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz, beginning and finishing The Ghost Runner by Blair Richmond, and starting the book club pick Ripper by Stefan Petrucha and Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz.

Challenge #1 was what is the perfect book recipe or reading recipe:

My favorite place to read is on the couch, generally lying down but propped up on pillows and with a glass of something ice cold (usually water) or something piping hot (like coffee or hot cocoa) — the beverage often depends on the weather.  The blanket can be fluffy, fuzzy, or just plain warm as long as the legs are covered.  As for a book…generally the writing has to be easy to follow, absorbing, and about things I enjoy reading about, which can either mean poetry, the environment, vampires, Ireland, Boston, or those struggling to find their identities or home.  I love internal struggles most of all, so books where the character is having an internal struggle are the most appealing.

Challenge #2 was about the book we’re most thankful for, and I have to say that its Thrall by Natasha Trethewey because it made me think about race and father-daughter relationships in a new way.  I loved that she used paintings and other artwork to illustrate her points, but that she also drew on the more personal aspects of father-daughter relationships.  And when you hear her read in person, you can just feel the emotion of these poems.  It has inspired me to find more books that move me in that way and to write poetry that will carry a more emotional rather than theoretical weight.

For Challenge #3, we were asked about our family reading traditions or memories about books; here’s what I shared:

Our family didn’t read much, but my nana read to us all the time and she let me loose in the library at a very young age, and I would beg my mother to take us many days of the week to reload my shelves. The love of reading is something I hope to pass onto my daughter, who already knows the word “read” and says it every time she picks up a book from the shelf and hands it to me. And when I’m working or busy with dinner, you’ll often catch her in a sea of books on the floor saying the few words she remembers from the books — reading to herself or her stuffed animals. Too cute. And it makes me proud.

I hope to at least get partially through a third book before the end of the weekend, so wish me luck.  I also cheer on everyone who is participating or not even participating, but reading.