Mailbox Monday #156

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is the Let Them Read Books.

Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.

Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1.  Lost in Timeby Melissa de la Cruz from SantaThing!

2.  Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz from SantaThing!

3.  Thirst: The Eternal Dawn No. 3 by Christopher Pike from SantaThing!

4.  Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron unsolicited from Algonquin Books.

5.  Small Damages by Beth Kephart from the author for review.

6.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs from Book Blogger Holiday Swap partner Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews.

7.  Jane Austen Made Me Do It edited by Laurel Ann Nattress from Book Blogger Holiday Swap partner Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews.

8. All the Flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepson from Harper Collins for review.

What did you receive?

Santa Came Early, And Twice!

The Holidays are nearly here, but the books are already rolling in! LibraryThing hosts SantaThing each year with its members and you can choose what level of participation between $10 and $30 and from what retailer whether Amazon or Book Depository. I love this program because you get to specify what kinds of books you’re looking for and most of the time they arrive on your doorstop by Christmas.

This year, I signed on for the $30 level, and my SantaThing got me these goodies (hat not included, that’s mine):

SantaThing 2011 Gifts

My Book Blogger Holiday Swap gifts arrived as well, and I was excited to find a new blogger to follow as well — Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews!

I got a boat load of cool goodies from a Santa ornament in a cowboy hat holding a cactus to a sparkly penguin bookmark and some bookplates.  Who can’t use more bookplates when they lend out books?  I know I can, though I probably would spend a mint to get all the bookplates I would need.  Here’s the goodies I got from Sharon!  THANK YOU!

Book Blogger Holiday Swap 2011 -- Bookplates

Book Blogger Holiday Swap 2011 -- Cowboy Santa

Book Blogger Holiday Swap 2011 -- Goodies

Oh, yes, Wiggles and I with help from Daddy will watch the little Elf grow in water!

Book Blogger Holiday Swap 2011 -- Books

Sharpen Those Fangs…

The second part to the Blue Bloods series, Masquerade, is a whirlwind of revelations regarding the Van Alens and the entire Blue Blood society. I was anxious to get my copy from the library and continue reading about these young vampires and their families. I looked forward to Schulyer’s adventure to find her grandfather, Lawrence. However, that journey was short-lived. While I was initially disappointed that the journey started and ended quickly, my disappointment was overcome by curiosity.

***Spoiler Alert***

She finds her grandfather at the behest of her grandmother–a trip that takes her to Venice. She spies people who look like her mother and who remind her of people she should know from her past lives, but disappointments in her quest make her doubt her ability to find her grandfather, who holds the key to defeating the Silver Bloods.

After she finds her grandfather, her disappointment only deepens when he refuses to help her in her quest to uncover the Silver Blood and Blue Blood past and defeat the impending threat to her teenage friends at an elite New York prep school. Returning to New York thrusts her back into the thick of her teenage confusion over Oliver, her conduit and friend, and her crush on Jack Force, who is bound through blood to his sister, Mimi. Schulyer’s desire for the unattainable is palatable in this second book in the series–a desire that most anyone who has had a crush on a boy can certainly relate to.

The adventures in this book are even more dire than the first, with the Silver Blood presence even more apparent despite The Committee’s denials and entreaties that the Silver Bloods were defeated many centuries ago. Schuyler’s coming of age as a vampire is also wrought with risks to herself and her conduit, who soon becomes her familiar—further complicating her feelings for him and his growing love for her.

The intricacies of this world start to unfold quickly in the book, and as you may have guessed Mimi figures in profoundly because after all her rival for Jack’s bond is Schuyler. Jack is a character torn between duty and passion, and his actions clearly define his dilemma–stuck between his lifelong, eternal blood bond with Mimi and his passion for the daughter of Allegra Van Alen, Schuyler.

The history of these character’s past lives unravels quickly to reveal some shocking connections.

***End Spoiler Alert***

It’s a quick read, and held my attention much more than the first book. I was excited to see what would happen next. The end leaves the door wide open for a third book in this young adult series about teenage vampires, and I hope that Melissa De La Cruz does not disappoint. I recommend this book for people who enjoy YA reading and vampires alike. This not a horror series by any stretch of the imagination, not too much gore here. It’s more like a commentary on the teenage relationships in high society and coming of age, just with a vampire twist.