Friday, 29 April 2011

The Vampire Diaries: The Last Day Review

'The Last Day'
When the writer's proved they have no qualms breaking every viewers heart.

Spoilers galore. Don't read until you've watched the episode.

Previously on the Vampire Diaries: Elijah finally revealed he and Klaus are brothers (although surely Katherine has been sitting on this fabulous little nugget for ages too?) Jenna finally got clued in, Klaus is trying to break a curse on him to turn himself into his true Werepire self, Klaus is going to be a nightmare to kill, and Elijah has all the answers.

Shirtless Damon. Boy do they know how to make us love the episode from the out…
Shirtless and eavesdropping – he should become a spy. He’d make a good spy. Drinking, check. Womanising, check. Super sneaky vamp senses, check!

Elijah: Urgh I explained all this last week. You know what, I’m just going to do a picture chart to explain. Pass it around, make sure everyone’s up to speed…

Elena: No Bonnie can’t use that much power without dying.
Damon: I’ll write her a great eulogy!
Ah Damon, you sure know how to win a girls heart… I love you, let’s kill your best friend to save you, and to make up for it, I’ll throw her an awesome funeral, and then we can like, make out and stuff.

Ah, thanks for clearing that up Elijah – after all of last week’s revelations I wondered whether the ingredients list had changed at all. Turns out we’re still after the same things. Just as well we have a wolf boy supposedly on his way home…

Modern day Klaus!
Ha! Love how some of Klaus’ torture basically involves boring Kat to death while he flirts with other girls.

Elijah: This is an elixir I just happened to hide on your bookshelf. Had it for a few centuries – oh and it has mystical properties!
Yeah, you know all that awesome work the writer’s did to sort out the curse mess last week? Totally just undid some of it…

“So I’ll be dead?”
“And then you won’t!”
You know, that could almost be the sum up for this entire show.

I heart Damon.
“That’s your plan? A magical witch potion with no expiration date?”
I was a little worried, at least someone is questioning this elixir of awesomeness that no one else had managed to re-create for 500 years.

Woah woah woah, back up there sparky…
Damon: What if it doesn’t work?
Elena: Then I guess I’ll just be dead.
Damon: *splutters*
Stefan: *shrugs*
For someone who thought her sacrifice was ‘a waste’ and ‘he loves her forever’ Stefan isn’t doing a terribly good job at this. There’s being supportive, and then there’s just being a lame ass. I am totally on Damon’s side right now. Who need a boyfriend that’s just going to shrug over the idea of your impending demise? At least Damon is fighting for her.

Mrs Lockwood: Compelling time! Time to drag wolf boy home…
Good call Klaus.
Although witchy man mouthing the words like that is a mix of creepy and hilarious. Maybe he secretly wanted to pursue an acting career and can’t wait until all of this is over…

MUMMY LOCKWOOD! Ok, I have a bad feeling about this episode… When everyone’s been running round screaming ‘no one is safe, run for your lives’ I think they meant it…

We hadn’t even reached the title scene yet?! Oh boy…

Damon: *sips whiskey box*
Stefan: Breakfast of Champions huh?
Damon: I’m surrounded by idiots, I need all the help I can get.
I thought maybe Damon was taking things a little too far in his eternal Elena quest last week, but this week, totally on his team. Stefan’s being a douche.

Yeah Damon, you’re surrounded by idiots.

Elena: They can’t understand why I’m willing to do this!
Elijah: Why are you?
Elena: Because the bottle this elixir comes in is so pretty! Can I use it for perfume after this?

Um guys? Why aren’t we feeding her vampire blood as a precaution?
Oh please tell me that Damon does this at some point as a backup….

YES! You know all those weeks Jenna has been being lame and rubbish? Yeah she is totally making up for it by the fact that she is holding Ric up with a CROSSBOW. Awesome points.

Is it just me or did he get sexier whilst he was at werewolf camp?
He has also perfected his smoulder.

Matt is scarily good at this whole acting thing. How can he still be peeved with her? Look how cute she is!
Tyler had better knock some sense into him whilst he’s back.

Woah, Mommy Sheriff is being a bit creepy over having made a new friend…
Matt: I’ve been putting on the show of my life, but either she is too or she’s still the same Caroline!
Yes! Finally he is starting to see some sense! Mommy Sheriff however, is still being dense. Quel Sigh.
Wait she’s just going to leave Matt like that? Worst. Sheriff. Ever.

Damon – slayed by Elena doing something as simple as holding his hand. Well maybe not slayed, but at least a little confused and swiggly inside.
The pouting puppy look is back in style.

YES! Do I get points for calling it?
Why is she so opposed to the Vampy lifestyle, it’s not like it would make much difference. Blood bags, daylight ring, eternal life. BAM. Stop struggling you silly girl. Although Damon, really a bit of a douche move. Nice call back to 'you can make my life a misery' there - you'd think him of all people would realize being turned against your will can result in issues later in life..?

FISTFIGHT! Oh man I love this episode. Seriously the different ways and lengths these two will go to save her. I love how this is playing out.
Why is Stefan whinging so much? He and Damon stabbed each other loads at the start of series 1 and he never made quite as much fuss. Although getting Jenna involved is gooood. I can imagine she’s going to be quite the kick ass young woman after this.
Urgh Stefan stop the whingy ‘I’m Sorry’s’ why is he acting like he’s dying?

Totally understanding Damon’s motives right now, although he could have been more subtle about the blood thing… Ever heard of spiking someone’s drink? And, you know, possibly talking her round to the idea...

Yay! I’m so glad those two crazy kids are working it out. Someone should be happy around here… Although happiness only leads to misery, so how long until something tragic happens to them?

Yay, catch up between Caroline and Tyler!
I love how Trevino is playing Tyler since he’s been away. He’s a lot calmer, a lot stiller. It’s amazing but a little surreal after the ball of anger we got used to. I am loving it.

Also loving the fact that of course these two are going to get locked up and used tonight. Gives them chance to sort things out whilst they’re tied up.

You know that Damon is partly peeved to be seeing Klaus because now there’s someone else in town with better cheek bones than him.
When all else fails, Damon resorts to charm and persuasion…
Klaus: He is kidding right?
No… No, I don’t think Damon ever kids…

Oooo, totally awesome casting choice with Klaus. I have shivers.

Damon: You think if I took his werewolf out of the equation, she might get over the fact that I tried to turn her into a vampire?
Some people buy flowers, others chocolates and jewellery, no Damon tries to steal Elena a werewolf. The guy has style – you have to give him that.

So Stefan is effectively trying to out do Damon’s saving Elena thing, by making her climb a waterfall?... On the one hand AW, and on the other, seriously?
“It’s your last day as a human, why cheat now?”
Because she actually wants to be under a duvet eating as much chocolate as possible instead of climbing and talking about her feelings?...

Damon is possibly the most constructive person today, so he gets points for trying to do something other than wallow. And I was totally not expecting Damon to be collecting a favour in that form.
Ha! Katherine is not a happy bunny about being boob blocked by Elena for all eternity. Poor girl just can’t catch a break.
Urgh, the tomb? Really? These people have been alive so long their originality has long since gone.

Tyler: Who the hell’s Klaus?
Aw crap, someone needs to fill Tyler in quickly… This is what happens when you leave town, you miss valuable plot!

Elena: I’d never be able to watch Bambi again!
Yes, because on your list of priorities, that’s the biggest one.

Urgh I’m sorry, I know it’s supposed to be romantic and all, and they’re talking through their feelings, but right now I am completely bored with the soul searching walk.
Elena: How long before you learned to handle both?
Stefan: I’m still trying every day.
Not the answer she was looking for Stefan…

Does Klaus have super spidey senses that mean he knows when Katherine has been bad?
Although that’s an evil move telling her to kill herself just cos he reckons she’s not really being compelled.
Wow – I did not think she’d do it. She gets points for that.

Oh good god, I may swoon.
Unholy alliance between Matt and Damon? Never thought I’d say that…
Aw did he have to knock him out? He was being all awesome! Damon you’ve ruined his big saving Caroline entrance. Pout.

Caroline: Why did you just leave?
Tyler: You really want to talk about this now?
Yes, because a girl seems to only really get a straight answer around here when the guy she’s talking to is tied up and can’t go anywhere. Cathartic talking whilst chained up is a go!

Wow these two have grown, and this is a perfect showcase for that. If you think back to the people we knew in series 1, to see this here, is incredible. I never thought they could grow and do these amazing things. Season 2 has really been amazing for developing some of the other characters.

“I’m seventeen years old, how am I supposed to know any of this yet?”
Thank you. I love all this stuff about eternal love, but Elena is finally being the voice of reason. They’re teenagers, they shouldn’t be having to make decisions like this. And Damon shouldn’t have taken away her free will – it was selfish. Which kind of almost counters his selfless confession to her earlier in the series.

“I was supposed to grow up. Decide if I want to have kids and start a family. Grow Old. I’m supposed to have a lifetime of those choices and now? That’s all gone. I don’t want to be a vampire Stefan – I never wanted to be one.”
I love Elena all over again. At the moment we get so many vampire stories, and it’s every girls dream for youthful immortality, and to be in love forever – and none of them really seem to appreciate the length of forever. Elena does, and she’s shown her strength again by admitting she doesn’t want that. She wants choice. And that’s why she is such a strong female character, because she hasn’t just been swayed by some pretty boy.

Whilst most of the walk seemed a bit blah, I am so glad we got this from Dobrev, it makes it all worthwhile. To see again that Elena likes her mortality, and she doesn’t want to trade that in. She’d rather die than not have a choice. And that’s why she wants to go ahead with this despite the risk. Death can still be her choice.

And now I’m crying. The whole goodbye between Stefan and Elena is heart breaking. I’m just gonna sit and sob for a bit.
And the hand.
And then just him in the darkness with no one. Oh Paul Wesley, your crying makes me break.

Oh and the heart break continues. Lets make Damon all emotional whilst we're at it.
And the transformation?! Are you trying to kill us with all the emotional stuff at once in the last ten minutes.
Eesh, Trevino really is getting pretty awesome at these transformations.
Why is Matt being a moron when we know he knows about the werewolf thing?

DAMON! Did he get hurt? Is he ok? ARGH.

I want to hug Tyler. This poor poor guy – he does not deserve this.

Who’s on the Tv screen?...

And now Damon is going to play his ghost tricks. You’d think he’d spend some time learning new more surprising tricks.

Woah, was not expecting him to just walk up to Klaus and say ‘all my fault, I’ve screwed up your plan! Kill me!’ Huh. Think he might be redeeming himself for the earlier faux pas of force feeding Elena his blood.

“I’ve heard about you. The crazy impulsive vampire in love with his brother’s girl. I knew one of you would try to stop me, it was just a fifty fifty guess on who…”
This is not sounding good. Let me guess, the girl on the screen is Jules?... So we’re still good to go?

“The nice thing about werewolves is they tend to travel in packs.” That’d be a yes then… Meh, rather her than Tyler.

Does this mean Damon just earned himself a place in the sacrifice? Or is he going to use Kat?! Argh, I cannot stand the tension.

Matt. With a gun. Trying to save Caroline. He just got so much cooler. I didn’t even think that was possible – he was pretty awesome to start with. See humans in the loop is so much more fun than running round trying to keep them ignorant.

Ok, so that rules out Katherine and Damon being the sacrificial Vamp. Unfortunately that still leaves me going huh? Who else do we have as a vamp to sacrifice?...

What is it with these witches and fire? If you’re all powerful, give her nightvision, why light a bunch of fires? Show off.



Totally did not see that one coming…


That could explain some of the pictures we’ve got of Damon and Elena in the final episode of the series.

If they kill Damon I am going to lose it.



What. The. Hell?
Ok so aside from a few good moments, I found this episode quite slow to start. And then, you know, they go and try and kill us all with the tension in the last ten minutes…

SO for next week. Jenna’s a vamp, Damon’s a goner, and all I want to do is sit and cry.

Well done TVD, I thought you’d done it before, and I will probably be even more so by next week, but right now, I am BROKEN. BROKEN I TELL YOU.
But I don’t know what to believe? Because on the one hand we know that a werewolf bite kills – we’ve been shown this. That was the whole point of Rose. But then it’s Damon. And we know that Plec and Williamson aren’t going to kill off a character who still has a lot of story left to tell. And to me, Damon is still one of those characters.

So what happens now?
What did you think? Weigh in on the comments below.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses - but it's really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. 
Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can Cammie have a normal relationship with a boy who can never know the truth about her?

I am going to give you all a nice big warning now, that this review may contain copious amounts of CAPITALS which I may use to express my LOVE for this book. It also may be a tiny bit spoilery although I’ve tried to keep it as light as possible.

I have taken way too long to read this book. I am ashamed of myself. When it first came out I saw the blurb and the title and the agent, and I said to myself ‘that looks hysterical, I must henceforth to the book store and purchase a copy!’ But alas! I got swept up in silly things like university, and I didn’t do it.
And then my Mum rang me up and said, I have just seen this totally awesome book, and she described this book, and I went, ah yes, I have been meaning to buy it.
And then I was actually in the bookstore and this book fell off the shelf at me. 

And you know what? This book is GENIUS. No really – screw Hogwarts, I want to be a Gallagher Girl. Cos they are way cooler. And the classes! Oh man, I so want to go!

 So basically, this book is brilliant. I was laughing out loud pretty much every page. And when there was a sad bit and I didn’t laugh for a few pages, Ally made up for it by putting such funny bits in that I actually snorted. I think this may be the first book this year to claim to do that to me.

Cammie is amazing. She is this brilliantly witty and intelligent fifteen year old, who can pretty much do ANYTHING in the spying world, but when it comes to analysing the words a boy has said to her she is CLUELESS. And I loved this because I felt her pain. Every girl has been there. The oh my god what does this mean – how do I interpret this? WHAT DOES HE MEAN WHEN HE SAYS MAYBE SEE YOU AROUND? Most frustrating thing in the world for a boy to say.
Seriously, best female character ever. Ok well maybe not ever, I like my strong females, but she certainly ranks really, really high.

And her friends. I want friends like this. I mean I like my friends loads and all, but they can’t do half the things that Liz does with a computer! And Bex would totally be an awesome side kick for anything. I can imagine ANYTHING would be fun if you were doing it with Duchess and Bookworm…

And Josh… Oh good lord is he swoony and dream worthy, and he totally turned me into a fifteen year old girl again and made my insides go all mushy.
I love it.

It just works. The premise is genius, the characters are brilliant. It’s funny and poignant, and totally makes you feel like a dorky teenager again – only less brilliant than any of the characters. Although I wish I was that intelligent.

I love the entire set up, the school, the little quirks, code red, the ridiculous things that you see the teacher’s doing. Every little ridiculous moment where Cammie does an aside and you just go OH MY GOD THAT WAS GENIUS.
And it so totally takes me back to school, because I went to an all-girls school, but it was not nearly as cool as this, and the uniform was terrible. But it really captures the whole idea that boys are a completely alien species, and no one ever taught you how to talk to them… Or swoon worthy teachers either…

I’ve never read any of Ally Carter’s work before, and I am kicking myself for not reading her books sooner. But on the other hand, I totally needed a cheering up, and that book did it for me.
To the point that I am heading out of the house, with the shops only just opening in the morning, to go out and buy the rest of the books. And probably not sleep until I’ve read them too.

So next on my list is the second book in the series, “Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy.” Followed by “Don’t judge a Girl by her Cover.” And I have obviously picked the right moment to obsess, because the fourth book is out in a few days on May 5th “Only The Good Spy Young.”

I cannot recommend this book enough. I loved it, a quick brilliantly witty read, that I’m going to thrust at my Mum and go ‘OMG you were totally right, now read it and see how awesome it is!’ That’s right, I’m totally going to get my Mum to read a book about an all-girls spy school…

And then I’m going to go get the next books before the caffeine wears off…

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Review: My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers Book 3) by Rachel Vincent

Spoilers for 'My Soul To Keep' and the previous books in the series contained below.

When teenager Kaylee screams, someone dies. And Kaylee s about to scream her head off... A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them. Until something does. Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends one of whom is already hooked. But so is someone else. Nash.

I’m getting really irritated with blubs on books giving away a twist before you’ve even opened the book. I know the author’s most likely don’t have much control over that, so it’s not a complaint on the book at all, but it does frustrate me. Because the ‘big twist’ happens around half way through, and the build-up (which would otherwise be really well done) is a bit wasted because you’re waiting for it.

Ok, gripe over, I loved this book. I felt the second book in the series “My Soul to Save” fell a bit flat after the awesomeness of the first book “My Soul To Take.” However, Rachel Vincent is back on track with this third instalment. It was gripping from the outset and sustained the high throughout.

It was great to be put straight back in with characters we’ve already had chance to get to know, because there’s no time spent on exposition – we’re straight into the action. Instead we had a couple of background characters fleshed out, which was good because the action focused back in on high school and the people we knew.

It was interesting to see how Vincent tackles the idea of addiction, and a very bold choice to give Nash an addiction to ‘frost’. Taking the ‘golden boy’ who can do no wrong and would do anything to keep Kaylee safe, and then suddenly he’s basically abusing her and disrespecting her. It’s terrifying to realise just how much he’s done to her when he finally admits at the end of the book.
It’s a risk that pays off though, because Vincent handles the subject brilliantly. We see a darker side of Nash, the highs and the lows, and the all-consuming aspect to the drug. One thing that I found particularly hard to read was the final confrontation with Kaylee when we discover all the things that have been happening without her knowledge.
I’m looking forward to seeing how his story develops, whether he’ll remain clean, and whether he’ll be able to redeem himself. (Or from the look of the blurb for the fourth book, whether he’ll even want to do it for Kaylee…)

My one frustration with Kaylee is her ‘saving people thing.’ That’s just something that frustrates me personally, because she determinedly throws herself into dangerous situations, regardless of how it could damage her. That’s just personal to me, and overall I love her as a character. She’s likeable, believable, and you can completely empathise with her in her feelings of confusion and teenage angst, in relation to death or love, or even being grounded.
The relationship with her father continued to develop throughout this book, and I’m so glad we got to see more of him, because he came off badly in the first two books, and he was more human and believable throughout this book, and it was great to see their shaky relationship continue to develop.

I love Tod. It’s been great to see more of him over the course of the books, and he’s a constant source of fascination for me, because there is no ‘ah he’s going to do that’ or ‘he’s going to end up with her.’ He’s in constant flux. One minute he’s doing anything for Addy – the next he’s looking out for Emma, and the next he’s being protective of Kaylee. He’s an all-round Dark Knight, and I can’t wait to see more of him.

One minor gripe on the side, which has nothing to do with the quality of the novel, is that the editing on the kindle edition isn’t that great, particularly the formatting, and it can be quite frustrating to read.

So characters were developed, risks were taking and paid off, and the baddies were still terrifying. I love this series, it scares me, it makes me melt, it has made me fall in love with another branch of creatures and fantasy, and it has had me hooked from the start. A very strong third book in the series, I love Vincent’s writing, and I love this world that she’s developed. I highly recommend her writing to anyone who’s looking for a fresh take on fantasy.
Have you read the books? Share your thoughts and comments on the Soul Screamers Series below.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Gossip Girl Review: The Kids Stay In The Picture

'The Kids Stay In The Picture'
A very belated review for the family portrait of insanity and the family you wish you weren't related to...

Previously on Gossip Girl: Nate pretended to have a storyline, Chuck pretended he gave a damn about getting his father’s business back, Dan and Blair created infamous history by kissing, Lily tried to redeem her awfulness, and the Van Der Woodsens circled the wagons…

Nothing like a good bit of Dorota and Blair banter to remind us a few of the reasons we have to love this show. Of course Blair has taken to her bed after that kiss, and of course Dorota would try to cheer her up by showing her someone else’s life is worse, and of course Blair has a big bell with which to summon her at any time…

Chuck – master of weird morning run ins with exes who are currently sleeping with his best friend/Man bangs who only has a plot when he’s sleeping with someone. Although wasn’t Chuck supposed to be running off to find Blair when we last saw him – what happened?
Ahaha – Chuck you perv. You wait to ring Serena until you’ve seen she’s entered the building off the TV that’s reporting the news. You voyeur you.

This is a whole week later? The news reporters seem more next day than a week old news. Then again this is the Van der Woodsen’s… Although this does explain why Dan looked quite so dejected at having no messages, and why Chuck is peeved with Blair.

The devil and the angel – Lily’s going to have her work cut out with these two.. But she is back in my good graces (for now) for stepping up and actually acting vaguely like a parent for the first time in weeks. Lets see if Rufus manages to become something other than a coat rack this week – the poor guy needs something to do… At least he’ll have sparring with the original Mr VdW to keep him occupied.

CECE – I’ve missed you and your evil ways…
“Oh darling – you look lovely in your mug shot!” Glad we’re focused on the really important stuff here.

Why is Dan reorganising his books? Is he turning Jenny’s old room into a library? If he is that means she can NEVER COME BACK. Which is a good thing since they/she destroyed that character after season 2.
“Hm, this is the first time I’ve ever seen you pass up a chance to save Serena. And you’re alphabetizing – what’s up?” Ah Eric, if only they all listened to you, everyone would get along much better.
Also, you’re a genius. “I will take your secret to my grave, but laughter is an uncontrollable bodily response.” What’s a guy to do?
Whilst I’m grumpy that they wussed out and didn’t let us actually see the famed kiss properly, it’s almost worth it to hear Dan sum up the events that followed. That poor guy – he never stood a chance against Blair.
“You know and she does smell nice…”
“You are ass backwards crushing on Blair Waldorf!” See! Everyone listen to Eric!

“Take that away Dorota, I can’t eat! I rang to ask you to call the doctor – I think I have consumption.” Ha! One kiss and Blair takes to her bed for a week convinced she’s dying of consumption. I love this girl. No one else could possibly pull this off.

Oh Bass you bastard. Why must you always play the games?!
Also urgh points for the fact that Chuck thinks that Blair just needs to ‘feel powerful again’ and then he can have her. He has no grasp of how awesome that girl is or how she will totally not be satisfied with ‘feeling powerful’ she has to BE powerful.

I like Carol. She had better continue to live up to expectations. She’s got it spot on with keeping up with the younger actresses portrayal. “And Lily’s husbands 1 and 5!”

Worst way to introduce yourself ever. I kind of don’t like Charlie already. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt for now though. Also Serena is way too trusting – the press will do anything to get a story, and you’ve never met your cousin before, get some ID verification woman!

Although I am loving the interactions between Cece and Daddy VdW. Just the contrast between that and how she treats Rufus. I guess we know which husband Cece preferred out of Lily’s catalogue of them…

Yeah really not liking Charlie. Is she the new Lonely Boy? Now that Dan has, you know, stopped being lonely and is just incestuous?

Urgh. Whilst I like the idea of Lily going through old family photo albums of her and Carol, how on earth would they have a picture of them sat at the back of the bus at the end of the flashback episode?! Little things like that peeve me. At least choose a shot that someone might actually have taken a photo of!
Something about Lily trying to act like a sibling isn’t quite working – it just seems too awkward. The idea is there but it just ends up cringe worthy.

Yay – chinese whispers texting to get Bass all riled up. He deserves it. He is totally not in my good books at the moment. Which is impressive because he’s done a lot of truly awful things and somehow managed to stay in them before.

Why?! Why is Vanessa back!? Who let her in? Urgh. This episode has gone downhill just with her being in it.

Oh God – Serena and Charlie are bonding over family heirlooms. This whole thing is weird and I hate it. Make it stop.

“Rufus! We found leg warmers! No I’m not drunk…” Yes – I like these two together. Way way better than the mini me version currently trading secrets and pledging to be blood brothers in the corner.

Ah Chuck, you are inadvertently spot on this time. And so the chinese whispers get worse… Now you’re making Dan go all gooey inside over the ‘life changing’ aspect. Things can only get worse from here…
However I do like Chuck’s arrogant assumption that the cretins are only useful for the dribbles of information they spew. He should so be in a black and white crime movie. With a cigar. And a trilby hat.
Although he’s tipped back in the disliking with the fact that he’s now going to stomp all over Dan. For sport.

Eesh, I think the whole Rhode family tree is inbred and slightly weird given how they’ve all turned out. I’m hoping there’s going to be some sort of explanation for how rubbish Carol is being. Necklace? Return all the shopping? So not fair…

Eric totally wins for being able to tell a fake made up category at forty paces. Shame Dan appears to have lost his brain cells since kissing Blair. This can only end badly with a Bass and a revenge vendetta.

Yay – true love wins out! Or it would if Chuck wasn’t scheming and meddling. Somehow I don’t think  Blair is going to need that overnight bag…
“Humphrey more Labrador than toad.” I love you Dorota.

Whilst I’m not fussed on the whole Raina/Man bangs storyline, I’m kind of glad that we at least get to see a little of manbangs. I just hope this picks up as it’s supposedly meant to be a part of the finale, and right now I couldn’t care less about this plot line.

Yay – for all the family faults it’s so nice to see actual family moments with Lily and Serena, it makes all the pants stuff where Lily’s being completely selfish seem almost vaguely worth while.
Hm it seems deception really is in the blood. Carol is just as bad as the rest of them.

HA in your FACE Bass. Although he does look kind of broken at the end of that. It’s nice to see things blow up a little earlier than maybe they otherwise would have, and to see Blair actually realize it’s Chuck being a bum and call him on it.
Although Dan really does look like a Labrador when he realises Blair doesn’t have feeling for him. The thing is Chuck really can’t yell at Blair for a single kiss with Dan when Chuck himself has fallen in love with TWO other women since Blair! I mean the guy is a walking hypocrite!
I just love that Blair doesn’t immediately fall back on Chuck, she can see he’s a bum and so she will go off and do her own thing.

“Does anyone want to be in this picture? Or in this family?”
“I do!” Ah Charlie, obviously no one has told you what a big mistake that would be – however it does save everyone from having to answer…

Yes – strike one to Blair. I love Chuck and Blair as a couple but she’s right, he really needs to grow up and sort himself out a bit before he’ll ever be good enough for Blair. She’s grown and developed so much over the last few seasons. And Chuck was growing, but he kind of lost it and went backwards for a while. He just needs to sort himself out.

I’m glad that Daddy VdW hadn’t done something wrong this time – it seems a bit bland to just make him the villain every time something goes wrong. I love seeing him and Lily interact though, there’s something more there than there is with Rufus. There used to be something with Rufus, but they’ve really lost it since the start of season 3, which is a shame, because it used to be quite a cool storyline.
I’m intrigued to see how bad it gets for Lily and her sentence – whether they’ll actually send her away for years, or whether they’ll find some way to get her out of it. As Dan pointed out in series 1, money can buy you out of everything.

Urgh Vanessa, LEAVE.
Is it just me or does Blair sound a little bit disappointed when Dan says that the kiss meant nothing… Do we see something more happening between them over the next few weeks?... I hope so.
Oooo and there is a definite edge of snark when Blair tells Dan that his princess is out there too and nods to Serena.

I love the mini call back to the Blair Waldorf sleepover – you just know that’s so one of the famed beds that Charlie is sleeping on. Poor girl, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for.
Anyone else slightly creeped out by Charlie trying on and going through Serena’s stuff? I have a feeling there may be boundary issues in episodes to come.

I sense impending doom and scandal “what happened wasn’t so long ago.” And to what do we think Carol is reffering?.. Bland Charlie might be about to get interesting.
“A few months ago at college…” Ooo I’m intrigued, do tell me more Aunt Carol…

Yay, Rufus comes through. He gets points for this family photo, although it was a little predictable. What wasn’t predictable though were Carol’s concerned looks at Dan and Charlie, and Dan’s incestuous looks at Charlie. Does this boy not realize there are other women in NY that he isn’t related to?... On a side note, if this is a family photo why is Chuck not being included? He’s family too!
Eee - maybe that's why they didn't include him. Chuck looks seriously haunted, lonely and a little hunchbacked in those photos of him. He needs to sort himself out pronto else we’re going to have to start calling him Scrooge.

Wooo the Prince is back, complete with Cinderella shoe! I wasn’t all that fussed on him, but maybe with more screen time I’ll come to like him more. And face it, Blair needs a bit of happiness in her life at the moment. The boys in New York suck.

So all in all not the most amazing episode of Gossip Girl. It lacked some of the spark, scandal and espionage that makes a classic GG episode. However it did do some solid building on plot lines left trailing before the hiatus. And for once the plot holes didn’t outshine the actual plot. Whilst I’m still not over the moon about how this season is progressing, I am curious to see what the Prince brings to the mix, so I’ll keep watching, and keep hoping that they might one day manage to get back on track and give us the A game we came to expect in Season 1.

Books I'm Squeeing about in May

So April has been awesome – go look at the books I’ve reviewed and you can see the sheer awesomeness contained in this month. May is looking a little quieter, all my excitements are towards the end of the month – which is just as well considering the number of books I’m squeeing about in June and July… My bank account needs recovery time to build up to it!
However, this is a massive excitement for me at the start of May, so this month I am squeeing not only about books, but about TV as well…

The Vampire Diaries below contain spoilers – nothing major but don’t read if you don’t want to know anything about the episodes.

The Vampire Diaries Finale
Episode 21 – The Sun Also Rises – 5th May 2011
With the arrival of the full moon, Elena tries to prepare for whatever Klaus has planned and Tyler faces his second transformation. The terrifying events quickly spin out of control, despite an unexpected act of courage. Finally, Damon admits the truth to Stefan about a terrible new development they must face.

Episode 22 – As I Lay Dying – 12th May 2011
While Mystic Falls present a screening of “Gone with the Wind” in the town square, Damon’s memories of Katherine in 1864 mix with the reality of Elena in the present day. Stefan pays a terrible personal price for his attempt to prevent a tragedy, and Sherriff Forbes makes a deadly mistake while trying to keep everyone safe. More than one life hangs in the balance as the consequences of the sacrifice ritual play out to a horrifying conclusion.

There is no way I can not mention the highly anticipated season 2 finale to The Vampire Diaries. I love this show, I review it every week, and every week it seems to be getting better and better – see ‘Klaus’ that episode was a game changer…
So with synopsis such as those above, I literally cannot wait to see how this ends up. (Although I desperately don’t want it to end because the hiatuses are bad enough…) I will be ready armed with a box of tissues, a cushion, and hopefully my best friend to hide behind and squeal and cry as we freewheel down into the most epic finale possible.

The Vampire Dimitri (Book 2 of the Regency Draculia Series)
By: Colleen Gleason
Released: 20th May 2011

Regency London loves a society wedding - even if there are vampires on the guest list. Dimitri, also known as the Earl of Corvindale, should be delighted that the headstrong Maia Woodmore is getting married. His mortal ward and houseguest has annoyed - and bewitched - the Dracule nobleman too long, and denying his animal cravings grows more excruciating by the day. Marriage will give Miss Woodmore safety, respectability and everything else a proper young lady could wish for. Everything, that is, except passion. In the looming battle between Dracule factions, all pretences will shatter as Maia and Dimitri come together in an unholy union of danger, desperation and fiercest desire.

I love regency romance. I love vampires. I got obscenely excited when I saw a book in the young adult section that smushed two of my favourite things together.
I’m currently in the process of reading the first book in the series “The Vampire Voss” and regardless of my ending thoughts on the first book, I’m going to want to carry on and finish the series. So far it’s looking good though… And I’m quickly discovering all the other vampire books Colleen Gleason has written. I may be spending a lot of time in the near future reading more vampire books…

You can pre-order your copy here.

Beauty Queens
By: Libba Bray
Released: 24th May 2011

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island. 
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Oh my god you guys I love Libba Bray. Seriously, I cannot explain my love, except to say go and read her “A Great and Terrible Beauty” trilogy if you haven’t already done so – then you will understand my love.
So basically all it took to put this on my list was seeing that Libba Bray was the author – and then I read the blurb and started sniggering. It sounds like a cross between Lord of the Flies, Gossip Girl and Battle Royale… Which sounds awesome.

You can pre-order your copy here.

By: Jennifer Bradbury
Released: 24th May 2011

Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings, about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history.
Maybe you think this girl is wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her.

Maybe you think she is a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.
Maybe she would like to think that too. Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.
Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.

Eeeeeee! See above for my love of anything set in the 19th Century. Seriously, love things like this. Deanna Raybourn, Gail Carriger, Julia Quinn – all of these authors have completely hooked me on this genre, and to see such an immergence of it in young adult just makes me even happier.
This is another stumbled upon by accident and so glad I did book – just from the blurb I’m getting ridiculously excited.

You can pre-order your copy here.

The Girl In the Steel Corset
By: Kady Cross
Released: 24th May 2011

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no 
normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of 
them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

Seriously, whoever is reading my mind to see what kind of books I want to read, keep it up! This is another ‘oh my god I want so bad!’ book. It looks awesome. I’m loving the steampunk I’ve read so far (look up Gail Carriger’s books if you want an awesome ‘in’ to the genre.) and I can’t wait to read some more. It’s basically taking all the really epic stuff that I love and mushing it all together.
I’m also really intrigued by how much hype can be created for a book through Twitter. This is the second book that I’ve discovered just through people getting excited and posting reviews on Twitter – and I am so glad I saw it!

You can pre-order your copy here.

I cannot wait for the end of May and the flurry of awesome books it’s going to bring me…