Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Blogiversary Book Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed - Congratulations go to Maggie on your win!

Are you still breathing after the two interviews I was lucky enough to be able to share today? Well hold onto your hats because I've now got books to add into the mix!

Up for grabs are two recent releases:
'Alice in Zombieland' by Gena Showalter
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

'The Feathered Man' by Jeremy de Quidt
In a German town, long ago, lives a tooth-puller's boy called Klaus. It isn't Klaus's fault that he sees his master steal a diamond from the mouth of a dead man in Frau Drecht's lodging house, or that Frau Drecht and her murderous son want it for themselves.
He has nothing to do with the Jesuit priest and his Aztec companion who turn up out of the blue looking for it, or the Professor of Anatomy who takes such a strange interest in it. No, Klaus doesn't want any trouble.
But when he finds himself with the diamond in his pocket, things really can't get much worse - that is, until the feathered man appears. Then they become a matter of life . . . and death

(Please note that this is a proof copy)

To give more people the opportunity to win, there will be a winner for each book, so when you enter please specify if you do not mind which book you'd like, or if there is one in particular you would like to be entered to win.

And to enter, all you need to do is be a follower of this blog and leave a comment. If you could leave contact info of either a twitter name or an email so I can contact you if you win that's greatly appreciated!

This is open internationally and is open until midnight Friday 30th November GMT.

Good luck, and get entering!

Author Q & A with Katherine Marsh

Continuing in the spirit of celebration for today’s blogiversary, I am now lucky enough to be joined by the lovely Katherine Marsh, author of  ‘The Night Tourist’ and ‘The Twilight Prisoner’ who has just released her latest novel ‘Jepp, Who Defied the Stars’ – a hauntingly beautiful tale with an extraordinary hero at its heart.

“For those readers who haven’t yet discovered Jepp, who defied the Stars, how would you describe the book to them and tempt them to pick up a copy?”

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is the story of a teenager at the end of the 16th century who leaves his small town home to become a court dwarf, rebels against the world he finds there, and ends up a captive of a revolutionary and eccentric astronomer. It’s a tale about fate and free will, specifically the question of whether our parents, circumstances and misfortunes define us, or whether we can shape our own destinies. The characters are based on real historical figures, including the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and the dwarf who served him. I think anyone who's ever felt like an outsider or underestimated by the world will enjoy this book--as well as anyone looking for a page-turning historical adventure. 

“Can you tell us a bit about your process – how the ideas come to you, and how you develop them?” 

My background is as a journalist and one of the hints I used to share with reporters was to pay special attention to moments that bother you. The same is true for fiction. I think great books come out of questions, confusion, things that rattle and plague you. In the case of Jepp, I knew I wanted to write a novel about fate and free will because of my own conflicting feelings on this subject. When I was growing up my mother was a very serious astrologer and, to this day, I find comfort in the idea of predetermination. But, at the same time, I am constantly both exhilarated and terrified by a gut feeling that life is uncertain and unknowable.
When I decided I wanted to write about this topic, I began to read about the history of astrology and became fascinated by the time in which astronomers were also astrologers but a new sense of science and free will were emerging. This led me to the astronomer/ astrologer Tycho Brahe. He was such an eccentric character--with a futuristic castle with running water, a collection of automata or moving statues and even a beer-drinking pet moose--that I immediately wanted to write about him. When I read that a dwarf named Jepp sat at his feet I thought of the wonderful portraits of court dwarfs by the 17th century Spanish artist Diego Velazquez and the story of a teenage court dwarf trying to control his own destiny came into focus.

“What was the most exciting part for you?” 
The most exciting part for me was putting Jepp into tough situations and watching him work his way through them. Once you establish a strong character and voice for that character, they begin to take you on a journey. I also loved shaping the language in Jepp, trying to make the prose as distinctive, memorable, and beautiful as I could.

“And what was the most challenging?” 

The most challenging part of the process is honestly putting Jepp out into the marketplace. We live in a time in which books are expected to be reducible to Hollywood-style sound bites and in which familiarity is considered a virtue. I did not write Jepp with those kind of commercial considerations in mind. Rather, the book is an act of faith that there are plenty of readers out there who value complexity, originality and ambition.

“What has been your favourite part of the writing and publishing process?”

On a good day, the writing part of the process is my favorite. On a bad day, I take solace in having written although when I look at my published books, I'm always afraid I won't be able to do it again.

"What are the most important attributes to helping you stay sane as a writer?"

I don't think anyone who aspires to become a writer should place a high value on sanity. Doubt, failure and madness can be just as instructive.

“Has writing always been something you wanted to do? And how did you make the jump from wanting to write and writing for yourself to becoming a full time writer?”

I've wanted to write pretty much as long as I can remember. It's the way I process the world. I started my career as a narrative journalist, which is a wonderful way to learn how to observe the world and structure a story. But ultimately, I wanted the freedom to create worlds, as opposed to just describing the one around me. In my late 20s, I wrote one children's book that ended up in a drawer but it gave me the confidence to attempt another. This second one found an agent and eventually a publisher. It's called The Night Tourist and was published in translation in ten countries and won a big US mystery writing award. I wish I could say that it's been easy since then but I still struggle with doubt and the fear that I'm not really a "writer." So I hope no one else let's that stop them.

“Do you have a specific routine or writing process, and does anything in particular stimulate your writing?”

I work for about 4-6 hours a day, starting at 8am, when my mind is fresh. Some days I write nothing at all, other days several pages. There are occasional moments of inspiration interspersed with lots of revision made to look like inspiration. I am always stimulated to write by reading other books, especially ones that give me a new sense of what is possible.

“Do you have some favourite books or authors that have inspired you?” 

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is one of my all-time favorites. I love how expansive the story is, integrating religious history, Soviet oppression, philosophy, magic realism, romance. I like books that defy genre and that appeal to our interlinked sense of mortality and wonder.

“What are you working on at the moment?”

A story based on a Russian fairy tale.

If you’d like to find out more about Katherine, you can follow her on twitter @MarshKatherine

You can also follow the lovely UK publishers of Jepp, Hot Key Books here!

You can also find her facebook page here, and don’t forget to check her website for more information and news!

Author Q & A with Eowyn Ivey

Welcome to The Review Diaries two year blogiversary!
I’m kind of amazed that we’ve hit this mark, but it’s here and it’s going to be even bigger than last years!

So for your pleasure today I have an interview with the lovely Katherine Marsh, author of ‘Jepp, who Defied the Stars’ and a giveaway of a proof of the book.
Later on I will have a giveaway featuring new exciting books from Random House and Mira Ink – so check back this afternoon for more details on that!

Up first is Eowyn Ivey, whose breath taking debut novel ‘The Snow Child’ has swept everyone away. So please join me in wishing her a huge welcome to The Review Diaries!

“The Snow Child was a hauntingly beautiful book, and I loved how you wove elements of fantasy with reality, are you tempted to explore other fairy tales in your writing now?”

Thank you so much! That really was the key for me with The Snow Child. Until I stumbled on the Russian fairy tale that inspired the novel, my fiction was lacking something, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Now I know -- it's the fantastical. Now that I've finally figured it out, I'm enjoying exploring it further as a fiction writer. I'm once again working on a piece inspired by folklore and myth and set in Alaska.

“Has the reaction to the book surprised you in any way?”

I always joke that it would have been delusional of me to expect any of this to happen. As a bookseller, I felt I had fairly reasonable expectations about the publishing process. I knew I would be incredibly fortunate to find a US publisher, and I hoped that a few readers would stumble upon my story and enjoy it. The reception instead has completely staggered me.

“What has been your favourite part of the writing and publishing process?”

They are two such different parts of the work -- writing versus being published. I knew I loved to write well before my novel was published, but once The Snow Child was released into the world, I discovered the joy of hearing from readers. The emails I get are touching and amazing. I'm often surprised by the insights readers have into the story. And I love how they bring their own experiences and emotions to the page. That has been one of the most rewarding, and unexpected, aspects of the process.

“Has writing always been something you wanted to do? And how did you make the jump from wanting to write and writing for yourself to becoming a full time writer?”

I've known since I was a teenager that I wanted to earn a living working with the written word, and I've steadily kept my aim there. I just wasn't sure what form it would take. I started out as an creative writing major in college, but then switched to journalism and ended up working for nearly 10 years as a newspaper reporter. Then I went to work at Fireside Books and began spending my writing time on fiction, because I knew that is what I love to read and write.

“Do you have a specific routine or writing process, and does anything in particular stimulate your writing?”

Like a lot of writers, I really do better when I have a set schedule. When I wrote The Snow Child, my husband helped me get an hour or two each night to write after our daughters went to bed. Strangely, I now have more time to write but find it hard to get in the groove. The publication of The Snow Child has become a pleasant but huge distraction, and I'm now trying to find my way back into my next novel.

“Will you be doing any tours or signings in the US or the UK in the future?”

The paperback was just released Nov. 6 here in the United States, so I'm doing some events here in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. And I will be returning to the UK for some events the first week of December, but we're still in the planning stages. I'll try to post a schedule on my blog, Letters from Alaska, once it's set.

A huge thank you to Eowyn for taking the time out to talk to us!
If you’d like to find out more, you can find it on Eowyn’s website – and you can also find her on twitter here!

And if you haven’t yet read ‘The Snow Child’ how on earth have you missed it? Go pick up a copy now! It will be one of the most hauntingly beautiful books you’ll read this year!

Check back on the site later – the next post will be going live mid-afternoon and will include a fantastic giveaway for you!

Two Year Blogiversary!

At just past midnight over here in the UK it is now officially the two year blogiversary of The Review Diaries!

I can't quite believe I've made it this far, but as I have I have lots of surprises in store throughout the day for you fabulous readers who have inspired me to keep reviewing for the last two years.

Later in the day there will be guest posts from the likes of Eowyn Ivey author of 'The Snow Child' and lots of book giveaways for all!

So check back later and help me celebrate!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Vampire Diaries Review: We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes

Spoilers for the episode ahead!

Firstly apologies for the lack of a top five favourite moments for last week’s episode. It was an awesome episode, but a hideous week for me, so instead of trying to cram it in with all the excitements from this week, I will post it next week during the thanksgiving hiatus instead.

Did anyone else have problems catching their breath after this week’s episode? It’s promised to be pretty awesome right from the very first details started emerging several weeks ago – hints and teasers and it more than lived up to expectations for me. Watching the internet slowly combust over each scene was definitely one of my favourite parts of a truly spectacular episode. We had character development, ground work for the rest of the series and some pretty major shifts in every story.

So without further ado below are my top five favourite moments/things of the episode, only it was so good I can’t guarantee that it will manage to be contained to five, but I’ll try my best.

Let’s start with that opening, it certainly got my attention. No matter how easy it is to revive people on this show most of the time, that doesn’t diminish the shock value of seeing a character we love die. Similarly to when Elena found Ric dying from the stab would in Season 3 and had to help him by killing him, this moment with stabbing Jeremy in the neck evoked a similar response from me. It set the tone of the episode, and it didn’t let up for the rest of the hour.

The new big bad. Now yes ok it was just a brief head nod to the idea of the new big bad we may see, but Silas sounds a little bit scary to me, even if Damon merely paused before continuing on in his epic quest for love. If you pay attention to the slides happening behind Atticus Shane (Atticus!) we see not only the big hefty rock with Silas carved into it, but also a slide with the weird symbols we’ve seen Connor carving into stuff… Intrigued yet? I sure as hell am, particularly given that little Gilbert is now fully embroiled into this whole big saga. I’m glad they clued him in with all the information that Shane had before he went for it, although do we really trust Shane? It could just be that this show has given me serious trust issues, but whilst I love this character I sure as hell do not trust him as far as I can throw him…

But Jeremy takes us nicely into the sheer awesome of his new thread. He now has a reason for being in direct cahoots with Stefan and Klaus, and I cannot wait to see this play out. But at the same time, I’m a little bit terrified about his new Hunter status. We found out a little bit last week about Connor being unable to control the compulsion to kill as many vampires as possible – that doesn’t sound good to me. On the other hand, Jeremy covered in blood splatters whilst gory was kind of awesome, he may not have hit bad ass a few weeks back when he thought he had, but he is definitely heading that way now.

Let’s take a minute to talk about the hallucinations. These were brilliantly done, the acting, the editing, just everything about it worked brilliantly. I loved the forms these hallucinations took, Elena and her merry band of crazy trundling around town with a bloody Connor, bored Katherine and perhaps most shocking for me personally, was her Mother. I kinda expected to see Connor making life hell for Elena, and yes it was gruesome but he didn’t really get to her too badly. I loved seeing Katherine back again even in hallucination form, and it was fantastic to have her play the voice of the audience, to really take Elena to task over how pathetic she has been, to voice those fears and those frustrations and to almost be a nod to the audience to say, we know, we’re just waiting for Elena to catch on. And actually I loved that Elena tried to stand up to them but ultimately failed and broke under their torment, but that she at least acknowledged all of the things they threw at her. It felt like we finally saw development with Elena where she gets a grip, realises that this is her life, these are her fears, and she needs to suck it up or give up, and whilst it takes Damon’s help for her to realise she doesn’t want to give up, she does decide that.

The hallucination that was most shocking for me, was her Mother. It seemed almost sneaky and underhand, and what it is with these mothers and their insistence that their children have turned into monsters? I’m glad that it wasn’t Connor or Katherine that broke her, that it was someone much closer to her, who she would legitimately listen to that finally broke down the last of her will and convinced herself to commit suicide. I also love the symbolism of her dying in the same way as her birth mother – this show guys, it’s just brilliant.

Can I put three moments at the top of my list? Because part of me wants to put the final scene between Stefan and Elena at the top spot, but my inner shipper would like to put the scene between Damon and Elena in here too – and if we’re going here, then I really loved that moment on the bridge too…

So let’s start with the bridge. I loved that Damon knew her well enough that of course she’d go back to the symbolic place that she died. I also loved his attempts at mildly snarky humour to try and humour her or distract her enough to get a little bit closer to her and how they worked up to a point. Can we also take a moment to celebrate both the sheer brilliance of the acting and editing of this scene to have the hallucination Connor present and devil talking over Elena’s shoulder, her torn between him and Damon and Damon having no idea what she’s looking at. The whole thing played out so brilliantly. I’ve already mentioned my insane amounts of love for how the hallucinations were shot and edited, but that all really came to a head in this scene because it was the first time that we saw the two conflicting forces at work in the tug of war for Elena, and the look of complete loss and deadness in her eyes when she had truly given up hope was just phenomenal. Then that brief moment of reprieve and relief when Connor is gone before the sun gets to work before Elena panics (as she does so well) and Damon grabs her and throws them both off the bridge into the river. I actually gasped when that happened, because yes, brilliant idea and also, sopping wet Damon! 

Only then we cut to Elena sleeping and whilst I appreciate the logistics of shooting Damon and Elena and the search for the ring, presumably whilst she’s unconscious because she’s helpful like that (side note, would he stick her in the cab of Matt’s truck whilst he searched?) would be a little much, did we really have to be denied the beautiful sight of a sopping wet Damon carrying an unconscious Elena home? We like his heroic moments!

I just love the symbolism of this whole scene. Elena has been fighting her darker vampire nature for the last six episodes and really driven home (or tried to) how much she didn’t want to be that person and how she wanted to be the human girl who died on Wickery Bridge. I loved that she came back there this time only this time with Damon, and that in order to save her he took that leap with her into the water – Stefan has pulled her from the water twice, but this time to save her she goes into the water and Damon is there with her every step of the way. It felt like a reiteration of Damon saying in episode 5 he loves her either way, regardless of whether she’s vampire or human, and also a final laying to rest of that part of Elena. I’m looking forward to seeing how she moves forward from this point onwards, and whether her acceptance of herself sticks.

Anyway, so we than have another fantastic scene with Elena waking up with her ring (only this time Damon placed it there, Damon shippers, you may combust now) with Damon holding vigil in the windowseat. Everything about this scene was just so fantastically beautiful. I loved his concern with no ulterior motives, just out of genuine love for her, and I love that she finally says thank you and acknowledges that he saved her and she would be dead without him. There is a lot of talk between the brother’s with Stefan always respecting her choices and Damon always saying that he would always save her, but this is the first time we’ve really seen Damon take action, save her and for her to realise his actions. I just loved the quiet love and gratitude in this scene, and that Elena finally acknowledges not only his saving her, but starting to really acknowledge her own feelings for him instead of pushing him and them away.

I also loved that we got to see in this scene how much Damon has evolved over the course of the show. Series one Damon, there is no doubt he would have been working this scene to his own ends, but we actually get to see Damon take the higher road, to try and talk Elena into the virtues of his brother instead of pushing his advantage. I loved watching it, and it sets up the groundwork for some really fantastic scenes between the two of them over the next few episodes, with Damon still in love with her but not having pushed any unfair advantages, and Elena acknowledging her own and his feelings and not feeling betrayed by manipulations which he could have taken this episode. They’re approaching each other on equal ground, and I can’t wait to see it.

And then we have the heartbreak of the final scene between Stefan and Elena. I have to say I’m really glad that it was Stefan ending things rather than the other way round. So many times the decision has been in Elena’s hands and she hasn’t taken it, so it was nice to see him take control and say ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ It was also a fantastic call back to Season 2 when they were pretending to fight and he tells her that every time he says ‘I can’t do this anymore’ it means he loves her.
It was the first honest conversation Elena and Stefan have had in so long and it was fantastic to have this development and progress to really shake everything up. 
It was heartbreaking – Paul Wesley really killed it, and yet at the same time, it breathed fresh air into a triangle that was feeling stale.

So what did you make of this episode? Any favourite moments that I’ve missed? What about that break up, pleased or distraught? 
And what about that promo for episode 7 – so long as we all survive the hiatus next week…

Thursday, 15 November 2012

TV, Trailers and Awesome... Oh My!

It feels like we've had a sudden flurry of truly spectacularly heart stopping awesome coming at all sides for all fandoms over the last few weeks, but more noticeably in the last few days.

Everything from logos, to stills for upcoming tv episodes, to the incredible episodes themselves, to some truly spectacularly jam packed teaser trailers that have have highlighted once more just how long we now have to wait before we get the full thing!
It's been the end of an era with The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn part 2 finally coming to town tomorrow, and is it just me or do the trailers look as though they finally might have struck the right note on their last outing?
We've got new excitements in old friends - yes Hobbit, I am indeed looking at you and the soundtrack stream that Empire had up on their website this week.
Friends that keep on getting better and better with some highly intriguing flashbacks from The Vampire Diaries, and some new book to film adaptations that look set to fill up the void that Potter and Twilight have left behind.

So without further ado here are my top four awesome picks that have had my heart racing.

I defy anyone who is part of The Vampire Diaries fandom to not swoon at one or both of these pictures - I think more than one person lost the use of their knees at the sight of Damon in uniform. Two weeks running these are stills from episodes seven and eight of Season 4. The only downside is that we have a week's hiatus to get to that point. It's ok, we can be strong though - we've got these to see us through!
The whole of Season four though deserves a mention, not just for little tiny spoilers and teasers like these ones, but because week after week this has to be one of the most solid seasons we've seen on an already incredible show. Can you tell I'm enjoying it?...
Next up we have the trailer for The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I first read the book when it was initially released, so I'm a little bit hazy on most of the ins and outs of the plot, but I remember the basics. I also remember it being wildly different from The Twilight Saga, so don't go judging it just because you see Meyer's name attached to it.

Possibly due to the length of time that it's been since I read the book I really haven't been excited about the film for this one at all, it just hasn't cropped up on my radar, but when this finally snuck up on me it most definitely caught my attention. It's a great trailer, it definitely showcases how different this world and idea is from Twilight, and it doesn't hurt that they've used 'Radioactive' by Imagine Dragons as the music in the trailer.

Next up is the trailer for Warm Bodies  based on the book of the same name by Isaac Marion.
I loved the book, and I don't do zombie romance, so that is an impressive feat all of its own. In fact it's not really a romance, forget I ever said that. It's funny, it's dark, it's poetic and beautiful and apparently Marion has a lot of issues regarding the marketing of his book in some cases as Young Adult, which just makes me want to throw things. It also makes it ironic that Stephenie Meyer blurbed it, and doubly ironic that the 'What Are You?' moment in the trailer, the girl looks almost exactly like Kristen Stewart from Twilight...
Personal preferences aside though, the trailer looks fantastic - faster paced than I imagined, but it still captured a lot of what I imagined whilst I read it perfectly.

And really, what could possibly beat the teaser trailer released last night for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones based on the book of the same name by Cassandra Clare. I remember seeing the first picture on day one of filming and being filled with this incredible excitement that these characters were being pulled out of the page and brought to life for me - and this has just magnified that feeling a thousand fold. Everything is perfect, the casting, the music, I literally cannot watch it just once, it pulls me in, it gives me goosebumps, and I keep squeeing about to anyone who will listen.
"Welcome to the City of Bones..."

So what has your blood racing at the moment, any trailers I've missed or hot excitements you're shrieking about? Tell me all about them in the comments below!

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Vampire Diaries Review: The Five

Spoilers below for the episode!

So this week’s Vampire Diaries threw me for a loop. I didn’t quite know what to make of it to start with, but it’s growing on me. That could just be Damon sexy dancing, that’s growing on me too. Does anyone else just imagine Damon’s life pre return to Mystic Falls being one giant frat party? Just me? It didn’t quite pack the emotional high stakes punch that I was expecting, but it crammed in a lot of new mythology that sets us up brilliantly for the rest of the season, and I’m really curious to see where the show goes from here. But in the mean time, here are my five favourite things about last night's episode!

Starting at number five is the new Professor. I don’t trust the Professor guy – he hangs out at frat parties? Really?
But it’ll be great to see Bonnie have a good storyline, and maybe, just maybe some character development? That would be nice… She feels, of all the characters, the most stagnant, and I’d really like to see more of her coming into her own and discovering a bit more of her powers, and again, maybe learning what the fun word means. So if the new Professor helps with that, I am all for it.
However, he is shady and he has weird connections, so whilst I loved his introduction, I am not convinced that I like him yet.

Elijah! Do I really need to say any more than that?! I’m just so happy to see him back again! I want him to come and knock some sense into everyone please. But any appearance by Elijah, even if it is on a bad wig day, is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

The cure. Now I’ll admit, when this first came up watching it live, my reaction was closer to Thomas Galvin’s tweet at the time (for whichI will link but not post due to content…) but then I slept on it and I thought about it, and I’ve come to terms with it, and I actually kind of like it.
There is a cure in the books, so there is always that element to play with, but more than that, I like it because it introduces this big jigsaw piece of mythology to the world, and it brings in the conflict.
Now if it works and we start turning vampires back human again I will go absolutely mental. (Again, Thomas captures my thoughts perfectly.) But as a concept, I really like it.
It brings in this desperate denial search for Stefan, whilst Damon is actually trying to help her adjust to the reality, and it brings in a conflict for the audience. I personally really don’t want to see Elena turned back to human, I’m really liking watching her transition and her slow growth and development, and if we scupper all that in favour of turning her back human I will not be pleased. But, as an audience the quest for answers means we will be invested, we want to know if they find it, if they will use it, if there will be any hideous side effects or price to pay for using it. But I am also intrigued because of Season 2 and the sun and the moon curse. No one was staggeringly happy when that was introduced, and then we find out two thirds of the way through the season that it was a fake one made up by Klaus to bring the doppelganger out. Genius. So I am not taking this curse at face value yet, but writers, you have my attention, I’m listening, now bring me in.

Klaus: “Rebekah love, eat your veggies.”
Rebekah: “I’m not eating until you apologise.”
Klaus: “For which indiscretion? There have been so many.”
Rebekah: “You broke my neck!”
Klaus: “You threw away Elena’s blood so I can’t make any more hybrids.”
Rebekah: “You took me for granted!”
Klaus: “That’s what big brother’s do sweetheart.”
Stefan: “Let me just name the million other people I’d rather be having dinner with right now…”
Oh dear god I loved this. If there is one thing TVD excels at, it is strange dinner parties, and I LOVE when they throw them. Klaus is a partciularly fantastic host. I loved this whole storyline. Firstly, Stefan is so much more interesting when he’s not with Elena, I love the snark that comes out to play, and I love his dynamic with these two given all the history they have.
I loved the very normal sibling conversation and rivalry coming out to play, and how Stefan’s been caught up in it. And most of all I loved Rebekah. She’s been a fantastic character right from the start, and Holt has played her to perfection – mean but with a vulnerable streak a mile wide that makes the audience still sympathise with her. And that was out in spades in this episode. She broke my heart in that final scene, first with Stefan and then with Klaus.

That frat party. I loved seeing Elena let loose and have a little bit of fun. I loved seeing the sexy bad ass Damon we haven’t seen as much of over the last couple of seasons. But most of all I loved the two of them dancing and having fun and getting flirty. It was fun, it was sexy, and it was so good to see Elena come down a little bit off the Stefan high horse.
I actually kind of liked how the scene ended up, if they’d ended up kissing or anything that would have completely undermined the relationship, and besides no matter how high on blood she is, Elena doesn’t strike me as the cheating kind. But I love that she is coming to Damon, she’s being flirty right back, she wants his help and she is starting to recognise that she is a lot more like him than she’d like to admit. Similarly, if Elena hadn’t had an attack of the guilty conscience that would have been too much of a character shift too quickly. What I love is that the writers are showing these moments of her, the walls are coming down and she is slowly starting to lose it. Yes it’s a slow process, but part of the awesomeness of it is the sheer nerve wrenching anticipation of it all. Similarly to her and Damon, eventually it will happen, and I’m enjoying how deliciously tantalising these moments are becoming. Elena’s breaking apart, and it’s fascinating to watch, and I doubt it’s going to be Stefan ultimately who picks up the pieces.

So that was me. What did you make of the episode? Excited for the new mythology, or horrified there might be a cure? And will Connor finally lose it next week after being held in the red room of pain? Answer in the comments below!