Friday, September 23, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday (Sept. 23rd)

Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?

Marked (House of Night book #1)
by P.C. and Kristen Cast

I saw this book on a shelf at No Frills (our local grocery store) last spring (2010) and decided that the back blurb looked interesting. I'd been reading a bit of YA already -- Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods... You get the idea. But something about this book drew me in. Maybe it was the fact that it was paperback and "marked" 30% off. 

Bottom line is that I bought it and I devoured it. There are lots of things that I liked. Zoey starting at a new school and making new friends. Needing to find out where she fit in her new life. Having to deal with the way her various family members reacted to her becoming a vampire. 

Marked began my love of the House of Night series, but it is also the book that cemented my love of YA and which made YA the primary type of books that I now read. Here are my top five reasons for loving the House of Night books as a whole. Look for my review of Destined when it releases near the end of October, because I know I'll be reading it. (I'm counting down the days.)

1. Tightly knit timeline and pacing:

There are a lot of people who complain that a House of Night book can span three days. That Zoey has only been a vampire for a few months over the course of the series. But this is something I love and is something, in my opinion, that makes the series and the characters and the events going on feel more real. We really get to feel that we are living with Zoey and her friends, like we are taking this journey with them. And to me, taking a journey is a good reason for reading a book.

2. Multiple points of view:

I know that it is strange that the Casts decided to switch how they were writing the books in the sixth installment. It might have been an easier transition for readers if they had done this much sooner. But as someone who came to YA from a paranormal romance background, third person writing with more then one point of view is the norm and it did not bother me. Zoey is *not* my favorite character in House of Night, so getting to be inside the heads of characters other then her is a welcome change.

3. The magic system:

I have grown up with games and books using the elements to control magic, so it's something that generally does not require a lot of explanation for me to "get it". What makes Cast's books fascinating, though, is that the magic system is actually a bit of a fantasized version of modern paganism, complete with circles, calling elements, lighting candles and seeking help from nature. I haven't seen anyone else mix this with vampire lore and it was one of the original things that hooked me on these books. (I studied Wicca for several years in my teens.)

4. Neferet and Nyx

What I love about Neferet is that she does not *start* out as the villain and that her actions as a villain progress over time. We actually get to see her grow in her own twisted way. Part of me wants to see her be redeemed and become the person she was when we met her. Part of me says "Screw that! She's going down!"

As for Nyx, the vampires' Goddess, I find it interesting how she leaves things up to the people who follow her rather then intervening time and again. I'm pretty sure that she could squash Neferet and Kalona with a giant fly swatter of doom if she wanted to, but she refuses to let their actions affect or sway her own integrity. She gives advice and takes action when she feels she must, but she seems determined that the vampires should have free will.

5. Stevie Rae and Rephaim: 

While Zoey is running around juggling lord knows how many guys, Stevie Rae has fallen for Rephaim, who is a Raven Mocker and her sworn enemy. Watching the two of them become closer and have to fight to be together has actually become my favorite part of the entire series. They are the characters I buy these books for and the reason that I keep reading. I must know what will happen to them. They fascinate me. 

So, what series did you pick? What are your thoughts on the House of Night books? (Relax. I know a lot of people *hate* them. :p ) 

Last: I need your help. I am picking my books to review for October. If there are YA Books about Witches, Faeries, Werewolves, Shifters, Vampires or Zombies that you would like to see reviewed, please leave me suggestions. :D I am going shopping on Saturday for this and I would love to grab *some* books that people want reviews for. Thanks! 


  1. With all that you've said, you have me very intrigued to read this series. I'm your newest follower and I'd love for you to visit me when you get a chance.

  2. Great pick! I've seen this series before, but haven't decided to read it yet.

  3. I've only ever read the first in the series, Marked. I dont know why i keep putting of continuing on... now i'm going to have to!

    I'm your newest follower!
    Care to follow back? :)

    dont forget to enter our SIGNED Enthralled giveaway!

  4. I find this series a fun read when I need an escape. (Although the latest book upset me greatly!)

    Thanks for stopping by mine!

  5. Hopping through. I have yet to get to the House of Night series. I know lots of people love it. I want to read it.
    My Hop

  6. I've read the first few books in this series and highly enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by.

    Danielle @Ramblings From This Chick

  7. First of all...omg you're from Napanee?! I'm from Belleville! You're the closest blogger I've met so far, that's so cool. :-) Really glad you're participating in my October paranormal reading challenge. I've read a couple of the House of Night books, but I need to continue. I wish my No Frills had books, I feel gyped now lol. I'm making a list of books to read in October, too...a few YA books are Witch Song by Amber Argyle, the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, and the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. I hope that helps!

  8. I resisted these books for a long time but then I got them as a gift and couldn't put them down. Not really my favorite series, but they're a quick read and a good escape.

  9. Hi! Thanks for stopping by!
    So, yes, you really do need to read something by Scott Westerfeld as soon as possible! He just finish a steampunk-esque, alternate universe trilogy based on WWI. The first book is called Leviathan.

  10. I actually read the first book in this series and didn't like it too much. :( I felt like I knew the entire book from the very beginning, and I just couldn't connect with Zoey. My favourite character was Stevie Ray because she reminded me so much of myself LOL! :)

    But I've heard it gets better so I'm definitely not giving up on this series!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Giselle! I'm an old follower for sure!

    Hope you have an awesome weekend! :)

  11. I haven't read these books, but they sound really good! I'll have to check them out!

  12. I was going to email this to you, but couldn't find your email address.

    You can post the reviews of books requested from netgalley whenever you want. There is no time limit to post the review. Even when the viewing of the book is expired and archived, you still have the option to write your review.

    Hope this helps. If not, you can always email me :)

  13. House of Night was one of the series that I listed in my answer too! I think they're addicting! I'm a new follower!
    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

  14. Happy Follow Friday!

    I hope you will stop by and check out our twitter event going on today!


  15. I haven't read the HoN series yet, but I have them on my nook and plan to read them at some point. They seem good, I'm curious to see what side of the fence I come out on - like or dislike. lol

    Thanks for hopping through my blog!
    April @ My Shelf Confessions

  16. New follower! I've got this series on my wishlist already; so many people have mentioned liking it that I feel like I really need to read it!

  17. I liked House of Night, but I can't say I love it. I stopped reading after book 4, but I can see why some would enjoy re-reading it! Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Rebecca @ Kindle Fever


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