Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles made me love reading books. I mean, it didn’t exactly start there. I can go back further in my childhood to other books, but as a “young adult” in my late teens, this series nailed it for me. I was captivated. They stayed with me and I thought about them for DAYS, weeks even. In retrospect, it was probably my first experience of “book depression.” I wanted Lestat to turn me into a vampire. I think he was my first book boyfriend.

This is my first re-read since the 90s, I think, and it didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped. Louis is a dreadful vampire. He has as much self-loathing as Bill Compton from the Sookie Stackhouse series. Sheesh. I found it dreadful to read from his POV. He hated being a vampire and was so melodramatic. I like to read about unapologetic vampires who thrive and are confident and kick-ass. This is NOT that kind of story.

It does read like a “new” classic with lots of literary phrases and descriptions. It’s well-written as a historical novel about an earlier Louisiana and France in the 1800s. It has a certain appeal. But I think that Louis is insufferable as a leading man. Claudia shines with what she is given. Lestat is sort of a villainous caricature here (readers know he is fleshed out in future books and becomes much more complex than any of the vampires in this series, for better or worse).

I am not sure I will read this one again because it’s just … kind of boring to me now. Maybe I’ve outgrown it? I think I like a little more bite in my vampire books now.

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Vicious (Vicious, #1) by V.E. Schwab, aka Victoria Schwab

Vicious (Vicious, #1)Vicious by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yep, all the stars.

This story reminded me a lot of the X-Men and young Magneto’s and Charles Xavier’s friendship turned nemesis relationship. Two young men meet at college and form a deep friendship. They love science and a ground-breaking experiment succeeds and ends up turning them into violent enemies.

Ten years goes by. One went to prison and has escaped (Victor Vale). One spends those years as a sort of vigilante, searching for people who fit the experiment’s perimeters, and assassinating them in some kind of twisted Holy War (Eli Ever).

I don’t want to go into the plot too much because of spoilers. This was such an awesome book that you should just go in knowing as little as possible. If you like sci-fi fantasy, mutants, superheroes, and books where the main characters are, at best, anti-heroes and at worst, villains, this is the book for you. The MCs are not “good” and they break laws and kill. I still found myself liking Victor a lot.

I loved Victor.

Even though Victor’s blond and younger, he reminds me of Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. He also (for some reason) kind of reminds me of Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom in the Fantastic Four. Again, not blond and older than Victor, but I just picture them as Victor. *shrugs*

The supporting characters were really good also. There’s a huge tattooed brilliant hacker named Mitchell, a 12-year-old girl named Sydney, and a humongous dog named Dol. They made up Victor’s “team” of misfits and I loved them!

I hated Eli.

He was so self-righteous and a hypocrite. I hated how obsessed with religion he was, yet he only cared about it when it suited him. Serena was a girlfriend and partner in crime. I hated her too. Hated her. I wanted them both to die. I felt no pity or sympathy for them whatsoever. Eli’s sections in the book were the worst. I hated how he thought he had divine justification for doing the despicable things he did.

”You don’t understand,” gasped Eli. “No one understands.”

“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”


The author had an interesting take on the whole “mutant ability” theme. When people were somehow brought back to life after being brain-dead, they acquired some type of ability based on what they were thinking as they died. But they also lost a lot of their humanity – stuff like empathy, guilt, fear, and even joy. It’s a darker interpretation, but still cool.

Overall, I loved this book. I loved the characters, the plot, the premise, the execution. The middle might have dragged just a bit when Eli’s sections were introduced, but I even loved hating him. It was a satisfying ending. And now apparently, there will be a second book! YAY!

Review also found at: Goodreads

“The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1)” by A.R. Torre

The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1)The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a story about a young woman who has not left her apartment in three years.

She makes a lucrative living as a “Cam Girl.” People pay her to do sexual acts on webcams. She lives off food that can be delivered to her door – everything has to be delivered, and she has a couple of guys “on the outside” who help her out (like one dude locks her inside her apartment in exchange for prescription drugs because she has a phobia and obsession with killing people). Another guy (the lurv interest) leaves her UPS boxes outside and signs for her.

She has psychological issues stemming from some messed up shizz her Mom did to the rest of her family.

The first half of the book is a raunchy sex story of all the guys who are her clients and what she does for their “pleasure.”

It goes into her phobias and how she lives day to day. She’s a pretty pathetic individual.

The second half turns into a thriller where she (view spoiler)

While not a perfect book, I quite enjoyed it! It was a fast read. The ending was a little too neat and convenient. But it worked for me! I ended up liking the main character. I kept expecting everything to go wrong (view spoiler).

All in all, this quite intrigued me and I definitely enjoyed reading it!!!

Buddy read with the MacHalo group.

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“Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” by Leah Remini, Rebecca Paley

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and ScientologyTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, this is a book about Scientology. But it’s not *just* about that. In a way, this book is a typical memoir. It talks about Leah’s childhood in Brooklyn, her early career in Hollywood, and her struggles in relationships, etc. I first remember Leah from “Saved By the Bell.”

And of course, I loved King of Queens. I think her and Kevin James had great chemistry – and Jerry Stiller was brilliant. I enjoyed the anecdotes about her experiences with other big-name actors. (She has only good things to say about Tony Danza, Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Lopez, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Aniston, and others.) She admits she is not the easiest person to get long with. She comes across as blunt and a little bitchy at times, but she also seems fiercely loyal and approachable at the same time. She’s very funny, in my view.

Okay, so now we get to the part everyone wants to know about.

Leah’s Mom joined Scientology and then her and her sister decided to follow her. They went to Clearwater, Florida to join the infamous Sea Org when she was a young teen. The Sea Org is an “elite” Scientology group made up of people who sign a contract pledging one BILLION years of their afterlife to serve Scientology and the Sea Org. So, when they reincarnate, they are expected to keep joining in each life until one billion years is up. Seriously. It’s in the contract. But, they’re saving the universe so it’s all cool.

Anyway, they show up expecting to wear cool Navy uniforms and work in a high-class, important job and end up scrubbing toilets, taking out the garbage, and earning $15 dollars a week. They sleep in dorms with bunks shoved in a small hotel room. Babies are kept lying in cribs in rooms where they are watched by kids sometimes, no one changing their diapers or playing with them. Adults and children are viewed as equals so it was perfectly acceptable for an untrained 13 year old to be watching a room full of screaming babies all alone.

Leah and her family didn’t last long in the Sea Org because, well, Leah’s a Troublemaker and all. But, you do get to see an “insider’s” view of what really happens in the Sea Org. It’s basically slave labor in squalid conditions, but hey, you get to do free Scientology training while you’re there!

Basically, she confirms that yes, it’s a cult. If you are “on track” and following the rules, it’s great. If you question anything, your life can become miserable. People have disappeared, are put in rehabilitation where they are treated like animals. Scary stuff. People go bankrupt and lose their houses trying to pay for the classes.

About Tom Cruise.

He really comes off as a jerk and a spoiled brat in this. Leah asserts that Tom is almost in control of the religion. Whatever he wants, he gets. Leah was a guest at his wedding and Katie Holmes comes off negatively. I think she was overwhelmed by Tom and totally controlled by him and the religion until she divorced him. She probably did it for the money and publicity. Apparently, Tom’s dates and girlfriends are vetted by the Scientology people.

Leah goes into a lot of information that is already common knowledge about Scientology. I was actually hoping for more about this:

I wanted more information about the upper levels of training. OT (Operating Thetan = thetan means spirit in Scientology) levels V and above. OT VIII being the highest. She doesn’t go into any of this. No whistle blower seems to. Maybe it’s because it’s the really wacky stuff, but THAT is what I want to read about, dangit! She alludes to it, makes a joke here and there, but nothing specific. I think I found this the most disappointing.

If you have no knowledge of Scientology, you’ll find this informative. There was more about Sea Org and Tom Cruise, as mentioned above. I don’t know if she will face fallout from this book. She’s brave because she mentions Scientology people by name and goes into detail about their behavior (lots of infidelity, immature behavior like taking Leah’s phone and taunting her, threats, etc.).

Oh, one other crazy thing: you are supposed to tell your counselor about EVERYTHING “wrong” you do. Leah had an affair with a married man and the church made her PAY for their marriage counseling (church counseling of course) and contact the wife and apologize. It cost her $5,000. (She still ended up marrying the guy and they have been together for over a decade, maybe two.) This kind of thing happens all the time in Scientology.

I read the entire thing in one day. Overall, this is a great memoir and expose on Scientology. I actually think *ideally* Scientology offers some positive ways to improve your life. However, it has been corrupted beyond measure and is totally cultish the way it treats its members now. Great read!

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“Dragon Actually” by G.A. Aiken

Dragon Actually (The Dragon Kin, #1)Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, but rounded up.

So, reading and writing this review has given me another an opportunity to Google Jason Momoa pictures, since he reminds me of the male lead character, Fearghus (who is a SEXY dragon shifter).

On one hand, this was a pretty typical fantasy romance, but it also had some high points that put it above your average, tropey love story. Annwyl is a 21 year old virgin, but she grew up with an abusive father and brother and spent all her time learning to be a warrior, so she could eventually take the throne and save her people from evil tyranny. Annwyl is pretty bad-ass. She says what she feels, does what she wants, and knows what she wants. That is refreshing. There is little angst. The sex scenes are very steamy (and there are a LOT of them).

Fearghus is a fun romantic hero. He’s also got LOTS of sexy dragon shifter brothers, so that means lots more books in the series! HAHA – His sister, Morfryd is awesome as well. Another strong female character in a romance. Imagine that.

So, if you like PNR or fantasy romance, you’ll probably like this. It’s got all the “good stuff” (raunchy sex scenes) plus a plot plus strong characters you don’t want to bitchslap. That’s a win in my book! Where’s book 2?!?! *goes to find it*

Buddy read with my MacHalo dragon lovers. Even Sarah liked it!

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