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Monday, September 12, 2011

A Quibble w/ "Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead

Published by: Penguin Group USA
Razor Bill
Pages: 421
Gifted by:  Jennifer Moore of:

The Dame's Eye View:

I won't give another summary of this book, since nearly everyone knows it, by now, and if you don't, please see my earlier posts.

Having been raised at the feet of Bela luGossi movies from the age of 5, and then becoming a raving Anne Rice fan in the 1970's throughout her vampire writing career, I'm no stranger to vampires, dhampirs and the like.
Isn't he wonderful!?

Reading Richelle Mead's latest in this genre was pure pleasure. She now has me hook, line and sinker!

It was delightful to meet the Alchemists and their strange (perhaps twisted) ways. I'm anxious to know and hear more about Donna Stanton, the powerful Alchemist higher-up who seems sympathetic toward Sydney. Transversely, it was amazing to meet the whole vampire group!

Sydney, the "Bloodlines's" protagonist is new to me, of course, but probably well known to Ms Mead's readers of her "Vampire Academy" series. She's feisty, formidable, and wildly intellectual, all of which I applaud and adore. It's hard not to love her fierce devotion to her family and the Alchemist agenda. And, it's easy to see Sydney's conflict of caring, as well, to her vampirish friends.  A great balance of friends and foes in this novel that makes it rich in characters, and highly entertaining to read.

I have only this one quibble. I'm very sensitive to women's issues, particularly to those that have a profound affect on teen-aged and young adult women. Richelle Mead has a huge audience of young women and, so, her power to move and suggest things to them in her writing is enormous. That's why I bring up this subject:
In "Bloodlines" Sydney often worries about her weight and discusses it with anxiety. She talks about her body image negatively several times; confronts the school uniform lady about her size being 2 instead of 4; is embarrassed about the clothes in her closet because of the size; compares herself frequently to the Moroi's "perfect" figure; shows and discusses "eating very little;" pg. 285, specifically tells that her dad criticized her figure; and on pg. 390, Adrian says he is glad she no longer seems to have a "diet fixation." But, she doesn't confirm his comment.

This content in "Bloodlines" concerns me greatly in a country that is painfully aware of the dangers of anorexia and teen aged "starving" syndrome. We recognize this age group and younger is overly concerned with body image. It behooves our most popular writers to help them understand the importance of self-acceptance--not critical thinking with regard to who they are and how they look physically. Eating disorders are life-threatening, dangerous and seriously destructive.

On the flip-side of this; it was so refreshing to read a book of this genre without having to plough through x-rated language and gratuitous sex. I thought the attraction of the boys towards Jillian was nicely balanced with Sydney's interactions with Trey and Adrian, without having any overt sexual complications. And, there was none of the explicit horrors of rape and sexual battering that could have accompanied the story. High regard for Richelle in that area!

I loved this book. I'm a huge fan, and will be reading all of the books in the series. I'm on my way today to pick up the "Vampire Academy" series so I can get more background on Adrian, Eddie, Sydney, Jillian and the others.

Here's a trailer, and you'll find more on YouTube, as well as visiting Richelle Mead's website:

4 l/2 stars for a good read with more to come! 

*What are your thoughts about eating disorders in YA fiction?


Jennifer | Mrs Q Book Addict

I'm really curious about this one. I haven't read any of her previous books. I keep seeing this one everywhere, and I really want to try it out. Great post!

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