Sunday, January 19, 2020

Reread Book Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #2
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date:  April 1st 2008
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: My copy
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price..

My buddy reread of the Vampire Academy series with Jamsu @ Jamsudreams continues. Let me say right in the beginning: This is the book in the series I always dread reading. I know what happens, I know who dies, I know how Rose behaves, I know who does what in order to get to one of my favorite characters dying. So me rereading this book is always going to be a chore because of that.

As with the first book in the series, you can go ahead and read my initial review of Frostbite here if you want. Let me tell you what was different now.

One of the things that I noticed this time around was just how young Rose actually is. Her line of questioning in the scene with her mom, Janine, proves that she has good ideas, but her impulsive streak almost makes her instincts be pointless.

It's the first time that I saw Rose for the teenager she is, not just the badass fighter and protector she is and will become. Her first instinct when something doesn't go her way is to lash out, and as we know, things don't always end up on a positive note for her.

Frostbite is the book that pushes Rose to grow up. Her first encounter with a strigoi in Vampire Academy, didn't actually give her a glimpse into what it actually means to defend the person she was supposed to protect. Rose still has the impression that the marks a guardian receives for killing a strigoi are something to be proud of, and while it's nothing to be ashamed of, by the end she finally understands that the marks are just not that important. I love the scene where she finally acknowledges that, and present Ruby appreciates that a lot more than past Ruby ever did.

Speaking of things I notice in a different light now... Part of me kind of resented what the author did with Tasha's character. Not because Dimitri wanted to go work for her and potentially have kids with her, but because she was used as a plot device to push Rose into being reckless, and a bit spiteful. I personally would have wanted Tasha to be her own person and not pitted against Rose, because it also wasn't all that fair for either of them. I thought Tasha was a very strong character, and if I remember correctly she makes an appearance later in the book.

Like when I first read this book, I started reading knowing I hated Janine and finished it respecting her. Maybe she's not my favorite character, but I do like her a bit more. I understood her a bit more, and I saw things from her perspective. Though I have to admit that this is the first time that her being short registered. I can't really explain it, except to say that her personality is so big, it made me imagine her as Jennifer Beals, and I still think that's the best actress to play Janine. But I definitely didn't fully understand the fact that she's actually shorter than Rose.

Lissa's character is again one of my favorites. Her relationship with Christian is probably the only normal relationship in this book, and I loved reading all about it. Their relationship feels much more mature, and I always love seeing it in contrast with what Rose and Dimitri have at this point. I still hate the fact that Rose and Lissa's friendship feels so one-sided. Rose knows everything about Lissa, and not just because of the bond, while Lissa knows very little of Rose. Which is why I love the scene at the end of the third book so much, the scene where Rose comes clean about a lot of tings to Lissa. But that's way too far ahead.

Frostbite also means Adrian finally is introduced. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, and I kept messaging Jamsu about having to wait for his debut.  But the wait was worth it and I remembered why I liked him. His interactions with Lissa were more interesting to me now, and I wish we had a story just about that, because him discovering he's not alone with his powers was the most precious thing ever.

I'm not going to touch Mason and his story, I'm not going to mention the ending, because I cried. And I don't want to cry again, so I'll just say the ending sucked. It didn't, but it... it did.

I can't wait to read the next books in the series and to meed Sydney. I can't remember when Adrian and Sydney met and I'm mostly curious about that. Anyway, so happy to read this with Jamsu. Remember to stop by her blog to read her review of Frostbite!

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