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I Am Bound By the Spirit of Truth To Say: Meh

After reading Richelle Mead's Spirit Bound, Posh revokes her BFF charm for the heroine of Vampire Academy.

I Am Bound By the Spirit of Truth To Say: Meh

BOOK REPORT for Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy Book 5) by Richelle Mead

Cover Story: Brown Bag It
BFF Charm: Return To Sender
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Exposition Exploitation
Bonus Factor: Buffy, Prison Break
Relationship Status: Friendly Exes

If you haven't read any of the Vampire Academy books, and you plan to, I highly recommend skipping this review to avoid spoilers and instead checking out my review of Books 1-4 (which still won't ruin much of the story for you). If you're not planning on reading these books, then BY ALL MEANS LET US CONTINUE.

Cover Story: Brown Bag It

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. It's like the publishers read our post on covers, and with much gleeful cackling and rubbing of the hands, decided to throw in everything we despise. Harlequin image? Check. Tilted face? Check. Celebrity look-alikes? Check. Completely impossible to read in public? CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK. Of course, Vampire Academy was one of the original offenders, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But the more I look at the cover jacket (trust me, it requires all of my strength), the more I realize that this thing can't just be taken care of by a brown bag. IT MUST BE BURNED SO THAT NO EVIDENCE REMAINS.*

The Deal:

As indicated by the end of Blood Promise, Rose's attempt to kill her former lover/instructor, Dimitri, who is now a Strigoi [bad vampire], failed, and he's more hellbent than ever on hunting her down and killing her. Should've pushed that stake in a leeeetle harder, sweetie! Now that she's back at St. Vladimir's Academy, all she can think about is discovering a way to cure him, even though it seems impossible. The realities of graduation soon get in her way, especially since Lissa, her Moroi (good vampire) bestie, might be assigned to a different guardian, a terrifying possibility given their psychic bond. Still with me? Ok. Further complicating matters is the continued bickering amongst the Moroi on how to best fight the Strigoi, not to mention the fact that oh yeah, Rose has a boyfriend! Adrian! Right! Whom she likes! Maybe? Rose just can't give up the idea of restoring Dimitri (and his sanity), so when she finds a promising lead, she follows it, even when it leads her and those closest to her into some serious effing danger.

BFF Charm: Return To Sender

Y'all, I just... don't know what to do with Rose. She's always been extremely headstrong and impulsive, but in the previous books, I chalked it up to the reality of being a teenager. Plus she always kicked SO much ass (literally) that it was impossible not to admire her. But now that she's out of high school, she expects to be treated like an adult, and yet she refuses to act like one. And look, I get that she can't control her feelings for Dimitri, esp. since she lost her virginity to him, but WOMAN. Your decisions don't just affect you-- they affect everyone around you, and you need to wake up and RECOGNIZE. So until you start actually putting your friends before yourself, I'm gonna have to take back this BFF charm, because there is no way in hades I'm going with you on one of these insanely dangerous mission in which I will MOST CERTAINLY PERISH. But if you ever do quit the whole self-absorbed routine, feel free to give me a call.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

This score is a major disappointment for me, because if there's anything Mead excels at, it's some scorching hot sexy times. So why did she have go and keep Dimitri out of 70% of the book? Even worse, Adrian, who I was actually rooting for in the previous book, turned into a bland doormat. Yeah, there's still some nice kissing, but the romance is practically non-existent, and when things finally get interesting, it's mostly angst, not hotness. ANGST DOES NOT MAKE THE SWOON YOU GUYS.

Talky Talk: Exposition Exploitation

In my previous review, I made it clear that I'm not a huge fan of Mead's writing style. She's great at twisting cliches into fun storylines, and the main reason I've kept reading these books is because I get completely drawn into to the world she's created. But the information dumping has gotten really out of hand. I kept wanting more dialogue, only to remember that I find her conversations to be flat and not nearly as clever as they should be, esp. with feisty characters like Rose and Adrian. The story lent itself to fast, exciting pacing, but then the relentless exposition dispelled any sort of dramatic tension. When I can easily put the book down in the middle of a fight to the death scene because, oh, maybe I should go check the mail, that's a bad sign.

Bonus Factor: Buffy

In spite of my complaints about Rose, I still v. much enjoy her ferocious fighting skills. Sure, she's not as good with the one-loners as our old pal Buff, but she is DEFINITELY handy with a stake.

Bonus Factor: Prison Break

My favorite sequence in the book involved a harebrained prison escape, and even though there weren't any shirtless muscled tattooed dudes involved, it was still v. entertaining.

Casting Call:

I'd like to stick with my original casting but I'll go ahead and add Adrian, even though this hotness will be wasted on his increasingly pansy ass character:

Alex Pettyfer as Adrian

Relationship Status: Friendly Exes

This series and I had some great times together, some of which were pretty damn steamy. Over time, however, our chemistry dissipated, and after our latest encounter, I can say with all certainty that the magic is gone. The good news is that we were never that serious, so it will be easier to stay on friendly terms. I certainly wish it well, and if I ever see it in a bar or at the movies**, I'll enjoy the chance to catch up and reminisce about our wild and sexy adventures.

*I mean the book jacket, not the actual novel. Book burning is a mortal sin, y'all.

**The film rights have been sold, and I have the feeling that, just like with Twilight, the movie adaptation could be better (and hotter! PLZ FOLLOW MY CASTING DIRECTIONS KTHX) than the books.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).