Goodreads Summary: It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all... might be seeing ghosts.Goodreads / Barnes and Noble
As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most.
Genre: Young adult, paranormal
Source: Purchased physical copy
First Line: "His fingertips slide along my back, applying hardly any pressure, yet sending shock waves over my flesh."
"What's up?" I asked
"You tell me," he said, "You were the one about ready to start making out with Adrian."
"It was an experiment," I said, "It's part of my therapy."
"What the hell kind of therapy are you in?"
After finishing up Frostbite not too long ago, I knew I wanted to finish the Vampire Academy series, but I was pretty slow to pick up the third book. Not because I didn't think it would be good, but because other books kept getting in the way. After going through some amazing reviews for Shadow Kiss, though, I psyched myself up enough to pick it up and ignore everything else (like stuff due at the library tomorrow). I'm very glad I did, because so far this is definitely the best book in the series. The first two were pretty good, but this one really got me emotional. Especially towards the end, it was almost impossible to put down. I still don't care much for the covers, but I doubt they'll be getting a redesign anytime soon.
I'm still a bit unsure about the friendship between Rose and Lissa. I can honestly see that they care for each other, and I think they do a pretty good job under the circumstances. They struggle to be close, but at the same time, it's hard because Lissa is supposed to come first, and Rose is supposed to protect her and fade into the background. And with Rose's personality, that just doesn't seem right. I'm shocked that Rose was able to hide her feelings for Dimitri for so long from Lissa. What with the bond only going one way, it makes sense that Rose is much more up to speed on what's going on. I'm happy to report that Rose didn't irritate me nearly as much as she did before. Obviously, I have always admired her badass-ness, but she was always a bit snobby and short-fused for my taste. However, I found that I connected with her much more in Shadow Kiss. After the tragic events of Frostbite, it seems like she had a better handle on her emotions. She was also extremely dedicated to doing her job, and she wasn't dating a billion guys. She was also dealing with going a little crazy, and though I was a tiny bit annoyed at the whole ghost development, once the reason was explained I accepted it rather easily and decided it was a great plot twist. I adored Rose's character, and I hope I continue to feel this way in the last three VA novels.
The tension between Rose and Dimitri drove me crazy for the first half of the book. Most of the time, they just found ways to spend some innocent time together, but not doing anything romantic. Finally, they give in towards the end to their feelings, and I cheered in my seat. It was about time Dimitri realized that he was never going to be able to be Lissa's guardian with Rose, because they simply care too much about each other. It took me a while to really root for their relationship, but they have quickly become one of my favorite couples. I just love how comfortable they are around each other, and how calm and amazing Dimitri is. Adrian is definitely not absent in Shadow Kiss, and though I resented him for putting the moves on Rose, it really is difficult to dislike him. He's very charming, and I love it when he's around. As I mentioned already, the ending of Shadow Kissed is heart-wrenching. Mead does a great job making you want to crawl under a rock and sob quietly for the next five years or so. I'm very eager to see how this all turns out in Blood Promise.
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