Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle MeadBloodlines by Richelle Mead
Also by this author: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice, Silver Shadows, Vampire Academy, Frostbite, The Ruby Circle, Soundless, The Glittering Court
Series: Bloodlines #1
Also in this series: Silver Shadows, The Ruby Circle
Published by Penguin on August 23rd 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Social Issues, Emotions & Feelings, Dating & Sex
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781101535547

The first book in Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive--this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

FYI this review of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead contains spoilers for the Vampire Academy series. Read at your own peril.

After helping rogue dhampir Rose Hathaway evade justice, Sydney Sage is in serious trouble with the alchemists. Her career is jeopardized, to the point where she may have to go to a re-education center and be brainwashed into hating vampires again. However, Sydney is woken in the middle of the night to the news that she will be posing as Jill Mastrano’s (illegitimate sister of Queen Vasilissa’s) sister at a boarding school in Palm Springs, California. As per usual, adventures ensue featuring some of my favorite side characters from Vampire Academy, namely Adrian Ivashkov and Eddie Castile.

The writing in Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is what I have come to expect, words that keep my pages turning deep into the night. The pace is relatively fast, I mean I spent half the book wondering what exactly alchemist Keith had done, it’s not spelled out until the last one third. However, I will say that Bloodlines absolutely has that first in a series feel to it. I thought it was all exposition. There’s a larger problem presented at the beginning that never gets solved, and it’s obvious we will have to wait til the second book. I don’t have a problem with that, however, I feel like Bloodlines isn’t able to stand on it’s own. However, I bet as part of the larger picture it is fine.

Sydney differs as a main character from Rose in that she is vulnerable. The vibe I got from Rose was kickass girl in a leather jacket hair blowing in the wind devil may care I own the world attitude. With Sydney, I get a more understated feel. Sydney doesn’t have all the answers. She’s 18, yes, but still maturing and learning about herself. She doesn’t quite have the confidence she needs, and why would she with people like her father taking her down a peg or two constantly. I won’t go into details, but I will say I feel a sympathy for Sydney, yet, I think she’s destined for great things.

I am a bit disappointed in the lack of sexytimes, but it is Richelle Mead, so I expect there will be some sexytimes within this series and it will be awesome.

ALSO, there were cameo appearances AND THEY WERE FANTASTICAL.

While Bloodlines wasn’t on par with Vampire Academy, I think there is definite room for improvement. I found Bloodlines enjoyable and compulsively readable, but we never clicked in the omgwtfbbqBFF4life sort of way. That stated, I am looking forward with an open mind to the next in the Bloodlines series.

For those who haven’t read any of the Vampire Academy books yet, I think you can get through Bloodlines without reading them, however, you will have a more solid appreciation of Bloodlines if you read VA first.

Disclosure: Obtained at BEA.

Other reviews of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead:

Bloody Bookaholic – “passed all fire tests with flying colors.

Daisy Chain Book Reviews – “a solid start to what will hopefully become an unmissable series

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Great review April. I think I’ll finish up VA before starting this series. Do hope there is more sexytimes to come 🙂

  2. Jami (YA Addict) says

    I can’t wait until this one comes out. Sad no sexy times in this one. But Mead is known for them, so hopefully they’ll be some in the next book. Thanks for the review! I’m relieved to know it is a good read.
    Jami (YA Addict) recently posted..Comment Exchange Program 45My Profile

  3. I’m so jealous! I cannot wait to read this one! Sometimes it seems like the first book in a series(even the first VA) aren’t as good as the other books, maybe it’s the world and storyline build up that has to occur. I can’t wait to see what other characters make an appearance! Great review April! 🙂
    Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives recently posted..Award Winning Reads Challenge Starting Line!My Profile

  4. I’m sad that Bloodlines lacks that “WOW’ factor and that it lacks ‘sexytimes’, because I have such high expectations for it. But I’m still so excited to read it! I LOVE that we’ll be seeing plenty more of Adrian and Eddie. You’ve got me eager to learn which characters cameo! Rose?! Just wink twice for ‘yes’. She has to. I miss her badassness!
    Great review, SO freaking jealous you got to read it early!
    Brodie recently posted..Armchair BEA Winners!My Profile

  5. Thanks for the review- I can’t wait to read Bloodlines and your review made me even more psyched for it!
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  6. Thanks for your honest review! Sorry to hear that it didn’t immediately grab you and doesn’t stand on it’s own. Think I’ll wait for book two, and then read them back to back. Love Richelle’s books, so bet the second one will be better!
    Alexia561 recently posted..In My Mailbox 76My Profile

  7. Fine, I might just read this for those fantastic cameos. The book maybe worth it just for that alone!
    Cialina recently posted..Book Review- Tiger’s Curse by Colleen HouckMy Profile

  8. I haven’t read the VA series, but I’ve always heard such amazing things about it ( I was always kind of turned off by the covers—I know, I know. Bad.) and will hopefully get around to reading them sometime! This was a great honest review, I know a lot of people are really looking forward to this one! Most of the time I like books that can stand on their own, even those that I know are going to be a series.
    Becky recently posted..Review- Queen of the DeadMy Profile

  9. Bring on the sexytimes!!!
    Anna recently posted..Top 10 Summer Books for TeensMy Profile

  10. KImberly says

    I did not like the VA series. I am currently reading Bloodlines and I am impressed so far. I was a bit lost while reading your review. I am wondering what omgwtfbbqBFF4life means, not trying to sound rude but I think of teenage twits when I see that . I am a book blogger and a reviewer I may not write reviews that people find great but I do have pride in what I write. I am sorry but from my opinion this was the most unorthodox review I have ever read.

    • It’s tongue in cheek. It doesn’t actually mean anything, more like keyboard-gnashing, as in so excited you just smash the keyboard with excitement.

      And I really resent that you imply that I don’t have pride in what I write. I am sorry I’m not up to your standards, but if you don’t like it, there’s an X button in the corner.

    • I tried to go check out your blog to see all this proud quality writing but you didn’t link to your blog in the header. What do I do now?

      Oh I know OMGWTFBBQ…. I take pride in this comment.

      Seriously it’s just not kosher to police other bloggers, to tell them how to write and critique their review style. April does a mighty fine job in promoting good children’s literature.

  11. Great review. I have never heard of the author or the book.But it’s something I’ll remember because of the title. But can you tell me what is sextimes?
    Lena Sledge recently posted..How to Get Out of Your Own Way by Tyrese Gibson- Book ReviewMy Profile

  12. Thanks for the review! It revealed a teeny tiny bit more abt Bloodlines :). Aw, no sexytimes? Mayb its cos of the fact that its still the first book? Oh well.. So if we were comparing Bloodlines and VA1, which would be better according to you? Can’t wait for this book! Heard lots of ppl saying things abt the ending, goshhhhh. So you know, I wanted to know why Bloodlines wasn’t on par with VA? Was it like, bad or sth? Thanks again 😀

    • Sabrina, I didn’t connect with Sydney in the same way that I did with Rose, and I guess with VA, I felt there was more action and more of that sense of danger. Plus a whole lot more sexual tension.
      That said, I enjoyed Bloodlines, but it isn’t my favorite of Mead’s work.

  13. I’m really excited to read Bloodlines! Can you tell just a tiny bit about Adrian? Is he going to be paired with Sydney? *wink for yes* lmao

  14. Hey, could you just tell me if Dimitri appears in this book ?? I’m so curious about those cameos you talked about, I think I’m going to read Bloodlines just because of them!

  15. Cool review..

    I must know is mia in the books? Minor, cameo major role? I just simply think she is so cool!

  16. Thanks for answering my previous question, April! 😀

    I have another one, sorry lol. Do we get to see Abe?

  17. Will Eddie be Jill’s guardian?

  18. how was the cameo from Rose ?:)

  19. stephanie says

    Does Christian and Lissa make a cameo at all?
    I’ve taken a great liking to Christian and I feel like he’s one of those people who didn’t get a satisfying ending.

  20. cool review April ! honesty is the best policy 😉 im looking forward to reading this one…but i totally miss the VA series…in particular rose and dimitri!! i wish they could do a sort of sequel to their lives…but we dont know :/

  21. Who are the cameos that appear in the book??
    Plz answer me becz i’m dying to know it!!

  22. I LOVED Bloodlines! I definitely liked it a lot better than the last couple book of VA, just because it got too Twilight-y and “we were destined to be”. Sydney was also very relatable in my eyes, (although Rose will always have that special place in my heart).

  23. bloodlines was GREAT!
    Check out my review of it here:

  24. Idk why but I get the vibe that Sydney/Adrian is a definite possibility…

  25. Firstly, I LOVE your reviews. Honestly, your reviews are probably exactly like how I feel about the VA series and how I felt upon reading Bloodlines.
    Secondly, I’m in awe at your faith and understanding of Richelle Mead. I love how openly you accepted and understood Sydney while so many fans out there were quite harsh about her and her attitude. Personally, although I did miss Rose, I realised that with Sydney, we’re going to see plenty of character growth (which we saw to some extent in Book 1 itself).
    Also, your “I am a bit disappointed in the lack of sexytimes, but it is Richelle Mead, so I expect there will be some sexytimes within this series and it will be awesome.” prediction is absolutely correct.
    As a VA reader, I daresay that I have come to love the Bloodline series even more because of the next two books and Sydney has become one my favourite YA heroines. Which brings me to ask you, have you read the next two books? And if you have, can you link me to those reviews?
    Great work! Bookmarking your website. 🙂


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