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Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3)

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3) - Richelle Mead Smash Attack Reads: http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/04/review-shadow-kiss-by-richelle-mead.htmlGraduation is fast approaching, putting Rose closer to becoming Lissa’s Guardian. However, after Rose’s traumatic experience in Frostbite, she feels like she might be losing her mind. She is seeing things that are not visible to others, but she has the strangest feeling that it all leads somewhere. Rose believes these hallucinations might be linked to her bond with Lissa, as she knowingly accepts the “madness” that Lissa feels when she uses Spirit. That is friendship at its finest and bravery at its highest. Of course, this leads Rose right to the school counselor, and she bitches and groans the entire way. Due to my profession, I definitely enjoyed this part of the book. There was an amazing quote on what therapy actually is. It’s a damn good description…“Therapy isn’t so much about what I think as you do.” “Then why do it at all?” ”Because we don’t always know what it is we’re thinking or feeling. When you have a guide, it’s easier to figure things out. You’ll often discover that you already know what to do. I can help you ask questions and go places you might not have on your own.”As far as character’s go, we see some interesting and different side’s of personalities in this installment. Lissa is not my favorite character but I enjoyed her courageous attempt at standing up to Queen Tatiana. She really laid into her. It was a great scene, as I can’t stand Tatiana’s hypocritical ass. :) The sociopolitical themes in this series are intense, and I for one cannot wait until Tatiana is broken. Christian shined, again, although there wasn’t nearly enough of him in this installment. Christian is my favorite character and I pray that he is around for the entire series. I really enjoyed seeing he and Rose work together. I think they make a badass team, and their snarky banter provides some of the most entertaining scenes. We see some vulnerability from him, as well, as he tries to deal with Adrian and Lissa’s close working relationship. Speaking of Adrian, I am enjoying insight into this character and hope that Mead develops him a bit more in the future.Dimitri and Rose are still dealing with their secret love affair but their relationship finally evolves instead of remaining stifled. Later in the book, they finally get their romantic feelings out in the open and decide “to hell with it!” Unfortunately their moment of bliss is shot to hell when Strigoi attack St. Vladimir Academy. [There is one scene in which they physically fight (as part of training) and it is HOT, people!]The end of this book may leave you gasping for air. I love Mead’s courage to go where many authors are afraid to take their readers. She is blunt and tells the reader how it is, while you crumble into a pit of despair. This series gets better and better, with this one being the best out of the first three (and for many, the best of the series). The book is suspenseful and moves at a rapid pace without losing focus. Rose has already let readers know that she is brave in previous books, but her courage stood out in this one – especially at the end when she decides to face her worst nightmare. I, for one, am happy that Rose is finally thinking of herself and hope she keeps it together during her painful journey in the next book.