Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

17167166“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


SLAY SARAH J. MAAS, SLAY.
If that gives you any indication how this review is going to go, I honestly don’t know how more straight forward to be.

This whole second book is the biggest push off into one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read. I love this book due to the fact that Celaena Sardothien develops herself EVEN FURTHER into the most bad ass female assassin ever. The development of what Celaena has become is just pure….amazeballs.

Maas’ writing is super on point, I just gobbled this whole book up. Her world building is just phenomenal the way she describes everything from the library to the stone work in the castle, it’s like you’re there right behind each of these characters following them through this setting and story.  I cannot explain how much I appreciate the flawlessness that is Sarah J. Maas’ writing.

And HOLY CHAOL. My god that man is flawless wrapped in perfection sealed with complete swoon worthy things. Gah I love this man and I’m 100% Team Chaol. Whenever I read or hear him, my heart swells ( yep, you heard right, I’m totally lit crushing right now).

I’m also so happy with the fact that Crown of Midnight moved into a more action packed and less…love triangle/Celaena bitchfest. I think Throne of Glass was mostly her kind of in…a teenage “Who do I love?” / “I’m supposed to be an assassin but I’m distracted by swoonworthy men” book. Which had me wary about starting Crown of Midnight. Also, the scene with the witch. WAS BALLIN’. One of my favorite scenes, along with another one further down towards the end of the book. ALL THE ACTION YOU GUYS. I literally am getting to a place where I’m just starting to not know what words to string together to write this review. That’s how flipping awesome this is. I need Heir of Fire….now.

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Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

17347379Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 
Published : August 25, 2015

We now present the seventh and final installment in the epic tale of Harry Potter.


 

The final battle. Where it opens at the close.

I’ve been involved with Harry since elementary school. I’m now 24 years old. And this re-read has been a very emotional re-read for me. I could write about it for days. And I think I’ve been pushing writing about this just because…I hate getting to the end again.

This book goes back to all the staples of the Wizarding World and the Potter world as a whole. And so much is revealed in this book as well. Yet this whole book is just so…filled with sorrow.
And the character development is still astounding. Neville still growing in courage, Hermione still learning, Ron being courageous and witty, Snape becoming more and more vulnerable and letting go of the past and pain and love he held on to with Lilly.

There’s so many things that you love about The Deathly Hallows. Like learning about Albus through Aberforth. And how Aberforth just opens up and you don’t really expect that. But the best thing about this book is how everything is just brought together. All seven years, and how things like quidditch (the snitch), the house items, like, everything EVERTHING comes back to Hogwarts. Hogwarts and the learning, relationships, courage, braveness, adventure, loss, troubles, and growth.

This book was probably one of the best send-offs of a series. Especially with the epilogue where you see Harry, Ron, and Hermione, still together as a trio, and kind of how you’d expect them to be as parents. (also I totally ship Teddy and Victorie). It’s just sad to see your second home, your second family, and your second “life” just go away, and have nothing further to give you.

I think the best part of it all is that when you see that the series is said and done. It doesn’t mean that your adventure and road to courage, bravery, knowledge and loyalty is. Maybe that was the whole purpose of it all. It was to make us Potter fans courageous, cunning, brave, knowledgable, witty, loyal, trustworthy. We’re well versed in all houses, so why not be one big house, on a big adventure?

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Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

thone of glass coverThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Published: Published May 7th 2013

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


 

Well, I absolutely devoured this book. I had to take a break in the middle due to work and life, but I picked it up and finished it within two days. Celaena is so great. Although I got slightly annoyed with her semi-instalove with a certain someone. But all I have to say on that matter is that I’m totally team Chaol.

But I absolutely loved this book. Especially the first half but towards the end I was like screaming at my book. I love love LOVE the character development in this book and how Maas gives everyone a deliberate purpose for being in the story. (Although I’m hoping to see Dorian’s brother in the rest of the series at some point). But, I enjoyed Celaena’s witty-ness and sometimes even had me laughing throughout the book. I kind of liked her at times/kind of hated her.

I keep rounding back to Chaol, he was my favorite. Even though he didn’t change too much from beginning to end, he kind of was a static character but I liked that about him. CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT RITHFOLD AND ENDOVIER THOUGH!?

This was like my favorite elements of the book. The setting. The setting gave the most awesome magical/fantasy setting. I loooooved it. I loved the deep descriptions Maas goes through with painting not only the action of each character but the settings as well.

WELL DONE Ms. Maas, well done. Can’t wait to pick up Crown of Midnight.

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Review : Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

17347380Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling 
Published : August 27th 2013 by Scholastic (first published 2005)

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.
And yet…

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate — and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it’s the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort — and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.


 

So, I’ve been reading through the series and I have to say, The Half-Blood Prince was just as good as I remember it being. Wait, I lied. This is even better than I thought it being. The Half-Blood prince is that present you find after opening all your Christmas presents like a day after everything. It’s the 5 dollar bill you found in your pocket of those jeans you haven’t worn in 4 months. The Half-Blood Prince is probably my ultimate favorite book in the series.

I think this is the book where everything just becomes real for Harry and not only for him but for us as readers. I think this really took a turn to where Harry actually becomes…human I guess. He deals with emotions, he’s not longer angsty, he realizes the repercussions of everything, and he’s becoming a man and still learning. And not only Harry though, J.K. Rowling gives a sense of human nature to all of her characters. Especially going so deep into the backstory of Voldemort and even further into the Gaunts. And she didn’t stop there, no, she took Malfoy. Sniveling little annoying, heaping mound of jerk Malfoy and made him into a vulnerable little being, someone with their back against the wall, a scared, very scared boy.

This book was just a Rowling masterpiece. I’m so happy to see her writing blossom through these books just like all of her characters, her little babies. I just can’t reiterate how amazing this book is. It just brings everything together for the last installment. Rowling really thought things through when writing this and it shows. It shows how much she cares for all of her characters, how much it means to her to let us know that they’re all just…people, they’re people with feelings and emotions and who just so happen to live and go to this amazing place we can only wish was real.

I also cannot believe that it took me so long to reread this. I feel like the Half-Blood Prince truly makes you feel like you’re on an adventure with the golden trio, always moving forward to beat Lord Voldemort.

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Review : A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Hey guys, I know it’s been a while but my computer broke and I just got it back right before July 4th and then the crazy 4th of July weekend came and so I’m behind on A LOT of reviews and a Wrap Up/TBR post.  Which is to come probably in a big bulk between tomorrow and Tuesday.

ANYWAY, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO:

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 
Published: May 5th 2015

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

So, as many know this was our June Readalong book and thanks for the people who joined us in this read along (we’re going to try another one for August, so if you have any books to suggest please let us know!) it was great and the forum discussions were really good!

This book, I think so far is my top book for 2015. I cannot believe the amazingness that was this book. It was just beautiful and the end was just so great I had to read it twice to make sure it was right. Sarah J Maas just blew me away with her writing the most though. I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a book and had so much trouble setting it down to do things like go to work or eat. I’ve never read one of her books before (which is why I picked up Throne of Glass this month) and I’m so glad that this was my first book read by her.

I honestly still cannot fathom how she wrote all her characters so perfectly. Even the evil ones! I hated Amarantha, but at the same time, I loved her for being so amazingly written! And her plot line and backstory was amazing. Which leads me to say, that Sarah J Maas had the plot and storyline on point from beginning to end. The whole thing was just…fluid and always in motion and there wasn’t one point where I was just like “okay let’s get moving”. Although I did hear a lot of people had trouble with the beginning of the book, but I didn’t.

The pace was fast and yet the whole book had so much detail but I still wanted more,I hope there’s more detail in the next books and I hope to see more courts and go deeper into characters. Tamlin was great and his relationships with all the characters were wonderful too. I hated Fayre’s family until Nesta really turned out to be a bad ass. Which I was so happy about. But her character writing was just so amazing. There was literally not one bad thing about this book.

Props to you Sarah J Maas. You literally took my breath away with this book (and so many feels).

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Author Request Review: Golden by Melinda Michaels

24313673Golden by Melinda Michaels
Published : March 24,2015

High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived /once upon a time/, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s /just right/, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

So Melinda got in touch with me and asked me to review her book and I gladly accepted because I was intrigued with the plot. It just pulled me in and after reading ACOTAR I just wanted to go with the whole fairytale retelling theme.

I didn’t think I was going to like this book when I first started reading it, but as I went on through it, I found myself enjoying it more and more as the pages went by. I found it difficult to like Hanna at first, but eventually I got over it haha. I had to remind myself that Hanna was only a high school girl so it would probably be more relatable for a High School aged me, but anyway.

I love the way Melinda used the fairytale elements. It wasn’t SUPER in your face but you most definitely caught it and the concept of it all is just great! It took a little while for me to finally actually start getting engrossed in the book (about 1/3 of the way) but I didn’t mind it!  Overall it’s a super awesome read and totally suggest picking it up if you’re in the mood for a re-telling.

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Review: Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix

24120668Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down.

So upon re reading this whole series, I realized I don’t like Order of the Phoenix as much as I thought I did. And I like The Goblet of Fire more than Order of The Phoenix. Which is a new development. I loved this book, but I ABSOLUTELY HATE UMBRIDGE. And she just overtakes the book for so long that it always makes me want to tear out every page that has a mention of her name (but I’d never do that of course). But I think that J.K. Rowling did an amazing job with this fifth book.

I love all the backstory, like Sirius’ family, and you also see a TON of stuff that isn’t in the movies *ahem* St. Mungo’s! I loved getting to see what happened to Lockhart and finally getting to see Neville’s parents again (from the last time I’ve read the series). It really hit me seeing Alice trying to interact with Neville and basically interacting with him like he was still a child giving him candy.

And the fact that everyone who was kind of in the back of everything just turned into bad asses is AMAZING. I love that Neville goes complete bad ass and so does Ginny (congrats on seeker Ginny!) I really love that everyone is just turning into their own person and just want to help.

ALSO, Love love LOVED seeing so many magical creatures! The Nargals and the Centaurs gah they were so amazing.  And that last scene with the death eaters and how Neville completely kicks so much ass. And how he could’ve potentially been the “chosen one” gah. He’s such a great character. I also liked everything about occlumency, and how you see into who Harry’s parents were and what it was like being Snape back in the day (poor thing!) I honestly felt like I was reading this book for the first time.

I loved every moment of it though.

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Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

13455782Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Published : October 2, 2012

“Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.”

I was super excited to begin reading this book. I’ve heard so many great things about it and it totally lived up to it in my eyes. I loved all the characters and all the kind of gut feelings and guessing about what was going on.

I think Mafi wrote this well enough that it just sucked me in and had me running to get through it from the beginning, with only the thought of having to read the second book right away in mind. I wasn’t annoyed with Juliette as I would be with a lot of female protagonists in books like these which was refreshing to me.  And I think it was because of Mafi’s GREAT writing style. The voice she gave Juliette was great and all of her writing was completely poetic. Although i DID listen to the second half of this book on audio, I don’t regret it. It gave Juliet more of a voice and I could envision her a lot better than I could while simply reading.

And I think the fact that none of these characters are so perfect makes it a lot more relatable. All the characters have great strengths and big weaknesses that work alongside the strength. Overall, this book was great. Something that really fed into my interests and kept me going and hungry for more!

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Review: Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

12700353Me Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Published : March 1st, 2012

“Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.”

I’ve always wanted to read this book. And I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t read it sooner. I always saw it on the shelf at the store and I thought it was such a beautiful cover buy, but when I heard what it was about I knew I had to get it and I knew that I had to read it.

A good friend of mine from high school passed away from cancer two years after we graduated in 2009. So he passed away the year this book was published, actually, he passed away a month before it was published. So I always try to find books that can embody the feeling of losing someone at that age, in that way.

I never thought I would find a comparison of those feelings in this book. Which surprised me so much. I loved this writing style of seeing everything through Greg’s eyes. How this was his work of “non-fiction” and him really speaking through his feelings. He’d honestly tell the reader how he felt bad about what he said or how it was rude or inconsiderate and I really appreciated that insight into a character.

But I also loved how when it came down to it, it got to the raw feeling of how much it sucks to see your friend just not have any fight left after going through the grueling sickness that is cancer. It made my heart swell with feeling when I read how Greg truly felt about seeing Rachel go through all this. And it just hit a spot within myself where I really appreciate the truth of it. Because when I was 19, that’s how I felt about my friend and his cancer.

So needless to say, I appreciate this work for what it is. I thank Jesse Andrews for the laughter and fun and the swift read that Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is, but I also thank him for making a book that finally grasped what it truly felt like to go through something like that at that age. Probably a top 3 read of 2015 for me so far.

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Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Published: April 8, 2014

“Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.” 

Okay so let me just say WOW! I never thought I’d actually like this book, it was so out of my own little element that I thought I’d never think to pick it up. But I heard tons of people raving about it and I just had to try it out. And I was thoroughly impressed by Rachel Hawkins and how she kept me reading and engaged throughout the whole book!

Although I didn’t connect with any of the characters or anything like that, I appreciated how funny and quick and light this book was. I just flew right through it! I didn’t like Harper that much but it didn’t stop me from reading which I believe is the sign of a good read! I can’t say it was the best written book ever, or there was a great plot or an amazing or super awesome anything, but it was nice just to get my hands on something that made me read fast and made me want to keep going with the story! This book had a lot of potential to go somewhere great, but maybe Miss Mayhem will go there?

Anyway, Rebel Belle rating:

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