Top 5 Wednesday : Characters You’d Invite to Your NYE Party

Top5Wednesday
Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey on YouTube. And this week’s topic is Characters You’d Invite to Your New Year’s Eve Party. This is a super fun topic and one I had quite the bit of trouble narrowing down to five. But all in all I think I really do enjoy the people I’d want to spend New Year’s Eve with me. 

1. Fred & George Weasley from Harry Potter
Known for all their mischief and constantly looking for fun, I think this dynamic duo would be a great way to end the year off with a bang.

2. Kenzie from Shatter Me
Oh my goodness, I think Kenzie would be such a snarky and awesome person to ring in the new year with.

3. Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles 
I feel like my whole party is just going to be a bunch of snarky, trouble seeking miscreants but…I kind of don’t care. I love Scarlet and she’s someone I’d love to hang out with if I got the chance.

4. Nina and Jesper from Six of Crows 
Do I even need to explain this? They seem to be the only two characters in that duology who actually wanted to and enjoyed having fun.

5. Aelin Galathynius from Throne of Glass series
She seems like a bad ass bitch who knows when and how to have a good time.

And that’s all I got for this week! Let me know who you’d like to ring in the new year with and if you think my list is sufficient enough.

Review : Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Published : September 27, 2016

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

untitled1


If you’d like to read my review about Six of Crows you could find it here (just so you know how I felt about it).

I’d like to preface this review with THERE WILL BE SPOILERS ALL THROUGH OUT THIS REVIEW… so be warned…let us begin
kramer

 

 

 

 

Mind Blowing is honestly the only thing that can come into the shambles of my little brain as I think of this absolutely stunning book. Crooked Kingdom has been one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it did not fail me one bit. I was so happy to be in the universe again and so enamored by all the characters. I kind of don’t understand at all how someone can write such a diverse group of people and have me love every single person in that group so damn much (i’m a very hard woman to please). So, Leigh Bardugo, I commend you. You’ve written a book where I love all of them Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan I cannot get enough of them and I’m actually pretty upset that there are no other books. I’m honestly sobbing on the inside due to this.

I think my favorite thing about this book was the character growth and the development of them. This book made me fall in love with them even more. I’d have to say that Wylan and Matthias get the award for most growth. But all in all, I think all six of my babies grew and went through such development and in some way I feel like Bardugo put SUCH development and thought into all these characters that they grew more than some characters would in other series. Which makes me feel like I should break down the characters and how I felt about them…So I WILL!

Kaz & Inej 
giphy“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

I don’t think I’ve ever felt such sexual tension between anyone in-person or fictional ever in my life. And oh boy, was it glorious. I’ve been rooting for Kaz and Inej since Six of Crows and I had a feeling that Bardugo wouldn’t go all the way with the smut but, well…it’s perfect. I love that they never got into the smuttiness and I really enjoy their dyanmic.

When Van Eck is about to smash Inej’s legs and she breaks and says she’s worth nothing to Kaz without her legs. It completely broke me.

But I think the above quote describes the two of them pretty damn well. They’re always there for each other and will always save the other one, no matter what. I absolutely love their dynamic.

I love Kaz’s all knowing demeanor and the fact that he can actually be 18 steps ahead of people and not let you know his grand scheme and I loved watching it all unfold. His ruthlessness and his constant mind games (like making Pekka Rollin’s believe that Kaz killed his kid)

As for Inej, she’s the perfect counterpart to Kaz. Elegant and composed. She’s such a strong woman and the care and love she has for the crew and her family and the fire inside her to make sure no person goes treated poorly. Ugh! Praise Inej! Her perseverance is amazing and I loved her Suli proverbs and the way she handled everything with such grace.

Jesper & Wylan
giphy-1Jesper felt the pounding of his heart—or was it Wylan’s?—like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh.

Slowly, inevitably, they broke apart. “Wylan,” Jesper said, looking into the wide blue sky of his eyes, “I really hope we don’t die.”

Dear lord these two. I cannot even begin to explain my love for these two since Six of Crows. I never really much liked Wylan through Six of Crows but Oh my god in this book my heart just melted for this little munchkin of a man. I couldn’t believe how amazing of a back story Wylan had. He became such an in-depth and dynamic character.  I loved how by the end of the book he overcame his struggle of illiteracy and didn’t let that become him. I sobbed when we found out about Wylan’s mother, I never thought that would be an actual thing and I love LOVE LOVE how Kaz mentors him though not letting his illiteracy hold him back. I thought that was a great side of Kaz to show as well as a great point to make because Wylan is really smart and has a lot of potential.

And Oh, my baby Jes. My heart swelled at his re-uniting with his father and learning of his mother. I adored his quick and witty come-backs and my god he’s perfect for Wylan. My absolute favorite sharp shooter. Jes is someone I most definitely connect with based on his personality and his responses. I feel as though Jesper was a bit more stagnant compared to everyone else in regards to development but that could just be me.

Nina & Matthias
giphy
 “They were twin souls, soldiers destined to fight for different sides, to find each other and lose each other too quickly. She would not keep him here. Not like this.”

“Nina screamed , a howl that tore from the black space where her heart had beat only moments before. She searched for his pulse, for the light and force that had been Matthias.”

“Farvell,” she said in Fjerdan. “May Djel watch over you until I can once more.”

Not sure if you can tell from this, but…Nina and Mathias are my favorite. I loved them from the beginning and I loved Nina more than Mathias but I came around to him and dear god this was so much perfection and then it all got TORN AWAY FROM ME. I’m very upset with Bardugo about this. I legitimately cried in bed for hours when I read about Mathias leaving Nina. I literally could not handle it. The way it was written and the pain she went through and reading her emotions and just the way she expressed herself with the loss. I couldn’t do it.

But beyond their amazing love, Nina was stunning, witty, pure strength when she needed to be and it was absolutely amazing. I have loved Nina Zenek from the beginning and the fact that she broke down the brick wall that was Matthias Helvar…was perfect. Side note : Kudos to the grisha trilogy peeps cameo’s! But I think Nina was probably one of my most favorite perspectives to read from because she was mostly light, clever and would joke more than others.

Matthias Helvar was swoon-worthy to me.  I loved that he was the enemy gone “good”.  I absolutely love Matthias. I love how he’s come to love the dregs and love the gang, and how undying and burning his love for Nina is and how he’d do anything for her. How he cared for her during her Parem withdrawal. And I just feel like the fact that he was taken away ISN’T FAIR. HE JUST WANTED TO KISS NINA IN A SNOWY WOOD AFTER HAVING DINNER WITH HER FAMILY THREE TIMES AND THEN GO ON A WALK WITH HER. *sobs* I’m sorry but I’m still not over the perfection of Matthias Helvar.

Plot and Story Line
giphy-1

 

 

 

I was completely enamored by this book. I didn’t put it down. I savored it, I devoured it, I fell completely in love with it. Although, I hate that it’s only a duology, I have to say that this sequel was amazingly thought through, well written and tied up everything in such an amazing way. I don’t think I could’ve ever seen this ending in such a perfect way (with the exception of losing Matthias). I can’t get enough of Leigh Bardugo’s writing and I really wish I could get more stories/books written in the Grisha world as well as seeing the crew again.  I just want to say that this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and by God, did this book give it justice to be one of my top 2016 reads.

No Mourners. No Funerals.

2326664723266647232666472326664723266647

Stephanie-Signature

December Read Along Giveaway Winner!

GiveawayAnnouncement

Hello everyone! So I know this is long overdue but I’d like to let the winner of our December read along #winteriscrowing . You all were amazing during our read along! As all of you know we read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It was such a great book! I hope you all enjoyed it.

And as some of you know our read along had a giveaway along with it! Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road which Taylor and I both read and absolutely loved it! SO I know I’m late with this but our winner is @novelcravings! Go check out her blog here and if you know her make sure you tell her to get in touch with us via the contact page so we can get contact information to send her her new book!

Thanks for everyone who participated and keep an eye out for another announcement tomorrow!

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Review

23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Published: September 29, 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


PERFECTION. 
That’s all you need to know for this review is that word. Because that’s what this book is.  If you want to see what my face looked like upon finishing this book, please reference the gif below:
mindblown

Yup that’s right. That’s exactly what it felt like. Lights and shiny things and everything and all I could do was sit there. Mouth open. Wondering what to do with myself BECAUSE THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

I haven’t read a Leigh Bardugo book yet. And I heard the Grisha trilogy is amazing. and I know this takes place in the same world. But anyway I’m having trouble writing up this review because I don’t know where to begin with expressing how I feel. I guess characters is an okay place to begin.

Six delinquent characters, all very different in their own way, working together to one goal. To get into the Ice Court, the most impenetrable place and a most impossible task. The Ice Court is one of the most well guarded places. And this group of six has to get both IN and OUT of The Ice Court in order to rescue a scientist who has been held captive within the Ice Court. Each character is thoroughly different. Actually, everyone is leaps and bounds different than the next person. I have to give tons of props to Bardugo. Each character has their own share of flaws, and downfalls. Kaz, can never say no to a good sum of money, and the mastermind of this whole heist, Inej, a.k.a. the wraith is a silent killer, in love with her daggers, and tenacious, Nina a Grisha who is beyond charming and witty, Wylan a newcomer, a youngin’ and a boy who’s family tree proves to be something the group holds against him and Matthaias the druskalla (witch hunter) who holds his religion close and moral standing even higher to his home of the Ice Court and Jesper, the flirty, cunning and deadly shot. All of these characters work….less than flawlessly together but still somehow end up being a very tight group of misfits. You couldn’t really ask for more separate yet together group from this book. Each character is written to the point where you either go hate to love, love to love even more, or love to hate, or love to love to love love to love love love even more. Either way, at one point or another you find yourself  completely enamored with all of these characters.

The pace of this book was great. Never a dull moment, even during the points of travel. It was the perspective switching in my opinion that kept it moving and all the back story you got on each character was wonderful. And how each few characters intertwined with each other was absolutely flawless. It was the perfect amount of intertwined stories, not so much that all their lives revolved around oneanothers, but enough that you knew that they were tied to each other in one way or another. That being said. Thank god there were no love triangles because that would have completely ruined the book. BUT the romance that was there, was BEAUTIFUL. Wonderfully written and just the right amount! I couldn’t  have asked for a better romance (my favorite being between Nina and Mathaias) between the character pairs. And even if there wasn’t full fledged romance, it was still a good sense of caring and love between them. It was beautiful.

And now, for my final thoughts on action and plot. I don’t think there was a moment throughout this book where I felt lost or bored or even “over it”. Fully engaged throughout, and constantly having an issue with putting down Six of Crows. There were nights where I was up all night trying to get my full satisfaction in finding a spot where I could put the book down due to a lull so I wouldn’t miss anything, but no. There was no such thing. A constant moving and flowing river of perfection. The action was great and descriptive and I felt like I was part of the brawls and the cannons blasting and the bombs going off and the alarms sounding. I felt as though I was in Ketterdam and inside The Ice Court. It was one of the most immersive reads I’ve ever experienced. Thanks Leigh Bardugo for this wonderful book, I’ll have to pick up The Grisha Trilogy sometime soon.

star-e1424615985435star-e1424615985435star-e1424615985435star-e1424615985435star-e1424615985435

 

Stephanie-Signature

LET THE READ ALONG BEGIN!

The time has come! Let the reading begin! After this post is up I’ll be scurrying over to our goodreads group and post all the month’s weekly open discussions up so everyone can post and chat as we please. All we ask from you guys are a couple small things.  These will also be posted up on the group topic as a pinned post so you see it all the time.
23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

1. Please do not reveal any big spoilers. Or please use the spoiler code when writing spoilers. If you do not know how to do that, we will show you how now:
When posting a spoiler please use these tags <spoiler> PUT YOUR SPOILER HERE </spoiler> and your content within these tags will be hidden within your post.

2.  Please pleas PLEASE be nice to each other. We haven’t had any issues with this but I like to reiterate that this is to be a good experience for everyone to get together and talk about a great book to bring all us readers together this holiday season! :D

3. If you can please use our hashtag #WinterIsCrowing  it’ll place you into our read along give away that is happening in result of a successful read along.  Please feel free to use this hashtag on any sort of social media and please feel free to tell people that you’re participating in this read along. The more the merrier!

 

HAPPY READING!

Happy Thanksgiving! More Read Along Info

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all stuffed up on tons of turkey and stuffing and all the goodness of thanksgiving! A quick thank you to all of you who spent some time viewing our page during the holiday. But we’re all hear to learn about our lovely little read along happening in 4 days! So for those of you who don’t know, here are the facts you need to know :

For the month of December we’ll be reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
23437156Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

I thought the synopsis would be helpful for those of you who don’t know about the book. I do believe it’s set in the Grisha world but not within the Grisha series *PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG*

Everyone is super encouraged to join and please please please spread the word of this read along the more people we have the better! and more opinions we have to look forward to in reading this final read along book of the year!

Please use our hashtag #winteriscrowing as much as you can remember to do so during this read along, we’re really hoping to track a good number of posts within social media for our Read Along Giveaway. 

Yup, you read that right. I’ll be tracking posts on our goodreads group, instagram, twitter and facebook (please follow us if you don’t already) for a winner to receive a copy of Vengeance Road by Erin Bowen. One of my favorite YA Reads of this year.

So please give us a great close of 2015 by reading along with us and please please please spread the word so we can get a good group together for this read along.

December Read Along : Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Hey Everyone!

So here’s a little update for those of you who missed it last Saturday. We’re collectively reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!

23437156

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


 

Beginning December 1 and going to the end of the month with discussions which we’ll post all up at once at the beginning of the month so you can go through the discussions at your own pace and don’t have to wait for us to post up discussions.

We’re still trying to figure out the best way to post up discussions and have as many people participate so help us out and let people know you’re participating in our read alongs!

We’ll be using social media outlets such as instagram, twitter and facebook to track through everyone’s progress as well as keep an eye out for a lucky winner for our give away (more details on that next week)We’re using the hashtag #winterofcrows  which apparently has the approval of Ms. Leigh Bardugo herself! (check out the 1st comment)
Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.28.28 PM

So please, join us and however many others as we close the year off together with a GREAT read.
Taylor-SignatureStephanie-Signature