Scythe – Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Published : November 22nd 2016

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


DEAR GOD THIS BOOK. TRULY EPIC.

Ok. I have to admit, this book had me just like…in awe. SUCH a great book! The setting, was great, the characters, their voice, their personalities, and just the overall plot. A true epic adventure. And it was so unique and thought provoking even. The way Shusterman brings up overall thoughts/ideas/talk of mortality and what is just and right, I guess moral would be the word to use. But DEAR GOD.

I also really enjoyed the amount of suspense, action and just overall speed of the book. Every single piece of information had purpose. Nothing was left untied and everything EVERYTHING had meaning.

The setting is UNREAL. Like a true utopia where death is conquered, sickness no longer exists and the only way to control population is through Gleaning (a task of killing people, that Scythes are tasked with). And the omnipresent being that is the Thunderhead which is basically the Internet and literally KNOWS ALL.

The characters were beyond amazing. Rowan being super complex, Citra being just overall badass and I think I enjoyed her the best. and DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE SCYTHES. Faraday and Curie were AMAZEBALLS. I loved Curie so much. I thought her and Faraday’s relationship and how they worked. And honestly all the the relationship dynamics were SO WELL THOUGHT OUT.

Overall this book was something I couldn’t put down. Literally had me clutching it until the very last word, it made me feel so many things and was such an great adventure, I think I would read it over and over and over again for all time.

If you’re looking for a gripping, fast paced, adventure. Please PLEASE do yourself the favor and pick up Scythe.

5/5 Stars

A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 1st 2018

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. 

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.


Well…I wish this wasn’t the review I’m going to write but I was pretty disappointed with this book. A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin were all great! And being a massive Sarah J. Maas fan, I have familiarity with her novellas (*Ahem* The Assassin’s Blade) and I guess I expected more.

The Assassin’s Blade made me FEEL things, I just felt like this was a bunch of mundane just droning to be honest. Like seriously? Just a book about everyone at Christmas time? AND NESTA!? I mean come on, I know Nesta had a hard time turning but let’s be honest, she’s probably the strongest out of everyone will power wise. Personally, I think there was a lot more room for improvement and just overall a better story to be had.

According to goodreads there’s 6 books total, so we’re at the halfway point of the saga, and I hope to god Sarah J. Maas isn’t burnt out on the potential plot points already.

2/5 Stars

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

 One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Published : September 19, 2017

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.


Ugh I loved this. More than I thought I would. I literally just flipped through this like there was no tomorrow. It literally took me two days to read this. I LOVE Blake’s writing and the characters in this book. Except for Katharine but I think that was obviously purposeful.

If you haven’t picked this up yet, please do. The writing is great. The flow is absolutely wonderful, there’s no gap or awkward portions of these two books. And the characters all work so well together, the relationships are great and I found myself wanting more and more as I kept going.

I think this is becoming one of my “go to” for recommendations and re-reads

 

What did Steph read while she was M.I.A.?!

Ok so, this is going to be QUITE the hefty post. Because I’ve neglected you all in the past months, and have finally got the chance to come back to this wonderful community and all you lovely people. I want to make sure I let you all know what I’ve been reading while I was planning my wedding and such. I love talking to you all so this is going to be a brief write-up on everything I read but it still counts, does it not?

Here’s the list of everything I’ve read while I’ve been M.I.A. and Star Values, as well as a small write up also, please excuse me if I mix up plot points etc. :

The Winners Curse by Marie Rotkoski2.5 Stars – Really wished for some more action and HATED the love triangle.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley — 5 Stars – Absolutely loved the main character, and the plot kept me hooked. Pick it up if you get the chance
Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson — 5 Stars – I will always love the Reckoner’s series, and this was a good conclusion, I wish it never ended.
Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis 4 Stars – SUCH GOOD WRITING. I just couldn’t get any sort of connection with any of the characters, so I didn’t really get emotionally dragged into it.
Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson 5 Stars – This was such a good book, constant action and running plot that it kept me intrigued and I loved the main character
A Court of Wings and Ruins ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas  5 Stars – Did I really need to put down 5 stars? Uh duh, this was SO DAMN GOOD. Oh man, I can’t even…
The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag (Flavia De Luce #2) by Alan Bradley 5 Stars – Flavia is great, the story line was great as well just like the first book!
The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas 5 Stars – Well….rip my heart out why don’t you SJ.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler 5 Stars – LOVED LOVED LOVED this book, it was so wonderful and hilarious. I highly suggest listening to it on Audiobook because Amy narrates it and it’s 20x better that way.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 4.75 Stars – This book was hard to get into but once the plot started moving it was PHENOMENAL. Not my standard YA read but great all the same.
Gemina ( The Illuminae Chronicles #2) by Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff  — 4 Stars – Loved this book just like I loved Gemina, I think I liked Gemina better tough
The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi — 5 Stars – Oh man, what a beautiful book, I absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the writing. Everything!
Death Masks ( The Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher — 4 Stars – Gotta love a good Dresden book, pick up this series if you haven’t yet.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber  — 5 Stars – Didn’t really love the characters, but the setting OMG. The atmosphere was great and so was the plot. Loved guessing and thinking what I thought was right and being wrong
Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms #5) by Morgan Rhodes  — 5 stars – My second time around reading this, still love it as much as before.  I seriously CANNOT wait for the next book. I need it ASAP.
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson — 3.75 Stars – I guess I really like Rae Carson. This book was great. Strong female lead, and good plot.
You by Caroline Kepnes — 3.25 – I thought the perspective writing was cool, and I thought it was really creepy. It’s not for everyone, I didn’t really feel like I liked the graphic scenes in this book, but it was hella creepy and I was super hooked while reading it.

WELL FOLKS. That’s everything I read while I was MIA. I’m still 8 books behind for me goodreads goal so hopefully I get that fixed soon (probably while I’m in Iceland August 13-23) Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought.

Also any recommendations based on these reads would be AWESOME since I liked the bulk of them.

Review : Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

28374007Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Published: September 20, 2016

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.
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This book is hands down one of my favorites of 2016 (I know, I’m a bit behind of writing posts but I’m sorry!) . I never read a Kendare Blake book but I’ve only heard good things (mostly Taylor raving about Anna Dressed in Blood).  I kind of wish I read her books before this because holy crap this was fabulous.

The writing was great and the three sisters were all so different and I was so enthralled with all of them I loved each of them for a different reason.  They’re such different three main characters but they’re all so great in their own way, I can’t wait to see who they become now that they’re all crossing paths.  I think Arsinoe is my favorite though. There’s a will and strength about her that I love.  But all of them have a different type of strength.

I loved the darkness of this book and the ruthlessness of it all. I loved that these girls were all so cut throat and all the women in the book were strong ones. It was something I wasn’t expecting from this and it was a great surprise. I loved the settings and the vast differences of where these women were brought up and the differences in how the societies were run.

I also loved the relationships everyone had. I love Katerina’s relationship with Piertyr (did I spell that right? probs not) and how he hopes to help her show that she is a strong contender since her sisters are stronger and more likable than she.  But I also love Mirabella and how she falls in love with THAT ONE PERSON she probably shouldn’t be in love with even though she can have men just fall at her feet.

The spin at the end was fabulous, as the pieces were coming together I was literally getting more and more in shock, it was just such a well thought out and such a great transition into a second book. I cannot wait to see where this series goes.

All in all lessons learned from reading this book: Kendare Blake has awesome writing skills, she writes bad ass women, and I should’ve read a lot more Blake books prior to this one.

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Review : Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

17378508 Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Published: October 21, 2014

The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

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So Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up not so long after The Dream Thieves. Maura is still searching for Artemus underground and Blue is trying to be the best she can be without her mother. The boys are still very much themselves and Blue and Gansey begin to get much closer and I need more of the two of them in my life.

I always feel a bit bitter sweet in regards to The Raven Cycle books. I more than appreciate Maggie Stiefvater’s writing and even more so appreciate her being so spot on with everything in regards to lay lines, supernatural powers, Glendower etc. (I was talking to my sister-in-law about this series and she was super surprised to hear about how in depth it was and that Maggie Stiefvater knew a lot about the topics within the book). But anyway, I always feel a bit bittersweet reading these books because I LOVE LOVE LOVE the writing, but I always feel so let down when there’s such a build up and no true action climax. I feel like I keep getting let on.

But quite honestly, the writing does make up for it. I don’t think I’ve read something quite like this ever before, and I really do appreciate the beauty of her writing. I most definitely will be reading The Raven King because I need to know what happens with Blue and Gansey. I demand to know about Artemus. I’m more than happy that Maura is back,I think she’s one of my favorite characters.

Other than that, I DEMAND I see more Ronan and Adam. I’m kind of mad I didn’t get more of them! I sound like a child having a tantrum but I there’s so much that I want out of this series and I hope to get it in The Raven King.

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Netflix Book Tag

Ah, it’s Friday again! My designated tag day … I guess. And Tuesday I was laid off from my job and so I’ve been spending a lot of time watching the good ‘ole Netflix…while applying to jobs of course and I thought why not search the internet for those lovely bookish people who created a booktag based on Netflix. And by golly I found it! So if you want to see the original Netflix Tag, you can find it here.

1. Recently Watched:The last book you finished reading.
The last book I finished reading was a lovely re-read of a 800+ book named Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

2. Top Picks: A book/books that have been recommended to you based on book you have previously read.
I guess I’ll give a Top 3 for these. Taylor always recommends CoHo books to me especially I feel like she’s told me to read November 9 multiple times. The Female of The Species by Mindy McGinnis, and The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

3. Recently Added: The last book you bought
Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast

4. Popular on Netflix: Books that everyone knows about. (2 you’ve read and 2 you have read or have no interest in reading)
Read : Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

No Interest : The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
Anna and The French Kiss by Anna Perkins

5. Comedies: A funny book
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey is absolutely great. It’s hilarious and nothing short of what you’d think a book written by Tina Fey would be like.

6. Dramas: A character who is a drama queen/king.
Chaol WestfallThrone of Glass Series  I feel like he is one of the biggest drama kings. There’s just something about Chaol that I love but honestly, he is quite dramatic.

7. Animated: A book with cartoons on the cover
So I’m going to list a few because I’m in love with these comics and obviously they have cartoons on the cover! 
Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Ms. Marvel  by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen

8. Watch it again: A book/book series that you want to re-read
Falling Kingdoms Series  by Morgan Rhodes. This book series is one I’ll lovingly read over and over and over again. Although not finished, when it is, I plan to marathon these until the day I die.

9. Documentaries: A non-fiction book you’d recommend to everyone
Furiously Happy : A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson.  This book focuses on Jenny’s anxiety, depression and all sorts of other emotional issues. If you suffer from any of these, I highly recommend it. She literally writes about aspects of things I understand and twists it to the point where you’re laughing about it.

10. Action and Adventure: An action packed book
Winter by Marissa Meyer is such an action packed book I love it. It felt like every other chapter there was something going on such suspense throughout the whole book, it was indeed action packed through and through.

11. New Releases: A book that just came out or will be coming out soon that you can’t wait to read.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber comes out this month and I’m so excited for it! The hype around it is fantastic and amazing and I can’t wait to read it.

 

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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.

Stranger Things Book Tag!

I’ve been waiting to figure out what to do for my next tag, and I think the hype around Season 2 of Stranger Things and how it’s around christmas time, made me want to do this tag. I’m highly anticipating it’s return and I’m super excited for it. A big thanks to Sarah Sunbeemz for making this tag.

1. EPIC INTRO. The opening sequence of Stranger Things is amazing and really grabs your attention. Name a book that grabbed your attention from the first page.
17675462The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvatter.
Her lyricism and amazing writing made it really hard not to get hooked from the first sentence onward.

2. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. Name a fantasy world you would like to experience yourself.
18490585I fell in love with Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and although an older world in the means of society, I think that the magic system would be too cool to just pass on.

3. SQUAD GOALS. When Eleven met Mike, Dustin and Lucas it was a *mostly* perfect team. Name your favourite bookish group of friends.
28260587Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas has a great band of characters and even has some enemies tag along with the good friends. I love it.

4. ABC’s & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Joyce Byers goes mad with grief after Will goes missing. Name your favourite mentally unhinged character.
23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. OH MY GOODNESS. A.I.D.A.N. was completely crazy. I literally was on the edge of my seat the whole time because of A.I.D.A.N.

5. THE UPSIDE DOWN. Name a book that was the opposite of what you expected.
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Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins fell flat for me. I knew it was about a girl who ends up being a paladin, but I thought it would get way more sci-fi and have stronger characters, I was most definitely expecting a Buffy vibe and got….nothing.

6. MAD SCIENTISTS. Dr. Brenner likes to get freaky with humanity. Name the freakiest dystopian government you can think of.
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The society in Bone Season was really screwed up in my eyes. I didn’t really much enjoy the society it was based it. It’s kind of hard to explain but the book is really REALLY great. I also don’t want to go too much into the society in fear that it will give some plot points away.

7. DEMOGORGON. Name a scary bookish creature that you would not want to come through your walls.
233682I literally could not sleep for a week.

8. CLIFFHANGER ENDING. name a book that left you wanting more.
22299763Not that there was a cliffhanger, I jut wasn’t ready for this duology to end. #ripheart.

Coffee Book Tag!

Hello everyone! I’m going to be doing the Coffee Book Tag! I’m sitting down this morning and looking for some posts to do (other than my extremely long list of reviews) while drinking my very yummy coffee, so I figured…why not do the Coffee Book Tag that I found all over the place in booktube. I found the original tag here on youtube, and I love all the questions!

1. Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

10964Okay, don’t kill me you diehard Outlander fans, and what not. But, I’ve tried a couple times to get into Outlander and it’s SUPER HARD! But I know there’s SO MANY of you who absolutely adore this series. But don’t you worry, I’m not giving up on you!

2. Peppermint mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.
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I feel like I’m not the only one who re-reads Harry Potter during the cold months of the year. And I’m pretty sure there’s a Harry Potter Read-A-Thon around winter time as well. And honestly, there’s something cozy about reading Harry Potter snuggled up in blankets while it snows outside.

3. Hot chocolate: What is your favorite children’s book?
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The Chronicles of Narnia was a book I picked up for summer reading and it all snowballed from there. I love love LOVE the Narnia series and I actually started re-reading it recently. And I have to say, Narnia is such a magical place, and I absolutely love that this was one of my favorite series as a kid.

4. Double shot of espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
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I mean…COME ON THIS IS SUCH A GREAT BOOK. I literally could not stop reading and it was written so well and in a way where you think you know what’s going on but then everything gets turned on it’s head. I really REALLY great book.

5. Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere.
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The Diabolic is something I’ve been seeing everywhere lately and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

6. That hipster coffee shop: Give a book by an indie author a shoutout.
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I want to give a shout out to Tia Giacalone. She sent us a copy of her book Hey Sunshine when we were still a bit shakey on our feet as a blog. She sent us Hey Sunshine and Taylor and I both loved it! Hey Sunshine has a sequel as well as a third book on the way! Please check out Tia and her books they’re well worth the read!

7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.
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I was expecting SO MUCH MORE from Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I thought pirates and time travel would be so much cooler but…it kind of fell flat for me.

8. The perfect blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.
thone of glass cover
Oh my goodness, this series has absolutely everything. All the highs and all the lows. This book has it all! I absolutely love Throne of Glass and it’s a GREAT series. Action, Romance, Wit, Mystery. It’s great.

And there you have it! The Coffee Book Tag!
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