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Book Review – Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows [Throne of Glass 4]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 648

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 0.512, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Sorry for the late review today everyone. I stayed up late to finish it last night before work and thusly I have been brain dead all day and it has taken a really long time to put my review down in a way that actually makes some sort of sense. Plus this is a huge book with so many people in it so it takes a lot of words to actually cover everything. For those of you who have been following me the last month or so know that these reviews are coming after my second read through of the books in time for the final book in the series coming out this month. This time around I did this book in audio book form, and I would highly recommend the audio book, as well as the book in general. Where the last book was a bit slow, things never really stopped happening in this one. For those who don’t want spoilers, I will say goodbye to you here. Go into this book knowing it was great and sets up all whole new chapter for the series. I will see you later after you have read the book.

Our character list in this series just gets longer and longer with every book we get. The main new one we got this time was Elide. I didn’t mind Elide but I wasn’t jumping up and down every time we got one of her chapters. I cared more about how her interactions affected the characters around her. I am so looking forward to her seeing Aelin again I think thats going to be a touching reunion, and I just loved the way she helped bring out the feelings within Manon. I started liking Manon when she started having feelings with Abraxos, but in this book she is firmly placed as a favourite character as having to interact with Elide who questions her about how things are, and she is faced with things happening around her that is destroying her on the inside cause she doesn’t understand why she is feeling things. I was horrified by the description of the yellow legs that were being experimented on and tortured, I was cracking on the inside when Asterin was confronting Manon about it, and it broke completely when Asterin told Manon about how she fell in love with a man and become pregnant, later giving birth to a still born witchling and Manon’s grandmother had beaten her, branded her, burnt her baby and didn’t allow her to see it, and cast her out to die because of it. I am so glad that Manon is feeling things now and is silently rebelling against her grandmother and getting her own idea of what is right.

Kaltain was so freaky in this book. She was mostly a broken doll the entire time with this truly scary shadow fire power, but then we find out she has had control of her demon within for ages now and chooses the moment when Manon is saving Elide from also being experimented on because of her witch blood, and blows herself and all the demon babies and all the suffering witches up. I thought this was a really worthy ending to her story arch.

The big Aedion rescue scene. We all knew it was coming and it was everything I wanted. He was trying to kill himself so that Aelin didn’t fall into whatever trap the king had set and that had me freaking out and just praying he would stay alive long enough for him to see her again and for her to get him out. I loved how she snuck in with the dancers and their rose props were smoke bombs and she got him out in a big chase scene. Then when he recovered enough they had their touching moments together. I felt so bad for him though when he started talking about the blood oath and about how it meant everything to him and she sort of just mumbled about it and he had to find out from Rowan that he had already taken the blood oath. This is the only part that upset me but the rest of his story in the book was just lovely.

Aelin. I thought she grew so much in this book. She is still running around and doing sneaky things and not letting people in, but she becomes more queenly to me and is getting better at actually relying on her court. We get Lysandra from Assassin’s Blade back in this book, and while I hated her in the other book I loved her in this one. That moment when they just decided to be friends and plot Arobynn’s demise together and eat chocolate. It warmed my heart. Then when she came back when magic was freed as a snow leopard and basically saved most the group was a bloody amazing scene.

Every scene with Arobynn unsettled me. He was creepy and that scene when he slipped that Valg ring on her finger and I thought he had control of her for moment before we found out it was all part of Aelin’s plan had me freaking out. I loved the part though where he sent Aelin almond oil to put on herself before their big dinner as some kind of ownership, but then when Rowan meets him he thanks him for the oil because his skin was getting dry and was wearing it as well. That had me cracking up. I loved how his whole story arch ended as well. I loved how badly Aelin ruined hum and framed him for a bunch of stuff she was doing around town, she let Lysandra kill him, and then she changed his will so she got all him wealth. Amazing end to that whole plot point.

I didn’t think we were going to get much Rowan in this book but I am glad that we did. We actually got to know him as a character and I connected with him in this book and I am more happy now with him and Aelin being together than I was in the last book.

Chaol. I know a lot of people were probably waiting for me to talk about him but I just want to give a big fuck you to Chaol. The first half of this book I was just seeing red the entire time he came on. He was blaming everything on Aelin, even her being away when he was the one that sent her away. He become a little bit more bearable in the second half of the book, but I had already written him off at that point. I cannot believe how bloody stupid he was. First he stops Aelin from killing Dorian (thankfully but still), then he gets it into his head that he is going to do it but stuffs up so bad that instead of running after Dorian he somehow runs after the witches and nearly gets everyone killed. Sure, this leads to one of my favourite scenes but still. How goddamn stupid. Aelin was also quite stupd though because she had talked Manon down and the witches were going to leave them alone, but Aelin had to open her mouth and tell them she killed Babba yellowlegs leading to the Manon and Aelin showdown I didn’t know I wanted. Manon nearly dies when the temple they were fighting in collapses around them and Asterin’s cry for her touches Aelin and Aelin ends up saving Manon, which leads to Manon telling them that Dorian is still alive inside.

Then last but not least we have poor Dorian. My heart was just breaking for him everytime we got one of his chapters. When he was giving up because Aelin didn’t kill him when she had that first chance. Then Manon’s eyes give him that moment to actually have control of him body for a brief moment, which is what really leads to Aelin being able to free him. When she slipped that ring on hims finger that protects from the Valg I was so damn excited. I didn’t have any idea of how they were going to get him back and I thought this was done really well. She tries to call him out and keeps telling him that she came back for him just like she promised, but then it ends up being the King telling Aelin that he killed Chaol (which I was fine with even though it didn’t actually happen), that snapped him out of it. Then he and Aelin join hands and just bring the world down, Dorian killing the king who tells them how he blocked Magic to try and protect Dorian and fought the Valg in him with all his might and that the Valg king is in fact inside the Duke, and destroys the glass castle. Aelin uses her powers to protect the city from the destruction, but takes the blame for killing the king so that the people don’t hate Dorian.

The ending to this book was so good. The only thing I would question was the decision to leave Dorian alone so soon after all his trauma.

Since this is such a long review I will leave it here. I know I have missed things but I really tried to cover all the important things, and there were so many great moments with all the characters. If I missed a spot you think is important or loved let me know so we can talk about it!

 

Till Next Time. . .

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From Book To Movie – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

 

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Rating: 4 Star

Book Series Reviews

Description/Synopsis:

When her secret love letters to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet school existence turned upside down.

Movie Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This movie gets 2 separate star ratings for me. 5 Star for sticking to the book, and 4 Star for how much I actually enjoyed it. Netflix did a really good job and portraying this beautiful book and I am so excited for them to continue on with the series. For anyone who is interested in continuing on with this review, know that there will be spoilers, as I will be comparing the book to the movie.

They of course did change a few things, some I liked and some that really made it drop the start for me. The beautiful cupcake scene where Lara Jean and Peter bake together was sadly taken from the movie. Also the introduction scene where he helps her after she had a car crash was missing. I can completely see why they left out these scenes, they don’t have a lot of time to work with, but they were important in my eyes in the book and I wanted to see them on screen. ‘

Other than those small things it was amazing. I think they selected the most perfect cast for the movie and they all fit to a T, even with Kitty ages up a few years they stayed true to her character. The actors did a pretty good job, but in the end the movie didn’t leave me with the overall adorableness of the book. I did feel just as bad for Josh in the movie as I did in the books, and I am so glad that they didn’t kiss in the movie. It made me like Josh more, and Margo and her didn’t have as much of a serious fight in the movie because of it.

I also loved the style and set design, the rooms they give these kids in movies! I would have loved a room like that as a kid. One thing that did blow my mind though was just the general size of everyone’s houses. I get that Lara Jean’s dad is a doctor and they would have a nice big house and nice things, but what on earth does everyone else do?! That house the party was at was massive. Is that what the size of the houses are in America in general, or is it a movie thing?

I think my favourite character would have to be Lara Jean’s dad, and he is was made some of my favourite scenes for me. I laughed so hard at his and Chris’ chat in the kitchen.

“I’m not denying you you’re right to put food on your table for your family or anything, I just think its a little odd that a man would want to be a gynaecologist. Like when you were college you thought ‘ah, I would really like to look at vaginas all day'”

“Gonna leave the kitchen now Christine.”

Just beautiful. I also really loved the condom talk, and all the touching moments Lara Jean and her dad had at the restaurant. One other thing I loved that they actually changed a little from the book was the fact that Kitty kept all the letters that Peter wrote Lara Jean, it sort of made up for the fact that she posted the letters out to begin with. I also appreciated that they solved their issues at the end of the movie rather than the start of the next one, and that little sneak peak of John at the end of the movie. He was geekier than I expected but it got me really excited for what was to come

And this is where I am going to leave you guys. If you loved the books, you will like the movie. If you haven’t done the books though but like cute little love stories with families full of sass you will probably enjoy the movie all by itself.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Mini Mondays – The Girl on the Train, We Were Liars, The Silver Linings Playbook

Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Length: 323

Rating: 4 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I feel bad that this review is ending up in Mini Mondays this week. It is in no way a reflection on how I felt about the book, I really enjoyed this book, but a reflection on my laziness and lack of a good memory. Always review your books straight after you read them kids!

I don’t know if I can say that I liked any of the characters, I don’t think you are supposed to like any of the characters, but I think they were really well written. At first I was a bit disgusted with Rachel, but as the story went on I felt more and more sorry for her. I wont go into why obviously but my god I would totally sort of loose my mind too and fall down some kind of emotional well also if I was in that situation.

Plot wise I wouldn’t say it was completely a surprise where the story went, but god I was taken on a ride with the story. I was surprised a lot, and I was still sitting on the edge of my seat even when it wasn’t. I was so eager to see what was going to happen next and constantly wondering how on Earth everything was going to work out for all those involved. It was creepy because I could really see something like this happening. Despite the fact I can’t remember enough for a full review, but I really enjoyed it and if you like thrillers or mysteries I would recommend this book to you. Not as crazy as Gone Girl but interesting in different ways.

Title: We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult

Length: 225

Rating: 4 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.

Another book I really liked ending up in Mini Mondays but this one is not here because I don’t remember enough. Its here because If I really tell you anything about this book its going to ruin it and I don’t want to do that. Just like everyone before I am going to say that you should go into this book not knowing anything. Even me saying that is too much. The only people who can truly experience this book are those who have never heard of it and pick it up and read it. So don’t even read on really.

I really liked this book, but it annoyed me at the same time. I knew something was going to happen and I was just constantly waiting for something to happen. The writing really plays into this. It was very segmented and very dramatic and it took me a moment to get into the flow of the writing. It creates a lot of extra mystery and I was just sitting there going yes I know hurry up and tell me.

I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Up until this point I only sorta cared about the characters because they were getting on my nerves with their tight lipped ways. Then I cared a lot. The ending also made me so angry. I was furious at it, but I can’t say why. So anyone who has read the book please message me because god I want to rant and rant and rant. In saying all that though I liked the story and it was worth most the hype it was getting. If you think you can handle the both beautiful and irritating writing style then I think you will enjoy this book. Go forth and read.

Title: The Silver Linings Playbook

Author: Matthew Quick

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Length: 289

Rating: 3 Star

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Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

So this Mini Mondays ended up having a theme of books I liked but didn’t have enough words for to write full reviews for.

This book isn’t something I am going to scream from the top of a hill for people to read. I found the writing style sort of flat, and despite it being a relatively short story it did drag at times for me. There was a lot of sport talk which really doesn’t interest me at all. The only part of the sporty scenes I liked was seeing how Pat reacted to different things or people or how it affected his frame of mind.

But it kept my interest because I found the idea of it really interesting. The thought these two very broken people coming together and basically just frustrating the other one until they sort of help each other out was a good idea. I didn’t really feel like I connected to them or feel as though they connected to each other as much as I think they were supposed to.

I found all parts relating to Pat’s interest in Nikki deeply unnerving. This kept me going, this sense of unease because I had to know where it was going, even if it didn’t really end up going anywhere. Pat is a really mentally sick human to obsess on Nikki the way he did, and I both feel sorry for him and want to keep him at a distance because it made me uncomfortable. In an interesting way.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince [The Folk of the Air 1]

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 370

Rating: 4 Star [3.5 rounded up]

Series: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I can’t quite settle on how to express my thoughts on this book. This might be because I have very mixed thoughts on this book. I went in with rather high expectations. I had heard middle ground to high reviews on the book, and about the author herself. This was my first time experiencing one of Holly Blacks works and while I am now interested in picking up more of her books, I wouldn’t put her on my auto buy author list after completing the book.

No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.

That I hate most of all.

The pace of the plot was a bit mixed. The start of this book was very very slow, so slow infact that for a brief moment I considered dnfing it because it had yet to grab me. I decided to continue on because I had heard good things, and it hadn’t made me angry or started boring me to tears. Once we get to the part where Jude starts playing a larger part in the going ons of court it started to pick up and become more interesting. I am glad I pushed through this first part because the way the book progressed and ended has made me really interested in getting the next book in the series when it comes out and seeing where Black takes it.

I really liked the whole set of the book. The idea of a raging Fae coming and killing his ex mortal wife and her new partner, then taking his Fae child and her two mortal siblings because of some some sense of honour. I liked reading about how Jude, Taryn, and Vivi interacted with Madoc based on this event that brought them together. I also just really liked reading about how Jude had to interact with the Fae in general, living in a world of magic that isn’t really suited to humans. I was really expecting to like Madoc’s character as the book went on but as of right now he is just sort of someone who just there. I might like him later.

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me.

Love interest wise I wasn’t really on board with any of them. I guessed straight away who Taryn’s mystery lover was right away and I can’t say it gave me a very good opinion of her. I know everyone is on the Carden and Jude ship but as of right now I’m waiting to see where the story goes before I get on. I think that there is more depth to Carden than what we really get to see in this book, but I don’t know if I like Jude as a character. I like her interactions with others and I like the role she ends up playing in the general story but she is pretty bloody stupid. Some of the choices she makes and just the way she thinks was rather frustrating.

I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.

The thing that finally hooked me into the story was the very ending. The twist that Jude but Carden through I didn’t actually see coming and I am so eager to see how it affects their relationship. If I was Carden I would be really mad and Jude should be a bit worried I think.

If you are a fan of Holly Black I think you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy stories about Fae I think this is one to at least give a try. Get past the very slow start and then you will be left with a very interesting ending.

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Book Review – Glass Sword

Title: Glass Sword [Red Queen 2]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 440

Rating: 4 Star

Series: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really enjoyed this story. Not as much as the first but it was still very enjoyable.

If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.

In this one Mare sets off to hunt down and save the other ‘new bloods’ as she started calling them. Plot wise this kept me entertained for awhile. She won some, she lost some, and the first few were interesting. This part of the story dragged a little bit for me though so I was glad when it started to move on. I don’t think this book was really supposed to be plot based for the most part. Obviously things do happen or it would be pointless but I think this one was more about character development and the introduction of all the new bloods that are going to hold key points in the story later on.

Oh Mare. I love you, but you tested my patience a bit. There were times in this book I just wanted to shake her because it seems as though as she just hadn’t really learnt anything from anything that happened on the previous book. I get the struggles she was going through, I really do. I also think that there was a lot of the ‘Mare is so evil’ agenda being pushed in our faces again, through fights that seemed a bit pointless and even her own thoughts. But for the love of god, its the same thing that gets her every single time. I am glad she at least she acknowledged just how dumb she was at these moments. I truly hated her a little though when it came to her first interaction with Cam. I just straight up hated Cam though so I can forgive her for it. . . I guess. There was also a part where she killed people who were surrendering that made me sad for the way she was turning.

No one is born a monster. But I wish some people were. It would make it easier to hate them, to kill them, to forget their dead faces.

I really liked the way the new characters changed all the interactions between our old characters, and some of them stood out in their own right as well. Be it because I hated or loved them it didn’t really matter. Shade is by far my favourite side character I think. He is just a lovely person always trying to do his best and he really knew how to speak to Mare when she was taking things too far or being stupid. I really liked his and Farley’s relationship too. I didn’t find Farley very interesting going into this book but I liked the things we learnt about her in this book, it gave her more depth and made her interesting and I want more on her. Kilorn just made me angry most of the book.

SPOILER – Maven popped up in this book more than I expected. I hate him and wish he would die but his popping up certainly kept parts of this book from becoming dull. The first time we see him again and he attacks Mare with the sounder device that pretty much turned her own electricity against her and burnt her up from the inside out was both amazing and horrifying. I was so scared for her and I could almost feel her pain, but I felt so bad for all the people around her who had to watch this happen and then have her beg for death before basically going into a coma for awhile. END SPOILER

The most boring character development person was probably Cal. I feel so bad for him though. He just lost his whole family and his kingdom, the thing he was raised to rule and look after. I think he is completely wrong in thinking its not worth starting a war over change, but he is just stuck between a rock and a hard place. Without turning his back on people who can’t really move on. He has to decide to kill the silver people he loves, or turn against the girl he loves and be an enemy of the people he is staying with. I would probably be just as annoying and mopey if I were in his place. His and Mares relationship annoyed me a bit in this book, the least the both of them could do is decided on their feelings for each other. And Maven. So frustrating to read.

“I’m starting to think you like prisons,” he says, idling knocking his knuckles against the wall. “And that you have the worst taste in men.”

I think I am going to leave this review here. I know it was sort of just a character check in, and it wasn’t even every character, but I cannot really talk about the plot for this one. There are still some unoriginal things going through this book, and to me is seemed slower than the other book. There are things that happen scattered throughout the book, some that make me happy, some that make my heart hurt, but they are all hugely spoilery so I can’t go into them at all. If you liked the first book I think you will like this one and it is definitely worth picking up this book!

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Red Queen

Title: Red Queen [Red Queen 1]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 352

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This review comes after my second time of reading the book. I thought I reviewed it in the past but apparently not! I did it in audiobook form for the second time around and I really enjoyed the audiobook. Lets move on.

I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.

I want to say going into this book knowing how other people feel about it, saying that it wasn’t original and predictable, I was sad. I was so looking forward to the book and then I see all these really negative reviews, I had to drastically lower my expectations. Coming out of the book I can see what they were talking about, the story in a written world filled with dystopian books or hard done by characters who sort of become a chosen one, it was not original and yes at times predictable. But in a way now I am grateful for the reviews I saw going into this book because if I had gone into it thinking how new it was going to be I might feel the same way as everyone else, except I loved it.

The unoriginalness didn’t really bother me, specially the second time around. I decided to reread because I had not read the rest of the series and I am planning on meeting the author this month so now was the time to re-enter the world. Part of me expected to like it less and I think I ended up liking it more. I cannot believe how much I was enjoying being back in the world.

I loved the characters, even when I hated them. They were for the most part really well written and developed. The only ones I think could have used some more flushing out were the King, and maybe Mare’s parents. But that is a tiny gripe in a see of characters I liked.

I loved Mare. She was a flawed human being, but nothing she did in this book that ended up badly for other people was intentionally bad for those people. She is pushed as a very manipulative character a lot, and yes she is but she doesn’t really want to be. She doesn’t start her interactions with people with the mindset of stuffing them over most the time. Something will happen, and then a situation she is already in becomes a solution or involved in something else she is doing. I worry for the way things will go for her. I love the imagery of her power coursing through her, but she is surrounded by people who act first without really thinking about how using that power may affect them or anyone else later on. She is in a world were winning is really the goal in anyones minds and I worry about how that will affect her.

They trained me for this. It’s their own fault. They helped make their own doom.

I liked both princes’ for the majority of the book. Cal and Maven are very different people but I thought they were both very similar at the same time. They are both very moody, dramatic, and powerful. But all these things come out in different ways and it makes them sort of at odd with each other. I felt bad for Maven at times because being compared to the golden child that is Cal, and then also having a whisper for a mother would really mess with his head. I loved and didn’t love Cal. He seemed so good to Mare and wanted to help her but had no interest in helping of the millions of other people like her. I can see why, he didn’t want war, but I couldn’t really get over that.

SPOILER – I knew how the book was going to end the second time obviously, but towards the the last third of the book I was really starting to doubt if I remember right. I remembered from the first time round that you are lead to believe that Cal is actually the more ‘evil’ brother and Maven is sweet and pure, but then Maven is the one that betrays Mare in the end. I knew this, but as I was reading I started questioning this knowledge. Is Maven actually going to betray her? Or did I get them muddled up in my head and its actually going to be Cal? I really loved that about the second time round. Aveyard had written it well enough that after some time between the two reads and already knowing what was going to happen, I had to question my own memory. – END SPOILER

Side character wise I wasn’t too interested what everyone else was doing, but I can appreciate the characters the same. I thought Kilorn was so damn stupid. A well written stupid but oh my god I just wanted to smack him. Stop making bad decisions because you are sulking that Mare in an attempt to save you from being conscripted is now in a life and death situation that isn’t all about you! I can see myself liking Farley more as I get to know her and she doesn’t just seem like a pushy person. She has some guts though, I would have broken for sure going through what she did in the book. Queen Elara was just scary, Julian was lovely and I pray that he is as lovely as I think he is, and just thinking about Lucas breaks my heart.

Anyone can betray anyone.

I know this review ended up being more about the characters, and thats because I liked that development the most. I really liked the world building and the idea of what is going on in this world and why everyone is at odds is so good, but the plot isn’t anything new that we need to talk about here. Despite that though I loved this book, and I cannot wait to dive into the next book in the series. Go into this one with lowered expectations and you may come out like me, a huge fan. If you are looking for something ground breaking then this isn’t the book for you.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Emmy & Oliver

Title: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 352

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favourite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Don’t let the 4 stars fool you, I adored this book. It was a bit slow moving at times hence the lack of a star but I don’t think I can fault it in any other way. The more I think on it, the more I want to change the rating to 5 star.

That’s when I first learned about true frustration, that wrenching ache when the thing that matters most to you barely makes a ripple in other people’s lives.

Yes this book has romance in it, but don’t go into this book expecting just another romance story. This book is about all the different kinds of love, how it can hurt and heal in all forms. Its about finding the good in life and moving on.

The story we are told is about two neighbours and best friends Emmy and Oliver. Spending so much time together that they develop their own secret way of communicating after hours from their rooms without their parents finding out, perhaps moving onto something that is more than just friendship. Then one day, Oliver just isn’t there anymore. He ran off after school to get into his fathers car for his weekend with his dad as Emmy watches with a folded up love note from Oliver, not to see him for many years to come because his father kidnaps him.

Then 10 years later hes back, and everyone must work out how to live with the second drastic change in their lives.

I love Emmy and Oliver’s relationship. I love all the relationships in this story. I find everything so honest and realistic. Emmy has cherished the note the 10 years Oliver has been gone, thought about the way he was dressed and their last moments before he was gone, only to have this person she loves come back, the same but completely different because there is a 10 year gap in their relationship. The balance of loving what was but accepting that what has come back is not the same. Helping him come back into the life he has told didn’t want him anymore, dealing with his fathers lies, and just being the boy who was kidnapped.

An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why you’re shaking.

The only people that really annoyed me at all were Emmy’s parents. Their reaction to Oliver disappearing was to basically never let their daughter out of their sight again. But while their actions of taking their fears out on their daughter to the point of suffocation is not okay, I completely understand it. I loved the friends and the laughs that come along with them. Every character is written well and you can cannot with them all, even the father.

The only slight thing that gave me pause is why in the age of the internet Oliver didn’t become curious about the mother who supposedly didn’t want him anymore and bring the plot down with it. But I can also see why you might want to forget that part of your life if you believed those people didn’t want any part of you.

I urge any and all people who want something more than just another cute romance to pick this book up. It has very quickly found a place lodged in my heart.

He looked like a stranger, and then he met my glance, and it was like I had never stopped seeing him.

 

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Holding Up The Universe

Title: Holding Up The Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 388

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his own brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game which lands them in group counseling, Libby and Jack are both angry, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world – theirs and yours.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I would like to thank Penguin for sending me this book for review!

Now before I get into the actual review I sort of feel like I need to put a disclaimer on this review. I look on goodreads and I see so many people raging about this book, which seems ridiculous to me, but here we are. These are my opinions from the perspective of someone who is not seriously overweight, has not been home schooled, has no physical issues, and has NO RESEARCH on any of the issues that were discussed in this book to compare and see if they are in fact accurately portrayed.

Now that we have that rubbish out of the way, lets move on.

Much like her other book I really enjoyed Holding Up The Universe. I really enjoy Niven’s writing style and I think that she covered the topics within the book very respectfully in terms of how serious they are.

I really liked the overall theme of the story which was basically to just love yourself, and to improve yourself if you feel you need improvement and not because of what others may think would be the better you. Not only that, it also has great message that I think we as humans tend to forget a lot of the time and that is to not judge or torment or follow along with the wrongful treatment of another human being because they are different to us.

I enjoyed our main characters Libby and Jack. and thought they were very well developed and flushed out. However these were really the only characters where I thought this. All the other characters were just sort of floating around them, coming in and out of the story when something needed to be said or something needed to happen then they would fade back out again. They were not bad exactly, just not really important to the story as individuals.

Libby was a very strong characters and I loved how she was okay with herself most of the time. She was able to see how far she had come as a person and then be able to love what she had and flaunt the hell out of it despite the comments of others. Jack I liked but a lot of his issues I think could of been solved if he had of just opened his mouth about his condition at any point in time. The things he has to deal with are hard, and I cannot really related to it on that kind of level, but I feel as though he was just making it so much harder on himself by at least not telling his family. In this regards though I did like how he referred to his mum as “mum with hair up” or “mum with hair down.” Even he and Libby’s falling out at a certain part in the book would have been avoided if he would have just gone oh yeah Libby I remember who you are from before! There, so many problems solved.

This was another book I picked up as an audio book because I needed to just get it done. I didn’t mind the actors and the only real issue I had with it was that the lady who was doing Libby put on a soothing voice for her and she just sort of took it way too far. It was so ‘soothing’ that she sounded like she was heavily medicated for the whole book, but I did get used to this by the end it was a good listen.

So I think this is where I am going to leave you today. For those of you who read ATBP and enjoyed it I think you will also like this one and pick it up! For those of you who haven’t read her other book yet I think you should probably pick that one up first before this one. That one was a bit more interesting with more things happening and its probably a better place to start to get used to the topics and writing style, where this one is much more mellow.

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – Dragonfly In Amber

dragonfly in amber

Title: Dragonfly In Amber [Outlander 2]

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 743

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9

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Description/Synopsis:

For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones… about a love that transcends the boundaries of time… and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart… in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising… and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

It took me forever to get through this book in audiobook form, and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it. However, if anyone is intending on doing it through audio book over a period of months, I suggest you take notes after each session because its length makes it really hard to remember many details. I apologise in advance if this review is lacking. It took me about 6 months to finish this book listening to a couple of hours a week! Also, this review is filled of spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers.

When it comes to writing style, there isn’t anything I can fault of Gabaldon’s writing style. I think she weaves an amazing story. All the settings are brought to life and all the characters are so detailed and have such depth.

But what the hell is with that opening.

Im not saying it was bad. It was brilliantly done. But going from one audio book to next audio book without the above synopsis I had no idea what was happening. Clair has a fully grown daughter and she has gone back to Frank to raise this daughter and Jamie is nowhere to be seen. I was so confused. I thought I had skipped a book so I stopped for ages because I could not understand what was happening. But no, it was the right book. And it took ages to go back and at least start finding anything out.

This whole book had me, because I knew something so so so sad was going to go down at the end because I knew we had to end back at the beginning. I both love and hate that. While is was not as strong for me in this book as it was in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, I love this effect in books. When you know where you have to end, but each moment you are just dreading its approach and it doesn’t get boring.

While I did not mind the time that Clair and Jamie spent in Paris, it certainly had very interesting parts, I found this to be the part of the story that dragged the most for me. There were other parts in the rest of the book, but it is so worth getting through these dragging moments because Gabaldon just keeps throwing stuff at you left right and centre.

I adored the new character Fergus. I thought he was adorable and his relationship with both Jamie and Clair was just way too cute. They should really just adopt that kid.

But Clair and Jamie both did such stupid things in this book. I particularly wanted to murder Jamie. At the end out Outlander we find out that Clair is pregnant, and I don’t know about you but I also didn’t believe that Black Jack was dead. So when he came back I was not overly surprised. Clair makes Jamie promise not to kill him yet because she doesn’t want Frank to die and Jamie agrees. Clair also is having a difficult pregnancy and is pretty much on bed rest. But of course, Black Jack does something vile and then we find out that Jamie has run off to go kill him, despite promising Clair, basically declaring that his revenge means more to him than his family, and of course Clair has to chase after him to try and stop him. Then all hell breaks loose, and Clair looses the baby and nearly dies right along with her child.

So much of the pain in this book could have been avoided if Jamie had just used his brain. I pretty much hated him for the rest of the book. I hated Clair a bit too because she shouldn’t have gone after him, but mostly Jamie. After months and months they do end up making up, but I was so mad at Clair for forgiving him for ages. Then to top it all off she had to have sex with a disgusting man to get him out of jail for said duel with Black Jack. SO MUCH RAGE.

Fast forwarding to the end of the book, I did feel bad for Jamie when he has to kill his uncle for Clair and he gained a bit of my forgiveness back then. Then Jamie sends Clair back through the stone and we get their emotional parting, leaving us back at the start of the book. We are at the time with Geillis Duncan is in Clair’s current timeline and I thought she was going to help Clair and Jamie and somehow make it so they never have to separate and warn her so she doesn’t go off to her death but nope. They get there too late and the only thing they get out of her being in this story is that now Brianna believes her mum. I don’t know if I like Brianna or not yet, we shall see…

We go through this whole thing thinking that Jamie is dead but it turns out he isn’t. That is where it all ends. Damn cliffhangers!

Im going to leave this here. This is a very long review about my feelings regarding… mostly one thing that happened in this book, but hey, its the bits that got the most emotion from me and they cannot be expressed in little words!

 

Till Next Time…

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The Clock Strikes Four

birthday-4Hello everyone!

Its that time of the year again where I reflect on how much this community means to me. Four years ago today I took the plunge and posted my very first post on this blog and my journey began.

Every year I am flawed by how much the blog has grown and how lovely you all are. While last year for the majority was a complete and utter flop of a year, I did accomplish setting up my own booktube The Written Word. While its still small with only 2 subscribers I want to work on it and grow it like this blog grew.

Despite my flop of a year 128 people decided that I was a worthy read and wanted to know when I actually do things and I thank you for it. And I thank the other 197 of you that have stuck it out with me for longer. If i could dedicate all my time to you guys and putting up things that you are interested in I would!

This community is like my family and I hope to embrace it more and to gain more and more members. We come for the books, and fall in love with the community <3

I hope you are all doing well, ad I hope to keep growing my platforms and getting to know you all so much more in the years to come.

 

 

Till Next Time…