Book Review- Queen of Shadows

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* This review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire

 

Queen of Shadows by  Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 1st, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 648
Goodreads
Amazon

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.

I’m having a hard time writing this review because of how much I loved the book.

You know when something is super amazing and it’s just too hard to find the right words to describe it? Well that’s this book. And pretty much every book in this series. But I’ll try….

Okay, so I’m gonna start from the beginning. Aelin is on her way back to Rifthold, leaving Rowan (who I LOVEEEEEEEEE) behind. AND SHE MISSES HIM AND IT’S SO CUTEEEEEEE. Also everyone is kind of in trouble because the King is evil and Perrington and the witches etc. etc. etc.

This book is pretty different from the first three for a few reasons:

1) Celaena is now called Aelin (something I thought would really annoy me but actually it’s kind of perfect because it’s like a whole different version of her and kind of perfect okay I’m going to stop now but I think you get the point).

2) There are more serious romantic relationships. Yeah, I know, I know, Chaol and Celaena in Crown of Midnight… but this kind of takes it to a new level. And there is a lot of NSFW scenes, which (despite me not liking romance-y books) were kind of perfect and adorable.

3) There is a lot more of a “resistance”/”rebellious force”. As in there is an actual group of people going against the King and hunting the Valg and stuff.
There are other things that make it feel a little different too, but those are the main things.

Like I was kind of saying in the first paragraph of this review, I love this book. There is no one thing that makes it great, but rather just the perfect balance of character driven and plot driven events, and how somehow there is so much going on yet it is easy to understand and it is just A GREAT STORY. It’s so entertaining and it just draws you in and doesn’t let go.

If you haven’t read this series already, please believe the hype. I stayed away from these books for so long because I was like “no way that can be that good” AND THEN THEY WERE THAT GOOD. Like yeah, they aren’t for everyone, but still. It doesn’t hurt to give them a try!

I am going to give Queen of Shadows five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Book Review- Heir of Fire

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway ending TODAY!!

This review contains spoilers for Throne of Glass (book 1) and Crown of Midnight (book 2).


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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 2nd, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 565
Goodreads
Amazon

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Before I read this book, I was told by a few people that it “wasn’t quite as good as the first two”. I disagree. I thought, if anything, this book was even better.

Celaena is broken. Nehemia is dead, her relationship with Chaol was shattered, and now she was sent North to the very Aunt that her parents tried to keep her away from. Even worse: she is forced to train and use her magic if she wants to have an audience with her Aunt.

Then there is Rowan. I happen to love him, even if he is a jerk throughout the first half of the book. Rowan has gone through just as much heartbreak as Celaena, and their relationship evolves beautifully (once you get past the beginning, but even that is necessary for what comes next).

Chaol and Dorian are back in Rifthold, and have challenges of their own. Also, Manon Blackbeak is introduced: the Heir of the Blackbeak witches. She is cut-throat and ruthless but also awesome. I didn’t really know how to feel about her at first, but I’ve grown to love her as much as the other characters in the book.

This book is certainly action packed and emotionally loaded, and if you’ve read and liked the first two books-Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight-I definitely recommend you continue the series!!

I am going to give Heir of Fire five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

YA Series Recommendations- What are your favorite series? What series are not worth the read?

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Finding a new series to dive into can be a hard and daunting task. Series are a big commitment. They are scary. And more often than not, they get shoved down to the bottom of a TBR because who has time for that?

What are you talking about? Obviously people read series.

Obviously. But think about it for a minute: has there ever been a series that you put off reading for so long and then when you picked it up you were like “why did I wait so long to read this? This is amazing.” ???

If your answer is “no, does that really happen to people? Hah puny mortals.” then get out of here what are you doing you wizard/god

wait, actually on second thought please come back and teach me your secrets because I need them

But seriously, what is the purpose of this post?

Well:

We are gathered here today to join John and Jane in holy… oops.. wrong place

We are gathered here today to discuss great YA series and inspire each other to finally pick up that amazing series and stop missing out! I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite YA series, and then we can talk about them and you can tell me what your favorite series are and then we can all be sprinkled with pixie dust that will make all our responsibilities go away so we can read forever.

Or something like that…

So what counts as a series? Basically anything with more than one book. So douologies through 100 book series (if such series exist). Or at least that’s my definition of a series, so I’m rolling with it.

My YA Series Recommendations (in no particular order):

Anna Dressed in Blood (Duology) by Kendare Blake

I will never not recommend these books. They are amazing. The end.

Red Queen (Quadrilogy) by Victoria Aveyard

I’m not sure if this series is going to stop at 4 books, but that’s all I know of for now, and based on the ending of King’s Cage, I think the fourth (still unnamed book) is probably going to wrap everything up.

This series is one of my favorite dystopias, and I can not wait for the fourth one to come out! It is gripping and exciting. There are powers, princes, rebels, high stakes, and heart wrenching events. If you love dystopia, this is not one to miss.

Ruby Red (Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

I regard these books as the best time travel books to grace the planet. Good luck convincing me otherwise.

The Selection (Trilogy) by Kiera Cass

I adore everything about this trilogy. I know that technically The Heir and The Crown exist… but I don’t really consider them a part of this (do you?). Plus I’ve only read The Heir and I don’t really think it lives up to the glory of the original trilogy.

This series is so adorable and swoon worthy!! And it’s a quick read, which is always a plus!

Throne of Glass (6 books? 7? More?) by Sarah J. Maas

So remember in the beginning of this post when I said something about putting off a series for wayyyy too long and then being like “why did I wait so long?” Yeah so that’s pretty much this series.

I’m only on the second book as of right now, BUT ITS SO GOOD I HAD TO PUT IT ON THIS LIST. Seriously this writing is some sort of sorcery. Don’t deprive yourself of the amazingness.


Okay so that’s it for my list.

Are there more amazing series out there?

Obviously. That’s where you guys come in! I want to hear what your favorite series are!

28962906And, also, there are of course series that are just starting. As in only the first book has been published as of now. Like Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. SOOOO GOOD.

But I tried to only include complete or almost complete series on this list, so if anyone decides to start one of the series I recommend, you won’t be stuck waiting for the rest of the series to come out (which could take years).

Because binge reading rules!

But also support new authors. Because that is important.

But what about the series that are not worth the read?

Well, I’m sure that ever series has it’s fans. And, a lot of people like the series that I had a lot of trouble reading. But, here is a list of series that I could not get in to. Just remember that these are my opinions, and if you like any of these series that is great and I’m glad that you were able to find something in them that I wasn’t.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trilogy) by Ransom Riggs

I don’t have anything against this series (I actually kind of enjoyed the first book… kind of), but I could never bring myself to pick up the second book. I just don’t think this series is worth reading.

Shatter Me (6 books) by Tahereh Mafi

I don’t want to say I hated the first book of this series….

A lot of people enjoy this series, but I can’t figure out why for the life of me. I just can’t stand anything about it.

Girl Online (Trilogy) by Zoe Sugg (Ghost Writer Siobhan Curham)

These books are the bane of YA. I don’t know why they exist. The first book was so cringey that I could barely finish it.

The Maze Runner (Trilogy? Not really sure at this point) by James Dashner

The Maze Runner was actually a DNF. I tried to read it several times and never got past the middle of the book. I watched the movie, too, just incase that would inspire me to finish the book… but I didn’t really like the movie either.


Anyway, that’s it for this post!

What are your can’t-miss YA series? What series are not worth the read?

Also: if you make a post similar to this one, link me in it so I can see it!

Thanks for reading!!

Book Review- Winter

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Winter by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Retelling
Pages: 827
Goodreads
Amazon

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

If you haven’t read my reviews of books 1-3 of the Lunar Chronicles: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

I had such high hopes for this book. This series was one of those that just seemed to get better the further I got. Maybe it was because of those high hopes that I was kind of let down by the finale of the Lunar Chronicles.

I know that this series is a fairy tale retelling. Cinder is Cinderella; Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood; Cress is Rapunzel; and Winter is Snow White. I don’t have any problems with that. I love retellings! Love them so much. Which is why I’m kind of confused by my disappointment for this one.

It’s not that this book was bad. It was entertaining. I had fun reading it. But it just wasn’t anything special for me. Everything was kind of predictable (yeah, yeah, it’s a retelling, but still…) and it just fell a little flat for me. I had the same problem with Winter as I did with Cinder (the books, not the characters): they were just kind of “eh.”

After Scarlet and Cress, which were both super fast-paced and interesting, I couldn’t help but feel let down by Winter. The characters and world building and plot were still good and interesting… but this book just was not my favorite.

Maybe it was because this book was over 800 pages… but at the same time I don’t think the story could really be told in less. I wish I could tell you what exactly I didn’t like about Winter, but it really wasn’t anything in particular. The book just fell flat.

I would still recommend this book/series to lovers of dystopia, or anyone looking for a good dystopia series to try out. But, that being said, this series as a whole is not my favorite one out there.

I am going to give Winter three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- King’s Cage

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King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on February 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 528
Goodreads
Amazon

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

If you have not read my review for the first two books in this series, click these links: Red Queen, Glass Sword

MY HEART!!! NOOOOOOO

Okay so I have so many feelings about this book. Like my heart has actually been destroyed.

Mare allowed herself to be captured so the ones she loves could get away. AND OH MY GOSH DOES SHE PAY FOR IT. I knew Maven was bad, but damn this took it too a whole new level. And then there were moments when I felt so bad for Maven and liked him and then I was reminded about what a bad person he is. The feels are too much here guys, it’s killing me.

My love for Mare is ever growing, and I just think she is an amazing character. She is so strong and resilient, even though she has been through so much. I just want a great ending for her. She deserves it.

The plot of this book was AMAZING too. It had me on the edge of my seat THE WHOLE TIME. There was a little foreshadowing, but for the most part I had no idea what was going to happen next and I NEEDED TO KNOW. Which meant yet again, I was up all night finding out the fate of Mare Barrow and the Guard.

Can I just take a second to address the FEELS IN THIS BOOK?!?! Everything was so raw and real. The love, the anguish, the heart break, the hope… it just all was too much for my poor heart. King’s Cage just ruined me. Completely.

The ending of this book (no spoilers, I promise) wrenched my heart out. WHY?!?!!?! HAS MARE NOT BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH?!?!?! I guess not. But I can not wait for the fourth book to find out what is going to happen.

If you love dystopia and have not read this series….. YOU DON’T LOVE DYSTOPIA. If you want a good dystopian series to read: LOOK NO FURTHER.

As you probably guessed, I am going to give King’s Cage five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Glass Sword

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Harper Teen on February 9 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 444
Goodreads
Amazon

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.

*If you haven’t read my review of The Red Queen, click here

This book was every bit as exciting as The Red Queen, if not more. Quick warning: if you have not read The Red Queen, this review will probably contain some spoilers.

Mare, now on the run, is attempting to build a New Blood army to face King Maven. Everything about her journey is filled with heart pounding danger, and taunts from the new king. I love how Victoria Aveyard not only included physical struggles, but emotional and mental struggles. Mare is heartbroken. Cal is heartbroken. They struggle with Maven’s betrayal and struggle with the fact that now they are being hunted by the boy they once–and still–love.

There is a bit of a love “v” in this book, between Mare, Cal, and Kilorn. But it wasn’t in the cheesy-to-the-point-its-unbearable. It was actually very realistic, and wasn’t overplayed. The romance kind of took backseat, even though it did add a romantic element to the book that was very well done.

Lots of characters were introduced in this book; which makes sense considering Mare and her gang are trying to build an army. All of the characters, no matter how small they were, each had a distinct personality that made the story all the more interesting. I loved the interactions and the tensions and fights and battles and closeness and love and need. Everything felt honest and real. Also, not gonna give away too much here, but I definitely cried at the end. This book wrenched my heart out.

It’s really hard to hate any of Aveyard’s characters, and when I do hate them, I love to hate them. The Red Queen series so far is much better than I expected, and is a must-read for anyone who loves dystopia or anyone who wants to try a dystopian series.
I am going to give Glass Sword four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Most Anticipated Debuts of 2017 part 2

The first half of 2017 has flown by! So many amazing books have been released so far this year, and there are so many more to come! Although there are WAY more than 10 books I am waiting to come out this fall, I decided to limit my post to 10, just like I did in the beginning of the year. However, unlike the first half of this post, I am going to talk about both debut and previously published authors. And, just so you know, my list is in no particular order. I’m just so excited for books!

If you missed the first half of this post (books that came out in the first half of 2017) be sure to check it out here!

My Most Anticipated Books of 2017 (pt. 2)

  1. 33784373Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco (September 19)

    Seeing as I just finished Stalking Jack the Ripper (read my review here) and LOVED it, I am so excited for the sequel: Hunting Prince Dracula! If this is anything like the first book, it’s going to be spooky and dark and beautiful and full of swoons that might actually kill me. If you haven’t gotten to Stalking Jack the Ripper yet, you don’t know what you are missing out on!

  2. 34219875Expelled by James Patterson and Emily Raymond (October 23)

    Will Foster and three other kids get expelled from school because of a picture. Now Will has to find out who took the photo and why he was targeted.
    This book sounds like a great mystery, and promises danger, suspense, and romance. What more could I want!?

  3. 27258139The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski (August 1)

    Winter’s father goes missing in the dark and poisonous woods, and she sets out to find him. She meets Henry in the woods, who seems to know more than he should.
    The Wood is Chelsea Bobulski’s thrilling debut, and I could not be more excited to read it! It promises to be an eerie and enrapturing read.

  4. 30046340The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin (August 29)

    Danielle has it all figured out… until her life starts to fall apart. She didn’t get into the college her “psychic” mom predicted, and nothing else is going according to plan. Now she needs to figure out how to stop her life from crashing, and get it back on track.
    This book promises to be cute and quirky, and it is Maggie Ann Martin’s debut novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this!

  5. 29923707One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (September 19)

    It’s no secret that Kendare Blake is one of my all-time favorite authors. So, it should be no surprise that I AM SO EXCITED FOR ONE DARK THRONE!!!
    I fell in love with Katherine, Arsinoe, and Mirabella in Three Dark Crowns (read my review here) and I am dying to find out what is going to happen to them next!

  6. 25876985Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock (August 1)

    Okay guys, this book sounds so adorable! It’s a “classic spin on the smart-girl-and-bad-boy set up” but Jenny and Chance’s romance is based on one very big lie: they both think they are “Just Friends.”
    I can seriously already feel the swoons. My heart may or my not survive this book.
    I am so ready for Tiffany Pitcock’s debut novel!

  7. 29359948A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor (August 15)

    Two sisters who used to be inseparable now are wrecked. Then they get stranded on a beach with Alex, a boy who has his own secrets. Can the sisters find their way back to each other or will they never be able to fix the tear between them?
    This book sounds like it is going to be emotionally charged, and I can’t wait to dive into the pages!

  8. 33414246When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter (September 12)

    When Ruby’s brother dies she is devastated. So devastated that she calls him back from the grave, unaware of the consequences. Ruby’s brother begins to possess her as she sleeps, intent on persuading her twin brother to submit to possession as well.
    This story sounds so creepy and scary and altogether amazing. I am so excited to read When I Cast your Shadow!

  9. 30040068A Short History of The Girl Next Door by Jared Reck (September 26)

    So I actually got an ARC of this book thanks to Jared Reck and his amazing publicists, and it is AMAZING so far. I seriously can not stop laughing.
    I am so excited for this book to come out because then EVERYBODY can read it and love it as much as I am loving it so far!

  10. 32320750Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (July 25)

    Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls, and at first it is great. Then, her friends start getting distant, and she can’t help but feel that she intentionally wasn’t invited to the biggest party of the year. So maybe Broken Falls isn’t so welcoming after all.
    This psychological thriller promises to be amazing, and I can’t wait to read it!


Obviously there are SO MANY MORE BOOKS being published in the second half of 2017 that I am excited for, but if I included them all this post might not ever end (seeing as I find another upcoming book to be excited for almost every day!).

What upcoming books are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!