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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It is finally here: The EPIC THRONE OF GLASS THEMED GIVEAWAY!!!!

I have been promising this for weeks. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit behind schedule. But it is here!!

Over the past two months, I’ve read all of the published ToG novels (The Assassin’s Blade through Empire of Storms) and loved them all! I don’t know why I waited so long to start this series.

Maybe I was afraid of the hype… who knows.

Anyway, I haven’t posted any of my reviews yet, but they will be going up soon (probably in the next week or so, but you probably know by now that I’m terrible at staying on schedule) . In the meantime, you have this awesome giveaway to enter!

Here’s what you can win:

(And please forgive my less-than-adequate photo taking skills….)

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You can win all of these goodies and a hardback of the next ToG book: Tower of Dawn!! (ToD will be ordered from Book Depository and sent directly to winner)

Let’s take a closer look at what you stand to win:

  1. IMG_3410This beautiful 18×18″ pillow from BookishStuff on Etsy! The case is super soft and the pillow is very plushy! The art on it features a Stag silhouette with a dark forest behind it, and a starry sky and a quote inside of it.  It says:

    the Stag, the Lord of the North. So the people of Terrasen will always know how to find their way home. So they can look up at the sky, no matter where they are and know Terrasen is forever with them.

  2. IMG_3412A one-of-a-kind handmade Journal from KleeTreasures on Etsy! This beautiful journal is hand painted and has a cute bookmark with a yellow star charm and a spiral of stars charm.
    The art on this journal features the Stag of Terrasen surrounded by a golden circle with a crown on top!
    It is small enough to be carried around in your purse or pocket!
    Also, this came all the way from Australia!! (I think that’s really awesome)
  3. A gorgeous metal stamped necklace from Bookish IMG_3413Adventures on Etsy! This necklace is silver colored and says:

    Fireheart

    It also has a little heart charm off to one side!
    This necklace will make such a cute accessory with any outfit!
    You can check out Bookish Adventures on Instagram here!

  4. A 13×13″ Tote Bag from Society6 (this is the only thing not donated IMG_3411for the giveaway, but when I saw it I was like “ahh this is so cute! I need to include it in the giveaway!”)
    The artwork features a gold dream catcher on a black background with stars and has the quote:

    The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.

    Just so you know, that is my favorite quote from the books!!

  5. A Hardcover of Tower of Dawn (ordered from Book Depository, as said above)

How to win:

*This giveaway is going to be open to anywhere that book depository ships!!

To win, just enter the rafflecoper giveaway below!

Rafflecoper Giveaway

Good luck entering the giveaway!

The giveaway ends on September 11th, 2017 and the winner will be emailed the following day!

And keep an eye out for the upcoming reviews of the Throne of Glass series!!

Thanks for reading!!

 

August Wrap Up: Summer can’t be over! I’m not ready for school!

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So remember last month when I was like “Oh hey how did the summer go so fast?!?!?!”

Well now the summer is actually over and I’M NOT READY FOR SCHOOL TO START AGAIN.

I mean, I am…. but I really just want another month of summer before I have to face actual school work.

I could also use an extra month of summer to do the summer course work that I haven’t exactly started yet…. *cue frantic scrambling for my summer reading*

Talking about reading… I didn’t read as much as I planned to this month.

That’s mostly because of the road-trip I went on (more on that later). But even so, I still had a good reading month.

Books I have reviewed this month:

5‘s: Wait Till Helen Comes // Little Monsters
4 ‘s: Gemina // Cruel Crown // Haunting the Deep // Hunting Prince Dracula// P.S. I Like You
2 ‘s: A Week of Mondays
1 : Scrappy Little Nobody // The Infinity of You & Me // Dreamology

Books I’ve read but haven’t posted reviews for yet:

These reviews are coming soon along with a Throne of Glass themed giveaway. I’m planning on posting that this upcoming week!! So if you are a Throne of Glass fan, be sure to keep an eye out!!

Books I’m reading right now:

I’m almost done with City of Thieves (I have less than 50 pages to go), and I’m still in the beginning of The Breathless.

I really only read 10 books this month, but that’s still pretty good considering how busy I have been!

So what exactly have I been busy with?

  • I went on a huge road trip down the east coast with my best friend!! (Check out all the details in my post about it!!)
  • Setting up the epic Throne of Glass giveaway that I keep talking about (I promise it is coming and it is going to be amazing)
  • Taking care of Nike (our new puppy! who you can check out in the road trip post!)
  • Making sure I have everything I need for my dorm and for school
  • Seeing some friends that I haven’t seen in years (it was great!!)
  • Babysitting
  • Painting (or at least trying to…)
  • Visiting my cousin at her college
  • Dropping off my best friend at school and then going back to visit her a day later because separation is hard
  • Re-watching Suits because I haven’t seen it in years and it’s amazing
  • Watching the Game of Thrones season finale even though I haven’t watched since the middle of season three
  • Driving around aimlessly because I’m nostalgic and like seeing the town I grew up in
  • Driving past my old house enough times to raise suspicion because #ChildhoodMemories
  • Reading other blogs in all of my spare time

And now for a list of things that I probably should have done this month but haven’t gotten to yet:

  • MY FREAKING SUMMER COURSE WORK (I’m kind of screwed at this point)

Yeah that’s pretty much it. So I’m just gonna go ahead and call this month a win.

But guys I have some awesome news: I now have close to 650 blog followers!!! I seriously love you guys!!!

I also have no idea what prompts you to follow my humble little blog, BUT I’M NOT COMPLAINING!!! You guys really make me feel accomplished in life.

I don’t want to make this post too long, so I’m gonna wrap it up here… but I want to hear all about your August!

Did you read everything you wanted to?

Did you go on any adventures?

Did you do your summer course work? (Hahaha does anyone? Wait… don’t answer that)

Let me know how your month went in the comments below!!

Thanks for reading!!

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!!

July Wrap Up: Where did the summer go?!? How did I read 25 books?!?

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HOW IS JULY OVER ALREADY?!?!?!?!?! IT WAS LITERALLY MAY YESTERDAY. WHAT THE WHAT?

No but seriously I’m having a crisis here. Where did July go?

I haven’t done a wrap up in forever. Probably because last time I checked it was still May 2nd and no where near the end of a month… much less the end of the summer! AHHHHH

Breathe Emma, breathe.

I’m just now realizing the sheer number of books I have read this month.

I’ve kind of been in a reading binge, which has been wonderful. BUT THAT MEANS I’VE BEEN POSTING SO MANY REVIEWS!!

There are also a bunch of books that I read that I haven’t posted reviews for yet… so I’m gonna split this up into two sections:

Books I have Reviewed This Month:

 

Links to the Reviews:

5 ‘s:  The Anatomical Shape of a Heart //  King’s Cage //  A Midsummer’s Nightmare
4 ‘s:  The Hidden Oracle //  Glass Sword //  How To Hang A Witch //  Just Friends //  Cress //  The Wood //  Traveler
3 ‘s: Illuminae // Winter // Caraval
2 ‘s:  The Book Jumper // #famous //  Romeo and/or Juliet
1 ‘s:  As I Wake

Books I have Read this Month but Haven’t Posted Reviews for Yet:

The Infinity of You & Me and Scrappy Little Nobody were actually both DNFs, so I’m going to be publishing a post on DNFs pretty soon.

The Throne of Glass series is amazing so far, and I’m going through them like nobody’s business. I’m planning a series review rather than individual reviews, because why not?

I am going to be a part of the “A Short History of the Girl Next Door” blog tour in September, so my review for that will be in the blog tour post.

And the other two reviews are drafted, I just haven’t had a chance to post them yet!

Woah… I have read 25 books this month?! I’m in awe of myself. I might need to go get ice cream to celebrate.

Any excuse for ice cream, am I right?!

So, along with reading a record amount of books, here are some of the posts and tags I have published this month:

The Dreaded Book Slump: Why they happen and how to beat them

Why did I write this post? I was so obviously not in a book slump. Maybe I just wanted more people to join my book binge? Idk…

Author Q&A with Peyton Garver

It’s been a while since I posted an author Q&A, but I’m so glad I got to interview Peyton! She is so nice, and her book, Sublime Karma, sounds amazing!! (I have a copy of it sitting on my TBR pile, so I’ll write a review of it eventually!)

Discussion: WHAT’S WITH ALL THE GREEN EYES IN YA? Have all other eye colors been banned?

In which I talk about the over abundance of green eyes. Seriously, I know like 3 people with green eyes. Something is wrong here.

Comparing US and Foreign Edition Covers

Because book covers are beautiful, and I love looking at foreign edition covers!

The Book Titles Tag

Welcome to the title of my life. Read at your own risk. Featuring: Food: A Love Story

You are probably wondering right now if I have a life offline. That’s a good question. I’m not really sure anymore. Here is what I have done this month:

  • Binge watched The Night Shift (in which Jill Flint plays Jordan, a female doctor)
  • Binge watched (this is an ongoing binge) Royal Pains (in which Jill Flint plays Jill, who runs the hospital) (totally coincidence by the way..  I had no idea she was in either show)
  • Wrote 40,000 words for Camp Nano (a project that will probably never see the light of day)
  • Became a volunteer librarian at my local library
  • Stayed over at a friends house because I haven’t seen her in forever (it was a blast!)
  • Got a head cold from my younger brother when he (and my two other brothers and dad) visited me (seriously dude, cough into your arm)
  • Had three (yes 3!!!) picnics while my family visited.
  • Mowed the lawn, twice
  • Went to target to buy dorm essentials for the school year (which is coming wayyy to fast)
  • Chopped my hair off (waist length to shoulder length) and got bangs.

When did I sleep? What’s my secret?

HAHAHAHA good question. I don’t sleep. As I said in my Book Titles Tag, I am the Queen of Shadows.

AKA I am never asleep. It’s becoming a problem.

BUT IN OTHER NEWS I AM ALMOST AT 500 BLOG FOLLOWERS!!!!!

HOLY COW GUYS, YOU ARE AMAZING AND I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR ALL OF YOU!!!

Also, I’ll be running a giveaway when I do hit 500. I’m thinking either a book of the winner’s choosing (from book depository) or maybe an ARC? Let me know in the comments what you would want to win!!

And finally, to wrap up this wrap up, here are some of my favorite posts from other bloggers this month!

The “Never Have I Ever” vlog from Paper Fury and her sister!

I love Paper Fury! Her blog is amazing and 100% goals. Also this vlog was hilarious and I was laughing the whole time!

Ten Weird Habits of Mine from Bionic Book Worm

These habits are so relatable!!

Books that aren’t set in/inspired by The Western World from My Bookish Dream

This post showcases some amazing books (like The Forbidden Wish ) that are set away from the Western World.

The Dreamy Book Covers Tag from Reactionary Tales

Because I think we all know by now how much I love a pretty book cover!

August is on the horizon.

I’m not a big planner (which I why I don’t do monthly TBRs), but I do have some pretty exciting plans for this month.

  • I have a friend from school coming to stay with me for a week (probably, she hasn’t gotten her tickets quite yet)
  • My best friend and I are going on a road trip together!!!!!
  • I have an ARC of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco to read (and I can’t wait to start it)
  • I have some AMAZING blog posts lined up for you guys (or at least I think they are amazing… hopefully you’ll agree)
  • and of course I’m going to be doing a lot of blog surfing, so I can see all of your amazing posts!

And that’s my July Wrap up! What have you guys been up to this month?

Thanks for reading!!

The Book Titles Tag – Welcome to the Story of My Life… or at least the title part

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I saw this tag over at Kristin Kraves Books, and thought it looked really cool! Little did I know how hard it would be to fill each prompt with a title. Hehehe

So basically, to do this tag, all you have to do is pick a book whose title fits the prompt. Pretty easy, right? NO. NO ITS NOT.

But still, this tag was a lot of fun to put together! So here we go!

1. Title that is the story of your life

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My life is just crazy. And it’s kind of a funny story. Maybe I’ll tell it to you one day. Who knows.

2. Title that describes your perfect weekend

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As in jumping from one book to another as I make it through my entire TBR in one weekend (haha as if that’s possible).

3. Title you want to name your child

So I picked Dorian for a boy, or Gray. I think I’d also name a boy Gray. And then Electra for a girl, because I’ve always loved that name! Hey, maybe I’ll have three kids: Dorian, Electra, and Gray.

4. Title of your ideal job

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Because who would not want to be Queen of Shadows? I mean, I’m usually up all night anyway, so why not?

5. Title of a place you’d like to visit

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I love the circus with a passion (I was literally in tears when I heard The Barnum & Bailey circus was having it’s last ever show), and that’s where I want to visit. The circus.

6. Title of your love life

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Ha. It should be: Food: A True Love Story, because food is my true love.

Nah, I mean, my love life is fine, but nothing special at the moment.

7. Title of a kingdom you’d want to rule

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Okay, so take out the “burning” part. I want to rule Dreamland. Fun fact: I lucid dream a lot and it is amazing and I love it. The end.

8. Title you’d name your band

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I actually have had my dream band name for years (Electralight), but since there is no book named that, I had to settle for another. So I chose Midnight’s Children, because like I said earlier: I basically stay up all night/never sleep. So it just makes sense.


And there you have it! Okay so there are actually a few more prompts (which you can see in Kristin’s post linked up above), but I didn’t have the time or patience to look for the perfect titles to match them. Aka I’m lazy. Aka Netflix is calling. Aka this is why nothing gets done.

Aaaaannnyyyway, I guess I should probably tag some people to do this!

  1. Lauren @ Comma Hangover
  2. Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm
  3. Amber @ The Literary Phoenix
  4. YOU! ([insert your name here])

Remember, if you do this tag, don’t forget to leave me a link below so I can go check it out!!

Thanks for reading!