Weekly Update: I won my first wrestling match, wrote a sonnet, and arted.

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Hi guys! We have officially made it into February!

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, it has been quite the week (and a half) for me! Before I get into that, I’ll give you a quick update on my reading progress.

What I’ve Read/ What I’m reading:

Okay, so some sad news… I haven’t actually finished any books since my last update. Between school work and yearbook work (and Netflix/Hulu), I haven’t had that much time to sit down with a book.

However, here is what I’m in the middle of:

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: This book is taking me forever to get through. I think it’s mostly because of how traumatic the ending was for me the first time around, so I’ve kind of been putting it off. That being said, I do what to try to finish it this week and move on to Tower of Dawn.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about this book so I decided to start it. I’m about 10% in right now and it’s pretty interesting so far, so I’m excited to see what happens next!

Run by Kody Keplinger: I haven’t read any of this since the last time I checked in, so I think I might just take it off my “currently reading” list and try to pick it back up later.

I did also post my review for By Your Side by Kasie West (I ended up giving it 2 stars). You can read that here.

Wrestling:

I mentioned briefly last week that I joined my school’s wrestling team this year. It’s been amazing so far (although sadly the season is going to be coming to an end soon), and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life.

Last weekend on Sunday I had the chance to go to a women’s wrestling tournament at another boarding school. In the morning there was a clinic with Leigh Jaynes, who is a bronze medalist at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships(!!!). She taught us some of her favorite take-down techniques before the tournament started.

There were about 50 girls that showed up for the tournament (which was an amazing turnout)(, and we were split up into weight classes. There were two other girls in my weight class. One of them was about 5 pounds lighter than me, and was also a first year wrestler, so we were a pretty good match up. The other girl had a good 20-30 pounds on me and had been wrestling for 6 years, so as you can imagine, that match up was not ideal (for me).

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I almost escaped from her, but she was hanging on my leg and I couldn’t get it free.

I wrestled with the more experienced girl first. I was so nervous! I ended up trying to take her down too fast and didn’t do the move quite right (but remember, this was only my second match ever…). After that I didn’t really stand much of a chance. She crushed the air out of me and I literally couldn’t breathe.

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Incase you can’t tell, in this picture my head is stuffed under my body in an attempt to roll me over.

For a second there I was like “This is it. This is how I die.” She pinned me in just under 1 minute and 30 seconds. But I’m pretty proud of the fight I put up, and my coach was really proud of me too.

My second match went a lot better (for me). I actually worked with that girl during the clinic with Leigh Jaynes, so

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I took this match a lot slower and focused on getting in a good position before trying to take her down.

we were really excited for the chance to wrestle each other. I took this match a lot slower and really focused on my form before I

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I got her in a headlock which led to a pin!

tried to take her down. That strategy (along with both of us being relatively inexperienced) served me well, and I was able to take her down and get the pin! That was my third ever match, and my first win!

It was such an amazing feeling walking off the mat! I couldn’t stop smiling!

After all of the wrestling was done, we had an awards ceremony, where the girls in each of the weight classes were awarded medals. Because I won one of my matches and there were only three of us in my weight class, I walked out with the silver medal!

The day was rounded off with some yummy pizza with Coach, his daughter, and my teammate, and lots of singing along to the radio on the ride back to school.

I wrote a Sonnet!

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a professional poet!

In AP English, my class had a poem project. We got to make our own quills (feather pens?) by carving the tip of a feather with a knife. It took me a few tries to get the tip quite right, and even then it kept bleeding a little bit on the page.

Then, we had to write a sonnet.

A sonnet is 14 lines long, and follows a specific rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG (There are actually a few different rhyme schemes you can use, but this is the one that my class did) . Each of the lines also has to be 10 syllables long.

To make this project even harder, we had to come up with our own topic. It took me a while, but I decided to go with “College”. Then came the struggle of actually writing the thing. Here is what I came up with:

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College

Everybody wants to go to college
The only way to get ahead in life
Study hard and do your best and pledge
To not end up as a stay-at-home wife.
Sending in applications is a chore
An honest test of character and time
Don’t resent as a show off or a bore
Don’t be too loud or quiet as a mime.
Just be yourself, not like that, be better
Your greatest accomplishments are mundane
You’ve done nothing to deserve a letter
I guess your life has just been far too plain.
Just as you begin to give up hope
News arrives that makes you not want to mope.

Ta-da!

I arted!

I’m not a particularly artsy person.

Don’t get me wrong, I like doing art occasionally… I’m just not really great at it (which I have accepted and am perfectly okay with).

But one day my friend asked me to come keep her company in the art room and paint, so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.

I went for something abstract (because then if I messed it up I could say it was intentional). Here is my art!

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Pretty snazzy, right? *flips hair artistically*

Talk to me!

What have you been reading lately? Have you done anything exciting or interesting? Is there anything you are looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Weekly Update: I got the flu and almost died… and those two things are only mostly related

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Hey guys!

So as you can probably tell from the title of this post, my week has been one of cough syrup and trying not to die. But before I get into that, let me tell you about all the reading I’ve managed to do!

Books I’ve read in the last week!

Seeing as I was sick, I spent a lot of time in Heath Services (the nurses office) instead of going to classes. Which meant a lot of time to read. So between sleeping and trying not to feel like I was burning alive, I read. A lot.

By Your Side by Kasie West: This was the only book I read this week that wasn’t a re-read. I honestly didn’t like it that much (I rated it 3 stars on Goodreads), and hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and write a review of it soon!

A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger: I loved this book just as much as I did the first time! I love Keplinger’s writing! (review here)Ruby Red (trilogy) by Kerstin Gier: I remembered loving these books, but reading them again made me love them so much more! This series is really a masterpiece! If you are looking for something to read, please please please consider these books!! (reviews: Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green) Currently Reading!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: I am slowly making my way through this beast of a book, and (like my other re-reads) loving it!! I can’t wait to finish this one and finally write a review for it! Then finally read Tower of Dawn!!

Run by Kody Keplinger: I’m only a few pages into this one, and I think I may just start it from the beginning. I haven’t really had time to get into this one, but I’m hoping that I love it just as much as Keplinger’s other books!

How I almost died:

Alrighty. So here’s how it happened:

I started feeling sick on Wednesday. As in chills, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness… the works. I went to the nurse at the end of the day and she told me to lie down and take it easy. But Wednesday is game day and I wanted to at least go to the wrestling match and support my team. So she let me go on the condition that I didn’t wrestle.

When I got back, I was feeling pretty rough. I did my homework and went to bed and I had to take like 30 cough drops to make my throat feel okay enough to let me fall asleep.The fire alarm went off at 12:30 in the morning.And guess who didn’t wake up?

Me.

I slept through 10 minutes of the fire alarm.

Then woke up to my phone ringing ON VIBRATE. Because apparently my brain thinks my vibrating phone is more important than the fire alarm.

Turns out, it was one of the dorm parents calling me to see where I was, and the conversation went something like this:

Dorm Parent: Emma, you need to get out of the dorm.

Me (still super groggy and hasn’t realized that alarm is going off): Why?

DP: The fire alarm is going off.

Me (still not registering that the beeping is, in fact, the fire alarm): No it’s not.

DP: Emma! Get out of the building!

Me (finally hearing the alarm): Ahh! Coming!

So I slid out of bed and pulled on my boots and wrapped myself in a blanket. Then, right as I was opening my door, a security officer was coming in to get me. He kind of looked at me like “how do you not wake up to a blaring alarm?” (good question dude) and then I walked downstairs. There were firemen on the first floor and it smelled like smoke. One of the firemen looked at me and went:

What are you doing?

And then I just kind of went:

I didn’t wake up.

And hurried out of the dorm feeling stupid and sick and tired and trying not to cry. So basically, if there had been a real fire instead of one of the washing machines starting to smoke (actually it might have caught fire… I’m not super clear on what actually happened), I probably would be dead. In my defense though, the fire alarm in the dorm sounds like a super loud microwave beeping and not like an actual fire alarm. So it’s not my fault that my sick brain didn’t think it was worth waking up for. Right? What else has been going on with me?

Besides missing two days of school and pretty much sleeping all weekend, I haven’t been up to much.

But I do have one bit of good news….

I GOT INTO MY FIRST COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Honestly the weight off my shoulders with that one letter was something that I don’t even know how to begin to describe. I was just such an amazing feeling.

Talk to me!

What have you been reading? Have you ever almost-died? Are you too a victim of flu season? Do you have any good news to share? Let me know in the comments below!!

Thanks for reading!

Book Scenarios Tag!

Hey guys!

Lindsay @ Singer of Stories did this tag, and seeing as I apparently like to torture myself via impossible decisions, I have decided to do it too! So without further ado, let the hard choices begin!

Scenario Time:

1. You have to get rid of all of your books and you can only keep one from each of these genres: contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction, and one other genre of your choosing. What books do you keep?

Ha. Haha. Hahaha. My brain is melting. Already.

Contemporary:The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Fantasy:Throne of Glass (series please? Is there a version all wrapped into one huge volume?) by Sarah J. Maas

Non-Fiction: Okay, so I actually don’t read/like a lot of non-fiction so this wouldn’t be the hardest loss. (And on that note, if you have any good non-fic recs for me, I am obviously in desperate need) One other genre:But there are so many more books I want to saveeeee. Moooommmmmm!!!!!!Maybe Ruby Red or Stalking Jack the Ripper ???? I can’t choose!

2. You’re at the bookstore and you hear a teenager telling their mom they don’t like to read, but their mom insists they pick something. You walk over and recommend a book you think is great for people who aren’t big on reading – what book is it?

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett or Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. Both were quick books that drew me in from the beginning and had me captivated until the last word!

3. You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which book do you read to put yourself in a great mood?

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury. This book is so magical and swoon worthy and never fails to make me feel good!

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years. What book would you most likely have caught yourself reading?

But I’m still 18 so that counts as a teenager, right? Okay, if I could go back to being 14, you would probably find me reading the Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter. I loved those books so much!

5. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day trip and you have 1 hour to pack. Which book do you bring to read on the way?

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I’d bring Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, just because I’m in the middle of it right now.

But honestly, if I were surprised by a 4 day trip, I don’t think me and my friends would be doing that much reading…

6. Your house has been robbed! Don’t worry – everyone is safe, but your bookshelf has been raided. What’s the book you really hope is safe?

Uhhhhh….

I don’t really have a good answer for this one, because I don’t really collect any books. I have some ARCs, but if they got stolen I’d be fine with replacing them with finished copies.

7. Your friend borrows a book and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs.

OMG they would never hear the end of it. All of my friends (and family) know how careful I am with my books, and literally before I lend any books out I make sure the person knows exactly how I want my book back. If that didn’t happen and it came back in terrible condition, they would definitely be replacing it.


Aaaaaand scene.

Whelp that was tough. Think you want to answer these? Well then, consider yourself tagged!

Thanks for reading!

Weekly (?) Update: Two weeks into January and I’ve already died of embarrassment. But I have been reading some good books.

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Hey guys!

Is it just me or is December January moving too fast? (omg I actually had a brain fart and thought it was December for a minute…???) Where is the time going? I don’t know!?!?

Anyway, between school work and wrestling I’ve found some time to do some reading! Yay!

I’m currently on page 390/689 of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Mass (which was one of the books on by TBR, and a re-read), and I have less than an hour left on the audiobook of A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger (it’s also a re-read/listen for me… and you can see my original review here).

Both of these were 5 star reads for me the first time around, and so far those ratings haven’t changed! These are two of my favorite books!

As for my life, classes are going pretty well. I also got inducted into the Cum Laude Society (!!!!) which was cool but I also managed to look ridiculous because I had no idea how dressed up the other inductees were going to be:

Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh

So basically I was rocking jeans, Uggs, and a sweater. So classy. (But really I felt so awkward and out-of-place the whole time.. please someone go back and save me) 

I mean seriously though, I had classes with two of the girls before the ceremony and they were wearing normal clothes and I thought that they weren’t going to get dressed up and then they did a sneak-attack change and left me ALL ALONE.  *dies of mortification*

Also, for those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I dyed my hair blonde!! That happened on Christmas day in my brother’s bathroom, and yes, I dyed his hair too! It was so much fun and I love how it turned out (thank you 3 hours of YouTube!)

Anyway, I still haven’t gotten into college, I’m covered in bruises from wrestling (although I feel so amazing and empowered and show them off to anyone and everyone), and I have actually been getting enough(ish) sleep for once in my life. And that’s how the New Year has been going so far.

Talk to me!

First, I’d really appreciate some feedback on the whole weekly update thing. Do we like this? Not like this? Should I make these a regular thing? What else would you want to see in them?

Secondly, HOW HAS YOUR NEW YEAR BEEN?!? What books are you reading? What new releases are you excited for? Has anything fun/interesting/exciting/terrible/mortifying/etc. happened to you lately?

Also, I haven’t had a lot of time to keep up with reading blogs lately, so feel free to leave a link to your latest blog post down below so I can check it out!

Thanks for reading!!

My January TBR!

Hey guys! So I’m still over here trying to process how it is 2018?!?!? It doesn’t feel real yet.

Anyway, it’s been a week, and the only thing I have read so far is the prologue of Empire of Storms. So, I decided to make a TBR for January that will hopefully motivate me to want to read more!

My TBR is going to be pretty short, mostly because school is starting up again and I sadly won’t have that much time to actually sit down and read. So here we go (titles will be links to Goodreads)!

January TBR:

1. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas28260587

This book is a re-read for me. I re-read books 1-4 in December, and this is the last one before finally getting to Tower of Dawn (which I haven’t read yet at all!). I know I am going to love this one, and this time when I finish it I’ll actually write a review! Hehe.

2. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas31450852

I’ve heard this book surpassed a lot of people’s expectations, so I’m pretty excited to start it! Hopefully I’ll love it as much as I love the other Throne of Glass books!

3. Run by Kody Keplinger23613983

I actually started this book already, but I’m only about 15 pages in, so I’m not really sure what to think of it yet. I loved both The D.U.F.F. and A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Keplinger, so I’m hoping to love this one too!

4. Frostblood by Elly Blake27827203

I don’t know if I am going to have time to get to this one, but I hope I do. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a long while now, and I’ve heard it’s really good from a lot of people, so I’m pretty excited for it!

 

 

Talk to me!

What is on your January TBR? Have you read any of the books I plan on reading? Let me know in the comments below!

New Years Book Tag

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Hey guys! IT’S 2018!!!!! AHHHHH

With the new year comes new book goals, and I’m going to share mine with you today! I got the idea for this post over at Kyera’s Library!

How many books are you planning to read in 2018?

My official Goodreads goal is 75! I read 83 books last year, so really I hope to pass that, but with school and how busy I’ve been lately, I think 75 books is a good goal.

What are 5 books you didn’t get to this year but want to make a priority in 2018?

  1. Warcross by Marie Lu
  2. Entwined by Heather Dixon
  3. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  4. Expelled by James Patterson
  5. Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

What genre do you want to read more of?

Retellings. I read a few great ones this year, like The Forbidden Wish, and I really want to read some more!

Name 3 non-book related goals for 2018.

  1. Finish off strong in my senior year and get into college.
  2. Do a summer internship or get a summer job.
  3. Make a bucket list.

What’s a book you’ve had forever that you still need to read?

Frostblood by Elly Blake.

I know this only came out a year ago, but it has been sitting on my shelf forever and I just haven’t been able to get to it yet!

One word that you are hoping 2018 will be.

Exciting!

I tag:

Anyone who wants to do it!!

Thanks for reading!

My Year in Books – 2017

Hey guys! I got the idea for this post over at Kyera’s Library and it looked so fun that I just had to do it! Be sure to go check Kyera out as well!!

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Totals:

I read 29,841 pages over 83 books!


Longest Book:

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Winter by Marissa Meyer @ 827 pages


Shortest Book:

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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson @ 16 pages


Most Popular Book:

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: Read by 665,791 other people


Least Popular Book:

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Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard: Read by 200 other people

Guys! This book is so good! How have more people not read it!?!?!? I literally just re-read it because it is so good.


My Average Rating:

3.53 out of 5

I had the most 4 star reviews, but otherwise my ratings were pretty well spread out.


Highest Rated on Goodreads:

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas with an average of 4.60/5


First Review of the Year:

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The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan


Books I’ve Read This Year:

I’m definitely missing some in there… but that’s most of them.


What books have you read this year? Have we read any of the same ones? What were your favorites and least favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

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.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Crown of Midnight

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway going on now!

Also this contains spoilers for the first book, Throne of Glass (see my review for that here)


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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 27th, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 418
Goodreads
Amazon 

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion-yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

One of the worst things in the world is Second Book Syndrome (aka when the second book kinda sucks compared to the first). BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.

There is so much going on in this book. Celaena is now the King’s Campion, and is sent out to assassinate people that the King wants to get rid of. Chaol is fighting his feelings about Celaena’s new role: he is both repulsed by her actions and feeling things for her he didn’t think were possible. Dorian, who also doesn’t love the idea of Celaena’s new role, is getting over her and trying to find a way back into her life as a friend.

This book is packed with action, and balanced out with the connections between the characters. The friendship between Nehemia and Celaena is beautiful and heartbreaking, and Celaena’s relationships with Chaol and Dorian are also beautiful and hearbreaking.

Actually, beautiful and heartbreaking sums up the whole book pretty well.
AND THEN THE ENDING. WOOOOOAAAAHHHH. Not gonna give spoilers, but even though I already knew the “major reveal” at the end, it still was a huge moment and all I can really think to say about it is “WOOOOAAAAHHHHH”.

If you read Throne of Glass and liked/loved it, I highly recommend continuing the series!!

I am going to give Crown of Midnight five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥