A Gathering of Shadows

“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.” 

Title: A Gathering of Shadows

Author: V.E Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic # 2

Publication:  February 23rd 2016 by Tor Books

Pages: 512

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.


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Girls Made of Snow and Glass

“You’ll see too, one day. Once you grow older, someone else will be waiting to take your place, someone younger and prettier than you. I knew that day was approaching for me. I knew even when you were still a child. So why am I so surprised to learn that I’m being thrown aside? Why am I always so surprised?”

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Author: Melissa Bashardoust

Series: Standalone

Publication:  September 5th 2017 by Flatiron Books

Pages: 384

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


My Thoughts:

You know those times when you struggle to get into a book regardless of its wonders? That is how I felt with Girls Made of Snow and Glass. Honestly, I can’t tell you if it was over hyped or if I simply missed the underlying message of what was going on. I’d heard amazing things about the book. I’d heard it was a wonderful feminist retelling of Snow White… but I struggled regardless. There was, is, so much more beyond the surface of this book and, in all honesty, I simply didn’t give it the time it deserved.

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A Darker Shade of Magic

“You know so little of war. Battles may be fought from the outside in, but wars are won from the inside out.” 

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic # 1

Publication: February 24th 2015 by Tor Books

Pages: 400

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. 

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

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Long May She Reign

There were choices, and then there were choices. People could say “everything is a choice” with as much haughtiness and superiority as they liked, but that didn’t mean desperate people wouldn’t take a third option if they could.

Title: Long May She Reign

Author: Rhiannon Thomas

Series: Standalone

Publication: February 21st 2017 by HarperTeen

Pages: 422

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.


Thoughts and Feelings

How the book sounded:

What it felt like:

I had so much faith in this book… but, long story short, it let me down. Long May She Reign sounded as if it were going to be a mind boggling journey of medieval political warfare. The book, however, was completely off its rocker when it came to pacing, world building, and the characters themselves. I could bite at the premise. The 23rd in line getting the throne? I wanted to know why and how and how it was possibly going to work. Instead, I was given a long trek through a tar pit with minimal character development as a life line. It wasn’t worth it. Opps.

 

 

The Book Jumper

“The paper slid smoothly over my cheeks and along the bridge of my nose until it covered my eyes. The letters were far too close up to read. They swam before my eyes, melting into an inky whirlpool. They swirled around each other; they changed shape. Words flexed and twisted apart to form bushes and foliage. And then they came pattering down like raindrops: a shower of words raining down on me.”

Title: The Book Jumper

Author: Mechthild Gläser

Series: Standalone

Publication:  January 3rd 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 371

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother’s childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.


Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. Amy learns that she is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy’s new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever the cost.
 


My Thoughts:

The above gif is a representation of me while I was reading this masterpiece/trainwreck/ amazing/ dissapointing adventure of a book. I have such a love hate relationship with this book right now. I WANTED to fall head over heels in love with The Book Jumper. I mean, the whole premise is a girl who can jump into the stories she reads. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I want to jump into my favorite books and meet my heroes, though I probably wouldn’t last a week. However, the amazing premise and original idea and execution couldn’t make up for the severe lack of character and world building.

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Our Dark Duet

People were messy. They were defined not only by what they’d done, but by what they would have done, under different circumstances, molded as much by their regrets as their actions, choices they stood by and those they wished they could undo. Of course, there was no going back – time only moved forward – but people could change. 

Title: Our Dark Duet

Author: Victoria Schwab

Series: Monsters of Verity # 2

Publication: June 13th 2017 by Greenwillow Books

Pages: 510

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?


All The Feels:

My gosh. I adored This Savage Song. I loved it, loved it, loved it. It was brilliant, thoughtful, and heart pounding. I’ve been waiting for a year to get my hands on the sequel and conclusion to the duology, Our Dark Duet.  Damn was it worth it.

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The Disapperances

“What needs darkness to grow instead of light?” she asked me one night when we were younger.
“I give up,” I finally said.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Her eyes flashed more silver than gray. “Secrets”

Title: The Disappearances

Author: Emily Bain Murphy

Series: Standalone

Publication: July 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.


A Listical of Thoughts:

  • This book is impossible to describe. One can only experience it, trust me.
  • MAGICAL REALISM (Which isn’t a reason, but it really is)
  • Beautifully handled mystery. It doesn’t unfold all at once, and it’s hard to pick up on all the pieces which makes for some really wonderful surprises.
  • The writing is ridiculously gorgeous – seriously. The writing in this book is making me fall in love with magical realism all over again.
  • The Disappearances has it all: heartbreak, thrills, love, mystery, and laughter.
  • The world building alone was mind blowing – the small, little town was so compelling and it crafted the perfect atmosphere for the story.
  • SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS! Ugh. Well done.
  • How many times can I say magical before you read it?

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