Throne of Glass

You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass # 1

Publication: May 7th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Pages: 404

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.


My Thoughts:

The first time I read Throne of Glass was two years ago. I had an electronic copy on loan from my local library, and I devoured it in a matter of days while on the road trip heading off to my first year of college. The second time I read Throne of Glass was completed a mere moment ago, and I have to say, I have fallen in love even more the second time around. Throne of Glass is the kind of book that creeps up on you. It pulls you in, and then incapacitates you in swift, subtle movements -sort of like the heroine, and my favorite assassin, Celaena Sardothien.

Continue reading

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You

“Well, I can’t beat Harper and her future husband without giving up sleeping and eating and comics. So yeah, I’ll settle for being number three. I’ll get a cake shaped like a four and shove it in Ben West’s stupid hairy face after he walks across the stage at graduation. And then I’ll rip off my cap and gown, revealing a red leather jacket and black skinny jeans and moonwalk  all the way home.”

Title: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You

Author: Lily Anderson

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 352

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.


My Thoughts:

This book is amazing, simple as that. It is a Young Adult retelling of “Much Ado About Nothing”, which is my absolute favorite play of Shakespeare’s. A retelling full of pop culture references like mentions of Doctor Who and Supernatural (hell yea), The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is a hilarious, original rendition of a favored classic that is well worth your time.

Continue reading

Tell The Wind and Fire

Maybe that is the only thing I have ever learned about love: love is when you save someone no matter what the cost.”

Title: Tell The Wind and Fire

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Series: Standalone?

Publication: April 5th 2016 by Clarion Books

Pages: 368

Source: Publisher in exchange for honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

My Thoughts:

Well, right out of the bat I had no idea this was a retelling of A Tale Of Two Cities when I jumped into this book. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So, I found myself pleasantly surprised at recognizing little details here and there throughout Tell The Wind and Fire. I cried, I laughed, and I did everything that this book wanted me to. I felt just as broken as when I read the original – and that’s saying something.

Tell The Wind and Fire was, for lack of a better description, pretty awesome. I mean, there was enough of the old to bring back that hint of nostalgia – but there was also a fresh twist, a sense of vibrancy that breathed new air into an old classic.

I think, despite the obviously amazing scope of pretty much everything, that one of the best parts of this book is the complexity of the character development. Each character has a specific line they follow. A carefully hand-crafted and intricate thread that winds through each and every element of the story. There is not one thing that is not important – and it makes this book all the more wonderful. Everyone has a secret and everyone’s secret is either their downfall or their salvation. Each piece is an unstoppable force – each character is an irreplaceable role in the story. Lucie, Ethan, Carwyn… they’re all pieces of a larger puzzle.

Overall, Tell The Wind and Fire was a surprise in more ways than one. The writing was astounding, the character development was, and the plot was both wholly original all while paying homage to its predecessor.  This is a story of the battle between good and evil, between light and dark. It is a story that will strike you with its subtle power and even more subtle message. Balance is the most important concept of all, what are you willing to do to achieve it?

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Blackhearts

“After Anne’s father died, her mother often said that sorrow was the only sun that rose for them.”

 

Title: Blackhearts

Author: Nicole Castroman

Series: Standalone?

Publication:  February 9th by Simon Pulse

Pages: 384

Source: Edelweiss

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

My Thoughts:

Blackhearts was so not what I was expecting, and I loved every damn second of it. What I thought was going to be some cheesy, overly romantic rehash of Pirates of the Caribbean completely blew me out of the water (pun intended).  I was obsessed with this book from the moment I heard about it: pirates, blackbeard, and romance? COUNT ME IN. But, what I found was so much more than what I was expecting.

Going into this, I knew next to nothing about Blackbeard, his origin, or what he did beyond the fact that he was a notorious pirate. Blackhearts is his origin story – and boy did it do a good job. Teach: Son of a merchant. A ladies man. A sarcastic, overly witty class A asshole. Pirate. His real name is Edward Drummond, the son of a wealthy man returned home to get married because that’s what his daddy told him to do. But, low and behold, he would rather live in a ship for the rest of his life out at sea rather than marry the woman of his father’s choice, Patience. When are thrust into the action right off the bat, though, rather than told through Teach’s eyes, we get a glimpse into the life of a maid in his father’s household: Anne. They meet, hilarious scene I might add, and they soon find their fates more intertwined than they ever thought possible.

I think I liked Anne more than Teach, actually – I know I did. She was headstrong, smart, and she put up with no one’s shit. She knew what she was, she knew that she wasn’t supposed to be working as a maid and yet she did it anyway despite her privileged upbringing. Anne was not afraid to do what she had to do in order to survive, be it scrubbing floors or putting up with disgusting sexual  advances from her master’s preferred butcher. I also have to commend her on the fact that she didn’t waver in her plan or her ideals – she had her game plan, and she stuck to it. I swear, for a maid during the sixteen-hundreds, she had bigger balls than almost every male character in the book. Good for you woman.

Now, Teach. I did like him, I’d be lying if I said his scoundrel tendencies didn’t make my heart flutter just a little bit. You should all know by now I have a soft spot for the bad boys. He was hilarious, somewhat standoffish, and a downright rake – the perfect pirate in the making. Though, he also had some killer manners and a strong sense of duty. I have to admit, I really did enjoy the chapters from his point of view. Though he was way higher in station than Anne, and had way more freedoms, he was equally trapped.

THE ROMANCE! Holy crap, thank sweet baby Jesus I read a book without instalove. It was the good kind of romance, the kind that slowly builds up over time in such a way that makes you ache for it so badly that you can’t help but squeal and dance around when something finally happens. Anne and Teach basically hate each other for a majority of the book, and rightfully so on her part – that man, I swear I wanted to do more than nail him between the legs with a bucket. Their relationship shifts over time, though, and that was the beautiful part. It builds and grows from something like loathing to a mutual respect, and then so on and so on. It was refreshing, and adorable.

Overall, Blackhearts is something that everyone can pick up and enjoy. If you are a fan of historical fiction, romance, or pirates in general – this is the book for you. Filled with hilarious confrontations, sneaky maid shenanigans, and a romance that will make you melt like a pool of molten lava – Blackhearts certainly shines a new light on an infamous pirate while also creating a name for Debut author Nicole Castroman.

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Lunar Chronicles: Winter

“Yeah, but broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”

Title: Winter

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 4

Publication: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 824

Source: Christmas bookhaul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar 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.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

 

My Thoughts:

ARRRGHHHHH!!! Okay, now that the incomprehensible screeching is out of the way: holy crap. This is how you end a series. This is how you write a damn book. This… this was perfection in every way, shape, and form known to man. Winter made me cry really unattractive big girl tears, practically ignore my family for three days, scream/rage/yell/rampage every other chapter, and made my fangirl heart swoon so badly I possibly have to request medical attention.

I’m having such a difficult time writing this simply for the fact that it would be easier to just say that Winter was amazing and if you haven’t read it or the Lunar Chronicles yet dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow. I cannot believe that this heart pounding, thrill-ride of a series is over. I can honestly tell you that the main emotion I am feeling right now is sadness and that all I want to do is start them all over from the beginning just so I can relive it all again. This might be one hell of a hulking book coming in at over 800 pages, but boy, those 800 pages almost aren’t enough. I could read an infinite amount of pages as long as it continued the story I have fallen so deeply in love with in such a short amount of time.

Winter, bless Marissa Meyer, picks up a little while after Cress gut punches you and abandons you in the alley way it jumped you in. But, let me tell you this, Winter is in no way a walk in the park. It is painful, it will make you feel things you don’t want to feel but at the end you’ll sit there and beg for it all to happen again and again. Compared to the others in the series, Winter is probably the most torturous. Characters do bad things to the people they love, loved ones of the main characters are nothing more than disposable pawns, and bad, bad, bad things happen to my favorite little precious baby ever and I can’t even vent about it because it is a huge spoiler. SOMEONE HELP ME GET OVER ALL THE FEELS!

On the other hand, just like the other three books, this one encompasses a retelling of a classic fairy tale: Snow White. Not only does it include the much loved aspects of the original tale, it also manages to weave the new story seamlessly into what is already happening and what will happen throughout the course of the novel. Each detail is important, say like Princess Winter’s love of Apple Tarts. Get it? Apples… Snow White… Evil Queen… purposely failed assassination attempt on Winter… Dun Dun DUN. The dwarfs were there, her true love was there (that was so cruel, if you’ve read it you know exactly what I am talking about), each and every little thing that should have been there to make the story the best it could have been, was present.

As usual and as I have come to expect in this series, the plot of this book was a masterfully choreographed waltz that flowed without a misstep during the entire number. It was full of action, surprises, suspense, awww worthy moments, and so much more. Winter was complex, adaptive, and a constant fight for survival where the tables could turn at any minute – and trust me, the tables turn quite a few times.

Not only that, but the entire book took place on Luna. Finally! I have been so curious about this planet and we finally got to see the inner workings of the system and the horrors of the Lunar court – which we got some brief glimpses of with Scarlet in Cress. This planet, our moon, was so darn interesting. I don’t even know how to describe it.

Also, we have all the ships being shipped so hard that I can’t believe it’s not butter. Did that make any sense at all? No? Good, cause I have no clue what I am trying to say other than how badly I want to squeal and faint. All of my precious little baby OTPs come together and it is GLORIOUS! Look at my babies… look at the precious little cinnamon rolls. I feel as though I should apologize for the babbling spreading across the internet right now, but oops – LOOK AT THEM!

Overall, this was a phenomenal way to end a breathtaking series that has risen up to become one of my all time favorites. Winter is a powerful tale of what it means to do the right thing, or what you think is the right thing, even at the cost of your own happiness. There is something for everyone to identify with in this series. Be it a love of machinery, a penchant for sarcasm, a favorite coat, technological savagery, or an unbelievable connection with animals – there is a little something for everyone. Despite the large size, this book didn’t last me half as long as I wanted it to. I want more, I need more. Winter is by far one of the best concluding books I have ever read – and I’ve read a lot of books.

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Lunar Chronicles: Cress

“She dreamed of deep soul connections and passionate kisses and daring escapades. She was certain that he simply had to meet her, just once, and he would feel the same way. It would be like those epic love affairs that exploded into existence and burned white hot for all eternity. The type of love that time and distance and even death couldn’t separate.”

Title: Cress

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 3

Publication: February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 550

Source: Christmas bookhaul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

 

My Thoughts:

I guess the easiest way to describe my feelings about this book using the least amount of words possible would be something similar to this.

A rude wake up call.

Momentary blissful ignorance of the giant storm brewing/basking in Scarlet and Wolf feels.

Protecting my sanity while shamelessly continuing to torture myself.

Uncontrollable glee for reasons unbeknownst to the entire universe.

Extreme willingness to threaten any breathing thing getting in the way of my precious babies getting together.

And then… UNCONTROLLABLE FEELS!

As you probably noticed, I used gifs from Tangled. If you’re wondering why, it’s because – that’s right – Cress brings in Rapunzel into the fold. *happy dance*.

Cress, the third book in The Lunar Chronicles, does not disappoint as the midway/prefinale novel. It is action packed, heart breaking, and an all around thrill ride. There is so much that happens in this book. If it were any other novel, it would probably be impossible to keep track of – but Marissa Meyer once again hits the nail right on the head. This book is phenomenal.

Honestly, the best part of all of these books – besides the absolute amazingness that is this crazy ass world – are the characters. The characters are so alive, so real and relatable all the while being perfectly at home in this fictional place. When reading, you can feel their believeability to the point where you expect them to leap right out of the page and appear before your eyes (not that I’d be complaining). Each of these characters, as I’ve said before, play a key role in everything even though you might not notice it during their initial introductions. Each character as a role to play and a certain way of filling those empty spots that will leave you craving more. Even now, as I write this, I can still hear Iko blabbering away about pretty dresses and shiny things while Thorne compliments his ship. Ugh – the feels these characters bring. How much these characters make you feel almost hurts.

So, speaking of characters. This book, though not primarily about some new introductions, tells the story of Cress and Thorne being thrown together (Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled, I swear). Cress is sort of a special character – pretty much exactly like Tangled Rapunzel. She is naive, innocent, and pretty socially awkward. Though, instead of being imprisoned in a tower – Cress has been locked away in a satellite orbiting Earth while forced to be a spy for the evil Queen Levana. Cress was a very interesting narrator and I loved every second of it. It took a little getting used to, primarily her daydreams and fantasies, but I soon found myself immersed in her story and anxious to find out what happened next. Make no mistake, she is just as badass as Scarlet and Cinder – though her skill set rests more in electronics and hacking. As I have said before and will say many times again, this series is chalk full of amazing characters and each new addition is no exception.

I don’t even know what else to say about this book because it was just done so well! The plot was perfection, the characters were perfection, the writing was absolute perfection. Cress is a book that will make you feel things. It will make you scream, it will make you feel helpless (If you’ve read it, you know what scene I am talking about). Cress  will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you heart scream with happiness at certain swoon worthy moments, and it will also shatter your heart into a million little pieces. Overall, Cress left me amazed and I grow increasingly impressed with each book I devour. The Lunar Chronicles has become a favorite series of mine and I honestly cannot believe I haven’t read them until now. There really isn’t much more I can say without excessively repeating myself from my reviews of Cinder and Scarlet, so I leave you with simple advice. GO READ THESE IMMEDIATELY!!

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

 

The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet

“I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”

Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 2

Publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 452

Source: Christmas book haul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

 

My Thoughts:

My inner fangirl is screaming, I repeat, my inner fangirl is screaming. HOLY CRAP! This book… I don’t even know what to say because I loved this book so much. Not only did Scarlet introduce us to a new cast of characters while simultaneously continuing Cinder’s story, it also packed one hell of a gut punch that made me want to rip my hair out. ALL THE FEELS! Ugh… Scarlet is feels central. It is the perfect squeal – both setting an even larger stage for book three and wrapping up certain loose ends from books one and two. I have to say, hands down the Lunar Chronicles is becoming one of my favorite series. I should probably apologize in advance because this review is mostly going to be me squealing/fangirling about everything and anything I can remember.

Scarlet killed me. It was beautifully written, the plot was wonderfully executed, and the new characters (Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne) made my heart go all pitter-patter. Scarlet picks up almost immediately after Cinder with Cinder in jail and everything basically going to hell in a handbasket. We are introduced to Scarlet (who I freaken love), a young farm girl who is busy making her deliveries around town. Her grandmother has gone missing, Scarlet believing her to be kidnapped while everyone else thinks the “old bat” ran off because she was psychotic. Scarlet meets Wolf… don’t get me started on how much I love Mr. Rugged Street Fighter Who Badly Needs A Haircut. Together, Scarlet and Wolf work together to try and rescue Scarlet’s grandmother whilst Cinder tries to save the world. Needless to say, Scarlet does not lack in the action sphere of things. Actually, it isn’t lacking anywhere. Like I said, perfection.

Just like Cinder, Scarlet is an amazing, kickass, take no prisoners narrator. I loved how focused she was on saving her grandmother and protecting her – despite her feelings. She cares for her family, well – her grandmother, more than her own safety or happiness. Some might say her loyalty is stupid and her downfall, but I admire it immensely. Also, she runs around in a red hoodie with a gun in her belt and it is amazing! She is absolutely one of my favorite narrators/characters of all time now – not to mention how hard I ship her and Wolf. It almost hurts me how much I want them to be together.  It’s not just Scarlet that amazed me – among the already astounding cast of characters from book one, thrown into the mix are Wolf and Captain Carswell Thorne. Wolf, I have to say, is a very complex character that has wormed his way deep down into my heart. I loved him from the instant we meet him in the bar – even though I knew he had to be somewhat of bad news. Don’t even bring up the later half of the book, I will hurt you just like it hurt my poor, fangirl heart. Wolf is an excellent and a much needed addition to the series. He brought romance with Scarlet *swoons*, brutality, baddassery, and all sorts of goody goodies I don’t want to spoil no matter how badly I feel the need to gush right now.

Add in Thorne, basically the Adrian Ivashkov of space. Thorne is constantly cracking jokes or attempting to woo any unsuspecting females and it is absolutely hilarious.

I don’t really know how to express just how much I love this cast of characters – nor can I adequately express just how excited I am to see more of them in the next book. I have surprised myself with my restraint – I want to dive straight into Cress rather than take the time to fangirl all over the internet.

Once again, and no surprise to me, Marissa Meyer has done a brilliant job of tying all of this together, building a world, and keeping the pace at the exact place it should be. The world building is astounding! There are so many little details added in, so many itty-bitty puzzle pieces that start to fit together – it was mind blowing in the best way possible. I’ve begun to pick up on the amazing depth within these books, and I’m only on the second one. There is so much going on below the surface level. You really have to pay attention or else all your little genius light-bulbs won’t go off. It makes for a really fun reading experience if you ask me. There is a certain skill, a certain level of craftsmanship necessary to create things to the same scale that Meyer has – and for that I cannot applaud enough or give enough praise.

Overall, Scarlet was an excellent sequel to an already amazing series that made me super excited for the next book all while wrapping up certain cliff hangers from the first book. Scarlet will repeatedly hit you in the feels with a battering ram covered in pretty ribbons and bows and it will make sure you’re loving every last second of it! I find myself getting sucked in even more with each and every word I read and process. I am fully and whole-heartedly invested in these characters and their futures, and I know for a fact that there is more to come. Go read this series, seriously, it’s slowly becoming my life blood.

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble