Super Mini-Reviews of YA Books

I figured I couldn’t continue this blog much more without giving some update on the books I read while I was on a hiatus. Of course, I don’t remember everything so here are the ones I remember. Some of these have become favorites of mine and may be referenced from here on out. Here are some mini-reviews of my “mehs” and “yays.”

Meh 😕

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

WindfallRed Queen (Red Queen, #1)Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Goodness, I haven’t thought about this book in awhile. Let’s just say I am very, how should I say this, conflicted about this one. It was just something. Perhaps it was the script format or my love for Harry Potter, but this one was a mega disappointment for me. I may try to write a whole other post on this one day if I can collect enough thoughts about it. Then again, do I really want to revisit this sore thumb?

Windfall: All I remember was this book was about the lottery. I don’t even remember the characters names. However, I do remember that the main girl was super annoying and unattached.  I wouldn’t say it was terrible, but obviously nothing memorable for me.

Always and Forever Lara Jean: I truly did enjoy the 1st book of this series. However, with each one I feel like Lara Jean becomes more unbearably childish than the last. Peter definitely is the savior of this book. As cringe-worthy as some of the moments can get, I would still recommend this book as a great guilty-please read!

Red Queen: I struggled to get through the beginning of this book. I was able to read a chunk of it until something absolutely stupid happened and I was annoyed and put the book down. I haven’t picked it back up and don’t have any plans to. I remember how this book was super hyped when it initially released way back when, but it really didn’t meet my expectations.

 

YAY! 😍

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)

 

 

 

 

Lady Midnight/Lord of Shadows: MY GOODNESS, CASSANDRA CLARE HAS DONE IT AGAIN. While I enjoyed TMI, they were never really my favorite. Then I read TID, and those were super good. I’m not sure if I like Infernal Devices or these books more, but I am sure I will make my decision once the new book comes out (tangent: originally Queen of Air and Darkness was supposed to come out in 2019 and I almost had a heart attack but she recently released a new schedule and now it comes out next year!!!). The characters in these books are an absolute pleasure to read. Not only was  Julian and Emma’s relationship fun to read, but the other siblings also had great story lines. I’m also very intrigued by what’s going on with Clary in these books. And needless to say, but the end of Lord of Shadows ripped my heart out and shredded it to pieces. I need the next book now!!

Court of Wings and Ruin: Another favorite series of mine! While I think the 2nd book is still my favorite, this was definitely did not disappoint. As for Sarah J. Maas books, the ACOTAR series is far superior to the Throne of Glass series (which I believe I have given up on) in my opinion. I love all the back and forth between each court and the fight scenes were thrilling. If you haven’t read this series yet, I HIGHLY recommend you pick it up!

Trials of Apollo: Its been a very long time since I’ve read this and haven’t gotten the chance to read the 2nd book yet. However, I do remember loving it–how could I not…it’s a Rick Riordan book! I have been on a journey of my own with his books and haven’t be disappointed yet. I would probably read his grocery list if he published it. While this book was a bit different from his others since it was from a God’s perspective, I still had the same humor and great plot as the others. Plus I got to learn even more Greek mythology! And, not going to lie, I didn’t exactly mind Percy Jackson’s appearance 😉.

 

Well there’s that! I realize these aren’t exactly reviews rather than mini rants, but in my defense for some of these books its been awhile! Stay tuned for more posts!

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Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Published On: October 10. 2017

Genre: Contemporary

5         Turtles All the Way Down

I have never experienced the feeling of reading a new John Green book. I read all of his other books years after they were published. After his success with TFIOS, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever experience the feeling of a new John Green book. But here we are. All these years of waiting–worth it.

This book exceeded all of my expectations. I thought TATWD would mimic his other novels–boy/girl meets another girl/boy, tragic life situations, young love, etc. And while there were some similarities, the overall tone of the book different from his others– rightly so due to the nature of the book.  For someone who wrote about teen cancer and death, I didn’t think I could read another book of his that was sadder and darker but TATWD is just that. It may not be the heartbreaking romance novels, but it pulls on your heartstrings in a way other books can’t.

Aza Holmes, a 16 year old from Indianapolis, suffers from crippling anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. She fears the microbes living in her body and has the constant need to change the bandaid on her finger. Aza finds herself in what she calls “thought spirals” where the intrusive thoughts about microbes, C. diff, and her overall existence took over her mind. Daisy, her spunky friend, doesn’t quite understand Aza’s fears but supports and love her nonetheless. And then there’s Davis, the boy across the river who happens to be the son of the missing fugitive billionaire.

After reading the premise, I thought that the search for Davis’ father would be the main plot. However, much to my liking, Turtles All the Way Down did not turn into a classic Nancy Drew story and instead focused almost solely on Aza inner turmoil. This book’s focus on mental health was refreshing. It didn’t offer a superficial ending where she was “healed” because it doesn’t work that way in the real world. There are good days and bad days, and even after years of counselling you can still have those bad days. It showcased Aza’s inner monologue as her logic fought with the intrusive thoughts her anxiety threw at her. Without spoiling, there is an instance where we read this inner battle for 2-3 pages until she finally succumbs to the thoughts. The amount of emotion and effect Green was able to pack into those pages was raw and beautiful.

Instead, TATWD focused on Aza and her relationships, which to me was the most heartwarming part of the story. Her friendship with Daisy was so realistic. They loved and cared for each other fiercely but they had conflicts. Daisy would get frustrated with Aza’s anxiety but at the end of the day was always there for her. And then there is her relationship with Davis which is unlike any other romantic pairing I have read in YA fiction. They understand each other on deep level and have very enlightening conversations but (spoiler) it doesn’t work out. Neither can give with the other needs at that moment. It’s a story of first love that is different from any other. I highlighted this quote because it really captures the essence of their relationship:

‘You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person, and why.” 

That is just one of many beautifully written lines you will find in Turtles All the Way Down. Sure, it may not have an epic romance per say or an exciting mystery. However, this book packs a powerful punch with its realism. Ava’s struggles are present in many people in the world today. Struggling or not, I believe everyone can find a piece of this book to relate to or find comfort in. It’s just that good.

 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Book Review

This is a hard review for me to sit down and write, because I have so many conflicting feelings about this book. Honestly, it was one of the more frustrating books I have ever read, but I didn’t want to put the book down. I was definitely intrigued, and mainly wanted to see how Oliver would wrap up the whole ending, which is completely bittersweet by the way. So overall, I liked this book. It wasn’t the best or anything and definitely had flaws, but nevertheless still a good read. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s delve into the specifics.

The characters in this book were the big thing for me. This book is told from the perspective of the “mean girls” of the school, and I absolutely hated them. They would say something and I was rolling my eyes, because I just couldn’t handle their attitudes. From the pov we are reading from, it is actually a bit sad, because they do these mean things and there are times when they don’t even know they are doing it. Even so, you learn that this book is about redemption, so you are clinging to the book, hoping that they will change their ways or at least attitude. Samantha was just a great character for me, because you don’t want to like her at first, but as you go on this journey with her, you see some subtle changes.

Another unique part of this story is it’s plot. It is a groundhog day sort of deal, but the middle of the book really begins to drag for a few pages. The same thing is happening over and over, and Sam at this point still hasn’t changed. However, her last few days solve this issue because they are very good and some are quite touching. In fact, my favorite scene of this entire book is the day she spends with her family and going out with her sister. It was seriously one of the cutest sibling scenes I have ever read! It also the real turning point for Sam, because she is starting to accept death in a way, and is trying to right her wrongs.

So yeah, the characters and overall story, while they may not be fantastic, were still pretty good. Here’s my main issue: all of these”redemptive” actions Sam takes really mean nothing. Because of the way the story is set up, after the final moment, all of her friends and family won’t remember what she went through the past 7 days except the last one. She kisses a guy that has loved her for years when she knows she will be gone in a few hours. We also never see what happens after the car accident, which I think would have been a great way to show how the people around Sam felt after she died.

As I said, this is a difficult book to review. I haven’t felt this conflicted over a book in a long time (I have no idea how I am going to rate this book!) If it sounds like a book you may enjoy, read it. I can’t really say whether you will love it or hate it, because after reading other reviews, they are very mixed.

 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Book Review

1

Before I get into the specifics, let me just say that  this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I went into this book with pretty high expectations due to the hype surrounding the novel. I had heard from countless people stating that even if you didn’t like the Simon and Baz shorts in Fangirl, that this was completely different. As someone who didn’t care for that aspect of Fangirl, my hope for this book was renewed, but I was unfortunately disappointed. Really, the saving grace of this book for me was the ending and climax.

First off, the pacing of this book drove me insane. It’s awkward in the beginning because we are thrown into the last year of Simon’s schooling, but with all things considered, I feel Rowell still did a good job of filling us in on everything we needed to know. Honestly, the first half of the book really dragged, and the few plot points that did occur were extremely predictable. That being said, once you get to the last 100 to 150 pages, SO many things happen, and while it’s a tad overwhelming, it is extremely exciting and intriguing.  As I mentioned before, this was definitely my favorite part and the saving grace of this book.

Then, we have the characters. I’m going to straight out say it- I don’t like Simon Snow. I thought that as the book went on I would grow to like him, but I was really more annoyed and frustrated with him, and could honestly care less about what happened to him. Not exactly good traits for a main character. Baz on the other hand was at least interesting, and we could see a layered character with several different emotions. Penelope was a carbon-copy of Hermione, so naturally I loved her and her boldness to pieces. Then there was Agatha, and I still don’t know why she has a pov, because she honestly contributes nothing to story at all. Now, the few and far apart Lucy chapters were very intriguing and it was probably one of my favorite story lines. So much information is revealed in these short chapters, and while reading them I had several realizations about the story.  While I may not have liked all of the characters, I do appreciate the fact that they all have distinct voices. This book changes point of view several times, even within the chapter, and you knew which character you were reading from without even looking at the name. That is something that other authors have not been able to accomplish, so props to Rainbow Rowell, because it is difficult.

This is one of the strangest fantasy books I have read, because it doesn’t feel like a fantasy! At most, it feels like a contemporary with magic thrown in. You don’t know much of anything about the World of Mages or how things works. Their spells are pop-culture references, which is honestly the most bizarre part of it all for me. Seriously, there are intense scenes where they are spelling nursery rhymes!? I love references in books, but in a fantasy it seems oddly placed. That being said, I still loved recognizing certain references, especially the spell “these are not the droids you are looking for.” XD Also the Insidious Humdrum was just a weird villain, but I can’t say much about him without spoiling.

So for me, Carry On definitely did not live up to what I was expecting. However, just because this book wasn’t for me, I won’t say it wasn’t a good. It just didn’t mesh with me very well, but at the same time, someone else could read it and love it! Another big thing for me is my general disliking for the enemy-to-lover trope, which is a big part of this book, so if that doesn’t bother you, Carry On is definitely a book I would recommend. This story is a different twist on fantasy, as well as a hint of satire, making the overall tone of the novel unique. Definitely give this book a try, and see what you think about this book.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published On: September 2, 2014

Genre: Fantasy

5         Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

As you may know, I have jumped on the Throne of Glass series, and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. Right now, I am up to date with everyone else, and have to wait for Queen of Shadows (which is thankfully only a month away!). If you haven’t read this series, or just the book Heir of Fire, do not read any more of this review, because you don’t want this great series to be spoiled!!

Where do I even begin to write a review on such a wonderful book? Normally I try to break reviews down into characters/plot/writing, but there are three different storylines going on in this book. I’m just going to discuss all of these, because I have so much to say

First we have the Manon storyline. I’ll be honest- I really didn’t care for her chapters. I wasn’t really hooked until closer to the end of the book. I constantly wanted to go hurry up and finish her chapters so I could get more of the exciting bits in other character’s perspectives. But I will admit, as they went on, I grew to like them much more. This was a perfect developing storyline for the entire series, and I really can’t wait to see how the King’s plan unfolds. IT was mentioned that the Thirteen weren’t eating the weird meat, which was used to control the witches, so I want to see how they act since they aren’t influenced by the King. Also, after I finally figured out what the heck a wyvren was, I enjoyed the dragon training much more.

Then we have the “what’s going on in Adralan” chapter that were split between Chaol, Aedion, Dorian, and a couple from Sorscha. I really loved these chapters, because we got to see everything in Adralan and two familiar characters. I, like many others, was EXTREMELY annoyed by Chaol! I mean I understand that your job is to protect the kingdom, but if the flipping the PRINCE supports Celaena, I think you can to buddy. Eventually he came to his senses. Then we have Aedion, who was the jerkiest Jerk ever, until Oh wait, he’s not a jerk at all. The full-out loyalty that Aedion showed to Aelin was so adorable, and I really really hope he gets out of jail and we get our Aedion/Aelin reuinion. Speaking of him being in jail, that was just one of the may terrible things that went on in the end. I mean I loved Sorscha and Dorian together, and they both deserved happiness, and her head is just cut off. Not only that but now Dorian has that collar on! I CAN’T HANDLE DORIAN BEING A SLAVE. Nope. Nope. Nope. We need to save him and fast, before the worst father of the century does something.

Finally, we have the glorious Celaena chapters. Basically, these were always my favorite to read, because it’s Celaena. She travelled to visit her aunt Maeve, and she has to do all this training to prove her magic. Enter in Rowan, the meanest trainer ever, that I absolutely came to adore. The relationship that formed between Rowan and Celaena was so awesome. You could see their respect for each grow each chapter, and their friendship just became so important. They have all these adventures together and they really grow close, close enough to where she frees him from Maeve and he performs the blood oath to Aelin. I can’t wait to see this duo further into the series, and I’m oddly excited for Rowan to meet Chaol and Dorian.

Heir of Fire was just brilliant book for developing. Every single thing in this book, had some ties to development.

  • Celaena learns to control her power and finally accepts her role as Queen
  • Chaol discovers that he actually want to support Celaena and Dorian’s magic
  • Manon is part of the King’s army for the endgame climax (I can’t wait for her and Celaena to meet!)
  • We learn a lot more about Terrasen and Aelin’s background
  • The world is expanded and we learn about all kinds of different monsters/creatures
  • WE LEARN WHERE A WYRDKEY IS

I could go on forever about how great of a 3rd book in a series this is, but I’m making myself stop. This book was the first time we really stepped out of Adarlan, and the first time we saw a glimpse of what was to happen. Sarah is planting all these seeds now, and I can’t wait to see them blossom.

Paper Towns Movie Review

Release Date: July 24, 2015Paper Towns

Director: Jake Schreier

If you haven’t heard of Paper Towns yet, you must be living under a rock, because it’s been EVERYWHERE the past few months! I remember when this was announced to become a movie and I was beyond excited. The Fault in Our Stars adaptation was so well on screen, and I couldn’t wait to see this one too.

I saw this movie a few days ago, and I’m still thinking of how wonderful it was. However, it seems I have sort of the unpopular opinion here. I see all these people pointing out these things and saying how it was completely ruined. GUYS. This is a great adaptation, so let’s stop judging it so harshly!

First off, the actors in this were truly phenomenal. I was apprehensive at first with Nat Wolff playing Q, since I thought I would see Issac, but he did a great job making them distinct and their own characters. Cara was exactly as I pictured the mysterious Margo. Austin Abrams was a hilarious yet geeky Ben. Finally, Justice Smith as Radar. He may just have been my favorite character in this movie. PETITION TO HAVE JUSTICE PLAY THE COLONEL IN LOOKING FOR ALASKA PLEASE.

The first part of the movie with the Margo/Q adventure was very exciting. For a movie, they did as well as they could with all the pranks. I personally wasn’t bothered by the missing 2 tasks, including the Sea World one. The way they captured that night and how Quentin was apprehensive but still followed Margo was just like the book.

After Margo disappears, they start finding all the clues and everything, which leads to the most epic road trip ever. The only thing that was missing for me in the movie was the thought of “Did Margo kill herself?” Instead, the deadline was Prom, which was fine, I just wish there was more to it.

For the road trip part, I liked the changes they made in the movie. After seeing Angela with the gang, I wish she had been included in the book, so we would’ve have known her better. The scene where they are running through the gas station getting supplies was one of my favorites from the book, and it was hilarious in the movie. Everyone in the theater gasped when they saw Gus!

In the end, when Q eventually finds Margo after everyone leaves, it gave me the same feeling. he thought he was special and was supposed to come find her, when really it was Margo just being her pretentious self.

Yes, there were changes made in the movie. It wasn’t after graduation and the deadline was prom, but who cares? It still turned out as a great movie, and I had tears streaming down my face from laughter. Here were some of my favorite scenes.

  • Q removing Chuck’s eyebrow
  • Every scene with Quentin, Radar, and Ben together
    • Pokemon song
    • Black Santa
  • Ben spilling the can
  • The gas station scene

So how did you like the movie? What were your favorite parts? Did you like the changes, or dislike them??

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern Review

Author: Cammie McGovern  Say What You Will

Publisher: Harper Teen

Published On: June 3, 2014

Genre: Contemporary

3 1/2Say What You Will

As you may know, for the last part of July, I have done a buddy read for the book Say What You Will. For the next few days there will be discussion posts about this book, but first I wanted to start off my review. Here is the goodreads summary if you want an idea of what this book is about.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

I will say I do have some mixed opinions about this book. There were some things that I loved, while other things that I didn’t. This book truly was very unique to me despite it’s flaws, and it wasn’t what I expected. From all the talk about this book, it sounded like it would take The Fault in Our Stars route, but it most definitely didn’t.

The characters in this book were very diverse and unique and that was the thing I loved most about this book. Cammie dared to be different by writing about a cerebral palsy patient and someone affected by OCD. They way she portrayed Amy and Matthew was truly wonderful. I loved how simple their relationship was in the beginning and seeing how it grew overtime. During this book, I learned a lot about two disabling disorders, and it was very interesting to see what these two had to go through.

The whole idea of having other students help Amy at school so she could make friends was amazing. At first, I thought every but Matthew would blow Amy off, but they really were there and I wish we would’ve had more development with them.  Overall, I loved the beginning of this plot, but as it went on, instead of getting better, it got worse.
Many people say they started disliking Amy when she started throwing all the tasks at Matthew to help his OCD. While it seemed very harsh in the book, I suppose that is a way you have to deal with it, and it really showed how much Amy cared about him to help him. Matthew was always so insecure and would just shut down, and while it was frustrating, I thought it accurately showed him as a character going what he was going through. The two had major miscommunication problems, and so many things could have been fixed if they would just talk.
The big “twist” of Amy being pregnant was when it started to go down hill for me. It sort of came out of nowhere and was really out of character. Everything afterward sort of dragged, and I feel the ending would’ve been much better if that twist was never enacted. There was all kind of build-up about the relationship of Amy and Matthew, and it ended very abruptly. There were many pages left in my book because of a preview, but I thought it was still part of the story. So when I came to the last page, I didn’t know it was the last page because there was no closure.
Finally, the main thing with this book was the 3rd person perspective. There were so many emotional parts of the book that you could see, but you could never really feel the emotion. I wanted to be inside the character’s heads as they went through all their hardships, but instead we just got an oustide glance.
Overall, I thought this was a great read, but there were many flaws. It was still a very intriguing read, and I would recommend it because the first half of the book is beautiful. If only it had continued like that the rest of the way.
P.S. I still have many thoughts on this book, so don’t think this is the end for the buddy read 🙂

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Review

Author: Sarah J. Maas Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published On: August 15, 2013

Genre: Fantasy

5         Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Crown of Midnight is a the sequel to Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass, which I adored with all my heart. If you have not read Throne of Glass or Crown of Midnight yet, what is wrong with you do not read this review. It will have some serious spoilers for the series that you will want to experience while reading. Normally at this point I would give a little non-spoilery summary, but even the summary could give things away if you haven’t read the first book, so I’m just going to avoid that. Go read the books, then you can come back and discuss.

If you would have told me that this book would manage to be even better than Throne of Glass, I wouldn’t have believed. Now I know that I was wrong to not believe you. More often than not, sequels are a bit of a letdown for me, but this one was extraordinary. There are so many things to discuss, but this review can only be so long, so I will I finatry to divide everything up as best as possible.

Crown of Midnight opens up to Celaena doing her Champion-work for the King, and it is revealed that she isn’t actually killing the people she is supposed to (which wasn’t a surprise, knowing Celaena). It was all going along fine until she got the order to kill Archer Finn, who was said to be a traitor to the King. This was really the beginning of the plot as we learned more about the rebel group and the treacherous things the King has done. At this point, we start learning a ton about magic, especially the wydrkeys used to create the portals. There are three keys total, and if you possess them all you can basically rule the world. At this point we aren’t sure where they are or how many the King has. Sarah J. Maas puts a lot of detail and explanation when explaining her world, and it just makes it so much better.

The characters are still the characters I loved in the first book, just enhanced ten times. Celaena managed to become even more epic as a character. Before I delve deeper in the characters, I must say this: Celaena and Chaol’s relationship. I have loved Chaol and his connection with Celaena since the beginning. These two are absolutely perfect, and their scenes together are adorable. But just because I love Chaol, doesn’t mean I don’t love Dorian! I may not like him as much with Celaena, but he is still an awesome character. He develops so much in this book with his magic, and I can’t wait to see where it takes him. Now for the feels, because Nehemia. I was so heartbroken when she died, especially when we find out she planned it to push Celaena toward the main goal.

The entire scene where Celaena finds Nehemia is a devastating scene. This is one of the first times we truly see Celaena crack. I mean she almost killed Chaol, who she deeply cared about (she killed like the entire rebel group for him). Thankfully Dorian’s magic saved the day and we still have Chaol with us.

While there were are many great scenes in this book, my favorite is hands down the climax. Celaena goes in the tunnel to open a portal to talk to Nehemia and all hell breaks loose (literally). Chaol, Dorian, and Celaena are all present and everyone learns some interesting facts to say the least. The twist of Celaena being Fae shocking me, but what shocked me more was her knowing about! We have spent two books in her head and nothing. After learning about it though, small instances and lines throughout the books all made sense. There was actually quite a bit of hidden foreshadowing that I never caught.

You think that Celaena’s faeness is the big twist about her in this book, but Maas proves us wrong. Let’s just say we may be calling Celaena Aelin in the future. At this point I was ready to believe anything, so Celaena being the lost princess of Terrasen was pretty normal. All I could think was that in my favorite books, the character ends up being a lost princess, because hello Cinder!

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. Celaena’s relationships with everyone grew so much and we got to know a little more about our mysterious assassin. I know this review was an absolute mess, but that’s probably because I have too many emotions and read this about a week ago. I’m truly loving the direction this series is going!

Throne of Glass Review by Sarah J. Maas

Author: Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published On: August 7, 2012

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

I honestly don’t know how I will make it through this review without babbling about how great this book is, but hopefully I will be able to control myself. For those of you who don’t know what Throne of Glass is about, here’s my little summary that I can give to you without spoiling.

Celaena Sardothien is the most well-known assassin in all of Ardalan. When Prince Dorian offers her freedom from the worst prison ever, she knew there was something bigger going on. He said he would give her freedom on one condition: if she competed in the King’s competition to find the next royal assassin. There she will have to face 23 deadly competitors in competitions, and if she wins, all she has between her and freedom is three years of service. Things were going great until the other competitors started showing up dead everywhere. Will Celaena be able to figure out what’s brutally killing the assassins? Or will she be the next victim?

There you have it. If you haven’t read Throne of Glass yet, DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS POST. Seriously, this is a book you want to read for yourself, so run to your nearest book place and go read.

Oh, how to begin a review of a book like Throne of Glass. I am tremendously mad at myself that it took me this long to get on this train. But now that I’m on it, I’m here for the rest of the ride. This book really outdid itself when it came to introducing characters, setting a series plot in motion, and building a new world. With each page, you grow more and more attached.

Sarah J. Maas has created some very interesting characters. Celaena is the pinnacle of awesome, butt-kicking female protagonists in young adult books. She can fight better than all the men in this book and is very sassy with he remarks. The two guys in this book, Dorian and Chaol, are also great in their own ways. This story actually has a love triangle I can get behind. While I am an absolute Celaena/Chaol supporter, I still loved her time spent with Dorian. Her interactions with the two are really nice, especially as you see them growing closer to one another.

The whole idea of the competition for the King’s champion was to say the least, very wonderful. Chaol made Celaena hold back when she was with the guys, but when she finally showed her real skills, they knew better than to misjudge this little lady. It was easy to call that it would be her vs Cain in finals, but the whole thing with him and the portals made up for it. The scene where Celaena is fighting Cain and the beast is so intense you are almost ripping pages to keep going. I really liked how the competition wasn’t everything to this book, because we also go to see a side of the magic in this world. Everything from Queen Elena visiting to Nehemia and the wydrmarks really gave a small taste of what was yet to come in the series.

There are so many lovable parts of this book, but here are a few I especially enjoyed…

  • Chaol very slowly realizing how he feels about Celaena
  • Celaena’s sassiness with Kaltain
  • The constantly switching point of views
  • The last battle verus CaiI re
  • When Celaena proves herself to her competitors

Throne of Glass was a great starter book in what I will presume to be a great series. With every page you love the characters and this story even more. There are aspects of action, mystery, competition and romance that insure for an exciting tale. I absolutely loved Celaena’s personality and watching her defeat the obstacles set in her way. I can’t wait for more!

Akarnae by Lynette Noni Review

Author: Lynette Noni

Publisher: Pantera Press

Published On: February 1, 2015

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This book makes me as excited as someone who just drank 3 glasses of dillyberry juice. (If you get that you are cool)

Thank goodness I won a copy of this book and wanted to get a review on it fast, because who knows when I would’ve picked it up. Akarnae truly blew me and my expectations away. For those of you who know nothing about Akarnae, here is my own little summary.

If Alex’s parents didn’t have to leave for eight months for a business trip, she would’ve never went to the International Boarding School and walked through a door that took her to another world. However, her parents are gone for eight months and she did walk through a door to Medora, and now she has to deal with it. Thankfully, she is picked up by two guys who take her back to Akarnae, a school for the gifted (gifted meaning blessed with awesome powers). Alex has to learn everything about this new world and try to survive the most insane classes. This world may seem fun at first, but there is only one concern in Alex’s mind: how will she get back to her home?

If that little description doesn’t want to make you pick up this awesome book, here’s something else. This book has aspects from books like Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia. I even see a bit of Divergent in it myself. So pretty much you are looking at an awesome training school that takes place in a different world. Akarnae has great world-building, adorable friendships, and a very compelling plot line. That’s about all I can give you without ruining the book, so I suggest stopping now if you haven’t read Akarnae, because the rest of this review is SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. Seriously, you’ll want to read it yourself.

 

I have so much to say about this book, but I’ll narrow it down to three different sections.

First off, let’s talk about some of the characters. I loved seeing everything through Alex’s point of view, because we are learning everything about Medora with her. Every new fact we learn about Medora, we are right there learning it with her. You can really see how brave she is, especially with the way she reacts to everything thrown at her. Alex develops the most, and I love seeing her gradually start to love this new world she is in. Then there is Bear and Jordan, the two funniest friends a girl can have. They are so supportive and understanding with Alex, and this trio had me smiling like a little kid in a toy store. The dynamics between these friends are absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed every second of it. Finally, we have the elusive D.C. who we all sort of hate at first, but then realize how cool she actually is. The whole princess thing was such a surprise for me, because for a while I thought she was in on the whole lockdown thing. Really loved seeing her and Alex get to know each other at the end of the book.

The world that Lynette Noni’s has established in this book is astounding. There are so many little thoughts and details put into everything. All of the technology from the bubble doors to the medicine, everything is so though out and unique. Then of course we have the Library. This was such an interesting setting and I loved delving deeper and deeper into it. I really enjoyed the different levels at the school, especially when we got to see Alex do some expert level combat. Seeing all the classes was one of my favorite parts of the book.

Finally, the plot of this book was always surprising me. I loved how Aven always came and messed with Alex’s head. I honestly had no idea what/who he was until he revealed it himself. The thought of him being from Meya never crossed my mind, but everything made sense after it was explained. Also there was Darius as the headmaster. Halfway through I had a thought like that, but dismissed it thinking it wouldn’t happen, but of course it did. This book builds everything up very nicely, and you are always on the edge of your seat. All the journeys that Jordan, Bear, and Alex take to the Library all lead up to the exciting end.

Before I conclude this review, I just had to share some of my favorite parts/scenes from this book.

  • The trip to Bear’s house and his entire family
  • Learning more about Jordan at the gala
  • The relationship between Alex and Fletcher
  • KAIDEN AND ALEX (I reallllllly hope this becomes a thing later on)
  • The combat class obstacle course where Alex kicks butt

Overall, this really is a great book. A part of me wishes I didn’t read it so soon and fast, because now I have to wait so long for the second book. The ending was perfect, but I just want more. Does Alex make it back to her parents? How will Aven come back in the second book? Is Alex going to be going back and forth from Freya to Medora? So many questions!