Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom
By: Rae Carson
The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

OH GOODNESS! ALL OF THE GREATNESS. This was just as amazing as the other two books and was a worthy ending to a fantastic series. I mean, this book has all the adventure of the first two, with avalanches, secret tunnels, and even giant scorpions. Including all the characters that you've come to love in the series, like Elisa, Hector, Belen, Storm and Mara (and new characters to love, like Mula).

Elisa: As if the first two books didn't give us enough reason to love her and want to be her. When you think she can't get any more complex or courageous, she does. I loved seeing her come into her own. She was a great ruler in The Crown of Embers, but now she knows it; Elisa fully embraces her responsibilities and strengths. She steps out of her comfort zone, she trusts others but she doesn't rely on them to save her (not that she did or didn't do any of those in the other books, she just hardly hesitates now).
and then when she's in Invierne she came up with all the sass. It was so great. Examples,

"What do you know of Invierno honor, little queen?"
"I know that your condescension shows little."

"You have killed us all," he says. "Without a source of power-"
"I have saved you all, you colossal idiot."

Hector: I lovedlovedLOVED reading his perspective. I had read that he was telling parts of the story somewhere before the release, but I forgot until I read the chapter heading that said it was him. After reading The King's Guard (the short novella from Hector's POV before Elisa came along) I was familiar with his voice. It was the perfect way to tell all that happened during his time as a captive.
His love for Elisa is, yet again, so terrific. You really believe what he feels for her and GOODNESS, he is so sweet. One of my favorite things was his analytical side, he's a true warrior and strategist.
Also, quotes from him:

 "It doesn't seem right to...take liberties when I have not given you an answer."

"There are a thousand things I'd say to him, if I could. Rosario is safe. You were supposed to olutlive me. Elisa is ten times the ruler you were. I've stolen your wife. I'm not sorry. I miss you."

Storm: Ohhhhh, dear Storm, I can't help but love you. and be amused by you. and be sometimes be annoyed by you. But mostly love you.

He was so fantastic in this book. I loved all that he added to their little group. Every time he didn't get sarcasm made me actually laugh out loud. Then when he became more than just the ambassador. Each and every time he said that he was a loyal citizen of Elisa's it made my heart so happy. Because I knew that he had found his place with Elisa and that she truly cherished him as an advisor.
Then him and Alodia? SO. MUCH. YES.
Storm has found his way into my heart and I think he'll remain one of my favorite supporting characters of all time. His story arc was just as real as Elisa's or Hector's.

Things he said that made me smile or straight up laugh:

"By reputation, you are portly and unattractive," Storm points out..."But you are neither of those things."

"Storm's voice booms across the tiny valley, menacing and curselike. He's intoning something in the Lengua Classica. Then a giggle bubbles from my throat when I realize it's a silly rhyme about poppy fields and drunk sheep."

"Those are all terrible names," Storm says, looking perplexed."

"Lord-Commander, I won't pretend to love her the way you do. But I do owe her my life and my honor. I am Joyan now. And we are, all of us, filthy liars."  <<<This line wins him all of the love

"Storm leans toward her and says in a teaching voice, "Joyans consider it rude to express one's true opinion unless it is unequivocally flattering."
Her brow furrows. "Then how do they express anything at all?"

"You always speak truly, yes?"
"Yes, Your Highness."
"...And you believe my sister has the kind of power she claims?"
"No," he says. "She is being modest."  <<<and this one I threw the book down and fist-pumped so hard, man.

Waterfall: First off. Dude, I want a name like "The Frozen Waterfall Mourns Her Raging Youth". That's freaking awesome!
Getting that out of my system, I didn't think I cared about her as much as I did. But then things happened and I was left with all of this, "NO!" inside of me.

Mula (Red): Favorite new character award goes to: Mula! She was so cute and helpful. I loved that she was willing to do so much to help Elisa because she rescued her and treated her like an actual human being. One of my favorite moments was when she screamed for Elisa when she fell into the trap. Basically none of their plans would have worked without this spunky little ten-year-old.

Examples of Mula's greatness:

"Now when I'm scared, it's not because of meanness. And today I chose my own scared. It's always a good scared, when you get to pick it your own self."

"I turn to find everyone les staring at us without bothering to disguise their amusement. Except Red, who wrinkles her nose at me. "That was gross," she says."

The greatest part of these books is how many things happen. I would say that twice the amount of plot happens in these books as in other books their same length. These truly chronicle Elisa's epic journey from out of place, young princess who spent most days idle into this queen who is far and away the most powerful politic figure in the whole of the world.

I love how when they have to plan their way out of something, Rae Carson doesn't tell you beforehand what their plan is. She explains it to you while they're doing it to avoid repetition. I think it adds more intrigue to each obstacle.

Rae isn't afraid to make Elisa challenge those she loves. Elisa put Cosme in power and she is Alodia's sister and yet she has to make a claim for their kingdoms. And she does it without hesitation because she knows it's the only way to save everyone. She no longer questions her right to claim power, the reality of all the good she's done finally hits her.

Also, the important concept is addressed that Elisa could have run and hidden any time she felt like it in this whole mess, but she didn't. She fought for the world because she knew she should.


"War damages different people in different ways..."

"A word is the only thing in the world made more powerful by absence than existence."

"Painting the enemy as being as inhuman as possible is a great way to win a war."

"I think sometimes when we find love we pretend it away, or ignore it, or tell ourselves we're imagining it. Because it's the most painful kind of hope there is. It can be ripped away so easily. By indifference. By death..."

"It's terrifying. But it's a manageable terror. Because I've chosen it."

"People are always so much braver, so much nobler, than I ever imagine."

"Peace is such hard work. Harder than war. It takes way more effort to forgive than to kill."

"And people are never more atrocious as when they are afraid."

"It's something I'll have to think about when I have time, how death doesn't always indicate a failure--of protection, of strategy, of character."

Meeting C.J. Redwine and Rae Carson

This was my first book signing that I've ever been to. This is mostly because I live smack-dab in the middle of an area that doesn't get many visits from big authors (or anyone else, for that matter). So I when I heard that two of my favorite authors were touring together and would be coming within an hour of me, I knew I had to go.

In case you don't know: Rae Carson wrote The Girl of Fire and Thorns series (which is completed as of Tuesday).

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

And C.J. Redwine wrote Defiance trilogy (of which only the first two books are out so far).

Defiance (Defiance, #1)Deception (Defiance, #2)

These are two brilliant series and really represent the best of YA fantasy/post-apocalyptic books. I knew from their social media sites that Rae and C.J. were smart, funny, and nice. But after meeting them I can most definitely confirm all of these things. They were really encouraging when I explained that I am an aspiring writer and they gave some excellent tips (such as finding your own voice and writing about your passions.)

Before the signing there was a question and answer segment and the discussion was all very pleasant and very important.

Basically this signing has made me even more excited for when I go to Yallfest in November. I'm convinced that book people are some of the best people.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Program

The Program
By: Suzanne Young
The Program (The Program, #1)
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I was expecting to love it, but it wasn't quite as easy to love as I was thought it would be. From the first time I read the summary, the concept of this book intrigued me. The premise was executed pretty well, but I had a few problems with it as well.

Things that irritated me:

*Note: Keep in mind that while the components to these things that I'm going to mention irritated me, it does not mean that I disliked that character or aspect as a whole. (meaning, even though there were things about Sloane that I thought didn't make any sense, I still ended up liking her character).*

I realize that Sloane is confused and sort of drugged, but how on earth could you NOT see some of these things coming? It seemed like she kept saying things like this, "I have to figure out how they're taking my memories! The only thing they're enforcing is that I take these mysterious pills... But what are they doing to my brain?" Then she realizes that they're taking her memories through the pills and is genuinely shocked.

 And when Sloane was surprised (multiple times, might I add) that the doctors were lying to her in a program that she was forced into against her will and that she have seen destroy her friends? I mean, REALLY?

When she was SO surprised when they forced the medicine into her when she refused to take it when they had distinctly told her that was exactly they would do. Then being SO shocked that they would give her a bigger and bigger dose until she tells the truth...Why wouldn't they?

And then after Roger openly says that he's offered the pill to other girls and they accepted and offered more, she's still surprised later when she learns that he's done it to other girls.

Basically what I kept asking myself was, "HAS SLOANE NO DEDUCTIVE REASONING AT ALL?"

Have I mentioned that I HATE the pet name "baby"? And now I hate the pet name "sweetness". It just sounds stupid.

He was kind of hit or miss for me. He was adorably protective, but sometimes it was just too much. And his crude humor was occasionally endearing, but other times is was just a bit cringe-worthy and came off a just trying way too hard.

One of my biggest problem was, after James and Sloane came back from The Program, even for losing all their memories they certainly "had unexplainable feelings about" (read: remembered) a lot of things. (i.e. the river spot, the pink plastic ring, other little things.)

Then when Realm said the line "You don't remember it, but your heart does." *gag me with a spoon* (hint: that's not a thing)

Things that I liked:
It wasn't the worst execution of a great concept. For the most part it was engaging, intriguing, and thought-provoking. This book really does hit at important topics with an interesting concept.

As mentioned earlier, I also ended up really liking Sloane as a character. She was sometimes a bit dense, but she was sweet and mostly kind and genuine.

One really cool thing that happened in the story was that the reader knows more about the Protagonist's past than the protagonist does. You know more about what the protagonist's choices mean than the protagonist.

Most importantly I think this book highlights the important difference between sadness and depression and being suicidal. They are very different things and should be treated accordingly. In this world, they are all treated the same and it causes so many problems. In fact, The Program ended up increasing the pressures of life and caused about as much suicide as I think it prevented.

Another brilliant aspect was what I found myself thinking and how it got answered later. I actually wrote in my notes while reading this book, "Why is Sloane the only one even kind of freaking out about losing her memories?" Then that was addressed so intriguingly later.

I'm excited to see where this series heads in the next books.


"What I see is someone broken and fierce. Someone loyal and hardened."

"I'm so alone it's like being dead but still conscious”  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Revenge of the Witch

The Revenge of the Witch
By: Joseph Delaney
Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)
For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope, the last apprentice.

This is the first book of The Last Apprentice series. I think this series currently has 11 books out, with two more coming out in the next few months of this year.

I really loved this book. I have a feeling that I'm going to fall in love with this series. Tom is just so adorable and little and brave. He's a genuinely good kid. He beats an extremely dangerous witch without even a big deal. He's just like, "yeah, this is my new job. I like it." It kept making me smile.
Alice is hard to read in this book, but I know that she'll end up with some great development as the series goes on.

The spook is pretty dang awesome. He's the typical master-mentor type of character, but is it just me or does that archtype NEVER get old when done well. (I mean, think about it, Brom, Dumbledore, Chiron, and all the other greats).

Tom's Mam is interesting. You know that something is different about her because they mention it enough times. I want to keep reading to figure out what it is.

Well, that's all I've got to say about this particular book. Just that I'm excited to be starting this series because I think it's going to become something lovely.

**Side note: I'm realizing this year my deep love for middle-grade books. There is something so refreshing about them. Mostly because they're stories about young kids dealing with all kinds of stuff and learning about the world. (and partially because there is a delightful absence of angst). This book did give a distinctly Percy-Jackson-ish vibe. Not in plot or world-building or anything, just in that it's an adventure series that is all about telling kids great stories, and that's wonderful.


“He who never makes a mistake never makes anything. It's part of learning the job.”  

“You never know just what you can do until you try.”  

Monday, August 26, 2013

TTT: Most Memorable Secondary Characters

Top Ten Eleven Most Memorable Secondary Characters:

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different Top Ten list topic that a bunch of bloggers take and make their own list of those things. This week is a list of the Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) 
1. Luna Lovegood
Luna has always been one of my favorite characters of all time, let alone in the Harry Potter world. She's so quirky and smart in a her own weird way. She's also freaking strong.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

2. Charlotte and Henry Branwell
Adorable couple is adorable. Henry is all inventor-y and stuff and Charlotte is all kick-butt mother-y. I just can't handle their awesomeness.
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)3. Nehemia
Speaking of kick-butt characters, Nehemia is so awesome. She's strong and she stands by her values and protects her people. Her friendship with Calaena is one of my favorite things about the Throne of Glass series, too.

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)4. Fernando
He was in about 20 pages of Insurgent, but I will never not love him. He was all nerdy and funny and he was trying to flirt with Christina and it was hilarious and sweet. I don't think I'll ever get over him.

Fairest (Enchanted, #3)
5. Zhamh
Zhamh has always been a favorite of mine. He's a hilarious, kind, and generous gnome. What more could you even ask for?

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)6. Rachel Elizabeth Dare
I didn't like her getting in the way of Percabeth, but she is an awesome character in her own right. I mean, she attacked Kronos with a blue plastic hairbrush like the kick-butt girl she is. Then she gives up so much to become the oracle because she knows that it's her destiny.

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)7. Tyson
What a cutie! He's one of my favorite characters in the series because he's just so funny and good-hearted. And now I'm a huge fan of him and Ella in the Heroes of Olympus series.

The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, #2)8. Bes
If you couldn't tell by looking at these last three choices, Rick Riordan is fantastic at creating memorable and loveable secondary characters. I didn't expect to care about Bes so much when he was first introduced, but he grew on me. I loved his relationship with the Kane siblings and how he was always willing to do anything to protect them.

Forever Princess (Princess Diaries Series #10)
9. Tina Hakim Baba
One of my favorite characters of the series. She was so naïve, but caring and sweet. Always the good friend to Mia and the good girlfriend to Boris.

Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)10. Lady Beatriss
I've included a ton of my favorite strong female characters on this list, so it's only right that I also include Lady Beatriss from the Lumatere Chronicles (she's not the only strong female character from that series, but she's the only one I would define as a "secondary character"). She's a great mother despite everything she's been through.

The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4)11. Sam Cortland
I just read all the Throne of Glass novellas and I absolutely love Sam Cortland. I read Throne of Glass first and didn't think I would connect to Sam as much as I did (especially knowing how things would end). But I did. I really did. He was sweet and funny and sassy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Superlatives

Book Superlatives

Another great Friday Fun post from Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner. Each time she's done this I've had this desperate urge to fill it out. I'm so looking forward to any other Friday Fun posts that she does. She got this idea from going through her Senior Yearbook and decided to do a book version of Senior Superlatives.


Most Likely To Change The World
Isaboe and Finnikin
(The Lumatere Chronicles)
Cutest Couple
Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series)
Class Clown
(Little Women)
Most Likely To Become Famous For Their Athletic/Musical/Artistic Abilities
Calaena Sardothien
(Throne of Glass)
All Around Good Person
(The Girl of Fire and Thorns)
Biggest Flirt
Sturmhond (hey, not saying I have a problem with it...)
(Siege and Storm)
Most Likely To Be Fought Over
Gaia (I mean, come on. It's already kind of what happens in the books)
(Birthmarked series)
Mostly Likely To Be Friends Forever
September, Saturday, and El the Wyverary
(The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making)
Most Likely To Have Their Own Reality Show
Mallory and her crew
(Going Vintage)
Most Unique
Sadie Kane
(The Kane Chronicles)
Most Likely To Survive An Apocalypse
(The Fifth Wave)
Most Likely To Be A Villain
(Harry Potter Series)
Biggest Wallflower
Beth (in the best way, of course)
(Little Women)
Most Likely To Break Your Heart
Alex (I may be the only one, but I really dislike him)
(Delirium series)
Most Changed
(The Lumatere Chronicles)
Most Likely To Get Arrested
June and Day
(Legend and Prodigy)
Self Proclaimed God/Goddess
(The Diviners)
 Best Person To Bring Home To Mom & Dad
Mr. Darcy (I mean, Mr. Bennet sure reacted well)
(Pride and Prejudice)
or maybe Etienne St. Clair
(Anna and the French Kiss)



Most Likely To Make You Cry
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
Dares To Be Different (in world, plot, storytelling, etc.)
 Unwind (Unwind, #1)
Best Dressed (pretty cover!)
Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Most Likely To Make You Swoon

Pride and Prejudice

Loveliest Prose
 Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1)

Most Likely To Be A Favorite Of 2013
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

(I've read so many good books this year, so I limited myself to only books that came out this year and that I haven't already used on this list. And I still couldn't narrow it down to 1)

Eleanor & Park


Most Likely To Change The World (or change your life)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)


Book You Are Most Likely To Keep Putting Off
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Most Likely To End Up As Christmas Gifts For Everyone You Know

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Most Likely To Be Thrown

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

Most Likely To Be Reread More Than Once
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) 

Most Likely To Make You Read Through An Earthquake Because It’s THAT Engrossing

Divergent (Divergent, #1) 
Most Likely To Be Passed On To Your Children
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)
(and of course, The Harry Potter Series, but I already used that twice. And I'm just as likely to pass on The Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series as well.) Oh! and Fairest, too.
Fairest (Enchanted, #3)
Most Likely To Break Your Heart Into A Million Pieces
The Fault in Our Stars
Most Likely To Brighten Up Your Day
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Enna Burning

Enna Burning
By: Shannon Hale
Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2)
Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?

I absolutely loved The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, but I was sort of hesitant to read Enna Burning because it's been such a long time since I read The Goose Girl. It was actually a long time after reading it that I even learned it was a series with companion novels. I thought I wouldn't remember much and I wouldn't appreciate entering the world again, but I was so very wrong. I loved this book. I absolutely loved it.

Enna: I liked her. I think she was a really awesome character and pretty dang sassy and stuff. I lost the love for her a bit in the middle. I know her losing her will was supposed to take a long time, but the pacing didn't make it seem like that. But apart from that, I really did like her character. I really loved her friendship with Isi and how that was a bigger focus in the book than her relationship with Finn. It was so beautiful the way Shannon Hale described the burning from the inside out, the use of language was spot on to describe what was happening inside of Enna.
and she had some really fierce lines. So I'm going to quote a couple here,

"Did you love me most when I was drugged and helpless, Sileph? Did you love me when I was so baffled by the king's-tongue that I actually thought you were a man? You loved a shell, then."

"You're a pickled plum, aren't you, Captain? I'll bet your nursemaid fell in love with you as soon as you could talk. I'll bet your da beat you out of jealousy over your ma. I'll bet this little persuasion gift of yours hasn't all been a festival, has it? But it worked on me, I'll admit. I'd've followed you to Ingridan and borne your children and bade my heart beat only in time with yours. But now I just feel sorry for you, Sileph, and I don't want to burn you, so please go away. Now."

Isi: I was so happy to see her again! At first I thought she wasn't going to be one of the main characters in the book, but then she was. I was also really glad to see Isi and Geric together and where they've come since the end of The Goose Girl.
Finn: What a cutie! He was so shy around Enna, then when he was kind of angry but still protective. He's so freakin' adorable. And him and Enna had some pretty hilarious moments. I laughed out loud at this one,

"You would," said Enna. "You're amazing. Here's the extent of my gift of languages: Over there!"
"Over there," Finn shouted without looking up..."

and they had some freakin' adorable moments, like,

"Finn always called it Enna's Stream. He tended to refer to most anything as belonging to her-Enna's Meadow, Enna's Mountain. When he referred to Yasid as Enna's Kingdom, she said, "Isn't that your heart?"
Finn smiled and kissed her hand. Isi rolled her eyes."

and this one,

"Hello there, Finn. Well done."
"Hello, Razo. Enna loves me, did you hear?"

Razo: Speaking of adorable, I'm more than a little excited that the next book is about Razo's story. I'm prepared for a couple practical jokes and plenty of sarcasm.
Sileph: I hate him so much! Which is just a testament to how great of a writer Hale is. It takes a lot to create a genuinely misleading character. I always knew that he was a horrible person, but I still had a hard time knowing what exactly wasn't real to him and what wasn't. I may or may not have laughed out loud at how his whole story line ended.

I really liked the plot of this book. It moved along rather quickly and it never went exactly where I expected it to. Most books with a war in it begin and end with the war, but I liked that this book showed the after as well as the before. It felt like an organic story rather than a contrived attempt for action.

I mentioned earlier that I had a bit of a problem with the pacing. Some of the time it felt jerky and weird. I wouldn't know that we had jumped a couple weeks until partway through a paragraph and then I'd have to re-read that section to lessen the confusion. Then sometimes pages would cover just a couple moments.


"I'm a terrible prince. I should put my kingdom first and everything else second, but you're first. I want you by my side every second, but I know I would crumble if I lost you."

"Her thoughts hunted after the words she had read, sought to catch them, cut them open, and understand."

"It was strange and beautiful how destruction and life were bound together in fire, and she marveled that she had never thought of it before...She remembered that people cry for beauty and pain, and seeing both together was almost unbearable."

"They laughed much harder than the memory was funny because it felt good to laugh."

"He stood before her looking as he ever had, but what she had seen when she loved him had faded, and in its place she glimpsed a desperate, proud, ruthless man."

Monday, August 19, 2013

TTT: Things That Makes Your Life as a Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Ten  Eight Things That Make Your Life as a Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different Top Ten list topic that a bunch of bloggers take and make their own list of those things.

1. Goodreads
This is pretty self-explanatory, but there is really no site better for keeping track of what books you've read and what you rated them. I love being able to keep the books on personalized shelves, too. So if you're looking for something particular you can go to that shelf and see all the books you kept there.
2. My Library
I just love my library. It's really well stocked and basically any book it doesn't have is at one of the other libraries in the chain and can be brought over. I put about five books on hold per week. It's the easiest thing ever.
3. Other Reviewers
I love getting recommendations, especially from other bloggers and reviewers that I trust to get me books that I know I'll like. Since joining this blog and following other blogs I've hardly read a single book that didn't at least like.
4. Booktubers
Another reliable place to get recommendations that I know I can trust. (In case you aren't familiar with the term, a booktuber is a youtuber who makes videos about books, like reviews and hauls and such). Some of my favorites are Jessethereader, Padfootandprongs07, PolandbananaBOOKS, ArielBissett, and Katytastic.
5. Amazon Prime
I can order books and they get to my house in, like, two days. It's fantastic.
6. My Kindle
I don't read books on here all that often, but it's great for access to all the E-novellas that some of my favorite authors have released (for the record, E-novellas being released with extra information and scenes and backstory are an idea that I'm really attached to at the moment because I just read all the Throne of Glass novellas and OH MY GOODNESS, SAM CORTLAND.)
7. Friend Recommendations 
I just get really excited when someone is so pumped about a book that they go out of their way to spread the book-love to me.
8. My IPod
This may sound like an odd one, but it's nice knowing that even when I'm away from my laptop (and therefore without access to my blog) I can go into my notes app to write draft notes about the book or a quote that I really want to include in my review.

Throne of Glass novellas

The Assassin of the Pirate Lord
By: Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1)

This is definitely a novella done right. I think you could easily read it before Throne of Glass, but in the same way, I read it after reading Throne of Glass and I still loved it. I finally learned more about who Sam is that she talked about all through Throne of Glass. Obviously that means I know it's going to end in heartbreak, but gosh, I can just tell I'm going to love them together anyway! I absolutely loved learning about how exactly Celaena saved all of those slaves. Her total kick-butt side was definitely still there and so was her more femine side. Everything that you love about Celaena in Throne of Glass was there and I loved it.


"Her beauty was a weapon-one she kept honed-but it could also be a vulnerability."

"Because if we don't fight for them, who will?"
The Assassin and the Desert
By: Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.2)

This one was fantastic. It was a full story in and of itself, there was just so much content. It was better than the typical novella by far.  I really liked seeing Celaena without Sam again, because it showed that even back then she was tough enough to rough it. The characters in this novella were wonderfully developed despite it only being 100 pages long.  I loved Ansel (despite hating her, too)and the Mute Master. I loved seeing how the Silent Assassins operated as opposed to how The Assassin's Keep operates.


"Tomorrow will be better. It might be only a foot more than today, but it will be a foot longer that you can run."

"Where do men find it in themselves to do such monstrous things? How do they find it acceptable?"
The Assassin and the Underworld
By: Sarah J.Maas
The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.3)
Finally Sam and Celaena. Finally. The horribly wonderful things about the novellas is that even though you know how things are going to end up, if you've read Throne of Glass, you still fall for it. I still loved Sam and Celaena together even though I know my heart was going to break for it later. My disdain for Arobynn grows more and more with every novella. I hate what he keeps doing to Celaena, it's absolutely disgusting the way he messes with her mind.
The Assassin and the Empire
By: Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4)
This one. THIS ONE THOUGH. I'm not afraid to say that I shed a tear or two over this one. I mean, it was so freaking horrible to read. Everything that happened and why it happened and what it meant for Celaena and Sam. I can say that I understand who Celaena is in Throne of Glass a lot more now that I've read these. She started out these four stories as a spoiled brat, but now she's hardened into something stronger but much sadder. I hate Arobynn so much I can't stand it. If I could go into this world the first thing I'd do would be to beat him senseless for all the crap he pulled.

"She was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow."

"The breeze grew into a wind, and she closed her eyes, letting it sweep away the ashes of that dead world- of that dead girl. And then there was nothing left except something new, something still glowing red from the forging."

The Assassin and the Princess
By: Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Princess
This wasn't as long as the others, but it's truly one of my favorites. I absolutely love Nehemia's friendship with Celaena. I really appreciated Sarah getting into exactly why Celaena loves fine things, I think it adds even more depth to Celaena. She's tough and an assassin, but she can still appreciate beauty. These novellas are really making me excited for Crown of Midnight, particularly because I didn't want it to end.


"I suppose it's easy to dismiss it as frivolous, but a gown like the ones Kavill makes is art. It's art, and mathematics, and economics."

"That gown in the window-think about how Kavill had to first come up with the design, then et the measurements just right to match the image in his head, then find the right vendor to supply the perfect red velvet and black lace. Think about where that velvet and lace came from-the velvetfrom the port in Meah, the lace from Melisande, the thread that holds the whole thing together from a spinner in Fenharrow. Think about where the dyes for the red and the black came from, too-think about all the people and places that had a hand in that dress coming together. It's like a map of the continent, and every part of it ells a story..."

"It is my most selfish wish and daydream-to be normal, to be ordinary, to be free of my burdens...And yet you and I couldn't even pretend for a single day to be free of those burdens."


Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Life In Book Titles

My YA Life in Book Titles
Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner came up with this idea after seeing the "Your Life in Song Titles" survey on Tumblr. So she came up with this idea to describe you life as a young adult through book titles. I thought it was just so fun. Even though I still am a teen, I decided to fill it out. Enjoy. :)
Most of these are book that I've read, but a couple of them are off my TBR list. (And I skipped a couple of the ones that she did because I couldn't find any answers that I really liked).
How would you describe your 16 year old self? The Wild Orchid
When You Looked Into The Mirror What Did You See: The Different Girl
Your 16 your old self outlook on life/motto: For Darkness Shows the Stars
How You Think People Would Describe Your PersonalitySweetly
Describe An Insecurity In High School: Fangirl (Not an insecurity exactly, just sometimes I get really enthusiastic and I feel like people don't get it).
Describe Your Worst Trait As A Teen: Defiance
Describe the contents of your diary/journal: Ruin and Rising
Your biggest Fear: Catching Fire
You excelled at: Pandemonium (Not really, this just sounds cool. Now I kind of want someone to ask me what I excel at in person so I can all dramatically, "I excel at pandemonium.")
You Thought Your Life WasBittersweet
Love Life:

How would you sum up your high school love life?  Glamorous Illusions (a.k.a. Non-existent)
Describe your most serious boyfriend from high school? The Lost Hero (a.k.a. Non-existent)
Describe your first kiss: Promised (a.k.a. Non-existent)
Your philosophy on dating/love: Middle Ground
Describe Your Worst Break Up: n/a


Describe you and your best friend at 16: Bright Young Things
Your Social Status: Unspoken (At a private school as small as mine was, everyone is the same amount of popular)
Describe Your Group Of Friends: The Young Elites

Your Perception Of High School Upon Entering: Delirium (defined as: a state of violent excitement or emotion)
Your relationship with academics: A Separate Peace
Your Weekends Were: Prized
If Your High School Life Was A Movie It would be called: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her own Making (Come on, that would just be an awesome name for a movie)
A Class You Wish High School Would Have Offered: Sense and Sensibility ( Some people needed this class. Badly.)
Your Senior Year Was: n/a as it is just beginning.
Describe prom: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There 
When High School Ended It Was: n/a as it hasn't ended yet.

The Future

How You Felt About The Prospect of College: Golden
How You Thought Your Life Would Be At 17 (insert whatever age you are now): Where the Stars Still Shine

Your Life Now:

Describe Your Love Life Now: Fragile Things
Describe The State Of Your Friendship With Your High School BFF: Fathomless
Your Relationship With Your Parents Now: Redeeming Love
Biggest Lesson You Learned In High School: Sunlight and Shadow (That even great lives contain both).
One Thing You WISHED You Had Learned: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (How to be her).
Advice You Wish You Could Have Given Your Teen Self: The Survival Kit
Something You Could Learn From Your 16 Year Old Self: Restoring Harmony

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


By: Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit. In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

Ouch , this book hurt. It was so raw and painful to read, but so well-written. A testament to how wonderful the execution was how hard-hitting it was. From the other reviews I've seen it wasn't just people who have experienced something like this or have seen someone else go through it, nearly everyone who read it were touched and pained by the horror and beauty of this story.

The writing was so fantastic. It really drove home the problems that Lia was having and her mental state. I loved the little affectations of the way Lia thought, like the repeatingrepeatingrepeating of words like that or the combined words. The slashed-out words were really well-done and you could tell how Lia was feeling toward each person by what she chose to call them and what she chose to slash out (example: mom Dr. Marrigan).

I appreciated how the book shows how her disease not only hurts her, but hurts everyone around her. The parents are very real part of the book, not falling into the nonexistent-parent trope at all. I really enjoyed Lia's relationship with Emma and it hurt when they were separated (even with how necessary it was). In the same way it showed how Cassie's problem and consequential death struck Lia to the core and sent her spiraling. The relationships in this book weren't taken for granted and they weren't just used as plot devices. These people were living life dealing with each other and loving each other and that was special.

My solitary complaint would be that I wish more time was spent discussing Lia's road to being healthy. It's given a couple pages at the end, but more would have been a nice addition.

I believe that this book is truly important. Really and truly very important. It touches on quite a few major issues and it addresses them in an informed AND emotionally touching way. I think it will (and has) succeeded in both relating to those who have lived through or around eating disorders and it has garnered a new level of understanding in those who have yet to encounter it, but who likely will at some point.


"In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves, and sometimes we do such a good job, we lose track of reality."

"When you're alive, people can hurt you. It's easier to crawl into a bone cage or a snowdrift of confusion. IT's easier to lock everybody out. But it's a lie."

"I am learning how to be angry and sad and lonely and joyful and excited and afraid and happy. I am learning how to taste everything."