September and October Wrap Up!

Yes, its the end of November. Don’t judge me.

Let’s start with;

September

Ahhh. The month of Empire of Storms.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

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I had a lot of fun with Empire of Storms, even though I locked myself in my room for two days reading frantically and avoiding social media because I was sure I’d be spoiled (even though months later I have yet to see a spoiler. Well done tumblr!) The next time a Sarah J Maas book comes out I have to refrain from doing this, it definitely takes away some of the enjoyment, and makes into a bit of a chore. Also, you miss the details.

Oh well, the details are for rereads, or in my case audio rereads. After a book I really loved is released I will listen to scenes over and over in audio, which definitely helps understanding all the small plot lines and all the sneaky foreshadowing Sarah throws in.

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Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer!

Thank you to Macmillan UK for sending me a copy! This has in no way affected my review.

All Cath wants is to open a bakery, and not just any bakery, but the best bakery in all of Hearts, with her best friend. Unfortunately for Cath, she is a Marquess’ daughter and knows how unlikely her mother is to allow Cath to start a business. To make matters work Cath’s baking has had an undesired side effect- she has caught the King’s attention; he’s romantic attention. After Cath realises the King is leading up to proposing at one of his infamous balls, she runs. Right into Jest.

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Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir!

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

(That line was totally stolen from the goodreads synopsis, but it got your attention, didn’t it?)

An Ember in the Ashes follows the stories of Laia, a slave, and Elias, a soldier. Laia’s life is turned upside down when soldiers arrive at her house in the middle of the night, kill her grandparents and arrest her brother for treason against the Empire, a roman like regime that has kept her people, the scholars, in repression for generations. Laia has no one to turn to, so hunts down the resistance, a group of people fighting against the Empire, in hopes they will help her get her brother back.

Elias is training to become a full fledged mask, a soldier for the Empire who wear silver masks that meld to their faces like second skins. Only Elias’ mask has never fully attached. Elias’ attends Blackcliff academy, a terrifying school for soldiers which has put students through questionably moral (and downright evil) tasks on numerous occasions, and is probably the third scariest place I’ve ever read about (the first being Aragog’s cave in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (spiders give me the creeps) and the second being the chokey in Matilda, that cupboard with spikes that naughty children get put in). All of this considered, it’s no wonder Elias wants to run away.

The resistance offer to help Laia on one condition- she become their spy at Blackcliff.

You can see where this is going, right?

Our two storylines collide.

And I love it when that happens in books.

There is also an amazing cast of characters in AEITA, such as Helene, Elias’ best friend and the only female candidate in their graduating class. Literally I don’t even know how much more I can say, because of spoilers, but she is so badass. Just wow. And equally the villain was so instantly hateable, it was amazing. Like the Commandant is on a par with Umbridge in my mind, which is incredible seeing as Umbridge has held top gun for a long time now.

And the relationships and storylines and everything were just URRGH. SO. GOOD.

I don’t even have words.

The story is set in some sort of alternate universe Roman Empire, in world that does have magic (though that doesn’t play too heavily on the story). There are multiple race dynamics and cultures and languages interplaying throughout the book, making the world infinitely richer and more believable.

There was action, romance, drama and tears and I literally couldn’t have asked for more.

I’m giving this one 4.5 ice creams!

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Even writing this review has me so hyped for A Torch Against the Night, the second book in this series, which came out in August (I really need to get my hands on it, asap!)

This review is mildly incoherent because I’m finding it hard to put into words how much I liked it. Go read it! NOW!

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass!

I want to start this off by saying, for some odd reason, I liked this book. Now watch while I tear this book apart, bullet point by bullet point.

The Selection by Kiera Kass follows 35 girls as they are picked in a lottery to compete in a Bachelor style TV aired competition for a Prince’s hand in marriage. In particular we follow the story of America Singer, a girl who is a 5 (everyone in this book belongs to a numbered caste, with 1 being the highest and 8 being the lowest) so she’s not too well off. Her mother makes her enter the Selection in the hopes of moving her family up the ranks, so they can be in a better place financially and socially.

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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas!

This review is from August 2015. I have left it unchanged from it’s original form, even though I wasn’t the best at writing reviews then (really though, I’m still not the best). Either way, ignore my teenage enthusiasm.

Ok so I finished Crown of Midnight yesterday and have been thinking about what to say about it since. There is so little that I can say without any spoilers, which I don’t really want to write about. One thing I can say safely is that if you have read Throne of Glass and where feeling a bit ‘meh’ (which is weird because Throne of Glass was great) then you NEED to get your hands on this and read it, by any means possible.

This book picks up from where Throne of Glass left off, Celaena is the Kings assassin and doing his evil bidding whilst quietly cursing him, etc. She is shocked to hear that one of the men the king wants dead is an old friend, who she thinks is harmless; the plot unravels with deception, spying and underground movements galore.

17167166.jpgI said in my last review, I think, that I didn’t feel that close to the characters. Everything has changed now, these characters are becoming so entwined and emotions are so high that I would be so hurt if anything happened to anyone at this point. The story shifts perspective, staying in third person but following either Celaena, Chaol or Dorian, which really allows a greater bond between us and the characters and adding to the feeling of frustration when they won’t just CONFIDE IN EACH OTHER because that would make everything so much easier.

Somethings in the story I could definitely see coming, but others threw me off guard so much- and even though I am sad (and believe me, I am sad), I can also see why it had to happen because if it had been that predictable the story would have been quite boring and stagnant. Maas really caught me unawares and made me realise how much emotion these characters could draw from me, a lot it turns out.

This book is like a 4.7, if such a thing exists. I loved it, though it had me re-evaluating my life and priorities. Celaena remains the strongest female protagonist I’ve ever encountered, but her weaknesses help her grow as a character in this book making her much more of a three dimensional character, and not just a pretty awesome assassin.

As for teams, I am still undecided (I feel that Celaena is doing fine on her own) but I will admit a weakness for Dorian.

Bottom line- I can see why this series is so immensely popular, with a series that doesn’t belittle a physically strong female protagonist to suddenly become needy for her male hero counterpart. Celaena’s independence and the men in her life’s willingness to accept that is a blessing in book form, and I thank Maas greatly for it. If you haven’t read Throne of Glass, I highly suggest you do.
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Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner!

These Broken Stars follows the story of Lilac and Tarver as the luxury spaceliner they inhabit crashes leaving only them alive. But as it turns out surviving the crash was only half the problem, the planet they have crashed on seems to play with their minds, making them question each other and everything around them.

Lilac and Tarver have only meet once before the crash and they definitely did not get on. So they could probably have hoped for a better companion on a mysteriously deserted planet, unfortunately you just end up with who you end up with when your luxury spaceliner is pulled out of hyperspace and tears in two. Tarver doesn’t like Lilac’s upperclass snobbery and Lilac dislikes Tarver’s tendency to get closer to her then protocol should call for, but both are quickly learning there is no protocol when you are all alone on a planet with no way of getting home, even for a soldier and the heiress to the universe’s wealthiest company.

The mystery element of this novel, along with the gradual build up from annoyance to admiration to full on love from what are basically our only two characters, were what kept me going. This novel is wrapped up in what looks like a cute little space romance story cover, but it couldn’t be more misleading. This book is actually quite gritty, with the unavoidable aspect of the death of the other spaceliner guests and some completely unexpected plot twists. I actually sobbed at one point, full on sobs. I wasn’t expecting an emotional reaction to this book at all, but I shouldn’t have underestimated it.

I also really enjoyed the writing style, and felt that seeing from both Lilac’s and Tarver’s point of view worked amazingly well, as well as the ongoing interrogation scenes which almost drove me insane with trying to work out what was going on. Being able to see from both POVs made the book way more complex then having a third person point of view would have, it allowed much more insight into the ongoing mystery of the planet and things they are keeping from one another.

I’m giving this book 4 ice creams out of 5


Overall this book a was a surprise because I wasn’t expecting to be so amazed, and yet I was. I went into this book thinking it would be like a space version of the Titanic, and whilst it initially has clear links to that premise, it breaks them rather quickly and establishes its own plot and does it so well. The only reason it isn’t 5 stars is because the ending was a rushed, and I had to reread it a few times to understand it at all, but I was still happy with the conclusion.

One thing to note is that it’s been a month since I finished this book and there are still parts of it I think about all the time

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!

Ironically (I know now, anyway) I first brought this book a whole year ago, almost to the day, in my first week of university. I was confining myself to my room, only leaving to eat and go to class. Unfortunately I didn’t ever get further then 9 pages in because, even more ironically, I joined the Harry Potter society and met more fangirls who don’t like to leave their rooms so we could not leave our rooms together. It was unfortunate that I didn’t read this book back then because then Cath have been overwhelmingly like me.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a high fantasy, faerie filled retelling of the age old tale Beauty and the Beast. Sarah J Maas has a thing for faeries (fairies? fayries? there are so many ways to spell it, so I’m sticking with faeries here) as is evident in her Throne of Glass series, and I feel like this series was a way to allow her to play around with ideas she had for faeries and their politics in a way she wouldn’t have been able in the Throne of Glass world.

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