Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire

 

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

I apologize in advance if this review seems vague or if I start to ramble–this book has shattered me almost as many times as Celaena’s been broken, and I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

 

It’s hard to form words right now.

 

This entire storyline exceeded every imagining I had for it. I would never have thought that this would be how the plot would develop, but it was so rich with new information and you get to see more of the story through new characters’ eyes that enhances just how epic a tale this is. It reminds me of Harry Potter, in a way.

 

I mean, I am a die-hard Potterhead. And reading the HP books was more than a journey, more than an adventure–it was an experience that took me so far out of myself and threw me so far into that world, that in a way the story became real for me. I was a part of it. Those characters are some of my dearest friends, and I feel connected with their fates on a level that I would with a corporeal person.

 

That’s how I feel about the characters in the Throne of Glass series, and that’s how I feel about myself when I’m reading these books.

 

And that is one of the hardest and most impressive things a writer can accomplish, in my mind.

 

And there is so much meat to this story, it’s incredible! I can’t help but to keep thinking of all the back stories that are so essential and complex and I wonder at how a person could have dreamed up this world. The intricacy of this tale is not lost on me, and Heir of Fire does not disappoint.

 

I am in awe of this book!

 

 And just when I actually believed that it was going to end on a high note, after all the turmoil and strife spilling out of this book, my feels were 

 

COMPLETELY OBLITERATED.

 

And Celaena! She is a character with so many surprises and so much depth–just when I think I understand her she reveals another sliver of herself and her past and I’m BLOWN AWAY. And with how much she’s forced to grow and all she has to withstand and awful circumstances she has to thrive in! She is strong and wild and fierce and broken and lost and

 

she is a

 

f  o  r  c  e  .

 

Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of Dorian and Chaol to be heard from, and not all of it is as bright and shiny as I’d hoped. I’ll have to wait until I’m a tad more composed before sifting through my emotions in regards to these two, because holy hell.

 

I have loved every book in this series even more than the one that preceded it, and it’s going to be difficult having to wait until the next installment. Sarah J. Maas, you are a Goddess of Writing–I am in complete awe of you and I thank you for sharing your stories with the rest of us mere mortals.

 

 

 

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Rating: 5

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

 

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

Bear with me as I attempt to articulate my love for this book–my mind was BLOWN and now I’m trying to scoop up all the brain matter splattered around the room so that I might form some coherent thoughts.

 

WAAAAAHHHHHHH?!

 

This was two epic and enduring stories bundled into one. Two stories that flow so fluidly together that it didn’t have me confused or leave me scratching my head. These two worlds were blended flawlessly.

 

From the very start of this story, I loved Karou’s seemingly carefree attitude and cool demeanor. But do you know what made me love her even more? Learning that the Karou she lets others see is a facade for the real Karou, and that deep down she feels alone and hollow.

 

Who wouldn’t respond to that on some level? 

 

And the chimaera aspect of this story is executed on a level that blew me away. Not once did I question the credibility of these creatures, because it never even crossed my mind–I had zero reason to doubt that no matter how fantastic the characters may seem, they were real. They are real to me. 

 

And Akiva? The swoons grew stronger the longer I read until I was blown apart by the devotion and passion and soul-wrenching love he possesses. 

 

Laini Taylor has managed to weave two worlds, two stories, two lives together seamlessly with an unrestrained imagination that enhances fantasy in a way that makes the story real for me, no matter how fantastic the plot. I can guarantee you this is one of my favorite reads to date!

 

 

 

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Rating: 5

 

 

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Into the Still Blue

 

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do—and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they’re using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival–he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

**WARNING: SPOILER ALERT**

 

THE FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELSSS

 

Skies, I felt this so hard.

 

Let me tell you something, I’ve been in love with Perry and Aria’s love from the moment I read Under the Never Sky. This is one young adult series that proves that there doesn’t have to be a love triangle–Perry and Aria were it for each other, always! 

 

I absolutely love them.

 

And yeah, there is a third member that sort of creates a triangle, but it’s not even close to that kind of a love triangle. Roar and Perry are like brothers, more so than Perry and his actual brother Vale were. As far as Roar and Aria–there’s a male and female platonic relationship done right! Their friendship is pure and true friendship and it is SO FREAKING ADORABLE.

 

Their relationships are strained in this book, which made me sad . . . but really, there’s no way things could have happened differently considering everything that happened in Through the Ever Night. Some things you can’t come out of without hardships and struggles, and the death of Liv coupled with Aria/Roar’s disappearing on Perry happen to be situations that have to be worked through. Point is, this story didn’t start with sunshine and daisies.

 

There were Aether storms and bloodshed and brooding.

 

And it was fantastic.

 

And this book kept me on my toes! Every time I thought Perry, Aria, Roar, and Soren were finally getting somewhere–finally, freedom!–my hopes were dashed as they were continually set back. 

 

Over and over and over and over again.

 

And the feels? Yeah, I was a bawling mess. An absolute, complete mess! Skies, the losses! Things were looking pretty grim and depressing as the story was coming to a close, and you can be sure that I felt it. 

 

Deep.

 

Now once it came down to the final moment between Sable and Perry, I have to admit I thought it was over too soon, that it came too easily. Which seems silly because of all the struggles you can tally against Sable throughout the series, but the moment itself was over in the blink of an eye. Then again, the satisfaction of precisely how things came to a close was magnificent. After all the cruelty Sable imposed as Blood Lord of the Horns, to see him strangled by his own title raised a twisted satisfaction in me.

 

Veronica Rossi, you have done right by your readers! Though I’m morose at the thought of never hearing from Perry and Roar and Aria again, I am overjoyed by the time I’ve had with them, and that you’ve shared their stories with us. 

 

 

 

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Rating: 5

 

 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After

 

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

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I   L  O  V  E   T  H  I  S

 

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKK!!!!!

 

I could not physically put this book down from the moment I started it–no bathroom breaks, no food breaks (and that’s saying a lot coming from me), nothing.

 

I read Anna and fell in love with Étienne. Then I read Lola and Cricket swept me off my feet. But you guys, as much as I loved these two male leads, they do not compare to Josh.

 

Jooooooooooooossshhhhhhh

 

He is the most swoony out of them all! I’m getting all starry-eyed just thinking about him . . . What’s more attractive than someone with passion? As he’s lost in his art he’s stealing my heart! Not to mention the passion he has for Isla. I felt them in the most visceral part of my heart–I ached for them, I laughed with them, I hurt with them and I loved with them.

 

And Isla? I connected with her on a level that I didn’t with the other two ladies. As fantastic as the first two books were–and I LOVED them–Isla just got me, and I got her. I’ve never been one to have supreme confidence and I understood where she was coming from and how she was feeling. As much as I wanted to shake sense into her because–as an outside viewer–I could see how wrong she was about herself, I knew the journey she’d have to take because I’ve been there myself.

 

Isla, let’s be besties, kay?

 

Stephanie Perkins is a YA Master! She understands the teenage psyche and uses that little teenage spirit inside us all to draw us completely into her stories. I ended this book wanting to paint everything and learn French! And wanting Josh to be more than fictional, because HOLY ATTRACTIVE MALE.

 

I fell in love with every facet of this novel, and I recommend it WHOLEHEARTEDLY to EVERY HUMAN!

 

 

 

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Rating: 5

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be

 

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

This book was hysterical!

 

Seriously, Julia’s inner dialogue? Unbelievably comical! Do you ever read a story where at least one part of the MC’s personality is so in tune with your own that you can’t help but feel an undeniable connection to them? That was me with Julia’s humor! It’s like a part of my own sense of humor was fused with Julia’s, because I felt like every time she thought a funny remark it was aligned right along with what I find gut-busting. Like this little gem:

 

An older couple is passing us, and I shoot them an apologetic smile, which I hope communicates something along the lines of How terrible to see madness in someone so young; I’m sure his keeper will bring him back to the asylum soon.

 

Oh, oh, and this one!

 

Great. Now I’m dressed like a homeless person and I smell like a gigolo. They’re going to have bloodhounds on my trail to get me out of here, and thanks to this stupid cologne, I’m going to be way too easy to find.

 

And then there’s just the imagery she invokes, akin to my own thoughts on so many levels:

 

I think if someone had written that sentence down a week ago and showed it to me, my brain would have exploded and oozed out of my eye sockets.

 

As far as her humor goes, we are two peas in a pod. I do, however, feel like she and Jason could be a little over the top. She was always frustrated with Jason and snapping at him and overbearingly uptight, to the point where I wondered Who peed in your Cheerios? every day of their trip.

 

And Jason! I understand you’re a teenage boy, and they can be a tad immature. Okay, so maybe more than a tad. BUT I don’t think they’re on the outstanding obnoxious level that Jason managed to achieve every day.

 

There were the tugs on the heartstrings when I read about the impact of Julia’s father’s death on her life, and Jason’s mother’s absence from his. There were the swoony texts between Julia and the mysterious Chris she met at that party. There were the infuriating at times and entertaining at others clashes of Julia’s will versus Jason’s. And through it all, they’re touring and exploring London.

 

L  O  N  D  O  N  .

 

And even though their interactions could be borderline baffling, Julia and Jason’s interactions together were entirely adorable. (Except for that one time. That one time was cringe-worthy–I squinted my eyes partially shut and wished for the end then.)

 

And the solving of the Chris mystery! Oh my SWEET MERCY I was laughing so hysterically in the solitude of my basement I probably sounded mad! Honestly, I was in no way, shape or form expecting that to turn out how it did. Holy WOW that was priceless.

 

This was a fun, funny, perfectsunnybeachy summer read that is sure to lift your spirits (and leave you pining for London;))

 

 

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Rating: 3.5

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Some Girls Are

 

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around.  Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.
Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

I had a definitively strong reaction to this book.

 

I wanted to strangle everyone. Every character is awful–they’re all terrible people. This book showcased the ugly side of people.

 

It was disgusting how appalling everyone’s actions are.

 

And yet, I felt so hard reading this. My emotional reactions were all over the board because this book and these characters made me think. I couldn’t help but put myself into the situation and ask, what if? What if I were in Regina’s shoes–what would I do? What if I were Michael, or Liz? I tried analyzing the situation from every perspective. I immersed myself in the plot trying to understand the characters.

 

I was in a constant state of suffering due to the vise tightening around my chest because I was experiencing every terrible thing alongside Regina. But I hated her at the same time, and the emotions were so conflicting that I had my own personal struggle while reading.

 

And I’m still left wondering about how I feel toward this book. I didn’t feel the closure I usually have when finishing a book–I feel like there should have been more resolution. But then, nothing tied up neatly in this story because this story isn’t neat–it’s messy and hard and a constant struggle. The ending fit the story and I’m left feeling suspended in a paused storyline, waiting for it to resume.

 

 

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rating: 3.5

 

Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Sever

 

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

I am SO PISSED at you, DeStefano!!!

 

See, you completely destroyed me with this book. My heart is nothing but a shredded mass of pulpy muscle entirely useless to me now. I feel the weight of dead characters’ bodies bearing down on my chest and forcing the breath from my lungs.

 

You are a manipulator of emotions and attachments, an evil genius.

 

I want to talk about the writing in this book, the very words themselves. This is full of beautiful prose. Creepy and disturbing at times, yes, but still beautiful. I fell in love with the way the words were molded into carefully crafted sentences formed into gripping paragraphs and ideas that bloomed like orange blossoms in spring.

 

This series was addicting. Good thing I bought all the books before I even started reading the first one because I didn’t want to put these down at all.

 

And you know what? I’m still in love with Linden. And though I marginally warmed to the idea of Gabriel, there’s still a part of me that doesn’t see him in a romantic light. And Rowan? I spent the series growing so attached to Rhine’s idea of her brother that when I actually encountered him in the story, I was sadly disappointed. I didn’t really like him. Pretty much the only time I did like him was when he was comforting Rhine.

 

And the end was so shocking I audibly gasped and clutched my temples in disbelief. The mantra of no, no, no, this can’t be happening, no, no! was repeating in my mind. I’m still crushed by it. I have yet to reinflate my soul.

 

Feels, man.

 

While I’m not happy about how it ended, I feel like it was appropriate. Throughout the entire series we’re shown how the world as Rhine knows it is unfair and cruel and that’s kind of how it all ended, to an extent. I mean, there was a little bit of hope, but it was mostly as jarring and sudden as everything else that happened in the books.

 

You may have diminished my spirits this time, DeStefano, but I’ll be back to tackle your next series soon enough. You are a word wizard and brilliant writer.

 

 

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rating: 5