Book Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

28954137Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman

Type: Series (kinda the book between 2 series in the same universe)

Pages: 655

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

Do you ever forget how much you love something? And then go back to it one day and get to rediscover how amazing it is? Well that was this book for me. I have had Lady Midnight for the LONGEST time and have heard such amazing things about it but I’d heard that I could not read that before I read this collection of novellas. And for some reason that just wasn’t appealing to me.

But I saw it at Target the other day and bought it on a whim. And finished this 655 page whopper in less than 24 hours. This book reminded me why I love Cassandra Clare so much. Now if you haven’t read the mortal instruments…go away. Major spoilers ahead. This book bridges the gap between the Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices and Lady Midnight. So if you haven’t read the other 2 series, you won’t get it.

Now this book is all about Simon. And of course at the end of CoHF he lost his memory to save everyone. But he remembers some things and it’s so heartbreaking seeing him interact with his friends and not really remember them. But what makes this book great is Simon Lewis. I have always loved Simon as a character. He is the hilarious comic relief character, always coming up with witty retorts and nerdy references in the face of death. And he has not lost that ability. I was laughing out loud and smiling like crazy at the pages of this book. There were so many moments where you couldn’t help but laugh.

We also got to see a lot of favorite characters. Yes Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Alec and Magnus were all there. But also Jem and Tessa. And then there were so many great stories within the story. Tessa telling a story about her and Will fighting Jack the Ripper, Will and Tessa’s son at school and Robert Lightwood giving us a glimpse of the Circle while they were at the academy. It was nice to hear about old favorites.

What I also loved about this book was how much it made me think. At the end of CoHF there’s the whole big “cold peace” with the faeries and it really is a problem in this book. We see the Blackthorn children and all the pain that it’s caused their family. We see poor Mark Blackthorn who was basically left to rot in fairy by his own people and then he saves Simon and Isabelle anyway. The politics at the school of the “elite” looking down on the “dregs” but Simon being a catalyst for change. We really see in this book that Shadowhutners can be racist and this new generation is going to be the first big chance for change. I’ll be interested to see how Downworlder and Clave relations are changing in Lady Midnight and how the fairy situation escalates.

My favorite favorite story in this whole book was the one with the baby. I mean come on! It was so precious. First of all, Magnus is a fabulous narrator. But then just seeing the Lightwoods offer their name and their love to a warlock child was so magical. Because obviously we don’t have the highest opinions of Mr and Mrs Lightwood. But seeing them accept this child as a part of their family and offer up what is maybe now the most sacred name in their family was so touching. And then just the idea of Alec and Magnus having a little blue baby is so sweet. When they named him Max I wanted to melt.

This whole book blew me away and I devoured every page. Of course the end was incredibly sad. After everything we lost poor George. But the end, him being with Jessamine’s ghost was so special and then Simon taking the name Lovelace.

I think this was every bit the book Simon deserved. He is looking to find himself this entire book but he’s still so true to the Simon we know and love from TMI. But he does mature in this book and we really see him find his principles and stand up for what he believes.

I absolutely give this book 5/5 stars. It’s been so long since I’ve had a new Cassandra Clare book and I forgot how special they were to me and why (Sarah J Maas may have overshadowed it a bit…) I know some people think Cassandra Clare is just doing too many spinoffs and books but this is one I am so glad I’ve read and I honestly believe that the story of this world and these characters isn’t finished yet. There is a lot that still needs to change in the Shadowhunter world and I’m excited that we’re going to get to see it.

Thanks for Reading

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First Blog Birthday!

So today I was just really feeling a blog post and I guess it was fate because I logged on to a message that it’s my blogs birthday!!!!

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I started this blog 1 year ago on the other side of the world. I started this in New Zealand while I was studying abroad because I just felt like I needed to share some of the amazing experiences I was having and all the amazing things I was seeing.

But while I was in New Zealand I realized that I wouldn’t be here forever but I wanted to continue to blog. And what else would I blog about but books!?

Although I still haven’t found a good balance of blogging and real life I really do enjoy being a part of the book blog community. It is so fun and even though there are times when I just don’t have the time for it I do love it.

So thank you everyone who has made joining this community so fun and I look forward to being a part of it for another year!!!

 

Top 5 Books of 2016

1. A Court of Mist and Fury | Sarah J Maas

26073150This should come as no surprise. I have raved over this book since the day it came out. It is not only my favorite book of the year but it is my favorite book ever so far and obviously comes from my favorite author. This book was not was I was expecting after ACOTAR at all and that is fine. I have been obsessing over the characters in this book since the day I finished it and I have been waiting for ACOWAR to come out since the day I finished it.

 

2. Crooked Kingdom | Leigh Bardugo

22299763-2This book was everything I wanted it to be, even the heart breaking ending. It is no secret that I did not enjoy the Grisha trilogy. I loved how it started but then everything went downhill from there. But the Six of Crows duology is from the same author but one of my favorite series. I love the characters and the way the interact but I also love the heist nature of the story and how everything is always moving so fast and is so exciting.

 

3.  Fangirl | Rainbow Rowell

fangirl-rainbow-rowell-cover-677x1024If Sarah J Maas is my favorite fantasy author, Rainbow Rowell is my favorite contemporary author. It’s hard to compare then because they write such different types of books and Fangirl is so amazing. If you are even remotely a fangirl for anything then you can relate to the character in this book. But even if you don’t have things in common with her characters I find them so easy to read. Even though their lives have hardships it’s in such a real way and it makes the story so moving.

 

4. Empire of Storms | Sarah J Maas

28260587Now I know what you might be thinking, why isn’t this higher up? And it’s not that I didn’t love Empire of Storms. But I loved every book on this list. These were all 5 star books for me this year. Now the reason I put this as 4 is only because it wasn’t my favorite Throne of Glass book. Again, it was great. The scenes with Elide and Lorcan were gold and Manon and Dorian was amazing. Even the little bromance blooming between Dorian and Rowan was heart melting and then of course Aelin was perfect as always. I loved this book but Heir of Fire is still my favorite and Queen of Shadows after that.

 

5. Eleanor and Park | Rainbow Rowell

15745753Ah Eleanor and Park. Again this is another 5 star read so it being last on this list doesn’t mean anything. I loved this book. Now this is the one I was really referring to when I said above “even if you don’t have things in common with her characters I find them so easy to read”. For me Cath is super relatable but that doesn’t mean I don’t love Eleanor and Park. Even though Eleanor is in a horrible situation there is just so much lightness in the way Rowell writes that makes it so heartbreaking but enjoyable to read at the same time. I love how she writes dialogue between her characters and even though this book has a lot of really crushing topics in it, I enjoyed every second of it.

Fall Wrap Up & Winter Expectations

This is a little late but truthfully winter has only really just begun. So to kick off the new season I have another wrap up for the Fall and some things to look forward to this winter.

Top Pages and Posts

Rise Elorcan 

Entertainer Blogger Award

The Greatest Nessian Fic of all Time

Favorite Posts or Pages

Dog Breed Book Tag

The Argyle Ball

All Dogs Matter: Montreal Update 

Favorite Books this Fall

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas 

Books I Hope to Finish this Winter

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

I’ve been in a real reading slump lately so hopefully I can find something to get me back into the swing of things. I’m currently reading And I Darken and I like it but it took a while for me to really get into it.

Thanks for Reading

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My Thoughts on 2016

So if you read my blog you know my favorite booktube blogger is PolandBananasBooks. And one of my favorite videos she does is her end of the year summary. Because listening to her put her year in perspective always helps me do the same for mine.

The end of the year is always such a rush and with new year’s resolutions we sometimes lose sight of everything we accomplished the previous year. So here I’d like to share some of the big mile stones of my 2016:

1. I studied abroad in New Zealand | January

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to New Zealand all winter to study Animal Science last year and it was the most amazing 5 weeks of my life. I started this blog because of that trip. There I got to see picturesque landscapes, sky dive, bungee jump, white water raft, see a world heritage site, experience a totally new culture and make so many new friends. I’ve done so many posts about it but as it is currently the 1 year anniversary of my arrival date I can’t help but reminisce all the amazing memories. Especially since my little Emiy @ Emiesnook is there right now!

2. I went home for a weekend | March

I do not live close enough to have the luxury to go home for the weekend in college. It’s a 6 hour drive on a good day and I don’t have a car. But in March my best friend Jess @ starswholisten and I took a road trip to Massachusetts so I could show her around Boston to see if she wanted to attend Law School there. Not only did we discover some of the most important Bellarke songs ever on this trip but we marched about 9 miles from Fenway, all through the Back Bay, up the Esplanade, to the Public Garden, Common, Government Center, Faneuil Hall, then all the way up to the north end for a cannoli before joining my parents in the south end for dinner. It was so much fun and I’m so glad that I helped her decided to move up here for Law School.

3. I met my little | March

I know I mention her all the time, but the truth is Emily @ EmiesNook and I haven’t even known each other for a year yet. We met in March when we went on a “girl date” for a sorority to help the new members meet people. The reason I was interested in meeting her is because she had put The 100 under things she liked and then I saw she had Sarah J Maas there as well and I knew we were meant to be friends. Since then she has been responsible for a massive increase in my neediness and I thank her for every second of it.

 

4. I met my favorite author | April

I have Emily @ Emiesnook to thank for this one too, but in April she invited me along to meet Sarah J Maas and it was so amazing. We drove 3 hours to a sleepy little town in Pennsylvania even though we hadn’t even known each other for a month yet. We met Sarah who was amazing. She was so funny and actually moderating for another author but she was so down to earth and hilarious. I was so grateful to get my books signed and I am counting down the days until she coms my way again.

5. I got my little | April

Big-Little week was so amazing for me. I have posts about all the days that you can go read but Emily @ Emiesnook did such an amazing job. All the days were things I loved to much. From James Frase, Jon Snow and Bellamy Blake on man crush monday, to Throne of Glass and Lord of the Rings I was so grateful to all the work she put into decorating my room. Plus after that we started spending way too much time together alone with my big Jess @ starswholisten. We watched The 100, GoT and Outlander together every week, went to the bookstore together and ate pints of ice cream together. PLUS Sarah J Maas herself liked the tweet of the paddle I made my little that said “fire breathing bitch queen” on it!

 

6. ACOMAF | May

In May ACOMAF came out and almost ruined my life. I still blame this book for me almost failing a class last spring because no matter how hard I tried to study I could think about nothing else. This is my favorite book last year and my favorite book of all time at the moment and I have literally been twidiling my thumbs waiting for ACOWAR to come out. No book has ever resulted in me buying so much book merch (you’ve seen the candles). Never have I saved so much fanart, or read so much fan fiction for a book. I am in love with it and so it was definitely a highlight of the year.

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7. Everyone Graduated | May

This year everyone but me graduated. My brother graduated college, my sister graduated high school and my best friend and big Jess graduated from UD. The road trip to Bucknell with my mom was awesome since we always have fun together (even though it was in the middle of my finals week). Then I had Jess’s graduation at UD which I was fortunate enough to still be around for. It was bitter sweet but I was glad to be there. And then when I got home my little sister graduated from high school.

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8. Wildlife Internship | June

In June I started one of the best internships of my life. I had the opportunity to work at a wildlife center and it was amazing. I got to work with geese, ducks, squirrels, song birds, skunks, owls, hawks and of course raccoons!!!

9. I turned 21!!! | July

I finally turned 21 this year. I was the last one of my friend group. And to make it even better Jess drove all the way to Massachusetts to celebrate with me. While it was low-key, just going into the city with my family plus Jess, it was just so exciting to finally be able to get a drink in the bar.

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10. Cape Vacation | July

After 2 months of working 7 days a week, I could think of nothing better than spending a week on the Cape with my family. We ended up in a cute cottage, got to borrow a friends boat and I got to partake in all the late night merriment since I was newly 21. It was so relaxing and nice since my brother had moved out after graduating so I got to see him for a whole week.

11. I’m a senior now? | August

I can’t believe it’s already here but somehow I’m on my last year of college. It feels like I just arrived at UD yesterday and now I’m getting ready to start my final semester of my undergraduate degree. It’s been nothing short of amazing. I’ve met so many amazing friends and gotten to do so many amazing things as a member of the Ag school. I have UD to thank for my opportunity to travel to New Zealand, and some of the amazing hands on experiences I’ve had.

12. I applied to vet school! | September

After doing nothing but applications all August long I finished all the essays and pieces of the application and submitted in September. Being a vet is my lifelong dream since I was 4 years old so to finally apply was so surreal after chasing this dream for all this time.

13. I got a pig! | September

This year I had the amazing opportunity to care for a sow and later her 13 piglets. I have never been so close to a pig before but I loved every second of it. It was so fun being a part of the birth of my piglets and brining my friends in to meet them. Plus it was actually so relaxing for me to have an animal to care for during the semester. I didn’t care that I had to get up early on the weekends and walk to the farm. Or that I always seemed to smell like pig. It is an experience I will remember forever and will always be grateful for.

14. Annapolis | October

In october I got to visit Annapolis with my parents and siblings. It was special that everyone was able to get down to the midatlantic at the same time and we had so much fun exploring Annapolis, a city we had never been to before. Plus it was the first time I’d seen my parents since August.

15. I joined Bookstagram | October

On top of my blog I finally had the courage to jump into the world of bookstagram. I love bookstagrams and had been playing around with the idea but I didn’t want to commit. Since joining Bookstagram I’ve had nothing but a positive experience from the community and I love being a part of bookstagram.

16. I cosplayed for the first time | October

For halloween this year my friends Jess and Emily and I committed to being Aelin, Elide and Manon from Throne of Glass. I have never done anything that required a wig like that before but we had such a good photo shoot and it gave me an excuse to buy “the bookstagram dagger”. Plus we were low-key twitter famous for a bit (for us anyways).

17.  I got accepted to vet school! | November

In November I heard back from one of the vet schools I applied to, University College Dublin with an acceptance! It came out of the blue since I was expecting to need to interview first so imagine my surprise when I was sitting in class and got a congratulatory email from the university.

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18. I went to a Scottish Ball | November

After taking Scottish Country Dance with Emily the whole semester we attended the Argyle ball in our best scottish get up and danced with people who had been doing this for a long time. But it was so fun. Everyone was so welcoming, the music was amazing and it ended up being an amazing night.

19. I picked up a dog on the side of the road | December

This is something I always do. If I see a dog in the street I am always the car that pulls over to get it. I was on my way to a service project for my sorority and there was this little cocker spaniel running around on a busy street. It was running from another woman chasing it but I popped out of the car and crouched in the street until the dog came to me. She was adorable and we were able to get it to a local vets office for animal control to pick up and get home.

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20. I finished my last fall semester of undergrad | December

This was my first and only 4.0 semester! I got straight As and I was not taking a light course load. Lucky for me my roommates birthday was on the last day of finals so me and my roommates were able to all be together and go out in ugly christmas sweaters before leaving the next day. I could think of no better way to end one of our last semesters together.

21. Bruins Game | December

Right when I got back from school my parents had an early christmas present for us. We were all going to a bruins game. I got to see my brother and sister and hang out with them for an entire evening (my parents had better seats) and even though the Bruins lost it was so fun.

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22. The Holidays | December

This year we finished off the year right. We had a great Christmas Eve party (which I may have had a little too much wine at). Christmas was not the best (solely because I was more than hungover. I had a couple dashes to the toilet to let some of that wine back out….oops). But then my family finished off the year with an amazing ski weekend. My family loves to ski and my brother was able to come so we were all together. We went to the mountain where we basically learned to ski, Attitash, NH. There I had a great time snowboarding on fresh snow that fell the day we arrived and we had a great family New Years to finish out 2016.

 

2016 may have not been the best year in the world. Sure lots of terrible things happened, we lost a lot of legends and I can’t say I’m happy about our new president but it’s important to reflect on the good in your life. And I’d say I was pretty blessed this year. Hopefully 2017 is even better as the joke in our house is that it’s “the year of Maggie” since I’m the only one graduating this year.

Hopefully everyone has things to be happy about looking back on at the end of 2016 and has a good start to 2017.

Thanks for Reading

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Book Club Update

Ah so you’ve probably noticed that my month absence meant missing a month of bookclub. And the three of us came to the conclusion that a book every month with a review and discussion post is too much for us to commit to since we are all busy students. So we’ve decided we will do a seasonal book. That will give us 3 months to read each book so we don’t feel rushed and honestly so we can enjoy the books more. It’s hard to enjoy a book if you feel like you just have to finish it to get it done.

So right now our winter book is still going to be And I Darken, since Three Dark Crowns was our Fall Book. So if you’re still interested in reading along with us look forward to reviews and discussions at the end of the winter (so sometime in March).

Thanks for Reading!

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Ending My Hiatus

Hello everyone long time no see!!!

So I have not written a post in a long long time. At first it was because  December was CRAZY for me. Right after Thanksgiving break I was swamped with school work. I had so many finals that I didn’t have time to do anything else.

Then with finals done I went home and suddenly it was Christmas and then I was away for New Years but I assure you I am not giving up on my blog.

I did need a break though. I was so spent after finals this semester that the idea of writing for my blog or reading did not sound relaxing at all. I needed a few good days of sleeping late, doing nothing but binge watching TV.

But I am back! I don’t think I’m going to push myself to publish as many times as I was earlier in the fall because I just found I was setting the bar too high for myself and I was disappointed when I didn’t accomplish my goal some weeks.

I also have tags to catch up on! Thank you to everyone who tagged me in things I promise I have not forgotten. I have a list of all the tags I have to do and I will do them because I love them!!!

Thanks for Reading!

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