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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BookClub Discussion: This is What Happy Looks Like

15790873-2Welcome to our September 2016 BookClub Discussion of This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Below the following discussion includes

-Maggie @ Massachusetts Novel

-Emily @ EmiesNook

-Jess @ StarsWhoListen

September 2016: This is what Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE IN PURPLE THANKS – feyre/mor/jess

LMAO ok I’ll write in green I guess

red

Questions:

1. What was your favorite thing about the book?

Lobster rolls. This book just really made me want a lobster roll, and now I have a solid place to go get a lobster rolls in Boston. So like, really great things came out of this.

Which made me sad. All I wanted after that was a to fly home to MA and get a lobster roll.

I don’t like lobster. Whoops.

Peasant. 

Be nice.

Clams are where it’s at.

I mean I also love clams. There’s no such thing as bad seafood. Moving on: I liked how they meet, but then everything in the middle was kinda eh.

Yeah I agree, I was pissed for every moment they weren’t talking. Lol.

Ya that section was too long and then at the end it’s too short.

My favorite part was the love story/drama. I absolutely love a good dramatic romance.

It was a little cliche but it was cute. I needed it after the devastation of Empire of Storms.

 

2. What was your least favorite thing about this book?

My least favorite thing in the book was the unconvincing ending–didn’t like that it was so open, although there is a novella to read!

Yes but after reading the summary for the novella it sounds like the entire book all over again. They’re not talking and then they try to make it work which is upsetting.

Quinn pissed me off. She was a horrible best friend.

She was. Petty bitch.

I just don’t understand how you don’t talk to your beeeest friend for three weeks because she didn’t tell you that you were emailing a boy. SO WHAT. BE EXCITED FOR YOUR BEST FRIEND. (lmao “petty bitch”). 

But I’d say my least favorite part was the ending. Same as Emily. Just not satisfying enough.

 

3. Favorite character

BAGEL. The Beagle. Literally. Spirit animal.

You’re welcome for this everyone.

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I liked Graham because he kind of showed a more sensitive side to movie stars. Everyone wonders what it’s like being a child star, and his explanation of his rise to fame was cool.

He was my favorite *human* character. He was relatable (I mean, I’m not a movie star, but he was kind of more realistic than a normal movie star).

Ya between Ellie and Graham, he was better. He also tried so much harder to make their relationship work. And when he punched that guy it was awesome. I take it back my favorite part was when he punches the photographer. Made me smile. I do love a man willing to defend his lady.

That was a great part. I know you like your injury hurt/comfort tropes 🙂

You’re both insane.

Always (agreeing with Jess not emily)

 

4. What do you rate it?

I think I rated it 4 stars? It was cute and a fast read but like, not obsession worthy, obviously.

I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. 3 is good for me so it was better than good but not great, which would’ve gotten it 4 stars.

I rated it a 4 out of 5 because I found it enjoyable, but not life changing (I’m also a more lenient rater than Maggie though).

Same.

5. What did you think of the plot?

Generic but cute. Not the best cute romance I’ve ever read, but far from the worse.

I agree, it was very predictable but I liked how they added a few plot twists (like Ellie being the Senator’s illegitimate daughter and Graham’s issues with his family).

The plot twists were a nice add in. Gave the book a little bit of excitement. I appreciated that they didn’t make the thing with her dad a big happy ending though. It would’ve been unrealistic.

I agree with the generic statement. It was a cute contemporary read, but as I said earlier nothing life changing about it.

 

6. Final thoughts?

Cute book, a good way to start our book club. Great for me to read between classes and during dinner #lawschoolproblems.

Ya plus it was cheap. I mean let’s be honest we bought it for you because we could afford it.

Oh, I feel so special.

To be honest, I read it a while ago and just brushed up on it for this month’s club. Didn’t really feel the need to reread it.

Glad you didn’t recommend a total flop.

Same same but same.

Anything else?

I would just like to tell everyone that the three of us sat at the same table and typed all of this without having an actual real life discussion because we suck.

That would require social skills that SOME of us just don’t have *cough cough Emily cough*

I came to Delaware from Boston from this (no regrets).

Are we still typing?

Feel free to join the discussion! Answer any of the questions from above or just tell us about your thoughts on this book! And don’t forget to join us for Three Dark Crowns in October!

 

Thanks for Reading!

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Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763-2.jpgTitle: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Type: Duology (Book 2)

Pages: 536

Rating: 5 stars

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Spoilers Ahead!

So. This. Book. Was. Amazing.

Six of Crows was so fabulous, with it’s ruthless characters, high action, twists at every turn and the ultimate heist. And Crooked Kingdom is just as good. The plans were just as daring and exciting, the cast of characters was everything you’d expected them to be after the first book and action and excitement was never ending in this book.

I loved that we really got to see Ketterdam in this book. In the first book we’re there briefly before we’re whisked away to Fjerda for the rest of the story. In this book we really get to see all the various areas of Ketterdam and learn more about the Kerch people.

Now of course this story picks up where we left off, with Inej being taken. And I’m very glad that we didn’t have to spend the entire book getting her back. In fact, the story can really be broken down into 3 heists. 1) Getting Inej back, 2) The Sugar Mill Plan and 3) The Grand Finale. So it was great to see Kaz and the crew succeed in their first plan. It was everything we’d expect from one of Kaz’s plans: everything was planned for, he had backup plans for everything, and when you thought everything was going wrong, it was really all going right.

So it seemed like we were on track to take down Van Eck and Rollins all at once but then plan 2 is not what we expect from a glorious Kaz Brekker plan. Literally everything goes wrong and since we were jumping back and forth between POVs I could not put the book down until everyone was safely in that hotel room after the entire plan fell apart. When Inej fell of the wire I swear my heart stopped.

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Book Review: This is what Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

15790873-2Title: This is what Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Type: Stand Alone (with small follow up novella)

Pages: 404

Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet – albeit virtually – when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two seventeen year olds strike up an e-mail relationship, even though they don’t even know each other’s first name. In a witty and unforgettable correspondence, Graham and Ellie share details about their lives, hopes and fear. But they don’t tell each other everything: Graham doesn’t know the secret hidden in Ellie’s family tree and Ellie is unaware of Graham’s life in the spotlight.

When Graham seizes an opportunity to spend time in Ellie’s tiny hometown of Henley,  Maine, he takes their relationship from online to in person. But can two people from such different worlds be together despite the odds stacked against them?

Spoilers Ahead!

So this is the Archeron Sister’s Book Club, which features myself, Jess @ StarsWhoListen and Emily @ EmiesNook, book club book of the month! We picked this cute romance novel because we were all in need of a nice happy romance after finishing Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. And this really was a cute story. It’s a bit of a more contemporary take on the “boy meets girl” story because we have Ellie and Graham meeting over email. And of course now as a young adult, we know it’s so much easier to strike up conversation with people and tell them things online than in person. And so we see this adorable online romance bloom.

But of course what makes it the adorable romance it is (and slightly unrealistic, even though I’m sure we’d all love to be in Ellie’s shoes) is the fact that of course the boy Ellie is emailing across the country is this big, well to do movie star. But if of course even that’s not enough drama so Ellie has her own dramatic backstory of being the love child of a politician and a waitress who fled DC after the rumors started flying that this man had an affair and child.

So you have to go into this book wanting a fluffy, cute romance. This is not a contemporary novel filled with deep issues or that prompts a lot of self reflection. It is a really cute romance where you know it’s going to follow the “boy meets girl, boy and girl have some mid book issue, but boy gets girl in end” plot line. But that was just what I needed right now between big fantasy novels with heartbreaking, cliffhanger endings.

I liked this book. While it was not the most amazing contemporary book I’ve ever read it was good and it was what I needed right now. I thought the end was the best part. From Ellie and Graham’s trip to Kennebunkport and back was the best. I loved when Ellie and Quinn finally talked, and then Ellie and her mom had a nice conversation and even Graham and his parents got to have a nice conversation. Then the end was adorable with their date, the whoopee pies and of course him giving her the money for Harvard.

The ending was a little bit more open ended then I would have liked but it was cute. My favorite line was when Ellie is asking Graham if he’s ever been to Boston and he says “I’ve always wanted to steal a swam boat”. As a local that made me laugh.

Be sure to check out Jess and Emily’s reviews too:

17169-illustration-of-red-tulips-pv     Emily’s Review: This is What Happy Looks Like

8cxkzblei Jess’s Review: This is What Happy Looks Like

Be sure to read along with us next month! We’ll be reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake!

Thanks for Reading

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Book Review: The Bricks that Build the Houses by Kate Tempest

26073155Title: The Bricks that Built the Houses

Author: Kate Tempest

Type: Stand alone

Pages: 399

Overall Rating: 2.5

 

Non-Spoilery:

This story follows the lives of several London inhabitants whose lives steadily intersect throughout the story. It follows growing relationships, how their pasts shaped them and how they’re all just looking to move up in the world.

I’m not really sure how to describe this book but if you ever read Let the Great World Spin by it reminded me of that, the way we switch through perspectives and everyones stories seem to intersect.

Spoilers Ahead:

So this is a book I picked up by complete chance. I found it in a used bookshop for only $3. The cover was fun and hot pink and I thought it sounded exciting from the inside flap.

So reading that you’d think that this book is going to have some sort of intense robbery scene and then we’re going to see what these 3 are going to do with all this money and see what new lives they build for themselves, while out running the problems that led them to steal the money and flee.

False. This book ended up being  long narrative about many characters, but Becky, Harry, Leon and Pete in particular. We follow them through life and get all of their backstories and they all have some sort of sad past.

And while it was an interesting book it just didn’t give me any of what I was expecting. Even though the inside flap tells us about them fleeing with this money, that doesn’t happen until the very end. And even after that we never really get to see what happens with it. Eventually they all come back and we just sort of never find out what happens to them.

Becky’s all about dance and we watch her strive to make something of herself, but we never find out what happens with the piece she was working on or any of that. Harry is coming back and she’s refusing to get back in the game, but we never find out what happens to her, or if her and Becky ever get back together.

This book just sort of dragged me through, and while I enjoyed all the ways these characters lives intersected it got old and hearing everyone’s backstories got old and then most of the characters in this book were just so miserable with their lives, especially Pete. It was just sort of a downer to read, and while I’m proud of myself for finishing it, it didn’t end up being super enjoyable to read.

I just don’t think it was what I was expecting to get from it at all which is what I really didn’t like about it. Also this book made me realize that London slang is very odd and I don’t know any of it because there were so many instances where I had no idea what they were talking about .

Thanks for Reading

-maggie

Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

 

10576365Title: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Type: Trilogy

Overall Rating: 5 stars

 

Nonspoilery:

The Darkest Minds is excellent. We follow a young girl named Ruby through a crisis period in the US. Currently children are coming down with “powers” and are being termed Psi Affected Youth. They’re being placed in camps to monitor what’s happening to them and the country is in shambles after the outbreak of Psi. The children fall into 5 color categories, some being much more dangerous than others. This book was thrilling, full of great action and though provoking scenarios of what we might do if something like this ever happened.

Spoilers Ahead:

I loved this book. I picked it up based on a recommendation and thought it was amazing. Right from the beginning we’re thrown into this crazy situation of children being taken from their homes and put into what can only be called concentration camps. There Ruby has managed to pass herself off as a Green instead of a dangerous Orange, but we know it won’t last.

I appreciated that she got out of the camp quickly, even though I wasn’t sure if I trusted Kate. The way Ruby could see into people’s memories was so interesting even though she often did it by accident. But so things got exciting once she split from the group.

Of course how can you not love Liam, Chubs, and Zu? We’re so thankful to Zu from the get go since she lets Ruby hide in betty (the van). I love the way Zu silently communicates things but is still so expressive as a character. From then on our we see Liam and her grow increasingly closer as Chubs continues to express his distaste for them picking her up. And Ruby is still hiding who she is from them.

I appreciated how a girl who is clearly suffering from the trauma of being imprisoned for most of her life in a camp and being constantly afraid of being found out doesn’t fling herself into this big romance because that would be unrealistic. I appreciate that they seem to have a crush on each other and we slowly get to watch her trust with Liam grow over the course of the book and blossom into a romance.

Of course we knew it would come out who she really was and I actually really enjoyed how it did and that it didn’t lead to the usual “you lied to me” drama mid book. I love the way she steps up in the scene with the Skip Tracers to protect the group and then the cute scene afterwards where she think they’ll want her to leave and they don’t care that she’s orange.

Then of course the other big scene is East River, this mysterious paradise they’ve been searching for where the big plot twist is that the president’s son, supposedly the first kid “cured” is the one running it. We find out he’s a dangerous orange and that this place isn’t all it seems. I honestly thought the way he prowled after Ruby was just really strange and uncomfortable, not in a way that made the story bad, but in a way that enhanced the creepiness.

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Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Length: 693 pages

Type: 6 Book Series

Overall Rating: 5 stars

Spoilers Ahead:

Ok so I love SJM and everything she writes so this won’t be so much of a review as me rambling about all the feeling I have been left with after finishing the book an hour ago. Sarah J Maas has once again murdered my life. She always pulls something like this so I don’t know why I no longer expect it. I guess it’s just because the end of Queen of Shadows was so happy and by chapter 64 everyone was still alive and everything seemed to be going fine. But then she just ripped the rug out from under me.

Now let me back up a little bit to the beginning. So we do not start off like I was expecting. First of all we start with an Elide chapter which practically made me groan. Not what I wanted, since she was just wandering aimlessly through the forest. Then there’s no grand entrance into Terrasen. In fact, she’s told she’s not the queen so she can get out. Well let me just say I was not happy about that at all. But then the story quickly go moving.

So much happens so fast right at the beginning and it was all so awesome. Rifthold gets taken and the scene with Manon saving Dorian and then Rowan saving Dorian was epic. The fact that we see Manon is willing to become a “witch killer” for him and then willingly lies about it after. And then Dorian and Rowan’s bromance was something I did not know I was missing but needed. Their boat ride together and the conversation they have is so heartbreakingly cute.

Meanwhile, Aelin is in Ilium tearing shit up. I can’t really believe Aedion didn’t notice that she was having Lysandra study the sea dragons…I thought it was kind of obvious. At this same time Elide and Lorcan are becoming traveling companions. I was grateful when they finally got together because their separate chapters were a little boring. But let’s face it Elorcan happened fast. By their third chapter together I was a complete Elorcan fan and when he saved her, and she sort of saved herself from her Uncle I was screaming. That scene was so great and they were finally so honest with each other. She’s so good for him because she’s all hope and he lost his will to live for something besides fighting for his queen a long time ago. If you had told me I would be freaking out because Lorcan was about to die during HoF or QoS I would have laughed at you. But that scene in the marshes where he’s under attack and she’s jumps infront of him I nearly died. And then he was going to sacrifice himself for her. UHG FEELS!!! WHICH IS WHY THE END KILLED ME. After all this beautiful relationship building he ruined everything and I’m honestly not sure she’ll forgive him (anyone else getting vibes between Elide and Asterin?)

Ok tangent over. So this book was amazing so just some key points that murdered me. Asterin willing to die for Manon. For a second I actually thought she was going to kill her, but I’m very glad she did not. Also that bombshell about her being half Crochan??? Did not see that coming. Also very happy when Manon FINALLY joined the squad because all the scenes between her and Aelin were perfect. I love how they challenge each other as 2 queens and all the males seem to hold their breath when they’re squaring off.

Then we had the entire Skull’s Bay section which was amazing start to finish. I did not realize how much I needed Fenrys in my life and I am very glad he made it to the end (I was expecting him or Gavriel to be killed off). And of course we were all just waiting for Aelin to show up and Rolfe’s reaction was exactly what I needed to be. Chapter 27 had me falling out of my chair laughing. Again I did not see it coming at all that he was a Mycenian. Then of course we had the big battle where I feared for Lysandra’s life more than I ever have. I really thought she was a goner because SOMEONE has to die. We all know the whole squad isn’t going to make it through to the end and so every time one of them is in danger it’s always “is this it? are we going to lose someone?”. And I don’t know if it’s better or worse that it hasn’t happened yet because they’re all still alive but for how long. Anyways the other plus of Skulls Bay was we finally got our sexy time between Aelin and Rowan and it was everything I needed it to be.

Another heart stopping scene was when Manon said “No he’s not” about Fenrys and then shit hit the fan. Again, I though Fenrys was a goner but thankfully he survived. Also that was the scene where grumpy parent Rowan came out. A few times Rowan killed it with his grumpy dad status. In this scene when they’re all making the bet and he says “remind me why I bother with any of you” then later in the marshes when he rips the fight between Loran, Gavriel and Fenrys apart like they’re children and then finally when Aelin and Manon have a little contest over Elide and Rowan finally has to say “Ladies” in that exasperated tone. (Also did it make anyone else think of Rhys having to say “Ladies?” to Feyre and Amren in ACOMAF *cough cough Feyre=Aelin Amren=Manon**)

The scenes in the wastes were good. I was expecting a big battle but the heart stopping scene ended up being Elide and Lorcan caught in the middle of Aelin’s fire and then the ambush on Lorcan. And then of course another bombshell leaving the wastes when we think they’re under attack and it’s freaking Ansel!!! Just more amazing scheming by Aelin from QoS plus I died when she got her horse back.

And then everything goes to shit after that. The battle ends up working out, but we finally learn all the horrible truths about Elena and what she did and that Aelin is supposed to die to save everyone. And then when she comes back it gets even worse with Maeve. The ending scenes with Maeve were so unbelievably painful. Seeing Aelin tortured. Hearing all the awful truths from Maeve about Rowan and Aelin and how she manipulated them together. And then Aelin giving herself up for Elide and being whipped again!

And then of course she’s gone when the squad finally shows up and this awful plan she’s been scheming all along finally comes to light. Lysandra is to be her, sire children with Aedion, Rowan and her got married, Manon has the keys, and she’s off to be a slave to Maeve. I swear if Maeve breaks her, I’ll die. If we have to wait more than half the book for Rowan and Aelin to reunite, I’ll die and if this series ends with her dying, I’ll die. The end just pulled the rug right out from under me and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do in the meantime.

All in all, another amazing book in the series, 5 stars.

Thanks for Reading

-Maggie

Book Review: Ruins (The Partials #3) by Dan Wells

Non Spoilery:

So this is the final book in the Partials Sequence so you should really go read the rest before continuing.

Spoilers Ahead:

So we pick up the story right where we left off. Kira is off with Dr. Morgan being her human test subject, Samm is still in Denver, where he has volunteered to be the humans source of the cure and the people of East Meadow are still under a partial occupation.

Right off the bat one thing I didn’t like was how nonchalant Kira was about being the test subject. They mentioned all the biopsies, spinal taps, and procedures so casually and then when she decides to leave she’s off and running after having her body tampered with so much? I know she’s a partial but still it should’ve at least hurt.

Now I’ll just start out and say that what bothered me with this book was that instead of finishing all the stories we had been telling for the last two books, this one started a bunch of new ones. There are so many new plot lines that come into this book so instead of getting a satisfying ending we are left with a really rushed ending and we do not get a lot of our questions answered.

For example after Kira leaves Dr. Morgan we have to follow her up to the IV territory. But then of course she gets captured (new, very long, plot twist). She meets Green (who I actually did love) and we have to see their long escape battle, then they have to trek back towards Long Island, they run into the monster thing telling people about winter etc. etc.

Meanwhile back in Samm land, he’s woken up the partials and is donating pheromone. I actually enjoyed his section in Denver the most. I loved the way he demonstrated the humans in Denver meant the partials no harm by showing Calix would be more than happy to get them some candy. And then the big revelation that living with Partials would save human babies was a nice answer we’d been waiting for. But of course we’re also just waiting for Samm to meet up with Kira again.

WHICH IS THE REAL PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THIS BOOK! I should not have to wait 80% of the book for it’s OTP to get back together again.

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Book Tag: The Mid-Year Freakout

So saw this on the theImmortalreaders page and thought this was a great tag so here goes nothing!

  1. Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2016

That would EASILY be A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. It’s the second book in the ACOTAR series and if the first book was great this was off the charts amazing!

9f8db74af6e45f8b20bc6fcb20489cbe

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far

Am I allowed to re-use? Because again, A Court of Mist and Fury was by far and wide the best book I’ve read this year and is the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses…so I’d have to repeat (I’d be lying if I didn’t) and say ACOMAF…again

3. New Release You Haven’t Read But You Want To

That would be the second book in the Blood of Gods and Royals Series by Eleanor Herman, Empire of Dust. I really enjoyed the first book, which follows the life of a young Alexander the Great (before he’s “great”) and it was a great historical fiction read with plenty of romance and magic.

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4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

THAT IS EASY. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. It will be the 5th book out in her Throne of Glass series and this is easily one of my favorite series of all times. She is just such an amazing writer and I’m so excited for the next book.

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5. Biggest Disappointment

The Raven Boys Series by Maggie Stiefvater, specifically the last book The Raven King. I really enjoyed the first book and thought the characters were there and the story could be great but the concept was just not quite developed all the way. Each book the concept slipped further and further away so while the characters were still great the plot was weak, slow, and full of some big plot holes and loose ends by the end of the last book

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6. Biggest Surprise

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was a great surprise for me. I didn’t really know anything about it but had seen it in someone else’s book haul. Then I stumbled upon it at a used bookshop and let is sit around my house for a month. Who knew I’d love it so much. It was a great story, with mystery, romance, heartbreak and tragedy, all while being a great coming of age story that focuses around family. I loved it.

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7. Favorite New Author

THAT WOULD BE HANDS DOWN RAINBOW ROWELL. (SJM is not knew to me). I picked up my first Rowell book this year and fell in love. I mean what girl who loves books and is in college can’t relate to Fangirl? So then recently I read Eleanor and Park and died. It was so beautiful and the way she writes is just so captivating. She is one of my favorite authors of all time and I cannot wait to read everything else she’s written.

8. Newest Fictional Crush:

Ok so books RHYSAND RHYSAND RHYSAND (have I mentioned home much ACOMAF has killed me and consumed all aspects of my life?). BUT if we are talking about TV then holy hell Bellamy Blake from The 100 is also a new level of life changing so since I don’t want this entire post to be another (that would be #4) post of me rambling about ACOMAF I’ll let them tie.


9. New Favorite Character

Ugh…am I supposed to be able to choose? Ok so shocker it’s a character from ACOMAF BUT it’s not Feyre or Rhys (since they’re not knew as of 2016) AND there is 1 character who I would pick over them because my type is always the sarcastic, humorous but super loyal and protective, comic relief male. Always. So Cassian from ACOMAF is my new husband and favorite new character because he is a precious puppy who must be protected and just deserves to be happy. Also pretty psyched that I got him as my ACOMAF soulmate on a buzzfeed quiz ON THE FIRST TRY (also this beautiful man below is a pin from SJM’s pinterest that she picked as Cassian so…)

10. Books That Made You Cry

Only 1 book has made me cry this year, and naturally it’s because I had to read about a dog dying. It was in Dog Crazy by Meg Donoghue and as a big dog lover, something like that is guaranteed to make me cry. You’re talking about someone who owns a shirt that says “DOGS (because people suck)” on it.

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11. Favorite Book to Film Adaptation:

I’m not sure I’ve seen any movies so far this year that are book adaptations, and if I did there’s a good chance they’re not my favorite. The 5th Wave movie was a let down. Does Captain America Civil War count since it was a comic? Ya…I got nothing.

12. Favorite Post You Have Done This Year

Well…all my posts are from this year. But I would have to say any of the posts I did while I was studying abroad in New Zealand. So that could be “On the Other Side of the World”, “Getting Out of my Comfort Zone”, “Today I Climbed a Mountain” etc. You get the gist.

13. Most Beautiful Book You Bought This Year

Oh EASILY my beautiful leather-bound Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes from Barnes and Nobles. It is gorgeous, the page edges are gold, and it has the fancy in book bookmark so you know it’s fancy.

14. What Book do you NEED to Read by the End of the Year?

Well I already said Empire of Storms, but the other book I’m REALLY looking forward to is Crooked Kingdom, the next book in the Six of Crows series, which I loved even though I didn’t like the Grisha series that much.

Thanks for reading!

-Maggie

Book Review: Fragments (Partials #2) by Dan Wells

Non Spoiler:

So this is the second book in the partials series by Dan Wells so if you haven’t read the first one then see you later, don’t spoil yourself but this is a quality dystopian series that I would recommend.

Spoilers Ahead:

So second book. The end of the first book was exciting. They saved the baby, my fav Jayden, is dead and Kira has left east meadow. Now once again I found the beginning to be a little slow. There’s unrest in east meadow because the humans can’t synthesize the cure, Nandita is still missing, Kira is gone, and we have to follow around Marcus who is just not the most exciting narrator.

Even when Kira picks up the story, her section gets off to a slow start. She’s looking through old offices, climbing a lot of stairs, and while I realize it sets the scene the beginning of the book took every day very slowly, with lots of details, which was too much of a stark contrast to the second half of the book where Kira, Samm and Heron were traveling and we would jump days, weeks at a time. The book needed to find some kind of happy medium between how quickly time would move.

So Kira finds Afa, the crazy guy, and I did like that he was able to fill in some of the blanks for us about how the partials came to be because obviously at this point I had lots of theories but nothing concrete. I was still running with the “half human half partial” theory but it seemed at this point I was very wrong. I loved when Marcus and Haru suddenly hear Kira’s voice over the radio, that was cute, plus she saved them. I was a little shocked that Kira didn’t t go turn herself in right away since she’s always put the survival of East Meadow ahead of her own self interest (cough cough running into partial territory to get the cure book 1) finally get to see Sam again (because lets face it that’s what we were all waiting for) and it was a cute reunion.

But now her Sam and Heron are going to go off on this quest and leave and I did not enjoy the traveling scenes. They were dull for me. The riding, the big time jumps that seemed to take place. It was better once we got to chicago, although there again it was a little boring with how much time was taken to describe all the flooding, sink holes, finding the boat, etc when we had just travelled a few weeks and seen almost none of it.

Finally got some quality action when Kira fought off those 2 partials. I liked how she was slowly learning to use the link, and how we see her and Sam slowly building towards a relationship and that even though the attraction and fascination was there with each other right away in book 1, the romance wasn’t (its not a true OTP unless they tried to kill each other at least once).

But then after Chicago the traveling scenes got even worse. Crossing the rivers, horses dying, acid rain, Afa dying was all just sort of thrown at us. We see them get to Colorado quickly but there was just a real lack of excitement in the lead up to it. The most exciting thing to happen to them was crossing the rivers and those scenes were not nearly as exciting or dramatic as I think they intended them to be.

But things finally got a little better when they found the settlement in Colorado. Of course it was funny to watch Kira die a little at seeing children. And I loved the way Calix was flirting with Sam. You couldn’t not laugh when they went to get the horses and she kissed him and it was just so awkward. And then I love watching Sam stumble over how to express his feeling for Kira without the link and Calix advice because he was clearly missing obvious signals from Kira.

Now everything happening back in East Meadow was important but not any more exciting that what was going on with Kira and Samm. Marcus was funny as usual but the whole trip into partial territory to meet with their general had the same sort of feel where there were definitely parts that could’ve been edited out to make the story drag less.

Then of course we had the dramatic discovery that all these people were being kept alive by comatose partials and the leader was a part of the Trust (wasn’t that shocking) and the moral dilemma of what to do, let the partials go free or the humans die. And then of course the big ending of Kira agreeing to go with Dr. Morgan (finally) and then Sam’s big shocker of agreeing to stay and be the pheromone supply for this community. We had a nice big kiss at the end which was nice but now they’ve ended the book separated AGAIN.

Overall I’d give this book 3.5 stars just because so much of the traveling was too glossed over and just not interesting to read. I still really enjoy the series and am excited to see how it’s all wrapped up.

What do you think?