Throne of Glass Book Tag

So obviously this is in honor of the release of Empire of Storms this week. I found this on polishedpageturners blog, so without further delay here is the Throne of Glass Book Tag!

 

Lysandra | A book with a cover change you loved

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Well this one is easy. Throne of Glass. I know not off to a great start picking Throne of Glass as the first book in the Throne of Glass book tag but lets face it, that first cover was rough. In fact, Goodreads kept suggesting ToG to me with the old cover and that combined with the terrible little blurb “2 men lover her, the whole land fears her, only she can save them all” just made it sound terrible but eventually I picked it up and the rest it history.

 

Abraxos | A book that’s better on the inside than it looks on the outside

256683City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I was looking for books to read after the Hunger Games wet my literary appetite in high school and google just kept recommending the Mortal Instruments. So I looked them up and between the cover and the blurb I thought it sounded awful (just goes to show the blurb is always a bad indication of how good a book is). Anyways, I love the series, and the spinoffs and the rest is history.

 

Erilea | A series with great world building

21473404.jpgThe Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. Now bare with me a second since I know it takes place in New York and the continental US (which is not a world that needs to be built obviously) but the way Rick incorporates the Greek myths and Gods and stories into the US from Greek mythology is so amazing that it seems like he’s built this completely probable world of his own around one that already exists.

 

Rifthold | A book that combines genres

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. In my opinion this book is a mix of Alien Sci-Fi and Dystopian since we have a very much post apocalyptic world but the Alien component is also such a strong factor.

 

 

Damaris | A book based on/inspired by a myth or legend

9462795Starcrossed by Josephine Angellini was my first taste of Greek Mythology woven into modern day. Although I loved the Percy Jackson series, these books hold a special place in my heart since they take place on Nantucket and I am a Massachusetts native and I love reading about the names of places I’ve been.

 

 

Kaltain Rompier | A book with an unexpected twist

19288043-2.jpgGone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I read this at the recommendation of a friend who had said to me right before I started it “it’s obvious who did it from the first pages”. I thought she had spoiled me badly. So I spend the entire first half of the book (spoilers ahead) convinced that of course Nick did it. It’s so obvious. Boy was I surprised when Amy starts narrating and I realized my friend had tricked me.

 

Assassin’s Keep| A book with an unreliable narrator

10507293The Selection by Kiera Cass. Now America is not unreliable in that she’s shady, more in the sense that she always messes everything up. Don’t get me wrong I loved these books (especially the first 2) but the more we went on the worse she got at literally always doing the wrong thing until in the last book she literally almost ruined everything for no reason.

 

 

Astern Blackbeak | A book that’s got squad goals

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. How can you not love and want to be a part of the swaggering, rag tag team led by Kaz in this book? They’re all so different and yet go together so well you can’t not want to be a part of their squad.

 

 

 

Terrasen | A book that feels like home

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Surprise it’s not Harry Potter for me. No the first big fantasy book I ever really got sucked into was Eragon by Christopher Paolini . My dad read it to me in the 4th grade and I loved it and it started what ended up being a 4 year long obsession with dragons.

 

 

Aelin Ashryver Galathynius | A book with the power to destroy you

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell gives me all the feels. I loved that book so much even though it was full of heartbreak and it literally killed me reading it but it will forever be one of my favorites.

 

 

 

Manon Blackbeak | A book that intimidated you

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The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I bought this last year and have slowly been progressing though it but it is a monster of a book and some of the Holmes stories can be a bit slow at times or are just filled with a few too many old english phrases that  I can’t follow what’s happening but I am determined to get through it.

 

 

Rowan Whitethorn | A book that makes you swoon

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. How can you not swoon over a giant, adorable, chivalrous red-headed Scotsman? I mean really? James Alexander Malcom McKenzie Fraser is irresistible.

 

 

 

Chaos Westfall | A book that challenged you to see things differently

26073150A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. No book tag would be complete without this making an appearance. But I was trying not to use any books twice and although I could put this almost anywhere (particularly books that make me swoon) I was really struggling to come up with something for this and it just hit me. This book had you looking at an entire first book in the series differently because it had you realizing signs of an unhealthy relationship and examine depression, abusive relationships, PTSD, feminism and a lot of other really important themes that dominate the       book even though it is fantasy, which is what makes it such an amazing book.

 

Fleetfoot | A book that you received as a gift

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The Partials by Dan Wells was a birthday present from a good friend of mine and ended up being a very enjoyable series to read for a nice dystopian story.

 

 

Eye of Elena | a book you found right when you needed it

This isn’t exactly a book but I found  PolandBananasBooks on Youtube right when I needed it. She helped bring me out of my shell a bit for loving to read during my freshman year of college and I know I would not be as comfortable being bookworm I am today if I didn’t find her freshman year. Plus she’s the reason I’ve read so many of my favorite books (including ToG).

 

I will tag Emiesnook to do this tag next and anyone else who wants to do it. Good Luck!

Thanks for Reading

Maggie

Meeting Sarah J. Maas

So if you’ve read the Throne of Glass series or A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series, you know who Sarah J. Maas is. And even if you haven’t read them, there’s a good chance you may have heard of them since she is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Well this past Friday I had the chance to go a signing in a quaint little bookshop in Doylestown, PA.

Now I love reading and books, but I’ve never gone to meet an author before. But these books are so amazing I just had to go with my friend once she suggested it. My new friend Emily, who’d I’d actually met at school and bonded with over both loving the Throne of Glass series had gone to meet Sarah twice. So we hoped in her car after my class and set of for Doylestown from Delaware. Now it was only supposed to be an hour and a half car ride but it ended up taking an 3 hours to get there. We were in traffic almost the entire time and as time passed we had more anxiety about being late.

According to the flyer seating didn’t start until 6:30 and we arrived at about 5:50. We were both starving and Doylestown was this adorable downtown with lots of old looking stone buildings but we skipped our meal to go see what the bookstore looked like. Sure enough the front row was already full so we plopped ourselves down in the second row to wait until 7, when it started.

At first I felt a little awkward being between all these strangers but we all immediately had a connection. I am not the most outgoing person but I love to read and these people were not about to judge me for my choice in reading material. We all got talking about all different books and what we loved about Sarah’s books. We talked about Booktubers on Youtube and when I mentioned Polandbananasbooks people actually knew who I was talking about for once which was an amazing feeling. And so the time flew by and all the seating filled up and then suddenly I was 1 row away from Sarah J. Maas.

Kara Thomas was there also doing this even. In fact this even was really for the release of her first book, The Darkest Corners which is a true crime novel that Sarah compared to Gone Girl and True Detective. Sarah was really moderating the event. It was cute because she had prepared 18 questions even though they had time for about 3. Kara was actually a great speaker and gave great answers and Sarah was hilarious. Her personality is just so bubbly and goofy.

A couple highlights they discussed were:

-Sarah asked Kara to play “F***, Marry, Kill LOTR edition” however since there were kids in the audience she changed it to Kiss Marry Kill for Frodo, Legolas and Aragorn. Kara had an instant answer. “Kill Frodo (duh), Kiss Legolas and Marry Aragorn”. Sarah followed up with telling us she had a life size cut out of Legolas in her office so she would have to say kill Frodo, F, not kiss “because things escalated quickly” Aragorn and marry her one true love Legolas. I was all about that because Legolas has always been my one true love out of the entire fellowship.

-While moderating Sarah complemented Kara by telling us that we would all be horrified to know that the first thing she does when she gets a new book is flip to the last page and read the ending (gasp). But she was so enthralled with the mystery in Kara’s book that she made herself read the entire thing without flipping to the end.

-Another highlight came during the questions section. They were speaking to people who were aspiring writers about people doubting them. Sarah was telling a story of how she had a creative writing elective in high school and the teacher told her that fantasy was not real writing and fantasy authors like Philip Pullman (the golden compass) were not real authors. Well Sarah told us she kept and online journal and went home and wrote angrily that she hoped this teacher got crushed by a giant box of fantasy novels. She went on to say that she had yet to send this particular teacher a copy of her book with “niener niener” written on the inside cover, but she’d like to think she was above that. She got a loud shout that “she doesn’t deserve a free one!” from the audience.

-During the discussion of not letting anyone doubt you both Kara and Sarah got into talking about how they got started writing. Everyone got a good laugh when Sarah said most of her writing started writing all kinds of Harry Potter Fanfictions where she would sort the Sailor Scouts into their Hogwarts Houses. It was just fun to see an acclaimed author admit that she was a nerd and a geek at one point and wrote fan fiction. Both Sarah and Kara were asked what they were like in high school and both said they were in the nerdy category. However Sarah went on to say how she walked around with a chip on her shoulder with her headphones in and even though she was a nerd if anyone bothered her while she was listening to her music or anything she would just give them this look.

-This led into Sarah brining up how she had recently taken the Buzzfeed hybrid Harry Potter House quiz and how most people would assume she’s a Ravenclaw because she’s a writer but apparently she’s a dumb jock because she’s a Gryffindor (same whoop whoop). However then she said that she’s actually a Slyderdor so she is an “ambitious dumb jock”. Someone in the audience pointed out to her that means she’s basically Harry Potter and when she said “oh that does mean I’m Harry Potter” she was met with applause. Kara told us that she is a rare breed. She would also assume herself a Ravenclaw but “guess I’m not smart enough for that”, and is actually a Slyerpuff. Of course most people may see that as an oxymoron of sorts but she had a great little explanation of being ambitious but not at the cost of her friends.

The whole interview process was really great. All the audience questions were great because there was almost no one there who had read Kara’s book yet but no one asked Sarah really specific questions. Everyone asked things that could always be discussed by both of them like how Sarah’s fantasy world building differed from Kara’s realistic world building.

At the end if was time to line up and get books signed! I had been told that at previous events she would only sign 3 books so I painstakingly decided to bring Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire. I also bought A Court of Thorns and Roses because you had to buy 1 book from the bookstore to get them signed. Emily went first, got her photos, got her books signed and her photo. And then it was my turn. We told her how we’d just met recently and bonded over our mutual love of her books. We told her about our long drive from UD. I got my individual photo and then we got a nice group photo (which her husband photo bombed in the back but that’s fine cause have you seen him? Inspiration for Dorian?). Right before it was time for me to walk away I showed Sarah a snapchat art because I’d been bored recently and on a roll and had done a great Legolas and it made her laugh.

Leaving the bookstore I was practically shaking. We were starving of course so we walked down the adorable streets of Doylestown and found a cute pizza shop. After that we found this awesome used book store across the street and browsed for a bit before we finally called it quits and left.

All in all it was such an amazing experience and I’m so happy that I met Sarah. She’s so awesome and funny and seems so down to earth and I’m so hype for her next book to come out in 8 days and then for Empire of Storms in the fall! If you like her books and ever have the chance to go meet her do it because it was awesome and I will forever be a star stuck fangirl anytime I think of the encounter.

 

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Non-Spoilery Section:

I went into reading this book totally blind. It was the book of the month for Polandbanans20 and the group she does book of the month with and I like to read while I’m on the bike at the gym so I needed something to read because for once I was actually trying to be athletic. So I just picked it up, totally unaware it was a spinoff story from the Grisha Triology. I loved this. It’s a heist book and if you’ve even watched the show “Leverage” you will love this. I highly recommend, 5 stars on Goodreads so go read it and then read the rest of this once you have.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Ok so like I said I did not read the Grisha trilogy before I read this so that first chapter with the guard and the grisha I was really confused. But that turned out to be somewhat irrelevant to the actual story. That opening scene with the meeting with the Black Tips was so intense. We are reading from Inej’s POV and watching Kaz. He is so ruthless from the get go but we also see how brilliant he is. I immediately shipped Kaz and Inej and as the story went on and we learned about Kaz’s past it’s easy to be understanding of how he turned out like he did. I mean poor Kaz had to float on his dead brothers body so I feel sorry for him but he is also scary brilliant and I loved the way his plans would come together and it would always seem like everything was going to shambles when he actually had it all under control. I love how the whole thing with his gloves is a big deal the entire story and that we find out he really just hates touching human skin and when he has to take them off everyone is staring at his hands because they think he has claws, or something and he just says “what were you expecting” and the answer is “Claws at least”.

The characters that made up the heist team were amazing, the writing was witty and funny, and it reads like the show Leverage is to watch. I love that show, which is about a group of criminals pulling jobs to help people. And it’s always the kind of thing where it seems like everything is going wrong but then you realize they meant to get caught or seen or followed all along because it’s all part of the plan. And that happens time after time in this book, and every time it got me. We see it when the ship blows up, when Kaz gets his lock picks taken in the prison, when Inej gets stopped from entering with Nina, when Matthias locks Nina up. I just loved the way you could never predict what was going to happen next. They kept pointing out that only Kaz knew all the parts of the plan, and it was true for the reader too. We could guess what was going to happen but we never saw all the pieces until they were already halfway across the board.

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