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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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.

November Book Club Announcement

So I’m sure you’ve noticed we are WELL into November and that this is coming super late, but October was just so crazy that we did not have time to keep up with our book club. So we’re hoping we can crank through our next book of the month and get back on track!

So our book this month is And I Darken by Kiersten White!

27190613.jpgNo one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

 

Join us this month in reading And I Darken and look out for our review and discussion at the end of the month!

Thanks for Reading

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Book Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

41nhwszqa7l-_sx328_bo1204203200_Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Type: Series

Pages:

Rating: 4

 

So first of all, I’m sure you’re thinking “wasn’t this your October book? It’s November 25th?” And you’re right, this is LONG overdue. But this month was crazy. I was so busy with school that I just did not have time to read.

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

Now, this book was nothing like I was expecting. After reading the description online I was expecting the 3 sisters to be living together and thinking this book would have a hunger games princess feel. I also thought that as far as powers went “poisoner” sounded the lamest. So imagine my surprise when I open the book and find out that the poisoners have been in power for a long time.

The entire set up of this island was very interesting. Women are in control and the island is a completely separate culture from the mainland. Also the fact that the queen always has triplets, they’re always born under these categories of power and then the queen leaves after they’re born.

We start the book with the poisoners and we discover Kat is a very weak poisoners. But the poisoners have all the power so she’s faking her way thought. I liked Kat, but she was probably my least favorite of the 3. Mostly because she seemed the most eager to kill her sisters.

Mirabella was probably my favorite of the three sisters but I felt the worst for her because I was NOT a fan of the priestesses. Mirabella didn’t want to kill her sisters and remembered when they were still friends and promised to protect them. My heart broke for her and I was really happy when she left the temple. I was less excited when she got dragged back. I really thought her getting away from them was going to be where the story picked up but she got taken back pretty quick and then of course what happened with Elizabeth’s hand really disturbed me. I don’t do mutilation. I actually put the book down for a while after that.

Arsinoe’s chapters were probably the most interesting but mostly because we had Jules. Arsinoe has zero naturalist power from the get go even though her friend Jules is the most powerful naturalist in a long time. I did not approve of her using low magic although I felt bad for her when she got mauled by the bear and when she had her second failed escape attempt. I also really felt bad for Jules because she did nothing to deserve Joseph betraying her for Mirabella. But I was so glad that Mirabella protected Arsinoe when the priestesses were going to kill her and I wish she would see that Mirabella was protecting her and not trying to kill her.

Now of course the big reveal at the end which makes everything make sense was that Arsinoe is ACTUALLY the poisoner. You wonder if the last queen made a mistake or did it on purpose because she didn’t want the poisoners in power any more? Either way it leaves a lot of questions on what will happen in the next book. I actually picked this up thinking it would be a oneshot but it seems that’s not the case. And of course now I’ve become attached to the sisters enough that I don’t want any of them to die.

Did you read this book? What did you think? And lookout for our group discussion

Check out Jess and Emily’s Reviews:

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Jess – Three Dark Crowns Review

 

Thanks for Reading and be sure to read along with our November book “And I Darken” by Kiersten White!

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October Book Haul

Whoo so this is SUPER late but the end of October/beginning of November was CRAZY busy IMG_4160.jpgfor me! So finally, here is my October book haul! This month I bought 10 books (which is much more reasonable than the 21 I bought last month!) It was still a lot but I went to some great used bookstore this month and also felt the need to reward myself after some particularly difficult exams.

This month’s haul:

  • Cinder
  • Scarlet
  • The Wrath and the Dawn
  • Dragonfly in Amber
  • Voyager
  • The Iron King
  • The Iron Daughter
  • Gone
  • An Ember in the Ashes
  • Neverfade

Thanks for Reading!

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Monthly Shelfie

October 2016

Books Read | 1

-Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

That’s right…just 1 book this month. It was a crazy month for school and my weekends were pretty full so I did not have a lot of time to read.

Favorite Book This Month | Three Dark Crowns

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So this wins by default but I did enjoy this book. It was our bookclub book this month so lookout for our group discussion.

November TBR |

-And I Darken

-The Wrath and the Dawn

-Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

October Map|

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So my favorite feature on WordPress is the map of where your views are coming from so I just like to share that since I think it’s fascinating. My goal every month is to get a country on every continent so mission accomplished!

Thanks for Reading

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Updated Bookshelf

So I posted my Rainbow Bookshelf when I first got it set up but it has grown quite a bit since then. So here’s a little update.

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It now fills 3.5 shelves and has added quite a few trinkets. I’ve also added a few new protectors to my shelves. I’ve had Wee Jamie up at the top for a while but now I have added  Sam and Dean from Supernatural (although Sam had an accident today and broke an arm). On top I also have a little paper Thor and beside my bookshelf I have the beautiful, majestic, full sized Legolas cutout. I did not buy him. He was a gift to one of my housemates but she ended up letting him stay in my room and I love him. He stands watch by the door.

Up hanging out with Thor on the top of my bookshelf and next to Sam I have little odes to my love of dogs and my belief in reducing dogs in need. My mom bought me the two wooden signs on the top of my shelf for my birthday and I love them, and then I got the “I just want to drink wine and rescue dogs” sign at a little dog boutique in Annapolis. I’m a firm believer that All Dogs Matter so I love my signs and plan to make my future house full of these kinds of dog themes.

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So this was my updated bookshelf. I’m always playing with it, rearranging things, changing the photos or switching books around so the rainbow flows better. It gives me such satisfaction and I can’t wait to keep adding to it!!!

Thanks for Reading

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Dog Breed Book Tag

Ok so I have been sitting on this idea for a little while now and I think I’ve finally come up with enough categories to post this tag. So this is the Dog Breed Book Tag! If you haven’t noticed I love dogs and I love books so what better way to combine these things?

The Rules:

-Tag the creator: Maggie @ MassachusettsNovel so I can see all your amazing answers

-Tag at least 3 people when you’re done

-Use photos! Who doesn’t want to see cute photos of dogs to brighten their day?

-Add a new dog category if you can think of one!

-Have Fun!

Ok so let’s get on with the tag and the dogs!

Golden Retriever, The Family Dog: What book character would you bring home to meet your family | Levi

Levi from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Ugh what I would give to find a Levi of my own. A boy who would enjoy listening to me read a loud to him and would enjoy my immense neediness. A boy who would bring me coffee and be literally the sweetest person on the face of this planet. I would bring Levi home with me in a heartbeat and honestly the more I think about it the more the actual character reminds me of a big lovable Golden Retriever.

 

Pitbull, The Misunderstood: Name a character you misjudged at first meeting | Rhysand

Is anyone surprised that this is my answer? No? Didn’t think so. Rhys. My precious baby bat who must be protected. Now I did not hate him when we first met, but I was a little wary just because I was not looking forward to the back and forth love triangle I was expecting in ACOMAF. But boy was I surprised at the route it took and Rhys quickly became one of the greatest characters of all times, and like a pitbull looked tough on the outside but was actually a precious baby who needed some love and snuggles.

 

Dalmatian: A book cover that is aesthetically pleasing to you | Clockwork Princess

There are so many beautiful books so it was hard to choose but one of my all-time favorite book cover is Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. All her book cover are beautiful (the originals not the new ones) but this one is hands down the best. Tessa looks stunning and that dress *fanning myself*.

 

Lab, The Lovable: A book you think almost anyone can love | Eleanor and Park

This book is so sweet and adorable and addresses some sensitive issues but I honestly believe it is a book that most people could get something out of. It’s a great coming of age story, love story and catalogs some of the hardships that affect a lot of people the tae don’t always see in literature. Plus the characters are just so lovable.

 

Mutt: A book with a little bit of everything in it | I’ll Give You the Sun

I don’t know why I feel like this has a little bit of everything for everyone in it. It’s a contemporary following a twin brother and sister. It has loss, secrets, first love and love lost. I feel like it covers a wide variety of topics that come up in your peoples lives and incorporates a lot of important themes.

 

Dachshund: A long book that’s worth the read | The Book Thief

In an effort to avoid sounding like a broken record I have not chosen my gut instinct of ACOMAF. Instead I’ve picked The Book Thief. I loved this book and actually did not realize how big a book it is until I recently bought the anniversary edition. But I loved this book. I had to read it for school but it was so moving and sad but beautiful.

 

Samoyed: A book you love that is full of fluff | Anna and the French Kiss Series

These books are super fluffy. They are your classic “Boy Meets Girl” romances but they are so adorable and I love the way they all tie together even thought they follow different characters every time. They’re also super fun because they all take place in different places but if you’re looking for a fluffy feel good romance these are perfect.

 

Border Collie: A book that is a high energy read | Six of Crows Series

I love Six of Crows and by extension Crooked Kingdom. I love heist shows and books so this was perfect. If you’ve ever seen Leverage, it’s about a group of criminals who do these crazy heists to help people. Six of Crows reminded me of that a lot and so I loved it. The entire time there is so much going on, that you don’t even notice until Kaz reveals it usually, and it’s just such a fun, action packed read.

 

Chines Crested: A book that looks great naked | Three Dark Crowns/Insurgent

Ok so I have a tie for this one. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is gorgeous naked. I love the tiny little gold symbols on the cover, the deep maroon color and the black spine. But I recently learned the Insurgent is gorgeous naked. It’s cover is kinda a light sickly green BUT NAKED it is a deep dark BEAUTIFUL forest green with the gold tree insignia on the cover and I LOVE IT. So it’s a tie for this one.

 

Your favorite literary pooch | Fleetfoot

Of course it’s Fleetfoot from the Throne of Glass series. I have a stuffed dog named Fleetfoot but honestly I have some serious reasons for loving her. First of all she is a mutt and she was originally going to be killed because she was shy but she got a second change and became an amazing companion. Second chances for dogs, especially mutts is important for me which is why I love Fleetfoot so much.

Your Favorite Dog(s) | Jonesy and McGuire 

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Jonesy: 12 year old female border collie-golden retriever mix (brown)                                                 McGuire: 8 year old male pointer mix (black and white)

Who do you tag |

Emily @ Emiesnook

Jess @ Starswholsiten

Megan @ Bookslayerreads

Hannah @ Hannahreads2001

Ashley @ Insidemyminds

Carrie @ Carriesbookreviews

Birdie @ Birdiebookwormblog

M @ Mreadsbooks 

Aly @ Bookhuntressworld

Anyone who wants to do this tag!

What’s your favorite dog breed? Do you think there’s a dog category that should’ve been on this list? What for? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for Reading

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Top 5 Literary Mothers

So today is my Mom’s birthday, so in honor of that today I’m listing my top 5 literary mothers! Now in YA I feel like the mothers are often background characters we don’t see much of so this was not an easy list to come up with.

19063-2Rosa Hubermann | The Book Thief 

Now Rosa is not Liesel’s real mother. She’s her foster mother and at first she doesn’t seem to care for Liesel all that much and appears very strict. But I have a distinct memory of sobbing over the book at 1 in the morning. It was reading the scene where Liesel admits that she spent some of Rosa’s money to send a letter to her real mother and she realizes her mother will never write back and she would never see her again. And then Rosa apologizes and Liesel says “she leaked a little” meaning Rosa is crying and that scene broke me.

 

15745753Mindy Sheridan | Eleanor and Park 

I love Park’s mom in Eleanor and Park. She is so welcoming to Eleanor and even though it seems she may not like her at first, when she realizes that Eleanor comes from a big family and has a lot of responsibility she really comes to understand her and is so sweet in trying to make Eleanor always feel welcome.

 

harry_potter_and_the_goblet_of_fire_us_coverMolly Weasley | Harry Potter 

Now disclaimer: I have not read all the Harry Potter books. BUT I have read 1-4 and the beginning of 5 and Mrs. Weasley is one of my favorite characters. In the movies she’s not shown as much but one of my favorite scenes thus far in the books is at the end of the fourth book when she is there to comfort Harry when he needs a mother most. She is so sweet to him and even though she has so many of her own children to look after, she is nothing but sweet to Harry.

 

21473404Sally Jackson | Percy Jackson

How can you not love Sally Jackson? She does so much to protect Percy and sacrifices her own happiness to do it. But even though she’s doing all she can to keep him safe, she still goes out of her way to make him happy. I love the mention of how she makes as much blue food as possible just because Gabe once said there wasn’t blue food and how the blue food carried on throughout the entire series and spinoff.

 

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Frannie Lancaster | The Fault in our Stars

Although a bit of a background character for a lot of the book Frannie Lancaster is a great mother. I can hardly imagine what it is like to watch your child suffer like that but I love all that she does for Hazel. She is so encouraging and positive throughout the book. Plus I love that at the end she reveals she’s been taking classes to become a social worker to help others through experiences similar to her own which just shows what an amazing woman she is.

Who are your favorite book moms?

Thanks for Reading

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