Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Summary:
Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her beloved brother really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her best friend and ex-girlfriend, Charlie.
As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future and how to move forward.
Confronting difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault, Girl Made of Stars is a timely, emotionally gripping novel that shines a light on the story of a survivor with sensitivity and hope.
Review:
My wonderful twinny, Alana, got me this book for Christmas off my wish list. Its one that I’ve heard nothing but great things about and I’ve been super excited to get to it. With the start of Contemporary January, I knew this book was at the top of my list. This was my first read of 2019 and I’m so glad for that. I could not put it down one I started. I read 180 pages in my first sitting and then read the rest in the car while I was traveling the next day.

“It’s as though the stars are breaking apart in the sky, nothing but dark underneath.”

Girl Made of Stars was hard hitting but realistic. This wasn’t a story about how rape is a thing that happens, but those that do wrong get what they deserve. This was a story for all those that have had these experiences with no closure. And I loved it. I thought it was an excellent story with characters you can really feel for.

“Secrets are safe in here. It’s our own little world, just you and me.”

Mara, the main character, was someone I could really get behind. I tried to imagine how I would feel is my brother had done something like this, let alone to one of my best friends, and what I would do. It really made me relate and care for Mara. She’s not the one that did anything wrong here, but she’s still basically being punished for her brother’s wrong doing whether she sides with her brother or her best friend. I loved Mara. I loved that she stood up for what she knew to be right, even though it was hard. I really loved how she grew and changed.

“How can I believe either one of them? How can I not believe them?”

I loved all the supporting characters too. They were interesting and compelling and I cared about them, even Owen (the brother). We don’t just go into the story knowing he’s done something wrong. We see him and like him, and then are dumped on with this horrible thing he’s done. Alex was Owen’s best friend, but he and Mara grew closer with all of the events in the book and I thought that was a nice touch. The two people that were not actually involved, but were still affected by this coming together was a beautiful thing to me. A new friendship coming out of such a horrible thing. Hannah was just, ugh. I was so proud of Hannah. She was so strong and held her head high and didn’t let anyone bring her down. Even after everything she’s going through, she sticks by Mara. I really appreciated that. There was one instance with them, the first time Mara sees Hannah after it all happens that has me in complete tears. I cannot imagine being in either of their shoes and I just have so much respect for them both.

“Freedom. Release. A sort of falling apart that felt like letting go.”

Then there’s Charlie. I liked her because she was new to me. She’s complex and interesting. She tries to please everyone despite being sure about who she is. There were parts where I was very frustrated with Charlie and Mara. I just wanted them to get over their drama and be there for one another. The fact that they dated brought a really unique dynamic to their friendship. They are figuring out how to still be the best friends they always were while also trying to deal with their breakup. It was an intriguing addition to the story where they are both trying to deal with their own shit while also help one another and Hannah.

“Eventually, Sister Twin realized that she has to tell her story. Because that story was hers. Because she was worth the telling.”

Overall, I really loved this book. It made me cry again and again. This is such an important story and I think everyone needs to read it. It talks about something that people don’t want to talk about, but it needs to be.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

Summary:
A gun is sold in the classifieds, bought
by a teenage for protection.
One week will bring six teens in Tuscon, Arizona,
into close contact in a town wrought with
political and personal tensions.
One person will shoot.
Someone will die.
Review:
Ellen Hopkins is an auto-buy author of mine. I own every one of her books and I will always buy them as they come out. She’s an author I’m constantly recommending. She’s a favorite for sure. So, when I saw that she was coming out with People Kill People in 2018. A book about gun violence in a time that this is such a relevant issue, I knew I’d love it. No surprise here that I, in fact, loved it. It was captivating and hard-hitting and relevant.

“See I’ve got this theory.
Given the right circumstances,
any person could kill someone.
Even you.”

The idea behind the story is as the title states, People Kill People. This story has an interesting narrator that follows a few different characters, each with very different life experiences and viewpoints. I think this story could not have been any better. We followed a diverse cast of characters. All of the characters meeting or having to do with one another in various ways. I will forever be in awe of the way that Hopkins weaves all of her character’s paths through one another in ways that always surprise you.

“Trust is important. Relationships can’t survive without it.”

I loved the characters. She found a way to make them relatable, even the ones that are so obviously in the wrong morally. She takes the serious issue of gun violence and shows how it can affect anyone from any culture with any political or personal viewpoints. The diversity of the characters in this book are what really makes it relevant. With one character that believes firmly in the white supremacy movement and several others that are actively protesting and supporting immigration issues, both male and female characters. It’s very telling to the fact that violence, gun violence, in particular, can touch so many different people.

“No such thing as happy endings. Everyone winds up the same way.”

I don’t really want to go too much into detail about the things that happen because I don’t want to spoil any parts of the story for those of you that may pick this book up. I think it’s important to go into this story not knowing a whole lot about it. The synopsis itself is pretty vague and it’s better that way. I also think it was so important for this story to take place in Arizona. The gun laws in Arizona are some of the more relaxed laws in the US so the things that take place really couldn’t have happened the way that they did if it had been written in another state.

“Revolutionaries are rare,
a breed apart from mundane
thinkers, and when they rise,
the world trembles
at their feet.

The final thing I want to mention is that Ellen Hopkins mentions​ at the beginning of the book before the story start that she grew up around guns. She has a healthy respect for guns and the Second Amendment. With this, I think she was the perfect person to write this story. She is writing about a political issue that needs to be discussed​ but doesn’t take the story to any extremes (whether extremely left or right.) I feel that she was the right voice to tell this story because she knows what she’s talking about.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.​

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Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Summary:
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s-a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
Review:
It feels like I finished this book forever ago, but it was only last week. I haven’t been able to sit down and write this review until now. It’s a busy time of year, but also, I just haven’t known what to say about this masterpiece that is a YA science fiction novel. Brandon Sanderson is a very widely known and well-loved author. It’s a name I’ve heard time and time again the longer I’ve been involved in the bookish community. So, when I? saw this book at Barnes and Nobel, I thought I’d give it a try. I found a beautiful signed copy and the synopsis sounded interesting enough. I put off reading it for almost two entire months. Until I saw that one of my friends on Twitter had bought it and several other friends replied that they owned the book too but hadn’t read it yet. This is when I popped in and said, “Buddy read anyone?” So, a huge thank you to Alana @ The Bookish Chick, Rae @ Thrifty Bibliophile, & Steph @ Books in the Skye for choosing to buddy read this book with me. It was my first ever buddy read and I had so much fun reading together and discussing this story as we made our way through the pages. I’m so happy to have found you guys as friends and I’m excited for more buddy reads in the future.

“Claim the stars, Spensa.”

Now to talk about the book. I loved it. I really just absolutely loved it. I feel like this is a case of having nothing to say about a story other than, “I loved it, it was so good. Please read it now.” Because I’m really not sure what else to add. So I’ll be basic and talk about basic story concepts.

“Is anything fair?” He smiled. “Death is. He treats us all the same.”

The characters were great. Spensa was entertaining, slightly annoying, relatable, and an interesting perspective. I think she was a great voice for this story. She had something to prove and though she doubted herself at times, she wasn’t going to give up.
I loved all the other kids in her flight school class. They all just added unique and distinct personalities to the story. I grew to love the characters I hated at first and I think that says so much about an author’s storytelling skill. Jerkface is the one I grew to love. He’s so complex and interesting. I’m happy to say that Spensa quickly learns that there’s more to him than she thought.

“So willing to seize the stars with one hand and shove them in your pocket.”

I think my favorite character is tied between Kimmalyn and M-Bot. Kimmalyn is funny and sassy and I found myself laughing out loud at her parts of the story. The same goes for M-Bot though. I’m a totally sucker for anything related to artificial intelligence, so the minute M-Bot popped into the story, I knew he was going to be one of my favorite parts. There’s just something about technology trying to understand the complexity of human emotion that I really enjoy. M-Bot ended up really hitting me in the feels which pleasantly surprised me.

“I’d let you read the seven thousand pages I wrote, but I am programmed to avoid making humans feel inferior for their incredible weirdness.”

The setting was also incredible. I love space, so it’s not really a surprise that I liked the world this takes place in. Though I’m dying to get the second book that won’t be released until November of 2019 so that I can learn more about the world. I’m wondering how much we’re going to learn about the world that Spensa lives on. There are other communities that are lightly talked about, but I want to know more. I also can’t wait to learn more about outer space around the planet they live on.

“It’s not your fault you’re a bloodthirsty ball of aggression and destruction.”

The story progresses nicely. I love books that take place in school settings. I genuinely enjoy getting to see characters learn their skill rather than just seeing them know everything already. I think it makes the characters more well-rounded. Getting to see them before they think they know everything is always fun. I think Skyward was full of excellent world building. It created so much suspense and anticipation for the next book. I’m interested to see how these characters are going to behave and grow now that they are no longer students and with all of the new information they’ve learned about their enemies.

“It can appreciate things at a million times per second. So you could say your comment is likely the single most appreciated thing you’ve ever done.”

Overall, this is one of my favorite reads of 2018. I think you should all give this book a try. Brandon Sanderson wrote an incredible story that was entertaining and full of characters that I’m now fully invested in. I actually already ordered some of his other books so I can see if I enjoy his adult novels as much as this one. So, if you’re the opposite of me and you’ve read his other series, give this one a try for sure!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Summary:
Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Mariana’s Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence, to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by thee thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.
A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deepis a heartfelt tour de force by one of today’s most admired writers for teens.
Review:
I was unsure about this book at first. Honestly, it took me about a week before actually getting further than ten pages into it and that was mostly thanks to the audiobook. I ended up listening to the audio from my library because I really wanted to get into the story. Also because I was doing my Christmas baking and I needed an audiobook to listen to. The audiobook sucked me in so quickly. The narrator did everything right in this story.

“The things I feel cannot be put into words, or if they can bem the words are in no language anyone can understand. My emotions are talking in tongues. Joy spins into anger spins into fear them into amused irony, like leaping from a plane, arms wide, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can fly, then discovering you can’t, and not only don’t you have a parachute, but you don’t have any clothes on, and the people below all have binoculars and are laughing as you plummet to a highly embarassing doom.”

I had a hard time with this book in the beginning because I couldn’t tell what was actually going on. I didn’t know if Caden was actually on a ship or if that was a metaphor for something or what the hell was going on. After a while, I figured out what was going on and I think this confusion was likely intentional.

“We always look for the signs we missed when something does wrong. We become like detectives trying to solve a murder, because maybe if we uncover the clues, it gives us some control. Sure, we can’t change what happened, but if we can string together enough clues, we can prove that whtever nightmare has befallen us, we could have stopped it, if only we had been smart enough. I suppose it is better to believe that all the clues in the world wouldn’t have changes a thing.” 

Challenger Deep was honestly such an incredible story once I figured out what was going on. Once I realized what the story was actually about. It was really hard hitting. The things Caden feels and experiences and thinks were just so powerful. I’m definitely still reeling from the last hour or so of the audiobook. I went back and forth between the audio and the book.

“We are, however, creatures of containment. We want all things in life packed into boxes that we can label. But just because we have the ability to label is, doesn’t mean we really know what’s in the box.”

I really am not even sure how to form my thoughts about this book into real sentences. I think this was such an important story that everyone should read. This talks about mental illness in such a raw and interesting way. This was made even more powerful when I learned that this story was widely based on Neal’s experience with his son. To the point where his son’s artwork is inserted into the pages periodically.

“Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.”

I just think everyone should read this book and that is all, goodbye.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary:
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.
Review:
Mockingjay once again destroyed my soul. I knew what was coming for the most part, there were certain events that I had forgotten about, and even the parts I remembered destroyed my soul.
The conclusion to The Hunger Games trilogy was thrilling and exciting and absolutely crazy. I almost don’t even know what to say about it. I loved all the characters. Finnick, Gale, Haymitch, the whole gang is entertaining, while also breaking my heart.
The trauma that these characters have endured during the war that’s going on, is just awful. I liked how the characters really experienced things though. They didn’t just get over the trauma and torture they’ve been put through. They are recovering, in whatever ways work for them. This made it all the more realistic.
Katniss was really just a hot mess in this book and it only got worse. The things she lost, the people she loved, she endured more than one person should ever have to. And on top of this, the one person that’s been with her through this story has been turned against her. It was so sad to watch her struggle with this. Peeta gets the worst of it, honestly. It felt awful to know what Peeta was being put through by the Capitol. All to get to Katniss.
I was pretty happy with the ending. It’s exactly what Katniss wanted. It leaves us with a sense of putting the world back together, though she is mostly just trying to put herself back together. After so much loss, fighting, and persevering through the hardest times of her lives, she needs time to put the pieces of herself back together. She needs time to figure out how she is going to move forward and live her life.
I love this series and I always will. It will live forever as one of my favorite series. If you haven’t read this series you definitely need to stop reading this and go pick up The Hunger Games and get your heart broken, too. I’m going to go binge watch the movies now!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:
The Final Battle is here.
Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people-but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…
With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together, at last, all must fight is Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.
Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself-and the promise of a better world.
Review:

If you’re looking for a series to completely and utterly destroy your soul, look no further. This conclusion to the Throne of Glass series was one of the most emotional rollercoasters I’ve ever ridden. This 900+ page BRICK had me laughing, crying, yelling, whirling through all of the emotions ever. I honestly am not even sure how I’m going to write this review. I think I’m just going to keep it short and to the point. There were things I liked, things I loved and things I didn’t like.

Things I liked:

The alternating perspectives. I liked getting to see everything that was happening all over the world. All of the pieces we’d seen put in motion were coming together little by little and it was great. I’m a huge fan of having multiple perspectives in fantasy stories. While many thought it was too many perspectives, I liked it. I liked following the story from all the different characters I’ve come to love so much.

The pacing. I think the story was paced in a realistic way. All too often crazy things happen in stories and somehow it all takes place in one day or week. Months have gone by since the ending of Empire of Storms/ Tower of Dawn and many more go by before the ending of the book. I liked this because it’s realistic and makes sense. It takes time for armies to move across oceans and continents. Wars aren’t won or lost overnight.

Things I loved:

Aelin, the whole time. She was strong when she needed to stay strong and she broke down when it was (mostly) a good time for her to lose her shit. And yes, it was absolutely heartbreaking seeing her lose her shit in the way that she did. I loved that she was suffering from PTSD and sorting through her emotions and mostly just kind of trying to keep her shit together. This was realistic and it’s (thankfully) becoming more common to talk about and show the characters dealing with their trauma instead of just suddenly being okay again. Aelin has grown so much throughout this series. It was interesting seeing her (mostly) fully developed character making the tough decisions, doing what’s best not for herself but for her kingdom.

Fenrys. I loved getting to know him further. I adored his relationship with Aelin. They supported one another through their own versions of the same trauma. We see him go through some really hard shit at the same time that Aelin is going through her own really hard shit, but they do their best to support one another through it in whatever way they can. They also support each other after they’ve escaped because they know what happened and don’t need to talk about it to support the other.

Rowan was another character that I love. It was almost just as hard to see him dealing with losing Aelin than it was to see Aelin going through what Maeve did to her. After they find one another again I liked that he didn’t push her. He knows she’s been through something unimaginable and he gives her space to process but makes sure she knows that he’s here when she’s ready.

Dorian was an actual savage. He’s changed probably the most in these books. He was a (mostly) carefree Prince that slept with girls and did whatever he wanted to in the first book and now he’s a King with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He really goes above and beyond to do his part in this book. I’m happy we got so many Dorian chapters. There were definitely a few places that had me yelling at him. (Or texting The Bookish Chick saying shit like, “EW DORIAN,” and “OH SHIT DORIAN. SLICK AF.”) But I loved Dorian the most in this final book.

Things I didn’t like:

Okay, I’m going to try to be intentionally super vague because I don’t want to give too much away about specific events. There were several characters that cared for another in previous books and still love them, but due to one action or choice made by the one, they love there is conflict. There is more than one character that tells their love interest that they’ve done something unforgivable, ending their fledgling relationship. This happened with more than one couple. Various characters are harsh and mean, sometimes too harsh in my opinion, to their love interest until said love interest finds themselves in serious danger. Suddenly the characters realize that the unforgivable action might actually be forgivable because they actually do still love their love interest. I hope this makes sense. It likely will to those that have already finished reading Kingdom of Ash, but I’m sorry if it’s confusing. I didn’t like this because it seemed like a cop-out. the character that did something wrong didn’t earn trust back, they did nothing to deserve forgiveness. It was a fast way to have some resolution before the big climax before the end of the book.

I also am very very sad to say that I didn’t like Aedion in this final book. He was mostly an asshole until close to the end of the story and I didn’t like his chapters. I liked him a little bit by the end, but only because of his actions during the war. Honestly, I’m super salty that I didn’t like him so I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

The really really heartbreaking parts. They were horrible. I can understand some heartbreak that has a point. Like, sure destroy me, but do it with a purpose. The heartbreak that occurred in this book I feel was weak. I’m not sure how to explain why without spoilers so I’m not going to. I’m just going to say that I think what Sarah did to us was NOT needed and could have been avoided.

Finally, I didn’t like the very end. Again, I’m going to be vague so I don’t give too much away. There wasn’t anything wrong with the ending perse. I just would have preferred an epilogue with a ‘ten years later’ kind of idea. I want to know where our characters end up instead of the ending we were left with. It was an okay ending, left us with a sense of everyone getting ready to heal themselves and rebuild the world, but I’m a girl that wants a ‘ten years later’ blurb.

So overall, I loved this book. As I mentioned above, it a 900+ page BRICK and I somehow read it in TWO DAYS. I FLEW through the story. I just couldn’t get enough. Because I put off reading this conclusion for a month when I finally decided I was ready for Sarah to destroy my soul I just couldn’t stop reading until I was completely deceased. Part of me is really glad this series is finally over, so these characters can come to a close but also so Sarah can write other things and destroy us in other ways. But I’m sad because my journey with these characters that I’ve become so invested in and grew to love so much (even the ones I didn’t love) is really actually finally coming to an end.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

GoodReads Summary:
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.
Review:
I feel like I have nothing new to say in this review. I continued listening to the audio for Catching Fire and it was amazing. I loved the narrator. She did an excellent job telling this story, giving it life. I was hooked, listening at every free moment.
I love the characters. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Haymitch, Prim. I enjoyed getting to know all the older victors and seeing them come together to start a revolution.
The plot twists were just so good. I knew they were coming but they still surprised me. That’s how you know it’s a good book, when you’ve read it so many times but it still surprises you.
Check out my review for The Hunger Games here for more of my thoughts on these characters.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

24Hour Read-A-Thon Review – The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

Summary:
Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.
She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.
But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve, thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her. And his name is Xander.
When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure-filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes because Ryn can’t get her brilliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.
Ryn can’t move on.
But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.
As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us-and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.
Review:
I’m so happy I saved this for my 24-hour Christmas read-a-thon! I flew through this st0ry, finishing it in just a few hours. I loved it. This was a beautifully written story about a girl figuring out how to deal with the loss of her best friend. I think this story really resonated with me because I have experienced the loss of close friends.

“Grief isn’t an active emotion. It’s not something you do. It’s something that happens to you. It’s 100 percent passive. It’s a tornado that rips your house from the ground, right off its foundation, twisting it around and around, before dropping it haphazardly back down to the earth.” 

I absolutely loved our main character, Ryn. She knew she probably wasn’t handling her grief the right way, the best way, but grief and loss aren’t always logical. She did her best to pick herself up and get through each day. She knew she had issues and knew that she wasn’t ready to work through them. The things she was feeling were real and relatable and things I have felt when I was dealing with similar loss. Though I’ve never felt the survivors guilt that she’s dealing with, she was a character I really got behind. I think she grew so much through her experiences in The Chaos of Standing Still.

“But as scientists, you also need to know when to let go and accept the fact that sometimes there are no answers.”

I also loved Xander. He was perfect for pushing Ryn out of her comfort zone a little bit at a time until she was doing things she didn’t know she wanted to do. He did this all while dealing with his own issues. I liked that the two figured out how to help one another while also helping themselves. I also loved that all of this happened in one night. Stuck overnight, snowed in at an airport, this was the perfect setting for the hijinks and craziness these two found themselves and got themselves into.

“Grief changes the way you see things forever. Becasue it changes you forever.”

I really enjoyed everything about this book. I was entertained and laughing out loud often. There were thought-provoking parts, full of insight on loss and grief. I thought this was an incredible story with excellent characters, character development, and the perfect setting. I loved all of the side characters that added just that much more to the story. They tell a story of the effects of meeting the right people at the right time can have. I wish I could start this over from the beginning and read it again.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:
Chaol Westfall and Nesryn Faliq have arrived in the shining city of Antica to forge an alliance with the Khagan of the Southern Continent, whose vast armies are Erelia’s last hope. But they have also come to Antica for another purpose: to seek healing at the famed Torre Cesme for the wounds Chaol received in Rifthold.
After enduring unspeakable horrors as a child, Irene Towers has no desire to help the young lord from Ararlan, let alone heal him. Yet she has sworn an oath to assist those in need-and will honor it. But Lord Westfall carries shadows from his own past, and Irene soon comes to realize they could engulf them both.
In the sweeping parallel novel to the New York Times bestselling Empire of Storms, Chaol, Nesryn, and Irene will have to draw on every scrap of their resilience if they wish to save their friends. But while they become entangled in the political webs of the khaganate, deep in the shadows of the mighty mountains where warriors soar on legendary runs, long awaited answers slumber. Answers that might offer their world a chance at survival-or doom them all…
Review:
Once again, Sarah J. Maas has completely blown me away. As I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews, I am rereading this series because the final book, Kingdom of Ash has recently been released and once a series is complete I really like to read the whole series over so I’m not forgetting any details. I’m super glad I chose to do this because there were SO many things that surprised me in Tower of Dawn that I had completely forgotten about. Like HUGE details and plot twists that I didn’t remember in the least.

“I stood on the the wrong side of the line for too damn long, and it cost me everything.”

So, I loved this book. It honestly makes me sad that there are so many negative opinions about this book because I really just loved it so much. I understand that Chaol is not the most well loved character in this series, but I still love him. He may have not reacted to some things with Aelin in the best ways, but he’s only human and people make mistakes. This book had so much character development for Chaol. He really started to realize that he’s kind of been a jackass and maybe he should have done things a little differently. He is still always trying to be the honorable Chaol that we knew in the first book, but doesn’t always succeed. I think that was the only thing I didn’t like about this book. He made promised to Nesryn and didn’t follow through with them and I didn’t care for that.

“And I am as much of a man in that chair, or with that cane, as I am standing on my feet.”

Nesryn was excellent in Tower of Dawn. I adored getting to see her with her relatives. It was clear how happy she was to be in Antica. I loved seeing her get to know and experience all of the things that are different from the life she’s used to, especially her adventures with Sartaq. I’m very interested to see where her story ends up at the end of this series.

“You must enter where you fear to tread.”

There were so many new things introduced in this book. It takes place on the Southern Continent, Antica. So we’re reading about a completely new place with a host of new faces. I loved Antica. Its traditions and customs are so different from life in the North so it was really interesting to learn about how life on the Southern Continent works and how life came to be that way. Antica is rich with history and I really loved the stories of how the khaganate became what it is today.

“But I also told him that the woman I love now plans to head into war. And I intend to follow her.”

Along with this new place were the new faces. First, Irene Towers (only sort of a new face) I was super excited to see her story mix with the characters we already knew. I am so satisfied with where Yrene was at the end of Tower of Dawn. I really couldn’t think of a better way for her story to end. I also cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with her in Kingdom of Ash.

“For wherever you need to go-and then some. The world needs more healers.”

The royal family was an interesting one. I don’t know how much I liked them because I love close knit families and I wouldn’t qualify them as one. Because of the way that succession works, it really doesn’t allow for the siblings to be close to one another. Don’t get me wrong, its clear that they love one another, just maybe not in the most traditional way. Again, I’m interested to see these characters interact with the characters we love that were absent from this story. I think the siblings each played an interesting part in this story, some more than others, and I’m still not totally sure if I liked them or not.

“Nothing valuable comes without a cost, boy.”

The story itself was great, full of character development. The characters learned much about themselves but they also learned much about the impending fight. The plot twists were super crazy. We learned some really important things and I’m amazed that I didn’t pick up the final book and stay up all night reading it. I don’t want to say anything else for fear of spoilers, but some of the things we learned had my jaw dropping even though I’ve read Tower of Dawn before. So, to those haters of Chaol, this book is still important to the series and you might just find yourself liking him by the last pages, so give it a try.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she wants to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Review:
How did I  forget how much I loved this book? I’m writing a paper for my popular culture class this term and I’ve decided to choose The Hunger Games trilogy as my topic. This series is an excellent example of popular culture because the books became movies and are still super popular today similar to the way Harry Potter blew up. So with this project, when I saw the audiobooks available I thought id reread the series to have it fresh in my mind.
The narrator did SUCH a good job telling this story. Each character had their own distinct voice and personality. I’m excited to continue listening to this narrator.
The story overall was still great, even better than I remember. Katniss is a strong-willed girl that fought tooth and nail to stay alive. Peeta is a boy resigned to his fate, in love with a girl he’ll never have. The supporting characters are lovable, relatable, and solid. They each played an important part in the story that made me love them, even Haymitch.
I actually could picture scenes from the movies in my head as I was listening to this story. Usually, I can’t reread a book after I’ve seen the movie but that was totally not the case here. I think because the movies were pretty well done and close enough to the story. But I’ll definitely rewatch the movies after I finish rereading all the books.
Overall, I still love this book 100%. Katniss kicks ass and does whatever she needs to in order to stay alive. The world she lives in is horrible, but so well built. It’s believable and terrible but also somehow I could see how our world may end up turning into the world in this book. If you haven’t read The Hunger Games where have you been? Go read them!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:
Kingdoms will collide.
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost as gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at off with those who don’t.
With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she’s determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protects those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
In the breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what-and who-to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.
Review:
Way to rip my heart out of my chest Sarah J. Maas. As I’ve mentioned in my reviews of the previous books in this series, this is a reread for me. I’m reading the whole series again because apparently, I like the emotional pain that Maas puts us through. Check out my review for the last book, Queen of Shadows, HERE.
This book is killer and part of me just wants to skip rereading Tower of Dawn so I can finally get to Kingdom of Ash. The way Empire of Storms ended really just broke my heart, talk about a freaking plot twist.
I think my favorite part of this book was definitely getting to see the characters really develop their relationships with one another. There’s not so much development on themselves, but on their interactions with one another.

“She was not a rebel princess, shattering enemy castles and killing kings. She was a force of nature. She was a calamity and a commander of immortal warriors of legend.”

Aelin and Rowan went so much further into the seriousness of their relationship. I still adore both of the characters. Aelin is really filling in the role of Queen. She always has plans going on, even if she’s the only one that knows that plan. We get to know a bit more about Rowan in this story. But overall we see them develop more as one, together.

“Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will love you.”

Aedion is still excellent. I really liked seeing him come to terms with certain things and find his proper place in Aelin’s court. I loved watching his friendship grow with Lysandra. I love that they’re both sassy and seeing that sass collide was always great. I enjoyed watching Lysandra grow and figure out who she is and her confidence in herself was excellent.

“Princess Lysandra Ashryver sounds nice, doesn’t it?”

I’m happy that Dorian played a bigger part in this book, but I feel like he was still mostly in the background. Though he was trying to learn about himself and his abilities and he definitely was spending time trying to figure out who he was now that he had this new role to fill. His interactions with Manon were my absolute favorite.

“It’s not such a hard thing, is it-to die for your friends.”

Manon definitely changed the most in these pages. Her whole world changed and she did her best to just go along with it, though she did cause a fair bit of that change. I loved her and Dorian talking because Dorian really comes out of his shell and seems like his old self. Manon challenges him in ways that I love. I also absolutely adore her relationship with Abraxsos. He’s the cutest but also pretty scary. I love the changes he’s sort of inspired in Manon.

“You and me,” she promised him. “From now until the Darkness claims us.”

I really really loved Elide in this book. She shows us her claws. She doesn’t take shit from anyone. She has a backbone and isn’t afraid to show it, even to those who she really just has no chance against fighting. She finds herself in some not so great situations but manages to get out of them. She shows that she’s loyal and honorable until the very end.

“I have no lands, no money, no army to offer Aelin Galathynius. But I will find her-and help her in whatever way I can.”

I really liked Empire of Storms even though it shattered my heart into a million pieces. So far, Queen of Shadows is still my favorite, but Empire of Storms finally answered so many of the questions that have been building up throughout the first four books. We got to meet lots of great side characters as well as seeing some old friends that we weren’t expecting. I loved that I was surprised again while reading this. I remembered the big twists but there were still things that I’d forgotten. I can’t wait to finally read the final book to see how this wonderful world is brought to an end.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

Summary:
Everyone’s going to remember where they were when the taps went dry.
The drought-or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it-has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s life has become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.
Until the taps run dry.
Suddenly Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a war zone of desperation; neighbors and families turning against one another in the hunt for water. When her parents don’t return, and she and her brother are threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.
Critically acclaimed author Neal Shusterman teams up with Jarrod Shusterman in this story of survival, when the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions.
Review:
Dry was one of my most anticipated released of this year. I’m a sucker for any sort of dystopian. I’m also a sucker for books that take place in settings I’m familiar with. I lived in San Diego for a few years where the reality of the drought is slowly creeping up on people and its all too real. I also was so easily able to picture this story happening because I was familiar with the area the story happens in. I love stories like this, or ones with vague-ish settings so I can fill in the blanks with places I know.

“People can be monsters. Whether it’s just their actions, or whether it’s who they really are, it doesn’t matter. The result is the same.”

This story is told through a few different perspectives. I really enjoyed this because we got to see into the minds of all the players in our story. So we got to see what was going through their heads before/during/after some of the seriously crazy things that happened. We also occasionally had some updates from around the city from helicopter pilots, power plant employees, other minor characters we meet in the story, truck drivers transporting water, and various news outlets. All of these various snippets ended up being tied into other important parts of the story and I liked how creatively this was done.

“But there’s that moment when you realize they’re not superheroes, or villains. They’re painfully, unforgivably human. The question is, can you forgive them for being human anyway?

I liked Alyssa, the first character we meet. She’s just trying to protect her little brother. Even though she mostly has no idea what’s going on, she quickly realizes that things are just going to get worse and worse. She tries to stay positive for Garrett (her brother) even when things were pretty much consistently falling apart and I liked that about her. Being able to put on a brave face for her brother though she knew nothing good was coming is admirable. Her little brother Garrett was a little trouble maker. He kept disappearing which sometimes complicated things and sometimes ended up helping things. I liked him because he made me relate to Alyssa more. (I have two little brothers and a little sister. They’re all older than Garrett, though I’d want to protect them no matter their age.)

“Why don’t they do something about it instead if spending time blaming people?”

Kelton, the neighbor, was a character that grew on me. I feel like he had the most development. He went from putting up a front, acting like he was a big bad tough guy that knew everything to a kid that has seen some real bad shit and might actually be that tough guy. I felt really bad for Kelton. He got the shittiest end of the stick in this story. Though his family was the most prepared for the Tap-Out, the worst befalls them.

“Tomorrow is going to have to take care of itself for a while,” Alyssa says. Then she adds, “Yesterday, too.”

Jaqui was our designated bad girl. Independent, sassy, reckless, and a little wild. I think I wanted to like her more than I did, until the end. She didn’t want to get attached to anyone at any point. But in the end, UGH. I can’t even talk about it. She redeemed herself and that’s all I’m going to say.

“Wasn’t it Jacqui who told us the human body is sixty percent water? Well, now I know what the rest is. The rest is dust, the rest is ash, it’s sorrow and it’s grief…But above all that, in spite of all that, binding us together…is hope. And joy. And a wellspring of all the things that still might be.”

Henry is trash. 100% nothing but trash. Every time I started to like him, he would screw things up again. He was self serving and screwed up a really good thing. He could have been part of the squad, but instead messed shit up over and over again.

“The worst part of doing something inexcusable is that you can never take it back. It’s like breaking a glass. It can’t unbreak. The best you can do is sweep it up, and hope you don’t step on the slivers you left behind.”

Overall, Dry was one of my most anticipated released of the year and it absolutely did not disappoint me. I love a good dystopian and this was exactly that. Set in the distant-ish future, but realistic to really bring some fears to the surface. It’s a story about how quickly people can and will shed their humanity in the face of disaster. A story that touches on fears that are all too real. This is an incredible story that is so much more than it seems. Written by a father/son duo, the Shusterman’s have outdone themselves with this, one of my new favorites without a doubt.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Blogmas Book Review – Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Summary:
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?
Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.
With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.
Review:
Okay, I legit just finished this book and I am DECEASED. These authors just PLAYED ME and my emotions in SO MANY WAYS. Like, I’m happy with how this ended but getting to that ending was TORTURE.
I loved this conclusion to an amazing trilogy. Like the first two, this was written as a series of instant messages, emails, surveillance footage transcriptions, and things like that. So it makes for a pretty quick read even though the books themselves are a decent size. I love the creative way this book was written. The story wouldn’t have been the same if it was told in the traditional format that’s for sure.
We meet new (ish) characters in this final book. Most of this story takes place where the series began, on the planet that all of our characters were illegally living on. So it’s only fitting that is where the story ends too. I liked this because we got to see so many characters that we’d thought were dead for the last two books, loved ones that our main characters were mourning. I loved even more now that all of my the players I’ve come to live in this story come together for the thrilling conclusion. Everyone is finally together to tell us how this all ends.
Katy as always is smart and caring and clever. I loved her twisted relationship with AIDAN even though it also sort of terrified me. Her and Ezra are the CUTEST. The OG couple and my forever favorites. Ezra proves that he’s still brave and determined and hardworking. I liked seeing how his past came to light.

“At least our lives will have been worth dying for.”

AIDAN – the AI that is pretty much just horrifying this whole series – is still absolutely horrifying but in like a train wreck kind of way where you know it’s all going to go wrong but for some reason, you still just can’t tear your eyes away. I would really really love AIDAN if I wasn’t so scared of him and his crazy ass ways.

“I am not trying to be anything except AIDAN. That is all I know how to be. Every story needs its villain. And its hero. And its monster.”

Hannah and Nik are the best. Hannah is kick ass and takes names and even though she’s constantly being condescended she holds her head high and does her best to help where and when she can. The same goes for Nik. Most still just think of him as a criminal, but he doesn’t let that bother him and he still does his part. I loved the constant flirtation between the two. They don’t take things too quickly in the face of death like in some other stories and I appreciate that.

“Because as I write up all this footage, the one thing getting clearer and clearer is that just about everyone I see is doing the best they can with what they have.”

Ella is bae. She’s a badass chick that proves again and again that she’s not to be messed with. She comes and saves the day over and over. I just love her and her hilarity. She keeps the story light and funny while also playing her serious role well.

“The beauty of the universe is in the grandest and smallest things.”

Asha and our new character were interesting. I really wasn’t sure what to think at first. I didn’t know how it would work out in a good way especially because the narrator of the video footage kept talking about how there was no way for this to end well.

“Be the pebble, Rhys.”

All the supporting characters, there are too many to talk about each of them like above. I loved every single one, even the ones meant to be ‘bad guys.’ They all have their own stories and play a specific role in the stories. I loved how realistic and relatable they all were.

“From the Latin verb Illuminare: “To shed light.” Also: “A ray of light.” Or female, plural: “Those who shed light,” “The shining ones.”

The story was insane. All the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat for sure. I am absolutely still recovering from this emotional turmoil. But like, go buy this series and read them and die and love them like I do.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:
The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Review:
I am currently experiencing ALL THE FEELS. Queen of Shadows might actually be my favorite out of all of these books because there’s just so much love within the pages. I don’t know how Maas does it, usually the sequels are okay or alright, but the further this series goes the better it gets.
Queen of Shadows was full of drama and friendships and forgiveness and I loved every page. There were so many new characters that made new friends and mended fences with old friends or enemies. The character development was excellent so was the storyline and the pace of the story. We get to see so many of the things we learned about in the first three books finally come together. The start of the many different pieces falling into place.
I loved getting to learn and explore more of this world. We learn more about the traditions of Terrasan. I liked learning more about the world that Aelin was meant to rule.

“Stones were eternal–flowers were not.”

The characters were absolutely my favorite part. I love seeing Aelin really develop into a leader and the Queen she is meant to be. I love seeing her mend fences with others she previously swore to kill. I definitely died a little seeing her reunite with Aedion. She’s grown so much in the last few books and I don’t even want to be writing this I just want to read the next book.

“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”

Rowan, sigh. I just really adore him. That’s all.

“You make me want to live, too, Aelin Galathynius,” he said. “Not exist–but live.”

Chaol really comes a long way. He forgives Aelin for a lot of things. He tries not to hold the whole world on his shoulders like he always did in the past. (He mostly fails, but he tries.) I like seeing his relationship with another rebel grow despite his subconscious attempts to sabotage it.

“Let’s go rattle the stars.”

Oh, Dorian. Dorian’s chapters were honestly so hard for me to read. Poor poor Dorian. I don’t want to say too much, but he really gets the shit end of all of the sticks.

“They were infinite. They were the beginning and the ending; they were eternity.”

Kaltain is another that didn’t deserve what she got. But she proved that she was stronger than anyone knew. She bided her time before ruining lives and taking her own revenge. I loved her, even though I wish her story ended differently.

“She’s forgotten the name she’s been given, but it made no difference. She had only one name now: Death, devourer of worlds.”

Manon is the one that has the most growth. She’s growing and maybe even has a heart. I love reading her chapters because she really has changed so much and I’m so proud of her. I think some of my favorite parts of this book were seeing her interact with the other characters, especially Dorian. Any time she and Aelin met there was chaos and excitement and I loved it so much.

“I loved her in a way I cannot describe–other than to tell you it was the most powerful thing I’ve ever felt, greater than rage, than lust, than magic.”

Elide was another new character that I really just adored. She was broken and seemingly frail but proved in every page that she was exactly the opposite. She was strong and brave and willing to do whatever it took to gain her freedom and returned to her queen.

“Blue,” she whispered. “My blood runs blue.”

Lysandra yaaaas. She’s fierce and sassy and loyal and all the good things. She’s such a good friend. She proves herself over and over again. I loved her attitude and bravery and I can’t believe I’m still writing this and haven’t started the next book yet.

“Please,” Lysandra said, waving a manicured hand, “you and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins. Don’t even try to deny it.”

This has been my favorite book out of all of them, but there are still three more books so, I guess we will see. I’m going to go read the next book and probably die inside now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:
Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever.
Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength not only to fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.
The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this third book in the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.
Review:
There was so much to this story. The chapters alternate between a few different characters that are critical to the story. Now that these characters are spread out all over the world, each playing their own important part of the story, we get to follow each of them instead of just Celaena. I really am a fan of multiple perspective books as long as they’re done in the right way. Heir of Fire does it the right way. Right as things are getting exciting or intense for one character we get a cool down period and check on another. I just like this up and down of the story. I also like the idea that all of this is happening at the same time, so we get to know everything. I was really happy to get to see more of this world with the varying perspectives and the traveling characters. Maas has built an incredible and complex world.
My lovely wonderful Celaena. She’s just as crazy as ever. She’s finally doing the right thing, even if it’s only to keep a promise she made to Nehmia. I’ve noticed that she tends to avoid her problems until she just can’t avoid them anymore. This was interesting because she does her best to avoid things until the last minute and then at the last minute she comes up with a plan so insane it just might work. I also noticed in this book that she is just so desperate for a friend, for someone to love her. I think this is because that she has had her family taken from her, been betrayed by so many that she thought cared for her. I feel back for her, but it was actually a little annoying once I realized this. She dated TWO of our main characters in the first book. Continued dating one in the second before turning on him and ruining that. And now this new character (who I’m totally here for and it my absolute fav.) I definitely think she developed so much in this book. She’s finally accepted who she is and the responsibilities that includes. I’m proud of her for stepping up to the plate instead of running again.

“She would not let that light go out. She would fill the world with it, with her light-her gift. She would light up the darkness, so brightly that all who were lost or wounded or broken would find their way to it, a beacon for those who still dwelled in that abyss. It would not take a monster to destroy a mother-but light, light to drive out the darkness.”

Rowan. The ultimate book boyfriend. But only at the end of the book. As this was a reread for me, I didn’t realize how much I had forgotten. What I mean by this is how I forgot just how vicious and aggressive he was toward Celaena at first. I think this is due to the world he lives in. Maeve’s fae are just that. They’re trained to be vicious and lethal. I really enjoyed watching his relationship with Celaena change as they both decided to open up and become friends.

“For a long moment, he said nothing. But his brows narrowed slightly. “To whatever end?””

Chaol, oh Chaol. He’s still just a really good dude. He fights the good fight for Celaena since he sent her away. He does what he can to help her and her mission even though he’s still undecided about who he’s really fighting for and what side he’s going to end up on. This next quote is one I think perfectly sums up Chaol.

“”Damn,” the general said, then shook his head. “I didn’t think that kind of honor still existed in Adarlan.””

Dorian really gets the shit end of the stick in this series. He keeps losing girl after girl, all because he’s the Crown Prince. You would think that would give him an advantage, but it doesn’t. He has a really hard time throughout this book, but toward the end finally had a handle on his problems and has found a girl that accepts him for who he is, problems, crown, and all.

“When Dorian had spoken, it hadn’t been a prince who looked at him. It had been a king.”

Aedion is super smart and clever. He has been deceiving the king for years and really just impressed me. His loyalty to Aelin is unlike any other. I honestly feel bad for the surprise that he gets in the next book. I love his dedication and determination to do what he can to get Aelin supporters.

“Cousin-that had been his most beloved title. Cousin, kin, protector. Those were the secret names he harbored deep within, the names he whispered to himself when the northern wind was shrieking through the Staghorns.”

Manon. I literally wrote “MANON SLAAAY.” in my notes for this book. I loved her. Even though she’s kind of psychotic and might actually be a serial killer. I’m totally here for it. She is totally HBIC (head bitch in charge) even if she technically isn’t. She takes no shit from anyone other than her grandmother (who is actually HBIC). She makes sure that everyone knows their place. She just really doesn’t fuck around, she will absolutely claw your frigging eyes out. Her relationship with her wyvern is probably my favorite part of this book. She ends up picking Abraxos, a former bait beast that shows he’s a survivor. The extreme opposites that they are, make for some excellent entertainment. Claw your eyes out, eat your children Manon picks bait beast Abraxos who literally rolled around on the ground sniffing and playing with flowers instead of hunting. It was excellent and I loved it.

“Abraxos continued to lie in the sun, vain and indulgent as a cat, “Warrior heart indeed.””

Overall, I loved this book. The further into this series I get the more involved it is. There is SO much to this plot and to these characters. If you’re going to read these books prepare yourself to get complete invested and have your soul thoroughly punched. I really loved getting to explore this world further. It’s created to intricately and in enough detail to allow the reader to see what’s going on but not so much detail that it bogs the story down. I absolutely adore these characters and though they’ve been beaten down and seemingly defeated I’m so excited to see where the next book goes. (Though I already know because I’ve read them all but the final book.)

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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