Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

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Synopsis:
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


Plot:
I really love the plot of Crown of Midnight, it definitely picks up the pace from the first book, which I found a bit slow, to begin with. I, again, had forgotten much of the plot and it was nice to rediscover everything I’d forgotten!
There was definitely a lot more excitement going on in this book, more twists and turns and generally just better than the last.
Again, SJM has trapped me with captivating, addictive worlds and characters. I don’t know how she writes books that are so gripping and I end up so invested in the plot and characters that I cannot stop reading.

I realise now, this might be one of my favourites in the whole series? I’ll have to wait and see after I get to Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms, as they were my favourite when I first read the series.

Characters:

Celaena: She can’t kill for the man who killed her own family and people, she’s taking a big risk when defying the king. This is where Celaena’s good character development really starts and also a big reveal about who she really is.

Dorian:
Still in love with Dorian. He’s such a sweetheart. Always will be my favourite character in this series! I love his character development, him learning new things about himself that kick-start his journey is really interesting to reread.

Chaol:
He’s so meh?! I never liked him and I definitely don’t like him after this book. Still, don’t ship Choal + Celaena, I just can’t.

Honourable mention to Fleetfoot and Mort, I love those guys.

 

Rating: 4.5 Stars


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Favourite Covers | Top 5 Wednesday

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This week’s topic is: Favourite Covers

How am I suppose to pick just 5!? *insert cry emoji*
There are so many gorgeous covers, I am a sucker for a pretty cover.
I do judge books by their cover. Sorry, not sorry.

These are in no particular order:

1) A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (Illustrated edition)

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This cover is just so perfect, I am in love with it. This is the first ‘special edition’ book I bought and it’s one of my favourite books and I adore it. I saw this in Asda and had to refrain from screaming. It’s so bloody beautiful!


2) Catwoman Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas (UK Hardback)

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I adore this cover. This was a huge cover buy for me, I didn’t plan on buying this book until I saw the cover. (I did end up enjoying it)
But LOOK AT IT. It’s so pretty and simplistic.


3) The Spellslinger Series by Sebastien De Castell

2018-09-16 12.43.40 1.jpgThe first two covers are equally as cool as these two but I don’t own physical copies (yet) because I listened to the first two on audiobook. I was lucky enough to receive ARC’s of the 3rd and 4th book. I love the design of these books, the playing card aesthetic is so pleasing. The art style is also really lovely, there are even illustrations throughout the book.


4) The UK Brandon Sanderson paperbacks + The anniversary hardbacks

2018-09-22 12.37.26 1.jpgCheating here a bit but anyways, all the  UK paperbacks of Brandon Sanderson’s books are absolutely gorgeous. The Anniversary hardbacks of Mistborn are beautiful too. Had to mention them all!


5) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

2018-09-16 01.08.56 2.jpgHaven’t read this yet but I have loved the cover ever since I first saw it. How could I not fall in love with it! So gorgeous.


Honourable mentions:
The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Gray
Villains by V.E. Schwab (The new hardbacks)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (The UK paperbacks)
The Vintage Classic Bronte + Austen editions


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Books · Reread Review

Reread Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

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Synopsis:
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.


Plot:
I am actually so surprised at how much of the plot I had forgotten. The best part of rereading is rediscovering the parts you have forgotten and loved the first time around.
In terms of the rest of the series, this is definitely my least favourite of them all. I see now this one is the slowest, it took me a while to get back into the story.
Its plot is nothing super original, in my opinion; the later books are better. I think the first time around my favourite was Queen of Shadows followed by Empire of Storms, I’m interested to see whether I’ll still feel the same.

This was a typical YA Fantasy, full of tropes – a love triangle starts but it is a bit of fun and I can’t hate it, despite its flaws. SJM’s writing definitely improves with every book, this is probably one of the weakest but it still isn’t bad.

I do feel the plot was a bit dragged out, it took too long to get to the competition – which is what the whole thing is about and then the competition was over in a chapter or so. I didn’t really care for the side plots, other than Dorian, the characters were pretty bland in this one.
I also realised I never liked Chaol. He’s just an ass and always has been? Can’t relate to the people who ship Chaol with Celaena at all.

Characters:
Celaena: I like Celaena, I don’t love her – in this series I am far more attached to certain side characters.
Dorian: I LOVE DORIAN. He is such a babe. He’s so charming, swoon-worthy and lovely!! He’s adorable and I am so sad he and Celaena weren’t a think, like who picks Chaol over Dorian??!
Chaol: I have never liked Chaol. I have always found him so annoying, literally, don’t see what anyone ever saw in him. He had a few good moments and his friendship with Dorian is nice.

Rating: Still 4 Stars


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Classics I Wish Had Modern Adaptations | Top 5 Wednesday

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Classics I Wish Had Modern Adaptations

This was a bit of a tricky subject for me! It took me a while to think of some to include, I am not the biggest classic reader and tend to dislike the ones I have read.

1) 1984 by George Orwell
Image result for nineteen eighty four by orwell george

Not going to lie, I didn’t like 1984 at all. The themes and the underlying message are important but Orwell’s writing is an actual snoozefest. SO BORING. I will never reread 1984, I only read it for college and I didn’t expect to be so dull. I think the story would work so much better in a film, I know there is an older film but it would be nice to see a modern take on it.


2) The Chronicles of NarniaImage result for complete chronicles of narnia
Obviously, there is a modern adaptation of Narnia, however, there is only 3. Unpopular opinion: I love the Narnia films. I wish they’d continued to make them. I want more! Would definitely love to see more modern stories of it!


3) Jane Eyre
Image result for vintage classics bronte series
Okay, so I absolutely love the 2011 adaptation with Michael Fassbender as Mr Rochester (swoon), but they did cut out a lot of the book. I think it would’ve worked even better as a mini-series like the BBC did with Pride and Prejudice (1995).


4) The Secret Garden
Image result for secret garden frances hodgson burnett book
I haven’t read this, yet but I plan to. I absolutely adored the 1993 film as a kid, it was one of my favourites I would rewatch over and over. I would love to see a modern remake of it, they seem to be remaking every classic at the moment, so why not The Secret Garden!?

 


5) His Dark Materials
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This is more of a modern classic but it is one of my favourites. The 2007 film The Golden Compass is the worst adaptation, it does the books no justice at all. Thankfully, my wish has been granted and the BBC are making a TV show. I am praying it goes right this time and does the amazing books justice!


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Books · Favourites

Top 5 Books I Read This Summer!

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All the books I have read over the summer are discussed in my wrap-ups:
June Wrap Up
July Wrap Up
August Wrap Up

Usually, with this type of post, I would usually pick from my 4.5-5 Star reads. I realised when going back through my Goodreads to find books for this list, that the only 4.5-5 Star reads I had this summer were rereads! *insert shocked face emoji*
I don’t include rereads in seasonally favourites as I already knew I would love them – hence the reread. All of the books on this list are picked from the books I gave 4 Stars.

 

1) Catwoman Soulstealer by Sarah J Mass

Image result for catwoman soulstealer sarah j maasI went into this book not knowing whether I’d like it or not. I’m not the biggest DC Comics fan (Definitely more of a Marvel girl) and I didn’t know anything about Catwoman but it was SJM so obviously I picked it up. It really surprised me, I really enjoyed it and I devoured it.
Full Review Here!


2) Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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I wasn’t the biggest fan of Uprooted by the same author, so I was hesitant about going in. The premise sounded really interesting, I was offered it for review and couldn’t say no. I ended up really liking it, it was slower than what I would normally go for but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I adored the world and the magic, I thought it was a really interesting read! I also think it’d be better to read in the winter since it is set during the winter and it’s snowy.
Full Review Here!



3) Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
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I absolutely loved Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, so when I heard a Sci-Fi retelling was being published how could I not pick it up!? Two of my favourite things but it sounds like a strange combination. This definitely exceeded all my expectations completely. It was such a fun, interesting read.

Full Review Here!



4) Still Me by Jojo Moyes
Image result for jo jo moyes still me
This is probably the most surprising book on the list. I love Me Before You, it’s one of my favourite books, the sequel, After You, not so much. After hating that book I really wasn’t hopeful for another sequel but I was wrong. This was dramatically better than After You and I really enjoyed it. Do I think Me Before You needed sequels? No. But this was an enjoyable story.
Full Review Here!



5) The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey
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I was offered this for review by the author, I didn’t really know much about it going in and didn’t have any expectations. The premise sounded interesting, it was dystopian/paranormal so I thought why not. It turned out to be a vampire book, which I would never normally read but it was really good! Had such an interesting plot and world and I cannot wait for the sequel!
Full Review Here!


Comment the best book(s) you read this summer! I’d love to know 🙂

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Books · Reread Review

Mini Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas

Image result for assassin's blade sarah j maas

 

Synopsis:
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free?


Plot:
Firstly, this is the last Throne of Glass I read, when I initially read the whole series last year, I somehow missed this. Completely forgot?? Like a moron. However, I don’t think it took any enjoyment or understanding away. I’m not hugely fond of short stories and only read it because it’s SJM. They actually were entertaining.

It’s hard to explain the ‘plot’ when it’s a compilation of novellas.
It’s basically set before Celaena is sent to Endovier, it’s the lead up to how she ended up there and her life as an assassin. This was a fun, quick read and I really liked each story, my favourite being The Assassin and the Desert, that was so cool!

As with every other SJM book, it was a quick read and I absolutely devoured it. I read something like 75% of it in one go, it was fun and engaging from start until finish. It is probably the best place to start if you’re new to Throne of Glass but I don’t think it is necessary to start here.

Characters:
Celaena:
This was the Celaena I expected in ToG, badass, merciless killer. I like her a whole lot better here. I mean she’s still the headstrong, snarky girl we love but it’s cool to see her as a proper assassin. When I first read ToG I assumed it was going to be all about an assassin and that kind of life but obviously, it wasn’t and took a different turn.

Sam: I fully expected to love Sam because everyone loves him and cries over him. But he was just okay? I personally, don’t see all the fuss. What happened to him was awful and he didn’t deserve it at all. I was a tad upset but mostly for Celaena.

Individual Ratings:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord: 4 Stars
The Assassin and the Healer: 4 Stars
The Assassin and the Desert: 5 Stars
The Assassin and the Underworld: 4 Stars
The Assassin and the Empire: 4 Stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars


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Books · Top 5 Wednesday

Books For My Younger Self | Top 5 Wednesday

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme, GoodReads group here with all the topics + discussion!
This weeks topic is; Books for my younger self

This is definitely an interesting topic for me, as I didn’t read AT ALL until about the age of 13! I definitely think I was given the wrong books as a child, maybe I would’ve been a reader as a kid, had they given me books that held my attention. I was never given fantasy or sci-fi as an option, my school were terrible for books – they were all crap!

1) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Image result for complete chronicles of narniaI loved the films as a kid, didn’t know they were books back then – why did no one try me with these?! Currently, I have only read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but I definitely want to read the whole series!


2) Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

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Rick Riordan keeps coming up in my T5W posts but I can’t help it! His books are so good, I cannot rave about them enough. Younger me definitely would’ve loved these books! I love them now as an adult and I will forever love Rick Riordan’s amazing writing.


3) The Raven Boys

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Teenage me would’ve probably loved Blue and the Raven Boys, this would be the definition of friendship goals for me. The magic realism and psychic stuff would’ve also interested me.


4) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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As I stated, I wasn’t a reader when I was younger but I feel with the formatting and layout of Illuminae this would be such a good starting place to get into Sci-fi! It’s so easy and fun to read, it’s not like reading a normal book.


5) Nevermoor

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I wasn’t blown away by this when I read it a few months ago but I definitely think younger me would’ve enjoyed it. It is a middle grade, which I’m usually a fan of but I feel it was a bit young for me. Which is why I think it’d be perfect for the younger me!


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