book review: lady midnight by cassandra clare ~ an wildly compelling story

25494343.jpgPublisher: McElderry Books
Release Date
: March 8 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb: 

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

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Beautiful Books #1 // Introducing my NaNo WIP

So this weekend, I finally got around to plotting my NaNo novel and since I finally have a better idea of what this book is going to be about, I threw together a Beautiful Books post! This is only my second time doing NaNoWriMo – the first time was two years ago anddidn’t win but I wrote 16,000 words. Last year I was planning on doing NaNoWriMo but I kind of fell out of love with my novel idea and ditched it (I had no backup okay!!). By the way, Beautiful Books is a writing link-up that focuses on your NaNoWriMo novel or another WIP you would prefer to talk about. 

beautiful books

How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

I was on tumblr and I saw a post about how there should be more books with magic in a “modern-day setting” like you can go to Starbucks and there will be witches who serve you drinks with “a little extra.” This idea just kind of stuck with me for a few weeks and evolved into something else where I decided that I want my book to have magical realism (the acceptance of magic in the rational world) but that shouldn’t be the plot or main focus – instead I  want the story to focus on the main character’s struggle with anxiety & panic attacks (which means it’s also going to have a bit of a contemporary feel to it). Anyway, I guess I’ve had the idea for about two months (I really don’t keep track of these things haha).

Why are you excited to write this novel?

(Correct me if I’m wrong but) I don’t think a book like the one I want to write for NaNo exists yet so I feel like my idea is really original. Maybe it isn’t but the fact that wrote it will (hopefully) make it different from whatever is already out there. But I’m actually equally nervous because my NaNo novel  will be very diverse and there will be at-least two if not more issues that I’ll be addressing through the MC’s POV (which haven’t personally experienced).. 

What is your novel about, and what is the title?

I initially named it magic and madness but like I said, the magic isn’t supposed to be the focus of the novel so the working title is now Vivid. My novel is about an 16 year-old girl named Radha, who belongs to an Indian family of witches, and is struggling with depression and anxiety while trying to keep her younger sister (Sathya) from doing something stupid in her quest to be the “stereotypical teenager.” (Also, everyone is aware that magic exists because they possess at-least a shred of magic.)

Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)

Okay this is incredibly difficult (especially since I am still getting to know my characters) so I’ll have to cheat a little! 

Radha (main character) – Artist // Loves swimming in the Sea

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Sathya (Radha’s sister) – Reckless

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Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them!

Sathya will be very interesting to write because she’s a very reckless and impulsive character. She will make the most random decisions and find ways to justify them.  Another interesting thing about her is that she has chromesthesia (sound-to-color synesthesia) and she’s a pianist. That means that when Sathya plays the piano, she will hear music that she will associate with different colors. 

What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?

Her goal is to survive the school year (and hopefully have a decent GPA) and the only thing standing in her way…is well her mental illness. There’s also the fact that her sister is not making the best decisions.

Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)

Hong Kong! It’s actually perfect because Radha happens to love swimming in the ocean (which is actually possible where I live – there’s even a small beach five minutes away).

What is the most important relationship your character has?

I think Radha’s relationship with her sister is incredibly important because Sathya is the one who is there for her when it matters despite her fickle/flighty nature. They look out for each other. 

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

I think she will be way more confident and more likely to advocate for herself and her needs. 

What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?

I guess the main theme is growing up (and making less bad decisions?..idk..) and there’s definitely diversity (main characters are Indian).. I want the ending to feel bittersweet (because that’s the way I always feel at the end of the day). 

I just don’t know which genre my NaNo novel belongs in because there is magic but it’s not the focus of the book at all. 

I’m skipping the bonus question this time because I want to write 50K in a month first before I start dishing out advice. 

Be my writing buddy! | Check out the pinterest board for Vivid