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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book review: when the moon was ours by anna-marie mclemore

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Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Pages: 288
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

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book review: the star-touched queen

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Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses || In Which I Am Disappointed By My Favorite Author

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Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Release Date: May 5th 2015

Genre: High Fantasy, NA

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

My Review

Warning: This review contains minor spoilers!

There has been a lot of hype about this book and for the most part it’s pretty on par. ACOTAR is quite amazing and is brimming with gorgeous prose and imagery. But after reading the Throne of Glass series…I was kind-of disappointed.

The book starts off with Feyre hunting in the forest near her home. She promises her mother on her deathbed that she’ll look after her family and in order to feed her ungrateful sisters, Feyre has to hunt for animals that she can skin and sell. But after the drama of Tamlin coming for her because she kills his friend, everything just kind of settles down. For the first half of the book, there was almost no plot. Nothing much happens except that chemistry (slowly..super slowly) develops between Feyre and Tamlin.

By this time I was starting to consider ditching the book for a while. Despite the fact that Feyre is swimming in starlight and experiencing all kinds of weird and wonderful things…nothing is actually happening. There’s not much in the terms of action and I was beginning to grow disinterested in this “plague.” THEN FINALLY shit hit the fan and stuff started happening. The last 30% of the book is therefore super intense and really exciting. The ending is probably the best part of the book because there is so much pain/angst/action that it’s overwhelming after all the inaction of the first 70%.

Once again the author crafts brilliant characters. I love how Feyre was a lot more relatable and human than most heroines. She was not at all perfect and she was actually illiterate but the fact that she did her best to work with what she had impressed me. Tamlin is also one of those really hot male characters and I just couldn’t get enough of him. The romance between Tamlin and Feyre is probably what makes this book NA but there aren’t that many steamy scenes (and you can always skim or skip them altogether if you don’t want to read them).

Lucien was one of my favorite characters because he played the best friend role but (surprisingly) never decided to fall in love with Feyre and propose. He was basically the loyal sidekick who occasionally dished up snarky comments. Rhysand was the character I couldn’t make up my mind about because he seemed to be evil but helped Feyre when it mattered (then again, that help came with a price).

So basically I did enjoy this book (but just not as much as I expected to). BUT I’m definitely going to read the second book!