Friday, August 29, 2014

South of the Border

"A soul needs it's other half to truly live.
I said that to you once, do you remember?
...I don't have a soul. You make me feel like I do."
--Karina Halle, Shooting Scars


Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 265
Publication Date: August 20th, 2013
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Sins and Needles & On Every Street
Goodreads Description

A Dangerous Kind of Love . . .
When Ellie Watt offered herself to her thuggish former lover Javier to save Camden's life, she never imagined the twisted game Javier had planned for her. Trapped by him and his entourage of killers, Ellie is forced to commit a dangerous, heinous crime-or Javier will kill Camden. Now ex-con artist Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game . . . before it destroys her and the only man she ever loved.
Camden McQueen can't forget Ellie Watt. Seeking revenge and pursued by the authorities for a crime he didn't commit, the talented tattoo artist does things he never thought himself capable of to save Ellie. As Camden straddles the line between love and retribution, he vows to do everything in his power to get her back. But if Camden unleashes his dark side, will Ellie still love him?

Mini-Review

I was foaming at the mouth for this book. Sins and Needles blew me away. On Every Street opened up a whole other dimension to the complexities of these characters. AND we get Camden’s perspective. Holla! This book was full of action, confessions, betrayals of the deepest kind, and sex. Hot, hot sex. Anyways!

Camden is in the midst of tracking down Ellie and this is what we are reading about from his perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED this. I loved reading his thoughts and understanding his emotions. He was making me swoon all over the place with how much he loves Ellie and what he would do for her. He is Liam fucking Neeson on steroids and will.not.stop. until he finds her. Le sigh.

However, as much as I loved getting into Camden’s head, his chapters were the ones I was flipping through a little faster…because Ellie’s story and journey continues to steal the show. I could not WAIT for her to get some answers out of Javier and find out what the fuck happened six years ago and what he’s doing now. It was equally heartbreaking and captivating watching these two interact. I love Camden, I think he is the choice for her overall, but dayum if there isn’t something so enthralling about Javier. This bastardo steals the show every time. He’s so cunning and seductive and fuck if I don’t wanna hop in a car and head south to find him. Shit. Their dynamic is so unique and so filled with past transgressions and broken hearts that you are just waiting for the spark to erupt the inferno.

Ellie is as complex a character as the come. Even while I’m rooting for Camden who is kicking asses and taking names in order to find Ellie, I can completely understand all decisions Ellie makes while being under Javier’s thumb. From her perspective, it all totally makes sense which is why AGAIN I will reiterate how much I fucking LOVE Karina Halle’s writing because she takes situations that you would objectively hear and think, ‘oh what a horrible person, who would do that,’ and writes and them and explores them to a point where when you hear the same situation again you think, ‘oh well yeah, that totally makes sense, 100% understandable.’ Her characterizations are simply brilliant. The journey these three characters take in this book is ridiculous. I love Camden and he has my vote in our present day story…but there is a great, big part of me that wishes time could fragment and Ellie of six years ago could live happily ever after with Javier…le sigh.

Have I mentioned how excited I am for Javier’s book?...

Backstage Pass

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stay With Me Cuz You're All I Need

Obviously because I am a Gayle Forman fangirl and I fell in absolute LOVE with If I Stay when I read it (you can read my review here and of Where She Went...here), I had to see the movie. Well, actually I didn't.  I have a very caustic relationship with books being turned into movies. In a few words, as a general rule, I hate it. I might be the only person who is NOT excited when they find out one of their favorite books is being made into a movie. Why? I feel like books should be left alone. There are so few good adaptations that really capture (and they never really capture the feeling of READING a story) the essence of a novel. There are exceptions to my distaste though. I think the Harry Potter movies are epic and all the people behind The Hunger Games films must have sold parts of their souls to the devil for those movies to turn out as amazing as they did. And if this is your first time here, I'll tell you Harry Potter and The Hunger Games hold a solid piece of my heart so for me to say those movies are well done is a huge deal. 

Anyways!! Sorry for the tangent but I just saw If I Stay and I have to say what an amazing film. Not only was I crying throughout most of it but it was so well done. It stayed so true to the book and all the vignettes of Adam and Mia's relationship and how much she loved her family. I thought it was just excellent and I'm sad that I didn't even see half the film clearly because the screen was blurry. Shoddy mechanics, I tell you. I think the casting of the film was perfect. Chloe Grace Moretz OWNED Mia. Her parents were just amazing. I felt their rock and roll vibe all the way through the screen and Teddy...oh, I just wanted to snug Teddy like crazy! So cute! You could feel the love they have for one another. It was palpable. What I liked a lot was the struggle Mia had with accepting Adam liked her. I didn't get that feel as much from the book so, SURPRISE, it was a really great thing to see translated to film. Whatever research Chloe did for her role as Mia was perfect because her face when playing or talking about music was inspiring. You could feel the love she had for the cello. And Adam. Going into Adam is not who I pictured in my head however he did an excellent job. His looks towards Mia felt like a heated embrace. His patience with showing her he loved her was beautiful. Everything was just really, really great. From the accident to the flashbacks to the hospital scenes, it was everything I pictured in my head (except Adam) and more.

To emphasize and show my love for this film and how wonderful I thought it was, I thought I'd highlight a love Mia and I share. Classical music. I'm not super well-versed, don't get me wrong. But I love to put a 2 hour mix of Tchaikovsky's best on my iPod and let it play while I cook dinner or am sitting around reading. So here are my favorite classical music pieces. **Note: Ignore the terrible videos because there are some oldies on here but it's about the music, so close your eyes if you must.**

This is my favorite piece of all time. I don't even know when I started listening to it but I play this on repeat when I'm driving a lot. The music is just so powerful and it goes through so many different styles and emotions. It's just beautiful.

I looooove listening to this. Winter and Summer are my favorite movements but listening to them all back to back complement each other perfectly.

I would love to see this live, obviously, because I have an affinity to Romeo and Juliet. I love the ups and down of this piece. 

Uh, have you guys heard this? I'm pretty sure I was obsessed with it for weeks...still am. I love the feelings evoked when listening to it, the music is so powerful it give me chills. No joke, every time I listen to it, I get goosebumps. Love love love

So if you haven't read If I Stay by Gayle Forman yet, you really, really need to! AND then go see the movie. It's amazingly well done and there are only a few lines from the book I WISHED would have made the cut...le sigh.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire--An Heir of Fire Blog Tour Day 3



Welcome to my stop on an Heir of Fire blog tour! I was so ecstatic to be asked to be a part of this tour. If you've been to my blog or follow me on Twitter you KNOW who much I fangirl for the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I danced...literally danced for an ARC of Crown of Midnight last year at BEA. This shit is serious. So for my stop on the tour I wanted to highlight one of my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE aspects of the epicness that IS Throne of Glass--the writing. Sarah J Maas' writing is that of simplistic eloquence that evokes the deepest of emotions. The themes, the words, the feels, it all comes together to create a visceral experience while reading. It is inspiring and uplifting and harrowing and just ALL THE FEELS YOU GUYS...ALL THE FEELS! So without further ado...here are my FAVORITE quotes from the series starting with Heir of Fire...get excited, y'all, this book is all the hype and more.


Tour Schedule
August 25 – Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
August 26 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
August 27 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati--That's me!!
August 28 – Elena @ Novel Sounds
August 29 – Nicole @ The Quiet Concert
September 1 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 2 – Judith @ Paperiot
September 3 – Melanie @ The Daily Prophecy
September 4 – Magan @ Rather Be Reading
September 5 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 8 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 9 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 10 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

If you want to hook up with this amazing blog tour we are using the hashtag #MaasThirteen OR #HoF13Tour

AND don't forget to checkout not one but TWO epic giveaways brought to you by the amazing team at Bloomsbury!

**PS--There aren't a whole lot of Heir of Fire quotes because I don't want to be too spoilery so if they don't make sense now...they will when you read :)**

Heir of Fire
'She would remake the world—remake it for them, those she had loved with this glorious, burning heart; a world so brilliant and prosperous that when she saw them again in the Afterworld, she would not be ashamed. She would build it for her people, who had survived this long, and who she would not abandon. She would make for them a kingdom such as there had never been, even if it took until her last breath… ‘Get up,’…Celaena reached across the earth between them and brushed her fingers against Aelin’s. And arose.'

‘She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow for no one.’

‘She was Aelin Ashryver Galanthynius—and she would not be afraid.’

''Because I am lost,"' she whispered onto the earth. "And I do not know the way.'

'Gods, he was brilliant. Cunning and wicked and brilliant.'


'It was the Song of Eyllwe. Then the Song of Fenharrow. And Melisande. And Terrasen. Each nation that had people in those labor camps. And finally, not for pomp or triumph, but to mourn what they had become, they played the Song of Adarlan.'

Crown of Midnight
‘Dance with me, Celaena.’

‘The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realized she was home.’

‘You remind me of what the world ought to be. What the world can be.’

'The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realised she was home.'

'She smiled sadly. 'You'll figure it out. And when you do...' She shook her head, knowing she shouldn't say it, but doing it anyway. 'When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn't have made any difference to me. It's never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.'

'It was like coming home or being born or suddenly finding an entire half of herself that had been missing.'

'Dance with me, Celaena,'

'There had never been any line between them, only his own stupid fear and pride. Because from the moment he'd pulled her out of that mine in Endovier and she had set those eyes upon him, still fierce despite a year in hell, he'd been walking toward this, walking to her. So Chaol brushed away her tears, lifter her chin, and kissed her.'



Throne of Glass

‘You could rattle the stars.’


‘Libraries are full of ideas - perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.’

‘Celaena…get up.’ 

'Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.'

'You could rattle the stars,' she whispered. 'You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most'

'My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me.'

'With each day he felt the barriers melting. He let them melt. Because of her genuine laugh, because he caught her one afternoon sleeping with her face in the middle of a book, because he knew that she would win.' 

'I'm not married,' he said softly, 'because I can't stomach the idea of marrying a woman inferior to me in mind and spirit. It would mean the death of my soul.' 

'Names are not important. It's what lies inside of you that matters.' 

Assassin's Blade
‘She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and blood and shadow.’

‘There was no way in hell she was going to move to the southern continent without all of her books.’

‘I will not be afraid.’

Pre-order Heir of Fire...you won't regret it...and in case you're still deciding here's some more info...

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Purchase:

AUTHOR INFO


Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series: Throne of Glass,
Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.

Author Links:
Official Website: http://sarahjmaas.com/






Don't forget to enter the giveaways!
Check out my reviews of...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

This Or That

"And so we endure.
We have faith that there is purpose.
We hope for things we can't see.
We believe that there are lessons in loss, 
power in love, 
and that we have within us 
the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can't contain it."
--Amy Harmon, Making Faces


Genre: New Adult Contemporar
Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 491
Publication Date: October 20th, 2013
Source: Bought
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.
The Story

It is not a secret that I love Beauty and the Beast...*looks around shamelessly at my blog*...so it is no surprise that any storyline involving homage to the classic fairy tale is one that I will be drawn to. Jaime over at Fiction Fare tweeted that this book was only 99 cents on Amazon so I read the description and was all, 'okay, is definitely sounds like a book I would like.' And it was. The story is about Ambrose, Fern, and Bailey. Bailey might not be mentioned in the description but he is very much an equal guest in the party of main characters in my opinion. Bailey is has Duchenne Muscular Dystophy, so his muscles will deteriorate over his short life until he dies. I'm not being blunt people, these characters are way more astute about this fact than I could ever be. Fern is Bailey's cousin, best friend, sidekick, confidante, and other half. Fern has also been in love with Ambrose for the greater part of her life. Ambrose is the town real life Hercules and state champion wrestler. Ambrose joins the Army after high school as do is 4 best friends...and he's the only one that makes it back from Afghanistan. *yes, cue the tears already*

This story is about so much it's hard to mentally formulate words to accurately describe what this book represents. It is about loss, in so many different forms. Self-acceptance. Regret. Purpose. Faith. Everything. This book evokes so many feelings over the course of the story that it's hard to pinpoint one thing over another. Ambrose comes back from Afghanistan horribly scared and less 4 best friends and has no idea how to go on. The way Amy Harmon describes his emotional journey is absolutely beautiful. It felt incredibly honest and true to what I would believe would be going on in his head. The equal parts loss of himself and his friends was a constant struggle for him and my heart broke for him.

Fern suffers from UGS...ugly girl syndrome and then becomes not so ugly. She has a fragile friendship with Ambrose prior to him leaving and it's another battle when he comes back for her to get through to him. How they connect to one another is some of the most romantic things ever. It echos something they did in the beginning of the book and it is just so cute. Fern is such a fantastic character, she wasn't over the top in any way with the exception of her hair. She is just a good, good person. An amazing friend, a thoughtful friend. And she's smart! And a writer! She is just a seriously cool girl who I would totally want to be friends with in real life.

The plot of the story begins with Fern and Ambose in high school and a connection...of a sort. It's definitely a case of mistaken identity and I really don't want to say any more than that. Fern has been in love with Ambrose since the moment she saw him and Ambrose runs in a completely different league than her in high school. They are aware of each other and I loved reading about small interactions they had with each other in high school. I loved beyond words Fern's point of view during high school. That longing for a thing you know will never be yours. Broke my heart in more way than one.

Then...then things start to change. Ambrose begins to see Fern in a different way and has no explanation for it. Matters of the heart cannot be explained and the heart wants what the heart wants. But this story isn't that simple. Like I said above, Ambrose is determined to be a soldier and it obviously turns out to have not the greatest results. The repercussions that occur after he comes home blend in perfectly with everything that came before he left. The journey to self-acceptance is not easy and Fern's way of coaxing him out of his cave is just so freaking amazing. I cannot even begin to verbalize the beauty and delicate dance they walk around each other.

But what I loved was this story isn't JUST about Fern and Ambrose. Bailey plays such a huge part in their story as well as Rita, Fern's best friend. It all just comes together to brutally beautiful that your heart just aches with these characters. I cried throughout many parts of the book and I'm sorry this review cannot eloquently do it justice. It's amazing. Simple as that.

The Faith

Like I said above the story has a lot of emotional elements but my favorite aspect was the discussion of faith and purpose the reasons bad thing happen. It wasn't preachy or heavy-handed in the least. It was thoughtful, poignant, and perfectly placed. It made me stop and think about my own life and choices and how I view negative things and the people around me. I felt like there were some fan-f'ing-tastic life lessons in this book without feeling like I was reading one's person vision on life. Does that make sense? Probably not. But I loved this. End of point.

The Feels

You guys, I was crying within like the first 10 minutes because we open up with September 11th. I mean, seriously, way to shred my heart strings. I mean, you guys know I totally love books that make me feel and cry so this isn't a negative...but my face as I'm wiping tears definitely was. I'm such a friggin' sap.

The Distinction

The only thing that bothered me was the assumption that you can only be either beautiful or smart. Ambrose clearly has a very deep soul and is very attractive but all the other characters seem to be able to only represent one or the other objectively. I don't believe that because I know a ton of beautiful and smart people and vice versa. I felt like parts of this book leaned towards having to decide between one or the other. No, not a lot of people are blessed with both but I don't see this as a black or white issue.

VIP
If you love Beauty and the Beast, contemporary romances, post-war heroes, thoughtful themes, family love, and a book that makes you feel--this one's for you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Discovering Your True Self

"Better to die with a snarl than a sniffle"
--Karen Marie Moning, Darkfever


Genre: Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Pages: 309
Publication Date: October 31st, 2006
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….

The World 
This is also going to be a point in my Beast section for reasons I'll discuss below but I loved being introduced to a brand new, dark, seedy, paranormal underworld. Y'all know how much I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood books and while these are not replacing that series in my heart, I still really liked this. This world deals with Fae, the Seelie and the Unseelie and Mac who, unbeknownst to her, is a person who can see through the glamours they put up to assimilate into human life. She's rare and important...read on below for more details. I also LOVED that this took place in Dublin because I can picture the city perfectly. Temple Bar District is actually exactly where I stayed when I was there traveling. Can somebody explain to me why I didn't see any big, sexy, men running around? No? Rude.

Mac 
Mac is not a heroine I would scream from the rooftops how much I love her but she isn't horrible. She's a little more than superficial and pissed off being dragged into this world when all she wants to do, initially, is go home and live an uncomplicated life. I love my heroines kickass and sassy but I can appreciate a good difference in personality once in a while and I liked Mac. I liked that she didn't make excuses for her fear, she admitted to not being strong and wanting a simple life, I can't fault her for that even if she isn't my normal type of heroine I root for. She's in Ireland to begin with to find her sister's murderer, that takes guts. I'll give her mad props for that. Her inner dialogue was a little annoying at times but, surprisingly, I didn't dislike her as much as I initially thought I would. I'm all about growth and she does a lot of growing in this book. I can only hope that trend continues because I can see myself really liking her eventually.


The Men 
There are some pretty sexy male specimens up in Dublin. While I really wanted more from Jericho Barrons, I've heard a lot of complimentary things about him and I wanted more. Barrons is mysterious, closed-off, secretive, and sexy. Combination win for all female readers. I can't wait to get more of him and I'm really hoping for some future sexy times...and I DEFINITELY need to know more about this V'lane character who is a type of Fae that is so potently sexual you literally rip your close off in front of him...wait, what? Yes, that actually happens. So OBVIOUSLY we need more details about this kind of man. Seriously.

The Love 
The fact that this book exists because Mac wanted to avenge her sister's murder and kick some asses immediately stole my heart. I love that she went against every instinct in her to stay in her comfy Southern home and go solo trying to find out what happened. I have sisters, I get it hunnie, I got your back on this. I'd tear that city down and set it to flames in trying to find answers. The core of this story comes from a sister's love to do right by the one she lost. I love this.


The World 
I felt like a lot of world building was lacking and I was on board with Mac's frustration of 'what is the point of it all?' I mean, I GET the point of the plot but I felt like we didn't have a whole lot to go on in respect to the details of this world and race of Fae. I'm holding out hopes for more in the future books.

The Romance
I mean...we're gonna get sexy times with this Jericho in future books, right?...Right?!

Reserved Seating
I sped through this book and I really didn't want to put it down. I cannot wait to find out more details about this world and see where these characters go. I wanted more world-building and a few more answers but this series comes highly recommended to me so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt that more details come our way. If you love paranormal romance, this is definitely a series you want to check out.

And because this book totally got me all nostalgic and wanting to go back to Ireland, I thought I'd share a few pics from when I was there! Enjoy!
Trinity College
The Temple Bar...no joke





Thursday, August 21, 2014

Out of This World

I love to read a good fantasy or paranormal book. I love the world that is created from nothing like high fantasy and the idea that a paranormal community could exist right under our noses. So that got me to thinking...

If I Could Live in Any Fictional World...Where Would I Want To Live?

It seems like an easy question, right? But I wasn't looking at it that way. I was looking at it like what legit worlds would I forgo this bland Earth for in order to live out my days. So, with this post I wanted to highlight my favorite fantasy and paranormal worlds that I could ride and die to live in...well maybe not die because obviously then I wouldn't actually get to live in the world...ok, I digress like usual. So ANYWAYS, these are the worlds that I would choose to live in...and really wish a portal or wardrobe opened up and transported me there...there's always tomorrow...

Hogwarts
Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I mean...this is totally obvious, right? Harry Potter is one part of the trifecta of my heart and I would give up any material object to be a part of this world. I want to go to Ollivander's. I want my wand. I want my OWLs and NEWTs and my acceptance into defeating the Dark Arts. Sign me the F up.

Caldwell, NY
The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward

Again. Obvious choice. The Black Mother Fucking Dagger Brotherhood. If I didn't grow up with Harry Potter and love it as much as I do, this is my number one world I want to be in. Yes, the Lessers wreak havoc and it's dangerous...but...THE BROTHERS?! Mate me, mark me, bond me. I don't give a fuck as long as it means waking up next to that beautiful specimen of male whose job it is to defend the race. No joke, Z is my number one book boyfriend of all time...OF ALL TIME PEOPLE. This is not a drill. I would give toes and any internal organ that isn't a necessity to live in order to be this male's shellan. I am not even close to joking. Z is my epitome of a man. It really doesn't get much hotter than that.

Prague and Eretz
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Y'all, I have never wanted a pair of horns on my head and wings on my back more than when I read these books. This world utterly FASCINATES me! Like I just can't even begin to talk about how much I LOVE this world. Yes, I am ignoring the centuries long war and destruction.

Sector 4
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

Uh...have you read these books? I would most definitely brave the apocalypse if it meant waking up with cuffs on my wrists and a badass man *coughDALLAScough* next to me. The women of this world rule the world and anything goes. 

Denver, Colorado
The Marked Men by Jay Crownover

Why yes I am totally cheating on this. My one cheat of this post is the Marked Men series because HELLO, have you read about these men? I want to move to Denver on just the CHANCE I could find this tattoo parlor and live happily ever after with one of these guys. I mean, holy shit. And yes, I DID only put the two covers I approve of. Sorry not sorry.

What about you guys?
What fantasy, paranormal, dystopia, or *cough* contemporary worlds would you live in?


Monday, August 18, 2014

Set the World on Fire

"...she would not be afraid."
--Sarah Maas, Heir of Fire


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 565
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
Source: ARC provided by publisher and author and Book Rock Betty in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: The Assassin's Blade & Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight
Goodreads Description

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Uh...I can't do a breakdown for this review. It will chop up the amazing vibe I've got going with this book. Where do I even begin? No words will be able to be able to convey how much I loved this freakin' book. If I had to pick my favorite thing it is this: the cadence. The pacing and flow of this story is absolutely amazing. I loved the first two books to pieces and I loved the sense of urgency they brought, but this book's pace was definitely different and I loved it for this reason. We slow down. We get so much complex character development that I just fell in love with ebb and flow of the story. We get so much more of characters we already know and love, we meet new characters to root for, and we get even more storylines and continuation of the fight against the tyranny of Adarlan.

*MILD SPOILERS FROM THE PREVIOUS BOOKS--BEWARE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ**

Celaena is broken. Broken doesn't even begin to describe the emotional fragility this young woman is going through. She is a phoenix that has been reduced to ashes and is struggling with an internal debate whether or not to rise from them. Her strength of character never ceases to amaze me and we get to know her so much better if you can believe it. We get flashbacks (WHICH I LOVED) and we get more pieces to the puzzle of what happened to her 10 years ago. That's all I can say. But I will continue to be Team Celaena because this bitch is fierce and she is who I want having my back in this world, her world, or the next.

The new characters we meet are highly complex and fleshed out having only gotten to know them in this book. No spoilers but I will just say that Sarah J Maas continues to bring the delicious boys, the heart-stopping swoon, and moments that will make your breath catch. The men of the Fae are something to write home about and I'm not about to jump ship but...let's just say there's something to be said about these new characters. Rowan is just an "undiluted warrior" who has a big piece of my heart. His journey with Celaena is absolutely beautiful in so many ways. They need each other for so many different reasons. She needs him in order to even begin to start accepting who she is as a Fae and he needs her in order to get a little bit of his humanity back. Rowan is pretty much a Type Kelly kind of book boyfriend. If the word warrior didn't do it for me the fact that he is a broken man searching for salvation definitely did. He is swoon worthy to the max. Aideon is a soldier from Terrasen and cousin to Aelin. His loyalty and work to help bring back the people of Terrasen is uh-may-zing. The fact that he also works with Chaol and makes friends is a major chunk of points in his column.

SPEAKING OF CHAOL...Oh, Chaol. I love you. You are legit one of my most FAVORITE book boyfriends ever (yes, Alexa, I know you have dibs, just stay away from Z and we'll be fine) but you need to start manning up bro. Chaol is obviously also very upset with the loss of Celaena. It took him awhile to get back to that fierce Chaol I know and love but he did. His journey to stepping up and deciding what he was fighting for was realistic. While I was frustrated at points because I just wanted him to start kicking asses and taking names, that is not realistic in this world. I loved his internal struggle to choose what was right and what he wanted to fight for.

Dorian is a character that really surprised me in this installment. He is such a different person from the first book and his growth was exponential. Each book he gets better and better. I cannot tell you enough how much I loved reading him coming into his own. He starts to see the bigger picture of Adarlan and his father's endgame. He fights. He fights for what he wants. He fights for the good of his country. And he might even fight for love. Dorian is on his way to becoming the man he is meant to be. Inspiring is just the beginning of all the amazing adjectives I could use to describe him.

The fight for hope, a better world, a promise of tomorrow, and the overall sense of good is present throughout this entire series and this book does not disappoint. While it is heartbreaking to read, I really feel like we finally get a true sense of the depth of destruction the people of Terrasen and all the other lands went through because of the King of Adarlan. I knew it happened, obviously, but this book really showed me how deep the depravity of the king goes. Evil doesn't begin to cover it. My heart broke when reading certain scenes and the destruction involved...but we also have hope. There are two scenes in particular I can think of that I was just crying my eyes out from how tragically beautiful the moment was. People are starting to hope...and hope can be a dangerous thing...that's all I'll say about that.

Words really cannot do justice to what an amazing experience it was reading this book. This entire series is overflowing with intricacies of plot, complex human emotion, and the fire we have inside us all to make the world a better place. The subtle eloquence that is the writing of Sarah J. Maas continues to astound me in its ability to have my heart actually aching for the characters in this story and the world that surrounds them. I am not afraid to say this but while I was reading this book I couldn't help but make comparisons to Harry Potter because of how epic this story feels. This story feels bigger than the individual characters. This story is encompasses an entire world's fight for survival. While our main characters are obviously extremely important to the telling of the story, I feel like these books are about the greater good and how these characters play an important role in making this world better. Gah! It is seriously just SO inspiring. That is how much I love these books and believe in its message. This series is on the fast track to becoming the next Harry Potter phenomenon with its level of epic storytelling and underlying themes.

I cannot get over the overwhelming emotion I got while reading. The characters are so well-written that I feel a connection with all of them. And this world?! This world is built so well and because you love the characters so much, you are dying for this world to succeed and these characters to be okay. There are so many moments of love and beauty and understanding and forgiveness. Forgiveness stuck out as a huge theme to me. Celaena working through the hardest type of forgiveness...forgiving herself. Her journey trying to get back from rock bottom is not undergone lightly. It is a daily battle to try and find a reason that she is worthy. Chaol and Dorian are going through different struggles and I loved reading about them trying to work it out. They may or may not succeed but the effort is there and that's all you need to start. I cannot wait to see where this story goes. Infinite possibilities...



VIP
An AMAZING continuation of this series. I f'ing loves these books something fierce and I cannot...CANNOT wait until the next book and this one isn't even out yet. The characters, the world, the story, the writing, the hope...I love love love it all.