Category Archives: 4 star books

Lady Midnight

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

In a kingdom by the sea…

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

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabataiis 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?

I’m so conflicted!!!!!

hauntedduckprincess:  Monday so we’re back to tda! I’ve just finished Lady Midnight (I was deliberately reading reaaaally slowly - we have to wait another year:<) and omg so much feels!! I loove ruthless Julian and feel so bad for Kieran my poor babyT.T Jemma today! (8/30)   Emma and Jules:

On one hand, I’m so sick of the Shadowhunter world. It’s been done. The first series was SIX books long, and then The Infernal Devices series was three books long, and then there was the Magnus Bane chronicles full of short stories, and all of these were set in the same universe. Sure, maybe not the same timeline, but still. I’m over it.

Clare’s books are the kind where it takes me forever to get through them, and during it I just want it to end and I’m planning on giving it maybe three stars, but then it actually ends and all the feels hit me. And I’m not okay. (Or I read the series, don’t care for it, but then go back and read it again years later and fall in love. *coughWillcoughTessacoughJem*)

“I wasn’t planning on dumping Cameron. We were here, and he called, and his face showed up on my phone- well, actually a llama came up on my phone because I don’t actually have a picture of him so I just used a llama- and the llama made me so angry I just couldn’t help myself.”
“Bad time to be a llama.”
“Is there ever a good time, really?”

The Clave just needs to die a horrible and painful death, okay? I think we can all agree on that. There is so much freaking drama caused by the Clave (which is their government, so obviously that’s the case, but still) and it’s just getting ridiculous. At this point I can guess how the Clave is just going to come into any situation and eff everything up. It’s just a given.

I think my main issue with Clare’s books anymore is that they’re too freaking long. 698 pages, and it’s one of those taller books too. The only books I want to read that long are from Sarah J. Maas.

On the other hand, I love Clare’s characters. They’re so diverse and interesting. But sometimes I feel like she only gives the really, really heartbreaking parts to the male characters. I mean, sure, Emma’s parents were killed and the Clave brushed it off as Sebastian Morganstar’s victims and now she’s dedicated her life to finding the true murderer . . . but freaking Julian over here has not only had to kill his own father, lost both his older brother and sister because of a stupid law, has had to singlehandedly raise all of his younger siblings while pretending and lying to the Clave that all is peachy and good in the world, hide his feelings from Emma, who he has always loved and who he is forbidden to love, and also hold everything together with no one to take the burden away.

Okay. Yeah. Thanks. I see how it is.

I did like her characters, though. All of them. Mark really grew on me, as did Cristina. I had my doubts at the beginning, but it got better.

Not to mention all the freaking possible love interests going on. Emma and Julian. Emma and Mark. Cristina and Diego. Cristina and Mark. Mark and Kieran.

And many more to come!

Not to mention somehow half of these are going to either be frowned upon by the Clave in some way or another and/or be forbidden for more notorious reasons.

The drama just kinda gets to be too much at times.

“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”

hauntedduckprincess: “ Aren’t we forever? Not your regular fanart but the idea kinda stuck in my head;) (23/30) ”:

And can we talk about this whole oh-I-love-you-and-I-know-something-super-important-about-why-we-can’t-be-together-so-instead-of-telling-you-like-a-rational-human-being-I’m-going-to-be-awful-and-attempt-to-make-you-hate-me-and/or-fall-out-of-love-with-me trope? Yeah, thanks, but no thanks. We all know how that is going to turn out.

I’m so sick of it.

And yet I already know I’ll end up reading this whole series. And the next Shadowhunter series. And the next. And the next until Cassandra Clare either grows too bored of it or dies. That seems to be where it will finally end. And on Clare’s headstone it will have some cliffhanger ending to the last series that will just ruin us all.

black-hana:  Fanart about THE END OF LADY MIDNIGHT. I’m not really satisfied with it, but it’s the only thing I managed to draw lately, so… x) Hope you will like it more than I do ~   I do like it! :):

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Winter

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

So. Freaking. Long.

824 pages. 824 FREAKING PAGES. Too much, way too much.

The Lunar Chronicles by candy8496.deviantart.com on @deviantART:

“He laughed, like someone had stabbed him in the chest and he had no other choice but to find it amusing.”

The above reason is why this book lost a star for me. There were times when I just wanted the story to hurry up and get to the final battle against Levana. Unless you are JK Rowling or Sarah J. Maas, you are not allowing to make a book this long. 600 pages at max, please. Over 800 just gets to be way, way too much.

Besides that, this was a great conclusion. I would have preferred a little more Cress and Thorne action (both are still my favorites), but whatever.

I didn’t love Winter and Jacin as much as I was hoping. There was just something lacking about them . . .

I loved Cress. It’s my favorite of this series, followed by Scarlet. I’m not even a huge fan of this series as a whole, as it seems the whole YA book community is. It just never stuck with me as much.

I think there was too much going on at some points. Too many POVs.

That being said, I love the relationships in this book. The friendships are fantastic, but it felt like every other main character was being captured or tortured or freed or hunted back-to-back. It felt fast paced at first, but then as I got to about 40%, I was over it.

Half the time I was wondering why no one had just gotten a freakin’ rifle and set up outside the palace on Luna and taken a shot of the queen when she came outside, out of range of her mind control. Like, really. Go to Finland and get on of their best men who can use a rifle and get to it.

I appreciated the fairytale aspect of this whole series, however. It’s the definition of unique. But this book felt less about understanding the characters (new and old ones) and more about the action of the revolution. Which was fine, I guess, but it left me wanting something a little more.

Winter was interesting in that she was truly insane. There was no acting there. She was off her rocker, and all because she refused to use her Lunar gift, because she didn’t want to take the risk of hurting others by trying to do good.

"She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option." Winter Marissa Meyer Lunar Chronicles:

I enjoyed hers and Jacin’s romance because he’s willing to be as selfish as need be for her. Betray the queen for her? Yep. Fake her death to protect her? Of course. Take Winter away from the fight and go with her even if it means leaving behind everyone else? Obviously.

There’s something to be said about that kind of dedication.

I really enjoyed Iko here. I thought she was great in previous books, but she really stood out in this last book to me. Witty, funny, blunt . . .

But still . . . Cress and Thorne.

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES - CAPTAIN CARSWELL THORNE by Marissa Meyer“Captain,” she murmured.“I think I’m in love with you.”An eyebrow shot up. She counted six beats of his heart before, suddenly, he laughed.“Don’t tell me it took you two whole days to realize that. I must be losing my touch.”:

By far my favorites.

“You’re a good guy, Thorne.” She paused. “Well, you have your moments.”

I loved that Cress is still shy and awkward and not very brave, but if you put her in a situation in which she needs to do something, she’ll do it. She’s a nerd and a romantic who can’t hide her feelings to save her life, and I loved that about her.

I kinda wanted Cress to just slap Thorne during this book, because he was being all protective and stupid and flirting with every other girl except Cress, and she took that as him not seeing her as attractive at all.

Can’t say I blame her for that.

“A kiss from the Captain would probably melt my central processor.”
Thorne winked at her. “Oh trust me. It would.”

And he doesn’t think he deserves her, and anymore when a guy says he doesn’t think he deserves a girl, that’s telling me he really does. Because he thinks so much of her that he could never measure up.

But still. I wanted to slap some sense into him and just make them kiss already.

Cress and Thorne are from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer art by taratjah on deviant art:

Thorne is still his normal, cocky self. Which I loved. Obviously.

“Thorne scoffed. “Careful is my middle name. Right after Suave and Daring.”
“Do you even know what you’re saying half the time?” asked Cinder.”

I also enjoyed how Levana unraveled during this installment. How she became paranoid, scared because of the threat of Selene.

I probably should have felt a little bad for Levana since I know her whole past and everything and how she came to be the way she is, but I just don’t. She was at the point where you recognize her sad, sad story, but she’s done so many worse things that there’s not much more space for anything other than disgust.

Guess that’s why she’s the wicked queen, huh?

My Idea for the "Design a Sticker" Contest from Marissa Meyer :):

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A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

The first book of this series, A Darker Shade of Magic, was difficult to rate for me, since there were parts were I just couldn’t understand the choices some of the characters make. This sequel, however, was perfection.

A darker shade of magic // a gathering of shadows // Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard // THESE DRAWINGS ARE AMAZING AND PERFECT:

“She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.”

Obviously, I enjoyed this sequel much more than the first book. Mostly, this had to do with Lila.

In the first book, she’s everything I’d want in a heroine: sassy, cutthroat, out for her own well-being and survival, and isn’t about to make choices based on a guy . . . or anyone for that matter.

But I never really connected with her. Not sure why, but there just was never that spark that made me actually care about her.

That changed here. I felt this book was more about Lila and her crazy adventures and how even though she may not always think things through, she’s smart and clever enough to get herself out of any situation than it was about Kell.

Don’t get me wrong – Kell is still a major player in all this. I’d be very disappointed if he wasn’t.  However, this was more about Kell and Rhy’s relationship after what happened in the last book. It’s about their demons and their friendship, and how one is a blood-born prince and the other is not. It’s about how happiness is not all about having people at home waiting for you or having a hot meal always in front of you.

I was very glad to see how Kell grew up in this book. He understands the consequences for his choices in the last book, for smuggling items over into the different Londons and for putting the whole of Red London in danger.

But that wasn’t all on Kell. Some things were going to happen no matter the choices Kell made, and Rhy is also responsible for a lot that went on, the danger to Red London.

“Why are you defending her?” he snapped, rounding on his brother. “Why am I the only one in this fucking world to be held accountable for my actions?”

But while Kell is the most powerful magician left in any of the Londons, he is not a prince. Not by birth. He may have been raised in a castle and grown up the same way Rhy did, but it is made abundantly clear in this book where he stands.

For a while, Kell takes it. He did wrong; he understand’s the king and queen’s consequences. But Kell is not an ordinary boy who can be tied to a castle. There is no way to ensure his imprisonment – however lavish it may be – and it’s time the kind and queen understood that.

I loved Kell’s growth here. It takes a while, but ultimately he cannot be an beacon of power for the king to flaunt around while also keeping him on a tight leash.

Lila makes a lot of decisions here that had me amazed, both for their stupidity and for their ruthlessness. It’s not that she’s so smug in her power or strength, but just that she is physically incapable to not take the highest risks possible. She completely understands that she will likely be hurt and may actually die, but she can’t not be the way she is.

“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”

There’s something amazing about that.

We get to see much more of Rhy here, which I was glad for. I thought he was interesting in the first book, and I did want more of him and his past in this book, which is what we got.

Alucard was a very interesting character. He’s both sly and theatrical, hurt and admiring. He surprised me more than once.

Plus, he’s a pirate.

(Well, a privateer. Really, who cares?)

I love Kell and Lila’s relationship. This book is scarce on any romance. I think there may be one or two scenes, tops. And I loved that. Even though Lila and Kell don’t meet up again until nearly the end of the book, both are still present in each other’s lives in other ways.

“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”
“Be quiet.”
“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”

I especially love that Lila’s the one who rushes headfirst into danger and is the ruthless one, while Kell is the one telling everyone to wait, let’s all make a plan, Lila, no, stop, Lila . . .

Doodling in the Margins on Tumblr : A summary of A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab:

Lila doesn’t ever give herself a limit. She’s traveled from Gray London to Red London to White London, taken on queens, faced down magic she’d never seen before, and lived to tell about it. So if she wants to become as powerful as Kell and as rich as a king, then by God, she’s gonna do just that.

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Broken Crowns

Broken Crowns (The Internment Chronicles, #3)

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

War rages everywhere and Morgan is caught in the middle in the haunting conclusion of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

The city is falling out of the sky…

Morgan always thought it was just a saying. A metaphor. The words of the dying. But as they look up at the floating island that was their home, Pen and Morgan make a horrible discovery—Internment is sinking.

And it’s all Morgan’s fault.

Corrupted from the inside by one terrible king and assailed from the outside for precious resources by another, Internment could be destroyed because Morgan couldn’t keep a secret. As two wars become one, Morgan must find a way to bring her two worlds together to stop the kings that wage them…

Or face the furthest fall yet.

Whenever I finish a book/series, I have this habit of reading other people’s reviews after I finish it. This is partly because now that I know what happens and cannot be spoiled, I want to read why people both did/did not like the book/series, and be able to read their points and arguments and possibly counter them in my own review, and partly because I’m super nosy.

This is one of those times where I look at this book and read not-so-great reviews, and just have to wholeheartedly disagree.

I loved this series. The second book left something to be desired – honestly I can’t even really remember it – but the first book – that glorious first book of the series with that original beautiful, perfect cover (that I also own, thank goodness) – inspired me. In every way.

Even reading this last book of the series, I have to say this is one of those few books that I read, and I get so submersed in the plot and characters that I just have this itch to go write something myself.

And this – this storyline, these beautiful characters that could not be 2-D if they tried.

A city in the sky? A train around the edge, jumpers who have tried to get to the ground but have become mutilated or dead in their attempts, betrothed matches given out like offerings whenever someone is born?

laputa

It’s so hard to find characters that can fist their hands around my heart and pull like Pen and Morgan can. With their secrets and whispers to each other, this unabashed love between them, that may not shield them from hurting each other and maybe even betraying each other with the best of intentions meant, but a love that can surpass that without girlish jealously and forgiveness. There would never be someone else – no boy or anyone else – would would come before the other.

DeStefano has this way of making characters that are charming and lovely in their own way, and it would be enough as they are, but then something is subtlety snuck in.

Morgan, with her faked persona of never toeing the lines of Internment, never stepping out of line or being anything other than ordinary, but keeping hopes high and dreams large.

“I do question everything. But I want to have my questions. I want to have more thoughts than my mind can hold, so many that I have to write them in fragments like a madman.”

Pen, with her genius mind and blunt attitude and hurt past. Who only wants something safe and calm and reliable, but is too scared to take what may be so plainly offered.

Even though both girls have their betrothals – Basil for Morgan, Thomas for Pen – neither hate their match. It had been destined since they were born that they would marry that specific person.

And when they get to the ground below and suddenly they don’t have to marry that one specific person, what choice do they make? They’ve always been with this one person who has been destined to be their match, and even if they’ve not been romantic with each other, they’ve been friends. They’ve accepted they’ll marry and eventually have children together, and that was never an unhappy thought.

But now they have the choice.

I love that DeStefano didn’t make this series into a love triangle. Judas plays a role in the first book, somewhat in the second, and then I think he had all of a couple of lines in the last book. He wasn’t in the series to be a part of a triangle; he was there to be part of the catalyst to get them all to the ground, and then to be a part of Morgan’s life in showing her that even though he’s something different, something a bit mysterious, she’ll always love Basil, with or without someone telling her he’s her perfect match.

And the romance doesn’t even play all that much of a role in the series. The reason I love Morgan and Basil so much together is that even though they’re in love with each other – have always been in love with each other – they’re best friends first.

Basil has no desire at any point to tell Morgan what to do, or dissuade her from doing things her way. And when Morgan makes a mistake, he might be upset, but he never leaves her. Never tells her he needs room. He’s her best friend first, and if Morgan suddenly tells him she’s going to go journey across the world, he’ll say okay and decide if he wants to come with her or not. But either way, they love each other.

Pen might be one of my favorite female characters of all time. She’s sassy and blunt and has a mind eager to learn everything. So often I read about these female characters who favorite pastime is painting or drawing, and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I love seeing Pen, who’s perfect at painting but who also loves physics and math and learning absolutely everything. She has an engineer’s mind.

“A girl should never stop thinking,” she says. “Otherwise we’ll become what our world thinks of us.”

Add into that that all these characters somehow has these very subtle layers underneath them. There may not be some great backstory about them, but there’s enough added in to get the picture.

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The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)

Rating: 4 Star

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

This was lovely. When I first heard about this through Goodreads, I was so excited. This kind of theme is right up my alley. But then I read some other poor reviews, and I lost some hope in it.

But, oh, this is one of those magical times (no pun intended) when I disagree with everyone else who ever said a word against this book, because I adored it. Absolutely adored it, loved it, craved it, devoured it, etc, etc, . . .

.The Paper Magician: fantastic book series:

I loved Ceony (cool name, right?). She was just plan awesome, who, yeah, at the beginning was a little bit of a brat, but got over herself within a chapter. To be fair, she had reason to be a bit of a brat, because how the heck would anyone feel when they had their hope set on becoming a metal magician and went to this overpriced, extremely difficult school to be able to do just that, and even have the highest marks in her class, and then be told her choice was being taken away and she was being assigned to become a paper magician. And if she doesn’t want to become a paper magician, well then too bad, because it’s either that or no magic for her. And once she’s bonded to paper, she will never be able to bond to any other kind of magic, steel or otherwise.

So, yeah, I think her being a little bratty at the beginning is fair. And she gets over it quite quick, with the reasoning that she still just wants to learn all about magic, paper or otherwise. This has been her dream, and she’s not giving it up so easily.

Her trainer, Mg. Thane, is also kind of . . . crooked. He’s likely one tablespoon away from crazy, but in the best way. And Ceony kind of takes over his home, cooking for him, making sure he doesn’t stay huddled away in his office forever. She reminds him to be human, and in exchange, he teaches her how to read words on a page and quite literally make the story come alive, to be able to fold a paper frog and make it come to life, and to tell someone’s future through paper.

Paper magic isn’t all that bad.

“But she still had time. Surely she still had time. Stories like this weren’t meant to end badly.” ~The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg:

But then Mg. Thane is almost killed, and Ceony basically says, Screw that, and goes to retrieve his heart.

And that isn’t some metaphor for his love or whatever – she literally has to  go retrieve his heart before the paper heart she made for him wears out.

Excisioners – blood magicians – are killers. Their magic literally relies on the death of others, and that’s exactly who Ceony has to go and retrieve Mg. Thane’s heart from. Go figure.

Not only that, but the Excisioner who stole Mg. Thane’s heart is his ex-wife. And she’s more than a little mad.

And so Ceony quite literally gets sucked into Mg. Thane’s heart and has to navigate through all his fears, dreams, desires, etc., while watching his past memories and hopes and dreams playing out as his ex-wife follows her, trying to kill her before she makes it to the end.

“Remember that you are much different now than you were an hour ago, Ceony. Before you merely read about magic; now you have it. Denying it won’t make you return to ordinary.”

Add into that that parts of Mg. Thane’s heart are very dark, and there may be parts of him that try to stop Ceony, to play on all her worst fears and desires because she is stuck in the misery part of his heart, and misery loves nothing more than company.

I felt like I was fangirling the whole time I was reading this. It was just so adorable at parts, because Ceony is so bold and Mg. Thane is so crazy and insane and too quirky for his own good (undoubtedly a side-effect of living too long by himself in a house literally crammed full of paper objects and animals which come alive at a whim . . . and also having an insane ex-wife too, probably).

“Perhaps the man wasn’t so mad after all. Or maybe it’s a madness that I can learn to appreciate.”  

Some might say this has a bit of insta-love in it, but I disagree. While a part of my mind was saying that the romance was processing a little too quickly for my taste, at the same time I felt like I completely understood where it was coming from and how it happened. It didn’t feel over embellished or ridiculous. It kind of felt like a Pride and Prejudice kind of love or a Jane Eyre kind of romance.

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Carry On

Carry On

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

The most common sentiment about this novel is that this is like a Harry Potter fanfic with HarryxDraco.

This is a completely accurate sentiment.

And I loved every bit of it.

If you know me, you know that I’m obsessed with Rainbow Rowell. I think it would take quite a bit for me to give one of her books a bad review. Particually, I love her novel Fangirl. And if you’ve read Fangirl, then you know that Cath, the main character, is obsessed with the Simon Snow series, which is basically a fanfiction version of Harry Potter. Cath writes Simon Snow fanfiction and is darn good at it. And now, Ms. Rowell made all my dreams come true and wrote an actual book based on Cath’s version of Simon Snow.

I loved everything about this. It was a little slow at the beginning for me, but that didn’t stop me from reading this book in one day. I ripped through this sucker. I ate it. I inhaled it.

fanbows:  Simon/Baz Carry On, Rainbow Rowell:

Firstly, I loved the cast of characters. Of course, you can’t read this book without thinking about Harry Potter – I mean, this is a book about a magic school in England and a chosen boy – Simon Snow – who has been prophesized to defeat a great evil. And Simon and his gang go on adventures all the years they’re at this magical school to defeat evil beings from stealing their magic.

“Just when you think you’re having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.”  

Sound familiar anyone?

But I didn’t mind this. Of course I love Harry Potter (who doesn’t?), but that had nothing to do with my love of this novel.

I loved this because I found Simon adorable, if a bit thick at times (but in an adorable and hug-worthy manner, of course) and Baz hilarious and very loveable, despite the fact that if anyone ever said that to him he would probably bite their face off . . . literally.

I loved Baz’s swagger. Yes, I do mean swag. That boy has it.

“I am going to die kissing Simon Snow. Aleister Crowley, I’m living a charmed life.”  

Baz is so utterly confident and vicious and sarcastic and I loved everything about this boy. I loved that I saw a bit of Draco in him, because personally I’ve always loved Draco, despite his crap decisions, because if you want to get right down to it, Draco sure as heck didn’t have a lot of good choices to begin with.

Baz was born a villain. Born into one of the highest Families there is and expecting to defeat and kill Simon Snow for no other reason that he is the Mage’s Heir and he is seen as the personification of all things good. It’s not actually a question of if he wants to kill Simon . . . but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s complaining about it either.

For a moment – not even a moment, a split second – I imagine him saying, “The truth is, I’m desperately attracted to you.” And then I imagine myself spitting in his face. And then I imagine licking it off his cheek and kissing him. (Because I’m disturbed. Ask Anyone.)

Baz isn’t trying to be good. He doesn’t want to be good. It’s not a question of if he can prevent Simon’s or his own death – he knows he can’t. But he’d like to get to the point where maybe the day they actually face off for the last time, neither would actually be trying to kill the other because they want to, but just because they have to. That’s all he wants.

And while Baz is confident in his prideful, swaggy way, Simon is just as confident. He’s not shy about anything.

Simon is confident he’s not the “chosen one.” He has too much magick in him, and none of it good. He can’t control it.

Both boys are playing roles that were decided for them both long before either was born. And neither can really do anything about it. Sure, they may have choices – Baz could leave his powerful family in their cold castle and Simon could tell the Mage to suck it, but doing either of those things won’t really help anything, not when there are places all over England loosing magick.

There are always choices, but neither Simon nor Baz have any good ones between them.

Simon and Baz from Simon Snow from Fangirl, the fandom within a fandom:

Personally, I would have loved more from this book. I’d love for a sequel, especially after that ending. I would have loved to go more in depth for Penelope and Agatha. Because one thing I can say about Rainbow Rowell is that she doesn’t create background characters.

Penelope is basically Hermione. And Agatha may seem to be the spoiled, beautiful girl who doesn’t know what she wants, but she’s also the girl who wants to break away from magick and live a Normal life, because that’s just the one she prefers. She, too, has been placed in a role – a role next to Simon Snow, because she and he look so perfect together that no one could ever think they weren’t made for each other – and doesn’t really know how to break free from it.

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The Iron Warrior

The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #3)

*I received a Goodreads first-reads ARC of this novel. In no way has this influenced or changed my opinion of this novel.*

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.

He killed me.

Then, I woke up.

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind’s glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.

Leading the Lady’s Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan’s nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan’s enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.

I’ve been a long standing fan and avid reader of all things Julie Kagawa. I have read every book of hers to date, and I will continue to read every book she puts forth.

Especially when I have work to do.:

I remember I was only beginning high school when I first heard about her Iron Fey series. The Iron King was something I’d stumbled upon on Amazon (this was before my time of Goodreads, terror at the thought), and after reading the synopsis, I knew it must be mine.

And so, I searched many, many bookstores in my tiny little town of Shreveport, Louisiana (where I no longer live, thank God). I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was so determined and so disappointed, I remember, and I was just about to order it off of Amazon when I went out of town with my family and finally found it in this little, about to run out of business bookstore.

I was so excited, it wasn’t even funny.

And then I read it in one day. And then I wanted moorrrreeee.

But, alas, Ms. Kagawa had not published the sequel yet, and I was amazingly unhappy. No one had heard of her by this time and I had not yet found the wonder that is Goodreads, and so I was alone in my stupor, waiting for the sequel to come out many months later.

You can guess how I was when the sequel did finally come out.

I loved the Iron Fey series with Meghan, Ash, and Puck. But, I will admit, I loved Puck the most (sorry, not sorry, Ash).

♡Teens dictionary♡ hunger games peeta ahhhhh divergent four :) the iron fey Puck the infernal devices Will and Jem the mortal instruments Jace my babe:

I’ve inhaled every Iron Fey book Ms. Kagawa has come out with in the meantime, and I was originally weary when I found out about her continuing the series through Ethan’s eyes, but I was not disappointed.

While Ethan and his gang will never compare to the original cast of Meghan, Ash, and (swoon worthy) Puck, I enjoyed them quite a lot. But, mostly, I loved this world.

And that was the selling factor for me. Some authors’ strong suit is character development, and while Ms. Kagawa has quite a lot of that, more than anything her strength relies on her scenery and worldly development. Everything is detailed, but not overly so. Never was I bored when reading about the Nevernever or the Between or any other aspect of it.

The stories are journeys. That’s really the reason I love these books so much (that and Puck).

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa Quote “Me? Die? Didn't they tell you, princess? I'm Robin Goodfellow.” - Ahh, Puck Quote :):

So I’ll always take whatever characters if that means I get another glimpse into this fearie world. This conclusion was fantastic, and I got so many more glimpses into the Nevernever and the Between, from an insane carnival with bloodthirsty clowns to a bleak land of darkness and Forgotten. Everything is just so original.

My heart ached at all the right places, and one thing I have to also give Ms. Kagawa credit for is not shying away from angst-y or somewhat sad conclusions for characters, because it’s very real. Sometimes people die and there is not some wonderful, impossible magic to bring them back at the last minute, sometimes people don’t always end up together, but end up alone, and sometimes the right thing to do is not always the best thing to do.

I suppose any real complaint I have about this series would be that I would have liked more time with the original cast (especially Puck). I loved seeing Momma Meghan and Papa Ash and Trickster/Crazy-fey-uncle-that-sometimes-gives-the-prince’s-Momma-and-Papa-a-heart-attack Puck.

I do hope there is another series in this world, but this time I would love nothing more than to see Puck get his happy ending. That man has been alone for too long.

jennifer lawrence katniss everdeen cake hunger games flawless

(Sorry, not sorry – I had to.)

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