Author: Arielle (page 1 of 6)

BOOK REVIEW: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

BOOK REVIEW: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J MaasTower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)
by Sarah J. Maas
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Review:

The Lord now in front of Chaol’s name was a mockery. A mockery and a lie that Dorian had refused to abandon despite Chaol’s protests. Lord Chaol Westfall, Hand of the King. He hated it. More than the sound of wheels. More than the body he now could not feel beneath his hips, the body whose stillness still surprised him, even all these weeks later. He was Lord of Nothing. Lord of Oath-Breakers. Lord of Liars.

Well this is going to be one huge mess of a review I can already tell….The reason for this, you see, is that Chaol has been one of my favorite characters from the very moment we were first introduced to him in Throne of Glass. We’ve seen him as a tough and utterly loyal captain of the guard who saw that there was no reason Dorian should be trusting this dangerous assassin in their castle, to a young man falling in love with said assassin, to a shattered character who seemed utterly lost with only a sliver of hope that he could redeem himself and all that he’d done. So many people were so mad at Maas with how Chaol’s character was portrayed in Queen of Shadows and while I was ~disappointed~, I knew that characters go down certain paths for certain reasons that only their creator would know about. When I found out that we were getting more than just a novella about him, I was so excited. I just felt like we deserved to delve deeper into who he is as a character and hopefully see some growth and healing along the way.

Sartaq whispered in Nesryn’s ear, “I was praying to the Eternal Sky and all thirty-six gods that you’d say yes.” She smiled, even if he couldn’t see it.
“So was I,” Nesryn breathed, and they leaped into the skies.

BOY DID WE EVER. Holy cow I was blown away by the care and consideration Maas put into the journey that my Chaol went through in this book. For those of you worried about him being in a chair and him being “fixed” by being able to walk in the end—have no fear. 

I loved that Chaol’s journey to healing emotionally ran parallel with Yrene’s healing of his legs BUT that in the end, his emotional journey was what really mattered. View Spoiler » Even though I can’t say that my legs have ever been impaired, I just hope that this is a good representation of acceptance and that people who struggle with having to use a cane, or brace, or walker will take heart with this story. And that people who DON’T struggle to walk (or with any disability) will realize how important it is to take a chance to understand what other people are going through and to help them know how strong they are. I hope that makes sense. I just felt like Maas did a really great job here and my heart was so full by the end of the book.

Yrene was smiling, and then she was laughing, as if she could not contain it inside her. Chaol thought it was the most beautiful sound he’d ever heard. And that this moment, flying together over the sands, devouring the desert wind, her hair a golden-brown banner behind her … Chaol felt, perhaps for the first time, as if he was awake. And he was grateful, right down to his very bones, for it.

Overall this book, despite the heave themes of healing and accepting oneself, was a breath of fresh air. I didn’t realize how much I needed less Aelin and Rowan drama until I read a book that they weren’t in. DON’T GET ME WRONG, I love this entire series so much BUT I also feel like Empire of Storms was a clusterfuck of scheming and drama and craziness that actually made me want to not give it five stars at all.

Was there scheming and intrigue in this book? Yes. But, Chaol and Nesryn have always been two of the most no-nonsense people of this entire series so it stands to reason that I would like a book in which they are two of the main voices, a lot.

ANDDDD all of the new characters. And all of the Southern Continent. AND THE SHIPS. You guyssssss. View Spoiler »So many new amazing ones. Looooove love love Borte and Sartaq the best out of everyone else we’ve met in this book. And obviously loved when Chaol realized who had written the note for Yrene muahaha.

He could still speak with dignity and command whether he stood on his feet or was laid flat on his back. The chair was no prison, nothing that made him lesser.

Basically this book was just…soo good. All of the new things we learned too. You CAN’T skip this. No way. Like I got to the end and all I could think about was how much Maas has grown as a writer. There was nothing about this book that I didn’t like. And I loved what she added to the overall scheme of how the war will play out too, omg.

Not even going to get into the last Fireheart chapter……all I will say is that even if you didn’t like the direction of Chaol’s character in Queen of Shadows, please read this book. He deserves it. ♥

P.S. I freaking KNEW that owl with Maeve in Dornelle was going to be important. I need to know who the hell it is. I feel like that’s not really a spoiler that it’s mentioned because…if you had been paying attention in Heir of fire you would have already been suspicious from the beginning like me….any theories?

BOOK REVIEW: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J Maas

BOOK REVIEW: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J MaasEmpire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she's to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Review:

*Leans back, cracks knuckles, thinks to myself ‘MUAHAHA THESE GUYS HAVE NEVER READ ANY OF MY MAAS REVIEWS YET’*

I’m sorry, I really am because up until now you’ve probably all thought that I was pretty normal.  I think I’ve fangirled mildly in my previous reviews but honestly, nothing brings out my inner book-fangirl-freak than reading a Sarah J Maas book, lol.  So sit back and enjoy as I reread the final two books in this series before Kingdom of Ash comes out on the 23rd and life as I know it ceases to exist.  Also I apologize in advance for the swearing but I was freaking out when I wrote this and didn’t want to change it and also there are probably some spoilers so if you haven’t read this yet, AVOID, AVOID, AVOID.

“Men can make their own light, Heir of Brannon.” 

I am speechless…No. No that’s not right. I actually have a lot to say. Because this book was even crazier and longer than QOS. It’s just hard to know where to even start. I finished this book late last night and afterwards I just lay there in a puddle of tears wondering how in the F that Maas has continuously done what she has done. Even though I have never been a write, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t my dream to become an author of a YA series of this caliber someday….but there is no way in hell I could ever craft something like this. The plots were INSANE. Like I’ve read enough YA, and even enough of Maas’ books to start to recognize when she leaves a clue here of there….but there were still so many things at the end that had my jaw dropping. 

Rolfe let out a low laugh. “The talk of young idealists and dreamers.” 
“The world,”
 Aelin said, “will be saved and remade by the dreamers, Rolfe.”

I might as well start with the girl that started it all. . .Aelin. Can I just say that about halfway through this book I just took a break and thought about how far this series has come from book one. Seriously, if you singularly read book one, it’s a story of a broken, girl assassin who loves chocolate and pretty things and can be wicked when she wants to be but is a good friend to Nehemia, Dorian, and Chaol despite everything that has happened to her in her past. THIS BOOK. This good features a grown-ass-woman who has more power than fucking Maeve, Queen of Darkness. I actually am really glad that she still gets to play Celaena every now and then because let’s face it, a lot of us fell in love with this series because of Celaena. Aelin on the other hand is something else entirely to behold. There were times in this book where I really wanted to put a boot up her ass. She is STILL, CONSTANTLY hiding her schemes from everyone (especially us as readers) and that pissed me off at certain points…until that ending. Honestly every single thing that she did in this book that annoyed me was made up for at that ending. It all made sense. It made everything that much more heartbreaking, too. Aelin is the Queen that Terrasen needs and deserves (so fuck you, Darrow).

And then Aelin said to Rowan with a secret smile, “You, I don’t know. But I’d like to.”

These two a-holes. Man. If any of you have read my previous reviews, you know that I was a DIEHARD Chaolena shipper. My heart bled for them, and was shattered to pieces at the beginning of QoS. HOWEVER. I think I knew in my heart by the end of HoF that Rowan and she were endgame. As much as I love my Chaol, he is in no way good for Aelin whereas Rowan is her complete equal. I actually think it’s pretty funny because a lot of people are saying that they didn’t like the couple as much in this book as others…where I finally let myself love them together and thought that what they had was great. It was a little two sweet at times but come on, she deserves all that and more. (BTW for all of you who read ACOMAF, wasn’t it obvious that they were mates??!?! I didn’t get why they weren’t admitting it until the end but when everyone was all surprised by it?? How?)

“The useless sentries in the watchtower are now all half in love with you,” he lied. “One said he wanted to marry you.” A low snarl. He yielded a foot but held eye contact with her as he grinned. “But you know what I told them? I said that they didn’t stand a chance in hell.” Aedion lowered his voice, holding her pained, exhausted stare. “Because I am going to marry you,” he promised her. “One day. I am going to marry you. I’ll be generous and let you pick when, even if it’s ten years from now. Or twenty. But one day, you are going to be my wife.”

Speaking of ships….this book was full of them. It was unreal. I am loving the slow burn that is Lysandra and Aedion…and that quote up there ^…I just about died. Manon and Dorian—sign me up. To all of you out there that are pissed about it, I get it. Really I do. BUT. You have to remember, Dorian and Manon are both different for very specific reasons. Dorian had a Valg prince inside him for months—he was bound to get a big darker. And Manon. Manon has found out that her whole life has been a lie. She’s a fucking View Spoiler ». She’s bound to become a little less dark, herself. The only ship that I am not fully convinced with yet is Lorcan and Elide. I love, love, loved Elide in this book, and the time she spent with him was enjoyable to read but…I just don’t know yet.

“I think love should make you happy,” Elide said, remembering her mother and father. How often they had smiled and laughed, how they had gazed at each other. “It should make you into the best possible version of yourself.”

Character development. I honestly think the character development in this book is one of my favorite things about it. I loved seeing Dorian’s darker side, I loved seeing everything that Manon has become and the hope that she now has, and I loved reading every single page that featured Elide and Lysandra. Lysandra especially has become everything. Man she saved all of their asses so many times…she deserves the entire world. And Elide too. Her entire journey to find Aelin was filled with so much growth. I was so proud of the bravery she showed the closer and closer she got to her Queen and was so damn happy when Aelin finally got to relay her the message from her mother. Man, that slayed me. I was also so happy Aedion got to meet his father and Fenrys wasn’t a bad addition either…(BUT HIS WINNOWING??!?!? I NEED MORE ON THIS) 

Scions—each of them touched by a different god, each of them subtly, quietly, guided here. It wasn’t a coincidence. It couldn’t be. 

Plot: This was the one part of the book where I had a few problems with, and it kind of goes back to what I said earlier about how this series has transformed from book one to…this. It’s not that I don’t like it—really I do…it’s just that there were times where I was thinking that it was too much. Too many threads (all of which seem to actually come together, but still) and too many people who keep becoming important. And with Maas, you know that there is always that some else hidden that you find out in the next book. While I wouldn’t actually change anything about this series, I just think that it’s all a lot to take it. Also….these ACOMAF parallels are making me MIGHTY SUSPICIOUS. Winnowing, similar quotes, TALK OF WYRD GATES??!?!? Maas help us all.

That cocky smile widened. “Hello, bitch,” Ansel purred. “Hello, traitor,”Aelin purred right back, surveying the armada spread before them.“Looks like you made it on time after all.”

Ending. View Spoiler »

“It is not such a hard thing, is it—to die for your friends.”

BOOK REVIEW: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

BOOK REVIEW: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina LaurenMy Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author that “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly) comes a sexy romantic comedy about online dating, and its many, many fails.

With a world-famous speaker at their university, Millie Morris and her four woefully single male colleagues make a pact that they’ll all find dates. Unfortunately, Millie has more success helping them make matches online than she does navigating the onslaught of lewd pics in her own feed. But when she creates a fictional name for a new account, Millie finds herself vying for the online attention of a man she sees every day in the flesh.

The fact that I have been able to read THREE new books by Christina Lauren (and fall in love with each) just this year makes my heart incredibly happy.   And, the fact that I was able to get Chelsea to read both of their newest books (and also love them) makes me even happier!  Once again, the main couple was very easy to fall in love with along with their group of friends. Oh. My. Gosh. I adore when a book or series has a group of secondary characters that you end up loving just as much as the main characters. Ed, Chris, and Alex were so funny and likeable that I wouldn’t have minded if each of them had gotten their own book, tbh! Along those lines, can we just talk about how amazing the banter was in this book (and let’s face it—is in all of their books)?! I was cackling out loud to myself on multiple occasions. My husband kept having to ask me why and then I would annoy him by saying “oh nothing, just this book I’m reading.” Sorryyyyyy, Kyle! lol

The only thing that had me initially worried was the trope of one of the MCs lying about ~something~ and then the fallout that is sure to follow when the truth comes out (I’ve read a few where the MC gets pregnant and doesn’t tell the guy about it right away, or a few others that were similar and deal with weird online secrets). Depending on how big the blowup is, and how it’s resolved really impacts my view of the book drastically. It if isn’t handled well, it could take what was a five star book down to a three. It’s happened enough before that when I run into a book that has a similar situation, I get extremely nervous.

Judging by my rating I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that I was okay with how things panned out. Millie got herself into a bit of a tricky situation but it was one that was understandable. Her mom died when she was fairly young so she basically had to help raise her sister. Because her father kind of withdrew and she had to mature a lot faster than any child should, she got used to suppressing her feelings. She kept them deep inside because who was she going to tell her problems to? Not her barely-keeping-afloat dad or baby sister that’s for sure. All of those years of keeping quiet led to an adult who still couldn’t talking about feelings. After she made her profile in IRL she found that she could suddenly express things that she had never been able to before, ironically enough, in real life. Of course by the end of the book she learns from her mistake and has her HEA. OF COURSE. And Reid. BBF material x100.

~Also, you better believe I have a TON of quotes to add later on.

Huge thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken

BOOK REVIEW: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra BrackenIn the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
by Alexandra Bracken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

“Are you sure this isn’t a nightmare?” he asked quietly. “And that we won’t just wake up?” I stared ahead at the road, the way the dust blowing in from the desert covered it with a faint golden sheen even as gray clouds began to gather over us.
“Yes,” I said after some time. “Because dreamers always wake up and leave their monsters behind.”

Do you guys ever just start reading a book and get so swept up that it consumes you until you’ve gobbled up every last word? Well that’s what happened to me these past few days as I’ve reread Never Fade and In the Afterlight. There’s something about certain YA books that really affects me. It’s not that I haven’t found other books that I’ve loved or have made me feel things, it’s just that none of them have reached in and grabbed my very heart and soul like those special YA ones I’ve found. This series and these characters will always be a prime example of this.

I read these for the first time a while ago, probably shortly after they came out, and the first time around I really wasn’t sure how to feel about this book. I mean, the ending was intense but when I started it this time, my expectations were a little lower because I remembered the problems that I had with it earlier. I don’t know what it was about this time around but it had me clinging to every word like I depended upon them to breathe fully. Like I started even looking forward to when I would have to feed my daughter in the middle of the night because it meant that since I was already awake, I might as well get some reading in.

This whole time, from the moment we met, he’d been waiting for me to realize he’d known me all along, and he had never once wanted me to change.

Mind you, I still recognized those same problems I had the first time around—not much at all happened for the first, oh 75% of the book, Ruby was being a pain in the ass, Liam was being a pain the in ass, COLE was being a pain in the ass…that list kind of goes on and on, lol. I can see how some people didn’t like this because of those reasons…but. But. The ending. The ending that had my heart pounding and had me crying—again—even though this time around I knew exactly what was going to happen.

It might be because this, to me, is a dystopian plot that is the most realistic of any that I have read. I mean come on..it starts out with the threat of chemical warfare and spirals when our government tries combating that by adding a substance to the water that ended up causing a mutation in kids. And to top it off, the very government that made the decision to put said substance in the water without telling ANYONE is the same one that builds the camps, keeps the kids there for “rehabilitation,” say that the outside world hasn’t send aid because they gave up on the people of the United States (even though they have sent rations, medicine, etc.), and whatever other shitty thing they did to cause the wreck the country became. Like that just doesn’t even seen close to out of the realm of possibility.

Another reason these books are so addicting is that the characters are so real. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it for about a day now and I think that Ruby might seriously be my favorite female (or at least top five) character of all time. Her character arc in this series is INCREDIBLE. She starts off as a meek, timid girl and winds up being the person responsible for shutting the camps down. Yes she had help but let’s face it, it wouldn’t have happened without her. She makes mistakes and I got so pissed at her time and time again in this book for thinking she wasn’t good enough or not confiding in Liam because she thought he couldn’t handle it but…that’s so human. She’s SEVENTEEN and has never actually been able to be a teen but she is still allowed to act like one from time to time.

I could go on and one for several more pages about everyone else but I’ll just say that Liam is a sweet cinnamon roll who is literally too good for this earth (he’s also hands down in my top five BBFs), I was heartbroken over (view spoiler), elated at Zu’s first words, and cracking up over Vida and Chubs’ banter/relationship, and felt so wildly giddy when Ruby was reunited with Sam and got the hell out of that camp. It honestly gave me the goosebumps when she was begging Liam, Harry, and Vida to help her walk out because after all she’d been through, she needed to walk out on her own two legs. And she did.

It rained the day they brought us to Thurmond.
And it rained the day I walked out.

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
by Alexandra Bracken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

It rained the day they brought us to Thurmond, and it went on to rain straight through the week, and the week after that.

A few weeks ago I picked up the fourth book in this series, The Darkest Legacy. After reading it and remembering how good Bracken’s writing was, I decided I needed to reread the original trilogy. I had missed a world with Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Vida, and Zu.

That girl was gone forever, and all that was left was a product of the place that had taught her to fear the bright things inside of her heart.

The thing that I love about this series so much is how unique of a premise it is. In an America that we are familiar with geographically and historically, a new virus spreads. It affects younger kids; leaving them dead or with certain powers. Once the government realizes how dangerous the ones who have been left alive could be, they build camps. Horrible, horrible camps for these children to live in. The general public think that their children are being “reformed”—that they will someday comeback to them normal. If only they knew. Because such a huge chunk of the population was affected by this virus, the country is essentially in chaos and on the brink of collapsing entirely.

“Time to carpe the hell out of this diem.” 

Ruby is the first main character that the reader is acquainted with. We are with her as she is taken to the camp, broken out of the camp, and as she meets up with Liam, Zu, and Chubs. While I have seen a lot of people on this site who dislike Ruby, I couldn’t disagree more. She starts out as a weak character, yes, but she grows. I think part of the reason that I love her so much is that I can relate to her. Growing up, I was always a follower—not a leader. I had a strong willed best friend that I kind of hid behind, just as Ruby had Sam in the camp. I kept my head down and let her do all the talking. However, once Ruby got out of the camp and came to be with the Black Betty gang, she gained a purpose and started to become brave. Now I am a wimp…for the most part. If you stuck me in a dystopian world, I would most likely die pretty quickly. However, me being the eldest in my family, if I was in said dystopian world with my siblings, I would leave the follower attitude behind and do whatever the fuck I needed to to keep my family alive. And I think this is Ruby. This is how she operates and it is why I understand her and empathize with her character.

“Did you know…you make me so happy that sometimes I actually forget to breathe? I’ll be looking at your, and my chest will get so tight…and it’s like the only thought in my head is how much I want to reach over and kiss you.” 

Besides Ruby, I think that her supporting cast is just as amazing. Zu is adorable and I was so glad that I finally got to read her novella. Finding out what happened while she left End River was…hard. Chubs of course Chubs. He’s an old soul who is pretty cranky all of the time but will protect those he loves ferociously. I just felt so bad, knowing the kind of potential he had but the fact that he couldn’t go to school. I just feel for all of them. Completely robbed of their childhoods…This would be a horrifying world to behold.

“Cause, frankly, the way I see it, you and me? Inevitable.” 

Oh. Liam. Don’t worry, I could never forget about sweet Liam. He’s probably in my top five of BBFs EVER. He’s the only boy whose Southern accent I find charming, let me tell you. I think the romance he had with Ruby was perfect. It may have come on faster than what could be realistic, but in a world like that…I’ll let it slide. And anyway, the romance itself was such a sweet one. Liam helps Ruby feel wanted…feel grounded…feel like she has a home. It’s never overdone, never too much. He’s not a bad boy, there isn’t some sort of horrible misunderstanding between them. He is genuinely good and I found that, in this book and with Ruby, to be perfect.♥

Be cunning and full of tricks, and your people shall never be destroyed. 

Overall, this will always be one of my favorite series. From the plot, to the writing, to the characters, this book has always managed to sink its claws into me. Recommended to anyone who loves Sci-fi, dystopian esque YA.

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