Review: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: May 23, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 699
Goodreads || Book Depository

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

MY THOUGHTS

Lord of Shadows is the second book in The Dark Artifices series, which means that this review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read Lady Midnight… or the other 8 books that came before this series.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Cassie Clare book but I was surprised by how quickly I got back into the world. I didn’t really need to be reminded of any details from the other books, which I think is a huge testament to how great of a writer Cassie is. But this book absolutely broke me. The last 50 pages or so of the book were so intense and devastating and I don’t really know how I’m going to recover from it. Couple that with the fact that the third book of the series isn’t going to be out until 2019… I honestly don’t know how I’m going to survive. Having said that, I’m really excited to read about James Herondale’s story (and to maybe see more of Will and Jem) so I’m not that mad that the first book of The Last Hours is coming out next year instead.

It’s a little bit hard to describe the plot of this book because there’s so much that happens in this massive tome! The story picks up a little bit after the events in Lady Midnight. There is suddenly a large presence of sea demons in Los Angeles and it seems like it might be connected with the fact that Malcolm Fade’s body and the Black Volume are still somewhere in the sea. An army of Centurions from the Scholomance are sent to the Los Angeles Institute to recover Malcolm’s body and the Black Volume and the Blackthorns are not happy with the appearance of these strangers that could disrupt their lives and uncover their secrets. As it turns out, they had a right to be antsy because some of the Centurions have ulterior motives that threaten the alliance between the nephilim and the Downworlders. On top of that, it seems like everyone is after the Black Volume and the Blackthorns are determined to be the ones that get to it first.

I love, love, loved the plot of this book… besides the cliffhanger at the end that left me literally breathless and crying. It was so action-packed and intense, and I feel like I need to go back and reread the whole thing in order to catch every single last detail. This is a second book in a series done right. It never felt like a filler book but instead had so much information and development that you just know that the third book is going to be EPIC. I have to admit that I finished the book with a ton of questions but it’s exciting to know that they’re all going to be addressed in the final book of the series. I have a bunch of crackpot theories and I’m so, so excited to see how the story ends.

But it wasn’t just the plot that drew me into the book. It was really the characters and the relationships between them that made me fall in love with the novel. We got to see so much more of the younger Blackthorn siblings in this book, particularly Livvy and Ty, who I both loved. I really liked what they brought to the story and that the series was no longer just about Emma and Julian, as much as I love them. I enjoyed the friendship that is beginning to form between Ty and Kit and I absolutely loved how well Kit understood Ty and was there for him when he needed support. I’m interested to see how this relationship develops further in the next book. I also really loved seeing the developing relationships between Mark and Cristina, Kieran and Cristina and I’m super curious about how that weird potential threesome is going to turn out. And of course, I loved seeing more of Emma and Julian’s story.

We got to see a glimpse of Julian’s dark side in Lady Midnight but it was so much more pronounced in Lord of Shadows. I like that his character is a little bit morally grey and that he prioritises his family over everything else. It’s a nice change from Cassie Clare’s other male lead characters who are extremely heroic and pure-hearted for the most part. Emma was also great in this book but I didn’t feel particularly connected with her in this novel because there were so many other fantastic characters who I wanted to get to know. I loved so many of the side characters, including Diana Wrayburn and Gwyn from the Wild Hunt. They were absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed the part that they played in the story. And finally, for fans of the previous Shadowhunter books, Magnus and Alec are in a significant chunk of this book and I really, really enjoyed getting to see them again. As always, I enjoyed the diversity in these books and I was really happy to see the inclusion of a transgender character in this novel too.

This is becoming a long review so I’m going to cut myself off here but I have so many more thoughts about the book. I enjoyed it just as much as I did Lady Midnight, though The Infernal Devices still remains my favourite of Cassie’s series. I cannot wait to see how The Dark Artifices ends!

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

lady-midnight

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: March 8, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Pages: 720
Goodreads || Book Depository

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 parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other – but they can never fall in love.

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

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

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Lady Midnight is the first book in Cassandra Clare’s new Shadowhunters trilogy, The Dark Artifices. Even though Lady Midnight is the first book in the trilogy, if you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices and you plan to in the future, I’d recommend reading those first because Lady Midnight contains spoilers for those books and will ruin your reading experience if you plan to go back. (If you haven’t read The Infernal Devices, what are you doing with your life?) Lady Midnight also has spoilers for Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, which is a collection of short stories that you should read after TMI. I was waiting for the hardcover bind-up to be released at the end of this year before reading them, and I regretted that decision because my reading experience with Lady Midnight could have been enhanced if I’d read those short stories first.

Enough ramble. Lady Midnight is set 5 years after the events of The Mortal Instruments, and we get to meet Emma Carstairs as a 17 year old. Since coming back to Los Angeles from Idris after City of Heavenly Fire, she’s had the parabatai ceremony with Julian Blackthorn and has been secretly investigating the mysterious murders of her parents with little success. This book begins when a string of very similar murders occur in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Institute is approached by the Fey to investigate. In return for identifying the murderer, the Fey promise to give Mark Blackthorn the opportunity to be returned to his family, but they must solve the mystery in 3 weeks. However, due to certain things that happened in TMI, Shadowhunters are not allowed to associate or work with faeries, so the LA Institute must investigate without the Clave (governing body of the Shadowhunters) knowing and without outside help.

I really enjoyed the plot of the story. It explored magic and dark magic, which is something that we didn’t see a lot of in the previous Shadowhunter books. We also get to learn more about the Fey and the different courts. In TMI, we mostly saw the Seelie Court and the Seelie Queen, but this book features the Unseelie Court and the Wild Hunt, which I thought was super interesting. I did find the pace of the book to be a little slow, particularly at the beginning. There wasn’t really much happening in the first 200 pages but the pace started to pick up gradually. I really enjoyed how the pieces of the puzzle came together and nothing felt rushed or sudden. It was a well thought out plot that developed nicely. Also despite this book not being particularly fast-paced or action-packed, I read it pretty quickly in 3 sittings. The plot had me immersed in the world and I was just keen to see how it would all play out.

Even though the plot was great, the characters in this book (as with most of Cassie’s other books) were the standout. I love reading about big families and the Blackthorns is definitely a big family with lots of unique and diverse characters. We have the twins, Livvy and Ty, who are almost inseparable and very protective of each other. Ty has an autism spectrum disorder, which made him a very interesting character and one that you hardly ever encounter in fantasy novels. I loved how much Cassandra Clare highlighted his little quirks and made it clear that his differences were completely okay. We also have Drusilla, who’s on the slightly chubbier side and the adorable Tavvy who’s the youngest of the family.

And then of course, we have Julian who’s spent all these years looking after his siblings and acting like the parent of the family. I really liked Julian’s character and the way that he cares for others and for Emma. He didn’t wow me or give me heart-eyes like the other male leads of Cassie Clare’s books (probably because I first met him in TMI when he was 12) but I still found his character to be wonderful. There were times when I was a little bit scared of Julian’s ability to lie and how far he would go to protect those he loves, but I can see where he’s coming from. I also really liked Emma, and I wasn’t really expecting to because I didn’t like her very much in TMI. She’s another one of Cassie’s headstrong female characters who rushes into situations without thinking. I did find it to be a little bit annoying at the beginning of the book but she quickly grew on me, and I definitely like her a lot more than I liked Clary Fray. I also really loved that she’s not new to the Shadowhunter world, like Tessa and Clary were. She grew up in a Shadowhunter family and she’s known that she’s a Shadowhunter her whole life, which allowed us to jump right into the story without having to go through the torturous “oh no, I can’t be a Shadowhunter” thing.

My favourite character in the book, though, was Mark Blackthorn. He was just such an interesting and complex character. He’s half-Shadowhunter and half-faerie and I really liked how we got to see both sides of him. I loved seeing how his time with the Wild Hunt had changed him and how he doesn’t really know how to interact with others in the real world anymore. I’m really glad that we got to see so much of him in the book. I wasn’t really expecting him to play such a large role in it and was really happy that we got to see him interact with his family. The other character who I really enjoyed was Cristina. She was fierce and fantastic but also very gentle and warm. I loved her back story and I wish we got to see a little bit more of her in this book. I can’t wait to read more of her story in the sequel though!

Now on to the romance, which was a surprisingly small aspect of the book considering how much hype there was about the forbidden parabatai romance. I thought it was handled well for most of the book, until we reached the end. The ending felt a little bit tropey and dramatic, and I can already tell that I’ll probably dislike how the romance is going to play out in the next book. It also ended on an unbearable cliffhanger and I need to know what happens next! There was much more focus on the parabatai bond than the actual romance and I really, really appreciated that. However, pretty much every mention of parabatai made me cry because I kept thinking about Will and Jem’s bond in TID. I loved how much we explored the bond between parabatai and why certain rules exist. It was really interesting and I’m curious to see how Emma and Julian can find a way around it because I don’t really see any loopholes.

Overall, I was really impressed with Lady Midnight. It wasn’t as good as the Infernal Devices books but I liked it more than most of the Mortal Instruments instalments. It was a really great focus on family and friendship and I loved how the book wasn’t romance-heavy, which I expected it to be. The plot was great and I have zero idea about what’s going to happen next. I hope we don’t have to wait long for the sequel!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Need to Join My Reverse Harem

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Because next week is Valentine’s Day, this week’s theme is Valentine’s Day. I’m going to be featuring ten characters who I adore and they totally all need to join my reverse harem right now. These are in my particular order but William Herondale is bae.


1. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

What can I say about Will Herondale that hasn’t already been said? He’s smart, sexy, broody and is an amazing friend *heart eyes*. I just want him to read to me every night.

2. Jase Garrett (My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick)

I’ve said this many times before, but Jase is just the ultimate good guy. And we need more characters like him who are just super nice and caring, and have no unnecessary drama. Jase is amazing with his younger siblings and he can totally fix my car… when I buy one eventually.

3. Richard Gansey III (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

Obviously I need an enigmatic rich boy in my reverse harem and Gansey is perfect for the role. He’s super smart and I love all of his little quirks. I just want to hug him all the time and protect him from all the bees.

4. Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

Kaz is cutthroat but is super sweet to the people he loves. And as much as I don’t want to split up Kaz and Inej… he really needs to join my harem. We could go sailing and then he can be all sweet and romantic with his “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.” But I’m too much of a city girl…so I’ll probably end up ruining the moment by saying “Ketterdam sucks. Come to Australia.”

5. Rowan Whitethorn (Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas)

My sexy fae prince. I love Rowan’s determination and how he protects those he cares about. Also his possessiveness is just *squeeaaalls*

6. Prince Theron (Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch)

Theron was the character that I fell in love with straight away in Snow Like Ashes. He loves poetry and the arts, and he’s just really sweet and romantic. I don’t like Theron as much in Ice Like Fire but I’ll always be in love with first book Theron.

7. Captain Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

I was tossing up between Prince Kai and Captain Thorne…but ultimately, I went with Thorne because he’s hilarious and will provide so much comic relief. All the other guys are pretty serious and intense, and Captain Thorne will bring all the fun! Plus he can drive a spaceship so… fun space adventures are in my future.

8. Cluck Corbeau (The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore)

I read The Weight of Feathers recently, and it’s become one of my favourite books. Cluck is just an amazing love interest. He’s another character that I want to hug and never let go of. He’s been through a lot but I’ll be sure to treat him well.

9. Jem Carstairs (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)

I love Jem. Not as much as Will, but it’s pretty hard not to love Jem Carstairs. He’s so caring and loyal and unafraid to do what’s right. Even demonic cats love him. But mostly, he’s on this list because I just could not split up Will and Jem.

10. Willem De Ruiter (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Willem is another enigmatic character but I love that he’s a bit of a lost soul. He loves to travel, so we could travel around Europe together. He speaks French, Dutch and English… which I find extremely attractive. And he’s also super romantic… and I love romance.


So keeping in mind that all ten of these men belong to me (mwahahaha), who would you invite to join your harem?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books That I Read in 2015

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the group at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top books of 2015, so I’ll be featuring my favourite books that I read this year. I’ll be posting my favourite YA releases of 2015 over at Happy Indulgence later this week and I’ll probably do a bookish awards post on this blog at the end of this month! Yep, you guessed it, this is just me cheating and not actually choosing favourites.

On to my favourite books I read this year… I’ve tried to put these into some sort of order, which was the toughest thing I’ve had to do this year… but I did it!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Is anybody actually surprised by this one? This is my favourite book of all time! This novel follows Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German Nazi youth, during WWII and what happens when their lives and stories converge. It has the most wonderful characters and plot, and the most beautiful writing I have ever read. PICK UP THIS BOOK!!! JUST DO IT!

(Btw, I have a 6-month blogoversary Twitter giveaway for this book here, ending on December 25 at 11:59pm ADST).

2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize earlier this year, which was what pushed me to pick it up. A Little LIfe follows four men from their teens until their 50s or 60s. We see their failures and their successes and their relationships. But mostly, this book is about Jude, who ties the four of them together, and his struggle to belong to the group and to the world. This book broke my heart into so many pieces that I’m still slowly putting it back together again. It was amazing and definitely worthy of being a Man Booker Finalist!

3. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

My favourite YA novel of all time, I’ll Give You the Sun is about two twins, Jude and Noah, who used to be close but have drifted apart after a family tragedy. They each hold secrets that have kept them apart for years but if they come together again, they can piece those secrets together to form a complete picture of what happened. This book explores so many different kids of relationships and it has beautiful writing that will have you feeling all the feels.

4. Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is the last book in The Lunar Chronicles and was my favourite sci-fi/fantasy read of the year. It was epic, intense and had everything I could’ve wanted. The ending was so satisfying and everything was resolved so neatly (perhaps too neatly, but I don’t care). I’m so sad that this is over and I highly recommend this series, if you haven’t read it. It’s my favourite series of all time!

5. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I absolutely love the Shadowhunter books and this was an amazing trilogy. For me, this is so much better than The Mortal Instruments, and I’d recommend it even if you didn’t like TMI. Clockwork Princess was an absolutely heartwrenching finale. It had me in tears for most of the book and the bromance in this trilogy is just unbeatable. The best.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was a bit skeptical about Rainbow Rowell’s first fantasy novel, especially because I skimmed through a lot of the Simon Snow sections in Fangirl. But this book was a pleasant surprise and had me raving about it for weeks! Carry On is about Simon Snow, the most pathetic superhero of all time. He isn’t able to control his magic and half the time he ends up blowing up the place. But now he needs to figure out how to save the magical world before it’s destroyed by the villainous Humdrum! This book has my OTP of the year! SnowBaz was just adorable and I’ll go down with this ship!

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Set in the Grisha world from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, Six of Crows follows a group of six misfits as they travel across the Grishaverse to pull off an extraordinary heist. This book is epic, action-packed and exciting! It has the most wonderful ships that I’m totally on board with. The writing was fantastic and the whole book was just mindblowing!!

8. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

My very first Gayle Forman read has made it into my favourites of the year! Just One Day follows Allyson, a recent American high school graduate, who is on a student tour around Europe. On one of her last days in Europe, she meets a mysterious but attractive Dutch boy named Willem, who invites her on a day trip to Paris before she returns home. She accepts and they spend a romantic day in Paris but when she wakes up the next day, Willem has disappeared. The rest is a coming of age story as Allyson tries to fly away from her mother’s restrictive nest and find her way back to Europe and to Willem. This book had the most amazing coming of age story. The character development in Allyson was astounding and I also thoroughly enjoyed Gayle Forman’s writing!

9. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

A Romeo and Juliet reimagining, My Life Next Door blew my mind! Samantha Reed is the daughter of a senator and her mother has always hated the loud family next door who can’t stop adding kids to their already large family. Sam is forbidden from interacting with the Garretts next door but when she meets Jase Garrett, she can’t stay away. This book was a wonderful story about love, family and doing the right thing. It had the most amazing characters and I am in love with Jase, who I call ‘the ultimate good guy’.

10. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and it was a fantastic continuation. It’s probably my favourite book of the series so far (though Heir of Fire comes a veeeerrrry close second. Or maybe they’re tied. I can’t decide!). This instalment had the most amazing climax and resolution and it had me bouncing in my seat and so excited for Book 5 to come out!


Are any of these books your favourite? Let me know what your top 3 books of the year are and I’ll be sure to check them out! Don’t forget to head over to Happy Indulgence on Sunday to see what my favourite 2015 releases are!

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes From Ten of My Favourite 2015 Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by the team over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week I’m featuring quotes from ten of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. It was really hard to choose just one quote from each book because I love all of these books for their beautiful writing and the quotable quotes…so I did two for some of the books. XD

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Werner hears Marie-Laure inhale, Marie-Laure hears Werner scrape three fingernails across the wood, a sound not unlike the sound of a record coursing beneath the surface of a needle, their faces an arm’s reach apart.

He says, “Es-tu là?

It was so difficult to choose just one quote from All The Light We Cannot See because it’s my favourite book of all time! So I chose a second one 😀 This quote is actually from a radio program that Werner listens to, and it spoke to me because I’m a psychology major and I love the brain.

The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Wasn’t it a miracle to have survived the unsurvivable? Wasn’t friendship its own miracle, the finding of another person who made the entire lonely world seem somehow less lonely?


I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.


Winter by Marissa Meyer

It was unnerving, to think she was being psychoanalyzed by someone who frequently complained that the castle walls had started bleeding again.

This one made me swoon (and it’s directed at someone who you may not expect):

He didn’t apologize. Instead, he set his jaw and met her eye again. “I will protect Winter with my life. Second only to her, I promise to protect you too.”


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

You know it has to be a SnowBaz quote XD ❤

He’s still looking in my eyes. Staring me down like he did that dragon, chin tilted and locked. “I’m not the Chosen One,” he says.

I meet his gaze and sneer. My arm is a steel band around his waist. “I choose you,” I say. “Simon Snow, I choose you.”


Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

“When you fight now, I will be still by you. When you walk in the world, I will be the light at your side, the ground steady under your feet, the force that drives the sword in your hand. We are bound, beyond the oath. The Marks did not change that. The oath did not change that. It merely gave words to something that existed already.”


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“Stay,” he said, his voice rough stone. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.”


Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I’m not going to pretend I know how this ends, and I don’t have a freaking clue if it’s possible to fall in love over email. But I would really like to meet you, Blue. I want to try this. And I can’t imagine a scenario where I don’t want to kiss your face off as soon as I see you.

And I couldn’t not include this one:

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever.”


My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Jase and Samantha are one of my favourite couples but I had to go with some George quotes. He’s just the most adorable 4 year old! He’s super knowledgeable, but also super paranoid haha.

“I like eggs and bacon,” George tells me. “But” – his face clouds – “do you know that bacon is” – tears leap to his eyes – “Wilbur?”

Mrs Garrett sits down next to him immediately. “George, we’ve been through this. Remember? Wilbur did not get made into bacon.”

“Then is bacon Babe, Mom? Is it Babe?”

And another great George moment:

“Is Jase already going to marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh. No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we aren’t engaged.

“I’m this many,” George holds up four slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”

Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”

George backs out of the room, but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.


Thanks for reading. See you in my next post!

Your Future Book Tag

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I saw this tag on Josie’s Book Corner and it was such a fun tag to read that I knew I had to do it! Check out her post because she had a blast doing it and I had an amazing time reading about her fictional future! Josie tagged all her readers so I’m considering myself tagged!

So the rules: I have to pick five books from my bookshelf and answer two questions for each book to determine my future. You’ll see how it works!

I chose five books that all have a big cast of characters so we’ll see how this goes… I also put them into alphabetical order by title so there’s no cheating here!

Book 1: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Book 2: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Book 3: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Book 4: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Yes, I chose this instalment because Rowan is in it)
Book 5: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


QUESTIONS

1. Open Book 1 (Clockwork Angel) to a random page. Look at the first word on the page. If it’s less than 5 letters, you will go to college. If it’s more than 5 letters, you won’t go to college.

Page 246 (US hardcover): The first word on this page is “fingers”, which is longer than 5 letters. I guess I’m not going to college? Except I already did and graduated. *hugs my testamur plaque* You will not take this away from me!

2. Open Book 1 (Clockwork Angel) to a random page. The first name you see. Think of that person’s job – that will be your job. (Note: Is that person still in school? You will be a teacher. You don’t know that person’s job? You will be unemployed.)

Page 95 (US hardcover): The first name is Will! Yes, I got my bae! So I guess my occupation is Shadowhunter? I wonder what that translates to in the real world… whatever, I’m happy with demon hunter!

3. Open Book 2 (Miss Peregrine’s) to a random page. The first name you see will be the person you will marry.

Page 136 (paperback): Millard! Okay this might be a problem. Millard is the invisible boy in the book so I might have a hard time being married to him. But everyday would be so much fun. He’s also super knowledgeable about everything and loves books so I’m sure we’d get along!

4. Open Book 2 (Miss Peregrine’s) to a random page. The first name you see will be your best friend.

Page 118 (paperback): This is actually a photograph and not a page of text.. but it’s a photo of Hugh! I absolutely love Hugh and I’d love to be besties with him. He has the ability to control bees and store them in his stomach – it’s weird I know. But he has an awesome scene in Hollow City, which was my favourite scene of the whole book.

5. Open Book 3 (My Life Next Door) to a random page. Look at the second word on the page. Count how many letters that word has, remove two letters. That’s how many children you will have.

Page 252 (US hardcover): I got the word “campaign”, which has 7 letters. So I’m having 5 kids in the future. I don’t know about that… I think 2 or 3 is a good number. 5 is probably too many.

6. How many children did you have? Open Book 3 (My Life Next Door) as many times to see who your children will be. If you have no children, open the book once. The first name you see will be something of your choice (e.g. neighbour, father-in-law etc).

Page 32 (US hardcover): Patsy. Omg I love Patsy! I totally want her to be my daughter.
Page 54: George. YES! George is probably my favourite of all of Jase’s siblings so I’d be stoked to have him as a son. He’s pretty much a walking encyclopedia and is totally adorable! ❤
Page 104: Nan. I really didn’t like Nan in this book. She was a terrible friend to Samantha and I couldn’t really stand her. Hopefully she’s a better daughter.
Page 120: Jase. I wanted Jase to be my hubby, not my son T_T. But he’d be the most helpful and caring son in the world!
Page 373: Duff. Another one of the Garrett siblings. He doesn’t really have a big role in the book so I don’t know very much about him, but welcome to the family, Duff!

7. Book 4 (Queen of Shadows). Where does this book take place? This will be the place where you will live.

I don’t know how I feel about living in Rifthold… I’m a city girl so I’m glad that at least I’ll be in a busy, city location, rather than in the middle of the forest.

8. Open Book 4 (Queen of Shadows) to a random page. The first name you see… does this person have a car, bike, etc.? That will be your transportation. (Note: teleporting, broom etc. is allowed. If your character has no means of transportation that you know of, you will be using public transport.)

Page 268 (UK paperback): The first name is Manon! YAY, I get to ride a wyvern! I’m sure Abraxos will be super gentle and won’t try to throw me off. Manon might get angry at me for stealing him away though 😀

9. Does Book 5 (Shadow and Bone) have animals in it? Pick your favourite animal to be your pet. No animals in the book? You will have no pets.

I don’t really recall there being any animals in this book. Oh I know! There are horses. I guess it’ll be nice to have a pet horse. Abraxos might not like that though.

10. Open Book 5 (Shadow and Bone) to a random page. The first name you see will be your enemy.

Page 222 (US hardcover): The first name on this page is Ivan. He was a bit of a dick so I don’t mind him being my enemy. Also, I think I can take him! I have a wyvern after all.


SUMMARY OF MY FUTURE

I am apparently going to give up my hard-earned degree to become a Shadowhunter and kill demons. I guess that’s a pretty good excuse for a career change. Psychology is way too mundane (see what I did there?) anyway. My best friend will be Hugh and all of his bees. I will marry Millard the Invisible Man and we will have 5 kids: Patsy, George, Nan, Jase and Duff. We will live in Rifthold and our mode of transportation will be wyverns! I have claimed Abraxos, who may or may not fight with/eat my pet horse. My archnemesis will be Ivan, but since Millard is invisible, I’m sure he can just stab him to death with a concealed knife. Or maybe Abraxos can just tear him apart. I’m also a Shadowhunter so I think I have the training to take him on. And as a last resort, Hugh’s bees can sting him to death.

I guess it’s a pretty good life after all!


I TAG: EVERYONE

This was such a fun tag to do and I hope you all have a great time reading it. I tag all of you because you’re missing out on the fun if you don’t do it!!

Pastry Book Tag

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I have the biggest sweet tooth, so when Jesse @ Books at Dawn tagged me to do the Pastry Book Tag, I just had to do it. I was so excited that I even modified my usual tag header into a pastry-themed one.


CROISSANT: NAME A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES THAT EVERYONE (INCLUDING YOU) LOVES

clockworkangel clockworkprinceclockworkprincessIs there anybody out there who actually doesn’t like The Infernal Devices?! I love this series so, so much. Clockwork Princess is probably my favourite series finale ever!


MACARON: NAME A BOOK THAT WAS HARD TO GET THROUGH BUT WORTH IT AT THE END

alittlelife Man… this book.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara was amazing but my heart suffered such a beating. This novel gave me so many feels and I just felt emotionally drained after each chapter. It was also a 720 page book so it took me forever to get through it.

But it was completely worth it because A Little Life has become one of my favourite books of all time. It’s truly beautiful.


VOL-AU-VENT: NAME A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE AMAZING BUT FELL FLAT

i-was-here I was expecting a lot of great things from I Was Here by Gayle Forman but unfortunately, it fell a little bit short. Just One Day is one of my favourite YA books, and I also loved her If I Stay duology, so I thought I Was Here would blow my mind. It wasn’t a terrible book by any means – I still gave it 3 stars – but I was just expecting a lot more from it.

I just found the plot to be a little bit lacking and I don’t think the issue of teen suicide was dealt with well enough. I also wasn’t a fan of the romance.


PAIN AU CHOCOLAT: NAME A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE ONE THING BUT TURNED OUT TO BE SOMETHING ELSE

findingaudrey Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella was one that I was pleasantly surprised by. Going into the book, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to connect with the main character, who’s only 14 years old. But I ended up loving Audrey’s voice and really connected with her.

I was kind of worried that the anxiety aspects of the book wouldn’t be handled well but I was so wrong about that. I was also a bit wary of the book because I thought it would be a ‘love cures all’ kind of story but I didn’t find that to be the case at all.


PROFITEROLE: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT DOESN’T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION

missperegrines hollow-citylibrary-of-soulsI read the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children series recently and my mind was blown by how great it was! I also have reviews for Hollow City and Library of Souls.


CROQUEMBOUCHE: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT’S EXTREMELY COMPLEX

snowlikeashes icelikefireSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch has such a grand and complex world. There are 8 kingdoms in this world – 4 are Season kingdoms that only experience one season all year round; the other 4 are Rhythm kingdoms that experience all four seasons. The magic system is also really complex and will be explored further in Ice Like Fire, I’m sure. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


NAPOLEON: NAME A MOVIE OR TV SHOW BASED OFF A BOOK THAT YOU LIKED BETTER THAN THE BOOK ITSELF

gossip-girl This is an interesting one. I can’t think of a movie adaptation that I thought was better than the book. And I don’t really watch a lot of TV (I mainly watch Japanese dramas and variety shows). But one that sticks out in my mind is Gossip Girl.

I read the Gossip Girl books by Cecily von Zeigesar about a year or two before the TV show came out and my 14 year old self thought they were really good. But the TV show is sooo much better than the book series. I’m glad it deviated from the books.


EMPANADA: NAME A BOOK THAT WAS BITTERSWEET

morehappythannot I don’t have an image of empanadas being bittersweet. To me, they’re just awesome, but we’ll roll with it.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera was a book that I gave 4.5 stars to. But I thought the first third of the book was just boring. I didn’t like the characters and didn’t connect with any of them and I was really close to quitting the book. But it got exponentially better after the 100 page mark, and the end of the book gave me so many feels. I ugly cried for a really long time.


KOLOMPEH: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT TAKES PLACE SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN YOUR HOME COUNTRY

theminiaturist Pretty much every book is set in a country other than Australia so I had a lot of options for this one. I decided to go for something a little different and not choose something set in the US or the UK.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is set in 17th century Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This is the only book that I’ve read that’s set in 17th century Amsterdam and I found the setting and the whole time period to be fascinating! I learnt so much about Dutch history from this book and I thought it was a wonderful read.


PATE A CHOUX: NAME A FOOD FROM A BOOK OR SERIES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY

toalltheboys ps-i-still-love-youI was not creative with this at all but I couldn’t think of anything.

Because this is a pastry/sweets challenge, I decided to go with all of the cookies and cakes that Lara-Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and PS. I Still Love You. All the baked goods that were mentioned in this duology made me so hungry!


I TAG:


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

top-ten-books-so-far-2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week so I’ve chosen to feature ten of my favourite titles that I’ve read so far in 2015. I believe this was a topic back in June but I missed out because I hadn’t started doing Top Ten Tuesday posts. I’ve read 144 books so far this year, so the 10 that I’ve chosen to feature are the creme de la creme of them all (in my opinion).

My Top Ten Tuesday lists are usually in no particular order, but today I’ve tried to put them into some sort of order for you, starting with the book in the 10th place position.


10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin:

This is a book that I think all book lovers would enjoy. I definitely enjoyed it immensely when I read it in March. It centres on the life of A.J. Fikry, a grumpy bookstore owner who has had some terrible luck in the last 18 months. He feels like there’s nothing good in life, but one day he finds a package left in the children’s section of his bookstore – a baby. He then cares for this baby as if she’s his own and he is transformed in the process. This book contains so many kinds of love: familial love, romantic love and of course, love for books. It had so many heartwarming moments and also a lot of heartbreaking ones too.

9. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli:

I read this novel in April and it is one of my favourite diverse books that I’ve read this year. (For more diverse recommendations, check out my previous Top Ten Tuesday post on diverse characters. I also recommend David Levithan’s books.) This was a cute and light-hearted LGBTQIA+ book that also contained some serious messages. I think this book is masterful in the way that it was able to shine a light on the issues without being an angst-filled and heavy novel.

This novel follows Simon who is emailing another boy called Blue. They are both gay but have not come out yet. Somebody then stumbles across Simon’s emails to Blue and starts blackmailing Simon. Through the process, Simon and Blue are able to find the courage to embrace who they are and even fall in love.

8. SNOW LIKE ASHES – Sara Raasch:

Snow Like Ashes is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. I read this in August and I fell in love with the world and the characters. It is set in a fascinating world that is split into 8 unique kingdoms. The book was intense and action-packed and I need the next book, Ice Like Fire, RIGHT NOW.

7. MY LIFE NEXT DOOR – Huntley Fitzpatrick:

I only discovered Huntley Fitzpatrick this year when I read her books in July. My Life Next Door is the kind of contemporary novel I enjoy. The pace of it is just right and it contains some very sophisticated writing.

This book is inspired by Romeo and Juliet, and it follows Samantha and Jase who are next door neighbours. Sam’s mother is very put together and controlling, and she hates the Garretts who have moved next door. The Garretts are loud and there are 7 kids in the family. I loved the family elements that were explored in this book, and I really loved all of the characters in this book.

6. Just One Day – Gayle Forman:

This was the first Gayle Forman book I had ever read and it’s my favourite out of everything she’s written. I read this back in March and then marathoned Just One Year and Just One Night straight after. This book follows Allyson, who is a recent high school graduate. Her parents send her on a teenage tour around Europe. On her last day abroad, she meets a mysterious guy named Willem in London, and they decide to take an overnight trip to Paris. But when Allyson wakes up the next morning, Willem has disappeared. This is a book about self-discovery and Allyson is always the character that comes to mind first when I think about character development.

5. QUEEN OF SHADOWS – Sarah J. Maas:

This is the fourth instalment in the Throne of Glass series. This was released at the beginning of this month so it’s a very recent read for me. This is my favourite book in the series so far. It’s filled with so much drama, action and revenge! Plus the romance in the book… my ship is sailing!

4. Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare:

Clockwork Princess is the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. I read this in May. It was definitely the best series finale I’ve ever read. It made me love, it made me ugly-cry and it made me so happy too. This is my favourite book of Cassandra Clare’s.

3. I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson:

I read this book at the end of February and it is by far my favourite YA book I’ve read this year. It won the Printz Award 2015 and I think it was well deserved. I’ll Give You The Sun is heartwarming, funny, romantic and quirky. It follows Jude and Noah, twins, who used to be very close up until they turned 13. They’ve each kept secrets from the other and told lies but now, at 16, they need to come back to each other and ‘remake the world’. The novel is written from dual perspectives and dual timelines. We see Noah’s side of the story from when they’re 13 and Jude narrates their 16 year old lives.

Go read this book. You won’t regret it!

2. A LITTLE LIFE – Hanya Yanagihara:

A Little Life is a recent read for me, but it has become my second favourite book I’ve ever read. It’s been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year and I think it’s absolutely brilliant. The novel follows four men, who were college roommates, from their college years up until their 50s or 60s. It’s a real and haunting story about the ordinary and extraordinary moments in life. The story has really stuck with me and I still think about it even now.

If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to check out my review, as well as other reviews, because this book contains some very mature themes as well as some triggers.

1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE – Anthony Doerr:

This should come as no surprise to anybody who has been following my blog for a while. This is my favourite book of all time. Ever since I read it back in February, I’ve been recommending it to everybody I see (including strangers at bookstores) and I’ve bought it for 3 of my friends for their birthdays this year. It is also the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This is a World War II historical fiction novel about a blind French girl and an orphaned German Nazi youth, and how their stories eventually intertwine. This book has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read and a story that has stuck with me for the last 6 months.


Honourable Mentions:


What are your favourite books you’ve read this year?

Wrap Up: August 2015

August15wrapup

August was another great reading month for me. I read a total of 18 books, with a good mix of female and male authors (and a lot of David Levithan!). There was also a mix of books that I did and didn’t enjoy. I have written reviews of almost all of these books. Click on the links to read in-depth reviews of each book!

August15

Reading summary header

1. The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak – Brian Katcher  4 stars
A fun, nerdy and fast-paced contemporary about Ana and Zak who are searching for Ana’s brother at a sci-fi convention.

2. After Dark – Haruki Murakami  35 stars
A thought-provoking story following a couple of characters on their ‘adventures’ in the middle of the night. Slow-paced with a hint of magical realism.

3. Sunkissed – Jenny McLachlan  3 stars
A fun, summery, coming of age story set on a Swedish island.

4. The Shadowhunter’s Codex – Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis  3 stars
A guide to the Shadowhunter world, with illustrations and commentary from Clary, Jace and Simon.

5. Every Day – David Levithan  5 stars
A great diverse book about A, who wakes up in the body of a different person each day. He falls in love with the girlfriend of a boy whose body he inhabits and he has to find his way back to her each day.

6. Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan  45 stars
Another great LGBTQ+ book from David Levithan. This book is poignant and important. It explores different aspects of what it means to be gay, comparing previous generations to the current generation.

7. Sinner – Maggie Stiefvater  25 stars
A companion novel to The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. This could be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the trilogy first.

8. Six Earlier Days – David Levithan  4 stars
Six short stories about six days in A’s life, before the events in Every Day. I’d highly recommend these if you enjoyed Every Day.

9. A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab  45 stars
Set in parallel London’s, this book follows Kell who is able to travel between the different Londons, and smuggles items from one to another.

10. Polarity in Motion – Brenda Vicars  35 stars
When a nude photo of Polarity emerges online, she has no recollection of how the photo was taken. She finds herself yanked from her family and entangled in a world she knows nothing about.

11. The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman  45 stars
A wonderful reimagining of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, with beautiful illustrations by Chris Riddell.

12. Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch  5 stars
A brilliant fantasy world, with some great characters and a fascinating magic system. This was a fantastic first book to a trilogy.

13. The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick  45 stars
Another great contemporary book from Huntley Fitzpatrick. This is a companion to My Life Next Door, and can be read as a standalone. I’d recommend reading MLND first though for all of the character building (and also because it’s a great book)!

14. Wonderland – Robert McKay  4 stars
A sci-fi retelling of Alice in Wonderland. This book was fun and crazy in the best ways.

15. One – Sarah Crossan  45 stars
A story, written in free verse, about conjoined twins and what it means to share a body and a soul with somebody else.

16. Risk – Fleur Ferris  2 stars
A serious and dark Aussie YA book about online safety and the dangers of meeting strangers online.

17. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella  45 stars
This is Sophie Kinsella’s first YA novel and it was so great! It was a heartwarming and funny story about family and finding yourself again after adversity.

18. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan  4 stars
Written as a series of dictionary entries, this is a story about love. It’s a non-linear story, written in second person, and explores the positive and negative aspects of love.

T10T

This month I did four Top Ten Tuesday posts. You can check out my posts by clicking the links below.


If you’ve done a wrap up for this month, I’d love to see what you’ve read.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week I’m featuring the authors that I’ve read the most books from. I was kind of surprised when I went through my Goodreads read shelf to see which authors I had read the most from. I had a lot of authors tied with 4 books, so I chose the two that I enjoy reading the most.

Without further ado, here’s my list. Click on the author’s picture to go to their website.


 

Cassie ClareCassandra Clare (12)

Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors. I absolutely love her Shadowhunter books. I might one day go back and do a series review of those books. Here are the books I have read by her:

 


 

Jill MansellJill Mansell (9)

This is an interesting one for me. I bought almost all of Jill Mansell’s books when I was in high school because they had really pretty covers and looked really nice together on my shelf. Her books are adult romantic comedies. I remember reading a lot of them when I was younger but it was so long ago that I can’t remember what they were about or exactly which ones I read (and I’m not sure if my Goodreads is accurate). I definitely want to revisit them in the next couple of years though.

 


 

sarramanningSarra Manning (7)

I discovered Sarra Manning as a 13 year old when I was browsing the shelves of my library, and became obsessed with her YA books. Eventually she started releasing adult romantic/chick-lit books. I still own 2 of her adult books that I haven’t yet read (my bad).

  • The Diary of a Crush trilogy
  • Let’s Get Lost
  • Nobody’s Girl
  • Unsticky
  • You Don’t have to Say You Love Me

 


 

JK RowlingJ.K. Rowling (7)

I’m sure J.K. Rowling is on almost everybody’s list.

I’ve only read the Harry Potter series by her. I’ve heard mixed things about the Casual Vacancy so I’ve been hesitating to pick that one up. And I also haven’t read any of the books that she’s written under her pen name.

I’m planning to re-read all of the Harry Potter books sometime this year (and probably rewatch all the movies too).

 


 

William ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare (6)

Now, this is probably one nobody was expecting. In high school, we had to read one Shakespeare play each year so I read 6 in total. There are actually a couple other ones that I want to read eventually.

  • A Midsummer’s Night Dream
  • Macbeth
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Othello
  • Hamlet

 


 

gayle forman Gayle Forman (6)

I cheated a little and included a novella in here…

I’m not always a fan of her plots but Gayle Forman’s writing and characters are always spectacular.

  • If I Stay
  • Where She Went
  • Just One Day
  • Just One Year
  • Just One Night (sequel novella)
  • I Was Here

 


 

sarah-dessenSarah Dessen (5)

Before I checked Goodreads, I was so certain that I had read at least 7 or 8 Sarah Dessen books. I guess I was wrong. I read most of these when I was in high school, so I definitely need to re-read them all again.

  • Along For The Ride
  • Lock and Key
  • Just Listen
  • The Truth About Forever
  • Saint Anything

 


 

sarah j maasSarah J. Maas (5)

I only read Throne of Glass this year, but I absolutely fell in love with Sarah J. Maas’s writing and her amazing storytelling abilities. And just like everyone says, her books get better and better (and bigger and bigger too). I cannot wait for Queen of Shadows.

 


 

marissa-meyerMarissa Meyer (4)

The Lunar Chronicles is probably my favourite series of all time. They’re funny and action-packed, and I just love the characters so much! I’m planning on re-reading the books before the last book, Winter, comes out in November so look out for some reviews in the coming months!

  • Cinder
  • Scarlet
  • Cress
  • Fairest (Prequel, but read after Cress!)

 

maggie stiefvaterMaggie Stiefvater (4)

I read The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy a couple of months ago and I read Sinner, the companion, just yesterday.

I’ve owned the existing three books in The Raven Cycle for a long time but I’ve yet to read it.

  • Shiver
  • Linger
  • Forever
  • Sinner

 


 

Thanks for reading! I’d love to check out your list if you’ve put one together this week. I’m looking forward to next week’s theme, which is top 10 auto-buy authors!