Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass – Book Review

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Hey guys! I know I must be one of the last people to actually start reading the Throne of Glass series, to be honest, I’m not even sure why I didn’t read it sooner, especially after I loved the ACOTAR series. But nonetheless, I finished the first book in the Throne of Glass Series, and I’ve already started Crown of Midnight and I can already tell I’m going to love the entire series, I plan on binge reading all of them over the next month or so!

When I was going into this series, I had in the back of mind this preconceived notion that it would be too much like the ACOTAR series, or it wouldn’t live up to the hype or couldn’t compare to ACOTAR, but I was definitely wrong. Though there are some similarities between the two series (as they take place in the same multiverse), they are vastly different.

As always, I absolutely love Sarah J. Mass’ writing style. It’s distinctly well written just like some of her other work I’ve read. I love the whole idea of creating a plot surrounding an assassin competing for the King’s Champion. The plot moved at a quick pace, the thing I think that Sarah J Maas does really well, is utilize the full potential and capacity of her pages, she always uses every opportunity to make whatever is happening, significant to the plot.

The characters in Throne of Glass are also really likeable, I love Celaena, Choal and Dorian!

WARNING SPOILER: I have to say though, that I was quite disappointed when I learned that Celaena told Dorian that she couldn’t be with him once she won the competition. I thought they were the cutest couple!! Some I’m curious to see how the romance in this series progresses now that she basically told Dorian it’s not going to happen between them.

I thought the creativity and world building was also very well done. I liked the incorporation of Wyrdmarks and doors, and how the kingdom’s history and main historical figures still play an important role in this world.

Overall, I give this novel 5.5 stars (of course it’s SJM after all, never read a book by her I didn’t like), and even though most of you have probably already read it, if you haven’t and you like fantasy and romance, don’t hesitate to pick it up, you won’t regret it!


I have also recently started a Bookstagram account where I post a lot of bookish updates so please go follow me on there too! 🙂 @between.the.liness

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Ruler of Books Tag

 What book would you make everyone read?

I feel like this would change all the time, because naturally I want everyone to read my favourite books, but my favourite books change monthly! So for right now I would answer this question by saying Without Merit by Colleen Hoover.

What would you abolish in book construction?

The type of paperbacks that crease or break the spine when you open them to read them.   The only paperbacks that should be constructed are the ones that open without having to break the spine. The spine is what faces out on your bookshelf, it can’t be broken!

What author would you commission to write you any book?

Sarah J Maas. She is one of my all time favourite authors, and I love how creative and imaginative she is. I would love if she would write me a book!!

What book would you demote to the library basement to make room for new books?

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I had to read this in Grade 11 English, and my English teacher at the time was abnormally obsessed with this novel and made the entire semester relate back to Brave New World and from that point on, I developed a strong dislike for this book. I get negative feelings every time I happen to walk by it in the book store now.  I think I had to write a minimum of 20 essays on this one book.

What cover artist would you commission to make a mural?

I’m not sure who the book artist is for the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, but whoever designed those covers I would want to make me a mural.

What characters face would you put on a coin?

Rhysand’s 😉

What book would you award the “Ruler of Books” 2017 Prize to?

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover.

The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

It’s finally Fall! It’s not my favourite season, but it is my favourite reading season because the weather is starting to get cooler which means I can put on my reading socks and comfy sweater with a cup of tea and binge read! I haven’t done a book tag in a long time, and I want to start doing more so I saw this one and decided to do it! 🙂

Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color – Choose a book that has reds/oranges/yellows on the cover

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

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Cozy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to wear warm cozy clothing – What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover.

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Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding – Choose your favorite book or genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

My favourite genre to read when it’s raining, or it’s storming outside is probably fantasy. I feel like the storm adds another layer to the reading experience.

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Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

I think for this one, I would have to go with Feyre from Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series. She’s a pretty strong female character throughout the series that demonstrates her independence and wit, and as a side note, she’s Rhysand’s mate which is also pretty cool.

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Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit.

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Coat, Scarves, and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up – What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with the cover design, but my copy is really beat up and the cover is bent in many places.

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Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favorite fall time comforts food/foods?

Tea lattes and McDonald’s Salted Caramel Apple Oat Muffin <3.

 

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover – Book Review

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    Without Merit by Colleen Hoover was published only a few days ago, but my anticipation for this book, given the fact that I’ve loved every other book by Colleen Hoover, made this one go straight to the top of my TBR pile. I basically read this book in one day, it was just that good. That being said, this is different from Colleen Hoover’s other books, in the way that it deals with a different age group (the main character being only 17).

The description of the novel in my opinion doesn’t really tell the reader the extent of what this book is really about – but to me, that’s a good thing. I went into this novel with only the foreknowledge that it dealt with family secrets, a troubled teenager who collects trophies she never won, and a little bit of romance. But the book was so much more than that description.

Colleen Hoover has done it again. I felt myself so immersed in this book, in this chaotic and dysfunctional family. Each character felt unique in a real way, each one of them flawed with their own quirks. It was interesting seeing such a vastly different perspective on identical twins portrayed in this book. Usually, twins are always portrayed as having a strong bond that no one else can understand, but in Without Merit, we see that even twins have their differences. Many people think about how cool it would be to have a twin, myself included, but this book illustrates that maybe having a twin isn’t all positive. Twin relationships can be strained, and flawed too, just like any other.

I also just have to mention Sagan in this review. Sagan was such a well developed character in this novel. I loved every single thing about him, including his epic name. He seemed so mysterious but really he wasn’t, he turned out to be someone with fears, desires, and family issues just like everyone else in the book. And can we just take a moment to appreciate that he’s also a Political Science major (just like me!). I feel like Political Science majors are so rarely mentioned in literature, so I got really excited when I learned he was studying Political Science, and he even brought in a bit of politics into the book.

On a more serious note, I think Colleen Hoover dealt with important themes throughout this book related to mental health really well. I feel like she has not only brought awareness to the fact that individuals may be suffering from mental illnesses without their own self-acknowledgement, but that mental health should be talked about within families openly.

Overall, I am really impressed with this book. I feel like I’m going to be thinking about this book and these characters for a long time even though I’m done reading it. Colleen Hoover books always leave a lasting impression on me, and that’s why I love them so much. She really captured some very real issues that many people face within their own families, and I felt like she talked about mental health in a really real way in this novel. I give it 5/5 stars!

Some of my Favourite Quotes from the novel: 

“There’s something freeing about refusing to stress over stressful situations.”

“Everyone sometimes wishes they were someone else. Someone better, With a better family.”

“If silence were a river, your tongue would be the boat.”

“I think we all just got to a point where we were waiting for someone else to initiate it, but no one ever did. Maybe that’s the root of a lot of family issues. It isn’t actually the issues people are hung up about for so long. It’s that no one has the courage to take the first step in talking about the issues.”

“So many people dream of living in a house with a white picket fence. Little do they know, there’s no such thing as a perfect family, no matter how white the picket fence is.”

 

Fall Reading Plans!

DSC_0064_Fotor.jpgIt’s finally autumn, and it just so happens to be national book month, so what better time to compile a list of books that I plan on reading this season?

Lately I’ve been in a little bit of a “reading slump” probably because I find myself pushing my reading time down the line of priorities, school and work taking precedence. This being said, I have started so many novels in the last month and not finished them so I want to take the time and finish the books that I’ve started already because they really are great books I just for some reason have a hard time finishing a whole book at once these past few weeks. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for getting out of these said “reading slumps” please let me know!

I’m currently on Reading Week at university, and between doing tons of assignments and studying for midterms I intend to use this week for its intended purpose, reading. 🙂

  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer – I’ve already read a good chunk of this book. Even though I’m late to join the bandwagon on this one, I’m glad I’ve finally came around to it. One thing that I love in literature is Aliens. This is unlike any other science-fiction novel involving aliens that I’ve read before and I’m loving it so much!
  • The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A Flynn – Jane Austen is probably my   favourite classical writer of all time. So, a book based on an unpublished book of   hers and time travel is something I’m definitely excited to read this Fall!
  • Without Merit by Colleen Hoover – I bought this book right on the publishing date because I am that excited. I have read many of Colleen Hoover’s other novels, the most recent one being It Ends With Us, and I fall in love with every single one of her books. I’ve heard that this one is going to be a lot different than her other ones though, which will be very interesting to see a new perspective!
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown – I’ve heard such amazing things about this series and I’ve been meaning to get around to reading them but haven’t for some reason, so I decided that this Fall I will at least read the first one. I’ve been in the mood for the sci-fi/fantasy genre for awhile now and the world that this book is set in sounds so interesting, just from reading the back cover I want to know more.
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks – A few years ago I went through a phase where I binge read every Nicholas Sparks book, but then I kind of got out of the fiction/romance genre and moved more towards fantasy but I decided that I’ll give this one a shot since it’s one of the only Sparks’ books I haven’t read yet!

If you have any Fall book suggestions for me let me know! 🙂

 

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood – Book Review

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“Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell to it, that word – musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: Murderess, Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor.” – Margaret Atwood.

In light of the new show based on this novel, and the fact that it was written by Margaret Atwood, I saw this in the bookstore, and decided I had to put this at the top of my reading list. Margaret Atwood did not disappoint in this one, and kept me hooked to the 564th page. If you don’t know what this novel is about, it is a work of fiction but it is based on the famous 1800’s criminal case of the Kinnear-Montgomery murders. Grace Marks proves to be a compelling, deep and multifaceted character, and I loved the way Atwood uncovered layers of Grace throughout the novel. I would consider this novel a literary masterpiece along with many of Atwood’s other works. What sets this one apart from the popular Handmaid’s Tale, is the fact that though Atwood’s writing is still rich with complexity and darkness at times, it is founded upon a real Canadian criminal case.

Margaret Atwood’s writing is so distinctive and beautiful throughout this entire book. She describes everything with such vivid detail that the reader really understands the setting, characters and plot. Her writing I would describe as being almost poetic in a sense, which is why she has made it to one of my current favourite authors. Another element of this novel that she did really well, was she encapsulated the time period in which this murder would have been occurring and the events that follow, in the 1800’s so well, even though she is writing it in a totally different era. I feel like Atwood did an excellent job of keeping the characters realistic and the setting realistic for the time period. I loved her use of stanzas, excerpts, and poems that prefaced each new section of the book relating to the Kinnear case. I thought that made the story even stronger.

However, though Atwood’s writing itself is profound, the character depth and relationships throughout this book prove to also be notable. Grace Marks I thought was an incredibly intriguing character right from the beginning, and I love the way Atwood slowly unveils who Grace really is through her conversation with Dr. Simon Jordan. Dr. Jordan was also a really fascinating character as we get to see as the reader, his moral decline throughout the book. Even Mary Whitney to me was such an intriguing character to read about, and finding out her significance to Grace’s actions.

Overall, I really appreciated the brilliance that came with creatively piecing together bits and pieces of the real criminal Kinnear case, with imagination, and creating deep and complex characters throughout the novel. I give this book a definite 5/5 stars, and now I can finally start watching the show to see how the adaptation compares! I recommend this to any Margaret Atwood fan, or if you just want to read a very creative twist on a real-life criminal case!

Some of my favourite Quotes from the novel: 

“If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged.”

“The small details of life often hide a great significance.”

“Murderess, murderess, he whispers to himself. It has an allure, a scent almost. Hothouse gardenias. Lurid, but also furtive. He imagines himself breathing it as he draws Grace towards him, pressing his mouth against her. Murderess. He applies it to her throat like a brand.”

“On the edge of sleep I thought: It’s as if I never existed, because no trace of me remains, I have left no marks. And that way I cannot be followed. It is almost the same as being innocent.
And then I slept.”

 

 

FrostBlood by Elly Blake – Book Review

Hello! I finished FrostBlood a few days ago, but with school starting I’ve been a little bit behind schedule on posting my reviews!

If you haven’t heard of FrostBlood you can check out the official synopsis on Goodreads here: FrostBlood Synopsis. 

27827203.jpgThis book is basically a fantasy novel that features two types of people: the Firebloods and the Frostbloods. Ruby, the main character, is a Fireblood and she gets captured and is determined to end the reign of the tyrannical Frostblood king. She gets once again captured this time not by the rebels, but by men of the king and she is forced to compete in the King’s tournaments which consists of brutal physical combat.

In general, I really did enjoy this book. It did remind me a lot of Red Queen and even a little bit of Valiant by Leslie Livingston in the way that the physical combats that occurred in the king’s tournament really in my mind resembled Gladiator fights and how they would fight to the death.

Another aspect of this novel that I really liked was the romance! It was kind of a forbidden romance because one of them was a Frostblood and the other a Fireblood which added another dimension to the novel.

The only drawback that I would say this book has, is the fact that is was a little bit predictable and it had a lot of YA fantasy tropes interwoven into it. It was the typical storyline of two categories of people at odds with each other, girl refines her ability through training, has a troubled past which makes her want to seek revenge on the current government, and she has to fight for what she believes in.

But that being said, sometimes it’s nice to have an easy fast-paced read that encompasses all of our favourite elements, and for me that is what I was looking for! For some reason, even though most of the YA fantasy novels that I read follow a similar plot line I still cannot get enough of these types of novels! I think my fascination with the YA fantasy genre kind of derives from the fact that they are always so political in nature. As a Political Science major, I love novels that can have political undertones especially in this book the emphasis on tyranny!

This book was action-packed and the characters were really interesting. I really liked Arcus as a character and I was so glad when I found out that this is part of a series, because I want to read the next books to see where Ruby goes from here.

Overall, I give this novel 4/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who loves typical YA fantasy novels. It’s a fast-paced read that will grab your attention until the last page.

Some of my favourite quotes from the novel:

“Ruthlessness is not power. Tyranny is not strength.”

“Once again, all doubt, all sense of right and wrong, faded. There was only the target, his darkly beating heart, and my fire. There was no fear, no anger, no shame, no regret. Just power, surging through me…”

“Frostbloods are fully capable of feeling in every way. The danger is that those emotions, while powerful and deep, may be covered with a layer of ice that prevents the natural expression of them.”