Cause of death: brain just exploding from the brilliance that was this book. I don't even know how she doInitial thoughts upon finishing - 8/22
Cause of death: brain just exploding from the brilliance that was this book. I don't even know how she does it but OMG I'm shaking right now from how perfect this was and how much I love these characters. A LITTLE DISORIENTED TBH.
Direct thy wyverns to a bookstore immediately on Sept 1, buy the book and ignore the world!!! Seriously. Ask my husband how much he has spoken to me in the past 24 hours.
REAL THOUGHTS TO COME LATER. But holy shit I cannot wait until the next book. Shit about to get even more real.
Okay now that I've had time to sit down and untangle my thoughts!!
Queen of Shadows was everything I had hoped for. When I finished it (literally binged it from Friday night, went to bed, then woke up and finished it Saturday which was intense because that book is THICK) I was just like BRAIN. EXPLODING. BRILLIANT. OMG. I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. I LOVE EVERYTHING. CAN I HAZ BOOK 5?? I’m just so obsessed with this story and world and obviously the characters. I can’t really put into words, non-spoiler words, to explain what this book did to me and why I loved it so much…it was just everything and made my love for it expand all the way to the undiscovered parts of the universe and back. Sarah is just so brilliant in the way she truly makes me feel and understand these characters, why they do what they do, their struggles, what they are fighting for, etc. Everything was epic. I am so, so beyond invested and basically will sign a deal with the devil not to die before this series ends haha. Sooo now I will just talk in spoilers because that is all I can do...so
We are just going to go straight up lists for this because it’s been over a week and my brain still is like HAHAH YEAH COHERENT THOUGHTS WHAT ARE THEY.
1. SHIPS AND THINGS: So it’s no secret that there has been lots of speculation about ships and where those would go in this series. I take my ships seriously. But I’ve realized some people take their ships EVEN MORE SERIOUSLY (ie. death threats to authors and crap). What I’m always more concerned about, especially with a fave series, is the integrity of the story that author is trying to tell rather than an author feeling pressured to give reader wish fulfillment. What I mean by that is I WANT CELAENA TO END UP WITH WHO SHE NEEDS TO BE WITH REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. If it happens to be the popular ship, cool. If it happens to be my ship, even better. But like…I need to BELIEVE that this is true to the character and their journey and this is what has to happen. Now, I rarely jump ships. I’m truly loyal. But QoS made me jump ships faster than a pirate looking for more booty. I was so team Chaol. And then I wasn’t. We saw his lack of acceptance for certain things about Celaena in HoF and (it should have raised red flags for me but I’m a hopeless romantic) and it struck me pretty early on in QoS that they couldn’t be together in my mind. At least not right now. Or ever. Maybe they will just be good friends. WHO KNOWS. You can’t be with someone who doesn’t get these essential parts of you. Who doesn’t accept them. Things that are you to the core. That are an important part of who you ARE and who you are going to be. Chaol can’t get past some of these things. I think he tried to believe she could be who he wanted but couldn’t altogether. She deserves to be with a person who gets her. Truly. She deserves to be understood to her core. Chaol loves her no doubt…but it might not be in the way she NEEDS or WANTS to be loved romantically. ALSO, we always knew early on that Chaol’s allegiances would always be to Dorian. That was evident from book 1. That was his King in his mind. And now he is the King. And he needs to be there while she is figuring shit out with her kingdom. They have dueling and conflicting journeys right now. I know lots of people are going to be upset about the turn in ships but I actually find it hella refreshing that a young female character doesn’t have to always be with their first or second love etc. That they can learn and grow and appreciate what that person brought to their life. Chaol did so much to help her to realize who she is and what she is fighting for. He is part of her journey to where she is now. I mean, this happens in life. Someone is right for you at a certain chapter in your life and then sometimes you both are still moving…but in different directions. Like hello my whole high school and college until I met Will. I thought I wanted vastly different things as I was coming of age. I don’t know what the rest of the series holds for them but I am SO OKAY WITH WHERE THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. And maybe they will be right for each other again….but they both of things to deal with in the remaining books…you never know where life is going to take you. But Sarah made me feel like THIS IS THE RIGHT THING. This is right for my girl. She is so complicated and still figuring her shit out and she deserves to be able to do that. She was a different person in some ways when she met Chaol. She deserves to keep figuring out who she is and what she wants –and decide who she wants to love. It’s an important decision when it comes to matters of the heart. I will defend this until the end of time. I HAVE SO MUCH PEACE ABOUT IT.
2. Manon continues to be one of my favorites EVER and I think her character is even more fleshed out here. She still feels like who she is but these shifts within her in this book are SO believable to me and I can’t wait to see what she does in next book with all the info/perspective she has now. I have been waiting for an epic showdown between them and IT WAS THE SHOWDOWN THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. I burst into tears at the two acts of kindness they showed toward each other. THE MESSAGE ABOUT DORIAN. OMG OMG. BAWLED. I can’t wait to see when they meet again.
3. Aedion: I’m just saying I want Aedion for MYSELF. He is a character who I loved getting to know better in QoS as I already loved him in HoF. “And Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell” I DIED I DIED. The first eye contact between them after these years. DIED. And their first real conversation after they got to have after they rescued him….KILL ME NOW. EPIC REUNION IS SO BEYOND EPIC. The plan and execution was flawless.
4. Dorian’s POV: One of the most distressing, and I mean heart in the pit of my stomach distressing, was Dorian’s POV. Oh my heart I wanted to puke. It was breaking my heart to watch him not remember and try so hard to. To be aware and acknowledge the demon in him and trying so hard to fight it. I cried so hard when he remembered his name. I LOST MY SHIT when C says to him, “We get to come back from this loss — this darkness. I came back for you.” LOST IT. LIKE SOBBED. And I totally felt like as much as she was saying it to him…she was reminding herself of this.
5. THE BATTLE IN THE END. Her plan. Slipping the eye in Chaol’s pocket. How she saved Dorian. The banter with the king. THE FUCKING FIRE WALL. I was had to remind myself to breathe during this epicness.
6. FUCKING CANNOT WAIT FOR MY QUEEN TO RECLAIM HER KINGDOM AND SEE WHAT IS UP THERE.
7. HOT SEXY ROWAN. Please make that towel drop next time SARAH!!! “You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.” HEART STOPPED. This is what I want for her. This is why I ship this.
8. HOLLA BADASS LADIES: I’m so all about all the amazing dudes that Sarah writes (no seriously how does she?) but I was soooo in love with the roles that the ladies played in this book. It’s magical what Nesryn and Lysandra brought to this book. SQUAD GOALS ALL THE WAY. Badass, unapologetic ladies in the house! And seriously Kaltain quite literally blowing shit up?? And obviously Manon being Manon and what she did. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE LADIES SAVING THE DAY IN THIS BOOK (hide spoiler)]
TL;DR: Queen of Shadows is all I had hoped for and more. All the love I had for this world/characters/story before x 1000000000000. Sarah continues to deliver the perfect amounts of everything I need: amazing character development, complex romances/relationships, hella interesting plot and flawless writing. It’s just one BIG, and I mean big, book of badassery and perfection. GIRL SQUADS, HOT DUDES, HOLD-YOUR-BREATH MOMENTS. SCENES THAT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH AND CRY AND HAPPY CRY. It was all glorious and I am basically dead still after reading it.
THIS BOOK GUYS. Crown of Midnight was my favorite of the series so far I think because it was just SO EPIC. Also, in general it was one of the best sequels I’ve ever read. This is where I became obsessed. I was in love with Throne of Glass but I became a full on crazy because of this book. SO MUCH WAS HAPPENING AND IT WAS NUTS….seriously my heart was racing as I devoured this book. It begins with Celaena a couple months after she wins the competition and we find out what she’s been up to now that’s she’s supposed to be doing the king’s bidding….and then shit just gets crazy. People die. People betray. Crazy things are revealed. There is so much sneaking around and Celaena is just generally even more of a badass and maybe even more ruthless. The sheer amount of emotions that I had during this book was a record level and the amount of times my jaw dropped became too many to count. Really seeing the rebellion start to form was exciting and scary. I came to love beloved characters EVEN MORE FIERCELY. Seriously Chaol and Dorian, not just even as fictional crushes, are just all around great characters and it was so hard for me to see some cracks in relationships in this one. Especially A BIG MOMENT where Celaena really doubts someone. My heart sunk! I just was thanking my lucky stars I had Heir of Fire by the time this book ended because I was flailing (for real) and the way it ENDS. OH MY HEART. If I hadn’t had Heir of Fire I would have left with a crazy book high where I would have been jittery and inconsolable and it would have taken me a long time to come off this one....more
We Were Liars is one of the BEST books I’ve read in a LONG time. I’m not the type of person to proclaim every book to be amazing and the best and on aWe Were Liars is one of the BEST books I’ve read in a LONG time. I’m not the type of person to proclaim every book to be amazing and the best and on and on because I try to reserve that for the books that REALLY mean a lot to me. I want you to believe me when I say THIS IS A BOOK YOU NEED TO READ. Everyone. I don’t care what you read. So please hear me when I say this: this book is beyond amazing, it blew me away and it is one of the BEST BOOKS I’ve read in a long time. This book deserves more than 5 stars -- it deserves fireworks and confetti and lots of recognition. I haven’t had a book really wreck me like this one did but I sobbed and I screamed and this is why I love reading…BOOKS LIKE THIS. A truly remarkable story from start to finish. Especially the finish. It’s just brilliant and my words are just paltry little things that can’t do it any justice.
It's rare that I read a book THIS early but I will carry the torch for this book right up until it is released and beyond.
Why You Should Be Saving The Date for Landline by Rainbow Rowell:
1. Rainbow Rowell continues her trend of being able to write poignantly and candidly about all sorts of love: Every book of hers I’ve read (all but Attachments) just perfectly captures some intricacy of love in different stages/forms and all the beautiful messiness that comes with it. I loved that, while this was partly a story about a love going wrong, it’s also a story about falling back in love and remembering the first time you fell in love with that person as well…especially in the face of maybe losing it all. She makes love just come alive and feel true.
2. GOD HER WRITING: I just love how Rainbow Rowell writes and Landline is no exception. I love her dialogue. The insertion of some humor. How it makes me feel. And these beautiful sentences that just make you stop in your tracks. I even read a passage to my husband and I NEVERRRR read him things from what I’m reading.
3. Lots of thinking re: my own marriage and really any relationship that’s important: It’s easy to be complacent and take people for granted. To not try harder to keep your love ignited and fall into bad habits. I’m early on in my marriage and things are wonderful but this was such a raw and honest portrayal of how one day you could wake up and be in a place you don’t want to be in your marriage because little by little you let it slip away.
4. She just keeps proving she can write anything: This is her 2nd adult book and 4th book total and everything of hers I read is so wonderfully different and I never know what to expect with her but each time I fall in love in my own way with the book and the characters. They are the books that linger for me and keep me up at night.
5. She makes this THING work: There’s an element to this book, how Georgie communicates with him in the past, that COULD be super corny and she just makes it WORK. So well. Never felt corny.
Who Should Save The Date: Rainbow Rowell fans, people who also read adult fiction, people who like love stories that are a bit messy but beautiful
A Sneak Peek: “You don’t know when you are twenty-three. You don’t know what it really means to crawl into someone else’s life and stay there. You can’t see all the ways you’re going to get tangled, how you’re going to bond skin to skin. How the idea of separating will feel in five years, in ten — in fifteen. When Georgie thought about divorce now, she imagined lying side by side with Neal on two operating tables while a team of doctors tried to unthread their vascular systems” (this is taken from the advanced copy and could be subject to change)...more
I would say more like 4.5. I'm really stingy with the full 5 but 4.5 is just very, very close!!
From my "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Open RoI would say more like 4.5. I'm really stingy with the full 5 but 4.5 is just very, very close!!
From my "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Open Road Summer is one of two books I am hereby declaring as THE books you must have in your beach bag this summer if you love contemporary YA (the other is Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson). It’s fun romp across country in a tour bus with two best friends and one absolutely heart palpation inducing Matt Finch that is funny, romantic, happymaking and explores how we let people in & learn to trust when we’ve carefully constructed walls against that. But seriously if you are looking for a fun, feel good read about friendship, has a main character who is real & flawed and an absolutely adorable romance…this is it! I promise! All the hype is warranted.
1. This book is set in college: Since I was IN COLLEGE (I graduated in 2008) I often whined about there not being enough books set in this oh so HUGE step in my life and NOT UNDERSTANDING WHY. You learn so much about yourself and there is so many potential subjects to tackle in college — I mean KIDS are going off into adulthood — bound to be fun things or very life changing things that forge your way to adulthood. Thank you, Rainbow Rowell!
2. This book is everything I thought the “New Adult” subset of books would be but haven’t really found. Fangirl is considered YA but these were the kinds of things I imagined would be tackled in New Adult — college, how it seems like everything is changing around you, meeting all sorts of new people, figuring out who you are and reconciling that with the person you WERE, venturing into adult relationships, learning to be more independent, etc. Obviously I think NA should tackle many other subjects because our experiences post high school are vast but, what I mean to say is that, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell just seems to FIT the idea of what I thought “New Adult” would be without TRYING to be anything. It didn’t scream “HEY I’M NEW ADULT. I’M JUST MAKING THE AGE OLDER & MAKING IT SUPER SEXY.” Rather it was a real story about someone moving on from high school and having their first taste of adulthood in college. It just naturally satiated those of us looking for post high school stories that deal with issues so many of us can relate to.
3. EMERGENCY KANYE DANCE PARTY: I can’t tell you anything more but it was one of my favorite scenes in this whole book.
4. It was such a complete package for me: I couldn’t put this down. It just seemed to have everything — flawed but awesomely real characters, a story that moved along nicely, a heartwarming story, it made me laugh and just drew me in so completely with a tale of that first taste of adulthood that was such an important time of my own life that shaped me and helped me grow.
Who Should Save The Date: Fans of contemporary YA with really well fleshed out characters, people looking for a story set in college, people who are into the whole fandom/fanfiction thing (totally not a requirement because I’ve never read an ounce of fan fiction in my life and I still wholeheartedly connected and loved this), stories about sisters/twins, fans of Rainbow Rowell’s previous work
Ladies and gentleman, we have yet another David Levithan novel that I am absolutely and totally smitten with. This may just be my favorite yet. I’m teLadies and gentleman, we have yet another David Levithan novel that I am absolutely and totally smitten with. This may just be my favorite yet. I’m telling you, I dogearred the hell out of Two Boys Kissing (don’t cringe..you already knew I committed this book crime) and read it in a single day! Incredibly thought-provoking, beautiful and so many passages that make me remember how words can just make my heart flutter. David Levithan is one of those special voices and this book is a shining example of that.
I’m not going to lie, as soon as I started reading I was not thrilled about the Greek Chorus narration but it quickly won me over and honestly I think MADE the novel. Their collective voice broke my heart but was also so, so hopeful. As much as I loved the boys, these men are the ones that will linger in my heart for a long, long time. I was tearful at times and completely mesmerized by them and their take on what was unfolding in the boys lives and also reflecting on THEIR lives and delighting in the PROGRESS that their own struggles and fight helped pave the way for. As much as it was the wise and thoughtful insight of the gay men of the past who died from AIDS reflecting on all this, it also made me think SO much of all the voices of the past that fought for us to have something or to make progress or give us rights in general. It made me weep for those people and what they went through and gave up for the sake of progress.
The main event of the novel is these two boys who are going to be publicly kissing in front of their high school to beat the world record for the longest kiss. Woven in are stories of various other boys who are gay and at various stages of coming out or in their relationships. There’s also another couple who are both out and dating, two guys who meet at a dance and are in the very beginnings of getting to know each other and a boy who isn’t out yet to anyone except the guys he meets in chatrooms.
There were many things these boys dealt with — being ok in their skin, approval from their family, first loves, coming out to their family and more — and it was easy to get caught up in all the story lines and be rooting for them. I was brought to tears, was reminded of first love, how hard it is to fight for love sometimes and accepting yourself first before you worry about others accepting you. Their stories felt authentic and embodied what it is to be a teen — gay or straight.
I love books that make me think, just want to squeeze all of humanity in for a hug and remind me why books are so, so powerful. David Levithan, you are a hell of a man, a very gifted writer, a wonderful advocate for gay teens and someone who has helped pave the way for more progress even in your own space in publishing by giving voice to LGBT teens who needed to see themselves in YA. Looking at this cover reminds me of how far we’ve come....more
Everything about this book was flawless for me. I literally can’t think of one thing about it that could have been better. Trish Doller wrote a storyEverything about this book was flawless for me. I literally can’t think of one thing about it that could have been better. Trish Doller wrote a story that made my heart explode into pieces so small they shouldn’t have been able to been able to be put back together — but somehow she managed to put them back together with a moving story of family, second chances, love and facing your future despite your past. If you like amazing character development that feels incredibly real and makes you feel emotions so fiercely, pick this book up. The plot was immediately interesting to me and the characters just took it and ran and I didn’t want to pull myself out of the story because I was so immersed in it. Such a COMPLETE story that reminds me of why I love reading!
If there were ever a book that I’d make a sweeping recommendation for, no matter if you read YA or if From the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
If there were ever a book that I’d make a sweeping recommendation for, no matter if you read YA or if you aren’t into historical fiction, this is it. Despite the slow start due to an abundance of aviation type descriptions and the settling into the way the story is told, this book was knock-you-off-your feet incredible! The unraveling of this story and the deliverance of astonishing twists and revelations, accompanied by the most moving story of friendship I’ve encountered in a while, ensured this book has wound up on my very small ALL TIME FAVORITES list. I’m most stingy with this kind of recommendation and Code Name Verity certainly is deserving.
Second Chance Summer is one of the best books I’ve read. Period. It’s hard for me to keep my emotions ou From the Final Thoughts portion of my review:
Second Chance Summer is one of the best books I’ve read. Period. It’s hard for me to keep my emotions out of my recommendation but I promise you that you will become absolutely absorbed in Taylor’s story. I PROMISE you this story is not all sad, despite my very emotional letter above. It’s a beautiful and moving story, set at at a summer lake house, that’s about love, friendship, family and second chances — not just about a girl whose dad is sick. Matson simplifies nothing. It’s equal bits sweet, funny and heartbreaking but this story just felt so COMPLETE. It’s perfect and balanced and JUST READ IT PLEASE. Morgan Matson solidified herself as an auto-buy author for me and she is the cream of the crop when it comes to well written, relatable contemporary YA books with lovely romances and complex, moving stories.
Read my full letter to Morgan Matson in lieu of a review here!...more
This book inspired my "WTF! Why is this book not more popular" shelf on here!
This was absolutely one oFrom the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
This book inspired my "WTF! Why is this book not more popular" shelf on here!
This was absolutely one of the most fun romps I’ve had in contemporary YA since I first read Sloppy Firsts. I fell in love with Audrey and all the rest of the characters (minus Sharon – ew!). It was LOL-inducing and I just couldn’t stop reading to find out what more crazy shenanigans Audrey was going to have to endure with her newfound fame. If you are looking for a TRULY fun and happy read with a hilarious plot and some swoony moments, then I’d definitely pick this up. I know many of you are Jessica Darling fans so I’d highly recommend this one as I think Audrey and Jessica are each other’s spirit animals. LOVED LOVED LOVED. It was definitely what I needed after reading so many heavy issue books lately.
As per usual, David Levithan’s writing is beautiful and gets straight to the heart. He’s really outdoneFrom the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
As per usual, David Levithan’s writing is beautiful and gets straight to the heart. He’s really outdone himself this time though making this my favorite David Levithan book thus far! This book is imaginative, will dazzle you with its beauty, make you fall in love with A and make you just want to promptly start it all over again. Every Day defies genre and age — I will recommend this to EVERYONE I know — regardless of what they typically read. This book is both beautiful and page-turning!
It's 3am and I don't know HOW the eff I'm supposed to fall asleep after that?? OMG. SO freaking good. Not often I enjoy a sThoughts after reading it:
It's 3am and I don't know HOW the eff I'm supposed to fall asleep after that?? OMG. SO freaking good. Not often I enjoy a second book more than a first.
ALSO. I didn't think it was possible to love Roar anymore. But I do.
From my "Final Thoughts" portion of the review:
I’m going to pretty much officially say I liked Through The Ever Night MORE which I rarely ever say about a book 2. Prepare to get your workout in turning those pages furiously because this was one of those books that are the epitome of words like “exhilarating” or ” riveting” (and ummm HEARTBREAKING at moments). But Veronica Rossi balances all of that action with truly incredibly characters who you just really fall in love with even more, some really tender moments and making your heart pitter patter with Perry & Aria’s romance. It’s just one of those addictive books that make me shut out Real Life in favor for an imaginative, dangerous journey with characters I wish were real. I love the worldbuilding, I love the characters, I love it all. This series is a favorite that I’ll keep on recommending for lovers of dystopian worlds with fantastical elements.
Taken from my "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Golden by Jessi Kirby was a stirring and beautiful story with depth and emotion and I LO4.5 stars!
Taken from my "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Golden by Jessi Kirby was a stirring and beautiful story with depth and emotion and I LOVED IT. I have this desire to reread it already. It was refreshing and one of those books that just is all consuming in the best possible way. I couldn’t stop reading as Parker read the journal of a girl who was the center of a tragic accident and finds her life become intertwined with this mystery — all while watching Parker’s growth. It’s my favorite novel thus far from Jessi Kirby and solidifies her as a go-to author in the contemporary YA genre. Don’t miss this one, friends!