My heart! I don't think I have the right words to express all that I feel for this book. It was beautiful, unsurprisingly, written by such a gorg4.5/5
My heart! I don't think I have the right words to express all that I feel for this book. It was beautiful, unsurprisingly, written by such a gorgeous soul. I absolutely loved listening to her speak at the Hachette YA Book Event in ?2015, adored her honesty and writing style in her memoir 'Running Like China' and therefore had no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't also fall for this, her debut novel.
I felt so connected to the characters. My opinion and relationship with Grace was tumultuous--at once I felt very in sync with her ideals and overall personality, like I could relate to her feelings of inadequacy, especially when standing next to her twin brother; but I also wanted to smack her around when she lost her way. And boy, did she go far! The downward spiral that she drifts into with Jake (Ben's best friend) was unpleasant to follow, but I do feel like she redeemed herself in the end.
The writing. I really cannot get over Hardcastle's style, like poetry, its rhythm mimics the ebb and flow of the waves, gently in the sea. Yeah. I just loved it. A lot.
There's a whole lot else I'd love to say but it's one of those cases where there's just too much. 'Breathing Under Water' captivated me, pushing me to feel all the emotions at once. Grace Walker's story screamed out to me, albeit in her own understated way. Contemporary/realistic YA fiction FTW!...more
I felt like this book was a bit more all over the place than her previous books.. maybe that's just because there are so many charact3.5? 4? I dunno/5
I felt like this book was a bit more all over the place than her previous books.. maybe that's just because there are so many characters and plot lines that are interconnecting and converging. So much sex and lust, much much more than I would have liked in a YA novel. I don't really even get it.. felt quite fan fiction-y/wish fulfilment-y to me. Let me express that I prefer my romances to be slow burning and based on more than just the physical, which I felt that all but one pairing is based off of. Not a bad thing of itself, if that's what you're into. It's just not for me. Not wanting to come off as prudish but it was so full on to the point of distraction. I don't know why it was there; what did it add to the overall storyline? I understand that sex/mating is one of the strongest motivators for pretty much any living creature in existence but...
Anyway, while I don't feel it was as good as the previous book, I'm still SO READY to pick up the next book in the series! The ending was shocking (although a bit convenient/very cleverly executed - though HOW in amongst all the bedroom seshes with Ronan, I don't know) and I'm glad that Maas is willing to go super dark and really create tension and be very cruel to her characters. <3 Manon, Abraxos and her Thirteen, <3 Lysandra.. everyone else I'm pretty neutral about. I do like Aelin, though I feel that that 'like' is pretty detached (because she's so perfect and powerful and hard to relate to)... I guess my feelings are closer to admiration than like. The Fae males I'm pretty impartial to. They're just there. But I really loved seeing how everyone we've met in the series has come together and made appearances. That's what redeems this book and makes it actually pretty gods-damned epic....more
+ I did not expect the ending. I actually really liked the direction in which Oliver took the story, and found it very fitting and poignant. The me4/5
+ I did not expect the ending. I actually really liked the direction in which Oliver took the story, and found it very fitting and poignant. The meaning behind the narrative has changed, our viewpoint on Nick has changed, etc.
+ This is the first time I'd ever read a book where the protagonist works at an amusement park. I found it very refreshing and interesting. It's only until you step back and look at the big picture do you realise that this time is very important to Nick's character development. Especially the end where Alice talks about the amusement park and why she is so invested in it, it's really quite beautiful.
+ Sisters. They're complicated relationships. Dara and Nick were close, once upon a time. Something changed recently. Dara has been sneaking off, never home, and then the accident happens. Nick comes back and everything is so different yet the same. Their relationship becomes a series of unreplied messages, silence and disappearances. Nick would do anything to get things back the way they were.. and when Dara actually goes missing, maybe it's a cry for help, maybe she's in trouble, and maybe there's a connection to the Madeline Snow case.
+ Broken family. Divorce. Children dealing with their parent finding someone new, conflicting emotions.
Sarah J. Maas never fails to amaze me with her gripping storytelling - one of such rarity, managing to captivate me time and time again with bone-c5/5
Sarah J. Maas never fails to amaze me with her gripping storytelling - one of such rarity, managing to captivate me time and time again with bone-chilling, edge-of-your-seat, tantalisingly glorious twists and turns, and unfaltering writing style. Her heightened ability to create characters that stick, cling and crawl under one's skin seems to be a weapon of its own. I cannot, will not manage ever to remove Aelin nor Aedion nor Rowan nor Chaol nor Dorian nor Nehemia nor Sam, out of my heart and mind. I know I am not alone in this, a reader whose connection to the characters found in a book made profound, palpable and real and lovely... For me it is something I cannot find often in tv or movies. As a sequel, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, it stands triumphant. I am still reeling from the experience, excited for the day to come when my real life friends to whom I've recommended this series get around to reading this so they too can engage and fall in love with the characters, the writing and the author as much as I have.
I think it's pretty blatantly obvious that I loved this book, and adore and cherish this series as a whole. I guess I should add some substance to this review, hey?
In Queen of Shadows, Celaena has just returned back from Wendlyn, where her Fae powers and true identity as Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Queen of the fallen Terrasen were actualised, and she has a few scores to settle in Rifthold, the city that both served and enslaved her. Meanwhile, Prince Dorian has been captured by his father, the King of Adarlan, a Valg demon trapped inside of him; and Chaol has since abandoned his duty as Captain of the Guard to serve the King, now a member of the opposing Rebels, full of self loathing and dealing with his decision to run when Dorian needed him most. War is on the horizon, one that will involve creatures horrific and not of this world, and the fate of the world rests in the hands of The Assassin, the monster that Arobynn Hamel made, his protégé, Celaena Sardothien.
As I previously stated, the writing is just flawless. The book runs by its own pace. One of the things I really like is that Maas takes the time to develop her characters, and the world-building is probably one of the greatest I've encountered in YA fantasy. I have been a fan of the writing style from the very beginning, and I'm glad to see that a consistency has been maintained as we pass into the second half of the series.
If you've been following my reviews for a while or have any idea about my taste in books or know me personally, you'll know that I tend to focus more on the emotions and the connections that I feel towards the characters. As such, 'Queen of Shadows' really blew me away. Here we have Celaena Sardothien who has just returned from Wendlyn, now with the knowledge that she is Aelin Galathynius, the rightful heir to the throne in Terrasen, and she has to face all of the physical and mental scars from her time in Rifthold (and more specifically by the hands of Arobynn Hamel). Maas could not have done it better. She manages to bring us back to the past with flashbacks, evoking conflicting emotions within the reader. Following Aelin in this emotional journey just brings home just how much she has had to struggle to get to be where she is today, and I love her more for it.
Aelin is not without her fair share of suitors, and it seems that the line just keeps getting longer. I really really adored the direction Maas took with the relationship between her and Rowan in 'Heir of Fire' because there was no real romantic intention there. I admit I was still taken by how it has progressed in this book (I'm ashamedly very canon with my books), but upon reflection I did find it a little bit unnecessary, and it sort of felt like just an excuse to bring more sexual tension, steaminess and drama into the equation.
I admit I'm a sucker for the bittersweet and melancholy, so I quite liked the interactions between Aelin and Chaol. I know there is a lot of hate for Chaol now, a character that everyone used to adore until he pushed her away because she had magic running through her veins. But that's beside the point. I just like how Maas has brought both characters to this point where they're both okay, there is nothing left between them, and that's okay. That is life. I feel like this is rarely explored in YA literature. Feelings and people change. So at this moment, I'm just floating, I'll see where things go from here.
The last hundred pages or so of this book was just non-stop. So much happened and I could not read fast enough. Without spoiling anything, this is without a doubt a must-read. The end of this book marks the beginning of something big for the gang, and I have absolutely no idea how I can wait another year for the next book to come out so I can find out what happens next! Oh, the struggles of reading series as they're still being published......more
This book. Man, this book. Lines run deep. I don't even know... I don't even know.
Just everything, everything, in this book. Powerful. Of course, s5/5
This book. Man, this book. Lines run deep. I don't even know... I don't even know.
Just everything, everything, in this book. Powerful. Of course, spoilers if you haven't read CoM!
+ Celaena. All the feels! 'Skyscraper' by Demi Lovato or something like that. In CoM you see more sides to her but in HoF ALL of her is exposed, all is revealed. Her past, her future... She goes through even more hell, which is not surprising given the trend here, but OMG, she seriously goes through hell and back. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally and spiritually. + Rowan. Rowan! The chemistry and tension between him and Celaena... I LOVE Celaena x Chaol but there's something so beautiful about the relationship between these two. They start out similarly to CxC, but their ending is vastly different and their implications and expectations of one another and futures... Rowan is a dream; this time, I don't mind. + Chaol, Dorian and the others we have met previously. The demons and challenges they were faced with from the ending of CoM continue and escalate in this book. Where they're left at the end of this one makes me impatient for the next book, but we must wait. :S + The arc with Dorian and the healer, Sorscha. + The massive scale, the build-up for the next book. This book was epic and action-packed and well planned and brilliant. + More of Celaena's other self, and the other world and other people, other Fae. The demi-Fae she meets. ~ I feel like the arc with the Ironteeth clan wasn't... complete. Or maybe I just wanted more connection with the "main story" because I felt like it was just taking away from the main story. Like when this part came up all I wanted to do was race through it so I could get back to Celaena, or Rowan or Aedion or Dorian or Chaol, etc. Manon is like a Blackbeak Celaena in a way, and it'll be interesting to see how they finally meet, because they WILL meet... right? I loved the sort of How to Train Your Dragon feel to the story arc though (with Abraxos)....more
Ruta Sepetys is one of my all time favourite authors so I really do feel a bit biased here, but really, this book was so deeply complex and emoti4.5/5
Ruta Sepetys is one of my all time favourite authors so I really do feel a bit biased here, but really, this book was so deeply complex and emotional and I just love how much research she does for her historical fiction, and it shows.
It's not often that I agree with multiple perspectives but I feel that at times it really did work well.
Alfred reminds me of Mr Humbert from Lolita... it was actually quite interesting to read from his perspective. Even so he is still an enigma and I'd love to know what was Sepetys' inspiration for this character.
All the other characters were sympathetic and I enjoyed getting to know more about them. I tried SO hard not to get attached because I knew not all of them would survive in the end... the ending was doubly upsetting and uplifting.
I'm intrigued to do more research on this lost bit of history from WW2, or at least, I've never heard of it before. The body count is devastating... I can't even imagine......more
1. Saw the gorgeous cover. 2. Read the blurb. 'Korean War', 'Asian heritage' 3. Saw the tag historical-fiction. 4. OMG BARBARA STUBER!!! I remember absol1. Saw the gorgeous cover. 2. Read the blurb. 'Korean War', 'Asian heritage' 3. Saw the tag historical-fiction. 4. OMG BARBARA STUBER!!! I remember absolutely adoring her debut novel 'Crossing the Tracks'. This one is without a doubt on my to-preorder list. :D...more
It has been two months since I read this book, so forgive me for not really remembering too many of the specifics about this bookI ❤ Gayle Forman
It has been two months since I read this book, so forgive me for not really remembering too many of the specifics about this book. I still remember the important things, so I guess that's all that matters. I'm sure that my dwindling memory is not at all a reflection on the impact that this book had on me. I remember being very moved by Forman's words in I Was Here. Maybe not as much as If I Stay (that book will forever have my heart), but I still remember being moved.
I Was Here is a book about grief, and life and love. We follow our main character Cody who is devastated by her best friend Meg's recent death (she ingested a whole bottle of industrial-strength cleaner in a faraway motel room). She is left with many questions, but most of all: Why? Until she starts to dig a little deeper, and discovers that maybe it wasn't entirely of her own volition. Cody will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of this. It might not bring her best friend back, but maybe, just maybe finding truth will help to ease her overwhelming feelings of guilt that came with drifting apart from her best friend when she moved away for college, and not even knowing about this side of her.
It is no surprise that I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman's writing. She is a beautiful person and author who I hope to one day have the pleasure to meet. She has a unique talent of breathing life into the characters she creates. I fell so hard for Adam and Mia in If I Stay and Where She Went. I held my breath for Allyson and Willem in Just One Day and Just One Year. Cody resonates within me on a core level. I may not have lost a friend to suicide, but I have lost friends to reasons entirely outside of my own control. People just grow apart. And like Cody, I have harboured intense feelings of guilt and questioning and grief and worry. Like Cody I care a lot, though I may be blindsided at times and miss out on the bigger picture. We may not learn too much about her. For me, sometimes it's not extremely important that the character have an illustrious background and personality. Sometimes it's just enough that the reader is able to relate to them on some intrinsic level, if the plot works.
I've always been inherently more drawn to dreary books about misery, death, grief and forgiveness. I'm inherently more drawn to journeys of self-discovery. Where many people prefer physical adventures in books, I have always preferred the more internal adventures that characters go through. Which is, I suppose, why contemporary YA is such a delight for me to read. In I Was Here, Cody, as well as Meg's family (and Ben McAllister), all go through this journey in their own ways. This book is just swimming in emotion. Despite that, there is a certain shallowness in the exploration of these topics. I just felt like there could have been more.
Cody meets Ben McAllister, who was this cool, brooding guitar-playing guy who broke Meg's heart. I can't say that I loved the romance, it felt sort of forced. Girl meets dead best friend's ex. Vows never to fall for him. Falls for him anway. I felt that it was an angle that has been explored way too much. This trope just needs tyo die. I can understand the appreciate the way how grief can connect people as well as separate people, and in this case Cody and Ben connected through their connection (and unfinished business, guilt and grief) to Meg. But. It felt unnecessary. It felt like the author just needed so desperately to add in a romance to drive the plot forward. Anyway, that's just my own opinion.
The ending is quite hopeful, and the characters end up in a place where they have forgiven themselves even just that little bit so they can start to move on with their lives. I think this is an important message and an important book for young readers to indulge in. Grief can be an all-consuming emotion, especially when there are so many unanswered questions to rack your brain over. Overall this book kept me entertained and glued to the pages. I love Gayle Forman's writing so much and while this one didn't quite hit the nail on the head for me I still appreciate this book and eagerly await her next release....more