A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Publication:  2017 by Bloomsbury
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book with a location in the title.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

My Thoughts

This review was really hard to write. After the ending of ACoMaF I just had to pick this up and read it straight away. Although I enjoyed it, I had really high hopes for this book and came out feeling like this is the weakest of the 3 books. That’s not saying it’s bad, far from it, but the other two books had me reading at ridiculous times and for hours on end, squealing and fangirling. This book had me more thinking, get to the point!

I’m finally completing this review almost 2 months after reading the book. Every time I sat down to write it, it was hard to think of what to say that hadn’t already been said before. I also found that the more I thought about the book, the harder it was to focus on the things I enjoyed, it was so much easier to pull out the things I disliked.

I was put off of this book more than the others as it is so ruddy thick! I was really frustrated as within the first 100 pages Fayre is undercover, which was great, except she kept doing something and then explaining it. We as readers are not dumb, surprisingly enough we can figure out what she was doing and why without being spoon fed.

In this book we see a lot more characters introduced and more locations, as they go to the different courts. I loved seeing all the different courts and hearing the Bone Carver and Weaver’s back story. The characters are a definite strength in this book, and series as a whole. We get a lot more back story to the main characters, and I just love how she’s able to write about Feyre’s raw emotions such as struggling with PTSD.

However, with more characters and places came greater pacing issues. I feel this book could easily have been a third of a book smaller, especially if you removed all the unnecessary sex scenes. If I’m honest, I’m writing this review about 7 weeks after finishing the book and I’m having to look up what happened because a lot of  it was just that unmemorable.

Taking the series as a whole, it would definitely be a solid five star. I will definitely be re-reading it again the future and it will be very interesting to see how my opinion on it changes with the re-read. Especially for the first book, knowing what I know now…

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Publication: 3th May 2016 by Bloomsbury
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 books challenge – A book with the letters A, T and Y in the title.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My Thoughts

I purposely saved this book to be the first book I read in 2018. That was such a good choice because this book was brilliant. It was so good that I had to read ACoWaR straight away. I feel that this is the best book of the three, so far.

Although this book is classified YA, it wavers that line where I would be more inclined to remove it from that category and put it in full fledged fantasy.  There are a few sex scenes in the book, they’re not necessarily graphic but they’re pretty descriptive and may not be appropriate for young YA readers.

The book begins with Feyre back in the Spring Court preparing, but not really engaging, for her wedding to Tamlin. Although she made a bargain with Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court, to spend one week with him a month, his has not called in on this yet. Feyre is withering away due to not eating, disturbed sleep full with nightmares about under the mountain and Tamlin being more overprotective than usual and leaving Feyre like a prisoner in her own home. As she walks down the isle, she is silently praying for help. Like an answer to her prayer, that is the momeny Rhysand decides to turn up and make Feyre hold up her end of their bargain.

Although some people may consider this a love triangle, I think this is probably more about Feyre growing as a person and deciding who she wants to be, not who she wants to be with. Feyre grows so much within this book, both personally and romantically. She not only learns about her newly acquired powers, she learns to read and write and becomes more confident and assurtive.

The characters are just wonderful in this book too. I didn’t feel there were too many and as we progressed we found out more about each one. I just love Mor.

And man, that ending!

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

Bout of Books | Day 1

It’s day one of my first ever readathon!

6:00pm – I’m finally home from work. As a class we read The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes. This was a really lovely book. It had very little writing on each page but some beautiful language and pictures to match. The story follows a little gardener who tries very, very hard but his garden just won’t grow, except one beautiful flower. He sends out a call for help but because he is so small, no one can hear him. However, one someone sees the beautiful flower. Exhausted from trying so hard all the time, the little gardener falls asleep for a month, when he finally awakes he finds his garden in full flourish. He’s only little but to his garden he’s everything.

Page count: 40 pagesImage result

8:15pm – I’ve just completed Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman  #1) by Neil Gaiman. I didn’t love this at first but definitely got into as the story progressed. An occultist attempts to capture Death to bargain for eternal life but instead captures her younger brother, dream. After 70 years of imprisonment, Dream escapes and hunts down his lost objects of power.

I really enjoyed that Death and Dream were related, I especially loved that Death was a female rock chick.

This was a lot darker than I was expecting. A particular image which I know will stick with me is Death going around and picking up a baby from the cot as the mother leaves the room to get milk.

Image result for sandmanI did feel like there I was missing something as I was reading as there were little mentions to DC. At one point they mention calling Batman but he’d be busy. There was also an odd character which had a small role, I just remember he started to rhyme in Hell. After reading it, it turns out Veritgo is DC Comics which explains a lot.

Also, is it me, or does Dream look a bit like Neil Gaiman?

Page count: 290 pages

Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)

11:00pm – I managed to get in a bit of reading before bed so I’m now on page 142 of The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan. I’m definitely going to finish it this week.

 

Pages read: 362 pages

The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (Riyria Chronicles, #4)

 

Challenge: Introduce yourself in six words #insixwords.

Tea drinking, Harry Potter loving teacher.


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
– From the Bout of Books team

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Publication: 5th May 2015 by Bloomsbury
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 books challenge – A novel inspired by a work of classic literature

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

My Thoughts

I pre-ordered this. I also have the next to books on my shelf. Two and a half years later and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it! My goodness was it worth it.

This is one of those books that ruins your reading. After putting it down, I just couldn’t get into anything else. I desperately want to read the next one (infact, I have the next two on my shelf) but I want to keep them for next year to tick off my Around the Year in 52 Books challengeI just knew I was going to love this because it’s a Beauty and the Beast re-telling. And, well, It’s Sarah J Maas.

I must have been living in a hole for the past two years because I somehow managed to miss all the discussion and hype about this book. I definitely think this helped my reading experience.

The world building is wonderful. There is a lot of detail which is continued throughout  giving you a vivid image of each of the Faerie Courts.

The characters are definitely what makes this book. They are well developed and interesting, if a little awkward at times.

“You look . . . better than before.”
Was that a compliment? I could have sworn Lucien gave Tamlin an encouraging nod.
“And you hair is . . . clean.”

Sarah has a wonderful way of making you have strong feelings for each character. The villain is a typical villain but you can tell that bigger evils are coming. The romance is wonderful and the whole story is full of twists and turns and half truths.  I don’t even know where to begin with how I feel about Rhysand! I just can’t wait to read the next book!

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Mini Reviews – Hogfather, Saga Vol.2 and Before I Fall

The Hogfather (Dicworld #20) by Terry Pratchett

Hogfather (Discworld, #20)IT’S THE NIGHT BEFORE HOGSWATCH AND IT’S TOO QUIET.

Where is the big jolly fat man? Why is Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho? The darkest night of the year is getting a lot darker…

Susan the gothic governess has got to sort it out by morning, otherwise there won’t be a morning. Ever again…

The 20th Discworld novel is a festive feast of darkness and Death (but with jolly robins and tinsel too).

As they say: You’d better watch out…

As we’re coming up to Christmas, this was the book for me. It truly is wonderful. There’s woe and hardship, a skeleton (with a cushion up his shirt) climbing down a chimney to deliver presents to children, assassins, auditors, Death, fairies, gods and passive-aggressive ravens.

There are lots of different strings of this book; there’s Susan and the children she governs, Death and Albert delivering the presents in place of the Hogfather, the Wizards at the Unseen university and the new entities such as the Oh god! of Hangovers and the Eater of Socks, Mr Teatime (Te-ah-tim-eh) breaking into the Tooth Fairy’s castle, and the Auditors who were trying to erase humanity. However, they all tie together nicely, and were all interesting. I especially love Death and the Wizards.

It’s just delightful.

“AND NOW THERE REMAINS ONLY ONE FINAL QUESTION, he said. He raised his hands, and seemed to grow. Light flared in his eye sockets. When he spoke next, avalanches fell in the mountains. HAVE YOU BEEN NAUGHTY…OR NICE? HO. HO. HO.”

5-stars


Saga, Vol. 2 (Saga #2) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 2 (Saga, #2)From award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (Pride of BaghdadEx Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery SocietyDone to Death), Saga is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet… grandparents.

The images in these graphic novels are just stunning but it’s the story line which is the driving force to keep on reading.

This is a continuation of Marko and Alan’s adventures around space. They are trying to shield their newborn against the ever present war between their two races, with the help of Marko’s grandparents and a ghost baby sitter, whilst being hunted by a Robot Prince and Freelance mercenaries.

There is beautiful artwork, a compelling story line and lots of humour. I just wish they wen’t so expensive and so quick to read!

 photo IMG_4309_zpsdki7tc3d.jpg

5-stars


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I FallFor popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Teen Fic meets Groundhog Day.

I enjoyed the story but really disliked the characters. I couldn’t stand Samantha at the beginning. She was popular, had an oft-desired boyfriend, close friends which reminded me of Mean Girls and was she wasn’t exactly kinder than any of them.

As she relived Cupid Day, the days that she died, over and over again, she learns new things about different people and herself, trying to change the outcome. She essentially goes through the five stages of grief; denying everything, getting angry and lashing out at her friends, bargaining trying to put thing right, depressed that nothing matters and finally acceptance. She is a completely different person by the end of the book.

3-stars


Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)

Title: Nevernight
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles #1
Publication: 9th August 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge –  A book by an author you haven’t read before.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

My Thoughts

I received this book in my Illumicrate box last year and loved the look of it. I tried picking it up a couple of times but was never really in the mood for it and this is definitely a book you need to be in the mood for reading. It is very slow to get into, and throws a lot of information at you, but after about 30% (if you can make it that far) it really gets going.

The book flicks between the past and present. This means you are completely lost for the first few chapters but hold in there. It slowly builds up, giving you Mia’s back story and motivation. Once we actually get to the place where she begins training to be an assassin, things begin to get a lot clearer and interesting.

After the initial third of the book, things become a lot more fast pace.* We get violence, lots of death, sex and swearing. After all, they are training to be assassins. I loved that they’re not just trained in fighting, but also in poisons and seduction.

It was a solid first book and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes in the next book (it’s on my shelf ready and waiting). I ended up giving it a 3.5, but rounded up to 4 because of the painfully slow beginning.

*especially if you skip all those annoying footnotes.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Image result for the handmaid's tale book

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Series: N/A
Publication: 18th April 2017 (First published 1985)
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian

Around the World in 52 books – A book with a chilling atmosphere.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.

My Thoughts

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

This book first came to my attention due to the TV series, which I heard was amazing. I caught one episode and really enjoyed it but missed the rest, so I thought I would read the book first then watch the show.

I thought the story was a really interesting concept and was really well done. It is written from Offred’s point of view, almsot like a verbal diary of Offred’s thoughts and ideas. This means the story can be somewhat disjointed and sometimes she say it’s not right and retells it differently. It jumps between the present, as a handmaid, and the past before the change of government, with her husband and daughter. I found there was a little bit too much of the past for my liking and they dragged on occasionally.

It was a very interesting and thought provoking read, although not always enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

The Awakening + The Struggle (Vampire Diaries #1+2) by

The Awakening & The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)

Title: The Awakening + The Struggle
Author: L.J.Smith
Series: Vampire Diaries #1+2
Publication: 1st January 2007
Genre: 

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

The Awakening: Elena Gilbert is used to getting what she wants and she wants mysterious new boy, Stefan. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret – a secret that will change Elena’s life for ever …

The Struggle: Elena is torn between her boyfriend, Stefan, and his brother, Damon. But these brothers hide dark secrets and a tragic past that threatens them all. Damon wants to lead Elena astray – and he’d rather kill Stefan than let him possess her …

My Thoughts

I dragged myself through this book so I could tick off the challenge, from Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge, of reading one of the 100 best YA books. Imagine my frustration when I realised I got confused and it’s actually Vampire Academy that’s on the list, not this. On the bright side, at least this isn’t in the top 100 best YA Books because it’s truly awful.

The first book was originally written in 1999, so years before Twilight. However, it was hard not to draw connects between the two as it’s incredibly similar. They both had annoying and whiny main characters, stupid instalove and frustrating writing. This obviously reflects worse on Twilight than this book. I can’t say I was overly impressed with either of the books but at least Twilight was slightly better writing and marginally better characters.

The main character, Elena, is blonde, skinny and self claimed queen of the school. She prides herself on getting any boy she wants, so when a dark, handsome boy walks past her, completely blanking her, she instantly dumps her boyfriend and won’t rest until this stranger is hers. Rolling your eyes yet? It get worse. She is just a horrible person, she is manipulative, obssessive and egocentric.

Of course this dark, brooding stranger is a vampire and is staying away from her because she looks exactly like the love of his life from his past. He spends half of the first book ignoring her and when they finally do talk BANG they’re together and “in love”. God knows why, maybe because they’re both as dry as each other?

Then there’s Stefan’s brother, Damon. He’s the consistant “bad guy” who sexy and mysterious. Guess what, he want Elena too. Funny that. Turns out he was in love with the girl that Elena looks like too.

Guess I should have learnt from the TV series. Wasn’t overly impressed with that either.

My Thoughts (1)

1-star

How to be Champion: My Autobiography by Sarah Millican

How to be Champion: My Autobiography

Title: How to be Champion: My Autobiography
Author: Sarah Millican
Series: N/A
Publication: 5th October 2017 by Trapeze
Genre: Humor, Autobiography, Popular culture.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Part autobiography, part self help, part confession, part celebration of being a common-or-garden woman, part collection of synonyms for nunny, Sarah Millican’s debut book delves into her super normal life with daft stories, funny tales and proper advice on how to get past life’s blips – like being good at school but not good at friends, the excitement of IBS and how to blossom post divorce.

If you’ve ever worn glasses at the age of six, worn an off-the-shoulder gown with no confidence, been contacted by an old school bully, lived in your childhood bedroom in your thirties, been gloriously dumped in a Frankie and Benny’s, cried so much you felt great, been for a romantic walk with a dog, worn leggings two days in a row even though they smelt of wee from a distance, then this is Your Book. If you haven’t done those things but wish you had, This Is Your Book. If you just want to laugh on a train/sofa/toilet or under your desk at work, This Is Your Book.

My Thoughts

There’s no GCSE in fingering.

If you’ve seen Sarah Millican’s stand up, you’ll know her as being rude, crude and naughty. She like cakes and cats.

This book is very raw and honest. She tells us about what she knows the public perceives as her flaws, physical and mental health, falling in love, rise in comedy and everything else in between. There are some wonderful photos and anecdotes. At the end of each book are some ‘self help’ tips which reflect on what she’s said in the chapter.

As she’s a comedian, I expected it to make me laugh. I was not disappointed, I laughed. A lot. Sometimes just chuckles or snorting but also cackling, loudly.

A joy to read.

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars