Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Books You Should Be Reading

There are so many books out there, so many series to read, and it seems like the list is endless!...And that's only YA. My TBR list is never ending because I have started all of these beautiful series and the next book is always coming out. Never quick enough, but there's always something to be read and another world to fall in love with.

If you're having trouble trying to figure out what book to read next, or which book will help get you out of your latest literary hangover, here are some books and series that I think you should be reading, if you're not already.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book is by far my favorite book I've ever read. There is no doubt in my mind that The Night Circus will one day be a classic novel that is read in schools. It is beautifully articulated and it is the kind of book that sucks you in and, to be honest, I haven't even left it yet. And it's been a while since I read it. This book follows the story of two magicians competing against each other, not knowing who their opponent is, in the beautiful setting of a mysterious night circus. It's magical, romantic, adventurous, and encapsulates everything a book should be.

2. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

If you haven't heard of this series, you may be living under a rock...or just not apart of the fantasy novel world. Sarah J. Maas has taken over fantasy, so if you're into fantasy, you're probably already reading her magnificent books. This particular series follows an assassin named Celeana in a world cut off from magic. It's hard to give a good summary about the whole series without spoiling anything because, trust me, this book has so many twists and turns and it's just an amazingly crafted story that you need to be reading.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

Yes, Maas is on this list twice. Why? Because she is queen. This was actually the first book I read by her, which then opened me up to the Throne of Glass series, and I am completely hooked. It was a bit of a beauty and the beast retelling, which immediately caught my eye, and then it morphed into something completely different. Feyre is kidnapped by the Fae where she has to break this curse on Tamlin, only she doesn't know that she has to, and she hates Fae. So, yeah, this is an intense read, but it is a great read. Not to mention, when you read the sequel to this one, your mind will be blown. Just saying.

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

While I am still working my way through this series, I have to say that I am hooked and the fairytale retelling is only a part of the reason why I think this is a such a good series. This story, a dystopian retelling of some of our favorite fairytales including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White is going to take you on a ride. A good ride, one that you will refuse to get off of.

5. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

While there has been some mixed reviews of this series, especially pertaining to the last two, I think this is a great series that is definitely worth reading. It's addicting, romantic, and you will have your ships by the end of book one. If you're looking for a solid read, a quality obsession, then the story of America entering the Selection, a process where the prince picks his true love out of thirty some odd girls, is the book for you. You won't regret it.

6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This book was hot the second it came off the presses. Literally. Tahir was a best seller with her first book. If that's not enough to entice you to read this book, just to see what all the hype is about, then many the summary will. Set in the Martial Empire, inspired by Rome, when Laia's brother is taken for treason, Laia has to make a decision. And that decision is to work for the rebellion within the walls of the Martial Empire, so that they can take it down. And there's a sequel coming soon, so best to start now! It's a brutal world with awesome characters and a story you're going to fall in love with.

7. The Splintered Series by A. G. Howard

While this series isn't new or hot right now, this is one of my favorite book series ever. Mostly because I love Alice in Wonderland and this is a twisted approach to that beloved story. I can tell you how much I love it, but I literally have a post dedicated to why you should read this book. If you're looking for a read, into some creepy stuff and twisted stories, and you haven't gotten around to this one, then you definitely should.

8. The Shadow Falls Series by C. C. Hunter

This is a book series I read a long time ago, but it's good. You know what they say, Old but gold. Well, it's not old old, but when it comes to the YA spotlight, it kind of is. When Kylie Galen is shipped off to a reform camp for troubled teens, she learns that the trouble these kids are in is the supernatural kind. They're all coming to terms and learning to harness their abilities safely and at camp. The characters in this book are relatable, the story is intriguing, all in all this series encapsulates the heart of YA from a couple years ago when werewolves and vampires ran the show, but also shone some light on Fae who are getting their light now. This series is everything. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

9. Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This series has kind of taken the world by storm. Even Tim Burton has gotten his creative hands on this series. With the movie coming out, this is a book you need to read before the movie is released.

10. The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

This is actually a group of books in a group of series and basically if you start reading Clare's works, you are in for a very long ride with a very beautiful outcome. If you're going to start with Clare's Shadowhunters world, you should start with The Mortal Instruments and then work your way through it. There is also The Infernal Devices and the newest series in the chronicles The Dark Artifices. Your emotions will be manipulated by Clare and this is definitely a fandom you should be apart of.

So what do you think? Did I cover the good ones? Are there any you think should have been on this list? I know for sure that there are SO MANY MORE fantastic books out there that I haven't gotten around to reading yet and I can't wait to discover what they hold for me, too!

At the end of the day, when you pick up a book, there is a connection there. Something draws a permanent line between book and reader. Not always is there that connection, which sucks, but what's important for every reader is to find the books out there that do that for them. The ten books above are just a few of the ones that have captured my heart and I hope you do too. And let me know what you discover when you read these books cover to cover!

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas Review

For those of you who don't know much about me, there is one YA/NA author that I love and her name is Sarah J. Maas. I love all of her works and her writing style is so captivating. She literally makes me feel so many emotions when reading any and all of her books that I can't help but buy the newest one as soon as it comes out and then hate myself for the year long wait I've just brought upon myself once I finish it. I am a huge fangirl of all S J Maas does (please see my countdown to Queen of Shadows on this blog), so of course I bought A Court of Mist and Fury as soon as it came out and read that thing like my life depended on it.

The first book I ever read by Maas was A Court of Thorns and Roses, which got me on the S J Maas fan train leading me to binge read the entire Throne of Glass series and was still left wanting more. Before I read ACOTAR, I was never the biggest fan of Fae inspired novels. Maas had me changing my tune after I got involved with the beautiful story of Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, Rhysander, and all the other completely dynamic characters that I decided Fae novels were a breed of YA/NA that I needed to learn more about. And thank God I did.

I digress...A Court of Mist and Fury is the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, which is a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, although no where near the beloved children's tale we all fell in love with. Maas created a complex, sexy, and engulfing new story in a world that I feel apart of now. When the first book ended, I thought it wrapped up kind of nicely. There was room for development (at the time I was team Tamlin, but I wanted to know what this Rhys character's deal was) and I wanted more of the Fae world outside of the Spring Court. In the sequel, Maas delivered on all of my desires as Feyre decides that maybe the Spring Court just isn't the right court for her.


Maas may be the only author that can cause someone like me to jump ship so fast that it makes my head spin. (Please skip this next part if you haven't read Throne of Glass and want to avoid spoilers) In Throne of Glass, I was team Chaol all the way. Loved that guy. Then we had to go and meet Rowan and I found myself on another ship it was crazy. (Those of you that skipped the TOG spoiler you can continue reading again) And here I am, in the middle of a story I thought I had all figured out and knew who I was going to ship and what not, deciding that I was wrong and Maas is right. She is always right.

The love story between Feyre and Tamlin was a beautiful one. A classic one. It made total sense to be the winner of ACOTAR, but now that Feyre is changed, now that she is in a new world living a different life than she's ever had to live before, it makes sense that maybe her heart beats a different way. And then it made total sense for the Rhys ship to sail because, I mean, you should read the book. You'll fall in love with him so fast...ugh.

Aside from the romance in this book, which is hot and perfect, Maas also introduces a slew of new characters that you can't help but fall for. Azriel, Mor, Cassian, and Amren are a few people that I want to know more about. Damn, I should've bought the Target edition just so I can get a short story revolving around a few of those characters. Anyways, these are characters that mean something and build a story. 

For a while, I was really blah on the idea of introducing a seemingly original storyline in this one. What was the point of making me love the secondary characters like Lucien when she was just going to divert attention away from him in the end? Then it all made sense thanks to that heartbreaking ending. Everything came full circle and I am in dire need of the next book. ASAP.

Maas does a fantastic job of world weaving. It's truly a raw talent. At the end of this book, all I can say is that if you haven't read this series, you need to, and be prepared to have your heart ripped out and still beating at the end of it because I think it's going to be a long while before I can fully function again. And that's what I learned when I read this book cover to cover.

On a side note, who all is excited for Empire of Storms????? I literally cannot wait. Maas, you are a genius and I can't wait to see what's in store in both of your beautiful tales.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Crown by Kiera Cass Review

So I'm jumping a little out of order here on my TBR list, but it's only because I have been awaiting this release since I found out there was going to be two more books in the beloved Selection Series. So when this book hit shelves, I had it downloaded on my Kindle in seconds. Then I tore through this beauty so fast and was left with so many emotions...Ugh.

Anyways, for those of you who don't know anything about the Selection Series. I highly suggest you hop on that train and binge read the entire series since all five books are finally out. The first three books in the series follow the story of America Singer, a girl in the country of Illea, who is competing with thirty-five other girls for the heart of the prince. However, America isn't trying to win his love, but keep the stipend the crown is sending her family. Now, it's hard to go much further into detail without giving away anything about the series so if you haven't read the Selection Series I would STOP READING NOW. And for those of you who haven't yet read The Crown and don't want any spoilers, then you should also STOP READING NOW.

The Crown follows the end of America and Maxon's daughter's journey to find love and eventually run the country. Eadlyn never though she would find love in The Selection, but she has, and now it is a matter of holding on to it or doing what is best for her country.

Alright, so first off, I think this is a very classic and simple way to end such a beautiful story. Very fitting. I know this might not be a popular idea, some people might be wanting more, especially with the mixed feelings towards the series to begin with, but I thought this story was great. It wasn't supposed to be anything incredibly mind blowing, it wasn't supposed to tug on your though process and make you think about the world differently. It was written to entertain readers and it definitely succeeded.

Now onto my reactions. First of all: MY SHIP SANK. Oh man, since The Heir I had formed a beautiful ship between Eadlyn and Kile and I wanted that ship to sail so badly. I loved them. Their story was perfect. Children who grew up hating each other, then turned into friends, and then grew feelings for each other...UGH perfect. I hate that my ship sank so badly, but at the same time I see why it had to. Kill would have to sacrifice everything to be with Eadlyn - as romantic as that is. Eadlyn loved Kile too much to take away his dreams. Am I a terrible person for wanting her to take away his dreams? Probably.

On the other side of the romance, the guy Eady actually fell in love with, Eikko or Erik. I think this romance had some build up going towards it, but I wanted so much more build up. I think I could have really gotten on board with this ship if only there had been just a bit more. More drama. More tension. More. Honestly I think they work and I'm so happy they get their perfect ending, but I felt like there could have been more build up towards it.

I'm also very confused. Why would a king and queen just happily hand their reign over to their teenaged daughter so they can live their happy life as just people? I get the appeal, and I can see that they're going to have a tough time being the king and queen, but there is no way in hell they would just let their teenage daughter run their country. Doesn't make any sense. Sorry Kiera Cass.

However, I loved this story. I was so happy with it, kind of put off by some of the things that happened and it took me a while to get over the shipwreck. And that's what I uncovered when I read this lovely book cover to cover.