What Happens When Ancient Rome Gets a Fantasy Makeover

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★ — 98%

I’ve been all kinds of evil and have kept An Ember in the Ashes’ goodness to myself these past 82013 months, but it’s finally time to share it with you and I’m not mad. I’M NOT MAD!

It will ruin your life.
It will wreck your soul.
It will destroy your sanity.

And mate, you need it.

Continue reading “What Happens When Ancient Rome Gets a Fantasy Makeover”

Everything, Everything was Disappointing, Disappointing

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

★ — 25%

Everything, Everything was my first contemporary. And it promised so much.

But I don’t even know what happened.

The first half was cute and light and adorable and then the second half turned it on its head. Basically it hopped on a train and shot off at 8596 mph and left me in the dust wondering where in the world my feelings were. But I’m glad I missed the train because it ended up heading in a horrible direction.

I won’t recommend it to anyone and I won’t read it again. I wasted my time the first time. Continue reading “Everything, Everything was Disappointing, Disappointing”

Throne of Glass: Assassins, Princes, and A Fairly Pleased Me 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

★★★★ — 90%

Throne of Glass was the second book I read this past August, and I almost had as much fun reading it as I would swimming and drowning in a sea of cake.

I’m aware that this series half lives in perennial shade and there’s very much a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing running around it, so I’m sorry if it gave you murderous tendencies and you really just want me to choke till it suffocates and dies because I only hate on it for like, a small majority of the review.*

I sort of loved the vile thing.

*Making sense is too mainstream

Continue reading “Throne of Glass: Assassins, Princes, and A Fairly Pleased Me “

Ruin and Rising and Really It’s Just Ruin and There’s No Rising and There’s No Coming Back from This Pain

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

★★★★ — 85%

Can a series kill you??? SOMEONE INVESTIGATE, because I’m filled with more nerd rage than ever and it’s scaring me. Run while you still can.*

I’m going to try to not scream too much at Leigh Bardugo (this is the age of miracles and I can scream at my favorite author’s face), but who knows. I feel like I tripped on a knife.

*Just kidding, please don’t run. If you did, I’d have an emotional meltdown and throw my books at the wall in my rage/sadness…and we don’t want that, because, BOOKS. Please don’t make me hurt them.

Continue reading “Ruin and Rising and Really It’s Just Ruin and There’s No Rising and There’s No Coming Back from This Pain”

The Young Elites??? More Like “The Young People with Special Powers and Severe Revenge Complexes”

Hahahahah WHAT WAS THIS.

If I wanted a book about a bitter, sadistic, traumatized Revenge Chick, a bitter, less-obviously freaky, just-as-traumatized Revenge Dude, and a REALLY OBVIOUSLY VENGEFUL Dude 2, I probably would’ve been climbing bookcases to get to this book but I would also probably need counseling and a really good doctor/psychiatrist/general HELP.

Oh, and also my favorite character was MURDERED, but as long as I don’t name names, that’s not a spoiler, right????

Continue reading “The Young Elites??? More Like “The Young People with Special Powers and Severe Revenge Complexes””

Finally a Real Russian Bloke to Obsess Over + Really Cool Space Pirates + Humor Everywhere + Spacial Slosh

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

★★★★★ — 95%

“Oh hey, all your favorite characters aren’t going to be in this one, mate. We’re just going to throw them out the window and WATCH THEM FALL AND LAUGH AND TAKE PICTURES while we shove some new fellows in your way. Pretend to like them, ok?”

Mhm, yeah, that’s every bookworms’ favorite situation. AND THAT’S WHAT MY BRAIN WAS SCREAMING AT ME. SCREAMING!! LIKE THIS!! WHICH IS RUDE!! INVASIVE!! TERRIFYING!! Thank the books above that everything my brain tells me is a lie.

Continue reading “Finally a Real Russian Bloke to Obsess Over + Really Cool Space Pirates + Humor Everywhere + Spacial Slosh”

Heartless Really Was Heartless…To Every Reader Ever

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

★★★★ — 90%

What even did Marissa Meyer do to me this time???

I want to reread Heartless, but I also know better than that. Villain origin stories are sad enough already…I don’t need to read one twice knowing FULL WELL what cruelty is coming my way. ASDFJKLASJK HELP ME.


synopsis

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


my thoughts

“Fascinating, isn’t it, how often heroic and foolish turn out to be one and the same.”

Heartless was nonsense and magic. It was delightful and strange. It was agony and tears and pain and happy squishiness AND YES, SO MUCH MADNESS. It felt like Wonderland and I need moaaar. (Ignore the fact that I have no credibility whatsoever because I haven’t even read Through the Looking Glass or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to really know. HA, LIFE. I also probably missed about 9659.3 references, but everything’s fine EVERYTHING’S FINE !!! I forget to read a classic and all it does and haunt me and bite me like a bad dog.)

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Heartless hit the spot between four and five stars. It was visceral and affected me the way only five star books can do. (CRYING. MOANING. OUT LOUD.) But it was also disappointingly slow, and the shallow part of me that is really 98% of me cares a lot about that. I am that kind of reader. Yes.

The world of Heartless definitely keyed into my love of the story and felt like how Caraval’s world was supposed to feel. It was playful and whimsical, but still sophisticated and serious. I savored every moment I spent there and I really want to complain about something but I CAN’T. (Also, there were no hatbox-shaped, candy-colored shops that made me want to smash vases, so that’s a plus !!!)

Probably the only thing better than Meyer’s world-building was her ability to write male characters, which makes everyone happy until it makes everyone cry. Jest and Hatta were fully realized characters with authentic personalities, flaws, sorrows, and mystery. They didn’t feel like caricatures when they could’ve so easily been made into them. Personally, I thought Hatta’s arc was stunning, but I always feel that way about the characters who walk the line between hero and villain. (Kaz Brekker, I’m looking at you. But I’m always looking at you, aren’t I?? #creep) That didn’t minimize the excellence of Jest’s arc or role, though. He was the main male protagonist, after all, and he was written splendidly. ABSOLUTELY. SPLENDIDLY. I need to see a therapist now, though.

The writing of the female characters, unfortunately, fell flat. Catherine’s characterization was nothing like the characterization of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, or even Winter. Her development was put on hold until a climatic event suddenly pushed into a very sudden, striking change that was a little too sudden and striking to be believable. It was necessary, though, to turn her into the character she was supposed to be eventually (she is the Queen of Hearts, after all), but it could have happened slower, smoother, and more naturally. Oh, and I also almost hated her. So yes.

The only other aspect of the book that was disappointing was the plot. Which is kind of a big disappointment when I think about it because PLOTS! Plots are very necessary. For three hundred pages, the biggest conflict was whether Catherine would accept the King’s proposal or not and I was not the happiest camper. But sure enough, something plot-like did show up about halfway into the book, and even though some of the plot points didn’t make logical sense, the last hundred pages sped things up, which made me very forgiving. :)))) (See? I smile too. I’m nice. :))) As things began to connect, I thoroughly enjoying seeing the threads come together to introduce the Wonderland we all know.

Other things:

  • The writing felt pretentious at first, which was weird for a Marissa Meyer book, but once I got used to it and realized it fit the story, I was a-ok.
  • The romance was bad.
  • I wasn’t a fan.
  • But still, JEST
  • The ending was mean
  • REALLY MEAN.

All in all, Heartless was delightful + painful + adorable + I LOVED IT. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it or my favorite brand of tissues.


dirty talk

language

D–ning is used once.

violence

Some mild, wonderlandish violence.  Characters fight the Jabberwock (!!) and some characters get hurt in the process.  One man is murdered.

sensuality

Characters flirt and kiss.

substances

Characters drink wine on occasion.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Review

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

★★★★★ — 99%

OH MY. I savored every minute I spent reading A Gentleman in Moscow. Frankly, I’d rather reread it than write a review. It wasn’t anything like the book I was expecting. It was sweeter, softer, wittier, and way, way classier.

Take a bow, Amor Towles. This was a masterpiece.

Continue reading “A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Review”

The Night Circus Just Ruined Any Chance I Ever Had of Enjoying Another Circus Book

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

★★★★ — 90%

Because nothing can ever live up to this, THAT’S WHY. I did probably the absolute worst thing I could ever do besides smash an antique vase (or stab someone HI the butler did it, I’m innocent) and decided to read Caraval right after I finished The Night Circus. #REGRET. It’s cruel on Caraval and it’s cruel on me.

Continue reading “The Night Circus Just Ruined Any Chance I Ever Had of Enjoying Another Circus Book”