29 November 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury Book Review

Rating: ✭

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA, Fiction
Publication: May 3, 2016
Format: Paperback, 640 pages
Source: Self owned copy

Before I even say anything, don’t read this unless you have read A Court of Thorns and Roses and don’t wish to be spoilt. I warned you.

I can’t form my emotions and thoughts into a proper review with paragraphs so I’m just going to do subtitles and go from there.

So, what do you need to read this book…
Some patience would be good. Despite being filled with lost of action and plot twists, A Court of Mist and Fury was a long book and dragged in the middle as the action plot began to slow. It started to focus on the romance too much, but before this really became a problem, Maas picked up the plot again and worked her amazing-book-ending magic.
Tolerance - for the asshole named Tamlin, that’s why. 
You’re also going to need a brown paper bag and some emotional strength for all the overwhelming emotions and feels that come with this book.

Was it good or not?
A Court of Mist and Fury was definitely a good book, no doubt, even better than ACOTAR in terms of characterisation and world development.
It is intenser, darker and sexier than ACOTAR and Sarah enchants us with her beautiful writing yet again.
I loved the rawness and honesty of the book. The characters were laid bare and we were given parts of them that even they don’t often access themselves. ACOMAF contained a lot more fantasy too and it wasn’t just about Feyre and romance and trying to survive this time. The book was about scheming and politics too.
SJM is just so talented at making her readers want more and carving ideas and words into an amazing novel, there is no doubt that the answer to this question is GOOD. Actually, AMAZING.
Also... there was a map at the beginning of the book and what's a good fantasy book without a map?

We finally get a world
In ACOTAR, we only saw the Spring Court and a small amount of Under the Mountain. SJM has now introduced us to the rest of Prythian. The audience gets to discover the other courts (yes, more than one) and the history of the world. We even get to see part’s world of the mortal world and how the Faeries and Humans interact.
Maas also gives us the most beautiful and detailed descriptions of Prythian and we really get to see the beauty of the place that is so often talked about through the story.

Feyre finally gets her wings
Both literally and figuratively, Feyre earns her wings and by wings I mean her true character. Feyre has developed so much and has grown into a better person, her own person - she knows who she is now and what she wants and she is going to get it.
At the beginning of this book Feyre is broken. The first line is “Maybe I’d always been broken and dark inside.” Under the Mountain has left her in pieces with blood soaked hands and she is definitely not okay and I really feel for her. I think ACOMAF was such a great book because the audience got see Feyre heal and change.
She’s fiercer, stronger and she’s embraced the powers that came with becoming a Fae at the end of ACOTAR. Her suffering and trauma from her experience Under the Mountain has changed her and as a result she has shed that naive, soak-up-that-stars attitude for a harder, maturer skin. 
I liked Feyre in A Court of Thorns and Roses but now I really love her character.

A book of kings and queens
This booked had brilliant characterisation and we also got a lot more out of the characters than we did in ACOTAR. Aside from Feyre really being the winner for this book, SJM also introduces a few new characters. Azriel, Cassian, Morrigan and Amren are all introduced as members of Rhysand’s inner circle and members in the Night Court/Velaris. Each one of these characters had their own unique story and sense of humour that gave ACOMAF depth and intensity that made it the amazing book that it is. 
Let’s do a quick run-down:
Morrigan - Referred to as Mor, is Rhysand’s cousin and Third in command. She’s wicked and beautiful and is the overseer of the Court of Nightmares and Dreams. There’s a lot of tension between her, Cassian and Azriel and I wanted a lot more of what happened between them.
Cassian - The snarky General Commander of the Night Court’s armies and an Illyrian (a warrior race of Faerie’s). Cassian’s got a new thing going with Nesta and I’m just ready for it to happen because it sounds like an interesting relationship.
Azriel - A quiet and sombre Shadowsinger, and Rhysand’s spy who is also an Illyrian just like Cassian and Rhys. He also has a thing for Mor and I’m so ready, yet again, for to become an official thing. Throughout the book there was so much tension between the two.
(Also, on the topic of Illyrian’s, do we really have to know that it’s Illyrian every single time. Illyrian blades, and Illyrian wings, Illyrian bows, Illyrian leathers, Illyrian gifts. Illyrian, I get it, they have special gear.)
Amren - Rhys’s Second in command and political advisor. She’s a big fae but she used to be something different and sinister, something that not even the Inner Circle knows about so I smell a good backstory appearing in the sequel. Also, she is so badass. She used a death threat as a page stopper. Could she be any more amazing?

The good or the bad guy?
Personally, I was so glad Tamlin was not this book. If you haven’t read my ACOTAR review, which you should, than you would know that I was part of the minority that didn’t like Tamlin. He wasn’t that bad and if you think I over dramatised, then brace yourself. 
At first I thought that Tamlin was just being painted so wrong, and despite disliking his character to begin with, I felt that Sarah was being unfair and just altering him to suit Feyre’s emotions when she decides she wants Rhysand and not Tamlin. But then I took a moment to really and sit and think about it and COMPLETELY changed my mind.
Tamlin may not be a bad guy, but he was never a good guy either. Throughout ACOTAR, SJM cleverly leaves hints about Tamlin (like when he bit Feyre for not good reason or when he made her stay in the house “for her own good” and when he shoved her in a carriage and sent her back to her family without giving her a chance to say no). 
Everyone was so blinded by the beauty of the Spring Court and the power of the High Fae and his toned muscles that we heard about in every chapter, they didn’t really see what was going on.
[Side note: I was very angry upon the discovery of these hints, it looked something like this. I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t see it.] 
I feel like Feyre’s love for Tamlin in ACOTAR was a case of stockholm syndrome and it makes sense why she would go for Rhysand who offers her so much more than Tamlin ever did.
In A Court of Mist and Fury, I think that Tamlin’s true personality is exposed and he definitely isn’t a bad guy but he comes off as over-controlling and possessive (which is definitely not a tick in my books). I think the reason behind this is his and Feyre’s experience Under the Mountain. It really changed them and they’re trying to glue all their broken pieces back together so that comes with emotions and morals and ideas, and in this case, we see the characters change and sometimes it isn’t for the better.
So really, Tamlin is neither bad nor good, Feyre is just a woman who has learnt more and matured and is making her own, new decisions which (fortunately) do not include Tamlin.

In the end, the bad guy ended up being the good.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rhys and even more than I did in ACOTAR. We get to see such a different side of him and yet he is still the flirt, cunning and dangerous character he was.
Rhysand was definitely portrayed as the bad guy who wanted Feyre for himself and would do anything in his power to just annoy someone to no avail. A Court of Mist and Fury takes this perception and chucks it out the window.
Rhysand’s true backstory is presented and we learn that he actually has suffered so much over the expanse of his life and that everything isn’t as peachy as he makes it seem. He is broken too, although in his own way, just like Feyre and they really help heal each other.
It was so good to see that softer side of him beneath the hard, flippant exterior that we saw in ACOTAR. I loved finally learning about his backstory and it all just made me want to protect him. He is a fascinating character (other than being super hot); he is ruthless and strong-willed but vulnerable and good-hearted and so selfless at the same time.

Wait, who was the villain?
If the subtitle didn’t make it clear enough, than the villain in this story was 100 times worse. The King of Hybern was the villain, he didn’t even have a name. I didn’t understand why was he evil? What did he do to become the villain? He wanted to take of Prythian but why? How? I think SJM might have lost sight of antagonist in writing the romance and the fantasy and action.
ALSO… Ianthe? I just could not stand that priestess, who should definitely not be a priestess, and why she wanted power. And could some please sew her legs together?
This whole absent villain thing left a bit of a plot-hole in A Court of Mist and Fury and hopefully that can be sewed together too.

The make it or break it
After reading a couple of reviews by others on Goodreads, I noticed that some people either loved or hated the romance aspect. The latter being the minority. 
Personally, I didn’t hate it but there were some things that irked me about it. 
  • I hated the sex scenes. They were so dramatic and over the top. (An orgasm making the mountain tremble?)
  • And am I the only one who isn’t a fan of the mate idea - I feel like it makes the novel cheap and dates back to the whole werewolf obsession era (does anyone know what I'm talking about?). When Feyre discovered Rhysand was her mate, their whole relationship became sappy and they even held hands which seemed somewhat off character, but who am I to say that their love wasn’t authentic? I just preferred the tense, sexy flirting in the beginning of the novel.
    Nevertheless, the overall romance wasn’t that bad and it wasn’t a focus of this plot like it was in ACOTAR. If was gradual and realistic and built tension as the novel progressed. 
    Also, I was afraid of a love triangle at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses and I am so glad it wasn’t. Some might say its a triangle but I think it’s just Feyre changing her mind like I mentioned in the whole Tamlin good or bad guy rant.

    Hold your breath for the ending
    The ending of this book was just evil and amazing at the same time. Sarah writes plot twists so well and it isn’t necessarily a cliff hanger but it still makes you want the sequel immediately.
    Everything was just so unexpected and it left me squirming and jumping. 
    Despite loving it did raise some questions, like Lucien being Elain’s mate. Where did this come from? They don’t even no each other. - everything was just way too easy and an easy way out for another sequel. But still, I’m excited to see where Sarah J. Maas goes with it.

    A Court of Mist and Fury was definitely a great and satisfying novel. It definitely deserved the 4 stars I gave it and despite my review which may come off as negative, I cannot stress enough how much A Court of Mist and Fury has improved to it’s predecessor. The characterisation is amazing, the plot has more depth, the world building is phenomenal and the feels are just great.

    I just don’t know how I’m going to wait till May next year for A Court of Wings and Ruin.

    Plus - look out for my upcoming quote compendium for A Court of Mist and Fury.

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    28 November 2016

    Reckless: The Petrified Flesh Book Review

    Rating: ✭✭ (3.5)

    Title: Reckless: The Petrified Flesh
    Author: Cornelia Funke
    Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Adventure
    Publication: 29 Sep, 2016
    Format: e-Arc, 336 pages
    Source: Many thanks to Pushkin Press on Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book.

    Jacob Reckless has discovered a doorway into under world - a place of dark magic, fearsome ogres, beautiful and dangerous fairies, scheming dawrves and men born from stone. All from behind a mirror in his father's office.
    In this world behind the mirror, Jacob hunts for treasures and seeks adventures with Fox, a girl who can change forms from vixen to girl, who protects him from danger.
    When Jacob's younger brother Will is attacked by the Goyl after following him through the mirror, Jacob must risk his life to get back Will's freedom and reverse the curse that threatens to set his life and his skin in stone.

    Reckless: The Petrified Flesh is a revised edition of the dark and magical first novel in the Mirrorworld series by Cornelia Funke. I really enjoyed Reckless but wish that I could have given it more stars. I had read the first edition years ago and was excited to read the revised edition because I remember that I loved the originality of the story and the characters. Unfortunately, the book didn’t live up to my expectations and I was too naive to really see what was going on with the book. 

    I really liked Funke’s writing style - it was so immersive and engaging for the reader. Imagination was definitely her strong point and she artfully recreated fairy tales such as Briar Rose (or Sleeping Beauty) and Hansel and Gretel, exploring the true and darker versions of the Grimm tales. I liked this aspect of the novel because it added something extra and enticing to the Mirrorworld. There were also lots of metaphors of love, fear and adolescence that were reflected within the fairy tales and this gave the book an even more magical feel. 
    At some points within Reckless, the writing was confusing and I didn’t know what was going on. I found out that the book had been translated from German to English so perhaps that played a role in the grammatical/punctuation errors. Another problem with Reckless was that it lacked description despite being filled with so much of it. The Mirrorworld was very detailed but Cornelia missed the mark on important aspects and pivot points of the plot. There were so many things presented to the reader but were never touched on or explained.

    Reckless had the right amount of action and suspense to keep the reader interested. There was something very mysterious about that made it so interesting - especially how the world was accessed through a mirror.
    The plot definitely had potential but it needed work and more development. The novel started right in the middle of the action, after Will had already been bitten and was starting his transformation into a Goyl, but we were weren’t given any background information to really get a true grasp on what was going on. Eventually, it all became clear but that cycle just happened over and over as new characters and ideas were presented with no explanation or backstory again. 
    Nevertheless, the plot was entangled with fantasy just as Sleeping Beaty’s castle covered in roses was entangled in the corpse’s of the Prince’s who had failed. It made reading about the world that the MC’s were in extremely intriguing. I really wanted to know more about the Goyl’s underground city and I like the concept of them having different types of stone for skin.

    The biggest downfall of Reckless was the characters. The two brothers, Will and Jacob Reckless, were inspired by Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm (which only took me a hundred pages to figure out). Jacob was a reckless (get it?), anti-hero who was hell bent on saving Will from living life with a skin of stone. Will was the opposite of Jacob, sensible and humble, and in love with a girl named Clara who desperately loved him back. Desperate enough to follow him into the Mirrorworld and stay. And Fox was Jacob’s pragmatic and protective female shape-shifting more-than-friend.
    As the reader, I couldn’t develop any emotional connectivity with the characters what-so-ever because they were so flat. I found it hard to relate to the characters and establish any idea of what they looked like because simple descriptions such as hair colour or height were so scarce for the main characters. The bad character development also meant that it was really difficult to see the true motives behind their actions and desires. Why did they love each other? Why was it so important to fight for will? Why did you treat Fox like that? It’s really important to flesh out characters in a story such as this be the plot rested on the characters shoulders and decisions. It was up to Jacob to decide how he would save Will. If he was capable of it, if he loved him that much - but it was extremely difficult to really see this within the one dimensional characters.

    I did enjoy Cornelia Funke's Reckless and I just wish that I could have given it 3.5 stars but if I gave it any more, it wouldn’t be accurate. The writing was beautiful, the plot was mediocre and the characters just weren’t there. Reckless lacked that special something that it needed to make it a really great novel. There was just too much going on and not enough explanation to go with it, leaving the reader often confused or lost in the pages. On the other hand, the dark and sombre atmosphere was enticing and the creativity put into the novel was astounding. I would recommend the novel to people who enjoy fantasy and adventure and are willing to look past all the negatives for the beautiful writing and pure cleverness of the Mirrorworld.

    Here are some quotes I liked from the novel:

    "The night was breathing in the apartment like a dark animal."

    "Fox smelled golden revulsion, petrified love."

    "Nobody loves only once."

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    27 November 2016

    A Court of Thorns and Roses Book Review

    Rating: ✭ 

    Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
    Author: Sarah J. Maas
    Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Fairies, Fiction
    Publication: May 5 2015
    Format: Paperback, 416 pages
    Source: Self owned copy

    "Be glad of you're human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all."
    - 414.

    Nineteen year old Feyre kills a faerie in the woods and is then dragged into their magical land as retribution for the fairies death. Feyre learns that the world she only knows about from legends and stories is as treacherous as it sounds and that the beast who captured her isn’t an animal, but a faerie named Tamlin.
    Whilst in the other world, Feyre begins to develop feelings for her captor who isn't the dark and treacherous faerie she perceived him to be. But an ancient evil lives in the faerie world, threatening Feyre and she must find a way to stop it, before Tamlin's world is turned upside down.

    A Court of Thorns and Roses easily made its way into my list of favourite novels and authors - it was so good, I wanted to re-read it right after I finished it. The novel is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a very loose retelling though which was good because it gave the story more originality and depth. Event the faerie element made the book Sarah’s own. 
    Sarah J. Maas writes fantasy so well, each word is adorned with a magic and beauty and I loved how she put so many twists and turns into the novel. The writing was filled to the brim with a certain wildness and magic that makes you just want more and more. Each character was perfectly flawed and contained the perfect amount of give and take that characters need to keep you interested. Sarah even wrote the whole character dynamics well and I was especially interested in Feyre and her sisters relationship. 

    The plot was well though out and although it was slow paced in the beginning, it built strength as it progressed and only got better. I felt like Sarah was holding back a little bit and that the action at the end of the book could have been done earlier in the story as the book almost lost a bit of momentum during the middle and started to focus too much on romance. Something that really annoyed me was the riddle that Feyre had to solve during the trials (which is all I’m going to say about that so as not to spoil anything). I though it was silly and that Feyre was too smart to not have guessed it straight away just as easily as I’m sure everyone else did whilst they were reading it.

    Now on the topic of romance. It just didn’t feel tangible and lacked the believability that it really needed. Perhaps that was a result of Tamlin being such a flat, lack lustre character. Unfortunately, it made Feyre’s motives at the ending (which I won’t spoil) somewhat hard to really believe or agree with. However, on the other hand, I do applaud Sarah for writing a sensual relationship between the two which developed at an understandable and realistic rate. I liked how they weren’t afraid to voice their feelings to each to other. Plus, I smell the hint of a love-triangle in the making and I don’t know how I feel about that.

    Moving onto the characters… 
    I didn’t like Tamlin and was extremely unimpressed with him as I mentioned before. I was extremely disapointed because I had heard so much about the great male characters that Sarah J. Mass writes. I can’t even write what I didn’t like about him because he didn’t have any facets to his personality. But, I did love his close and over protective friend Lucien. He was so snarky and cynical which was so just so charming and fun. At first I was hoping that he would be Feyre’s love interest (which I think would have been so much more interesting and entertaining to read about). His backstory was even better than Tamlin’s (did Tamlin even have one? If he did, it was so insignificant I can barely remember it. Sorry that was harsh) and I really want more of his character.
    Rhysand was another story, he was selfish and darkly funny yet it was definitely only a shell so perhaps we’ll get to know more about the cause of that hard exterior in the sequel (especially now that Feyre is ‘bound’ to him). Also how about that ending on the balcony? I wonder what Rhys saw or felt. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel, have I mentioned that yet?
    Feyre, our MC, was smart, strong-willed and pragmatic, which made her such a good main character. She wasn’t a princess. She was her own person and she didn’t need Tamlin to save her and be her knight in shining armour and I loved that aspect. Feyre was the definition of bad-ass and even though she had her weaknesses, she never let them show and used them to her advantage. It was good to see such a  strong female lead, as Sarah J. Maas is known for writing.

    Straight from the beginning, I knew A Court of Thorns and Roses was going to be a good book because of the depth of the descriptions and the imagery it created and my hypothesis proved to be right. I liked almost all characters and the good ones were developed well and easily differentiated. The plot had really great potential but personally, Sarah just missed her target on it by only a millimeter. However it's unique originality and magical element made up for it. Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses was a dark, intense and magical novel that I recommend to lovers of fantasy, bad ass heroines and Sarah J. Maas. The romance does almost venture into the new adult genre but it would still be suitable for young adult readers. A Court of Thorns and Roses definitely deserves it’s five stars.

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    26 November 2016

    As I was writing my review, I kept drifting off into a just a gush of words about everything and I just thought it would be better to separate my ‘rant’ from my review so as not give anyone spoilers and cut down the length of my review, because if I didn’t, the year would be over once you finished reading.

    An accurate description of me whilst reading this whole book:
    • Let’s start with the fact that I didn’t realise how much I missed my Shadowhunters until I read this. I bought the book in New York and it’s a signed copy (so I was absolutely over the moon about that) and then I started reading and all the memories and feels from TID and TMI started flooding back and CC why are you just so amazing at making me feel all this things and make me talk in sentences that are much too long and have a bad grammar with a lot of caps and exclamation marks. 
    • I can’t believe how funny the book was. Honestly, I must have laughed every chapter. Cassandra just writes humour with such ease and I love how the dialogue is so witty. Even Mark, who had lost his grip on ‘humanity’ or ‘shadowhunter ettiquette’ if you will and just made small comments that I found so funny. 
    • “We're late," she said, "The show is supposed to start in ten minutes. If some people hadn't decided that 'semiformal' meant 'seminaked'-" "Why are you calling me 'some people'?" Mark inquired. "I am only one person.” Mark you are just so precious.
    • Moving on, my biggest pet peeve was the communication between characters. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TALK TO EACH OTHER? EVER!!! Everything just kept going wrong and it was so annoying because it could have been prevented if Julian and Emma just took a moment to talk, or they thought maybe it would be a good idea to just voice their thoughts. It was just so frustrating.
    • Christina Rosales. What a queen. She was just such a likeable character and I felt such sympathy for her. "But I like the Hulk. I would like to heal his broken heart." What a jem (at first I unintentionally spelt it with the j and then only realised after i proof read it but oh well, it fits) She is probably my favourite female character alongside Tessa and I’ve only read one book about her. I wanna know more about her and Perfect Diego. Personally, I feel like there is something off about him but maybe he is just as perfect as everyone kept saying so who knows.
    • Also, Christina and Mark!! Mark and Kieran!! i can’t decide who i want to be together more but I ship both. I really want to know more about Kieran too, like who is h3, why, what, where and how. I want more of him and Mark’s time together and what they did and just everything. 
    • I guess I just really want to know more about the Faerie, particularly the Wild Hunt.
    • And the scene where Christina cut Mark's hair! I just love Cassandra Clare.
    • Julian Julian Julian. I'm so in love. The way he cared for his siblings and just worried about them so much was so SWOON. I just wanted to hug him better because he didn't think he was doing enough when he did more than enough. I totally love CC for making his character. He just has such a beautiful heart and I'm just so confused how can think all these feelings for fictional characters. The YA world will never know. I feel like Lady Midnight definitely has the best characters so far. All of them I just love. “I love you, Julian Blackthorn. I love you more than starlight.”  - Couldn't have said it better myself.
    • And what about Emma and Julian on the beach??? I hated it. I really did. I thought it was just such a cheap excuse and rushed and against their character. I thought they were smart and mature and intelligent and knew better than to just do that when they knew someone could have seen them. Even the sand? Wouldn't it get in weird places, and Emma had just almost drowned too. Everything was just wrong and the circumstances were thrown off.
    • Also what the hell is that birth control rune? I felt like Clary could have created something a lot better than I rune that prevents pregnancy. Something badass at least, rather than just convenient. I was cringing.
    • OMG AND KIT IS A FREAKING HERONDALE- my heart still whimpers at the sound of the name. I’m so excited. Beyond excited actually. Ecstatic. Over the moon. Elated. I was like no no no no no yes yes yes yes yes why are my emotions conflicting all the time yes yes yes. And then when Tessa and Jem arrived, my heart may have leaped from my chest and I needed to take a two minute break to recuperate and spam my friend about my emotions. I still haven’t received from that epilogue. 
    • The following is a depiction of me at during that chapter:
    • Moving on, how is this forbidden parabatai thing going to turn out if they’ll die by having their marks stripped or they’ll be excommunicated. I feel like it would be too convenient for an easy way out and everything would have been a waste of time if they could just simply say a spell or something like that. I want drama and demise and something bad to happen. I’m also sooooo excited to learn about Annabel Blackthorn. Obviously she is going to appear in the sequel and I’m curious as to how it will shake things up.
    • On the subject of Malcolm, there was never really a hint of this dark, determined side that made him so destructive for love in any of the other shadow hunter books and I felt like it wasn’t explored enough in the book too. There was something empty about it too, even the death of Emma’s parents. It felt careless. I hated that, I felt like Cassandra perhaps focused a little too much on everything and lost focus during the play. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to read about all the steamy and angsty romance but the whole purpose and drive for the plot was just ‘bleh’.
    • THE ENDING - by far my favourite moment when Mark and Emma decide to do the unthinkable, but I see how it can potentially ruin the story line as it will harm so many relationships and possibly bring the novel into a bigger cliche. Everyone is so annoyed by it, am I the only one who is actually excited!! Like, right after I read it I just couldn’t stop beaming and thinking how good Lord of Shadows was gonna be.
    • He held out a hand to her, half-beckoning, half-offering. "Why lie?" he said.”  I am just so excited, May, could you possibly come any quicker?

    25 November 2016

    Harry Potter Spells Tag

    Hey guys, today I'll be doing the HARRY POTTER SPELLS TAG. This tag was created by TrulySympathy on Youtube and I thought it'd be fun to do and who doesn't love Harry Potter?
    There are 10 spells and a question associated with each. Lets do it.

    A childhood book connected to childhood memories.

    I owned this book and I used to read it religiously. Angela Anaconda always made me laugh. It was a TV show too and I remember sitting down in front of the TV every other day, eager to watch Angela's next adventure.

    Angela Anaconda is an eight year old girl with freckles all over her face and short auburn hair who leads a strange and funny life. It tells the story of her and her three best friends they survive school and situations of bad luck. Angela also rivals against a snobbish faux French girl named Nanette and manipulative teacher named Mrs. Brinks.

    A book that took you by surprise.
    When I first started reading I had NO idea that it was going to be so good. I had heard good reviews but didn't realise that it was going to be the strange, mysterious and beautiful book that it is.

    Ever since she was young, Blue Sargent has known that she will kill her true love with a kiss. St. Mark's Eve is when the soon-to-be-dead walk past and Blue is never able to see them until this year. She sees a boy, a Raven boy, named Gansey.
    She befriends Gansey and his best friends Adam, Noah and Ronan under unlikely circumstances and together they search for the Sleeping Kings. A legend Gansey wholeheartedly believes is true. During the search, Blue will finally understand the danger of her fate and discover new truths about the world are both strange and sinister. Now she must guard her heart more strongly than before.
    The characters of the book were just amazing and all loveable and Maggie Steifvater's writing style was so beautiful and refreshing to read.

    I'm re-reading The Raven Boys at the moment so expect a review soon.

    I was also torn between The Raven Boys and The Night Circus, so I'll put it in for good measure.

    The last book you read.
    I definitely forgot how much I missed ready J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novel's until I finished the Cursed Child
    I didn't love it but I also didn't hate it. My thoughts will appear somewhere on this blog at some point.
    The book is in the form of a play, so it's quite different but still managed to be as enjoyable as the other novels.

    Years after the final battle of Hogwarts, Albus Potter, Harry's youngest son finally attends Hogwarts but it isn't all chocolate frogs and quidditch games. Albus struggles with the weight of his fathers legacy and makes a big decision to do something that will fix his problem.
    Fusing the past and present, Albus and his friend Scorpious embark on a journey through time where learn that darkness cannot always be escaped and can turn up in the most unexpected of places.

    A book that introduced you to a genre you had not considered before.
    Before I read The Hunger Games, I don't even think I knew what the Dystopian genre was. The idea of an imaginary society that was different and often dehumanising was refreshing and intrigued me immensely. I've kind of grown out of the genre now and have grown tired of its recurrence in young adult novels. Nevertheless, I do still enjoy them when I come across a good one and with the Hunger Games, I wouldn't have ventured into the genre.                                                                                         

    I don't think I need to explain the plot but here is a quick run down. The nation of Panem holds an annual Hunger Games in which two children from each of the 12 districts fight to the death.
    When Katniss Everdeen's sister is chosen this year and she immediately volunteers in her place. Katniss must learn to survive now and go against people who have trained for this moment their whole lives. Will she outlive her death sentence?

    A funny book you've read.

    Cassandra Clare never fails to make me laugh, even with such a deep story like Lady Midnight. There is something about witty remarks and dry humour that often makes me laugh for five minutes straight when I'm reading CC's books.                                 
    Lady Midnight is about Emma Carstairs and her investigation of her parents strange death. Along with Her Parabatai - best friend, partner in battle - Julian Blackthorn, she unravels a secret that reveals a world of death and dark magic.                                   Emma also unravels some new secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her? Why are Parabatai forbidden to fall in love? Is she ready to find out who killed her parents?                                                                                                                                         
    You can read my review here.

    6. SONORUS
    A book you think everybody should know about.
    When you can't find the right gif...
    I think everybody already knows about A Court of Thorns and Roses, but nevertheless, I'd just like to reinforce the sheer amazingness of this book.
    Sarah J. Maas weaves fantasy, danger and romance in this compelling and beautiful novel that is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast

    It tells the story of nineteen year old Feyre who, after killing killing a faerie is dragged into their magical land to serve a sentence with her captor, Tamlin.
    Whilst in the other world, Feyre begins to develop feeling for her captor who isn't the dark and treacherous faerie she perceived him to be. But an evil lives in the faerie world, threatening Feyre and she must find a way to stop it, before Tamlin's world is turned upside down.

    I recently finished this book and it's sequel A Court of Mist and Fury, and absolutely adored it. Maas just writes with such ease and intrigue, it's a crime if you don't read this.

    A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read.

    I read We All Looked by Tommy Wallach recently and if I could get back the time it took me, I would. I found the book boring and dragging and it wasn't that bad, but I could have been reading something that I enjoyed.

    It's about four teens, Eliza, Andy, Anita and Peter who all don't hang out with each other and then under special circumstances become entwined in each others lives. They find out an asteroid is about to come down and end Earth's lives so they all decide to finally live.

    It was another of those books with a great ideas but is executed poorly. Unfortunately, this book was a miss for me.

    8. IMPERIO
    A book you have read for school.

    I had to read Briar Rose by Jane Yolen when I was in year 7 and learning about archetypal themes in literature and I actually really enjoyed it.
    It's a loose retelling of the Sleeping Beauty and a compelling and mystical read.

    Rebecca's grandmother has always claimed that she was Briar Rose, the princess from the fairy tale, since she can remember. After Gemma dies, Rebecca makes a promise that will begin her journey to uncover the truth about her grandmother. On that journey, she will discover pain, suffering and horror but also love and survival.

    Briar Rose is also about the Holocaust, and the reader can travel through past and present to help unravel Gemma's inheritance along with Rebecca.

    9. CRUCIO
    A book that was painful to read.
    Honestly, I was never the biggest fan of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and after I read Insurgent, I thought perhaps I was changing my mind, and then I read Allegiant.
    I hated it the whole way through, especially the dual point of views, plot holes and overly scientific explanations. 

    In the third novel, Tris' life is shattered again when she learns about the world beyond the fence. New discoveries unravel new truths that throw the balance of what she believed and changes the hearts of those she loved.
    Tris must battle the people who want her dead again and this time she is faced with more impossible choices and sacrifices than before.

    I didn't enjoy one moment of this whole book and it definitely was painful to read. Even that predictable ending.

    A book that could kill.

    I wasn't sure how to interpret 'a book that could kill' but I decided to go this way, with Clockwork Princess. Anyone who has read this will immediately know what I mean when I say it could kill you. I still haven't gotten over the epilogue. 

    Clockwork Princess is the third and final instalment in Cassandra Clare's trilogy The Infernal Devices and follows Tessa as she is once again faced with danger, loss, love, betrayal and secrets. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: Tessa Gray.

    But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For even though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever. As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realises that the only person who can save her is herself.  

    Read my full review of Clockwork Princess here.

    So that's the Harry Potter Spells Tag. What books would you answer with?
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