Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

4.5/5 Stars 
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books
Published September 1, 2015

Synopsis:  The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

So this review is gonna be a bit of a shorter, more concise version of the reviews I usually do. As you all know, Queen of Shadows is the fourth installment to the Throne of Glass series. It was incredibly well written and so beautifully constructed, that I still don't get why it took me two months to read this book. Every time I put it down to read a contemporary novel, I would go right back to it and realize what big of a mistake I made by putting it down. The world building is just so extravagant and elaborately set in a place I doubt any of us could have ever imagined possible. Sarah J. Maas is so good at crafting these places down to the tiniest grain of sand, to the largest, cloud tipped mountain.

Tuning The Tale #3

This is a weekly feature I have started to share my love of music while combining it with the amazing stories I read on the daily. I'll be sharing either a playlist with you all each week! Along with this, I'll be analyzing the lyrics and pointing out parallels between the books and the songs. I hope you enjoy!

Lady Midnight 
Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy
Let It Go by James Bay
My Heart Got Caught on Your Sleeve by Lucius
Somebody Else by The 1975
When We Were Young by Adele
Love Is The End by Keane
TOO GOOD by Troye Sivan
All For You by Imagine Dragons
One Million Bullets by Sia 
I first found out about Fire and Flood by Vance Joy over on Cassie's Tumblr, where she was asked about a Lady Midnight playlist. This was on of the songs she used and I thought it was so wonderful for the book, that I wanted to use it for my playlist! Like she explains, a specific lyric is part of a very important poem in the book.

  • "You're the fire and the flood, and I'll always feel you in my blood"
Along with that, this song is perfect for summing up some couples (some more than others, ahem) in the book, which is what I thought of first before I saw Cassie pointing out the similarities between the song and the poem. 
  • "I been getting used to waking up with you, I been getting used to waking up here"
Let It Go has been in my head for pretty much the entirety of the past few weeks, so when I finished the book one of my most immediate thoughts was "holy crap, this fits perfectly."
  • "From walking home and talking lows, seeing chirps in evening clothes with you" 
This made me think about all the times Emma and Julian would sleep in each others beds to scare away the nightmares, and how they would wake up to each other's breathing - calming one another. 
  • "Now we're slipping near the edge, holding something we don't need. Oh this delusion in our heads, is gonna bring us to our knees."
If you're not catching my drift yet, lemme give you another line ok,
  • "I used to recognize myself, it's funny how reflections change. When we're becoming something else, I think it's time to walk away"
Honestly, 'nuff said.

When I first heard My Heart Got Caught on Your Sleeve by Lucius, I thought the song and lyrics were super captivating. It somehow got me thinking about the ocean, which we all know plays a big part in Lady Midnight
  • "My heart got caught on your sleeve; I need it please, give it back to me." 
This line reminded me of a select few of couples in the book and I could see it coming from multiple points of views. 
  • "The guilt of just a thought can break your heart; sometimes wish we never met, cause now I fear the best" 
*flails* this is literally Emma throughout the second half of the book (somewhat)

Somebody Else was the first song I heard off of The 1975's new album, and lemme tell you it's a beautiful creation. 
  • "So I heard you found somebody else, and at first, I thought it was a lie"
This song could be seen as more of an assumption to what will happen in book two, but it was hinted throughout the book with slight tinges of jealousy from certain characters. If you've finished the book, I'm almost certain you know which two characters I'm talking about (it's the last chapter - last line!!).

I'm sure you've all heard this beaut of a song on the radio recently, but When We Were Young by Adele had me thinking about Blackstairs a lot recently. 
  • "Everybody loves the things you do - from the way you talk, to the way you move
This really reminded me of a part in the book where Julian was telling Emma how he can always recognize when she's walking to his room, because she walks a certain way and fills the room with a different sort of energy.

The overall message of the song reminds me of Blackstairs a lot - it makes me emo

Love Is The End was the song Cassie used for the short story she wrote on Tessa and Jem following the events of City of Heavenly Fire. After reading the last few chapters of Lady Midnight, the title of this song may make a little more sense as to why I chose it for this playlist. 
  • "Singing a song with your feet on the dashboard, a cigarette streaming into the night. These are the things that I want to remember, want to remember you by."
In the book, Emma says whenever Julian drives she always puts her feet up on the dashboard. Which, lets be real, is probably one of the little things Julian loves about her. 
  • "I took off my clothes and I ran to the ocean, looking for somewhere to start anew. And when I was drowning in that holy water, all I could think of was you."
chapters 17 and 18. 

TOO GOOD by Troye Sivan made me think of Mark and a certain somebody whilst in Faerie. 
  • "Fingers walk your thigh, breath my love, get high. And oh I'm so scared, oh I'm so scared it's just for tonight. So I take a sip, wait till it hits, that liquid guilt is on my lips - I'm wasted on you."
All For You by Imagine Dragons made me think about chapters 17 and 18 (again - they are very important chapters, lemme tell you). 
  • "I get tossed by the ocean, all deep in the sand. I'm drowned out by thunder, lost in a land."
I was getting vibes of how people feel when they're falling in love with someone or realizing how much someone means to them. 
  • "Is anyone listening? Is anyone around to see that I'm doing it all for you?"
*screeches* blackstairs!

To be completely honest, I think One Million Bullets by Sia is the anthem of Lady Midnight. The entire song covers the essence and meaning behind the story - plus, Sia is a brilliant performer. 
  • "Under the moonlight, under your moonlit gaze, I know that I'd take one million bullets babe"
Everyone at the LA Institute would do anything for each other and I think this song is a prime example of their relationship (and a little bit more for certain people ahem)
  • "So take me in your arms, take me for all I have, cause I'd give my life for one of your belly laughs" 
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and enjoyed Lady Midnight as much as I did! It was so much fun to find songs that fit the book and honestly brought me so much more emotions than before. 

Waiting on Wednesday: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare

Here is where I share with you my anticipation for upcoming books! Breaking the Spine has introduced me to this and I am super excited to get to participate. Please feel free to comment what books you are looking forward to as well!!

Lord of Shadows

Synopsis: Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. 

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. 

Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

After taking my sweet time finishing Lady Midnight, I can tell all of you right now that that book tore me open and stitched me back together, just to repeat the process all over again. Lady Midnight was a brilliant first novel to a trilogy. The writing was so sophisticated and just straight up beautiful. Everything about this book was breathtaking and definitely worth the torturous two year wait between City of Heavenly Fire and now. I'm honestly so speechless and so in awe of the way this story unfolded, that I need Lord of Shadows - right now. The last chapter of Lady Midnight ripped me to shreds - I cannot believe she ended it like that - and I need Lord of Shadows to put me back together again.

Lord of Shadows is slated to be released April, 2017, and I'm praying it stays that way! (I can't wait more than a year for the sequel, I really can't)

ARC Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating

5/5 Stars
Published by Harper Teen
Published April 12, 2016

Synopsis: For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

This book. This bookDreamology has to be one of my favorite contemporary novels ever. There was something about this book that struck so intimately close to my heart. The writing was quirky and fun, yet there were times where I was completely blown away by the eloquence and poetic nuances. After learning that this book combined magic realism with contemporary, and a swoon worthy romance, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Being one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, I went into this book with high expectations - and boy, I was not let down. Whether it be the exuberant depiction of dreams, or the striking, heartfelt shock of reality, Lucy Keating had me basking in the pages.

Harry Potter #6: Best Friend at Hogwarts?

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme created by Uncorked Thoughts. Each week there is a new question about Harry Potter and all you must do is answer the question! This is an excellent way to keep the celebration of Harry Potter alive.

Who would be your best friend at Hogwarts?

Out of the entire Hogwarts crew, I think I would be the best of friends with Luna Lovegood or Cho Chang. Luna and I have very similar personalities that I think would mend well together. Plus, she's a Ravenclaw and I'm a Ravenclaw, so we already have that house pride in common! With Cho, I think we'd be great friends just because we're both Asians and Asians that kick butt together, stick together. 

Waiting on Wednesday: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Here is where I share with you my anticipation for upcoming books! Breaking the Spine has introduced me to this and I am super excited to get to participate. Please feel free to comment what books you are looking forward to as well!!

Synopsis: 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.

Guys, we are two months away from the release of this glorious sequel. Ever since seeing SJM's instagram post about the book being around 600 pages long, I've been losing my mind. 600+ pages of Feyre and Tamlin, Lucian and Rhysand, and I cannot wait. A Court of Thorns and Roses was one of my favorite release of last year, and I can already tell that A Court of Mist and Fury will live up to its hype. I'm a bit curious as to where SJM will take this series, especially with the way she ended ACOTAR. I have faith in her abilities to take us on a wild and heart wrenching ride. 

A Court of Mist and Fury is released May 3rd, 2016!

ARC Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

3.5/5 Stars 
Published by Algonquin Young Readers
Published April 12, 2016

Synopsis: Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
  • Thank you Algonquin for sending me an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review!
This was an interesting read. I was genuinely surprised by the quality of the writing presented to me in this book. Samantha Mabry did an excellent job of combining cultural beliefs/superstitions with magic realism, and was able to create a story unlike others I have read. I read A Fierce and Subtle Poison in two sittings because it was just that intriguing. There was something about the writing that drew me in and had me craving more. I was totally invested in the myths and curses that were introduced to me in this story, and I gotta say that it were these stories in particular that allowed me to build a connection with the main character. If there was one thing I could complain about, it is that this book feels too short! By the last chapter, I had so many unanswered questions and I just wanted more.

Top Ten Characters I Love But Others Hate

I've been watching this meme float around a lot, so I've finally decided to join in the fun! This meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a new list that involves all things books!

top ten six characters I love, but others hate

  •  Maven Calore - Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
guys, I still can't wrap my head around he idea that Maven did you know what, you know when. I'm still so invested in the way he was before, man - my little buttercup
  • Rowan Whitethorn -Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
I don't think people hate Rowan, but we all know there's a tension between Chaol/Celaena and Rowan/Celaena shippers, so yeah - I guess I technically love a character some people "hate". 
  • The Darkling - The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo 
Ah, my poor misinterpreted, dark, brooding villain; my heart loves thee. 
  • Bellatrix - Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Bellatrix was a force of nature and crazy as heck, but I thought her character was so interesting and intriguing, that I never really had a problem with her. 
  • Joseph Kavinsky - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
ok, I don't love Kavinsky. in fact, I kinda only tolerated him and I'm pretty sure I threatened to shove my hand down his scheming lil throat a multitude of times. but hey, the dude maybe deserved a better ending than what he got (I just know a lot of people dislike him)
  • Gabriel Lightwood - The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
do people even hate Gabriel, I don't know, but I love him. I thought the banter between him and Will was genius and I even began to respect as a character towards the end of the trilogy. 

Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

4/5 Stars 
Published by Razorbill
Published December 9th, 2014

Synopsis: The stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred - the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic ...

The only certainty in the dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica ... but fate can be fickle when magic is involved. 

This series is unbelievable. I cannot believe how much Morgan Rhodes' writing has improved throughout this series. She's established an incredibly well thought out world, with characters that are more complex and intricate than the eye can see. Gathering Darkness is by far my favorite of the first three books, but I expect Frozen Tides to be just as good, if not better. I'm so impressed with how far Morgan Rhodes has come with her writing, that I can't stop praising how well written this book was.

Gathering Darkness jumps in right where we left off, and we're provided with even more background information on the world of Mytica. Not only is it extremely appealing to me that this book is fast paced, action-packed, and drool worthy, but the historic aspect of this book is so phenomenal. Everything was so well thought out and established - there was no room for errors. Morgan Rhodes has a knack for keeping you invested in her storytelling and is excellent at keeping you pulled in. I was able to finish Gathering Darkness in one day (give or take a few hours), because of how invested I was in the story. There's something in the quality of the writing that will appeal to anyone who picks up the book to read it, and there's a strong tether that will form between you and the characters; leashing you to the rise and fall of their growth.

February Wrap-Up!

Yippee! Another month has come and gone, and we've gotten closer to more book releases! Lady Midnight comes out in six days, A Court of Mist and Fury comes out in two more months, and Wink Poppy Midnight comes out in 20 days! March is loaded with great releases, such as A Study In Charlotte and Into The Dim, and I can't wait to get my hands on all of them.

I definitely had a much better reading month by completing 5 books, which is pretty much a book a week - yay! School and reading has gotten tougher to manage together, but I'm making my way through it at a steady pace.

Books I've Read



This means I was able to complete my series a month challenge this time, but I didn't get to any 2016 debuts, which makes me really upset!
  • Falling Kingdoms // ★ Review
  • Rebel Spring //  Review
  • Gathering Darkness // ★ Review to come
  • Tell Me Three Things //  Review
  • You Were Here // ★ Review 
Currently Reading

Alright I know, I've been trying to conquer this book for, what, a little over a month now? I swear I'll finish it, you just gotta give me time. The writing is amazing and the plot is wild, I just haven't had the heart to finish Queen of Shadows yet. 

This month I'm really hoping to complete some more of my challenges. I know I'll be reading more debuts this month because March is full of them, but I now need a series to read this month! Leave me a suggestion in the comments below for a series you think I should read! 

ARC Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

4/5 Stars 
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published March 1st, 2016

Synopsis: Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout - the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenged her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother. 

This book really struck a chord in me, and I'm not even sure why. Whether it be the group of extremely anomalous and baggage bearing friends, or spending that last summer after graduation repairing the bent, but not broken friendships, this book had me from the start. There was something captivating about the blatantly heavy grief that was weighted upon each characters' shoulders - it added an extra nuance that kept you second-guessing their personalities and motives. Cori McCarthy will drag you in on this mystery infused, dare inspired adventure with more than just her strong writing voice. She'll reel you in with a relatable story, a gripping plot, characters with complexities beyond the eye can see, and a mind boggling game of truth or dare.