Wrap Up: May 2017 (and June TBR)

SO delayed!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 5.13.14 AM

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information The Nightingale Circus (Broken People, #0.5) Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (Supergirl 2016, #1) Secret Wars #0 (FCBD 2015) Secret Wars (2015-) #1 (of 9) Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1) The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1) Time in a Bottle The Time Keeper City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)

This is What a Librarian Looks Like by Kyle Cassidy

This book needs to be in all libraries. I deserves to be noticed and I think that this was easily one of the best reads for me this year. See review here.

The Nightingale Circus by Ioana Visan

I really enjoyed this novella, as I do with Ioana Visan’s work. I want to read Broken People so I can find out more about the circus and the people that use it as their safe haven. See review here.

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando

This was a different and fresh view of Supergirl for me. I enjoyed this short piece and I’m definitely considering reading more about her. See Review here.

Secret Wars #0 by Jonathan Hickman

It’s about time I started this event. I think everything was summed up pretty well in this piece. Review to come soon.

Secret Wars #1 by Jonathan Hickman

I thought this was a pretty good start to the whole event. Definitely got me even more intrigued. Review to come soon.

Then Comes Love by Lindsay Detwiler

A cute, funny, quick read. I really liked this book and enjoyed it tremendously. See review here.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I’ve had this book for a few years and I took way to long to actually read it. I really liked it and I want to read the rest of The Giver Quartet. See review here.

Time in a Bottle by Kathleen D. Tresemer

I had a few issues with this book mainly because the proper trigger warnings weren’t applied but I really did enjoy the writing. See review here.

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

This was definitely one of the better books I’ve read this year. I can’t believe I took so long to get to it. See review here.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

And so the reread continues! I loved this read a lot more the second time around and seeing my babies growing up is always a pleasure. See review here.

Total Read: 10 Books


Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 5.25.06 AM

Revival, Vol. 3: A Faraway Place The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

ARCs (I swear this list is getting shorter)

Sleight Heartborn Loving Ashe: Book 1 of the Celebrity Series Soothsayer: Magic Is All Around Us (Soothsayer Series #1) Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale, #1) Unseen (Breaking Free Book 1) Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth, #1) Jaeth's Eye (The Agartes Epilogues, #1) Demolition Love The Labyrinth Eve The Soul Reaper The Tower's Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1) Can't Buy Forever

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)Goodreads Synopsis

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.


There may be spoilers for City of Bones ahead. You have been warned.

City of Ashes picks up almost immediately where City of Bones ended.  Clary has almost gotten used to the fact that she is a Shadowhunter, that’s she’s been thrust into the world of the supernatural and whether she likes it or not, the fight isn’t over yet. In fact, it’s barely begun. Valentine is still running around causing havock and now added to the mix, Downworlder children are being killed.

I read this book a few years ago and I think this was possibly my favourite in the series for a long time because back then I was a big supporter of Climon. Things are different now of course and I can’t even remember why I liked the two of them together so much.

In City of Ashes, Jocelyn, Clary’s mom, is still unconscious and no one knows how to wake her up. Clary is still trying to fight her feelings for Jace, whom as we know, was revealed to be her brother. Jace is being the arrogant a-hole, so that hasn’t changed. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if Clary finding out the truth started a chain reaction.

I can only really talk about my feelings for this book because I feel like there’s too much that can be easily spoiled.

The first thing that I noticed was Isabelle’s character. I know her to be this BAMF, take no-nonsense woman, and in this book she is that but I forget that she’s roughly Clary’s age here. There’s so much about her that still screams ‘child’ and then I’m reminded that most of the characters in these books are still children. Looking back at this book and knowing how Isabelle ends up in the end…that’s beautiful character development. All the applause for that!

I’ve already mentioned in my City of Bones review that I could ignore Clary’s annoying characteristics because I was more focused on what else was going on. In this book, I didn’t find her that annoying. She asked a lot of questions yes, but that’s good because I feel that was a great way for us as readers to learn more about this world without there being endless paragraphs of unnecessary descriptions. She’s starting to grow as a character and I’m actually very excited to see that, since I’ll be paying more attention to that now.

In this book, we see a bit more of the Clave and what they stand for. Everything hasn’t been explained yet but there’s a bit of an outline. I don’t think we can take Valentine’s word on anything really but he doesn’t always lie.

Another thing I noticed: every time someone talks about how Jace is exactly like his father, it’s always about his character and personality and not about his looks, which I think is great foreshadowing for what’s about to happen.

One thing I do like about Clary though, she wasn’t raised a Shadowhunter, so she doesn’t think like one. Sometimes her ideas and questions are so innocent you can’t help but go: oh honey. But then you see what her questions and ideas are doing and you can’t help but smile. She helped Alec, she’s helping Jace. She knocked some sense into Luke. Sometimes the means she goes about achieving this are sketchy but I think she’s one of the best things to happen to this book world. That might be overstepping it a bit but changes started happening once Clary came along, and I’m not ashamed of my opinion.

Have I spoken about how much I hate Valentine yet? I probably have but I hate that guy. Valentine’s issue is that he really believes in what he’s doing and that’s the problem. He believes that the world he desires is the world that was supposed to be there from the beginning and he’ll break heaven and hell to achieve this. There’s something he said in this book: “But isn’t that what love is, Clarissa? Ownership? ‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,’ as the Song of Songs goes.”

He’s so far removed from humanity and its emotions, sometimes I wonder if he’s even human. His ideals are not ‘normal’ and he seeks destruction claiming that it’s enlightenment. I don’t think I’ll ever really understand him and his is not a head I want to get into.

I don’t remember too much from my first time reading this book but I do know that I loved this second read so much more. New characters were introduced, knowledge was expanded and even though it’s still small, the story’s starting to evolve.

I like the action that Cassie Clare puts in each book. It’s like: if that wasn’t the final battle, what will the actual battle look like? She spares no detail and every climax is as big as the previous, if not bigger.

I don’t mind taking so long to finish these books because it gives me time to reflect and process everything. I’d even go as far as to say that it felt like I was reading this book for the first time and I’m so happy about that.

I know that there’s a lot that awaits us in City of Glass and my bags for this feels trip are already packed.

Read: 25 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 7 July 2008
Publisher: Walker Childrens Paperbacks
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Cassandra Clare

  • My review for City of Bones here.
  • My reviews for other books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles here.

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eARC Book Review: Among the Flames by Shelby K. Morrison

25662710Goodreads Synopsis

After fleeing her home in Tharien with the Emperor’s forces hot on her heels, Aia Wynnald has only one goal: To end the two-thousand-year-old discrimination against Benders—a race of beings like her, with a misunderstood gift. But when the Emperor’s Church of Mighty retaliates with a new threat, her noble plans are put on hold.

With her companion Cole Balain, a former enemy, by her side, Aia must halt the devastation triggered by her well-meaning actions. The only way she can fight the Church is with the help of a disenchanted group of rebel Benders who’d sooner submit to their fate than follow Aia’s lead.

Can she inspire them to fight and work together to resolve this new crisis, or will her ingrained submissive nature bring her, and the Benders of Dyel, to their knees?


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Among the Flames is the long awaited sequel to From the Ashes (review here). After the events that took place in book one, Aia and Cole flee and end up teaming with a group of rebels claiming Aia to be their liberator.

I didn’t remember much of the first book as it’s been years since I read it. A few scenes did pop into my head here and there but I was still able to enjoy this book as events from the first book were mentioned often.

“Remember, you are elite, and the elite do not bow to the weak.”

The book was fast paced from the first page and I liked that. I knew I was going to finish it pretty quickly. And I did. I started the book but then got distracted and ended up staying up through the night to finish the other 80%. Near the end, I even forgot that I was running against a deadline because of how much I was genuinely enjoying the book. As I said before, the book was fast paced, so as big as it was, I barely felt it.

There wasn’t any character development in this book but that’s okay because instead we had consistency. There weren’t random changes made in the story. If a guy was bad in the beginning, he was bad at the end too. No one had a sudden change of heart and I appreciated that. I’m glad that we got to enjoy our villains as they were. The rebels were like a group of family and when the rest of the world is against you, family is a welcome sight to come home to.

I like Aia as a character. She wasn’t afraid to ask for help and when she did, people thought her weak because it seemed like she couldn’t make decisions on her own. I did notice how at random times Aia would pull the ‘is it because I’m a woman’ card and it felt a bit forced in the sense that it seemed odd in the situation and very noticeable, distracting me from what the original argument was.

I feel like the story has definitely progressed from the first book and I enjoyed this a lot more than I did From the Ashes. After finishing this book, that two year wait was really worth it. I’m eager to see where this story goes.

Read: 25 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 25 April 2017
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Shelby K. Morrison

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eARC Book Review: XODUS by K.J. McPike

XODUS (Astralis, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

All Lali Yavari wanted for her sixteenth birthday was for her mom to come back. Instead, she starts flashing between realities and seeing people disappear before her very eyes. Then the unsettling Kai Awana shows up at school, and Lali soon discovers she has inherited the ability to astral project—with a surprising twist. When Kai offers to use his own unique ability to help Lali find her mother in exchange for her help on a misguided mission, she can’t refuse…even if she’s not quite sure she can trust him.

Don’t miss this award-winning urban fantasy adventure, where what one girl learns about her mother’s past will make her question everything she thought was true—and just might put her family in even more danger.


I received this book from the author on Instafreebie in exchange for an honest review.

XODUS tells us the story of Xitlali, dealing with the fact that her mom left, and figuring out her newly found powers of astral projection.

I found the beginning of this book to be slightly fast paced which was good as I thought I’d get through it quickly. I’d never read a book about astral projection before so I was really excited and since the writing style was pretty good, I had high hopes. Turns out that the writing style ended up being the only thing I liked about this book.

My two main pet peeves regarding books are annoying MC’s and a bad writing style. Since I didn’t need to worry about the latter, the former ended up delivering an extra dose of annoying MC. I wasn’t a fan of Lali from the get go. I’d be a bit freaked too if I discovered I could have out of body experiences but I feel like Lali’s freak outs were over the top. Sometimes I’d wish that she’d cool down a bit so we could get some explanations. This is when the story started dragging for me. Every chapter brought something new to freak out about and I was sick of it already.

You know what this book was full of? Lies, lies and yep…you guessed it: more lies. As a reader, seeing all this play out, I didn’t like it. It got old really quickly and to cover up for one lie, more lies would be added. And I’m not just talking about Lali. This entire book was just one big lie.

The supporting characters…can I even talk about them? To be honest, how this book played out it was all about Lali. So do they even matter? As long as she got everything she wanted, things were okay, right? *cue eye roll* Another thing this book was: complicated. One disaster after another and nothing could fix it.

I expected a lot more from this book but that’s okay. I’m just glad I could finish it even though I was so close to DNF’ing it.

As I said above: I liked nothing about this book except the writing style. The idea was a good one and I feel like the plot could’ve gone far but it wasn’t executed very well. I will not be continuing this series.

Read: 23 April 2017
Rating: ★.5

Publication Date: 19 September 2015
Publisher: Terracotta Rose Publishing in association with Fuzzy Hedgehog Press
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: K.J. McPike

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


This was my second time reading City of Bones and I decided to do reviews with each reread in the series.

Clary Fray’s world is turned completely upside down when a regular night at the Pandemonium club turns into her witnessing a murder done by kids that look about her age, only for the body to have disappeared when she seeks help. My first thought: wow, this chick probably needs some serious professional help after this. But, that is not the case here. From then on, as if being awoken, suddenly everything Clary thought she knew about the world was now revealed to be lies, glamours, half-truths. You name it.

She’s thrown into this world of demons, warlocks, vampires, faeries and werewolves. Where being mundane is seen as a joke. This is now the new normal for her.

When I first read this book I found Clary to be very annoying as she’s quite determined, but not in the good way. When she wants something she expects it to be done now, no questions asked. I felt that at times she didn’t care what it cost others to do her bidding, as long as it got done. Alec, my dear sweet baby, saw this from the beginning (even though we know what was really going on with him). It was almost easy for me to ignore Clary this time because I was so focused on everything else. The world building, the minor characters that I’d forgotten about, awesome one liners.

I never felt a pull towards Jace, and that hasn’t changed. Even though I know where the story goes for him, now that I was looking for it, it’s almost so obvious I don’t know how I missed it the first time. He’s holding in so much pain that you can’t help but want to weep for him. He is so troubled but he puts others first, even if it doesn’t seem that way. Sure he’s cocky and arrogant, and I want to say that those are part of a facade, but they’re not. He is all those things but he still has a heart of gold. Once you read The Infernal Devices side by side with The Mortal Instruments, it’s amazing how many similarities you can find between family members.

“-The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

I have four favourite characters in this series: Simon Lewis, Magnus Bane, Alexander Lightwood and Isabelle Lightwood. If these four were to form part of a superhero team, then I feel sorry for anyone who crosses their path. Mundanes are not weak. Well, not all of them. Simon is one great example of how they can step up when the situation calls for it.

The amount of love I feel for this series is so plentiful that I want to experience it over and over again. I noticed so many different things about the characters and places that I didn’t the first time around. Jace, superior and coldhearted as he acts, is actually a child inside. A kid who wants nothing more than a family. My heart breaks for him. Clary, the thing that annoys me about her is also the very thing that I like about her. She won’t take no for an answer. If the Clave wants to sit around and not to anything, you can bet Clary will be out there kicking butt. As for Magnus…one thing is for sure, never judge a book by it’s cover. Dude has a license to kill. What I know about the other characters will be ‘spoilers’ for the rest of the series. I can’t wait to see them grow because one thing that’s certain in this series is the character development. And Cassie Clare definitely delivered that on a silver platter.

Now that I think about it…this book is tiny compared to what the rest of the Shadowhunter Chronicles has to offer. If you think this was one hell of a ride, you’re in for so much more.

Reread: 11 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 7 July 2007 (First published 27 March 2007)
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Cassandra Clare

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Book Review: An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean

31298846Goodreads Synopsis

A very special anthology that’s a must for all fans of the Shadowhunter novels!

Featuring characters from Cassandra Clare’s international best-selling novels from the Shadowhunters world including The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices, this anthology showcases beautifully illustrated portraits from Cassandra Jean – creator of The Shadowhunter Tarot – alongside never-before-known details from Cassandra Clare about all your favourite characters.


An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld is a book that puts together short snippets of the characters of the Shadowhunter Chronicles i.e. The Infernal Devices, The Last Hours, The Mortal Instruments, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and The Dark Artifices. It includes drawings of the characters (by Cassandra Jean) as they were described in the books. I for one am very happy with how they turned out because many of them were how I imagined but now I get to put faces to the names.

I loved everything about this book. I specifically wanted the black cover because I think it looks so refined and classy. My sister told me this book would make a great coffee table book and I glared at her so hard. I feel like this book should be on permanent display in my bookshelves, it’s so pretty. I’m glad I finally managed to get my hands on this and to think that I initially didn’t want it because I thought it’d be pointless. Well that was a mistake on my part because I’m so in love with it. I read it the same day I got it and I thought I’d just browse through but I ended up actually sitting down and taking note of everything. I still have a smile on my face. And little Max! ‘He wants to be a pirate.’ He’s the most adorable little boy ever!

Along with the drawings and snippets, each character is given a flower or plant with a meaning that relates to them. I found this to be ingenious and I appreciate the amount of effort that was put into achieving this beautiful book.

 

Above are examples of what’s inside. I can’t wait to pick up this book again. I felt so happy while reading it and I actually laughed out loud a few times. For now it’ll rest next to my other Shadowhunter books. Till next time, my love.

Read: 18 March 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 18 February 2016
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s UK
Writer: Cassandra Clare
Illustrator: Cassandra Jean

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Wrap Up: March 2017 (and April TBR)

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 5.13.14 AM

The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7) Alex and Eliza: A Love Story On the Bridge (The Infernal Devices, #0.5) A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please (Dreamer #1) The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard, #1) Crying Over Spilt Light An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld The Impaler's Revenge (The Impaler Legacy, #1) 6482837

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

Nothing too exciting happened in this book but we do seem to be getting closer to finding out more about the organisation. I feel like this book took too long to get to the ending. As I said, nothing really happened so it could’ve been a tad bit shorter.

Alex and Eliza [Sneak Peek] by Melissa de la Cruz

This seems to be the start of something beautiful. I can’t wait to read the full novel when it comes out. See review here.

On the Bridge by Cassandra Clare

HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS? I was looking at the Infernal Devices books and this popped up. Obviously I read it because Will and Jem ❤︎

A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please by T.A. Miles

A short story that got confusing at times but was still quite enjoyable. I’m interested in seeing where the rest of the story goes. See review here.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Least favourite Rick Riordan book. Sigh, I was expecting something better. Oh well, what can I do. See review here.

Crying Over Spilt Light by George Saoulidis

I would say that this is a bit of a complex piece but it’s not really. It’s strange and weird but the writing is fantastic. See review here.

An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean

I’m so glad I finally managed to purchase this book. I read it in one sitting and I can’t wait to read it again. Review to come soon.

The Impaler’s Revenge by Ioana Visan

It’s was wondering to read works by a familiar author. I loved everything about this book and I look forward to continuing this series. See review here.

READING GOAL OF 20 BOOKS REACHED!!! 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

While not my favourite of Lauren Oliver’s, I did enjoy this book a lot. I was waiting to read this book and then the movie came out and I rushed to add it to my currently reading. Review to come soon.

Total Read: 9 Book(s)


Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 5.25.06 AM

ARCs

Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1) Sleight Dream Me This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information Time in a Bottle Heartborn Loving Ashe: Book 1 of the Celebrity Series Soothsayer: Magic Is All Around Us (Soothsayer Series #1) Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale, #1) Unseen (Breaking Free Book 1) Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth, #1) XODUS (Astralis, #1) 32941084 Jaeth's Eye (The Agartes Epilogues, #1)

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad