Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) – Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) – Robin LaFeversTitle: Mortal Heart by Robin Lafevers
Date Completed: April 7, 2014
Publishing Info: November 4, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Source: ARC borrowed from a friend
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
Related Posts: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
    In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.   She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

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** This is an honestly, truly SPOILER-FREE review of MORTAL HEART! Only details are how I felt about things and never exactly WHAT they were. Too many incredibly special moments and reveals to spill the beans in a review! Enjoy! **

Not that I didn’t love the other two books (because I did) but I have been waiting for Annith’s story since we first met her in GRAVE MERCY. You guys… MORTAL HEART does not disappoint. In fact, for as much love as I had for the first two books, my love for MORTAL HEART soared above and beyond my expectations. It has the answers to everything and I mean EVERYTHING.

Oh my gosh, how do I even write this review without telling you all of the amazing plot points that I surely don’t want to spoil? Okay. No spoilers… I will just touch on things we learn!
We get to know more about Annith’s past. I have been dying to know more ever since we first met Annith so this was SO exciting. Not only do we get to learn more about her as a person, but having Annith’s story be the last in the series really ties everything together!
YES, there IS a romance and it is super swoony. I mean, did you have any doubt?  Mysterious, brave, broody… And he and Annith have great chemistry. The more I read about these two, the more I fell in love with their romance. It was truly awesome, incredibly deep, and also incredibly interesting.
There are mysteries galore! And even more importantly, we get all the answers!!! We’ve been wondering all along why Annith has been kept in the convent. There are hints at different characters being involved in different plots. There are plots of murder. There are family histories. And the reveals for each question that pops up is perfectly timed and utterly amazing.

It is really and truly hard to discuss MORTAL HEART without any spoilers because it’s the finale of this epic series and I immediately just wanted to discuss ALL THE THINGS. Robin LaFevers totally nailed it with MORTAL HEART and this is the book in the series that I really connected the most with. Annith was incredibly relatable, entirely badass, and fiercely determined. One thing that I loved was how Robin LaFevers really managed to create three entirely different heroines between Ismae, Sybella, and Annith but still keep many of the same basic qualities and ultimate goals. These girls had so much in common and the their stories all intertwine perfectly to create this series, but each one definitely felt like a very different person and a very strong personality.

The relationships in this book are just amazing. Of course the romance because WOW, but every relationship — the good and the bad — was just so perfectly shaped. The way Annith interacts with everyone — her feelings, her reactions, her decisions to trust — just felt so genuine and I really connected with her as a character. She had a lot to gain and a lot to lose all at once and so much of that was based on her relationship with her friends and Daughters of Mortain, with the convent, and with her possible enemies.

The plotting throughout the whole His Fair Assassin series is amazing. I enjoyed the first two books immensely, but with everything coming to a conclusion in MORTAL HEART, the action, the mystery, and the adventure really took off in this book and I could not put it down. If you loved the first two books, I don’t see how you can possibly be disappointed by MORTAL HEART at all. This book just floored me in all the best ways and I wish I could just soak in it forever.

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Just ignore the fact that this is all the same date……. I accidentally deleted the wrong edition of the book which wiped out my status updates BUT I did have them saved on my phone because I didn’t have access to the internet while I was reading! So I just uploaded them back when I had the chance. 

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Annith // Character Obsessions: Leaving the convent, training, answers.
Out of all of the characters in this series, Annith was definitely my favorite. I was so glad the series closed out with her story and that it was saved for the very end. She was such a pleasure to read about and everything that happened to her! Just shocking and amazing. I loved her spirit and determination.

To be honest, I want to talk about soooo many more characters but let’s discuss AFTER you read the book! There are so many surprises and reveals and pasts and secrets that I just can’t possibly say anything more about who we meet, who reveals what, and how their roles shape the book! 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Historical Fiction + fantasy blend. This series really combined some serious historical fiction and awesome mythology/fantasy aspects. I loved the mythology that Robin LaFevers invented for this book (oh yeah, we get more of THAT too!) and how everything just really fit so well for the time period. It was just perfect.
Left Me Wanting More: Of this series. It ended so perfectly but that’s the thing — it was perfect. I wish there was so much more but then again, I’m extremely happy with the way it ended.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

Do not hesitate to buy this book and this series and cherish on your shelves! So amazing and definitely worth owning all three books. Forever.

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Shadow and Bone       Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington IrvingTitle: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Date Completed: September 11, 2014
Publishing Info: September 9, 2014 by Audible Studios
Source: Audiobook downloaded for free via Audible
Genres: Adult, Classics, Paranormal
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
    In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball during the Revolutionary War.

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I’ve been a big fan of the Sleepy Hollow TV show ever since it originally aired (one of the few shows I’ve actually watched from the beginning) so when I heard that one of the stars of the TV show Tom Mison narrated THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW for a free Audible audiobooks, I immediately went to download it. (I mean, have we heard his voice, friends?)

Obviously I have a basic understand of what THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW is about but I’ve never actually read the original book. For whatever reason, we always used to watch the cartoon around Halloween-time when I was in elementary school so I was pretty well-versed on how it went, but since I was getting a free audiobook, I figured now would be a good time to listen to this classic and actually get the original story written by Irving.

As excited as I was to listen to Tom Mison narrate the book, I have to say I was less than impressed. True, Washington Irving had a fantastic way at describing things but I felt like that was about 75% of the book. I had great visuals on what the characters looked like, what the setting looked like, and how food tasted/smelled/looked, but there was very little plot to the book and that was a bit frustrating. I was honestly over halfway done before any real plot even began to take shape and the ending was a bit of a let down. (Not like I didn’t know how it ended but there have been so many adaptations that I didn’t know which ones were the most accurate.) Overall, it was just a very dull story and the action didn’t really happen until the very end and it really wasn’t much.

Actually, the thing that I enjoyed the most was my personal connections to the legend. I really enjoyed remembering watching the cartoon as a kid and the feelings connected to it as well as pinpointing spots in the original story to plot lines in the Sleepy Hollow TV show. I love what the writers are doing with the TV show and expanding the legend into what I really hoped it would be when I picked up the audiobook.

The narration was quite good too. I just love British male narrators and Tom Mison has an excellent voice. I felt like his diction was a tiny bit overdone at times, but it was very pleasant to listen to for an hour and a half. If I’m listening to a slightly dull story, at least it was from a good narrator.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Classics. I don’t often read classics so this was a fun way to do it! I also liked how short it was haha. I wasn’t really enjoying the story so much so it was nice to know that it was on the shorter side.
Left Me Wanting More: Action & Suspense. For such an exciting concept and re-told tale, I felt like there really wasn’t much there. I do like all of the possibilities it holds with the somewhat open ending so maybe that’s the real winning concept here!

Addiction Rating
Try it

If you want to listen to the audiobook, it’s free. Tom Mison was a really great narrator and the audio is short if you’re afraid you won’t like it! Worth a shot, right?

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

 this dark endeavor    unspoken

 

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Date Completed: September 3, 2014
Publishing Info: September 2, 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Source: egalley approved by Bloomsbury via Netgalley -- Thank you!!!
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
    Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
    While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

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** This is a spoiler-free review for HEIR OF FIRE but please note that there ARE spoilers for the first two books, THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, if you have not already read them. **

HEIR OF FIRE in one word? Brilliance. I’ve binge read the series up to this point and I think that makes it even more obvious to me how much Sarah J. Maas has already grown as a writer throughout this series as it stands. With each book in the series, my love for it only grew and by the time I finished HEIR OF FIRE, I was pretty much in total awe of what Sarah’s done with this series so far.

HEIR OF FIRE is by far the longest book yet at over 500 pages, but it’s one of those books that never felt long. The book follows the story lines of characters we’ve grown to love in previous books (Celaena, Dorian, Chaol) but we also get a new major plot and character with Manon Blackbeak, a fiercely awesome witch with a badass attitude. At first I was afraid with the introduction of a new character receiving their own story line (though I know it will eventually tie into the main-Celaena story line) because I recently had a more negative experience with this concept and it kind of ruined part of the book for me. BUT I know I shouldn’t have doubted because Sarah J. Maas is a master-plotter and even though Manon didn’t end up connecting with Celaena and the gang in HEIR OF FIRE, there’s no doubt that she’s going to play an important role in this series and I never once felt like her story was irrelevant. It added a hefty amount to read, but I loved every minute I spent with Manon and I can’t wait to see more of her in future books.

My absolute favorite thing about HEIR OF FIRE was the fact that now that we’re three books in, readers are able to see larger pieces of the puzzle. Since this series is longer than the current trilogy fad, there’s so much more time to be able to detail not only the characters but the plot as well. Longer arcs don’t have to be rushed and there’s so much more time to let ideas and mysteries simmer. In HEIR OF FIRE, we see certain items and events and places from THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and how they all tie together. There were several instances in which I had totally forgotten about something because it had already been used as a major plot point in previous books BUT its role in the series isn’t done and that just totally blew my mind. I feel like I’ve read so many series lately that use certain elements and then they get discarded, specifically put in the story for that one event. Not that I have an issue with that — more so that I was just so impressed to see how carefully Sarah J. Maas has crafted this overall series arc and how well all of the books flow from one to the next.

The character growth has also seriously impressed me. If you’ve read the novellas, you’ve pretty much seen Celaena’s entire history (aside from the more mysterious aspect of her childhood but no worries because *flails* you get more info in HEIR OF FIRE!!) and know exactly how she acted when we first met her — confident, cocky, brash, and invincible. After her time in Endovier, she became much more closed off, but still had an air of arrogance about her. Even after everything she’s been through, Celaena still somewhat has a sense of entitlement, but new character Rowan is NOT having it — and I was SO thankful for his presence in this book! I like Celaena. I really do… but she needed someone like Rowan to come in and really change her perspective a bit. Celaena IS so good at what she does and she does have that confidence in what she can do that it’s hard for someone else to really challenge her. Rowan is the perfect person to really push Celaena to become a better person in many different aspects of her life and I loved how much he enhanced this book and helped Celaena keep moving forward. I think she really needed someone like him to do that.

I feel like I could talk about this book forever but I’ll wrap it up with the reiteration of how much this book amazed me. At only a quarter of the way in, things were already escalating to the point where I was floored by what was going on and there were still so many adventures left to have in the book. By the time I reached the end, I was nearing the point of being speechless. HEIR OF FIRE was simply magical to read and I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the series. It’s clear that Sarah J. Maas just keeps improving her writing with each book and I look forward to seeing where she takes us for the rest of this journey.

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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THIS BOOK THOUGH. I don’t usually swear in my reviews/updates/on Twitter but “holy shit” were the only words I could use to describe that last part of the book. 

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Celaena // Character Obsessions: Magic, training, protection.
I think Celaena really grew up in this book… quite a bit. That was a really great thing for me personally because sometimes I got a taaaad bit annoyed with her attitude and cockiness but I think she really just needed someone to help her realize that she may think she’s acting like an adult and yes, she may really have the skills she feels confident of but there’s still so much more to learn. Celaena needed to learn how to conquer some things she was hiding from and also how to let the right people in.
Rowan // Character Obsessions: Training Celaena, duty, responsibility, loyalty.
Rowan is my new favorite character. I absolutely loved his role in this book and there couldn’t have been a better time for someone like him to appear here. His character really just blew me away and I LOVED the relationship that he and Celaena developed. They really grew to respect one another and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Manon // Character Obsessions: Honor, winning, leadership, wyverns.
Manon was also awesome and I did not think I would feel that way about her. Her story was amazing to witness and it was great to see how much my feelings changed for her the more I read about her. I can’t wait to see how she fits in to the overall plot when her storyline does connect!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Big books. I’m so thankful for how long this book was. I NEVER say that. Usually I’m afraid of the bigger books because they just take so long to read and even though this did take me a while to finish, I enjoyed every word and didn’t want it to end. Don’t let the size intimidate you because every word was enjoyable and absolutely necessary!
Left Me Wanting More: … Of the series? I binge read the series up until this point…. MAYBE not the best idea since I had instant gratification with being able to read the next book and now I have to wait a loooong time for the next. Whoops?

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

I already loved the series, but whoooooo boy, HEIR OF FIRE totally floored me. I’m so impressed with how much the series has grown so far and I can’t wait to read more of it! If you’re hesitant, take it from me — IT’S ALL WORTH IT.

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

     dreams of gods and monsters    rift nightshade #1

 

 

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) – Brandon SandersonTitle: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Date Completed: September 9, 2014
Publishing Info: July 25, 2006 by Macmillan
Source: Audible audiobook/purchased ebook
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
    In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?
In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage - Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

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I’ve been getting a lot more into adult fantasy — little by little — and the more I heard about MISTBORN, the more it sounded pretty amazing. Then Nikki (There Were Books Involved) basically told me it WAS amazing and I should read it immediately. I needed a new audiobook and since this was a longer one, I decided it would be great for audio since I was a bit behind on my print copies. Anyway… enough about me. Let’s talk about MISTBORN.

So admittedly… it started of juuuust a bit slow for me. I haven’t delved into a ton of adult fantasy yet (honestly all I’ve read as far as adult fantasy goes is A Game of Thrones and The Lies of Locke Lamora) but since I’ve really been getting into young adult fantasy lately, I was guessing that love would transfer no matter what the target age was but I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I think the reason it went slowly at first was merely because my most recent read with the Genteman Bastard series (that’s Locke Lamora for those of you unfamiliar) was so pleasant because there’s so much comedy strewn throughout and I love a good heist book. While MISTBORN has similar themes with thieves and a general fantasy world, they’re definitely two very different books so my expectations were just a bit off. Once I adjusted my perspective in the book, things really started to come together.

Firstly, the characters are fantastic. It took me a while to get acclimated to Kelsier and Vin and exactly what roles they’d play in the book and how they relate to each other. Once I got in the groove, I absolutely loved it. Vin and Kelsier have an amazing relationship in this book and no, it’s not a romantic one. Kelsier is much older than thankfully it wasn’t romantic. No, they had a relationship that I find even more special sometimes than watching two characters fall in love — Kelsier really became a mentor to Vin and even a father figure at a time in her life when she had no one to trust and no one to rely on. He not only helped her come into her own, but also helped her learn how to trust again and provided her with a group of people who became her new family. As much as I love all the feels when witnessing a romantic relationship, I got a different set of feels from watching these two characters form an amazing bond of friendship and trust.

The secondary characters were also wonderful. I feel like I only got to know them a little bit but I think in future books, I’ll get to know them even better. The way Sanderson shapes characters was so impressive. There are so many times when you see both the light and dark sides of each person — even with the side of evil, there are still hints at the more humane aspects and how even when two sides are warring, the lines start to blur every once in a while.

The world building was absolutely fantastic. I feel like I created a picture in my head cobbled together from other fantasy worlds I’ve read but it was still very much its own place and its own story. The explanations and integrations of Allomancy and Feruchemy were amazing and as complicated as Allomancy can be with the number of metals involved and how they work, I never really felt overwhelmed or confused trying to understand which did what. Everything was explained in context as Vin was learning and as other characters were using their Allomantic powers so it was easy to follow along, and this continued throughout the whole book — not just as each one was introduced. I’m SO happy that Brandon Sanderson chose to keep naming the metals as they were being used because I could have easily gotten lost and forgotten the properties of each as I read. It was handled just perfectly, not to mention what an amazing magic system this is. I feel like the closest I’ve read is elemental powers but I absolutely love the concept and originality of “burning” metals that allow extra abilities.

The whole plot for the book was just excellent and it’s amazing how things can get set up so early on the story and yet the reader has no realization of hidden motives or intentions (no spoilers. Some things you just can’t guess) as well as setting up the story line for future books. I was already hooked by the time I finished MISTBORN but now I really can’t wait to dive into book two as soon as possible! There were quite a few surprises and the ending was positively shocking so I can’t wait to see what else Brandon Sanderson has in store for readers with the rest of the series. This is one I don’t want to delay!

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Vin // Character Obsessions: Self-reliance, Allomancy, trust (or lack there of).
loved Vin. It took me a while to figure out exactly what she was all about but even in just book one, she really grew leaps and bounds from where we first meet her. In part, it’s Vin’s personality and determination that allows her to really come into her own but it’s also a lot in thanks to her relationship with Kelsier as her mentor and her work with his crew. I can’t wait to see more of the new side of Vin in the rest of the series!
Kelsier // Character Obsessions: Rebelling, friendship, bravery, planning.
OH, Kelsier. I loved him so much. At first I wasn’t entire sure if I would because I really couldn’t place who he was and what kind of character he would be but the more I got to know him, the more I loved about him. Even though he was a mentor to Vin, I think he really learned a lot from her too. I just loved their relationship and I think both of them really gained a lot from getting to know each other.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Adult fantasy. I’m still a beginning with adult fantasy and it does have a bit of a different feel than YA. There was still a romantic element present, but it wasn’t the main focus as I feel it so often is in YA. Not like that’s a bad thing, but I feel like the adult fantasy novels I’ve read so far don’t feature the romance as the main plot point rather it’s there as a natural element and conflict but not the reason for the book. I’m sure that’s not really intentional and just happens to occur in my picks so far, but I’m kind of enjoying the romance as the side plot and getting action and adventure as the main focus!
Left Me Wanting More: Connection in the beginning. I can’t really say what was to “blame” for my inability to connect in the very beginning… The world was just being introduced to me so I was trying to figure it out as well as who the characters were and why they were important. I was also not entirely sure what kind of story to expect and since my previous read was so humorous, I wasn’t entirely prepared for a serious read (although I did end up loving it).

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

MISTBORN was a really great read for me. It started off just a tad slow but once I really got into it, I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read more of this series and looking forward to more from Brandon Sanderson!

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

          throne of glass           the lies of locke lamora

 

Book and a Beverage [74] – Lindsay from The Broke Book Girls

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Lindsay from The Broke Book Girls!

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Name & Blog Name: Lindsay / The Broke Book Girls
Tell us a little about your blog! I started the blog with my friend Sarah in November of last year. I’m definitely known as the “reader” among all my friends, so any time someone needed a book rec, they asked me. I finally decided to start a blog to keep track of everything I was reading & my thoughts on each book.
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) There’s definitely two topics that come to mind The first is the March Madness Book Boyfriend Bracket I did. We got a huge response & are planning on doing it again next year! Everyone seems to have an opinion on their favorite book boyfriend! The other is probably what most people know me for-book cover cookies. Like the Anna/Lola/Isla ones, or The Grisha Trilogy, or Divergent, or all of Rainbow Rowell‘s covers, or Ignite Me & Cress, and finally, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I love making cookies based on book covers-and I’m always open to suggestions!
Got anything special coming up we should know about? I was originally planning on doing a 1st blogiversary giveaway, but… seeing as how I’m having a baby in November, that’s most likely not going to happen anymore (it’s also the reason for the extreme lack of blogging in the past 6+ months!)

book

Whatcha reading? The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) Bloomsbury! I did a promotion earlier this summer for Open Road Summer & I’m fortunate enough to get an ARC of this book!
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? It literally came in the mail as I was writing this post. I’ll be digging into it immediately!
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I *just* got it, but it I loved ORS, and I’m sure I’ll love this one too!

beverage

Whatcha drinking? Water, water, and more water.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? I love nothing more than curling up with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), and a fire. I really need it to be cold here, like now.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Starbucks. LOVE.
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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas because I think everyone-fantasy and non-fantasy readers alike-will enjoy it. Anything by Rainbow Rowell. ANYTHING. I love her books (though Landline is probably my favorite). Annnnd Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This is my favorite book of all time, and I ship Darcy & Elizabeth with all that I am.
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? I’d have to say getting fabulous responses from the authors whose book covers I’ve turned into cookies. I’m always nervous showing them the photos once the cookies are finished-but each and every one of them has always been wonderful & told me how much they love them!
Anything else you’d like to share? [None]

Thanks, Lindsay!!! Seriously though SERIOUSLY! YOUR COOKIES ARE AMAZING!!! I haven’t tasted them but I’m sure they taste amazing too! You have amazing talent.
Love your book recs too! Fantastic choices!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Lindsay Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Tumblr  // Goodreads // Instagram

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!

#bookandabeverage

 

The Book Addict’s GUIDE… to Male POVs

Recommendations for YA books with a male POV

I know that with my wedding coming up, taking on a time consuming project such as making a new guide/infographic is probably the last thing I should do… But lately feeling like I have so much to do has made me feel like I need to be productive and somehow reading just wasn’t do that for me so I took on a blog project instead! I have a ton of fun sharing my recommendations and making these graphics so a new “guide” seemed like the perfect project for a time like this!

I almost forgot that I wanted to make a “guide” to male POVs. I’ve actually touched on the topic a couple times on my blog with the Top Ten Tuesday topic “Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to Male Readers” as well as picking it for My Latest Bookish Addiction, but I thought it was time to finally put it into a nice, formal graphic for easy viewing!

Without further ado, here are my favorite YA books from a male POV (and then some)!

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BOOKS MENTIONED

  1. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider // Review
  2. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller // Review
  3. Fault Line by Christa Desir // Review
  4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman // Review
  5. Just One Year by Gayle Forman // Review
  6. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green // Review
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling // Review
  8. The Giver by Lois Lowry // Amazon
  9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner // Amazon
  10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky // Amazon
  11. Stardust by Neil Gaiman // Review
  12. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline // Review
  13. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid // Review
  14. Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell // Review
  15. The Rule of Three by Eric Waters // Review
  16. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne // Review
  17. How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller // Review
  18. White Cat by Holly Black // Review
  19. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown // Review
  20. This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel // Review
  21. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman // Review
  22. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness // Review
  23. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi // Review
  24. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor // Review
  25. Nil by Lynne Matson // Review
  26. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks // Review
  27. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey // Review
  28. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater // Review
  29. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski // Review
  30. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger // Review
  31. Legend by Marie Lu // Review
  32. Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho // Review
  33. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell // Review
  34. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg // Review
  35. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry // Review
  36. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay // Review
  37. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu // Review
  38. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas // Review
  39. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson // Review
  40. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // Review
  41. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch // Review
  42. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson // Review
  43. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead // Review
  44. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin // Review
  45. Vicious by Victoria Schwab // Review
  46. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern // Review

Looking for more reading recommendations? Here are some more posts to check out!

Top Ten Tuesday – September 23, 2014: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
September 23, 2014

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list

I always love the Top Ten Tuesdays involving TBRs! I never know what to pick though… Do I pick new books that are coming out this fall or books I plan to read next? Well, I guess in any case, this one is easy. I’m falling behind with my new release/review books so let’s focus on the September/October/November books I’m looking forward to!

SEPTEMBER

i'llgiveyouthesun

Yes, yes, I know. I still haven’t read I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN yet. I’m just waiting for the perfect mood! I have so many things going on right now that I want to be able to dedicate the time and attention to this one, but don’t worry! It IS on my list to read ASAP!

infinitesea

I tore through THE 5TH WAVE last summer so I’m really excited to get to THE INFINITE SEA! I’ve heard some mixed reviews so far but there are still some positive ones so I have hope! It’s been a while since I’ve read THE 5TH WAVE too so maybe my expectations won’t be overly high.

trialbyfire I also couldn’t wait to get my hands on TRIAL BY FIRE and whoops. Still haven’t read it. Although I will say that the more I know about it, the more it seems not like what I expected… but in a good way! I think I’ll really like this one when I pick it up.

fallingintoplace

I’ve also taken a really long time to read FALLING INTO PLACE. I was hoping it would be like IF I STAY but it seems like there are lots of mixed reviews for this one as well. I guess there’s an unlikeable narrator? I still want to try it but the disappointment from others has made me push this one back for now. fine_art_of_pretendingTHE FINE ART OF PRETENDING looks absolutely adorable. I’ve seen a lot of good reviews for this one and I can’t wait to read it!

OCTOBER

bleed_like_me_cover

I really loved Christa Desir’s FAULT LINE. It was so emotional, extremely real, and had really interesting characters. With BLEED LIKE ME coming out in October, I’m definitely looking forward to more of her work! snow_like_ashes

I’ve heard some good things about SNOW LIKE ASHES and… well, to be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve read the synopsis that I forgot what it was even about. But it did sound interesting and I know it’s one that’s on my list for October!  trust_me_im_lyingTRUST ME, I’M LYING just sounds like a “me” book. I’m really excited for this one and it just sounds like so much fun!

NOVEMBER

a_thousand_pieces_of_you

I have been geeking out over A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU since I first heard about it last year in MARCH and I cannot wait to get to it! It sounds absolutely fantastic and I think I’ll really enjoy it. And omg THAT COVERRRRR.

the_walled_city

I’m actually not 100% sure how I’ll feel about THE WALLED CITY, but I definitely still have interest! I’ll have to go check out some reviews and see what the early readers are saying about this one. I have a copy from BEA but it’s not quite jumping out at me YET.


Heyyyy, I ACTUALLY kept it to ten! Of course, my fall TBR holds MANY more books than this, but this is what I’m working with for now! I’m always behind so let’s pretend that I’ll actually get to these. (We all know I never really read the books I put on Top Ten lists saying I’ll get to them in X season… Life happens!)

A Fortnight of Fright 2014: Intro & Sign-Ups!

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October 17th – October 31st, 2014

It’s that time again! One of my favorite times of the year… Fall and HALLOWEEN!! October is almost here and that means our annual FORNIGHT OF FRIGHT feature! The past two years, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I brought you A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT — a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! This year, we’re hosting it collaboratively under our group On the Same Page which means the lovely Amy from Tripping Over Books will be joining us in hosting as well!

This is our call to all you Halloween-lovers — bloggers, authors, readers, whoever! — to participate in A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT this year! We would love for you to join us in this fun celebration of the best holiday of the year! (We’re biased.) Please see the form below if you’d like to participate! If you missed it last year or are looking for some ideas for posts, check out the collection of links below the sign-up form from previous years!

Here’s a bit more about the event:

  • A FORNIGHT OF FRIGHT runs from 10/17 – 10/31
  • Alyssa, Amy, and I are your hosts for this event so your FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT post would be posted on one of our blogs as a guest post (this goes for all topics — so even if you did a book review, it would still be a “guest post” on one of our blogs)
  • Once we have enough people sign up, we’ll put together the schedule and let you know on whose blog your post will appear and on what date!
  • We’re open to pretty much anything Halloween-related! Favorite TV shows, movies, books, candy, facts, celebrations… Book recommendations, book reviews, highlighting a specific movie or TV show… Recipes, Pinterest boards, crafts, how-tos, costume contests, Halloween costumes for book characters… Really, the sky is the limit!
  • Sign-ups close Monday 10/6!

ALSO — Another awesome Halloween thing you should know about is ALL HALLOW’S READ. All Hallow’s Read is a project started by Neil Gaiman and instead of giving candy on Halloween, participants give out books! Once again this year, Alyssa, Amy, and I will all be exchanging horror, paranormal, or general Halloween-type feel books for All Hallow’s Read! These books are not only exchanges, but we decided to do it present-style so each one we receive will be a SURPRISE! We’ll be reading and reviewing throughout the month of October so keep an eye out for those Halloween reviews!

If you have any questions about A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT, please feel free to email or  any one of us! If you’d like to contact me via email or Twitter, my info is in the side bar!

 

PREVIOUS FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT POSTS

Book Tag: Seven Deadly Sins

I got tagged by Nicole and Ashley from The Quiet Concert for this fun book tag! I feel like I’ve been keeping up with my blog posts but since I’ve been pretty busy lately, it’s been hard to keep the fun in them. This one is purely for fun because I love surveys and it’s just a neat idea to do for kicks! So thanks to Nicole & Ashley for keeping the fun alive!!

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS BOOK TAG


Greed

What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book?
Hmmm, most inexpensive book (assuming that this refers to a book I actually paid SOME money for and not received for free/as a gift)… I really don’t know! I guess something that I picked up at a thrift store. I go hunting for books at thrift stores from time to time and can find some for less than a dollar!
My most expensive book that I still own is probably my huge Spanish dictionary! It is kind of enormous and I bought it for my college Spanish classes back in the day. Once college was over, I was still in love with it and I may never use it again but I didn’t want to give it up! I bought it new at Borders (yes, Borders haha) and I can’t remember what I paid for it but it was a hefty amount!

Wrath

What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Oh wow, hmmm. I guess I have two! Firstly, Lois Lowry (within The Giver Quartet). THE GIVER is still one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES but the quartet went downhill from there. The second and third books were okay and I hated the fourth. Secondly, Sarah Ockler. I loooooved THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS and then read #scandal and it didn’t even feel like it was from the same author (not in a good way). I still have to read her backlist titles but now I’m a little scared.

Gluttony

What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
Harry Potter! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the books (no, really. I don’t even know because I never used to count) and I’m doing a re-read via audio right now! I will forever re-read these books.

Sloth

What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
I thought this was going to be hard at first but oh wait, I know exactly which book. ALLEGIANT. Even before the BIG THING got spoiled for me (thanks, Tumblr) I was just not movitated to read it. I enjoyed DIVERGENT and INSURGENT but I was never ga-ga over the series so the sheer size of ALLEGIANT had me pushing it off. I still haven’t read it. I sort of don’t even feel the will to pick it up at all. But I want to finish it still. Sigh.

Pride

What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
Haha! I love this question. Well I don’t really read classics so I can’t really pick any of those. Probably HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad. It was one of the few books I really enjoyed throughout my high school career and I know that was ALL because of my teacher at the time.

Lust

What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?
I luuuuurve snark & witty banter (see: Swoony Snark). Maybe a little bit bad boy with a heart of gold (or bad boy who doesn’t do nice things and when they do nice things, you just die (see: Ronan Lynch)). And just general swooniness too. It happens in the most random places sometimes!

Envy

What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
Probably the special editions of FANGIRL and ELEANOR AND PARK because OMG so pretty! Or really any international editions of my favorites. I am just becoming obsessed with international editions!!


Yay, that was fun! I’m not going to tag anyone in particular since I don’t know who has already done it and who even has time to post, so if you see it here and you do a post, let me know! I’d love to see your answers! :)

Her Dark Curiosty (The Madman’s Daughter #2) – Megan Shepherd

Her Dark Curiosty (The Madman’s Daughter #2) – Megan ShepherdTitle: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd
Date Completed: August 15, 2014
Publishing Info: January 28, 2014 by Harper Collins
Source: egalley approved by publisher via Edelweiss/audiobook borrowed from my local library
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
   Back in London after her trip to Dr. Moreau's horrific island, Juliet is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget her father's legacy. But soon it's clear that someone—or something—hasn't forgotten her, as people close to Juliet start falling victim to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes. Has one of her father's creations also escaped the island?
    As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, her past bubbling to the surface, and her life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

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** NOTE: This review will have one minor spoiler because I feel like it’s something I need to talk about in order to fully explain my feelings for this book. If you haven’t read the book yet, just a word of warning! It’s something that happens earlier on the book, but still worth noting that it may be a minor spoiler for some. **

Admittedly, I was a bit mixed about how I felt about the first book in this series. After finishing THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, I felt like I had enjoyed what I read, but the concept was just so strange… The book was a retelling of the classic THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU and I had gone into the book not really sure what it was about. Ultimately I had still enjoyed it and hearing that books two and three in the series were retellings of THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and FRANKENSTEIN, I was just itching for more gothic horror and decided to take the plunge. I was hoping that there would be less focus on the beastly side of the plot since that wasn’t a huge selling point for me in THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER (I wasn’t horrified at the experiments but merely the fact that it seemed far too unbelievable to be true) so I was hoping that it would be less of a focus in the rest of the series. With a Jekyll & Hyde retelling, I guess I should have known what was coming.

HER DARK CURIOSITY was a complicated read for me. I had an egalley from the publisher but instead, I chose to listen to the book via audio to help me move through it and I’m glad that I did. I had a reason to keep going with the book even when I was frustrated with it (and that was plenty of times). The “beast” side of the plot doesn’t really go away. In fact, it becomes even more prominent in one major way, so that wasn’t a really exciting thing for me. I guess in the context of THIS book, it felt a bit more realistic, but I still wasn’t super keen on the whole concept.

The first half of the book was kind of rough for me. I was really, really not getting along with Juliet. The way she said things, the things she ended up doing, her poor decision-making skills… None of it really worked for me. Honestly, some of the words that came out of her mouth just shocked me, as in, “Did she really just say that and how does she think that is A) a good idea and B) okay in ANY way?” I really just wanted to smack her because she was living up to a pretty poor stereotype of a helpless woman (who somehow decides to do things on her own and makes poor decisions anyway). I was never fully on the same page with her throughout the book, though I think her crazy-talk calmed down a bit towards the end. (Or got even worse but with all of the other characters finally giving in to her ideas, it didn’t seem as crazy.)

Let it be known that the possible spoilers exist in this paragraph: Yet again, the love triangle continues in HER DARK CURIOSITY — something I was REALLY REALLY hoping would not happen. At least it wasn’t a love square like the first book (that would be a love triangle with four people instead of three) but UGH. It was incredibly maddening and ridiculous. This book pulled a silly (yet somewhat expected) turn when the reader finds out that *gasp* Edward in fact did NOT die at the end of book one and somehow he’s back in London too. Then *gasp* Montgomery ends up back in London too and love triangle gets EVEN WEIRDER. Firstly, we know Edward isn’t even human. He may or may not have human DNA or contributors (this is something that is investigated in the book) but even if he does, that makes him like, what? 90% animal? So just pretty ick that Juliet is even romantically and PHYSICALLY interested in him. Then some things happen that I wish had just never even been an idea in the first place. Not to mention Montgomery is also vying for Juliet’s affections and things get even MORE complicated and… yeah, I was just nooooot a fan. Really not.

You want to know what the worst part is? THINGS GOT INTERESTING. I was all ready to finish the book, ranting and raving about how much I did not enjoy it and how I had no interst in finishing the trilogy and BAM. I got sucked in. Once the hints at the Frankenstein tie-in started popping up, I got pulled back in. Now I’ll probably read book three. Sigh.

Overall? This book and I didn’t really get along, but somehow I got sucked back in towards the end. I’ll probably end up finishing out the trilogy, but I’m not happy about it haha. The characters were frustrating, the love triangle was irritating, and I’m tired of the beast story line but I’m guessing that’s not going away either. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this series but I think I’m going to try to see it to the end.

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Characters1

Juliet // Character Obsessions: Science, romance, not caring about society rules.
Oh, Juliet. We are so not friends. I had a reeeeally hard time with some of the things that she said and most of the decisions she made. She was such a frustrating heroine for me. Let’s hope she grows up some in the last book.

AddictionFactor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Gothic horror. I liked the retelling of Jekyll & Hyde! I haven’t read a lot of gothic horror but that side of this book was really fun.
Left Me Wanting More: Solid choices. Don’t try to pretend that Juliet made wise decisions. She made some pretty wild ones. I understand following your heart or passion versus logic, but sometimes there was NO logic. Other times she was way too damsel-y when she should have been strong and strong when she should have let someone help her. Sigh.

Addiction Rating
Skip it

I know I said I’d read the last book in the series, but I can’t really recommend this one. I was just way too frustrated and I’d say if you haven’t started yet, I wouldn’t suggest starting. The first book was interesting and this one finally came around for me at the end so… do I recommend that? Say try it? Personally, I wouldn’t. The series has been just okay so far and that doesn’t seem enough for me to put these books in someone else’s hands.

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

     the clockwork scarab    this dark endeavor