A Court of Frost and Starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

**Spoiler Free Review**

ACOFAS was a cute novella. I loved seeing the characters again and how they are coping with loss and their new roles in this new world post the events from ACOWAR. I truly missed the characters after finishing the last book and I was delighted to see the gang back together again.

But, you have to approach this book with a few things in mind.

Let’s start by getting a couple key points out of the way:

  • This is a novella, this is supposed to be short
  • This novella is a “gap filler.” This means that there is not a storyline because this book is not a standalone; it serves as a “check up” on the characters after the events of ACOWAR but before the spin off series.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and a lot of people came away from ACOFAS disappointed. I’m not sure what they were expecting this book to be, but I think some of them were expecting something more. This novella is short, but most novellas are. There is no fluid storyline. This concerned a lot of people, but not me. Because the novella is only 229 pages, there was not room to tell a new story. All of the books I’ve read by Sarah J Maas don’t even get to the “good parts” in the first 300 pages; usually she’s still building the story.

ACOFAS checks in on the characters we love from the series. All of the main characters are back together and preparing for Winter Solstice. Each character weighs what they lost with piecing together their future. A happy occasion and time to celebrate is plagued by memories of the past as each person has their own ghosts that haunt them.

While reading this book, I could see threads that Sarah J Maas might pick up in the spinoff series and I would love to see more of the Night Court gang outside of Rhys and Feyre. There is a sneak peak of the spinoff series at the end of this novella, and that was my favorite part in this small book. I’m excited to read the spinoff when I was initially worried that it would be overkill. But, it seems that different characters with their own stories to tell will be the prominent players in the spinoff series.

People have been giving this novella a lot of flak and while I can understand their gripe, I don’t think it is necessarily called for. ACOFAS has been pushed hard, but as a short novella not a long and drawn out new story. We were never promised a new plot development, just a Winter Solstice celebration. And I think Maas delivered on that promise.

If you miss some of your favorite characters from the ACOTAR series, I do believe that this is worth the read. But if you don’t care what they’re up to when they aren’t preparing for the worst, then you can skip this one. Overall, I would still recommend it. It won’t take longer than a couple of hours to get through and it will leave you feeling uplifted.

Rating: 4/5

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May TBR

This month, I am setting our to read new books I hope to become some of my favorites, a book that seems like everyone’s favorite, and a classic I cannot believe I have not picked up yet. This May, I hope to finish Leah on the OffbeatA Court of Frost & StarlightSix of Crows, and Stardust.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli 

Synopsis: “When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.”–Amazon

I want to start out by saying that I LOVED Simon vs. the Homo-Sapien Agenda. I laughed, cried, had my heart crushed, and felt for each of the characters in that book. Alberalli’s writing style blew me away and I have been excited for this sequel ever since. I preordered this book a a while ago and I cannot wait to devour this. I have been a little upset that I haven’t found the time to sit down and read this book, so I am proclaiming this the first book that I must read this month.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Synopsis: “Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series. Feyre, Rhys and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated – scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.”–SarahJMaas.com

Sarah J Maas is a quintessential young adult author While her other series, Throne of Glass is my favorite of the two, I am still excited to read this book. But I am also hesitant. I usually hate spinoff books, but I miss the characters from the ACOTAR series so much that my curiosity outweighs my hesitations right now. And I’m sure that once I dive into another SJM book that I will lose track of time and my heart.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: “Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”–LeighBardugo.com

I have heard nothing but positive things about this book. I can’t tell you why I never decided to pick up this book until now, but I am glad to finally have it in my possession. I’m a little iffy about Bardugo’s writing style, but I won’t be quick to judge because I’ve only read one book by her and my expectations were so high that disappointment was inevitable. Hopefully, this one lives up to the hype.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis: “In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall — a secluded hamlet so named for an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark to keep the inquisitive from wandering through, relaxing their vigil only once every nine years, when a market fair unlike any other in the world of men comes to the meadow. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant — as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining. But Tristran is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises — and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.”–Barnes & Noble

I want to start of by saying that Stardust is one of my all-time favorite feel good movies. It is visually stunning and the story warms my heart. I knew it was based off of a novel, but I did not know that Neil Gaiman wrote the book. After reading American Gods and Norse Mythology, I can confidently say that I enjoy Gaiman’s books and I am excited to read this one. I have heard conflicting reviews and comparisons between the book and the movie. So I decided to approach this book as its own entity, and entirely different from the movie.

What are you reading this month?

February TBR

This month, I have decided to read books that have been on my TBR for a while. I put myself on a book buying ban for a while, so the only new books I’ll be getting for a while are books I preordered months ago. I want to work through my personal TBR pile and make it a little more manageable.

The three books I have chosen for February are Love & GelatoAssassin’s Blade, and Warcross.

 

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Synopsis: “A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.”–Barnes & Noble

Any book set in Italy, I am bound to read. I fell in love with the country when I spent time studying abroad there in 2013. Maybe it is nostalgia, but reading about the Italian countryside sounds like a perfect escape to me. Especially in these cold winter months! I have heard nothing but good things about this book, I’m excited to read it this month.

Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas 

Synopsis: “Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam. When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes-and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches-and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives . . .A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling-and deadly-world.”–Bloomsbury Publishing

The Throne of Glass series has left me with a giant book hangover. I finally finished Empire of Storms and I cannot wait to see where the final book in this series goes. I look forward to learning more about who Celaena is and her background that has been alluded to time and time again.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Synopsis: “For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.”–Penguin Random House

Truth be told, I don’t know much about this book. I have seen it all over the Internet, though. But I have recently grown to love sci-fi novels and the premise of the novel seems interesting to me. I was introduced to Marie Lu’s writing style when I read Batman: Nightwalker last month, and it seems on par with other author’s I enjoy reading. I’m not sure whether to go into this book with high hopes, because I’m afraid of being disappointed.

 

What are you reading this month?

Empire of Storms Review

Empire of Storms (ToG Book 5) by Sarah J Maas

**SPOILERS**

SJMaas did it to me again; she has left me an emotional mess and starving for more at the end of a book.

It has taken me over a year to get through this series. I was originally introduced to Maas’ writing in August of 2016. My best friend wanted to go to the book release for Empire of Storms but I had not read anything by Maas. I never have an issue going to book releases for a series I haven’t finished because any spoilers brought up I know I’ll forget. But, I thought I should read something by her before getting Empire of Storms and attending a book signing. I finished Throne of Glass before the event but nothing else. I had a lot going on over the past two years so reading came in waves. I devoured Crown of Midnight in a day. But Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows took a lot longer to get through. I know these two books had a lot of information contained within them that would be pertinent later, but they were slower than the rest of the series and didn’t keep my interest as much. I finished both books in November and December of last year. Empire of Storms is another book that I raced through. There was so much action and everything came together beautifully. I finished the book over two days, staying up far later than I should each night. But it was such a struggle to put the book down. Now that I’m finished with it, I have no idea how I’m going to wait until October to finally get my hands on the final book in the series.

Okay, now that the sidebar is out of the way I’m going to reiterate my feelings. I LOVED this book and the Throne of Glass series has easily become one of my favorite series of all time. Maas is a fantastic writer. All of the minor details she weaves throughout the entire series are coming together in this book. Every conversation and description that may have one time seemed minor, was beautifully packaged in this book and served up on a platter. So PAY ATTENTION to these books as you’re reading them or you might miss something.

I am excited to see a little of the “old” Dorian in this book. He’s coming into his own skin in Empire. He is still dealing with the fallout of what was inside of him and used his body through the collar. But, his humor is coming back and he’s learning about himself and his magic.

Rowan, despite being stubborn form time to time, is a pure and beautiful soul and I am so glad that he an Aelin found each other. The love the two of them share is unmatched by anything else this series has seen. Rowan and Aelin have a chance to be their true selves with each other. The cliché that they bring out the best in each other holds true here. They would do anything for each other even stare down death. I enjoyed getting to know more about Rowan and that it is not a liability to love Aelin as much as he does.

Lyssandra has become one of my favorite characters in this series. She is so sassy, regardless of what form she takes. She stays true to her personality. She is not the uneven tempered girl we were originally introduced to. She has become a reliable member of Aelin’s court and one of Aelin’s closest friends. Lyssandra knows what she must do for the good of everyone around her. I just hope she isn’t forced into some kind of self-sacrifice because I love her!

I have mixed feelings about the whole Lorcan and Elide storyline. It does not feel forced, which is about the only thing going for it. I know Elide is an adult but it just feels weird and a bit unsettling. I am curious to see where this goes in the final installment and how important these two will be. Lorcan is slowly regaining his humanity because of Elide and it is somewhat admirable, but it just feels like this will spell disaster and heartbreak for everyone involved.

Manon’s character transformation has surprised me the most. It was hinted at in the last book, but now she has become more than tolerable. I hated the witch-based chapters in books 3 and 4, but now I understand why they are vital to the storyline. I have a new appreciation for Manon and the Thirteen.

There is a lot of traveling in this book and we get to see new cities and the landscape of the continent. From the marshes and the foul creatures that lurk there to the seaside town of Skull’s Bay. The wide overview of the area involved makes the fight seem much larger. Past books have focused on one area at a time where we were not able to see the bird’s eye view of what was going on. This expansion helps to fill in the gaps of the past books and the larger picture of the world Maas created in the series.

Overall, this is a wonderful book. The thought and time Maas put into this series becomes more evident the more you read. This is not my favorite book in the series, Throne of Glass still takes that title, but this is the next best one. There was a lot more action in Empire of Storms and it wasn’t just in the final pages of the book. There are high-points throughout this book, I am equal parts excited to see where this series goes, and heartbroken that it will soon come to an end. Here’s to hoping we can last until October when the final book releases!

 

Rating: 5/5

Anticipated Book Releases of 2018

A new year means new book releases to look forward to. For the past couple of months, I have scavenged sites and marked my calendar to compile a list of books I am excited about this year. I am not listing all YA new releases for the year, just the books that I want to read.

Here’s a list of books that I’m looking forward to reading as well as their release dates and brief description (where applicable).

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu* [Jan 2]

  • “One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminal. In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.” —Goodreads

When My Heart Joins the Thousands by A.J. Steiger [Feb. 6]

  • “A heartbreaking debut YA romance featuring a neuroatypical girl with a tragic history and the chronically ill boy trying to break the vault encasing her heart.Alvie Fitz doesn’t fit in, and she doesn’t care. She’s spent years swallowing meds and bad advice from doctors and social workers. Adjust, adapt. Pretend to be normal. It sounds so easy. If she can make it to her eighteenth birthday without any major mishaps, she’ll be legally emancipated. Free. But if she fails, she’ll become a ward of the state and be sent back to the group home. All she wants is to be left alone to spend time with her friend, Chance, the one-winged hawk at the zoo where she works. She can bide her time with him until her emancipation. Humans are overrated anyway. Then she meets Stanley, a boy who might be even stranger than she is—a boy who walks with a cane, who turns up every day with a new injury, whose body seems as fragile as glass. Without even meaning to, she finds herself getting close to him. But Alvie remembers what happened to the last person she truly cared about. Her past stalks her with every step, and it has sharp teeth. But if she can find the strength to face the enemy inside her, maybe she’ll have a chance at happiness after all.” —Harper Collins

I’ve Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart* [Feb. 6]

  • “When Mamrie simultaneously enters her 30s and finds herself single for the first time since college, the world is suddenly full of possibilities. Emboldened by the cool confidence that comes with the end of one’s 20s plus the newfound independence of an attachment-free lifestyle, Mamrie commits herself to living life with even more spirit, adventure, and heart than before. Mamrie dives into new experiences at full-tilt and seeks out once-in-a-lifetime opportunities (like meeting the Dixie Chicks), bucket-list goals (like visiting the Moulin Rouge), and madcap adventures (like going anchors-away on a Backstreet Boys cruise)—all while diving back into the dating world for the first time in a decade. In I’ve Got This Round, readers will find the same shameless honesty and I’ll-try-anything-once spirit they loved in Hart’s New York Times bestseller You Deserve a Drink. Mamrie doubles down on her strong female friendships, her willingness to engage in shenanigans, and her inimitable candor, taking the reader along for a wild and unforgettable journey through adulting.” —Amazon

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen [Feb. 27]

  • “Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well — and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what — and who — it is they’re fighting for.” —Goodreads

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw [March 6]

  • Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them. Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.” —Simon & Schuster

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir [March 6]

  • “When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.” —Goodreads

Frat Girl by Kiley Roache* [March 27]

  • Sometimes the F-word can have more than one meaning…For Cassandra Davis, the F-word is fraternity—specifically Delta Tau Chi, a house on probation and on the verge of being banned from campus. Accused of offensive, sexist behavior, they have one year to clean up their act. For them, the F-word is feminist—the type of girl who hates them to the core and is determined to make them lose their home. With one shot at a scholarship to attend the university of her dreams, Cassie pitches a research project—to pledge Delta Tau Chi and provide proof of the misogynistic behavior for which they are on probation. After all, they’re frat boys. She knows exactly what to expect once she gets there. Exposing them should be a piece of cake. But the boys of Delta Tau Chi have their own agenda, and fellow pledge Jordan Louis is certainly more than the tank-top-wearing “bro” she expected to find. With her heart and her future tangled in a web of her own making, Cassie is forced to realize that the F-word might not be as simple as she thought after all.” —Barnes & Noble

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton [March 27]

  • “The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.” —Goodreads

Bound to You by Alyssa Brandon [April 10]

  • “Mate—from the word soulmate—the person who is ideally suited to you. Your perfect match. The one you’re destined to be with. Your one true love. The one you can’t live without. Megan Ross has been waiting her whole life for her mate to come and sweep her off her feet. But, the wolf she meets on the beach is NOT the sweet gentle boy she’s been dreaming of. Instead, he’s a warrior, one who has locked his heart away in a prison as cold and hard as a diamond. Far from home, with a soulmate who is still in many ways a stranger, Megan learns that the path to true love isn’t quite as straight and easy as she thought…” —Swoon Reads

A Court of Frost & Starlight (ACOTAR #3.5) by Sarah J Maas* [May 1]

  • “Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming spinoff novels. Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.” —Goodreads

Royals by Rachel Hawkins [May 1]

  • “Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.” —Penguin Random House

The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan [May 15]

  • “Kendall Evans is a good girl. Good student, good daughter, good friend. Happy to be “spotlight-adjacent” to her best friend, Kendall enjoys popularity-by-proximity. But with one mistake—an accident, really—she becomes the “bad girl” of her senior class. After getting caught “in the act” with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall spends her summer hiding out, unplugged from social media. Now it’s the first day of her final semester and graduation can’t come soon enough.” —The Rights Factory

Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein [June 19]

  • “For seventeen-year-old Maya, the equation for happiness is simple: a dream internship at MIT + two new science nerd friends + a perfect boyfriend = one amazing summer. Then Whit dumps her out of the blue. Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back. But when her experiment creates chaos in her love life, she realizes that maybe love and loss can’t be understood using the scientific method. Can she learn to trust the unmeasurables of love and attraction instead?” —Goodreads

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen [July 10]

  • “They say that Château Beaumont is cursed, but servant girl Lucie doesn’t believe in such foolishness. How could anyone as handsome as Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont and master of the estate, be cursed? But when the chevalier behaves with brutal cruelty, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish with a spell that transforms handsome Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast. At last the chevalier’s appearance reflects the monster he is inside. But Beast proves to be nothing like Jean-Loup. Jean-Loup would never tend his roses so patiently; Jean-Loup would never pick up a pen and attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.” —Target

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre [July 17]

  • “A 16-year-old girl wakes in the hospital following a car crash that killed her best friend to discover everyone calling her by her dead friend’s name, and when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore.” —Ann Aguirre

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart [July 24]

  • “In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding. Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.” —Tracy Banghart 

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning [July 31]

  • “Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after. But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.” —Goodreads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons #3) by Sarah J Maas* [Aug. 7]

  • “Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking. Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing. Selina is playing a desperate game of cat and mouse, forming unexpected friendships and entangling herself with Batwing by night and her devilishly handsome neighbor Luke Fox by day. But with a dangerous threat from the past on her tail, will she be able to pull off the heist that’s closest to her heart?” —Sarah J Maas

The Struggle is Real by Maggie Ann Martin [Aug. 21]

  • “Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her big sister―and best friend―goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.Amazon

Untitled Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J Maas* [Oct. 30]

 

*Denotes books that I have pre-ordered

 

What books are you looking forward to in 2018?

January TBR List

This month’s TBR list is a mix of new books and ones that I’ve had on my list for quite a while. I’m starting this year with the same reading goal as last year, 30 books. And while it may not seem like a massive number, it is doable for me.

The books I hope to finish this month are Empire of Storms, Batman: Nightwalker; and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Synopsis: “The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t. With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. n this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what — and who — to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.”–Bloomsbury USA

I am slowly making my way through this series. I’ve officially had this book in my possession for over a year and I finally started it in mid-December. I have not quite read 100 pages but I am enjoying the series. While I technically have until September to finish this book and Tower of Dawn, SJM’s writing makes me want to binge read the whole book in as few sittings as possible.

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Synopsis: “The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope. In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.” —Goodreads

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not Batman’s biggest fan. Of all of the DC superheroes, he is one of my least favorites. But, I am excited for the DC Icons series and the group of writers recruited to write this series. I preordered this book in October and I am excited to get my hands on it this week.

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Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Synopsis: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them. In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. n a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.” —Goodreads

I was supposed to read this book in high school as part of a fantasy class. But as a high school senior buried under her AP classes, this is one book I decided to skim. Now, ten years later, I regret never sitting down and taking the time read this book (and the series) all the way through. I know what happens–I’ve seen the movies and I’ve read a lot about the books. But I think it’s time to finally read the series. I’m going the spread out the three books as well as the companion books through the year.

 

What are you reading this month?

 

 

December TBR

With the year rapidly coming to a close, I have decided to make December my month of finishing books. This month, I have chosen books that I have started but have yet to finish or put on my yearly TBR that I still haven’t gotten around to reading. With how crazy this month is going to be, I have decided to keep it short and only aim to read two more books before the year’s end: Renegades and Queen of Shadows.

 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I got this book the night before it launched on the start of the official book tour. I was fortunate enough to meet Marissa Meyer in early November and get my book signed. When I got home that night, I read about 50 pages before falling asleep. Since that time, I haven’t felt like reading this book. I was in a reading slump last month and didn’t finish a single book. This is on the top of my “to read” list right now.

  

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

My original goal was to finish all of the published books in this series before 2018, but that has become unrealistic. I’m not even 25 pages into this book and it has been sitting on my nightstand for over a month. I love this story and the characters; I just didn’t have a desire to read for about five weeks. Thankfully, I feel like reading again. I would love to finish books 4 and 5 before January, but I doubt that’s going to happen. My goal is to finish this one!

 

What are you reading this month?

Heir of Fire Spoiler Free Book Review

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

“Each of the scars…they weren’t the makings of a victim. Oh, no. They were the trophies of a survivor.”

This is my third attempt at reading this book and I’m glad I finally finished this one. I did have to look up what happened in the previous two books because it’s been about a year since I read them. They were much easier for me to read than Heir of Fire was. I kept trying to read this book but I either got bored or got busy. There is a lot of information in this book and setup for the rest of the series. This is the pivotal novel in the series.

During most of this book I was internally screaming “Celaena, get your shit together, girl!” I know that she was beaten down and lost faith in herself for most of the book, but I definitely missed the defiant badass we saw in the last two books. Celaena is one of my favorite fictional characters, watching her go through emotional pain was difficult for me. But, she emerged as a defiant woman ready to take on the world with her fire heart.

Celaena slowly starts to accept her Fae form and learns to harness her powers. But she’s still hesitant to become who is destined to be. She doesn’t want a crown because it will only keep her shackled. After everything she has been through, Celaena yearns to be free. This internal struggle runs through most of the novel and shapes Celaena. I think this novel is a little boring because this is where she grows up and realizes what she is meant to do.

The evil king does not make many appearances in this book, but you can still feel his presence. Something is closing in on all of the characters, and at the root of it are onyx necklaces that are meant to control. We’re introduced to more creatures that are creepier than you can imagine. We learn more about the curse and what happened when magic was banished from the kingdom of Alderan.

I have mixed feelings about Rowan. He put up a front like he did not owe Celaena anything, he even told her as such. He was cold and distant for most of the novel. But the more Rowan and Celaena learned about each other, the more they learned to understand each other. Personally, I still don’t like Chaol. There is just something about him that irks me. He doesn’t love every part of Celaena, he want to choose parts of her and does not accept all of her. Obviously, I hate Maeve. I am sure she serves a purpose but I do not have to like her. I enjoyed learning about Aedion. It helped to give a look at Celaena’s past and where she came from. Dorian seemed like an out of control liability for most of the novel because of his caged magic.

I am excited to see where Maas takes us next. I’m looking forwards to Celaena’s journey.

Rating: 4/5

 

October TBR

Well, September was a horrible reading month. I finished exactly one book on my TBR and two books. Not a great record.

In October, I hope to read 4 books: Turtles All The Way DownMy Own WordsHeir of Fire, and The Fifth Petal.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I read 10 pages of this book last month, so I’m rolling this book over from last month’s TBR.

 

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green 

Synopsis: “Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.” —johngreenbooks.com

Turtles All The Way Down releases on October 10. I have had this book preordered for several months. I am a huge John Green fan, and have been since I read Looking for Alaska  in high school. I’m excited to get my hands on this one!

 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Synopsis: “Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Lost and broken, Celaena’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend. But she must instead travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat—and his own deadliest enemy. The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Timesbestselling Crown of Midnight.” –sarahjmaas.com

I began the Throne of Glass series in September of last year. My best friend loved these books and Sarah J Maas was coming to Cincinnati on her Empire of Storms tour. I’ve finished the first two books and loved them. This will be my third attempt at reading this book. The beginning of this one feels slow for me. But I always seem to pick up this book and then either forget about it or become too busy to finish it.

 

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

Synopsis: “When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?“–brunoniabarry.com

I love discovering new authors, and Brunonia Barry is an author that is new to me. The Fifth Petal is part of her Salem series, but she did say that if you’re new to her books to start with this one. So, I figure I might as well listen to the author!

 

What are you reading this month?

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