Saturday, December 13, 2014

Let's Talk : If I Stay (Movie)

I finally watched the If I Stay movie! I love the book(s) so much and I really wanted to see it in theaters but I didn't get the chance so I had to wait till it came out on DVD. It was worth the wait.

I found out about this movie earlier this year when I came across the trailer for the film. I clicked on it because it was titled "If I Stay" and I figured it was just a movie that had the same name as one of my favorite books. Then the trailer starts and you see a girl playing a cello in a fancy theater with an elaborate roof. I remember thinking, "Hey, what a coincidence, because in the book If I Stay, Mia also plays a Cello and she has an audition in a fancy theater." Then it turns out that the girl's name is also Mia and there is a car accident and etc. It slowly started clicking in my head and when I fully realized that this was the movie for the same book, I freaked out. If I Stay is one of my favorite books and I had no idea that it was being turned into a movie but apparently it was.

It's always a little nerve-racking(?) when one your favorite books gets turned into a movie. A part of you is extremely excited that there is going to be a movie but there's also that other part of you that wants to movie to be great and not sucky. Partially for your own sake, because as a fan you want to see a good movie, not a crappy one. And partially, for everyone else's sake because for so many people this will be their first exposure to this stories, they've never read the book, and so you want them to see a good visual representation of the stories otherwise they'll judge by the movie and assume the story is really bad when, in fact, it just wasn't translated well from page to screen.

I loved the If I Stay movie. I have no idea what someone who hasn't read the book might've thought of it but as a fan I was completely satisfied. Chloe Grace Moretz capture the essence of Mia beautifully and Jamie Blackley played a really good Adam. I loved the way they did the flashback scenes. The emotional moments translated really well. I was definitely getting teary towards the end. The Mia and Grandpa scene was perfect. I remember that scene from the book and how emotional it was in the book and it felt just as strong in the movie.

This was a successful page to movie translation. Obviously, as is always the case, there were some changes from the book but they weren't major changes that altered the story line in a way that we now had kind of a different story. I was okay with the changes, I didn't mind them.

If you haven't watched the movie or read the book, I will ALWAYS recommend reading the book first. Here's the trailer to get you excited:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) : Review

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ★★★★

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

First of all, finals are over and now I have 3 whole weeks to read without interruption! Yay! I'm so excited and also dealing with the struggle of picking what book to read next... but that's a pretty good problem to have so I'll take it.

Now, getting into this book. The Assassin's Blade is a novella collection for the Throne of Glass series. If you haven't checked out Throne of Glass yet, let me just say that it is a definite must read. I am obsessed with this series and can't stop thinking about it. There are three books out so far with the fourth one planned for next fall and six books scheduled in total. It really is an amazing series, especially book two and three. So, you might guess that having loved this series so much I had high expectations for these novellas. When you include the fact that I've had hits and misses when it comes to reading novellas, I was a bit hesitant to get into this book. But I did, I started reading The Assassin's Blade after only a couple months of having it sit on the shelf and was surprised, and yet not, by how good it was.

Here's the thing. Generally, I've felt like the novellas that I've read in the past, though they are few, have felt unnecessary or forced. I struggled through reading some of them and didn't really like them very much. As a result, I kind of just stopped reading novellas in general (I have zero interest in reading Four, the novella collection for the Divergent series). But after reading Crown of Midnight (book 2), which started my obsession with this series, I needed every bit of content that I could get on Celaena Sardothien and the world of Throne of Glass. So of course, I bought The Assassin' Blade and was relieved and reassured by the fact that so many people had raved about this collection and that it had a pretty good rating on Goodreads (4.54 stars, is quite impressive).

Getting into the novellas themselves. They are completely up to par with the writing, quality-wise, as the rest of the series. All the novellas were connected and, as I was reading them, it felt like they together are could essentially be an entire prequel novel to the series. There is an over-arching theme between them and  they do take enough volume to be a novel (430+ pages). The only thing missing is the some transitional parts to more directly and smoothly connect the different parts.

We get to see Celaena and who she was prior to being placed in Endovier and how and why she changed and got to being the person that she is when we meet her in Throne of Glass. We get to meet Arobynn Hamel who we haven't yet seen in the series (outside of the novellas) and we get to meet Sam Cortland. Sam is someone that you're aware of if you've read the series or even if you've just read the first book and it was nice to meet him and see how his and Celaena's relationship evolves. Clearly, Sam is someone who has had a major impact on Celaena and to get to see how that happened was wonderful.

I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of each of the stories but I will say that these novellas did exactly what novellas should do for the series. They enhanced the overall story and they gave us information that adds to what we already know rather than being a random story that either detracts from the main storyline or doesn't effect it in any way. We got tons of background information that helps you understand Celaena better and we got to meet a couple characters that have really influenced and shaped Celaena in either a good way or bad. The collection in The Assassin's Blade are hands down the best novellas I have ever read. My faith in Sarah J. Maas and her writing and story telling was already cemented in stone and now it is just further reinforced.

(For those of you wondering at what point you should read the novellas in the series, I think you can read them at any point. They are written in a way as a prequel so you don't have to read any of the books in the series to understand what is going on and if you want to read it in a sequential order then definitely start with The Assassin's Blade. I read this after reading the third book, Heir of Fire.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Hustle List

So I just realized that there are only about five weeks left in the year and I still have a bit of reading to do in order to reach my reading goal. Currently, my Goodreads Reading Challenge is set at 52 books (one per week) and I've read 45 thus far. Yes, the goal was initially set at 60 book but I thought I would cut myself some slack because there were about two entire months where I didn't read a single book. Right now, I'm not even sure that I'll make my 52 books goal because I've been suffering from a very serious reading slump lately. Anyway, I thought I would put together a (what I'm calling) Hustle List of the books that I want to read before the end of the year. I will pick seven books in order to reach my reading goal.


The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
I'm currently reading this and hopefully Celaena Sardothien can get me out of this slump. Please.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I haven't been reading nearly as much contemporary as I once used to but this one I definitely want to read ASAP.
World After by Susan Ee
I'm a little sad that this series will be a trilogy instead of the originally planned five books. Angelfall was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I've put this book off for way too long. Way too long. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Wolves of Mercy Falls was great and this sounds even better. I need more Maggie Stiefvater in my life.
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
A part of me is ready to finish this series and the other part is not ready to let it go.
 Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
In case this list doesn't make it obvious, I am really loving fantasy books lately and Unearthly is one of those books/series that I need to get around to reading because it seems like everyone else already has.

(in case I manage to surpass my reading goal)

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

 Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

  The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Thursday, October 30, 2014

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3): Review

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Rating: ★★★

It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

When we find out that Jeremiah cheated on Belly, I wasn't totally surprised because I was just anticipating something like that would happen. What did surprise me was Belly's quick decision to accept his proposal and how she was dead set on it. I didn't understand it at the time, after thinking about it some more I can get where Belly was coming from but I still don't agree with it.

I found Belly to be a bit annoying in her ways to quickly assume things even through there is no reason for her to assume that that is the truth. She tends to be right in her assumptions but it was still annoying. And Jeremiah didn't even feel like the same Jeremiah in this book. He was kind of a jerk, especially compared to how he was in the the previous books. He used to be fun and full of life but not so much anymore. And Conrad! Where were you Conrad. He was only there for two scenes in the first half and then came back in the second half where he spent a lot of time avoiding Belly, which is expected. They were living in the summer house but with only a few interactions.

Mostly, I was so frustrated with Belly for being such an idiot and making stupid decisions. I was probably able to see things more clearly as an outsider than she was being so close to the situation so it probably isn't fair to blame her but I still do because to me, the choice was so so obvious. I thought Conrad and Belly were done-zo after the last book but then he came back and it was all so clear. The way it was meant to be! If you haven't guessed by now, I'm definitely Team Conrad, all the way!

I didn't like this book as much as the first two. I was hoping for the same level of feels as I got in the previous book but, unfortunately, I didn't get them. Most of the book was spent being frustrated at Belly and Jeremiah. I wanted there to be way more Conrad but he almost felt like a secondary character. This was a disappointing conclusion to a series that I was really liking. Even though I got the ending I wanted I just  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) : Review

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ★★★★★

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?

(Prepare yourself because I have a lot of words for this one)

After finishing Crown of Midnight, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Heir of Fire. I eagerly waited for my Amazon package to come in and pretty much stalked the tracking website in the hopes that I would waste as little time as possible between the package being delivered and me starting to read. Let's just say that this book was totally worth the wait, the agony of the waiting, the overwhelming feels from the aftermath of the previous book and basically acting like a lunatic while waiting. In fact, it was worth so much more. Heir of Fire gives us things that made me just love the series even more. There is background information. There is character development. There is world building. What more could we have asked for, really? Because of Heir of Fire, the Throne of Glass series is no officially one of my favorite series and it's going to take a hell of a lot to change that.

Background information. There was so much that we found out about Celaena, mostly via flashbacks. We get to see Celaena as a little girl, ten years ago. We get to see what was happening in her life before the night her parents died and what happened on that night that changed everything for her. We get to see parts of Celaena/Aelin that she's been keeping hidden deep inside her.

Character development. There was so much of this happening in this novel and it was amazing! Celaena starts off this novel in a state of numbness. She's decided that she really doesn't care about anything anymore and this is part of the aftermath of Nehemia's death. Over the course of the book, we see her finally dealing with things that she really needed to deal with a long time ago but has been avoiding it and ignoring it until now. The part where the "get up" chant is happening (I'm not saying where or when or why because I'm trying not to spoil things as much as I possibly can while also talking about the book) but at that part, my feels were just

She, after a lot of struggling, finally comes to terms with her parent's death and Nehemia's death. For Celaena, this novel is about her facing her destiny and ultimately having to choose whether she's going to accept it or not.

Dorian just can't catch a break. Everything good that happens to him eventually ends. It seemed like maybe he was going to get a piece of happy all for himself and then that ending happened and it was like one horrible thing followed by a worse one. I don't even know what is going to happen to poor Dorian. I don't know how/if he is going to get out of this one.

Chaol. Okay, as much as I love Chaol (and I do really really love him) I found myself getting annoyed with him. I felt like every single character in this book had depth and Chaol came off as very two-dimensional. He's all about loyalty and duty and all that and it's what got him into trouble in the last book and it's what was making things worse for him in this one. I just felt like "OMG Chaol. The world is bigger than the castle and you need to realize this and get on the right side of things already. Stop being blinded by your stupid loyalty to the freaking king!" Even when he's doing things for a better cause, he's not doing it for the sake of the cause but because he thinks it will end up protecting Dorian! I was so frustrated with him.  That scene where he goes to Dorian's room and Dorian basically gives him this whole shpeel and calls him out on his ridiculous-ness I was reading it thinking "Amen for Dorian!"

There are also some new characters introduced and I gotta say, I like them. We'll go in order of most favorite to least favorite out of the three main ones. First, there is Rowan. Rowan is a Fae who has been assigned by Queen Maeve (queen of the fae) to train Celaena in using her powers. Rowan and Celaena/Aelin do not get along. At all. But somehow their relationships goes from completely disastrous to absolutely perfect. Celaena and Rowan a 100% platonic friendship unlike anything I've ever seen before in any book. Rowan saves Celaena from this dark space (double meaning there...). He's the one who helps her get back up after she's bit rock bottom (It's another story that he kind of played a part in her hitting rock bottom in the first place). Celaena is able to trust Rowan in ways that she hasn't trusted anyone before. She opens up to him about things that she's been keeping hidden for so long and Rowan definitely pushes her towards confronting her demons and facing reality because Celaena would much rather be selfish if it means not dealing with her issues. Rowan changes that for the better and Celaena that emerges at the end of the novel is more glorious than she's ever been. I really love Rowan and I love their friendship, it's one of the best things about this series.

In a close second, we have Aedion who is Aelin's cousin and was so very loyal to Aelin when they were kids but has been working for the king who kind of trained him for his army and made him a general in his army. Aedion's story and his connection to Aelin is so beautiful and heart-breaking and after that ending my heart fears the for the worst. When I read book 4, I'm going to need an entire box of tissues next to me, just in case.

Finally, we have Manon. She is a witch, the leader of The Thirteen, who are the most powerful coven among the Ironteeth Witches. Her storyline is separate from the rest of the characters. The witches are playing a part in the king's scheme and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them in the next books. I didn't like her as much as Rowan or Aedion but to be fair, those two are tough competition. Manon is a heart-less, vicious, witch but there is a little bit of humanity in her. So maybe she's not really that evil. There may be hope for her yet.

The world building is this book was so great! A big part of fantasy novels is the world building. In the first two books, we were mainly in Rifthold and we got little glimpses of Terrasen and heard about other places like Eyllwe and the Red Desert. In Heir of Fire, the world is expanded. We've moved outside of Rifthold and now get to see what is happening in Erilea away from the glass castle. Chaol and Dorian are still in Rifthold so Rifthold isn't completely gone and we are learning more about the rebels. Then we have Celaena and Rowan in Wendlyn where there are plenty of mysterious creatures to be found. And, of course, there are Manon and the witches in the Ferian Gap with they wyverns.

That's another thing. There are new creatures introduced in this book and it just added to that fantasy element because sometimes in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight it was easy to forget that this is a high fantasy series. The creatures of Wendlyn are strange and very mysterious. We meet the skin-walkers (?) who creeped me out. There are the little creatures who kind of just watch Celaena whenever she's in the forest. There's this other weird... thing... that they encounter. Through Manon's storyline we also meet talking giant spiders and, of course, the wyverns. I'm not quite sure what the wyverns look like but I picture as being king of like dragons. Oh handy dandy Google has an image:

So yeah. The king has been breeding them in the Ferian Gap and has now recruited the witches to fly on their wyvern and basically become his equivalent of the air force. I'm excited to see where Manon's storyline is headed mostly because of the wyverns.

Here's the thing. Heir of Fire is a very different novel from the first two books and that's because it serves a different purpose, for the series, than the previous books did. Throne of Glass introduced us to the world and some of the key role players. Crown of Midnight was a very plot driven novel that set things into motion. It layed the foundations for the over-arcing series plot. It was very much a catalyst novel. Heir of Fire, on the other hand, is not a very plot driven novel. Heir of Fire is the book that gives us tons of background information, character development and world building. All of which is very much needed for the story to move forward. Don't get me wrong. It's not like nothing happens in Heir of Fire. There is a plot and there are important things happening but they kind of take a back seat for a good portion of the novel in order for all the rest of the stuff to happen. I really liked Heir of Fire and I thought it was a great follow up to Crown of Midnight, it wasn't at all disappointing  and it made me love this series that much more. The things that are happening in this novel are very much needed for the characters and the stories.

I loved the varying POVs. I loved the story telling. I loved the character progession. I loved everything about this book! Sarah J. Maas you are now officially one of my insta-buy authors. I will read anything and everything you write. I don't care what its about just give it to me.

Side note. Sarah made a post on her blog where she shared a couple songs that inspired Chapter 55 in the book and one of the songs is this:

She renamed it "Rattle the Stars"!!! I re-read that chapter with this music playing and it was so perfect! It was like this song and that chapter were just meant to be. If you go to her blog, she actually shares which lines match up with which parts of the song. Seriously, try this out because the song goes so well with Chapter 55. And Chapter 55 is just amazing anyway.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) : Review

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Rating: ★★★★

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

This is going to be a short one because I don't know how to talk about this book without spoilers. Belly and Conrad's relationship is... complicated. Things have happened and they're not in the same place where they left off in the first book. Belly wants to help Conrad but she feels very unwanted by him and there were things that were said that were harsh and can't be taken back. This installment deals with Belly, Jeremiah, and Conrad figuring out how to deal with the loss and how to move on. I don't even know how to say what I'm trying to say without spoilers but basically the the dynamics of their relationships change. Drastically. By the end of the book, things are very different from where we start off and it's heart breaking and yet a good thing and I don't even know where the final book is going to go. I know what I want to happen but I'm not sure what is going to happen and I feel like there is a possibility that the opposite of what I want is how the story is going to end.

Also, there are chapters from Jeremiah's perspective. They were a nice change from Belly's narrative but I think I might have preferred Conrad's perspective more. I get why it was Jeremiah though because of what happens in the story but of course I am biased towards Team Conrad so that's that. I do like the way that Jenny Han created this love triangle though. It was done in a more realistic way and I get why Belly felt all the things that she felt throughout the book.

It's Not Summer Without You was a great sequel and, though different from the first book, was not at all disappointing. There were still a lot of feels and the story left me kind of confused about my overall emotions towards Conrad and Jeremiah but in a very good and needed way. I'm nervous about the next book and how everything is going to be resolved but I will definitely be finishing this series all the way to the end.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) : Review

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Rating:  ★★★★★

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight

If you read my review for Throne of Glass, you would know that I wasn't nearly as blown away by that book as a lot of people seem to be. I enjoyed it, but I was expecting more, especially from Celaena who is supposed to be an assassin but we don't get to see much of that side of her in the first novel. Have no fear because we get to see tons of it in Crown of Midnight. It was so interesting to see the assassin side of her and definitely worth the wait. Celaena Sardothien, the assassin, is so different from the rest of herself and she is just as deadly as she was rumored to be. When she gets into assassin mode, she goes to this dark place within herself and does what needs to be done and it's scary but the you-can't-look-away kind of scary. Seeing more of her assassin self also means we learn a little more about Celaena's background. We get to know all of the characters a little more which was nice. We also learn a more about the King and what he's up to. It's still tid-bits of information at this point but I'm willing to take anything I can get.

This story is filled with so many major plot points that really set the everything in motion. In Throne of Glass we were introduced to this world and some of the role-players but in Crown of Midnight we get an idea of where the series is heading and it's going to amazing places. 

Now this is the part of my review where I tell you about my feels. So,

First of all, I didn't particularly like Dorian going into this. I was maybe a tad bit annoyed that he was the one who was with Celaena in Throne of Glass and not Chaol. Yes, I might be biased because I've decided Celaena and Chaol are one of my OTPs and I did later realize why it made more sense for it to be Dorian and not Chaol but still... I was secretly a little happy when she breaks up with him. But in this book, I found myself having more and more sympathy for Dorian. His character is developed so well and by the end I just wanted to give him a great big hug. I still don't ship Celaena with Dorian but I'm definitely rooting for their friendship. 

For Chaol, this book was all about his flaws. As perfect as he might seem, he's got some things that need working and that becomes so obvious in this storyline. In the beginning, I loved his friendship with Celaena and I loved how that slowly but surely blossomed into something more. I really appreciate it when authors take the time to develop such a relationship rather than making it in insta-relationship. It made Celaena and Chaol's relationship that much more beautiful. Every Celaena and Chaol moment in those few chapters was just pure happiness. And then things happen and the world spins and everything is flipped upside down and it was crazy and heart-breaking and even after having had time to process it all, I still don't know what to say about what happens between them. Chaol! A part of me wants to give him a hug too and then there's the other part that just wants to be like "You're such an idiot Chaol! If you'd just said something earlier then none of this would be happening or at least it wouldn't be this bad!!" Sadly, Celaena and Chaol are going through a tragic period in their love story but I'm still holding on tight to this sinking ship! We will not go down like the Titanic! We will survive! This ship will remain afloat. I have complete faith.

Celaena. We get to know much more about Celaena in this book. I already mentioned the assassin side but in addition to this we are also given more information about her origins. Major information! There's one HUGE thing we find out about her on, literally, the last page of the book and I'm sure I would have been completely shocked if it wasn't for the fact that I was spoiled for this information and so saw it coming from a the beginning. Every time a little hint was dropped I was like "isn't it obvious?" but that's only because I already knew. (This is why I hate spoilers)

Celaena's relationship with Nehemia ultimately results in her hitting rock bottom. She's lost all and any hope and she reaches a point in this book where she's kind of back to square one because all the relationships that she formed while at the castle have either been severed or are hanging on a string. I'm sure all of this is going to lead to some major character development and character progression happening with her in future installments.

This book so chock-full of emotion, ranging from bliss to rage to utter devastation. There was a point in the story where everything was so happy and perfect and it was beautiful! There were just so many good feels happening. But then I realized that I wasn't even half way through the book and there was no way Sarah J. Maas was going to let me live in this state of bliss for the rest of the book and even if she did that she would just take it all away by the end. I was scared. It turned out that I didn't have to wait that long. Soon enough everything came crashing down. Sarah J. Maas took all that happy and shattered it to pieces all in a span of a moment. She put a hammer to it, crumbled it, powdered it until there was none of that happiness left. Nothing to save and everything was lost. It was absolutely heart-breaking. An ache that continued for the remainder of the book. I have no doubt that that particular plot line is going to stick with for a long time to come.

Also, while we're at it, lets talk about Chaol (again). Chaol. Chaol. Chaol. Oh. My. God. Chaol. I loved him so much in this book. In Throne of Glass, I wanted Celaena to be with him and now I've found my OTP. Celaena and Chaol are so perfect. Hands down. No questions about it. I don't understand anyone who ships Celaena and Dorian. Sorry not sorry. If you're not convinced after reading Throne of Glass then just read Crown of Midnight and it will all be crystal clear.

I am now 100% buying into the hype of this series. Crown of Midnight was such an wonderful book, an amazing story, and now one of my favorites. The feels are at a level of hold-on-to-your-heart. There are very very few books that, once finishing, I could go right back to page one and read the whole all over again but Crown of Midnight is now one of those books. I was so ready to re-read this books as soon as I finished it.

I can't wait to see where the next book goes and where the series as a whole is headed. I don't even know what to expect other than some level of epicness. I honestly don't know what's going to happen in Heir of Fire and I just really need to get my hands on it ASAP. I don't know how people waited an entire year between books. I just don't. 

This review is not a very good one, nor is it a very comprehensive one but you're going to have to forgive me for that because I don't know to to properly articulate my love for this book. Just take my word for it when I say Crown of Midnight is absolutely amazing and everyone should read it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rick Riordan Reading Goals

I discovered Rick Riordan way back when The Lightning Thief came out. I was a fan. There's no denying it. First of all, I love Greek/Roman mythology. Secondly, I loved the writing, story and adventure that all came as part of a package when reading Rick Riordan's novels. I followed the series, reading the sequels as soon as they came out. Up until the fourth book. Now, keep in mind that these were the days before I had a Goodreads account. This was when I was in middle school and keeping up with all the new updates for a new book and basically cyber-stalking an author wasn't so easy. You had to actually go to the book's website or hear it through the grapevine at school to find out when a certain book was coming out as opposed to just checking the Goodreads page. (Times are so much simpler now)

Anyway, I can't remember if I ever read The Battle of the Labyrinth, book 4 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I definitely didn't read the finale, The Last Olympian. Sometime around the release of the fourth book I lost track of Rick Riordan. My catch up happened much later/very recently. This year I saw The Red Pyramid and The Lost Hero at every book store I went to (I only hang out in the young adult section, you see) and realized that Rick Riordan had two entire series that I've been completely oblivious about. And one of them is Egyptian mythology! Then there were the videos on YouTube of people getting so very excited about getting Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods, which, by the way, is a gorgeous looking book and a genius idea. He also has a new series starting next year called Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. Asgard! As in Thor. As in Norse mythology! All of this combined with all the hype and excitement surrounding the recent release of The Blood of Olympus has made me want to catch up with the writings of Rick Riordan.

I am going to be doing a lot of Rick Riordan reading in the next year. In honor of this decision I compiled a list of goals.

Rick Riordan Reading Goals
Read/re-read The Battle of the Labyrinth
Read The Last Olympian
Read The Lost Hero
Read The Son of Neptune
Read The Mark of Athena
Read The House of Hades
Read The Blood of Olympus
Read The Red Pyramid
Read The Throne of Fire
Read The Serpent's Shadow
Read Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

Basically, read everything. 

(I will update this list as I go)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Happy Book Birthday : The Young Elites

It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu comes out today! We can finally stop waiting around and get to reading this book!

This book is described, by Marie Lu herself, as a mix between X-Men, Assassin's Creed 2 and Game of Thrones. If that doesn't get you excited or instill some curiosity in you then I don't know what will. It sounds so good! Everyone go get this book ASAP. I haven't even read it yet and I'm still recommending it to each and every one of you.

Also, if you can't tell already, my expectations are really high.

Now, lets take this moment to do a happy dance in celebration of this book release.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Kindle eBook Giveaway : Recipes and Road Stories

So today I'm hosting my very first giveaway ever!! I'm kind of excited. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher who has graciously offered a kindle ebook copy of the book for me to give to one of you guys. I should probably tell you what book, huh?

The book is called Recipes and Road Stories and is co-authored by two sisters, Hannah and Caroline Melby, who have toured the country performing bluegrass and progressive country music. The book is a collection of stories from their adventures on the road, along with various recipes and loads of photographs.

Here's a little more about the book and its wonderful authors.

Recipes and Road Stories by HanaLena
By the time Hannah was in the 11th grade and Caroline was in the 7th grade, the Melby sisters were touring the country in bluegrass bands, with Hannah on fiddle and Caroline on mandolin. Today the sisters are the front persons of a very popular Nashville-based country music touring band named HanaLena.

The sisters, who grew up in Starkville, Mississippi, performed from an early age—Hannah is now 28, Caroline is 24—evolving from bluegrass to progressive country as they perfected their songwriting and
performance skills out on the road. In 2008 they won the “Best New Act in Country Music” competition at the Colgate Showdown in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville—and took home a check for a cool $100,000 presented by country music star LeAnn Rimes.

Do they ever have some great stories to tell about coming of age on the concert trail! Recipes and Road Stories blends touching and rollicking road stories with an assortment of tasty recipes, and then tops everything off with plenty of exciting photographs. Also contributing recipes are friends they made on the road, including Rhonda Vincent, a 5-time Grammy nominee who has been called the “Queen of Bluegrass,” and Claire Lynch, who is the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Association.

So check out the book on Goodreads and make sure to enter the giveaway below. The giveaway will run till the end of the month (October 31st).

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) : Review

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Rating: ★★★★

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

I really liked the way the story was told. We see everything from Belly's perspective and it's her narration that is telling the story. The story just flows so nicely which is a huge plus in any book. There are also flashbacks to different moments during previous summers that serve a purpose in better explaining the story and provide background into the relationships that are presented.

I found Belly to be very realistic. She didn't get annoying as she very easily could have gotten.She also did not come off as two-dimensional which is very easy to do when you're telling the story of a girl who has a crush on this guy who doesn't even notice her in that way. I loved that the story wasn't all about the romance and it wasn't about Belly pining over Conrad. This summer for Belly is the one where she kind of grows up. She's no longer that little girl and she experiences some of the real world for the first time. I loved hearing the story through her because of how relatable I found her character to be.

Conrad and Jeremiah are the two brothers. Conrad is the bad boy. He's a strong and silent type and it's hinted that he has a lot more going on that what is visible on the surface. Jeremiah is kind of the opposite. He's very bubbly and friendly and super likable.

I really appreciate the fact that this book wasn't a sappy romance novel. I don't like sappy romance, I like realistic romance and this is realistic romance. Having said that, it's not like the whole book is about romance. A lot of it focuses on Belly and her growing up a little bit and dealing with something very real and very tough, later on in the book. 

I read this book because I'd heard some reviews on it and I love contemporary so I thought "Why not?" I am so glad that I read this book because it was a really good contemporary story. It's what great contemporary is made of, if you know what I mean. I'm excited to follow the story of these characters a little more in the sequels and see where they go. Jenny Han, I will most definitely be reading more of your writing.

If you're looking for a quick, nice contemporary read, definitely try this one.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) : Review

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire



Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I really really tried to get through this book. I wanted to finish it because so many people seemed to really like but I couldn't. It was way too sappy and I don't like sappy. On top of that the story was just ridiculous.

Travis is the bad boy and I like a bad boy character as much as the next girl but he was just so typical. Abby is the good girl and she spends the first half of the book being such an idiot and being completely oblivious to what's happening around her. The characters felt very two dimensional. Their relationship was also very much insta-love in disguise. At this point, I was seriously considering giving up but I continued in hopes that it would get better. It didn't.

Once they finally got together, Travis turned into this macho he-man who felt this strong urge to protect Abby 24/7. Ugh! I was like "Dude, let the girl breathe!" And Abby finds herself baby-ing Travis and constantly reassuring him that she isn't going to leave. Blah! Blah! Blah!

There's a scene in the book when a guy, Jenks, makes a comment about Abby and Travis isn't happy about it. He's raging but Abby gets him to not do anything stupid. Jenks makes another comment about Abby and Travis' relationship and Abby is all "teach him some manners, baby" and Travis goes and beats up Jenks. Jenks' body is lying limp on the floor, as per the description in the book, and no one is doing anything and his team mates are just standing their shaking their heads. His body is LIMP on the floor and all you do is shake your head? Really? Travis literally beat this guy unconscious and no one is doing anything about it. There are zero consequences. The most that happens is a lunch lady comes out after hearing the commotion and Travis says a sorry in passing to her. That's it. But this wasn't even the worst of it. The breaking point came after Travis leaves the lunch room to cool down. He's still really riled up and finds out that people are continuing to make comments about Abby in the cafeteria and Abby, having followed him out, decides that there is only one thing that can stop him now. She proceeds to jump on him and kiss him. Problem solved. Seriously? Reading that, all I could think was "this didn't really just happen" and "this is so stupid!" For whatever reason I decided to push through a little longer and now we're at a party where some guys are trying to buy Abby and her friend America a drink. They refuse and buy their own drinks. Travis comes and gets mad because he thinks Abby let someone buy her drink and he's like "I've told you a million times not to let someone get you your drink" and refuses to listen to anything anyone is saying. A few moments later he punches a guy who was hitting on Abby and Abby gets knocked over from that punch too because the guy was holding on to her and now she's mad at Travis and he says to her "I'm going to fuck up, I'm going to fuck up a lot but you have to forgive me." 

This was definitely a rant but there were just so many stupid, idiotic things happening in this book and I needed to let it out. I do not understand why this book has such a high rating and why people are swooning over Travis Maddox.

I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) : Review

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Rating: ★★★½

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets--and human lives.

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

There is so much more Adrian in this book! Woohoo! I'll be honest and admit that the main reason I started the Bloodlines series is because of Adrian Ivashkov. I loved him in the Vampire Academy series an jumped on the chance to read more of him. More Adrian also means more Sydrian!

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney does a lot of self-discovery. She's figuring out what to do when it comes to The Alchemists, her witch identity, and Adrian. I was so happy that this was finally happening because it needed to. Sydney basically grew up in a small bubble and she was trained to do and think as the Alchemists do. She had a very biased up bringing. Now that she's experiencing the real world on her own, she's able to think on her own and formulate her opinions. Her struggle with accepting the things that she's feeling is very realistic and I'm glad that she didn't just accept it right away. I appreciate that it was a process for her and it took effort to fight the things that were so ingrained in her. Of course, this also meant that I was getting more frustrated with her at some points but that's okay.

Marcus was... well actually I didn't know what to think of Marcus. Initially, I was a bit suspicious at the end I felt the same way that Sydney was feeling about him. All talk no walk. I don't know if he's going to be coming up in the next books but if he does I hope there's more substance to him and that he plays a bigger role than he did in this one.

I haven't liked the Bloodlines series nearly as much as the Vampire Academy series. The first two books were just okay and I've been slow in continuing. I'd heard that the story really picks up from book 3 and though I did find this to be true, I had other critiques. Yes, there was more going on, which is what I wanted, but it almost seemed like there was too much going on. It felt like there were two main story lines happening and they didn't really work together. There was the Alchemist story line and Sydney working with Marcus to find out more about the organization that she works for. There was also the evil-power-and-youth-sucking witch story line which had Sydney doing more magic and working with Ms. Terwilliger. Both story lines were good but I felt like they were clashing because they had nothing in common, except for Sydney. I was hoping that they might weave together at the end but they didn't. The story was going back and forth between the two plots and it was just too much.

I will still continue the series because Adrian and because I'm already half-way through so why not, right? If the story goes anything like Vampire Academy did, I expect The Fiery Heart to be even more fast-paced. Hopefully, there is a better flow. It might be a while before I read it though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List
Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
I think I've got a good mix going for my fall TBR. Most of the books that I really want to read this fall are sequels in series that I've already started. I have a couple brand new releases that I'm really excited for and a lot of fantasy because I've been really liking fantasy books lately. So here it is...
You can click on the book covers to check out their Goodreads page. Also, leave a link to your top ten list so I can check it out and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments below.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) : Review

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ★★★★½

The Gist
Alina Starkov discovers that she is a Sun Summoner, the only one of her kind in the Grisha world and the only hope of destroying the Shadow Fold.

The Nitty Gritty
Alina is preparing to cross the Shadow Fold along with other members of the First and Second Army. While going through the fold, they are attacked by the monsters who live within and in attempting to protect her best friend Mal, Alina unleashes a power within herself that no one knew was there. She is a Sun Summoner and the Darkling is very interested in her abilities. He whisks her off to his castle where she begins training her abilities so that she will soon be strong enough to, hopefully, destroy the Shadow Fold.

The Characters
Alina Starkov- the Sun Summoner; an orphan who's only family consists of her best friend, Mal.

Mal Oretsev- Alina's best friend since childhood; he is strong and good at what he does in the First Army. He is very different, personality wise, from Alina but they have a very close bond.

The Darkling- second in command only to the king; he is a powerful Grisha that everyone fears and yet strives to get the attention of.

The Ending
The twist at the end was great! When Alina is being told about what's really happening (I'm trying to keep this as vague as possible to avoid spoilers) she didn't initially believe it and neither did I. I didn't want to believe that it was real. The way the book ends was absolutely amazing! Power. Power. Power. That's all I'm going to say about that.

The Discussion
I went into this book not really knowing anything about it. I'm sure I read the synopsis at some point before I added it to my TBR shelf on Goodreads but that was many years ago and I've forgotten it since. All I remembered was that Shadow and Bone is a high fantasy novel that incorporates some Russian culture. That was it. I'm so glad that I didn't know much more than that because it made the book that much more enjoyable. (Something I've been realizing lately, books are more fun when you don't know what to expect.) I had no expectations and everything was new and surprising and exciting.

It was off to a good start right from page 2 where that cute scene occurs between a young boy and girl. It goes like this. The boy and the girl are hiding in the shadows listening to a conversation that some adults are having about them. Someone refers to the girl as being ugly and the boy whispers "I don't think you're ugly." The girl tells him to shush so they can hear the conversation but she's secretly smiling at what the boy said. It was so cute.

I loved Mal and Alina's friendship from the beginning. These two have history, the kind that makes them almost inseparable. They've shared a lot together and though, now, they have other friends in the army, they still have that connection and no one will be able to break it.

The Darkling is a dark (no pun intended) and mysterious character. His abilities allow him to summon darkness, like the kind that is found in the Shadow Fold. He is also a Summoner and the only one of his kind, just like Alina. Because of this, he decides to separate Alina from the rest of the Grisha and associate her with himself. There is a romance budding between Alina and the Darkling and I was totally rooting for them. I know, it's disaster waiting to happen but I can't help it!

The Overall Opinion
There isn't a ton of world building in this novel which makes it great for people who have a hard time getting into high fantasy or want to just test the waters first. The world building isn't extensive and I know that this has been a common critique from Shadow and Bone but, personally, I didn't mind it. I didn't feel like we needed to explore the world a little more, at least not yet. The things that were happening in this novel were more about Alina and her figuring out her powers and what she's going to do with them than what it means in the long run for the world she lives in. I think we'll be seeing more of this world in the next two books but for now, we were given what we needed, nothing more and nothing less.

Leigh Bardugo does a great job setting up for a lot of character development that I hope/expect to see in the next book. Alina has now discovered the potential of her powers, not just the Sun Summoning but her powers as an individual as well. It will be interesting to see where this goes and how this taste of power is or isn't going to change her. Same goes for the Darkling. I don't think (semi-spoiler alert) anyone has ever defied him before or stood up to him in that way so it will interesting to see how he reacts. Mal is a character that I don't really know what to think as far where he's going to go in the rest of the books. He wasn't really a central character in this book and his experiences are dwarfed by those of Alina and the Darkling. Maybe Mal will come to play a much bigger part in Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising.

I'm really excited to continue this series! I wish I'd started it long long ago. I guess the good news is that I won't have to wait a year in between books. I can just marathon the last two.

One Last Thing
Since reading this book has made me a fan of Leigh Bardugo in general, I feel like it's my responsibility to share with you the news that Ms. Bardugo has a brand new book from a brand new series coming out next year. The book is called The Dregs and will be released sometime in the later part of 2015 (I think). It takes place in the "Grishaverse" and sounds just plain awesome so make sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The One (The Selection #3) : Review

The One by Kiera Cass

Rating: ★★★★

The Gist
Prince Maxon's selection is now down to four girls and he must decide whom he wants to marry. America fights for her love for Maxon while the King is against her being the next Queen of Illea. Meanwhile, the southern rebels continue to become more and more violent in their cause against the caste system.

The Characters
America- the main character and Maxon's favorite in the competition. She's been a front runner from the beginning but her recent actions and words against the government and the social system have caused some trouble.
Maxon- the Crown Prince of Illea. He is trying to find his future wife via the traditional Selection. He very much likes America but her recent actions have made him question things and look for another potential wife.
Aspen- America's ex-boyfriend who broke up with her prior to the Selection only to later enroll in Guard and find himself posted in the Castle where he sees America regularly.

The Ending
I was not a big fan of the ending. It did end with a bit of a bang, which was to be expected, but it all just happened so fast. The ending was quick and I really wanted it to be stretched out a bit more. I wanted more to be happening and, well, I guess I wanted a bigger bang than what we were given. Plus, there was the whole issue with things feeling incomplete. (I shall elaborate below)

The Overall Opinion
If you've heard of The Selection, you've probably heard it being described as "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor." If you haven't heard that before, you should know that it is a pretty good description for the series, at least as far as generalities go. I've been following this series since book 1 and had been eagerly anticipating The One since I finished The Elite last year. Partially because I enjoy the series and partially because I was left unsatisfied by The Elite, which seemed to be filled with fluff and not enough stuff. I figured The One had to have lots of action because there was so much that needed to be explained and resolved and this was the last book in the series. This turned out to be partly true. There was a lot of action, so I'll give it that. Right from the beginning things seemed to be moving forward which gave me high hopes but, unfortunately, it did not end with the story being fully resolved. I wanted a sense of completion which I did not get. There is still a lot about the rebels that we don't know. The rebel situation has yet to be fixed. There is the letter that America gets from her dad which seemed like it could lead to some explanation but it did not, it only created more questions which have not been answered. By the end, the whole book just felt very...hasty? Yup, that's the word I'm going to go with. Hasty.

The characters, also, felt quite underdeveloped. I didn't really feel like they had grown since The Elite (book 2) or maybe even since The Selection (book 1). They felt more one dimensional than ever before. I just had to trust that they were maturing in the ways the book said they were and that they had made the progress the story claimed they did because I wasn't feeling any of these changes.

I found out that there are going to be two more books in the series which means The One is no longer the final book. This could explain the loose ends. Kiera Cass might have been planning these two books already and so she left the loose ends in there so that they can be carried into the remaining books. I'm not sure. I also don't know how I feel about the fact that this series is getting extended into two more books. I was pretty satisfied with the idea of it being a trilogy.

Despite the fact that I have all these complaints about it, I still gave the book four stars and here's why. Usually, I rate a book right after I finish reading it, so the rating is my initial feeling soon after completion. I might think differently after a day or two or more, once I've had a chance to let it sit and process, but I still keep the initial rating because that is how I genuinely felt immediately after. In other words, it's what I thought before I started over thinking. So, after finishing The One, I was feeling pretty satisfied with the book and would have probably given in five stars if the loose ends were not there and if the conclusion was a bit bigger. I was satisfied with the conclusion to the selection (who Maxon ended up picking), even though it was predictable right from the start, I was still happy to see it happen. I liked that Maxon and America's relationship went through struggles and wasn't perfect (even though I later decided that it could have been more developed than it was). I also liked the resolution between America and Aspen. As much as Aspen annoyed me throughout the series, I am now kind of glad that he was in there to begin with. He added a dimension to the story that you don't see very often.

Overall, as a fan of the series, I enjoyed The One, though I did feel like there could have been more depth to the story. I was expecting more closure but I guess I'll just have to wait for book 4, The Heir, followed by the yet unnamed book 5 in order to get complete satisfaction.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday : Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

In no particular order, here are my top ten authors I've only read one book from but need to read more:

Leigh Bardugo
I only recently read Shadow and Bone and absolutely fell in love with it! Initially I was putting it off because I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but apparently all the books I tend to be wary of are the ones that turn out to be great.

Marissa Meyer
I've had Cinder sitting on my TBR for the longest time. I think I probably added it around the time it came out and just didn't get around to reading it until this year. I absolutely love the idea of a fairytale retelling and Marissa Meyer does a wonderful job executing it.

Susan Ee
I tend to be a little late jumping on the series band wagon (I'm working on it) but thankfully I got onto the Angelfall and Susan Ee fan train only two books in. This is by far the best angel book I have ever read and trust me I've read a few. None of them were this great.

Jospehine Angelini
I have a soft spot for Greek/Roman mythology and Starcrossed incorporates just that into the story. Sure there are plenty of books that do this but this one stands out in its adaptation of the myths of the heroes as opposed to the Gods.

Kate Brian
I read Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys what seems like forever ago! I love this book... a lot. It's cute and fun and overall enjoyable. I'm hoping Kate Brian has something else to suit my fancy. Fingers crossed!

Huntley Fitzpatrick
My first love in fiction was for contemporary and Huntley Fitzpatrick does contemporary well. My Life Next Door is a prime example. I'm so excited to the companion novel in this series, The Boy Most Likely To, and I'll defnitiely be reading her other stand alone What I Thought Was True.

Rachel Hawkins
This was definitely a book that I went into thinking I wouldn't like it all that much. I was pleasantly surprised. Hex Hall incorporates all sorts of fanstastical creatures and is narrated by Sophie Mercer who is one of the funniest main characters I have ever read. Think along the lines of Rose Hathaway.

Michelle Hodkin
No other book has left me with as many questions as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. There's so much mystery surrounding the main character and Michelle Hodkin does a great job in instilling that sense of mystery and confusion, oh so much confusion, in the reader. Seriously, what is happening with Mara Dyer?

Sarah J. Maas
It seems like everyone is talking about this series. Though I wasn't as impressed with Throne of Glass as I wanted to be, I have high hopes for the sequels and fully believe that Celaena Sardothien, assassin, is going places no character in YA has ever gone before.
Clearly, I have high expectations.

Kasie West
Another contemporary author on this list but what can I say. You can rarely go wrong with contemporary. I read this book last year and really liked it. The Distance Between Us is a quick read filled with well developed characters and the sarcasm of Caymen, the female protagonist, that had me literally laughing out loud.

Sarah J. Maas
Kasie West