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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Spotlight : Twisted Reflections

Twisted Reflections (The Adventures of Alexis Davenport #2) by Shay West

Goodreads Rating: ★★★★

Alexis Davenport is learning to come to grips with her ability to travel through time, but she still hasn’tbeen able to stop the evil Drifter and his Master from trying to alter the past.

When she travels back to ancient Egypt, Alex gets a most unexpected surprise; she meets someone who can help her figure out how to use her powers, another Traveler like herself.

But can Alex learn how to control her gift before Drifter finds a way to stop her from meddling in his Master’s plans?

Twisted Reflections is the highly anticipated Book Two, in The Adventures of Alexis Davenport Series.

About the Author
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military sci-fi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).

You can find Dr. West and more of her work at

Follow Shay West

Buy the Book

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Life Next Door : Review

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Rating: ★★★★

The Gist
Samantha falls for Jase, the boy next door who is totally off limits.

The Nitty-Gritty
Samantha lives next door to the Garretts who are completely off limits because her mother considers them a nuisance (they apparently lower the property value of the houses around them). One day, she meets Jase Garrett and starts falling for him. She is quickly brought into the world of the Garretts which is practically alien territory for her considering she's grown in a single parent household with a politician for a mother. As Samantha's relationship with Jase grows she finds herself working harder to keep it a secret from everyone, including her best friend and her mother. When something happens at the end and Samantha has some information that could change everything, she is forced to make a decision between her own family and the Garretts.

The Characters
Samantha Reed - Samantha is the kind of girl who has never really stepped out of her boundaries nor has she ever questioned anything in her life. We get to see her grow up over the course of the summer and make that transformation from being an in-betweener/teenager to being an adult.

Jase Garrett- The cute boy next door who loves animals. He is an absolute sweetheart and cares very much about his family.

Tim - He is probably the smartest character in the entire story, book wise and street wise. Tim has a story all of his own and he is the most developed character in the entire novel. His transformation from start to finish is absolutely amazing.

The Ending
I was a little disappointed with the ending if only because if seemed to happen so fast and everything was just perfectly convenient. Most of the book is spent building the relationship between Jase and Samantha and the number of pages between the climax and the conclusion are very few, in comparison. It was like building, building, building, BAM! Something happens... a few pages later everything is all worked out. Ok, maybe it wasn't a few, maybe it was more like 50 but it seemed like it was so fast. I wanted more substance in that conclusion and I did not want everything to be perfect because everything wasn't perfect in the rest of the novel which made me like the novel more. I don't like quick endings. I want more build up and more time to resolve everything.

The Overall Opinion 
I don't know if YA books with big families is a thing but if it is, I want to join the fan club. The first, and probably only other, book that I've read with a big family is Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys. I loved that book and couldn't help but remember it as I was reading this one. The families in both books are very loveable and filled with very different characters. I had no problem differentiating between the eight siblings in My Life Next Door though (George was my favorite but don't tell).

My favorite character in the entire novel was Tim. He changes so much from start to finish and my opinion of him in the beginning was probably the opposite of what I was feeling about him at the end. I'm so excited that he's getting a novel of his own, The Boy Most Likely To (companion novel to My Life Next Door), because I really want to hear his story and see where his life goes. His sister was a totally different matter though. I can't remember her name and I think I can honestly say that I liked her about as much as I liked the antagonist, which is not much at all. I had no sympathy for her whatsoever. I almost wish that her character didn't even exist because she was very much a side story that did not need to happen.

Samantha and Jase's relationship was very sweet. I loved Jase from the beginning. Samantha, on the other hand, I found myself getting very frustrated with. I felt like she would identify the problems in her life and she would recognize all the things she was doing wrong but she wouldn't do anything about it. I was so annoyed with her for keeping her relationship with Jase a secret for as long as she did. At the end, she's forced to do something and she does but even then she had to be prodded towards action otherwise she was probably going to just live with not really doing much. 
I really enjoy contemporary novels, they were my first love when I started reading YA, so it was nice to read a good contemporary novel this year. Huntley Fitzpatrick is a very exciting new YA author and I will be eagerly waiting to read Tim's story.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blast from the Past : Leaving Paradise

Back in 2012, I discovered the stories of Simone Elkeles. I'd seen Perfect Chemistry over and over again on Goodreads and stayed away from it for so long because the story sounded extremely sappy which isn't really my thing. Finally, I gave in and read Perfect Chemistry. I ended up enjoying it so much that I went on a Simone Elkeles binge reading venture during which I managed to read all of her books. One of this books was Leaving Paradise.

Leaving Paradise is the first book in a duology. It follows the story of Caleb and Maggie. One night, a year ago, Maggie was hit by a car driven by a very drunken Caleb. The accident results is a physical handicap for Maggie and one year in juvie for Caleb. Now Caleb is out of jail and we follow them as Maggie deals with the aftermath of the accident and Caleb's return and Caleb faces the criticism of everyone around him. Caleb and Maggie somehow manage to help each other through it all as secrets and the truth about what really happened that night is revealed.

Caleb and Maggie are the most developed and most realistic characters from any Simone Elkeles book. Their story is beautiful and heart-breaking all at once and they still remain one of my favorite fictional couples. So go ahead and read the more popular Perfect Chemistry series but do not deprive yourself of the best that Simone Elkeles has to offer. Pick up Leaving Paradise and it's sequel Return to Paradise, settle in and get ready for one of the best love stories ever told.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) : Review

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ★★★½

So I've realized that when I write a review by just spilling my thoughts, it ends up being very messy and kind of all over the place. In order to remedy this, I am going to start using/ re-using my review format that I was using earlier in the year. This way, I can keep things straight and more concise and it won't read like a jumbled mess.

The Gist
Celaena Sardothien, a notorious assasin, is taking place in a competition to be the King's Champion in order to win her freedom.

The Nitty Gritty
After a year of serving in the salt mines, Celaena is offered  a deal by the Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian. If Celaena agrees to be Dorian's champion in a competition the king is hosting, she will be granted her freedom, after winning and serving for 4 years as the King's Champion. Celaena agrees and is brought to the castle where she is competing against the likes of soldiers, thieves, murderers and other assassins. Not long after, some of the champions are found dead and no one can figure out the why and how and who of the situation. Celaena has to solve the mystery before she ends up dead as well, all while trying to win the competition.

The Characters
Celaena Sardothian- known notoriously as Adarlan's Assassin. She is a no-nonsense kind of girl who also happens to have an affinity for reading, candy, and clothes. Celaena was raised and trained by the King of Assassins from the age of eight when he found her on the verge of death. There is still much that is unkown about her and her past. 
Dorian Havilliard- Crown Prince of Adarlan who comes off, initially, as a typical spoiled prince until you realize that he likes to read, loves dogs and is very much a romantic. Dorian is trying to get his father to take him more seriously which is why he chooses Adarlan's Assassin as his champion in the competition. Little did he expect that he would end up falling for her.
Chaol Westfall- Captain of the Royal Guard who has a hard shell, at least when it comes of Celaena, but there are definite hints of a softer center. Chaol trains Celaena during the course of the competition and in turn also develops an attraction to her. 

The Ending
For me, the ending can either make or break the entire story. A bad ending can change really tinge the rest of the novel. Fortunately, Throne of Glass, had a pretty good conclusion. It was by no means the best but I was pleased with it because it gave me a little taste of the things that I was wanting to see the entire novel. I wanted Celaena to really be an assassin and to live up to her reputation. Celaena basically spends the majority of the novel holding back on her abilities so as to stay under the radar. So, when she lets herself go, she is amazing! I was rooting for her more than ever before and after just that one scene she became the strong female character she was supposed to be all along. The other thing is that this series is supposed to be high fantasy but in this world the king has banned magic and ordered for all the fairies and fae to be killed. You can imagine how this could lead to a pretty low fantasy/no fantasy start to the book. There is more of a hint of fantasy and potential for it than anything else. After about half way through, there are a few more fantastical elements introduced but none are nearly as big as at the end.

The Overall Opinion
First of all, let me just say that I get it. I get the hype. I get the excitement. I get it all. I get it! Reading a book that is so talked about and hyped up always comes with the risk of disappointment. People build up the book so much that your expectations for it are through the roof and when you read and it doesn't quiet blow your mind, you're left feeling a little disappointed. My expectations for this book were really high and yet I was not disappointed (I might have wanted more in certain parts but I don't consider that disappointment).

The biggest criticism that I have is that I didn't feel like Celaena was the assassin that she was being built up as.  She's supposed to be this notorious assassin who's name alone incites fear in people but I did not feel that at all. Celaena's character comes off as being a very normal girl who also happens to be a notorious assassin. While this might have been the point, that she is in fact a very normal girl who was brought into the world of assassins without a choice, it kind of bothered me and made me like her less than I wanted to. I expected her to be a total bad ass which, in my mind, doesn't involve an affinity for books, candy and clothes. There were points in the story where I had to remind myself that she is an assassin and a very dangerous one at that. I just really wanted her to be assassin-y.

I also did not like that Celaena develops more of a romantic relationship with Dorian rather than Chaol. I feel like it would have made more sense for it to be with Chaol because she spends so much time with him training and barely even sees Dorian. She has very little interaction with Dorian and hates the royal family yet she is able to develop a relationship with him pretty quickly. I get that Dorian is more open and friendly towards her while Chaol is much more serious but still...

There is so much that we don't know about the world and about Celaena but that is to be expected in book one of a series of six. My experience with high fantasy novels is that the second book is always better than the first. Once the foundation of the world is set the building can begin.  This series has so much potential when it comes to story, characters and the world, in general. I fully expect that Sarah J. Maas will live up to her hype. Celaena can only get stronger from here and I can't wait to see where she goes and what she does. I'm hoping that both Celaena and the series soon make it onto my list of favorites.