The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the TearlingPublished: July 8th 2014 by Harper

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: Hardcover, 448

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An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.


My review:

Here’s the book I’ve been looking for! I’ve been waiting and searching and looking for a book that would hold my interest long enough to get through it. While I listened to the book instead of reading it because of the little time I have because of school and work (six classes plus 20 hours a week, why do I do this to myself?) plus trying to train my new puppy, I just haven’t had enough time to sleep, let alone read a book. So listening to books on my 1 hour + commute to and from school and work six days a week was the only option.

I’m so glad I found this book because I could borrow it right away from the library. I had seen it, decided a few times not to buy the book because of the books I still haven’t read, so I just jumped at the chance.

So, let us start at the beginning. It was slow to start. I wasn’t connected to any of the characters, I didn’t have much of an interest other than just entertainment. There were a lot of people introduced at once and I had a hard time keeping them straight at first. Over time the characters got sorted out and each had their own personality.

This book was told from a few different perspectives, but for the most part it added important details to the story. It was interesting to see the thoughts of some people other than Kelsea, and it rounded out the story better than if it would have been just her perspective.

However, with the change in perspectives I found that I had a few issues with one character in particular. Javel is a complicated character, and not in the way most people like. His inner monologue has him come off as a strong character, one that doesn’t take crap. His actions and words tell a completely different story. Javel is a weak man. I was very unimpressed with his character and his story until the very, very end. He only had that one redeeming quality, but it paled against everything else about him.

Kelsea is a character I can defiantly stand behind, though there are two things that irked me. This is more about the writing of the book than it is about Kelsea herself, but that fact that she’s plain, not beautiful, was mentioned so often that I got very annoyed. She’s not as beautiful as her mother was, so what? She looked plain standing next to this woman. Yeah, so what’s your point? I get that she is plain but it doesn’t need to be mentioned multiple times in the first chapter and at least once in all the other chapters. The second was that she sees beauty as vanity. Just because a women is beautiful doesn’t mean she’s automatically a rival or that she’s worthless. It annoyed me that every woman was more beautiful than Kelsea could have imagined. Yeah, well get used to it. You’re the queen now, you’re going to be surrounded by beautiful people.

The one other issue I had was with the timing of everything. I can’t get a sense of how long it was from the begging of the book to the end, and it jumps forward weeks ahead with little explanation.

Despite those problems that I have with the book I really enjoyed it. Very rarely do I get to read about queens taking their keep by storm and upturning everything in her wake. Usually Princesses or other random girls are the main character, and this made me happy. It gave me an insight to what her life was like as queen without boring me.

The plot twist was rather predictable, I had it figured out from halfway through the book, but the way it was handled in the end was interesting.

This author isn’t afraid of killing her characters or going into details most would just briefly skim over. It was refreshing. I can’t wait to listen to or read the next book to see what happens from here!

★★★★.5

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Look to the Stars (The Orien Trilogy #1) by Catherine Wilson

Look to the StarsPublished: March 16th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Adventure

Pages: 356 Paperback

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Tucked away in the remote territory of Ashen, Penelope Brave lives an ordinary, sheltered life until the day her papa goes missing. No one seems intent on finding him but her, so she breaks the rules… and ends up changing her world. When strangers from the northern kingdom of Orien arrive with news of her papa, but at a price, Brave learns that even the quiet city of Ashen has its secrets—the darkest of which just might be her.

Forced to trust the help of Aras Renn, the arrogant and regrettably handsome guard from Orien, Brave soon finds that if she wants to see her papa again, she’s going to have to face a past she never knew she left behind. Together, they’re thrust into a world of magic, lies, and hidden truths as Brave discovers there’s a deadly war brewing in the north. What she doesn’t know is the answer to each side’s victory can be found in her heart…

Determined not to follow the destiny the stars have laid out for her, Brave sets out to make her own, embarking on a harrowing journey where she must decide what matters most. Love or blood?


My review:

“Look to the stars, little bird.”

It isn’t often I take quotes directly from the book, but I feel as if this one explains a lot of the book, or it would once you read it.

I’m a sucker for secrets and books with lots of fantasy adventure travel, and this book had both. Brave, a spoiled yet adventurous girl makes the almost perfect main character for the book. Aras, an annoying yet somehow intriguing man that Brave finds in the forest, made just as much as a good main character. They have flaws just like any good character, but some of the time they seemed to forgive each other to easily. It seems like in their weird love/hate friendship almost anything can go without repercussions. Some of it just seemed a little fake and forced by the author.

While I do like these two characters, the others become confusing. Maybe it’s just my brain, but the characters, the more minor ones, started to get mushed and jumbled in my head. They lacked distinctive character traits. Luckily, much of the book doesn’t involve the confusing characters, so it didn’t last long or affect much of the plot.

The middle and end of the book kept my attention. That’s not saying that the beginning didn’t, just that it was much more interesting. When I was almost done with the book, I stopped reading it for a reason even I don’t know, and over time I felt obligated to finish it. So I decided I would at least skim the last few chapters, because the book deserved to be finished. It was silly of me really, the end was good too, I just somehow forgot why I wanted to read it in the first place.

My point is, don’t do what I did and just randomly stop reading this book six chapters from the end.

This book was good, and the ending, while surprising in a predictable sort of way, was a little anti-climatic. It felt like an ending, but the umph factor just wasn’t there.

I’m giving this book 4 stars for a great plot and main characters. The lack of a climatic ending kind of made me uninterested, I thought the book would have been better if the ending was the second to the last chapter. It left more to the imagination until the next book. Also, some of the mild characters were confusing and unreal.

★★★★

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

ACOWAR.jpgPublished: May 2nd 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: New, Adult, Romance, Fantasy, High Fantasy,

Pages: Hardcover, 705 pages

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A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.


My review:

Hello everyone. I write to you now from the deepest recesses of my mind, after just finishing this book. I want you to understand that this book tore me apart in a way that I only ever remember happening twice from a book before. Once as a young girl, maybe thirteen years old, and the other more recently, not long before my most recent birthday.

And I always have such a hard time explaining why, exactly, I feel the way the way I do about these heart wrenching books. They become my friends, as real in my mind, as steady, as supportive as some of the people I had the very good fortune to know in my own real life.

I explain this now because these characters felt this real for me. Even more real than some of the friends I have, even now. So, when I say this book ripped me to pieces, I knew these people going through these events were my friends and that I was standing with them.

The ability to let me flawlessly fit into this world, next to these characters, that is truly amazing writing.

Or at least, mostly amazing.

I’ll start there. Nothing is ever perfect, even the work of professional, bestselling authors and editors. There were flaws, words reused to many times, descriptions that never seemed to change. That, however, is very minor considering the complexly simple plot that is weaved throughout each book in the series, as well as the rest of the writing which is better than I have ever been able to produce myself.

The plot, so complex yet so simple. It is so clearly written, not at all muddled, that everything that happened was exactly what Sarah J. Maas wanted me to imagine. Yet there was a complexity to everything, so many steps had to be taken in the right order at the right time for everything in the book to play exactly right. It is laid out so perfectly, so wonderfuly.

The characters though, they are what cause me to love this series so much. Feyre, well, I can’t help but see myself in her. So young but with such a need to make a difference, to help and protect while also so unsure of myself in ways that I never fully understand.

What is it about Sarah J. Maas that makes fea males so flipping desirable? Seriously, first Rowan in Throne of Glass, now Rhys. What the hell? Why can’t I have one of them? Rhys is like a shadow in the night, terrifying until around Feyre, then suddenly a cute little fluffy bat takes his place on her shoulder saying “fear me!” At least, that’s how I see the super powerful high lord.

I really want one.

And the ending, well, I’ll leave much of that to the spoilers that I’ll post on Goodreads. However, it really was the part that pulled me to pieces. I cried and almost closed the book and didn’t finish it. I continued on, hoping to find some sort of something to remedy it. That part alone made me realize how deeply invested I was. I knew, no matter how this book ended, that I would give a five-star rating once I reached that point. Even if the end made me angry. Tt was so worth it.

I know there will be at least three more books in this series, but no one knows if the characters that many have come to love in these books will be in the next, let alone give us something more of the ending. It has been suggested that the next book won’t be about them, and I’m not sure if they will even appear.

I beg for the one thing I probably beg more than anything else when it comes to books, an ending more than the one that was given. I need more! If I don’t get something in the next books I might actually go crazy. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the novella to tie up some of the things I want to see.

I’m sorry if this review feels less like a review and more like me ranting my feelings at you. It really is a wonderful series and I really suggest it to anyone, especially if you liked Throne of Glass. It is less complex than Thorne of Glass, but that’s simply because there are three more books (if you count the four novellas as one book) than ACOTAR.

★★★★★

Update! And What I Expect from Tower Of Dawn

So, I have a couple of things to talk about, mostly about me being, well, me. I do also have a few things that I want to say, just to say it you know? Nothing to deep, I promise.

First! My summer has been going well! Mostly. Kind of. I mean it hasn’t been bad. I guess I really just haven’t done anything fun, just work and stressing over school and what I’m supposed to do with all this free time that I keep wasting away… Well, the free time I’ve had hasn’t been used to read much. I hope yours has been good!

To be honest, I still kind of have book hang over from Empire of Storms (which I am rereading by the way, because it’s good, and Tower of Dawn will be out soon.). Yes, I’ve still been reading some, but I haven’t gotten into one of my ‘read a book every two or three days for a month’ mood. I’m not so busy I can’t read, I just haven’t. I think the reason is because my preference has been changing. I used to gravitate toward Young Adult, and is still the majority of what I read, but I’ve been looking for more complicated books (not Game of Thrones, not yet anyway). Also, I just haven’t found characters I like as much as the characters Sarah J. Maas has created.

If you have any recommendations, I would be happy to hear them!

Second, school will be starting for me in about three weeks. I’ll be going to school full time while also holding a part time job. I’m not sure yet what the demand will be, but depending I might not have a lot of time to read or write/post reviews. I will get them done when I can.

Good news though, if I continue on this track I will have my degree in Optometric Technology in just a year, including the summer semester of 2018. This will be my second associates degree as I have already have a general studies degree. Also, I’m happy that I was able to make the Dean’s List last semester! I’ll be lucky if I can ever do that again.

Warning, below contains spoilers for the book Queen of Shadows. Read at your own risk.

The last thing I want to talk about is Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. You might be interested to know that I have already ordered my Barnes and Noble signed special edition from Good Choice Reading and it didn’t cost me anything more, except shipping.

You can find out where to get other special editions at The World of Sarah J. Maas.

Now, as I mentioned in my review of Queen of Shadows, I thought there was going to be a book with Chaol in it after the release of Empire of Storms. Well, this is the book I predicted, and there are a few things I expect from it.

First, I want the old Chaol back. Not the whiny, puts-the-blame-on-Alien asshole who came along in the forth book. I want the Chaol who loved Celaena back, the one that stood by Dorian through his magic exploding stuff (even though he didn’t really know about it), the Chaol who was an unwavering friend. I want the nice Chaol back, not the one that Sarah J. Maas made me hate.

I also want some Chaol-Nesryn romance too. I think they would be great together, and she would tell him when he was wrong but still not be mean about it.

I want Chaol and Nesryn to build a big army, not only for Dorian, but in the name of Alien as well. She’s been through enough, I think she deserves an army to help.

I want Chaol to be healed, though not completely (I know, I’m a terrible person) because I think it would add to his character and make him more interesting.

I want badassery from both main characters. I think given the chance, these two could do some serious damage.

And that’s all! I felt bad for not reading or reviewing, but also wanted to share what was going on in my life as well my excitement for Tower of Dawn.

Eona: The Last DragonEye (Eon #2) by Alison Goodman

EonaPublished: April 19th 2011 by VIKING by Penguin Group

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons, Magic, Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 637

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Eon has been revealed as Eona, the first female Dragoneye in hundreds of years. Along with fellow rebels Ryko and Lady Dela, she is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades are on a quest for the black folio, stolen by the drug-riddled Dillon; they must also find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power and the black folio if he is to wrest back his throne from the selfstyled “Emperor” Sethon. Through it all, Eona must come to terms with her new Dragoneye identity and power – and learn to bear the anguish of the ten dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered. As they focus their power through her, she becomes a dangerous conduit for their plans. . . .

Eona, with its pulse-pounding drama and romance, its unforgettable fight scenes, and its surprises, is the conclusion to an epic story only Alison Goodman can create.


My review:

When I was young, well, younger, I was obsessed with dragons. I would read anything with dragons in it. So when I found Eon, and saw that there was another book in the series I was so happy.

Back in that time when all I had to worry about was getting good grades and reading books, I would have given this book five stars. Now, however, that I’ve come to read some of the finer offerings this genre has to give, I find myself disappointed. Let this be a lesson to anyone: never re-read your favorite childhood book series (unless it’s Harry Potter or Eragon).

To be 100% honest, this book was a mess from start to finish. I found that the writing wasn’t descriptive enough for me to fully appreciate what the author was trying to do. There was also a lot of world building in a small space, and it didn’t work at all. There needed to be more time for that. I felt that 80% of the book was action. Yes, action is good, but there was too much and not enough time left for characters to develop.

Now my major problem is the main character, Eona. She continues to lie and deceive and deny that she’s doing it throughout the book. It’s very annoying and the author should have been able to come up with other events to keep me interested. Also, bringing all those lies out at the end? Yeah, well, that didn’t work for as much as a shock factor as intended. It was easy to see the outcome.

There are only two things going for this book. The first being the overall plot with the dragons. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil it, but I think that was a good way to get the book to end. The second is all the mythology and the world history that was weaved into the plot. I really liked learning about those pieces of the world.

All of that being said, I’ve finally decided on just 3 stars. While I did like it at one point in my life, I don’t as much now. I like parts of the book, but it overall lost all importance in my opinion. I won’t be reading it again unless I forget, for some reason, about how confusing the plot ended up being.

★★★

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J. Maas

ACOMAFPublished: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 624

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Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart.


My review:

Well, from the beginning, this book sure was a ride of emotions and plot events. I kept thinking that in the first part of the book the plot wasn’t moving, there was nothing happening. But now, after I have finished the book, I know that there were some very important events going on.

One thing I have learned about Sarah J. Maas and her characters is that she is never very nice to them for very long. But this causes me to feel sorry for them, to want them to be happy, thus showing that it is a good book to get me so emotionally involved. I knew this fact in Thorne of Glass and was expecting it in this series, but maybe not so early on. It defiantly shows that she has evolved as a writer and has become much more confidant.

Speaking of evolving, these characters did a bunch of it throughout this book and in between the first and second. While some characters (Feyre) transitioned over time, especially after all those nasty things she went through in the first book, I felt like others (Tamlin) had changed much too quickly. This defiantly could be explained at the span of three months that was between the first book and this one, but it still seemed abrupt and more like a plot device. Unquestionably for the plot. But I think it worked out well for the story arch that we are continuing to follow, one that is getting impressively complicated.

Feyre’s evolving rivals those of Alien, Lysandra, or Maven from Thorne of Glass. I know I keep bring this series up, making comparisons, but I just wanted to say how happy I was that Sarah J. Maas didn’t abandon her character evolving pattern. It makes each of her books so much more fun to read than others, some of which the characters don’t evolve enough to really see much of a difference. The evolving keeps me guessing at what the characters might do next, and that makes for a good book.

Sarah J. Maas also isn’t one to shy away from putting two people together to fall in love then having them change their mind. But, I liked Tamlin in the first, but not enough to completely ship them and wanting it to continue into the next book. I was hoping she would pull out one of those ‘I loved you but I don’t love you anymore’ moves. Because there are many relationships in this book that affect the plot, I won’t give any spoilers on it. Sorry if I implied it and you caught on, but really it was only the first 50 pages that might have been mildly ruined.

Bad things to say. Hmm. You know, there really isn’t much I have to complain about. I wish that Tamlin didn’t become so easy to hate right off (sorry, but once again only the first 50 pages), that we couldn’t see more of Feyre’s transition to becoming a high fae, her powers thereof, and watching more of these lovely relationships evolve as each person becomes closer, friends or otherwise. Other than those though, I don’t have much else to say.

At the time I am writing this review there is still three weeks left until the next book comes out, so once again I have to distract myself with others until I can get it. Sigh.

Wait, why did I wait so long to read it? Oh that’s right, so I wouldn’t be in the waiting position like I am now!

Also, a warning for younger readers, this book does become NC-17.

★★★★★

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon #1) by Alison Goodman

EonPublished: December 26th 2008 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons, Magic

Pages: Hardcover, 531

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Also Known As: Two Pearls of Wisdom, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye, and Eon (All the same book just published with different publishers)

Swordplay, dragon magic–and a hero with a desperate secret

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye–an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic…and her life.


My review:

When I was young and impressionable (well, not really impressionable, I’ve actually always been the stubborn and fiery redhead I am now, just a little more shy) I read a book about a sixteen year old girl, in a man’s world, pretending to be a twelve year old boy. In this same book there were also dragons, no not the ones you hunt to steal their treasure, but the kind that you bond with and can gain amazing powers from.

Of course it has dragons; how could I resist? Ever since reading Eargon I’ve had a thing for books with dragons in them, though it is rather hard to find some where it isn’t all about dragon hunting. Anyone have any suggestions?

Anyway, so this book was one of my favorites as a teenager because of the world building as well as the secrets and powers that the characters have. And I really do like it, though I’m probably going to say more bad things than I will good for a reason I will explain later.

So, the good things:

Main character, Eona. I guess I feel like she is similar to me in a way. She can be stubborn but also knows when to hold herself back when she needs to. She can be rather forceful and hostile while also having a nicer, sweeter side. She struggles with much through the book and it gives the book a more realistic feeling.

The world of the Dragoneyes. It’s ancient Chinese mythology, and mythology is something I like to read and learn about. It is very interesting to read about, and the author did her research on the subject.

And the bad things:

The book moved rather slowly. Yes, there was a lot that happened, but there was also a large amount of the politics of the world that got involved to. Politics isn’t something I like, it’s actually something I am starting to hate in recent years. So this doesn’t appeal to me. When I got closer to the end I skimmed, half because I knew what was happening for the most part, half because I was getting so bored with the back and forth of the characters.

The characters. Most of the characters had a fake feeling to them. They seemed one sided and all kind of reacted in similar ways when faced with these situations. They were almost flat and didn’t seem real.

Eona. Yes I know she is in the good things too, but I really dislike her fatal flaw. It took her most of the book to figure out (even though she wasn’t even the one who figured it out in the end) what the secret was to her power. It was rather annoying and I wish the author would have allowed Eona  to figure it out a bit soon and have some more of the awesome power in there.

The good aspects of this book do outweigh the bad ones, but it still caused me to think hard about the rating I would give it.

★★★★

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

ACOTAR.jpgPublished: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic

Pages: Hardcover, 421

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Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


My review:

I may refer to this book or series by ACOTAR in future reviews.

I put of reading this book for a while, but for multiple reasons. The first was my concern that it wouldn’t live up to the expectations I had because of Throne of Glass. The second was because I didn’t want to read the first two books months before the last (at least for this half of the series) came out so I wasn’t waiting and obsessing.

I’m glad I waited because now I only have to wait about three weeks for the third book to come out after I finish the second one (if I finish it on the schedule I have planned).

I didn’t hate this book, but neither would I say that I loved it. It was good yes, but I think there is something missing and there are a few other problems that I want to talk about as well.

First, I want to talk about Feyre (pronounced Fay-ruh if you were wondering) and the sort of indifference I started feeling towards her just a little past halfway through the book. At first I liked her, doing what she can to survive while also getting very hateful feelings from her family, but determined to keep the promise she made to her unloving mother. She did what she could, but wasn’t as perfect to have all these amazing skills she was somehow able to teach herself. It was realistic in a way. Then, in the middle, I still liked her but didn’t understand some of the actions that she took. It wasn’t explained well enough in the book to be reasonable. And in the end, well, there wasn’t really much too really like or hate. It was as if Feyre started to disappear, and I had no feelings one way or the other.

The passing of time in this book was strange, but it does come right out and say, ‘three months after this event happened’ and it makes it clear. But sometimes it felt like it jumped weeks ahead without much explanation.

I do like some things of course, such as Tamlin and Lucien and many of the other fae. It was fun learning about them, their culture, the things that they went through, and eventually learning what the curse was all about (though it might be easy to guess).

But what exactly did I like about it? I can’t find any particular examples, mostly just the overall feeling of the book, the plot, and the characters, at least for the most part.

I know I’ve probably said more bad than good things but I willing give this book four stars. The reasons I’m not giving more is because the mild indifference I felt towards pieces of the book, and others I won’t mention in fear of spoiling it for everyone.

★★★★

This book and book series does contain explicit scenes that may not be suitable for younger readers.

The Siren by Kiera Cass

The SirenPublished: January 26th 2016 by HarperTeen (first published July 1st 2009)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mermaids

Pages: Hardcover, 327

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Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.


My review:

I admit, I avoided reading this book for some time, unsure of how much I might like it. Having read The Selection and liking 2/3 of it (not really the last book), but not sure if I was willing to read something like that again and the ratings on Goodreads, I decided not to read it all. However, when I decided to listen to audiobooks while I drove to and from work/school, this popped up, immediately available, so I decided to try. At least that way I was only putting driving time into it.

I was wrong, I admit it. While I’m sure I didn’t get the full effect of everything in the book I was surprised by how much I started liking it. Learning about what Kahlen went through, what she was going through, how it affected her life, and the whole situation just kept me wanting more and more and more.

I wasn’t really into the romance of this book, and I know that was kind of the main plot piece here and the book without the romance wouldn’t have worked, but it was getting almost annoying enough to stop listening. Really, come on. I won’t say anything in interest of not spoiling it, but it didn’t play off right.

The plot (not the romance one, the one where Kahlen and other girls sing to pull people to their deaths for the ocean) is one of two things I do like this book. There is certainly a lot more than romance that goes along here and I think it was written well.

I did like some of the characters, like Kahlen. She was nice enough, wallowed in self-hatred a little, which is one of the best ways to get me to like characters, but also tried to keep her promises at any cost. Some of the other characters such as Elizabeth, Maika and Aisling I also enjoyed reading about. I especially like the ocean and how Kiera Cass chose to personify her and make her not understand humans and her sirens. She isn’t human and this dynamic really is interesting.

However, I find myself not liking Akinli at all. His character was flat, to perfect to be real (I don’t remember him having any flaws, it was almost as if he was made to be exactly what Kahlen expected… wait, isn’t that what this was?) and just lacked any realistic feelings. Yeah, he’s a great guy, but come on, not everyone reacts well to that situation. I won’t say more because spoilers.

So there that is. I’ve decided to give 3.5 stars because I liked it and might read it again if I ever get through my list (yeah, right) but wouldn’t want to buy it and put it on my shelf. I’ll stick to library copies.

★★★.5

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe HavenPublished: September 14th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Adult

Pages: Hardcover, 340

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Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.


My review:

I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, romance books are not something I usually like. And by usually I mean about 99% of the time. There are exactly three exceptions where the book was just romance (no adventure, little or no action, just normal) that I have found that I can read. All three of those came into my life by form of movie, then book.

The first was If I Stay written by Gayle Forman, and the sequel Where She Went. The third, I’ve found, is this book, Safe Haven.

Having watched the movie several times, quite literally only one of two Nicholas Sparks movies that I can watch at all, I decided to give the book a chance. It took me a while to get there because, knowing Sparks’ reputation for romance movies, I wasn’t really interested in watching, reading, anything that he was involved in.

But here I am, and I don’t have many good things to say about the only Nicholas Sparks book I have ever read.

I know this man turns out books like only a few people seem to be capable of, and sells a lot more books than I have (that being zero because I can’t even seem to get more than a few chapters into writing one), but I was really bothered by the writing. I thought, ‘here is a very experienced author, I’m expecting something really well written.’ I was very disappointed before I even turned past first the page.

The sentences were choppy, so horrible that I cringed and thought, more than once, that I wasn’t going to be able to handle reading the book. But I pushed through, found that the writing got better, the sentences more than just six words each, only to be disappointed again as the sentences became choppy latter on.

And the content of the book, well, 75% was information that I never needed to know, that was just written to fill space. The characters weren’t deep, they felt unreal and lacked an aspect that made them feel real. I got the scene that Alex was infallible, and we all know, no matter how hard we try, no one can ever be that perfect. Everything felt like nothing more than a story. When I read a book I like to be completely immersed, like I’m there with the characters. I didn’t feel at all like this.

The only good thing I have to say about the book is the plot. I like the overall idea that this book explores, but I probably won’t read it again, or any other books by Sparks.

★★★