Tuesday, June 17, 2014

{Review} All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

All the Truth That's In Me
by Julie Berry
Pages: 274
Release Date: September 26, 2013
by Viking (an imprint of Penguin)

Goodreads / Purchase
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

They are whited out so you can only read them if you highlight the text

This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.   It had such a unique writing style and story line.  It was dark, haunting, disturbing, gritty, yet beautiful.  You can tell, from the very first page, that this book is different.  The story is told in second person, and the timeline keeps switching, past, present, past, present.  It takes time for the history to unfold itself, but it never got boring.  I wasn’t at all confused about the time changes because past was when Judith could talk, and present was when she couldn’t. It’s very hard to describe this book and the story line.  It was certainly unique, but so much was going on, and there was never a boring part.  The staging was phenomenal and there was always something we didn’t know, always something that kept us reading.  The way the ending wrapped up the whole book was perfect, and it all made sense.  I loved how in the end it kept switching from past to present really fast so we saw things unfolding right before the big revelation. There were no plot holes, no mistakes.  And couldn’t believe that ending!

The unique pov, you would think, wouldn’t allow for much character growth.  But Judith is such an amazing character!  I really admire her because if I was in her situation, ridiculed by the whole town and shunned constantly, I wouldn’t be nearly as nice as she was.  The way Judith handled her situation and was always kind to those who were mean to her made me respect her.  I liked how, while she loved Lucas, she didn’t let it consume her and make her into a puppy with starcrossed eyes following her crush.  She was able to separate her love and her life.

Lucas, I must say, is a very appealing character.  Theirs is something so attractive about him and mysterious.  He seems like such a nice guy, very caring and gentle. [SPOILER:  I smiled so much at the end when (FINALLY) they got together! ]

The writing in this book was absolutely phenomenal and so impressive.  I have never seen an author pull off a novel like this, and I can’t recommend it enough!

5 stars

Sunday, June 15, 2014

{Movie Review} The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Director: Josh Boone
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 125 mins

Book / Trailer / IMDb
Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.

I wrote this review 2 hours after seeing the movie
Non-Spoiler Review
My thoughts are like stars I can’t fathom into constellations.  I don’t know how to put into words what this movie made me feel and how amazing it is.  This is one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen, maybe even the best (with Catching Fire a close second).  There were so many quotes from the book, which makes sense because the book is so full of beautiful and unique dialogue, and if you didn’t put that beautiful writing into the movie it wouldn’t feel right.  The dialogue was what made us love the characters so much in the book.  This movie made me cry tears of joy and tears of pain.  But pain demands to be felt.  I knew what to expect because I’ve read the book about 5 times now, but I was in no way prepared for the emotion of seeing my favorite characters come to life.  It was so painful.  The movie followed the book story line so closely and the few things they changed were so funny or amazing that it didn't even matter.  A fabulous movie!
Hands down, the best performance goes to Ansel Elgort.  His role in Divergent really doesn’t allow him to showcase his amazing acting skills.  He brought to life one of my favorite characters so well.  It was perfect casting, first off, but he acted the part perfectly.  It also doesn’t hurt that he is EXTREMELY attractive.  God damn, not only do I have a crush on his character, but I also have a crush on him!  He was so sweet and adorable and loving and sexy in this movie.  He did an outstanding job.

I’m not sure how I feel about Shailene Woodley as an actress and while I don’t think she did as well as Ansel with her character, I still think she did very well.  Shailene is the perfect Hazel, I just felt like Shailene’s performance wasn’t up to par with Ansel’s.  But that in no way takes away from the fact that Shailene did an awesome job with Hazel.

I have to talk a bit about the relationship between Hazel and Augustus and the chemistry between Shailene and Ansel.  Reading and seeing are two very, very different things.  I saw this romance.  It is even more beautiful on-screen then it is in the pages of the book (not that the book romance isn’t beautiful too.  The on-screen is a different kind of beautiful, if that makes sense).  The chemistry between Ansel and Shailene was perfect, and the love between the two characters they played was so heartfelt and beautiful.  I really have to applaud both actors on their performances.

I really want to mention Nat Wolf as Isaac.  Even though he wasn’t in the movie much, when he was, he was freaking hilarious.  First off, Nat Wolf is the PERFECT Isaac.  He has the look, the personality, everything.  I just really wish there had been more blind jokes from Augustus.  I loved the trophy smashing scene and the egging scene, and I think it’s so funny how Isaac is going crazy in the background and Hazel and Augustus are being all adorable together.  I love Isaac.
Spoiler Section (I'm not going to hide the words, just don't read this part if you don't want to)
I cried pretty early in the movie.  When there’s a flashback of Hazel as a 13 year old and she’s in pain and her mom leans over her and says “its okay to let go” I teared up…and after that there was no going back.
I love the scene where Hazel runs into Augustus at support group and then Augustus runs into that door – perfect touch.
Augustus’s driving!  It was a little different in than in the book (in the book he couldn’t feel pressure in his leg so he would stop/start really sharply) because his steering was bad, not his acceleration/deceleration.
The whole airplane ride was perfection.  Augustus was so adorable and nervous and scared and he takes out his cigarette but he can’t use it and Hazel just wants to be friends but Augustus doesn’t!  The feels!  And then Hazel jumps in and says “this is what it feels like to drive with you” and Augustus does this sarcastic laugh.  I loved that scene so much!!!
I cried happy tears when Augustus and Hazel were eating dinner in Amsterdam and Augustus was making his speech about how much he loves Hazel.  It was such a beautiful scene and I wish it had lasted longer so we could appreciate how beautiful their love was, but sadly it was rather short.
The egging scene, which was one of my favorite scenes in the book, was so hilarious.  I liked how Augustus’s speech to Monica’s mom was changed up. Also this quote:
Hazel: “Maybe we should come back when it’s dark.”
Augustus: “It’s always dark for Isaac.”
The whole last 45 minutes of the movie, from the moment Augustus told Hazel he lit up like a Christmas tree, it was tears.  So many tears.
The gas station scene was so hard to watch.  He’s just sitting in his car crying and he’s hurting so bad and it sucks to see him like that.  He’s our beautiful Augustus.
The thing that really got me in the feels was the montage that was put in of Augustus when he was happy and smiling and at the same time he was talking in a voiceover at the end of the movie when Hazel is reading his note and it just makes losing him that much more painful.
There was also a song that played for about 10 seconds in the movie.  I don’t know what it’s called but I’ve heard it before.  The lyrics are: “if you love me, why’d you leave me?”  It’s been stuck in my head this whole time and I find myself singing it outloud and I feel like crying each time.  The lyrics hit so deep.
It took me about an hour before I stopped crying fully.  There were some sporadic tears, but I finally got it under control.  In the theater I went to there were only about 10-15 other people.  There were so many sniffles haha.  I’m thinking it is the best book-to-movie adaptation I’ve ever seen.  Ansel’s acting was superb and the story line followed the book perfectly – and Ansel’s hot!  What more could you ask for? (Well, maybe for Augustus not to die)
5 stars

Thursday, June 12, 2014

{Review} Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Taste of Darkness
by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #3
Pages: 458
Release Date: December 31, 2014
by Mira (an imprint of Harlequin)

Goodreads / Purchase

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat: The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.

Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

They are whited out so you can only read them if you highlight the text

What am I supposed to do with my life now that this beautiful series has ended?!

After the ending of the second book so much was set up to happen in this book and the first thing I wanted to happen [SPOILER: was getting Kerrick back.  ] It certainly didn’t happen as fast as or how I wanted it to.  I had to wait 50 agonizing pages before I knew [[SPOILER: he was okay.  And then he’s trapped in the forest. ] It killed me.

First off, this book was originally titled Taste of Death and I much prefer that title to this one, Taste of Darkness.  The latter sounds cheesier, while the first sounds intense and scary.  But I digress.

It took me a bit to get into this book.  To me the writing seemed kind of choppy and disconnected in the first 50 pages. Maybe Snyder just got into a groove later on or I got used to her writing style because the book, after that, was beautifully written.  In her books a lot of time passes so she changes a lot from present to weeks later.  Maybe that’s what threw me off a bit.  I’ve said it so many times but I’ll say it again – Maria V. Snyder is a genius when it comes to storytelling.  The story line is so fast-paced and thrilling and the staging is phenomenal.  Every single detail and every single escape makes perfect sense and isn’t too easy.  There is a lot of complicated theories in this series, like the Death and Peace Lily’s and what each one does to you.  [SPOILER: The cure for the plague ] was a great idea and I loved how we, as the reader, figured it out along with Avry. It was impressive to see Synder manipulate all the things she has developed over the course of this series to make solutions to all the problems.

There is never a dull moment, one mission after another.  The two POVs worked great in this book.  Usually I don’t like dual POVs but for this it worked perfectly because Avry and Kerrick were separated so often and we learned much more information.  I loved how funny the book was.  There were so many twists (not like in Scent of Magic though.  Those killed me) that had me gasping [SPOILER: (BELEN!).  ] And the cliffhanger at the end of every single chapters makes it impossible to put the book down.  One part of your mind is screaming “You have a ton of homework and a history midterm this week, stop reading” but the other part is yelling “OMG I must know what happens next this book is killing me” and the second always part wins out.

If I had one complaint, it’s that the ending seemed a bit rushed. I was kind of expecting something a bit more dramatic and encompassing. The last fight scene was over a bit too quickly, in my opinion.  I guess since there had been so many other drawn-out, difficult battles in the rest of the book Snyder just wanted to make this an easy one, but for the ending I was expecting something a bit more climactic.  Don’t get me wrong, it closed the book perfectly and covered any plot holes, but I was just kind of hoping for a more epic battle.  What I thought wasn’t done as well as it could have been was when [SPOILER: Avry woke back up after Kerrick killed Tohon and broke the bond between him and Avry.  I was kind of confused when she woke up where they were and what was going on ] and I kind of wished that was portrayed a bit better.  But other than that, this book was phenomenal!

Can we just take a second to appreciate how amazing this cast is?  You have Avry who is so freaking strong and selfless and brave.  She will sacrifice herself in a heartbeat for anyone, and I loved seeing her break the rules.  Kerrick – my beautiful weed boy – I felt for him in this book.  He wasn’t my sexy, confident, active Kerrick.  He was a trapped, tired, and gaunt Kerrick, and I miss the old Kerrick so much.  Then you have Belen who *bear hug* I love and [SPOILER: I’m so glad he’s back. ]  And the monkeys make everything so entertaining.  Loren and Quain are seriously like little kids only they can kill you and it’s so funny to see them banter.  I felt like Flea grew a lot in this book because he [SPOILER: has his magic and doesn’t want it but eventually learns to use it. ] I really liked him.  On the other hand, Ryne really annoyed me. [SPOILER: I hated how he would lie to Avry and use her as bait.  ] How about no?

Also, that whole Skeleton King thing is one of the creepiest, most disturbing things I’ve ever read.  I was cringing the whole time I read [SPOILER: that cannibal part and when he was biting Avry. ] That. Is. Sick.

I’m so sad to see this beautiful series with all its wonderful characters go.  But I can assure you I will be re-reading these books again and again.

5 stars

Other Books by Maria V. Snyder
Study                                    Healer                                             Glass                     Insiders
Poison Study                 Touch of Power - Review           Storm Glass              Inside Out - Review
Magic Study - Review     Scent of Magic - Review             Sea Glass                  Outside In
Fire Study - Review                                                            Spy Glass

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year

Top 10 Tuesday is a meme by Broke and Bookish, hosted each Tuesday, where bloggers list their top 10 in the chosen topic of the week.

Today's Topic:

Top Ten (Four) Books I've Read So Far This Year
Hahahahaa.  Funny story.  I've only read 15 books this year.  So ten books ain't gonna happen.  And if you're wondering, no, I'm not proud of that pathetic number.  I am thoroughly ashamed.  But the fact that I'm relaxing at the beach right now (most likely reading a book but more likely on my phone) makes me feel better.
The books I've picked aren't really my favorite books (well a few are) but I didn't have much to pick from so when I compare some books I've read this year to others I picked the better, even if it isn't necessarily an AMAZING book.
#1: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare Yeah this book was pretty awesome.  Not the best I've ever read, and not as good as City of Glass (the other last book to this series before it was extended.  Bet you 5 bucks three more books are added haha) but a damn good final book.  Plus that ending made me cry so hard!
#2: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead This series was seriously so painful to read after a certain event at the end of Shadow Kiss and I spent the rest of the series as an emotional wreck waiting for it to be fixed.  This book was pretty freaking awesome (but I can't remember if everything was resolved in this book or the next.)

#3: Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder Seriously. You can't go wrong with Maria V. Snyder.  This series was really amazing, and even though this book was REALLY PAINFUL it was still freaking good

#4: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot By far my favorite book this year.  I had to read it for school and usually I just skim the books to find the answers to the book questions we have to turn in (if my history teacher reads this I'm busted) but I actually LOVED this book and had to read the whole thing.  It's weird I loved it because I don't like non-fiction, but this book read like a novel, and the subject was so interesting.  I freaking loved it.
So, that's my pathetic Top Ten (four).  I want to see what your Top Ten is!
Link it below!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

{Review} Allegiant by Veronica Roth

by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Pages: 526
Release Date: October 22, 2013
by Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of Harper)

Goodreads / Purchase

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

They are whited out so you can only read them if you highlight the text
*Also I read this back in January, I am not COMPLETELY late on the bandwagon haha*
*There's a Catching Fire/Mockingjay spoiler which is marked*
I really don't know where to start with this review.
This series has been a roller-coaster of hating then loving then hating again.  It's a very unique series and well written, I just didn't LOVE it.
Basically this book was not as good as the other books.  It was so boring!  The two first books were so fast paced and exciting and every single second something was happening.  I couldn’t stop reading.  With this book I had to kind of force myself to read it because it was SO. SLOW.  There was a lot of world-building with action sprinkled sparsely in the story line.  The world building was very well done, however.  This book was complex, interesting, but slow-paced...but when it came time for the action to come Roth brought it.  Of course I am talking about the ending.  The staging for the ending was very well done, if not a bit confusing.  One thing that Roth definitely improved on that I had noticed was lacking in the other books was how she didn't describe scenes very well.  From her descriptions I couldn't imagine the scene.  If it was a fight scene I would be so confused because she didn’t write it very well.  But in this book she did such a good job with describing scenes that I was able to imagine them.
I really wasn't a fan of the 2 POVs though.  I kept on getting confused about which POV we were seeing the story from because both Tris and Four are very similar with their POV.  They were both in the same place all the time so there really wasn’t a different perspective with each POV.  Also Four's POV was much more boring than Tris's.
The ending was crazy – and sad.  Yes, I cried.  While I didn’t like how it ended I think that it was completely necessary.  [SPOILER: I just really wish it wasn't Tris who died.  Four would have been fine.  It was very hard for me to read about her dying.  She had been through so much during this series and she had developed so much and for her to just die...that's not okay!  It was so sad!  Why couldn't Four have died?!  That would have been fine because I hate him.  But please, keep Tris.  She had so much more to live for.  She was reconciling with Caleb and she had Christina and Cara.  She had a reason to stay. ]
Also, I can't tell,[SPOILER: but did Tris and Four have sex or not?  I know there was that one scene where they went a bit further than usual but there was nothing to say whether or not they actually did It.  I really wish Roth would have explained that a bit better.  I know coming into the book the ending because I got spoiled, so I was really expecting them to have sex before they can no longer be together.  But then again it kind of would feel wrong because at the time they had been fighting for like a book and a half and sex right after is just wrong.  If Roth had just had them make up in the beginning of the book then wrote a sex scene before Tris and Four separated that would have been perfect.
Update: Roth released a statement that said she wanted the reader to decide if they had sex or not. I don’t think they did. ]
[SPOILER: Also I thought it was completely unnecessary to kill Uriah.  At the beginning of this series I congratulated Roth for having the nerve to kill of characters, but by the end I was so sick of seeing all the characters I loved dying.  It just felt like too much.  Edward and Tori and Uriah (and Tris), who have all been there since the beginning, die.  There were just so many people killed in this series.  Uriah was the first person to befriend Tris when this whole story started and the fact that he dies is not okay. ]  There's a difference between a) being sad someone died and having feels and b) being completely and cruelly emotionally destroyed.  Which is what happened with this book.
[SPOILER: The aftermath of Tris dying was really hard to read about.  When Christina and Four hear about what happened was really emotional, and then Uriah dying.  The epilogue was really boring though.  I know that Roth has to explain what is going on with this new world but seriously, our favorite character just died and Four is going to scatter her ashes – we want to read about that.  Talk about world building later!  But I do think that that zip line scene where Four spreads Tris' ashes was just perfect.  He faced his fears and he did the same thing Tris did and that should make him feel closer to her. ]
[SPOILER (catching fire/mockingjay): That part where Tris and Four say goodbye when Tris is going to release the memory serum and Four is going back into Chicago and they say they love each other reminded me of Catching Fire when Katniss leaves Peeta under the lightning tree and then Peeta gets hijacked...only in this book Four never sees Tris living again and Katniss and Peeta get married. *cries* ]
By the end of this series I absolutely loved Tris.  Yep, I respected her [SPOILER: just in time for her to die. ] Tris was a completely different character than in the first book.  In this book she was strong, selfless, and very forgiving.  She was only 16 and already she had been through so much.  She was strong without Four saying every 5 pages “OMG Tris you are, like, so strong you have to pretend to be weak”.  Tris was strong without all that.  The thing that really sold Tris to me as a great person was when [SPOILER: she sacrificed herself for Caleb. ] She just grew so much over the course of this series into someone who had made mistakes but dealt with them and became a vulnerable yet strong person.
I hate Four.  I've hated him since the first book, but then I was imagining him as Theo James so that made it better.  But I hated Four in this book.  He was just so annoying, accusing Tris of things while he was doing the very things he was yelling at Tris about.
Tris: You shouldn't join this rebellion it doesn't feel right
Four: OMG Tris you're so jealous I can do what I want yolo
He still isn't developed at all, and yes, I cried at the end of this book,[SPOILER:  but not because Four was sad, but because I was sad Tris was gone. ]  He was just so annoying and winey and when he finds out [SPOILER: he's not Divergent ] his reaction is so immature.  I don't feel bad for him at all.
I think since this is the last book it's time to talk about the supporting characters.  There were a ton but I'm going to talk about Christina, Uriah, Caleb, Peter, and Cara.  Uriah is my favorite, Christina second.  Uriah was with Tris from practically the beginning and they grew into such good friends [SPOILER: (and part of the reason I was crying in the end was because Uriah died too). ]  He was a very good supporting character, as was Christina.  The saga between Tris and Christina is a long one, but in the end they were such good friends, and Christina was really strong, dependable character.  The same goes for Cara- her and Tris have a history but in the end they stick together.  Caleb and Peter...I have to say I really respect Caleb for his would-be sacrifice at the end of the book.  He really is a good character, even if he's not the best person.  Peter is the same – a good character, just not a good person.  He added a lot to the story.
All in all, this was definitely not the best series I’ve ever read, but the characters and world are very interesting and there's something about this series that demands to be read.  I liked it at times, I hated it other times, but in the end, I’m glad I read it.
3 stars

Other Books by Veronica Roth



Thursday, June 5, 2014

{Review} City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire
by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Pages: 725
Release Date: May 27, 2014
by Margaret K. McElderry

Goodreads / Purchase
In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

They are whited out so you can only read them if you highlight the text
*Also contains an Allegiant spoiler (will be marked)*
I don’t know how to put into words my feelings right now.  I finished this beautiful book at 1:30 in the morning with tears streaming down my face.  What an amazing conclusion to an amazing series.
I will admit, I was not a fan of the first book in this series…or the fourth book.  But I’ve got to say, Cassandra Clare sure knows how to write.  I honestly can’t wrap my head around how on earth she thought up all these plot twists and the world and all the history.  She literally created a whole world in the space of 6 books, complete with a full history and so many twists.  This book was a perfect conclusion.  Most of the time when I’m reading a Cassandra Clare book I tear through it and don’t take the time to read every single sentence, where she does most of the descriptions.  I know it’s bad, I know I don’t get the full experience of the book.  But in COHF I took my time, I read every sentence…and man is her writing beautiful.  It flows perfectly and her description scenes are so beautiful and flawless.  Also, her imagination when it comes to the story line and solutions to the problems that the characters face is really impressive.  I loved the twists and turns in this book and the thrilling adventure that we all went on.  The story line was a perfect mixture of fast-paced action and beautiful scenes all mixed into one.  It was perfect.
To be honest, [SPOILER (allegiant): I was expecting a lot more heartbreak and dead characters.  After Allegiant, I don’t trust authors.   But, I shouldn’t have worried.  Thank goodness Cassandra Clare has a heart. ] I feel like there was a lot of character development, even in this last book.  We got to see a different side of Alec and Magnus.  I also really liked the improvement of Clary’s character, because honestly, in the other books she really annoyed me.  But in this book she was such a strong, brave character, and I loved her.
Jace has changed so much over the course of this series, from snarky boy to intelligent man – still with a bit of snark.  I loved his journey and how he matured.  It’s obvious how much he loves Clary, and they’re so perfect together.
Alec really grew on me in this book.  Before he was kind of a so-so character but in this book him and Magnus were kind of showcased and I really liked that.
Simon…oh my gosh.  Simon.  I will admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of Simon’s character in the beginning of this series…and also in the fourth book [SPOILER: (*cough* player *cough*) ] but in this book he really grew on me and showed his character.  And that ending.   I was crying so freaking hard. [SPOILER: I couldn’t believe when Simon offered to sacrifice so everyone could leave the demon realm and it really showed his character and how selfless he was and how much he loved everyone.  I cried so hard afterwards when Clary went up to him at his school and he didn’t recognize her.  And then Magnus went and visited him and he said he knew something was different and THEN HE CAME TO THE WEDDING AND HE REMEMBERED AND GOSH I WAS CRYING SO HARD.  So I guess I lied, I secretly really loved Simon.  I just kept thinking of all he had been through and how many times he had sacrificed something to save everyone else and it just killed me that he wouldn’t remember anything.  But it ended fine, he remembered, and I was SO HAPPY! ]
Now I have to talk about Sebastian.  First off, he is the creepiest villain I think I’ve ever read.  His scenes of dialogue were bone-chilling and terrifying.  [SPOILER: Honestly, I didn’t see that whole tear-jerker scene with him becoming Jonathan coming.  That completely destroyed me.  I felt so bad for Jonathan/Sebastian.  He really didn’t have any choice, he was made into something horrible as a helpless baby, in the womb, and he was thrust into evil.  That scene where he became Jonathan and was so sad and apologetic killed me – and him too because he died haha. And I really didn't expect him to die because I thought that would be too predictable.  But the way he died was so sad, and I think it was a good decision to have his character be killed. ]
Somehow, I don’t know how, but somehow Cassandra Clare made that amazing ending work.  Just when you think there’s no possible way for this all to work, it works. [SPOILER: I loved the way Clary and Jace tricked Sebastian. ]
Also, I have to talk about Chapter 14. [SPOILER: It was such a sad chapter.  It was so painful to see all the characters with their secret desires and then it was ripped away and it was so sad.  Clary's dream got me the most because it showed a happy world where her and Jace were getting married and Jonathan was normal and it was so sad!!!  And Alec's got to me too, because all he wants is for his father to praise him, and I feel really bad for Alec and how he's always in the background, never really getting much credit.  That scene made me appreciate him even more. ]
ALSO!  [SPOILER: Clace sex scene!  YES!!!!  I’m not a pervert, but I think we all can agree that the Fourtris maybe-sex-scene in Allegiant was extremely disappointing, but this scene was AMAZING!!!  It was so beautiful and touching and well described.  Not in the pervert “well-described” way, but in the “this scene was written so beautifully and you could feel the love” way. ]
I can’t believe this series has ended.  Next thing we’ll be hearing is there will be ANOTHER 3 books added to this series.  But the world that Cassandra Clare has created, and the characters she has created and developed are so well-loved and extraordinary…truly this series is a masterpiece, and I can’t think of a better way to end it off.  Even though there were some sad things, this series ended with hope, and I think that is a beautiful way to end it.

5 stars

Other Books by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments                                                        The Infernal Devices

   City of Bones - Review                                                                 Clockwork Angel

   City of Ashes - Review                                                                 Clockwork Prince

   City of Glass - Review                                                                 Clockwork Princess

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag

Top 10 Tuesday is a meme by Broke and Bookish, hosted each Tuesday, where bloggers list their top 10 in the chosen topic of the week.

Today's Topic:

Top Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag
This is actually a really good topic for me because I'm leaving for the beach this weekend.  It's going to be so much fun, and I was having trouble figuring out which books to bring, because honestly, can I just bring my whole bookshelf?  But here is what I've narrowed it down to.

1: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Yes, I just finished reading this whole series, but I really want to go back and re-read the series and see what I missed and make new connections.  I also want to re-read TID because I flew through that series so fast and didn't really take time to appreciate and remember it.


#2: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson I read this book last summer and let's just say I wasn't a fan.  But then a few months ago when I was battling the Arctic cold that was our winter, I kept on thinking of how badly I wanted to read this book again.  So I had mom get it for my birthday, and I'm going to read it (and hopefully love it) this summer.

#3: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey I'm sensing a theme here.  Most of these books are re-reads.  Actually, technically this isn't a re-read because I couldn't even get half-way through when I first tried to read it.  But, since everyone loves this book, and it's being made into a movie, I figure I have to give it another try.

#4: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick Hey what do ya know, another re-read.  I read this book at the end of summer last year...and it was one of my favorite books of the year, and of all time.  Such an amazing book with a perfect romance and amazing writing.  I freaking love this book!!

#5: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen Really, I want to read all of Sarah Dessen's books.  I own 7 of them, and I hope to read them all.  A few are re-reads, but a few are new, like this book.

#6: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Yes I am the only person in the world who hasn't read this book. I am extremely ashamed.  I've heard so many amazing things about it and I can't wait to read it, preferably at a beach.

#7: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts This is kind of a random one because "summer reading" doesn't really come to mind when you think of it.  But ever since I got this book like 5 months ago it's been staring at me from my bookshelf with little puppy eyes saying "read me, read me".  So I'll read it haha

#8: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick Yes, another re-read.  But this book is really special.  It's one of the first paranormal books I ever read when I started getting obsessed with YA books.  I remember Nightshade (by Andrea Cremer) being my first one, and then I snuck this one home from the library because I thought my mom didn't want me reading it (she didn't care haha).  But I read it a few years ago and I can't really remember much, so I want to re-read this and the sequel, Crescendo.

#9: The Maze Runner by James Dashner This one has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, both my brothers have read it, and the movie will be coming out in the fall/winter.  Need I say more?  I have to read it!

#10: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead I want to read this book and then continue on with the series.  I loved Vampire Academy so I can't wait to see what goes down in these books!!!
So, that's my Top Ten.  I want to see what your Top Ten is!
Link it below!!

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