Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis:"The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for."
Review: My heart was throbbing with the amount of feels I got throughout reading this book. Once again, Leigh Bardugo has forced me to actually stop between scenes to just process my feelings and calm my poor heart.
Ruin and Rising really brought this series to a beautiful ending that left me content with what I was given, even though I love the Grisha world so much and don't really ever want it to end. This book may only be a couple hundred pages long, but like Siege and Storm, so much happened. I honestly paused every couple of scenes just to process everything because the plot was amazing and my heart was definitely being stressed out.
In terms of romance, Ruin and Rising does finally put an end to the love triangle and because I don't want to give any spoilers, I will just say that I was incredibly happy with who Alina ended up with. The romance was really built up in suspense throughout this entire book and I liked that because even though I was very much on a certain character's side, the feeling of suspense really glued my attention to the story. PS Alina and her love is now my OTP. Seriously, I get the feels everytime I read about them.
The plot in Ruin and Rising, personally, was the best out of all three of the books. I loved all the plots but I found this one the best due to the many plot twists that I couldn't predict as well as how much Leigh Bardugo was able to fit in so little pages. This book could honestly be made into a two to three hour movie (yea that much happened). I loved that in this novel Alina really found out a lot about herself and all these cool mysteries that always seem to occur. I also loved that there is almost always something happening which can actually be hard to say for many books. Even when I stopped reading I couldn't stop thinking about what was happening and I would say that really means that this book is able to fully capture my imagination. I just could not stop thinking about what was going to happen.
After reading this book I actually really fell in love with Zoya, Genya, and Harshaw. (As well as the character I was rooting for, but I won't say who.) It's strange that after what they've been through the reader is also able to fall in love with characters Alina didn't always like!
PPS: I haven't mentioned in my previous reviews, but I also love the before and after parts of this book. They really get me in the Grisha mood in the beginning and tie up any loose ends to keep me content.
PPPS: Let me know if Genya reminds you of the Selection series?!
If you want a soul touching book, filled with action, magic, and love, this is it! Ruin and Rising and the rest of the Grisha Trilogy is a series I will never forget, because it's just something that won't let you forget it. Seriously, go and pick up Shadow and Bone today to start the series, you can thank me later!
Favorite Quote(s): (can dedications count?) "For my father, Harve -
Sometimes our heroes don't make it to the end."
" 'Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing.' "
" In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossible bright and forever out of reach."
" 'Maybe you're hungry,' said Zoya. 'I always get mean when I'm hungry.'
'Are you hungry all the time?' asked Harshaw."
"It was stupid. It was dangerous. But Ana Kuya used to tell me that hope was tricky like water. Somehow it always found a way in."
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
*I received a digital ARC of Heartless from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley , but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. "
Review: Heartless was one of my most anticipated reads this year, but although the book was written well I found it somewhat disappointing (but I still didn't take away any stars because it was that sort of bad if you know what I mean). Essentially, Heartless is a twist on Alice and Wonderland, but not in the same way Marissa Meyer twisted many fairy tales for the Lunar Chronicles. You can expect for Heartless to stay a bit truer to Alice and Wonderland and less of a completely different story like her other series.
Although the world itself was not the most interesting part of the book for me (especially since the world of Alice in Wonderland is already SO wondrous) I found myself more attached to the characters and the plot. Catherine in the main character of the book and I actually related to her in many ways (as most parents do have their children's futures in some kind of set path and when I younger I actually wanted to become a baker). Despite my connection to Catherine, I found myself even more intrigued by Jest. Jest was by far my favorite character in the book and before long I was deeply invested in Jest. Like most perfect fictional guys, he was kind and gorgeous, but Jest, being the Joker also had a quick wit and was humorous. My main attraction to the other characters was really the fact that I could tie them back to the original story and find out how Marissa Meyer tweaked them, which was incredibly interesting to look for (almost like Where's Waldo?).
The plot was heartbreaking, beautiful, and well thought out. There is a love triangle (warning for those who don't like the love triangle), but it wasn't really one of the annoying sorts of love triangles. I found the romance to be by far one of my favorite things about this novel and though things didn't go the way I wanted (NO SPOILERS I PROMISE), I still accepted the outcome. The rest of the plot was also incredible and Marissa Meyer really found a way to incorporate the entire world of Alice in Wonderland in a slightly different angle. However, I did find the ending of this novel to be a little to fast for me and I wished that there was more to really help me get through it.
With only minor complaints, (ones that I probably can't really complain about), I found Heartless to be without a doubt one of the best books I have read this year. It also really sparked a love for Alice in Wonderland that I didn't know I had in me! (Seriously! I went and watched Through the Looking Glass after reading this because I didn't want anything to stop!) I would really recommend Heartless to any Alice in Wonderland lovers as well as those who love retellings, fantasy, or romance!
Cover: ★★★★★ (UM FREAKIN' GORGEOUS)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'Perhaps we know each other in the future and you're only remembering backward.' "
"Fascinating, isn't it, how often heroic and foolish turn out to be one and the same."
" 'But hoping,' he said, 'is how the impossible can be possible after all.' "
I was lucky enough to be contacted by Quentin and I received a solar book light in exchange for a review, but this in no way affects my honest opinion about the product.
You can find it here: SOLAR BOOK LIGHT
First of all this light definitely gets ★★★★★'s from me!
I have very light sensitive eyes (bright lights hurt), so the fact that this book light comes with an option of off, half brightness, and full brightness is just AMAZING! Not only that, it can be solar powered or plugged in to be charged, but I do love that this gives people the option to be eco-friendly! (plus I live in Cali, so... solar powered it is!). It also has a bendy neck that allows readers to move the light to wherever they would like. Lastly, this book light is practically weightless, which is amazing! I hate reading off brightly lit screens (phones, laptops, etc.) so this light is so handy to read physical copies, or my kindle late at night. (Plus it's so light I can enjoy a good read right it my bed! I would seriously recommend this light to all readers!
PS: My dad even borrowed this and said he liked it! (So it is father approved lol)
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.