The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis: "Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.
Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves."
Review: After the Grisha trilogy I fell in love with this world and this collection of the grisha fairytales has stolen my heart. I can't help but wish I grew up with stories like this. Leigh Bardugo actually made these stories pretty empowering, possibly even unintentionally, but it was a much appreciated change to the princess and fairy magic we got as little girls.
*I also HAVE to mention that the art is STUNNING and just such a beautiful flow that connected the story so well.
I loved each and every story but here's a quick idea of how I see it:
Amaya and the Thorn Woods
Cover: ★★★★★ (AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL ART INSIDE)
* MILD SPOILERS IN QUOTES PROCEED WITH CAUTION*
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis: "Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:
Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)
Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)
Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first."
Review: LOOK WHO'S FINALLY READ SIX OF CROWS. After waiting for much too long to pick up this book, I have finally read it and as a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo and super high expectations for this book (as the Grisha Trilogy is one of my favorites) I have to say that I loved this book with every ounce of my being (a lot of this is due to Kaz but who can blame me).
Here is why I really enjoyed Six of Crows:
This novel was a rollercoaster of emotions and I really couldn't put it down (and when I had to I couldn't stop thinking about it). I was very much emotionally invested in these characters and they were definitely my favorite part just because, not only were they easy to connect to, but their backgrounds were so unique and full of details that really brought them to life and had me wanting to know MORE. The characters' romances were also perfectly imperfect and I gush every time I think about it because the romance was absolutely adorable and frustrating, yet such a perfect contrast to the harsh action and darker plot line.
I fully loved this story, but if I truly HAD to complain I would say that I found a couple plot points pretty predictable, but it was nothing to worry about when everything about it was still full of excitement.
For fans of fantasy, romance, or action, I would 100% recommend Six of Crows. (Though I would honestly recommend this to everyone, because I think it's simply a book everyone needs!)
*Would have gushed some more but I'm off to read Crooked Kingdom!*
" 'No mourners,' ... 'No funerals,'"
" 'I'm a businessman,' he'd told her. 'No more, no less.' 'You're a thief Kaz.' 'Isn't that what I just said?'"
"Shame holds more value than coin ever can."
"The easiest way to steal a man's wallet is to tell him you're going to steal his watch."
"Better terrible truths than kind lies."
King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Synopsis: "In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?
Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.
As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.
When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down."
Review: I thought my heart was already shredded to pieces, but this book made my heart disintegrate into ashes and then stomped all over it. Despite regularly punishing myself with the words of all these amazing authors (who like to tear readers' hearts apart) I was still not prepared .
Mare goes through a lot in this book and at first I found her a bit annoying, but it's hard to be annoyed after all that she's gone through. She deserves to focus on herself more and she's untrusting, but who wouldn't be in her situation?!
In book one there was romance, in book two it was all adventure, and in book three there is self awareness or Mare finally learning herself and her demons and a touch more romance than book 2. However, this book was finally the book to really acquaint the reader with Mare, it became more personal and more heartfelt (all the easier for my heart to shatter). Not only do we get to understand Mare more, but Cameron's perspective is also shown in this book! It was super interesting to see her thoughts aside from Mare's and there's no doubt that I feel so much closer to her character as well now.
There is not much more I can say without spoiling this intense plot, but all I can say is that I'm eternally grateful the ending was not a cliffhanger because I could not wait a couple more months for the next book! Saying that, I still can't wait for book number 4!!
Favorite Quote(s): (VICTORIA AVEYARD WRITES SO BEAUTIFULLY)
*I received an ARC of the witch doesn't burn in this one through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one."
Review: Amanda Lovelace has won my respect and my heart after a rollercoaster of a collection of poems in her first book, the princess saves herself in this one, and this following collection only adds to that. After her first novel that went over the many events of her life, I was able to grasp a portion of her life and it felt so full coverage I was wondering where she would go next with this book. She went deep and right into feminism and I couldn't have been happier and more appreciative.
Empowerment is more important than ever and so is speaking up about women's rights and equality, especially as seen with all the talk of movements like #MeToo and the Women's March. The entire collection was also incredibly relatable. Her first book was relatable but applied pretty specifically to the events she lived through, but this one spread to include what many women face daily.
I felt such a strong connection to these words and they really tugged at my heart and pushed my brain and I could feel this string that tied all women together: the experiences I had went through without even realizing how many other girls did too .(Not the cases like rape or catcalling necessarily but the more of the subtle things of being told to smile, subconsciously taking up less space, etc.)
I know guys might be like, I'm not a girl why should I read this, but I would recommend for boys to read this as well, it shows you just how much women have to go through to reach the equality most guys are born with. Girls, please pick this up, you deserve to know how powerful you are, despite race, religion, physical appearance, etc. , because women truly are some kind of magic.
I would quote this entire book if I could, but I can't so I had to REALLY cut down.
"self-love is not an instant or overnight evolution"
"confidence isn't egotism."
"safety has never been our privilege"
the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
Synopsis: ""Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we're off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales."
A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations."
Review: First of all, this is simply such a powerful book and I am honored to have the chance to read it because as a teenage girl, getting close to being an adult, it is empowering and important to get to read words like these.
I've never really written a review for poetry before and I almost didn't plan on writing one, but this book has created waves of emotions (sometimes literally as I bawled my eyes out). Knowing that this book contained nonfiction was something I kept in my mind and as a very privileged girl for not having experienced to many of the cruelties that this world has to offer, it hurt even more to see the pain in this book.
These poems truly encompass what feel like a lifetime of emotion all into 156 touching pages. This lifetime shared with us contains: love, heartbreak, family, self, death, hate, and all the feelings in between. Compared to much longer novels, I expected to speed through this book easily, but it ended up taking much longer for me to complete as almost every poem gave me revelations or swept me up into such strong emotions that I had to pause.
I know reviews are meant to share with others about the experience the book provides, but this is one of those books that are simply indescribable, so I guess you'll just have to go and read it yourself. It truly is a book I would recommend to everyone, because there is so much to understand about where women stand and why people need to love (both themselves and others).
Cover: ★★★★★ (Super aesthetic, but the words are more of the focus and beauty cannot explain the strength of this writing)
Favorite Quote(s): (I wanted to quote everything, but here are some shorter bits and pieces that caught my attention)
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
Synopsis: "A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.
Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.
Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere."
Review: MIA CORVERE IS BACK. Nevernight was one of my favorite books of 2017 so starting off the year with Godsgrave was the perfect choice. As Mia is one of my favorite characters (maybe not ethically lol), I was ecstatic to simply read about her again, but Godsgrave was filled with plenty of Mia, adventure, stabstabstab, and SO MUCH MORE. Simply put, I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER 4th.
Jay Kristoff continues his witty comments in the subscript? of the book and the commentary is actually one of my favorite parts of this series. Not only do I get to learn more about this absolutely brilliant and insane world and its history, but it also provides some light hearted humor which helps balance out all the darkness is the rest of the book.
Godsgrave was an adventure and a half. While Nevernight was the perfect introduction to this world of assassins, Godsgrave moves on from a simple introduction and dives into the action of this world. SO MUCH HAPPENS and each page had my full attention, but I won't spoil anything because you deserve to go through all the emotions I did. Just like with Nevernight, there is some love, but in this I see Mia as discovering just a bit more about herself and learning to make her own choices.
However, there was one little annoyance with this novel. I predicted a certain something would happen, which it did, BUT AT THE END OF THIS NOVEL.... I thought it would happen much earlier on and I waiting for this for the entire novel, so much to my disappointment I will be waiting for more once September 4th comes around. (wow Stephanie way to be vague, but hey at least no spoilers!)
My love for this series has only grown since the moment I first read Nevernight and I would definitely recommend this book to everyone and though I wouldn't necessarily want to live in their world, I love reading about it and simply reading about Mia who is definitely one of my favorite female main characters ever!
Cover: ★★★★★ THE ART WITH THIS SERIES IS STUNNING
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Synopsis: "If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul."
Review: I AM NOT OK. After somehow surviving Red Queen I am back again with Glass Sword which was more than I bargained for and my heart is shredded to pieces, but since I'm sure this book was written with that purpose I would have to say it did its job well.
I thought Red Queen was an emotional rollercoaster, and it was, but this was even crazier. I sat in silence trying to act normal, but half the time all I wanted to do was scream, cry, or laugh (and probably all three at once). While Red Queen was more emotional and dealt with more romance, I felt that Glass Sword toned that down a bit but dialed up the plot twists and adventure beyond what my poor beating heart could even handle.
Beside having my heart ripped and shredded to pieces, my second favorite part of this novel was the characters! Victoria Aveyard is the true queen and I fell so in love with all this people, which only hurts all the more when they're gone, BUT it's ok some people live. ;) (At least that's what I tell myself from bursting into tears.)
I am just so completely and utterly immersed in this world and despite all the good words I want to say for this novel, all I can truly say is that I just want more... So off I go to read King's Cage! (then marks the painful wait until May 14th when the final book is released!)
The Empress by S.J. Kincaid
*I received an ARC of The Empress from Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.
But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.
Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?"
Review: The Diabolic felt like closure. This book reopened wounds I didn't even realize existed. The twists and turns of this book was truly intense.
I found the plot to be incredible in the way that there were so many layers of actions going on at once and how each plot twist had me making notes in all caps. However, although the start of the book drew me in quickly and deeply I found the middle of the novel to be a bit slower and only regained that speed and page turning action again, near the end of the book.
I thought Nemesis was pretty developed in The Diabolic ... but she is at A. WHOLE. NEW. LEVEL. For a character who is supposed to lack emotion I have never felt so much emotion. (and I definitely see her emotions everywhere, which only makes me curious as to if Diabolics were ever devoid of feelings?!) Half the time I expect her to cry out of her non-existent tear ducts and the other half I can see the cruelty, ... but who said people weren't just as cruel.
The martyr complex. ... It was definitely present in the first book and it has definitely continued to make an appearance in the Empress and though I don't completely hate it, I did get annoying at times because real people are selfish and these characters always viewed their own lives as so easy to give away.
The romance twists and turns of this book were IN ANOTHER WORLD (literally and figuratively). I can't say too much without spoilers, but I was definitely unprepared for everything regarding love in this book. Most books leave me feeling happy, sad, mad, but this book has made me shocked to the core and that definitely made it such a unique read and I can't wait for the next book!
Cover: ★★★★★ (some people don't like the cover change but I think both are pretty awesome and I only have digital copies so I don't mind as much)
"Small things become great ones"
"The reactant on our palms set the starlight essence aglow over our bodies."
"Nemesis, you're a legend. Think about it."
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis:"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 cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights."
Review: I really enjoyed ACOTAR and it took me forever to finally pick up this book but once I picked it up I couldn't put it down! (aka I finished this massive thing in 2 days.... and I would've finished even faster if I wasn't doing other things) However, before I go into the review side of things I have to address that I understand that this series is NOT perfect and that there is most definitely a lack of diversity and sexuality. I completely understand why many people never even read this book, but I wanted to know the plot (I'm sorry) and I have to be honest when I say I enjoyed this book, but please know that I know that this book is not close to perfect and that I don't agree with the lack of diversity or sexuality! I simply enjoy her writing, plot, and magic. Ok let's continue.
Tamlin.... Rhysand aah I finally understand. I can't say much here just to keep this spoiler free, but even though I did my best to avoid anything I think we all know by now? (just in case I won't say anything anyways but those who have read this know my feelings kjadsfaosdjfo)
Feyre grew a lot in this book from the previous one and I feel proud of her choices. (lol my vague wording is my horrible attempt at not spoiling and screaming my feelings at you). This novel may lack in many ways, but at least there is some sort of female empowerment.
I was incredibly lured into this novel ... as you could tell by my speed reading. I also happened to write all my notes for this novel in caps.... Although I loved this plot and the magic, it did feel somewhat predictable but I had heard some things, so that may have been why I was able to predict so many things (though the feels were still definitely there).
THE IMAGERY. Maybe my favorite part of SJMaas' writing is her ability to create these vividly, stunning worlds! THE NIGHT COURT IS FREAKIN AWESOME AND I WANT IT TO EXIST. Everything flows so beautifully and now I will have to stare at the night sky (and see no stars because of light pollution). Anyways, it was absolutely gorgeous and I'm itching to do some fanart, but I also doubt I could do it any justice or be the master that is Charlie Bowater.
I now leave you all with a couple of questions that I still have yet to understand.
Now I'm off to go read ACOWAR!Cover: ★★★★★ (not surprised there)
"Mountains and darkness and stars and death."
"The vastness of my now-unending existence yawned open before me. I let it swallow me whole."
"I smelled jasmine first -then saw stars. A sea of stars flickering beyond glowing pillars of moonstone that framed the sweeping view of endless snowcapped mountains."
"'But I'll always make time for you.'"
"You do what you love, what you need.'"
"I tumbled into a sleep so heavy my dreams were an undertow that dragged me down, down, down until I couldn't escape them."
"To the stars who listened-and the dreams that are answered." (and of course this famous quote)
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet
*I received an ARC of Meet Cute through Netgalley from HMH Books for Young Readers, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of "how they first met" from some of today’s most popular YA authors.
Readers will experience Nina LaCour's beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard's glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon's imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno's story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick's charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real."
Review: Meet Cute is an adorable collection of real representations of people and the different kinds of romance stories in this world. I first heard of it earlier this year and I have been extremely excited to pick it up ever since! Not only was the idea creative, but it also features so many amazing authors!
MEET CUTE DEFINITELY LIVED UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS AND IT’S NAME, (It was SO cute and let’s see how many times I can’t avoid that word throughout this world)
I don’t want to give away the amazing short stories so, first, here was a list of the stories in order of the stories I liked the most. (Though I enjoyed all of them and even though I chose an order I love them all so much and the order changes with every moment!)
As one of my most highly anticipated books ( I have had the poster hanging on my bedroom wall since may after yallwest ) it’s amazing to know that I WAS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING DISAPPOINTED. In fact, even with so much anticipation my heart strings were tugged on, and I was a bundle of feels when reading this. This collection also was such a quick and easy read yet so full of beautifully written gems that I plan to read OVER AND OVER and when the book is published (January 2nd 2018- SAVE THE DATE) don’t forget to check it out! You won’t regret it!
Cover: ★★★★★// AND THE PINS ARE EVEN MORE ADORABLE
"You're dimly aware, that you're making him up in your mind even as he's sitting here, like you're writing yourself into a story."
"Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe for as long as you're in here, you can both be whoever you want."
"He couldn't take a decent picture of something without falling in love with it, at least a little."
"the world wasn't supposed to be in the hands of just one person."
"We love so early here. And it feels like there isn't enough time to do all the things I want to do before I have to do the things I'm supposed to do."
"Some people you want to get to know and some people you want to know you."
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.