Sunday, August 2, 2015

Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass

Throne of Glass #2
Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Assassins
Publication.Date:August 27, 2013
Pages:448 (paperback)
Published By:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Website:Sarah J. Maas 

Crown of Midnight on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

Celaena Sardothien is the king's Champion—yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena's world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

An action-packed and romantic adventure that readers “will never want to leave” (Kirkus Reviews), the next chapter in this smash hit New York Times best-selling series is sure to please Sarah Maas's enormous and ever-growing fan-base–and to set the stage for an explosive third book.


"I'd like to debrief you."

"Aren't you at least going to take me out to dinner first?" His eyes narrowed, and she gave him a pout.
"Dance with me, Celaena," he said again, his voice rough.

When her eyes found his, she forgot about the cold, and the moon, and the glass palace looming above them. The secret library and the king's plans and Mort and Elena faded into nothing. She took his hand, and there was only music and Chaol.
Every one of the restraits she'd locked into place after she'd rampaged through Endovier snapped free.

An icy, endless rage swept through her, wiping away everything except the plan that she could see with brutal clarity. The killing calm, Arobynn Hamel had once called it. Even he had never realized just how calm she could get when she went over the edge.

I don't remember the last time I have been so enraptured by a series. I first read Throne of Glass for our January TBR pile read along and LOVED it. Of course, it didn't hurt that I was also reading it in Aruba on my honeymoon, but that's neither here nor there. It took me a few weeks to pick up Crown of Midnight and I couldn't tell you why.

Crown of Midnight is simply an amazing follow up to Throne of Glass. I didn't think it would be possible to be more in love with a book, but consider me wrong. Sarah takes this world she has already so wonderfully crafted and delves deeper into its secrets.

Now that she has secured herself as The King's Assassin, Celaena must play by the rules to stay out of prison and keep those she loves out of harms way. But let's face it, this is Celaena Sardothien we're talking about! This chick is bad ass and plays by no ones rules but her own.

I don't want to say the first half of the book is "slow," because it's not. It's simply not as action packed as the later half. Celaena still kicks ass, banters with Chaol and Dorian, trains, and grows closer to Nehemia. I love seeing her interact with these people and form relationships that we would not have thought possible in the beginning of Throne of Glass. These characters all mean something to her and she means something to them. I don't know if I can pick a favorite among them, because they all add something different to the story and help shape the characters and their choices.

Each and every character, right down to Dorian's cousin Roland (a new character who makes minimal appearances), is fully formed. They come alive on these pages and move the plot along, even if it's something as simple as an off the cuff remark. Nothing is accidental, nothing is random. Sarah has meticulously planed each and every scene, each and every character, to play a pivotal role in her series.

Simply writing this review is enough to make me wish I had my copy of Heir of Fire on hand. I just want need to wrap myself up in a blanket of the Throne of Glass series and not come out until I find out what happens after that ending!


Friday, July 31, 2015

Bookish Lifestyle Digest: July 2014

Hello lovelies! Welcome to Bookish Lifestyle Digest - something we'll be putting together at the end of every month to highlight our recent favorite reads and recap any posts you may have missed. We also include an About My Life section in an effort for you to get to know us better. Don't forget to tell us in the comments some things that happened to you over the past month so we can get to know you guys better too!

Updates for 2015 TBR Pile Challenge:

    Every week, starting Friday and ending Sunday night, you can pop over to Bookish Lifestyle to link up your blog posts for the week. Please feel free to link up your bookish posts (book reviews, guest posts, author interviews - but please, no memes and mailbox posts, there are many separate linkys for that already!), lifestyle posts (product reviews, parenting tips, travel posts, personal posts - anything!) and giveaways (both bookish and lifestyle!) - we want to see what cool stuff you've shared with the world recently! Be sure to check out some other links while you're here - let's get social!


        Illuminae Files
        Adult, Horror, Urban Fantasy
        Website:Amie Kaufman | Jay Kristoff

        To be posted soon
        This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

        This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

        The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

        But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

        Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

        Book Reviews

        Product Reviews
        Eye Candy Los Angeles
        Studio Oh! Stationery and Mug
        Stunning statement jewelry pieces from Honeystore

        oBo Creations
        Bibit-All from Kiddologic 
        Mayberry Konjac Facial Sponge
        Mulberry Teething Bracelet Review
        Boho/Vintage style hair pins and porcelain bead bracelet
        We Love Eyes Tea Tree Makeup Remover Oil and Tea Tree Eye

        Discussion Posts
        Reviews from a Bookworm
        Growing Up With a Pet - Victoria & Wilson
        Take a #HomeRoadTrip with us this 4th of July weekend!
        How To Get Free Books via Blog Tour and Review Programs
        4th of July #HomeRoadTrip to Niagara Falls - Recap with pictures!

        About My Life in July
        I launched my Society 6 store where I will be adding new bookish designs daily. They will be available in a variety of formats, including but not limited to, prints, pillows, iPod/iPad/iPod cases, shower curtains, tote bags, mugs etc. I'm very excited for this!!!

        Our car broke down. Yup, just yesterday. And on a day when Tori got sick for the very first time ever. We had to run to the clinic (like 2 miles). Turned out it's just a virus, nothing serious, but she gave me a bad scare. Oh, and the car is still dead.

        I cut my own hair. Don't ask. 


        Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
        Website:Morgan Matson 

        To be posted October 11
        Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

        Book Reviews
        Mine Now
        Hype It Up!
        Fellow Book Nerds

        Author / Book Promotion
        The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry {Guest Post}

        About My Life in July
        My brother moved back home! The company that hired him a while back completely lied about everything. Like, I've had companies may fib a bit in the interview, but everything they told him was a bold. Faced. Lie. And they went back on promises they had made him with the infamous "Yeah, we may have said that, but . . ." So he peaced out of there and came home! I'm so proud of him for trying something new and having the strength to realize it wasn't what he wanted / the right fit for him and doing something about it.

        Wedding month! Okay, maybe two weddings doesn't count as a "wedding month," but they were both a lot of fun. One of them was for very good friends of ours so that was a good time all around! Though the next day was a bit rough.

        My mom, sister, and I saw Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. I am a huge fan of musicals and once I knew Cinderella was coming to down, I knew I had to see it. Everything was simply amazing - the singing, the costumes, the set, the story. They revamped it a bit, but still stuck to the original source material, and I loved the "fresh take" on it. Definitely read to see it again!


        Starcrossed #1
        Young Adult, Mythology
        Website:Josephine Angelini 

        Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

        As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

        About My Life in July
        Busy planning Mermaid & Myth Month!!  This is basically my favorite event month of all time.  I LOVE everything about it and can't wait to share great reviews, interviews and giveaways with you all <3

        Got the first Sea-Doo ride in of the year.  Okay so it's the boyfriend's toy but it is the first time in years that I have gotten on one.  I have to say I missed it.  I am so at home on the water and driving one of those things is kind of freeing.

        Gaining speed with reading again.  I was able to pick up on my reading habits again this month and my reviews are coming easier too.  This is great and exciting news :)  I have found my groove and my love of blogging again.


        The Raven Cycle #1
        Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
        Website:Maggie Stiefvater 

        To be posted in August
        “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

        It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

        Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

        His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

        But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

        For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

        From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

        Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley {5/5}

         Shy July {Musical Musings}
        Favorite Musical Artists (Part 1) {Musical Musings}
        Allison Rushby  {Indie Author Spotlight}

        About My Life in July
        I met Mary Pearson! She was in Austin for the release of The Heart of Betrayal, and I went to the event and it was so fun! A few of my bookish friends were there, which is always nice, and Mary was lovely. I still need to read both The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal, but after hearing all the talk about it, I'm super excited to do so!

        Round 2 of #OTSPSecretSister, and Round 3 pairs went out. The Sis sending to me, Sara, was so nice and awesome. I'm going to miss her notes and packages! But I'm especially going to miss sending to my Sister (who should know who I am tomorrow when my last package is delivered to her). She was so fun to send to. I'm looking forward to being friends with her once she knows who I am, though! And for Round 3, I am SO PUMPED. My match has a wishlist full of things I adore, so I'm excited to send her some books, and I've got loads of ideas for other little things she'll hopefully like. This is going to be so fun!

        I am now obsessed with The Raven Cycle. I was super excited when The Raven Boys was the poll winner for July's read along, and now I'm just really, really grateful. I've had so much fun reading it this month, and I cannot wait to start book 2 (I'm probably digging in right now as this is posting). It feels like it's been forever since I found a YA paranormal that I enjoyed so much. I just really love this feeling right now!

        Val and I did an entire month for JLA! I'd thrown the idea out in a conversation with Val (my co-blogger over at Stuck in Books) months ago---like, lots of months ago... like, second half of 2014 months ago---and it's crazy to think that the idea turned into a thing that happened. And now it's over. But it was so fun to do, and I honestly adore Jennifer L. Armentrout. Her books make me happy. (And I now have Every Last Breath, which I am looking forward to diving into this month!)



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        Tell us - what went on in your month?! What were some of your favorite books this month? Favorite posts from either your blog or others? What are some new (or old) and noteworthy things we should know about? Be sure to leave a link!

        Vote for September's TBR Pile Read-a-Long Read!

        Read Along with us in September!

        We need you to help us choose our TBR Pile Read Along book!

        Reading books together makes for a great motivation to tackle our dusty TBR Piles! And this time, we're all about choosing the books together. We invite you to vote on a book you'd like to read most in July! (Covers link to Goodreads so you may read each synopsis!)

        The voting poll will be open until August 12 and we'll announce the September read along, along with the discussion schedule, on August 14.

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        The Bookish Team will host two discussion posts, where we'll talk about the plot, favorite/least favorite moments and characters, and share memorable quotes! By joining in the read-a-long, you'll earn yourself extra points for July's giveaway.

        And remember, it's never too late to sign up for the 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge and/or join our monthly read-a-longs - just click the button below to sign up.
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