Down the TBR Hole #11

Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story! The point of it is to help cull your reading lists down, or maybe push higher anticipated releases up on your TBR! And maybe you all can help me along the way, and tell me if you’ve loved or hated any of these!


How it works:
➽ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
➽ Order on ascending date added.
➽ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
➽ Read the synopses of the books
➽ Decide: keep it or should it go?


Oh my gosh, this post took me back to a bookstore closing and me, being happy, buying some books super cheap, but also being so sad, because a local bookstore was closing! The rest? The books I’ve been meaning to read forever! And these six have all been on my TBR since mid 2016!

The Six Books:

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne
Petrik and Eon never lead me astray, and this is one of their favorite series of all time! I know I’m going to love, I just need more time, friends! Soon, I promise, soon!
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes) by Laurie R. King
This is another Winx recommendation! Especially because they are the biggest Sherlock fan, and rave about this particular book a lot! I really think I’m going to love this one.
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Okay, I bought this one a couple years ago when Hastings was going out of business, so I got this really cheap! But everyone I know who has read this says it is one of the scariest things they’ve ever read! Maybe I should read it in October! Would anyone want to buddy read it? I’m a big baby, fair warning!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Food Wars!, Vol. 2 by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki & Yuki Morisaki
I loved volume one of this so much, I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to this next installment yet! Seriously, I love this world and these characters! I need more!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Sorcery & Cecelia (Cecelia & Kate #1) by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
This came out the year I was born, and I think one year for the PopSugar Challenge, one of the things were “read a book the year you were born” so I picked this! Hahaha! Let me know if you all have read and enjoyed this one, though!
Verdict: Delete ❌

The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye
Oh my gosh, I bought this for clearance at that same Hastings going out of business sale! I actually have heard amazing things about this one, and I’m supposed to buddy read it with Paloma, who makes everything better!
Verdict: Keep ✅


Okay, friends, these are the next oldest six books I have on my TBR! Let me know if you love, hate, and/or recommend me to read or trash any of these books! Thank you all so much, and I hope whatever you’re currently reading is five star worthy! 💛✨

Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch | Bloglovin’

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

ARC provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

“I never believed in fate until you”

Fight or Flight is an enemies to lovers romance starring two people who met during a layover in an airport under the worst of circumstances. I’ve read a few books by Samantha Young and I’ve enjoyed every one, including this one, but this one had a few aspects that really did have me side-eyeing. But overall, I did think this was a fun and fast read!

Ava Breevort – Interior designer. Boston local. Grieving the loss of someone who used to mean a lot to her and is currently trying to fly back to Boston after attending a funeral.

Caleb Scott – CFO for an up and coming tech company. Visiting from Scotland. And currently at the airport and realizing that he is going to be stuck in the US for longer than he anticipated.

And I said this was an enemies to lovers story, so they obviously hate each other… at first. But they soon realize that the only way for them to stop thinking about each other is to get whatever it is out of their system. But only for one night. But after that one night, they realize that it might not be enough. Yet, both of these characters have built such walls around their hearts because of things that happened to them in their pasts. Plus, Caleb is stuck in Boston for a little longer. And he gets to see Ava for who she really is, and he gets to slowly meet the found family she has created for herself. This is really a story about fate and how sometimes unexpected things can really completely change the outcome of lives; for the better and for the worse.

“You win when you realize that anyone can hurt you, even those you never expect it from. Once you know that … you’ll never be knocked off your feet long enough to lose.”

This book was completely addicting, and I never wanted to put it down. Ever. No matter how infuriated I got at some of the things Caleb did and some of his gross actions. But I couldn’t write this review without talking about some of the gross things he did in this book. First off, during a sex scene, Ava realizes that he doesn’t have a condom on, and after asking him to go put one on, he kind of hesitates and goes for another stroke and…. *throws up forever* I can’t, friends, I really can’t. Next, he totally villainizes a woman for having an abortion. Like, there are a lot of aspects you could villainize this woman for; lying, using him, whatever really, but villainizing her for having an abortion just makes me sick to me stomach to read. Nothing, and I truly mean nothing, gives him a say in what any woman does with her body, ever. And lastly, this book is for sure an enemies to lovers storyline, but Caleb says some really horrible things to Ava about her appearance and judging her because of it. And I get it, sometimes we all have stereotypical thoughts about people at times, but Caleb turns it into “you don’t have power over me just because you look good” type of shit. And I’ve personally had dudes act like that to me before, and you know where they are? In the fucking trash where they belong. Like, no. It’s unacceptable, especially for the length that Caleb continued to judge Ava.

And I’m not going to say that Ava was my favorite protagonist of all-time or anything, but I really did love reading about her for many reasons. First off, she is successful and did it all on her own, with really shitty parental figures that didn’t do anything to help her. Next, she is just caring and reaches out to help others around her. Her and Harper’s friendship was probably my favorite aspect of the entire book. Lastly, I get that Ava is that typical blonde heroine, that’s skinny but has big boobs, but the author kind of has a unique spin on it, because Ava brings up how everything is always sexualized because of her bigger chest. And, I know this seems so small in comparison to everything else that needs representing in the world, but I used to really struggle with this growing up. My mom would always make me feel terrible, even just wearing a v-neck t-shirt. But, friends, I moved away from home and realized that was entirely her (and society’s) problem, not me or my genetics that I have no control over. Basically what I’m trying to say is that Caleb makes some questionable choices in this book, but Ava really is the shining star of it.

Overall, I really never wanted to put this down. I felt completely immersed and captivated while flipping the pages every time I opened this book up. And I can’t wait to see what Samantha Young does next, because she really set up a lot of characters to have side books. Seriously, I’ll commit a minor felony for a Harper book. And I know I sound a little negative in this review, but I just didn’t want to make light of anything. But I did enjoy this story, and I think a lot of people are going to completely love this book upon release.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | Wishlist

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and trigger warnings for a lot of gross judgmental comments that rubbed me the completely wrong way, severe parental abuse, attempted sexual assault, physical abuse, domestic violence, cheating (in the past & not between the MCs), talk of miscarrying, talk of abortion, a brief and gross unprotected sex scene, slut shaming, loss of a loved one, and a lot of toxic masculinity.

Buddy Read with Lilly, Amy, & Leigh! ❤

❤ I also read this for Contemporary-a-thon!

Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire, #1) by Grace Draven

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

ARC provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

“Witch-fire the villagers named it. An ancient magic woven into the flesh and fabric of a single girl child born each generation in Beroe. No one knew from whence it originated or why only one woman from every generation in a small village inherited it, but the village elders had kept its secret close and had deceived the Empire for decades.”

When Berkley offered me this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the author wrote a book that many of my friends love, Radiance, but that’s honestly all I really knew. But friends, I was completely enthralled and captivated by this from page one. I never wanted to put this down, I fell so in love with the romance in this book, and this is one of my new favorite fantasy romances of all time. And I immediately added , Radiance to my TBR!

I will say that the world in this book is very dark, so please use caution while reading. Content and trigger warnings for rape (brief, but at the very start of the book), attempted rape, threats of rape, assault, slavery, captivity, death, murder, torture, gore, violence, sacrificial ritual, blood depiction, self-harm, misogynistic comments, sexual content and war themes.

“Be still. Be silent. Some lust for beauty, others for fear. Don’t show them yours.”

But in this world, every year the surrounding villages are forced to give the empire girls to be given to the gladiators for the night, to only be burned at a pyre come morning. And if a village refuses to give up a girl, they will be made an example of. The empire is the farthest thing from forgiving, and both our main characters witness this first hand.

Gilene – Fire witch who has been the sacrificial girl for her village for the last four years, using her magic to disguises herself as a new girl. Even though she has to endure the torture of the night, she is able to walk free from the fire every year, without anyone noticing. Well, she didn’t think anyone could notice.

“Surely, he couldn’t recognize her. She’d returned to the capital time and again with a different face. Her skills with illusion were as refined as they were with fire. The slavers never knew they brought the same woman from Beroe to Kraelag year after year.”

Azarion – The prime gladiator of the empire for the last ten years. He is a slave, and forced to fight in the arena, yet it also constantly gains him the attention of the Empress who does terrible things to him, in and out of her bed. Yet, when the girls to be sacrificed come in, and he has first pick, he sees a girl that he knows has been there before. And she might be his only chance at freedom.

And the two of their paths come together, and they are both harboring secrets that will change the outcome of the other’s world. Friends, I fell so hard and so fast for this romance. Let me for sure preface the rest of the review with that I am aware there is a very big power imbalance between Gilene and Azarion, since he does force her to help him more than what she agreed to. She is forced to be his captive for about half of this book, but it never feels like a stockholm syndrome type of storyline, at least not to me. And even though this is a dark book with a bit of a power imbalance, the author puts a huge emphasis on consent. And even when Azarion is using his privilege over Gilene, it is always and constantly challenged.

“I will conquer all of the Empire to bring you back.”

(Beautiful fanart by Melanie Bourgeois!) ❤

I think this book always has a really thought-provoking message about living your life for you, and not living your life for the expectations that your family places upon you. Duty is a huge theme in this book, and Gilene and Azarion both become aware that they are so much more than what they are expected to do, and that they both deserve happiness. And I loved watching them both come together, both willing to sacrifice it all for their homes, to both realize that they are worthy of love; not just glory.

And even though this is the start of a series, I really appreciated that the author really made this feel like a complete book. There is no terrible cliffhanger (even though the twists and turns are abundant), there is no unnecessary angst, there are no scenes that feel like filler. Yet, you are left wanting to read a hundred more books set in this world. Seriously, I’m here and ready for a book about a certain healer, a certain witch who can speak to the dead, and a certain f/f side romance that had me swooning. Like, all three (or four) books now, please! I’m begging!

Overall, I really loved this. The worldbuilding is fantastic, the writing is lush and beautiful, and the characters are phenomenal. I feel like it is so hard to find a good fantasy romance these days. Yes, there are a ton of good fantasy with swoon-worthy romances, and my heart will always love the PNR genre more than words, but I always have found it difficult to find a lot of actual fantasy romances. Honestly, the only other one that I love that comes to mind is The Bird and the Sword. Like, I hope 2019 is the year that we just get a ton of books that beautiful blend romance and fantasy the way that Phoenix Unbound has done, because I need more. I can’t wait to see what Grace Draven does next in this world.


Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch| Wishlist

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills! ❤

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

(My amazing friend Courtney, at Curly Book Owl, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖

“…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.”

Shadow of the Fox is a bright, shining light in 2018 fantasy! Friends, I loved this from the very first chapter, and was more captivated than I have been reading any other book this year. Like, go into any bookstore, read the first chapters of this book, and I dare you not to want to immediately buy it. Goosebumps. Tears. Perfection. Those are the three words that come to mind, and I just continued to fall even more in love with this story as it progressed.

This is an ownvoices Japanese inspired fantasy about three people who come from very different backgrounds, but their stories get interwoven regardless of what they wanted. And they are forced to work together, while a demon army is set to destroy everything.

Suki – Her chapters are sprinkled throughout the book, even though I completely believe she is going to play a much bigger role in the upcoming books. Her father is a flute maker who sent her away to become a royal maid so that she could live a good life. Sadly, she now works for one of the cruelest women in all of literature.

“It was raining the day Suki came to the Palace of the Sun, and it was raining the night that she died.”

Yumeko – Half kitsune who is very good at illusions! She has lived her entire life with monks in the Silent Winds temple. But her home soon comes under attack by demons, and she is the only hope to save the world, by safely bringing part of an ancient scroll to another hidden temple.

“In this vision, I have seen blood and flames and death, demons shrieking and rivers of bones, and the world grows dark with fear. But a single fox stands above it all, untouched, a great dragon cast in her shadow. Her name is Yumeko, child of dreams, for she is our hope against the coming darkness.”

Kage – Samurai of the Shadow Clan, and one of the deadliest warriors and demon slayers ever, even though he is very young. He wields a blade, Hakaimono, that gives him even more power but is constantly testing his willpower. He has been sent on a mission to retrieve that ancient scroll, but instead finds Yumeko and promises to get her to the hidden temple. Little does he know, this little kitsune is holding what he’s after the entire time.

“I am a weapon in the hands of the Kage. My life exists only to be the bearer of Kamigoroshi and to obey the orders of the Shadow Clan.”

And when the scroll is combined together to be whole again, a dragon will rise and the person that summons it will be have any wish they desire granted, as long as their heart and soul are pure and good. If not, well, things are going to get real messy. But needless to say, many people are after these pieces of the scroll so that they can combine them to have their wish granted. And remember, a demon army is trying to end the world, so some people really need their wishes to come true. You know, for the sake of humanity.

One of my favorite things in all of literature is reading about a group of people traveling from place to place, performing smaller quests, while trying to get to their final destination. And friends, that is what Shadow of the Fox is. I fell in love with every new town and every new adventure that Yumeko and Kage experienced together. I loved seeing so much Japanese folklore and mythology celebrated and woven into each town and adventure, too! Seriously, Julie Kagawa blessed us so much with this book! And I loved the few friends and companions that Kage and Yumeko unexpectedly met along the way.

At the heart of this book, is always friendship. And how kindness and unconditional love are two of the most powerful forces in any world. Yumeko and Kage’s dynamic is one so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it. And this is the start of an extremely slow burn romance, but I’m so here for it, you all! They completely stole my heart and captivated me for all 400 pages of this story.

This book also holds a very heavy message about how we always have a choice to do right. No matter what we’ve done in our past, and no matter the sins of our family, we have our own choice to do good or to start doing good. And how sometimes a little kindness can completely change everything. And how it’s never too late to right your wrongs, apologize, and forgive. Hate is a very heavy thing to carry, but so is revenge.

“It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don’t do a great job of it.”

Overall, Julie Kagawa gave me the (ownvoices) Japanese fantasy I’ve been searching my entire life for. I fell so deeply in love with this story, with Julie’s beautiful prose, with these characters, and with all the important messages that were so seamlessly woven in. This will for sure be on my best of 2018 list come December, and the next book for sure is now one of my most anticipated releases for 2019.

Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch | Bloglovin’ | Wishlist

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and trigger warnings for graphic violence, graphic murder, graphic death, loss of a loved one, physical abuse, threat of rape, talk of suicide, and war themes.

Buddy read with May at Forever and Everly & Jen at Pinot and Pages! ❤

🦊❤ Submit your proof of preorder purchase by October 1st HERE to receive a Shadow of the Fox magnetic bookmark, button and a personalized bookplate from Julie Kagawa. (US and Canada (excluding Quebec) only, I’m sorry!)

Top Ten Tuesday | Fall 2018 Releases That I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Okay, so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a two part blog post! This week I’m going to talk about all the upcoming releases that I’m excited for and that I haven’t read yet! Next week, I’m going to talk about all the fall releases that I’ve already read, loved, and reviewed! And, like, half that list is made up of October 2nd releases, I swear! But here are the ten books that I’m hoping to get to this autumn season! 🍂🍁🎃

 

➽ Vengeful (The Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab
September 25th, 2018 by Tor
Okay, but why haven’t I read Vicious yet? Seriously, someone make me before this drops.

➽ The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black
October 2nd, 2018 by NOVL
Wild horses couldn’t keep me away from this one, friends. I will be reading this at midnight and I’m probably going to post my review on the 3rd! So be on the lookout! Also, I predict this is completely going to change the series and make me feel every single emotion under the sun.

➽ Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
October 23rd, 2018 by Bloomsbury 
I mean, this is going to be on almost everyone’s lists. I won’t lie, I’m not the biggest fan of this series, even though I really did enjoy Tower of Dawn, but I can’t resist finding out how it all ends.

➽ The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta
October 30th, 2018 by Viking
Amy Rose Capetta wrote one of my favorite reads of 2017, Echo After Echo, and this is an Italian inspired fantasy, starring gender queer characters, and one has the ability to turn people into music boxes? Like, take all my money, please. Also, I was able to trade for an ARC of this, so expect a full on gush review soon, I’m guessing!

➽ Salt by Hannah Moskowitz
October 30th, 2018 by Chronicle Books
This will be my first book by this author, but I love her Twitter presence so much that I couldn’t resist requesting an ARC of this one! And I can’t wait to read it! Oh, and I believe this has sea monsters! Hype!

➽ Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
November 6th, 2018 by HMH Books
All I want in my life is ownvoices Asian inspired fantasy, so here we are! And one of my very best friends told me that this reads and feels like you’re stepping into a Japanese fairy tale, and I’m so ready for it! And I actually have an ARC of this one, too!

➽ Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
November 6th, 2018 by Delacorte Press
I was lucky enough to be able to read the sampler for this, and I am so damn excited for the full-length story this fall! You all can also read an excerpt HERE! But I am so ready to to watch Spensa follow her heart and fulfill her dreams of becoming an out of this world pilot!

➽ Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend
November 13th, 2018 by Little, Brown
(But I do believe this comes out earlier for the UK!) I completely fell in love with Nevermoor earlier this year! It was easily one of the best middle grades I’ve ever read, and I cannot wait to see what comes next! I’m counting down the days!

➽ Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
November 13th, 2018 by Orbit
This is an ownvoice Mughal-Indian inspired fantasy debut! And all of my friends that have already read this, tell me that I’m going to completely adore the main character of this one! I think this is going to be a really unique story that is really rich with history and folklore and I’m so ready for it!

➽ Fire & Blood (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin
November 20th, 2018 by Bantam
You all know I’m trash for this world. Don’t pretend to be surprised by this pick. I’m weak, okay? But I’m also really excited for anything that is more House Targaryen!

Okay, loves! That’s the ten! Let me know what book you’re most looking forward to release this Autumn! And be on the lookout for the ten releases I’ve already read, loved, and reviewed next week! Happy reading! 🎃🍂🍁

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch| Wishlist

 

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

ARC given to me by a confirmed angel, Lilly at Lair of Books!

“You might get to know characters in books, Ollie thought, but getting to know a human was an entirely different thing.”

Small Spaces is Katherine Arden’s debut middle grade novel and I loved it so very much friends. Many of you know that The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my favorite books of all-time, and even though these stories are nothing like one another, the beautiful writing, amazing characters, and important themes shine through. I went into this expecting a fun and spooky read (which it was), but what I also got was such a beautiful love letter to grief, depression, and trying to live in a world that has taken away someone who you feel you cannot live without.

In a small town in Vermont, our main character is riding her bike home from school one fall afternoon, when she notices a woman attempting to throw an old book in the water. Ollie, being the book lover that she is, feels obliged to stop and see what’s going on.

Olivia Adler – But she mostly goes by Ollie. A twelve-year-old, sixth grader, who loves to read and is trying to live her life while grieving a terrible loss. And the only way she truly knows how to cope is the escapism of books. (Also, there is a brief mention of her mom having brown skin, but I am not 100% sure of Ollie’s race.)

Coco Zintner – The tiniest child in Ollie’s class. She has a somewhat famous mother and has recently moved to the school. But her innocence and eccentricities constantly make her a target for bullying.

Brian Battersby – Jamaican and your typical middle school jock, who Ollie has known her entire life. And Ollie learns very quickly that you should not stereotype people, because they might surprise you.

And their paths truly cross unexpectedly once Olivia begins to read the book that was almost abandoned. She learns of a farm, and a girl, and two brothers, and a missing persons case that was never solved. And now Ollie and her friends are going on a field trip to a farm that is very reminiscent of the story she has been reading about.

And yes, friends, this is a spooky book. I mean, it’s nothing too scary or too much, but Katherine Arden for sure paints an eerie atmosphere and some extremely creepy monster like characters. And I truly think this will make the perfect Halloween read this year, for so many ages, but this book was also so much more than that.

This is a book about healing and friendship and learning to let go while simultaneously never letting go. This book is about escapism through books and how books carry some of the most powerful healing magic imaginable. And this is a book about healing at your own pace and in your own time.

“Maybe, she kept thinking, when she came back from one of those other worlds, when she woke up from book dreaming, she would come back to a world where […] wasn’t dead.”

Ollie is really dealing with some very serious depression and grief throughout this book. Like how we give up things that make us happy, just because those things remind you of the person who made you happiest. How sometimes the world feels too heavy, too loud, too empty, all because it’s missing someone who was your entire world. Yet, this is also a love letter to how the ones we lose will never truly be lost; they will always remain with us. Always.

Overall, I loved this book more than words. I wasn’t expecting it to make me feel everything that it did, and when I closed the book it truly felt like a cathartic experience. I recommend this book to any and every person, but especially during the autumnal season. I read this in a single sitting, I never once wanted to put it down, and I fell so deeply in love with it.

Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch | Bloglovin’ | Wishlist

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and trigger warnings for minor bullying, loss of a loved one, grief depiction, and depression depiction.

 

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

1.) City of Bones ★★★
2.) City of Ashes ★★
3.) City of Glass ★★★
1.) Clockwork Angel ★★★

“Why is it, little Shadowhunter, that your angels are so cold and without mercy? Why do they break that which will not obey them?”

Okay, I’m going to start this review off by saying that I am reading this for the first time in 2018. I know this is almost a decade old. And I know so many of my friends hold this series close to their hearts and have a lot of nostalgia for it. But friends, this was a damn mess. Easily the worst book I’ve read from Cassandra Clare, and the themes were hella harmful and disgusting to read.

So, I’m not going to say any major spoilers, but this review is going to talk about my thoughts and feelings, which will talk about some things that have already happened in the story, and themes that have happened in this book. So, please use caution while reading this review if you are not up to date with this series.

Okay, I don’t really know how to do this review. And I’ll be honest, I’m a little scared because I know how beloved this series is. But these are the five things really made me dislike this book:

ONE: What have I complained about in every TMI book so far? Jace. I mean, I guess this book made the most sense on why he was acting the way he was, so I’ll cut him a little slack. But the dude wants to be Clary’s brother so bad, and just wants to live in pain so desperately, that it makes for a really unenjoyable reading experience.

TWO: Alec’s behavior in this book killed me. I know most of my friends love this character, but I honestly have disliked him from the start. Not only was he shitty to Clary about something she couldn’t control, but now he’s going to be shitty about Magnus and his past? I mean, he’s like 800 years old, you expect him to be a virgin? I don’t understand. And if you all want to be like, “Well Alec is still young!” Then maybe he shouldn’t be dating someone that’s so much older and more experienced than him. I mean, he obviously can’t handle it. And I also feel like there were some “stereotypical gay dude” things in this, that made my skin crawl, honestly. And how he treated an abused person at the end of this book because he’s a petty little fuck? *throws up forever*

THREE: Cheating is not okay, even if you’re young, grieving, and learning what you want from a relationship. Simon is one of my favorite characters. If I was Clary, I would have easily wanted to be with him over Jace. But I’ll never be here to make excuses for people’s shitty actions. And Simon acted really shitty in this book. And not to be too much here, but who the fuck would cheat on Isabelle Lightwood anyway? Like, what a dumbass.

FOUR: Abuse apologists’ storylines need to be canceled, and they are never okay; not in 2018 and not back in 2010. And the fact that I’ve never even seen this mentioned makes me honestly sick to my stomach. Comparing Simon’s need to eat from blood will NEVER be the same as a freshly turned werewolf physically assaulting and turning someone they “care” about into a werewolf against their wishes. There should be no redemption arc here, ever. It’s disgusting and was honestly the biggest contributing factor as to why I hated this book.

FIVE: Like, nothing happened in this book until the last four chapters. And then the “twists” felt so over the top that I couldn’t even stop the side eye if I tried. Especially the closing like of this book. Lord, help me.

And, like with all my reviews of this series, I’m going to break down my thoughts briefly on each of the main characters:

Jace – Wants to live his life in pain and annoy me forever.

Clary – Such a bland character. Like, she is supposed to be the star, true? But she’s so forgettable.

Simon – My dude fucked up.

Isabelle – My queen. Deserves the entire universe and all the stars within it. Way too fucking good for Simon at this point.

Magnus – My king. Deserves the entire universe and all the stars within it. Way too fucking good for Alec at this point.

Alec – I honestly feel like I just disliked him more and more each book. When am I finally going to see this character that you all love so much?

Luke – Planning a wedding, therefore, not in this book as much. But I still love him.

Jocelyn – Planning a wedding, therefore, not in this book as much. She’s alright.

Maia – I wish, more than anything else in this series, that she would see her worth and realize that it’s okay to be alone and it’s okay to not accept an apology from your abuser.

Jordan – The scum of this book. I have so much hatred in my heart for him. I’m going to buy Maia a “dump him” shirt. Boy, bye.

Seelie Queen – Still one of my favorites, but Clary still playing with fire. I’m hyped.

Camille – I liked her in TID and I liked her in this one. Give me all the morally grey characters, please. Especially one that gets under Alec’s skin so much.

Lilith – Like, this book was dark as fuck. All the stuff with the babies? I was honestly feeling disturbed. But she was a pretty good villain, if I’m being honest. Just a little too over the top.

Overall, I hope this is the only book I’ll give one star to in the Shadowhunter world. And I’ll be really honest, I am really starting to regret that I didn’t just start my Cassie Clare experience with Lady Midnight, because I’m truly thinking that these books don’t hold up well while I read them as an adult in 2018. I feel like this fanbase is really fueled by nostalgia and not actual substance, because this book was honestly awful. But I’m so ready to dip back into TID with Clockwork Prince! Wish me luck.

Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch | Bloglovin’ | Wishlist

Content and trigger warnings for medical experimentation, a lot of talk of children’s deaths, a lot of blood depiction, misogynistic comments, death, murder, cheating, abandonment, self-harm, talk of suicide, and war themes.