October 2018 Wrap Up

OctoberWrapUpHappy Halloween, friends! I hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday! And remember: Don’t eat or drink anything from Faerie! Yeah, I am going as Cardan from The Cruel Prince this year, because I’m extra but also like to stay on brand!  🍏

October was a bit of a rough month for me reading wise. I DNFed two books, and read sixteen others, but I truly only loved a small few of the things I picked up this month! And, sadly, the first thing I read ended up being the best thing I read all month! But I am hoping that November is much better reading wise for me! 🧡🍂

Other October Things…
✨ #FridayFrightAThon is over and it was such a success! Thank you to everyone who read along with us. It means the world to me! I hope to do it again next year!

✨ I did five spooky recommendations: WitchesGhostsDemonsShifters, and Vampires!

✨ Worlds 2018 for League of Legends is WILD this year. And, I’ll be honest, me staying up too late and watching it (because it is in Korea this year) has really impacted my reading. But it is so worth it! #IGWIN ❤

But on to what I read in October…
(Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.)

The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black – ★★★★★

“His hair was bright in the moonlight, his face as handsome as heartbreak.”

No one weaves words and magic like Holly Black. No one. And I don’t even have words to express how amazing it feels to be back in this world. Not only did it make me appreciate The Cruel Prince more, it also made me emotional because of all the foreshadowing for The Wicked King. This is a pivotal short story that completely immersed me, captivated me, and reinforced that this is my favorite series of all-time.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins ReidDNF @ 22%

“I love you as much as I’m willing to love anybody.”

I can’t believe I’m DNFing a Taylor Jenkins Reid book. She wrote one of my favorites books of all time, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, that means more to me than I have words to even begin to express. But this? This was just boring, and crude, and told in such a bad format. It’s like mini interviews if you will, where multiple people are talking, but it was impossible for me to ever be immersed.

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill – ★★★★

“But there’s no home without a future…”

Aquicorn Cove stars a young girl named Lana, and she and her father come to visit her Auntie Mae on her little island. Lana is grieving the loss of her mother, but feels happier in her hometown, before Lana was forced to move to the city with her father. And the village is rebuilding after a disaster has struck. But Lana is more than happy to help. But when she goes to the water, she finds a little seahorse-like friend, who is in need of her help!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★★

“You are the blade of Heaven. Make sure you are worthy.”

Friends, we did it, we read all of the The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. I’d like to take a moment and thank each and every one of you who motivated me to read this backlist instead of just jumping into The Dark Artifices. Seriously, I am so grateful because even though the road started off rocky, I quickly became so attached and fell so in love with these characters and this world. (But we don’t talk about City of Fallen Angels, that book never existed!)

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab – ★★★

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Friends, this is my fifth book by VE Schwab, and I’ve three starred every single one of them. At this point, it is glaringly obvious that you should take my review(s) of her work with a grain of salt, because it is obviously a “me” thing. I will say that I adore the author, and I want so desperately to fall in love with a book of hers. And even though I thought Vicious would be the one, it sadly wasn’t.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – ★★★★

“Nothing ever truly faded. Time only dulled the edges.”

This is a story about two sisters who are still grieving from a harrowing, unspeakable, horrible event that happened to them twenty-eight years ago. The book starts out with a flashback chapter, where we quickly learn that a home invasion is happening, because the girls’ father is a very liberal lawyer in a very conservative and small town.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – ★★★

“Some stories don’t have happy endings. Even love stories. Maybe especially love stories.”

This is a heartbreaking, historical fiction, WWII story that stars two sisters living in France, when the Germans take over in 1939. But we get to see present day glimpses from 1995, that star an older woman thinking about her life and all the harrowing events that she was forced to live through before immigrating to The United States. But it really develops this complex guessing game where you are not sure which sister is this present-day narrator.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes GowarDNF @ Page 149/496

“Its appearance is unbeautiful. It is not what people expect of a mermaid.”

Friends, life is just too short to read books that feel like a chore. On top of racist comments, use of slurs for Romani people, questionable antisemitic speech, slut shaming, and other gross things because of “historical accuracy!” Miss me with all that, please. And the last chapter I finished (14) literally had a questionable orgy going on so that men could fulfill their fantasy of having sex with mermaids. Life is too short, friends. Way too short.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – ★★★★★

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

Best reread ever! RTC very soon! But… now I just want to reread all my favorites!

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare – ★★★

“…For one Herondale to be saved by love, and another Herondale dammed by it.”

I clutched my pearls so very tightly when I found out that there was an anthology that starred Magnus, my favorite character in all of Cassie Clare’s works. Magnus is the bisexual, Asian, warlock of my dreams, and I love him with every bone in my body. I truly believe he is one of the best characters in all of literature.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware – ★★

“Never believe your own lies…”

This was my first Ruth Ware book, but sadly it wasn’t a hit with me. But looking at my friend’s reviews, I do think I might be in the minority with my feelings. I will say that the atmosphere was eerie and perfect. I will also say that the writing and prose was beautiful. But I’m not someone who reads a lot of thrillers or mysteries, but even I could see all the reveals in this one coming a mile away.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★

“I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls…”

Do you ever read a book and know that you’re reading it at the exact moment in your life when you needed to read it? Because that is me with One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I know a three star rating doesn’t seem that high, but the message of this book spoke louder to me than maybe any other book this year. The universe really lined up for me with this one.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 01 by Miki Yoshikawa – ★★
This started out so much better than it ended. But then the gratuitous fan service and the glossed over sexual assault and disrespect of other people’s bodies just completely ruined this one for me. Which is really sad, because I loved the concept!

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare – ★★★

“This is how a faerie loves: with a gift.”

With the way that City of Heavenly Fire ended, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy! I thought this was going to be everything, but sadly I was a little let down. I mean, a few of the stories in here are the best I’ve read from this universe ( Bitter of Tongue & Born to Endless Night) but most just felt boring to me, if I’m being honest. I know that sounds horrible, but I just feel a little let down, I guess.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio – ★★★★★

“You can justify anything if you do it poetically enough.”

This book is so haunting, so atmospheric, so gripping, and so perfect. And If you, too, love The Secret History by Donna Tartt then I recommend this book with every single bone in my body. Also, this is such a love letter to Shakespeare and all his work, so if you appreciate that I think you’ll also fall so head over heels for this story. I’m honestly not sure what I expected going into If We Were Villains, but it is now one of my favorite books of all time.

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas – ★★★

“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…”

Here is the thing – if you have loved this series from the start, you are probably going to love this conclusion and be very happy upon turning that last page. I’ve had a rocky journey with Throne of Glass even before it became “cool” to dislike this series and even before the stans thought it would be “cooler” to ignore all the gross, problematic elements. I’ve just never loved this series. And I always feel like the characters I do end up liking from this world, get the bad end of the stick. And Kingdom of Ash was no different. And, in true Sarah J Maas fashion, the book was ungodly longer than it truly needed to be.

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean – ★★★★

“Silence is the cousin of invisibility.”

I loved this ownvoices Japanese fantasy so much! This is another review that I’m in the middle of, but I promise it will be up before the November 6th release! Don’t sleep on this one, loves!

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager – ★★★

“…Sometimes a lie is more than just a lie.”

I just finished this one! But a review should be up on November 2nd! I really was completely immersed with this story, and I actually loved the finale twists! I’m just not completely sold on the epilogue. But this was a really good book for the spooky season, and I’m so happy that I was able to read it with so many of my friends!

And I think that’s everything! Again, I hope you all have the happiest of Halloweens tonight, and please stay safe and warm! I’m actually leaving to go to California for a few days tomorrow, but I have lots of posts scheduled, I just might be a little late responding to all your amazing comments! Happy reading, friends! Stay spooky! 🎃🧡

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Want to Re-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!

🎃 Hello, loves! It is almost All Hallow’s Eve and I’m so excited! This week’s T10T topic is a freebie, but I figured I’d talk about something that has been on my mind, and in my heart, a lot lately! This year, I reread The Song of Achilles and Jane Eyre and I had such wonderful experiences revisiting this stories that I loved so long ago. It has completely put me in a reread mood, and I think I’m going to make one of my 2019 resolutions to actively try to reread more. I mean, there are so many beloved books out there that have literally helped shape the person I am today, and I’d love to reread some of them.


➽ Circe by Madeline Miller

Again, since I’ve reread The Song of Achilles I can’t stop thinking about Circe either.

➽ The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

It has been too long, and this is my favorite book of all-time.

➽ The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin

Best trilogy of all-time, and I’ve only read it once? A tragedy.

➽ Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

I always say this is one of my favorite books of all-time, but I feel like it has been so long, and I’ve only ever read it once! I really need to read this and see if I still feel the same.

➽ Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black

Consider this a sneak peak of my “Must Reread in 2019″ list!

➽ Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I’m very curious how I’d feel about this book upon a reread and upon me knowing (and hating) the ending so very much!

➽ The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

I honestly just want to constantly be rereading TRC 24/7!

➽ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m just curious if my thoughts would change on P&P, because it has been ten years since I’ve read this beloved book!

➽ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling

I reread Sorcerer’s Stone every time I’m feeling depressed, but I would love to actually reread all seven books, because it has been far too long!

➽ The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

I technically haven’t read this in 2018, and if I don’t read this in 2018 how can it make my best of 2018 list? So, soon, friends! Soon!

What book(s) do you want to reread? Seriously, I feel like my eyes have been opened and now I just want to reread everything! I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween tomorrow! Sending you all love and spooky vibes! Happy reading! 🧛

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October 2018 Book Haul

OctoberBookHaul

Hey, friends! Okay, so October was the book release month of 2018, apparently! Also, I was so very privileged and fortunate to receive so many amazing ARCs from publishers this month, too, which I am forever thankful for. And I for sure spent the last of my birthday money on Muse of Nightmares subscription boxes! (Yikes!) But I hope you all enjoy this (not so) little haul! 🎃🍂✨

 


PURCHASED BOOKS:


Small Spaces | Review: ★★★★★
Shadow of the Fox | Review: ★★★★★
Aquicorn Cove | Review: ★★★★
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy | Review: ★★★
The Bane Chronicles | Review: ★★★
Soulbinder
Six of Crows | Review: ★★★★
Strange Grace (That you, Taylor, I love you!) | Review: ★★★★★
Blanca y Roja | Review: ★★★★★
What If It’s Us | Review: ★★★★★
Sawkill Girls | Review: ★★★★
Sadie


Muse of Nightmares:


Muse of Nightmares | Review: ★★★★★


PURCHASED EBOOKS:

 

The Lost Sisters | Review: ★★★★★
Kingdom of Ash | Review: ★★★


PHYSICAL BOOKS FROM PUBLISHERS:


The Beasts Heart
Middlegame
Wicked Saints
Gates of Stone
The Matchmaker’s List
Once & Future
A Brightness Long Ago
The Winter of the Witch (That you, Lilly, I love you!)
The Girl He Used to Know
Enchantée
The Women’s War


NETGALLEY ARCS:


The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees


EDELWEISS ARCS:

 

A Place For Wolves by Kosoko Jackson
The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross


SUBSCRIPTION BOXES:

BOTM | An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Winter in Paradise, & The Lies we Told

Owlcrate| Pride & Shadow of the Fox

LitJoy 

Illumicrate (Still in stock as of 10/28!)

Candles in Bookland


Okay, friends! That is everything. This is the biggest haul I’ve had all of 2018, and I can’t see November or December beating it! But tell me your favorite book that you hauled this month; purchase, arc, or borrow! I’d love it hear it! And I hope you all are having an amazing end of October! Happy reading, friends! 🎃🍁✨

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Recommendations | My Five Favorite Vampire Books

Hey, friends! I’ve been having a hard time getting into the Halloween spirit this year for some reason! So, I thought a good way that could help make me feel a little bit more spooky would be to share my love for the paranormal with you all! For five nights I’m going to spread a little love for my favorite eerie entities: Witches, GhostsDemons, Shifters, and Vampires! I hope you all enjoy and maybe pick up a new book that will make your Halloween feel a little more haunted! 💉


➽ Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J.R. Ward

I have read over 20 books set in this world.  But with so many spinoffs and novellas intertwined, so I feel like I can’t say much, but this is just a series I will always love. Basically, in the Black Dagger Brotherhood we follow a bunch of powerful vampires, that are in an elite group that protects humans, vampires, angels, and a bunch of other paranormal entities, and they all live in this big mansion, and they all are one big family that’s just saving the world.


➽ Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire

If you’ve read Every Heart a Doorway then you know how Jack and Jill’s story ends in that book, so I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out that the next book in this series was their back-story about their magical world. The twin sisters’ doorway is very different than Nancy’s in Every Heart a Doorway. Their doorway, the Moors, is a place of neutral territory surrounded by vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, Drowned God worshipers, and more in the paranormal vein. And a few individuals in the Moors are very excited when children stumble through from portals from different worlds.  This book is still my favorite of the series!


Once Burned  (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

I read this book so long ago, but it really did ignite my love for Vlad the Impaler stories! Sadly, I did read the last book in this series last year and really hated it, so I doubt that this first book will stand the test of time. But I just used to love Jeaniene’s paranormal vampire world so much, that I wanted to include a book by her on one of these lists!


➽ City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

Yeah, you’re seeing that right! My favorite character from this series just happens to be a vampire. Well, was a vampire! I actually don’t think they are even a vampire in this book, but I am such trash for this series right now that I really wanted to include it! Especially because I had no idea that vampires were even in this world before picking up this first book! And, it truly was the second best surprise (Faeries are always first)!


➽ Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I was such trash for this series when I was younger. Sadly, I don’t have actual reviews for this series because it was pre-Goodreads, but I couldn’t NOT make a vampire list and not include this series that meant so much to me, once upon a time! Also, Adrian was like my original book boyfriend. Ah, I really need to give this book a reread and see if it even somewhat holds up today.



Okay, friends! I hope you enjoyed! And I hope the end of your October is filled with all the amazing books! Tell me your favorite vampire story in the comments, please! And happy Halloween! Stay spooky! 🎃✨

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Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas

(Thank you so much, Alex, for this tour edition! I love you!)
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#0.1) The Assassin and the Pirate Lord ★★★
#0.2) The Assassin and the Healer ★★
#0.3) The Assassin and the Desert ★★★★
#0.4) The Assassin and the Underworld ★★★★★
#0.5) The Assassin and the Empire ★★★
#1.) Throne of Glass ★★★
#2.) Crown of Midnight ★★★★
#3.) Heir of Fire ★★
#4.) Queen of Shadows ★★
#5.) Empire of Storms ★★★
#6.) Tower of Dawn ★★★★★

“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…”

I had a good time reading Kingdom of Ash. And there are no words I have to describe the feeling that I get while reading a book with what feels like the entire book community. All of us updating, crying, and swooning at the same times all over social media. It reminds me of reading Harry Potter with my friends back when I was little, and there really are no words to even begin to describe that feeling, because it truly transcends words and language.

Here is the thing – if you have loved this series from the start, you are probably going to love this conclusion and be very happy upon turning that last page. I’ve had a rocky journey with Throne of Glass even before it became “cool” to dislike this series and even before the stans thought it would be “cooler” to ignore all the gross, problematic elements. I’ve just never loved this series. And I always feel like the characters I do end up liking from this world, get the bad end of the stick. And Kingdom of Ash was no different. And, in true Sarah J Maas fashion, the book was ungodly longer than it truly needed to be.

This review isn’t going to be a drag or a gush, it’s just going to be my thoughts and feelings on what I did love and what I did hate. I’m not looking to hurt anyone’s feelings; if you have been hurt by SJM – you are valid, and if the book means more than words to you – you are valid. These are just my thoughts about a series I never really loved, and a conclusion that I thought was a little too convenient (and a lot too straight and white).

And if you are new to the book world, or just never bothered to actually look up the synopsis, Throne of Glass is a series about a young assassin that is enslaved. A prince from a royal kingdom, and his best friend who is also the captain of the king’s guard, rescue her from slavery so that she can compete to become the king’s assassin. But after a few books, you realize that this world is also full of magic, and Fae, and demon-like creatures called Valg who want to conquer everything. And this assassin, this prince, and this captain of the guard, get way more than they ever dreamed to bargain for.

“The threads of fate weave together in strange ways…”

But if you’re reading this review of the concluding and seventh book of a series, you probably already know this. And you probably want to know my thoughts on this conclusion. Overall, I feel like my favorite character got done really dirty, where everyone else got a happy ending. So, I’m bitter, and petty, and will talk about it more in the spoiler section of this review. Also, a lot of people said really horrible things to their friends/lovers and then didn’t care that they said it until they were about to die. Like, I’m not here for any kind of abuse, and some of the actions of some of these characters to the people they are supposed to “love” was really gross and unacceptable. Plus, I feel like this series ending was way too clean, and that SJM really didn’t listen to the complaints about A Court of Wings and Ruin! The deus ex machina was very abundant at the end, in my opinion and seemed to happen back to back to back in the last 150 pages instead of giving us more substance in the 800 pages before it. I also feel like SJM was really setting up for her new series, Twilight of the Gods, too, maybe? But again, if you love this series, you will probably love this ending. I’ve always felt like this series was just alright, so I felt like the ending was just alright, too!

Also, this book got very dark in the first 25%, so please use caution while reading! Content and trigger warnings for captivity, graphic torture, threats of sexual assault, talk of past sexual assault, murder, death, self-harm, talk of suicide, blood depictions, PTSD depiction, depression depiction, animal abuse, animal death, very severe physical abuse, verbal abuse, enslavement, sexual content, and war themes.

Now, I’m going to get into FULL SPOILER THOUGHTS FOR KINGDOM OF ASH below! Please do not read past this point if you do not wish to get spoiled for Kingdom of Ash and all the books in the series leading up to this final book!

(Breathtaking art by Gabriella Bujdoso)

Okay, friends! Again, I’m going to be talking about SPOILERS FOR KINGDOM OF ASH so please use caution before reading! Basically, all of our main characters are broken up into five different groups, all being tasked with different things.

Dorian, Manon, and the Thirteen, are trying to unite the witches and find the third wyrdkey, which is being hidden in Morath. Lysandra is pretending to be Aelin, while Aedion is leading the army. Chaol is heading to Silver Lake to meet with his father, with Yrene, Sartaq, and Nesryn. Rowan, Elide, Lorcan, and Gavriel are trying to rescue Aelin. Because Aelin is still in captivity because of Maeve, being tortured by Cairn, with her only ally being Fenrys.

Kingdom of Ash is broken up into two parts, and part one is very much all of these groups trying to come together, while all fighting their own little mini battles. Where part two is really about everyone coming to Terrasen for the big and final battle.

I think I’m going to start out by doing character break downs with my thoughts and feelings about the cast individually.

Celaena / Aelin – My heart actually felt for Aelin throughout most of this book. Like, again, the first 25% of this book, and everything she had to go through, was really dark and really hard to read. But when her *sacrifice* in part two, lead her to just being an immortal fae, completely taking away her being a human…. Come on. And then I was like, “oh, but she lost her powers! That’s the trade!” No, they are just weaker, BUT she infused her blade before, just in case, so that’s still super powerful. Like, my eyes, they are rolling out of my head.

“I told you once that even if death separated us, I would rip apart every world until I found you.”

Rowan – I was actually really empathetic towards Rowan in this book too.

Chaol – It’s no secret, Chaol has always been my favorite character (behind Manon in later books), so I am really biased. But he really let Yrene be the person she wanted to be, without question, every single time, and it made me love him even more. I still think Chaol is easily the best dude in this entire series, and I still never understand the hate he gets.

Yrene – When it first came out that she was pregnant I was so scared. Like, during a war? I was not prepared. But Yrene is honestly such an amazing character, and I loved her entire storyline and every scene that she was in. Also, my favorite part of this entire one-thousand-page book was when Yrene and Aelin met up for the first time in all those years.

Abraxos – Why give him a mate to just… kill the mate? Like, honestly a lot of things made me upset about KoA, but that might be the thing that made me the most upset.

Petrah – The true MVP of this book, for saving Abraxos’ (and my) life.

“Only a Crochan Queen may ignite the Flame of War, to summon every witch from her hearth.”

Manon – Manon, Queen of witches and my personal queen, deserves better than Dorian’s rude, wish washy, refuses to communicate, ass. And no one in this world will ever convince me that Manon is straight, I’m sorry. Like, the most uncomfortable I felt while reading this book was when they had sex, and she told him what she wanted and that she didn’t want him to leave, and then he left without even saying goodbye… I mean, after they fucked. Then seeing her say that she thought it was a promise, but it ended up just being a farewell? Like, friends, Manon deserves every star on her crown and every star in the sky, she doesn’t deserve Dorian’s nasty behavior. Like, I really wanted her to tell him to get bent at the end of this book. And there is no way that she would be this weak over some twenty-year-old dude that was treating her like crap throughout the book. Dump him.

Dorian – I’ll be honest, I thought the reason that I was disliking Dorian in this was because Maas was going to learn from A Court of Wings and Ruin, and actually give a more believable war ending with Dorian dying. But no, he was just an asshole throughout the entire thing to Manon. And when he was like checking out Maeve? I threw up in my mouth. Oh, and when he turned into a girl and was discovering his new body? *throws up again*

The Thirteen – (Minus Manon) Wow, they got done so dirty. Like, I know I touched upon it in the Abraxos paragraph, but like I can’t believe SJM would only kill them and one other dude that we honestly didn’t give a fuck about. Feels so bad. So damn bad. When they told Manon to live, I threw my book to the other side of my bed and just bawled, because I knew that it was going to happen. Asterin dying really messed me up. All of them dying just felt so cheap, so bad, and I knew when it happened that they were going to be the only real sacrifice SJM made with this concluding novel. And it ended up being true, so everyone else could be heterosexually paired off with their mates.

Elide – I love Elide, and her loyalty, but she also said some really abusive things to Lorcan, and then only regretted it when he was going to die. Also, again everyone is just going to heal all their disabilities and it feels a little questionable. Also, also, does Elide have a foot fetish? I mean, I don’t kink shame, but…. what.

Lorcan – I really loved Lorcan in this. He tried so hard, for Elide, for his friends, and for himself, and it really warmed my heart. Also, now he’s making and packing his own homemade pads for Elide. Bonus points.

“How long until the allies you collected start asking why the Fire-Bringer does not burn.”

Lysandra – I’ll be honest, Lysandra and Aedion’s points of view were easily my least favorite. And let’s be real, Lysandra could do way better…

Aedion – …Because Aedion was an asshole in this book and was so hurtful. And again, things are realized, and things are forgiven, because death almost came for them. That will never excuse abuse, ever.

Gavriel – I actually hated how he and Aedion reunited for only like one page, just for him to see his dad die. Like, not only did it feel pointless, it felt cheap.

Evangeline – Sweet lil’ bean. And I really do love her found family with Lysandra, and I just wish her the best in life.

Falkan – I loved his reunion with his niece, Lysandra.

Fenrys – *blinks once* I actually loved this character and felt so many sad feelings for him, but I think the book was honestly better with the addition of him.

Nesryn – I still feel like Nesryn was such a fill-in character, always, but I’m happy she’s happy, I guess.

Sartaq – I enjoy him and his birds, and I’m happy he makes Nesryn happy, I guess, but it’s whatever.

Erawan – The last remaining Valg king! But how they *tricked* him was like the most Scooby-Doo thing I have read in years.

Maeve – I felt like she was going to get a redemption arc like five times while reading this book, and I was so scared. But, again, anticlimactic ending. And I hated how when these two villains were taken out, so was their army. It just felt too easy, and even the battle scenes weren’t great.

But let’s talk about the real character that I want to talk about…

“Do you know the story of the queen who walked through worlds?”

Rhysand – Did Aelin really see Rhys and Feyre in Valerius and did he like help her get back to Rowan and the gang? Like, I felt like he was playing Star Fox 64 and he gave her the boost (or slow) or something? Like, I’m not making this cameo up, right? Like this happened? My mind still can’t process this information. I mean, we all knew the crossover was going to happen, but I truly didn’t expect it to be like that.

Okay, let’s talk a bit more about things that happened. First off, everyone is a couple. And more importantly, everyone is a straight couple. Next, everyone was a shapeshifter in this book! Like, Lysandra totally lost her unique and cool ability because like everyone and their mother can do it in this book. I hated it. Seriously. And Maeve could have done so much more with her powers, but she just chose not to for some reason. Thirdly, there is still a lot of sex in this book, but I feel like the scenes were a lot briefer and much more fade to black. So, that’s either going to be a good or bad thing for you.

I kept forgetting two things while reading. 1.) that Aelin is only twenty-years-old. That’s so wild! I’ve been reading these for so long, it just feels like she should be older. And 2.) This entire series really plays out just over the course of a year! Again, I’ve been reading these for so many years, I just can’t wrap my head around this timeline and everything these characters have done. I mean, how many relationships they’ve had, how many deaths they’ve witnessed, and how many terrible things that have happened. It seriously blows my mind that this it’s only been a year.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring this up for not, but I guess I will briefly, especially if you’ve read the entirety of this monstrosity of a review: I was hurt by the Charlie Bowater art, found in the B&N special edition, and I just wanted to say that Asian and white will never, ever, be interchangeable. Ever. And you know what SJM didn’t do with these 1,000 pages of KoA? Anything to say or show that Manon was Asian. I am half white and half Asian, and this is not the representation that even I will ever think is acceptable, and most certainly not the representation that will ever make me feel seen. And authors and artists (who have previously drawn characters as white) need to do better.

I also want to link Aentee’s review, because it is amazing, and she really talks about the lack of diversity in this book. And she brings up a lot of similarities that really blew my mind regarding The Lord of the Rings. It’s a really good review, you all should check it out!

Overall, I am happy that this series is over. I’m not sure if I will pick up more by Sarah J Maas or not, but I am happy to have finished this series off. Again, this will never be a series that I love, but I truly love the reading experience of feeling like I’m a part of a massive buddy read with 75% of the book community. It’s a feeling that I can’t put into words, but one that means a lot to me and that I cherish with my whole heart.

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Recommendations | My Five Favorite Shifter Books

Hey, friends! I’ve been having a hard time getting into the Halloween spirit this year for some reason! So, I thought a good way that could help make me feel a little bit more spooky would be to share my love for the paranormal with you all! For five nights I’m going to spread a little love for my favorite eerie entities: Witches, Ghosts, Demons, Shifters, and Vampires! I hope you all enjoy and maybe pick up a new book that will make your Halloween feel a little more haunted! 🐾


➽ The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

This is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was also able to evoke such a visceral reading experience from me. I never wanted to put this book down! And I knew that this was going to be heavy on the Russian folklore, but I had no idea that this was also a reimagining of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. And I swear, I don’t remember consuming any fruit while reading this, yet I am still completely under this book’s spell. And I think you’ll all love these shifting sisters.


➽  Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews

This is actually a book that stars a witch, a vampire, and a werewolf, but I love the werewolf so much that I had to put this book on this list!  I was not expecting all the sci-fi developments, so that took me for by a very pleasant surprise. The concepts in this book were so unique; I’ve never read anything about “Innkeepers” before. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a completely new concept they created. Basically, if you’re looking for a good PNR/sci-fi love child, I can’t recommend this enough.


➽ The Last Wish (The Witcher #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski

The events in these seven stories take place before Sword of Destiny, which is another short story collection, and before Blood of Elves, the first actual full length novel in this series. Just like the video-games, The Witcher world is so magical, whimsical, full of twists, and it never disappoints. Two of these stories are so very important in understanding why Geralt feels the way he does about two very predominant characters that are talked about in much greater detail later in this world.


➽ Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames

Next, friends, I loved Bloody Rose even more than Kings of the Wyld! This book feels like stepping into a fresh Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where you get to play as a Lesbian bard who is allowed the honor of going on a few quests and ultimately telling the story of the most famous mercenary this side of the Heartwyld. And, I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to play (or be) a character so much in my entire life. Brune is a Vargyr / Shaman! Wields Ktulu, that can separate into two weapons, kind of like Varian Wrynn’s (my favorite character) in World of Warcraft. I didn’t ask for these tears. Speaking of World of Warcraft, I have an extra soft spot for shamans, and Brune even shifts into what my shaman shifts into, so my heart is so very happy.


➽ Spice & Wolf by Isuna Hasekura

Lawrence is a traveling merchant that is very trusted throughout the land, even though that land is very heavily controlled by the church, who will do anything to make sure the gods from the past are no longer worshiped. This doesn’t affect Lawrence what-so-ever, until he finds one of these old gods sleeping in his wagon cart after a Pagan harvest festival. The adorable god he finds is Horo, a wolf god! She can shift between forms, even though it’s not the most convenient of ways, but in human form she is still left with cute little wolf ears and a tail. Her life depends on a sheaf of wheat that Lawrence has in his cart. This is my favorite manga of all-time!



Okay, friends! I hope you enjoyed! And I hope the end of your October is filled with all the amazing books! Tell me your favorite shifter story in the comments, please! And happy Halloween! Stay spooky! 🎃✨

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Down the TBR Hole #16

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?


I like how these books are like “fantasy, fantasy, fantasy, fantasy, sure to be swoon-worth romance, fantasy, fantasy!” But honestly, all of these books are super appealing to me! So, I’m going to need your help, friends!

The Six Books:

The Rebels of Gold (Loom Saga #3) by Elise Kova
I can’t believe I haven’t read this concluding novel yet! I loved book one and book two, but I read them both from ARCS sent by the publishers, where I don’t believe they did ARCs for this one. So, maybe that’s why I let it slip my mind and fall to the wayside, but I really want to read this!
Verdict: Keep ✅

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
After The Hating Game, wild horses couldn’t keep me away from this.
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1) by Sarah Beth Durst
I bought this from Book Outlet a long while ago, and I just never got around to it. Which seems to be what I do with most Book Outlet purchases. But now I think book three is already out, and I know that’s not the end! I just don’t know if I have it in me to start a brand new series. Especially when there are so many more out there that I’d rather pick up! Have you all read this? What do you think? Help me, my loves!
Verdict: Delete ❌

The Emerald Blade (The Landkist Saga #2) by Steven Kelliher
I read book one to this series last year and really enjoyed it! Also, that author is a complete sweetheart and I really want to work with him again, so I need to push this higher on my TBR ASAP!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman
Kitty G raves about this series so hard that it is totally on my TBR for that reason alone. But I honestly think it will be something I love! Also, I’ve read Emma Newman’s other works and really enjoyed them! I have super high hopes for this!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #1) by R.J. Barker
I feel really bad because Orbit was kind enough to send me an ARC of this, last year for review, but I started seeing a lot of people saying there were fatphobia comments, and I just wasn’t in the right mindset to deal with it. Now, book two is already out, and i just don’t know if I want to invest the time or energy on something that’s probably just going to irritate me.
Verdict: Delete ❌


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! 💛🎃👻

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