Why I Love Alec Lightwood.

For those of you who don’t know, Alec is my favorite Shadowhunter Chronicles character. Also my favorite character of all time.
I have a whole story/speech about why I love Alec as an individual character and only a little bit of it has to do with Malec.
But in a nutshell, Alec is a conflicted character when we first meet him. Cassie has written some really great passages about him being almost sorry for his own existence and feeling inadequate which I can kind of relate to on a personal level. Alec has this amazing arc in the books where he not only has progression for himself, but his world around him too. I love that Alec through out the books, with the help of his friends and his relationship with Magnus is able to realize that, as Matt has said, that his feelings are not wrong and he is just as worthy as Jace and Izzy.
I also love how Alec is not like any other Shadowhunter in the books, at least the first 2-3. In The Bane Chronicles, we see Alec going to the aid of a werewolf whom he is not supposed to protect but he does anyway because he sees someone who needs help like he needs as well. He tells her that she has done nothing wrong and that she is going to be okay, unlike any other Shadowhunter who probably would have just gotten into a fight to stop the situation. Alec took the time to stop the werewolf and comfort her, to make her feel like she is not a monster or abnormal, the latter being what Alec felt about himself at the time. Alec is not the arrogant, overconfident warrior that his peers are in the beginning and it just adds a whole other level to his development.
I also love how open Alec becomes in the books. The difference from CoB to CoHF is astounding. In the first book, he would not really interact with others and talk to them unless he was spoken to and most of the time, he was brooding. In the last book, and in the novellas, he is much more open about his feelings -even if he hates talking about them- and even cracks a joke or two. His self confidence grows from his relationship with Magnus as well as support from his friends and fellow Shadowhunters and Downworlders telling him that he inspired them to be themselves and defy convention.
I also love the Malec pairing because I think that it was a great catalyst for Alec to start to gain some more self confidence in himself and know what it’s like to be romantically loved. I may not love when they fight, but I like that they don’t tend to fight about petty things, but wanting to make each other better and to be there for each other as long as possible because they care so much. I also love how real their relationship is, that it’s not always happy, that they have their ups and downs like everyone else. I also love Alec’s relationship with his siblings and parents, especially after CoG. His parents might take a little bit, but after he comes out, his friends are there to back him up and support him, which I love too. I also love his friendships, especially with Simon in Born to Endless Night.
I love that Alec becomes more comfortable in his own skin in the books and is not a caricature of the ‘gay’ character but is a real human being who just happens to be gay. Cassie has written him so well and I think that many people can relate to being ashamed of who you are because of whatever reason but then we can also relate to finding something great in our life, like Alec found Magnus and confidence that gives us the strength to get out of the rut that we are in.
I didn’t mean for this to be really long but Alec is just one of my all time favorites and he is just so great.
Thank you Cassandra Clare or creating him and doing right by him (:

TMI vs. TID Tag!

Questions found from the lovely Emmmabooks on her video (: https://youtu.be/igyYTUaCzVk

I am a huge fan of the books so it seems fitting (: Hope you enjoy!

SOME SPOILERS MIGHT BE AHEAD. READ WITH CAUTION.

DISCLAIMER: If I have to choose between two things, just understand that I love them both so much but just prefer one slightly over the other, like if I had to rank them, they would be millimeter apart. I love Will and I love Jace for example, but this is what I would choose.

  1. Favorite main character (Clary or Tessa)

Definitley Tessa for me. I didn’t really start loving Clary until City of Ashes and even then, she wasn’t my favorite but I still love her. I have found a new respect for her while rereading the books but, she still isn’t a character that I all together love. Tessa on the other hand is someone that I can identify with and a main character that was doing the same things that I would in the situation. I also empathized with Tessa a lot more than I did Clary and I found myself really feeling the emotions with her.

2. Favorite Herondale (Jace or Will)

Will. Like with Clary, Jace is not my favorite, I was much more of an Alec, Izzy and Magnus fan while reading the books but Jace was still a really good character. But I just really love Will, personally I think that he is more fleshed out in his character and I found myself feeling with him more so than with Jace. Like with Clary, I have a new found respect and love for Jace while I am rereading the books but I would still say Will.

3. Favorite Love triangle (Simon, Jace, Clary or Will, Tessa, Jem)

Will, Tessa and Jem. The feelings alone are enough. This is the only acceptable love triangle EVER and I just love all the love that is shared between the trio so so much (: Simon, Jace and Clary was not a love triangle, only Simon thought they were.

4. Favorite villain (Sebastian or the Magister)

Here’s the thing, both Valentine and the Magister didn’t do it for me in regards to being the villain of their stories. They just didn’t scare me or give me that feeling of edge when they were in the scene. However, Sebastian scares the living shit out of me. I honestly cannot tell you what exactly it is about him but he just has something to him that makes me extremely freightened and on high alert whenever he is in a scene. He’s my favorite villain of all time so I would say that in any scenario, I choose him.

5. Better army (clockwork or dark army)

I have to give a half point to each here, there are aspects of both armies that make me scared of them and respect them so I honestly cannot choose one over the other.

6. Better first book (City of Bones or Clockwork Angel)

Clockwork Angel. I had the time of my life reading this book, twice now, and I just really love it. I think, compared to Bones, the writing just flows a bit better and the characters run the story more so than the plot which I really enjoyed. I recently reread Bones and I loved it so much more this time around, but I still prefer Angel.

7. Favorite female sidekick (Izzy or Cecily)

This is a terrible question. Don’t make me choose. Half a point to each. Who allowed this question to exist? This is like asking me to choose between Alec and Will, like I will pick both. Two of my all time favorite female characters and just characters in general.

8. Better setting (NY or London institute)

In their respective time periods, I would have to say that I would prefer to live in the NY Institute and vacation in the London Institute. I just think they are run in a similar fashion so that doesn’t really matter and that I love both casts of characters too much to choose just one. So half a point to each.

9. Favorite Last book (CoHF or CP2)

Both. I’m sorry! This is too hard! I love how Clockwork Princess gives you all the feelings and gives you a satisfying end to a wonderful series but I also love how City of Heavenly Fire does that too! If I had, had to choose, I would say .75 points to Princess and .25 points to Heavenly Fire. Both of them are amazing and I’m not sorry.

10. Better epilogue (CoHF or CP2)

This one has to be Princess. I feel that the epilogue to Heavenly Fire, while being amazing, served mostly as a bridge between TMI and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and TDA while the epilogue in Princess really wrapped up the trio’s story quite nicely. Princess for this one.

FINAL RESULT

TMI vs. TID = 2.75 vs. 7.25

Stay Tuned!

In honor of me rereading all the Shadowhunter books (I’m currently doing so) I thought it would be fun to do a whole bunch of Shadowhunter related tags and challenges on here! Im going to scour BookTube to find some and I will be back to be the crazy Shadowhunter fangirl that I am! (:

Happy reading!

-Ashley Lightwood XD

Fans and Fandoms

So I went to a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight release party last night at Books of Wonder. It was a lot of fun, even though there was not quite enough space or enough to do for three and a half hours, it was really enjoyable. Now I did not personally read all the books until recently because I was not a big fan of reading as a kid and because they just weren’t my thing at the time. I am a huge fan of the movies and since I’ve started reading again, I picked up  the entire series and read them straight through. I absolutely loved them and could see why it means so much to people.

Fast forward to 11:30PM. Books of Wonder, as per usual, did numbered tickets which dictate your place in line. They separated the lines and tickets by house and had four lines. At around 11:40PM, the first few of each line were able  to wait by their corresponding table until midnight. To pass the time, they did Harry Potter trivia to see which first person in line would receive their book first. I was the first in line for Hufflepuff (I’m actually a Ravenclaw but you couldn’t request tickets based on your actual house because of equal distribution). Now, these questions were very detailed except for about two, so naturally I tried my best to answer them but I only got so close, but not all the way to correct. Slytherin table ended up winning and we sand Happy Birthday to Harry and counted down to midnight and we all got our books. Everything was great.

I’m reading Cursed Child this afternoon and I decide to go on Twitter and I see a post from someone I really like saying something to the effect of “when the people at the front of the line can’t get the trivia questions right #whyareyouhere”. This really got to me and really ruined my day because I really don’t think that its right to say. There’s no requirement of Harry Potter knowledge needed to get into this event. Also, you are still a fan even if you don’t know every single detail. I’m sorry that I’m not up to par with your level of being a fan for this series because I don’t fully know the answer to a trivia question.

And I know that it wasn’t meant in a mean way and that it was very late at night and people were antsy for the book but its just wrong. There was the whole issue of “Real” and “Fake” readers a few months ago and now this. No one should be telling or even hinting at anyone that they should not be at any event because they don’t know every single detail about the books or whatever its for.

Also, readers come to fandoms to escape a reality in which they might not be treated well or have a lot of people to lean on and if you tell them that they are inadequate in anyway, you are just being mean and really kind of rude. And a lot of readers, like myself, might take this as some kind of a personal attack on themselves and start to feel really bad about themseleves because they don’t live up to your expectations of a fan, and thats not what fandom is about. Just please watch what you say and post please (:

Some of you might disagree with me, and thats fine but this just really got to me today and I thought if I wrote it out, I might feel a little bit better.

Anyway, back to Cursed Child. See you again soon (:

Happy Reading and Happy Harry Potter Reading!

-Ashley (:

Good, Not Great: Ashley’s Attempt at an Explanation

THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE MEAN IN ANY WAY. I AM JUST EXPRESSING SOMETHING THAT I AM EXPERIENCING IN MY READING LIFE AS OF LATE. NO OFFENSE IS MEANT AND IF IT SEEMS LIKE I AM BEING OFFENSIVE, IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE AS SUCH.


It has been said that talking something out can help you clarify. I’m going to give it a try.

Well typing, but I digress.

I would love to give you a happy book review or some post that I thought would be great, but I am just really not feeling up to doing that at the moment. I am in, as JessetheReader would say, a reading “funk” and I would like to try and explain to you, and try to figure out myself, as to why that is because it is very strange to me.

Indulge me in this little ramble.

Two years ago, 2014,  when I catapulted back into the reading world-and I mean catapulted- I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. I never once thought of not finishing a book because it just wasn’t doing it for me and I read every book straight through to the end. In about six months, I read around 200 books. Not kidding.

Flashforward to 2015. I set the Goodreads goal to 100 books, as you do. I completed that challenge in about six to seven months. After doing so, I started to realize that my reading tastes had started to change and that some of the books that I had rated five stars in 2014 were not five star books at all. They were simply books that made me like them even the tinest bit and I changed a lot of ratings and started judging books closer than I had, leading to the occasional DNF.

But 2015 was full of wonderful releases, at least for me, and this…let me call it a complex, didn’t exist or even come to my attention in my brain. But as 2016 has gone on, I have grown more and more aware of what I am calling the “Good, Not Great” complex.

Now, I don’t know if its me and my reading tastes, or if the 2016 releases that I’m choosing   to read are just not that wonderful in content, but I’m finding that I’m having to put a lot of thought into the reasons why a book would go on my favorites shelf for the year, ripping into different parts instead of just having it on because I loved it and connected to it.

Let me put an example to this. There have been the great books of the year for me, A Court of Mist and Fury and Lady Midnight to name two, which I loved and connected with fully and absolutely.But those great books, especially this year, have been tremondously outnumbered to the books that are just good. Five star compared to Three or Four star if  you will. I have found myself, more often than not, picking apart a book to rate it because it just didn’t do enough for me to love it like I did ACOMAF. And I’m still putting it on m favorites list because there may be beautiful writing but the story as a whole didn’t have that extra something that it needed to be great for me.

While this is most probably at fault to myself and my reading tastes  and behaviors and not the books themeselves, for the most part, I thought this would be interesting to address since it keeps happening more and more for me and more books are becoming DNFs than I would like. I am also wondering if any one else is feeling the same way about the releases this year,or am I just the lone weird one…

Thanks for listening to my “reading funk” dilemma and I hope it made sense and you could relate.

Thank again and happy reading!

Ashley (:

 

History Is All You Left Me Review!

history

Thank you to SoHo Teen and Edelweiss for providing me with an early digital copy of this book and thanks to Barnes and Noble B-Fest for an early physical copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

History Is All You Left Me comes out on January 17th, 2017!

NON-SPOILERY REVIEW!

Adam Silvera’s debut, More Happy Than Not, was one of the most unique books I read last year, shedding light on harsh emotions and making you feel everything as the characters do. That story of struggling to accept yourself stuck with me so much that when I was able to get my hands on History Is All You Left Me in a digital e-ARC, I jumped on it and hit that request button faster than I could blink. The next day, I was happily surprised to see Adam’s new book in physical form at Barnes & Noble’s B-Fest, where I was able to pick up a physical copy. I read from the physical copy, but that doesn’t really matter. I thought the story in Adam’s sophomore novel read a bit smoother than Happy and his storytelling technique has just gone up a notch or maybe twenty.

In describing Happy to people who have not yet read it, I often find myself saying that its beautiful and heart wrenching but it was also a bit on the weird side as the story sometimes felt a bit rushed and twisty at times. That was not the case in History, not at all. This novel takes a real look of how someone who is dealing with horrible grief can either make themselves better from it or destroy themselves and crack from it. Griffin shows both of these sides in spades. He shows how grief can turn a person to hatred and spite and he also shows how accepting help and love from others can make you better. I thought that Adam showed both sides of how grief effects beautifully. I also loved the characters in this novel and I found myself feeling for them and loving watching  their relationships developed over the course of time. The format in this book was also interesting and made the reader feel the emotions along with Griffin.

My only complaint about this book was something I think the reader was supposed to feel, a small contempt for Griffin in his decision making throughout the book. Through the middle, it made me start to dislike his character until he came back around.

five-stars

Happy reading!

-Ashley (:

Me Before You Movie Review!

COULD BE SPOILERY, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it about two years ago (book hipster status) because the cover- you know, the red one- was absolutely stunning and caught my eye. I loved the story of Louisa and Will and read After You right away when it came out last year (I have review for that book if you want to check that out!). So naturally, I was so excited to hear that one of my favorite books was becoming a movie, but also very nervous. Even though Jojo Moyes herself wrote the screenplay, I was still worried that something would go wrong or be too much.

I am so happy to say that my fears were for nothing. This was such a great movie and it was done so well! The relationship between Louisa and Will felt the same as in the book, it was angry and sad and lovely all at the same time and I loved seeing that portrayed accurately on screen. I also loved, and I know this is weird, hating Patrick just as much on screen as I did in the book. Even if he was played by Matthew Lewis. I loved the relationships between the characters and how real the family, friendship and romantic aspects felt. I also was in love with Louisa’s clothes. And the scene where Will gave her the bumblebee tights, all the feelings. Just all of them.

Two things that Jojo Moyes is able to do astoundingly well in her books – not just this one in particular- is not sheltering the reader with a fake happy ending because the story has to have one and showing tremendous growth. And even though this was a screenplay instead, those two things were still apparent. I thought that Will’s ending was portrayed beautifully and truthfully while also making the audience think about his side for little bit. I also truly loved the growth that he and Louisa brought out in each other – one of my favorite parts of the book- was portrayed so, so well on screen.

I loved this movie and the actors who played these fantastic characters. And if any other Jojo Moyes books are going to be adapted for film, please let her write the screenplay!

Rating: 10/10 (I loved it!)