The Darkest Legacy Review!

Thank you to Disney Hyperion and Alexandra Bracken for this advance copy, I am extremely grateful! All opinions are my own!

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I started reading The Darkest Minds in November of 2014 and it quickly became one of my all time favorite series I have ever read, and still is to this day. I was so happy with everything about it, the ending was so incredibly satisfying and I was content on closing the door to this amazing world. Fast forward to Alexandra Bracken announcing a new addition in this series nearly four years later that would have Zu as the main character and I was admittedly a bit nervous. Like I said, I was so happy with how In the Afterlight ended and was worried about opening a new can of worms. My fears were for nothing as this book was truly, truly excellent. This is the sixth book of Alexandra Bracken’s that I have read and I have often said to friends and colleagues that she is definitely in the correct profession, but I honestly do not believe her writing has ever been more sharp and beautiful than in The Darkest Legacy. This book is definitely worth the wait and worth every single second you spend reading it.

 

*Possible minor spoilers ahead!*

Continue reading “The Darkest Legacy Review!”

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June Wrap Up!

In the wake of BookExpo and BookCon weekend, I became a reading machine once again, kissing that 2017 reading slump goodbye. I ended up reading some really great books this month!

1. Save the Date by Morgan Matson (4.5/5)

I was so excited to read this book! I absolutely adore Morgan’s books, and this is her most recent release so naturally I had to get my hands on it away. I will admit, this one threw me a bit because I am used to there being an ever present romance in her books and in this one, there is really not. One thing I really liked about this book is that the writing style in terms of atmosphere was VERY on point. For example, if the scene was hectic, the writing made you feel that it was so, I quite enjoyed that. This was a lovely story about family and growing up with amazing characters that I thoroughly enjoyed.

2. Wildcard by Marie Lu (5/5)

This was one of my top two most anticipated books to grab at BookExpo and I was so excited that I did. Warcross was one of my favorite reads I got from BookExpo last year and I needed to know how the story concluded as soon as possible. I devoured this book simply to say. Like with book one, I was so engrossed in this story that I could not stop reading. In my opinion, Marie Lu writes some of the best action sequences in the business and this book was just another showcase of that. I felt that this book really shined in character elements where book one did in plot. I am sad to see this series go because it has so much potential to go on but I do understand ending it where she did. I would like a little bit of an epilogue though, especially with those last few lines!

3. Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson (5/5)

Its no secret that the Shadowhunter world is my absolute favorite fictional world. I will read any content that comes out and that includes these new short stories leading up to Queen of Air and Darkness. I have threads on my twitter account of all my reactions while reading these (@ty_blackthorns) so I will not go into too deep of a review here. I will say that I adored learning more about Anna Lightwood. Ever since we learned about her years ago, she has been the character I wanted to know more about and  this story was spectacular. Cecily and Gabriel as parents was fantastic as well. Looking forward to more!

4. Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (4/5)

A huge thank you to Disney for approving me for this review copy on NetGalley.

This book was flat out entertaining.

Personally, it felt like a Lifetime movie to me. It was so dramatic and at times, ridiculous but so much fun. I was hooked from the first pages and I could not stop reading at any chance I could.

However, I did feel that the story felt like it dragged out some plot points for longer than it should have and just dropped some plot points that I would have liked to see more of. I felt that Campbell’s character was a bit confusing in the middle of the book as her actions and attitude kept completely changing. I also wish we could have gotten to see more of a positive relationship between the girls that wasn’t based on alibis.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this story. I thought the main core cast was very strong and I hear that there is a sequel to this that I am extremely excited to pick up. This book was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

5. The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken (5/5)

Full review to come for this masterpiece. I still cannot believe I read it in June. One of the favorites of the year definitely.

6. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (4.5/5)

This was the second of the two books I NEEDED to get at BookExpo this year and I devoured it as soon as I could. This is quite easily the fastest 400+ pages I have ever read, which was amazing for this story. The “meet-cute” synopsis and plot point could not be more perfect for the feeling of this book. I took off .5 stars because it was a little hard to get immersed in the story at the beginning but before I knew it, I was lost in it. This book just makes your heart happy and I am so thankful I got to read it early.

7. The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan (4/5)

This was more of a finishing of a book. I made it a goal to catch up on the Trials of Apollo series this month and I did! This particular book was not my favorite of the three that are currently out, but I much enjoyed the set up for the next books in the series. These characters are delightful and the overall plot is getting much more complex. I also enjoy the cameos and participation of old friends!

8. The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (5/5)

My favorite of the Apollo books so far, easy. The plot flowed nicely, the humor was amazing, the writing made me want to keep reading until I was done, I was crying at a certain part, just great. Jason and Piper were never my favorite characters in the Heroes of Olympus series but I was so happy to see them here! Grover as well! This series is going amazing places and I cannot wait to see where the homestretch takes us.

9. One Small Thing by Erin Watt (2.5/5)

Thank you to Harlequin Teen for proving me with an ARC of this book via Edelweiss.

I read this book in a matter of hours. It was highly addicting and made you want to keep reading, but that was about it. There was a lot of yelling in this story, no real evolution of the plot or relationships of the characters and honestly, it felt a bit unrealistic to me. I enjoyed the moral compass of the main character which is why I’m giving it 2.5 Stars. I wish we could have gotten more time with these relationships because everything just felt like it moved so quickly and the story needed to be told so it got pushed away.

10. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (4.5/5)

This was another BookExpo grab for me and I was so excited that I was able to get it. The synopsis is what really drew my attention right away, a girl who gets taken in by a boy with horror-filled tendencies and she’s the only one he really trusts and loves? Yes please. The setting and Kiersten White’s amazing writing made this book so much fun to read, the only criticism I have is that I felt that while reading, the story was skirting the surface of really going into the mind of Victor. We saw him through Elizabeth’s eyes which was interesting but it felt like it downplayed the severity of what Victor was doing. It might just be me, but I would have loved to see something from Victor’s point of view.

11. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (5/5)

New favorite series alert! This book was so much fun. I have the first three books all in ARC form from conventions and I decided to buckle down and read them all, and I flew through them although this was the only one I was able to finish before June ended. I adored the writing style in this, the atmosphere was excellent as were the main characters and their banter with each other. Audrey Rose and Thomas are the pair that you can read about solving murders and mysteries for a million books and never grow tired of it. Their relationship is one of the best parts of the book in my opinion. I love this series and I cannot wait for the fourth and final book in 2019!

 

 

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

A huge thank you to Disney for approving me for this review copy on NetGalley!

This book was flat out entertaining.

Personally, it felt like a Lifetime movie to me. It was so dramatic and at times, ridiculous but so much fun. I was hooked from the first pages and I could not stop reading at any chance I could.

However, I did feel that the story felt like it dragged out some plot points for longer than it should have and just dropped some plot points that I would have liked to see more of. I felt that Campbell’s character was a bit confusing in the middle of the book as her actions and attitude kept completely changing. I also wish we could have gotten to see more of a positive relationship between the girls that wasn’t based on alibis.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this story. I thought the main core cast was very strong and I hear that there is a sequel to this that I am extremely excited to pick up. This book was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36321744-little-white-lies

 

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 (: