the night circus

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here

 

This was an interesting book to say the least. I do see why people are into magic realism. It really is a wonderful genre. But it’s not something I would want to read all the time. This book was something special, though. It was beautifully written and flowed perfectly. There was just the right amount of mystery and the right amount of…well everything. It reminded me of A Star Touched Queen. with the beautifully flowing writing.

I was slightly confused at first because this book starts with two different periods of time that slowly merge together. Once I figured that out, the book became a lot easier to read. I actually really liked that aspect. It’s definitely something that you don’t see a whole lot of. I do wish that the game was explained a bit more thoroughly, however. I wanted to know everything about the game and why it came into existence. But I’m one of those people that insists on knowing everything.

As beautiful as this book was written, I found it hard to connect to the two MC’s, Marco and Celia. I was rooting for them as a couple but separately, I just couldn’t connect with them. They just seemed kind of two dimensional. Again, maybe it’s a me thing. I prefer character driven stories than plot driven stories. And I’m not entirely sure if this was a character driven book, a plot driven book or neither.

It sounds like I didn’t like this book but I really did. I can’t get over the writing and how wonderful it flowed. I just found it really hard to connect with the characters, both the MC’s and all the side characters. There were kind of a lot of side characters so I got slightly confused. It also didn’t help that I started the book really confused because I didn’t read the chapter beginnings closely, which was my own fault.

I will say this though, it was SO MUCH MORE BETTER than Caraval. I mean, it was a 100 million times better. This book didn’t lie to me for the sake of lying, which I will forever be salty about. And even though I didn’t connect with the characters, they were so much more better what Caraval came up with. I mean seriously, why is Caraval even a book? I usually don’t rag on a book so hard but it upsets me because Caraval had a lot of potential and it just flopped.

Overall, this book was good. I liked the writing and I liked the concept. The Night Circus sounds like a badass circus that I would love to attend. The descriptions even between the “chapters” made me want to find the nearest circus. I just couldn’t connect with the characters which is why it has four stars instead of five.

 

xxlacy

caraval

to read a blurb about this book from Goodreads, click here

 

I’m just going to come right out and say that this YA book was a miss for me. I just didn’t connect with really anything about it until about the last 30% but even though I only finished it for the sake of finishing it. I hate leaving books unfinished and that’s why you will never see me not finish a book. I will slog through a book to the very end, hoping that the ending will give me a pay off.

This book kind of did that.

The plot itself is very interesting. Every year there is a game called Caraval. Solve the clues, get to the prize first and win a wish from the master Legend. It sounds interesting but it just didn’t pay out for me. I feel like this is what The Crown’s Game should have been. I think it would have worked there.

To give a positive in what is going to be a pretty negative review, I liked the store concept. To buy something, you had to tell a secret, give up something valuable, tell a desire, etc. That was a cool concept and I wouldn’t mind seeing more books use it.

One of the big reasons that I didn’t like this book was the magic realism concept. I didn’t like that everything was not as it seems. Yes, I know that was the concept of the book but I felt like this book was lying for the sake of lying. Even magic realism books have to have some sort of foundation on which to build from. This book didn’t and I couldn’t stand it.

I didn’t like the characters all that much either. Scarlett worried so much that it just put me off. I understand that she came from an abusive place and that she probably has PTSD or something similar. I think I just don’t like to read books about those characters because it reminds me of my own anxiety. I thought Tella was incredibly selfish and I wanted to smack the crap out of her. Julien was okay. He seemed the most honest and the most grounded to me, which I found surprising. Legend…well I don’t know. I didn’t really get a chance to know him that well.

Honestly, this book fell into that hype trap. It was hyped up too much and it doesn’t deserve it. I know that I sound really harsh but I’m just calling it like I see it. This book wasn’t for me and unfortunately the ending piqued my attention just enough that I want to read the next book.

 

xxlacy

crown of midnight

to read a blurb about this book from Goodreads, click here. however, do not click on it if you haven’t read the first book, Throne of Glass, because it’s kind of spoilery. 

to read my review of the first instillation, Throne of Glass, click here

 

This book continues right after where Throne of Glass left off. Because I don’t want to spoil the book for those that haven’t started the series yet, I will just talk about the characters and my feelings about the speed at which the plot happened instead. So this will be a little bit like my Crooked Kingdom book review. I hope you enjoy it.

Like I said, this book takes place after ToG (Throne of Glass for those that don’t know initials for books). I was pretty excited because the ending to that book was really solid and gave CoM a lot to work with. But tith CoM, I felt like the book was a lot slower., which sometimes I like depending on the book. It took up until a little over half way from some sort of major action to happen. There was little bits of foreshadowing but nothing super major. When the action did finally happen, it happened so fast it made my head spin. I just wish there was some sort of middle speed. You know, where things happen more and more steadily instead of slooooow and then supercrazyfastaction.

Celaena was still very hot and cold for me. I did like that she showed more and more emotion and she didn’t feel bad about it. That shows me that she is growing…somewhat.  I forget that she is only 19 years old. So many things have happened to her that I expect her to be older. I liked that she finally showed off her assassin skills that she bragged about in the first book. It was cool to see just how much of a badass she was instead of her telling us that she was a badass. But she still acted like a brat. in events that really required her to be an adult. There is a certain part in the book where she proves she is still very much a child. It made me want to rip my hair out.

Chaol. I don’t really know what to say about him. It was annoying that he stifled his feelings for so long about Celaena. I mean he saw red when Dorian even looked at her. It’s like chill bruh, he just glanced at her.  But I was so glad when he finally expressed those feelings to her. I just hope he doesn’t let Celaena ruin his friendship with Dorian. I prefer Celaena with Chaol but a relationship shouldn’t come between friends. It will be interesting to see what happens to him in the next book.

Dorian has grown on me a little bit. He was incredibly irritating when he pined for Celaena. He told himself multiple times that he would let her go but in the next breath, he was back to pining. I understand that losing someone you love is hard, but he never really had her, in my opinion. He is starting to grow up, though, and accept what is going to have to do one day. He is standing up to his dad, the King, which is good. That man has far too much power for his own good.

As much as I was thrilled that my library finally had this book, I couldn’t help but feel meh. I think I was expecting something more. I don’t know. I can’t quite place my finger on what exactly it is I’m feeling. I’m hope that the next book will be a little more fast paced, especially with what we find out in the very last page. Overall, though, it was a really solid book.

 

xxlacy

crooked kingdom/character review

to read the Goodreads blurb, click here.

to read my review of the first installment, click here.

 

Have you ever read a book that felt like you were coming home? Where it felt like the characters were just waiting for you to pick up the book so they could start their adventure with you? I have only felt that way about one book series and that was Harry Potter. And now, I have a second book series to make me feel this way. I’m going to suggest that everyone stop reading right here, go get Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom and then come back and finish reading this. Because the series that damn good.

Since this book takes place right after the first book, I will just talk about the characters and how incredibly amazing they all were. So I apologize in advance if this isn’t like a typical review and if it’s crazy super long. This duology has a plot, yes, but I personally think that it is more character driven than anything. You get to watch the characters grow and find themselves and find where they belong in the world. And I think that is what makes a good series.

Kaz. Oh Kaz. He truly has grown for me. I didn’t really care for him, believe it or not. He was so ruthless and bloodthirsty that it just really put me off from him. I know that a lot people loved that about him. Not me. I did, however, like how smart he was. He had backup plans for backup plans. It was incredible. In this book, he started to show his emotions more. That is how he won me over. Yes, you can be tough and a BA but show me emotion. Cry for me. God, that makes me sound as horrible as Kaz is.

Inej. She was my absolute favorite character. I adore everything about her. I love that she is incredibly athletic. I love her name, the Wraith. I love how throughout everything that has been thrown at her and how crap her life has been, she stayed true to who she was. She kept her religion and talked about it frequently but she never shoved it down anyone’s throat. Everything about her was just perfect.

I will go down with the Kaz/Inej ship. You can’t stop me. 

Jesper. Jesper was one of those characters that I enjoyed but didn’t really know too much about. He had amazing wit and could seriously hold his own in a conversation but I felt like I didn’t get to know him in the first installment. His past and who he was just barely scratched upon. Well, in this one, I got to learn about Jesper and I like him a whole lot more now. He really is so fragile and it just breaks my heart. Despite Kaz being a hardass, I’m glad that Jesper found a home amongst the Dregs.

Waylan. Waylan was another character that I felt we didn’t get much information about. I just felt like I didn’t really know him or know how he suddenly ended up with Kaz and his crew. What I found out was incredible. How he manages to stay so positive and make friends is really beyond me. His life sounded so difficult from an early age. He really came into his own and found his gift for blowing stuff up. He immediately became another favorite after Inej.

Three words. Jesper and Waylan!!!

Nina. Nina was my least favorite out of the crew. There was just something about her that irritated me like crazy. I think it was the fact that she had the audacity to get continually upset with Matthias in the first book because of things that were basically her fault. She grew on me in this book though. She is very strong willed and I totally love the friendship between her and Inej. They are definitely friendship goals.

Matthias. The last crew member and probably another one of my least favorite. Maybe it was the constant prejudices that I had to read about. Or his weird hero worship to his commander that clearly wasn’t a good guy. I think that there was a little of things that really annoyed. He did grow on me as well. I really adored the relationship between him and Nina. They definitely win the cutest couple award.

If you have stuck it out for this long, thank you. I know that this was a lot to read and sift through but I really just wanted to share my love with you guys. Let me know if you have read this duology and what your thoughts were. If you liked this type of post, let me know. There are a lot of character driven books that I could write about as well.

 

xxlacy

throne of glass

find the Goodreads synopsis here.

 

I did it. I finally decided to buy into the hype that is Sarah J Maas or SJM for short. I didn’t know what to expect. She is the author that elicits both love and hate. I have read reviews that praise everything that she has ever written, regardless of whether it was garbage or not. I have also read reviews that criticize every single word and were sometimes bordering on unnecessarily harsh. I will be completely honest and say that I didn’t know what to expect. I think deep down, I really wanted to like this book.

Now I am glad that I gave SJM a chance and picked up Throne of Glass. It was a very fun adventure full of sassy conversations and gladiator style fighting. This book did reminded me a lot of The Hunger Games. Now, I don’t know which one was written first but regardless it was still good. This book was different enough where it didn’t feel like a cheap Hunger Games knock off.

The plot is pretty simple for the most part. There are 23 criminals of varying degrees of terrifying and deadly. (That is where it reminded me of Hunger Games) They have all been chosen to fight for a chance to be the King’s Champion. What this means is that they will have to kill whoever the King says so, no questions asked. They will be paid handsomely for it as well.

Celaena is chosen by the prince to compete to be the Champion. It’s either win or be forced to continue to work the salt mines of Endovier until it killed her. Celaena is known very well for being one of the best assassins in the kingdom. She has every chance of winning this…if she can stay alive.

I found that Celaena was hot and cold for me. I enjoyed her wit. She was clearly taught how to best people with her mind. But she was also so irritating. The beginning of this book consisted of her telling the reader that she could kill all the guards and the prince and everybody in the room before they had a chance to blink. That got really old. If she was so damn good, why didn’t she do it then? Luckily, she grew on me otherwise I probably wouldn’t have finished the book.

I also didn’t mind the love triangle that was pretty obvious. I actually don’t have a lot of experience in reading about love triangles. The books I pick up just don’t have them. I don’t know if that is good or bad. Regardless, I actually enjoyed it. I think it was needed to help Celaena become more confident. Clearly she was broken more than she cared to admit from the salt mines.

The friendship between Nehemia and Celaena was refreshing as well. Nehemia, with her questionable reasons of why she was in the King’s palace in the first place, helped Celaena be an actual human and not just a mindless killing machine. Celaena was so in her training of being an assassin that I think she forgot how to just be a girl.

I think the hype may be a little much but this series has some really awesome potential. I really liked the wit of the conversations. SJM really does know how to write dialogue, which I can only imagine is a very tricky thing to master. I was told that she wrote this when she was 16 years old. If this is true, that I take my hat off to her. I couldn’t write this coherently when I was 16. I do recommend this book. Just be patient with it and don’t let Celaena ruin it for you. She gets better, I promise.

 

 

xxlacy

the star touched queen

To read the description from Goodreads, click here.

Never in my entire life have I read such a beautifully written book. Roshani Chokshi literally painted descriptions in my mind with her words. Everything, every emotion, every memory, every feeling was painted and crafted in such a beautiful way that it made my heart sing. When the book was over, I felt physically affected. I wanted the story to go on and on. I never wanted let this book go. The characters had found their into my heart.

This is the story of Maya. She has a horoscope that says she will bring death and destruction. Because of this, she is feared and hated in her father’s palace. She doesn’t know what it is like to feel love and respect. The only love she has even known was the love from her little sister but even that isn’t enough.

Maya is a learned woman. She loves to spend time spying on her father, learning how to run a kingdom. She also has some very feminist viewpoints. During this time, women were basically married off to someone with no choice. Often times, they had to share a husband, depending on who they married. Maya wanted none of that. She wanted to be an equal in the marriage. A thing completely unheard of.

Maya is forced to be married but luckily she can chose who she wants to get married too. She chooses Amar, despite not knowing anything about him or the country he rules. What entails is a story that, for lack of better words, is completely out of this world.

I did read in another review that this is a retelling of Hades and Persephone. I cannot confirm that because I don’t know their story. All I do know is that I am ready to find out the real story. I am also ready to read more of this extremely gifted author. I really do suggest that everyone check out Roshani Chokshi. I have only read this one book but I am already a huge fan.

 

 

xxlacy