The One Thing (Marci Lyn Curtis)

>>>>  Nº 5 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book with numbers in the title <<<<

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal. 

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory. 

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met. Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the magnetic lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother. 

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future…before she loses everything she has grown to love.

Pub Date: Oct 1, 2015 by Disney Book Group

I received an eArc from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


HOLY CRAP!!! I was not quite expecting this! This book is SO GOOD!!!! This book has been on my TBR for over 3 months now, so when I saw it for request at Netgalley, I asked for it – obviously – and then I got approved (hurrrayyy!!!!!). Happy me. I picked up my Kindle while I was waiting for my computer do wake up or something, and I was just going to read the first page – you know, to get the feeling of the book – and when I realized I was two chapters in and laughing like crazy.

The writing is amazing, it flowed well between scenes and even when Maggie was remembering a past event, it only added to the understanding of a situation and never took away from the present moment. I loved how the scenes between “sighted Maggie” and “blind Maggie” differed, not wholly because it’s the same person, but the way she experiences things is different, and it was well reflected in the lines.

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Maggie… oh wow! I love Maggie! Seriously, her sarcasm got me hooked on this book. She’s so strong, even when she’s just giving up (you’ll get it when you read it). I loved her character development, after all, this is what the book is about, how to find that you’re more than just one thing… Maggie is much much more. I also loved that she read like a “normal” teenager… I mean, between all the troubles and deep emotional problems, she still couldn’t say “penis” without laughing a little… come on!

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Ben! WOW! Ben! Everytime he was talking, I was smiling… damn kid! I love him. I love how he’s not beat down by any of the various sh***y things that happen to him. I love that he smiles, that he sees the best in people. I love that he’s wise beyond his very little years. Ben also made me cry the most… oh the “Qs”!!!

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Mason Milton, oh wow, I didn’t expect to like him so much at the beginning, when he was being so cold towards Maggie. But then, after knowing the why, my heart – much like Maggie’s – melted completely. By the time they finally exchange a few words, I was shipping them like crazy!

But better than each character on their own, are their relationships. Ben and Maggie’s friendship is the cutest thing ever. The Doritos and video games… how Ben taught Maggie to want to be her again… EPIC! Mason and Ben’s sibling relationship was equally great, Mason’s protectiveness of his little brother could be read in between the lines of every scene. And Mason and Maggie… oh well, see the GIF above!

I loved the plot, with it’s twist of “supernatural”, and it totally broke me when I realized the “why” Maggie could see Ben, and why she kept seeing him better and better each day that went by. It’s really how you deal with life when it throws you a curved ball…

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I’m totally in love with this book! As soon as I finished it, I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again – alas, I couldn’t because I’m in the middle of a read-a-thon and I want to get more books in. But I will read it again soon, and I will also get a physical finished copy of this book, because I love it so much! It’s on my Top 5 of books of this year! I highly recommend it!!

Also, Marci Lyn Curtis s so nice, she actually replied me twice to my tweets!!! Oh happy day!

Rating: 5 Stars

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*** 1st book on the Bout of Books 14 Read-a-thon***

Modern Romance (Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg)

>>>>  Nº 14 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A non-fiction book #2 <<<<

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s most popular and sharpest comedic voices

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” 

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.


I first became aware of this book when Aziz when on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I never watched Parks & Rec, and I never saw anything with him, though I had a general idea of who this person was. I didn’t know however that he was a biologist, that sparked my attention, and then the description of the book got me hooked.

See, contrary to what most people who see the book in various bookshelves think, this is not an autobiography, or even a humour book. It is a real sociological investigation, and the scientist in me was tingling to get my hands on this book. After listening to Tina Fey‘s audiobook, I thought this would be a perfect way to “read” this one as well.

BEST. DECISION. EVER! Aziz is funny as hell, and the book, which by the way is amazeballs, is even better when is read by him. What he and Eric Klinenberg did was establish what has changed in the dating world in the last few decades, the why and how does it affect us and the relationships we have. It’s a bit daunting!

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It all comes down to how before marriage was viewed as a coming together of family and funds, money, lands, with the clear objective of contentment and progeny. Today’s views are nothing like that… we’re searching for our soul-mates.

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He mentions how we now have much more choices than people had in the old days, we have a whole new phase of our lives that didn’t exist years back, when we are adults and independent. We also have something more: internet and smart-phones.

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Yeah, today there are so many choices that nobody wants to “settle”, but it also induces people to believe they are settling, because it makes us believe that there’s something “better” out there. Is this really better than decades ago? Can we truly be happy if we’re convinced that someone better might be just around the corner?

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Oh yeah, and how much easier is it to say stuff online and on our phones? Stuff that we probably would not say face to face? This is a huge problem with today’s society, how when he are behind a screen we all become braver and bolder (and sometimes, a whole lot stupider).

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I completely loved this book. I loved the work behind it. I didn’t see it (as many did) as a dating advice book, sure, it will red flag a few things for you, for me it was how I wouldn’t want to live in Argentina! Also, many people were shocked by some statistics, but people, that’s statistics for you, just because you don’t agree with them, doesn’t mean they’re not true!

Seriously, all love for this book/audiobook! I will be obtaining a physical copy of it as soon as I can get it. Yeah! I loved it that much!

Rating: 5 Stars

5

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale (Liz Braswell)

>>>>>  Nº 33 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book from that reminds you of your childhood <<<<<

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney’s Aladdin. When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

Pub Date: Sep 1, 2015 by Disney Press

I received an eArc from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


This book had me really excited! I found out about when I was looking into fairytales retellings for a Top Ten Tuesday post a couple of weeks ago, I immediately marked it as “to Read”. My excitement grew when I started to roam around Netgalley and it was there, I requested it, even though my hopes were not high (I had just joined), but to my surprised this was my firs approved request and within 2 days I had a book I actually really wanted. So, as soon as I was done with Heir of Fire, I dove into this… I have always loved Aladdin, so I was expecting to love this book… I didn’t!

What a disappointment and missed opportunity! The concept of this new Disney series is to put a twist on known Disney stories, which sound great, but the result was not good.

First off, the first 25% of the book is the Disney animated movie, verbatim!

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I didn’t find Liz Braswell’s writing enjoyable. It was way too repetitive and at times over descriptive, while other times totally ignoring and forgetting to explain some situations. Also, I didn’t find the POVs clear, I like to know which side I’m reading, it helps to get into the characters and the story, but at times I had no idea… 😦

The characters that we all know and love were underdeveloped and for me the only one that truly shone was Aladdin. Jasmine had some development, but I found it lacking and, at times, truly atrocious. The Genie’s contribution is really small here, given that he’s with Jafar the whole time, he never bonds with Aladdin, and they actually only speak once… what a shame!

Some messages really rubbed me the wrong way, liked this one, which is basically saying that damn your convictions, agree with what your girlfriend wants, because you won’t find better?

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Oh, and that ending! What the hell was that?! I mean, at least there was SOMETHING in the book that I did not see coming, but that was bad… poor carpet, poor Genie, poor Sultan… And let’s not even mention Iago…

In the end, the little I enjoyed was based on the story I already knew, and if anything, it made me want to dust off Aladdin and push play.

Rating: 1.5 Stars

1-5

More Happy Than Not (Adam Silvera)

>>>  Nº 17 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book a friend recommended <<<

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

(A book recommended by a “friend” is just a way to put it… actually who recommended this book was Becky Albertalli, author of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda on her Twitter!!! But I’m just going to roll with it…)

Ok, I’m not even sure where to start with this book… it took me a big by surprise, in a good and bad way… I’m being vague here! I’ll try to do better.

I found the beginning of the book kind of slow, and I wasn’t truly understanding the great reviews that came along with the book at that point, because the writing so far was good, but the story itself was nothing spectacular. But then it all changed.

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There’s a twist, you see… the blurb only tells you the setup, but doesn’t prepare you for the reality of what actually happens to Aaron when he’s pondering if he should go to Leteo. That moment will break you, Goddamnit, it broke me so completely, and from then to the end I was totally numb, crying without actually noticing and unable to put the book down.

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This book is GUT WRENCHING! Don’t be fooled by the title, sure you might at some point of it feel more happy than not, you will come to terms to what happened, but it was not OK! None of it was OK!

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It deals with such important issues as homosexuality, lack of living conditions, homophobia, extreme violence, and the realization that whatever your sexual orientation is, it is not changeable and it is not forgettable. You are who you are, and you can only be happy when you’re ok with you are!

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Don’t be fooled by the title, this is no happy story, definitely no happy ending, the guy doesn’t get the guy and a lot of bad stuff happens… but you should definitely read it! This was me by the end of it…

Enjoy 😉

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)

>>>  Nº 22 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book that scares you #2 <<<

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Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

*** Warning, there will be SPOILERS – because it’s quite impossible to talk about this second book in the series without spoiling something! ***

Holy smokes, this book is good! I put this one within the same category as Throne of Glass – a book that scares you – because the second half of this book had me scared to death, not because I was afraid that Celaena would die, but because I was afraid that she had lost herself.

This one definitely has more twists and turns than the first one, and crap, I did not see them coming!

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(sorry, but this quote is just super fantastic!)

First, about the guys, I love Dorian to death, he will always be my number one choice. With that said, I was glad that Celaena and Chaol got together in this book, the feelings were there from the start and they had to be addressed sometime or another. I even think that maybe she’ll never love anyone as much as she loves him, that doesn’t mean I want them together.

It really bothered me though that she couldn’t quite handle Dorian in the beginning of the book, they had just broken up and she was being cold, distant and mean to him… I mean, I know why, the girl is 18 years old, I don’t think she actually knew how to deal with it anyother way. But I was glad about Dorian’s reactions, he was always the bigger man, he knew that Chaol liked Celaena and vice-versa, and took a step back and allowed them to be…

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Now, Celaena and Chaol, like I said, I like that it happened. They were cute and for a moment there I was almost rooting for them! I mean… Chaol certainly started to say more than he thought he should and he was cute and embarrassed and swoon…

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And that dance…

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And his birthday… wow, Chaol certainly had a GREAT birthday!!!

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I honestly loved their little romance, and I say little because it lasted way too little time. Seriously, with that kind of emotional “break-up”, Sarah could have least given the guy one whole month of happy sexcapades in his office or the broom closet, right?

But then the world came tumbling down and it broke my heart… Nehemia! To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sold on the Princess, she was a bit shady to me, but I enjoyed her girly times with Celaena and understood her importance to her, and then THAT happened, and it broke everything! And suddenly she was facing Dorian, and attacking Chaol, and scratching him and wanting to kill him (thank God for Dorian’s magic!), and torturing people, and sharing wicked grins with the King, and I got really scared, suddenly I was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to came back from that…

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Speaking about Dorian, he has MAGIC!!! Wow. I love it, and I love the why, why he’s able to retain something that everybody else lost. This book opens up the door for a whole lot of other stuff and I’m loving it. And all that action beneath the library!!! 😀

Archer Finn!!!

I did not saw that coming!!!! And it didn’t quite shocked me the way he ended up…

I loved that Dorian and Celaena became friends again, and that she realized that she had him. But even though I love LOVE Dorian, I do understand why Chaol did not tell her about the threat or the interrogation to Nehemia, I also see why her trust was broken, but she could have at least tried to see his side of the matter (especially after what Nehemia tells her through the portal).

This book was the perfect setup for Heir of Fire (which I’m currently reading), it has much more intrigue and mystery than Throne of Glass, and much much more magic!

I’ll tell you, for a moment there I could almost see myself shipping Celaena and Chaol (because god damn it, they’re so cute). But then when he finds out what and WHO she is, I didn’t like his reaction. I hated that he kept his distance, that he made the decision to send her away without talking to her first (even if it was for her best), and I hate that when he found out her real identity, his first thought was of the threat that she was to his kingdom and King, even though he now knew what the Kind’s been doing.

By the way, in the first book review I said that I might name my “firstborn” Celaena, but now I’m thinking that Aelin sounds much more majestic! Aelin and Aedion would be great names for twins ;-). I’m loving Sarah J. Maas’s names :D! (small remark, as I do not plan to have kids anytime in the foreseeable future, and I just got my Kindle, I decided to name it Aelin! Yes people, my Kindle has a name.)

Rating: 4.8 Stars

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Bossypants (Tina Fey)

>>>>  Nº 14 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A non-fiction book <<<<

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Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

I’ve actually owned the physical copy of this book for a few months now, but knowing that I wouldn’t get to it for a while, it went ahead to Portugal (with most of my precious). But the other day I was surfing through Audible (to see if a subscription might be worth it), and I wasn’t really sure if audiobooks were for me… (actually I decided that not so much, except for autobiographies!)

I listened to an excerpt of Bossypants, narrated by the author, the amazing Tina Fey, and I knew I NEEDED to listen to it. I was not in the least sorry. I started to listen to it right there, at work, and I started to laugh (loudly) by myself. I only paused to have diner (I needed to watch some Daily Show), and then I was back at it. The 5 hours and something flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s the best decision I made in regards to this book, listening to Tina Fey telling it was just like I was watching an interview with her, or some other funny stuff with her. I love her and her work, so I just kept enjoying it :D.

It’s still an autobiography, which are not in any way my kind of books. And that’s why I won’t rate this higher…

(and now I have this huge overwhelming desire to watch all seasons of 30 Rock for the third time…)

Rating: 4 Stars

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P.S. I Still Love You (Jenny Han)

>>>>  Nº 34 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book with a love triangle #2 <<<<

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Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

It has taken me a long time to talk about this book, I actually finished it on the first week of the month (!!!). Still, I wasn’t really sure where to fit it in the 2005 Reading Challenge, so I’ll just put it right next to the first one To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

** Warning, there will be SPOILERS because this is a rambling mess **

I was really happy to learn more about Lara Jean and Peter K’s relationship, I was so glad that they didn’t stay apart for long. But the whole video of the hot tub stuff was kind of frustrating, I thought it lasted a tad more than it should have, and I was frustrated with Peter for not admitting that it had been Gen when he found out. That said, it’s the only major complaint I have about Peter. I actually thought he was way more consistent about his feelings than Lara Jean.

I liked the family dynamic again, and I loved Kitty even more, I thought it was brilliant that she kept friends with Peter even after they broke up, and that even though she was rooting for him all along, she still defended her sister when needed be. I’m still not a big fan of Margot, and I was kind of glad that Josh didn’t want to get back to her, because it would be weird as hell, right?

I understand why Lara Jean was so mad about Peter and Gen, but she should have trusted him (although the situation itself was tricky). Still, even though she had a boyfriend, she was already exchanging letters with John and she wasn’t particularly caring about Peter’s needs… she was so focused on winning the game, that she wasn’t even being a present girlfriend for him – WAKE UP LARA JEAN!

Their break-up broke my heart, seriously, I sat there crying like a baby… so sad. And John Ambrose McClaren is great and all, but I did not ship that. I wanted her back together with Peter, and when he hardly talked to her and asked for the necklace back, again, I sobbed like a baby – not very well done Peter. But he was hurting, and it was so clear that he was hurting… my poor baby. She, however, seemed relatively OK with their breakup, and was running around with John… Peter was right, she accused him of not putting her first, but she was the one who couldn’t decide.

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Then Peter asked her back on her birthday, and gave her the necklace again, and ohhh… and John knew he didn’t stand a chance :). I cried again when they got back together :). And I was glad that she realized that the one putting Gen between the two of them was herself and not Peter, I mean, the guy couldn’t even comment on how he loved spooning without her mind immediately jumping to Gen instead of relishing the moment.

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All and all, I really liked it, I just wished we could have seen more of Lara Jean and Peter having a normal relationship, without embarrassing videos or ex-girlfriends in the mix. I just wanted to read more about Lara Jean and Peter being together, just that.

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(Jesus, Peter K is totally swoon worthy! Am I right?! Who says stuff like that?!)

Rating: 4 Stars4-

Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)

>>>  Nº 22 on My 2015 Reading Challenge – A book that scares you <<<

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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

I first intended to fit the Throne of Glass in the Trilogy topic of the challenge, but then I want to leave that for the Shatter Me trilogy, and Throne of Glass is a series and not a trilogy. So where else could it fit? The answer came easily enough: A BOOK THAT SCARES ME. First, it scared me before I started because of its raving reviews, so I was a bit intimidated by it – foolish me! The second reason is the last few chapters, oh boy, I was scared then (see below for why)!!!

Moving on… And beforehand, I apologise for the amount of quotes that I will put on this post and for its length…

How can I put my love for this book in words? I don’t know if I can. This book (and series) have received all kind of hype lately and it’s totally deserved.

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Sarah J. Maas created a wonderful world, she describes everything so well, without it getting super boring, that I could actually visualize the whole thing, from Endovier, to their journey to Rifthold, to the glass castle.

The plot is pretty great as well, it’s well placed and alternates well between action scenes and more personal and emotional scenes.

tumblr_inline_mo7e6oviyI1rlpk9cThe characters?! OMG, these people are perfect! Not really, but so close.

Celaena Sardothien is my new hero. She’s the kind of character that leaves such a mark, that I wouldn’t put it pass me to name my firstborn after her (if I ever intended to have one). She’s such a breath of fresh air! Yes, she kicks ass, she’s an assassin, she fights like hell, she’s tough, and yet, she loves clothes and shoes, and shopping, she loves books and she loves to flirt and she loves to laugh. After everything that she went through, she laughs!

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The guys… I’m having such trouble here, I don’t know who I like best.

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Dorian, the Crown Prince, is so much fun to read and he’s amazing, he wants to be a man, a king for her, he’s courageous and sarcastic and has so much sass, he also has a long history with women. But he’s so charming and he loves her so much, and he’s willing to stand up to everything to be with her.

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Then we have Chaol, Captain of the Guard, Dorian’s best friend, who is so clearly in love with her. He takes a long time long time to trust her, but when he does, he trusts her completely (against his better judgement). I like him so much. And poor guy, he always ends up with the short end of the stick, I lost count to how many times Celaena vomited in front of him… not very charming.

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I laughed so hard when she was cramping and Chaol literally ran out of the room when she told him why she was indisposed. LOL! Poor guy. Dorian on the other hand was able to deal with it like it was nothing… so different, and yet both so good and perfect.

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The supernatural/magic/fae element definitely has me intrigued and I can’t wait to learn more about Elena and what lies beyond. Also, I want to know the King’s plans.

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I thought that the different POVs were an excellent way to narrate the story. I could have done without Kaltain Rompier POV, though I understand its importance for the understanding of the story.

**** SPOILERS ****

This book had me scared! I obviously knew that Celaena would come out of the last dual alive (I already own the other books), but for a moment there I thought she was going to lose and be sent to Endovier again.

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Also, I totally understood why she broke it off with Dorian, she hadn’t been free since she was 8, and she didn’t want anything to stand in her way – fair enough. But still, it broke my heart!

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Rating: 4.7 Stars

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Red Queen: Maven

This is a bit random, but I forgot to mention this when I review Red Queen, and I really wanted to share it. You know when you get a picture in your mind of one specific character, you can fully visualize him and all. Maven for me was the easiest person to visualize from Red Queen, why? Well, because I imagine him as a young Loki. Black hair, blue eyes, youngest brother, inferiority complex, … he’s a young Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

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Does anyone else see it?!

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An Ember in the Ashes (Sabaa Tahir)

>>  Nº 4 on My 2015 Reading Challenge –A book published this year <<

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Laia is a slave. 

Elias is a soldier. 

Neither is free. 

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. 

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

I adored this book! I found the world building exceptional and a bit terrifying, but it was complex and well-constructed, and the setting is amazing.

It took me a little time to get really into the book – not the book’s fault though – it just coincided with me being at a new place, less time to read in my commute to work, the raging heat and the fact that I own the hardcover and it is heavy as hell. Still, the pacing is great, especially when Laia and Elias’s lives become entangled.

Speaking of Laia and Elias, they are both strong characters and I really liked the dual perspective of the book, given that their time together is not that much, it is important to have both sides of the story. But if I had to pick one over the other, it would have been Elias, I LOVE Elias, and his chapters had so much feeling to it. Laia kind of annoyed me at first, with her feeling guilty and wanting to save her brother at all costs – honey, your brother told you to run, if you had stayed he wouldn’t be happy about it.

Jealous Elias is the best!

Jealous Elias is the best!

But once she meets Elias and begins to open her eyes to everything around her, she grows so much, she has an incredible amount of character development and I can’t wait to read more about her.

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The writing is amazing, and Sabaa Tahir knows how to play with our emotions… OMG, that third trial broke me! I was sobbing in the subway… SOBBING! Worst! I cried for MARCUS!!! Can you believe it? I cried when he was telling Elias what he had done during that trial, and I could have killed the Augurs for it.

I love how the Augurs manipulated all the situations so Elias and Laia could run, because they are both embers in the ashes… well played!

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Some random stuff – there might be SPOILERS:

  • Those masks… they go exactly to where? Because I thought that they covered the whole face, but then when Elias returned from the first trial, he explicitly said that his beard was visible… so how? Does it grow through the mask? Does the mask not cover the whole face? Do you have an answer for me? I’m dying to know.
  • I really liked Elias family dynamic, I loved that even though his grandfather was a ruthless mask, he did love his family and defended Elias with all he had.
  • The Commander though, right? I mean, is she for real? I kind of love hating her.
  • This world is cruel as hell, but incredible in a world where rape is talked almost nonchalantly, woman have important roles and can ascent to any position.
  • I really liked Helene, though not for Elias, and I’m seriously afraid of what will happen to her now, that she swore herself to Marcus and will not break her promise.
  • Keenan though, I wasn’t such a fan. Sure, he had a few moments, but he didn’t understand Laia at all and I can’t help but feel that, given his feelings for her, he could have done more to warn her of Mazen’s intentions.
  • I need to know more about Cook, and about what Laia’s mother did. And I need to know who Elias father was.
  • Oh, and I need them to hook up for real in the next book, that kiss was more than all right, but come one, they can do better.
  • That third trail though, I still have bad thoughts about it. It was so damn cruel, Elias and Helene having to kill their friends and have their friends kill each other, and ultimately having to kill each other… nasty.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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