Mid-Year Freak Out Tag (2016 Edition)

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Hey guys! We’re halfway through the year, which means it’s time for the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag, and Deanna @A Novel Glimpse was awesome and tagged me to do it 😀 . Thank you Deanna!!!


BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2016

Without a doubt, my favorite book of this year so far was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. It was bonkers and amazing and I want and need more. I don’t know how Sarah J. Maas keeps doing it, but I love her books more and more.


BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2016

So many!!! But I’ll settle with another of my favorites of this year, and that is Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. This book stole my heart completely. I love Jamie and Wes and I miss my boys dearly.

   


NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

Looking around my room, I’ll say The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker, that has been sitting on my shelf since March totally untouched, and I really really want to read it.

*shame on me*


MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Probably Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I love the Throne of Glass series, and I have high hopes for book 5, because I’m one of those loving the direction she’s been giving to the series. I’m curious to see if it will take the place of favorite read of the year away from ACOMAF


BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

I had high hopes for South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf, because I’m a huge fan of LGBT contemporaries, and I was in the need to read more F/F romances. Unfortunately this book didn’t match my expectations, and didn’t deal with important issues like the way I thought it should


BIGGEST SURPRISE

One of my biggest surprises this year so far was Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach. This book blew me away, and I know a lot of people didn’t quite like it, but I thought it was an amazing book, and I would like to shove it in everyone’s face!


FAVORITE NEW AUTHORKelly Siskind CREDIT Eirik Dunlop

Can I name 2?! I need to say Elle Kennedy, who wrote my favorite two NA series (Off Campus and Him), because she’s amazing! And then Kelly Siskind, because each time I read one of her books, it makes me so so happy (and she’s also super nice).


NB_milesNEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Confession time: I have a lot of new crushed this year, and I’ll chose this one because I really want to use a pic of the actor playing the role. So I’m going for Miles from Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover, because REASONS!

And that guy is hottie Nick Bateman, who’s set to play Miles in the Ugly Love movie!!! And that’s his cutie dog Joey 😀 .


NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Julian Blackthorn stole my heart in Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I love him! I love him so much that he might have stolen Jem’s place as my favorite shadowhunter (and book boyfriend). Julian is strong, loving, mysterious. He would do ANYTHING for the people he loves. There’s still so much more to know about him, and I can’t wait.


BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Oh my god… I cried so much when I finished Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. This book is so heartbreaking… so good, but so heartbreaking.

And I have no clue as to how I’m going to review it, because my heart is breaking just thinking about it.


BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Smut by Karina Halle was a book that made me happy because it put a huge smile on my face. This book had an awesome plot, and awesome romance and it was funny as hell.

Also, so damn sexy!


FAVORITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

I don’t think I’ve seen adaptations this year, besides Captain America: Civil War, so I’m gonna say that one. I loved this movie, and it’s Marvel, which is always good on my book.

   


FAVORITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

Are you kidding?! Do you know how much I posted this year already?! LOL. I really liked to do this TTT post though, about first kisses. Also, check how I was doing with my challenges 3 months ago here, but know that I’m way ahead now!


MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

One of the most beautiful books I’ve got this year so far was Night Owls (or The Anatomical Shape of a Heartby Jenn Bennett .

I love this cover so much. I fell in love with it the minute I locked eyes with this book at Waterstones.


WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

There are 2 contemporaries that I’m dying to read, and they are Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. I’m thinking that maybe September will be their month (because August will be NA month).


I tag EVERYONE who wants to do this tag, because I need to know how you are all doing so far this reading year 🙂 .

Book Traveling Thursdays: A Favorite Book

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Hello, welcome back to another Book Traveling 168709Thursdays, which a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. The goal is to share the covers of a book related to that week’s theme, which you can see at the Goodreads group, indicating the original cover, the one of your country, your favorite and least favorite.

This week’s theme is “World Book Day is in a couple of days! Choose one of your all-time favorite books“. I could go with so many… but not all of them have that many covers, so I’m settling with Heir of Fire, because Aelin and Rowan rock (and QoS doesn’t have that many covers…).


Original COver:

I really like the US cover of this book. I like to colors of the different books.

COVER FROM MY COUNTRY (PORTUGAL) & COVER FROM THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN (SPAIN):

No covers for either country… sorry!

Favorite COVER(s):

My favorite cover is for sure the UK one. I love love love these UK covers, and they look so gorgeous on my shelf.

LEAST FAVORITE COVER(s):

                                             

There aren’t that many different covers for this one, but I really don’t like the Dutch and Russian editions, especially the Dutch one. Is it just me or that girl looks like an Elf from The Lord of The Rings?!

Book Traveling Thursdays: A Book With a Badass Heroine

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Hello, welcome back to another Book Traveling 168709Thursdays, which a weekly meme created by Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle @Danielle’s Book Blog. The goal is to share the covers of a book related to that week’s theme, which you can see at the Goodreads group, indicating the original cover, the one of your country, your favorite and least favorite.

This week’s theme is “It was International Women’s Day!! Choose a book with a badass heroine“.  People, I tried to look at different books, I did, but ultimately I have to go back to Celaena Sardothien on this one (even if I think that Aelin is much more badass than Celaena…). So, Throne of Glass it is.


Original COver:

This is one of those cases where I’m just so freaking glad that they changed the cover design after the first book, because this cover was not good.

COVER FROM MY COUNTRY (PORTUGAL) & COVER FROM THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN (SPAIN):

                                           

I’m so glad that the portuguese edition used the UK cover design, but I’m not a fan of the red letters. About the spanish cover… hmmm, I honestly thought this was a temporary design, but I guess not. It’s beautifully simplistic though.

Favorite COVER(s):

                                           

My favorite cover, without a doubt, is the UK edition, and I’m so glad I own it :D. This book (like the rest of this series) is just gorgeous! But that Dutch edition is kind of beautiful, right? I like it!

LEAST FAVORITE COVER(s):

               

Ok, these are some pretty bad ones. The worst, in my opinion, is the hebraic edition… I mean, what even? Then the Turkish is just a bit weird, but still it’s the least bad of the three. The Romanian cover is something that I don’t even understand.

Queen of Shadows (Sarah J. Maas)

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Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire — for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . . 

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return. 

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


I don’t even know how to start this review. Each time I think about reviewing this book, I just look at it and think that maybe I should just read it again, to properly convey to you how awesome I thought this book was. But I have so many other good books to read, I can’t read this one over and over, right?

So, on we go. This will obviously have a lot of SPOILERS, for the four previous books in the series, but for this one as well. So, people, if you haven’t read Queen of Shadows, I love you, but go away! Also, be aware that I’ll probably throw some highly unpopular opinions onto this review – which will probably not even feel like a review anyway. You have been warned.

First off, let me tell you, this book was my favorite read of the year. The buddy read and crazy talks on twitter had a hand on it, but the book itself is fantastic! A LOT of action, a lot of plot twists, a lot of plot in general, some romance, a lot of bromance and awesomeness all around.

I’m gonna first of all address the highest criticism made to this book: “Celaena and Chaol are out of character”. I read this over and over again, everywhere, even from people who enjoyed this book a lot. Maybe I’m from a different planet, because I thought they were very much in character throughout the whole thing.

First of all, if you’re still referring to Aelin as Celaena, you probably will never be happy about this story or any other that follows. She has been Aelin since the moment that she forgave herself and accepted her true power and lineage, with all the burden that comes with it. Celaena is still there inside of Aelin, but Aelin is so much more! Celaena COULD rattle the stars, while Aelin DOES rattle the stars. See the difference?

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I found it so natural that she wouldn’t trust anyone implicitly, because Celaena didn’t either – or are we forgetting that she only told Chaol the truth about everything because she didn’t have much choice?

Now, about Chaol, this is a guy who is trying to displace the guilt he feels onto someone else… Aelin is an easy target. He’s also not a 100% wrong about what he says. The fact that she holds things from him, makes him doubt her, and the same the other way around, a lot of miscommunication, which by the way had already happened in Crown of Midnight. Chaol actually had a great development throughout this book. He had claimed his side on the end of Heir of Fire, but it was never Aelin’s side, it was always Dorian’s, so why would he side with her when she got back? He suffered a lot and the only thing I think him guilty of was not even trying to understand her side of the question, but guilt ridden as he was, I thought that was natural.

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Neither of them are perfect, so their reaction to each other, I found it so organic. Sorry if you guys don’t agree, it’s totally fine ;-).

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Arobynn Hamel… Ok, so he’s totally the worst, right? I wanted him dead. No doubt about it. BUT… I felt his dynamic with Aelin super intriguing and I wanted more. I actually liked him better here than on The Assassin’s Blade, because now she knew what he wanted from her, and I honestly felt that was natural, even though repulsing at the same time. But come on, he was never a father figure to her, and if he had no problem with bedding Lysandra who is the same age as Aelin, why wouldn’t he want the same with her. And I do feel like he truly loved her, in his own twisted and sick way. What he had done to Sam, that was the work of a very jealous man… Truth is, I felt that Arobyn was such a well written villain, and I wanted to see more of him. I liked his death, though I wished that Lysandra had drugged him prior to sleeping with him and slitting his throat, because the risk of him waking up was so big, and I was so afraid for her.

Onto Lysandra… I had a hard time trusting her in The Assassin’s Blade, but I liked her then, I liked that she provoked Celaena. And Sam liked her, so how bad could she actually be, right? So, when she first appeared with Evangeline, I not only liked her, but my heart broke for her. Then she devolved this friendship with Aelin and it was such a majestic thing, how these two girls had each other’s backs, and they needed another girl in their lives so bad. I also likes Lysandra’s interactions with the rest of the gang, especially Aedion, oh, the Ghost Leopard thing was amazing.

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Before heading to the romance part, I’m going to mention the witches, who had a lot more to do in this book. For most of the time Manon was a bit frustrating, she was also in a very tough spot… I really felt for her, truly, but she spent way too much time in a state of indecision between what she felt was right and what was expected of her, and I was glad when Asterin finally broke her and made her see the truth. I liked Elide, she has potential, though I felt that she had a lot of page time in Queen of Shadows, and that maybe half of it could have been given to someone else.

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When Manon finally faces off Aelin it was EPIC! And the fact that she could summon Dorian back because the Valg Prince in him recoiled from her – AMZING! Let’s get something straight, I don’t think I’m non board with this crazy ship – Manon and Dorian – but I do think they’ll have an important role in each other’s lives and they will probably be the support they both need in the next book.

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Speaking of Dorian, oh, my dear Dorian… his chapters hurt. They physically hurt me! I had my heart clenched each time Dorian had a small amount of POV, because yes, they were all very small, but they had so many damn feelings in it, that my heart was breaking all the damn time. And yet, I felt that his chapters were perfect: short and painful. They showed exactly what was going on inside him and boy… it was not pretty. The only thing that bugged me a bit was his inability to fight the Valg inside him… Caltrain did it, although her Valg could have been less powerful, or maybe not… Dorian was also heartbroken when the Valg took over, and he probably wanted to give in a little, because he felt so responsible for Sorcha’s death.

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But that final battle… WOW!!!! Aelin and Dorian and the King and Chaol… WOW WOW WOW!!!! Aelin and Dorian, Fire and Ice, and all glorious! It was beyond perfect!!!

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Finally, onto the romance… I know a LOT of people had a problem with the romance in this book. Some didn’t like Aelin with Rowan, some said that their romance came out of nowhere, or that there was way too much focus on the romance, or a lot of other things. I don’t care. I thought it was perfect! To be honest, I’ve been shipping Aelin and Rowan since they met in Heir of Fire, and you might say “but they were only friends, the romance doesn’t make sense” and I say BULLSH*T!!!!

Yes, they were friends in Heir of Fire, but there was always something more there (at least for me). It was the way they understood each other completely, how they fought and pushed each other, the nights spent in the same bed and Aelin’s reiterations that she was attracted to him (cofcof). The way they were willing to die for each other when they hadn’t known each other for that long. They are each other’s best friends and the love they fell for one another was already pretty evident in book 3. About the sexual attraction, yep, I think it was there too, actually, I think it was there from the first time that Rowan bit her. Again, YES – HE BIT HER TO PROVOKE HER AND NOTHING MORE, BUT his reaction after (after the biting and then when he learned about her scars) told me that maybe he wasn’t totally being honest with himself. So, when they’re finally reunited on this book, I was giddy from happiness, and I loved every single torment that they gave each other, the hair washes, the nightgowns and the lack of underwear… they are equals in every single way.

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And boy, it’s GLORIOUS! And there’s something that Rowan thinks after they kiss for the first time, that made me wonder if had been wondering if not only could he find someone after Lyria, but also if Aelin is that someone… and I’m guessing (by his extremely positive reaction) that the answer is YES on both accounts.

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Another huge thing that I think people are still clinging to is Sam. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sam just as any other girl, but – don’t kill me please – I think that Sam is overrated! *okok, have you calmed down yet?*

Let me make my case, ok? Sam was amazing, sure, and he was in love with Celaena for a long time, but she was in love with him for a really SHORT one. And they were together for only one month before he died. And let’s not forget, it wasn’t a good month! They loved each other a lot, but they fought a lot too, and Aelin never got to the point of trusting him implicitly. So, while he was SUPER important in her life and for her growth, I don’t think she loved him MOST OF ALL, and I’m not sure that they would have had a future, had he lived… she wouldn’t be the person she is now, that’s for sure, and that would be a shame, because Celaena was great, but Aelin is freaking AWESOME!

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I LOVED the bromances in Queen of Shadows! There’s Chaol and Dorian, obviously, after the “I love you” in Heir of Fire, and Chaol doing everything he can to save Dorian and all. But Aedion and Rowan!!!! They have my heart, because those 2 freaking fae (half-fae) males are so damn AMAZING! 😀 😀 😀

And Aelin was beyond glorious!!!! The “Firebreathing bitchqueen” is freaking amazing!!!

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So, to sum it up, I loved this book – if that wasn’t clear so far. I loved the action, the plot, the characters and their development. I loved the amazing females in this book, the males, the men, the witches and the shapeshifter. I LOVED the plot twists, and I can’t wait to see where it will all go. I loved the friendships, and the fights, and the romance. I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK!!!

Now I apologise for my LONG (2000 words *cofcof*) “review” that is more of a fangirl and opinion dumping. I know most of you won’t agree with some of the things I said, but that’s totally fine ;-). Also, one of the reasons I loved reading this book so much was thanks to Josie, Anjie and Erika, so, thank you girls – even if Anjie will positively hate what I wrote here.

(I’m sorry, this was too cute not to share! Little Rowan – source)

AND NOW I REALIZE THAT I’LL PROBABLY END UP WRITING ANOTHER REVIEW FOR THIS BOOK ONCE I REREAD IT, BECAUSE I FEEL THAT I STILL HAVE A LOT MORE TO SAY ABOUT IT.

The Assassin’s Blade (Sarah J. Maas)

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive. 

Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever… 

Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.


This book is a bind up of 5 novelas that are set up before Throne of Glass. Actually, about the events that lands Celaena at the salt mines of Endovier… and this reads more like a novel than 5 different novellas.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

I thought this novella was a great introduction to the story, to Celaena and Sam, to their bond (or lack thereof) and to what set things in motion…

4/5 Stars

The Assassin and the Healer

This one felt so short, but I really liked Yrene and I wanted to see more of her. Hopeful we will 😀 !

4/5 Stars

The Assassin and the Desert

I really liked the Silent Assassins and I want the Mute Master and Ilias to come back and help Celaena sometime in her life, because they were awesome. I also loved Ansel, despite everything, and my heart broke when she did what she did, though I could sympathize with her… I didn’t like the fact that she killed her lover (than was totally in love with her) with so much ease. I’ll be eagerly awaiting for their return.

And why didn’t Sam meet her in the desert? o_O I wanted him to go to her!

4.5/5 Stars

The Assassin and the Underworld

This was my favorite novella. I loved Sam. I loved jealous Celaena. I loved their badassery. I hated Arobynn Hamel, since he beat the crap out of both of them, and I wanted to kill him! How dare he? Use Celaena’s money to buy Lysandra’s bidding? GRRRR!!! I could have killed him! And then he did what he did…

Sam though… ❤

“I love you,” he repeated shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. And if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It.”

Can we talk about the fact that Dorian asked her to dance and to be HIS for a few dances?! 😀 My fangirl heart almost gave away at that. But Sam was there 😉 .

5/5 Stars

The Assassin and the Empire

The only problem I have with this novella is that it has a short time span. Why on Earth did SJM only give 1 month of happiness to Sam and Celaena? Are you kidding me? The boy spent his life loving her and only gets one month of sleeping happily beside her, without even getting lucky or she saying that she loves him? That’s cruel! She even took away the good soap!

Have I mentioned how much I hate Arobynn?

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I broke at the end. Not because Sam died – I knew it was coming after all – but because of how she reacted. Her grief was so raw… that it broke my heart. Her trip to Endovier was TORTURE!!!

“I’m Celaena Sardothien and I will not be afraid.”

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4.5/5 Stars


Overall, I really enjoyed this novellas and how they flowed together. I did wished that it spanned throughout more time. I wanted Celaena and Sam’s connection to be stronger than it was. I wanted to see more of Sam as well, I feel like 3 novellas was not enough.

Now I’m feeling the urge to go through the last 2 books to find any reference I might have missed about any of these people.

Also, I love Celaena. When she says that she will consider leaving some of her shoes, but no way is she going to leave her books… my girl!

Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

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