Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

CoMReview

My Thoughts:

*Because this is a second book there may be spoilers*

Sometimes with series they peak with the first novel; not with this series. It is hard to even put into words how much I enjoyed the second novel in the Throne of Glass series. It was the perfect combination of familiarity and newness that it dragged you even further into the world of Celaena Sardothien.

There is more kicking ass, character and world building, love, heartbreak, magic and just about everything you could hope in a second book. My heart and mind were literally pulled from one extreme to the next over and over.

I don’t want to give anything away, but it is safe to say that you grow to love the characters even more in this second book…and you may or may not (depending on which male you prefer in the series) be overcome with emotions with a certain pairing and their storyline.

If you are looking into reading this series I suggest you pick up the first book (Throne of Glass) immediately so you can get to Crown of Midnight and then Heir of Fire (review to come).

This series, the story, and its characters has won over my heart and has taken its place on my top book shelf of favourites. I NEED MORE NOW!

My Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars. I loved it and can’t recommend this series enough. If you want to read about a strong, complex, and just an all around great main female character this is the book for you. But even if that isn’t what you were looking for you should read it because I say so.

Favourite Quotes: 

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

“The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realised she was home.”

“The best lies were always mixed with truth.”

“Some things you hear with your ears. Others, you hear with your heart.”

Top 10 Books I Read in 2014

bestofedit I don’t have as many books to choose from as some people do, but I did read 30 this year and I definitely have my favourites. This post isn’t just going to be books published in 2014, it is going to be a list of the top ten books I have read this year despite when it was originally published. Alright, no more rambling…let’s do this:

10. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

As soon as I saw this book in the bookstore I knew I needed it in my life. I thought it was really funny and resonated with me as someone who is in the same shoes (more or less) as the author. While the book does deal with boys and dating life – or lack thereof – it really brings home the value of having great friends who you can trust and love. It is a great book to pass around with your girlfriends.
Favourite quote:
“In fact, I think that’s probably what the Bermuda Triangle is up to. It doesn’t mean to do any harm, and it’s actually pretty nice once you get to know it. It’s just that Bermuda doesn’t know how to handle itself when somebody sails into its territory, because that hardly ever happens.”

9)  American Gods by Neil Gaiman 

When I started this book I didn’t think it was going to make it on my list of favourite books of the year, but here we are. My love for this book was a slow build from beginning to end; I didn’t realize how much I was enjoying it until it was suddenly over. The book was just so good and different from anything I have read and I feel like, if you haven’t already done so, you should read it too. Be sure to check out my review of American Gods!
Favourite Quotes:
“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.”

8) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

It has certainly been a long time coming with this book. I’m ashamed to say how long it even took my to realize this series of books existed – I’m pretty sure when it was starting off I was in my Harry Potter bubble that no one could even think of entering. Well, now that I’ve started the series I’m definitely going to enjoy slowly making my way through it. I’m excited to see what other adventures the sassy Percy and his gang get up to in future books!
Favourite quotes:
“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”
“Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.”
“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”
“Humans see what they want to see.”

7) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 

This is the first, but certainly not the last Rainbow Rowell book you will be seeing on this list. Attachments was the first of Rowell’s adult books that I read and I really, really enjoyed it. It was adorable, funny, and had – as per usual – fantastic characters that you can’t help but love. Seriously though, this guy is clearly one of the earliest cyber-creepers but you can’t help but love him. It was a super fast read and I just can’t wait to finally pick up Landline this year so I can say I’ve read all Rowell’s books to date.
Favourite quotes:
“Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”
“I believe that worrying about a bad thing prepares you for it when it comes. If you worry, the bad thing doesn’t hit you as hard. You can roll with the punch if you see it coming.”

6) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I told you Attachments wouldn’t be the last Rowell novel you will see (spoiler: this isn’t either). Rowell definitely became an instant buy author for me this year. This untraditional love story was so good all the way through. The characters and their stories were so great that you can’t help but feel for and with them. One of Rowell’s strengths is her characters and that is why I love her writing so much. I wrote a review of Eleanor & Park so feel free to check that out!
Favourite quotes:
“I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death.”
“You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”

5) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

2014 was also the year I became obsessed with Mindy Kaling. Not in a weird way, but in the way where I’m pretty certain if we ever met we would be instant best friends (with Jennifer Lawrence too). After binge watching The Mindy Project in less than a week and watching as many interviews with Kaling on Youtube I could find the next obvious step would be to read her memoir…and I wasn’t disappointed. I found my self laughing out loud while reading this book – as expected. This series of essays about Kaling’s life has me impatiently waiting for her next book which I believe will be coming out later this year!
Favourite Quotes: 
“There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”
“There Has Ceased to Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes”

4) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I told you there was more Rowell to come; Fangirl was definitely my favourite of her books I read this year. I just found the main character to be so relatable and, I mean, who wouldn’t love to find their own Levi. It’s a great read for all fangirl’s alike and even though I didn’t think the fanfiction aspect was super strong, the actual plot and characters brought Fangirl to my number four spot. I wrote a review on Fangirl which you can take a look at!
Favourite quotes:
“There Has Ceased to Be a Difference Between My Awake Clothes and My Asleep Clothes”
“You’re never going to find a guy who’s exactly like you—first of all, because that guy never leaves his dorm room.”

3) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This. Book. I think my top three books of the year are pretty interchangeable so this book could easily fill the second or first spot. I honestly didn’t think this books was going to make it so high on my list of favourites when I first started reading it. I found I was having a really difficult time getting into the story…but then, all of a sudden, I was hooked and the rest is history. I cried for a solid 20 minutes after finishing this book. It was so beautiful and utterly heartbreaking. If anyone ever says anything bad to me about young adult fiction ever again I’m going to throw this book (and the next book on the list) at their face and just watch their minds change as they read this story. SO GOOD.
Favourite Quotes:
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

2) More Than This by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness was also added to my list of instant buy authors – and that was only after one book! I mean, I already own two more of his books, I just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. I have a feeling they will probably be on my 2015 favourite list though if this book is any indication. I flew through More Than This and I really, really loved it. I went into the story not knowing a single thing about the plot and I can honestly say I was not expecting this book to be the way it was, which made it so much better. I love being taken aback by a story. I think that everyone should read this book because a) I say so and b) it’s awesome. You can’t argue against that. Check out my review of More Than This here.
Favourite Quote:
“A book… it’s a world all on its own too. A world made of words, where you live for a while.”
“Know yourself and go in swinging.”

1) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I couldn’t just pick one. It wasn’t happening. I am SO happy I read this series this year (in 10 glorious days if we are going to be exact). It is everything you could possibly want in a (older) YA fantasy series: a super badass lead female character who is still super feminine, a plethora of good looking men to read about and argue over, great action sequences, and AMAZING world building. I simply can not wait any longer for the next book in the series; I need it now. If you are interested in seeing my review of the first book – Throne of Glass – click here and I promise I will try and get the reviews for the rest of the series up ASAP! I’m not going to include a favourite quotes section here because it will take FOREVER to pick.

And those are the top ten books I read in 2014! Ok, so I cheated a little by including a series but we can just overlook that little detail.

Let me know what your favourite books of 2014 were or send me a link to your list because I (clearly) need to add to my TBR list! Here’s to another year of great books!

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Book Details:
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 404
Published: August 2nd 2012
Goodreads Rating: 4.17

Blurb:

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.

My Thoughts: 
You know that moment when you start a series and there comes a point where you realise you care more about the characters and what is going to happen  than your own life? Yeah, that’s what happened here.

I honestly haven’t read too much fantasy – Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings aside – so I was a little worried I wasn’t going to get into this one despite the amazing reviews I had seen and been told, but boy was I wrong. I, very quickly, became invested in the characters lives; I wanted to understand them, get to know them better, see love and happiness for them, and just see what the heck was going to happen with their story lines.

Celaena Sardothien is a complete badass who still cares for shoes and clothes; she is such a great female character and I think all girls should get to know her. I wanted to be her and I wanted to be her best friend.

Second to Celaena my favourite character is Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall. I love him. So much. His character development and thought process throughout the novel was so interesting. So many feelings…but those will be looked at further in my Crown of Midnight review.

The Crown Prince (Dorian) and the Princess of Eyllwe (Nehemia) were also fantastic and engaging characters.

Basically, all the characters in the series are fantastic which is always something I look for in books, but especially in series.

There is no pure good in this story – though I think it is fair to say that the bad guys are pretty bad. All the characters have these amazing layers you can’t wait to dive into.

This novel is very clearly a set up novel that will allow the world and the story to grow as the series continues (as we will look at in future reviews).

Only one thing stood out to me as a negative; I found that there was a lot of repetition of titles. There is only so many times I need to hear that Celaean is Ardalan’s Assassin. Repeated way too many times.

Overall, the book was so great – a world set up book, but amazing nonetheless.

My Rating: 
4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good fantasy series that has an extremely strong female lead.

Favourite Quotes:
“Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”

“No. I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.”

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

“Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them.”

Getting Through the Pile One Book at a Time: October TBR

TBR

Everyone seems to have a themed TBR list for the month of October and I’m here to say that I will…not be doing that. Sorry guys, horror novels are not my thing. I wouldn’t sleep ever again, probably. I’ve been on a reading spree so far in October; I’m on my 4th book already (though only three will be listed since I put Throne of Glass on my September Wrap Up list even though I finished it in October (shh). I really hope I keep this reading binge up because now I’m only two books behind on my reading challenge and I want to get ahead!

Enough blabbing, let’s get to this list:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher:
Bloomsbury 
Published: 
August 27th 2013
Genre:
YA Fantasy
Pages:
420
Blurb:
 “A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.
Goodreads Rating: 4.51
Status: Completed AND OMG I AM SO OBSESSED. This series honestly just gets better and better. I hate how much I love this because usually when I become this obsessed with a book a movie is around the corner, but that’s not happening here and I’m sad. I just. I loved this book, and I will be doing a review very soon.

Fortunately, the Milk… by Neil Gaiman
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Children’s
Published: September 17, 2013
Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s Fantasy
Pages: 160
Blurb: You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.
Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk.
Goodreads Rating: 4.04
Status: Completed. I wanted a really quick, fun read after I finished Crown of Midnight and was waiting for Heir of Fire to arrive in the mail so, naturally, this was the perfect choice. It was funny and super sweet…plus it is Neil Gaiman who is an author I’ve been dying to read more of. So cute!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: 
Bloomsbury
Published: September 2, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 565
Blurb: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
Goodreads Rating: 4.63
Status: 46% complete and I’m loving it. Celaena is such a badass I can’t even deal with it and, despite his stubbornness, I still love Chaol.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: 
Bloomsbury
Published: March 4, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 435
Blurb: Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.
When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives.
A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers listeners a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling and deadly world.
Included in this volume:
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
The Assassin and the Healer
The Assassin and the Desert
The Assassin and the Underworld
The Assassin and the Empire
Goodreads Rating: 4.55
Status: N/A. I haven’t started this yet, but you better believe I will be reading this as soon as I finish Heir of Fire. 

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan
Publisher: 
Disney Hyperion Books
Published: March 21st 2005
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Pages: 377 c.
Blurb: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
Goodreads Rating: 4.18 out of 5 stars
Status: Yes this is still here, but I’ve started it and I’m about 20% in. It’s adorable so far, but I’ve put it on hold for Heir of Fire for so many reasons.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Publisher: 
Black Swan
Published: Reprinted September 8, 2007
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pages: 560
Blurb: HERE IS A SMALL FACT – YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH.
It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW – DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.
Goodreads Rating: 4.36
Status: N/A. I guess this will be my “spooky-ish” book of the month. I’m actually SO excited to get to this book, it has been on my to-read list for way to long.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher:
Plume
Published: March 27, 2012 (paperback)
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Pages: 323
Blurb: Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
Goodreads Rating: 3.97
Status: N/A. This month is full of some pretty intense books so I wanted to add something nice and fluffy to end my October TBR.

And that’s that. What books do you plan on reading this month?

Getting Through the Pile One Book at a Time: September Wrap Up

Wrap Up

We are already six days into the month of October and I still can’t quite believe that it’s here already. Time just moves so quickly I can’t deal with it. My reading game wasn’t too bad this month; it could have been better and could have been worse. I managed to read almost all the books on my September TBR and I’ve become obsessed with a new series (like Hunger Games and Harry Potter level of obsessed), but more on that later.

So without further ado – here are the books I finished in September:

The Death Cure by James Dashner
Quick Review:
I think this was a pretty good conclusion for the trilogy…give or take a few things of course. This book was definitely a slower read than the other two and I didn’t like it quite as much. And Thomas frustrated me to no end. To see my full review of The Maze Runner trilogy click here!
My Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

More Than This by Patrick Ness
Quick Review:
I. Loved. This. Book. LOVE IT. Like I want to climb to the top of a mountain and yell about my love for all the world to hear. One of the best books I’ve read all year. Patrick Ness has a new fan in this girl; I can’t wait to read more of his stuff. See my full review of the novel here!
My Rating:
A perfect 5 out of 5 stars

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Quick Review:
It took me a while to really get into this story, but once I did I enjoyed it. That being said, I do think that its reputation ruined it a bit for me – just wasn’t as good as I was expecting. I will have a full review of this up sometime with week as well as an Adaptation Report for the film!
My Rating: 
3.5 out of 5 stars

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Quick Review:
Kind of cheating with this one as I finished it on October 1st, but SHH. There isn’t much to say other than: I’m obsessed. Totally and completely obsessed. I’ve already finished Crown of Midnight and I can’t deal with it. A review will be up ASAP! SO MANY FEELS. AND CHAOL. Okay, I’m done.
My Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars

And that’s that! The only book I didn’t end up getting to was The Lightning Thief (aka the first book in the Percy Jackson series), but I did just start that book as I wait for Heir of Fire to arrive in the mail. October may pan out to be a good month as I’ve already finished two books (technically 3) and it’s only the 6th!

What was your favourite book last month?