Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #6-10) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #6-10) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5)

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 642

Source: TBR Pile

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.


Pale Kings and Princes

5 out of 5 stars

Ahh! Sizzy Sizzy Sizzy. They’re back. My favorite couple is back together. I KNEW IT. I mean I’ve read Lady Midnight so I knew some stuff, but it’s so cute omg. This has been one of my favorites so far because I finally got what I wanted, and the way it happened was so cute. If you hadn’t guessed it, Simon and Isabelle are now dating again. Everything is great, and I’m loving life. I really liked what happened in this novella because I learned a little more about the characters from Lady Midnight, and the reason they did some of the things they did. I’m really glad that I read this after I read Lady Midnight because I would have been a little confused had I not. I love the little connections Cassandra Clare makes while still adding new content to the world. It’s great. I love it.

 

Bitter of Tongue

4 out of 5 stars

I have to say, I really don’t like Sarah Rees Brennan’s writing style. It’s strange to me that I could recognize that it wasn’t Cassandra Clare the whole time, but I could tell from the beginning of this novella. The conversations weren’t what they usually are. They were choppy and very awkwardly written. I think that it was Brennan who wrote the conversations, but that’s just an educated guess. Overall I think this was a great addition to the Shadowhunter world as a whole. Again, I’m VERY glad that I read Lady Midnight before reading these novellas. I would have been so confused because the characters are from The Dark Artifices series, and I wouldn’t have gotten how important this story was if I hadn’t read the first installment of The Dark Artifices series. I’ve always been curious about the land of faerie throughout Clare’s novels. It confuses me, but in a good way. It’s always deceptive, but it’s always magical. This sounds strange, but when I’m reading about the land of the faeries, it feels fuzzy. Not confused fuzzy, but the way that the world is written feels softer than the harsh Shadowhunters world. It’s strange to explain it, but I love learning more about it. I am so excited to finish this book and then re-read Lady Midnight before Lord of Shadows comes out in March!

 

The Fiery Trial

4 out of 5 stars

I was kind of confused throughout this one if I’m being honest. I knew that it had something to do with parabatai because I remembered that they called it the fiery trial, but I got confuzzled when Clary and Simon just randomly started hallucinating. It made sense after it was explained, and the story of it ties up loose ends in the stories, but I was not following for approximately 5 pages. The end of this just made me sad because Emma and Julian just went through the parabatai ritual, but they should love each other romantically, not in a parabatai way. Ugh. It makes me so sad seeing a love so pure not being able to work out. Again, I cannot wait to re-read Lady Midnight because I will catch onto so many things I had missed in the first frantically quick reading. Reading these novellas does remind me why Cassandra Clare is my favorite author, so that’s making me quite happy.

 

Born to Endless Night

5 out of 5 stars

This was the story about how Alec and Magnus got their son that is mentioned in Lady Midnight. THIS WAS SO CUTE. My favorite scenes included: Simon walking in on Alec and Magnus, Simon declaring his love for Isabelle, and Jace being his sassy arrogant self. I really loved this novella. It was so cute because it was about the baby warlock that Alec and Magnus are now the parents to. Malec and Sizzy are my favorite OTPs from The Mortal Instruments, and I’ve always loved the dynamic between Magnus and Alec. They love each other so much, and you saw Alec first learn to love because of Magnus, and Magnus finally feeling real love because of Alec. It’s just so cute. I really enjoyed this one, and again, it makes me want to reread Lady Midnight (shocker) because I will know so much more now. I am really sad that I will be starting the last one next, but alas, it had to happen eventually.

 

Angels Twice Descending

5 out of 5 stars

That was not what I had expected from the ending, but it was a nice conclusion in a way. I’m very sad. I won’t spoil, but I’m very sad. I really enjoyed this one, and I do have to say that the way it ended made sense for the storyline, but I just didn’t want it to happen like that. Ugh ugh ugh. I really enjoyed everything about this one, even the ending. Sometimes being sad is the only satisfactory way to feel. I loved what Simon said to George about being brothers. That part made my heart happy. Overall, I really enjoyed the second have of this book, and loved being thrown back into this amazing world. I can’t wait for more of it.

Series:

Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #6)

Bitter of Tongue (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #7)

The Fiery Trial (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #8)

Born to Endless Night (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #9)

Angels Twice Descending (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #10)

Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller


A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly

Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly

Author: Sharon Biggs Waller

Release Date: January 23, 2014

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 431

Source: Library

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
           
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky is torn. Just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

4 out of 5 stars


I picked this book up on a whim while I was at the library, and I’m so glad I did! I’m not going to lie, the reason I first picked this book up was because of the cover. It’s beautiful, and simple, and classic looking. I love the yellow dress on the front, as well. Then I read the synopsis, as one does, and was immediately pulled in.

It was set in London in the 1900s. It’s about an artist. A seventeen year old girl poses nude for her art class, gets sent home, finds her muse, is betrothed to a man…

Oh gosh it was so fun to read.

After picking this up from the library I went to Goodreads to see some general reviews, just to get a feel as to what I was about to read, and was a little nervous.

One of the first reviews I skimmed was a girl freaking out because of the first few sentences of the book:

“I never set out to pose nude. I didn’t, honestly.”

And people were so angsty about this. I don’t understand what the issue is. It is supposed to be sarcastic sounding. I feel like sometimes people look into things like this too much. It was that she never thought she would, but she ended up posing. She didn’t regret it at all, and I think that that showed a strong character.

Near the beginning when I found out she was betrothed to this guy, I was really against the other love interest, Will. I was being somewhat judgey of Victoria because she knew she shouldn’t be drawing this other guy, but I couldn’t dislike him. Wow. William Fletcher was my favorite character in this story because he was so happy and so encouraging to Victoria. If it weren’t for him she probably would have given up on her dreams of being an artist. Her family didn’t believe in her, and made it impossible for her to create, so she turned to Will and I’m so glad she did.

Their relationship was so cute. There were so many parts of this story that my heart just felt so happy and full. All of you know the feeling I’m talking about. The one where you almost have to make a high pitched noise because your heart is so happy. Cause yeah, same. I think the reason I liked their relationship so much was because it reminded me of my relationship. My boyfriend is supportive of me just as Will was to Victoria, and it was just so cute.

This book took a turn that I didn’t think it would take, but I really enjoyed it. I was not expecting to get a heavy suffragist theme, but I really enjoyed it. The women were fighting for equal rights, and I really respected that. I couldn’t have been put in Victoria’s place where she had to be prim and proper her whole life just so then she could be respectable in her class. I would be a suffragist because, I too, believe in equal opportunities for men and women.

I really love historical fiction, and this book just reminded me of that. I really enjoyed reading this, and loved that Sharon Biggs Waller had some of the history in the back of the book. I love when authors actually research their writing to make sure it’s historically accurate.

Overall, I really liked this book. It was a relatively fast read, and it put me in a historical fiction mood again! Pick up this book if you want a cute romance and a strong female lead.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.17.59 AM

Review: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) – Rick Riordan


The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) – Rick Riordan

22456292

Title: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5)

Author: Rick Riordan

Release Date: May 5, 2009

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 381

Source: Barnes and Noble

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds are against them. Kronos is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, his power only grows.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the prophecy surrounding Percy‘s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

5 out of 5 stars


I can’t even explain how glad I am I ended up reading this series. I wish I would have read the books while I was in middle school, but seriously, they are so good. I have loved every single one of the Percy Jackson books, and this is no exception!

Most of this book consists of the final battle that takes place in New York City with the monsters and Kronos vs. the heroes and Demigods. The battle scenes were so epic, and there were so many twists and turns throughout this book. It starts off with Percy and Rachel Dare spending time together *not okay with this since she showed up, but whatever* and then Percy going back to Camp Half-Blood. Everything is different now, though. Grover is off running around with other satyrs, so his best friend is gone. Annabeth is kind of mad at him because he’s spending time with Rachel. And, Kronos has taken over Luke’s body and is trying to kill all the Gods of Olympus. But other than that, everything is great. ;)

Again, most of this book takes place during the battle in NYC, so it had a lot of action and battle. I don’t want to give too much away because this is the last book in the Percy Jackson series, but I would seriously recommend reading all of the books. Even if you don’t love the PJO stories, this last book is worth it.

I loved the Percy and Annabeth scenes; they were soooooooo cute. I think the Percabeth is one of my biggest ships because they are seriously just so perfect for each other. She calls him Seaweed Brain and oh my gosh it’s so cute. I wish there were more scenes with them, but I can’t complain because the ones I had were great.

Two of my favorite scenes from the book:

Percy bathing in the River Styx and being tied to the mortal world because of his love for Annabeth. He loves her friendship, and that’s the only thing that keeps him from drowning and it’s just so flipping cute.

“And it was pretty much the best underwater kiss of all time.” *heart eyes*

Very thankful that I’ve read these books, and can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters in the next series!

PS. Please read these books. I promise they’re worth the hype.

Series:

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2)

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3)

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4)

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.17.59 AM

Review: Fire (Graceling Realm #2) – Kristin Cashore


Fire (Graceling Realm #2) – Kristin Cashore

6137154

Title: Fire (Graceling Realm #2)

Author: Kristin Cashore

Release Date: January 25, 2011

Publisher: Firebird

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 461

Source: TBR Shelf

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don’t need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven’t, you’ll be dying to read it next.

1 out of 5 stars


I marked this book as “currently reading” on Goodreads in April. As in 6 months ago. I try not to do that, but I couldn’t help myself. I really hated this book. I found it to be so unbelievably boring I could hardly stand it.

I loved Graceling. It was such a cool plot and was written very well and kept my interest the whole time, but the I think I just had too high of expectations for this one, because I was thoroughly disappointed.  There was no plot to this one. Fire was pretty, she was considered a monster, she had a friend with benefits, she moved away, shit went down, and then something somehow worked out in the end for her.

She had a hard life, but then she gets what she wants in the end? Hmm. Idk how I feel about that one.

I didn’t like Fire as a character. She wasn’t as strong as everyone thought she was. I just. I really did not like her. I feel like if I talk more I will just spoil this book entirely.

Just remember, just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean it was awful. Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you won’t. I believe in it being the right or wrong time to read a book, and this was probably just not the time for me to read this one. If you enjoyed Graceling, give this one a try; I know a lot of my friends have LOVED this book.

That’s all.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.17.59 AM

Review: Nerve – Jeanne Ryan


Nerve – Jeanne Ryan

Nerve

Title: Nerve

Author: Jeanne Ryan

Release Date: September 13, 2012

Publisher: DIAL

Format: eBook

Page Number: 304

Source: Barnes and Noble

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?


3 out of 5 stars

I read this book when I was in Italy! Just that random tidbit of information. I only started this book because I needed a cheap book on my Nook for the long plane rides to and from Italy. I got this book because I knew that it was a movie, and I love the main actors that will be in the movie. I’m very excited to see the movie, because I think it will be read better as a movie.

I didn’t love this book, but I also didn’t hate it. I thought that it was okay, but definitely could have been better. One thing I didn’t like about this book was that you got no background information whatsoever on any of the characters. And the beginning had nothing to do with the end; it starts with a little epilogue thing before the story starts as kind of a hook, but there was no purpose. It literally didn’t connect at all. So ugh to that.

This book is basically the drama version of The Hunger Games, but less dangerous. These teenagers can sign up to be part of the game NERVE where they’re offered great prizes in turn for doing embarrassing dares and posting them on the website. The main character just randomly is like, ‘oh yeah. even though i’m never ever rebellious, lets just play around with the game.’ Firstly, she did not have the personality during the beginning of the book to even go through with the dares, but whatever. Her first dare is to dump water over her head in a coffee shop and sing a song at the same time. She ends up getting a ton of likes and a lot of views on her video, so she continues on. She is set with a partner named Ian, whom she, of course, falls in love with.

Ian. Hmm. I don’t get it. I get that he’s like extremely hot and that’s why she’s attracted to him, but you get no back story on him at all. He talks about how he needs to escape and be free, but you never find out why he feels like that. I didn’t see his drive throughout the story.

The actual game NERVE was a really cool concept, but it could have been better executed in my opinion. There wasn’t a reason except for selfishness. I don’t know if there’s an underlying message, but honestly it was a wannabe Hunger Games.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.17.59 AM

Review: Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret #2) – Christopher Mannino


Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret #2) – Christopher Mannino

Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder's Secret, #2)

Title: Sword of Deaths (Scythe Wielder’s Secret #2)

Author: Christopher Mannino

Release Date: January 20, 2015

Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 268

Source: Author

THE SCYTHE WIELDER’S SECRET CONTINUES

Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.

Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?


3 out of 5 stars

Huge thank you to Christopher Mannino for sending me this book!

This being the second in the series, I don’t want to give too much away, but I enjoyed this book. This more a 3.5/5 stars, but I don’t usually do half stars. Anyway, I love the idea behind this series. It’s unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. Suzie gets thrust into this world of male deaths in her early teenage years, and she doesn’t know what to do, but takes it day by day. In the first book Suzie becomes friends with Billy and Frank, and their friendship continues throughout the second book. Suzie, being the first female in a very long time, of course has to find a boyfriend, and she chooses Billy, so I’m happy with that. I kind of knew they were going to be a thing since the beginning of the first book, but it was nice to see them together.

This book was a transition book, so it was just leading to the big point in the next story. We did get to learn a little more about Boskery in this book; Boskery is the soccer/football-esque sport in the world of Deaths. Suzie, or Susan, also finds a bracelet in her special library that holds secrets from the past. She is intrigued by the bracelet, so she holds onto it and mysterious things begin to happen.

Near the end, Susan and Billy, or Will, get taken on a trek to find more material that the weapons are made of. Things go down, and years are taken, dragons appear, and people are taken. This book ends in a nice cliffhanger, so I’m anxious to read the next one!

Series:

School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret #1)

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.17.59 AM

Review: Glass (Crank #2) – Ellen Hopkins


Glass (Crank #2) – Ellen Hopkins

270804

Title: Glass (Crank #2)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: August 21, 2007

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 681

Source: TBR Pile

Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it’s all the same: a monster. And once it’s got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.

Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she’s determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.

Once again the monster takes over Kristina’s life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves — her baby.

The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it’s a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.


4 out of 5 stars

This being the second book in the series, I don’t want to give away too much, but if you’ve not read anything by Ellen Hopkins you really should. Okay. So, this ending sucked a lot, but the whole book was so easy and fun to read. I’ve not read a lot of books in verse, but this makes me want to. The whole plot to this book is that Kristina is having a mental battle with herself about using glass, or meth. She is addicted to it in every way, so she goes to her friend’s house to get a fix, and meets a boy named Trey. They have a thing and end up smoking and drinking and having sex all the time. Now, Kristina was kicked out of her parent’s house because of her addiction, and her mother made her leave her baby, Hunter, with her. Kristina’s parents have custody over her baby because she’s a mess. All Kristina wants is to be loved, so when Trey shows her love, she holds onto it.

This book goes through Kristina and Trey’s journey with the monster. They are addicted, and will do anything to use glass, so they start stealing money and writing fake checks to get by. They are both at the bottom of their lives, but they don’t want to get help. They don’t want to feel better. So they get caught.

The whole story was leading up to the ending *well obviously* but I didn’t like it. I do want to read the next one immediately, so Hopkins used her powers for good, but dang. I really liked this book because you get to see the “logic” behind doing drugs. I’ve never done any drugs or really anything bad, so I kind of feel rebellious when I read these sorts of books. I know, stupid, but hey. If I get to feel a little rebellion through a book all is well.

I highly recommend reading some of Ellen Hopkins’ books because you will be hooked. They’re easy to read, and you’ll feel a little rebellious in the time being. I also want to read poetry or books in verse, if you have any recommendations for some super great ones, comment them down below!

Series:

Crank (Crank #1)

Fallout (Crank #3)

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 9.17.59 AM