Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Book: City of Heavenly Fire (Book #6 in the Mortal Instrument Series)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Rating: 5/5 stars- never have I felt so nostalgic


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance?


First of all: sorry about the giant long hiatus guys! Pre-finals craze has finally rolled around, and with it goes my sanity and sleep. 

But that most certainly did not stop me from picking up the final Mortal Instruments book and devouring that beautiful 700+ page book in a day.

You might be wondering why I'm not doing a series review on this since it's the last book, but truthfully, if I tried, I wouldn't know where to start and I'd be writing forever. I figure just focusing on this one was enough.

Warning: This review will have a non-spoiler review, and then a spoiler section where I talk a little more of the things in the books. So read the non-spoiler review, read the book and come back and let's discuss!

The Non-Spoilery Speedy Version:

Guys, although throughout the years I feel like I've lost some of the passion I've started out with City of Bones for this series, there is no denying the sense of déjà vu and nostalgia. This book brought me back to the days when I was majorly a Mortal Instruments fan. Granted I still really love the series, but let's say my horizons have expanded. 
We return to the world with the characters we know and love and new ones to love in the future- along with visiting new places and old places. There is tension, plot twists, and just about a heart attack around every FREAKING chapter. Cassandra Clare is a bully.

And then there are the actual heart attacks.

I'm not kidding guys I yelled way too many times when reading this and I was like locked in denial.
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(I looked exactly like Honey in that gif too. many. times.)

I guess I didn't really know what I was expecting going into this book- was I expecting a happy ending? ehhhhh kinda? Was I expecting pain? YES. Was I expecting the twist at the end? FUCK NO.
(I would love to apologize for my language but seriously)

If you're a Mortal Instruments fan, you will not be disappointed with this final installment in the series. It hits you in all the right places, it brings the best of the series to the table, and personally I think it was the most well written of the series- my favourite will always be The Infernal Devices, but I feel like that in the process of writing that series, it helped her improve The Mortal Instruments. City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire are easily the best in the series, with good writing and solid plot with plenty of twists, it's a series I'm sad to see end- but I'm excited to see what the next series will carry on from there.

The Spoilery Fangirl Version:


OK guys let's get one thing here straight- THE MILLION REFERENCES TO THE INFERNAL DEVICES? SLAYYED.

I loved how we saw Jem and Tessa at the end, and I love how we saw Jem come back to life and he was hot and he was BAD. ASS. and I diiiiiied. And when they were like "WAIT I SWEAR I SAW JEM TAKE CHURCH." I nearly PEED myself laughing.

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And how you see Jem reference to his past and to those who've read The Infernal Devices is just like "ahhhh" and how Tessa pops up here and there ohmygosh. And I yelled when I connected the dots between "Gray" and "Fray". HOW DID CASSANDRA DO THIS. DID SHE PLAN THIS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.
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And then little Emma and Julian! AHHHHH. I'm so excited for The Dark Artifices, because if Emma is like how she is in this book, we're going to have some serious badass fun. :P I loved how much she resembles Jace's past in a sense, yet she has her own problems and difficulties. She has this strength and stubbornness and even at a young age, she shows incredible bravery and is completely out there. Julian and her... #toocute

I like how the book kind of mentions about their possible future problems and I just. oh. hit me right there.

What I loved most about this book was how every character seemed to interact with each other- this was really strong in terms of character and it was always what I thought was the weakest in the Mortal Instruments series. Aside from Jace, the other characters were fun but seemed to have minimal depth at points. But we seem to sense to bond with everyone, and it's beautiful on top of all the amazing plot twists.

The character deaths... Jordan :( I predicted it and everything but I just wished... ohhhhhh. Raphael too! I guessed that there was a chance, but I didn't think he was going to go off in such an honourable way. It showed integrity and strength and I salute thee!

I felt no problem with Maureen and Meilorn needless to say. I WISHED THE QUEEN DIED BUT UGGH. (cause I'm telling you, the Seelie Court is coming back to bite the Shadowhunters in the butt in The Dark Artifices)

I'M SO HAPPY MAGNUS LIVED OMG I COULD CRY. I was so so SO SCARED. I was TERRIFIED. I had maybe fifty heart attacks and girl, let me tell you. DON'T YOU MESS WITH MY GLITTER QUEEN.



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It broke my heart LIKE CRAZY. But it kind of worked out in the end, with the Shadowhunter thing I guess... but I can't see him as that anymore! He'll always be that cute nerdy vampire to me. :)

My only real issue was... surprisingly the romance in this novel? I no longer enjoy this series for the romance- I'm all about the demons and the fights and the character bonds, and I loved the part where Alec was like "MY EYES. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU STRAIGHT PEOPLE.", because that was what I was kind of thinking- see the sex scene was useless in my opinion, and I was kinda of hoping it wouldn't come? It seems like such a cliche to me, and I'm the kind of girl who likes a tease more than anything? oh god I think I'm saying things I'll regret putting on the Internet. Universities don't hate me.

I liked Isabelle and Simon's progression in the series (and the DTR joke omg) and #Malec is like my favourite ship in this whole series, but I like Clary and Jace more on the emotionally bonded side rather than the physically attracted side.

Guys, it was CRAZZZY RIDE, with laughs and moments of gasping, moments of heart attacks and just. oh. no words guys. This is going to be really sad to say goodbye, but I look forward to The Dark Artifices!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Series Review: Blood of Eden by Julie Kagawa

Series: Blood of Eden
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series Rating: 5/5 stars- I own them all for a reason 
Book #1's rating: 5/5 stars- holy crap my faith in vampire fiction have been stored
Book #2's rating: 5/5 stars- I'm hanging off the edge with two fingers
Book #3's rating: 5/5 stars- the conflict #thestruggleisreal 
(Shoutout to my friend for that one ahaha)

Synopsis of The Immortal Rules (as found on Goodreads):

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

(There is a spoiler talk/review/discussion/fangirling session up on my Goodreads' review! JOIN ME IF YOU HAVE READ THE SERIES. LET'S HAVE A FEELS SESSION TOGETHER.)


Fangirl Reactions:
The Immortal Rules:
My sudden thirst for vampire novels have returned. I just got thirsty.

The Eternity Cure:
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The Forever Song:
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( I just realized the Eternity Cure is all Dan gifs... ahaha)

Where to begin. 
Oh where to begin.

If some of you have read my post back around Janurary during Blog-A-Thon, I think you'll know that I read Immortal Rules at my "vampire novels are beyond me right now" stage and FELL HEADFIRST BACK INTO THE GENRE.

It was one of the several novels that  not only threw me back into the vampire genre, but made me love it with a small passion.

Ever since then, I've been avidly following this series.

Allison Sekemoto. Badass. Fierce. TRIPLE FIERCE. Not to mention the Asian heritage bonus. She was a serious contender for Best Protagonist for a reason, and this entire series has been incredibly action-packed,  filled with amazing fight scenes, and she has this beautiful inner struggle as a vampire. The blood thirst and everything. oh my.

I loved Allie as a protagonist, and she had this comforting voice to read along- fierce yet she held firm to her human morality. I could flow along the plot and see the world through her eyes comfortably and never question really too much. 

One thing in this series I really enjoyed was the unique relationships all the characters had with each other. Due to vampire blood ties, there are interesting connections Julie Kagawa has made that give a depth to the vampire background in the series and adds to the plot subtly. Not only that, the relationships created interesting tensions, fangirling from me, and this love and frustration all around. 

Considering the books overall, I would say the Eternity Cure is my favourite. This is the novel where the development kind of all collides and builds and the final major plotline is pretty much established. The relationships were the best in this novel in my opinion, and just all around awesomeness. Oh yeah. And the killer cliffhanger. NO. BIGGIE. RIGHT.

I would say that The Forever Song is arguably the weakest installment in the series due to certain events in the beginning, but me, being a fangirl, and you can arguably say I'm slightly (really) biased, think that the ending kind of made it all up for me. There is a particular scene in the Forever Song where I read it over and over again just so it can sink in for me, and it really touched me. I thought that scene was so. so. well written.

I kind of don't know what to say without giving everything away. I can only say that this series is an amazing ride, and especially if you are a fan of vampire fiction PICK. IT. UP. Even more urgent to pick up if you're a dystopian fan as well. This vampire dystopian world will blow. you. away.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 2014

Monthly Wish List for this month and what I've read and seen this past month.


Book List: 

*synopses may be spoilery if you have not read the previous books in the series. All synopses were found on Goodreads.

Book: CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE (Book #6 in the Mortal Instruments series)
Release Date: MAY 27th


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!


Book: The Chapel Wars
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Released Date: May 6th

Acclaimed author Lindsey Leavitt brings her trademark heart, humor, and romance to her hometown--Vegas
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?

And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.

Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

Book: Royally Lost
Author: Angie Stanton
Released Date: May 6th

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

Book: Rebel (Book #2 in the Reboot duology)
Author: Amy Tintera
Release Date: May 13th

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

Book: Of Neptune (Book #3 in the Syrena Legacy trilogy)
Author: Anna Banks
Release Date: May 13th

Emma and Galen’s kingdom and their love is threatened by long-lost Syrena in the brilliant conclusion to Anna Banks bestselling trilogy.

Emma, half human and half Syrena, and her Syrena love, Galen, need time together alone. Away from the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. Emma’s grandfather, the Poseidon king, suggests the two visit a small town called Neptune.

Neptune is home to both Syrena and Half-Breeds alike. But Emma and Galen didn’t sign up to be peacemakers between the ocean and the land-dwelling, freshwater Syrena. They didn’t bargain for meeting a charming Half-Breed named Reed, who can barely disguise his feelings for Emma. And they especially didn’t expect to find themselves in the middle of a power struggle that threatens not only their love but their ocean kingdoms.

In this stunning conclusion to her bestselling Syrena Legacy, Anna Banks thrills fans with more action and romance than ever.

Note from Carmen: *drools uncontrollably

Book: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Strokes
Release Date: May 20th

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Book: Now and Forever
Author: Susane Colasanti
Release Date: May 20th

What if your boyfriend was the world's biggest rockstar?

Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she's ever met, but he's an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he's believed he has what it takes to be a star.

When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he's thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity-and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she's attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan's monumental sold-out concerts.

It's a dream come true...but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when "forever" comes to an end?

Book: The Dark World (Book #1 in the Dark World series)
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Release Date: May 27th

Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.

Note from Carmen: Did I mention how much I loved Spellbound? SO EXCITED FOR A NEW BOOK FROM CARA.

Book: The Girl with the Windup Heart (Book #4 in the Steampunk Chronicles)
Author: Kady Cross
Release Date: May 27th

In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.

Note from Carmen: Was disappointed with the previous book but the synopsis OMG
April Obsessions

The Forever Song (Series review will be up VERY soon.)

Other Stuff:
Easter chocolate

Things I Saw in April and Didn't Review:
Unraveling (Book #1 in the Unraveling series)
Sanctum (Book #1 in the Guards of the Shadowland series)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dare You To (Book #2 in the Pushing the Limits series)
Falling Kingdoms (Book #1 in the Falling Kingdoms series)
A Nightmare Affair (Book #1 in the Arkwell Academy series)

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