Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

Review: One Last Stop (Casey McQuiston)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

Book 26 on My Book List 2021

”Does it ever, like … I don’t know. Make you lonely? To love somebody who can’t meet you there?”
She regrets it immediately, but Annie laughs.
“Sometimes. But, you know, that feeling? When you wake up in the morning and you have somebody to think about? Somewhere for hope to go? It’s good. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.”

Let me get this off my chest before I dive right into my review: I really loved this book! There were so many good topics in here and the found family trope was so strong it made my heart feel full! ❤ Funnily enough despite all that, I didn’t write down all too many quotes and I can’t say a lot about the individual characters. When I read RWARB I had so many quotes and wrote such a long review but when I read “One Last Stop” I didn’t feel like marking all too many passages? I think this is mostly due to the fact that RWARB was a very political book (I mean with a relationship between the son of the president of the USA and the English prince it kinda has to be, right?!) and therefore tackled a lot of important topics. Not that “One Last Stop” didn’t do this too. It was just more subtle and woven into the story so effortlessly that you had to pay attention to actually see the fine nuances. Also this story was definitely more focused on the mystery of Jane’s former life and how she ended up on the train than it was on taking a political stance on important themes.

”I wasn’t a builder. I wasn’t a leader. I was a fighter. I cooked people dinner. I took them to hospital. I stitched them up. But I only stayed long enough to take the good, and I always left when the bad got bad.”

I think this quote just about sums it up! As a lesbian Jane was a part of historical change and basically lived and breathed LGBTQIA+ history before she got stuck on the Q line. This is part of her and her life but it wasn’t the main topic of the book and the question of how exactly Jane landed in a time loop on the train was definitely the focus of the story. This made the book very enjoyable to read and it was easy to page through it and to get carried away by the current of the tale. If you ask me this was actually some sort of mystery with a romance element because even though this book is about August’s and Jane’s love story it’s also about solving Jane’s dilemma of being stuck.

”August’s mom saved one tupperware tub of files on her brother and not a single one of August’s baby pictures.”

Of course there are other plotlines as well and August’s relationship with her mum was one of them. It made me really sad to read about the effect her missing uncle had on their lives and the portrayal of people who never get closure was very realistic. If someone goes missing you can’t say goodbye because you always hold on to the hope that the person is still living so while I understand August’s mum, I still couldn’t help but feel sorry for August. The impact on her life was extreme and it’s no surprise her and her mum didn’t have a good relationship.

The top of Wes’s head pops up from under the table, along with one accusatory finger.
“Nobody asked the fucking Long Island Medium.”
Niko smiles. “Lucky guess. My third eye is closed tonight, baby. but thanks for confirming.”
Wes gapes at him. “I hate you.”

Thankfully August moved in with a bunch of adorably crazy people and I loved them ALL! I swear the found family in this was amazing and I really would have loved to be a part of their group too. Alone their conversations had me cracking up so much and the dynamics between them were chefs kiss. *lol* Niko and Wes were so hilarious and Myla was just precious! I think of all of Augusts friends Niko was my favourite. I loved his humour and the fact that he was such an all knowing medium. XD Niko is also a transgender boy and it really made me happy how unproblematic this revelation was. It was so, so nice to see that brief interaction between him and August. It was a quiet and gentle scene and done so well.

And now comes the topic no one ever seems to talk about when they are talking about “One Last Stop”: The awesome drag queen rep! I mean the queens and their community are a constant part of the entire book and yet I’ve never heard anyone talk about the rep! Not only is there something going on between Wes and Isaiah (aka Annie Depressant) but they play such an important role in the plot as well! I absolutely adored finding out about all the different queens and their performances and how they lived off-stage. They were all Queens and I loved each and every single one of them so much! <333 I kinda loved how McQuiston didn’t only tackle different LGBTQIA+ reps but also let us know about their history and just embedded it into the story. This is great storytelling right there! 😉

”Before August can get the threat out, Jane twists her around, backing her into the doors of the train. She pins August at the hips, shoulders braced against hers, hand wrapped around her racing pulse at the wrist, and August can feel Jane like lightning in her veins.”

And now to the part you probably waited for: The romance between August and Jane! First of all, I loved Jane and I can’t blame August for falling for this girl! I mean Jane is the full package! She’s kind, she’s funny and cheeky, she is bubbly and so many other things, plus I could relate to her. That scene when she danced in the train… could have been me. Honestly. *lol* And secondly, I was such a sucker for the f/f rep! Finally a realistic rep between two women! Usually f/f relationships in books feel wooden or sterile to me but this one was amazing! You could feel their love and longing and I gobbled it up like nobody’s business. XD So thank you Casey McQuiston for gifting us with this awesome representation! Finally an author who knows how to write f/f relationships. ❤

”I look at you, and it feels like I’m realer than I’ve ever been, from right here.” She covers August’s hand with hers. “So big it burns. God, August, it’s beautiful, but it hurts so bad.” And, damningly, “You’re the reason I feel like this.”

Still, I feel like I need to warn you about the PDA in this book because some people might not be okay with it. I mean the book plays on a subway train because Jane is bound to it and it’s a romance so it’s pretty obvious that the MCs are spending all their time together in public. I know some readers might be sensitive to content like this so I decided to mention it in my review as well. For me, personally, it worked. I mean yes, they are kissing and touching and one scene was a little bit too intense for my taste (at least when it’s done like that in public) but the other occupants of the train never seem to notice or care and the real steamy scenes actually almost always (except of that one exception) happen when the train is empty and they are the only passengers. If you pick up the book you should be aware of this! 😉

4
All told I enjoyed “One Last Stop” immensely and I can highly recommend it if you’re in search of a good f/f rep! The paranormal element brought a very unique and nice touch to the story and even though it was a fairly slow tale it still managed to keep me interested. The little newspaper articles and reports at the beginning of every chapters added a realistic depth to the story and I really liked to read them and to find out more about Jane’s past. Also the writing style is easier to get into than it was in RWARB. I loved this and I’m sure a lot of people will end up enjoying this book too! =)

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, X

Review: XOXO (Axie Oh)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 6 on My Book List 2022

”A silky shirt clings to his shoulders, and his long legs are clad in smooth black pants. His left arm is in a cast, but a Rolex glints from his right wrist – and are those sleeve tattoos?”

If you’re BTS ARMY and didn’t immediately think of Jungkook when you read this description of Jaewoo then I really dunno. *lol* It was my first thought and from then on out I always pictured JK when I read about him. Don’t judge me, I needed to live vicariously through Jenny’s POV. ;-P I mean which k-pop fan doesn’t dream of meeting their idol and actually being together with them? XD Okay, so this out of the way we can finally talk about the actual book.

”If you need help, you only have to ask.”
There’s a short pause, then he says softly. “If I asked you to save me, would you?”
My heart breaks a little. “I can try.”


I absolutely loved how Jenny and Jaewoo met. I mean a karaoke bar is so fitting for a k-pop idol and those two spent quite a nice night together. Their meet-cute was extremely sweet and I can’t believe Jenny didn’t know who he was. She found out soon enough though and to say the revelation kinda threw her would be an understatement. Jenny was such a great character though and I really liked the way she thought about life and idols in general. Her stance on how fans should respect their idols and their wishes was amazing and I really wish the hard-core fans in the fandom would see it like that too.

”I mean… not exactly that. More like, you need to be strong for yourself first, be healthy and happy for yourself first, before you can be strong and give happiness to others. The healthier and happier you are, the more you can give to your fans, right? They should want that for you.”

I think the majority of k-pop stans (and when I say majority I mean about 90%) want their idols to be happy no matter what they do or who they end up with. I’m no exception to that rule because honestly if any member of BTS would find their significant other I’d be super happy for them. They deserve it! They did so much for ARMY and all I want for them is to be happy and healthy. ❤ Unfortunately not everyone in the fandom is like me though and there are the ugly sides of being an idol as well. Stalker fans (saesangs) and people in the fandom that criticize everything their idols do. People that think they can dictate what their idol wears, who they date or even what haircut they should get. (Let alone all those people that constantly give idols hell for getting tattoos or piercings. They are adults and grown women/men and it is their body! They can do whatever they want! You either love them as they are, because tattoos and piercings are an expression of themselves as well or you just don’t stan them. Period!)

I look up to see Jaewoo walk into the cafeteria … with Sori.
I’ve never seen a more striking pair. They look like they stepped out of a catalogue.
“Is it weird if I take a picture?” Angela asks. “Like as a souvenir for myself. I’ve never seen such great visuals.”


So yeah, sorry about that but everyone who is familiar with k-pop knows that there is a darker side to the fandoms as well. It’s not all bad though and there is an even bigger and lovely side to the fandoms as well. As I said before, about 90% of their fans will support their idols no matter what and will always have their back. 😉 I think the book portrayed the good and the bad sides of the fandoms so well and really captured the essence of being a k-pop fan. Alone the quote above with the visuals was so damn relatable.*lol* And don’t even get me started on the shipping. Haha!

”You’re my boyfriend. Don’t think for a second I haven’t seen all your videos, even the fan-made ones that point out all the evidence that you and Nathaniel are a couple.”
“That’s embarrassing,” Jaewoo says. “And here I thought we were being careful.”


I mean that quote!!! It’s every k-pop group that has a fandom! There will always be ships no matter if it’s among the members in the group or with members of other groups. XD And speaking of the k-pop bands themselves. The representation of XOXO as a k-pop group was more than just accurate too! The way the band members cared about and supported each other was so heart-warming and relatable. Everyone who’s a fan of a k-pop group will know that the members are basically family and that they spend a lot of time together. Most of the times even their youth because they become trainees when they are still very young and the other band members kind of compensate for their real family. So by the end of their trainee days and when they have their debut they are actually already a found family that gives each other strength. =)

”He means so much to a lot of people,” Sun continues, “not just to his family, of course, but to everyone here at Joah. He started training at the company when he was twelve years old. It’s been difficult for him, away from his family for all those years. But he kept on working hard. He’d spend hours in the studio training his body and voice.”

And here’s the moment when I have to admit that I loved XOXO and that I’d definitely become a fan if they’d be a real k-pop band! *lol* All the four members were amazing and no matter if it was Jaewoo, Nathaniel, Sun or Youngmin all of them totally gave me family vibes. =) The description of their roles in the group was typical k-pop too and I had a really soft spot for Youngmin (the maknae) and Sun (their leader and rapper). Of course Nathaniel and Jaewoo were amazing as well and they all complemented one another and made their group unique.

”I have to go make apologies on behalf of the group. Of course that’s my job as the leader, to protect our members. I’ll always protect them, even from themselves.”

This all out of the way, I guess it’s finally time to speak about the elephant in the room: The love story between Jenny and Jaewoo! Those two were super adorable and I really can’t blame Jenny for dating Jaewoo in secret. I suppose for k-pop idols that’s the only way because as I said not everyone in the fandom will be happy about their idol dating. Not that it’s a lot different in Western countries, but I think it’s become more normal for stars to date people and even though there is always a huge fuss about who is dating who they usually don’t get death threats or shit storms for it anymore. K-pop idols don’t have love interests though (at least not according to their label and in public) and therefore would have to hide their relationships from their fans.

I hook my arms around his neck. “What are we stealing?” I can feel Jaewoo’s grin against my lips.
“Time?” he suggests. He must mean it as a joke, but it’s actually the very thing we’re trying to steal. Moments like this are so few and far between.


I think that’s actually the only negative thing I can say about “XOXO”, it was too realistic! *lol* Jenny and Jaewoo sneaking around and kissing secretly in a broom closet always trying to make room to see each other and to make their relationship work. It was too damn realistic! I wanted to see more of their relationship and what I got was reality smack right in the face. XD They had different schedules and other responsibilities and their little moments were few and far between. So exactly the way it would have been if a real idol would have dated a cello prodigy. On the one hand I really appreciated this realistic approach but on the other hand it kinda dampened my enjoyment of the book a little because I was always left wanting for more. This ultimately resulted in the fact that I got the feeling their relationship developed way too fast for the couple of little moments they actually spent together. Maybe there happened a lot of things off-page but those moments on page were the things I actually wanted to read about and I think because of that imbalance I didn’t ship them as much as I ship other bookish couples.

”You have a schedule too. We need to practice or we won’t be ready for the showcase. I thought you said you needed something unique to stand out in your portfolio. Are you really going to blow your chances of a future, a long-term one, for a guy who can never, I mean never, put you first?”

Don’t get me wrong, they were super cute, but their relationship didn’t really sweep me off my feet and I didn’t get all those gushy sweet romantic feels I usually get when I ship a couple. *lol* You know all those “Awww” or “AKDFASDFLJASLDFAJSDFKS!” moments. XD Speaking of relationships: I really appreciated Jenny’s and Sori’s friendship as well but I didn’t really understand where Sori was coming from when it came to Nathaniel. 

spoilerI mean that boy was crazy for her and definitely wanted to date her and be her bf but she didn’t give in because she was an idol herself?! It was so obvious that Sori had feelings for Nathaniel too and I just couldn’t understand how those two couldn’t date. I mean I got where Sori was coming from but if Jenny and Jaewoo managed to date, they could have easily done the same thing. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I really didn’t get it. Still don’t.

4

“XOXO” was a really great book and a very realistic one at that. I loved all the Korean phrases, food and k-pop knowledge that went into the story and I lived and breathed for the glimpses of Seoul life! The fact that the book didn’t just address the positive but also the negative sides of the k-pop industry was amazing and I really liked all of the characters and their different personalities! If you’re a k-pop fan (or a music trope fan in general) this book is definitely for you and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well! Happy reading! =)

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: Almond (Won-Pyung Sohn)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me.”

It’s been ages I buddy read “Almond” with my friend Katja but I really wanted to write a review about the book. Unfortunately my life got in the way and I neither read as much as I wanted to nor did I manage to write reviews about the books I finished. I’m going to rectify that now though and after I wrote this review there will follow a couple of other reviews as well. So watch out for them. It’s about time I write them down. 😉 This said, let’s head right back to the actual review and speak about “Almond”.

”Granny, why do people call me weird?”
Her lips loosened.
“Maybe it’s because you’re special. People just can’t stand it when something is different, eigoo, my adorable little monster.”
Granny hugged me so tight my ribs hurt. She always called me a monster. To her, that wasn’t a bad thing.

I wanted to read this book for a while and when my dear friend Katja asked me to read it together for the #Koreadathon I immediately said yes. We picked it for the “read a book recommended by a Korean celebrity” prompt and the fact that RM as well as SUGA of BTS read it and enjoyed it was enough reason to go for it as well. I trust my boys taste in books and I’m really glad I decided to go for “Almond” because it was an intriguing read and very thought-provoking. The plot of the book is easily described: It’s about a boy named Yunjae who was born with a brain condition named alexithymia which basically means that he can’t feel emotions. The part of his brain that is responsible for our feelings (and formed like an almond, hence the book title) isn’t fully developed and that causes him to have troubles to understand human emotions. Our MCs mother and his grandmother tried their best to teach him how to cope with his lack of emotions but then one day tragedy hits and Yunjae is left to fend for himself.

”People sometimes say how cool it’d be to be fearless, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Fear is an instinctive defense mechanism necessary for survival. Not knowing fear doesn’t mean that you’re brave; it means you’re stupid enough to stay standing on the road when a car is charging towards you.”

I had so many thoughts when I read this book and a lot of them had to do with the way Yunjae was raised. I know his mother and grandmother only had the best intentions and wanted him to blend in with everyone, but I think to some extent their constant efforts made it even more difficult for him to deal with his condition. Emotions are something you can’t learn because human feelings are very complex and some people will cry because they are happy while others will laugh even though they are sad. You might be able to explain the general reasons behind behaviour like crying but every person is an individual and we all react differently when we’re overwhelmed by our feelings. The fine nuances of emotions… well they are something you can’t learn. So even though I understood where Yunjae’s mother was coming from I still didn’t agree with her methods. It felt like Yunjae was under a lot of pressure to learn “the proper reactions” and I kinda felt sorry for him.

”Dr. Shim was right – being ordinary was the trickiest path. Everyone thinks “ordinary” is easy and all, but how many of them would actually fit into the so-called smooth road the word implied?”

Well, and then his grandma died and his mother was out of the picture as well, leaving him to fight through all the troubles on his own. Okay, almost all on his own because Dr. Shim was amazing and I loved that he helped him out! Honestly, bless his soul because he just accepted Yunjae the way he was and tried to help him as best as he could. ❤ But Dr. Shim isn’t the only one that helped him to find his way and Gon as well as Dora had an impact on the MCs character development.

”Dora. Dora was exactly the polar opposite of Gon. If Gon tried to teach me pain, guilt and agony, Dora taught me flowers and scents, breezes and dreams.”

I loved the way this was put, because it sums up their different personalities and essence so well. With Dora Yunjae discovered the soft feelings of first love and attraction and with Gon he learned about true friendship and hardships. Some might say Gon was a catalyst and I’m inclined to agree with that, but I also think that Dora’s appearance was at least as vital to Yunjae’s development as Gon’s. Both played a very important part in the MCs life and contributed to his experiences.

”About what?”
“About destiny and time.”
“What a surprise to hear those words from you.”
“Sheesh, did you know that even when you say the simplest things, you sound like a dick?”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Now you know.”
“Yes, thanks.”

I really loved the bluntness between Gon and Yunjae! They took each other the way they were and they didn’t try to pretend to be someone else when they were in each other’s company. I think this might have actually been the main reason their friendship could bloom and evolve because the way they met definitely wasn’t the best start. (And that’s an understatement right there.) I’m not going to spoil anything here though. 😉 Despite being unable to feel emotions the same way other people do Yunjae was quite a wise person sometimes and could look through people’s disguises with surprising ease. I suppose you could also say that because of his disability to feel emotions he was probably more perceptive than others?

”She said families walk hand in hand. Granny would hold my other hand. I have never been abandoned by anyone. Even though my brain was a mess, what kept my soul whole was the warmth of the hands holding mine on both sides.”

I’m pretty sure it was due to this that he was able to see who Gon truly was. The way Yunjae described Gon was simple yet beautiful and I guess this is also how I would describe Won-Pyung Sohn’s writing style: Beautiful simplicity with many layers. The author never beats about the bush or hides information. It’s all there and you get exactly what you read which was a very refreshing approach and even though the conversations between the characters are pretty unexcited, they still have some sort of beauty to them. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the writing style so much but I did. =)

”I said, shut the fuck up.”
“You are not that kind of person.”
“Fuck,” he shouted, half crying. A nail on the wall must’ve pricked my leg, because it was bleeding. Gon saw and started weeping like a child. Yes, this was who he was. The kind of person who tears up at a drop of blood, who feels pain for other’s pain.

4
As for the ending of the book: I liked it but it almost felt too smooth? I don’t know if I’d have done anything differently but I’ve to admit that I still don’t know how I feel about it. I thought a lot about my final reaction to Yunjae’s story but all I can come up with is that the ending felt too convenient. Still, I really enjoyed “Almond” and I can recommend reading it if you want to go for something different and thought-provoking. I still think about the book and in my book this is always a good thing. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: Tweet Cute (Emma Lord)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 38 on My Book List 2021

“You know, for someone named Pepper, you’re pretty salty about losing.”
She groans at my pun as she shoves her hair back into the cap, but then counters, “For someone named Jack, you’re pretty bad at knowing when to hit the road.”
“Wow, Burger Princess, sick burn.”

Haha! I really loved those two and their “enemies-to friends-to lovers” relationship was amazing! This is how it’s done, people! ;-P Still, before I go into more detail about this book I’ve to give you a fair warning: Don’t read this when you’re hungry because you’ll regret it! I didn’t have such strong cravings for sweet food ever since I read “Heartless”! And I mean it!!! All the talk about Monster Cake or Kitchen Sink Macaroons! AHHH!! *drools* See! I’m already craving sweets again. XD So whatever you do, don’t read this when you’re hungry!

”Just one more bite?”
I grin into my locker door, so he can’t see. “You sound like a junkie.”
“I might be one now, and it’s kind of your fault. So you have a responsibility to keep supplying. Or I’ll go into withdrawal.”

Please can someone supply me too? Haha! Anyway! Regardless of my cravings this book was super cute and the characters were extremely adorable together. When I started to read this I wanted a light rom-com that would be fun and fast to page through and I guess I got exactly what I needed. Well, truth be told, I got a little more than that though. Some of the topics that were addressed in here were actually pretty serious and I’ve to give Emma Lord kudos for including them so effortlessly into the plot.

”And that’s my grandma’s legacy. That’s my entire family’s livelihood. Don’t you dare stand there and tell me it isn’t personal.”

So aside from the fierce Twitter war that’s been going on throughout the entire book “Tweet Cute” also tackled a lot of topics you wouldn’t expect. Like for instance the matter of a family business when you have two heirs that could inherit it. The troubles of one sibling that always feels left out because the other one seems to be the centre of the universe everyone is revolving around, the struggle of getting by with a small business, and the struggle of maintaining a huge business while trying to remember your roots and originals. Not to mention all the family dynamics that are a big part of this book as well. 😉

”It’s the fact that my dad can flip from telling me he expects me to run this place and then treating it like a punishment in the next heartbeat that really gets me. To me, it’s yet another spoken confirmation of an unspoken thing – that Ethan’s the twin destined for greatness, and I’m the one who will stick around and deal with whatever he leaves in his wake.”

If I’m entirely honest I kind of disliked Pepper’s mother for a long part of the book because I just didn’t understand her actions and why she would let her teenage daughter deal with such things. Even after finishing the book I still think that the relationship between Pepper and her mom was imbalanced and somehow off. I mean I would have never done that to my daughter. She expected so much of Pepper and put her under a lot of pressure without even thinking about what this would entail. And even when she realized her mistake she blamed Pepper’s bad grades on her friendship with Jack instead of acknowledging the big elephant in the room, namely that her obsession with the Twitter account was responsible for Pepper slacking off at school. Like how can you be so blind and unfair? I guess I’ll never become a fan of her.

My mom holds up a finger. “Hush. I’m having a moment over here.” Pepper snorts as my mom finishes having said moment, and then turns to Pepper, her fingers still sticky with cake, and says, “You are welcome to this kitchen any day of the week for the rest of your damn life.” Before Pepper can respond, she turns to me and says, “But if you don’t clean up this disaster, yours, my dear, is over.”

Jack and Ethan’s mom on the other hand! *lol* I loved that woman to bits and pieces! ❤ She was such a great mom and she really tried her best to be there for her sons while running a business and providing for her kids. Their father was okay too but he obviously made quite a lot of mistakes. Unlike Pepper’s mom he learned from them though and tried to make it better. Also can we acknowledge the amazingness of Grandma Belly?! That granny is made of awesome sauce and she always made me laugh! <33

”They’re here for your grilled cheese,” I told her.
She fixed me with a look, crossing a leg on the massive armchair she spent most of her time in and raising a single eyebrow at me. “Not unless you changed my secret ingredient to cocaine, they’re not.”

You just gotta love her directness and no bullshit attitude! *lol*

4

All told, I really enjoyed “Tweet Cute” and it was exactly what I needed. I was looking for a cute and light rom-com and that’s what I got. The fact that it also touched on more serious topics was the icing on the cake! And now excuse me when I finally give into my cravings and eat a delicious cupcake. ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: To Kill a Kingdom (Alexandra Christo)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”You are a little heartless today, aren’t you?”
“Never,” I say. “There are seventeen under my bed.”

I asked for a blood thirsty, dark and twisted siren that lures princes and collects their still warm and dripping hearts. And I wanted a strong human prince that hunts wicked sirens and sea witches for sport. Well, I guess “To Kill a Kingdom” did a great job at delivering all this and even more. ;-P

”Technically, I’m a murderer, but I like to think that’s one of my better qualities.”

I went into this book expecting a fast and enjoyable read and if you’re looking for a story like that this book definitely is the right choice for you. I know the reviews for this are about 50:50 when it comes to the ratings but I think that’s mostly due to the expectations you have when you go into a book. If you’re looking for a mind-blowing reading experience you might be disappointed because this story is a lot of things but certainly nothing that will cause you to rethink your life choices. It’s fun, it’s easy, it has plenty of snark, banter and a really great character cast. In short it has everything you need when you want to escape your own world for a little while.

”Lies aren’t answers.”
“But they sound so much better than the truth.”

This said I really liked our two MCs and I was a huge fan of their interactions. Those two were both confident in their own skin and it was really refreshing to have two characters that know exactly what they want. Lira wants Elian’s heart and Elian wants to destroy all sirens. The best makings of a good partnership, right? XD Well, almost! If their attraction wouldn’t have gotten into their way things certainly might have been a lot easier. 😉 But I AM a sucker for the “enemies to lovers trope” and it was done really nicely in here so I have nothing to complain about. *lol*

”They’re eyes of lost innocence, greener than seaweed and constantly searching. Even the empty ocean is prey to him, and he regards it with a mix of suspicion and wonder.”

Prince Elian was quite something and to me he was the perfect embodiment of a lost boy. There was no way I wouldn’t love him and his easy nature as well as his love for his crew and ship immediately made him my favourite. Yes, I admit it, I’m a sucker for handsome, sassy and broken pirate boys. They are as much my kryptonite as redheads are so I wasn’t really surprised I ended up liking him so much. Lira on the other hand was pretty awesome too! That girl might have been turned into a human but that did nothing to disguise the feral and deadly siren inside of her. And this brings me to another thing I really enjoyed about this book: Lira and Elian might have been deadly enemies but they still had mutual respect for each other and acknowledged their weaknesses and strengths.

”How wicked this one is, stripped of the innocence I’ve seen in all the others. This is not a prince of inexperience and anxious potential, but one of war and savagery. His heart will be a wonder to behold.”

”I could have killed her, but I didn’t, because she’s a wonder. A creature that has eluded me for so long and then, finally, appeared. Let me be privy to a face few men live to speak about.”

They were fascinated with each other and it showed throughout the entire book. Also can we take a second to appreciate how self-aware they were? Both of them knew exactly what they were capable of and where they would draw the line and even though they questioned themselves and their own decisions they always knew who they were. And the banter!!! Did I already mention the delicious sarcasm and banter? *lol*

”Lira,” I say. “I don’t suppose you’d be kind enough to translate?”
“I’ve never been accused of kindness before.”

”What would you be losing?” he asks.
“If I married you?” I stand to tower above him, pushing away the unraveling thing inside me. “I suppose it would be my mind.”

I loved that they didn’t give each other an inch. They were equals and it wasn’t only easy to see but also palpable. I don’t know how to describe this but there are a lot of books out there that make it seem like the couples in them are equipollent when in fact they are not. Even with kick-ass heroines the male MCs are always stronger somehow. It’s something I noticed in many books and I hate that those amazing women can’t stand on their own feet once they fall in love with their “true love”. It’s something that didn’t happen in here and I was very grateful for it! Lira might have fallen in love with Elian but that didn’t make her go all mushy and lovey-dovey. In fact it only made her even more adamant and relentless, which was AWESOME to behold! XD

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All told “To Kill a Kingdom” was exactly the kind of quick and entertaining reading experience I needed and I’m glad I finally decided to give it a shot. It took me long enough to get here but it definitely was worth the wait. And just in case you wondered: Yes, I rediscovered my love for “Ariel – The Little Mermaid” once again. *hums under the sea and leaves the room* ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Kerri Maniscalco)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 10 on My Book List 2020

”Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.”

Okay, let’s start this review with a little bit of background knowledge I gathered before I read the actual book and take it from there. 😉 As always I got aware of “Stalking Jack the Ripper” because so many of my friends on here read it and thus it was all over my feed. It doesn’t take much to figure that I wasn’t only intrigued by the promise but also by the idea behind the book. I mean who isn’t curious about Jack the Ripper? It’s THE unsolved mystery everyone knows about and people’s theories about his true identity are still running wild.

So of course I wanted to jump that hype train and see where this was heading. Truth be told, the reviews about this book are rather mixed and by discovering the controversial opinions of other bloggers I couldn’t help but find out what this means for me. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did. Was it what I expected? Well, yeah pretty much! Did I find out who the culprit was? Yep, I think it wasn’t that hard to deduce, but I still enjoyed reading about Audrey Rose’s and Thomas’s musings.

I guess what it ultimately boils down to is the expectations you have when you start reading this book. If you want to be entertained and like slow paced stories that animate you to think, if you enjoy fictional books that are built on real evidence, if you dig two characters that are like cat and mouse “Stalking Jack the Ripper” will most certainly be the right book for you.

If you dislike male leads that are self-assured and always voice their “dirty thoughts”, if you don’t like the idea of modern day feminism in a historical fiction book, if you’re no huge fan of knowing the OTP right from the start and if you’ve read or seen too many whodunnits and are an observant person you might not enjoy this though.

Okay, admittedly I knew who the killer was pretty early on in the book, but since I mostly fall into the first category I found myself enjoying the book. ;-P Also Thomas Cresswell! Honestly, I can’t resist a sexy Sherlock Holmes ever since I saw the movies with Robert Downey Jr. and discovered the series with Benedict Cumberbatch. *drools* And before I continue to rave about dear Mr. Cresswell (heaven knows he’s already way too cocksure of himself) I’ll head right into my characters section! ;-P

2

Welcome to Whitechapel, where robbers, pickpockets and one particular murderer roam the streets at night! If you don’t want to end up against a wall either robbed or spoiled out of your mind you better don’t continue this venture into the unknown. This is a fair warning, you better heed it! ;-P

Audrey Rose:

”My hands fisted at my sides. I refused, absolutely refused to let this cruel treatment of a woman stand. I’d do everything in my power to solve this case for Miss Nichols. And for any other voiceless girl or woman society ignored.”

I’m going to be honest here: Audrey Rose wasn’t as brilliant as I expected her to be but she was likeable enough. *lol* Okay, that doesn’t sound like I was all too persuaded by her, but I guess I just read way too many YA books and most of the heroines follow the same pattern. I liked that she had a rather unconventional “hobby” and was so fascinated by the human body and I’ve to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed how she handled Thomas and her father. XD Still, she was rather stereotypical and I hope that her character will get more unique as the series proceeds. There’s still room for improvement and I genuinely hope that Kerri Maniscalco will use the rest of the series in order to develop Audrey Rose’s character. As far as I know this was her debut though so I’m quite confident that she’ll make it work! ;-P

”One needn’t be strong in only physical matters – a strong mind and will were fierce to behold as well.”

”While it wasn’t something I relished, it was the hard truth. I was a young girl growing up in a world run by old men. I’d pick and choose my battles wisely.”

Thomas Cresswell:

”Golden-brown eyes were perfectly set into an angular face, as if Leonardo da Vinci had painted him himself. If only my lashes were as luxuriant. His chin was squared, giving him a look of steadfast determination. Even his nose was thin and regal, giving an air of alertness to his every expression. If he weren’t so infuriatingly aware of his own intelligence, he’d be quite attractive, I supposed.”

Entrance: The irresistible love interest! ;-P Honestly, it’s almost impossible not to like Thomas! At least not if you’ve a weakness for obnoxious, presumptuous, complacent, cocksure, smug and irritating men like him! Which I obviously do. *lol* I loved the arrogant “Sherlock Holmes” vibe I got from him and I really enjoyed the way he thought. Not saying I’m a Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot myself, but I tend to be very observant as well and I like to think outside of the box so we definitely seem to have that in common. Plus that sass and his audacity! I loved it! It kind of reminded me of myself (after all my blog is named “The Sassy Library Fox” for a reason ;-P) and so I could relate to him. Cheeky, brilliant bastard! <333 I want more of him and can’t wait to read the next book, especially because I’m sure that there’s a very intriguing backstory to discover. =)

”Why don’t you talk to me about what’s really troubling you? What emotional dilemma needs sorting out?” He patted his legs. “Sit here and I’ll rock you gently until you or I or both fall asleep.”

”Ah. There’s something about you saying my name that sounds like a blessed curse,” he said. “If you can work up a good hand gesture to go along with it, that’d be exceptional.”

Uncle Jonathan:

”I stole a glance at him, but his gaze was fixed hungrily on the corpse. At times the darkness in his eyes terrified me more than the dead we butchered.”

Uncle Johnathan definitely had a creepy vibe about him but I don’t blame him for being so curious and totally absorbed by his passion. It was obvious that he lived and breathed his profession or should I rather say his calling? Despite everything I never suspected him to be Jack the Ripper though. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for the police and I was really sorry for him when he ended up in that asylum. I’m sure there’s more to Uncle Jonathan’s story as well and once again I hope that Kerri Maniscalco will explore it in one of the next books.

Cousin Liza:

”Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that. There’s no reason you can’t wear a simple frock to work, then don the finest gown and dance the night away. But only if it pleases you.”

I really liked her cousin Liza and I wish we would have gotten more of her. I kind of admired how she found a balance between what society expected of her and what she truly believed and thought. With a mother like hers this couldn’t have been easy but she was clever enough to play along with her mother’s views and not to defy her outright. Something that can’t be said for Audrey Rose and the way she dealt with her father. *lol* This said Liza’s approach was way more diplomatic and skilful, which automatically caused her to be in my good books. XD Can we please get more Liza in “Hunting Prince Dracula”?

Superintendent Blackburn:

Blackburn walked around his desk, dropping into the chair behind it and rubbing his eyes. ”Perhaps running the estate as my father had wanted isn’t such a bad idea. I can handle a vast amount, but this is a bit much. How horrid can a life of leisure and politics be?”

I know he was supposed to be some sort of antagonist but I somehow started to like him? Haha! I mean alone that quote above! *lol* He respects Audrey Rose and her work and even though his way to court her was totally wrong he still made an effort which is more than can be said for other men during that time. =) I think he might be more Liza’s calibre though so I’d totally ship those two if they’d meet one day. ❤ As for now he was a nice addition to the cast and I’m sure he has his own interesting story to tell.

3

Audrey Rose & Thomas:

Without lifting his head from his own journal, he said, “Not having any luck figuring me out, then? Don’t worry, you’ll get better with practice. And, yes” – he grinned wickedly, eyes fixed on his paper – “you’ll still fancy me tomorrow no matter how much you wish otherwise. I’m unpredictable, and you adore it. Just as I cannot wrap my massive brain around the equation of you and yet adore it.”

I just loved Thomas unapologetic and unashamed flirting with Audrey Rose! *lol* There’s a man that knows what he wants and I’m sure she captured his interest way earlier than we see in the book. In fact I’m pretty certain that she’s been on his radar for months already and the fact that he instantly knew who she was and worked with her uncle for quite a while indicates that this was no instalove! At least not for him, which was truly refreshing. Also did anyone else die when his composure finally crumpled and we got to see the real Thomas that’s hiding behind his calculating mind?! Thomas totally losing his mind because he was afraid someone would harm Audrey Rose was one of the best things about this book. <333 Yes, it’s tropey, yes it’s stereotypical but I still loved it! *lol* Can’t help it but I’m weak for such boys. XD Plus their easy banter was so amusing to read. I might have known that those two would end up together from the very moment they met but it was still fun to watch it unfold and I’m looking forward to more of those moments and scenes.

”Hurry along, then,” I said, grabbing my orchid and securing it safely in my journal. “I want to sit by the window.”
“Hmm.”
“What now?” I asked, losing patience.
“I usually sit by the window. You may have to sit in my lap.”

”If you’d like to see me out of my breeches, simply ask, Wadsworth. I’m more than happy to accommodate you on that front.”
“Scoundrel.”

I took a steadying breath. Thomas was a complete wreck. I gently touched his face, drawing his attention to me. “Thomas. What –“
“I thought I was going to lose you.” He ran both hands through his hair, pacing away and coming back. “I saw blood – I thought He’d slit your throat. I thought – “ He covered his face with his hands, collecting himself for a few breaths, then fixed his attention on me, swallowing hard. “You must know what you mean to me? Surely you must know how I feel about you, Audrey Rose. The thought of losing you…”

Audrey Rose & her father:

”I was unaware keeping abreast of the daily news was inappropriate. Perhaps I shall spend my time, and your money, on new corsets to bind my will from my lips,” I said sweetly. “Wearing something so constricting ought to tether my vocal cords nicely. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Talk about a complicated and strenuous father-daughter relationship. Those two didn’t give each other an inch and I could understand why. >_< Audrey Rose’s father was still grieving for his wife and he obviously loved his daughter and wanted to keep her from harm. Yet at the same time he being so strict pushed her away from him. The more he tried to keep her close the more she rebelled. The things she said to him though! *lol* I was like WOAH, GIRL! O_o Still, I’m glad they managed to sort things out in the end and that they got closer once again. ❤ I just hope their relationship will continue to be on a good terms in those next few books. Also: No surprise Thomas won her father over! XD He watched out for his girl and saved her so which kind of father wouldn’t approve of a boy like that? 😉

”Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir.”

”Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows. My misguided intentions were good, but I’m afraid they didn’t turn out as I’d planned.” He tapped his heart. “I thought by keeping you close, keeping you safe in our home, I could protect you from such monsters.”

Audrey Rose & her brother Nathaniel:

”Father will go berserk if he discovers what you’re really doing. I fear his grasp on reality is most delicate these days. His delusions are becoming … worrisome.”

I saw this coming from miles away and truth be told I already got suspicious about Nathaniel when he told Audrey Rose that he and his friends were trying to protect the citizens of London. There’s no better way to disguise your dark deeds than to claim that you’re out at night in order to keep others safe. Who would suspect a righteous person like that? (Except of me, of course. *lol*) When it comes down to the 3 most important questions it wasn’t hard to deduce who was the murderer though. You might call them the three “w”. Who has a motive? Who had a good alibi? And who had the perfect opportunity? It was way too easy to suspect Audrey Rose’s uncle, Thomas or her father. They were the obvious choices and so I didn’t even suspect them. Pity Audrey Rose didn’t do the same. She was so hung up on the idea of her father being Jack the Ripper that she didn’t even see all those obvious signs. Bless Thomas for keeping a cool head in her stead. XD Also she loved her brother dearly and made the mistake of trusting him blindly. Beginner’s mistake. ;-P Still, I understand why she couldn’t wrap her head around the idea of him being the murderer and it’s always tough when it’s your own family….

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“Stalking Jack the Ripper” was a very entertaining and easy read. Admittedly some of the more gory details might not be for the faint-hearted, being a scaredy fox myself I didn’t think that it was all too bad though. ;-P If you like a little mystery, easy banter and a slow-moving plot this might be the right book for you. =)

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”

I’ve said it about a thousand times and I’ll say it again and again: This book is one of the best – if not the best – sequel I ever had the pleasure to read! There I said it and I’ll stand by it no matter how old I grow or how often I’ll hear that Sarah J. Maas is overusing the word “mate”. *lol*

Yes, it’s true, but damn she can write and she creates characters that stay with you long after you closed the book. They are unique, they are complex and they have amazing character arcs that involuntarily cause you to root for them. Even her side characters are intriguing and well-thought-out and the fact that she’s not only able to write great fighting scenes but also kicks some serious ass when it comes to the world building department is definitely the delicious topping on my book cupcake!

To be entirely honest, I think there’s only one thing Sarah J. Maas can’t do and that’s to write a decent and convincing LGBTQ+ character who’s not a side-charrie but one of the MCs! *lol* If she ever manages to pull that off her books will go into my shopping cart without a second thought. ;-P
(Who am I kidding? They already end up there anyway. XD)

Still, for now I’m just glad that I was able to read all those other amazing books she wrote and ACOMAF will always have a special place in my heart! This book was nothing but awesome and even after reading it for a second time I’m still as devastated as I was when I read it for the very first time. This book destroyed me in the best way possible and no matter how often I read it, I’ll never get over chapter 54!!!! <333 I’m still reeling from it and I think I’ll always have to wipe away tears while reading it. >_< The emotional overload that happens in this one is real! XD

And because I’m charged with emotions right now this is going to be a super long review! This said, let’s go for the good stuff! 😉

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For all of you who are new to this: Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! I’m pretty cruel and relentless when it comes to spoilers (faerie heritage) so if you decide to ignore my warning be aware of the fact that you brought this on yourself. ;-P

Feyre:

”I had a long list in my head of what places I could and couldn’t endure at the manor, ranked by precisely how much they made my body lock up and sweat.”

Poor Feyre! This sentence alone tells us enough to know that she isn’t the girl she used to be at the beginning of ACOTAR. But then again this is what happens when you endure captivity and torture, when you fight for your life, die and then still come out of it alive again. At the beginning of this book Feyre is thoroughly broken and after everything that happened to her this felt more than just realistic. I loved how Sarah allowed her to be this broken thing, how she didn’t shy away from portraying a character that has gone through hell and back. A girl that somehow managed to dig herself out of the abyss, just to realize how much she lost along the way. Plus her character arc is amazing! ❤ One of my favourite scenes in this book is Feyre flinging a shoe at Rhysand! Not only because it’s hilarious but also because you can see that there is still some fight left in her! It gave me hope to see that spark and this moment actually kind of initiates the beginning of her healing process. Of course it takes time and a lot of courage on her part but the end result of her journey is masterly done! =) This said I’m so ready to see the Feyre of book 3! *lol*

”That girl who had needed to be protected, who had craved stability and comfort… she had died Under the Mountain. I had died, and there had been no one to protect me from those horrors before my neck snapped. So I had done it myself. And I would not, could not, yield that part of me that had awoken and transformed Under the Mountain.”

”I killed them.” I hadn’t said the words aloud since it had happened.
Cassian’s lips tightened. “I know.” Not condemnation, not praise. But grim understanding.
My hands slackened as another shuddering sob worked its way through me. “It should have been me.”

Rhysand:

”You are no one’s subject.”

Ohh do I love this man!!! I swear Rhysand is one of THE book boyfriends every girl secretly craves for! Seductive, sexy, sassy, easy on the eyes, caring, gentle, cunning & witty! I probably could go on and on with those adjectives. *lol* Suffice it to say that he’s a perfectly done character! Mind you: perfectly done, not perfect! He has his rough edges as well and you’ll love him even more for it! Still, just like Feyre he endured a lot. He suffered, he got tortured and raped, he sacrificed himself in order to protect the people he loves and cares about. He’s such a complex and multi-layered character that it’s already a pleasure just to read about him. Plus what I probably love the most about Rhys is that he always, really A.L.W.A.Y.S gives her a choice!!! He doesn’t decide things over her head, he allows her to make her own mistakes, her own decisions, he always wants her to give him her consent and THIS is everything!!! If there’s one thing I don’t like about Rhysand then it’s the fact that he doesn’t like Lucien and always talks about him badly! He respects him but he doesn’t like him and I hope this will get better in the books to follow. >_<

Rhys said quietly, “I was a prisoner in her court for nearly fifty years. I was tortured and beaten and fucked until only telling myself who I was, what I had to protect, kept me from trying to find a way to end it. Please – help me keep that from happening again.”

”He had stayed. And fought for me.
Week after week, he’d fought for me, even when I had no reaction, even when I had barely been able to speak or bring myself to care if I lived or died or ate or starved. I couldn’t leave him to his own dark thoughts, his own guilt. He’d shouldered them alone long enough.”

”Because you’ve only started to look at me like I’m not a monster, and I can’t stomach the idea of anything you see tomorrow, being beneath that mountain, putting you back into that place where I found you.”

”You think I don’t know how stories get written – how this story will be written?” Rhys put his hands on his chest, his face more open, more anguished than I’d seen it. “I am the dark lord, who stole away the bride of spring. I am a demon, and a nightmare, and I will meet a bad end. He is the golden prince – the hero who will get to keep you as his reward for not dying of stupidity and arrogance.”

”So she began to trust me more than the others. Especially when I proved what I could do to her enemies. But I was glad to do it. I hated myself, but I was glad to do it. After a decade, I stopped expecting to see my friends or my people again. I forgot what their faces looked like. And I stopped hoping.”

Cassian:

”Your sister died – died to save my people. She is willing to do so again to protect you from war. So don’t expect me to sit here with my mouth shut while you sneer at her for a choice she did not get to make – and insult my people in the process.”

Cassian is so precious! He’s really an amazing guy and I loved him for being the buffer everyone relies on! I swear if it wouldn’t have been for him they’d have all been at each other’s throats a long time ago! *lol* It’s kind of funny how my perception of him changed after reading ACOMAF for a second time though. The first time around he was just a part of Rhys inner circle, this time however I began to see the many different facets his character is made of. Most of the time he hides behind his humour but every once in a while we get a true glimpse of his character and see his caring and more serious side. I really want to see more of him and I hope that Sarah will grant my wish! ;-P

”None of us… we don’t think it’s a joke. What you did was a hard call. A really damn hard call. It was just my shitty way of trying to see if you needed to talk about it. I’m sorry,” he repeated, letting go.

Mor:

“If he pisses you off, Feyre, feel free to shove him over the rail of the nearest balcony.”

Ahh Mor!!! She’s my book girlfriend and I adore her so much! That’s what I call a strong woman! It’s kind of intriguing how everyone seems to know THE Morrigan, but seems to fail to see Mor. I think deep down within her she’s still insecure and has her own demons that haunt her in her dreams. She’s just better at hiding them and even admitted as much to Feyre when they spoke about her going back to the Court of Nightmares. You’d think that she’d be afraid of seeing her family after everything they did to her and I guess some part of her is, but that certainly doesn’t stop her from defying them by breathing down their necks! *lol* Such an awesome woman! <333 *swoons*

”I landed at the Night Court, right as Mor was waiting for me, and I was so frantic, so … unhinged, that I told her everything. I hadn’t seen her in fifty years, and my first words to her were, ‘She’s my mate.’”

Amren:

”For what it’s worth, I’m the most powerful High Lord in Prythian’s history, and merely interrupting Amren is something I’ve only done once in the past century.”

That’s exactly the way Amren is introduced to us and I loved it! XD I know she’s supposed to be scary and intimidating and she is all of those things, but despite everyone claiming that she has no heart and is an entirely different creature than the faeries she lives among, I still got the impression that she feels more deeply and more truly than most of them. She sees things the way they are and she’s not prone to deception. Amren knows Rhys true nature and she decided to become a part of his inner circle so I think that says a lot about her. Also the way she talks about him – no matter if it’s done nonchalantly and absent-minded – tells us everything we need to know. She admires him and his cause and she loves him for who he really is. And this is the only reason she’s decided to join his court! Period! No one can persuade me otherwise! 😉 Tiny, deadly and scary Amren has a BIG HEART!!! And she’d probably rip mine out of my chest if she’d see that I wrote this. *lol*

”The Court of Dreams is founded on three things: to defend, to honor, and to cherish. Were you expecting brute strength and obedience? Many of Rhysand’s top officials have little to no power. He values loyalty, cunning, compassion.”

”Tempting, but no. The prick can’t decide if he hates or wants me.”
“Why can’t it be both?”
A low chuckle. “Indeed.”

”Touch me, Cassian, and I’ll remove your favourite part. Small as it might be.”

”We are lucky to have him, Feyre.” I turned from the door. “I have known many High Lords,” Amren continued, studying her paper. “Cruel ones, cunning ones, weak ones, powerful ones. But never one that dreamed. Not as he does.”

Lucien:

Lucien held his gaze. “Worse things have happened, worse things can happen. Just relax.”
Tamlin’s emerald eyes were feral as he snarled at Lucien, “Did I ask for your opinion?”

My poor, poor, precious fox boy! T_T I love this book but boy do I hate what happens to him in here! I mean Feyre is his only friend and he really tried to help her! Hell, he even pleaded for her, tried to persuade Tamlin to loosen the reins and yet everything he gets is a Feyre that turns away from him, a Tamlin that hurts him and an Ianthe that abuses him! This is NOT fair!! I think everyone only sees what Lucien didn’t manage to do and therefore forgets what he actually TRIED to do. He tried to be there for his friends. He was caught between a rock and a hard place and he had no choice whatsoever! I hate how Tam treated him in this one and I’m pretty sure he even hurt him physically! I mean he almost hurt Feyre and the only thing that saved her was her protective shield. Lucien doesn’t have one of those and I’m sure he suffered a lot of abuse while Feyre was away. Not only from Ianthe but also from his own friend which is cruel on so many levels! >_< I love Lucien and I’ll defend him with my life! Fight me if you want to, but he is precious, innocent and he deserves to be loved!!! <333

”Lucien had gone on, his tone pleading, Tamlin. Tam. Just let her train, let her mast this – if the other High Lords do come for her, let her stand a chance …”

3

Feyre & Tamlin:

”He never woke when the nightmares dragged me from sleep; never woken when I vomited my guts up night after night. If he knew or heard, he said nothing about it.”

Okay, I’m going to be honest here. In some way I even feel sorry for Tam. He did a lot of bad and horrible things in this one and yes, he acted like an – excuse my crude language – asshole! I’m sure he had to endure horrible things under Amarantha as well, but in contrast to Feyre and Rhys he decided to ignore them. He couldn’t deal with the things that happened and therefore suppressed his pain and anger until it quite literally exploded out of him. I don’t know why he acted that way, maybe it was misguided pride or he never learned to talk about his feelings but to keep them to himself certainly was the wrong way to deal with them. Instead of supporting Feyre he decided to shut her out completely and it’s no surprise that things eventually ended the way they did. There was no trust left between them and if you can’t trust the person you love, that love is already doomed. The one time she tried to reach out to him he almost killed her by shattering the study so I don’t blame Feyre for backing out of this destructive and abusive relationship. Maybe Tamlin will get over it one day… but I’m convinced this won’t happen all too soon. >_<

”I’m drowning,” I managed to say. “I am drowning. And the more you do this, the more guards… you might as well be shoving my head under the water.”

”I’ll try to be better,” he said again. “Please – give me more time. Let me… let me get through this. Please.” Get through what? I wanted to ask.

Feyre & Lucien:

”Lucien had gifted both to me – the dagger during the months before Amarantha, the belt in the weeks after her downfall, when I’d carried the dagger, along with many others, everywhere I went. You might as well look good if you’re going to arm yourself to the teeth, he’d said.”

Ahh I hate what happened to their friendship in ACOMAF! I recognize that Feyre had to pull free of her destructive relationship with Tamlin but I hate that Lucien got hurt in the process. It was good for Feyre to get some distance between them, but I can only imagine what it did to Lucien. Yes, everyone only sees Feyre’s POV but did anyone ever stop for a second and think about what this meant for Lucien? No?! I’m sure a lot of people blame him for the things that happened but the bitter truth is this: If Feyre wasn’t able to get through to Tamlin, how was Lucien supposed to do it?! Think about what happened in the first book! Wasn’t Amarantha the person that ripped out Lucien’s eye? Wasn’t she the one that whipped him and kept his wounds open for days just because he helped Feyre with her task?! What I’m trying to say is that they all suffered! I’m sure Lucien is at least as broken as Feyre, only that he had no one that would have helped him to get out of this dark hole. Feyre had Rhys who dragged her out, but who was there for Lucien? How can you expect him to help her if he wasn’t even in a position to help himself?! Even worse, Feyre had a way out! She could escape Tamlin! But Lucien? He was forced to stay there, with no other court to go to, no one that would have helped him to deal with things and he had to endure Tam’s rage and Ianthe’s abuse! So to everyone who judges Lucien for his behaviour in this book: Think carefully about what he had to go through and then tell me that he was able to help Feyre! If you can’t do this then, my friend, Lucien is innocent and deserves our compassion instead of our hatred. #I’llNeverGetTiredOfDefendingAndLovingLucienVanserra, #FightMe!

”Last week, I’d finally asked him if she’d set her sights on him, and Lucien had merely given me a look, snarling softly, before stalking off. I took that as a yes.”

”There’s only so much I can do,” he said hoarsely. “But I’ll ask him tonight. About the training. The powers will manifest whether we train you or not, no matter who is around. I’ll ask him tonight,” he repeated.

”Lucien had hated her. Had made vague, vicious allusions to not liking her, to being approached by her – I was going to throw up. Had she … had she pursued him like that? Had he… had he been forced to say yes because of her position?”

”You saw what was happening to me. But you were too afraid of him to truly do anything about it.” It was fear. Lucien had pushed Tamlin, but to a point. He’d always yielded at the end.

Feyre & Rhysand:

”Let me help you,” Rhys said. “We went through enough Under the Mountain –“ I flinched. “She wins,” Rhys breathed. “That bitch wins if you let yourself fall apart.”

Those two have such a wholesome relationship going on! It’s in stark contrast to Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin and I can’t even put into words how much I ship them. ❤ I never shipped Tam and Feyre but Rhys and Feyre?! Give me all those perfect moments! *lol* What I always liked about their relationship is that it isn’t forced. It happens slowly and unintentionally and it takes them a few months to actually fall in love. With Tamlin it all felt so forced. There was a long time nothing happened and then all of a sudden she loved him and they were a couple, which was pretty insta-lovey if you ask me. Feyre’s relationship with Rhys builds over time, they get to know each other and become good friends before they even become a couple. They listen to each other, they treat each other with mutual respect, they acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they complement each other in ways Tam and Feyre never did. I loved that Rhys always watched out for her and was worried about her health. In contrast to Tamlin he let her make her own decisions and he never forced her to do anything though. He didn’t lock her away; no matter how hard it must have been to watch her while she made her own mistakes. With Rhys it was always free will and choice and this is exactly what I loved about him! Chapter 54 though! It’s THE revelation chapter of the century! *lol* I always have to cry when I read it and to find out how much he suffered with her, to see how much he cared and yet didn’t act on it. To realize how much he held back in order to give her the life SHE wanted to live. GAHHHH! It gets me all the time! And to think that he’s so broken himself! That he sees himself as the villain of the story and is convinced that he doesn’t deserve her love! T_T Hold my hand while I cry a rapidly growing ocean of tears! <333 A wonderful and honourable man, beautiful inside and out. And dare I say it: The perfect MATE! Haha! ;-P

Maybe it’d be a mercy to be ended –
A broad hand gripped my face – gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him. “Don’t you ever think that,” Rhysand hissed, his eyes livid. “Not for one damned moment.”

”You sent that music into my cell. Why?”
Rhysand’s voice was hoarse. “Because you were breaking. And I couldn’t find another way to save you.”

”What about letting your friends see your real face? But maybe it’s easier not to. Because what if you did let someone in? And what if they saw everything, and still walked away? Who could blame them – who would want to bother with that sort of mess?”
He flinched. The most powerful High Lord in history flinched. And I knew I’d hit hard – and deep.

”But then she snapped your neck.”
Tears rolled down his face.
“And I felt you die,” he whispered.
Tears were sliding down my own cheeks.
“And this beautiful, wonderful thing that had come into my life, this gift from the Cauldron… It was gone.”

”Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court.” My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child-rearing. My queen.

Nesta & Cassian:

”He’d given Nesta a mocking bow, and she’d given him a vulgar gesture I hadn’t realized she knew how to make. Cassian had merely laughed, his eyes snaking over Nesta’s ice-blue gown with a predatory intent that, given her hiss of rage, he knew would set her spitting.”

I know not a lot of people ship them but I kinda live and breathe for their hate/even more hate/love relationship! *LOL* Which is actually sort of weird because I love Cassian but have some kind of hate/love relationship with Nesta. On the one hand I love that she went looking for Feyre and tried to save her, that she messed with the human queens and tried to protect her people, but on the other hand I hate that she never helped Feyre and let her carry the burden of their survival all alone. Nesta is really one of a kind and even after reading the entire trilogy I still don’t know how I feel about her. Maybe she needs someone like Cassian to make her a little bit more compassionate and maybe, just maybe Cassian needs someone like Nesta because he loves a good challenge. *lol* I’ll probably never know why, but for some reason they work for me! XD

His voice was rough as he said, “Five hundred years ago, I fought on battlefields not far from this house. I fought beside human and faerie alike, bled beside them. I will stand on that battlefield again, Nesta Archeron, to protect this house – your people. I can think of no better way to end my existence than to defend those who need it most.”
I watched a tear slie down Nesta’s cheek. And I watched as Cassian reached up a hand to wipe it away. She did not flinch from his touch.

Feyre & Tarquin:

”Tell me what that look means,” Tarquin said, bracing his muscled arms on the gold tablecloth.
I said baldly, “I’m thinking it would be very easy to love you. And easier to call you my friend.”
He smiled at me – broad and without restraint. “I would not object to either.”

Okay, I admit it! I have a little crush on Tarquin too! But how am I supposed not to crush on him? I mean he’s so sweet and honest and there’s an innocence to him that is its own kind of brand. I totally agree with Feyre and I’m sure he’ll grow into his role as a High Lord and will be a good leader for his people. It made me sad that Feyre’s and Rhysands actions kind of forced him to see them as their enemies but as a High Lord he had no other choice than to send them the blood rubies. This said I really hope to see more of him when Sarah writes her next trilogy. 😉 Let’s hope Tarquin will be a part of it too!

Tarquin glanced at the ground. “Forgive me if I’ve been forward. I’m still learning how to play the games of these courts – to my adviser’s chagrin.”
“I hope you never learn how to play the games of these courts.”

4

If you went to the trouble of reading through all of this you might have realized that I loved this book! *lol* Sarah J. Maas outdid herself with this sequel and I’ve no other choice than to give her 5 paws again. “A Court of Mist and Fury” is one hell of a masterpiece and this reread only consolidated my opinion! 😉