Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Love Hypothesis (Ali Hazelwood)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 4 on My Book List 2023

”Kiss Dude, on the other hand, was standing right in front of her, lips parted, chest rising and a weird light flickering in his eyes, which was exactly when it dawned on her, the enormity of what she had just done. Of who she had just –“

This book was so much fun! Was it realistic? Nope. Did Olive get in a lot of funny and extremely crazy situations while fake dating Adam? You bet! *lol* Honestly, if you don’t overthink the beginning of the book (namely Olive kissing a random person she didn’t even look at just because she wanted to make her friend Anh believe that she was dating someone) and just go with the flow you’ll have a really good time with this one. XD I hear everyone who gave this story a one star rating but I think what we often forget these days is that not every book needs to be completely realistic and accurate in its representation. Sometimes you just need to read a book for the fun of it without overthinking things and digging too deep.

So yes, I could address the hinted at aro/ace rep that never got explored and just hung in the air and I could talk about Olive being a tiny, tiny fairy and Adam being one hell of a huge specimen of a man (of which we are reminded constantly) or about how much I dislike the miscommunication trope in books. But no. I won’t talk about things like that because all I wanted from this book was enjoyment and sometimes that means to leave your rationality and intellect at the door and to dive right into the fun instead. So that’s exactly what I did and I regret nothing. 😉

”Where were you born?” she asked.
“Is this another one of your green card marriage interview questions?”

For me “The Love Hypothesis” was a nice change to my usual reads because for once I didn’t read something serious and just decided to go for something light that was easy to read. And let me tell you, Ali Hazelwood totally delivers on that front and I can see why so many people love her books. Plus it was nice to see a representation of women in STEM because there are still too few and it’s good that Ali gave them a voice with her books. Also the romance between Adam and Olive had me laughing so much. Those two have great chemistry and I loved their easy banter and the way they didn’t hold back whenever they spoke with each other. They tested the waters, got to know each other and started a solid friendship before anything else happened. Something that is very important and isn’t explored often enough in romances if you ask me. I think to get to know the person you like is such an integral part of dating because if you are attracted to someone you usually want to know things about them too. That is, of course, if you’re looking for something solid. If you just want to scratch an itch and don’t want a relationship those rules don’t apply. Obviously.

”Or, you could stay mad, and we could go to your lab and throw test tubes full of toxic reagents at each other until the pain of third-degree burns overrides your shitty mood? Sounds like fun, no?”
He looked away and rolled his eyes, but she could see it in the curve of his cheeks that he was amused.

Anyway! What I wanted to say is that it was nice to see them have their coffee dates and trying to gauge the other’s personality. You might say they both were workaholics and didn’t have anything in common, but I think their passion for their work was actually one of the major things they HAD in common. As was their sarcasm and their protectiveness of each other and their close friends. Which brings me right to their besties! I absolutely loved Holden Rodrigues, Malcolm and Anh. Those three were great friends and I was very glad Olive and Adam had them because without them they probably would have never even realized that they weren’t fake dating anymore, but real dating instead. *lol* Also can we appreciate that scene when Anh and Malcom are upset on Olive’s behalf and so angry they cry? It was such a good friendship representation because if someone hurts your bestie and the people you love, you hurt too and that scene really hit hard for me.

”And if this guy is going to take you away from me and to Boston for an entire year, I want to make sure that he deserves you.” She winked. “Consider my presence the equivalent of a father cleaning his rifle in front of his daughter’s boyfriend before prom.”
“Aww, Daddy.”

The romance is the focus of the book, though and I personally enjoyed that part a lot. As always I liked the little moments and gestures more than I did the big ones and the “Comfy Lap Scene” as well as the “Snack” one can live in my head rent free. Truth be told, their consent when it came to THAT one particular scene was sexier than everything else that happened in the chapter. *lol* I blame my demi behind for this and I’m perfectly fine with it. XD

”I want to. I said I did.”
His throat bobbed. “It doesn’t matter, what you said. You can always change your mind.”

Adam could be a cruel tutor and teacher but he was always very respectful and friendly to Olive and this was super sweet. The people we love bring out the best in us and you could totally see this with Adam and Olive. I really liked that he appreciated her work and didn’t just see her as a woman in STEM but also as someone equal with a bright mind and great ideas. She didn’t have to be someone else around him and could just be herself because he took her the way she was. I think this was also the thing that drew him towards Olive in the first place. They both got each other without having to explain everything and Olive was probably one of the few people that realized he wasn’t mean to his students because he wanted to be. He was just a very fact oriented person and if someone did something wrong he didn’t hesitate to point it out. Sure, he could have been a little bit more empathetic and sensitive with his students but I also got where he was coming from.

”It hit her then what was so special about Adam. That no matter his reputation, or how rocky their first meeting, since the very beginning, Olive had felt that he was on her side. Over and over, and in ways that she could never have anticipated, he had made her feel unjudged. Less alone.”

For me Adam Carlsen was a great love interest and I could understand why Olive fell for him so hard. He might have had his flaws but at the end of the day he was a good and decent person (unlike someone else I won’t mention here and who became the “Persona non grata” of this book for me).

She grinned. “Then maybe I should stick around. Just, you know, to save the department from your terrible moods?”
He glanced at the picture of the failed Western blot in her hand. “Well, it doesn’t look like you’re going to graduate anytime soon.”
She half laughed, half gasped. “Oh my God. Did you just-?”


All things considered, I loved this book and had a blast reading about Olive’s antics. I mean the situations she got herself into? Hilarious! So yeah, if you want to have a good time and read a romance that is entertaining and can be read quickly you definitely should go for this one. It’s fun, it’s amusing and it’s short-lived. If you’re looking for all of those qualities in a book, search no more, because you’ve found it.

Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

ARC Review: Olympic Enemies (Rebecca J. Caffery)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

*I received this book as a free eBook ARC from NetGalley and The Wild Rose Press, Inc in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for approving my request.*

”We fell asleep perfectly slotted together, my arm wrapped around his frame, holding him against my chest. Part of me never wanted to let go, and the other part was scared to death about what that might mean.”

When I went into this book I expected to get an m/m from enemies-to-lovers romance that played during the Olympic Games and I’m really happy to say that this was exactly what I got. Sure not everything about this book was perfect, but if you don’t overthink every single moment you’ll have a really good time and just page through it. At least that’s what I did and I enjoyed the book immensely. So first things first: Let’s address the big elephant in the room, the love story between Lucas and Oliver.

I personally loved their chemistry and the way they grated on each other. I always enjoy a good “from enemies-to-lovers” trope but very often authors don’t dare to actually go for it because it’s not easy to create two characters that dislike or even hate each other at first and then fall in love. To write this trope is certainly a challenge, but I think Rebecca J. Caffery did a good job with it. At the beginning of the book Lucas and Oliver are clearly not all too happy to be forced to share a room together but they just grit their teeth and go with it because they are both adults and they know how to be professional. Or well, at least that’s what they think until they actually share said room together. It doesn’t take long before they are at each other’s throats and the tension that built up between them over the course of four years almost gets the better of them. The thing is whatever the tension between them, it’s most definitely not entirely hostile and they both realize this pretty quickly when they go at each other without anyone to interrupt their fights.

I really lived and breathed for this because you could see their struggle while they tried to make sense of their attraction. It was always there and had been there for a long time, but none of them ever considered acting on it, or at least not until they were suddenly thrown in a room together without anyone who could stop them from doing something extremely irresponsible and stupid. Some might say the change from enemies to lovers went too quickly and I can see why some people would come to this conclusion, but I personally think it was done well. Those two boys had four years to check each other out and I’m sure if they’d have opened up to each other sooner they certainly would have been a couple already. It just took the Olympics to get them in a room together and to force them to talk. Also I don’t think Oliver was mean because he invited Lucas to tag along with the team but didn’t really expect him to say “yes” or kind of hoped he’d say “no”. If you’ve tried to befriend someone for four years and that person always declines your invitations you’ll get frustrated. It’s only natural and human. Plus and this is important Oliver, Tom and Julius are best friends and Lucas was busy with school and graduating. It couldn’t have been easy for Lucas to always turn them down, but he probably always felt uncomfortable with the group because it’s not easy to befriend three best friends that already have their inside jokes etc. So yes, I could understand both sides and was okay with the way they thought about each other at first. Once they hit it off, though! Oh, boy!

What are you saying, you want to sleep together again? Why?”
“Again and again and again,” I added because why the fuck not. I could see, from the sparkle in his eyes and how the tip of his ears burnt red beneath his auburn curls, he was considering it.

Their interactions were amazing and full of sass and their banter was great! I always love it when people are honest and direct and those two knew exactly what they wanted and didn’t beat about the bush. It was really refreshing to see them just go for it and the fact they spoke about what they liked was something I truly appreciated. Of course they both think it’s only sex, for the reader it’s pretty clear it isn’t just sex, though. They were just too cute together and the way they cared about each other spoke volumes even if they tried to deny it all the time. I think they needed to have a go at each other in order to open up and to be able to get to know each other. And there were a lot of things they didn’t know about the other which brings me right to the surprising and well done grief rep of this book.

”I ran my fingers softly through his curls and in his sleep he shuffled closer to me until he had a leg thrown over my thigh. Lucas Evans was killing me and it was fucking ridiculous. He’d always been gorgeous, but it was so much easier to despise him when he was moody and set on going at this alone. Now, not so much.”

I didn’t expect to find a grief representation in this story but in my opinion it was done very well and the effect it had on the characters involved was pretty realistic. The focus clearly wasn’t on the grief rep and it was just a tiny part of the overall picture, but it really helped to understand where the characters were coming from. As the plot moves along we find out more and more about Lucas’s and Oliver’s backgrounds and why they are the way they are and this added a lot to my enjoyment of the book. As did the fact that this story played in the Olympic village and that we got to read about the competitions and sport events as well as the male gymnastics team practicing their routines on the floor. This aspect of the book was very interesting and I liked it a lot. I don’t know anything about gymnastics so I have no idea if the representation of the sport was done well. As a layman all I can say is that I enjoyed what I read and that it worked for me so please take this with a grain of salt if your knowledge about gymnastics is more extensive than mine. What I CAN say (as someone who danced professionally for years and took quite some injuries from it) is that the topic of a career in a physically demanding sport was handled very realistically and that I could relate to it. If you are an athlete you learn the limits of your body pretty quickly and to be at the Olympics is a one-time opportunity you have to grab with both of your hands.

He performed a full spin like it was nothing, like his feet were glued to the six inches of wood below him. “Was this worth losing two hundred pounds over?” he asked, arms fully extended in the air as he steadied himself for what I was sure was going to be a flawless flip sequence. 
“Every penny,” I commented as I leant back against the chalk pit and followed the curve of every muscle as he flipped once, twice, and a third time to the other side of the beam without a single wobble. I’d always admired him on the floor, to the point I don’t think I appreciated he could be just as good on any other apparatus. He’d truly proven me wrong. His balance was impeccable.”

To be honest, just to read about how much Oliver appreciated Lucas’s skill made me happy because it’s one of those things only someone who does sports can understand. There is some beauty to moving your body in time, an invisible rhythm to your movements that causes you to lose track of time and allows you to live in the moment. It’s not just a pleasure if you do it yourself, you also gain so much enjoyment from just watching someone doing something they love and are good at as well. I absolutely adored this aspect of the book because it wasn’t just visible when they were on the mat but also when Oliver and Lucas watched each other secretly without the other even noticing. It was a lovely analogy and fit perfectly to them and their mutual love for gymnastics. I see what you did there, dear author. 😉

”I wanted to wrap Oliver up and protect him from the world and that wasn’t normally how I felt towards anyone other than my best friend and my family. Yet Oliver had wormed his way into a place quite close to my heart and even if I didn’t want to admit it right now, this was way more than sex for me.”


All told I had a really great time with “Olympic Enemies” and the book gave me everything I signed up for. Lucas and Oliver were a cute couple and their way from enemies to lovers might have been a little bit fast but also comprehensible. The banter and the friendships were amazing and I had a good time reading about the Olympic Games. If there was one thing I didn’t like about the book then it was the fact that the ending was too abrupt. I really would have liked to see some sort of exploration of the aftermath of the Olympics and how the characters dealt with their new reality. I guess that’s just a personal preference though and I can live with the ending the way it is. If you like m/m books about sports, the enemies-to-lovers trope and great friendships this book definitely might be a good read for you.  

trigger warnings:public outing by the press, grief rep – mention of the death of a partner and unborn child, injury
A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Silver Flames (Sarah J. Maas)

Rating: 3 Pfoten,5

Rhys lifted his head. “This is a bad idea.”
Cassian winked. “That should be written on the Night Court crest.”

I’m honestly surprised it’s not written there already, because ever since I started to read about the Night Court they made great and horrible decisions. *lol* And yes, hi, it’s me finally writing my review for this book. It only took me a year to get to it, but to be honest the amount of quotes I tabbed in this story were kind of intimidating. Jello and I read this as a buddy read and since it took us an entire year to finish the book it’s okay that it also took me a year to write my review, right? ;-P I promise to improve. Or just not to tab the hell out of my books in future. Haha! Anyway! Let’s talk about “A Court of Silver Flames”!

This book wasn’t just different when it came to the title (ACOSF instead of ACOTAR etc.) but also very different in its structure. The focus was clearly on Nesta’s journey and her character/redemption arc but also on the relationships between the characters. Well, and yes, there were a lot of sex scenes. I usually don’t mind them but I think it would have helped the book if Sarah would have focused less on Nesta’s and Cassian’s mind-blowing sexual encounters and more on the storyline instead. The plot really took such a backseat in this story and I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean I was okay with exploring Nesta’s trauma and her redemption arc and with the introduction of so many new characters. It was interesting to see all those various dynamics and how they shaped the people involved but I really missed a stronger focus on the plot and this got even more pronounced near the ending.

The ending totally wasn’t my cup of tea. For one thing everything happened way too fast and the revelations were neither surprising nor explored? It’s kind of hard to pinpoint what didn’t work for me but it was just this huge agglomeration of all the plot threads and in the end it was all over and I still craved for more context. I have no idea if that explanation makes any sense but it’s the way I felt and I really hope Sarah J. Maas will get her focus back on the storyline in the next book. For me it felt like she sort of lost her way and once she realized she needed to resolve the plot line as well, she rushed it and everything came together way too conveniently. I think it speaks volumes that everything, literally everything the story worked towards to was solved in the last 50 pages or so. So yeah, the plot felt like an afterthought in ACOSF and I genuinely hope that Sarah will focus more on it in the next book. *fingers crossed*

This said let’s go right for my characters section because I have THOUGHTS (as always. *lol*) and I need to get them off my chest.


Welcome to Velaris, the home of the Night Court! We have a lot of amazing sights and places to explore, but we also have lots of spoilers! So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better turn in the other direction and leave our city asap! This is a fair warning and it’s your choice whether you enter or not. As the city’s guard my job here is done. 😉


”And the dark eternity around her shuddered. Bucked. Trashed.
She laughed as it recoiled. Laughed around the mouthful of raw power she ripped out and swallowed whole; laughed at the fistfuls of eternity she shoved into her heart, her veins.
The Cauldron struggled like a bird under a cat’s paw. She refused to relent.”

What to say about Nesta? She’s still not my favourite ACOTAR character and probably never will be, but I finally understand where she’s coming from and how she thinks and feels. Sarah did an amazing job with her redemption arc and I think if you still feel bitter towards Nesta after reading this book it might be out of sheer pettiness. It was good to be in her head because it helped to understand her better and even though I still don’t like a lot of the decisions she made I can’t help but respect her. She knows she hurt many people with her behaviour and she really tries to do better which is more than can be said for a lot of other people. Some never realize their failures or just refuse to recognize them, but Nesta? Nesta tackled them head-on and tried to become a better person. It’s never too late to make amends and to try to do better so I admire her for it. Plus her trauma was extremely severe and I genuinely doubt that a lot of people would have been able to deal with a trauma like that. The fact Nesta did and came out of it alive on the other side speaks of her strength and who knows maybe we’ll see more of this strong and stubborn woman in the next books. I really hope so because she’s definitely a person I’d love to be friends with. The way she charmed Eris so much with her dancing he probably would have died of cardiac arrest if the song wouldn’t have ended was amazing and by far one of my favourite dancing scenes in a book ever! It was marvellous! And the fact she and the sentient house bonded over smutty books was more than just relatable. *lol* I kinda love the idea that she might become the leader of the Valkyries in the next books and I’m so ready to see it. Nesta is no longer the victim and she can stand up for herself and her friends now. It was beautiful to see her character growth and even though she isn’t as powerful as she used to be after she saved Feyre and her son, she is still a force to be reckoned with. The mother is on her side too so this is pretty impressive and I’m sure we’ll see more of this in the books to come. =)

”Though she had fought back against Tomas, against the Cauldron, against the King of Hybern, they had all happened to her. She had survived, but she had been helpless and afraid.
Not today.
Today, she would happen to him.”

”She had been born wrong. Had been born with claws and fangs and had never been able to keep from using them, never been able to quell the part of her that roared at betrayal, that cold hate and love more violently than anyone ever understood. Elain had been the only one who perhaps grasped it, but now her sister loathed her.
She didn’t know how to fix it. How to make any of it right. How to stop being this way.”

”It was my punishment. Don’t you understand that?” She could barely see him through her tears. “From the moment I met you, I wanted you more than reason. From the moment I saw you in my house, you were all I could think about. And it terrified me. No one had ever held such power over me. And I am still terrified that if I let myself have you… it will be taken away. Someone will take it away, and if you’re dead…” She buried her face in her hands. “It doesn’t matter,” she whispered. “I do not deserve you, and I never, ever will.”

”She faced the city – the lovely, vibrant city. None of it seemed as vibrant as what waited above. The climb would be brutal, and almost without end, but at the top … Cassian would be waiting. As he had waited for her for years now.
Nesta smiled. And began the climb.”


His eyes shuttered in a way she had not witnessed before. “I was taken away from her when I was three. Thrown out into the snow and in her so-called disgraced state, she became prey to other monsters.”  Nesta’s stomach twisted with each word. “She did their backbreaking labor until she died, alone and…” His throat worked. “I was at Windhaven by then. I wasn’t strong enough to return to help her. To bring her somewhere safe.”

Ahh Cassian. It was so good to find out more about him and his past and it only made me love him even more. I already loved Cassian in the former books but this time around we got his POV and I was so happy to be able to dive into his mind. He’s really such a beautiful person inside and out and I totally get why Nesta thought that he would be too good for her. He’s such a generous and kind soul and he always tries to make the best decisions for everyone. Plus he’s good at putting himself in the position of someone else and I really loved that about him. While all the others didn’t get Nesta and Lucien and didn’t bother to understand them and their motives, Cassian fought for them and gave them the benefit of the doubt. It was really nice to see him care about Nesta and Lucien and that he acknowledged their pain. That’s more than can be said for all the others. I think if given the time Lucien and he might actually become friends. Also he’s humble and patient! Cassian is so powerful but he never abuses his power and always tries to use it for good instead. I just love this man, okay?! And I was so angry at Eris for making him feel inferior. But at the end when he notices the person Eris truly is he doesn’t make him feel worse, no he tells him that he sees him and hands him an olive branch instead and wow, if that isn’t altruistic and generous then I don’t know. (Yes, he also called him a coward in the same breath but honestly Eris deserved that one.) Cassian is awesome! Period.

”They were wrong.” his eyes glittered fiercely. “What they learned was that we love each other as true brothers. And there was nothing that we wouldn’t do, no one we wouldn’t kill, to reach each other. To save each other. We killed our way across the mountains, and made it through the Breaking – the worst of Ramiel’s three routes to the top – and we won the damn thing.”

Clotho huffed a laugh. She has a will of iron.
“Of steel.” He smiled. “Good seeing you, Clotho.”
You as well, Lord Cassian.
“Just Cassian,” he said, as he had said so many times now.
You are a lord in good deeds. It is not a title born, but earned.
He bowed his head as he said thickly, “Thank you.”

”Eris and his twisted word games and politics are an enemy I don’t know how to handle. Every time I meet with him, I feel like he’s got the upper hand. Like I can only catch up to him, and he sees through my every fumbling attempt at being clever. Maybe that makes me a stupid brute after all.”

”Cassian was good. In his soul, in his warrior’s heart, Cassian was good in a way Nesta knew most people were not. In a way she knew she was not and would never be.
He was not a warrior who killed on a whim, but a male who carefully considered every life he had to take. Who’d defend what he loved until death.”


Az chuckled, the wind shifting the strands of his dark hair. “You two need a chaperone up here?”
Yes. No. Yes. “I thought you were the chaperone.”
Az threw him a wicked smile. “I’m not entirely sure I’m enough.”
Cassian flipped him off.

Okay, but can we talk about Az in this book?! OMG! I was so glad we got to see more of his wicked, playful and fun side and I lived and breathed for those little snippets that were thrown our way! There is so much humour and teasing in this man and I really want to see more of it. Az is still such a mystery, though. We got a little bit more about him, but for me it still feels like he’s this huge big question mark hovering above my head. Can we please explore his character in the 5th book? XD Also I’d like an explanation for all his confusing behaviour. Like he’ll do done thing and I’ll think: “Okay, I’m back on track.” and then he’ll totally throw me off again and I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ THIS MAN!!! Thank you Sarah for writing him that way. It’s fine, it only causes me sleepless nights every once in a while. *lol*

”Right,” Cassian panted through gritted teeth as he blocked Az’s kick and bounced a step back, circling again. “Whoever lands the next blow wins.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Az panted back. “We go until one of us eats dirt.” Az had a vicious competitive streak. It wasn’t boastful and arrogant, the way Cassian knew he himself was prone to be, or possessive and terrifying like Amren’s. No, it was quiet and cruel and utterly lethal.

”Give me some credit, Feyre,” Az said. “I can keep hidden well enough.”
“We take no risks,” Feyre said, voice flat with command. “Pull all your spies out.”
“Like hell I will.”


Lust glazed Eris’s eyes. Covetous, calculating lust. Cassian swallowed his growl. “I mean that whatever you want, I’ll give it to you in exchange for her. As my bride.” He jerked his chin to the box with the dagger at Rhys’s feet. “I’d rather have her than that.”
He danced three dances with her! Feyre squawked. Rhys’s lips seemed to be fighting a losing battle not to smile.

Good lord, what to say about Eris? I really disliked that asshole but at the same time I couldn’t help but admire him for the way he thinks. To be honest I got strong “TSoA Odysseus” vibes from him because as much as I disliked Odysseus I begrudgingly had to acknowledge his smart brain and intelligence as well. The way he lusted after Nesta was quite something, but I could understand why she was almost irresistible for him. I mean she certainly was able to keep up with his thoughts, wits and schemes and at the end of the day we all long for someone who gets us and understands our actions. I think Eris is very lonely and he really might have seen a future for himself and Nesta. AND (you’re allowed to unpack your pitchforks now) I believe that he saved Mor and that leaving her at the border to the Night Court was the only thing he was able to do for her. At this point I’m convinced he had no other choice and that all the things he’s done so far are because he wants to end Beron’s reign. I mean he tried to save his men from Koschei and Briallyn. Doesn’t strike me as something a truly bad person would do. I’m very curious how his character arc is going to develop in the next books.

Eris went on, “Always mix truth and lies, General. Didn’t those warrior-brutes teach you about how to withstand an enemy’s torture?”
Cassian knew. He’d been tortured and interrogated and never once broken. “Beron tortured you?”
Eris rose, tucking his book under an arm. “Who cares what my father does to me?”

”Get that pitying look off your face,” Eris snarled softly. “I know what sort of creature my father is. I don’t need your sympathy.”

So Cassian said, “I grew up surrounded by monsters. I’ve spent my existence fighting them. And I see you, Eris. You’re not one of them. Not even close. I think you might even be a good male.” Cassian opened the door, turning from Eris’s curled lip. “You’re just too much of a coward to act like one.”


”Even with Elain here, he’s become close with Jurian and Vassa. He’s voluntarily living with them these days, and not just as an emissary. As their friend.”

So what?! Lucien has finally made some friends that aren’t toxic for him and you blame him for it? Ugh! Honestly sometimes I really dislike the Night Court characters so much, because they just can’t seem to think beyond their family. I love Rhys and the Night Court, but damn they are testing my patience with their stance on Lucien. Was it wrong of him to hold on to Tamlin and to stay with him even though he knew how abusive and controlling he was towards Feyre: Yes. But it’s not like he had a choice. Tamlin was at least as abusive towards him and he did the best he could with what he had. And yes, Tam sure as hell knew how Ianthe stalked Lucien and did nothing about it. Unlike the Night Court Lucien never was part of a found family and all he ever had was his friendship with Tamlin. I think what all those characters forget is that he loves Tamlin like a brother and really cares about him because he was the only one to save him from his father’s clutches. And even if he wanted to his honour wouldn’t allow him to leave Tamlin alone. That’s not the person he is because he’s loyal to a fault. Lucien’s actions were misguided but never malicious and it’s about time the Night Court gets this in their thick heads! Honestly, if they aren’t more welcome to him in the next books I’m gonna riot. I mean they weren’t exactly welcoming and only use him for their own gain and I’m NOT surprised he is looking for people that are actually his friends. If you treat him like shit you can’t expect him to stick around and to be loyal to you. Period. Yes, I still have A LOT of strong thoughts about the way the Night Court treats Lucien. Anyway! I’m very curious when Sarah will finally tackle the elephant in the room, namely the fact that Lucien is Helion’s son! He deserves to know and I’m not okay with Feyre and the others keeping this a secret from him. There were some moments in ACOSF when his true parentage shone through and I’m ready for him to find out. Can the 5th book be about Lucien please?!

”Lucien’s gold eye clicked, reading Cassian’s rage while warning flashed in his remaining russet eye. The male had grown up alongside Eris. Had dealt with Eris’s and Beron’s cruelty. Had seen his lover slaughtered by his own father. But Lucien had learned to keep his cool.”

”Easy,” Lucien said.
Cassian snarled.
“Easy,” Lucien repeated, and flame sizzled in his russet eye.
The flame, the surprising dominance within it, hit Cassian like a stone to the head, knocking him from his need to kill and kill and kill whatever might threaten-“

”She’s not a carnival attraction,” Cassian said through his teeth.
“It’s not for entertainment.” Lucien’s red hair gleamed in the dimness of the rainy day. “I think Feyre wanted a progress assessment from someone who hasn’t seen her in a while.”
“And?” Cassian bit out.
Lucien threw him a withering look. “I’m not your enemy, you know. You can drop the aggressive brute act.”


”They say a beast prowls these lands now. A beast with keen green eyes and golden fur. Some people think the beast has forgotten his other shape, so long has he spent in his monstrous form. And though he roams these lands, he does not see or care for the neglect he passes, the lawlessness, the vulnerability. Even his manor has fallen into disrepair, half-eaten by thorns, though rumors fly that he himself destroyed it.”

At this point there seems to be nothing left of Tamlin and I honestly don’t know how I feel about that. He did so many wrong and horrible things and I still haven’t forgiven him for any of them, but I also think that it’s time someone gives him a chance to heal. It’s obvious he’s hurting and his entire court is suffering because of it. There’s barely anything left of the Spring Court as it is and the way it looks Tam won’t be able to get it together on his own. I think it’s about time Feyre and him have a talk and find closure and yeah I know Rhys won’t like this but all I can say to that is that he has to suck it up. Because quite honestly not to tell Feyre that the baby and her would die during birth was at least as f*cking wrong as what Tam did. I don’t think Tamlin can get better without closure and they wouldn’t just help him but basically every faerie that belongs to the Spring Court so it would be the right thing to do. He can only do better if he’s given a chance to prove it. I know I might have an unpopular opinion when it comes to Lucien and Tamlin but I don’t care. To give them a chance is the least the Night Court could do. Peace is worth it.


Nesta & Cassian:

”Until she’d been hunted by the King of Hybern and the Cauldron. Until she’d realized that everyone she cared for would be used to hurt her, break her, trap her. Until that last battle when she couldn’t stop one thousand Illyrians from dying, and had instead been able to save only one.
Him. She would do it again, if forced to. And knowing that … She couldn’t bear that truth, either.”

The banter between those two was legit one of the best things about this book. I really liked how they went back and forth and how they were able to hold their ground, but as I already said at the beginning of this review: I think it would have been better if Sarah wouldn’t have focused so much on the sex scenes. I get why she did it, but to be frank, after the 3rd time they said “It’s only sex, no feelings involved.” the reader already got that it’s not just sex and that there are plenty of feelings involved! You didn’t have to add even more “mind-blowing sex scenes” to show this, we already got it after the second time. I mean I’m the last to complain about sex scenes, I love good smut in my books but a couple less steamy scenes and a stronger focus on the plot instead definitely wouldn’t have hurt this book. You feel me? Aside of that I really liked the moments when Nesta and Cassian got closer and opened up to each other. Nesta had a severe trauma from being forced into the Cauldron and becoming fae but Cassian was very patient with her and understood her on a level no one else did. He was nourishing and pushy at the same time. Giving her enough space to grate on him whenever she needed it, but also offering her comfort when she was vulnerable. It was truly beautiful to watch those two find their way together and I think their dynamic was awesome. Nesta had a lot to work through in this book, the grief of losing her humanity and her father, the trauma of being made, the feeling of helplessness, of failing her sisters when they needed her the most, of almost being raped,. It was a whole can of worms to get through and with the help of her friends and Cassian she eventually made it. She’s still far from okay, but she’s on the right way and she can work on getting better now. Did I already mention how much I loved it that Sarah slowly but steadily let Nesta work through her trauma. It was very realistic and I’m glad we got to experience her character growth. And of course Nesta and Cassian are quite the formidable couple. *lol* I can’t wait to see more of them now that they are finally in tune. 😉

His grin was a slash of white. “The only thing that’s obvious is that you’re talking to yourself.”
“I’m talking to the House. Which is a considerable step up from talking to you.”
“It doesn’t talk back.”

”Everything about him had radiated that confident, arrogant masculinity. It had been heady and overwhelming, and all she’d wanted, all she’d wanted for so many months, was to touch him, smell him, taste him. Get close to that strength and throw everything she was against it because she knew he’d never break, never falter, never balk.”

”They clung to each other, and he tried to piece himself back together, to remember what the fuck his name was and where they were.
But there was only her. Only this female in his arms.
And the only name he could remember was hers.”

”You can keep that sharpness I like so much, that boldness and fearlessness. I don’t want you to ever lose those things, to cage yourself.”
“But I still don’t know how to fix myself.”
“There’s nothing broken to be fixed,” he said fiercely. “You are helping yourself. Healing the parts of you that hurt too much – and perhaps hurt others, too.”

”Cassian stood beside her through all of it. Not speaking, not touching. Just there, should she need him. Her friend – whom she’d asked to come her with her not because he was sharing her bed, but because she wanted him here. His steadiness and kindness and understanding.”

Nesta & Feyre:

”Nesta hated that word. The term Feyre used to describe her court. As if things had been so miserable with the Archeron family that Feyre had needed to find another one. Had chosen her own.”

Oh boy, that sibling relationship certainly wasn’t an easy one. Feyre tried to keep Nesta in the loop and really wanted to make amends but Nesta always shut that door right into her face and it was hard to watch. I finally get why she did it though and some part of me was relieved to find out that Nesta felt bad for not being able to take care of Feyre. I mean Feyre was the youngest, yet she still went out into the woods and hunted in order to keep her family alive. And yes, Nesta should have done something to help her but she was too scared to do anything and that kind of paralyzed her. I can’t say I understand their dynamic but I think Feyre was always more resilient, stronger and more curious than her sisters? So Nesta looked after Elain and her father because it was the only thing she felt capable of doing while Feyre went hunting. I suppose in their own way they both watched out for their family, only that it was Feyre who truly risked her life. But then again Nesta actually went after Feyre when she was taken by Tamlin and tried to find her, which is more than can be said for Elain. (I still hate Elain btw. *lol*) Sibling relationships are complicated and Nesta and Feyre, well they have a lot to work through. As long as they do it together there is hope though.

”She discovered the pregnancy. I wanted you to know this part before anyone else.”
“I hadn’t realized you were keeping score.”
Feyre gave her an exasperated look. “I’m not, Nesta. I just … Do I need an excuse to share things with you? You’re my sister. I wanted to tell you before anyone else. That’s it.”

”Hunting to keep them fed had taught Feyre that skill set. Hunting, while Nesta had stayed home, safe and warm, and let Feyre venture into that forest alone. Those skills Feyre had honed had allowed her to survive against the High Fae and all their terrors, but … Feyre only had them because of what she’d been forced to do. Because Nesta hadn’t been the on to do it. To step up.”

Feyre & Rhys:

Rhy’s throat bobbed. His next words cracked Cassian’s heart. “I didn’t realize how much hope I’d been holding on to until I saw the pity and fear in their faces. Until Drakon had to embrace me to keep me from falling apart.”

First of all: Feyre is still the strong woman I love and the way she tackled the revelation about her pregnancy was… Well, she dealt with it like a boss! But Rhys?! I can understand that he was worried sick about her and didn’t want to endanger Feyre’s and the child’s health, but the mother help me, WHY THE HELL DIDN’T HE TELL HER!!!?? Honestly, if I would have been Feyre I’d have chewed that man and spit him out! Honestly, the fact he didn’t tell her made me so damn angry, I can’t even put it into words. Like how did he think it would be okay not to tell her?! How can it be okay to let your wife, the woman that carries your child, go into childbirth without letting her know about the danger she is in?! Yes, they made that stupid bargain that both of them would die, but Feyre is the one who was pregnant and carried that child in her body! It’s her body!!! It’s the child living in HER body! I can’t emphasize that enough. You don’t make decisions for pregnant women! You tell THEM and let THEM decide because THEY are the ones that have to live with the consequences and the ones that have to make a decision! Or that have to deal with the knowledge in that case. Honestly, the more Sarah writes about Rhys since Feyre and him mated, the more I start to dislike him. Where is the Rhys that wasn’t possessive and gave Feyre room to form her own opinion and to come to her own conclusions? Where is the Rhys that would have never lied to Feyre and would have supported her through all of her troubles? Where is nourishing and gentle Rhys? I don’t see him anymore. All I see is an alpha hole that is possessive of his mate and thinks it’s wise to keep her in the dark. Feyre is no mimosa, she can handle every shit that is thrown her way. He of all people should have known that, but since they mated he totally lost himself. And I hate that about Sarah’s characters. The moment they have a mate they get stupid, possessive and the individual characters don’t exist anymore. Yes, you can use your pitchforks but it won’t change my opinion. I hate it that Sarah always makes her characters mates and then sacrifices their individuality. It’s not healthy. It’s not how a relationship should be. They should be equal and make decisions together. To romanticize unhealthy possessiveness and jealousy is NOT healthy. Period. You can be part of a couple and still be an individual, it doesn’t have to be this all-consuming, no compromise thing. Sorry for that long rant but it’s one of those things I absolutely hate about Sarah’s books and I just can’t overlook it anymore. It literally happens in every single one of her books and I just can’t. Also where the hell did that talk about Rhys becoming the leader of all fae from? That was at least one thing Rhys and I agreed about. Just because he has power that doesn’t mean he needs to become a leader. Uff. Honestly, at this point I’m scared that in one of those next books I’ll actually start to hate Rhys for real. And that’s such a shame. Sarah isn’t doing her characters any favour by writing them that way. >_< Okay, end of my rant. Or this review will never end.

Cassian squeezed Rhy’s shoulder. “Why won’t you tell her?”
Rhys throat worked. “Because I can’t bring myself to give her that fear. To take away one bit of the joy in her eyes every time she puts a hand on her belly.” His voice shook. “It is fucking eating me alive, this terror. I keep myself busy, but … there is no one to bargain with for her life, no amount of wealth to buy it, nothing that I can do to save her.”

”Yours is a terrible and beautiful power, Rhysand,” Amren said, sighing. “You have three magic blades before you, each a kingmaker in its own right, and yet you would rather share that power. Keep to your borders. Why?”
Rhys demanded, “Why do you want me to turn conqueror?”
Amren shot back, “Why do you shy from the power that is your birthright?”
“I did nothing to earn that power,” Rhys said. “I was born with it. It is a tool to defend my people, not to attack others.” He surveyed them. “Where is this talk coming from?”

”“Rhys knew?” Tears spilled down Feyre’s cheeks, smearing the paint splattered there. “About the threat to our lives?” She peered down at herself, at the tattooed hand cradling her abdomen.

”How can you be so calm about this?
The alternative is fear and panic. I will not let my son feel those things. I will fight for him, for us, until I no longer can.
Cassian’s throat tightened. We’ll fight for you, too.”

Nesta & Rhys:

”Rhysand might be an arrogant, vain bastard, but he was honorable.  He fought like hell to protect innocents. Her dislike of him had nothing to do with what he’d proved so many times: he was a fair, just ruler, who put his people before himself. No, she just found his personality – that slick smugness – grating.”

Well, what can I say about those two? I’m glad they finally worked through their differences and started to trust each other. Also I kinda agree with Nesta, Rhys can be a lot sometimes. *lol* They are both strong characters so it’s no wonder they were at each other’s throats more often than not. I just hope Rhys won’t pamper Nesta all too much now that she saved his wife and child. I understand why he’s thankful but if he overdoes it she’ll lose all her respect for him. XD Just saying. At least they seem to get along now and that’s a huge step up from where they were before. Still, makes me wonder why Rhys never argued with Elain because let’s face it, this woman didn’t do anything for her sister, yet he never despised her for it. Only Nesta. *sighs*

His throat worked, as if he’d heave, but he held it down. “She was dreaming of the Cauldron. Of… of when she went in.” Cassian had never seen Rhys at such a loss of words.
“I saw it,” Rhys whispered. “Felt it. Everything that happened within the Cauldron. Saw her take its power with her teeth and claws and rage. And I saw… felt … what it took from her.”
Rhys rubbed his face, and slowly straightened. He met Cassian’s stare unflinchingly, his eyes full of remorse and agony. “Her trauma is …” Rhy’s throat bobbed.
“I know,” Cassian whispered.

Nesta buried her face in the cold sweat of Feyre’s neck. She opened that place within herself, and said to the Mother, to the Cauldron, “I’ll give back what I took from you. Just show me how to save them – her and Rhysand and the baby.” Rhysand – her brother. That’s what he was, wasn’t he? Her brother, who had offered her kindness even when she knew he wanted to throttle her. And she him. And the baby… her nephew. Blood of her blood. She would save him, save them, even if it took everything. “Show me,” she pleaded.

Then Rhys fell to his knees and took Nesta’s hands in his, pressing his mouth to her fingers. “Thank you,” he wept, head bowed. Cassian knew it wasn’t in gratitude for Rhys’s own life that he knelt upon the sacred tattoos inked upon his knees.
Nesta dropped to the carpet. Lifted Rhys’s face in her hands, studied what lay in it. Then she threw her arms around the High Lord of the Night Court and held him tightly.

Nesta & Elain:

”I went into the Cauldron, too, you know. And it captured me. And yet somehow all you think of is what my trauma did to you.”

Uff those two. I can’t with Elain, I just can’t. Instead of realizing that Nesta was worried about her and cares about her, Elain made everything about herself. Yes, she was in the Cauldron too, but she didn’t fight it like Nesta did. And yes, she has a trauma too, but everything Nesta ever did was to try to protect Elain. Elain was her entire world and basically the sister Nesta always focused all her energy and attention on, and now she’s kicking that with her feet? I hate Elain so much, I think at this point not even a redemption arc like the one with Nesta would make me like her more and I don’t get why everyone seems to love her. Pff… #IHateElainAndI’mNotSorryAboutIt

”Absolutely not,” Nesta spat, fingers curling at her sides. “Absolutely not.”
“Why?” Elain demanded. “Shall I tend to my little garden forever?” When Nesta flinched, Elain said, “You can’t have it both ways. You cannot resent my decision to lead a small, quiet life while also refusing to let me do anything greater.”

Nesta & Azriel:

Azriel said coolly, “I don’t need to resort to threats.” The shadows coiled around him, snakes ready to strike.
Nesta gave him a smile, holding his stare. “Neither do I.”
She leaned back in her chair and said to Cassian, who was frowning at both of them, “I want to train with him instead.”

One of my favourite things about ACOSF was definitely their blooming friendship. It was unexpected but I really loved their interactions and I’m glad Az and Nesta got along so well. I think they both needed someone who understood them and they both came to some sort of mutual understanding. I loved that so much because they didn’t even need words, they just got each other. Also Azriel’s present for Nesta was so thoughtful and ahh the way she hugged him warmed my heart so much. ❤ I totally ship their friendship and I hope we’ll see more of it in the next books. Their mutual respect and the way they deal with boundaries is just EVERYTHING. Also I genuinely hope we’ll get more of Az’s background because he’s still such a mystery.

”Even Feyre had been hesitant around Az initially, but Nesta considered him with the same unflinching assessment she laid upon everyone. Maybe that was why Azriel had never said a bad word about Nesta. Never seemed inclined to start a fight with her. She saw him, and was not afraid of him. There weren’t many people who fit that bill.”

”I’d be careful when you’re fucking her,” Amren added, lips curling in a sneer. “Who knows what she might tansform you into when her emotions are high?”
“That’s enough,” Azriel said, and Cassian turned grateful eyes to his brother. Az continued, “I’m with Cassian on this. It’s not right to keep the knowledge from Nesta.”

Shadows darkend his eyes, full of enough pain that she couldn’t stop herself from touching his shoulder. Letting him see that she understood why he stood in the doorway, why he wouldn’t go near the fire.
His secret to tell, never hers.
Azriel’s face remained neutral.

Nesta touched the glass ball, no bigger than her thumbnail, and faelight flickered within, casting a bright, easy glow upon her lap. She tapped it again and it turned off. And then she jumped to her feet and flung her arms around Azriel. The room went silent for a beat.
But Azriel chuckled and squeezed her gently. Cassian smiled to see it – to see them. “Thank you,” Nesta said, quickly pulling away to marvel at the device. “It’s brilliant.”

Amren & Nesta:

”It landed like a physical blow. Rhys came as no surprise. But Amren, who had always understood her more than the others; Amren who’d been unafraid of her; Amren with whom she’d quarrelled so badly… Some small part of her had hoped Amren wouldn’t hate her forever.”

Now that was weird and kinda anticlimactic. The way those two argued and were at each other’s throat all of the time I expected there to have happened something huge and horrible between them, but then we find out what actually happened at that night and I was like: Huh, that’s it?! The way Amren spoke about Nesta and despised her I would have thought something truly extreme happened but nope. Just wow. Was Nesta wrong for acting the way she did? Sure, but some of the things Amren said?! Either she’s extremely petty or I dunno. Not gonna lie, it made her shine a little bit less in my eyes. I mean alone that comment about Cassian better being careful when he f*cks her?! WTH? You don’t say that about a friend even if you’re mad at them. That was such a low blow and uncalled-for. *shakes head* I’ll keep a close look at Amren’s character from now on. Why is Sarah J. Maas making me dislike so many of my favourites with this continuation of the original trilogy?

”How dare you assume you know what is best for me?”
When Amren didn’t answer, Nesta hissed, “You were my friend.”
Amren’s teeth flashed. “Was I? I don’t think you know what that word means.”

Nesta couldn’t imagine spending a day in this place. A year. She didn’t know how Amren hadn’t gone mad. How she’d found the strength to survive.
She’d treated Amren badly. The small thought wedged into her mind. She had sued her, exactly as Amren said, as a shield against everyone.

Elain & Lucien & Az & Gwyn:

”Nesta met the shadowsinger’s stare and he gave her a nod. Then his gaze shifted to Elain, and though it was utterly neutral, something charged went through it. Between them. Elain’s breath caught slightly, and she gave him a shallow nod of greeting before brushing past, leading Nesta into the room.”

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here so WHAT THE HELL IS THIS WEIRD LOVE QUADRANGLE?! I don’t get it and I have absolutely no idea where Sarah wants to go with this. Like is there something going on between Az and Elain? In ACOFAS it looked like they were attracted to each other and we got some hints in ACOSF too. (see quote above) But then Gwyn is introduced and there obviously is some chemistry between her and Az too. That quote about him being her new ribbon, her teasing him and him being amused by it. Plus he saved her and is the only man she seems to trust. And let’s not forget about the fact that Elain is actually Lucien’s mate. Uff! So let’s speak some truth here: I would totally board the Gywn/Az ship and I’d ship them both so much you’d never see the end of it. *lol* But that would leave Lucien with Elain and I just CAN’T ship him with her because she’s so damn horrible to him it even hurts Cassian and Az when they see how she treats him. And that says a lot because he isn’t exactly their favourite person either, but at least they seem to have more sympathy for Lucien than Elain ever will. She treats him so badly it always causes me to wince when I read about their interactions. Small as they might be. My Lucien deserves so much better than that and I’ll never ship Elain with Lucien. NEVER! Sarah can try to come up with the most genius character arc for Elain but she won’t be able to save that ship. Period. For a while I actually thought there might be something going on between Lucien and Vassa but as it seems Jurian and Vassa are more likely to end up together? I got the impression Lucien is sort of third-wheeling with those two? I swear if Sarah doesn’t create a worthy love interest for Lucien in her next book I’ll riot! To be honest the only two people I’d ship Lucien with right now are actually Vassa or Az. Yes, you read right. *LOL* I’d ship Lucien with Az because I think they would work well together, but knowing Sarah she won’t go for an m/m couple. Her LGBTQIA+ characters are always side-characters that have a couple of lines. I mean just look at Mor. She made her bi, just to NOT explore her character even more. We’ve known Mor is bi since the third book, but nothing ever happened ever since. No love interest, nothing. Pff… The day has yet to come when Sarah J. Maas actually goes for a queer main character representation in her books. I mean if she doesn’t want to write them, okay, but please don’t lead us on. It’s not fair. Anyway! I really don’t know where Sarah wants to go with this love quadrangle, but I guess we’ll find out one day…

”He and Lucien did not exchange gifts, though the male had brought a gift for Feyre and one for his mate, who barely thanked him after opening the pearl earrings. Cassian’s heart strained at the pain etching deep into Lucien’s face as he tried to hide his disappointment and longing. Elain only shrank further into herself, no trace of that newfound boldness to be seen.”

Gwyn threw Azriel a withering stare as she strode past him. “See you tomorrow, Shadowsinger,” she tossed over a shoulder.
Az stared after her, brows high with amusement. When he turned back, Nesta grinned. “You have no idea what you just started,” she said. Az angled his head, hazel eyes narrowing as Gwyn reached the archway.
“Remember how Gwyn was with the ribbon?” Nesta winked and clapped the shadowsinger on the shoulder. “You’re the new ribbon, Az.”

”Azriel slaughtered all of them within moments. He didn’t hesitate. But I could barely move, and when I tried to get up… He gave me his cloak and wrapped me in it.”

Nesta, Gwyn & Emerie:

Cassian’s eyes softened. “Which of the healers clipped you?”
Emerie’s chin lifted, color stealing across her face. She met his eyes though – with a level of directness that Nesta could only admire. “My father did it himself.”
Cassian swore, low and nasty.
Emerie said, voice cold, “I fought him, so his work became even sloppier.”

The friendship bond between those three was so amazing and I’m very glad we finally have a female counterpart to the Rhys/Cassian/Az trio. It was about time Sarah tackled the topic of a strong crew of girls and I was totally ready to explore their friendship. I’m sure they will bring the Valkyries back to glory and each and every single one of those women is a force to be reckoned with. They are strong and feisty and they will never ever back down again. They all had their own trauma, whether it was Nesta’s Cauldron experience, Emerie’s abuse through her father or Gwyn getting raped after witnessing her sister’s death… I hurt so much with those women, because knowing what they had to go through, what caused them to hide from the world was so heart-breaking and horrible. To see them fight back and make room for themselves, the way they got through their trauma and tackled every challenge head-on, it was truly inspiring and I loved all of them so much. They totally grew on me and them talking about smutty books and men was so much fun. *lol* I really hope Emerie and Gwyn will both find true love one day, because they deserve it and I want nothing but happiness for them. Plus them going through the rite and fighting against all those brutes, actually winning the thing despite all the odds, WOW! Talk about strength! They kicked those men’s butts and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do in the next book. =) They’ve come such a long way and they haven’t reached their limits yet. Also is it just me or did anyone else also catch some queer vibes from Emerie when she spoke about Mor? *lol* Just saying… Anyway! Sarah did well with those three and their character arcs. They fought for their place in the world and I expect great things to happen! There were so many moments I had goose bumps and I’m ready to see them change the world! The Valkyries are back! And they are ready to kick some butts! XD

”Tell me you at least had a week’s worth of sex,” Emerie muttered.
Nesta choked on a laugh as Cassian stiffened across the ring – but he didn’t turn. “There might have been some.”

Nesta read a line at random on the fifth page. Whether the sun beat hot on their brows or freezing rain turned their bones to ice, Nesta, Emerie, and Gwyneth arrived at practice each morning, ready to…
The back of her throat ached; her eyes stung. “We’re in a book.”
Gwyn’s fingers slid into hers, squeezing tight. Nesta looked up to find her holding Emerie’s free hand as well. Gwyn smiled again, her eyes bright. “Our stories are worth telling.”

”I wish for us to have the courage to go out into the world when we are ready, but to always be able to find our way back to each other. No matter what.”

Gwyn whispered, “I am the rock against which the surf crashes.” Nesta straightened at the words, as if they were a prayer and a summons. Gwyn lifted the blade. “Nothing can break me.”
Cassian’s throat tightened, and even from across the ring, he could see Nesta’s eyes gleaming with pride and pain.
Emerie said, “Nothing can break us.” The world seemed to pause at the words.

Gwyn said hoarsely as they moved into the wilderness, the snow mercifully lightening, “You two came looking for me.”
“Of course we did,” Emerie said, interlacing her hand with Gwyn’s, then Nesta’s, and squeezing tightly. “It’s what sisters do.”


In some ways “A Court of Silver Flames” was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read, but in other respects it wasn’t. I’m having a hard time to rate this book because there were so many things I loved and enjoyed to read about like for instance Nesta’s character arc, the strong friendships and family bonds, the character growth of Gwyn and Emerie, the Valkyries etc. There were so many good things in this story, but unfortunately there also were some things and situations that didn’t sit well with me. Some character developments are getting more and more detrimental the longer the series continues and sometimes I just can’t help but wonder if the author is aware of what she’s doing to our beloved characters. The fact the plot was as thin as paper and didn’t add a lot to the overall storyline was clearly something I didn’t like as well so I’m feeling a little bit conflicted about how to rate this. I think at the end of the day the good outweighed the bad and I’ll go for 3,5 stars rounded up to 4. I just hope Maas will be able to turn the tide with book five and will focus a little more on the plot again. All told I still enjoyed “A Court of Silver Flames” and I’m ready for the next book. Fingers crossed it will be a good one.

A - E, Allgemein, D, Reviews

Review: Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Adib Khorram)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 27 on My Book List 2022

For Fariba Bahrami, love was an opportunity, not a burden.
I swallowed away the lump in my throat. „I love you, Mamou.“

I thought long and hard about how to start my review of “Darius the Great Is Not Okay” because it’s not easy to put everything I thought and felt into words. It’s actually pretty challenging but I’ll try to do it anyway because I really enjoyed this book and had a great, interesting, educational or all of the above(?) time with this story. I guess you can already see that I’m struggling to put my reading experience into words and this is mostly due to the fact that Adib Khorram addressed so many important topics in this book yet still managed to pull it off somehow. I think if you’re set on it you could describe the story with one sentence: Darius visits his Persian grandparents in Iran and makes a friend named Sohrab. But what this sentence won’t be able to convey are all the different layers this story actually entails.

„Did you ever think that you wouldn’t get picked on so much if you weren’t so…”
Dad worked his jaw back and forth.
“So what, Dad?”
But he didn’t answer. What could he possibly say?

One of the main topics in this coming-of-age novel is definitely the rocky relationship between Darius and his dad Stephen Kellner. The mere fact our MC always thinks of his father as the Übermensch and even uses his full name instead of just “dad” gives the reader a very good impression of how distant those two actually are. It really made me extremely sad to read about their interactions and to see how Darius’s dad didn’t get that he was hurting his son with every single word he uttered and with every action he took. The worst thing about their situation is that as a reader you get that Stephen only wants to protect his son from harm but apparently is incapable of telling Darius how he feels. Those two are clearly not the best at communicating and this leads to a lot of hurtful moments and misunderstandings between Darius and his father. Though admittedly some of the things like Stephen’s constant criticism of Darius’s weight clearly were no misunderstanding and only added to their already existing tensions.  

”Maybe Dad was right. Maybe I would always be a target.
Even for things I couldn’t help. Like being from America. Like having a foreskin.
Those things were normal back home, but not in Iran.
I would never fit in. Not anywhere.“

Another theme of this book is the bullying Darius is subjected to at home and even in Iran. In America there’s a boy named Trent Bolger who’s a bully and makes his life even harder than it is and in Iran there are two boys Sohrab and Darius play football with that pick on him at first. Add to that Darius’s constant feeling of being in the middle of two cultures and not belonging to either of them and you can see that Adib Khorram truly did his best to tackle a lot of serious topics. The interesting thing is that they all complete each other and work together so well. Darius exploring his roots and identity as a Persian who lives in America are at least as vital to his development as him spending some time with his grandparents and the rest of his family.

”I had never been surrounded by my family before. Not really. When Dayi Jamsheed started herding us together into a big group photo, my eyes started burning. I couldn’t help it.
I loved them.”

But that’s not all. The reason why Darius and his family are even visiting Iran is because his grandfather is very ill and will most likely die soon. So this adds another layer to the story and a very well done and bittersweet grief rep I couldn’t help but notice. And yes, you can already grief for a person even if the person is still alive. Take it from a graduate grief counsellor.  Illnesses and diseases can take away the people you love long before they actually die. In Darius’s case it’s even worse because he’s only getting to know his grandfather and knows that he will be gone soon. The author tackled this topic in a very sensitive and careful manner and I think he did it more than just well.

”Standing in that temple, staring into the fire that had been burning for hundreds of years, I felt the ghosts of my family all around me. Their soft presence raised the hair on my arms and tickled at my eyelashes.
I wiped my eyes and stood there, lost in the fire.
I knew that Babou was going to be one of those ghosts soon too.
No one had to say it out loud.”

Yet another theme he addressed was Persian culture with all its little and bigger cultural quirks and I absolutely loved to learn about it! Honestly, the way Persian food was explained and described caused my mouth to water and it was very interesting to read about cultural habits and Persian history. I kinda had to laugh when the reader was introduced to taarofing because I realized that Persian and Romanian culture aren’t all that different after all, at least not when it comes to this. My in-laws are masters at taarofing and it took me a while to get the hang of it. *lol* By now I can taarof the hell out of everybody as well, though, so beware of me and my taarofing skils. ;-P

”Darioush. You remember what I told you? Your place was empty?”
“Your place was empty for me too,” he said. “I never had a friend either.”

Anyway! Let’s continue to talk about the book and the strong focus on Darius’s friendship with Sohrab instead. And let me tell you, I adored the fact that there was such a strong friendship representation in this story without it turning into anything romantic in the end. I think the potential was definitely there but it didn’t happen and I appreciated that the author decided to focus on all the other topics first. It rounded the entire story off and made room for a potential exploration of Darius’s sexuality in the next book. So kudos to Adib Khorram for tying up all the loose ends in the first book while still giving Darius time and room to explore this important part of himself in the second instalment. And I’m convinced this will happen in book two!

”You really love Sohrab. Huh?”
“He’s the best friend I ever had.”
Dad looked at me for a long moment. Like he knew there was more. But he didn’t ask.

Whether it will happen with Sohrab or another boy/girl/non-binary person, etc. I don’t know but I’m definitely ready to accompany Darius on this journey. His friendship with Sohrab made me cry near the ending and broke my heart into tiny little pieces and I don’t know how they’ll come out of everything that happened in those last couple of chapters. I really hope they’ll find a way to stay in contact and to continue to be best friends. This said the last topic I have to talk about is the depression representation we experience first-hand through Darius’s POV and I think just like any other serious topic that was tackled in here, it was also done very well.

„Suicide isn’t the only way you can lose someone to depression.”
Dad looked at me again. There were no walls between us.
“And it kills me that I gave it to you, Darius. It kills me.”

I was so relieved when this subject was finally addressed and though the relationship with his father might still be strained for a while I think them talking about it will help them in the long-run. Depression is a mood disorder that accompanies you your entire life and sometimes it will be extremely strong and sometimes it will feel like it’s not even there or entirely gone. Darius and his father both take medicine to keep it in check and apparently this is frowned upon in Persian culture.

I’ve never explored depression from a Persian POV before but it was very interesting to hear how it is viewed in this culture. I can only speak about what I read in this book and what I found out when I did my online research (yes, this book actually made me look up depression in Persian culture!) but as it seems mental illnesses are viewed as a familial flaw because familial reputation and relationships are very important aspects of Iranian culture. So if you’re unhappy and depressed it reflects negatively on your family which seems to be the reason they don’t even want to acknowledge its existence. I found this to be a pretty tough stance because it’s not in a depressed person’s power to be “happy”. I couldn’t help but wonder how high the suicide rate might be if mental illnesses like depression don’t get the right treatment. I mean as we all know untreated depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and death. So I looked up the statistics and according to wiki suicide it’s a growing concern in Iran and “mental disorders” are actually stated as the main reason for men (41%!) attempting to end their lives! For women it’s on second place with 31% – And to give you an even better picture: In 27% of the cases the person concerned already had a long medical record. (compare Wikipedia on “Suicide in Iran”, just in case you also want to dig deeper.)

”You’re okay,” he murmured.
“No. I’m not.”
“I know.” He rubbed my back up and down. “It’s okay not to be okay.”


Sorry for that long excursion but I really like it when books make me think and force me to do some digging and “Darius the Great Is Not Okay” obviously caused me to do both. All told, I really enjoyed this story. Adib Khorram has a way of telling a tale while including a lot of intriguing topics and explaining Persian culture throughout the entire book without it ever getting boring or feeling like a chore. You might say he effortlessly included it in his story and gave it room to be explored. Add to that Darius’s struggles, his friendship with Sohrab and the way he connected with his family and roots and you have a wonderful coming-of-age story that even caused me to cry at the ending. “Darius the Great Is Not Okay” is a beautifully crafted book and I’m already very excited to pick up the sequel!

trigger warnings: depression, racist comments, bullying, grief, fatphobic comments, depression being criticized (challenged)
Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

February Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

February felt like such a short month and considering it only had 28 days that feeling probably is right. *lol* Still, for some reason I was so busy all of February the entire month went by in the blink of an eye and I have no idea how it even happened. I think this time around it was even busier than usually because I started with my new (and the last) course of my educational sabbatical and while I began the new course I once again had to finish the old one. So there was a lot of paper work to be done and after that I couldn’t do a lot for an entire week because for some reason the institute in which I started my course forgot to send me the learning materials.

So I mostly spent the first week of February finishing my old course and went for a spring cleaning because that’s what I do when I’m anxious and need to think. Well, and then my birthday came along and it kept me busy with meeting friends, family members and celebrating in general. XD And once this was over my kid got ill and kept me more than just busy with taking care of her too. *lol* I really don’t like it when my kid is sick and I always suffer with her especially when she has a stomach flu. This time it took almost 3 days for her to be able to eat again and uff … with kids that small it’s always dangerous. Luckily she was able to drink a lot and once she could eat again everything got better again.

Anyway! All of that led me to the problem of barely being able to study because at first my learning materials were missing, then I spent a lot of time with my family because of my birthday and after my kid was ill and got better I had to catch up to so much studying, you have no idea. *LOL* I managed though and now it’s the 1st of March and I’m tired, but I caught up to everything and I think once my kids is in bed tonight I’ll just crash on my sofa and sleep. XD Yeah, that was my February for you. Haha!

Before I crash let’s do this though. Montly wrap-up here I come!

Books read: 4 (4 books & 0 webcomic, I had a really great reading month, at least book-wise)

Pages read: 1.389 (Not bad considering my February was so busy. )

Average rating: 4,13 (Most of the books I read were 4 paws so this is a good average rating. 😀 )

Books that were on my reading list: 2 ( 0 from 2020, 1 from 2021 and 1 from 2023. This time around I even managed to read a book from my 2023 list!! The year is starting good. )

February Reads:


Idol Minds: 4 Pfoten

This was such a fun ride and I even wrote an entire review about it which you can read when you click on the book title and follow the link. 😉 I got the book as an eARC from NetGalley and I was so happy when I got approved for it! I mean a former k-pop idol and a former k-drama star working on a project together and falling in love?! Make it an m/m love story as well and you totally have me hooked! How could I possibly resist this?! *lol* It was great and I really enjoyed it a lot!

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: 4 Pfoten

I’ve had this book on my TBR since 2021 and I always wanted to read it but never got to it. So I finally decided to give myself a kick in my mood reader butt and eventually picked it up. And now I’m kinda cursing myself because I didn’t read this sooner. XD This was such a sweet and wholesome sci-fi story and if the genre of „comfort sci-fi“ is a thing, well then this book and series definitely would be in it. It was so nice to read about all those different alien species and the crew of the Wayfarer was such a great found family! ❤ I felt so comforted by this book and I’m so going to pick up the second book when I need a slow-paced comfort read. =)

The Love Hypothesis: 4 Pfoten,5

This book was so!!! ❤ Honestly, it made me laugh, it made me cringe, it made me grin like an idiot and crazy person but I absolutely loved it. Olive and Adam are such a fun fake couple and I really enjoyed their conversations and the slow way they got to know each other. Adam was definitely the broody, quiet and protective kinda guy while Olive was the little disaster girl on two legs. *lol* Which is a fun trope and I really enjoyed it in this book. I heard that Ali Hazelwood’s books apparently all have the same kind of love interest so I’ll make sure to take a while until I pick up her next book, because I’m convinced if there is a little time between reading the books I’ll enjoy the second one as well. XD

Olympic Enemies: 4 Pfoten

„Olympic Enemies“ was the second NetGalley ARC I got approved for and also an enemies-to-lovers kind of book. I think this one fit the enemies-to-lovers trope better than „Idol Minds“ because Oliver and Lucas had known each other for 4 years before anything happened. And they just couldn’t stand each other the entire time. *lol* Well, until they eventually end up in the same room during the Olympic Games and actually start to get to know each other. They were attracted to each other for a long time but their dislike of each other made it kinda hard to get together… fast forward to the Olympic Games and sharing a room together and of course they crash, then burn and lose their shorts along the way. *LOL* Loved it. It was fun! Haha! ;-P I’ll write a full review about it once I get a chance to, so stay tuned!


This said: How was your February? Did you read more books than I did? Were they good? Any recommendations?! Are you busy with studying too? Anyone else having birthday in February? (I’m asking so I can belatedly congratulate you. *lol*)

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe!



The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Becky Chambers)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2021

”All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play. And what I see in you is a woman who has a clear idea of what she wants to be.”

Picture yourself in winter, it’s cold outside and little snowflakes are falling down to the ground, you don’t want to go outside because it’s way nicer at home and you take your biggest and warmest blanket to make yourself a human burrito. Maybe there’s a fresh cup of tea or coffee right next to you and you don’t even want to move an inch. Well, do it, but only to pick up “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” and then just snuggle back into your warm nest. XD Why did I give you this visual? Because this is the perfect story for cold winter days like the one I just described. This book is slow-paced, it’s cosy and full of love and has an amazing found family trope. It’s not very action packed but that’s okay, because if you want to read this book you’re looking for comfort sci-fi and “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” certainly delivers on that front.

”I don’t know. Maybe it’s just different for us. We’re different species, after all.” She paused. “Or maybe because I never thought to ask anyone what you’re asking. I never thought of fear as something that can go away. It just is. It reminds me that I want to stay alive. That doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.“

I really loved to get to know all the different members of the crew and the species they interact with. Also to hear about the cities and planets they went to was extremely interesting. Well, at least for me it was. I’m both, a Warsie as well as a Trekkie and to read about all those aliens, how they look like, what their culture is like and how they communicate with each other had me glued to the pages. I gotta give it to Becky Chambers, her imagination is amazing. To think of so many alien species and to make them come alive is a true talent and Becky obviously has it. No matter if it were the Toremi, Sianat, Grum, Aandrisk or Aeluons, the way they came to life in my imagination was truly awesome. Of course there were humans too and the majority of the Wayfarer, the ship on which the story takes place, is actually human.

”As they did so, they thought of the concept of purpose. Dr Chef’s purpose was to heal and nourish. Ashby’s purpose was to bind his crew together. Accepting the Wane ran contrary to those purposes. For them, accepting the death of a crew member was difficult. Ohan hoped they knew how much the effort was appreciated.”

Which brings me right to the members of the crew that all have their own troubles and personal problems, but still stick together and get through everything like only family can do. No matter how different they are – and they are very different, not only optically but also personality-wise – they always find a way to communicate and to solve their differences. I tried to find out who my favourite crew member would be but quite honestly I can’t decide. They were all great in their own way and the only reason I didn’t feel as close to Ohan or Corbin was the mere fact that their characters were written that way. Corbin is a grumpy algaeist that mostly sticks to his lab and Ohan is a Sianat Pair and goes by they/them pronouns because he’s sharing a body with a parasite. Yeah, I know alone this is kinda mind-blowing and don’t even get me started on how they look like, because my brain still has difficulties to wrap itself around that description. I guess the same can be said for Sissix the Aandrisk which I always kinda imagined like a crocodile or dinosaur with feathers and Dr Chef the cook and doctor of the crew whose looks are so beyond my imagination that I can’t even fathom his appearance. *lol*

”No one else was hurt. The ambi, the food, none of that mattered. They were things, and things could be replaced. His crew couldn’t be. The relief he’d felt upon learning he was the only one who’d wound up in the med bay topped anything that the painkillers could give.”

The humans on the ship are at least as interesting as the aliens, though and I really liked Rosemary, Kizzy and Jenks! I swear the friendship between them was amazing and Ashby Santoso as their captain. Seriously! I loved Ashby! That man is amazing and watches out for every single member of his crew. I’m not surprised he went for a relationship with a woman from another species, because that man doesn’t have a single malicious bone in his entire body and is the most open-minded, tolerant and nourishing person ever. I’m not surprised he considered Sissix to be his best friend, because those two worked so well together. And this is one of the best parts of this book, the friendships and relationships between the crew members. During the book we get an inter-species relationship of two women, Ashby himself is with an alien woman, Jenks is in love with the AI and Ohan is going by they/them pronouns so wow, talk about diversity and inclusion! XD I swear, the relationship between Jenks and Lovey was the sweetest thing and I totally shipped them together. Ahh who would have thought that a human and an AI would work so well together?! ❤

„The date on that directory. That’s the day I installed you.
Because I’ve loved you since then.“

My heart!!! T_T  But that’s not all, as I said the friendships are very special as well and Kizzy and Jenks were the most wholesome found family besties you could wish for. The way they understood each other and supported each other in difficult situations was giving me all the bitter-sweet and comfy feels and I really want to read more about them and see them all happy.

”I was a happy kid, and I couldn’t ask for better parents. But I was still jealous of the kids who had siblings. I grew up, and then you came along.” She looked up at him, and smiled. “And for the first time ever, I didn’t want a brother any more, because I finally had one.”

Unfortunately I don’t know if happiness is something they’ll be able to experience after the ending of the first book. Yes, I know I said that this is mostly a slow-paced and calm book at the beginning of my review, but it still has its suspenseful moments and there were some scenes that hit hard and changed those characters in ways they never would have been able to anticipate. Cryptic much? Well, yeah, but you have to deal with it because I won’t spoil anything. What I can say is that this book is legit about a crew on a space ship that makes tunnels to get to other planets, so of course there is some action going to happen along the way. To make worm-holes can be a dangerous business and since you’re playing with the space-time continuum there is always the possibility that things can go sideways. Or that the shit will hit the fan, especially when you don’t know if the alien species that just joined your alliance is actually friendly towards their new allies.


I never anticipated that I’d enjoy this story so much but the slow-pacing and focus on the different characters, their interactions and their relationships totally persuaded me and I ultimately ended up loving this book. To read about different planets and aliens, to get to know their culture and to find out how they think and feel, it was amazing! It’s kinda weird to say that this was comforting, because usually “comforting” isn’t the first word I think about when it comes to sci-fi, but it’s honestly the only one I can come up with when I think about “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”. Becky Chambers created a sci-fi world that is weirdly comforting and I don’t know about you, but I will take it. Sci-fi comfort reads, apparently that’s my new thing. 😉

Allgemein, Book Tags

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Heroines

TTT was created by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl (click here for upcoming TTT topics!).

Today’s Topic is: : Favorite Heroines (Ohh this one is going to be fun! *lol* I love my badass heroines in books. I know I’m one day too late but I think at some parts in this world it still might be Tuesday?!)

1.) Celaena Sardothien, Lysandra & Manon Blackbeak from „Throne of Glass“ by Sarah J. Maas

Okay, you can say what you want to about Sarah J. Maas but she definitely knows how to write great bookish heroines! I mean ToG is full of them and I basically could have mentioned all of the female MCs in this series and it would have been nothing but the truth. XD They are all badass and I loved to read about them. Celaena, Lysandra and Manon will always hold a special place in my heart, though! Those three have been through so much but they always came back from it and that inner strength is something I admire so much. Also all three of them could kill you within the blink of an eye so that level of skill is amazing! ❤

2.) Bryce Quinlan from „Crescent City“ by Sarah J. Maas

Bryce is made of awesomesauce! I have a crush on her! Like seriously! This woman is on fire and I love her for it! ❤ The way she single-handedly outsmarted and fought all the baddies in this series is nothing but amazing and at this point I just want to get book three into my greedy hands and read the hell out of it. Unfortunately there isn’t even a release date yet so I’ll have to continue to suffer and hope for better days. *lol* I’m sure Sarah will deliver us one hell of a finale. XD

3.) Mia Corvere from „The Nevernight Chronicle“ by Jay Kristoff

Honestly, I couldn’t have written this list without mentioning Mia Corvere! Because Mia… Mia is something else! This girl puts the word „badass heroine“ on an entirely new level! 😉 I loved all three books of this series because Mia made them more than just interesting. Also this girl got a skill set of murdering people that needs to find it’s match. I lost count of how many people died during „The Nevernight Chronicle“ but suffice it to say it were plenty. (In every book I might add. *lol*)

4.) Inej Ghafa & Nina Zenik from „Six of Crows“ by Leigh Bardugo

Ahh Inej and Nina! Of course I had to mention them both! I mean Inej is called the Wraith for a reason and she’s not only skilled with knifes but also silent. I’m sure a lot of men regretted they decided to cross her path when they were killed in the silence of the night. ;-P And Nina!! Ahhh my precious chocolate and waffle eating Queen! How could you not love a woman like her?! She’s amazing and at least as skilled as Inej. I certainly wouldn’t want to land on her bad side.

5.) Evelyn Hugo from „The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo“ by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evelyn Hugo is THE bi icon for me and I’ll never get tired of saying how awesome she is! I mean this woman took over Hollywood, had 7 husbands and even was a force to be reckoned with when she asked Monique to write her biography at the tender age of 80 or so?! (I can’t remember her exact age anymore, but she was old when she told her story. *lol*) Evelyn is just… ahh I could have read and read about this woman and her life! The book could have had even more pages and I still would have enjoyed every second of it. =)

6.) Renee Walker & Dan Wilds from „All for the Game“ by Nora Sakavic

I know I’m always raving about Andreil when I talk about „All for the Game“ but those two girls are amazing too and definitely deserve to get more attention! You might say this is my appreciation moment! 😉 Renee is such an intriguing and multi-layered character and the same goes for Dan. Both of them had pretty troubled pasts (otherwise they wouldn’t have landed on the team) but they came out of it so strong and the mere fact Dan is holding the entire team together with her sheer will while Renee is the only one that can deal with Andrew until Neil arrives is testimonial to their inner strength! Those two girls rock! Period!

7.) Katniss Everdeen from „The Hunger Games“ by Suzanne Collins

And here comes another heroine I had to mention because this post couldn’t exist without talking about her! Katniss is one hell of a badass! She doesn’t want to fight for her life and tries to save the lives of others instead, but she also knows how to  be cunning and strong when she needs to be. No matter what was thrown her way she always fought her way through it and her resilience and bravery is a sight to behold. Definitely one of the best heroines that were ever written. ❤

8.) Kate Daniels from „Kate Daniels“ by Ilona Andrews

It’s been a while I picked up this series and I definitely need to get to book 6 soon, but I still wanted to talk about Kate because she’s one of those heroines that stays with you. I absolutely loved the fact that she knows how to fight her way through this magical world and that she never backs down. Kate knows how to make herself heard and how to deal with vampires, shapeshifters and all the other magical creatures that live in this world. She’s a true fighter and I loved those books so much. I honestly need to find out if my library finally got book 6, because otherwise I’ll just buy it and finally continue with this great series.

9.) Jude Duarte from „The Folk of the Air“ by Holly Black

Did you really think I wouldn’t mention Jude Duarte in here?! *lol* Of course I had to!!! Jude is my perfect, backstabbing and deadly gf! I can see why Cardan fell for her so hard because in all honesty: Same!!! The way she knows how to defend herself, is involved in all the court intrigues and outwits even the smartest faerie is just… wow. ❤ And this all even though she’s human. That girl can stand her ground and knows exactly what she wants and how to obtain it. If that isn’t hot then I dunno. *lol*

10.) June Iparis from „Legend“ by Marie Lu

And last but not least I have to add June Iparis to the list! Because damn that girl is brilliant! She’s the best at literally everything she does, but she’s still extremely modest and never takes advantage of others. Despite of being raised to serve the Republic she has her own mind and morale compass though and eventually ends up becoming one of the rebels that fight the system. And I loved that. She’s extremely good at thinking on her feet and always has a plan. How could you not love this heroine? =)


So what about you? Who are your favourite heroines? Do we have some in common? Also do you know great books with amazing heroines like the ones I spoke about? (I’m always looking for good and new book recs!) Which bookish heroine is your personal favourite and why?!

Talk to me and let me know!

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe! ❤



The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Diviners (Libba Bray)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”We are the Diviners. We have been and we will be. It is a power that comes from the great energy of the land and its people, a realm shared for a spell, for as long as is needed. We see the dead. We speak to restless spirits. We walk in dreams. We read meaning from every held thing. The future unfolds for us like the navigator’s map, showing seas we have yet to travel.”

Before I picked up this book I already heard so much about “The Diviners” but I never truly did some research and only knew what was written on the blurb. So I basically went into this blind and I don’t regret anything! This was such a fun book to read and definitely way more eerie than I bargained for. I honestly didn’t expect it to be so dark and atmospheric but I’m very happy the book turned out to be this way. Sometimes you just gotta read a creepy book and this time around it was “The Diviners” for me.

There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense – words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions – words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.”

So what exactly is “The Diviners” about?! Well, it’s a book about a girl named Evie O’Neill who can read objects. After doing this drunk at a party with a rather interesting outcome, she’s exiled and sent to her Uncle Will in New York City. Of course Evie is ecstatic to be sent to New York because in the 1920s it was THE place to be. Evie is looking forward to a lot of parties, speakeasies, flirting, dancing and spending time with her best friend Mabel. But then a murderer is on the loose and her Uncle who runs the museum of occult is asked to help with the investigation. At first he doesn’t want Evie to help with her special abilities, but the more and more people die, the more desperate they become to reveal the identity of the killer, especially once it becomes clear that the murderer is no ordinary man…

Evie leaped up from her seat and pounded a fist on the table. She’d had it with Will’s reluctance. They’d tried it his way, and all they had to show for it was another dead body. “It’s too dangerous not to at least try!”
Jericho looked to Sam, who shrugged. “Don’t look at me. I don’t know from nothing.” Sam said.
“There’s a killer out there and we have to stop him, any way we can,” Evie pleaded. “Please.”

I swear this was such a wild ride. Whenever the murderer appeared on page I had to read the chapter during the day because it was just too damn scary. Honestly, this man gave me the creeps and to find out about his history was at least as horrible as to see how he killed his victims. *shudders* Victoria and I both agreed that this story was a lot more eerie and nightmarish than we initially anticipated, but that still didn’t stop us from reading the book! XD I have to admit that I had a little bit of trouble to understand the 1920s lingo because there were some words I never even heard before. It was an interesting challenge to figure out their meaning or to look them up, though. And as you all know I love myself a good challenge every once in a while. *lol*

Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”
“No. But I can recite “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while making martinis.”
“I weep for the future.”
“That’s where the martinis come in.”

Another thing I really enjoyed were the characters and their easy banter. No matter if it was Evie and her Uncle Will or Evie and Sam, the characters all had some spunk and their dynamics and interactions were a lot of fun to read about. One of my favourite pairings was definitely Sam Lloyd and Evie because those two didn’t give each other an inch and were always at each other’s throat. And of course I absolutely enjoyed watching them trade barbs! They had a lot of potential to become one of my favourite enemies-to-lovers couple but unfortunately not a lot happened. >_< Well, the book clearly was no romance so I suppose I’ll have to be okay with that.

”You can’t blame a fella for kissing the prettiest girl in New York, can you, sister?” Sam’s grin was anything but apologetic.
Evie brought up her knee quickly and decisively, and he dropped to the floor like a grain sack. “You can’t blame a girl for her quick reflexes now, can you, pal?”

Evie replied with an eye-roll. “Do you think you can manage to not steal anything while I’m gone?”
”The only thing I’m trying to steal is your heart, doll.” Sam smirked.
“You’re not that talented a thief, Sam Lloyd.”

Do you see what I mean?! *lol* This said, Theta and Henry were my favourite side-characters and I can’t wait to find out more about them in book two. I’m sure they will have a bigger part in that one and because of that I’ll probably enjoy it more?! Not that I didn’t enjoy “The Diviners” but Evie could be a very self-centred and egoistic narrator at times, so it was hard to feel some sympathy for her when she did something stupid that hurt her friends feelings. As for Mabel and Jericho. They were both pretty bland characters and while I believe that there is more to Mabel and that we’ll see her shine in one of the later books I don’t think the same can be said about Jericho. His character totally didn’t persuade me. I don’t know why but I just didn’t get warm with him and he felt too distant. I honestly have no idea what Mabel and Evie saw in him. In my opinion Evie and Sam clearly had more chemistry than Evie and Jericho and I’m definitely Team Sam. 😉

”Perhaps Mabel was right, and she was selfish. But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all? “Oh Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time.
So why wasn’t she ever enough?

I really enjoyed “The Diviners” and for me it was a fast and intriguing read. The eerie atmosphere and the murder mystery kept me glued to the pages and the fact that I was extremely creeped out by the murderer only added to my enjoyment. If there were two things I didn’t like about the book then it was Evie’s egoism which sometimes made her an immature and vexing narrator and the fact that there were so many Diviners in the story. I mean at some point I actually asked Victoria if everyone would turn out to be one in the end. *lol* The sudden frequency of appearing Diviners just felt a little bit off and unrealistic to me. All told, I had a good time reading the first book of this series and Victoria and I already decided that we’ll go for another buddy read of book two this year.

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

ARC Review: Idol Minds (KT Salvo)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

*I received this book as a free eBook ARC from NetGalley and Jetspace Studio in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for approving my request.*

The premise of this book was pretty easy: A former k-drama star falls in love with a former k-pop idol and their forbidden romance causes a lot of trouble. So far, so good but “Idol Minds” is so much more than meets the eye. I’ve to admit that I was a little bit sceptical at first because in the first couple of chapters Jason isn’t exactly the most likable character and Tae Hyun seems to be a little bit standoffish. But then, then those two meet and right from the very first chapter they are in a room together you can feel that sizzling chemistry the blurb spoke about. The interesting thing is, they don’t like each other and hate each other’s guts which made for a very intriguing baseline for their future relationship. They just rub each other the wrong way but at the same time they can’t deny that they are attracted to each other and want to give in.

I really loved their chemistry and the way they interacted. They might have started off at the wrong foot but they were reasonable enough to try to make things work. At first just job-wise but the more they talk with each other, the more they begin to understand where the other one is coming from and this was really so nice to see. They communicate and they open up and learn to speak about their past and most importantly they allow themselves to heal. Both of them have been hurt and while Jason hid it behind his Hollywood bad boy image, Tae Hyun dealt with it by never letting anyone get too close to him.

Both their character arcs were well written and I had a good time finding out what happened before. Interestingly the author didn’t shy away from going for steamy scenes either and I think if I had to define their relationship it would be insta-lust that gradually turns into more. I mean they both were aware of each other before they met, they are both public figures after all, so insta-lust seems to be an adequate way to describe what happened between them. The more they get to know each other the more they start to flirt as well and I personally lived and breathed for their easy banter. Jason is a direct, unapologetic and extremely flirty character and Tae Hyun might be reserved and sensitive but he still knows how to handle Jason’s antics. So you can bet I had a field day reading their conversations and enjoyed them immensely.  

Another thing I have to mention in my review is that I absolutely adored the women in this book. No matter if it was Yoo Mi, Tae Hyun’s best friend, or Naomi Jason’s manager who is like a young mother hen that watches out for him, they both were amazing and added so much to the story. It’s always nice to read about strong women and those two definitely fell into that category. Plus I think the author did a very good job of portraying the k-pop industry as well. Jason and Tae Hyun have to learn to navigate its deep and cunning waters and there was a little nice mystery element in the story that had me guessing and wondering who the culprit might be. I’m not going to spoil anything about this here though, so you’ll have to read the book yourself if you want to find out what I’m talking about. 😉

What I will talk about are a couple of trigger warnings you should be aware of when going into the book. The topics aren’t addressed all too strongly, but I still wanted to mention them just in case:

spoilerhomophobia, abusive parents, suicide (talked about on page), racism, MCs being outed


This said, I really enjoyed “Idol Minds” and whilst the first 20% or so made it a little bit hard to like the characters the rest of the book definitely made up for it. I guess you could say Jason and Tae Hyun are good for each other and bring out each other’s better qualities, which in all honesty, makes their love even more believable in my eyes. All told I’m pretty sure that everyone who loves k-pop and steamy m/m romances that feature strong female side-characters will have a good time with this book. I definitely did.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”The only thing I knew for certain: my punishment was unfair. Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”

I can’t believe how we got from this Apollo at the beginning to the Apollo at the end of the book. But then again, there was always good in him. It was just buried underneath his huge ego. *lol* I guess in some way I’m very thankful Zeus decided to kick Apollo out of Olympus, because it didn’t just give us an entirely new series that plays in the Percy Jackson universe but also helps us to understand how Apollo (and most of the gods) think about demi-gods and humankind in general. It’s nice to have a gods POV for a change and it definitely made for good entertainment. The interesting thing about Apollo is that he’s a really witty and hilarious character but at the same time there is some depth to him we didn’t get with a lot of the other heroes in the PJ universe. Sure, they all have their troubled pasts, some more than others, but at the end of the day they are all teenagers that learn to find themselves and to pave their own way.

”I wanted to say: You remind me of someone. But I didn’t dare open that line of conversation. Only two mortals ever had broken my heart. Even after so many centuries, I couldn’t think of her, couldn’t say her name without falling into despair.”

Apollo is entirely different to the demi-gods because he was around for thousands of years and despite being one of the powerful gods, he has loved and lost already. He’s a grown-up stuck in the body of a powerless teen and for the first time ever since he came into being he’s forced to realize what it truly means to be human and what it entails. Obviously to have no eight-pack abs and to have horrible acne! *lol* I had a good laugh about that one because I’m sure every teenager can relate to those “horrors” Apollo spoke about. ;-P If you take away his narcissism, egoism, good looks and high-handedness all that’s left is his true self, though. And this is exactly what happens in the book. Apollo is forced to accept his new reality and it allows him to shine and to show that underneath it all he’s actually a pretty decent human being.

”Then it occurred to me how many times I had asked for sacrifices, how many heroes I had sent to their deaths. Had they been any less noble and courageous than these [redacted]? Yet I had felt no remorse when I sent them off on deadly tasks. I had used them and discarded them, laid waste to their lives to build my own glory. I was no less of a monster than …”

Yes, I’m trying my best to keep this review spoiler free so you’ll have to live with “redacted” quotes. *lol* Anyway! What I really liked about “The Hidden Oracle” were the interactions between Apollo and all his children. Well, truth be told, not only his children but their friends as well. He’s a very kind soul and some sort of father figure that adopts everyone no matter how much they annoy him and this is extremely wholesome and endearing. I loved that he knew all of his children by name and also remembered their mothers and fathers.

”Thank you,” I managed.
I could not add my children. It didn’t seem right. These demigods were my protectors and my family, but for the present I could not think of myself as their father. A father should do more – a father should give more to his children than he takes. I have to admit that this was a novel idea for me. It made me feel even worse than before.

His developing friendship with Meg was so nice to watch and it always got me when he thought about his children and how he should have done more for them. He’s probably the only god who knows all his children’s names (except of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, but if you only have one kid that’s not really a challenge. XD) yet he still wanted to do better. Apollo truly cares about his kids and if they get into trouble there’s nothing he wouldn’t do in order to save them. And this even in his powerless human form. And it’s the same for his children. They’d do anything to help their father as well and if that isn’t a good and nourishing foundation for love and trust then I don’t know.

The curse of the River Styx could kill me in its slow cancerous way, or Zeus could strike me down. But my oath to save Meg McCaffrey had to come first.
I turned my face to the sky. “If you want to punish me, Father, be my guest, but have the courage to hurt me directly, not my mortal companion. BE A MAN!”

The defiance!!! *lol* It reminded me of Percy and it’s no wonder those two worked so well together. Seriously their conversations gave me life and some part of me hopes for more cameos of Percy just to see him banter with Apollo. I guess it’s safe to say that all of the demi-gods have a difficult relationship with their godly parents but Apollo is a god (or was until this book) and obviously has a more than just complicated relationship with his father Zeus as well. I wonder if Zeus will learn something from this too and I genuinely hope he does because Apollo deserves to have a father that cares about him too.

”Nosoi?” Percy planted his feet in a fighting stance. “You know, I keep thinking, I have now killed every single thing in Greek mythology. But the list never seems to end.”
“You haven’t killed me yet,” I noted.
“Don’t tempt me.”

Moreover he has loved and lost and his pride cost him dearly in the past. According to Apollo there were only two people he truly loved and they are a constant in the entire book. He still thinks about them and they are always on his mind, their ghosts accompanying him wherever he goes. His grief is deep and I felt really sorry for him whenever he was reminded of them. Also because I just need to say it: Apollo is a bisexual disaster and I LOVE him for it! The way he handles sexuality and how it’s no big deal for him. A true icon! I wish everyone’s parents would be as accepting and open-minded as Apollo and I loved that he kinda shipped his own son with his boyfriend. XD That’s such a rare thing to witness, but if anyone would do it, it would be Apollo, of course. 😉

Will changed his surgical gloves and glared at the woods. “We will find them. We have to.”
Nico di Angelo gave him a flask. “Drink. Right now, this is where you need to be.”

Which brings me right to one of the most important things about “The Hidden Oracle” and technically it’s no spoiler because if you read the book it’s already mentioned about 25-30% into it. My Solangelo ship finally sailed and I’m not mad about it!! <333 What I’m MAD about though, is that it happened so fast and that we never found out what exactly happened! Like the last time I checked Will and Nico weren’t a thing at the end of “The Blood of Olympus” and now they are together?!! AHHHHH!!! My shipper heart is happy and not happy at the same time! Like: How dare you Uncle Rick? How dare you to throw this ship at us without any explanation of how it all happened?!! We didn’t even get a first time of holding hands or their first kiss. Like NO! Can we please at least hear about their story and how they became a couple?! T_T It feels like I missed out on 30 minutes of a fast-paced movie! *lol*

Will turned to me. “I apologize for my boyfriend.”
Nico rolled his eyes. “Could you not-“
“Would you prefer special guy?” Will asked. “Or significant other?”
“Significant annoyance, in your case,” Nico grumbled.
“Oh, I’ll get you for that.”

Still, I loved those two and their gentle gestures. They care about each other so much and the way they watch out for each other and take care of each other was so beautiful I melted. They are the epitome of the “Grump and Sunshine” trope and had me smiling whenever they were on page. Despite Nico’s grumpy attitude it’s more than just obvious that he loves to be Will’s boyfriend and adores him. I can’t wait to see more of their interactions and I hope they’ll be a big part of the next book too. I mean Will is Apollo’s son and the healer of the camp, it would make sense if he and Nico would go on a quest with Apollo, right?! Nico is still one of my favourite PJ characters ever and I’m absolutely in love with Will Solace. His slightly bossy and no-nonsense personality gets me every single time. <333

”You guys go,” Will told me. “The chariot is only designed for three, and after that shadow-travel Nico is going to pass out any second.”
“No, I’m not,” Nico complained, then passed out.
Will caught him in a fireman’s lift and took him away. “Good luck! I’m going to get the Lord of Darkness here some Gatorade!”

Ahh you just gotta love Will. XD He’ll become one of the best healers ever and Apollo is already very proud of him. =) This said I absolutely loved “The Hidden Oracle” and had an amazing time. I read this book in a couple of days and for me this is actually pretty fast. It usually takes me weeks to finish a story but this time around I just couldn’t put it down. Apollo as a character is extremely intriguing and I love the more serious vibe of this series. Don’t get me wrong, Apollo is one of the most hilarious characters ever, but he also has a very earnest side and the mixture of both of his sides worked more than just well for me. Plus his character growth after the first book is already palpable and I can’t wait to see how much more he’s going to change throughout the series.

”Apollo,” Chiron said, “you must do this. You are the lord of archery and illness.”
“I’m not lord of anything!” I wailed. “I’m a stupid ugly mortal teenager! I’m nobody!”

All told “The Hidden Oracle” was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read and had everything I hoped for and even more. Apollo’s development and character arc is done so well and Meg is a more than just interesting and complex side-kick. Fingers crossed we’ll see more of her and Peaches in the next book. I’m ready to pick up “The Dark Prophecy”! Let’s hope I’ll get hold of a library copy soon! ;-P