Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Godsgrave (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

”Conquer your fear, and you can conquer the world.”

I’m the first one to admit that this book was not what I expected it to be. I mean after the “school for assassins setting” in the first book I thought this series might continue in that vein. Little did I know Jay Kristoff had completely different plans that would exceed all of my expectations. And what kind of glorious plans they actually turned out to be. Glorious, indeed. Sanguis et gloria to be exact! Yes, my gentlefriends this is latin and if you’re familiar with the language you can already tell that this story is quite literally about blood and glory. (Well, I suppose in some way all of Jay Kristoff’s stories are. *lol*)

Anyway! Let’s not get distracted. 😉 “Godsgrave” was not what I expected, knowing Jay I probably should have expected this though. He always throws me for a loop and by now I’m convinced he lives and breathes to give his fans multiple heart attacks. I swear, all those plot twists will kill me one day and if I ever meet Jay I’ll pinch him in his ear. Well, and then I’ll hug the hell out of him. But first I’ll pinch him! You can bet on it! *lol* You deserve it, Jay! You know you do! (I might be two heads shorter than you but I’m fierce. ;-P)

This said: I absolutely loved “Godsgrave”! This book had me at the edge of my seat and I was more than eager to read on! And some days I wasn’t eager at all because I dreaded what was going to happen next. Thankfully my awesome friend Sabrina buddy read this book with me and I enjoyed her company immensely! XD Our WhatsApp chats were amazing and the amount of emojis and BTS gifs we used will probably go down in reading history. *lol* I’m very glad I didn’t have to read this alone and I’m already looking forward to our buddy read of “Darkdawn”. And before I continue to ramble I’ll just go to my character section! Jeez I have so many thoughts!

2

Welcome on the sands of the arena! Pick up your weapon of choice and face your enemy! We can’t promise you that you’ll survive this, but what we can promise, is that all of those spoilers will hurt! A lot! *lol* So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better drop your weapon and leave this arena as fast as possible. Yes, spoilers are a tough enemy, indeed! ;-P

Mia Corvere:

”And you know why I’m here. My father was executed as a traitor to entertain the mob. My mother died in a prison, and my baby brother beside her. And the men responsible need a fucking killing. That’s how I feel about it.”

I’m besotted and in love with Mia Corvere. There I said it and I stand by it! This girl is amazing! I already knew that she’s cunning and kick-ass but she reached an entirely new level of slyness in this one. Plus her character arc was beautiful to behold. The conflict in her only got even stronger as the plot proceeded and even though Mia was always one to question her actions and decisions she never felt as torn as she did in “Godsgrave”. I can’t believe she became a slave in order to kill Scaeva and Duomo at the magni. Her iron will is stunning! To go through with getting a slave mark and to live and fight alongside the gladiatii… Wow. I’m still in awe of the great lengths she’ll go to just to get her revenge. >_< The reality of it all touches her though and you could see it in her every action. I think Mia found her humanity and compassion in this book and it made for a really great character arc. Considering it all I can’t wait to see what will happen in “Darkdawn”! I mean that freaking ending!!! Her brother??! Some part of me already suspected he was still alive, but boy, this plot twist was kind of unexpected. XD

”But the wrongness of it was creeping on her like a cancer. Every turn she spent with this brand on her cheek made it harder and harder for her to ignore the folk who couldn’t just skip away from their chains through the shadows like she could. Not just gladiatii. The whole Republic was oiled by the machine of human misery. Now that her eyes were opened to it, she couldn’t unsee it. Didn’t want to.”

”She didn’t feel fear in the face of it all, no, the thing in her shadow wouldn’t allow that. But she did feel sorrow. Regret, for all that was and might have been.”

”The choice between looking plain and pretty isn’t really a choice at all. But any fool knows looking dangerous is preferable to both.”

“You can keep the glory. I’m just here for the blood.”

Dona Leona:

”But not this time,” she spat. “Never again. I want him on his knees. I want him to look up into my eyes and know it was me who put him there. I want to drink his suffering like the finest wine.”

Now here’s a character I really appreciated. Not for who she is but for what she represented. I loved that Jay Kristoff introduced us to Dona Leona because she was the mirror reflection of Mia. She was the person Mia would have become if her parents wouldn’t have died and if she would have been raised normally. (or as normal as you can be raised in a world like theirs) In a lot of ways Leona was a privileged woman, but no matter how independent she was, she still wasted her resources and couldn’t handle her money, which ultimately got her in a lot of dangerous traps. I believe there is something good in her and I’m pretty sure Mia saw it too because otherwise she would have let her die with the others. She spared her life and gifted her “all the kindness she could muster” so I hope Leona learned her lesson and will live a humble life with Arkades at her side. Also I kind of doubt we’ll see her in “Darkdawn”. 😉

Leona took Mia’s hand. Bladesinger’s also.
“I …”
She shook her head, trying to speak. Tears welling in her eyes.
“Be careful out there,” she finally whispered.

”He beat her to death with a bottle of goldwine, Arkades,” Leona said, her voice beginning to tremble. “Because she knocked over his glass at dinner. Who exactly does deserve that?”

Furian:

”If I’d allowed you to win at Messala’s palazzo with your devilry, you’d have set a taint at the heart of this place. I’d starve before I ate food bought with dishonest coin, and die before I claimed a laurel I’d not earned.”

I think Furian is the perfect name for this numpty because he made me so damn furious, I can’t even. *lol* I hated that guy with a fierce passion and I’m not sorry that he died. XD I mean, how stupid can you possibly be? All that talk about honour and the will of the gods drove me crazy and his stubbornness made me super angry. Especially after I found out why he became a gladiatii. Like seriously? Are you kidding me? He was a vile scoundrel and wanted to atone for his deeds by killing even more people? (innocent, enslaved people for that matter!!!) REALLY??!!  O_o WTH??!! I had such high hopes when he was introduced as another darkin but he only turned out to be one hell of a disappointment.  >_< And just for the record I knew he was sleeping with Leona right from the beginning. *shakes head* Well, I hope the next darkin Mia encounters will have more common sense. *wipes away Furian’s blood stains* Good riddance!

”I do not expect you to understand. But magni is a holy rite. Judged by the Hand of God himself. And if Rapha taught me anything, it was that the things we do are more important than the things we’ve done.”

”I look in your eyes and I see intent. I see design. Ever since you set foot in our collegium, I’ve felt your hand at work. Like some shadow puppeteer ever pulling the strings, and we, the marionettes.”
Mia snatched her arm free with a snarl. “Don’t touch me.”

Sidonius:

”Bollocks,” Sid said. “I watch you, Crow. I watch you watching us. Arkades. Leona. Furian. Me. Those little wheels behind those shady eyes always aturn. And though I don’t think you’re quite the coldest fish in this pond, you can’t honestly say you give a damn whether any of us lives or dies. Especially when we’re all likely to perish in the venatus anyways. So what’s your game?”

Haha! I remember Sabrina and me saying that he’s going to die… and that pretty soon! *lol* Well, I guess we were both wrong. Sid turned out to be quite the surprise and I got really attached to that big oaf! XD His principles and morals weren’t misguided like Furian’s and the longer I read the more I began to appreciate his character. That he knew Mia’s father was a twist I didn’t see coming and everything he said about Dona Corvere? After that ending I can only assume that he was right about her character. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again? With Jay you never know. I, for my part, hope we will! 😉

”There’s no softer pillow than a clear conscience.”

3

Mia & Ash:

”No, if Mia was afraid, it wasn’t of wanting a girl.
It was wanting this girl.
Ashlinn Järnheim.
Thief.
Liar.
Killer.
Traitor.“

A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this but: Am I the only one who doesn’t feel this relationship. At all?! Go ahead! You’re allowed to pull out your pitchforks and axes. I won’t hold it against you. I’ll just say my part and be done with it, okay? 😉 Here goes nothing! You all know I’m the first one who’d love to ship an f/f couple! I think they are still underrepresented in YA literature and I definitely want more f/f ships in my books. So believe me when I say that I’m ALL for the sapphic romances! This one however just doesn’t seem to work for me. As much as I appreciated the Mia & Ash vs. Leona & Furian scene, I still can’t help but feel like something is missing. Maybe it’s the fact that Ash killed Tric (in cold blood I might add) and never apologized for it because “he had to die” in order for her plan to work. Or maybe it’s because this came out of nowhere. Yes, they kissed in “Nevernight” but they basically went from “I hate you” right to “I love you”. I mean, hell’s bells, she killed Tric and there was nothing that would have redeemed her actions. So why the hell would Mia fall for her? My only explanation is that she became blinded by all the violence around her and wanted something sweet. *lol* I dunno. *shrugs* It just didn’t work for me. I know that’s a super unpopular opinion but I stand by it. #SorryNotSorry

”This kiss was an invitation; a gently, desperate plea for a beginning, not an ending. A question without words, Mia’s mouth open and melting against Ashlinn’s own. And as she felt Ashlinn shiver, the feather-light brush of her tongue in kind, Mia had her answer.”

Mia & Mr. Kindly & Eclipse:

”You’re not helping,” she whispered back.
“… i am offering moral support …”
“You’re being an annoying little shit.”
“… that too …”

The dynamic between those three is quite something! It’s interesting to see them interact with each other and even though Mr. Kindly and Eclipse seem to hate each other they are both reluctant to part ways with Mia. Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder if they represent different parts of Mia’s character because Eclipse is rather the improvident and reckless character while Mr. Kindly is all compassion and caution. When Mr. Kindly remarked that they might change her by eating her fear I began to wonder too. Mia being darkin is still so mysterious and the fact that she killed Furian… well, is he going to be a shadow creature too? Where do they come from? Why are darkin so drawn toward each other? I have so many questions and just like Mia I hope they’ll be answered soon!

”… you send me away …?”
“… O, MY HEART BLEEDS …”
“… we have no hearts, you idiotic mutt …”
“… BE SURE TO REMIND ME OF THAT, WHEN I AM EATING YOURS …”

”… i am sorry, mia …”
“You?” she whispered. “Why?”
“ … he was your friend … “
“They’re not my familia, remember?” she replied. “They’re not my friends.”
She looked down at her hands. Blurred almost shapeless by her tears. “All of them are only a means to an end.”

”… i wonder sometimes, what we are making of her …”
“… WE ARE MAKING HER STRONG. STEEL. RUTHLESS AS THE STORM AND THE SEA…”
“… the thing we take from her … i wonder if she does not need it…”
“… YOU SPEAK OF FEAR …?”

Mia & The gladiatii:

”In every breath, hope abides.”

This was one of the best found families I ever saw. Mia fought her compassion tooth and nail but in the end it didn’t help. She still got attached to that bunch of gladiatii and I can’t blame her for it. They were all such interesting characters and they grew on me as well. I loved Byern, Bryn, Sidionius, Bladesinger, Wavewaker and Maggot. Those 6 were amazing and I grew super fond of them. I can’t believe little Maggot had to die though! My heart broke so much when Mia called her baby! T_T Poor little Maggot! She deserved so much better than that. And all just because of Magistrae! That witch! Urgh! I really hope the survivors will do fine after they got their slave mark removed! ❤

Mia felt hot tears in her eyes, a crushing weight on her shoulders. A scream was building in her belly, but her voice was only a whisper.
“Please, baby.”

Mia & Mercurio:

”This is important to her,” Mercurio replied.
“Be that as it may, this whole plan is fucking lunacy.”
Mercurio sighed. “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, girl, but Mia Corvere and lunacy go together like cigarillos and smoke.”
Ashlinn smiled. “O, aye, I noticed.”

I love Mercurio! He’s not only a great teacher but also a great man and underneath all that grumpiness he’s a real softie. *lol* He’s Mia’s family and her father figure. Also he obviously feels strongly about Mia because otherwise he would have never dared to defy the Red Church as long as he did. He loves her and she loves him and I’m really worried about that old bastard now. XD The Church has him and knowing them they won’t go soft on my old man. I just hope he survives until Mia is able to find him. >_<

”I’m not in the business of taking in every stray that walks in off the street, Mia,” he growled. “I’m a bishop of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, not a fucking charity worker.”
Mia folded her arms, fixed Mercurio with her dark stare.
“I recall a stray who walked into the parlour of Mercurio’s Curios not so long ago,” she said. “A girl without a friend in the world, and a whole Republic arrayed against her. You took her in. You gave her a place to belong. You gave her love in a world where she’d thought there was nothing left but shit. And thinking of it now, I don’t ever think she said, thank you.”

Mia & the Red Church:

”Problem with being a librarian is there’s some lessons you just can’t learn from books. And the problem with being an assassin is there’s some mysteries you just can’t solve by stabbing fuck out of them.”

Ha! Chronicler Aelius is probably one of my all-time fave characters ever! I wonder how he feels towards Mia now though. I mean he always liked her and he knew that she would be part of a great story so I kind of hope he is still on her side. I’m sure Adonai is still on Team Mia too. He owes her after all. As for Aalea, maybe she would help her? She obviously seems to have the hots for Mia. *lol* I loved her direct offer to warm Mia’s cold nights. ;-P I guess we’ll have to see if the Red Church is truly Mia’s enemy now. >_<

”This life we live … there is room in it for love, Mia. But a love like autumn leaves. Beautiful one turn. A bonfire the next. Only ashes the remainder.”

4

“Godsgrave” was one hell of a surprise and I loved every second of it. This is how character arcs are done and even though this book plays in a Roman setting I couldn’t help but compare it to a Greek tragedy. It had all the makings and plot twists to be one and after THAT kind of ending I’m more than just ready for “Darkdawn”!

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Starless Sea (Erin Morgenstern)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 5 on My Book List 2020


”Far beneath the surface of the earth, hidden from the sun and the moon, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories.”

There are stories that leave you with thousands of questions,
that cause you to topple under the sheer weight of their words.
And then there are stories that leave you with a million questions more,
but each and every single one of them feels like a soft caress.
Like a tender kiss on your longing skin. Like a shiver running through your craving mind.
You don’t want answers to those questions.
You just want to experience what they will do to you.
Which kind of emotions they will evoke, which sort of feelings they’ll drag to the surface.
You want to lose yourself in the story, dive deeper, be a part of it, touch it with your own fingertips…
Never let it go.

“The Starless Sea” is exactly this kind of story and it was an extraordinary pleasure to read it!

”A boy at the beginning of a story has no way of knowing that the story has begun.”

The boy at the beginning of this particular story is Zachary Ezra Rawlins and he’s as relatable as a reader can be. He’s a student, has a TBR he’s trying to reduce, is more comfortable reading a book than being out with his friends and was sorted into Ravenclaw. And one day he meets a mysterious storyteller who draws him into a world of wonder and mystery. Into the world of the Starless Sea.

”You are here because you wish to sail the Starless Sea and breathe the haunted air.”

The mere idea of the Starless Sea was already so intriguing and I loved to explore the Harbour. I mean some sort of labyrinthine underground library that looks like an art museum and seems to go on forever? Show me only one bookworm that wouldn’t enjoy a place like that! Also there were cats everywhere which was such a nice touch because I love all sorts of cats. Moreover there even were mysterious locked rooms and I’m such a sucker for them. I always want to know what’s behind those locked doors and my curiosity knows no boundaries. *lol* In short: I lived and breathed this story!

”You had superior meet-cutes with the others, no wonder you like them both better. You’ve cast me as a villain.”

And of course, like every story, “The Starless Sea” had a villain as well. Allegra was pretty intriguing and I think she was one of those antagonists that fascinate you. She has her principles and methods (for instance “late-night intimidation tea” – I love that term btw ;-P) and she’s convinced that her way is the only right one. It’s hard to dislike a villain like that and I found myself more and more captivated by her character and presence. Speaking of which: Dorian was such a wonderful and complex character as well.

”You’re not wearing shoes.”
“I hate shoes.”
“Hate is a strong emotion for footwear,” Zachary observes.
“Most of my emotions are strong,” Dorian responds and again Zachary doesn’t know how to reply and Dorian saves him from having to.

I just loved that boy! And the moment he got introduced into the story is definitely among my favourite bookish moments ever! It was mysterious, amazing, intriguing and shiver-inducing. Gosh how I wish I could have heard that story right from Dorian’s lips. I probably would have died. XD He sounds like a man I could easily fall for and he was described so vividly that I could imagine myself listening to his stories while taking in his appearance and gestures. He’s a character that seduces with his voice and words and up until now I didn’t even know that I’ve a weakness for men like that but apparently I do. As does Zachary. *lol* But to everyone who thinks this is going to be a love story: Be warned! This is one hell of a slow-burn and a very unconventional one at that. 😉 Also it’s not the focus of the story. This tale is more intricate and multi-layered than you might expect.

”It is there, still,” he says and pauses for so long that Zachary thinks perhaps the story has concluded but then he leans closer. “This is where the moon goes when she cannot be seen in the sky,” Dorian slowly breathes each word against Zachary’s lips.

I think I don’t want to go into more detail because this is definitely a story you’ve to experience for yourself.  Just like “The Night Circus” it’s a tale I can’t describe. You just have to read it, feel it, get immersed in it. All those stories within stories, mesmerizing dreams turning into grotesque nightmares, little pieces that merge into one story and questions that might not always be answered. Succumb to the temptation and allow the narrative to drown you in the depths of the Starless Sea. If you give yourself to the story, I can guarantee the story will give you something back. 😉

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

December Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

I don’t know about you but I’m kind of relieved 2020 is over and that we can start into a completely new year. 2021 has to be better than 2020 ever was because I finally want to be able to say something positive in my Wrap-Ups. *lol* December was… in many ways as shitty as all the other months of 2020 and on some days it was even worse so yeah. Add work and stress to the mix and you get an idea how bad it actually was. XD

Anyway! I won’t be negative and we need all the positivity we can get in order to start 2021 right so I’ll think about nice things! For instance the Christmas dinner with my family on the 24th. We only were allowed to meet up to 10 people on two days (the 24th & 25th) and I celebrated Christmas with my family on the 24th. It was so good to see them after almost two months and I’m just happy I could celebrate and eat dinner with them. ❤ I hope there will be more family dinners in 2021 again and I’m already looking forward to the summer when hopefully everything will get a little bit more normal again.

This said I was able to spend two weeks at home and it was amazing! I needed those two weeks off work and I’m so glad I could indulge in my hobbies. For instance I started to do Yoga again and I got super motivated to dance which is mostly due to BTS. They are all so amazing and they made me want to get back into dancing. I know I’ll never reach their level again (I actually was at their level before I injured my knee and added insult to injury with a muscle fibre rupture in my shoulder a couple of years ago. Yes I’m a wreck. *lol*) but just to dance makes me so damn happy and I’m basically glowing ever since I started to do it more often again. =) It brings me joy and heaven knows we need to grasp every thread of happiness we can get. So even though I can’t do things like the amazing ballet spin (Jungkook and Jimin did at the 2020 MMA’s) anymore, I’m still happy I can dance! 😀

And before I continue to gush about dancing I’ll just head to my Wrap-Up! *lol* So here we go:

Books read: 7 (7 books & 0 webcomic, At first it looked like I’d only read two books in December and then the holidays happened so 7 it is. XD)

Pages read:  2.698 (That’s a lot of pages because many of those books had more than 400 pages.)

Average rating: 4,00 (This seems to be a precision landing once again. *lol*)

Books that were on my reading list:  3 (from 2019 and 3 from 2020. Guess my efforts to read some of my 2020 books paid off in the end. 😉 )

December Reads:

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Imagine Me: 2 Pfoten, 5

Everyone who read my review of „Imagine Me“ knows how bitter I felt about this book. >_< After the initial amazing trilogy and the great fourth and fifth book I expected something awesome or at least a worthy ending for such a long series. But all I got were even more questions and a half-baked plot that constantly made me want to … well puke. (at least the Juliette chapters) The only thing that saved this for me were Kenji and Warner and even those two weren’t enough. So: Nuh-uh! No, nopedy nope. T_T

Dear Evan Hansen: 3 Pfoten

I absolutely love the „Dear Evan Hansen“ soundtrack and I’ve been listening to it like crazy after I read the book. I can’t help but wonder if the musical and the book are the same though. In general this wasn’t a bad book but I kind of disliked that Evan lied so much and that it ultimately didn’t have all too many consequences for him. I don’t know if the musical is the same but all that lying made me feel really uncomfortable. Especially because he wasn’t called out on it. That’s just my opinion though. If you want to read my full review you can do it here!

House of Salt and Sorrows: 4 Pfoten

I absolutely adored this retelling of „The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes“ and for a debut this was amazing! =) The dark and eerie atmosphere of Highmoor was super creepy and I loved that this played on an island. I could almost taste the salt creeping into every corner of that manson by the sea and I lived and breathed for this haunted house. *lol* Truth be told this would have been a great Halloween read. XD

The Starless Sea: 5 Pfoten

This was AWESOME! Like seriously, an entirely different level of awesome! I loved this book so much and even though I know that it won’t be for everyone I can definitely say that it was perfect for me! 😉 I just loved everything about „The Starless Sea“ and I adore Erin Morgenstern’s imagination. It’s no wonder it always takes her so long to write her books but if that is what comes out of those many years I’ll accept the long wait without complaining. Such a masterpiece of storytelling. I just loved it! ❤

Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love: 4 Pfoten

I got this as an ARC from NetGalley and I enjoyed it a lot! XD I wanted a sweet rom-com and I got one with „Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love“. Of course some of the tasks they had to do in this book were kind of ridiculous but it definitely made for good entertainment. *lol* Also I loved that there was a pan rep in here! They are rare to find and it was nice to see one, though admittedly it could have been more pronounced. Still, if you want to escape reality for a few hours I can totally recommend this book! 😉

Godsgrave: 4 Pfoten,5

Jay Kristoff managed to WOW me once again! This went in an entirely different direction than I expected but it was amazing nevertheless. I loved Mia’s character arc and that she started to question her decisions. And can we please appreciate all those plot twists I never saw coming? >_< Just amazing! I can’t wait to read „Darkdawn“ but I’ve to admit that I’m scared as hell. *lol* As long as Sabrina @ Notes From A Paper Plane Nomad is going to buddy read this with me as well I’ll be fine though. XD

Heartstopper: 5 Pfoten

When my library finally got this as a paperback I just couldn’t resist! I’ve been reading „Heartstopper“ for years as a webcomic but it felt really good to hold it in my hands and to turn the pages! =D Plus I finally had the time to look more at the details and to enjoy the drawings and facial expressions. This will always be one of my fave LGBTQ+ stories and Alice Oseman will always be one of my fave authors as well. ❤

Rankenzeile

How was your December? Did you have a roll over the holidays too? Did you eat too many cookies and spend your time at home as well? What about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you love to dance and are you a dancer as well? And most importantly are you ARMY too? *lol*

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

ARC Review: Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love (Kim Fielding)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten


**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for approving me!**

First of all I’ve to say that this book was really cute and that Teddy and Romeo were just adorable. When I started to read this book I was in dire need of something sweet and fluffy and this was exactly what I got. So on that front “Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love” delivered exactly what I was looking for. It was a fast and very enjoyable read and it had me smiling while I read the book.

Secondly I’ve to mention that I loved the reps in this book. We have Teddy who is gay, Romeo who is black and pan and we even have a functioning polyamorous side-character relationship which truth be told, is a pretty rare treat to find in a contemporary romance book. This said I’ve to note that in my opinion the romance between the two MCs doesn’t fall into the category of the enemies to lovers trope. It’s pretty obvious that Teddy is attracted to Romeo and all their initial animosity is due to the fact that they don’t know each other and just assumed things. So it’s no wonder that once they hit it off they do it big time. 😉

I guess that’s the main reason why their relationship didn’t feel like insta-love for me and why it also didn’t feel like it was progressing too fast. They’ve been working in the same company for quite a while and they’ve been attracted to each other for months so to be head over heels when your feelings are finally reciprocated isn’t all that unrealistic. Plus we all know how fast you can fall in love.

As for Joyce Alexander and her crazy tasks that seemingly don’t have to do anything with either the two boys or their commitment to their product: She’s an elderly eccentric fashion icon that had enough years and especially enough freedom to develop her quirks so I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised by her actions. Quite the contrary, people like her actually DO exist and it felt pretty realistic she’d do something like that. *lol*

All things considered I thoroughly enjoyed “Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking for Love” and even though the ending was kind of fast and felt slightly unrealistic I still found enjoyment in it. From the tasks they had to tackle up to their very fair and loyal boss at Reddyflora and right to the sleeping-in-one-bed trope this was super cute. Yes, there could have been more depth to the characters but since this is supposed to be a short and light rom-rom I didn’t really mind it. After all there’s only so much you can pack into a 250 pages book. All told, I liked it and I hope a lot of other people will enjoy it too! =)

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

Top 15 of my bookish 2020 – The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series + Book Recs from you?!

Hey there my lovelies!

2020 is finally coming to an end and since this became some sort of blog tradition I decided that I’d write another one of my „The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series“ blog posts! My initial goal for this year was to read 42 books, but in the end I upped my challenge once and decided to go for 52 books. For the first time ever since I joined GR I only raised it that one time and then let it be, though. Which turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. Without any pressure I actually made it to 91 books in total and it felt really good not to have a deadline.

This said here’s a short summary of my reading year 2020! Read about „The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series“! 😛

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

The Awesome:

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle:

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I heard so many great things about „The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle“ and the plot sounded super intriguing so I just had to go for it. I love murder mysteries and even though I’m quite the wannabe Sherlock this book managed to give me a run for my money. *lol* I swear this was a tough nut to crack but I had so much fun trying to solve the puzzle that I didn’t mind the headache! XD Legit one of the best books I read this year! 😉

 

– Sadie:

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This book will haunt me until I die. I rarely read anything that killed me as much as „Sadie“ did and I genuinely hope no other book will succeed to throw me as much as this one did. I finished it months ago but I still think about it. The dark and gloomy atmosphere, the eerie vibe, the haunting subject matter. This book was intense. Even more so because I listened to the accompanying podcast and to say it made the experience feel even more real would probably be the understatement of the century. Highly recommended even though it might haunt you too. >_< If you want to read my full review you can do it here!

– Radio Silence:

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I can’t believe it took me so long to read this! „Radio Silence“ was the best thing ever and I loved this book to bits and pieces! The strong friendship between Frances and Aled was amazing and even though Alice Oseman tackled quite some serious topics with this book she did it in a really good way. I still think this is the voice of a generation and I’m determined to read every single one of Oseman’s books now. *lol* 

– Beartown:

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This story broke my heart, broke it some more and then kind of glued it together again. In short this was a rollercoaster of emotions and Fredrik Backman sort of put me through the wringer. XD I rarely read books that captured humanity so well and I can recommend „Beartown“ to everyone who loves character driven books with serious topics that cause you to think about them even after you finished the book. 

The Impossible Boy:

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„The Impossible Boy“ was everything I needed and so, so much more! ❤ I love it so much and I’m so glad that I finally found a gender fluid rep that almost nailed it. Well, at least about 50% because Stan’s birth gender is male. 😉 The characters were just really relatable and felt real and I’m definitely going to read the second book in 2021. I hope it will be as good as the first one! 

The Meagre:

– Imagine Me:

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I know to see this in „The Meagre“ must be a shock because I’m such a huge fan of this series but this book was a disaster! I loved the original trilogy and I even enjoyed book 4 and 5. This last and final book was all over the place and horrible though! And this is me saying it as a huge fan. I really expected and wanted more from this so it only got 2,5 paws which is a shame but it is the way it is. If you want to read my entire rant you can do it here!

The Death Cure:

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I rarely read a book that made as little sense as this one and I’m convinced this is one of the rare cases where the accompanying movie series made more sense than the books. *lol*  From book two on this was so not what I expected and by the end of book 3 I collected so many question marks that I could have built a house with them. So nope, this one didn’t do it for me and the only good thing about is was Newt. 

Wild Things:

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I really enjoy this series and I love to read the books when I need something easy and quick. You might say „The Chicagoland Vampires“ is my bookish equivalent to fast food and that would be totally accurate. *lol* Still, this was book 9 and some of the themes are getting repetitive. If Chloe Neill doesn’t resolve some of the problems that have been going on for ages it will get boring pretty soon. >_<

– A Court of Frost and Starlight:

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I was so angry after reading this. XD I mean it definitely had some good parts but Sarah actually managed to make me dislike Rhys and Feyre and that’s not what I want after I shipped them for 3 books. For me their story is told and it’s time to read something new. I wasn’t okay with a lot of the things that happened in here and my review about ACOFAS kind of turned into a rant. If you want to know why I disliked this novella you can read my full review here!

– Still Me:

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I loved „Me Before You“ and I adored „After You“, this said it makes me really sad to say that I wasn’t happy with „Still Me“. Or rather I had some very mixed feelings about it and I can neither say that I enjoyed it nor can I say that I didn’t. *lol* This read as fast as the other two books but there were way too many things/issues that didn’t get resolved, let alone addressed. Maybe my expectations for final books are too high but after reading three or six or however many books of a series I just want closure and no new questions. XD Might be a me thing. Idk. *shrugs* All I know is that I didn’t get it after this one and I feel conflicted. >_<

The Series:

– The Venery Series by Suanne Lacqueur :

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I can’t believe I never heard of this series up until „An Exaltation of Larks“ appeared on my NetGalley feed. Back then I was like: „Oh sounds interesting, I want to read it.“ And now after reading not only the first book but also „A Charm of Finches“ I’m in LOVE. I’m addicted, obsessed, I just want more! No one writes human nature as good as Suanne does and she’s so thoughtful with the details that it actually hurts sometimes. In a good way! In a very good way! Suanne is a wonderful author and person (Yes, we became friends after I gushed about her book. *lol*) and she gives her stories a 200%! If you don’t know her books yet: Read them! You won’t be disappointed! ❤

– Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman:

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If „Illuminae“ was THE series I binged in 2019 then „Arc of a Scythe“ was THE series I binged in 2020. XD I loved this dystopian sci-fi series so damn much and I suffered, hoped and fought alongside the characters. Neal Shusterman tortured me with his plot twists and to read this was actually a pretty stressful experience. *lol* I loved all of those three books and even though they were all different they were amazing and the character cast was awesome! If you want to read my full reviews you can do it here: ScytheThunderhead and The Toll!

– The Legend series by Marie Lu:

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I’ve heard so much about this series and then I found it at my library and decided that I needed to read it! XD And tell you what? I didn’t regret it! ;-P I loved every Marie Lu book so far and those two were no exception to the rule. June and Day are two amazing protagonists and they made my day(s)! (pun intended *lol*) Day is my precious boy and I’ll protect him with my life! ❤ And June. Well, she can take care of herself but I’d still give her a hug. XD I really need to read „Champion“ but since we’re in our third lockdown this year my library is closed. >_< Guess I’ll have to wait until the middle of January before I’ll be able to borrow the finale. Read both of my reviews here: LegendProdigy

– The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare:

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I always say that I’m a snail and I guess I proved it when I reread the first two books of „The Infernal Devices“ this year. *lol* It took me 5 months to read „Clockwork Angel“ and it took me another 3 months to finish „Clockwork Prince“! I just read them very slowly because I wanted to savour my reread as much as possible and I’m really glad I didn’t rush through this series this time around. 😀 There were so many things I could appreciate and I can’t wait to read about Tessa, Will & Jem in the last and final book! ❤ „Clockwork Princess“ is already on my list for 2021 and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. 😉

– The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff:

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I think we can all agree that Jay Kristoff wants to either kill or torture us with his books because WOW those two definitely had it in them. O_o Both of them went in an entirely different direction but boy, were they great! All those plot twists left me reeling and I can’t wait to read „Darkdawn“ in 2021. I’m so glad Sabrina @ Notes From A Paper Plane Nomad buddy read „Godsgrave“ with me because I probably would have died without her support! *lol* Plus our WhatsApp chats with lots of BTS gifs were hilarious! Seriously, I had so much fun! So THANK YOU, Sabrina! I can’t wait to read „Darkdawn“ with you! ❤ 

Rankenzeile

So this was my year 2020 in 15 books! How was your 2020? Was it a good reading year for you? Did you manage to read all the books you wanted to read? Or did you fall into a few reading slumps along the way as well? Are there some books you’ll take into the next year? Were you disappointed or surprised? Let me know in the comments! 😉

And because this has become a tradition too: Just like in the years before I want to give you a chance to throw in some of your book recommendations for My Book List 2021! My goal is to read 45 books in 2021 and the last 5 spots are up to you! Just write me your book recs in the comments and I’ll throw them in a bowl and pull out 5 of them! 😉 

This said I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and I hope that your 2021 will be amazing and way better than 2020 ever was!!! *lol* ❤

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Q, Reviews

Review: Queen of Shadows (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”When you shatter the chains of this world and forge the next, remember that art is as vital as food to a kingdom. Without it, a kingdom is nothing, and will be forgotten by time.”

If you read any of my updates I’m sure you’ll already know how I feel about this book. To say it was better than its predecessors would probably be the understatement of the century so all I’ll say is that Sarah once again surpassed herself. ❤

There were so many new characters that got introduced during the book and I’m not lying when I say that I loved them all. XD I think one of the most amazing things about Sarah’s books is that she has so many awesome and strong heroines! They do what they want to do, they are brave, they dare to dream, they dare to hope and they always make their way! It’s just so amazing to read! =)))

Of course not everything in “Queen of Shadows” is sunshine though and boy did it hit me with the feels sometimes! There were actually moments I was so frustrated that I felt like tearing the book apart (Don’t worry I did no such thing, I love my books too much to harm them. *lol*) and there were some chapters that killed me over and over again. I guess by now you all know which chapters I’m talking about. 😉

Well anyway, let’s not talk about the epic fights or the hopeful ending. WHAT a hopeful ending? YES!!! Jeez, I think this must be the first time I’m not destroyed after one of Sarah’s books. I’m actually h- … hopeful! I’m not licking my wounds or trying to deal with my emotions so knowing Sarah I have absolutely no doubt that she’s going to destroy me with “Empire of Storms”.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is the quiet before the storm and I’m so not ready for it! XD Which is probably the main reason I’m writing this review. I’m trying to stall for time. *lol* #SorryNotSorry

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Spoiler warning! My character section is so full of spoilers you won’t even have to read the book anymore. ;-P So if you still want to read this series and want to experience it all by yourself you better stop reading now! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! XD

Aelin:

”How can I take away somebody who means the world to someone else? Even if she’s my enemy.”

Boy, did I have mixed feelings about Aelin in this book! On the one hand I really loved her and could understand her decisions, but on the other hand all I wanted to do was to yell at her! *lol* I mean she sometimes really didn’t make it easy to like her in this book, knowing about her past and everything she’s been through I could see through her façade though. I mean it’s obvious she struggled with her new role as Queen and because of her insecurities and fears she sometimes made mistakes that got her into trouble. A crown is a heavy weight; I don’t blame her for not being perfect. Hell, I’m pretty sure I would have made plenty of mistakes as well. XD

”But now that she was here … everything was an effort not to say she was sorry. Sorry not for what she’d done to his face, but for the fact that her heart was healed – still fractured in spots, but healed – and he … he was not in it. Not as he’d once been.”

Chaol:

”Magic has saved your life a few times now, if I recall correctly.”
“Yes,” he breathed, “you and Dorian both – and I’m grateful, I am. But where are the checks against your kind? Iron? Not much of a deterrent, is it? Once magic is free, who is to stop the monsters from coming out again? Who is to stop you?”

And here is my second problem child! Chaol! Jeez, he said quite some nasty stuff! I mean I know where he’s coming from and I understand that he worries for his people and kingdom; I’m not okay with what he said about magic though. Before you go all like: “Oh don’t you dare to say anything against my baby!” now *raises eyebrow and looks at Gem and J.* I’ll tell you that despite all this I actually still love him. *lol* He did the best he could do and he’s just human. Of course he is afraid of magic and what it might do to his kingdom. I mean in spite of being the former captain of the king’s guard he’s still young. I’m sure he can’t even remember the world with magic and it’s no surprise he’s afraid of it. If he proved anything over those last 4 books then it is that he’s able to learn and to change though. So yes, I have faith in him and I’m sure as long as he follows his heart, he’ll always do the right thing. Plus: WHY DID YOU HAVE TO HURT HIM LIKE THAT, SARAH?! I think Chaol suffered enough over those last few books and now this too?! Not fair. T_T

Dorian:

”He deserved this darkness, and once the invisible boundary shattered and the waiting thing pounced, infiltrating and filling him … he’d have earned it.”

MY PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL!!! *sobs* Gosh, how much did I suffer with him, how much did I weep for his shattered and broken soul. The pain he went through, the torture he had to endure. T_T Every chapter was another stab into my heart and by the end of the book I almost lost hope that he’d be free again. I thought he was going to die, that nothing would be left of him, but then, then he broke his chains and OMG did I cry when he finally escaped!!! Still, he’s so broken and lonely and I’m not sure how he’s going to deal with everything that happened to him. I’m so worried about Dorian and I really hope he’ll be able to find happiness! #TeamDorian forever and for always!!! <333

”There were tears running down Aelin’s face as Dorian gripped the black stone encircling his throat. And bellowing his grief, his rage, his pain, he snapped the collar from his neck.”

”The sun would still rise and fall, the seasons would still change, heedless of whether he was free or enslaved, prince or king, heedless of who was alive and who was gone. The world would keep moving on. It didn’t seem right, somehow.”

Manon:

”I’m not in the habit of forcing my servants.”
“Only slaughtering men like pigs, correct?”
“Their deaths equate to their behavior in life,” Manon replied with a kind of calm that made Elide wonder whether she should start running.

Ahh Manon! My sexy relentless, fierce and ruthless witch! I love her! She’s one of those characters I can’t help but adore! I know she isn’t really a heroine, but she certainly is no villain either. In fact she’s such a complex character that I just can’t get enough of her! I FREAKIN LOVE THIS WITCH! And I’m so damn glad she finally decided to do what SHE thinks is right! YESH!!! Screw that old hag of a matron and do your thing Manon! Because you’re amazing and you could be so much more than just the monster others see in you! It’s time to disobey orders and to kick asses! Show them your iron fangs, baby! XD #GuessImTeamManonNowToo

Asterin let out another joyless laugh. “You would not have disobeyed even if it had been Blackbeaks down there, would you? Loyalty, obedience, brutality – that is what you are.”

”Do you believe monsters are born, or made?”

Rowan:

”You will make mistakes. You will make decisions, and sometimes you will regret those choices. Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options. I don’t need to tell you that you can do this – you know you can. I wouldn’t have sworn the oath to you if I didn’t think you could.”

I like Rowan but despite him becoming the main love interest for Aelin I still don’t love him as much as I love Dorian or Aedion. Hmm.. I dunno what it is but I think I’m kind of unhappy with his development. I mean in “Heir of Fire” he was this kickass, broody and fierce warrior that took no shit and now he’s almost become a purring kitty in Aelin’s arms. I mean I do get that he loves Aelin and would do everything for her, but I think his love for her made him less interesting somehow? Idk. It’s like he lost some part of himself now that he fell in love with his Queen and I really hope we’ll see the fierce warrior in “Empire of Storms” again. Please?

Aedion:

”Whatever you had to do to survive, whatever you did from spite or rage or selfishness … I don’t give a damn. You’re here – and you’re perfect. You always were, and you always will be.”

AEDION IS MY CUPCAKE! Seriously I think he’s one of the cutest guys ever and he definitely deserves the world! I love how fiercely loyal he is and that he always tries to see the good in people. He never wavered and he always did the right thing, even if it hurt him and was at his own expense. Like for instance accepting that Aelin let Rowan take the oath and didn’t even mention it! Gosh darn it! Aedion deserved better than that! I’ll personally pull Aelin’s long fae ears if she ever hurts him like that again!! Also is Aedion bi? I mean he commented on Rowan being handsome so I think that actually might be a possibility! Just one more reason to love him! <333

Lysandra:

“No. And what kills me is that I can’t remember what my real face was. That was the danger of shifting – that you would forget your real form, because it’s the memory of it that guides the shifting. I remember being plain as a dormouse, but … I don’t remember if my eyes were blue or gray or green; I can’t remember the shape of my nose or my chin. And it was a child’s body, too. I don’t know what I would look like now, as a woman.”

I’m in love with Lysandra too! *lol* Yes, I can’t help it! She’s such an awesome woman as well and she’s a hell of a fighter! Gosh did I love her comments! That girl brought so much life into Aelin’s court and I lived for her remarks. She always tried to appear nonchalant and bitchy but deep down within her there’s a heart of gold and by the end of the book even Aelin was able to see it. To think they were enemies and rivals once… I’m so glad they finally became friends. Plus: How cool is it that Lysandra is a shape shifter?!! I mean OMG!!! I didn’t expect that and I was so surprised when I found out. XD

”The soldiers in the sewer were screaming as she tore into them – a death for every day in hell, a death for the childhood taken from her and from Evangeline. She was fury, she was wrath, she was vengeance.”

Elide & Nesryn:

”You told me Dorian would fix the world, make it better. Buf if he’s gone, if we made the mistake today in keeping him alive, then I will find another way to attain that future. And another one after that, if I have to. I will keep getting back up, no matter how many times those butchers shove me down.” – Nesryn

Those two were both strong women in their own way, but I feel like we didn’t get to see all too much of them. I just wish there would have been more scenes with Elide & Nesryn. I mean they both intrigued me and their characters sounded very interesting, in the end I don’t feel like I really got to know them though. *sigh* Well, there are so many characters in Sarah’s books, it’s no wonder some of them fall by the wayside. Let’s hope there will be more of them in Eos! 😉

Arobynn:

”Sam had been tortured in ways she hadn’t even known until she read Wesley’s letter. The worst of it had been requested by Arobynn. Requested, as punishment for Sam’s loving her – punishment for tampering with Arobynn’s belongings.”

That manipulative jerk eventually got what he deserved! But damn I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did in the end. To die in his sleep was a death too merciful for him. For all the horrible and atrocious things Arobynn did he should have at least been awake and aware of the fact that he died. I understand why Lysandra could only kill him in his sleep though. *sigh* My poor brave girl!

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Aelin & Chaol:

For a heartbeat, she pitied him, and part of her wished she could say it more kindly, more compassionately. “There’s no getting Dorian out. There’s no saving him.”
“Like hell there isn’t.”

THOSE TWO! Gosh, they constantly seemed to be at each other’s throat and they frustrated me immensely! I hated that Aelin thought she couldn’t save Dorian and loved Chaol for never giving up on him, yet at the same time I disliked Chaol for calling Aelin a monster! I swear their anger and the way they treated each other had me all like: No, NO, NO! You’re supposed to help each other!! You’re supposed to save Dorian! Pull yourself together and work it out! GODDAMMIT!!! Thankfully by the end of the book both of them finally realized that they need each other and they eventually made amends. Jeez! It was about time! *sighs deeply* Urgh they were so stressful.

”We do not look back, Chaol. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on.”
There she was, that queen looking out at him, a hint of the ruler she was becoming. And it knocked the breath out of him, because it made him feel so strangely young – when she now seemed so old.

Rowan & Aelin:

”I could still probably braid this,” she mused. “Very teensy-tiny braids, so – “ He growled, but leaned back against the tub, his eyes closed. “You’re no better than a house cat,” she said, massaging his head. He let out a low noise in his throat that might very well have been a purr.

Haha! I loved it when Rowan lost all common sense at seeing Aelin in a flimsy nightgown! *LOL* Such a mighty fae warrior and then he sees her like that and isn’t even capable to utter a single word. XD Fun times. ;-P Still, I really like their connection and that they are so close to each other, I kind of dislike the notion of Rowan disappearing as an individual though. I just hope that he’ll give her hell in “EoS” again. *lol* Because I lived for their easy banter and the fact that they always gave each other a run for their money! XD It would be boring if Rowan would end up as nothing more than the man at Aelin’s side.

”I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, never settling, never stopping – not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.”

Manon & Dorian:

He cocked his head. “I’ve never been with a witch.”
Let her rip out his throat for that. End it.
A row of iron fangs snapped down over her teeth as her smile grew. “I’ve been with plenty of men. You’re all the same. Taste the same.” She looked him over as if he were her next meal.
“I dare you,” he managed to say.
Her eyes narrowed, the gold like living embers. He’d never seen anyone so beautiful. This witch had been crafted from the darkness between the stars.

I SHIP THEM SO HARD I CAN’T EVEN!!!! ADKFADSFASDJFKSDFJA! I love it that Manon was the only one who got that Dorian is still alive and I love that she was so drawn to him! And boy those two short conversations they had! THEY GAVE ME LIFE!!! I WANT MORE OF THEM!! Just more!! I want my fierce, ruthless witch and my precious cinnamon roll to be together!!! PLEASEEEEE!!!! *dies out of sheer excitement*

”And through the darkness of his memories, through the pain and despair and terror he’d tried to forget, a name echoed in his head.”

Manon & Asterin:

”That wildness, that untamed fierceness … They weren’t born of a free heart, but of one that had known despair so complete that living brightly, living violently, was the only way to outrun it.”

Asterin’s story broke my heart and I want her to be happy again!!! I hated it so much that they both were at odds with each other and that Asterin had to suffer so much even though she only wanted to help Manon. She loves her. It’s more than just obvious! As it seems Manon had to come a long way until she realized what truly matters, but I think now that she did, she’s finally ready to oppose her matron! I really can’t wait to see THAT fight! XD

”Things are changing,” Manon said.
“Good,” Asterin said. “We’re immortals. Things should change, and often, or they’ll get boring.”
Manon lifted her brows, and her Second grinnend. Manon shook her head and grinned back.

Lysandra & Aedion:

A strange, ever-changing female scent hit him, and Aedion found Lysandra leaning against the hallway door. Tears gleamed in her eyes even as she smiled.
She gazed at the closed bedroom door, as if she could still see the prince and queen inside. “That,” she said, more to herself than to him. “That is what I am going to find one day.”
“A gorgeous Fae warrior?” Aedion said, shifting a bit.
Lysandra chuckled, wiping away her tears, and gave him a knowing look before walking away.

Another ship I want to sail! I think Aedion and Lysandra would make such a great couple! *lol* Besides I’m sure Lysandra might actually be the only one who would be able to keep up with Aedion. Haha! I mean they tease each other so nicely and Aedion is even slightly unsettled when she’s turning into a ghost leopard which means he has a lot of respect for her and this is always important in a relationship! =) Let’s see if Aedion will be Lysandra’s gorgeous Fae warrior in ‘”Eos”! ;-P

Aelin & Dorian:

”It is going to take a while. And it might never be right again. Buy you …” She gripped his hand, as if he hadn’t used those hands to hurt and maim, to stab her. “You will learn to face it, and to endure it. What happened, Dorian, was not your fault.”

I still love their strong friendship, despite Aelin being willing to kill him of course. XD But I guess after meeting those Valg Princes at Wendlyn she was allowed to doubt his survival. Still, they both can change the world together and they are both so strong! I have faith in them and I’m sure if they help each other and stick together they can really shatter the chains of their world and make it right! =)

Dorian & Chaol:

”I didn’t realize I looked that bad,” Dorian said, his voice raw.
He knew then – that the demon inside the prince was gone. Chaol wept.
Dorian surged from the chair and dropped to his knees beside the bed. He grabbed Chaol’s hand, squeezing it as he pressed his brow against his. “You were dead,” the prince said, his voice breaking. “I thought you were dead.”

Those two had me in tears at the end. T_T I was so happy they both found each other again!!! Their friendship went through so much in those last four books and now they are finally together! I love them and I admit it, I even kinda ship them. XD I mean hello, Chaol told Dorian that he loves him! XD Can’t blame me for shipping them, can you?! ;-P Besides, it’s obvious they love each other. At least as friends they do. XD
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All told I really loved “Queen of Shadows” and I can’t wait to get to book five! I’m sure Sarah will have a lot in store for us and I’m kinda scared to start it. As long as my precious Gem continues this journey with me I shall be fine though! ;-P Thanks for reading this series with me! XD We just have to read two more books!!! Two more books Gem and we’ll be ready to read “Kingdom of Ash”. =)

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Imagine Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 2 Pfoten, 5

 
Book 28 on My Book List 2020
 
 

„What happened to you, man?“ I whisper. „Where’d you go?“
„Hell,“ he says. „I’ve finally found hell.“

Me too, Ladies and Gentlemen, me too! >_<

Hell was reading this book and you better get yourself some chocolate before you continue to read because I’m so bitter that I could be mistaken for a lemon. I’m not just bitter though, I’m salty as well. So buckle up this is going to be a spicy ride. (Okay, I’m done with the food hints now. *lol* You get the idea! ;-P)

This book was just … URGH!!

I’m so disappointed right now I’ve been fighting to find the proper words for at least two weeks. And I just realized that I’ll probably never find them. >_< I think the most important thing you have to know is that I loved the original trilogy! It was so good and I’m such a huge Tahereh Mafi fan! Moreover I actually enjoyed books 4 and 5! They were different but they were still good! So what went wrong? A LOT!!!  Or basically everything!

Seriously, if it wouldn’t have been for my beloved Jello who had the questionable pleasure to experience my disappointment first hand I most certainly would have never made it through this book! So a huge shout-out to Jello for surviving this buddy read with me! *lol* You’re the best, girl! And I swear I would have never made it through this book without your support! <333 So thank you so much for keeping me company on this hard ride. XD It was tough for both of us but we got through it somehow! *sighs* This said let’s get to the root of the problem:

”My questions are endless.
I kill them.”

Oh, how I wish I would have had the same luxury!!!

Unlike Juliette I couldn’t just kill my questions though and instead of getting answers all I got was a headache and even more questions than before. There happened so many things that left question marks above my head and NONE, really NONE were answered! You’d think an author who writes the last book in a series that consists of 6!!! (SIX!!!) books in total would try to wrap it up all nicely in the end? Nope! Nah, Nuh-uh. Nopedy nope! I didn’t get my awesome ending wrapped up in a lovely bow and I’m so bitter about it! So, so bitter! And this comes from a fan that loved and read all the former books, mind you! I’m not writing this rant because I dislike Tahereh’s books or because I want to make her feel bad, I’m writing this rant because I LOVE Tahereh and her writing style and I can’t believe that she would write such an ending!!! I just can’t wrap my head around it!

„It is only in the desperate seconds before death that we realize the windows against which we broke our bodies were only mirrors, all along.”

What went wrong Tahereh? Why give us such a sloppy ending even though we know you are a magnificent writer?!  Where did your amazing and beautiful writing style go? I missed it during the entire book. The fact that I only wrote down 4 quotes from a book that consists of 450 pages should already tell us enough! After reading all the other books I couldn’t even pack all those lovely and beautiful quotes into my reviews. I had no problem this time around. In fact I had to go looking for those 4 quotes so that I actually COULD put something into this review. *shakes head*

Still, the writing style wasn’t the only thing that made me sad. I also missed the amazingness of my beloved characters. They used to be complex, they had character arcs and they developed. They grew and changed over time. In this book it was like they all went back to their starting point and couldn’t be more than stereotypes. Which is such a shame! And don’t even get me started on Juliette/Ella!

spoilerWTH, Tahereh?!!! I hated Robo-J so much and whenever I read “Yes, sir!” I felt like I wanted to puke!! What was the point in making her bland like that? That entire thing with Anderson and his sadistic streak, the fact that Juliette was attracted to HIM??!! WHAT DID I EVEN READ HERE?? At times it felt like I jumped right into a twisted and revolting version of “50 Shades of Grey” and the obedient/dull soldier looking up to her dominant master theme was THE WORST and so didn’t work for me!!!

Another thing that riled me big time was that the main topic of those last 3 books was Emmaline and then we barely get anything about her. The first 10% of the book and then… nothing! Like she wasn’t important enough to keep the plot moving. Instead we get… moments that made me want to tear my hair out! >_< And to add insult to injury we get an epilogue that was so unsatisfying that I sat there crying into the book! Not because it was so good, but because it made my heart bleed all over the pages by not being what I wanted it to be. T_T

This book should have been named “Torture Me” instead of “Imagine Me” but if I have to go with the theme, I’ll do it my way (and this is where it gets salty, my friends):

“Imagine Me” borrowing Winston’s whiskey flask and taking a big swig in order to get through this book. *lol* Thank you, Winston! ;-P

“Imagine Me” throwing this book against a wall.

“Imagine Me” setting it on fire and then chucking it out of the window.

And “Imagine Me” letting it being run over by a car only to get drenched in rain! All for good measure, of course! 😉

“Imagine Me” hoping for a great ending and getting THIS and…

spoilerA DOG!!! Not even a wedding but a freaking dog??! I understand why Tahereh wrote that scene but I really would have rather wanted to read their wedding scene! Damn it!

“Imagine Me” and my face falling when I realized this was neither about Emmaline nor about my OTP.

spoilerI mean Juliette and Warner’s relationship was basically non-existent! They spent about 90% of this book apart and then he KISSES her back into her mind??!! Like seriously? Are you kidding me? Juliette doesn’t even recognize, let alone remember Warner but she makes out with him? How could Tahereh reduce their beautiful and deep relationship to nothing but physical attraction? There was so much more than that between them and it was the physical aspect she latched on to?!! WE (the fans) and Warner & Juliette deserved so much better than that!!!

“Imagine Me” being one of Tahereh’s biggest fans but being so damn salty I could turn a lake into the sea. If you ever come across an Austrian lake that’s as salty as the Black Sea: I’m sorry, that was me! XD

“Imagine Me” getting whiplash from shaking my head too much! My neck hurts, no kidding!

“Imagine Me” losing my appetite every single time Juliette said “Yes, sir!” (I need to eat lots of Christmas cookies to compensate for that!!)

“Imagine Me” wanting to erase the memory of this book with bleach! Yes, I’m that desperate! Come to think of it Evie and Max would come in pretty handy right now. XD

“Imagine Me” collapsing under the weight of all those question marks, because let’s face it: This book was all over the place! I feel like Atlas and it’s no fun!

And last but not least: “Imagine Me” renaming this book “Torture Me”!

The only good thing about “Torture Me” was Warner’s and Kenji’s bromance! Well, and this quote:

„To the world, she is formidable.
To me?
She is the world.“

That’s it! My fan heart is so broken right now, I want to “imagine” a world with a better ending than this! T_T

Okay, I’m done with the puns and I’ve vomited all my bitterness into this review. I’m sorry to say it but I can’t give this more than 2,5 paws. 2,5 paws because otherwise it would feel like I’d let Tahereh get away with this disaster of a book and someone has to speak the truth. As a huge fan of this series my heart is bleeding but I stand by my opinion! #SorryNotSorry

Let’s hope Mafi’s next book will be better again!

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten
 

”It is always better to live the truth than to live a lie.”

I love this quote because it sums up everything that happens in this book. There are many truths that come to the light of day and there are even more lies that are revealed and cause some damage. The difference between “Clockwork Angel” and “Clockwork Prince” always kind of astonishes me. While the first book is pretty slow and character driven this second book is all those things as well but it still feel so very different than “Clockwork Angel”.

For one thing, it’s way darker than its predecessor and we get a better understanding for all those characters and the struggles they have to deal with. They were already amazing characters on the surface but “Clockwork Prince” digs deeper than that and we finally get to see all of their different facets. Jem is more than just the kind angel everyone expects him to be, Tessa is more than the damsel in distress everyone believes her to be and Will is not the self-centred and arrogant scumbag he wants us to see. So if I have to name the difference between the first and the second book I’d say that this one goes deeper.

There’s more depth to the characters, the stakes are higher. Everything – from the storyline to the protagonists – is darker and more pronounced. There’s an urgency to “Clockwork Prince” that was never visible in the former book and it’s like an undercurrent that runs through the entire story. I just love how CC doesn’t only manage to capture my attention but also makes me feel so much with her characters. They are real people and my heart is bleeding for them. ❤

And before I write another essay (which I totally could! *lol*) I’ll go to my characters section instead and talk about all those wonderful feelings! ;-P

2

The London Institute is full of secrets and once you take a closer look you’ll not only discover the truth but you’ll also be spoiled! XD So if you continue on your way:  Stay alert and be aware that there will be spoilers at every corner! Continue at your own peril!

Tessa Gray:

”You didn’t think about him,” said Tessa. “But perhaps you should have. Don’t you understand he thinks you made a mockery out of what’s killing him? And you’re supposed to be his brother.”

I really love Tessa’s character arc! At the beginning of the first book she was naive and basically a damsel in distress but in here we see how strong she’s become. She fights for the people she loves and cares about, she talks back to Will and gives him a run for his money and she tries to help Jessamine even though she betrayed her in the worst way possible. Tessa is a really compassionate, brave and kind character and I’m not surprised both, Will and Jem, fell for her. Also it’s nice to see her take the initiative and to go for what she wants. She’s more determined and headstrong than she was before and I like it. XD It was difficult to see how she struggled with Nate’s death because no matter what he did to her, he was still her brother and she just couldn’t hate him. >_<

Tessa was unmoved. “I won’t know if I like it until I try it, will I?”
“I’ve never swum naked in the Thames, but I know I wouldn’t like it.”
“But think how entertaining for sightseers,” said Tessa, and she saw Jem duck his head to hide the quick flash of his grin.

”Do not mock him.” Tessa’s tone was sharp.
“Nothing is beyond mockery, Tess.”
“Jem is. He has always been good to you. He is nothing but goodness. That he hit you last night, only shows how capable you are of driving even saints to madness.”
“Jem hit me?” Will, fingering his cheek, looked amazed.

”He could never stay angry at you, Will; he loves you too well for that. I do not even think he would hold anger toward me. But this morning he told me he thought he would die without ever loving anyone as his father loved his mother, without ever being loved like that in return. Do you want me to go down the hallway and knock on his door and take that away from him? And would you love me still, if I did?”

Will Herondale:

„If I might make a suggestion,” said Will. “About twenty paces behind us, in the Council room, is Benedict. If you’d like to go back in there and try kicking him, I recommend aiming upward and a bit to the left-“

First of all I want to say how amazing that “throwing the apple and the dagger” scene was! *lol* There’s a nonchalance about this boy that is amazing! XD Yes, he can be super arrogant but in contrast to others he can back up his arrogance with truly remarkable skills. He has every reason to be confident. ;-P This said, I suffered so much with Will in this book! The entire thing with the curse from the demon Marbas was so heart-breaking and once he found out the truth… Oh gods! Just imagine living 5 years like that and then finding out that there was actually never a curse. To gain this kind of knowledge! It must have been so devastating! T_T When Will finally realized it and broke down I just wanted to hug him and make it better. >_< That poor, poor boy! Still, I’m glad the truth is out now and it was really good to see Will’s true self. The person he hid behind all those walls for so long is a truly beautiful boy and I can’t wait to see even more of him in the next book! <333

”What did they do?” Will’s voice rose. “What did they do? Nothing. It is me. I am poison. Poison to them. Poison to anyone who loves me.”

”Can you imagine it? Can you?” He raked his hands through his black hair, letting the tangled strands fall back into his eyes. “Never letting anyone near you. Making everyone who might otherwise love you, hate you. I left my family to distance myself from them, and that they might forget me. Each day I must show cruelty to those I have chosen to make my home with, lest they let themselves feel too much affection for me.”

”I feel myself diminished, parts of me spiraling away into the darkness, that which is good and honest and true – If you hold it away from yourself long enough, do you lose it entirely? If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?”

”You and I, Tess, we’re alike. We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

„Will slid to his knees. His hands were locked across his stomach as if they were keeping his guts from spilling out. Five years, he thought. Five years wasted. He heard his family screaming and pounding on the doors of the Institute and himself ordering Charlotte to send them away. And they had never known why. They had lost a daughter and a son in a matter of days, and they had never known why. And the others – Henry and Charlotte and Jem – and Tessa – and the things he had done –“

Jem Carstairs:

”When Will truly wants something,” said Jem quietly, “when he feels something, he can break your heart.”

It’s kind of funny but with this reread I started to appreciate Jem’s character even more. Not that I didn’t already do that but with every reread I fall more and more in love with him. The first time reading the series it was only Will, but now my heart is beating for Jem as well. There’s just something about him! His innocence and kindness is charming and for him every relationship is built on love, trust and consent. He’s so damn pure I can’t even!!! <333 And to know that the drug he has to take in order to live will also kill him one day is … it’s just not fair. T_T Jem deserves so much more than this short life is able to give him and it hurts so damn much to know that he won’t get it. Every time I read about his struggle my heart ached even more! Every moment he showed his true feelings for Tessa I sighed. And whenever we got a glimpse of his fear I felt like dying. Jem’s impending death is looming over his head and he’s doing such a great job at trying to be brave. T_T My heart is breaking so much for this sweet, kind and gentle boy. *sobs*

”Please,” he said softly. His voice was husky. She recognized the emotion. It was shame. “I do not want you to see me on my knees, grubbing around on the floor for the drug that I need to live. That is not how any man wants the girl he-“ He took a shaking breath. “I’m sorry, Tessa.”

”What does it matter?” he said in a voice so low it was almost a hiss. “What does any of it matter? I’m dying. I won’t outlast the decade. What does it matter if the violin goes before I do?”

”She had assumed his kindness was so natural so innate, she had never asked herself whether it cost him any effort. Any effort to stand between Will and the world, protecting each of them from the other. Any effort to accept the loss of his family with equanimity. Any effort to remain cheerful and clam in the face of his own dying.”

”If I was harsh with you, it was because I cannot bear to see you treat yourself as if you are worth nothing. Whatever part you might at to the contrary, I see you as you really are, my blood brother. Not just better than you pretend to be, but better than most people could hope to be.” He placed a hand on Will’s shoulder, gently. “You are worth everything, Will.”

”I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you will not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life – whatever its length – happy, by spending it with you. I want to be married to you, Tessa. I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life.”

”His beauty did not blaze like Will’s did in fierce colors and repressed fire, but it had its own muted perfection, the loveliness of snow falling against a silver-gray sky.”

Mangus Bane:

”He was really going to have to do something about this annoying softhearted impulse to assist the desperate, Magnus thought. That, and his weakness for blue eyes.”

I really liked that Mangus was a bigger part of this book and I still love my warlock like crazy! I swear he’s the constant in every Shadowhunter book and since the thing with Camille didn’t work out it makes me so happy to know that he WILL find true love in the later books! ❤ Also can we take a second and appreciate his humour and the fact that he always interrupts people when things get too steamy? *LOL* He’s such a – sorry for the crude language but there is no other word to describe him – cockblocker. XD Haha! I mean Magnus interrupting couples before they can get it on is such a running gag. I loved the short nod at his weakness for blue eyes and the fact that he kissed Will just to make Camille jealous! Typical Magnus! Even if he’s going down, he’s going down with style! ;-P

”We’re well equipped to handle danger,” Tessa said.
Magnus eyed her bosom openly. “I can see that,” he said. “Armed to the teeth, as it were.”

”There is a soul under all that bravado. And he is really alive, one of the most alive people I have ever met. When he feels something, it is as bright and sharp as lightning.”

3

Tessa & Will:

”Tessa,” he said, holding out a hand to stop her.
She looked at him, wishing she could ask him to go back to calling her Miss Gray. Just the way he said her name undid her, loosened something tight and knotted underneath her rib cage, making her breathless.

Their relationship in this book just about killed me! I mean we all know they love each other, yet we also found out about the reason why Will is pushing Tessa away and the poor girl is so confused because she has no idea why he’s treating her the way he does. Everything between them is hot and cold and then right back to hot and cold again. They can’t find a middle ground. It’s either all consuming passion or it’s pure iciness. A huge part of that is due to Will’s fear of the curse and what it might do to Tessa and so we can only watch and suffer while those two make irrevocable decisions that tear them apart even more. To witness this was so painful and urgh I just wanted to jump into the book and tell them to be honest with each other. So unfortunately when the truth finally comes out it’s too little too late and their ship goes down, down, down… T_T After everything Will did to keep Tessa away it’s no wonder she went right into Jem’s arms though. >_<

”When he saw her, he wanted to be with her; when he was with her, he ached to touch her; when he touched even her hand, he wanted to embrace her. He wanted to feel her against him the way he had in the attic. He wanted to know the taste of her skin and the smell of her hair.”

”He would have given everything he had in the world and everything he would ever have, just to lie beside her in the narrow infirmary bed and hold her while she slept. Pulling away from her had been like pulling his own skin off, but he’d had to do it.”

”I don’t care,” he said fervently. “I don’t care.” His arms went around her, and he held her; she rested her cheek against the warm juncture of his neck and shoulder.”

Tessa & Jem:

She smiled at him. “How did you know just what I’d want to see?”
“How could I not?” he said. “When I think of you, and you are not there, I see you in my mind’s eye always with a book in your hand.” He looked away from her as he said it, but not before she caught the slight flush on his cheekbones.

So after Jem held back in the first book and gave Tessa and Will a chance to hit it off (which they didn’t); he finally decided to step out of the friendzone and told Tessa about his feelings for her. Which I adored!!! I mean here’s a man that says what he’s thinking! He’s so direct and honest with her it’s amazing! <333 I love their relationship and that they can talk about everything without holding back. The communication between those two is great and Jem is an angel! Seriously, he didn’t even expect Tessa to reciprocate his feelings and the fact that he didn’t makes him even more precious! I loved that we finally got to see Jem’s passionate side and it’s so cute that he always seems to lose control whenever he’s around Tessa. He can’t take his eyes off of her and everything he feels is plainly written on his face. XD This said, I was no huge fan of the ending. I mean I know Tessa is confused and Will finally telling her the truth must have been quite a shock. Still, the insinuation that she will stay with Jem because he’s going to die and she doesn’t want to hurt him left a really bitter taste in my mouth. She should love Jem for being Jem and not because he has a terminal disease. The way this last scene was written implied that she would gladly go with Will if she wouldn’t have accepted Jem’s proposal and I’m not okay with this. For some reason I never noticed this in my former rereads but it felt like Jem is second choice and I don’t like it. Jem deserves the world! He deserves everything! Especially a person that loves him for who he is! So yeah, I’m feeling kind of bitter about this but I hope that Tessa’s feelings in the last book will be genuine.

”James,” he said. “Ordinarily only Will calls me that.”
“I’m sorry –“
“No. Don’t be. I like the sound of it on your lips.”

”He gasped against her mouth. He must have been so sure she would push him away that for a moment he went still. Her hands glided over his shoulders, urging him with gentle touches, with a murmur against his lips, not to pause.”

”Every time you say that word, ‘friendship’, it goes into me like a knife,” he said. “To be friends is a beautiful thing, Tessa, and I do not scorn it, but I have hoped for a long time now that we might be more than friends.”

”I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.”

”She willed herself to melt into the kiss, to dissolve against him as she had done before. His mouth was soft on hers and tasted sweet, and his hand when it cupped her neck was strong and gentle. She moved closer to him, wanting to feel the beat of his heart.”

Jem & Will:

”Jem’s your parabatai. I’ve seen you with him. You love him, don’t you?”
“Jem is my great sin,” said Will. “Don’t talk to me about Jem.”

I really loved how nonchalant Jem was about giving Will a black eye! *lol* Heaven knows he deserved it so I don’t feel bad about it and I’m glad Jem didn’t either. Haha! Their relationship is still EVERYTHING! And I stand by my opinion! I still ship them! They have such a strong connection, they feel so close and their deep love for each other, it’s unlike anything I ever read! <333 To say they had it easy in this book would be a lie though. Both of them struggled with their personal problems, yet they always found their way back to each other. They would do everything to make each other happy, even if it means to let go of the one thing they both want more than anything else in the world. >_< I just can’t with those two. They are so gentle and tender with each other and you can see their love in every single action they make. To hear Will voice his feelings about Jem… it broke my heart. A love so strong shouldn’t be severed by death and it kills me to know that Jem is getting weaker. T_T Ahh I just love them so much! My two precious boys! *sobs uncontrollably*

Will looked at Jem thoughtfully. “I seem to have woken up with what they call a Monday mouse,” he said, pointing at the bruised skin under his eye. “Any idea where I got it?”
“None.” Jem helped himself to some tea.

”He owed Jem his life. He could not take from him the one thing Jem wanted more than anything else. Even if it meant Will’s own happiness, for Jem was not only someone to whom he owed a debt that could never be repaid, but, as the covenant said, someone he loved as he loved his own soul.”

”I would always have forgiven you,” he said. “I would have forgiven you if you hadn’t apologized. In fact, I wasn’t expecting you would. Tessa’s influence, I can only guess.”
“I am not here at her request. James, you are all the family I have.” Will’s voice shook. “I would die for you. You know that. I would die without you.”

”He is like me,” said Jem simply. “An addict.”
Will looked at him over their joined hands. “He is not like you. And you will not die like that.”

”What?”
“I said that Jem proposed to me,” she whispered. “He asked if I would marry him. And I said I would.”
Will had gone shockingly white. He said, “Jem. My Jem?”

Charlotte & Henry:

”I would change it if I could. Of all the people in the world, I did think you understood. You know – you know it isn’t just tinkering for me. You know I want to create something that will make the world better, that will make things better for the Nephilim. Just as you do, in directing the Institute.”

It’s so weird that both of them thought the other didn’t love them! They should have spoken more about their feelings and shouldn’t have assumed things but then again they are both not the kind of type to speak about their emotions so directly. No matter how openly they show their affection for Will, Jem, Jessamine and Tessa, they apparently never showed it to each other as well. So I’m glad they finally had that conversation and I feel so sorry that Jessamine betrayed them. She was like a daughter for them and all they got was scorn and betrayal. Poor Charlotte broke my heart when she gave Jessamine over to the Silent Brothers and to stand up to Benedict and to face all those other Shadowhunters couldn’t have been easy. I’m just glad her and Henry talked things out and are finally on the same page! XD

”You are not plain,” Henry said, his face still blazing. “You are beautiful. And I didn’t ask your father if I could marry you out of duty. I did it because I loved you. I’ve always loved you. I’m your husband.”
“I didn’t think you wanted to be,” she whispered.

”Jessamine has been with us since she was a little girl. It would have been too much for him, too much. He does not have it in him to be cruel.”
“Charlotte.” Tessa touched her shoulder gently. “Charlotte, you are not cruel either.”
“I do what I must. There is nothing to worry about,” Charlotte said again, and burst into tears.

Tessa & Nate:

”You couldn’t leave well enough alone. You had to pry into my business. Delighted to see me brought low, are you? What kind of sister does that make you, Tessie?”

I just hate Nate, okay?! This boy was so selfish and horrible! Every time he met Tessa he made sure to let her know how little he cared about her! What’s even worse is that he tried to give her a bad conscience for not going along with his plans. Like seriously! Are you kidding me? You blame your sister because she didn’t agree to being married off to an old lunatic who wants to use and hurt her?! URGH! I just can’t with Nate! I understand that Tessa is heartbroken because he died, he was her brother after all, but the things he did were just vile and if it would have been me I wouldn’t have forgiven him. Also Jessamine… why the freaking hell did she marry him?! She should have known better than that.

”My brother,” Tessa said in a barely controlled voice, “is a lying murderer, incapable of feeling. He may have married you, Jessamine, but he does not love you. The Shadowhunters have helped and protected me, as they have done you. And yet you turn on them like a dog the moment my brother snaps his fingers. He will abandon you – if he does not kill you first.“

4

I love this series and its characters with every fibre of my heart! ❤ It might have taken me four months to read this but that’s just because I savoured every single letter and sentence. XD The background stories were amazing and to read this was bittersweet. “Clockwork Prince” is a wonderful sequel and I can’t wait to read “Clockwork Princess”. I know it will destroy me, but my faerie heart is kind of looking forward to it. *lol*

P.S: That demon pox song, though!!! XD

 
 

Allgemein, K - O, M, Reviews

Review: Muse of Nightmares (Laini Taylor)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 6 on My Book List 2019

”Many a choice is made this way: by pretending it makes itself. And many a fate is decided by those who cannot decide.”

If I’d have to describe “Muse of Nightmares” with just one word, it either would be “stressful” or “gruelling”. *lol* Because quite honestly from the moment I opened this book and started to read it, it gave me nothing but anxiety. >_< The super tense situation between Lazlo, Sarai and Minya at the beginning of the book already had me gnawing at my nails and with every sentence I read it only seemed to get even worse.

And if that plot line wouldn’t have killed me already there needed to come another story line into play. It was an interesting one, I can admit as much, but boy it certainly wasn’t any less stressful than the main storyline with our blue children. *lol* So yes, throughout this entire book I was a bundle of nerves and even after finishing it I’m still kind of well… nervous?! This definitely should have come with a stress warning or something. XD

Anyway! I guess it’s safe to say that “Muse of Nightmares” threw me for a loop and even though it wasn’t what I expected it was still damn good! Laini Taylor created such a vivid world with plenty of wonderful characters and I just love them all! From Lazlo to Sarai, from Feral to Ruby, to Sparrow, Eril-Fane and Azareen, right to Calixte, Tzara, Ruza and Thyon. Gosh, they are all my children and everything I want is just one more book in which I can follow them on their journey! <333 (Any chance there’s going to be a third book, Laini?! ;-P)

This said let’s head to the part of my reviews I always love the most! My characters section! 😉

2

Welcome to Weep! The city whose true name changed when the gods and their wrath came down on it! Be careful when you enter the streets, there will be lots of spoilers and gods that might catch you unawares. ;-P Don’t go in there if you haven’t read the book already!

Sarai:

”She wanted to move, delirious, forgetting what was real and what was looming, and find some way to hook herself to this world, this moment, and never leave. She wanted to taste and feel and ache, and she wanted to weep, too, for all she’d lost and would yet lose.”

I was so heartbroken by the ending of the first book and I think I still am. I mean even though Sarai is a ghost now and Minya is tethering her to earth she’s still not truly alive. What was done to her in this book was so cruel and her despair and fear was so tangible it gave me anxiety. This poor girl that only wanted peace, tormented by a person that raised her and should have loved and cared for her. It was just too much! So much misery and hate. It really killed me to see Sarai struggle like that and I just wanted to help her somehow. I’m kind of glad things changed so drastically towards the ending because urgh… I couldn’t have taken to see Sarai hurt even more. >_<

Lazlo:

”He had, in his hearts, declared war on the dark child, but Lazlo was no warrior, and his hearts had no talent for hate.”

My poor and brave boy got a brief taste of hatred and it almost destroyed him. T_T Lazlo is too innocent and pure to hold on to an emotion like that and it became more than just apparent when he had to face Minya. I swear, to live with Lazlo and Sarai, to see their love and to be unable to help them was pure torture! And through it all he still held on to his beliefs. He didn’t give up and he didn’t give into Minya’s demands even though it almost killed him to do so. Gosh, I love Lazlo so much! <333 He’s still the purest soul I ever read about and I just wanted him to be happy, but nope after Minya’s torture the goddess Nova had to enter the scene and I think I died about a thousand deaths with Lazlo when she forcefully took him away from Sarai. T_T Seriously, my stress level was so high when I read this book. No kidding. XD I’m just glad Lazlo somehow managed to get through it all and that he was able to keep his innocent flame alive. <33 The world really needs more Lazlo Strange’s!

”I belong here,” he said, feeling the truth of it all through him. With Sarai, whom he loved, and with others like himself, and with the metal, too. It had awakened a dimension of him that he had never known existed, a whole new sense, as real as sight or touch. It was part of him now. He was part of this. To leave would mean losing not only Sarai but a piece of himself as well.”

”Listen to me,” he said, savage. He wouldn’t have known his own voice. “There’s something you’ve failed to consider. Sarai is the only thing keeping you safe. Gods help you, if you let her soul go. There will be nothing to stop me from ending you.”

”Impossible?” Lazlo gave a soft laugh and shake of his head. “There must be things that are impossible. But I don’t believe we’ve gotten there yet. Look at us. We’ve barely begun. Sarai, we’re magic.”

„Just because the power is mine, it doesn’t follow that al the choices are.”

Minya:

”This was what Minya knew: Have an enemy, be an enemy. Hate those who hate you. Hate them better. Hate them worse. Be the monster they fear the most. And whenever you can, and however you can, make them suffer.”

I still hate Minya and at the beginning of the book I wanted to strangle her!! The things she did, how she hurt Sarai and Lazlo! It wasn’t right and she should have been stopped! It was so frustrating to see her hatred and to watch how she made Lazlo and Sarai suffer! The worst thing was not to be able to do anything against it! It made me feel really helpless and I started to loathe her even more than I already did. I understand why Minya is the way she is, but even a saint would have been tempted to kill her if given the chance. This girl only knew wrath and she didn’t even listen to the voices of reason. She just blocked them out and ignored everyone who had a different opinion. I really thought she’d never change her mind and if Nova wouldn’t have shown up she probably would have continued on her dark path. I guess Nova’s presence finally put things into perspective and this only just because she was even worse. >_< Urgh! Let’s hope Minya continues on the right path and that getting rid of all those negative emotions that came along with the souls she trapped will make her a better person in the long run. Optimism! See, I’ve taken a page out of Lazlo’s book. *lol*

”She believed it was rage, only and always rage, but that was the costume it wore, because fear was weakness, and she had vowed to never again be weak.”

”This was different. Sarai and Lazlo were pieces on the game board, and there was everything at stake. If they wanted their pleasure, their honey heat and little sounds, they could earn it with obedience.”

”The mind is good at hiding things, but there’s something it cannot do: It can’t erase. It can only conceal, and concealed things are not gone. They rot. They fester, they leak poisons. They ache and stink. They hiss like serpents in tall grass.”

Thyon:

”Thyon knew this smell. For all that he was a duke’s son, born in a castle, with a palace of his own gifted him by the queen, he was a scholar, too and he lived this smell. It was unmistakable. Universal. It was books.”

Now that’s how you write a believable redemption arc!!! Of course Thyon didn’t become a better person overnight but by making new friends and finally opening up to them he started to show his true colours. I wouldn’t say the person beneath all that cold exterior was a completely different person but there were good parts of Thyon he never dared to show and in “Muse of Nightmares” they eventually got a chance to shine. =) There’s some soft part of him that only wanted to be loved and to be a part of things and his friendship with Calixte, Tzara and Ruza kind of helped him to understand himself better. Sometimes it needs the reflection of others to see who you truly are. 😉 So I definitely liked this Thyon better than the one in the first book and I’d have loved to see even more of him. (Hence my wish for a third book. *lol*)

”Thyon gritted his teeth, knowing exactly who and still telling himself that wasn’t why he’d put it aside. What did he care what the dreamer would love, or who got to give it to him?”

”If the kingdom of knowledge was a city, then a swath of Thyon’s had been shaken to the ground, and he was standing knee-deep in rubble both in his thoughts and in reality.”

“Thyon, earthbound, felt every choice he’d made, every action he’d taken, as a weight he carried with him. He wondered: Was it weight he could shed or throw off, or was it forever a part of him, as much as his bones and his hearts?”

”Will this help?” he asked, breathless. “Is it… is it enough?”

3

Sarai & Lazlo:

”He reached for her, and she gave up all resistance.
The others watched, transfixed, as she melted against him, sweetly heavy and his to hold. Their eyes closed, and they rested their foreheads together as they breathed soft words from each other’s lips.”

First of all: Minya interrupting their kiss in the way she did was unforgivable! Like seriously!! Who does things like that? URGH! I suffered so, so, so, so much with Sarai and Lazlo it’s not even normal anymore! I just wanted those lovebirds to be together but first Minya had to get between them and then Nova had to jump right into the fun too! ARGH! I swear this book killed me and gave me an entirely new level of stress I didn’t even know a book was capable of giving. *lol* Despite it all they still found ways to be together and to spend a few sweet and very precious moments in each other’s company. I loved them so much and how I raged against Nova with Lazlo when she took him away from Sarai. Poor Lazlo! The amount of despair I went through while I followed this pair through this book is tremendous. *lol* I’m all anxiety and bitten nails. *takes a deep breath* I’m so glad things worked out in the end and that Lazlo and Sarai could be together but I’m still kind of bummed by the fact that Sarai is still a ghost who’s bound to Minya. I just hope that they found a world in which they could give her soul a real body gain. Lazlo and her would deserve it! <333

”They could be wrenched apart by Minya, though, at literally any moment, and their hearts felt ragged, frayed by desperation and the thoughtless drub of time.”

”He was careful with her. This wasn’t a time for wildfires. She wanted his dreams and he wanted to draw her into such safety and splendor as only he could make for her, not in the world, but out of it, in their world.”

”She gave words back to him, murmuring, and kept them, too. You could do that: Give them back and keep them. ‘I love you’ is generous that way.”

”Her mind, he meant, knowing in a way that few people do that a mind is a place – a landscape, a wilderness, a city, a world.”

Sarai & Minya & Lazlo:

Sarai shook her head. “I’m not defending him. This isn’t about him. It’s about us, and who we chose to be.”
“You don’t get to choose,” snapped Minya. “You’re dead. And I choose monster!”

To say the relationship between those three was complicated would be an understatement. Sarai still appealed to the good in Minya because she knew it was there buried deep, Lazlo tried to persuade Minya to do the right thing because he was too pure to comprehend such cruelty and Minya. Well, she loved Sarai but she wanted to get her revenge so badly that she would have sacrificed her in a heartbeat. >_< And after all Minya put them through, after all the cruelty and pain this precious snowflake of a boy still shielded her with his own body when they were attacked by Nova. I can’t! I just can’t! Lazlo is an angel, a saint, a unicorn! I think Minya only realized how much Sarai meant to her when she almost died because of Nova. Up to that point it was some sort of game for her, because she was always in control of it, but once she lost that control she finally realized she’d lose Sarai too. They all broke my heart. T_T

”Lazlo didn’t think. He just moved. He grabbed her from behind and turned away, holding her like a doll against him. His linen shirt stretched taut across his shoulders as he curled over her to shield her with his body. To shield her with his own body.”

”We have to get to the citadel!” she insisted. “I just have to touch it. We just have to get alongside it and touch it.”
Sarai knelt in front of her. “It means so much that you still want to save me,” she said, her eyes filling up with tears. Minya’s eyes filled, too.

Ruza & Thyon:

”He looks like somebody made him, and delivered him in a velvet-lined box. He probably plucks his eyebrows. I don’t know how you could possibly find that attractive.”

AWWWWWW!!! Those two! I never saw this ship coming but I’m so on board with it! <333 I mean Ruza literally compared Thyon to “a new linen napkin that you’re afraid to wipe your mouth on”. *LOL* Like seriously!!! It’s so obvious! And Thyon saying he should keep his mouth away from him. Ahhhh!!! Also let’s not forget that Ruza bandaged his hands! So sweet! I never thought I’d ship Thyon with anyone, but Ruza and he were just too cute! ❤ There were so many little moments between them and the fact they always blushed was just adorable. I think I need a third “Strange the Dreamer” book just to see where this might go! XD I’d be totally down for a book about their relationship and I really hope Laini is thinking about it right now. *lol*

”He did one more thing before heading on to the stable. He hit up the first aid boy for a packet of bandages. He hadn’t known a grown man could have hands soft enough to blister and rip after a few hours hauling rope. The alchemist hadn’t complained, though, and he hadn’t quit. That was something, anyway. No reason he should keep getting blood all over the rope.”

”It’s your holy book,” he’d pointed out. “Do you want to get greasy fingerprints all over it?”
“I’ll get greasy fingerprints all over you,” the warrior had muttered, going to do as he was told. Thyon flushing, had pretended not to hear.

”The more fool him, to think he was part of this group. He pushed back from the table to stand, but before he could, Ruza’s hand closed on his. He still wasn’t looking at him, but he had caught his hand so he couldn’t walk away. Thyon stared at his fingers enclosed in Ruza’s as though they belonged to some stranger. He hardly even registered the feeling. It was too alien. No one had ever held his hand.”

”He looked at him and saw the child he’d been, and he saw the man he was – warrior, prankster, friend – and he felt a warmth that he had never felt before for any other person. It was affection, and something that frightened him, too, that he could feel in his knees and fingertips and face.

He said, “I’m sure there are real dragons out there somewhere. You can hatch one from an egg and raise it to be your loyal steed.”
Ruza’s whole face lit up. “Do you really think so?”
“Out of hundreds of worlds?” said Thyon. “It would be stranger if there weren’t dragons.”

Azareen & Eril-Fane:

”After that her days were a fog, and real life was lived at night in a secret cavern with a sword in her hand, blade dancing with a boy who burned with beautiful fire.”

It was really nice to find out about how Azareen and Eril-Fane fell in love, but it was also painful to get a closer look at how the gods destroyed them. They were good and decent people and then Isagol and Skathis came for them and changed the course of their lives forever. Poor Eril-Fane and poor Azareen. They both would have deserved a happy life together but the gods had come to torture them and there was nothing they could have done. It’s no wonder Eril-Fane killed them all. He just didn’t see any other way and only realized what he had done when it was already too late. They made him a monster and he could never escape his past. I grieved so much with them and I’m so glad that they found to each other in the end. ❤ They deserve a bright future and after all their suffering they finally got a chance at happiness.

”Every time he looked at Azareen, he had to face the knowledge that his inability to… get over… what had been done to him – and what he had done – had robbed her of the life she deserved. To hear the word sorry from her lips… it made him want to die.”

”It didn’t matter if the feelings were his, or if she put them in him. Either way, they were real, and they would rule over him for the next three years, and all the years that came after.”

4

“Muse of Nightmares” went in an entirely different direction than I anticipated and I never saw any of those events coming. I certainly didn’t expect this book to be so dark and to fill me with so much despair but that’s exactly what happened. I was a nervous wreck throughout the entire story and to read this was really stressful. Still, it might have been different than the first book but Laini Taylor’s writing style is impeccable and I just love this world and its characters! ❤

Allgemein, P, P - T, Reviews

Review: Prodigy (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten


“All it takes is one generation to brainwash a population and convince them that reality doesn’t exist.”

First of all I have to say: This was amazing!!!
I mean boy! I really thought I knew in which kind of direction this was heading but then Marie Lu apparently decided to throw me for a loop and after finishing “Prodigy” I don’t even know how to feel about … well, anything and everything! Seriously, I’m totally blown away by this ending because I DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING!!!! O_o

But then again there were a lot of things in this book I didn’t see coming and there were some chapters that had me put down the book in order to process what just happened. I mean I kind of felt like a hound: Certain I’d catch my prey but then thrown off the trail because aforementioned prey was clever and decided to walk into the river to cover its tracks. *lol*

So yes, there were a lot of things I never saw coming and there were some things I saw from miles away. XD It was the mixture of both that kept me engaged throughout the entire book and I really can’t wait to read the third and last book. Because I don’t know if I mentioned it already but I’M NOT OKAY WITH THAT FREAKING ENDING!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!! I need Marie Lu to rewrite that ending in the next book or to idk work miracles?! *lol* Just, do something Marie!!! Please!! Don’t let that ending stand! And no, you’re not witnessing a mental breakdown, just a person who’s having words with its sanity. ;-P

Anyway… I have thoughts! PLENTY of them so let’s get them all out of my system!

2

Welcome to the Colonies where we treat strangers with kindness until we stab them with spoilers in their backs! ;-P So if you want to enjoy our marvellous land you better prepare yourself for the painful pleasure of being spoiled. XD

June Iparis:

”They act like I’m some sort of untamed weapon – and in a way, I guess that’s true. The irony of it all makes me want to laugh. Day is a Republic soldier on board the RS Dynasty, and I am the Republic’s most valuable captive. We’ve switched places.”

I think the most interesting thing about “Prodigy” was that June is totally out of her depth. XD  There’s only so much you can learn at a military academy and even though they taught her everything about weapons and war strategy they certainly missed out on teaching her about love and human interactions. *lol* This said, I had a lot of fun watching her squirm while she tried to navigate those dangerous waters she suddenly found herself in. ;-P Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a June fan: I mean she’s one of those cool tough people that know exactly with which kind of weapon they are threatened and she’s definitely one of those really rare kick-ass heroines! It was nice to see more of her human side though and I really enjoyed those moments. I think she grew a lot during this book and the hard decisions she had to make only shaped her even more as a person. So yeah, I’m really curious about the June in “Champion”.  =)

”The soldiers point their guns at me (Model XM-2500, 700m range, smart rounds, can shoot through two layers of cement), then haul me to my feet. During the train ride, I’d watched these two soldiers with such intensity that their nerves must be completely shot by now.”

”Love is illogical, love has consequences – I did this to myself, and I should be able to take it. So take it, June.”

”How could I possibly think that we’d never suffer the consequences of what I’d done to him? How could I be so arrogant to assume it would all work out for us in the end, that my doing a couple of good deeds could make up for all the pain I caused him?”

Daniel “Day” Altan Wing:

”He holds me with his gaze. It’s hard to describe Day to those who have never seen him before – exotic, unique, overwhelming.“

And this is the moment when I go all NOOOOOOOOOO!!! NO, NO, NO, NOOO!!! Like just NOOOO!!! How could you do this to my precious baby Marie??!!! I won’t accept that ending, I won’t, I won’t, I won’t!!! ADKFASDFJASKDFAJS! *takes a deep breath* Okay, I’m fine now. *lol* So now that I got that out of my system I can finally concentrate on the important things like for instance why Marie Lu thought it a good idea to give MY Day a terminal disease!!! *holds in another scream* I’m so not okay with that ending and I really hope Marie will undo that in the next book, because I really can’t with this. I just can’t. Day already suffered enough! He lost his mother, his brother, his father, he can’t lose Tess, June and his life now too. >_< This broke my heart so much because he just deserves better. He’s the light and hope of so many people, yet he never gets some of that light and hope for himself. The irony is just too much. Also his self-doubts and fear of not being enough for June just about killed me. He’s the most precious, pure and beautiful soul and no one can compete with him! All I want is to see my precious snowflake happy. *sniff* T_T

”I suddenly feel so stupid for telling her that I love her, as if I’d be able to make her love me in return like some common girl from the streets. She didn’t say it back, anyway.
Why do I even care? It shouldn’t hurt this much. Should it? Don’t I have more important stuff to worry about?”

”I want to run. To do what I always do, have always done, for the last five years of my life. Escape, flee into the shadows. But this time, I stand my ground. I’m tired of running.”

”I’ve been starved, beaten, and humiliated. I’ve been tortured, insulted, and suppressed. I’ve lived in the slums with you. I’ve risked my life for you. And you’ve risked your lives for me. We have risked our lives for our country – not the country we live in now, but the country we hope to have. You are all, every single one of you, a hero.“

”I can’t describe the emotions on his face – something lost, something ripped from his gaze and strewn across the floor. A deep, quiet sadness that tears me apart. What’s going through Day’s mind?”

Anden – The Elector:

”You and Day are the most celebrated people in the Republic. If I can form an alliance with you both, I can win the people. Then instead of quelling rebellions and trying to keep things from falling apart, I can concentrate on implementing the changes this country needs.”

Mhmm I still don’t know how to feel about Anden. He’s obviously either a really good guy or a remarkable actor. *lol* I have no doubt that his moves were all calculated, the question is if they were truly based on his beliefs or if he only did what he had to because he knew he couldn’t hold the country all by himself. For me his character is still a question mark and I hope to find out more about his real motivations in “Champion”. Considering that June will work so closely with him I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see a lot of Anden in the next book though. Let’s just hope it will be something good. XD

”Well, do you think your father’s policies worked?” I ask quietly.
Anden lowers his head. He searches for the right words. “How can I answer that? His policies did work. The Trials did make our armies stronger. Does that make what he did right, though? I think about it all the time.“

3

June & Day:

”We’re in this together, right?” he whispers. “You and me? You want to be here, yeah?”
There’s guilt in his questions. “Yes,” I reply. “I chose this.”
Day pulls me close enough for our noses to touch. “I love you.”

I can’t believe June never said it to him too!!! WHY JUNE!!?? I guess I should be happy for her being responsible and not acting on a whim but urgh, if a boy like Day confesses his love to you and you feel the same way then you should tell him! >_<  No wonder he thought she fancied Anden, especially after the thoughtless remark she made about Day’s ring. How is that poor boy to know how she feels if she doesn’t open her mouth and tells him? I could understand Day’s fears and frustrations… And I really didn’t like the kind of direction this book took, because Anden as a possible love interest for June made everything so much worse. Poor Day! My first thought when they parted ways was: No, don’t separate! It won’t be good for your love and I guess I was right. T_T Well, and there was still that huge “Sword of Damocles” – aka June being responsible for Day’s mum and brother dying – hanging over their heads. I’m glad they talked it out though and that it was addressed as an issue! It would have been unrealistic if it would have never become a problem between them so I have to give Marie kudos for that. There were so many things that killed me but one of the most memorable moments was June being so tender to sleeping and injured Day at the beginning of the book. I remember writing an update and thinking that it’s so sad he doesn’t know she’s so tender with him and then near the ending when June was ill he did the same for her because he actually noticed. I’m still not over it and my heart aches!!!! <333 Plus THAT ENDING!!! T_T *goes into a corner and cries*

Engagements? My heart flutters in my chest. I can’t help smiling. “With paper clip rings?”
Oh no. I’d meant it as an honest question of curiosity, but don’t realize I sound sarcastic until the words are already out of my mouth.
Day blushes a little; I’m immediately angry at myself for slipping up again. “With something handmade,” he corrects me after a beat.

”I’d almost forgotten how his touch makes me feel. I want to fall into the purity that is Day, soaking in his simple honesty, his heart that sits open and beating on his sleeve.”

”That’s not fair, Day. I didn’t choose to be born into this. I never wanted to hurt your family –“
“Well, you did.” I feel myself tremble and fall apart under his glare. “You led the soldiers right to my family’s door. You’re the reason they’re dead.“

”Don’t go, I plead wordlessly. But I can taste the good-bye on his lips and now I can no longer hold back my tears. He’s trembling. His face is wet. I hang on to him like he’ll disappear if I let go, like I’ll be left alone in this dark room, standing in the empty air. Day, the boy form the streets with nothing except of the clothes on his back and the earnestness in his eyes, owns my heart.”

June & Anden:

”My initial distaste wavers – this new thought intrigues me. Anden must be very aware of his poor public reputation. Perhaps he’s hoping for the people’s support. If that’s the case, then he’s taking pains to do something that our last Elector cared little about.”

I don’t ship it. Not at all. Just look how June described kissing Day vs. Anden. I’d take Day over Anden any day! (pun totally not intended *lol*) Their relationship has something so sterile about it and I don’t want June to be with Anden. He’s too polished, too posh, too artificial and too composed. There’s no passion! So a definite nope from me! If they end up together it’s only because they both will gain political influence through their relationship and that’s the wrong reason to be with someone. >_< Enough said!

”With Day, there’s a fire and a hunger between us, even anger, some deep desperation and need. With Anden, though, the kiss is all delicacy and refined grace, aristocratic manners, power, and elegance. Pleasure and shame wash through me.”

Tess & Day:

”Trust me, Day. I’m saying this for your sake. June will break your heart. I can see it already. She’ll shatter you into a million pieces.”

And here’s another relationship development I hated. Not that I didn’t see that one coming, I actually did, I still wasn’t happy with it though. I suppose it’s just natural Tess fell in love with Day or developed some crush on him. He saved her life and helped her to survive so he’s automatically a hero in her eyes. Also let’s not forget that she’s 13 and he’s 15. The age difference isn’t as prominent as some people might think it to be. Still, Tess is like Day’s little sister and he can’t see her as anything else. I really hated Tess’s jealousy and I was so sad when they argued and parted ways. I just hope Tess will come around and realise her mistakes. >_< Day needs his little sister now! Badly!! T_T

”June can do anything she wants to the Republic, and they’ll take her back too.” Tess raises her voice. “Whenever June needs something, she gets results, but my needs aren’t worth a bucket of pig’s blood. Maybe if I were the Republic’s darling, you’d care about me too.”

Metias & Thomas:

”I’m a soldier of the Republic. When I joined the military I took an oath to obey my superiors’ orders at all costs. Metias took the same oath, and he broke it.”

Remember when I wondered about Thomas’s true motives in my review of “Legend”? Oh well, I can say that I’m shocked now. O_O He actually killed Metias because he was being a good soldier. I can’t believe he murdered him. Especially after the revelation that Metias was in love with him. I have no idea if Thomas reciprocated his feelings but OMG!!! I never saw that one coming and believe me when I say that Metias deserved so much better than THAT! To be killed by the person you love. IT. BREAKS. MY. HEART! T_T I think that makes Thomas the worst friend ever and I hope his vacation to hell is already booked! Poor precious Metias. *sniff*

”I did care for him, you know,” he says through my silence. He pretends bravado, some false professionalism. Still, I hear a tinge of sadness. “But I am also a soldier of the Republic. I did what I had to do.”

”I remember how patient and gentle Metias was when explaining things to Thomas. The way his hand would touch Thomas’s shoulder. The night when I’d eaten edame at that cafe with Thomas and Metias, when Metias first stopped shadowing Chian. The way Metias’s hand would sometimes rest on Thomas’s arm for a beat longer than it had to.”

4

“Prodigy” went in an entirely different direction than I expected, but it was still awesome! I guess I probably should have expected Marie Lu to pull such a stunt because she always manages to surprise me and loves to shake things up. XD Still, I’m not okay with that ending and I sincerely hope that it will be altered in the next book. Marie, please! Work your magic and throw me for another loop!