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Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
on October 6th 2015
Genres: Magical Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 522
Format: Paperback

23734628

 

Reaction upon Reading: I need more!


“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”


Synopsis:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.


“Just when you think you’re having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.”


Likes:

  • Rowell doesn’t treat you as if you are a dumb reader
    • There is no back and forth between what we need to know about Watford, it is straight into the guts of the story! 
    • We don’t need to recap the previous seven years to get an understanding of these characters
  • I can see how you some readers may initially think this is merely a spin off of Harry Potter
    • I thought this for the first 20% of the book
    • Simon Snow is a much darker and snarkier ‘chosen one’  
  • Multiple Perspectives
    • How do I feel about them?
    • ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
    • Seriously one of my favourite elements of writing 
  • The element of suspense and mystery Rowell is able to maintain throughout the whole book
    • Having read Fangirl we already know that “Simon and Baz” are a “thing”…but who is going to initiate this “thing” and when is it going to happen?!
  • Simon is the ultimate anti-hero
    • You can’t help but root for him.
  • Each character becomes more complex as the novel progresses
    • Which is refreshing to read a multiple perspective where every character is crucial to the plot line
  • The pacing was perfect
    • I was never bored or frustrated once – I almost devoured the book in one sitting – the only reason I didn’t was because it was 5am when I put it down and I thought I should maybe have a little bit of sleep.
  • I loved the similarities this has with Harry Potter, but I would say it runs parallel to it and is not a direct copy (like many believe)
    • The spells are silly and at times downright hilarious 
    • The chosen one is ‘broken and damaged’ 
    • Where there vampires in Harry Potter? Nope and I just love Baz! 

Dislikes:

  • That the Simon Snow series is not real
  • Agatha was kind of annoying – Who wants to run away from Simon Snow and the world of magic? Silly girl.

“It’s like being a fairy named Mary,” he goes on. “Or a vampire named Gampire,” I say. “Gampire isn’t even a proper name, Snow. You’re terrible at this game.”


Overall feelings:

This is my third Rainbow Rowell book and it is hands down my favourite! I was so nervous to read this because so many people love it and I always find books fall short of the hype. This did not!

It was so refreshing, I felt an immediate connection with these magical characters. I just loved everything. My overall feelings are happiness and glee. 

If I could draw then this book would be the inspiration for all my bookish drawings. I want to draw the characters, the settings, the events, the quotes…Oh I want to be able to draw so badly. I spent a few hours on Tumblr and Pinterest looking at peoples amazing artwork inspired by the book. Jealousy was high during those few hours.

This is a book I am going to recommend to all my friends. Thank you Rainbow Rowell you are fast becoming one of my favourite authors.


Do you need to read Fangirl first, in order to understand Carry On? No absolutely not!

Should you read Fangirl first before reading Carry On? Yes…You should be going to do that now!


“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.”


cvf


What did you think of this book?

Leave a comment below.

Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 640

17927395

Reaction Upon Reading: This book gets all the stars in the Night Court…oh and Tamlin is literally the worst!


“My mate. Death incarnate. Night triumphant.”


This is my most anticipated release for 2016. I was absolutely obsessed with ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ all of last year and I have been just dying to get my hands on this book. I am still waiting for it to arrive in the post, but I couldn’t resist grabbing the e-book to read in the mean time.

My goal is to savour this book. I want to take my time and pull it apart layer by layer. Lets be real though I am probably going to devour it in one sitting. 

In between reading ACOTAR and ACOMAF, I read the entire ‘Throne of Glass’ series. I am coming into reading this book aware of many things Sarah J. Maas does as a writer. To say am I nervous is an understatement. Maas has a way of making you feel one way and then punching you in the gut with all the feels and flipping everything upside down and inside out.


“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”


Likes:

  • The pacing of this story was perfect
    • We start with watching Feyre struggle to have some semblance of normalcy after the events that transpired under the mountain. We see her struggle to find who she is and the door that Rhysand opens up for her to be more than she already is. 
  • The book had more heartache, love, conflict, villains and explicit scenes.
    • The explicit scenes threw me through a loop, I was not expecting such detail. But hey…I ain’t complaining! 
  • I was super worried this book was going to be a love triangle, which is one of my most hated book tropes. Thankfully this isn’t even close to that. Tamlin is out and Rhysand is in. 
  •  Rhysand
    • A man from the Northern most part of Prythian desribe as – Mountain, darkness, stars and death
    • Wings – Can I touch them?
    • His banter with Feyre and the outright flirting
    • He values Feyre for more than just her power. He allows her to be strong and powerful. I love that he isn’t threatened by her at all.
  • The members of the Night Court are all characters I found myself rooting for
    • I could happily read trilogies and series that follow their lives and pathways once this adventure is over
    • Maas has developed them all to complex characters that I am sure we will still be learning more about in the next book. I personally loved Azriel. 
  • FEYRE HAS ALL THE POWERS 

Dislikes:

  • I am currently in a book depression
    • I have picked up 3 different books and tried to read the first chapter *sighs deeply*
  • How am I expected to wait an entire year for the next book!?!
  • Sarah J. Maas is evil…she makes you love a character and then hate them more than you could have ever imagined. She sends you on a roller-coaster of pain and feels. I didn’t want to hate Tamlin, but I really do.

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.” Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”


Reactions, Ramblings and Questions:

  • I just need it to be known that at the start of this book I am rooting for Tamlin. I have a prediction that by about 2/3 of the way through I will be begging for my Rhysand.
    • Maas has this way of making you feel for these characters and then just flips it all upside down and the wrong way around. I mean…I was team Chaol and then hellllooooo Rowan! *sigh* 
  • I don’t entirely trust Ianthe. Something is off and I don’t like it.
  • Lucien’s story he shared with Feyre about seeing his family butchered is horrific.
    • He is the right amount of friend and enforcer. He doesn’t tell her what she wants to hear, he lets his silence do a lot of the communicating and always steers her onto the right path. I hope he finds a new mate. 
  • If Tamlin and Feyre are not mates then someone is going to take his place. I hate this uncertainty that Maas makes you feel.
  • Feyre is clearly miserable!
    • Does Tamlin even care?
    • Is she just his prize?
    • When will Rhysand come and claim his time with her?
    • Will she owe him the month of time she has not yet given?
  • I just knew Rhysand was going to show up as she walked down the aisle
    • I want to say predictable but I think I am more excited 
  • Feyre might not want to show curiosity about the bond, but I want to bloody well know!
  • I am already in love with Feyre’s and Rhysand’s banter #perfection
  • She got him with the shoe! I am actually laughing out loud.
  • WAR IS COMING
  • I knew Ianthe was shady!
  • I miss Lucien
    • I don’t miss Tamlin though, I can now see why he and Feyre were never going to work 
  • I am just over waiting patiently for the undeniable chemistry between Rhysand and Feyre to erupt
  • I love the Night Court…it is waaaaaaay cooler than the Spring Court
  • Is she going to paint again?
  • I need this to be a movie
  • What is Tamlin up to at home that Lucien needs Feyre to return for?
  • Lucien you have let me down in this book. I thought you were a friend.
  • Part Three is life!
  • I KNEW THEY WERE MATES
    • Totally called that in book 1! 
  • Feyre really needs to get out of this pity party, it’s getting exhausted to read how broken she thinks she is
  • The Suriel is a creature I struggle to picture
  • This book is so much more explicit than the first
  • Where is Miss Ianthe now?
  • What about the whole blood ruby situation? I know that is coming back to bite someone!
  • Will Lucien help Feyre?
    • He better, I need his character to have some redemption 

“When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.”


Favourite Character:

Rhysand

The character you thought was bad turned out to be so deep and layered in pain, compassion and love. How can you not be team Rhysand?! Even when he made dumb decisions…and yes he made them! You couldn’t help but sympathise with his cause. He wants to eradicate the hierarchy and set everyone on an even playing field. He wants relationships between human and fae to be peaceful. He cares deeply for his inner circle and people. He will stop at nothing to protect those he cares about and his love for Feyre is just *explodes on the spot*.

Everything about him makes me excited for where this series is going. The most powerful lord…wings…Feyre’s mate…his wing span…the list is endless.

Least Favourite Character:

Tamlin and Lucien

I honestly can’t pick which one I despise more. Tamlin viewed Feyre like a prized pet and in turn locked her in a ‘cage’. I believe he loves her but his love is blinded with a need to overpower and protect what he thinks of as his. He refused to listen when she sent the letter explaining she left of her own free will. He has opened up the floodgates for the war between humans and fae. He got very ugly on the inside for me in this book.

Lucien on the other hand was meant to be Feyre’s friend, she begged him for help and support but he allowed and aided Tamlin in his quest for ‘protecting’ her. Lucien was ruled by his fear of Tamlin and not by any kind of moral compass. He knew it was wrong and he did it anyway. I have no time for you Lucien…unless you help Feyre in book 3. Then maybe I can rethink this.


“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”


Overall Thoughts:

It is so nice to go from reading ‘Winter’, where I was skimming and just trying to get through the book to this. I just want to savour every word, sentence, quote and action. I put off reading it numerous nights because I knew I didn’t want it to end. I would think about it all day and then spend all night trying to busy myself so I could only read a small amount. I can tell you, it was a serious struggle to not have this book ruined for me because of status updates on posts on social media. *shakes head*

I am in love with this book, even more than the first one. It is very…very rare the sequel makes me hum with excitement they way this book has done. The overall development and complexity of this book supersedes a 5 star rating. In the first book Feyre is weak and she leans on Tamlin a lot for reassurance and support. In this book she is strong, we see her become a warrior and take control and charge of her own destiny. I felt such a broad range of emotions reading this book. I would do bad things to get my hands on the next book…even for just a glimpse at the title.

I can’t say I am surprised by the ending of this book. I did get a bit panicky because I could see I didn’t have much to go and it was all very tense and full of action. I am excited that they ending is what it was. It is a mixture of nerves and pure evil for what is to come. I seriously look forward to where the next book is heading.


Capture


What did you think of this book?

Leave a comment below

Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Glass Sword

Glass SwordGlass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 9th 2016
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Magical Fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
five-stars

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The unfiltered thoughts, feelings, wonderings and ramblings as I read ‘Glass Sword’


A little break down of the characters:

Mare Barrow (Lightning Girl) – A red/silver

Maven Calore – The little Prince (formerly Mare’s fiance) turned traitorous King

Tiberias Calore VII (Cal) – Prince, betrayed by his brother Maven

Diana Farley – Known leader of the Scarlet Guard (Rebel forces)

Kilorn Warren – Mare’s childhood friend from the Stilts – Fish boy – No powers

Shade Barrow – Mare’s brother –  A red/silver – He is a jumper

Queen Elara – Maven’s biological mother, the woman who killed Cal’s mother – EVIL!

 


Before Reading:

  • I have been waiting soooooo long for this book, it is one of my most anticipated reads of 2016
  • I loved the first book! I had dreams of scenes from the first book, weeks after reading
  • I had to visit the Red Queen Wiki to brush up on the characters and refresh my memory on the book, as it has been ages since I read the first one
  • After reading the Wiki, I got even more excited about reading the book

Run – Fight – Escape – Tuck – Betrayl

Chapter 1 – 5

  • I love not knowing where this book is going to go, there is nothing worse than reading a book and predicting the entire plot line. What makes it even better is that there is so much depth to the characters, you can’t even begin to assume how they will respond to each situation
  • Shade! I forgot about him, he is a red and silver (I just read Golden Son – Red Rising #2 – and this makes me think of their colour class system)
  • Cal sitting quiet and almost peaceful is alarming. What is he plotting? Can he be trusted?
  • Geeeez after that description of what is to come how on Earth can they possibly outrun or survive Maven?
  • What the?! How can Mare sympathise with Maven. It was all an act, he admitted that, how can she think things he told her were his true self shining through? He is a monster!
  • Mare is coming across very self righteous and entitled. I understand her role and important in the red/silver hybrid cause, but calm down you still bleed like the rest. She is basically Katniss/Darrow!
  • OMG Maven using a red army as a shield, shackled together…disgusting
  • Where the hell is Cal during all of this?
  • Maven’s arrogance is painful, please electrocute him Mare
  • Hahaha just laughed so loud, his crown is too big and fell down – why did Mare not make a snarky comment, oh I wish she had made him feel pathetic 
  • I am seriously wondering how the heck she is going to get herself out of this situation, I hope Shade does some cool teleporting trick, or even better I hope Cal does something epic
  • This escape plan better work, I thought it was going to be something a little bit more exciting than an underwater boat
  • Julian, I forgot about him, where is he at? 
  • The Scarlet Guard seem so damn sure of themselves, I am with Mare on this one. I’m not sold!
  • An Army of Newbloods – my mind just went straight to Twilight and the newborn vampire army, now it is all I can picture. I wonder if there will be a spin off novella from the perspective of one of the newbloods – that would be quite cool!
  • Team Mare and Cal
  • I am getting sooooooo over Mare talking about how powerful she is. We get it, you make lightning! I liked her better when she was a poor thief, new Mare sucks
  • Omg no Barracks #1 my heart just dropped
  • I hate how everyone is walking on eggshells around Mare – she has been through a lot, give the girl some credit and keep her in the loop or she is going to go all crazy
  • I am feeling quite afraid of the bloody eyed man

What did I think about this book?

I loved this book, as far as sequels go (I always struggle with the 2nd  book) I found this book to be better than the first. There were a lot of things that annoyed me, but it was just so tense and I needed to know what was going to happen next. I liked it more than the first because the plot line was brilliant! I knew a lot about the characters so I didn’t feel like I was having to learn about to many new people, settings or things. The second book had me constantly thinking Who do I trust? Can you trust anyone? When is the next betrayal?

Trust is such a big theme throughout this book. All the characters are going through their own issues with trust and betrayal. Almost everyone has their own story that is sad and shows them in such a human way (good and bad) that I am still asking myself – Who do I trust? 

Victora Aveyard has a beautiful writing style. She has the ability to make you love and hate a character at the same time. I care deeply for a lot of these characters but was also finding myself wishing for them to take a beating or get a taste of humble pie. Victoria sets up these amazing settings for the characters to explore and I think she introduced just the right amount of new without overloading you as the reader. I love how everything is easy to visualise, I didn’t have any one or any place in the book that left me thinking, what does that look like?

I desperately need that third book, and don’t even get me started on the cover art. The cover art for this book is beautiful! I love the way it looks on my bookshelf, it is so hauntingly beautiful and chilling at the same time.


Character Breakdown

Mare Barrow

Mare drove me absolutely nuts throughout this book. Towards the middle I was really starting to not like her. I honestly wanted her to be captured so at least she would have something to really complain about. She was so whiny, cold, manipulative and self righteous. I started to feel differently towards her at the end of the book when other characters called her on it and she started to realise she wasn’t being viewed as a leader, she was something to be feared. However what she did in the prison was despicable and monstrous, it made her no better than Maven. I struggled with what she did and her reaction to it afterward.

View Spoiler »

The selfless decision she made at the end of the book however completely shocked me, I am already thinking and plotting all the ways she can get out of that situation. God the start of book 3 is going to be amazing! Why must I wait so long?


Cal 

Where do I start? I am 100% team Cal. I still don’t know if Cal is good or bad. He did so much on the missions and throughout the story to make you believe he is good. His story is so sad and broken that I want to believe deep down he is good. Arghghghg Victoria what have you done to me? I am basically Mare questioning everyone’s motives even when they have done no wrong. God I hope Cal becomes King.

Cal’s relationship with Mare blinded me a bit, I was surprised he went there. She is a creature of habits and comfort and well really she is just downright selfish. I thought Cal would hold such resentment towards her.


Maven

Maven you little monstrous child. I want to rip your head off.

I can’t talk about Maven!


Farley, Kilorn and Shade

For some reason I didn’t really connect with these three characters. If any of them were to die I wouldn’t be bothered.

View Spoiler »

Minor Characters

Jon

View Spoiler »

Colonel 

Don’t know how to feel about him, I still don’t trust him!

I wonder if we are going to hear more about the backstory for his family?


Newbloods

Love all these guys! Except Cameron, she is annoying. It’s like having two Mare’s – there is only room for one whiny, self-righteous young-in.


Queen Elara

View Spoiler »

Setting

I love every aspect of all the settings in this book. We see so much, the writing style and use of description makes all the settings really easy to visualise. We got experience underground, under the sea, in the sky and numerous on land locations. My favourite settings in this book were definitely the training grounds surrounded by the woods, the Colonel’s chambers and Corres Prison.

I am most interested in the devloping of the Choke and what is going to happen there.

1


Why is this book a 5 star read?

That ending!

This book has just the right amount of plot twists Vs. predictability. Sometime I want to just know that my characters are going to behave in the way I would think of them. In the same breath I also love it when I am blindsided, which can be hard to do given the amount of YA books I read.

Safe to say Victoria Aveyard you have written a brilliant and beautiful book. I am reading for the next one.


Dream Cast

11


Photo Credit: Norta Map // Mare // Maven // Cal

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Golden Son

Golden SonGolden Son by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising #2
Published by Random House on January 6th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
five-stars

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

Bow – Break – Conquer – Ruin


 

Characters

There are so many characters throughout the book that sometimes it is hard to keep track of all of them. There were a few occasions when I had to look back or re-read to work out who someone was. In saying that I want to comment on a few of my favourite characters and those that made say what the heck?!

Darrow (Reaper): ‘In a world of killers, it takes more to be kind than to be wicked.’ – Golden Son, Ch. 11: Red

  • Oh Darrow, where do I begin…
  • Sometimes I love Darrow and his boldness and the way he fights for what he thinks is right
  • Other times Darrow is cocky, arrogant and just asking for trouble
  • He keeps everyone at arms length and then does things that make people hate him, as a leader of such an important cause he plays it like an idiot!
  • I struggle to visualise Darrow – I am not sure why, I just can’t picture him as this big god like man, when his personality is of such a young boy
  • Sometimes it is hard to empathise with Darrow when it feels like he has gone so far from the original vision, especially when he is constantly asking himself ‘What would Eo think?’ – to be honest I think she would be disappointed and upset with him, hell she probably isn’t really dead – PLOT TWIST… if only.

Virginia (Mustang): ‘You can treat your friends like servants and they’ll love you, but you tell them they’re servants and they’ll kill you.’ – Red Rising, Ch. 34: The Northwoods

  • Mustang took what felt like a major backseat throughout this book
  • She is definitely the plotter, she knows how to play the game/people and puts in motion plans that take time
  • The real question is what will she do next? Who does she truly align with?

Adrius (The Jackal):

  • I am not sure how to feel about the Jackal throughout this book.
  • Do I trust him? Do I think he is playing games?
  • I know he is just out for himself, he does everything for his own personal game and has extremely questionable morals, however we saw a much more human side to the Jackal. He did things that I would have considered out of character because they were too nice
  • View Spoiler »
  • Jury is still out on this one, I can’t draw any conclusions on if he is ultimately good or bad

Cassius:

  • View Spoiler »
  • In ‘Red Rising’ it was so easy to love Cassius as Darrow’s right hand man, in ‘Golden Son’ they make it so easy to hate him
  • I struggle with the way he allows his family to go after Darrow, I thought he was smart enough to understand that each of them had to kill someone, it makes him look like a jealous child
  • Overall Cassius is a big dumb jerk!

Sevro: ‘If your heart beats like a drum and your leg’s a little wet, it’s ’cause the Reaper’s come to collect a little debt.’ – Golden Son, Ch. 35: Teatime

  • Sevro is quite possibly my favourite character
  • He is unbelievably loyal
  • I love the way he doesn’t acknowledge hierarchy and just speaks his mind
  • His pack – The Howlers… enough said
  • He is cunning and sneaky, which just makes him all the more entertaining
  • He is hilarious, every time he speaks I am laughing out loud

 

Loves:

  • The scene with Cassius on Luna. Well played!
  • Darrow is the underdog in every single situation he seems to get himself, everyone loves an underdog story
  • The plot twists
    • Even when they leave me feeling sad, mad and utterly gobsmacked
  • The big is completely unpredictable, just when I think I have worked out what has happened the book takes a turn in the complete opposite direction
  • So much carnage! Action, action and more action!

Dislikes:

  • View Spoiler »
  • The idea that Darrow is the one and only person who can possibly change the system. There are so many people behind the scenes support and plotting on Darrow’s behalf. He is kind of like the Katniss, he is the figure head with a vendetta.

Ramblings:

  • The next book is the end of this trilogy and comes out on February 9th
  • I am going to listen to the audio-book instead of reading, knowing me I have probably been reading people’s names and all the Latin wrong
  • This book has sent me into a slight book depression that I am struggling to overcome
  • View Spoiler »


    Why is this a 5?

    I could not put this book down! I am always skeptical when the first book in the series is outstanding, because a lot of the time I find the second book in the series to feel like a filler (Twilight, Throne of Glass). This book just got better and better. There was more deaths, more violence, more deception, more betrayal, more twists and turns, just more everything! The last 20 percent of the book is what sold it as a 5, I was left feeling emotionally drained and desperate to read the next one.

    Bring on Morning Star!


    “For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.” 

    – Pierce Brown, Golden Son


    12

    Photo Credit: Moises Arias // Natalie Dormer // Alex Pettyfer 

    five-stars