First Impressions


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

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?


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 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


View Spoiler »


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?


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 »


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.


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


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

Rating Report
Overall: five-stars

The Start of Me and You Spoilers Ahead

The Start of Me and You Spoilers AheadThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on March 31st 2015
Genres: Realistic Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: E-Book

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

The unfiltered thoughts, feelings, wonderings and ramblings as I read ‘The Start of Me and You’


Before Reading:

  • I hope this isn’t some sappy, predictable completely cliche high school love story
  • I do need a nice quick easy read to get over my ‘Golden Son’ book depression, maybe I could use a little cheese…but only a little!
  • Oh I like the cover, there is water and I love a summer beach romance – guilty pleasure! 
  • Yeeeeeesssss this is a stand alone book, I can’t afford to start another series. I am already way over committed, my TBR shelf is massive!

1st half of book

  • Oh it nice and short, this is coming to the beach with me
  • I am currently reading in my tent, this is the life!
  • Oakhurst, Indiana – Is this a real place? I shall Google
  • Are these kids in High School?! Why are they drinking ice coffee? I am 25 years old and I still don’t drink coffee
  • Hmmm is this one of those ‘Introducing the love interest is way hot and way cool and OMG he notices me’ books?
  • The boyfriend drowns, that’s awful – water is my biggest fear, tugging on my fear strings right now
  • Please don’t use the drowning in some cliche way… Please!
  • Making plans in a planner – Girl after my own heart! 
  • The sister’s name is Cameron, unique and different. I like it
  • Just laughed out loud – J. Crew boys are generic
  • Ugh seating arrangements have put them together and Paige has become a mute – Cliche
  • I like the teacher, brilliant sense of humour
  • Oh goodness…two boys…family members…love triangle is beginning – NO! I AM TOO FAR INVESTED TO TURN BACK – LET IT BE KNOWN I AM MAD RIGHT NOW 
  • Oh no Paige wants Ryan, can she not see Max is ticking all her nerdy, grammar girl boxes?
    • Side note: Ryan did show positivity in the face of sadness in the middle of the supermarket, so he still has some brownie points in his favour
  • Is the QuizBowl the Super Bowl of quizzes? I want an example question so that I can understand how daunting this event is
  • Oh Cameron you just lost point, you little annoying, pain in the butt sibling. Then you couldn’t even admit you were wrong #Selfish
  • Was that little friend fight necessary?!?
  • Max doesn’t come across as good looking, how is she meant to pick him over Ryan – Yes I know, completely shallow. I need more charm and wit and less dorky
  • Ooooooooh a swim metaphor, well that backfired
  • Oh no, Ryan asked about Tessa – she is playing hard to get, claims she doesn’t care, so predictable, she definitely cares
  • Silly silly girl, why did you like to your bestie?! Now you can’t get mad at her she decides to pursue him – which she will because if I haven’t stated it enough, this book is so unbelievably predictable. I would like a plot twist please
  • Friendship cuddles are the best kind of cuddles – cue to the warm fuzzies
  • Max just earned some major brownie points, when other boys his age would be trying to hook up, he is being the utmost gentleman and supportive friend. What a rarity


I have hit the halfway mark of the book, because I am halfway I am going to finish it. Goodreads has this rated at 4.06, which in all my past experience means it’s good. I am hoping for something left field to happen because right now it is full of teenage cliches and I feel like I could predict the end game for every character.


2nd half of the book:

  • Cue the hospital scene
  • Of course Max told Tessa…he is damn thoughtful
  • Am I meant to not like Paige’s mum? She annoys me, way to overbearing. Can’t you see you have an amazing well rounded child? Let that leash about a bit please mumma bear
  • I like Paige’s dad he seems super mellow and cruisey
  • It’s nice that the author chose to make Clark (Max’s bully) turn into someone humble and quiet while dealing with the loss of his close friend. It would have been so cliche to have him turn into a monster with no empathy
  • I feel like a book loving traitor for having never read any of Jane Austen’s work, which means I don’t get the references and jokes – I would really like to understand in more depth the characters they refer too
  • He doesn’t miss Coventry because he has you – Duh!
  • I love the beginner’s mind concept – I feel like it’s such a positive way to enter all situations, how could you ever be let down?! Brilliant
  • Kisses on the cheek…lame…welcome to the friend zone – Awkward
  • He dressed up as Harry Potter every Halloween. Ugh Max marry me! Team Max!
  • I wish all guys had such sound and knowledgeable advice like Max.
  • I really hope Paige gets into the screen writing programme and her mum isn’t a total overprotective monster
  • Oh god please don’t crash Tessa’s car
  • Phew home safe – thanks for not taking the book there and making it always a friendship drama
  • Another drowning metaphor – geez Max think about
  • Paige let it go! He clearly likes Tessa. I hate awkward and embarrassing moments in real life, on screen and in books. I can feel one coming on and I am already cringing in anticipation
  • I love Paige’s grandma
  • I love Tessa and Paige’s friendship. It is full of support and kindness. Every girl needs a bestie like that. Tessa seems like the kinda girl that would kick ass for you!
  • There is a shift in the force…Ryan is taking a backseat to Max, finally…hopefully
  • I don’t get why a Paige still has the goal in her planner (Date RC) when she knows her feelings towards Max have changed. I feel panicked one of them is going to find it and then hello awkward moment
  • Good on Max. Instead of Paige having to face her fear in front of all her peers so can do it in front of Max – Who obviously cares very deeply for her
  • Oh no!
  • Awe that was harsh Paige. Not fair and really cruel, he isn’t going to like you after that one. He had the best intentions and you just build a giant castle around yourself – let people in!
  • Hahaha silly Paige. Mums don’t miss a thing and chlorine has an extremely strong smell
  • OMG My heart melted when Clark called Paige in memory of Aaron’s birthday
  • A sharing moment in the car – love it
  • I am surprise Paige’s friends aren’t going to support her at the QuizBowl, even if Paige assures them its going to be boring, seems out of character for them
  • That’s more like it, I knew they had to be there for support
  • I feel like Tessa is about to get all up in Paige’s grill about the Max situation. The other girls are defending Paige and Tessa is saying nothing
  • She got in! Woop
  • She is finally over her Ryan crush, thank God!
  • Ok Max come back into the picture now, you two need to talk
  • I don’t understand why Max could possible want or need space from Paige – They were both idiots and she has apologised, ugh teenagers
  • Sister Bonding! –  I should celebrate this given the circumstances, but I feel like a new chapter is beginning for Paige
  • “It doesn’t matter how we became friends” – Oh no did he see her planner?! How does he know? Paige he knows!
  • Of course everyone wants you to be happy Paige – people aren’t sadists 
  • I love Post Secret
  • Love her secret
  • Love his secret
  • Chase him, find him, tell him!
  • Kiss time
  • The End

After reading feels:

This book was a very easy read. Overall it was extremely predictable and full of a lot of high school cliches, which at times I struggled with but at other stages of the book it worked. This is a book I would recommend if you wanted something quick that didn’t require much thinking to take on holiday. I liked the characters and the overall growth of Paige and her friends.

I am still surprised this is rated so highly on Goodreads. I gave it a 3, I couldn’t give it a 4 because there was no theme, message, character or plot line that stuck out as being poignant or original. Even with the deaths and dealing with loss I struggled to connect with the characters or feel anything. For a book that was meant to touch on serious issues it felt very light.



“It means trying to approach new experiences with no preexisting judgments. You always go in as a beginner, even if you’re not. That way, you’re open to anything that happens”

“There are only two kinds of people: best friends and everyone else”

“Knowing what happens is different from knowing how it happens. And the getting there is the best part.”

“It had taken so long to glue the share of my heart back together, and I just couldn’t afford to give any pieces away”

“Paige Elizabeth, you are allowed to be sad, but you are not allowed to be a defeatist” – Grandma


Photo Credit: Max // Paige

Rating Report
Overall: three-stars