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Every Heart A Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
on April 5th 2016
Genres: Magical Fantasy
Pages: 173

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Reaction Upon Reading: Weird and Wonderful


“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”


Synopsis:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.


“She was a story, not an epilogue.”


After the first chapter I was hooked. The description and world building of other realms/doorways enticed me to read more.I enjoyed the quirky characters I had already met and I immediately needed to know if Nancy would ever make it back to the Halls of the Dead. 

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“You want to go back, and so you hold on to the habits you learned while you were traveling, because it’s better that admitting the journey’s over.”


Likes:

  • A quick read
    • Don’t mistake this for being a light read. It was exciting and gritty. It was quick because it was short and I devoured it.
  • The Halls of the Dead
    • I find the realms they have been to so interesting and captivating.
    • I could read stories set in all of the realms. I love the way they are described and different characters fit into each of them.
  • Nancy
    • She is asexual
    • I love the world she came from; the idea of her being a still statue is so intriguing.
    • I need to know more about what happens next for her and her time in the Halls of the Dead.
  • Kade
    • Kade is the boy who lives in the attic. He went to fairyland and killed a Goblin King. He was once a little girl snatched by fairies and now he is a very good looking boy. The fairies were tricked because he’s transgender. Ummm how can you not love that whole set up? 
  • This books includes a lot of gender/sexuality expressions
  • The book is equal parts comical to serious.
    • One minute Sumi is talking about masturbating and the next minute people are dying.
  • There is a strong theme of belonging
    • All the kids just want to go back to the world they belong to
    • All these words are extremely different and tethered to each person’s emotional need/s
    • I wonder what my world would look like?
  • The ending is open…because there is another book!

Dislikes:

  • I found the directions extremely confusing – Logic || Nonsense || Virtue || Wicked
    • On top of all of that whimsy and wild are like minor directions
  • The cover
    • I feel like they could have done a much better job on this. 

“You’re nobody’s rainbow.
You’re nobody’s princess.
You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”


Reactions, Questions and Ramblings:

  • The school appears to be one thing but its not
    • Like Hogwarts and Camp Half Blood
    • Can I go?
  • The description of Nancy is to die for
    • Bone white hair, black pants, black boots, pale ice eyes and a pink daisy suitcase
  • Not sure I am a fan of the name Nancy. It isn’t a name that makes me think “Oh she is going to be a badass.”
  • I think I would be a perplexed if some strange woman was asking me if I was from another world, but thankfully not the kind with vampires… umm what the?!
  • Why is the ‘now’ not real?
  • What’s this nonsense about doors?
  • Nancy went to the halls of the dead – that doesn’t sound good.
  • am genuinely intrigued by this book. I think the description is bang on. I feel like I am there. I have such a vivid picture of the house and the other ‘realms’.
  • I think I would like Wicked and Wild
  • What do we think about Eleanor the headmistress of the school…I haven’t made my mind up out this yet.
  • What has happened to Sumi?
    • Time to start putting together some outlandish theories. 
  • Do we trust Jack and Jill?
    • Which one is telling the truth about their time ‘away’?
    • I think I trust Jack more than Jill. Jill seems shifty.
  • Who decides who gets to go back?
    • Obviously Nancy is going to be different. The chosen one?
  • I like how matter of fact this author writes the events that transpire
    • “Angela’s scream sent the crow flapping off into the morning sky. It didn’t wake Loriel.”
    • We already knew Loriel was dead but the author reminds you in a way the shows finality. I like that.
  • Why is everyone dying? Is the lord from the halls of the dead returned and looking for his bride?
  • So far this person has taken hands and eyes. Are they building a body to enter all the realms…oh god!
  • World Walkers
    • I like that analogy
  • I’m beginning to suspect Lundy doesn’t want anyone to return through their doors. Do we trust her? I think we have to trust her because Eleanor does.
  • Jack was with the mad scientist and slept on a autopsy table while Jill lived with the vampire dressing pretty and killing the town’s children. I don’t know who had it worst?
  • Where was Loriel pointing because we all know it wasn’t into thin air!
  • And it all clicks into place.
  • OMG I need the next book!!!

“Doors opened everywhere. Maybe one day, the children of this world who had gone to that world to save themselves would see a door that didn’t fit right with the walls around it, something with a doorknob made of a moon, or a knocker that winked. Maybe they could still go home,”


Overall Thoughts:

This book was so odd and charming.

How do you sum up a book that is equal parts dark and twisted mixed together with rainbows and fairies?

Basically you can’t.

I am so in love with it I have already jumped onto Book Depository and ordered the hardback edition. I am close to giving it 5 stars and I may still change my rating. I’m just so precious with my 5 star ratings. I tend to reserve them for the creme dela creme of fiction.

In a nut shell…I love the world building. I thought the characters were well developed and complex. I want to read more.

Side note: I didn’t know this was a series?! Woooop.


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What did you think of this book?

Leave a comment below.

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

Carry On

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

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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

Queen of Shadows

Queen of ShadowsQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 1st 2015
Genres: Magical Fantasy
Pages: 648
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
four-stars

I am going to keep this review short because unfortunately I am not feeling all the positive about the book, and nobody wants to read a giant rant!

This book took me so unbelievably long to finish. I have been attempting to read it for over a month. I think I may have burnt myself out of Fantasy stories – I don’t know, but for whatever reason I struggled to get into this book, yet I love, love, love the series!

I felt like this book was a slow start, it wasn’t till I was about 65% through the book, that I found myself hooked and not wanting to put it down. Which is giving it way more than the 100 page rule, but because I know Sarah J. Maas is a goddess of story telling I had to stick it out. What makes me sad is I loved the third book so much, that I just assumed it was going to be just as good and sadly for me it wasn’t.

There were definitely changes in characters that I hated, but then some characters were developed and I felt like they grew as I turned the pages, that I was feeling proud of them.


 

Loves:

  • Manon
    • I am loving her character, she surprises, makes me laugh and I love her attitude
    • Is it wrong that I love Manon more than Celaena/Aelin?? 
    • View Spoiler »
  • Plot twists!
    • She is queen of these. Always a surprise lurking in each chapter
  • Lysandra
    • View Spoiler »
  • Every woman in this series is strong and powerful, they don’t need a supporting male – which is just so refreshing to read. No one is a damsel in distress, they make their own path
  • View Spoiler »
  • View Spoiler »

 

Dislikes

  • The change in Cealena and Chaol’s relationship
    • How can he look at her like she is a monster after the life she has led?
    • She had no choices but to survive, she finally tries to take back some semblance of who she is and he gets all righteous about it – Chaol I have left your team!
    • I know this got a lot better towards the end, but they went from being such a great companionship to what seems like acquaintances brought together by their “love” of Dorian
    • Who is Chaol in this book? This can’t be the same character I loved and adored in the previous books. I don’t like this new Chaol at all.
  • The slow pace of the book
    • The action didn’t really start until the last third of the book
    • The book just felt way to long for the events that transpired – So many hours invested!
  • Elide – Where do I begin… this character is obviously going to be important and I am not sure if I am looking forward to this or dreading it. She came across as this weak, sniveling, sad sack of human.

 

I so  badly wanted to give this book a 5, because overall the series is a 5 star series. But I just can’t do it, the slow pacing of the story let it down for me. I feel like this book was a set up for an action packed book 5. I really hope so!

The trend I have noticed with this series is:

  • Throne of Glass – Love
  • Crown of Midnight – Boring, worst book so far
  • Heir of Fire – Love
  • Queen of Shadows – Too long
  • Book 5 – Please let me write perfection!

It seems like every other book is a hit. Bring on book 5!

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