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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Spoiler-free!

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
My Rating: 4.25 stars! ⭐️
Description:
Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

My Review:
Wooooooow what a book! Can you believe it, I haven’t read a dystopian novel since 2015?! That’s 3 years! I was so shocked when I found out the last one I read was Angelfall by Susan Ee.

I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because of the long gap I took from reading Dystopian novels. It’s still not my favorite genre, but from time to time I do enjoy it!

This book has such an interesting premise. Basically generations ago, (because of the highly advanced technology) humans had developed a way to sustain their life even after death. So if you die, you can easily be brought back to life, or choose when you want to revert to a different age. However, since Earth cannot support every single life, individuals called Scythes were introduced, to randomly eliminate lives in order to keep the population under control.

In this book we follow the perspective of two characters, Rowan and Citra, who have been taken under the wing of Scythe Faraday as apprentices—in which one of them will actually move on to become a Scythe.

I think my favorite thing about this book, was the whole concept of Scythes. It was definitely something that kept me so invested in the book, and wanting to find out more of how they originated. (WHICH WAS SO INTERESTING!) I loved reading the Scythes diary entries at the end of each chapter since it really gave us insight to how much killing had affected them.

I also enjoyed how much this book made me think. It arises all these questions on mortality and humanity as a whole, as well as different opinions characters have in this book that can be seen as morally correct or incorrect.

It was interesting to read their thought process behind those specific beliefs, which was also provided by the diary entries.

As much as I enjoyed the book, this was one of those cases where I found the plot of the story to be more interesting than the characters themselves. It felt like they weren’t developed enough for me, or that I didn’t know them well enough to form a better connection to them, especially our two main characters Rowan and Citra. (I felt the same way towards the romantic aspect of the book based on the fact that we barely saw any proper interaction between the characters).

Coming off of this, I felt like each chapter length was too short. There were some parts of the book where I felt like part of the story itself wasn’t developed thoroughly enough? Like they would be at one place but immediately the chapter would end and something totally different was occurring.

It threw me off a bit, especially since I wanted to see a specific characters reaction or the journey to this place but instead we just jumped from one chapter to the next.

ALSO, (something I just wanted to mention as an aside) to those of you who have read this book, did you get any vibes from the book Animal Farm by George Orwell? Especially with the ten commandments part? I was totally getting Animal Farm vibes and I kept comparing the two books, and I found that to be SO cool.

Regardless of all these little bumps that caused me to lower my rating, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend this to any of you who have been feeling the dystopian genre lately! It’s definitely a thought-provoking book and a series I am certain to continue very soon!

Thanks for reading!
-Ashley
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March Wrap Up! [2018]

SORRY THIS IS SO LATE! But yay for reading enough books to make a wrap up! I managed to read 5 books in March, and even though it’s not an alarming amount, I’m still really pleased with it because I am the slowest reader ever. (which I feel like I mention in every single wrap up of mine).


Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 30975382
I read this during my attempt at a 24 hour readathon, and I can’t believe that it was in March? For some reason I feel like I read this months ago lol. (That’s also probably why you shouldn’t binge read a book in a day 😂) This was such an entertaining read for me, it has gladiators, female warriors, romance and kickass fight scenes. Plus the ending to this book was so crazy.

51c7igsoyhl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
I listened to the audiobook of this one AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND. Yes, my rating isn’t that high but I really think the audiobook enhanced my experience a lot for this one. Like the title says, this book is filled with a bunch of mythological tales, told in Neil Gaiman’s brilliant, lyrical writing. It was nice to be able to read one whole chapter or “story” and then take a little break to read the next tale later on. I highly recommend this to all you mythology lovers out there!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 51s-zq92brl-_sx331_bo1204203200_
Another amazing read! Can you believe it, this was my first ever V.E. Schwab book, and I couldn’t be happier that I started with this one! If you didn’t know, ADSOM follows our main character Kell, who is known as an Antari for their ability to travel between 4 parallel Londons. It’s such a cool concept and V.E. Schwab excuted it perfectly. I did feel a bit iffy on some things, but you can read them more in detail in my review.

8755776City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25
I am so glad that I was able to complete a small chunk of my yearly goal, which was to complete The Mortal Instruments series. Yes, I still have one more book left to go, but I know for a fact that I’m actually going to follow through and finish it now. City of Lost Souls is definitely one of my favorites of the 4 I read so far, which I’m really pleased about. I felt like we mostly got a full development of our characters, and I really am going to miss a lot of them when the series is over. Review. 

Circe by Madeline Miller ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ + favorite read! 9781408890080
Behold my favorite read of the month…(and one of my all time favorite reads EVER!) Am I really surprised that this book blew me away? No, I was expecting nothing but greatness from Madeline Miller. This story follows Circe, an immortal goddess born from the Titan Helios. Throughout the novel we follow her struggles and insecurities with fitting in with the immortals around her, as well as trying to come to terms with her love for mortal life. It’s a beautiful story of determination, growth, and the reality of eternity. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. (Especially if you’re into Greek Mythology) YOU NEED TO READ THIS! It comes out April 10, 2018! You can read my full non-spoiler review here!


Thank you guys so much for reading…I hope I managed to convince you to read at least one of these books, since I had a pretty great reading month! Let me know your favorite read of March!

-Ashley
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April TBR! 🌸 [2018]

Hello everyone! I’m back at it with setting unreasonable reading goals for myself!

Since I pleasantly surprised myself by reading ONE extra book than I normally do last month (!!! wow what an accomplishment !!!) I decided to make April’s TBR EVEN LONGER.

In other words, I’ll only be reading four of these lol.


Hero at the Fall 
By: Alwyn Hamilton 6187iagi2bl-_sx323_bo1204203200_

So I’m currently writing this in the hopes that it actually comes in the mail 😂 I ordered it from Book Depository a month ago and it still hasn’t come which makes me really sad SINCE I NEED TO KNOW HOW THIS BOOK ENDS! But yes, I definitely want to knock this one off in April!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone 
By: Laini Taylor dosab_hbfront

I actually already started reading this! I originally started reading this before I read Circe, but you know how it goes for mood readers, and I ended up switching over to read Circe first (which I’m obsessed with). I’m liking it so far, and I love how different Laini Taylor’s books are from other YA books!

The Upside of Unrequited 
By: Becky Albertalli 30653853

After watching the AMAZING movie Love, Simon, I realized how much I miss reading contemporary books and I couldn’t believe it when I saw that I have not read any contemporary this whole year. So I thought another book of Becky Albertalli’s is fitting, especially since Leah on the Offbeat is coming out later this month!

City of Heavenly Fire 
By: Cassandra Clare 8755785

I’m a little iffy on this one, especially since it takes a massive space on my bookshelf, but I’m really in the Shadowhunter mood lately, and I don’t want to hold back on this series any longer! So it’ll maybe (hopefully) be a book that I will read in the beginning of April!

Hunting Prince Dracula 
By: Kerri Maniscalco 33784373

Another book I ordered from Book Depository that’s taking an unreasonable amount of time to reach me 😂 I’m hoping it’ll come within this first week of April, so I can read it as soon as possible. I really loved the first book Stalking Jack the Ripper and I can’t believe its taken me this long to read the sequel!


Of course I hope to get to all of these books this month, but the main ones I am focusing on reading are Hero at the Fall and City of Heavenly Fire! If I get those two books completed, I’ll be a very happy girl! 😝

Let me know if any of these books are on your April TBR as well, and which books you plan to read this month!

Thanks for reading!
-Ashley
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Circe by Madeline Miller

Book will be published April 10, 2018 + spoiler-free

Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Little Brown
My Rating: 5 stars! ⭐️
Description:
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Thank you to Little Brown & Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book!

My Review:
Madeline Miller has done it again. I have, and always will be captivated by her brilliant writing and I have to say that she’s definitely become my all-time favorite author.

This book is written in a way that contains some scenes in the present tense, while in others we have Circe explaining the outcome of the situations she’s been in. It was a different experience for me to read something like this, and I loved every minute of it.

The writing in this is so seamless and there’s something about it that keeps you so invested into the story and the characters. Every line and piece of dialogue are crafted so beautifully that they really hit home with their words and the impact of it stays with you throughout the book.

As for the characters themselves, Circe is one of my all time favorite protagonists. Throughout the novel we experience her struggles finding herself in a world where power is the most important thing. All her life she has to look out for herself since there is no one else she has bonded with.

It’s easy to relate to her character because of all the insecurities that she has, as well as her inability to fit in with others like her. Including all this, it was absolutely fantastic to watch her character develop and grow throughout the novel. This is one of those cases where you truly get to see the whole arc of a character from the beginning of the book to the end of the book and it was amazing.

The pacing of this book was another thing I enjoyed. I never felt that some parts were being rushed through or going by too slowly. As Circe’s tale isn’t the most commonly known Greek myth, I liked the thoroughness of the mythology and the way that it interweaved so well with certain aspects of the book. I definitely think there are benefits knowing her story beforehand, but there’s also that element of surprise if you didn’t know (as was my case).

Did I like this book better than The Song of Achilles? I think that Circe completely blew my mind, even though I was already expecting this to be a phneomenal book. Saying this, I feel like they both completely different stories in my mind.

Where The Song of Achilles had more of an emotional and story-driven plot, Circe focused more on the characters and the progression of herself as the novel went on. I have to say they hold equal ranking for me as they are both amazing novels that I CANNOT RECOMMEND THEM MORE!

Read this book when it comes out next week guys, it’s definitely one of those books that will stay with you for a long time.

Amazon    Indigo    Barnes & Noble    Book Depository

Thanks for reading!
-Ashley

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Spoilers for the books leading up to this one!

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
My Rating: 4.25 stars! ⭐️
Description:
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

My Review:
Can you believe it, I actually did it! I finally completed another one of Cassandra Clares books…2 years later. 😂
Continue reading “City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare”

My Favorite Book Tropes!

Definition of a Book Trope:
↳ used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.

WE ALL LOVE THEM. I’m here to discuss my favorites! (And yes, I know this post has been done dozens of times before, but it’s so fun, so why not do it as well 😂)

Book Trope #1
The Enemies to Lovers

One of the best tropes out there which has been used a crazy amount of times. I mean, when we’re reading a synopsis for a book YOU JUST KNOW what’s coming. I also like this because it usually has a slow burn romance that is amazing!

My favorites:
-Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
-The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Book Trope #2
THERE’S A BALL. (Or something alike)

richard-madden-4

I personally really love this one! There’s that feeling that you just know good shit is going to go down during the ball. Like it’s one of those parts in the book that can’t let you down!

My favorites:
-The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (this one was SO INTENSE)
-Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
-Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Book Trope #3
The funny side character

Is this even a trope? (I should probably know since I put a definition in the beginning of this post). This one is for all my favorite side characters.

I love when authors have that one side character who we can always rely on to bring some comic relief into the story. I love laughing whilst reading a book, I find that it makes me love the characters even more than I already do, and it allows some leeway from the plot of the story.

My favorites:
-Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
-The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
-Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Book Trope #4
Forbidden Love/Star-Crossed Lovers

I mean, it’s pretty much the same thing. This trope builds so much angst in the story that it literally makes me SO HAPPY? It just makes the stakes that much higher.

For example:
-The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutoski (ANOTHER INTENSE ONE)
-Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (kinda?)
-Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Book Trope #5
Discovering a secret ability

I feel like this one can be so obvious at times, but I love it anyways. I mean of course our main character is seemingly normal, but at the end or later on in the novel…GASP, they have a power/ability too? Who would’ve guessed? 😂

Although, I do have to say some authors have managed to surprise me in this department.

My favorites: (don’t worry, these are the obvious ones)
-Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (ONLY RQ BC I DIDN’T LIKE THE SECOND BOOK AT ALL)
-Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
-The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Book Trope #6
The Anti-hero

For this one, I’m talking about the character who isn’t all good, but isn’t completely bad either? The character that instantly comes to mind for me is Kaz Brekker (one of my all-time favorites) and I think this trope allows the characters to become that much more complex? It makes you want to learn more about their motives and the reasons as to why they choose the path that they’re on.


So those are my 6 favorite book tropes, ones that I will immediately add to my TBR if I see it hinted at even just a little bit!

Let me know if you agree with any of these, or if you have any to add to this list!

Thanks for reading!
-Ashley

Favorite Reads from Winter 17/18!

Hello everyone! Since it’s officially Spring, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite books that I read this past season!

I don’t have a huge amount of books to share, especially since I’m super picky about my ratings for books and what I deem to be a favorite read, but these are my most memorable ones for sure.

fyi: You can click the titles of the books to go to the goodreads page!


Traitor to the Throne
My review

By: Alwyn Hamiltontraitor

This is actually the sequel to Rebel of the Sands, and BOY DID I LOVE THIS BOOK. I enjoyed the first book quite a bit, but the second just completely blew my mind. I loved every single aspect of it, and I rambled away in my review for this book because I’m still too obsessed. Highly recommend this series to you guys if you are looking for a book that has a middle-eastern setting, djinn, and an awesome rebellion. I gave this 5/5 stars!
Continue reading “Favorite Reads from Winter 17/18!”

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Spoiler-free!

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
My Rating: 4 stars! ⭐️
Description:
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

My Review:
I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book! Yes, I have been hearing a lot of mixed things about this first book especially, so I went into reading it with somewhat low expectations, and I’m really glad that I did!
Continue reading “A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab”

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me!

Hello everyone! I’m super excited for today’s TTT topic, especially since I have some pretty awesome books I want to share with you all!

The books that I’m listing are ones that surprised me in a good way! ☺️

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl, and here’s a little blurb from her blog about it:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! 


The Cruel Prince 
By: Holly Black

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Usually with books that are extremely hyped, I tend not to like them as much, or I avoid them for a little bit, but for this book that was not the case! I ended up loving this book SO much, and it’s still my favorite read of the year (even though it was one of the first books I read in January!)

It took me a little bit to get fully immersed into the world, but once I was sucked in, I flew through the book in one night!

The Song of Achilles
By: Madelline Miller

songachilles-pb-c

At this point, I talk about this book way too much, but of course this book surprised me because I did not expect it to be my favorite book of all time! 😁

Six of Crows
By: Leigh Bardugo

23437156

I read this book almost three years ago, (can’t believe its been that long!) and I’m still obsessed with it! I really enjoyed the first two books in the Grisha trilogy, but I was not a fan of how Ruin and Rising ended, which is why I wasn’t too excited for Six of Crows, but boy was I wrong!

This duology has some of my all-time favorite characters and the story-line of it is amazingly done. I can’t wait for King of Scars next year!

A Darker Shade of Magic 
By: V.E. Schwab

51s-zq92brl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

This is my most recent read and I am so happy with how much I enjoyed it! I’ll have my full thoughts on it posted in my review soon, but it took me about 45 pages to get into the world, and after that I was hooked!


So that’s all I have for today, let me know the books that surprised you in the comments below!

And, as a side note, I FINALLY picked up City of Lost Souls again and I honestly can’t believe it! I’m a little intimidated by it since I forgot a lot of what happened, but hopefully I’ll actually stick to reading this book instead of putting it down again. 🙈

Thanks for reading!
-Ashley
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