Tuesday Top Ten-Best Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

Today I have stolen my topic idea from The Broke and Bookish blog, sales which hosts the Top Ten Tuesday meme. I usually get ideas from them, tadalafil but I call mine something different…honestly because I didn’t know theirs existed when I started mine haha. And I do more than books, physician so there is that.

Today’s topic though…its June, near half way June, so we are basically at the halfway mark for the year of 2014. So what a perfect time to talk about the best books that I have read so far this year.

Let’s get to it.

And yes, I did a top 15…don’t attack me haha. It was SO hard to narrow it down!

Remember, clicking the title will take you to the book’s GoodReads page and clicking the author name will take you to their webpage!

15. Rebel by Amy Tintera

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Amy’s conclusion to her novel, Reboot, was incredible. I was so excited that I managed to get my hands on an e-galley of it, and I whipped through it so fast. Reboot is a major influence for The Awakened. Though they’re totally different spectrums of sci-fi, I love her writing, her style and the fact that she accomplished it in two books. I LOVED this book and my friend Mina just got me a signed copy so yay!

14. All Lined Up by Cora Carmack  

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I was massively impressed by this release of Cora Carmack. I think she’s a great writer but her stories honestly haven’t caught me quite yet but this one totally did. Football, hot boys and romance? You have me totally sold on that one. I can’t wait to read more in the Rusk University series.

13. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins 

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This book kept popping up on my radar and the cover was so pretty that I am so glad I finally buckled down and bought this and read it. Harper is such a fun main character, all sass and attitude and hilarity, with these new, almost superhero like powers, and its just a great book. I loved every single bit of this novel.

12. Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

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I honestly don’t think that there has been a book yet that I’ve been disappointed in when it comes to Jennifer L. Armentrout. This book was so different from others that I’ve read from her in the past but it was just so good. It was scary! Every time the main character saw something in the mirror or got a note tucked into her backpack or something like that, I was just so scared. Such a great book.

11. Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn 

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Katie Finn is awesome, basically because its a lighter version of Morgan Matson, who I love…and its the same person. LOL. But I absolutely loved seeing a lighter, summer-y version of Morgan as Katie Finn and this book was SO much fun, and so delicious and…it just literally made me so excited for summer. Its the perfect summer read.

10. A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka 

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What a beautiful, beautiful debut novel. I love it for so many reasons. Catherine Linka is SUCH a doll, and I love that its set in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I love the main character, and I love the bad guys for being so creepy and scary. I love what she brings up in this novel. I love that it reminds you that girls have to fight for their rights, every day, in every single country. Its just SUCH a great book.

9. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

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Look, yes, I was massively disappointed in the end of this book. I honestly thought it was way too incredibly safe and that Cassie could have made much bigger sacrifices than she did. That being said…I still liked the book a lot. I wasn’t a fan of the “second” trilogy of TMI to be honest, but this book really brought it to a close and I was pleased with many parts of it. So it definitely makes the list.

8. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira 

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YES! This book is so absolutely beautiful. Thank you Stephen Chbosky and Emma Watson for talking this book up, because then I got my hands on it and loved it. And I’ve met Ava several times, and become friends with her and she’s just the sweetest. This book is beautiful and wonderfully written and just heartbreaking. I absolutely love this book. Its a MUST read. And its going to be a movie, penned by Ava herself!

7. Cress by Marissa Meyer 

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The Lunar Chronicles blows my mind and they honestly get better with every single book. I LOVED CRESS. I feel bad because it took me so long to read it but I was in a massive slump back then and it was awful. But when I got caught up in this book, I couldn’t put it down and I just love it so much. I even wear a “Thorne is my captain” pin on my apron at work every single day. Such a great book and leaves me panting for Winter!

6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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Jenny Han is awesome. And yes, it took me reading this book to figure that out, but that’s okay. This is the book that made me a fan of Jenny Han. It was fun, and written so well, and I love the main character, and I love all the boys that make an appearance in this novel and I’m so excited for the sequel because this book was just so good. Jenny Han has contemporary YA romance in the palm of her hand, and she does it so well.

5. The One by Kiera Cass

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Oh, Kiera Cass. Only you can take something like this and make it so wonderful. She creates basically a story that puts The Hunger Games with the Bachelor, and a bunch of girls fighting over the hand of one prince, and a love triangle (a big one), and just makes it work. It sounds like something I would never read in a million years but this is SUCH a great trilogy and The One is an amazing ending to it. I am so glad I got to meet her and tell her how this blew my mind.

4. Unforgotten by Jessica Brody

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I was SO excited to finally get my hands on the sequel to Unremembered because I had questions that needed to be answered and then…and then! Jessica goes and leaves it on the biggest cliffhanger since Unremembered (haha), and leaves me literally dying for Unchanged. I can’t handle it. But being back with Sera and Zen, and in so many different time periods, and the action and the tension and the kissing…all of it was just so great and I am not kidding when I say I literally can’t wait to get my hands on Unchanged :)

3. Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott  

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Okay, talk about a book that literally came out of left field, and just knocked me down. I watched a live cast of Jessica Brody and Victoria Scott, and I thought Victoria was super cool so I had to get my hands on her book, and I did. I read it in literally about 2 hours. I LOVED it. I seriously…oh, god, don’t get me started. I just loved the whole thing of it. It has this epic survival story going on, and a race full of action and tension, and a hot guy (because we need hot guys and kissing, duh!) and the Pandoras. I won’t reveal what those are but the Pandoras are the coolest things in the entire world. I’m just saying.

2. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson 

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Great summer book. Great book about friendship and breaking out of your shell and going out of the norm and falling in love and making new friends. Just such an amazing, great book. It reminds me that Morgan Matson has yet to disappoint me, and that she remains one of my favorite authors, period. She is just SO great, and I loved this book. I felt so close to the main character, and she felt so familiar. I could re-read this book again and again and again.

1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith 

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I have never read a book like this in my life before GJ and I doubt I’ll ever read a book like this again. Its literally a book about everything, and it made me laugh and it made me shake my head and raise my eyebrows and so many other things. This book is absolutely incredible because it takes so many bits and pieces and manages to fit them together in such a crazy good book. Every time I see it, I just shake my head and smile because I’m  just reminded of how much it blew my mind, and just…its amazing. Its the weirdest book I’ve ever read but its so good. You need to read this book. You just have to.

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Well, there you have it, folks. The top 15 books I’ve read so far this year. What are some of the best books you’ve read this year? Share in the comments!

Weekly Fangirl Round Up!

Nerd Girl News

 

A new trailer and poster has been revealed for Love, stomach Rosie, medicine starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.

Naomi Watts joins the cast of Insurgent, page as Four’s mother.

Cassandra Clare announces that there will be Simon Lewis short stories in the near future.

 

A new full-length, extended trailer for The Giver has been released!

 

The leader of Candor has been cast, welcome Daniel Day Kim to the Divergent family!

The new trailer for Gayle Forman’s If I Stay movie adaptation is released, and includes scenes from the prologue.

Watch the first trailer for the movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me.

Michael Gambon, aka Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter movies 3-8, has been cast in a role in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy! Find out the rest of the casting here!

Check out the first two chapters of Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling) second novel, The Silkworm, and make sure to preorder it through your indie bookstore!

Will the Song of Ice and Fire series by one book longer than anticipated? George RR Martin’s editor suggests this might be so!

Star Wars Episode 7 adds two fantastic ladies to the cast: Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)! Fun fact: Gwendoline was recently cast as Commander Lyme in Mockingjay!

Want to learn Dothraki? Well, with this new companion software, you can!

Set photos have been leaked from the upcoming Star Wars movie, and it looks like we’ll see a bit of the Millennium Falcon!

JJ Abrams has an interesting response for the leaked Star Wars Episode 7 photos.

Both John Green and Nat Wolff talk about the upcoming adaptation of another of John’s books, Paper Towns.

George RR Martin wants to put you in A Game of Thrones…and kill you. Find out how it could be you!

Rumors are abound that Benedict Cumberbatch could be starring in a Dr. Strange movie!

Ant-man gets a new director in the form of Peyton Reed!

Teen Wolf fans: the official trailer is finally here!

The cover for Abbi Glines’ new novel has been revealed! Check it out!

The Fault in Our Stars opens up to a huge box office weekend, aims to beat out Shailene’s other blockbuster hit this year, Divergent.

The DUFF has officially begun filming, check out all the photos we’ve seen so far!

A trailer for Maggie Stiefvater’s Sinner has been released!

Sherlock Season 3 has hit Netflix (along with Orange is the New Black) and it includes bonus features!

Posts and Vlogs

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend Book Challenge

Fictional Crush of the Week: Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments Series

Five Reasons to Read Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Favorite and Least Favorite Moments of City of Heavenly Fire (Spoilers)

May Book Wrap Up

California June Book Events!

Vlog: Monday Missions 8

Vlog: HUGE May Book Haul

Tuesday Top Ten: Most Anticipated Summer Book Releases

“Yes, Adults Should Be Embarrassed to Read Young Adult Books”: A Response 

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May Book Wrap Up

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: I am actually 2 books ahead right now. This is the first time I’ve been on track all year haha.

Books Read So Far: 63

Total Books For May: 20

Remember, viagra buy as always, try to click the book title in order to read the review!

A Girl Called Fearless

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Summer State of Mind

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Rebel Belle

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Since You’ve Been Gone

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The One

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Open Road Summer

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

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All Lined Up

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Re-Read)

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In Honor

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Free to Fall

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The Prince and the Guard

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Noggin

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Don’t Look Back

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The Truth About Forever (Re-Read)

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City of Heavenly Fire

(You can also watch my spoiler FILLED vlog here)

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Shadow and Bone (Re-Read)

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Rules of Summer

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Just One Night

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Favorite and Least Favorite City of Heavenly Fire Moments! (Spoilers!)

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I don’t really think I need to warn you but I’m going to do it anyway because I know people just don’t pay attention.

This entire post is literally spoilers for City of Heavenly Fire. If you havent’ finished the book, buy more about or don’t want to be spoiled, sildenafil please turn back now!

Okay, buy information pills jumping in. With both of my spoiler filled vlog and my spoiler free review here on the blog, I tried to be as vague as possible, to talk about as much as I could in a short amount of time and space. So I wasn’t really able to get into all my favorite and least favorite parts. That’s the purpose of this post, to share exactly what I loved and what I didn’t.

I hope you’ll share yours as well!

FAVORITE:

Isabelle’s Vision

When Jace, Clary, Alec, Isabelle and Simon enter into the demon realm to rescue Luke, Jocelyn, Magnus and Raphael, and find Sebastian, they are immediately stopped by a demon that force them to see sort of visions. Clary sees the family that she could have had: Jocelyn married to Luke, a real brother in Jonathan, a little sister. Alec sees himself as loved by everyone that he’s wanted to love him, to be appreciated and praised, and to be the person that is the center of attention. Isabelle’s is the most heartbreaking because its the one that you honestly wish was real. Its her birthday and Simon has thrown her a party, and at her party is Max. Max, frozen at 9 years old, when he died. And I lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so heartbroken. Max’s death has been the most hard hitting in all six books for me, and it hurts when you know how much he is missed and how responsible Isabelle feels for his death. It was beautiful.

Simon’s Band Name

Simon’s memories have been taken from Magnus’ father, as payment for them returning to their world. Its heartbreaking (until you read the epilogue), but when you see the flyer for Simon’s band’s show…I just had this half laugh, half sob thing going on, because I thought it was SO funny and so awesome. His band name? The Mortal Instruments. It was too perfect. It’s been a fan theory for so long and its one of those things that I was actually kind of glad made it into the book.

Jace and Clary-Cave Scene

Um, can we say about time? I mean, I know, they’re like 17 years old, and that’s not exactly old or anything but we’ve all been hoping for some steamy Clace sex for six books now and I’m glad it finally happened and IN A CAVE. The first thing I thought of when they had sex in the cave was…did they really just have sex in a cave like the way Will and Tessa did in Clockwork Princess. Plus it was just beautiful. It was the right moment for it to happen. The world was falling apart around them, and they could die at any moment, and they truly love each other, and it was perfect. I could never write a scene like that, and that’s okay. My sex scenes are going to be a bit rougher, realistic, but Cassie’s are beautiful and I loved every detail of it.

Sebastian’s Redemption

I didn’t expect that, and while it was cheesy, I actually liked it. When Clary stabs Sebastian with the sword that contains the heavenly fire, and Sebastian momentarily becomes Jonathan Morgenstern, complete with green eyes. He expresses his grief, his wish that he hadn’t been born with the demon blood and his hope that there would be another dimension where he was the good son and brother. It was SO cheesy but I actually kind of liked it. It was sweet, and sad, and it was another blow of loss to Jocelyn and to Clary, of what could have been. It was both expected and unexpected and I enjoyed it.

Jem and Jace Talking For the First Time

I LOVED THIS. I had to stop and breathe in and out about this. I loved hearing Jem talk about his past, the people in his life, and all of that. If I had thought for even a moment that I was okay with the feels that Clockwork Princess had brought me, I was so very wrong. All the feelings from just the CP2 epilogue alone came rushing back, and it was beautiful to see him again. I loved his reuniting with Tessa and their appearance and Luke and Jocelyn’s wedding. Just all those feels from Clockwork Princess. I couldn’t handle it.

Maia’s Transformation

I was talking to a few people and they weren’t happy with the Maia thing in the book. I do admit, her relationship with Jordan was weird, especially since he died, and she appeared to be making something happening with Bat, but I was just proud of her as a character. Having the guts to take over the NY wolf pack, and to lead it, and to inform the Shadowhunters of the plans going down. I was really proud of her, and the way she stepped up and became a force to be reckoned with. I think Maia has always been sort of a background character but she really proved herself in this book and I honestly really loved it.

Jem Stealing Church

You don’t really need to go further than that. I honestly just couldn’t stop laughing. It was such perfection.

Clary and Jace Fighting Side by Side

I LOVE THIS. Before this, Clary and Jace had an inequality about them. Jace was an amazing Shadowhunter, Clary had her rune powers but there was always something kind of separating them in the Shadowhunter world. But watching them fight side by side, was just truly beautiful. I really felt like…its not about Jace protecting Clary physically or Clary using her powers to save Jace…they’re equals and fighting together and taking on the world together. They can protect each other. They recognize the strengths in each other and I think its awesome. There no angst, none of that struggle. They had finally reached a balance in their relationship and it was all about keeping themselves safe while taking Sebastian down.

Simon’s Sacrifice

I really liked this part, until the epilogue, which you’ll see later. By the time we had gotten to this part, I was kind of disappointed that no one had died. Again, see later. But when Simon steps up to sacrifice not only his immortality as a vampire, and his memories of everything of the shadow world, I was heartbroken. This, to me, was even worse than death. Simon had found his confidence in being part of that world. He would never remember his absolute best friend, Clary. He wouldn’t remember the girl he loved, Isabelle. That would be all gone. What a fate to fall upon one of the best characters in this series.

Anytime Emma is On the Page

OHMYGOD. I am absolutely adoring of Emma. I have been excited for so long for The Dark Artifices. This is the Shadowhunter world in Los Angeles, the place that I love. This is my home. Of course, I am so excited about it. But now after reading CoHF, I’m even more excited about it. We got to see so much of Emma, Julian and the Blackthorn children and so many hints at what to expect in TDA. I adore Emma. She’s a little spitfire and she’s going to be a great Shadowhunter and I want to see her climb rooftops again…haha. I can’t wait to see her grown up in TDA. I eagerly await it.

LEAST FAVORITE:

Lack of Deaths

Seriously? Who dies? WHO DIES? No one really. Jordan. Maureen. Amatis. Raphael. Andrew Blackthorn. Sebastian. All sad deaths, to be honest. Well, not Maureen. She was just insane. But none that hit me. None that made me feel heartbroken. I felt…like Cassie went way too safe with this ending. They were in the demons realms, there was Endarkened EVERYWHERE, and no one hugely important died? That bothered me. A really good author knows when to make a good sacrifice. Look at JK Rowling. Its war, and the deaths that she did: Sirius, Dumbledore, Mad-Eye, Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Colin Creevy, Hedwig. All important deaths that make cringe just typing them.

But Cassie went super safe and that made me sad. I wanted to feel the heartbreak, I wanted to feel the true loss of war. People lose friends, family members, lovers when there is war, and no one really had that. I honestly felt that Jocelyn, Luke, Jace, Clary, Alec, Magnus, Simon, Isabelle…one or two of those people should have died. It would have made the story that much better.

Simon’s Memories Coming Back

Which brings me back to Simon. I was feeling the disappointment in the lack of sacrifice in this book, when Simon decides to give up his memories and I almost felt like that was worse than death. Simon is one of the VERY first characters you meet, right after Clary. He’s important, and to have him lost to them, and have him lose all memories…it was heartbreaking. It was perfect. Then I read the epilogue, and I was disappointed again. I could see Simon having some memories buried deep, look what happened with Clary and her memories. But the idea of Simon ascending and suddenly remembering a good amount of Clary, Jace and Isabelle just kind of bothered me. It was TOO happy. It was a great sacrifice that was wasted by being wrapped up too quickly.

Magnus’ Dad

Did anyone expect way more than what he was? I expected this big scary guy that was mean, someone that Magnus didn’t want to claim himself to, someone that he was afraid of but it didn’t really turn out that way. He was just kind of silly, and Magnus seemed more annoyed with him than frightened. So that was a slight letdown.

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So what do you guys think? Share your favorite and least favorite moments in the comments! I love to hear from you but BE NICE. No hating on anyone for anything. Remember rule #1

Fictional Crush of the Week: Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments Series

In celebration of the end of the Mortal Instruments series, cure this week’s Fictional Crush post is on a character that started it all in this series.

There is a quote from City of Heavenly Fire in the quotes section so if you’re avoiding spoilers, cialis 40mg I would avoid that section.

Character Name:

Clarissa Morgenstern aka Clary Fray

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Book or Series They Appear In:

The Mortal Instruments Series

City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire 

Author/Creator:

Cassandra Clare

Played By: 

Lily Collins

Who They Are:

Clary Fray is the main character of the Mortal Instruments series. She’s short, redheaded, and has a love for drawing. She’s an ordinary teenager living in New York when she witnesses a murder, by a group of people that only she can see. When one of them comes back, she meets Jace, who is a half-angel, half-human warrior called a Shadowhunter. She soon discovers that she too is a Shadowhunter, kept secret by her mom for years. She soon gets wrapped up in the Shadowhunter world when a Shadowhunter gone rogue named Valentine starts to threaten the peaceful world that they’ve managed to create. In the second trilogy of the series, she’s forced to come face to face with her brother Jonathan, who literally wants to burn down the world, so he can rule among the ashes.

Why I Am Crushing On Them: 

Clary! Clary is a fantastic character in this series and I honestly did not give her enough credit at first, even though she was the main character. I thought she was kind of a trouble maker and that she whined a lot but as I read the books over and over again, I began to like her more and more. I mean, first off, she’s a teenager, of course she whines. And secondly, her troublemaking ways are just her ways of being stubborn and strong. She’s not all that different from me, to be honest. I love that from the beginning, when she’s a simple mundane (human) girl, she’s so brave and strong. She throws herself, untrained, at demons and vampires and more just to save the people that she loves. Its incredible. Its incredible that she struggles to come to terms with her new life, and that she works so hard to become a true Shadowhunter. Without too many spoilers for CoHF, she really becomes a fighter, and fights alongside Jace and Isabelle and Alec and its absolutely incredible. Its so great to see her come that far. She’s determined. She’s also hilarious and has beautiful sarcasm. Plus she’s a little hot tempered redhead and you can never go wrong with that!

Notable Quotes: 

“I don’t want tea,” said Clary, with muffled force. “I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them.”

“But I don’t want anything else in the world.”

“I figured all your classes were stuff like Slaughter 101 and Beheading for Beginners.”

“The other ten percent.”

“Well, when I was five, I wanted my mother to let me go around and around inside a dryer with the clothes,” Clary said. “The difference is, she didn’t let me.”

“You know,” Clary said, “most psychologists agree that hostility is really just sublimated sexual attraction.” 

“I’m not an angel, Jace,” she repeated. “I don’t return library books. I steal illegal music off the internet. I lie to my mom. I am completely ordinary.”

“When you love someone, you don’t have a choice. Love takes your choices away.”

“I love you, Clary wanted to say. And, I would do it again. I would always ask for you. But those weren’t the words she said. “You’re not my brother,” she told him, a little breathlessly, as if, having realized she hadn’t yet said them, she couldn’t get the words out of her mouth fast enough. “You know that, right?”

“Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt.”

“There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body,” she said, “And every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did the day before. It’s science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes that air or sees the flowers that grow out of the ground and looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much.”

Weekly Fangirl Round-Up!

Nerd Girl News

Doctor Who, look Series 8 has a premiere date AND a teasing teasing teasing teaser trailer!

The first chapter of Marie Lu’s new book, The Young Elites, has been revealed!

Debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, has been optioned for film!

Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Cashmere in Catching Fire, confirmed that she joined the cast of Insurgent, as a yet to be revealed member of Amity.

Alfonso Cuaron has been confirmed as NOT directing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

More promotional images for The Maze Runner have been shared!

Mockingjay Filming continues in Berlin, check out some photos!

Two More People have Been Cast for Insurgent!

More Dragons are coming our way! Netflix confirms a How to Train your Dragon spin-off TV series!

Watch the new trailer for Daniel Radcliffe’s rom com, What If!

Pixar’s 2015 film “Inside Out” has an official synopsis.

Some news of True Detective, season 2, has been revealed: it will have THREE main characters.

Emma Watson, queen bee, and our Hermione Granger, has graduated from Brown University!

One Direction fan fiction “After” has officially gotten a publishing deal.

Robbie Amell, my future boyfriend, has been cast in a role in the movie adaptation of The DUFF.

Secrets about the could-have-been season 2 of Starcrossed were revealed.

Posts and Vlogs

Happy 2nd Blog Birthday What A Nerd Girl Says and HUGE HUGE Giveaway! (One more week to enter!)

Monday Missions Vlog

City of Heavenly Fire Vlog Review (Spoilers!)

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (No Spoilers!)

Book Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Ontario Teen Book Fest Recap!

Why The Mortal Instruments is Important to Me!

Book Review: Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Why The Mortal Instruments Series is Important to Me

Pre-warning: there are NO City of Heavenly Fire spoilers in this post! 

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This past Tuesday, shop May 27th was the day that City of Heavenly Fire hit bookshelves. It is the very last book of The Mortal Instruments series. While we are going to be in the world of Shadowhunters for years to come, sale what with The Dark Artifices and The Last Hours series coming to bookshelves, this series is the one that started it all. I will get to read more of Shadowhunters and the Shadow World but it was bittersweet to say goodbye to Clary, Jace and the rest in this series. If you haven’t had a chance, you can check out my spoiler free review here, or my spoiler filled vlog here.

I haven’t been this sad of a series ending since the day that I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and that’s because I think the Mortal Instruments come in at a close second to the Harry Potter series, in what they mean to me and what they have done for me. The Mortal Instruments will NEVER touch Harry Potter for me, but Harry Potter has been in my life since I was 10 years old so…I highly doubt anything will ever be as important as that book series.

But the Mortal Instruments. I first picked up the books about four years ago. Four years ago, my life was….difficult. Not really hard. I have always been fairly lucky in the life that I’ve had, even during the hard times, even during the struggles. But four years ago, I went through something that was pretty hard for me. My boyfriend and I both went through something hard, and instead of turning to each other, we turned against each other. We stopped showing affection to each other, we were fighting all the time, it was awful. We broke up. And what was the worst about it was…I not only had the task of dealing with the heartbreak but no one understood, really, why it was more than just a normal heartbreak. I was dealing with so many emotions. My boyfriend had gone on tour with his band, so he was well distracted but I was at home, stuck in my own thoughts, miserable.

So what do I do when I’m miserable?

Head to a bookstore, of course. I went on a trip to Borders. (Oh Borders, how I miss you). I needed to get out of the house, I needed a distraction, to get out of my own head. Back then, I wasn’t a blogger so I wasn’t as involved with the book world as I am now. Now I go into a bookstore and I recognize so many titles that I despair that I can only purchase one or two. Back then, I had to rely on just looking on titles and things like that. I was wandering the Young adult section and the title “City of Bones” jumped out at me. I read the back, decided that I liked it well enough and purchased it. I went home that night, and dove into it for the first time.

The next time, I was at the bookstore and purchasing City of Ashes. I went back the VERY next day to purchase City of Glass. I read the snippet of Clockwork Angel at the end, and waiting eagerly for it to come out a couple months later. I waited patiently for the release of Fallen Angels the next year, and met her for the very first time. The speed in which this books came crashing into my life and stayed there permanently is incredible and it still kind of blows my mind. Only one book series had done that since then, and still not with the way that this series did.

I loved the story, I loved how it weaved the familiar world that we know with this beautiful fantasy world. I wanted to be a Shadowhunter. I love tattoos and the fact that they could bring you strength and agility and things like that blew my mind. I loved the weapons and the Institute. I loved Idris and this country tucked away from everything else. Everything about this world was fantastic to me. There was romance and action and lots of humor and sarcasm. I fell in love with all the characters.

But I especially fell in love with two.

First off, I love Alec Lightwood. The person that Alec Lightwood is…unsure and scared, afraid to be the person that he is, afraid to share the emotions buried deep within him…it all felt so familiar. He felt like the most real character in the books. I know people didn’t like him at first, because of the way he treated Clary, and the obsession he had with Jace but I thought he was real and raw and genuine. His story reached out to me and watching him grow and change over the course of six books.

And then there was Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood, whatever you want to call him. I don’t know if I would have fallen in love with as much as I did as a fictional boyfriend and a fictional character if I wasn’t in the middle of a breakup with my boyfriend. But I loved everything about him. I loved that he was this badass warrior, and that he was raised to not believe in love and Clary was changing that in him, and that he said the sweetest things and that was also kind of crazy. Come on, let’s think about…going into Hunter’s Moon and picking fights with werewolves? That’s kind of crazy. He’s been one of my absolute favorite characters since then, and definitely my number one fictional crush.

But he was also kind of my escape, from the misery that I was feeling at the time. It made me think that boys could say still say cute things, even when they mess up, and I lost myself in the romance of Jace and Clary. It kept me sane. I devoured those books and they kept me from wallowing in even more misery that I already was. I wouldn’t say they saved my life, because I had never considered that my life was over, but they saved my emotions, my sanity, my well-being. I was a wreck and these books helped to put me back together.

And they still do that.

When I’m having a really bad time, a tough time, there are two book series that I turn to: Harry Potter and the Mortal Instruments. They both can make me feel better even on the darkest of days. Even when I feel the worst.

But the books did more than just be books that will sit on my shelves forever, and stories that I’ll dive into again and again. They inspire me to be a better write, they inspire me to write beautiful books. I want to write books that have characters that are loved like these, and have stories that are addicting and stories that make people cry the way I cried while reading City of Heavenly Fire. I am inspired every day by Cassandra Clare.

She also taught me so much about fear, about accepting your fears, in order to overcome them. This is a huge part of the first trilogy in this series. Clary’s fear of fitting into the Shadowhunter world. Isabelle’s fear of love. Jace’s fear of letting anyone. Valentine’s fear (and jealousy) of the Downworlders. Jocelyn’s fear for Clary’s safety. Alec’s fear for being himself. Simon’s fear of being left behind. SO much fear, but by the time we reach the end of City of Glass, they have either accepted those fears, are working on them or have conquered them. She shows us that we don’t need a Fearless rune to do this but that courage and bravery come from inside of us, to overcome those things that make us so afraid. This is why I have a fearless rune tattoo, to remind myself that I can strong enough and brave enough to over come anything.

They have also brought me into a world I never expected. I had been blogging for nearly a year when I met Cassandra Clare for the second time. I was able to interview her (you can check out that video here), and it opened a lot of doors for me as a blogger. Then I met her about three weeks later, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and put together a Shadowhunter meet-up, where I met some new friends, most importantly, my fangirl bestie, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels.

Not only did her books bring me to some amazing friends BUT they in turn introduced me to a world bigger than the one I had known. I showed them the beauty of all the book events and they introduced me to movie premieres. Without that meetup, and meeting all those friends, I would have never even thought to go to premieres like City of Bones, Catching Fire, Vampire Academy and Divergent. These books have given me a community of friends all over the world. I’ve been messaging online and texting on my phone nonstop for the last 48+ hours about the release of City of Heavenly Fire, and I love this community and what it has given to me, and what I hope I have given back. I have met so many amazing friends because of it.

So some people think I’m crazy and some people probably look at me and think “its just a book”. But its so much more than that, so much more. I loved the finale of the series, though I admit I did have some beef with the ending, but whatever I feel for this book, it is so sad and bittersweet to see it end. I know that we will continue into the lives of Lucie and James Herondale in The Last Hours and the lives of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn in The Dark Artifices. I know that we have not yet left the Shadowhunter world but leaving behind the world of Clary, Jace, Alec, Magnus, Isabelle, Simon, Jocelyn, Luke, Maia, Jordan, and so many many more is heartbreaking. I will miss them and their romances and their antics and their adventures. Its hard to say good bye because of how much this series meant to me.

Check out some pictures from my TMI adventures over the last couple years, including meeting Cassie, the cast of the movie, the red carpet premiere of the movie, hanging out with TMI friends, and my tattoo.

And don’t forget to share what The Mortal Instruments mean to you in the comments! 

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My Reserved Seat when I met Cassie at her Clockwork Princess Launch in Mission Viejo and I interviewed her!

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March 2013: Myself and Cassandra Clare after I interviewed her. Im pretty sure I’m dying inside right now…

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Meeting Cassandra Clare in April 2013, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. You can see her husband Josh on the right, and Vivi Hebel, the brains behind Hebel Design, on the right

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Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson, March 2013, at the Mission Viejo event

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A really bad picture of me and my sister in front of Cassie’s epic tour bus after the Mission Viejo event. There were NO lights in the parking lot so this is how the pictures kept turning out haha

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The Shadowhunter Meet Up at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2013. I met SO many amazing friends here.

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Myself and Jamie Campbell Bower aka Jace Wayland at the City of Bones World Premiere

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Myself and Godfrey Gao (and my photobombing friend Jane haha) aka Magnus Bane and my Magnus Bane doll at the TMI World Premiere

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My sister and I at the Clockwork Princess Mission Viejo event. I was so nervous before interviewing Cassie that I just kept taking pictures

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Myself and Cassie Clare at the TMI City of Bones World Premiere

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Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, Harald Zwart (Director of City of Bones), myself and our friend Jane, camping out for the TMI City of Bones World Premiere

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Me and the beautiful Aidan Turner, aka Luke Garroway, at the TMI City of Bones World Premiere

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Kevin Zegers, aka Alec Lightwood, came by in the morning and brought cookies to all of us that had camped overnight. It was a beautiful moment and a beautiful way to wake up

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Meeting Jamie, Cassie, Lily and Kevin at WonderCon 2013. I won a VIP meet and greet with them, got a book and poster signed by them and got to take pictures :)

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Myself and Cassie Clare at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2013. I look less like I’m freaking out in this picture…

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Jamie Campbell Bower, Robbie Sheehan, Kevin Zegers and Cassandra Clare at the Los Angeles TMI Mall Tour Stop

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A photographer asked me and Harald Zwart to pose as if he was drawing my tattoo on, and then he signed underneath. Such a weird but cool moment

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My signed copy of City of Bones from the TMI World Premiere signed by…well a lot of people

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Me and Robbie Sheehan, aka Simon Lewis, at the TMI City of Bones World Premiere

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Meeting the lovely ladies behind TMI Venezuela and TMI Colombia while waiting for the TMI Mall Tour in LA to start!

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Me and my fangirl bestie, my parabatai, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels at the TMI City of Bones Mall Tour

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Me and my friends Alex, Mina, Stephanie, Jade, Cassandra, Ally and Sylvia, all friends I’ve made through TMI, waiting for Jamie CB to perform on Venice Boardwalk

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Sylvia and I showing Carmen (HomeOfNephilim) the awesome Santa Monica Pier. TMI brought us all together :)

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My fearless rune tattoo, that I got back in November of 2012

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