Tuesday Top Ten-Best YA High Fantasy Series

I was browsing around Tumblr this morning, medical like I do (because how do you start a day without spending some time on Tumblr) and I saw a post talking about YA high fantasy and it had SO many of my favorites. I was trying to think of something to write for the Tuesday Top Ten today and it just presented itself to me so easily.

I must admit, thumb as I wrote this list, I discovered TWO things: One, I really need to read more high fantasy (recommend some, please!) and two, I am majorly biased on one particular author…but that’s okay.

10. The Beka Cooper Trilogy 

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Books: Terrier, Bloodhound, Mastiff

Beka Cooper is the ancestor of George Cooper (who is massively important in Pierce’s first series, which, duh, is on the list), and she joins the Provost Dogs, which is basically like a police force. As the books go on, she becomes one of the most prominent and well trusted of the Dogs, solving crimes and taking down criminals. The story is told in diary form, which was a new thing for Tamora Pierce.

Its awesome. Anything Tammy does is basically magic, but what I love about this is you know how history plays out after this already. Her first four Tortall series all take place years after this so you know the direction its going in, but its still so fun. I think that Tamora Pierce has a wonderful way of writing fantastically strong characters but sometimes we convince ourselves that Daine and Kel and Aly are only able to have their stories because of all the things Alanna accomplished in the first series. But telling Beka’s story really tells us that women had a lot more power, and possibility in the past until obviously something went wrong. Plus these stories are so different than the others. Beka has to prove herself, not really as a capable woman, like the others, but just a capable person in general. And the crimes she solves, the mysteries that unravel are all so fun.

9. The Immortals Quartet 

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Books: Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage, The Realms of the Gods

Daine is trying to escape her home country of Galla, where she was treated as a pariah, an abomination for the “sickness” she believes is inside her. When she is brought on as an assistant horse handler on the way to Tortall, she discovers that she’s not crazy, but she has a rare bit of magic in here called wild magic, which gives her the ability to communicate with animals, heal them and even shape shift. Under the tutelage of the realms most powerful mage, Numair, she learns to control her magic and when her new home in Tortall is threatened by immortal creatures, she must learn to use her powers to help save her home and her friends.

I mean, can you really go wrong with this book? There’s magic and animals and cute boys and kissing and battles and its a GREAT series. Tammy blew my MIND with this one. I love Daine because before Daine, we had Alanna, who was great but didn’t get to be a girl as often because she was pretending to be a boy, so Daine was awesome. I loved when she was able to give up her dresses for breeches, and when she discovered she could heal animals. I love that we see old characters from Alanna’s series and I love the whole idea of these immortal creatures like spidrens and centaurs and stormwings. Daine’s story is absolutely fantastic.

8. The Protector of the Small Quartet 

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Books: First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight

In Kel’s book, the law has been changed and girls can go out for their knighthood, instead of hiding their sex the way Alanna does in her series. This is the moment that Kel has been waiting for but its tainted when the king grants her permission to come to the palace to try, under the condition that she have a probationary year, something no boy has. Not only does Kel have to prove herself as a knight, but that she belongs there amongst the boys.

What I love about Kel’s story is that it seems like it could be a repeat of Alanna’s story but it most definitely is not. Kel has a whole new adventure to go through. Alanna had to prove herself, yes, but everyone thought she was a boy. Kel is a girl, and on probation and has to work even harder than all the boys do. On top of that, her page master treats her differently and her fellow pages tease her, and play jokes on her, all to try and get her kicked out. I think Kel’s story is sometimes easier to relate to than Alanna’s. I like how it starts off with Kel being bullied and being angry that she and others are getting bullied and turns into a larger story when Scanra comes chopping at the Tortall borders. Kel always wants to take down the bullies, no matter how big or small, and I love her story.

7. The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy 

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Books: The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Crown of Embers, The Bitter Kingdom

Elisa was born with a godstone in her belly button, marking her as a chosen one, to do amazing things in the world. However, Elisa feels so much less than a chosen one. She’s massively overweight, not pretty, and constantly in the shadow of her older sister. When she is married off to a neighboring kingdom’s king, who is devastatingly handsome, she doubts she’ll ever reach her supposed amazing potential. Then she is kidnapped, by revolutionaries, and she suddenly sees how much more she is capable of and what she really could accomplish.

The first thing that caught me about this book is that Elisa is fat. Straight up, Elisa is fat. I love that. Do you know how often we get YA heroines who are fat, especially in novels like this? We just don’t. Even though Elisa loses weight through out the series, she remains a bigger girl and I think that’s important. Elisa is a strong, strong, incredible female character but its more than a physical strength. She’s incredibly smart, clever and she figures out exactly what she needs to do, with bumps all the way. Its all about coming into yourself, and coming into what people expect of you, and just doing the best that you can with what you are given and its just incredible. I dragged my dad, boyfriend and brother four hours to Las Vegas just so I could meet Rae Carson.

6. The Throne of Glass Series 

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Books (so far): Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire 

Celaena is a former deadly assassin, sent into the dark work prisons. She is caught trying to escape and is chosen by a stranger to be a contestant, part of a tournament to choose the next King’s Champion. If she succeeds in winning, she will have to work for the King, whom she hates, for a period of time and then she can earn her freedom. She agrees and comes to the palace to compete but then people start disappearing, dying, being sabotaged in the contest and Celaena fears that she could be next. Add in the handsome and charming prince Dorian and the equally handsome and strong captain of the guard, Chaol, and you have a recipe for trouble.

 Sarah J. Maas blew my mind with this series. I had seen it all over the place for so long and I finally purchased it and was so incredibly glad when I did. The one thing that really jumps out at me of this series is the incredible world building of it. It is deep and complex and has a whole history to it, which is beautiful. A really good high fantasy novel will have that, and this book definitely accomplishes that. Add in the fact that there’s Dorian and Chaol and its so hard to figure out which one you like more, because they’re both so different…and you’re just so addicted to the story. But the kicker of the series is Celaena, who is a fantastic main character. I love that she can kill a person easily, almost in her sleep, but also loves to curl up with a good book and is so incredibly loving and caring.

5. The Song of the Lioness Quartet 

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Books: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hands of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant

Alanna and her twin brother, Thom, are unhappy with their futures. Thom is all set to go to the palace to train as a knight, when he wants to go and learn to hone his magical Gift and become a powerful sorcerer. Alanna is to be sent to the convent, to be trained as a lady, to return home and find a husband, when she wants to become a knight. They switch places, and Alanna heads to the palace as Alan, disguised as a boy in order to earn her shield. Alanna has to work hard, doing all that she can to earn her shield, while trying to hide the fact that she is a girl.

This book series is incredible and what truly blows my mind about it is that it was written back in the 1980s. People think that the idea of a strong female character is a new phenomenon because of Hermione and Katniss and Tris but the original strong YA female character is definitely Alanna. She disguises herself as a boy for YEARS. Do you know how hard that would be? Not only does she have to work hard to become a knight, which is a trial all in itself, but she has to do it pretending to be a boy. She has to pretend that she doesn’t get her period, or breasts, and that she doesn’t having feelings for boys. She can’t undress herself in front of them. Its all so hard. But she fights hard and earns everything that she gains and its just SUCH a great series. Its a must, an absolute must for any lover of YA.

4. The Grisha Trilogy 

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Books: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising

Alina Starkov is an orphan, earning her way through life, and struggling to find where she fits in. She’s working as a mapmaker, getting by and trying to ignore that her best friend, Mal, is handsome, popular with the ladies, and an incredibly good tracker. One day, as their crossing the Fold, a desolate bit of land, she saves Mal’s life, by using a power that she never knew she had. She has been labeled the Sun Summoner, a rare Grisha classification, able to produce light from within her. Suddenly, she is whisked away by The Darkling, the most powerful of the Grisha, and her power becomes the center of her existence.

The first I met Leigh Bardugo was at the Ontario Teen Book Fest. She was on a panel and the moderator said something about strong female characters not existing when the authors were younger and Leigh immediately says “Uh, duh, Alanna?” and I knew immediately that I needed to read her book. I bought Shadow and Bone that day and I’ve been massively in love with the Grisha trilogy since then. I just read the last one a few weeks ago when it was released and I’m just so in love. Leigh is an incredible writer and a beautiful storyteller. She has magic, and power, and politics and romance and humor and so much all in one series and its just brilliant. I really haven’t read a series like this before and I doubt I will ever read one like it again.

3. The Seven Realms Series

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Books: The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Grey Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown

Raisa is the princess of her queendom, being bred every day to be the queen. She is royal by blood on her mother’s side, and has tribal blood from her father’s side and after spending time with her father and his people, she returns to the castle, restless and ready to do more. Her mother, on the other hand, has been taken in by the High Wizard, in a world where wizards are not to be trusted, and Raisa begins to fear what her mother will do. She starts sneaking out of the palace, getting to know her queendom, hoping to become the best queen that she can be. Han is a former thief, turning away from his criminal ways, in order to support his mother and younger sister. When he steals a wizard’s amulet one day, trouble begins to follow him and leads him into finding the truth about where he came from and what sort of powers he holds in himself.

THIS SERIES. I picked it up on a whim, really, just out of nowhere, and coincidentally, a few days before the final book was released. I literally read the four of them in a period of about five or six days and I have no regrets. Cinda Chima is absolutely brilliant. She reminds of Tamora Pierce a bit, and she just builds a great world. The Seven Realms is just so incredibly real and I love both the main characters so much and I couldn’t wait until the two of them met up together. Raisa is fun, and brave, and sassy, and strong and Han is sarcastic and fearless and reckless and caring and I just love the both of them so much. There’s mystery and intrigue and magic and you can never really figure out who the bad guy is and the books are full of surprises until the very end. There’s action one moment and then steamy makeout scenes the next and I seriously canNOT get enough of these books.

2. The Daughter of the Lioness Duology 

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Books: Trickster’s Choice, Trickster’s Queen

Aly has lived in the shadow of her parents for her entire life. Her father is the King’s spymaster and her mother is King’s champion, and the first female knight in over a century. Her godparents are the king and queen, the wildmage and the realm’s most powerful mage, the captain of the King’s Guard and more. Her brother is studying to be a sorcerer and her twin has gone for his knighthood. What Aly wants more than anything is to be a spy,  but her parents do not approve. She is kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery at the nearby Copper Isles, to the Balitang family. There she discovers a rebellion brewing, the dark skinned raka wanting to take their country back from the light skinned luarin. Before she knows it, she’s wrapped up in it, doing everything she can to protect the Balitang girls, who could become the countries’ future rulers.

I’m rare in liking this series by Tammy the most but I must admit that I am quite biased. This is the first series that I actually read by Tammy. I picked it up when I was about 15 years old because it mentioned pirates and I was obsessed with pirates at the time. Obviously pirates were NOT essential to the story but I legitimately found one of my favorite books of all time. Aly is incredible and so different than Alanna, Daine and Kel. She doesn’t have magical powers like Daine, though she has the Sight. She isn’t a fighter like Alanna and Kel, though she can fight. Instead she’s absolutely clever. She knows the way of politics and the underground spy world. She knows the minds of people and how to trick them and how to get them to do the things she wants them to. Plus I loved the rebellion of it, of the people rising up. Its…easily my favorite book (tied with Goblet of Fire).

1. The Harry Potter Series 

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Books: You know

I’m not going to do a summary for this one because, duh. I’m pretty sure most people know what this is about and if you don’t…have you been living under a rock for all these years? Seriously?

I know this one is weird on this list because its kind of…is it full fantasy? Its kind of contemporary at the same time? I consider it high fantasy though. Also, is it YA? I’ve always sort of considered it YA but a lot of people say it’s children. SO that’s weird. But either way, its my favorite of all time. I do not have five HP tattoos, a personalized HP license plate and much more for nothing. This series is one of the most incredible series to ever be written and there is literally no other book that can make me feel the way these do. They have everything I could possibly need. They provide escape. They have taught me so many lessons of life. They make me laugh and cry. They make me question everything. They have brought me friends. They have an incredible world built and the story is beautiful and complex and exciting from the first page to the last.

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L.A. Times Festival of Books 2014: Day One and Day Two Recap Vlogs!

Guys, doctor I just had SUCH an amazing weekend. This weekend was the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at U.S.C., where the entire weekend is dedicated to the amazing culture of reading. It’s one of my favorite weekends of this year, and this year was no disappointment.

There was a team of five us: me, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, our friends Cassandra and Alexandra and my sister, Jessica. We had our game plans, and despite minor hiccups along the way, we managed to do everything that we wanted to do.

I met (and met again, for some) amazing authors this weekend: John Green (OHMYGOD), Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Oliver, Marissa Meyer, Sarah J Maas, Robin Benway, Veronica Roth, Lauren Myracle, Leigh Bardugo, Deb Caletti, Kiersten White, Andrew Smith and Stephanie Perkins.

But I won’t keep you from seeing my awesome vlogs. I vlogged while at the Fest so you get some pretty awkward and hilarious moments from me, a short video of my conversation with John Green and…lots of awkwardness haha.

Check it out!

Day One!

Day Two!

Yay! I hope you enjoyed seeing the awesomeness that was my weekend!

I managed to grab extra copies of Cinder, Anna and the French Kiss and Fangirl for a giveaway. There will NOT be a giveaway for the month of April (as of now), but there is a HUGE giveaway coming for my Blog Birthday in May so keep an eye out to see how you can get your hands on these books!

Oh! And don’t forget you can check out ALL the pictures on the What A Nerd Girl Says Facebook page here!

Happy Reading Everyone!

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Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite New Releases of 2013!

 Well, stuff its the end of the year, more about and what an absolutely INCREDIBLE year it was for books. Honestly, view I am blown away from all the books that I managed to read this year. I dove even further into the world of book blogging and, by doing so, opened myself up to more and more book recommendations. Its not the end of the year yet, but I’m less than a handful of books away from reaching my 200 book goal. Of those 197 that I’ve read so far, 168 of them were brand new novels, either new releases or new books that were recommended to me.

I mean, I literally discovered SO many authors this year. I’m part of SO many new fandoms this year. 8 of the 10 books on this list are brand new authors to me for the year 2013.

But beyond just new books to me, there were so many brand new releases this year that blew my mind. This week’s Top Ten counts down the best new releases of the year. According to me. Which is basically known as expert and legit opinion that you have to trust. Seriously. I know you’ve seen a ton of other lists, from other book bloggers, and authors and such that count down the best books of 2013, but come on, are they really as awesome as me? I don’t think so ;)

 Anyway, here’s the list! Also, if you click on the title, you’ll get the full review! If there is a review. I didn’t review all of these.

10. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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I have known who Sarah Rees Brennan is for a LONG time, because she’s a close friend of Cassandra Clare’s and we all know how I feel about Cassandra Clare. I just never sat down to read her books. I read The Demon’s Lexicon and liked it but just not enough to have me fall madly in love with her as an author. I asked her to do an interview for her new release, Untold, and figured, okay, I gotta be a good book blogger and actually read this series. I sped through Unspoken, the first novel, and loved the second novel, Untold as well. Untold picks up with two teenagers, obviously in love with each other, but full of so many struggles. They are wondering if their love is real or a result of the bond they had for their entire lives. But they are also struggling with their own families and to keep their town safe. What I love about Sarah’s series is that its good for a fan of YA paranormal romance, but its also so much more than that. Jared is a character to crush on, leaving you panting like mad, and Kami Glass is a seriously badass protagonist who always wants to save the day first before throwing herself into the arms of the one that she loves, and I think that’s incredibly awesome. Plus, that cliffhanger wasn’t even fair. I can’t WAIT until the third book comes out. I’m DYING for it to come out.

9. Here Without You by Tammara Webber

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I absolutely adore, love, admire, love love love love Tammara Webber. I discovered her when I first bought my first Kindle a few years back, and was looking for something to read that was fairly cheap. I discovered Between the Lines, and ate up those books. I LOVE them. They are exactly the type of YA contemporary that I love to read. It has everything that you love about YA but it has that little extra spice, and I love that. Call it mature YA, YA or NA, whatever, its awesome. I also give her much props for being self-published and doing well with it, and getting noticed. Not many authors can do that, but she does and she deserves to be noticed for that. The Between the Lines series mostly follows Reid Alexander, who is a teen actor with a wild streak. You name it: the girls, the parties, the scandals. I thought the series was over with Good for You, when Reid finds the girl who can make him better and he falls in love. When I found out this was coming out, I squealed with SO much excitement. We get more of Reid in this book, of course, but we also get the POV of a character named Brooke, who has always been there, but we don’t know much about. The story of the two of them tackling a part of their past they’d like to forget was beautiful and I was constantly tearing up.

8. The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead 

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Okay, this is a little bit of cheating because I literally just finished it a couple days ago but it counts because I busted through the entire Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series recently and I am so in love with both of them, and Richelle Mead and Dimitri Belikov and Adrian Ivashkov. I read the four books of the Bloodlines series in about a week, and I was blown away that Richelle Mead was able to take the world she built in six books in the Vampire Academy and continue it in ways that were new and exciting. I love Sydney Sage as a main character and, like I said, I’m madly in love with Adrian Ivashkov. I loved that this book delved into the dual points of view. I am actually getting really tired of that and kind of scoff when I see that now but I think she did it perfectly and it created the perfect amount of drama and action and mystery. Having both Adrian and Sydney’s reactions at the end of the book, leaving us hanging for the 5th book, was perfect. Everything from the previous books culminated into the end of this book and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. My impatient body can barely handle the wait until June (July?) when Silver Shadows comes out. I am so excited for it.

Also, I will review this :) I just haven’t had time yet for it!

7. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Another new discovery for the year of 2013, Sarah J Maas knows how to do fantasy. Seriously. There are very few authors nowadays in the YA genre who can do some legitimate beautiful fantasy and she is definitely one of them. The world that she creates is incredible, so incredible that I sometimes find it hard to keep up. I have to pause to remember the intricacies of the world that she has created. But I think the beauty of her novels is her main character, Celaena. Celaena is a trained assassin, overly capable of keeping herself safe, whip smart, and also super fun at the same time. She loves to read, and to eat, and wear pretty dresses. She is exactly what I wish I could be, you know, if I knew how to wield daggers, and kill people. Which I don’t. Just as a disclaimer. The first novel is about Celaena’s bid for freedom, but the sequel just creates a more twisting and secretive storyline, with more and more popping up. Celaena’s life is more complicated than she had expected it to be after winning the tournament in the first book, and its hard for her to keep up sometimes. Sarah takes an already beautifully built world and expands it even more. Its just absolutely amazing.

6. Reality Boy by A.S. King

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I decided to check out this book after it was highly recommended by an author that I admire so much, Andrew Smith. More on Andrew later. But I trust his opinion thoroughly and decided to buy this book, especially since it was the Kindle deal of the day. Always gotta check those out because there can be some GREAT books for deals. This was another book that I whizzed through. King has this amazing story, a hugely addicting and compelling story, but she also addresses a question that we never really think about: what happens to children who are exploited on reality TV shows. It is also a story about serious emotional abuse and neglect. I’ve read so many books about actual physical abuse but emotional abuse and neglect can be just as damaging. Gerald has been traumatized by his stint on reality TV, where his problems as a child were exploited hugely and have followed him for the rest of his life. He also has a very abusive, psychotic sister, whose problems are excused by his very absent mother. Its a beautiful story, one in which Gerald learns to move past the image that he has of himself, built from that TV show, and finds love and strength outside of his home. This book blew me away and AS King is definitely going to be on my radar for now on!

5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Talk about another author who blew my mind this year. I met Leigh at the Ontario Teen Book Fest, where her humor and her affinity for Tamora Pierce novels (agh, Tammy!) made me so happy that I just had to buy her book, Shadow and Bone. I finished it quickly and was so excited when I found out the sequel was to be released in a couple weeks. I went to her book release party (which was incredible!) and immediately went home to read the book. I didn’t believe it to be possible, but this one was even better than the first one. What I like a lot about this novel is that there’s a much bigger picture than just Alina but there is also so much more to Alina, as well. Alina is the protagonist, essentially the “good guy” of the novel, but she has her own struggles with her powers and how to use them. She can’t help but let them overtake her, and her confidence can get the best of her. She is young and impressionable and people are after her, so many people want to use her, and it goes to her head. Plus the world building…I can’t handle the amount of world building in these novels. Its absolutely incredible. Then when I learned that she used chemistry to build her magical system, I was just floored. Oh, and Sturmhond is introduced in this novel. You haven’t lived until you’ve fallen in love with Sturmhond.

4. Champion by Marie Lu

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What an amazing finish to easily the best dystopian series for YA. Maybe, period. Let me put it to you this way: I LOVE The Hunger Games and Divergent. I wouldn’t camp out for days for Catching Fire red carpet premiere if I didn’t love The Hunger Games. But I say this with complete honesty that Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy blows them all out of the water. Prodigy ends in a serious cliffhanger, one that nearly had me throwing my Kindle across the room. I couldn’t believe that I had to wait a whole TEN months for the end ;) But I did it, and what happens in this book is beautiful, genuine and just the perfect ending. There were so many twists and turns and surprises. I loved that Marie opened up her world even more than it already was. She addresses nations outside of the US, which not a lot of dystopian novels do! I also think its the most beautiful, realistic, bittersweet endings ever, and it made me cry and I loved it. I hate happy endings, I’ve made that clear, but this one had so many good and bad things at the end, which felt so real. I am incredibly satisfied with the way this series ended. I can’t wait to read more from Marie Lu because this girl knows how to write a novel!

3. The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

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Speaking of amazing fantasy writers (especially ones that TOTALLY don’t get as much as they deserve), Cinda Williams Chima blew me out the freakin window, down the street and far far away with this installment of the Heir Chronicles. I love the Heir Chronicles but they didn’t become an obsession with me as much as her Seven Realms series did. Now that this fourth book has been released, I must say…they’re basically tied up. The Enchanter Heir was brilliant. It continues the story built in the first three books, but also stands alone. In fact, you can read this one without having ever read the other ones. Both characters in this novel are fantastic. Jonah is a badass fighter, with a scary power, and is incredible to watch, even in my own mind as I read. Emma is new to the magical Weir world but she is so strong and awesome, and she fumbles her way through with grace. Cinda takes an already amazing series and makes it so much better. I cannot even begin to say how much I loved it. She wraps up the third book of the series so well that you think, there’s no way it can continue but she does, she spins a whole new story and it works so well. Her world is that extensive and awesome. Seriously. God people read this book. Read all her books.

2. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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I was so incredibly nervous when I first bought this novel. One, Cassandra Clare has a way of tearing my heart out and stomping all over it. She has a way of pulling at my emotions in a way that not many other authors have been able to. Two, there is a distinct love triangle in this series and I was hoping with all my heart that I would not be disappointed in the ending, because love triangles get on my nerves. What I got was a beautiful novel about love and friendship. She took what has become stereotype and, frankly, annoying and turned it into a lesson on love. Tessa loves Will…and Jem. She loves them both and is able to have time with them both. How often is it that you love one person in your entire life? I know I haven’t. And there’s such a fantastic story of friendship between the three of them. They all love each other so much, they’re so connected, that they’ll do anything for each other, and that includes basically saving the world. Will goes to save Tessa, the rest of the Institute goes to save them both and together, they save the world from Mortmain. This book had me sobbing my eyes out, in the saddest and also happiest epilogue in a book that I’ve ever. And it should be noted that I don’t like epilogues usually. I read this until 3 am. Worth every bit of sleepiness I had the next day. Beautiful beautiful conclusion to the trilogy.

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I cheated. I picked TWO books for number one. I honestly couldn’t pick between the two. There was just no way. They both completely blew my mind.

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I have literally never had a book that literally jumped into my soul, my very being, and just KNEW me. Fangirl is a term that is applied a lot lately, everyone is a fangirl but I think there’s that select few of us that have been fangirls for ages, and know exactly what its like to be Cath. Cath is obsessed with a fantasy series called Simon Snow, which is a sort of fictional Harry Potter. She has posters, commemorative busts, fan art, and writes her own fan fiction, fan fiction that ships the two main male characters together. Not only does she write the fan fiction, but people LOVE her story and they eagerly await her next chapter. And she’s an introvert. She doesn’t always know how to operate in the outside world, because she’s so wrapped up in the fictional world of Simon Snow. She cares about the characters and those worlds so much, and people just don’t get it. If you don’t see this as me, you don’t know me. I literally felt like Cath was ME. I was laughing and crying the entire novel because there were so many times where I felt like screaming “Yes, yes, yes! Exactly! How did you know?” I can’t stop talking about this book because it just effected me so much. I know exactly what its like to be Cath and feel the way she does. I have been wanting to re-read this but I haven’t had the time. Its a goal of my 2014 reading challenge to re-read this book!

1. Winger by Andrew Smith

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You guys are probably getting so tired of me pushing this book on you, but I kind of hope you are so then you’ll go out buy this book and read it just to shut me up already. And then you’ll realize how silly you’ve been for so long and you’ll love it. Just like my boyfriend. I know whats best, everyone. Just trust me on this. I’ve said it a hundred times, and I’ll say it again. Do you like John Green? Did you like Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in Our Stars? Then you will love Winger. Winger is exactly that kind of novel, but so much better. Ryan Dean is hilarious and this book will make you laugh and cry and have an all around good time. It such a beautiful piece into being a teenager, and even more so, a teenage boy. It has sports and a love story. It has LGBT themes, and its ultimately a coming-of-age story. It has artwork in it (the comics are SO funny). It has everything that you need in a great book. I haven’t seen this book on not ONE top list of the year and it disappoints me to no end. This is easily the best book (besides Fangirl) of the year, and I can’t push it on you guys enough. Andrew Smith’s novel is the kind of novel that lasts. Its contemporary and recent but the story and the characters, the jokes, the love, the lessons, are all timeless. Andrew Smith became a favorite author of mine, easily, with one novel. Thats magic.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Top Ten! I hope that you loved these books as much as I did, and if you haven’t read them, I hope they make it on your “to-read” lists for 2014! They are all must-reads and I am going to push all of them on you until you just give in and read them.

What were some of your favorite 2013 books? Share in the comments! 

Book of the Week-Crown of Midnight

So I apologize for the fact that this is a day late. This week, check I started school, went to TWO different book signings, worked and got a new tattoo. This is apparently just too much for me to handle and so I got a little behind in the blogging. However, I finished Sarah J. Maa’s new book, the second of the Throne of Glass series, last night and I can’t wait to share my review with you!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas 

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GoodReads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Genre:

young adult, fantasy

Part of a Series?

Yes. This is the second novel of the Throne of Glass series

Warning: This post will NOT contain spoilers for this particular novel. However, there very well could be spoilers for any previous novels. Please check out my review of Throne of Glass here.

You May Like if You Liked:

The Tortall books by Tamora Pierce, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Plot Summary:

The book is a sequel to Throne of Glass. In Throne of Glass, the famous Aderlan Assassin Celaena is freed from a terrible work camp/prison in order to compete in a deadly contest to be the King’s Champion. The prince has chosen Celaena to be his sponsor, and after much dramatics, Celaena wins and becomes the King’s Champion. Spoiler alert. I told you that I was probably going to be spoiling Throne of Glass.

The thing about Throne of Glass is that Celaena is determined to become King’s Champion in order to guarantee her freedom, away from the mines, and away from the cruel and powerful king. When she accomplishes this, she merely has to serve the King for two years and she’ll be free. But there is way more going on than she realizes. She’s given the tasks to find and kill people who the king claims as traitors and rebels to the crown, until he gives her the name of someone she knew long ago. Her friend, the princess Nehemia, is determined to make more of Celaena’s power than she’s been using it for. Chaol and Calaena’s friendship has the possibility of being more, while Dorian watches on the sidelines and tries to forget about her. Celaena has to spend her time deciding who is right and who is wrong, who to trust and who is lying to her, all while trying to preserve her own life under the rule of this powerful and cruel king. Then a tragedy occurs, and everything that Celaena had known or guessed is now in question and she’s on a mission, a mission to make things right, for revenge, for justice.

The Bad:

Uh, that it ended? Seriously. I think the worst part of the book is the fact that it ended and who knows when the third book will come out. Without ruining anything for those of you who have not yet had the chance to read it, or can’t read it because it hasn’t released in your country, I will say this: this book breaks your heart in several different ways. And it leaves you absolutely begging for more. I stared at the last page for a long while, wondering if that was really the end or if there was going to be a little note “just kidding, keep reading”. Of course, there wasn’t, but I wish there was and I wish that I could read what happens next!

The Good:

Sarah’s ability to tell a story is absolutely fantastic. Just when you think that you have figured out what is going on, you’re thrown completely for a loop and you’re sent spiraling into a completely different direction. That is great storytelling. She creates these characters, every single one of them who is so well developed, so believable and so memorable and addicting, and she puts them into this complex and ever looping stories that you can’t help but be glued to the pages the entire novel. Because here’s the thing: Sarah doesn’t just make you addicted to Celaena’s story, she makes you care about all of them, even the characters that aren’t necessarily “good”. Every character has his or her own story, and all of these stories sort of build together, pile on top of one another and make one gigantic story. And since we don’t get everyone’s point views, the story creates this long mystery, a mystery that never really gets solved. Things unravel, piece by piece, and when one piece is uncovered, another mystery is revealed. I think that is a magical thing, to be able to build a story like that.

I also really love that she is so fantastic at world building. You may have noticed that most of the books that I read are fantasy or sci-fi, and yet, what I actually write is contemporary. And that is because the world building of some of these authors is just out of this world, and I am daunted by the task of doing that. Some people just are better at this, and Sarah is a genius at it. She makes this world that is so familiar and relatable but creates in in a completely new universe. What I love about it is that she takes elements from different stories, different myths and cultures, things we’ve seen before and creates her own universe and that is the mark of a good writer. She takes things that we’ve all used, all these fantasy writers tend to be inspired by, and really does a great job of creating her own universe based on it. I think a lot of people think authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling and such all have brand new ideas, but they don’t. They take myths and legends, different aspects of religion, different aspects from different stories and they build their own universes from that. It shows talent and research and imagination and creativity and it is really accomplished in this world, and its so impressive.

I also just adore the characters that Sarah creates in these books. I love Celaena the most, especially after the way Sarah described her when I met her a few days ago. She is a unique heroine in that she has this strength, she’s a fighter, a warrior…an assassin who has an ease for killing, who was trained to kill and to be good at it, but she’s also lovely, calm, intelligent, addicted to books…and she’s super girly! She loves clothes, and looking pretty and shopping for clothes and perfumes. I love that. I love that she is capable of being both, because so many times I feel that female characters are either one or the other. Its the reason I love Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments because she embodies that so it was nice to see that sort of kindred spirit in Celaena as well. I also love Nehemia, and the strength that the princess shows, the loyalty and passion and strength of Chaol, and the openness and genuine nature to Dorian. I even love Fleetfoot, Celaena’s dog.

Lastly, I love that there are so many depths of this novel. I love that it follows up this completely great debut novel, and it doesn’t disappoint. You sometimes wonder with an original novel, whether the sequel will be as good and this one doesn’t disappoint in this slightest. I love that it was completely worth the wait, and that it was a continuation of the previous story but it brought about new stories, new enemies while sticking to the conflicts of the previous novel. I also am attracted to the fact that there are SO many elements to the story: romance, action, adventure, revenge, fantasy, justice, drama, so MUCH. There are so many layers to the novel, and that is what makes it SO good. If I were to write a paper about this, there are so many angles that I could take on it, so many themes and so many conflicts and ideas going on in there. I absolutely love it and it makes me excited and anxious for more novels.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?

Yes. Of course. Especially if you’ve already read Throne of Glass. If you loved Throne of Glass, you’re going to read this book and wonder how it was even possible to get better than that, but it did. She took a book that was an amazing debut and made it even better in the sequel. I met her Tuesday (check out the pictures below!) and she informed us that there would be six to seven books in total for the series. I canNOT wait!

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week review!

Don’t forget to check out previous reviews here! And stay tuned for more awesome this weekend!

Things to Look Forward to in 2013

The year is halfway over. Its July and its full on summer mode here in Southern California. The 4th of July is that turning point of the year; its half way over.

And I’m sitting here, viagra approved enjoying my summer vacation before I start my last two years of college, thinking about all the awesome things that have already come out and happened this year. Clockwork Princess. WonderCon. Meeting SO many authors. Star Trek premiere. So many cool things.

But then I was thinking about it, and I was like, there is still SO MUCH MORE to look forward to with the rest of the year. So much more.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Premiere Date: August 12, 2013

Release Date: August 21, 2013

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I am SOOOO insanely excited for this. The Mortal Instruments series is one of my absolute favorite book series and I cannot wait to see it on the big screen. When they first started making it, I admit I was extremely wary. I was afraid of them making another Twilight, and while this series keeps getting compared to Twilight, its nothing like it and it looks amazing! I was also super wary of some of the casting, especially the casting of Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland but I ended up being proven so wrong, at least of what I’ve seen so far. So far, the directors, producers and movie studio have gone out of there to stay connected to the fans, to see what we’d like to see and what we like about we’ve seen so far and they’ve responded in kind. And the trailer shows me a seriously badass movie. I am looking forward to this movie adaptation because its looking like the best that I’ve seen in awhile.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and 12th Doctor Announcement

Release Date: November 23, 2013

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I LOVE DOCTOR WHO, and my love for Doctor Who only increased when I went to Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention in February. I enjoyed Series 7, though it wasn’t my favorite, and I have been eagerly anticipating the GREAT 50th anniversary special that is sure to come this year. That is when they announced that David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) would be joining Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) and Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswin Oswald) for the 50th. I literally squealed with fangirl excitement. David Tennant is amazing, and his rendition of the Doctor is just…its the best and I ADORE Rose and I can’t wait to see the shenanigans that these four get up to. Then Matt Smith announced that he would be retiring as the 11th Doctor and all eyes and ears in the DW fandom are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the 12th Doctor. So much amazing DW coming our way :)

Tammara Webber’s Here With You

Ebook Release: August 6, 2013

Paperback Release: August 27, 2013

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I wasn’t even aware that there would be a fourth book in this series but I am so excited that there will be, especially since Reid Alexander is a main player in this book again. If Reid Alexander were a real celebrity, I’d: A, want him to play Jace Wayland in City of Bones and B, I’d be WAY obsessed with him that way girls are obsessed with Justin Bieber. I have a feeling a lot is going to be going on with this book, and I think the past that Reid has with his ex, Brooke, is going to come up big time with this book. I think we’re finally going to see more of that then we’ve ever seen before.

Sarah J. Maas’ Crown of Midnight

Release August 27, 2013

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The first of these books, Throne of Glass, is an absolute masterpiece and its no wonder, as it took Sarah nearly 10 years to write. Its an epic fantasy, with a badass character in Celaena, who is literally a legendary, almost mythical assassin. She can fight, and kill and she has a wicked sense of humor and she likes to curl up with a book. And she has two very different men falling in love with her, and she’s too busy trying to get her freedom. And…even though I absolutely loathe love triangles, I can’t decide which man I like better: Dorian or Chaol. But what a wonderful world that Sarah has created and I can’t wait to see this story continue and to see what other wicked adventures Celaena gets herself into.

Jennifer L Armentrout’s Origin 

Release Date: August 27, 2013

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I can’t WAIT for this book (did I mention that this book and the previous two mentioned ALL COME OUT THE SAME DAY!). If you’ve read the end of Opal, the third book in the Lux series, you’ll understand. MAJOR cliffhanger, and you just know that Daemon is PISSED and he’s ready to take on the world to get Katy back and its going to be amazing. Just the differences in covers alone shows that this is going to be a VERY different novel from the previous. I hope it’ll be more action packed and it’ll take the story in completely new directions. I am SO excited for this book; I’m counting down the days.

Veronica Roth’s Allegiant

Release Date: October 22, 2013

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I read Divergent TWO days before the release of Insurgent and stayed up til 3 a.m. reading Insurgent on its release day. It was released on May 1st, 2012 and I’ve already been waiting for over a year for this book. I know plenty of other Divergent fans who haven’t waited nearly as long as I have, so trust me haha, I’m dying for this book to come out, especially with the damn cliffhanger this book leaves you with! I remember reading this SO late at night and thinking, “No…no way. No, Veronica Roth, you don’t do this to me.” This is one of the most anticipated releases of the year in the YA genre, and with the movie wrapping up filming this month, its sure to be a best-seller within minutes. I canNOT wait to see the conclusion of this epic dystopian series.

Rick Riordan’s The House of Hades

Release Date: October 8, 2013

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Again with the cliffhangers. The Mark of Athena, the book right before this one, leaves off with an EPIC cliffhanger. Sorry I’m about to spoil it so if you haven’t read the previous books, I would move on to the next time on the list. I’m warning you. Okay, we leave off with Percy and Annabeth (one of my OTP!) literally FALLING INTO TARTARUS, the deep depths of the Underworld and the Romans of Camp Jupiter charging toward Camp Half Blood, with attack the only objective on their minds. What a way to leave off. Only a year in between books but it is SO hard to wait. And this cover, with an extremely beat up Percy and Annabeth, running from…something, just gets me wriggling with anticipation. Rick Riordan has never failed to disappoint me so this is definitely a book to count down on.

Catching Fire Release

Release Date: November 22, 2013

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I can’t wait for this movie for three reasons. One, I loved the first one but I wasn’t incredibly impressed with it. I’m hoping CF is better :) Two, Finnick Odair. Do I need to say anything else? And three, my friends all went to the Hunger Games premiere last year and had an awesome time and now we are going to the CF premiere and its sure to be a FANTASTIC time. This is a great book series, and the movie is chock full of great actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Haralson, Donald Sutherland, Jenna Malone and so much more. I am excited to see how they accomplish the build up that Catching Fire is. I also am really curious to see how well they pull of the Quarter Quell and the ridiculous arena that is the 75th Hunger Games. I remember reading it and thinking it was crazy, and its going to be epic on the big screen.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Release

Release Date: December 13, 2013

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Okay, I don’t care what any of those so-called fancy Hollywood movie “critics” say. They aren’t fans of the Tolkien universe and they just don’t know. This movie wasn’t made for the critics; it was made for the fans and all the fans that I know…LOVED the first movie. I know I did. I was incredibly impressed and I wanted it to go on forever and I loved the extra stories they added from The Silmarillion and the appendices. This movie is bound to be epic because we get to see more elves (including Thandruil and Legolas) and Benedict Cumberbatch’s sexy dragon voice and so much more. I just know that the movie will continue to be as epic as the first one was. My super cool friend, Kathleen, from New Zealand got me some epic Hobbit shirts and I can’t wait to wear them when seeing this movie for the first time.

Cinda Williams Chima’s The Enchanter Heir 

Release Date: October 1, 2013

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I am so incredibly…okay I’ve said it like a hundred times now…excited for this book because Cinda Williams Chima is a fantasy GENIUS. Seriously. I will push her on you until the day I die because she is an absolutely brilliant and talented writer and I don’t think its fair that she doesn’t get the credit that she deserves when there are extremely popular YA authors out there, with huge fandoms, that aren’t even good. Okay, moving on, this is the 4th book in the Heir Chronicles, though it can be read without reading the first three. Its an urban fantasy, a brilliantly crafted fantasy world wrapped up in modern day worlds. I read all seven of Cinda’s previously released books in a matter of about a month and so now I am dying to have my socks knocked off again by this amazing writer.

Anniversary Edition Harry Potter Books

Release Date: August 27, 2013

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I hate change. I really do. I would rather things just be left alone and kept the way they originally were meant to be. Like the original Star Wars trilogy. Why George Lucas, why, did you add all that unnecessary CRAP  to that movie? Ugh. So when they announced that each book in the Harry Potter series would be getting updated covers for the 15th anniversary of the Sorcerer’s Stone’s publication in the US, I wasn’t really thrilled. Until the covers started to be revealed and I was thoroughly impressed. As much as I believe that Mary Grandpre’s covers are the best and will always remain my favorite, these covers (so far, five have been released) are just so beautiful done and are so incredibly impressive and full of artistic talent. I went from shaking my head, to looking at these with eyes wide and immediately rushing to Amazon to place my pre-order. And of course, this box set comes out the EXACT SAME DAY as Origin and Crown of Midnight and Here Without You…

Marie Lu’s Champion 

Release Date: November 5, 2013 

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This is going to be the most epic finale to the BEST dystopian series that I have ever read. Yes, better than The Hunger Games, and yes, better than Divergent. Marie Lu creates a one of a kind dystopian universe (she actually talks about countries besides the US!) and she creates two conflicting, yet in love characters, and her back and forth point of views just leave us with a breath taking, addicting story. I adore both June and Day and the cliffhanger she leaves us with (SPOILER: Day is dying…and he didn’t tell June) is just too much for me to handle. Luckily, after reading Prodigy on its release day in January, I didn’t have to wait long for Champion’s release, which is in November! Not even a year. That, my friends, is possibly the best news a reader can get.

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters

Release Date: August 7, 2013

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I was incredibly disappointed in the first movie. I don’t think its as TERRIBLE as everyone makes it out to be but it definitely isn’t a good movie. Its kind of one of those guilty pleasure movies; plus, Logan Lerman is so adorable, I just want to eat him up. But it wasn’t great, and it failed in the box office, so it surprised me immensely when they announced that the second book, Sea of Monsters, was being filmed. Pleasantly surprised but also wary. Now, I’ve seen stills and trailers and I’m not completely sold yet but I do like this book a lot and I am hoping that they are able to revamp this movie series and we can get to Titan’s Curse, which is my FAVE of the Olympians series. I hope, I hope!

Meg Cabot’s The Bride Wore Size 12

Release Date: September 24, 2013

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Heather Wells is one of my idol characters to look up to because she makes me feel better about myself, both inside and out. Heather is a bigger girl, and she used to be a smaller, famous pop star who basically lost everything but as the books go on, she gains more and more confidence, and becomes so happy in the skin that she’s in and I love that. I love that the more I gain confidence in the size that I wear (which is, a size 12), the more I feel like this badass heroine. Now, after all these books, I am so happy that she is finally getting married and to the person that she’s always wanted to be married to, and I can’t wait to see what adventures she is bound to get into because its Heather and someone is bound to die and Heather is bound to catch them.

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I am also looking forward to the return of Once Upon a Time in the fall for season 3, the new series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as well. I am excited for Vampire Diaries and the new series, The Originals. I am also anticipating the return of Sherlock, season 3, though I believe that may be in 2014. So much is coming!

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So that was a really long, epic post but I hope you all enjoyed it! There are just SO many cool things left to look forward to in 2013!

What are you most looking forward to in the next six months of 2013? Book releases, movie releases, TV shows returning? As always, share in the comments!

Book of the Week-Throne of Glass

Hello everyone :) Welcome to this week’s Book of the Week. I have to tell you, I read three new books this week and it was kind of hard to narrow it down to just one to review for this week. I chose this one because it most fits what I usually review and its awesome but I’m thinking…

Should I maybe do a video blog occasionally? Maybe like, “Sara’s Quick Picks“, and I’ll profile the other books I read that week that don’t make it to the Book of the Week? It’d be like…quick reviews of the other books? What do you guys think? Let me know!

Anyway, I saw this book all over GoodReads and people were talking about it and Im like, I need to get on this train and I added it to my “to-read” list. Then I went shopping at Barnes and Noble last week to pick up some books to get signed at the Ontario Teen Book Fest and I saw this sitting on the shelf and was like “LOOK AT THAT COOL COVER!” and immediately grabbed it off the shelf.

And read in a couple days, as per usual. Its a very good book, but I’ll tell you all about it below :) Check out this week’s Book of the Week!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Genre:
young adult, fantasy

Part of a Series?:
The first book in the Throne of Glass series. The second, Crown of Midnight, will be released this summer!

You May Like if You Liked:
Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima, Kristin Cashore’s Graceling

Plot Summary:

Celaena was trained from the age of 8 to become an assassin, and she becomes the most feared assassin of them, until she is caught and sent to Endovier, to the salt mines, where most criminals do not survive very long with the hard labor. However, Celaena continues to survive until the Crown Prince of Erilea, Dorian, comes to fetch her. He has has a bargain for her: if she participates in a contest of sorts as his Champion, a competition where former criminals battle it out to become the King’s Champion, a coveted role. Dorian wants Calaena as his Champion, so that she can win, serve his father for four years and then earn her freedom. Celaena immediately agrees, though she doesn’t have much of a choice. She comes from a country that no longer exists, taken over by Dorian’s father, and has worked against him her whole life. But this means her freedom.

When she arrives, things don’t go the way she expects them to. She is gaining a lot of attention from both Dorian and the captain of the King’s Guard, Chaol. She’s forming a close friendship with a princess from a nearby land. And she’s having to hide her skills so as not to gain too much attention. But then weird things start happening. Marks called Wyrdmarks start appearing, in a kingdom that has absolutely forbidden magic, and Champions are turning up dead, in seriously gruesome ways. Celaena now has to worry about making it past all the Tests and not ending up dead like the other Champions…

The Bad:

The love triangle. I’m sorry. I mean that in the best way possible. But I am so tired of the love triangle. I am so insanely over it. Please make it go away. I understand it makes for a more interesting story, blah blah blah. I was so excited in Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s Obsidian because there’s no love triangle. Not in the slightest. It was amazing. And I will say that the love triangle in this novel…its very, very subtle. Its not in your face, so there is that. I’ll also add that its subtle enough, on both sides, that you’re not really rooting for either one. At the end of the novel, I’m left going “OHMYGOD, who do I ship?” Haha. But this a very slight love triangle, and honestly, more of an annoyance than anything.

The Good:

Celaena is such a badass. She is up there with all the super badass heroines that we’ve been getting. At first she really reminded me of Katsa from Graceling. They both are kind of trained at a young age to become an assassin. I do think there is a difference between them. I love Katsa and Kristin Cashore’s Graceling but I did have some issues with Katsa; she’s very…unemotional and lacking of humanity sometimes. Sometimes its hard to relate to her. Celaena is trained as an assassin but has such a deep personality and human feelings and emotions. I love that she has a ton of humor and sarcasm. I love that she is this badass assassin with the power to kill people fairly easily and yet she loves to curl up with a book and enjoy a story. I love that she loves dogs and doesn’t want the grumpy runt of the pack to be killed.

I love the sort of repertoire she builds with the different characters in the novel. She spends the most time with Dorian, Chaol and the princess and she is Celaena with all of them, but she has a different relationship with each of them and while reading, I get eager to see what sort of interaction she will have with each character. She plays all these different parts and she doesn’t hold back. I think that’s what really attracts both Dorian and Chaol to Celaena. She is this beautiful fighter, talented warrior, gifted and brilliant and everyone knows who she is, has heard whispers of her. But I think once this famed assassin is given a name, a personality, a face…Dorian and Chaol are able to really see her as a person. And the princess, Nehemia, is really able to see what Celaena is like because she doesn’t know her true identity or her reason for being there.

I also really love the conflict that goes on within Celaena. She’s an assassin from a country that was brutally taken over by the king, and she’s spend much of her “career”, fighting and killing and working against him. And she is sent to the salt mines, where she isn’t fed well, and she’s fighting off would-be attackers and doing extreme hard labor. Of course this isn’t a place that she wants to be at. She’s given the chance of freedom, but at the cost of working for someone whom she despises. Its a very strange internal struggle for her, as she fights to win the King’s Champion position, knowing it’ll both mean her freedom, but preceded by four years of killing for a man that she definitely does not see as her king. I love that we don’t just get to see her physical fight, but we get to see her fight internally as well.

I loved the ending to this book as well, but as I’m trying to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible because before, I just spoiled things like crazy, I won’t say too much. I loved how everything was wrapped and yet completely not wrapped up at the same time. You had a conclusion, an ending but there are so many loose ends, especially toward the end when you start getting different points of view and you see sort of the inner workings of this kingdom and what could possibly go wrong. So it leaves you both happy and frustrated which is the mark of a good ending.

And it makes me absolutely can’t WAIT til August to read the sequel. Maas has created a very realistic, fantastical world. She said it started out as kind of a throwback to Cinderella but I think the story kind of had a mind of its own and took on its own life form. She builds a world as real as Tortall or Fellsmarch or Middle Earth. You believe its real and you believe all these characters are real and it sucks you into the story. I very much enjoyed this book.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Recommended or Not?:

Definitely. If you like fantasies with girls that kick ass, this is the book for you. Celaena is a badass character with the right emotions and personality for you to both love her and hate her, and follow her story eagerly. I literally inhaled this book because I just had to find out what happened next.

As always, the book title above will take you to the Amazon page and the author’s name will take you to their website.

Definitely check this book out!

Last little note: I hope she comes to California soon because I would adore meeting her!

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If you missed it yesterday, here is my interview with best selling author, Eoin Colfer!

And check back soon for my post all about the Star Trek Into Darkness red carpet premiere!