Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2014 so Far

ImageBurial Rites – Hannah Kent
Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
ImageThe Humans – Matt Haig
The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves.

ImageThrone of Glass – Sarah j. Maas
In the dark filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen year-old-girl is serving a life sentence. However, young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament.

ImageGrave Mercy – Robin LaFevers
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the Gods of old. Here she learns that the God of Death himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts – and a violent destiny.

ImageLost Lake – Sarah Addison Allen
Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal.
ImageSea of Shadows – Kelley Armstrong
In the forest of the Dead, where the empires worse criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

ImageThe Program – Suzanne Young
Sloane knows better than to cry infront of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in the program, the only proven course of treatment.
ImageScarlet – Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison – even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealths most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Beniot’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother of the grave danger she has lived in her whole life.
ImageCress – Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
In the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Throne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who has only ever had her netscreens as company.

ImageWhat Happened to Goodbye – Sarah Dessen
Since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move – four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mothers new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva, but now for the first time, Mclean discovers the desire to stay in the same place and just be herself.

Advertisements

Book Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of MidnightImage
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
4/5

            After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

               Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

              Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
Image

            Crown of Midnight was a prime example of how fantastic a sequel can be. Where other sequels fall flat, Crown of Midnight takes this complex story to new heights.  It is possible that perhaps Crown of Midnight is even greater than Throne of Glass.
            Celaena develops and becomes considerably darker than she appeared in Throne of Glass and I was eternally thankful for that. With the life that she had lead up until this point it seemed strange to me that in the first book that she was so footloose and fancy free. She starts to develop and question things that she had already known, and we find out a whole lot of things regarding her past that I actually hadn’t seen coming. She falls in love, she is betrayed, she is lost at times and finds strength to continue on even when everything becomes bleak. She amazes me with her ability to forgive but not forget, to let go but to still hold others accountable to their actions.
           The romantic encounters are more realistic, and at times made my heart swell up with intense happiness and other times deflate with sadness, it’s clear to me whom I want Celaena to end up with if she does indeed choose either Dorian or Choal. She’s a complicated character and so are both of these men, and no matter who she chooses in the end, I’d be happy just knowing that she’s found love, peace, and acceptance with someone.
            Crown of Midnight switches point of view within the chapters and normally I don’t enjoy that very much but I felt it was important and needed and kept me captivated despite by previous grievances with novels that do this. Sarah J. Maas did an absolutely fantastic job integrating characters and giving everyone their own personalities and voices, no one person sounded too much like the other.
             The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger as Celaena embarks on a completely new quest and her story continues to grow. I’m eagerly anticipating the third book in this installment and this is definitely turning into a series I wish was already completed and published because I’m biting my nails with need and want for the next part of the story.
Image

Book Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)Image
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 2012
4/5

In a world without magic, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the vicious king who rules from his throne of glass but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she will be released from prison to serve as the King’s Champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her and a princess from a faraway land will befriend her. But something evil dwells in the castle – and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival – and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Image

Personally I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, its simple plot and easy to like characters made for a fairly quick and enjoyable read. The plot is certainly not complicated and despite what I’ve seen other’s saying, I do not believe you need to read the ‘prequels’ to understand ‘Throne of Glass’ and the progression of this story.
I really enjoyed Sarah J. Mass’ writing style, throne of glass greatly reminded me of Graceling written by Kristin Cashore and I truly feel if you enjoyed that book you would also enjoy this one.
Celaena was very likeable despite the obvious flaws with her character that made me reduce my rating to a four star instead of a 5 star. She’s witty, intelligent, friendly, and very likeable. I did however find that her obsession with her appearance, and ridiculously feminine clothing to be unlikely as her position as an assassin would likely not allow her much of those privileges in the past. I find it extremely hard to believe that a woman who is almost unmatched in beauty (According to the author) would be able to go unnoticed for so long and I think it’s virtually impossible that no one would have known who she was.  Beyond those flaws however, I found her to be a strong character and a fairly decent role model for young woman.
I also really enjoyed the characters of Prince Dorian and Chaol who is the Captain of the Guard. There were obviously a few character issues with them as well but understandably no person is perfect so expecting characters in novels to be perfect is probably like trying to breath under water and unless you’re a fish it’s very unlikely to go well.
I am looking forward to seeing how all the relationships develop, where things will go between Chaol and Dorian and if the triangle will destroy their friendship. I’m obviously also interested in knowing whom Celaena will end up with in the end as well; perhaps she will not end up with any of them.
In a land where magic is outlawed I’m very curious to see where that will take us as it’s quite obvious that by outlawing it there will be magic involved within this series. It’ll  be neat to see what kind of magic the author introduces and how the magic will take place within this story line.
Overall a great introduction into a series I’m fairly certain I will greatly enjoy. Have you read Throne of glass? Let me know what you thought! It’d be great to discuss such an interesting piece of YA literature.
If you’re not interested in reading Throne of Glass I would also love to hear why, it’s great that everyone has so many different opinions! : )

Image