Thursday, March 31, 2016

REVIEW | Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Lady Midnight follows the main characters Julian Blackthorn and Emma Corsairs, five years after we left them in The Mortal Instruments series.

(SIDE NOTE: if you don't want to be spoiled for things you should definitely read TMI and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare before reading this book.)

These two are inseparable, and have already made their parabatai oaths to each other in the years since the Dark War.  Julian has four younger siblings who live with these two at the LA institute, along with their eccentric uncle who is mostly absent. Due to this, Julian has basically raised his siblings for the last five years.

I absolutely adored all of the Blackthorn children and the development we see of them throughout the story, along with of course all of the different crazy plot twists we get! I don't really have much to say that won't spoil things, so lets get into some of my favorite scenes of this book!


So firstly let me say that basically every time one of our TMI/TID characters were mentioned I teared up. We find out that Julian talks to Helen regularly and petitions for her release from Wrangel Island annually (to no avail) but he consistently tells her everything is fine even when as we learn THEY ARE NOT.

We meet a new shadow hunter from Mexico, and almost right away I loved Chrsitina. I love her friendship with Emma, and how nonjudgmental but also logical she is.  She holds this point of view for all our other characters that are on this emotional roller coaster and tries to keep a level headed theory on everything, because she's not tied to everyone that they are. I loved all of that.  Her and Emma also cracked me up regularly!


Then we get to the part where Mark is given back to the Blackthorn family as a show of good faith for the shadowhunters to help the fairies catch the killer on the loose in LA. I was soooo not expecting for Mark to be in this book! I thought one of the main things happening in this series would be trying to save Mark. But then he's just handed back! HOWEVER the following scenes were so emotional for me to read, where Mark doesn't believe that the Blackthorns are truly his family, that they're a fairy trick.  It was so heartbreaking to see the reactions of the smaller kids in particular when Mark reacts like this in front of them.  Once again Christina made me fall in love with her when she calmed Mark down so well in the room. I loveeeeeddd it! I ship Christina and Mark so hard!

Okay so throughout the book we get these moments from both Julian and Emma being jealous but knowing they shouldn't be jealous about each other with other people. It was so beautifully done! It was so frustrating to read because I've felt that exact way before and it was so well executed!

One of my favorite lines from the book:
"'He bumped into a pay phone and said, 'Excuse me miss,' on our way in,' said Julian.
'It's polite to apologize,' said Mark with the same small smile.
'Not to inanimate objects.'"

THEN I FELT SO MUCH AGONY BECAUSE JULIAN GETS SHOT WITH AN ARROW AND I WAS TERRIFIED. And then I got really confused because of the glowing iratze that Emma draws? I thought for sure that was because the parabatai bond was stronger with their growing romantic feelings toward each other (literally the one thing I called in this book lol!) Also this scene felt VERY erotic to me, because Emma is straight up straddling Julian in the back of a car while drawing the iratze and then they were talking about a warm tingling sensation or something? I was questioning if that feeling happened to be in their groins. And then Julian looks at her and says "keep going" and I was like what the hell is she doing that feels so good Julian? oh my god.

I did NOT see Mark and Kieran coming!!! The introduction of this relationship made me question where I wanted Mark to end up; the love between these two seemed strong and necessary. Something they both needed to live.  That made it hard for me to vehemently want Mark to stay with the Blackthorns. On the other hand I of course wanted to Mark to stay with his family. They loved him, and understanding the pain it would do to each of them, particularly the younger ones, was tough!

We get the first scene since the prologue with Kit, and it made me even more intrigued about what was the point of bringing him into the story. Why did he matter. But more importantly at this point of the book I loved the character development we get to see in Ty.  He sneaks into the car and essentially follows Julian and Emma to Johnny Rook's house, and then proceeds to fuck everything up when he threatens Kit. I couldn't help but laugh but I was also proud of him for doing it?? Even though he messed up, he still was acting like a shadow hunter!

THEN MY FAVORITE SCENE HAPPENS. Mark is babysitting the children while Julian and Emma (and Ty) go to Johnny Rooks and the three of them come home to disaster. I laughed so hard I almost died from choking on my spit. I could not handle the description of everything that was happening and how unaware Mark was that he had done anything wrong! I love that he gets mad at Julian saying something along the lines of "all you said I had to do was keep them alive! You joked about it!" I laughed really hard even though Julian was really mad.

Then we get some sexy times. Emma almost drowns at the ley line convergence because theres a portal to the ocean (that was really creepy!) which almost kills Julian because he also coughs up water?? Another point where I was like THIS IS NOT A NORMAL PARABATAI BOND. After Julian saves her they go from kissing from the first time to having sex on the beach!!!! I was surprised this happened in the first book, considering it took Clary and Jace six books to do the deed, but it felt like a natural place in this relationship!! I loved it.

Then the fairies show up again. I thought they were going to kill Mark at first, so this whole scene was a little underwhelming for me. I was like someone just take the 20 lashes! At least he's not dying or being taken back to Faerie forever! But emotionally I was really happy with how it went down with Emma taking the lashes to save both Mark and Julian form going through it.

At some point around this time in the book there is a wonderful moment between Emma and Mark where Emma asks Mark if he is bisexual and he says yes that is the term you would use, but in faerie they don't have  a term for it.  I LOVED IT. Snaps for Cassie Clare forever including bisexuality in her stories!!!!!!

The last thing I want to talk about is the climax. I about died when we find out that Tavvy has been taken. I was having serious Max flashbacks and was just like WHY does Cassie have to put babies in danger all the time?????? We get some great action for everyone, and Kieran ends up helping them "defeat" Malcolm... I put this in quotes because I feel like he's not dead. He's a warlock and she stabbed him once. like can he heal himself?? We didn't see him die!! And we know Annabel has been awakened soooo where is this going??

Some character things and theories:

I think my favorite character is Ty. I love that he's different and so smart and he protects his sister in the last climatic scene. He's the best basically.

Diana.  She's is questionable but I no longer think she's up to something bad like untrustworthy I think she's afraid of the clave.  My theory is that she's in love with a mundane or has had a child with a mundane or something of the sort.  Or maybe its with someone who is fae? Something like that.

Once again, I think there is a definitely possibility that Malcolm Fade is alive. If that's the case I wonder if Magnus will play a part in his eventual death. That would be tough for Magnus.

I am soooooo happy we got our little snippets of the previous characters. I SQUEALED when I read that Simon and Isabelle were getting married!!! And seeing Jace and Clary and all of the descriptions from both Julian and Emma about them were funny to read!

Okay I think this post is long enough, I hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I'm Feeling 23!

     Matt and I started out my birthday with some Starbucks and then got on the 405 headed for Disneyland.  I love Disneyland so much, and I'm lucky to say that I've been many times in my life.  Proximity has definitely helped with that and I'm glad I still live close enough to be able to reasonably say "yes I'll go so many times that an annual pass is a good idea." Which is what we did.  I'm so excited!

               We got my birthday pin and so many people (cast members who are forced to but sshhhh) said happy birthday to me!


         We started off our morning by getting me some 60th anniversary ears, because hello! Diamond celebration! I couldn't pass up some limited time ears! Then we made our way to Pirates of the Caribbean, which is definitely Matts favorite ride and top 3 for me!

         I also thoroughly enjoy the Haunted Mansion!  After going to the Innovation Studios and seeing all the star wars get up and going on a couple rides we made our way to California Adventure for lunch as well as a couple rides. The best thing about that park is that they serve alcohol! So I had a weird mixture of bread bowl plus margarita for lunch. It was still tasty.

         After a few rides in California Adventure, including California Soarin' which is one of my favorite rides and they're getting rid of it!!!!! I'm annoyed, but we decided to go back to Disneyland. We had a reservation at the blue bayou (the restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean) but had some time to spare so we bought Matt a hat and took some photos by the castle


        Then we had the best damn food I've ever had in a restaurant I haven't been to since childhood and Matt had never expereinced. It was phenomenal!!  I had salmon, Matt had filet, and we had lemon creme brûlée for dessert. Oh my god my mouth is watering just thinking about it all.

         We finished off our night watching the new Paint the Night parade, which is essentially a revamp of the electric parade. It was beautiful! Such a great ending to the night!

          I did also film a vlog all about my Disneyland adventures, (linked here) so if you're interested in seeing a video about it you can head to my channel and check it out there!  Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, it was such a wonderful day!!

Until next time,

Saturday, March 12, 2016

REVIEW | Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I gave Truthwitch by Susan Dennard a 4 out of 5 stars! This was book 14 of 2016!

This story is about two girls: Safiya and Iseult.  This is a high fantasy story, and in this world there are invisible threads that connect individuals; these two are thread sisters, bonded together since childhood.  (Think something similar to the Shadowhunter Parabatai, except its not exactly free choice in the same way.)
Safiya is a lord's neice and does not want to have any of the required power that comes with that. She was her own witchery of her own to deal with and hide from the powerful.  Truthwitchery.  When people speak to her she knows if a lies passes through their lips or if they speak the truth.  Powerful people would kill to have someone like her at their ear, and to make matters more complcated, she's a "rare breed" so to speak in regards to her magic.
Unlike Safiya, Iseult is part of an ethnic group that is thoroughly disliked by most of the people in the countries we see throughout the story.  Her fair skin and dark hair bring people to glare when they notice her.  I appreciated that Susan Dennard tastefully brought in the concept of racism as we experience this fantastical world.

These two end up in the middle of what could possibly crumble the world's peace treaty into a war between countries and our story goes from there!

This is definitely a slower paced book.  Since I'm in school and I work along with everything else, it ended up taking me exactly a month and one day to finish this story.  Would I have finished it faster I had I not been so busy? Absolutely. But I found myself that I didn't want to pick this up and read a few pages here and there. I wanted to either read a big chunk or nothing, so I didn't pick it up as often as I would with any other book. THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT. But it is different than what I tend to read on a regular basis.  It's the first book in a high fantasy series so we had to get lots of information about this world as well as the actual plot.  I think Susan Dennard did a phenomenal job weaving those two necessities together. There were no big information dumps or anything like that.

I do have to say that not everything makes sense quite yet.  We read a lot about this concept called cleaving in this story.  Its one of the first scenes and its one of the last scenes as well as at least one in the middle of this book.  But even though we read about what cleaving looks like, and our characters understand what it is and how it works and everything, I still am a little lost on how cleaving begins and what exactly it is. I know its definitely a bad thing and nobody wants it to happen to them! But that's basically all I got.

I'm also curious to know how magic and witchery is passed between generations.  We know that not everyone is a witch but that they are rather common.  And we know that there are different kinds of witchery and they are passed down genetically.  But if your mother was a such and such witch does it mean you will be that same type of witch? How is it passed?

These questions are what knocked this story down a star.  This could be due to this being just a first book, but I felt like I didn't have a complete grasp on the world I was reading about as I finished reading.

This is a Multiple POV story, and I seriously loved it! We get into the heads of some very different people in this story and I loved getting creeped out, angry, anxious, and exhilarated as we experienced different scenes from different people!

My favorite thing about Truthwitch was that our main relationship we get to see is Safiya's and Iseult's friendship. This is essential and at the focal point of the entire plot and I absolutely love that!

We do get a love interest but this particular subplot really takes a backseat to Safiya and Iseult's friendship. It was so refreshing to see this as its not something you get very often in Young Adult.

I also am a HUGE fan of the villain of this first book! He is definitely someone I am going to love to hate and half want to survive? SO MANY FEELINGS. I'm interested to see how that aspect pans out throughout the rest of this series!  I definitely want to see more in regards to this particular character!

I don't want to go into any spoilers for this book, so I will leave you here.
Until next time,