Review: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1, #0.2, #0.3) – Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1, #0.2, #0.3) – Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)

Title: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1, #0.2, #0.3)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 438

Source: TBR Shelf

Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom’s most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin’s Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.When Celaena’s scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes–and questioning her own allegiance. Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn’s orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn’s clutches–and if they fail, they’ll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives . . .A prequel to Throne of Glass, this collection of five novellas offers readers a deeper look into the history of this cunning assassin and her enthralling–and deadly–world.Included in this volume: “The Assassin and the Pirate Lord””The Assassin and the Healer””The Assassin and the Desert””The Assassin and the Underworld””The Assassin and the Empire”

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1)

5 out of 5 stars

I love being back in this world and am so happy to be reading this series again. I have only read the first book, so it’s nice to see Celaena before the events of Throne of Glass. Sarah J. Maas has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I’m pumped to read everything she’s written so then I can be caught up for when she releases new books.

This novella followed Celaena and Sam, two assassins, when they go to visit the Pirate Lord. The sixteen year old Celaena becomes very passionate about the slave trade industry, and finds her own way to put a stop to it.

I really enjoyed this novella and loved Sam. I don’t know what happens to him or if he’s part of the full series, but I really hope he comes into the main story sometime soon. He’s so cute and sassy. I love that he’s sarcastic and sasses Celaena; I feel like she needs that sometimes. She needs some sense knocked into her.

Can’t wait to continue reading these novellas!

The Assassin and the Healer (Throne of Glass #0.2)

4 out of 5 stars

This novella followed Celaena and a girl named Yrene Towers. This took place in a small town at a pub that Yrene worked at, and Celaena was there after the events of The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. She was thrown out of the Assassin’s Guild, and her punishment wasn’t mentioned other than her being beat up and bruised all over.

Celaena sat in the back of the pub just looking for someone to fight, and the barmaid, Yrene, is just trying to make some extra money so she can go and train to be a healer.

I enjoyed this story, but it was a little slow. It was very short, so I don’t know why I felt like I was trudging through a little. I feel like Yrene is going to come up again in the future (if she hasn’t already) because her last name is Towers and that has to do with the title of book #6 (?).

I liked that Celaena showed Yrene how to fight by the end because now she can defend herself and it was a bonding experience. Yay friendships. Celaena needs some friends in her life because she’s always so serious. I mean she is an assassin, so she is supposed to be serious, but you know what I mean.

The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass #0.3)

5 out of 5 stars

This has been my favorite novella so far because I loved the characters and the atmosphere of the story! Celaena is sent to an assassin camp in the middle of the Red Desert as her punishment for disobeying Arobynn Hamel. She has to get a letter of recommendation from the Master by the end of one month to be sent back with her.

The setting for this was very cool and I was intrigued the whole time. I loved that it was set in the middle of a desert, and it was interesting that most of the assassins that were being trained there had taken a vow of silence. They just communicated with gestures and expressions rather than words. I found it to be a unique part of the story that I wasn’t expecting.

I loved the characters in this story because they were so fun to read about. I loved Ansel *at the beginning,* I LOVED Ilias, and Celaena grew so much throughout this novella.

I loved this so much. It gave me so much insight to Celaena’s life, and I can’t wait to read the last two novellas!!


The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass #0.4)

The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass #0.5)

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition – Newt Scamander, J. K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition – Newt Scamander, J. K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition

Author: Newt Scamander, J. K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill

Release Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 160

Source: Christmas Gift

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander’s classic compendium of magical creatures, has delighted generations of wizarding readers. With this beautiful, large-scale new edition illustrated in full color, Muggles too will have the chance to discover where the Runespoor lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why shiny objects should always be kept away from the Niffler.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling’s international charity, Lumos, which will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, one can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

5 out of 5 stars

This was a beautiful book and I’m so lucky to have gotten it as a Christmas present this year. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and LOVED the Fantastic Beasts movie, so my mom got me this perfect gift!

There wasn’t much story to this book because it is supposed to be a textbook of sorts, but it was very nice to read about some of the creatures that were talked about in the Harry Potter books and movies. I enjoyed reading through this.

The illustrations were gorgeous. I just sat and looked at some of them for a long time just to take in all the details! I was disappointed that there was only one fold out page in the whole book. If there was one thing I would change it would be to add more large fold out pages!

I don’t know that I would buy this book, but I am so glad to have it! Definitely glance through this the next time you’re at a book store :)

Review: Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13) – Carolyn Keene

Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13) – Carolyn Keene

Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #13)

Title: Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13)

Author: Carolyn Keene

Release Date: 1974

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 179

Source: TBR Shelf

Nancy determines whether an exquisite ivory elephant charm really protects its wearer from harm during her investigation of a circus performer who may be involved in a mysterious illegal scheme. The girl detective’s assignment becomes complicated when the elephant trainer’s young assistant seeks refuge at the Drew home from his cruel foster father. While following clues to help the boy find his real father, Nancy discovers an eerie abandoned house. As she probes, Nancy’s dangerous enemies thwart her efforts to discover a secret surrounding the unusual ivory charm.

3 out of 5 stars

I was just in the mood for something light and fun, so I picked up this Nancy Drew book. I’ve always loved this series, and it blows my mind that I didn’t read all of them when I was younger. I know that I went to my library and just picked out random ones that sounded interesting to me, so I’ve read quite a few of them, but never in order.

This book followed Nancy and her mystery crew to the circus. They went to this circus show and then found this little boy named Rishi who was being abused by his father Rai. They were part of the circus. Rishi followed Nancy home and ended up staying with her to get away from his father. The whole mystery deals with a secret passageway, a crazy house, and an Indian prince.

Overall I thought this was a pretty average Nancy Drew mystery. It didn’t really go anywhere, so I found myself to be kind of bored throughout it. I enjoyed Rishi because he’s just cute, but there wasn’t really anything special that happened.

I will always love George, Bess, and Ned, so it always makes me happy when they’re part of the stories. I love Ned and Nancy together because they’re just so dang cute. I thought there were a lot of unnecessary characters thrown into this book, though. Too many characters with different and random back stories.

I wanted to see the woman go to jail and get punished, but nothing really happened with her. I love this series and can’t wait to finish the ones that I have at home :)


Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10)

The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew #11)

Review: Pretties (Uglies #2) – Scott Westerfeld

Pretties (Uglies #2) – Scott Westerfeld

Pretties (Uglies, #2)

Title: Pretties (Uglies #2)

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Release Date: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 348

Source: TBR Shelf

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

3 out of 5 stars

This book took so many turns I did not expect from it. I was not expecting a lot of the events to happen, but I think it worked well. I felt like this book was a little disjointed from the first because it was so different. The first book was focused on Tally’s internal monologue and turmoil, and this one was more focused on getting to where she wanted to be. Different, but not bad.

I would have given this book 4/5 stars as I did with Uglies had it not been for the fact that they used the word “retarded.” That is one of my least favorite things to happen in a book or anything really. I HATE when people or things are called retarded, so that is why I knocked it down a star.

This book followed Tally and her new boyfriend Zane trying to become more “bubbly.” aka not pretty-minded. I didn’t particularly enjoy the fact that they left Shay behind when the left because everyone could see that she would be pissed when she found out. But no. Okay. Cool.

I liked Zane, but I knew from the second that they took the pills and he was having strange side-effects that they were supposed to be taken together. Obviously they gave you two pills for a reason. Ugh, come on. Also, Shay had no reason to be mad at Tally when she gave the other pill to Zane. Shay went on and on about how she thought it was stupid to be thinking of anything outside of New Pretty Town, so why would Tally think she would want to become not pretty.

I think this book fell into the typical “second-book-syndrome” category. I think it was just a filler book and nothing really happened, but it will set something cool up for the next book. I don’t understand why the part about the experiment society was even put in, but I’m sure I’ll learn what it’s about in the next books.

David pissed me off. Why would she not move on from him? Her mind was completely changed, and it’s a dick move to assume that she would pick him over her new guy. That’s my problem with love triangles. If the person chose the second love interest over the first, they should, just go with the second because they obviously didn’t love the first enough to not fall in love again. But that’s just me.

All in all I think this was a good continuation to the series, and it set up the next book quite well! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series :)


Uglies (Uglies #1)


Review: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

Title: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

Author: Colm McElwain

Release Date: March 21, 2012

Publisher: Matador

Format: eBook

Page Number: 257

Source: Author

As an infant, James Clyde was deposited at a children’s home by his wounded, blood-soaked grandfather. As a result, he grows up under a cloud of mystery. Eleven years later when he hears about his strange past, he vows to uncover the truth. But before he can, his grandfather hands him a magical and mysterious diamond of Orchestra. With the aid of his friends, Ben and Mary Forester, James must protect the diamond from evil forces.

Soon, however, their lives are in grave danger. They are being hunted by a sinister man dressed in black and his blood-thirsty army. Outnumbered, James finds he must use the power of the diamond to escape their clutches – or become another victim of their murderous quest.

2 out of 5 stars

Huge thank you to Colm McElwain for sending me a copy of his book!

James Clyde finds out he is the ruler of the mysterious land called Orchestra. He has to find out how to save his people from the bad people of Darken. With his best friends he finds himself in a little bit of a predicament…

I think the idea for this book was quite cool, and it was a very fast read! I really enjoyed the relationships between the friends; I found them to be touching and fun to read. :)

I think something that turned me away from this book was the fact that it seemed very young. The writing seemed to be targeted towards a much younger audience, which I’m sure it was intended to be, but I didn’t seem invested in the story as much as I would have liked to be.

There were a lot of characters for such a short book. I felt confused by the character names throughout parts of this book, and wish there would have been a little more character development by the end. I enjoyed reading about the characters that were more explained.

The world was confusing, and I wish I had more information on James’ grandfather figure. He seemed like such an interesting man and it would have been nice to have a little background on him.

I also wanted to know more about the diamonds! I think it was such a cool idea, but I just felt like I didn’t know enough about them to fully understand the depth of the plot. There were three magical diamonds that controlled the world, but they weren’t explained.

Overall I found this to be enjoyable, but wish it would have had more description and a little more character development. I think that a younger reader would enjoy this more than I did.

Thanks again to Colm McElwain!

Getting Excited About Reading Again

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you will have noticed that I am still reading quite a few books after coming to college. Yay! Go me. But a lot of the books I’ve been having to read are 2 or 3 stars, which is really hard to get excited about.

I just started A Court of Thorns and Roses last night, and it reminds me how exciting reading can be for me. I LOVE reading about faeries and fey, and I love reading fantasy. So why don’t I read more of what I like?

That’s the real question, honestly. I think the reason I haven’t been excited for reading as much is because I haven’t been reading books I’ve been excited for. I have been looking forward to reading A Court of Thorns and Roses since everyone was super excited about it on Booktube right when it came out, but I put it off.

This leads to another question. Why put off books you’re excited about? I always do this to myself and I really want to kick this habit. I get wrapped up in all the books that I feel like I have to read, and don’t read the ones I want to read.

I always feel obligated to read the books I’ve had the longest or continuations of series, but sometimes that puts me in a rut. I want a new story with new characters sometimes!

I challenge you to embark on this reading-what-you-want journey with me!

Review: Yes Please – Amy Poehler

Yes Please – Amy Poehler

Yes Please

Title: Yes Please

Author: Amy Poehler

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Publisher: Dey Street Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 329

Source: Book Club Pick

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

2 out of 5 stars

I feel like you really have to love Amy Poehler to love this book. I’ve never watched anything with her other than a few SNL skits, so I don’t know her as an actress or comedian. I feel like a hard-core Parks and Recreation fan would LOVE this.

I listened to 3/4 of this on audiobook, and it was definitely a lot easier to get through than just reading it on your own. I think her voice was nice to listen to, but one thing I really didn’t like was the fact that the audiobook and the paperback were different.

Not wildly different with completely different pages or even paragraphs, but some words were different and some facts did not match up. Why did this happen? Doesn’t an audiobook come out close to publication of the physical book? Because they should be the same. I don’t know if this is something petty to be complaining about but what can you do.

I think Amy was trying wayyyyy too hard through a lot of this. Just some of the wording she uses made me actually cringe. Again, I don’t know if this is how she talks normally in skits and her TV show, but I was not here for it. It’s just not my kind of humor. I don’t like sex jokes and I don’t find them funny. There were a lot of sex references in this book that seemed too out of it.

I didn’t hate this book, and I thought some parts were okay, but I just don’t think I’m a huge fan. I read this book for book club because we picked a memoir, and people didn’t want anything really substantial, so this came up. I was not looking forward to it just because I didn’t know ANYTHING about Amy Poehler.

I think she is a perfectly nice woman and she’s done some amazing and beautiful things, but I’m just not on board for everything. I feel weird giving someone’s life story a 2/5 stars, but it was mostly just for writing style. Again, I actually cringed when I heard her reading parts of this…