Review: By Your Side – Kasie West


By Your Side – Kasie West

By Your Side

Title: By Your Side

Author: Kasie West

Release Date: January 31, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 346

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

2 out of 5 stars


I was very underwhelmed with this book.

By Your Side follows Autumn as she gets trapped inside her public library with the bad boy of the school. They are locked inside the library on a cold January weekend together and have to figure out how to survive the weekend.

I had quite a few issues with this book, actually. I found some things to be problematic and would like to address those first.

  1. You can’t just put the competing love interest into a medically induced coma to further the romantic chemistry between the two main characters.
  2. Anxiety is not really anything like how it’s represented in this book.

I’m all about this relationship between Autumn and Dax. I always love a bad-boy-is-only-good-for-his-girl story, but the other relationships in the book were just annoying! The original love interest, Jeff, gets in a car crash the weekend Autumn was going to tell him that she had a huge crush on him. This just so happens to be the weekend she gets trapped in the library. Anyway, Jeff is put into a medically induced coma because of how bad his car crash was, but I just felt like this was such a weak plot device. I don’t think it’s morally correct for her to only understand she doesn’t like him after he’s taken out of the picture in this way.

The anxiety representation of this book was…. pathetic and lackluster, honestly. I have anxiety and have since I was in elementary school, so I get what panic attacks are like and how it feels to be so overwhelmed you can barely speak, but the way it was told was so inaccurate. I obviously don’t have anything to base this off of except for my own experiences, so maybe some people’s anxiety feels like it was explained, but to me it just felt… I don’t know, fake maybe?

Also, telling people about your anxiety should not be that big a deal. The only reason people freak out about it is because they’ve been trained by the people around them that it isn’t okay. There is literally NOTHING wrong with telling your friends you have anxiety and can’t deal with talking in front of too many people. They will understand, and will end up feeling like assholes because they didn’t know sooner. Just fricking tell them.

Some of the interactions between characters of this book were SO CHILDISH. It was almost painful to read because they focused on things that were so irrelevant. The guy, Jeff, is in a coma and could have something seriously wrong with him, but his friends are arguing in SUCH a petty way about who gets to go and visit. I understand that you would want to see your friend, but remember that you’re going to the hospital to visit a friend who is horribly injured. Calm the frick down and get over yourselves. Damnnnn.

The pacing of this book was weird and felt rushed at the end. The first half of the book Autumn and Dax were in this library, but then they didn’t talk to each other for a certain amount of time after, then were dating. I don’t know. The beginning was quite slow, then they became all buddy-buddy in two seconds. Just kind of annoying to me. There were just so many things that felt rushed in this book.

I liked Dax a lot. He was sweet and kind, but there were also a lot of unnecessary details about him that were supposed to make his character deeper, but were just explained too fast to really mean anything. Autumn notices this tattoo on his wrist and thinks about asking him about it for like 2 minutes, then 20 pages later she finds out. There was no build up to any of the conclusions. I get that its only 350 pages and you can only do so much explaining, but don’t have so many plot lines happening at once.

I know this is a hella negative review, but it’s just easier for me to be critical of a contemporary. It’s real life and you don’t have to be fully introduced to the world because you already live in it. It’s so much easier to focus on what went wrong when you know the world lol.

Also, this is set in a library and she didn’t even pick up a book. She had 72 hours. Locked in a library. And she chose to watch TV. I just don’t get it lol. I think there should have been more of an emphasis on the actual library part.

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) – Samantha Shannon


The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) – Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

Title: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)

Author: Samantha Shannon

Release Date: February 1, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 501

Source: TBR Pile

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

5 out of 5 stars


This book was just as amazing as the first one. Wow wow wow.

The Mime Order follows Paige and her little entourage in the hopes of solving all the issues with the Rephiam and the Syndicate and SciLondon. She decides to enroll into the battle to become Mime-lord with Jaxon. The two are the dream team. Mime-lord and mollisher of I-4.

Paige is the most wanted criminal in all of London, and she has to escape people that want to kill her, while also trying to be helpful to everyone. She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, here…

Oh my gosh. So no spoilers, but the ending was everything I wanted in life it was so fricking good. If you want an epic fantasy/sci-fi series, read The Bone Season, then read this because it’s amazing.

Samantha Shannon has a way of writing that just draws you in so much, and keeps you hooked until the last sentence. Literally the last sentence of this book omg. So much happened in this book, and the only reason it took me so long to read was because I was buddy-reading this and my buddy didn’t read as fast as me. So I’ve had to take breaks while reading, but it was still so good. If this wasn’t part of a buddy-read I would have easily finished it in a couple of days because I was hooked.

WARDEN IS BACK. Yay!! He’s my favorite character, I think, because he’s so mysterious. He’s just trying to do the best for everyone around him, and his feelings for Paige… I don’t know exactly how he feels yet, but I have a feeling the next book will let me know. I’m so excited to read the next book because I know it will answer so many questions!

I cannot wait to see what happens with the rest of the series. I have no idea at all where it’s going to go because I don’t even know what’s going to happen in the next book! I know Samantha Shannon will take it great places because her writing style is gorgeous.

I actually gasped at the end. The last page gets ya, but don’t spoil yourself and go read it *I see you guilty last-page-before-the-book-starts-readers…*

Please read this series. It’s so well written, and there’s so much action. Seriously so much action the whole entire time. Paige is always getting into something, and she somehow always figures out how to get out of it.

I can’t wait for the rest of this series!!

Series:

The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season #0.5)

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)

The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3)

On the Merits of Unnaturalness (The Bone Season)

 

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5)

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 642

Source: TBR Pile

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.


Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

4 out of 5 stars

This was kind of hard for me to get into right away, because I didn’t remember what had happened in the previous books! It took me about halfway through this novella to actually remember that Simon had lost his memory because of the demon encounter in City of Heavenly Fire. It’s cute to see how he first reacts to the characters he knows and loves again, though. He’s so in love with Isabelle, but he doesn’t realize it yet. She comes to the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris to see him, and it’s so good. Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve laughed/giggled while reading a book, but Cassandra Clare never fails to make it happen.

Simon is so… nerdy cool, and I forgot that because it’s been awhile since I’ve read about The Mortal Instruments characters. I can’t wait for him to become the “awesome Shadowhunter” he vowed to become, and I am so excited for him to gain his memory back. One of my favorite parts of this novella was when he was remembering what Isabelle’s eyes looked like up close. They are one of my favorite ships, so I’m all about the Sizzy feels. He loves her so much. He keeps remembering little things about her, and he tells her that he won’t be the Simon she fell in love with, and she leaves, but she won’t give up on him. She’ll wait for him, I know it. Simon is one of my favorite characters, so I can’t wait to read the rest of these novellas.

 

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

5 out of 5 stars

I knew that I was going to like this one just by reading the title. I’m a sucker for the Herondale family, so hearing more about distant relatives was very cool. So, if I’m not mistaken, Tobias Herondale was Will’s younger brother. So he must have been perfect because Will. I mean, come on. I’m starting to remember more about the series already, and am grasping some of the little connections. I really loved that Catarina told Simon about Tobias and his real story. I also really loved that Clary came to visit Simon at the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris. She misses him, and she loves him, and she just wants him to have the life that will be best for him even though it might mean she loses her best friend. It’s so heartbreakingly sad but happy at the same time. I have conflicting emotions regarding this novella series thus far. I really like George, Simon’s roommate. He seems really cool, and he also cares about Simon. He’s also Scottish, muscular, handsome, and likes reading. Can’t get better than that.

 

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

5 out of 5 stars

I love being in the Shadowhunter world again. It’s my favorite series, and it’s just making me so happy to be reading about my favorite characters again. This one has been my favorite so far because most of it was a story about Will, Tessa, Cecily, and Gabriel. I love my Shadowhunters from London, and love seeing them in their element. This story was cool because it was a short retelling of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper, in this story, was just a demon attacking women rather than a man killing them. It was a very cool take on this “classic” story. I love seeing Will oh my gosh. Favorite book boyfriend of all time. I also loved that Jace got to talk to Tessa about being a Herondale; it was so precious how happy he was at the end. And now my suspicions that Isabelle will stick around for Simon have become true. He writes her a letter and it’s so cute because it’s so Simon. I love this novella series.

 

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

4 out of 5 stars

This novella was about James Herondale, the son of Will and Tessa, through his experience while in The Shadowhunter Academy. Almost the whole novella was told as a flashback/story from Catarina Loss to Simon. Simon just wants to have his memories back, and he wants his friends back, but he has new friends at the Academy. It’s such a hard decision, but I know he’ll make the right one. I’m kind of surprised that this novella series isn’t about Simon more. It’s mostly just been flashbacks to previous Shadowhunters. It’s nice, but is not what I was expecting. I’m still really liking George, even though I know they couldn’t be parabatai because of certain circumstances. I hope that Simon and George are still friends after this whole series is over. Oh my gosh George could come up in Lord of Shadows. So exciting. Woah, realization. Nothing but Shadows…. Lord of Shadows…. hmm connections?

 

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

4 out of 5 stars

Again, I’m surprised that this is not completely about Simon. I guess the point of novellas is to learn new information about the characters you know and love, but I just want more of Simon’s story. This was about Robert Lightwood, Isabelle and Alec’s dad, and his teenage years when he joined The Circle with Valentine. It was interesting, but it was also sad. Robert is so judgemental of anyone different than him. He got rid of his parabatai because he told him that he loved him. That’s cold considering you’re best friends. I LOVED the ending of this one; Isabelle and Simon are so perfect together. I just want them to be together forever omg. I am really enjoying this book so far, and can’t wait to finish the rest of the novellas.

Series:

Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)