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review 2020-08-01 21:59
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
City of Glass - Cassandra Clare


“I am a man" he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown.”


The struggle has been real when it comes to this series, I've made no qualms about sharing my feelings in regards to the first two books. I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed and frustrated to the point of screaming at the characters. But something happened, maybe Clare took a writing class, maybe she went to the crossroads and sold her soul to the devil. Whatever she did, it worked.


This feels so grown up, so wildly different I can't put into my words the joy I felt reading this. I did spent most of it waiting for something to go wrong, but it didn't. This was a solid read, but to me this book is what the first two should have been. If I could throw all logic out the window, this would be a 5 out of 5, but this is the third book and by now I should have been all kinds of invested.


This book and it's characters feels so different, I finally stopped hating Jace...well mostly. I still have problems with his attitude, yes I understand he's putting on a front but behind closed doors he shows little in the way of remorse for his actions and his stubbornness, so it's hard to emphasise with him. Simon finally gets the respect he deserves and gets chapters from his POV, which I'm hoping will lead to Isabelle and Alec getting a chance to steal the spotlight in the final three books.


Of course it's not all sunshine and rainbow pooping unicorns. Clary is still a huge problem, she's rash, acts before thinking and is forever making dumb decisions after another. I understand her goal is to save her mum and help stop Valentine but she never looks at the bigger picture, there are so many consequences to her actions. She's a teenager acting like a kid and it's not for me, fingers crossed she'll stop charging off leaving others to pick up the pieces and fix her mess.


All in all, I'm glad I've stuck with it. City of Glass finally brought it, and it's given me hope for finishing this series. I am however going to take a break from The Mortal instruments and read her prequel series The Infernal Devices next as I need a break from these characters.


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video 2020-07-29 14:12
The Princess of Aenya Book Review

The Princess of Aenya by Nick Alimonos was a good book, but I think I would enjoy it more reading it a second time. From the beginning, there’s an onslaught of action and story coming from multiple characters at once. The main storyline follows Radia and Demacharon as they fight to survive. But Hugo and Esse, a soldier and a servant, are introduced, as well as Ugh, a Bogren, and Eros, an assassin hired to kill Radia.

Through alternating chapters, the reader has to follow all of these storylines before they eventually intertwine in the end of the book and, for me at least, this was difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the individual storylines and characters.


Hugo and Esse deserve their own book. I would love for a companion novel to be made about them leading the rebellion in Tyrnael while Radia had to be in hiding. Esse was bred to be a servant, someone designed to not stand out or aspire to anything more than serving others. But she fought against that lifelong training to lead a rebellion against a sadistic tyrant. Before Zaibos, Tyrnael was at peace for a thousand years. No one had any experience protesting or rebelling because there wasn’t a need. But Esse stepped up and started to lead! Honestly, her story is just as fascinating as Radia’s, and a lot more relatable. I love stories about people who take their fate into their own hands so Esse’s story would be a great one.


I really liked Eros as well. He represents the dark side of Tyrnael. Just because there was peace doesn’t mean everyone was happy. Sexual intercourse is forbidden in Tyrnael. Eros was born from sexual intercourse so he and his mother were branded and ostracized. He was forced to become an assassin to support and protect his mother. Honestly, I wanted him to fail and succeed at the same time because succeeding meant killing Radia but it also meant the brand getting lifted from his mother.


However, while I enjoyed the characters and could follow and enjoy the plot overall, there’s still a lot I’m confused about. There are five storylines to juggle, six if you count Demarchon’s flashbacks. Not only are we following Radia, but we are also following Eros, Ugh, Esse, and Zaibos through their stories. It’s a lot to take in and keep straight.

The Princess of Aenya was an enjoyable read and the ending was satisfying. However, I would get a lot more out of the story if I reread it.


Get The Princess of Aenya on Amazon.


Nick Alimonos is a member of the Read for a Better World Hall of Fame for donating to Trees for the Future in exchange for an honest review. Learn more about my Read for a Better World program here.

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review 2020-07-19 00:55
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
My Rating: 5 Stars
This book starts with the reader already knowing the ending. Some reviews I've seen state that it would've been better to save what Mallory's fate is until the end of the book, but I feel that the reason Elin disclosed her illness was so you could appreciate what a full life she led, although bittersweet.

This book is based on the play and movie, Same Time Next Year. Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud come into one another's life via her brother Cooper Blessing and connect romantically almost instantly in 1993.  Although they have chemistry from the beginning, Jake is in a relationship with his childhood sweetheart and Mallory is starting her life over on Nantucket. They agree to spend Labor Day weekend together every year, no matter what is happening in their lives.  are not to contact one another throughout the year unless there's a marriage, pregnancy or death, which they abide by.
I loved how each chapter began with real life highlights of events that were happening in the specific year.  Another highlight was the mouth-watering details in the meals they prepared and ate!!! I need some recipes for these dishes Elin!!!  She also peppers characters and businesses from her other books throughout the story, which is very comforting; makes you feel like you've been here before (and if you've read any of her books before, you kind of have been!)

- I did not enjoy the politics within the book. (Beach Read...trying to escape reality here!!) - At times I felt sad for both Mallory and Jake because their situation could've been different if they were just honest with themselves and others in their lives.  They could've had more time together during their lifetime (life is short!)  - Infidelity. It is bothersome that both characters so easily could drift back to one another for one weekend a year and then just return to the rest of their lives for the remainder of the year.  ( they did find it difficult to separate and thought of one another when not together...torturing themselves.)
If this is your very first Elin Hilderbrand read, please don't totally judge her on this book alone.  It was a bit more 'serious' and depressing than some of her other books. Checkout 'The Blue Bistro' to experience just one of my favorites of hers!
Click here to purchase your copy! 
Source: allaroundthecircle.blogspot.com/2020/07/book-review-28-summers.html
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text 2020-07-17 04:57
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review 2020-07-01 22:47
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
The Boneless Mercies - April Genevieve Tucholke

“Once upon a time, in the final days before Salt and Marsh Witch War, four Boneless Mercies turned their backs on the death trade, and went west, seeking immortality.”


The Mercy trade is a life of death, and it is a trade only for woman. This book follows four Mercies who travel town to town performing mercy killings, never revenge or vengeance. It's a hard and sad life, one that makes them outcasts from everyone they come across, they have themselves and no one else. But one day they decide to change their path, to seek a life that could change it all. A chance at a warriors glory like something from the old Vorse tales.


This book is very atmospheric and the author does a wonderful job at building this world and painting the forest they travel through. The story follows the single POV of Frey, which is a shame as I would have liked to read from the other girls as they're all so different and come to the trade for different reasons. Frey's blood sings for glory and wants more than the sad work of Mercy killing.


As they travel closer to their destiny you see such a change in her fellow Mercies, which is why it would have been nice to have different POVs, the people they meet and they stories they share and tell has an impact on them. They are a family and they decide their fates together.


Truly I loved how this was written, every moment felt right and written with depth and care, but it was defiantly lacking something. There didn't feel like a sense of urgency, or any real wow moments, when I think back to any fights they did have on the road or going into the Marsh to face the Cut Queen it wasn't quite punchy enough. But on the flip side I loved the entire section with the Cut Queen, it felt weird and creepy and unpredictable but it lacked that something, that drama.


There's a lot to love about this book and there's a lot that needs some va va voom, there is a standalone companion book set in the same world I will be giving a read.


“I wanted to change my fate, to force it down another road. I wanted to stand in the river of time and make it flow a different direction, if just for a little while.” 


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