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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Crown of Midnight

Authors: Sarah J. Maas

Pages: 417

Reading Format: Physical

Read: 18th March, 2017

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…


REVIEW:

Plot: 4.5/5

Characters: 5/5

Writing: 4.8/5

“Some things you hear with your ears. Others, you hear with your heart.”

Ahhh, Crown of Midnight. I loved this book!
It was so much better than Throne of Glass, in my opinion.

I felt like I connected a lot more to the characters, the world, and even just the story line in this instalment, rather than the first. It was fantastic.

“It was like coming home or being born or suddenly finding an entire half of herself that had been missing.”

There was so much that happened throughout this book that writing this review a day after finishing it is proving difficult, because I can’t entirely remember/separate everything that went down.

Usually, with Fantasy’s, they get a little boring for me because of all the world building, and lack of ‘action’ until the end, but there was no boringness in this!
It constantly had me on edge, wondering what was going to happen, plotting my own ideas, and trying failing to come up with theories about where it was all going.

“Then Celaena and the King of Adarlan smiled at each other, and it was the most terrifying thing Dorian had ever seen.”

I loved the characters in this novel, I really connected and understood them more, discovering who I like and don’t like. As for the Dorian/Chaol dilemma, I really enjoyed Chaol and Celaena’s time together throughout majority of the book, but kind of… maybe… sort of… found myself still falling for Dorian!
I think I’ll have to continue on with the series to truly decide what team I’m on once and for all.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the multiple perspectives. Sometimes in books that can be annoying, or just downright pointless, but I loved reading from all these different POV’s, especially in this crazy world Sarah J. Maas thought up.

“To escape death, she'd become death.”

The action scenes were crazy in this book! I just loved the assassination scenes (as weird and wrong as that may sound) haha, and the scene in the library, which if you’ve read this, you know what I’m talking about.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic instalment in the Throne of Glass series, and I can’t wait to see what happens from here! Especially with how Crown of Midnight ended (shocker!)

That’s all,

Kate :)

Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily Collins – BOOK REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me

Authors: Lily Collins

Pages: 256

Reading Format: Physical

Read: 16th March, 2017

Rating: 5/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins―star of Mortal Instruments and Rules Don’t Apply―is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating and so much more.

For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, proving that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realise they’re not alone.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.


REVIEW:

I guess I’ll start this review off by saying Unfiltered went straight on the favourites shelf.

Yep, I loved it.

“Choosing how and when to admit my truths allows me to take back the power that my insecurities had once stolen"

I’ve always admired Lily Collins, always loved her movies/acting abilities, so when I saw that she was coming out with a book I,
1. freaked out.
2. knew there was no chance I wouldn’t be buying it.
3. had to patiently or not so patiently wait for it to come out.

This collection of essays really was something special. You know when you’re reading a book and you can literally feel how important it is in the moment, and is going to be to you in the future. That’s how I felt with this. Only bookworms (which you probably are if you’re reading this) would understand how every once in a while, if you have the right book, the turn of each new page signifies a new beginning. Changing your life in different ways, no matter how small, with every word read.

I know I’m personally going to re read this book over and over again, I don’t even know how many times a year, to keep me grounded, and remind me of the important things in life. I even want to re read it already and I just put it down :’)

“Sources of weakness can transform into your most important and influential sources of inner strength"

Lily Collins really knows how to express herself, she is such a fantastic writer.
It didn’t feel like some random celebrity wanted to write a book just for the status of having written a book, no. You can 10000% tell how much this book means to Lily, and how much effort she put into making it the best she possibly could.

One of the things I appreciated the most about this, was how raw and honest Lily was about everything that she went through. It was just so interesting, and in a way, comforting to see that celebrities really are just like us.

Almost every issue that was discussed throughout the book, I have encountered (except the relationship issues, because, well, I’ve never had one. And I’m okay with that). Anyway, specifically one topic that was thoroughly talked about, I related to so so much. It was crazy to see the similarities between both of our issues, and how it effects individuals in certain ways.

One chapter that also stood out to me was the cooking chapter, it really inspired me, and made me want to try harder with the foods I make. Also to try out baking for my family and friends, which I’ve always enjoyed, but never really made time to do often.

I also really loved the chapter explaining all Lily’s tattoos, and her deeper meanings behind each one.

“I will never need anyone to complete me. I am enough on my own"

 I think you can probably tell from this review, that I suggest this book to each and every one of you. Whether you’re a fan of Lily or not, because you really don’t have to be.

Honestly, I think this book is less focused on being about Lily’s life, and more focused on her sharing her stories in order to inspire and encourage others to both do the same, and get the most they possibly can out of their own lives.

I have a vision of reading this collection of essays until the end of time, and maybe even annotating/highlighting as I go… which scares me so much, but you’ve gotta remember, you own your books, so make them yours, allow them to be a reflection of you.

That’s all,

Kate :)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Heartless

Authors: Marissa Meyer

Pages: 464

Read: 18th November, 2016

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

*I received this novel from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review on the Heartless blog tour*


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


REVIEW:

Plot: 3/5

Characters: 3/5

Writing: 4/5

“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”

 

Heartless is a fantastic Alice in Wonderland retelling, centring around the significance of the Queen of Hearts.

Cath is a driven and intelligent character, who captures the attention of the reader from the first page, with her love for baking, and lets be real. The description of the food she was making made me hungry just reading about it! I’ll hire you, Cath. The gradual changes, and development we see within her character were intricately woven into the story in such a way that left me both excited to see where it was going, and also a little apprehensive at times (due to the obvious impending doom) *winces*

Jest was such a great addition to the story, his humour and wit provided such substance, and I really loved reading about him, as well as the obvious connection to Cath. Can you say cute? ahh. However, I did find the relationship a little, uhm, strange? at times, but nevertheless, it was still an adorable arc, especially their first meeting *swoon*

“It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.”

The stories behind Cath’s origins and the build up to her becoming who she ends up as, were so magical, and beautifully done. I found myself wanting to know more and more, it was just so interesting, and Meyer’s execution was brilliant.

Heartless felt more like an actual fairy tale, rather than simply a retelling of events. I applaud Meyer in her ability to make the novel feel so…real, of sorts. It really was well done.

One of the aspects I loved most about this book were the descriptions of Wonderland, everything just felt so vivid and bold, without feeling overdone (like the toast I literally just burnt). Oops. I felt like I was in their world, and that’s what I personally need from a novel, to be completely enriched and taken by the story, to put myself in the position of the characters (even though that’s probably not the best idea in… basically every YA book ever.) It all just felt so magical, and special.

“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

Heartless is a riveting retelling of the famous Alice in Wonderland that cannot be missed. If you don’t mind a kind of slowish paced novel in parts, this is the one for you.

Delve deeper into the world of the Evil Queen, and learn a little more about how she got to that point, Meyer’s done it all.

That’s all,

Kate :)

Life After Exams: Film Edition

Hey, my loves!

This is my last “Life after exams” post, if you haven’t seen the other two, here are the links:
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/life-after-exams-book-edition/
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/life-after-exams-tvfilm-edition/

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little section of my life! Can’t wait to start posting new book reviews soon (when I’ll actually have time to read again!) haha

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    Allegiant: Yes, I still have not watched this film! Still! I’m bracing myself for what it’s going to be like. Who knows, it may surprise me, but we’ll see, I guess… Miles Teller saved Insurgent for me, so I’m ready to see more of him in this instalment!

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    Thor (and all the Marvel movies, ever): I’ve been wanting to watch this movie, and it’s sequel for the longest time. Who wouldn’t want to watch hunky Chris Hemsworth throw around a hammer? Idk. Can’t wait to see this one!

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    Ice Age Collision Course: Okay, come on. I love the ice age films. I grew up with them, and continue to love them. Sid is my spirit animal, okay? So excited to see where this one takes my crazy animal childhood loves.

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    Room: This one has intrigued me since I read what it was about, saw the trailer, and of course, Brie Larson’s Oscar win. Cannot wait to see what takes place in this film. It seems so unique.

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    Gone Girl: Still haven’t read the book, oops. But I love a good mystery! Can’t wait to see the craziness that is this movie. I’ve heard so much about the amount of twists and turns, and I do love a good plot twist.

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    The Girl On The Train: Knowing this film is a book, (yet, not having read it), I was intrigued by the trailer. The trailer looks so good, I really hope I can see this one in cinemas before it leaves!

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    Suicide Squad: Well, everyone and their dogs have seen this movie, even in my family. I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t, and that I’m missing out. Although I’ve heard this one doesn’t have the best story line/plot, I’m still looking forward to watching it and seeing what all the hype it about!

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    Deadpool: Hmmm, this is a stretch for me. I’m not quite sure what this movie even is, well I do, but I don’t… you get me? But it’s Ryan Reynolds, so I gotta give it a try!

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    The Shallows: Blake Lively. Do I have to say anymore? I love her, and cannot wait to see what she did with this little movie. Looking forward to a good old shark/person war.

And that’s all I can come up with, not even 10 *sigh*.
I’m a much bigger TV person than I am movie, but I’m hoping to change that soon!
If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Until Next Time,

Kate 🙂

Life after exams: TV Edition

You’ve seen my Life after exams: Book Edition (I hope, if not here’s the link…)
https://passthefeels.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/life-after-exams-book-edition/

But, anyway, here’s a TV edition of alllll (well, most) of the things I want to watch when I’m free.

TV Shows:
(To catch up on)

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    The Flash: I recently marathoned season 2, and have watched episode 1 of season 3, so I’m not far behind! Can’t wait to see Tom Felton, aka. Draco Malfoy, in S3!

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    Arrow: Once again, only a few episodes behind, but still excited to be able to watch guilt free, and really be able to get into the new story line of Season 5!

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    Supernatural: Okayyy, so I’m not technically behind on this one anymore (which is amazing to be able to say, considering I only started watching this mega 11 season- now 12 season show- 2 years ago.) But I’m sure I’ll have at least a few episodes to watch by the time my exams are over. I love supernatural.

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    How to Get Away with Murder: I think I deserve an applause for having the will power to actually not binge watch the episodes that are already out in season 3, I mean, every episode is a cliff hanger! But I’m kind of purposefully/not purposefully holding back on this one, so that I can watch a whole bunch of episodes in a row. (I don’t like to be left hanging, okay…)

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    The Vampire Diaries: Okay, maybe now I’m just being crazy, because season 8 hasn’t even started yet (as I’m writing this, it airs in 15 minutes in the US). But I’m 99% sure I’ll be behind a couple of episodes sooner or later. So happy this is the last season, I love it, but it’s run its course in my opinion. Also, secretly hoping for Elena (Nina) to come back and marry Stefan in the end… yep, still a Stelena shipper.

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    Reign: So, I’m about a season and a half behind… Currently up to season 2, episode 13. I can only watch this show when I’m in the mood, and then when I’m not, it just doesn’t appeal to me very much. But once I start watching it, I can’t stop. Definitely not one of my fav shows, but I’m excited to see the direction it takes throughout the rest of season 2, and into season 3.

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    Once Upon a Time: I am currently only a couple of episodes behind in season 6, and I’m so excited to see where this season is going! You just never really know with this show… I love the emphasis on Regina this season, because I think Lana Parrilla is an amazing actress!

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    Shadowhunters: Well, well, ummm. I have about 2-3 episodes until I finish season 1, but haven’t yet because the motivation is just not there. This show does have its good moments, yes, but it is so cringworthy. The only thing that is going to motivate me now is how much better season 2 looks, so I’m determined to finish this one!

(To start watching)

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Supergirl: This show never reallly appealed to me, but seeing as I’ve become even more into the other DC shows, like Flash and Arrow, I now cannot wait to start this show! And a female protagonist with kick ass super powers? Yes please!

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Fear the Walking Dead: Well, I’m not sure if I’m gonna like this one, but I bought the first episode on special for 99 cents on iTunes, so, I shall check it out! Plus, Alycia Debnam-Carey, yassss!

 

And probably a lot more… Whatever I come across, or gets recommended by you guys! 🙂

 

So there are all the TV shows  I plan on watching (atleast in the immediate future)!
Please let me know in the comments, or on Twitter (@thebookgram), of any others I should add to my list. What have you loved recently?

Until Next Time,

Kate 🙂

Life after exams: Book Edition

Hey lovely people!

Today, whilst I’m sick, and therefore taking a little break from studying (although, not a break from stressing about the fact that I’m not studying… #procrastination right?).

I thought I’d write a post about the books I plan on reading after exams (9th November). Seeing as my whole life has been revolved around school and exams this year (senior year, yep, it’s great), I could not be more excited to get back to reading!

So, without further ranting, here are the top 10 books I plan on reading when I can actually read again (in a not-really-ordered order)…

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    It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I’ve been dyinnnng to read this! I mean, a new Colleen Hoover book?! How could I not be excited to read it! Cannot wait to see what crazy plot twist, or other insane things you’d never see coming that her newest release has! 

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    The Last Star by Rick Yancey. I cannot wait to see how this trilogy ends. It’s so mysterious, it shall be interesting! I loved the first instalment, and although the second wasn’t great (in my opinion), I do have high hopes that this will not disappoint! 

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    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (yes, for the first time), I’m both so ready, and so anxious to finish this series. All the feels are gonna hit me, that much, I do know.

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    Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I read Throne of Glass so long ago now, and didn’t completely fall in love, but it can only get better from there right? I’m so determine to get in on the hype of this series (and catch up…oops)

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    City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, as well as City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. Because it’s about time I finished this series that everyone has probably already read 1000 times over by now. These books take a while for me to get into, but I love them once I do get into them. City of Fallen Angels has been my favourite instalment yet, so I’m excited to see where these 2 go, and how it all wraps up.

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    A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Ahhh! I’m so, so excited to read this one. ACOTAR was so intriguing and crazy. Really pumped to see where this one takes the direction of the story (and to actually be caught up on a Sarah J. Maas series. That would be nice)

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    The Rose Society by Marie Lu. I was not the biggest fan of book one by any means, but I feel like now that I’m older, I’ll enjoy this story a lot more, if that even makes sense… haha. I received the third installment in this series for review, so I can’t wait to devour this one, and finish off the trilogy with a bang!

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    The Amateurs by Sara Shepard. My favourite mystery/thriller author has a new book? You know I’m gonna read it, and you know I’m gonna love it! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

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    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. Which I can’t actually read until I’ve finished Deathly Hallows, but I’m so ready to see what goes on after the events of the final HP book! Also, I’m excited to read the script type of writing!

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    Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven. I’ve started this one multiple times since I got it, but alas, school has interrupted every time. I can’t wait to actually be able to read this book properly, and finish it!

 

So, there you go. Those are the top 10 books I plan on reading after exams, and to close out the year with! There are obviously a lot more, but, these are at the top of my to-read list!

Until next time,

Kate 🙂

Sisters of blood and spirit by Kady Cross: REVIEW

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THE DETAILS:

Book: Sisters of blood and spirit

Author: Kady Cross

Pages: 270

Read: 10th February, 2016

Rating: 2.75/5 Stars


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living.

Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn’t exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she’s not ready to join her sister in the afterlife.

Now the guy who saved Lark’s life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.


REVIEW:

Plot: 3/5

Characters: 2.5/5

Writing: 2.5/5

 

The rating may seem like I didn’t like this book, but that’s not true, I did like it, I just couldn’t give it a full 3 stars because I’ve read other books that I’ve given 3 stars which I enjoyed more than this one…see my dilemma? Also can I just mention how stunning the cover is?! Anyway, I’ll continue…

I loved the start of this book, and thought It started out very promising, but as I continued reading it just went in a direction I wasn’t really hoping it would go.
The beginning included a school setting, ghosts, and a gripping back story to the characters, all in which I feel was lost after the first 50 pages or so. cries.
Also, one thing that really bugged me was that the whole book consisted of talk about the suicide attempt by Lark, which set up the novel to where it was going to go, yet it was never explained or even talked about in detail, it was as if readers were already meant to know exactly what they were talking about everytime it was mentioned. Maybe this’ll be explained in more detail in the sequel?

The characters, I felt I couldn’t really get attached to and I found some quite annoying, like Lark. Lark is one of our two main protagonists (as this book is told in dual point of view through different chapters), and I found her to be so aggravating and just downright painful to read from most of the time. Wren was the other POV, she was a little more interesting (because she’s a ghost), and much less aggraving than Lark, although she still did have her moments.

At times I just got completley confused with the characters, and what was going on with them. The writing to me felt as if it was trying to appeal to the stereotyped version of ‘teenagers’, such as using unnessecary slang words or internal monolouge.

As well as this, at times it felt like the author was attempting to hint at something but was not being subtle at all, like she thought us readers were not smart enough to figure it out on our own (which I’m 99% sure was not the intention of the author at all, I’m just saying how it felt). Thus, a few things I did work out before they were revelaed, or even thought about by the characters yet.

I feel like this book had a lot of potential, but didn’t quite meet that point for me, although it was still entertaining to read, and I did enjoy it despite its faults.

That’s all,

Kate 🙂