#BookReview Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I have been eying Throne of Glass for YEARS. Quite literally, since this book has come out I’ve been wary to touch it. It’s so well hyped and sometimes that hype doesn’t live up to all of it’s praise. Not too long ago, I came across this book at a local discount store and I jumped on it. Why not just give it a try and see if it’s like what everyone says? AND IT IS. At least for me, anyways. It was so worth the hype.

Throne of Glass features Celaena, a young adult who was raised and trained by an assassin when she was found dying along a river bed. She paid her dues, and has now unsuccessfully escaped to a worse life in a mine. When the Crown Prince Dorian comes and collects her to be the King’s Champion, everything changes. Calaena must go through a series of test to prove herself worthy, but that’s not all she faces. There’s something evil lurking in the castle, and the old spirits and fae lore are whispering at her to help fix the problem. On top of all that, the handsome Captain of the Guard Chaol and Crown Prince Dorian both appear to be transfixed on our murderous leads. Annnnd, are some of these friends Calaena has made truly trustworthy? Or will they be the foe we’re all worried about?

This book has a lot going on but it’s super easy to follow. It’s definitely a young adult or even new adult novel, but the typical tropes always get me grinning along the way. The old nostalgia I got in high school for The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent – that sense of being apart of something and reading something many others have enjoyed – came back and made this book all the better.

Are there “problematic” parts of this book? Yeah, sure. Would a trained, rough and tough assassin act like a teenager? Maybe not. Did some of the rules for the competition seem to change throughout the book? Yes. Did any of that bug me? Not really. For me, this book was lots of fun and the little problems it had didn’t really phase me. I glossed over a lot of it, because this was fantastical, full of action and had those darn romance triangle tropes that I fall for EVERY SINGLE TIME. If you’re going into this book wanting to analyze all the faults, go for it. I just wanted a nice escape. Reading the other reviews, especially the bad ones, has me scratching my head. I’ve yet to meet an eighteen year old assassin who had a really tough life and actually seen their behaviour. Can’t a teenage protagonist who’s finally “free”, to a degree, be allowed to be a teenager? But, if you take a peek at the good reviews, people say the farther you get into the series the better it gets. So I’m pumped. Get me these books ASAP!

Ah, oh well. Either way, this book was a fun ride for me! Calaena was head strong, sassy, a hard worker and loyal. Chaol was super hot and my goodness she better end of with him. Dorian’s character grew a lot from the first to the last page, and I am beginning to like him more. Nehemia seemed sketchy at first but I am curious how her story would grow. Is Nox gonna come back? Because Nox seemed sweet. Also, there’s gotta be more to Cain and his back story, I’m nosy. And Elena! More lore please? SO MUCH GOOD STUFF.

Also, no cliffhanger in this book! Sarah does not want to torture me with a cliffhanger, it’s great! And the cover is absolutely stunning! I got the second cover, with the blue illustration instead of the girl – it’s crazy cool!

If you get the same copy I did, there’s a little Q&A at the back. I was surprised this book was based off Cinderella, but I was also really intrigued. It’s amazing the ideas we can get from other works and how they can mold and change over time.

Here’s my recommendation:
If you like popular YA books and diving into the hype: GET THIS BOOK.
If you’re looking for Game of Thrones: THIS IS NOT YOUR BOOK.
If you’re looking for something full of fantasy, has a fast pace, has lots of YA fun (romance, drama, the likes): THIS IS YOUR BOOK.

What I would like to see out of future books:
This book seemed to be more New Adult. The descriptions of the brutality was wicked and definitely for an older crowd. But, the talks about sex was nil. Not an exact quote here – Dorian sees many women – come on Sarah, we know what you meant. If you can talk about a man being sliced to bits and eaten then we can hear that Calaena has some sexy feelings for the boys.

Overall, I really liked this book! I want the rest of the series now. I’m pleasantly surprised and want to pick up more by Sarah.

Five out of five stars.

 

If you haven’t checked this book out yet, here’s where you can find it:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
B&N
Kobo
Indigo

Find out more about Sarah J Maas:
Goodreads Author Page
http://sarahjmaas.com/
Twitter – @SJMaas

If you’re looking for more fun YA novels to add to your TBR, here’s some other books featured on my blog you might enjoy:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
#BookReview The Great Grain Elevator Incident by Kevin Miller

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#BookReview The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone

The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone is an absolutely cute adaption of the “Cinderella” tale.

Oh gosh – a prince falling for a marketing genius/television producer?! I am in! Seriously, I love marketing and love seeing a story that I relate to. I just… uh… need to find the prince now, right guys? Emily loves her job and wants to move towards being a partner, but that darn glass ceiling keeps hitting her in the face. But now, she has created a Bachelor styled show to find Prince Luc a wife! It reminded me of that fake Prince Harry Bachelor styled show to be honest!

Throw in that handsome prince who has a heart of gold (despite being a supposed “bad boy”) and has his own foundation to help kids! Seriously, Melissa knows how to play to my heart! Luc is the dream prince every girl has dreamed of! He seems to lack some real big flaws, but he does let his family throw some dirt on his name.

To literally quote the book: “Sweet. Tender. Oh my.” That was what I felt about this book – it is seriously the perfect quote. It’s a romantic love story that makes your toes curl AND it’s only about PG/PG-13. There’s no erotica, no sex scenes – just some sweet kisses that will make your heart sing.

My biggest complaint about this book was that it was too short. I would have loved a couple of more chapters to flesh out some of the scenes we didn’t see, but it was still good! Melissa McClone is a remarkable romance author and I definitely want to read more by her ASAP!

Side note: BEAUTIFUL cover. Ugh. She looks like a princess!

This book is apart of a series but each book is by a different author. So in my mind, while it is a series… this book totally stands on it’s own. I hope Melissa carries this book out as her own series too, though!

Overall, I think this is a lovely book! It is soft, sweet and all around lovely! If you’re looking for a contemporary read with the right amount of romance then I’d recommend this book.

Four out of five stars!

I found this book for free through Bookbub or iBooks. I can’t quite remember which one I saw it on, but it was a freebie!

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Indigo
Amazon.ca
Kobo

 

If you love romance, fill out your TBR with some of these books:
#BookReview Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

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#BookReview The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber

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#ThrowbackThursday is upon us – and this time I picked another vampire YA book, but one that was and is still my guilty pleasure. Here’s the view!

 

 

The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber is one of my sweet obsessions in the YA genre.

Vampire Kisses was one of those series I binged read on a school trip. They were all adorable, they were sweet and it was everything I needed at the time. Going back to them, they are for sure my guilty pleasure. Happy endings, cute drama, adorable romance – everything I need in a guilty pleasure during rough times!

These reads are fast, and somewhat mindless. There’s no crazy Dan Brown plot lines or Inception like mysteries to be solved. It’s a YA novel with vampires and ooey gooey romance and drama. It’s everything that it’s designed to be – the perfect guilty pleasure package.

This isn’t the best in the series – this book is definitely one of the “filler” books that give you required information and new characters that will be extremely important as the series goes on. There is still crazy teen angst and drama to fill up the pages, but it doesn’t rival the first four, or the next novel in the series. That being said, it’s still great in my eyes. Not every book will be a home run, or else technically none of them would be.

Raven and Alexander are a cute couple – and Raven will do anything to get Alexander back (since he’s missing, of course). With a supporting cast like Jameson, Jagger, Phoenix and Onyx in this book, I definitely recommend it. It’s funny and sweet!

Overall – I love this series. If you want a sweet, easy read that is YA based and full of the vampire craze this book is for you!! Five out of five stars!

 

Check out Ellen on Goodreads: Ellen Schreiber on Goodreads

Or take a peek at her website: EllenSchreiber.com

Maybe give her a shoutout on Twitter too? @EllenSchreiber

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

If you enjoyed this review, check out another great vampire review! Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi

#BookReview Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

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Here’s yet another #ThrowbackThursday book review filled with cute, vampire goodness from my teenage years!! I was so excited to find these books hiding in the back of my book shelf and I grabbed a random one! Here’s the review:

 

Alyxandra Harvey has a hit with the Drake Chronicles.

Bleeding Hearts is the fourth novel in the Drake Chronicles (one of my many vampire-based book obsessions). Each book follows one of the Drake children and their adventures and romances. Each book seems to get better compared to the last – in character development, plot and story lines and the romances. It was really nice to see Alyxandra Harvey grow with each book that came out. Knowing that this series came to an end was truly heart breaking, even if this series came to a perfect end.

This book changes point of views throughout, which can be distracting if you aren’t paying attention but I think it adds more to this novel. I liked seeing the different angles of the plot from each of the characters!

This wasn’t my favourite book in the series (in fact, it was my least favourite) but it was still an excellent addition. Everyone has their favourite character (*cough* Quinn *cough*) and Conor and Christabel just weren’t my favourite. They are still funny, fantastic and nerdy characters in this star line-up cast of characters and their story is absolutely delightful! They just don’t measure up in my eyes to some of the others.

There are many nerdy references in here, and that touched my nerdy heart. It’s always fun when you can actually understand the references – Star Wars, Firefly, etc.

Overall, this book is a recommended read from me. It’s a cute, romantic vampire novel in an absolutely adorable series that I was and am still obsessed with. Hopefully in the near future I pick up Alyxandra’s new books!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Alyxandra Harvey on Goodreads: Alyxandra Harvey on Goodreads

Or visit her website! AlyxandraHarvey.com

Or maybe, give her a shoutout on Twitter! @AlyxandraH

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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#ThrowbackThursday time! I read this books years ago, when it came out  and now it’s time to pick it up off my shelf and dust it off for a new review!!

 

 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey is one of my favourite books in a series that ended FAR TOO SOON!!

When I initially picked up this series I became furious – there was only two books in the series and then POOF it was gone, just like that! I was addicted, I needed more and Beth hadn’t provided the literature to fill that need. With a book and sweet and cute as this one, it was highly upsetting.

The Romanian vampire universe that Beth built within these two books was thrilling. We follow Jessica and her vampire husband (who has been accused of murder, by the way) in a magical adventure. There’s romance, drama, danger, thrills and everything you want in a YA, vampire novel.

This book does let you down though – it’s the final in a two book series that could have been so much more. It could have been the next Vampire Academy, in my eyes. Why go so far and waste the effort to create such a beautiful universe to end it after two? Our characters still had room to grow, since their character development was quite small, and there were so many loose ends that weren’t tied up in the end. When there’s so many mysteries entwined in this series, it was incredibly frustrating to know the books just stopped here.

Jessica is related to the audience – she doesn’t fit in, she’s strong willed and headstrong and is willing to save her friends. She’s not overly dramatic in my eyes, especially in a YA adult novel, but she’s still an excellent lead. Mixed in with a fast paced story, and an excellent story line makes for a truly great recommended read from me!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Beth’s website: Beth Fantaskey

Or give Beth a shoutout on Twitter! @BethFantaskey

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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And now for a #ThrowbackThursday review of a book I read YEARS ago. I’ve reread this book and given a new review for it!! Here’s The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead.

 

 

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead in a great addition in the Vampire Academy universe.

Typically, when an author breaks off from the original series and creates a prequel/sequel series it’s not very good – Richelle Mead is one of the few authors that has created a hit. She stands alongside JK Rowling with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, Cassandra Clare with TMI and TID and many other greats.

Bloodlines became my guilty pleasure when it came out. After striking gold with Vampire Academy and having me hooked there, of course Richelle had to create a story centered around everybody’s boyfriend – Adrian Ivashkov. With Adrian and Sydney leading this series, we have two strong, able leads who always keep things interesting.

Our leads grow a lot within this book – this appears to be the book mainly for character development. There is still an epic plot, with fast paced action and over the top drama, but the main part of this book that kept me interested was how the characters were changing and growing. Richelle always seems to have one book in her series that has a strong sense of character development, and it always ends up being one of the better books in the series.

This book does lack a lot of the friendly side characters we grew to love, but don’t worry! They appear in later books!! This book’s main focus is Adrian and Sydney. There are a few new characters introduced to make up for that empty space – and that includes a little witchcraft! While I didn’t enjoy these characters as much as our typical brood (Angeline, Eddie, Jill, etc) they were still a nice edition to the story.

Overall, this supernatural story is a definite recommended read from me! Start from the beginning (Bloodlines) or the VERY VERY beginning (Vampire Academy) if you want some great reads to fill your time. They definitely are worth it! Keep in mind these are YA novels – so there is lots of young adult love and drama, and of course this book has vampires. Not your typical vampires, but still…vampires. There was a trend a few years back, if you can’t remember. Vampires were “the thing”.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Richelle on Goodreads: Richelle Mead on Goodreads

Or visit her on her website: RichelleMead.com

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Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Captured by Maggie L Wood

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Who’s ready for #ThrowbackThursday review? This time, Captured by Maggie L Wood is on the pedestal! I read this back when it came out, so it’s thrilling to find it hiding on the back of my bookshelves to read again! Now, here’s the review:

 

Captured by Maggie L Wood is a fantastic retelling of a game of chess in a YA setting.

Back when there was an indie book store with fantastic deals, this book was one a giant cardboard cut out bookshelf with a for sale sign on it. At the time, I wasn’t a giant reader but I was getting bored with Twilight and vampire novels in general so I picked this book up. Little did I know, that I’d become obsessed, the third book would be in development for years and years and years and I’d forget this book was on the back of one of my shelves for YEARS. So, like I tend to do – I avoid my four giant to-read book shelves with physical copies and reread some old “classics”.

This YA book is truly incredible – yes it’s your typical romance, adventure, action and thriller story but instead of vampires or fairy tales – it’s chess!! I’m horrible at chess, but I love seeing someone make a book around it! It’s original, and while it’s probably been done before but I’ve never found the book, I really enjoyed it!

Our lead isn’t just some frail princess falling in love, no she’s ready to be a superhero in her own realm! At this time, most of the books I was reading were weak girls who just wanted a boyfriend. When I picked up this book and saw a strong heroine, I was amazed. And I still am! It’s such a great, unique story and it’s upsetting seeing that barely anyone has read or reviewed it!

This is a 110% recommended read from me. I would love to see more books by Maggie L Wood popping up on bookshelves all around the nation! She has a unique look on the world and her books aren’t the usual silly vampire story. If she had room to grow and write more books, I’m sure her writing ability would sky rocket and rival some of the best.

Five out of five stars.

 

Find Maggie on Goodreads: Maggie L Wood on Goodreads

Visit her website: MaggieLWood.com

Or give her a shoutout on Twitter! @MaggieLWood

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Did you enjoy this review? Check out this one! Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer

Quick Book Review: An American Duchess by Sharon Page

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Photo via Goodreads.

This romantic novel by Sharon Page reminded me how much I loved romance novels.

I hadn’t touched a pure romance book for a while, and when I won this book and decided to read it, I was not let down. This book was beautifully written in a time period that reminded me a lot of “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald. The book battles some issues including loss, war, love, following your dreams and also focusing on being a time piece rather than a modern day piece.

Following Zoe, who is a headstrong girl who wants to do what she wants and not others was pretty stereotypical, but she was not the stereotypical character other than following the path of many other famous lead characters. She is not your typical lady, since she is willing to be both ladylike, and tomboy-ish and sarcastic.

I could not put this book down and I was glued to every page when I was reading it. The novel featured beautiful descriptions and had a lot of heart put into it. The emotional roller coaster I experienced while reading this book was possible only through the author’s ability to make the characters feel real and have the situations seem realistic.

Beautiful book! Five out of five stars! I cannot praise this book enough!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.