City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Review

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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: March 27th, 2007

Pages: 485

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


R E V I E W

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in my reading career that I am trash for the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the fact they are trash. However, the nostalgia is so raw that I can’t help but feel like I’m coming home when I pick up this book. I get taken back to when I felt uncomfortable picking it up in the library as a 13-year-old because of the half-naked guy on the front. Now, here I am holding the 10th-anniversary edition which is stunning.

My point is, I know City of Bones is highkey a bad book. Trust me, it became so clear in this re-read that I was cringing at every other interaction and how much I hated Clary. But, I can’t help but be sucked into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It’s a problem. Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved so much, though, so I feel no shame for this being one of my favourite series ever.

City of Bones begins with Clary Fray. A firey red-headed artist (basically her description, oh the cliche) who is simply trying to get through high school with her best friend, Simon, and stop fighting with her mum. Her mum has hidden a whole world from her though, a world that Clary is born to be a part of. Strange, right? I’m pretty sure she’s sixteen too? I’m not even sure, honestly. Anyway, this all changes after she is an underage club one night with Simon and sees something that no one else can see. She’s thrown into a world where she discovers the lies her mothers told to protect her and who she is. Also along the way, she makes some new enemies and even finds out who her father is, which is something I would rather die than do.

Clary Fray may possibly be one of the most annoying female leads. She seems to forget her mum is missing and remember at times convenient to her. She’s much happier to fantasise over the male love interest, Jace Wayland. Who is annoyingly arrogant. I keep picturing him as the actor from the film City of Bones and it has ruined my 12-year-old picture of him, honestly. I’m not a fan of the actor. Nor am I a fan of Dom Sherwood. That’s neither here nor now though. Clary is happy to live her normal mundane life until she discovers the Shadow World. The only problem is she isn’t content to just take herself down. She drags her completely human best friend with her.

I hated Simon when I first read these. I was a big Jace fan and Simon came in as a love interest and I gagged. However, during every re-read, I love Simon more. He is an adorable nerd who is simply just in love with his best friend. It’s kind of tragic and definitely cliche, but the growth of his character over the series is one of my favourites. Alongside Isabelle. That is in the other books though, not City of Bones.

There is some hardcore girl competition too. Neither Isabelle or Clary like each other in this book and it makes me sad since I am such an advocate for girl friendships in books. It gets better later, but I feel if Cassie Clare had had the friendship grow from the book once it would have been a lot better.

This book is also pretty messy. The writing style is all over the place and my friend who’s studying nursing says all of the medical terminologies throughout this series is wrong. Which, are only little things but they amuse me so I feel you should be aware. I do love the humour throughout City of Bones but I’ve heard it’s been ripped off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer? I’m not sure, just covering my bases so no one yells at me for being naive.

The plot line and plot twist in this book make me gag though, every time. I feel like everyone knows what the twist is but if not skip this part because of spoilers. The fact that Jace and Clary are portrayed as siblings (which gets proven wrong in book three) but remain romantically involved or have been romantically involved makes me want to throw up. Honestly, what the heck was Cassie thinking? Possibly the most disturbing storyline ever, especially for me considering I had step-brothers when I read this book and thought of them as bio brothers and could never imagine what Jace and Clary do.

I also just want to say I hate Magnus. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve never meshed well with his character. This is an irrelevant part of my review but I do like his growth with Alec and I felt I should mention this, if not briefly.

Ultimately, is City of Bones a good book? No. Will I still give it five stars for nostalgia? Yes. This is definitely a great series to use to transition into the fantasy world when you just start reading. It’s what I used it as. It is also just a great series for me when I don’t look in analytically. It’s like a big warm hug and coming home.


Happy reading everyone!

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Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau | Review

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Trigger Warnings: panic attacks, relapse (alcohol), anxiety, parental abuse, alcoholism, and abuse.

Release Date: June 6th, 2017

Pages: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?


R A M B L E

Dividing Eden wasn’t really a book I was excited to read. That’s strange to write considering I really enjoyed it. But, I started it at the beginning of the year and put it down. My best friend pushed through and loved it but at that time the concept was lost on me. Now, I fell in love with it.

I was a tad turned off by some of the concepts throughout, but that was purely because of my own life experiences. This is mainly the alcoholism that one of the main characters suffer with. Considering the close perspective we get of both twins through their POV’s it was difficult to read at times.

The concept of this book is what really encaptures me though. A pair of siblings fighting for a throne and neither will win at the end? Since this is a series I figure that last part of that will be made further in the series, for now, I am entrapped with it completely. This book really brings forth familial ties, friendship ties and how your choices can lead to your failure.

It’s a bit difficult to talk about this book in my ramble section because I feel saying too much will give away too many things that happen in this book. I was just completely unable to put this book down despite the fact it did take me a few days to read.


P L O T

A challenge between siblings for a throne with strange relationships woven into the story is what Dividing Eden is ultimately about. Carys and Andreus are happy to live their lives with their struggles and let their older brother take over the thrown. That is until their older brother and father are murdered leaving the pair to compete in trials to achieve succession to make sure a rival does not gain the throne. However, at the end of these trials, one of the twins will die.

Interwoven into this is the fact that upon the birth of the twins they were informed that Andreus was cursed, his struggles to breathe through his youth highlighted this. It was decided that this would be hidden in order to protect him. So, who really wants a cursed king on the throne?

Honestly, it was really interesting. My only problem was that it took a while to really work into the plot. We get to know the characters until around 40% where this challenge takes off. It also is as if we’re not exactly meant to root for either of the twins. In their own right, they both felt like some kind of anti-hero who would bring doom to Eden.

I’m very excited to see how Joelle Charbonneau continues the plot in the upcoming books. The ending of this particular one leaves many possibilities to come.


C H A R A C T E R S

#C A R Y S 

Carys really isn’t the ‘typical’ kind of princess either. She isn’t happy to sit around but instead took it upon herself to learn the art of weaponry in order to protect her brother and her kingdom. This gets her in a tad of trouble throughout the course when people wonder why a princess who is meant to have more skill in embroidery has the ability to perfectly kill an assassin.

Carys had to be my favourite of the twins if I had to pick one. I found her struggles and panic to be written well into the narrative. I really enjoyed her perspective and typically groaned when I had to read an Andreus chapter.

Her dedication to her brother was admirable. I have never read a sister who cares more for her siblings than Carys did for Andreus, a character who in my belief really didn’t deserve that dedication.

#A N D R E U S 

Andreus is the definition of a pampered prince. Until the death of his brother, he isn’t really expected to do much. When he is, his sister takes the fall and the beating for him. He is happy to run around the court sleeping his way through the women, including brother’s fiancee.

I definitely hated Andreus. It has been a while since I’ve read a character who was so easily manipulated and, well, terrible. I presume he was meant to be the anti-hero of this book and make us truly try to realise how someone’s personality can change. But, I found him to be a bit daft and want him to die within the trials. The way he treated his sister, especially, pissed me off.

One scenario I need to talk about, I promise this isn’t a big spoiler but if you want to go in knowing nothing skip to my overall section. Andreus is about to screw something up (I can’t remember what) so Carys steps in to make sure she is reprimanded for his actions. She is taken up to a tower and whipped. When she finally goes back to her rooms she expects Andreus to be there to help take care of her, as he always is since it was his fault. This time? He’s not. Where is he? Screwing his dead brother’s fiancee. What a real treat.


O V E R A L L

Overall, despite my hatred for Andreus I really did enjoy this book. It really helped pull me out of the slump I have been facing since reading Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg (review on my blog, it’s a rant). Dividing Eden wasn’t exactly the best book either, so if you do choose to pick this up have low expectations. It was simply a fun and enjoyable read.


Happy reading everyone!

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Books I Probably Won’t Read

 

Wow, that title. I'm probably about to spread shade on one of your favourites. Am I ashamed? No. These are books that hold little interest to me, or just simply aren't worth my time from the reviews I have read.


Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Goodreads: here

I think this one is pretty easy to work out why I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. "Author of All The Bright Places" aka the one book that should have never gotten a movie but somehow did. This is 13 Reasons Why all over again.

My best friend did actually put herself through the pain and torture of this book, messaging me quotes and making my whole body light up with rage. For her review click here.

 


The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Goodreads: here

This one is just here because some asshole spoiled me. So, let's move on because I'm still trying to find their Goodreads profile so I can slam them with the anger I kept in when it happened.

 

 

 

 

 


Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Goodreads: here

Wait for it, there's a real trend here. I was spoiled for this as well. Yep.

I  mean, Victoria Schwab and I do not have a great author/reader relationship. I just can't get absorbed into her worlds like everyone else and it makes me mad. I love being able to get involved with the hype, but Victoria and I are just never going to work.

 

 

 


A Conjuring of Light by V.E Schwab

Goodreads: here

I don't think I have to say too much about this one. I desperately wanted to be a fan of this series. I didn't mind the first book, gave it three stars, but I completely DNF'ed the second one. I even sold the two books I had. I just can't with character driven plots.

 

 

 


 

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Goodreads: here

Now, I have actual beef with Amy Tintera. I was a massive fan of her Avenged series. Adored her writing and was excited to get onto this series. I even posted on Instagram expressing my love, all excited and tagged her. Now in this post, I mentioned briefly that the second book was a tad boring for me but I was so excited for the final book in the series. Amy seemed to take this as an attack and subtweeted about me. Since then, I've basically decided I will not support a petty, immature author who thinks tha

 

t is okay. I was beyond thankful she isn't that popular as an author because only one of her fans bothered to come comment on my post. But for three days my anxiety was off the scales in fear. So, here I am boycotting anything she writes.

The tweet in mention.

The Instagram post in mention.


 Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Goodreads: here

From what I've heard, this just isn't the book for me. I'm staying far, far, far away. Purely because of the fact the fan base for this series is so large they scare me. I mean, I read this review and just decided I would never pick this book up. I'd say sorry if you love this book, but I'm really not.

 

 

 

 


The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Goodreads: here

I actually read the first book. That's why this is here. I hated the first book. It was a trope filled mess that I know I would have loved when I was 13. However, at 19 it was just an annoyance and made me want to punch someone. I will 110% not be continuing with this series.

 

 

 


This list could honestly go on for another thousand words but I figure I should stop before everyone comes at me with pitch forks blazing.
Noteable mentions: Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth, anything by the duo Erin Watt, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James, Girl Online by Zoella and anything written by Abbi Glines.

What's a book that you probably won't read?

 

 

Warcross by Marie Lu | ARC Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: 12th of September 2017.

Pages: 416

Goodreads Review: here

I kindly received and ARC, which I’m beyond thankful for, but all thoughts and opinions remain my own.


P R E A M B L E

I didn’t expect a lot from Warcross. I’m not a gamer. I don’t know anything about gaming or any terminology. The only game I know how to play is Mario Kart (and the Shrek 2 game on X-Box but that was years ago). I mainly wanted to read this because basically everyone on my Goodreads feed couldn’t shut up about it. It was the best thing since sliced bread, from the reviews I was reading.

So I wanted it.

Thankfully, I was given an eARC and let me tell you all, it is worth it. Despite the weird cover that looks like an 8-year-old made it on Microsoft Word, this book is worth your time.

This review will be a little sparse because you need to go into this not knowing anything. This is why for characters I will only be talking about the main character.


P L O T 

I’m not sure why, but I thought the plot was something it really wasn’t. I feel I may have mixed up the plots of another book I had heard of (maybe Ready Player One?) and just figured it was this. So, for a lot of the book, I was expecting my imaginary plot to happen.

Thankfully my imaginary plot in no way compared to this beauty. I was fully involved with this story, unable to stop reading once I had time to truly sit down.

The story follows Emika, a hacker with a criminal record who is struggling to make ends meat. She is drowning in debt, not her own, and is about to be kicked out into the streets when she goes into the virtual reality world that was created. Now, I have no idea how to explain this part but Emi basically hacks into the game and this causes a massive uproar. This is something that has never happened? Thankfully, the creator, Hideo, isn’t made. He instead needs Emi’s help.

I’ll leave it there because I truly can’t even begin to explain the complexity of this plot and how, ultimately, amazing it is.


C H A R A C T E R S 
#E M I  K A    C H E N 
Is a character you can look up to. The girl is kickass and not someone to take shit from anyone. She doesn’t even whine. Something so fucking rare in young adult fiction.
An MC who doesn’t whine? UNHEARD OF. 

SHE ALSO HAS RAINBOW HAIR TOO. Most main characters have blonde, brown or red hair but not Emika. Nope. Rainbow. I was so beyond happy. My best friend in high school used to dye her hair different colours every other month (favouring blue and purple) so it just made me think of happy memories, as dorky as that is.

Ultimately, Emi is one of the best main characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. She has quickly skyrocketed to my favourites, sitting level with Emma Carstairs in the badass category for me.


O V E R A L L 

Overall, this book is so worth your time. There are two reasons it wasn’t a full five stars for me. One was that I got a bit lost during the gaming parts. However, that is all on me and my not understanding. The other is that I guessed something, though the other thing completely blindsided me (what a great lack of information there).

Seriously though, I will be recommending this book to everyone. Gamers or not, this is the book for everyone. Marie Lu is a fantastic author and I need to finish her Legend series ASAP.