Book Review || Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: Dec 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.30 / 364,701 Reviews
My Rating:

Let me just start with this: AJCOIE:JFOSKCJ:OEIJ:OSIEJOIES:FJ

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Me Before You is the story of two main characters: Lousia (Lou), and Will. Lou is in her mid-twenties. She lives in the same town she grew up in… with her parents. Her long-term boyfriend, Patrick, is obsessed with working out and never seems to have time for her. Although she doesn’t know it, it’s pretty clear she’s stuck in a rut. The abrupt loss of her waitressing job at the coffee shop she loves throws her into motion against her will, and this is where the action begins. Lou’s lack of qualifications land her in a job as a babysitter companion for a quadriplegic man named Will.

Will has lived a “big life”. Before the accident, he was rich, handsome, ambitious, adventuresome – you name it. One fateful morning, he walks outside and is hit by a motorcycle driver and is left almost completely paralyzed from the neck down. His life will never be the same, and he cannot accept it. Enter: Lou.

Don’t be fooled by the title or description: this is not a love story. It’s a story about life. Real life is messy and painful, but it’s still beautiful – and that is the message this book carries. We’ve got family problems, relationship problems, health problems, traumatic past events, you name it, it’s in here. You may think that it sounds like overkill for one book. While it does make it incredibly difficult to review, I give you my word that it is not one of those books where the author tried too hard to pack a punch and ended up over-doing the drama. It’s an incredibly realistic portrayal of all of the things you may be balancing in your own life, all layered in one deliciously tiered wedding cake of a book.

I’m not going to say anything more, because this is all that I knew going into it and I wouldn’t change that for the world. This book affected me in a way that a book hasn’t in a very long time and it is definitely on my list of all-time favorites.

My only potential warning for you is that this book is slow-paced. It’s definitely a character-driven plot, which I personally favor, but I know some of you don’t! Honestly, though, I would recommend you give Me Before You a shot regardless of your reservations, because I will be recommending it to everyone I meet from now until forever.

If that’s not convincing enough for you, the movie starring Sam Claflin will be out soon! I know you all miss that Finnick grin.

If you want to see my emotional failure of a spoilery discussion, check out my video review here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cnrz3TQFpI


I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading!

J. Bookish

Reflections of March

Hello my friends!

I HAVE BEEN SO BUSY.

Life update: I have a degree in Political Science, but not too long after graduation I decided I want to teach. To teach high school in Washington State it’s preferred that you have a B.A. in your chosen subject, and unfortunately Poli Sci does not constitute a “subject”. So I decided I want to teach English (of course!) and I finally officially am back in school! Classes started a few weeks ago and because they’re 7-week courses they’re condensed and involve a lot of work. So basically I’m going to work AND school full-time, and I’m trying to settle in to that but basically I’ve just been exhausted and the thought of typing any extra thoughts makes me groan. Which is my explanation for my absence.

I’m trying to be more active on Twitter so you know I haven’t completely disappeared from the bookish community; if you don’t follow me or I don’t follow you let me know below and we will rectify that situation immediately!

I ALSO started a BookTube channel. AHHH. I’ve been wanting to for quite some time, and I intended on starting it for a New Year’s Resolution but I didn’t have the guts! Haha so I finally have actually started one, I hope you’re all supportive of that decision! I’m still going to continue writing on here, J. Bookish has just expanded! If you enjoy BookTube and want to watch I would be tickled pink – if not, feel free to ignore the videos!

Books I Read:

Room by Emma Donoghue – 5/5
Holes
by Louis Sachar – 5/5
Allegiant 
by Veronica Roth – 5/5
Insurgent by Veronica Roth- 4/5
Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo – 4/5
Red Rising by Pierce Brown – 4/5
Golden Son by Pierce Brown – 3/5
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee -2/5
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson – 2/5

WHEW.

Currently Reading:

Progress: 57%

I just missed Rick Riordan’s writing! I’ve been reading some really heavy books for school so I wanted something light and fun to balance those readings out. I’m really enjoying this book, but to be honest I’m not a HUGE fan of Piper, Leo, or Jason. I miss Percy!

Favorite Book of the Month:

This was a re-read for me; I actually read it when it was first released years ago. While I knew generally what was going to happen, I had forgotten the fine details and appreciated it more this time around. It’s a little disconcerting reading from the perspective of a 5-year old, but if you haven’t read this yet I highly recommend it!

Least Favorite Book of the Month:

 

I was just so disappointed in this. I had heard about all of the controversy and prepared myself for a very different perspective than To Kill a Mockingbird, but I did not expect the absolute mess of writing that this is. I was completely lost for a majority of this novel; Scout’s thoughts jumped ALL over the place. She was irritating, to be honest. Other than some more fun stories from her childhood, this book is just a mess. I would advise you all to just skip this one.

THe booktube Intro:


I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading!

J. Bookish

Reflections of February

Gooodbyyyyeeee February! Come ooooon Spring!

I think I just need a new season. Time for Spring Cleaning inside my brain! Dang, I am just absent aren’t I. I hope I’m not giving any of you complexes. I have like 8,987,987 reviews I want to write and the back up is giving me anxiety! But I’m here now, and I am happy to say I’m officially out of my reading slump like FOR REAL. I’ve been reading up a storm this month and it’s been awesome. I’m quite proud of myself. I will say that I miss all of you very much and I am sorry I haven’t been active here, I’m not by any means planning on abandoning my blog, I’m just trying to find my writing voice again; I feel like I’ve been missing it lately and I don’t want to post things I’m not proud of. I’m sure you all get it! Or at least, I hope you do.

Books I Read:

Divergent by Veronica Roth – 5/5
Insurgent by Veronica Roth- 4/5
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie – 4/5
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – 2.5/5
The Museum of Extraordinary Things – 3.5/5
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – 4/5

(Look, they’re not all 3-stars!! It’s a miracle!)

Currently Reading:

Progress: 59%

My cat has decided to lay on my stomach/keyboard so I am poke-typing this. Damn cute little orange kitty.

Okay he’s moved. I am reluctantly adoring Red Rising so far. What do I mean by reluctantly adoring? I’ll tell you. I’m pretty sure Pierce Brown pulled all of the best parts out of popular dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy novels and transplanted them into his own story. This irritates the hell out of me. But I am also doing chores I’ve been putting off just so I can continue listening to the audiobook longer because I need to know what’s going to happen next. Therefore, reluctantly adoring.

Favorite Book of the Month:

I read Eleanor & Park a few years ago and hated it. I then wanted nothing to do with Rainbow Rowell.. until I discovered she had written a few adult contemporaries. I picked Attachments up at the bookstore, read the first few pages… and could not put it down. This story is so sweet and fun and warm and cozy and exactly what I needed. Thank you, Rainbow, for bringing me out of my slump. MWAH.

Least Favorite Book of the Month:

AAAND then, we have Eat Pray Love. Which I didn’t like. EPL is formatted as 108 “chapters”- some are stories, some are musings, some are history lessons. A few of these chapters I found both memorable and thought-provoking and have folded pages just waiting for quotes to be chosen for a review. However, the vast majority was boring. I actually skim-read. I NEVER skim-read. I just kept thinking it would get better because hello, Julia Roberts was charming in the movie. But it really didn’t do it for me. I don’t have enough in common with Gilbert to sympathize with her journey, and I won’t be reading any more of her work in the future.


Alternately, my sister had a beautiful baby girl this month! If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed this sweet little thing broke me out of my silence and I actually tweeted for once. I MEAN LOOK AT HER.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading!

J. Bookish

Reflections of November

Gooodbyyyyeeee November!

GUESS WHAT. I got a new job. WHOOP WHOOP. I have very politely been denying the fact that I ABSOLUTELY HATED my last job (well, current, because my contract isn’t technically up until the 17th). But I am officially going back to working with kids as a 4th and 5th grade Assistant Teacher. I couldn’t be happier! So overall, November was a great month just for that reason.

AND NOW, IT’S DECEMBER! CHRISTMAS! You know what’s awesome about working in a school? Never having to work over holidays and still getting paid, that’s what’s awesome. I’ve been working on my TBTB Santa gifts and it’s so much fun. I have so many crafts planned for Christmas presents and just ah. It’s gonna be a great month.

Back to last month… I didn’t read a whole lot. Again. I kind of went into a slump after speed-reading Winter, and then my eye was doing this weird thing and reading made my head hurt. So I haven’t read much in the last two weeks. But I’m okay with it! Let’s review:

Oh, insert: my wonderful boyfriend would like to say hi. So, “Hi!” – Tim

Books I Read:

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2)The MartianSlaughterhouse-Five

Winter by Marissa Meyer – 3.5/5
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – 3.5/5
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory – 3/5
The Martian by Andy Weir – 5/5
Slaughterhouse – Five – Kurt Vonnegut – 2/5

My standings for The Quest No. 1 are as follows:

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  3. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  4. The Disciple by Stephen Koontz
  5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

+ The Diary of Anne Frank

*Sigh*. I kind of think I’m going to give up on this quest. I will read these books eventually, but they’re just not priority at the moment. I want to read what I want to read, okay? Okay. Good talk.

Currently Reading:

Progress: 210/278

I am a huge fan of To Kill a Mockingbird. Every time I read it I love it more. So I was very excited about Go Set a Watchman. I am so torn about this book. Some pages I hate and others I love. Review to come!

Book Posts:

Book Review: Winter

Tags and Things:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten authors that are NEW…to me
J. Bookish (me) fails at tags
Tag Week Day 1: The Autumn Book Tag!
Tag Week Day 2: Fall Time Cozy Time Book Tag!Tag Week Day 3: The Inside Out Book Tag!
Tag Week Day 4: My Life in Books Tag!
Tag Week Day 5: The Book Courtship Tag!
Tag Week Finale: Seasons of Book Blogging Tag
(All exclamation points until the finale? I’m pretty sure that’s counter-intuitive. Story of my life.)

Other Stuff:

November TBR!!!
Reading Partners – VOLUNTEER!
November Book Haul! (Oh hey this is my 50th post)

Favorite Book of the Month:

The Martian

I actually saw the movie before I read this book. I had zero interest in reading it but my boyfriend wanted to see it and I love going to the movies so I was like yeah, let’s do it. And it was amazing. Hilarious and heartbreaking and so so so much better than I had expected. So of course, I wanted to know more and decided to listen to the book. Mark Watney is freaking amazing. As are all of the other characters. And all of the science. And the basic survival instinct. And everything. If you haven’t read this yet and are on the fence because of the fancy science talk, don’t even worry about it. The book is so much more than that, and you should read it. Liiike now.

Least Favorite Book of the Month:

Slaughterhouse-Five

This was another one of those books that I just can’t understand why it is or was ever popular. At all. I HATE unreliable narrators and Billy Pilgrim is the absolutely least reliable of ALL NARRATORS EVER. Did he just have PTSD? Did he actually get abducted by aliens called Tralfamadorians and become un-stuck in time? WHAT. WHAT WAS YOUR DEAL, BILLY. If any of you ever see me considering a book that you know has an unreliable narrator, call the TBR police. PLEASE.


On another note, this has been a big month for my little blog! I hit and passed 100 wordpress followers, hit and went WAY past 1,000 views, and made my own tag! It’s been so fun seeing it spread! You all are just the bestest. I get warm and fuzzy feelings every time I get a like or comment or follow. *metaphorically hugging you all* :D

I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading!

J. Bookish

Reflections of October

Farewell, October.

Does this mean all of the leaves are going to fall? Dang it November. They’re so pretty. LEAVE THEM ALONE. Even though they’re dead and circle of life and all that.

So I was a TERRIBLE reader friend this month. I quite literally misplaced the book I was reading for a whole week. But I only read one book at a time, and I’m technically already reading two, so I couldn’t just abandon it and start a new one! I was all sorts of pumped for my October TBR and I basically failed miserably. I swear, though, November.. November will be better. Especially  because my parents are going to be gone for Thanksgiving and my significant other will probably have to work sooooooo…. I’ll be lacking on the whole family togetherness thing! But maybe I’ll try to cook my own Thanksgiving feast?! Omg. Pressure.

Hahaha I am such a rambler. I don’t know how you guys read these posts. It’s like being inside my brain which is sometimes confusing even for me.

Let’s just go ahead and dive in now!

Books I Read:

24120519786443723437156

2156Mansfield Park

So 9 books last month… five this month. Woooow.

I CROSS MY HEART I’LL BE BETTER NEXT MONTH.

https://jbookish.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/30cf1-ipromise.gif?w=401&h=241

(sidenote: hahahahahahahahahaha my hero)

My standings for The Quest No. 1 are as follows:

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  3. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  4. The Disciple by Stephen Koontz
  5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

STRUGGLES. I blame all of you for this, you wonderful book bloggers. I get too excited about new books and am ignoring the old books. But its ok. I’ll get through them eventually.

Currently Reading:

The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2)

Progress: 366/661

So this is the book that I misplaced. It was in my truck under a coat. Of course, I thought it was a million places OTHER than where it was. I thought I would have finished it but nothing about it makes me NEED TO READ. I don’t dislike it, I’m just not super involved. I think it’s Gregory’s writing style. Anywho, I’ll write more about it later. I’m thinking about watching the movie and doing a book to movie comparison? What do you think?

Progress: 281/754

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.funnyhub.com/2015/jan/facepalm/facepalm37.gif

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Book Posts:

The Grisha Trilogy: Series Recap
Re-thinking Twilight…
Library of Souls – Book Review!
Six of Crows Review and Let’s Discuss (No spoilers!)

Tags and Things:

The Emoji Book Tag!
Top Ten Tuesday: My Wish is Your Command

Other Stuff:

October TBR!!
A Post on Yoga
I went to… (!!!)
Fairy Tale Adaptations

Favorite Book of the Month:

23437156WHOOP WHOOP. If you check out my review for this one you’ll see. Actually, if you check out anyone’s reviews you’ll see. Plus, Leigh Bardugo favorited my tweet SOOO basically a big deal.

Least Favorite Book of the Month:

Mansfield ParkI haaaatteeeddd this book. I love Jane. I LOVED Persuasion this month. But omg Mansfield Park was horrible. It was not at all up to her usual standard. I’m going to read Emma next month I think, hopefully it will get me back on good terms with Jane.

That’s it for this month!

P.S. How was your Halloween?? Did you do anything fun?? We went to see Goosebumps and I LOVED it I think they did such a good job. And of course, we dressed up as Mario and Princess Peach!

I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading!

J. Bookish

Six of Crows Review and Let’s Discuss (No spoilers)!

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: Henry Holt and Co.
Rating5 Star Rating System 5 stars

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and have not yet seen Six of Crows in all its dark and glorious beauty, I’ve decided it’s imperative to share it with you. Hence the video. Because it’s officially my favorite book by appearance. In the whole world. I think. Maybe not. But it’s tied in first with a currently unknown number of others. Anywho, if you do not live under a rock and have seen the book, I give you permission to ignore me and my awkward frozen wave.

Just in case you were wondering if I’m as ridiculous in person as I am online, the answer is clearly yes. And yes, I make myself laugh. Often. Isn’t that what all the cool kids are doing? 

Review:

Continue reading

Library of Souls – Book Review!

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #3)Title: Library of Souls (Peculiar Children Series, Book 3)
Author: Ransom Riggs
Published: September 22, 2015 by Quirk Books
Rating: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars

“Just a story. It had become one of the defining truths of my life that, no matter how I tried to keep them flattened, two-dimensional, jailed in paper and ink, there would always be stories that refused to stay bound inside books. It was never just a story. I would know: a story had swallowed my whole life.”

**Contains spoilers if you have not read Hollow City**

Library of Souls was a well-written and action-packed finale to the Peculiar Children series. The ending of Hollow City KILLED ME, I totally did not see it coming and I was completely shocked, so of course I was initially incredibly anxious to find out what happened next. By the time I read the book, though, my excitement had waned, and that may be at play in my fairly “meh” feelings about the book.

Jacob, Emma, and Addison the talking dog have narrowly escaped capture from the wights with the discovery of Jacob’s expanding power (commanding the hollows in a language he didn’t know he could speak, how very parstletongue). Their friends were not so lucky. The trio immediately sets off to rescue their crew, and find themselves in Devil’s Acre, the loop where the less savory peculiars take haven.

Riggs continues to expand on his fantastic world building that was begun in Hollow City, and Devil’s Acre was certainly a colorful place (sidenote: I loved the stories that led to the loop entrances in Hollow City, so creative!). I loved that we finally get to see the amoral peculiars. This book began really, really slowly. Nothing that really developed the story happened until about 150 pages in. I was irritated with Emma the majority of that time, and began to worry that the book wasn’t going to pick up at all and I was just going to hate it. It did though, thank goodness! Once the story gets moving, it became really hard to put down. I loved all of the action, the new characters, and the Library of Souls.

I did have a number of problems with this book, but I’m pretty sure they were all my own little annoyances rather than actual problems with the story… so take them with a grain of salt, just in case you think I’m crazy.

My issues (don’t worry, no spoilers!):

  • First of all, I felt that the photos Riggs used for this book were a bit of a stretch. Some of them were photo shopped with words that helped them fit into the story, and I don’t remember that being the case in the previous books (correct me if I’m wrong). In Peculiar Children, he built the story around the photos, and as the series continued he had to find photos that fit in with the story, and it didn’t work so well as the original approach.
  • Fans of the series are going to be upset with me, but I have a problem with the whole Emma and Jacob romance. It just creeps me out that she was originally in love with his grandpa, who has the same powers and looks similar to him, and now she’s in love with him..? I just. No. That’s wrong on so many levels. I also didn’t think it was necessary. It didn’t add anything to the story. In fact, I think it took away from it. As I was reading, I noticed the style of writing changed whenever Jacob thought about Emma; it was like a weird explanatory monologue each time, and I wasn’t a fan.
  • I also missed the other peculiar children. We hardly get to see them in this book, and while the new characters were interesting, I didn’t have a two-book relationship built with them! I thought it was cute that the book is “signed” by all of our favorite peculiar children, but why on earth is it teal?!

FullSizeRender

Final thoughts:

I was really hoping the finale of this series would be more satisfying than it was. The ending both wrapped everything up in a convenient little bow while poorly explaining many questions that had been introduced (that’s kind of impressive, actually.. oxymoron?). I’ve heard Riggs is planning on writing more stories in the same world, but unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be reading them. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was by far the best book of the series, and I can’t imagine stretching the photo concept even further would create any gratifying new stories.

Have you read Hollow City? What did you think??

I’ll write again soon. Until then, stay peculiar ;)

J. Bookish

 

The Grisha Trilogy: Series Recap

Hello Friends!

This is going to be a two-book review followed by my thoughts on the whole series. If you haven’t read the book preceding the book being reviewed, don’t read the review! I don’t want to spoil any of them for you because they’re so wonderful and you must read them yourself!!

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 4, 2013 by Henry Holt and Co. Rating: 4/5

“I’ve seen what you truly are,” said the Darkling, “and I’ve never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?”

With Siege and Storm, we re-enter Ravka, the fantastical version of Russia, with more understanding of its power than we’d had before. At the end of Shadow and Bone, Alina and Mal have escaped from the Darkling and left him behind in The Fold.  They’re now on the run, hoping to gain passage to a safer part of the country where Alina won’t be recognizable as the Sun Summoner — or Saint. Horrified by what she helped the Darkling do, Alina has to come to terms with who she really is and what her power, and the joining of the amplifiers, might mean for everything she cares about.

I didn’t love Siege and Storm as much as I loved Shadow and Bone. I didn’t tear through it because the plot didn’t force me to continue reading as book one had done. We do get more world building, allowing for more illumination on Ravka and the Small Science. So that becomes slightly less intimidating, which is nice. I was glad to understand more about the powers of the other Grisha; the fabrikators were barely mentioned in Shadow and Bone. We also get some FAN-FREAKIN-tastic new characters!

I think my lack of extreme enthusiasm for Siege and Storm was pretty typical for the middle book of a series. Book one is exciting because everything is shiny and new, and book three is intense because everything comes to a head, but book two typically has less of that heart-pounding excitement. AND, because you’re in-between the beginning and the answers, there is always quite a bit of frustration. That being said, this one certainly wasn’t bad. It was nowhere near bad. In fact, it was pretty great. Just not AS great as Shadow and Bone. There was a large amount of very necessary development and the ending was CRAZY. Even more so than the ending of book one. Watch yourselves. I did not see it coming.

I can’t say a whole lot more than that because there are twists at every page turn and I refuse to take any of its enjoyment away from you. You’re welcome. ;)


 

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: Jan 1, 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
Rating: 5/5

“Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

I’m not sure why I keep choosing quotes about love from these books. Although romantic love is certainly a theme throughout the series, it doesn’t represent the gist of the story. But the quotes.. they’re just preeetty. Anywho.

At the beginning of Ruin and Rising, Alina has just tried to destroy the Darkling by using their connection to drain both of them of power and creating her own nichevo’ya. She was thwarted/saved by Mal and led to the tunnels of the White Castle, where she is now being held captive by the Apparat, unable to use her power. Meanwhile, the Darkling sits on the throne of Ravka. Alina comes to recognize the strength of the connection between her and the Darkling, and discovers more about his past than she had ever dreamed. In her efforts to destroy him, she continues to desperately search for the Firebird in the hopes that she can create her own army of light and save the people of Ravka.

Ruin and Rising killed me. I loved it so much. I was right back into the “cannot put it down” mode that I had been with Shadow and Bone. I loved everything about it. I don’t know how she did it, but Bardugo somehow twisted my emotions so that I ended up wanting completely different things than I had when I started out the series; I am usually pretty stubborn about my book beliefs, so this was quite a feat.

There was so much grief in this book. Alina becomes more and more damaged while coming into her own. I think this was the first book that I really felt her as a character, and not just as a vessel to tell the story. It was the perfect setting for what had to happen in the end. And let me tell ya, I did not see that ending coming. I hope I’m not just horribly blind and everyone else knew exactly what would happen…

AGAIN, I can’t say much more! I am being extremely strict with myself because I really don’t want to ruin the book for you guys. I hope you read it and love it as much as I did!!


Now for the fun stuff.

**Only continue if you have completed the series, SPOILERS below!!**

OHMYGOSHDARNGOODNESS. Did you see that ending coming?! I did not see that ending coming! I mean I deep down knew that Mal was the third amplifier (the whole wrist-touching power thing was very in-depth for not meaning anything) but the whole back-story of the Darkling’s aunt being brought back to life and the life being past down to Mal because he’s Morozova’s descendant and then Alina’s power being taken from her and given to the people omg omg omg.

That’s not even the craziest part though. That was a fantastic ending to the book, but not anything necessarily special. What was special for me was that by the end I was team Mal. WHAT. If you check out this post, I was very VERY team Darkling originally. And don’t get me wrong, I still loved his character at the end and I teared up when he died, but I was no longer set on he and Alina ending up together. Bardugo and Alina convinced me that they were both just too power hungry to be together. They probably would have destroyed the damn world.

Then there was Nikolai. I think in Siege and Storm I was team Nikolai. I mean, how could you not adore him?! He was my favorite character in the series. Now I wasn’t like “look at the passion between he and Alina”, I was more rooting for their friendship and eventual love. I could see it. They would have been fantastic rulers together. I seriously cried when the Darkling turned Nikolai into a Volcra. I was so mad. That was when I officially was like ok Darkling, you’ve gotta go. And then when creature Nikolai still maintained his Nikolainess, I was so happy. I’m so very glad he didn’t die. I think I would have hated the book a little bit if he had.

And THEN there was Mal. I didn’t like Mal in Shadow and Bone. I HATED him in Siege and Storm. And somehow, I became team Mal in Ruin and Rising. I just didn’t trust him I think. And then he was a little beach in book two and I wanted to slap him across the face for being a baby. And then I think it was, somewhat ironically, the fact that he sacrificed his love for Alina to be loyal to her as the Sun Summoner that won me over. I think this was Bardugo’s plan. And I succumbed. And I’m not even sorry.

For the record, I totally knew that Tamar and Tolya were with the Sankta Alina worshippers. That whole setup at the party? I saw right through it. But I forgave them. I still love them. Sidenote: I also loved that Tamar and Nadia were together. Same-sex love in fantasy? Yes. Way to go Leigh.

Now I have to mention my four favorite smaller characters: Genya, Baghra, Zoya, and David. They were all so beautifully written. EVERYONE in this book had layers, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like that. Like there is so much good and bad in each of them, and if you switched perspectives you’d be rooting for a different team. Overall, that is by far what is making me so obsessed with Bardugo’s writing. Anywho. I loved Genya. I thought her gift was really creative right off the bat, and she was my favorite minor character in the first book. Her love for David made me awwww and then his love for her made me awwww even harder. I knew she’d come through in the end. I actually never hated Zoya like everyone else seems to have. I mean, she wasn’t nice, but no one really was in this series. I really liked her in the final book. She was who she was, and she wasn’t going to apologize for it. That doesn’t make her a bad person. I actually think fiction needs more characters like her. Baghra. Aw. I was really sad for her. She had a power hungry father and tried to prevent her son from her terrible fate and he ended up being just as bad.

As for Alina herself, in the first two books I found myself wondering if Bardugo had intentionally fashioned her in a kind of nondescript manner in order for it to be easier for the reader to channel their own viewpoints into her. But by book three I changed my mind. My favorite thing about her as opposed to many other protagonists was that she at least tried to take control, whereas others (I’m particularly targeting Katniss here I’m sorry) just kind of had events happen to them. Alina took control of the second army, then led her own team. She did what she felt she had to do. She actually made decisions.

Finally, the ending was just perfect. It didn’t tie up in a neat little bow. Everyone was damaged. When Mal catches Alina playing with the sun rays? AGH. And when the girls come and give her a kefta I cried. AGAIN. I told you this book killed me. But seriously, I loved everything about it.

Okay. That’s basically it I think. I hardly had anything to say about this series!!

I’ll write again soon! Until then, keep reading!

J. Bookish

Reflections of September

Goodbye September!

Is it just me, or was September a ridiculously busy month?! The last few weeks I’ve been all MIA from my blog and all of your blogs and I’m so sad about it! School has picked up (got a 94% on my first exam, whoop!), work has been crazy and leaving me drained, I was sick, I had my birthday (I’m 23?! How did that happen?), and I’ve recently been very into yoga.

But seriously, let me tell ya, there have been a few nights this month that I have just needed a bubble bath and a glass of wine. You know? You know. Unless you’re under-aged. And then you can plead the 5th. But hey, it’s Fall! And I LOVE Fall. Lets do dis.

Books I Read:

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

The Diary of a Young GirlThe Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

ERMMM apparently I was really into series this month? Aaaaand Anne Frank is just chillin there in the middle. I’m playing catch-up from my college years so this will probably be a common theme. Plus I FREAKING LOVED the Grisha trilogy!!!!!!! I just. I can’t even.

 

My standings for The Quest No. 1 are as follows:

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  3. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  4. The Disciple by Stephen Koontz

So I decided not to rank The Diary of a Young Girl, so the standings are the same. I am currently working on Team of Rivals, but it is very very very very long! I’m not giving up on this list, never fear, Jordyn is here! Sorry. I had to.

Currently Reading:

Progress: 281/754

OKAY OKAY I KNOW but this book takes about 10x as long as any other book does to read. The pages are huge and the words are small and I don’t want to rush through it because it is actually fascinating. But this is probably going to take another 2 months or so to read if I’m being realistic.

Book Posts:

Percy Jackson: A series recap

Anne Frank.

Thoughts: The Darkling from Shadow and Bone

Tags and Things:

My Reading Habits Tag

Bedtime Book Tag

Top 10: Series I may never finish

Top 10: Characters I just didn’t click with

Other Stuff:

September TBR!! (Pssst. I utterly failed this list)

Favorite Book of the Month:

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

I was torn between Ruin and Rising and Shadow and Bone, but I ended up just being so amazed by Bardugo and my own feelings in this one so I had to pick it! I don’t want to rave too much here because I’ll be posting a review soon, but I just absolutely loved this book and Six of Crows will be in my hands on Thursday because I will officially read anything that Leigh writes. Like, send me her grocery lists, I’m in. Probably not her grocery lists… I’m not a stalker. I promise.

Least Favorite Book of the Month:

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

I haven’t posted a review about this one either!! AH I’M SO BEHIND. I’ll get to it. But I did actually like this book. This was a good book month for me. It was just slow compared to The Maze Runner and I am just so frustrated!! Tell me I’ll get some answers in The Death Cure?!

That’s it for this month!

I’ll write again soon. Until then, keep reading.

J. Bookish

Percy Jackson: A series recap

You know whats really hard to do? Write a review about an in-between book in a series  after binge-reading the series. I officially boycott. Well, maybe. We’ll see.

So now, I’m into series recaps! I figure the Percy Jackson series is a good place to start.

I don’t remember when I first heard of the Percy Jackson books, but I know the kids reading them were younger than I was, so the books were just a teeny blip on my radar. Then I was a camp counselor last year. It was quite a trial to get the kids to settle down for “turtle time” (the name for reading time.. don’t ask, I have no idea why) some days. UNLESS they got to read the Percy Jackson books. I swear, they transported worlds. So 21 year-old me became curious, and then book blogging led me to finally read them!

For all of you who are gasping in surprise that it took me this long, hush. You know you have some secretly unread series in your skeleton closet!

^^Bonus points if you can name the show!^^

I’ve also been reluctant to write this post because I know it’s going to be a million years long. BEAR WITH ME FOLKS. Unless you haven’t read these books, and then 1. There will be tons of spoilers and 2. You will have no idea what I’m talking about. You have been warned.

Continue reading