QUEEN OF SHADOWS BY SARAH J. MAAS | BOOK REVIEW

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Title: Queen of Shadows #4
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Publication date: September  1st. 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: *MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS* 

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

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RATING: ★★★★

I don’t even know where to begin with this review but let’s hope for the best.

It took me literally more than a year to finish this book and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to or anything I just never picked it up. It took me a while to do so mostly because I had heard mixed reviews and some angry people about a certain ship that I adored and well…that ship has officially sunk. It was painful to read and some of the characters felt foreign to me. I don’t know if it was because I had not been in the world for a while or because they are completely different but I will attribute it to all the things that happened in Heir of Fire cause man even from that point on everything was painful.

What I liked about this book was being back in the world and getting to know a little bit more about each character, especially their interactions. I think this is what I loved most about the book. I also liked how we got to see a much bigger and rich world that Sarah J. Maas has created. It was a bit confusing though but I think it was mostly because I had waited a year to read the book so …that’s not really a bad thing or an excuse. Also the pace of the book was really good. There was always something happening and well I mean the book is indeed 600+.

What I didn’t love about the book were Chaol and Aelin’s characters. I thought that Chaol’s character did a complete 180. He wasn’t the Chaol I felt in love with and the same goes for Aelin. She wasn’t the girl I once knew from book 1 through book 3 but then again it could be the fact that the situations that they were put in completely changed them or were meant to shape them into the characters that we got in this book. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. The first half of this book was really hard to read because of it. I also felt like some parts in the book dragged but at the same time it wasn’t too bad.

What I did like and love about the book is how this world is bigger than I could have ever imagined. You have so many different characters who are all so different from each other but at the same time are the same? Or that’s what I think. I also liked seeing the court play all together. I love Lysandra, Aedion and Manon. OMG MANON I LOVE HER SO MUCH and Dorian. I never thought I would fall in love with Dorian but I did in this book. It was more of a huge concern for him.

Also, I know I said that I didn’t like Chaol’s characterization in the beginning but towards the end I couldn’t help but remember why I fell in love with him in the first place.

AND yes, I cried. I was freaking out towards the end of this book. I never felt so scared to read ahead. That’s when I knew that Sarah J. Maas has me wrapped around her finger and no one is safe.

Overall, I liked the book. I did have a few issues with it and it’s totally not perfect in any way but I will indeed continue with the series. I am currently reading Empire of Storms so we shall see how that goes. HOPEFULLY it doesn’t take me a year to read haha.

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Its time.

I think its time for me to put this blog into good use so I will be writing more on here. I usually do videos but I think this is also a great outlet, especially when I can’t coherently put into words what I want to say about a book in video format haha.

So hi, Im Ilse and welcome to my blog.

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THE VRAI DOMICILE BY COURTNEY RUGGLES | BOOK REVIEW

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Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Meurtre…

Vrai Domicile book 2 ebookQ and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

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RATING: ★★★★

First and foremost thank you to Courtney for being so amazing and letting me get this before it got published. 

This book starts where book 1 ended. Q and B walk into The Meurtre. The pacing of the story is really fast but its only because the story itself is quite short. There is a lot of information being thrown at you from beginning to end and as you are reading you are trying to piece everything together or at least predict what could happen.

I fell in love with Q in this book and that is because we see a huge character development in her. She is strong, courageous and determined. She is also very compassionate and loving to the people that she cares about and strives to do what she believes in her heart is right.

I think my favorite parts of the book is Q striving to be strong and courageous and obviously Q and B interactions of you know what I mean 😉 😉 ;).

There were also some scenes that I couldn’t help but cringe of how agonizing and painful it was to read. I really cannot imagine living in a world like this where people are expected to follow leaders that are cruel and not care about their own people’s well being. The flogging scenes were just painful, the threats were unbelievable and ridiculous at the same time, everything is blunt and brutally honest. Some scenes are graphically violent and may be a little much for some readers but it was raw and true so if you have issues with that watch out.

Nothing is as it seems. There are tons of clues that push the plot forward and will make you turn pages just to get to the truth. I swear that I was reading so fast the last few pages cause I needed to know how things were going to end ESPECIALLY when I only had like a few minutes left of the book.

And the ending. YEP that ending. GREAT another painful cliffhanger. THANKS COURTNEY! hahah

I am excited to read the next book because things just started to get interesting.

 

 

MEETING MY BOOKTUBE FRIENDS & VIDCON EXPERIENCE

Well hello guys! I know I have been MIA on my blog but it’s with good reason. As the title of this post says I met my booktube friends and went to VidCon 2016. If you don’t know what VidCon is the largest gathering for the online digital video community and its fans. So if you are a fan of any youtubers this is the place to go cause there is literally youtubers EVERYWHERE you look.

This was my first time going to VidCon and it was definitely a whole new experience for me especially because I was going to meet my booktube friends for the first time. Some of these people I have watched from the very beginning and have become my closest friends and just the fact that we met was so surreal and amazing.

It was definitely nerve wracking because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if they were going to like me in person or if they had expectations about me and my appearance but thank god everything turned out amazing. We got all got along and definitely wasn’t weird at all. We actually spent the majority of the time laughing and cracking up jokes and to be honest is the most fun I’ve had in a while.

This year’s VidCon was very different or at least from what people have talked about. There was more security due to recent events that had happened but none the less everything was pretty organized. My friends and I got community passes which was great for our first time attending VidCon. We got to meet some of our favorite youtubers, for example I met, The Hillywood Show, Alli Speed and Flula! Some of my friends met the Green brothers, Joey Graceffa and Mamrie Hart plus others. We were allowed to take pictures and to make small talk which was just amazing.

Apart from meeting your faves we also got the chance to experience the Expo Hall which was filled with a lot of different booths like the Instagram booth, the Vine booth, THE NICKELODEON BOOTH and others. You could do so many activities.

Panels and Q and A’s was also a thing. In these you basically attend to know a little bit more about the creator’s success and how to do certain things and it was just very informational and interested to know how each and everyone did to get to where they are right now.

There is so much more I want to say about my experience but I’ll let my vlogs talk for themselves. Im still in the process on getting  them all up and if you want to see the rest please subscribe to my channel! For now enjoy the two vlogs I have up!

Thaaaaaank you for reading this if you’ve made it this far!

MAY WRAP- UP | 2016

I usually do these in video form but I am really going to try to do them written so here I go.

In the month of May I only read 3 books. I know it doesn’t seem like much but I am pretty happy with the books and the amount of books that I read due to the fact that I was pretty packed with work and just life happening.

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The first book that I read was The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani which is the first book of a middle grade fantasy trilogy. This book was our World of World (WOW) book of the month for April. (WOW is a goodreads/booktube reading group that I am part of with 3 other people). For a middle grade book, this story had a surprising sum of darkness and depth. It questions the nature of friendship, good and evil, and it tells us that it is our choices in life that matters in the long run, that our nature is self-determined. I appreciate what the author tried to tell us in this book, I really did but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would’ve wanted. As I said before I was having a lot of stuff going on that my reading enjoyment wasn’t up to par with the book. I loved the characters, well, some more than others but over all I really did love them. I will continue with the series but mostly because I want to know what happens next after that ending which was made it for me.

Rating: ★★★

 

23309634The second book that I read was Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino which is a New Adult/Contemporary set in New York. I’ve never been to New York but Im starting to understand why so many timeless works of fiction happen in a place like that. This love story is spanning over more than a decade, this is a story of two young people who simply met too soon in life to truly appreciate what they had found in one another, whose lives take off in different directions but eventually it will bring them back to each other, where they had belonged all along. I am always a sucker for these kinds of stories and this was the exact book that I needed to read at the right time. Matt Shore and Grace Starr met on their first day of senior year at college, and from the moment they laid eyes on one another, they became inseparable. They were both creative, determined and strong-willed, they shared quirkiness which made them perfect partners in crime and they always encouraged themselves to follow their passions and ambitions. But as everything goes up it eventually all came down crashing down and as their final year of college came to an end, their relationship too quickly falls apart, leaving them heartbroken and mournful of all they had lost forever wondering if they’d ever find such happiness again as the one they had found in each other’s arms.

Rating: ★★★★★

28438516The third and last book that I read in the month of May is Deception by Aleatha Romig which is a New Adult or Adult / Suspense book. It contains explicit sexual content so if you are under 18 I’d advise you not to read this haha. I can’t tell you much of this book because it’s the third book in a series but what I can tell you is that in this third book in the ‘Infidelity’ series, Alexandria’s life continues to prove to be ever more complicated than imagined. Betrayal after betrayal comes to light, revealing a complex web of deceit. The manipulations and lies are everywhere, with her own family seemingly controlling things from afar. Despite a few rough patches, this book shows Nox and Charli settling into a more stable relationship. However, secrets revealed about Nox’s business affairs may prove to haunt them yet. It seems that his life is not entirely his own, much like Charli’s. What made this book memorable to me is that there is so much more than meets the eye and that not everything is what it seems, just when you think you know where the story is headed you are hit with a plot twist. I will definitely keep reading the series or anything else by Aleatha Romig cause her writing and her characters are just so addicting.

Rating: ★★★★★

So those are all the books that I read in May. I also have them in my month wrap-up in video form in my booktube channel if you want to check that out.

Thank you if you have made it this far and please tell me what you’ve read in the month of May and if you enjoyed it!

 

MY BOOKSHELF OVERVIEW & STORY TIME

I had wanted to get a bookshelf since I started collecting books and that was back in the summer of 2014. I had researched in every store for their selection of bookshelves but not one of them catched my eye or just wasn’t the “right” one. I was also afraid that if I got one from a specific store that with time they will start to bend due to the quality of the bookshelf. I follow a friend’s business on Instagram and she works with designers, she is architecture and so I messaged her if they did bookshelves and her reply was “YES!” and this was the start of something new.

We got in contact and we set up a meeting for her to come and take measurements of my room to see where it would be fit to have my shelf. She is a friend I’ve known since middle school I guess you could say and we just got back in contact so after she measure my room and had a few days to come up with a few designs we met up again and agreed on one designed BUT then we set up another meeting due to the fact that there were some measurements that needed to be done and long story short they had to redesign everything. They even measured my books!

At the end of everything I picked a designed that worked best for the space and loved. My bookshelf consists of one shelf and two separate floating shelves’ coming out of it, if that makes sense. On one of the floating shelf’s it has my initials “I and M” as bookends and on the other shelf it has cubes. Each shelf on my bookshelf fits according to my books measurements so it all worked out best. Also, the floating bookshelf closest to my bed has a LED light just so that I can read at night so that was pretty cool that they thought of that when they designed it.

Im in love with my bookshelf cause I picked up the designed and no one else has this. Its literally all me.

I made a bookshelf overview on my channel so now you get to look at my bookshelf in all its glory! I’ll soon have bookshelf tour when I have time to edit and film all of that.

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading this I just wanted to share something.

WHY I WON’T READ/FINISH SHATTER ME SERIES

A have uploaded two videos and in those two videos I have discussed that I won’t finish the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. I have read her first two books, Shatter Me and Unravel me, I have also read her two novellas, Destroy Me and Fracture Me but I won’t read Ignite Me. Why? Well let me tell you that after reading Fracture Me I was pissed.

 

Disclaimer:

These are just my personal opinions and thoughts about the books/series. If you love the series and love Warner, GREAT! I just don’t.

I am one of those people or one in a million that actually fell in love with Adam Kent and Im pretty sure that everyone fell in love in with Warner after reading Destroy Me and for me that wasn’t the case. I felt like Destroy Me was done so that I would feel bad for Warner and to make him a victim so that the things that he had done were justified. First and foremost, No.  Literally all I could think of after reading was “Murder is still murder” YOU CANT JUSTIFY EVERYTHING BECAUSE YOU WERE TREATED BADLY. There are two ways to cope with this, you have choices and he made those choices how are those choices justifiable? oh because you were a victim in all of this right. kfajdsklfa

Back to Fracture Me.

This novella was 40% Adam and 60% someone else. I understand that everything he’s been through has definitely “toughed his personality” and that he’s going through a hard time. It must be exhausting to keep fighting for love, for family, and for peace all at the same time.

But Adam deserved to be developed in a believable way not in a way that made Warner look like the good guy.

The first thing that bothered me about Fracture me was the way that Adam regarded Juliette was so off. In the last two books he always believed in the goodness of her powers and fought for her (there are even many quotes about this in the books), while here in Fracture Me he kept treating her like a fragile vase ready to break any second. Also, how he just gave up on her?

What happened to

  • “It’s been me & you against the world forever”,
  • “I’d follow you anywhere, you’re the only good thing left in this world”
  • “You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted and that’s never going to change”

I get that Juliette hurt him, but he flipped 180 degrees.

The second thing is that I thought that in Fracture Me we’d get to know Adam. His past, his parents, his thoughts, what he likes..something about him. The whole novella was his pov about a war.

Warner is an a+ complex character I am not going to deny that and a wonderfully complex villain character but like I know he had a crappy childhood and whatever but you can’t use that as an excuse for how he’s handled situations and things.

HE HAD CHOICES!!!

BUT the other thing about Fracture me that made me angrier was  the tag line “I will not lose her.” or the commentary was “In Fracture Me, Adam, Juliette’s first love, will do anything to get her back.” and none of that happened?!

and that is why I won’t read/finish the series.

Rant Over.