Disclaimer: This blog post is spoiler free except for the parts labelled as spoilers.
Book: A Court of Thorn and Roses (ACOTAR)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Page Number: 415 Pages
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
I just finished ACOTAR and wow…. I loved it! I admit I was a bit skeptical of this book at first because I didn’t like Throne of Glass which is by the same author. This book proved me wrong! I found myself invested in it and I couldn’t put the book down. A few things bothered me in this book but overall I found ACOTAR to be amazing and am DYING to read the next book!
Also was it only me that was reminded of Katniss and the Hunger Games in the beginning? Both Feyre and Katniss loved bow and arrows, set snares and hunted to provide food for their family’s table. It was also said that Isaac set snares while Feyre hunted with her arrows. I couldn’t help but laugh at this! Feyre and Isaac were the dollar tree version of Katniss and Gale.
Synopsis: Nineteen year old Feyre has been hunting for years to feed the mouths of her family. One day she brings back a wolf from her hunt. Little did she know that this wolf was a friend to a dangerous and powerful Fae. Demanding retribution for his dead friend, Feyre is dragged into Prythian, the land of the Fae. Over time Feyre comes to love her captor, Tamlin and is willing to do anything for him. Her love is soon put on a test as a deadly enemy arises.
“‘My father once told me that I should let my sister imagine a better life- a better world. And I told him that there was no such thing.’ [...] ‘I never understood-because I couldn’t...couldn’t believe that it was even possible.’ I swallowed, lowering my hand. ‘Until now.’
His throat bobbed. His kiss that time was deep and thorough, unhurried and intent. [...] It was the happiest moment of my life” (Maas 230).
What I didn’t like about this book:
What I did like:
“Because loving Tamlin was the only thing I had left, the only thing I couldn’t sacrifice” (Maas 401).
“He smiled at me still, broadly and without restraint or hesitation. Isaac had never smiled at me like that. Isaac had never made my breath catch, just a little bit.”
“A Court of Thorn and Roses” by Sarah J Maas is a really good book! I would highly recommend ACOTAR for Beauty and the Beast lovers! I’m excited to see what ACOMAF, the second book, brings!
Book: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy
Author: Cassandra Clare
Page Number: 655 Pages
Genre: Fantasy Novellas
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
“Simon knew if he looked up he could meet Isabelle’s ees, or Clary’s and draw strength from them. He could silently ask them if this was the right path, and they would reassure him. But this choice couldn't belong to them. It had to be his, and his alone.”
Only Simon, Izzy and the Blackthorns could force me to read yet ANOTHER shadowhunter book by Cassandra Clare. Surprisingly, I do not regret it. While this book of novellas was a bit too long for my taste, I was glad to be able to read about Simon and Izzy (aka the second best shadowhunter couple of all time.) Although if I’m being honest, this book kind of ruined Sizzy (Simon and Izzy) for me in the middle of the book. I don’t why or how but it just wasn’t the same. However at the end of the book, it was all good. Simon, being my second favorite character in the Mortal Instrument series got annoying after a while and it pains me to say this since I really did like him in the original series.
Synopsis: This book takes place right after the City of Heavenly Fire. Simon Lewis, previously a vampire is now a human who has been stripped of his memories. The past few months have been tough for Simon because everybody expects him to be his old self but without his memories, Simon is having a hard time connecting with his friends. In order to gain some sense or normality, he decides to become a shadowhunter at the Shadowhunter Academy. Here Simon will embark on a journey to join the depleted Shadowhunter forces.
This book consists of ten novellas inside.
Without further ado, here are the ratings of the ten different novellas:
Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy: 4.5/5
Summary: Simon says goodbye to Jace, Clary, Isabelle, Alec, etc and leaves for the Shadowhunter academy.
I thought this was a solid start off to the book and it was interesting. Simon, with his natural charm, made me laugh. The tension between Izzy and Simon in this chapter really pulled on my heartstrings and I was all here for it! In this chapter we meet Julie (don’t like her), Beatrice (don’t like her), and Jon (don’t like him). We also meet George Lovelace and he is so sweet!
The Lost Herondale: 4 / 5
The novella part of this chapter was really boring but the Sizzy part of this chapter is honestly one my favorite parts in this whole book.
Summary: Catarina Loss tells the story of Tobias Herondale to Simon. Meanwhile, Izzy makes a surprise visit to the academy.
Ok since I already read “Lady Midnight”, I already knew this story so not much surprise there. What really captivated me in this chapter was Sizzy. Spoilers: When Izzy showed up at the academy and told everyone to back off, I was mentally screaming with delight hehe.
The Whitechapel Fiend: 3.5/5
Summary: Tessa Gray visits the academy and tells the shadowhunter version of the story about Jack the Ripper in the 1800s
At the beginning of the novella I was bored because I’ve never actually read the Infernal Devices, therefore I didn’t care about the people in this novella. As it continued, it became more and more interesting and I found myself actually enjoying it! I’ve only read this short novella but I feel like I already know a lot about these characters!
Nothing but Shadows: 4.5/5
Summary: Catarina Loss tells the story of James Herondale coming to the Shadowhunter academy and finding his parabatai: Matthew Fairchild.
Same with the Whitechapel Fiend, initially I couldn’t care less about James. Boy I was wrong! How is it that in a short 20 some pages, I already love characters and I find myself wanting to read more about them? I told myself I was not going to read “Chain of Gold” by Cassandra which follows the story of James, but now I’m not so sure.
The Evil We Love: 3 / 5
Summary: This novella is from Robert Lightwood’s perspective about his time with Valentine and the Circle. Meanwhile at the academy, Isabelle riles up Simon’s classmates to go break Academy rules
To be completely honest, I was dreading reading about this novella. I always found the flashbacks of the Circle to be super boring. At the start of this novella, it completely proved me right and I was practically falling asleep. It did progressively get better and I actually enjoyed seeing Robert Lightwood’s backstory.
Pale Kings and Princes: 4/ 5
Summary: Helen Blackthorn is pulled away from her banishment and is brought to the Academy to tell her the story about how her father was trapped and brainwashed by faeries.
I was so happy when I found out this story was about Helen! It was a fairly good read. The only thing that ruined it was Sizzy. I love Sizzy and this chapter pained me because here is where Sizzy went downhill. Somewhat Spoiler: It was really out of character for Izzy to just show up at the academy and give Simon fifty million more chances. The worst part was that her sarcasm and attitude had vanished. Izzy would never let her guard down this easily. The way she was all smiling and talking to Simon was very out of character. I felt like I missed a whole chapter…. Because in the last chapter she was still mad at him and now she brings out this smiling attitude. Did I miss something or…….?
Bitter of Tongue: 5/5
Summary: Simon meets Mark when he gets trapped in the Faerie world.
I gave this 5 /5 solely for Mark Blackthorn. Oh my gosh this novella literally made me want to jump through the book and hug poor Mark. I could imagine his sad face when he heard the news that no one was coming for his rescue. What I didn’t like about this book was the way Izzy saved Simon. Ok so this was very weird because they were in Faerie, surrounded by dangerous members of the hunt and instead of quickly escaping when they had the chance, they started flirting with each other?! To save them, Mark had to take the brunt. Poor Mark probably got beat up by the Hunt after Izzy and Simon left. I’m giving this novella 5 stars just for Mark.
The Fiery Trial: ⅖
After an amazing novella like “Bitter of Tongue” I have to read through this? The only reason this novella gets two stars is because of Julian and Emma (even if they barely had lines, them just being there makes everything better).
Summary: In this novella we see Emma and Julian’s parabatai ritual (Yay!!!). We also see Simon and Clary decide to become parabatai.
Ok what even was this novella? Wow Simon and Clary are meant to be parabatai! Everybody saw that coming and it was very obvious from the start. Yet they still made some huge deal over this and made them take some dumb test to see if they were parabatai when it was clearly obvious they were. I don’t even know why this novella riled me up this much but I could find myself rolling my eyes at various parts in this chapter. Especially the part where Simon inexplicably could feel any pain that Clary did. That’s such a cliche.
Also why are Julie and Beatrice becoming parabatai? At this rate why doesn’t Cassandra Clare just give everyone a parabatai? It sure feels that way. I remember reading that becoming parabatai was a rare and special thing. However, by the overuse of parabatai and Cassandra Clare making the whole shadowhunter universe have one, the meaning of parabatai has been washed down. At this point, two shadowhunters who barely know each other are becoming shadowhunters (cough cough Julie and Beatrice). Come on! They’ve known each other for what? A year? And they don’t share some special bond or whatever so why are they becoming parabatai?
Born to Endless Knight: 5/5
Summary: A warlock baby appears on the doorstep of the academy. Alex and Magnus take him in and name him Max Lightwood.
I love this story! It was so precious seeing the whole family excited over the new baby, particularly Robert and Mayrse’s reactions! It was so cute! Beyond that, this was the novella where I felt Sizzy had finally returned to normal. Whatever I said before about Sizzy going downhill, I disregarded those emotions after I read this line: “‘I wasn’t aware,’ said Simon, ‘that there are any other girls in the world but you’” (Clare). Someone pinch me to see if I’m still breathing……
Angels Twice Descending: 4.5/5
Summary: Simon and the rest of his class assends
Am I the only one who really ships Marisol and Jon? Ok this last chapter was a rollercoaster and I’m sad to part with the characters in this book! I actually ended up really liking Julie, Beatrice and even Jon.
Spoilers: WHAT WAS THE REASON CASSANDRA CLARE?!!?! WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!! “‘But there’s something else I’ve never had,’ Simon added. ‘At least until now.’
Be right back….sobbing right now. George’s death was so heartbreaking that I’m just going to pretend it never happened.
What I didn’t like:
What I did like:
Overall, this book is pretty good! If you love the shadowhunter world, this book is a must read!
Book review: 1984
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” (Orwell).
Synopsis: 1984 is about a futuristic novel by George Orwell that depicts a world where humans live in a repressive regime. The book follows Winston Smith, who works for the government as a writer who destroys the past and instead writes propaganda that benefits the government instead. Can Winston rebel and defeat the Big Brother (the government)?
Background: George Orwell had a complicated life. He was born in India to an upper middle class with a limited amount of money. Orwell went to school with a partial scholarship and noticed how the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He grew up lonely and to cope with this, he took interest in writing to convey his feelings: "I had the lonely child's habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued". Winston Smith was a reflection of himself, plagued with his internal dilemmas. Winston was claimed to be a lonely boy himself just like Orwell: “He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear” (Orwell). Winston was also a part of the middle class (in the book this class is called the Outer Party), just like Orwell. With this social class, Winston faced problems of getting treated very differently than the other classes. The government feared that the middle class was one step away from rebelling, so they treated the middle class differently. This experience is similar to the one Orwell faced when his school treated the rich kids better than the poor.
While writing this book, he reflected on all the pain he ever felt in his lifetime and used it to create a world where freedom is repressed. In his lifetime, he went through three wars, one of which was the Spanish Civil war. During the war, Russia had released propaganda about Spain, trying to undermine the people’s revolution against the government. This serves as Orwell’s main inspiration in the creation of the oppressive government. In the book, the government tries to hide the past and create propaganda that benefits them and at the same time, they are using this propaganda to keep an uprising from happening. Orwell’s firsthand experiences with political corruptness allowed him to reflect on his past to write about 1984’s futuristic world. The government’s motto is: “‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future’” (Orwell). The government manipulates history by erasing the past and creating propaganda that benefits them. This is similar to what Orwell experienced firsthand through the Spanish civil war. The psychological subtext behind the futuristic world resides in Orwell’s experiences throughout his life with government propaganda and wars.
What I didn’t like:
Considering what a classic this book is considered, I was surprised at the lack of character development. Well, I guess I can cut Orwell some slack since he was practically near death while writing this book.
I actually really liked this book and would have given it a higher rating if the main character had more depth. Other than that, this book was great!
Overall, 1984 by George Orwell is a really interesting, eye opening read. What makes this book even more disturbing is the idea that this book was inspired by real life incidents of Orwell’s life (Read paragraph above on background). It certainly makes this book unforgettable!
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows (Orwell).