Make it Worth the Pain


5/5 

Okay, first of all, I really need to kick the habit of waiting ages to actually finish a book like this just because I’m sad that the series is ending or that I’ll have to wait for the next one. Gahhh
I’m so sad that this duology is finished already, I absolutely loved this world and the characters and the monsters and everything else.
I would have LOVED to see more of what happened in the other cities- I want to know what became of everything in Prosperity and I’m kinda keeping my fingers crossed now that there will be a spinoff or something. 
August is one of those characters that you just feel for page after page after page. I love that kid so much and my heart breaks for him in so many ways. I don’t think I’ve ever sympathized for a character so much. Especially when I sit and actually reflect on everything that’s happened. Ughh 
Finishing this only further solidified my previous statement: I will read everything this woman writes. She’s a phenomenal writer with a solid knack for world building. 
This duology will always come highly recommended by me- so if you’re looking for a good read, check these books out!
This book left me a mess last night when I finished though, I couldn’t bring myself to leave a review right away. I cried way too much.
Thank you, Schwab for ripping my heart out yet again. Ughhh

___________________

-Lauren 

Currently Reading: 

-My Lady Jane (page 67)

-Endgame (page 203)

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We Each Have a Song


5/5. Hands down.

Yup, it’s official. I will read anything and everything this woman writes.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read any of Schwab’s books, but after reading A Darker Shade of Magic and having this stare at me from my shelf I finally picked it up. So. Damn. Good.


Yet again, Schwab created this amazingly in-depth world without it being a major info dump like so many books seem to be. She gives you bits and pieces of characters and the world and the lore and it’s so freaking cool. You don’t feel overwhelmed, you get excited whenever you learn something, and it gets you hooked to want to just KEEP READING.


The couple times I actually had an hour or so to spare and sat down I flew through a couple hundred pages and I was constantly thinking about this book when I wasn’t reading.


The world is so freaking cool. I love all the different dystopian type worlds out there, but the monsters that rule this one- both human and other- are so well thought out and so intricate. Aghhhh. 
The twists were perfect in this book. Subtle enough to not be catastrophic but big enough to move the plot forward. I’m so excited to see what’s in store!
I literally told my boyfriend before I was even halfway done that as soon as I finished this I needed to go get the next one. I’m dying. I need more!!

__________

-Lauren

Currently Reading:

-Endgame- page 204

-Flashfall- page 100

-Strange the Dreamer

Parabatai

What better book to finish on National Best Friend’s Day than this one?

Solid 5/5 for me on this book, for sure.

Guys. I’m not gonna lie, I just finished this book and I’m kind of a wreck at the moment. People kept telling me the ending would get me but I can tell you I honestly did not see that coming. I mean… whyyyyy?!

I don’t want to give anything away, but I love that this book really did pick up right where the previous one left off. We’re given much back story to certain characters and events and we get to see more of some previous characters as well.

Clare really stepped up her game with this one and set things up so nicely for the final installment and I absolutely cannot wait (even though we’ve got a two year wait until that one). 

I love Julian and Emma. So freaking much. I love the Blackthorns with all my heart and my heart breaks for Julian really never having the chance to be a kid. He’s strong and resilient and a damn good person though, I’ll give him that. His loyalty to his family is immeasurable.

I stretched this book out for a ridiculous amount of time and I’m so sad that it’s over now. Can’t wait to enter the world again though, and a reread is definitely in store.

________________

Lauren 

Currently Reading: 

*Flashfall

*Endgame


In a Kingdom by the Sea


5/5


I tried. I tried so hard to make this book last and I think I did a pretty good job this second go around, but oh my gosh.
Cassandra Clare. I adore you and despise you all at once. You are a phenomenal writer who really, really, really knows how to fuck up your readers and mess with their hearts and their emotions. 


The characters in this book were absolutely amazing! Seriously, getting to really meet the Blackthorns and Emma, getting to know all the siblings and seeing the way they interact together, how Emma fits in, Christina and Perfect Diego, Diana, Malcolm Fade, Johnny and Kit Rook, and all the other characters in this book just made it so much better. I would love to be a part of the Blackthorn family, those kids are all so incredible in their own ways. I love the way they differ, their little quirks and their obscure interests. Emma was absolutely incredible- I love seeing a good, kick-ass heroine who, for once, is so beyond sure of herself and her skills and doesn’t let people talk down to her for being female. She’s amazing and I love the friendship between her and Christina. 


Then there’s the whole Emma and Julian thing. Ugh my babies, I feel so bad for them and my heart really does go out to them and all their suffering. This book was killer to get through at some points because all you want is for them to be happy together. 


This entire book really did fly by so quickly looking back. Everything progressed at a good pace, and nothing was dragged out too long. 
That ending though… with this reread I’m dying to read Lord of Shadows even more!


((Side note- for those who read the little bonus story at the end, WHAT WAS THAT LAST BIT ABOUT?!?!)


-Lauren

_________________
 Currently Reading: Flashfall 

Today Is Not The Day I Die [non spoiler]

LOSE ME [M.C. Frank]
New Adult / Contemporary Romance
Released: April 11, 2017
387 Pages

I wouldn’t change anything. Not even the pain.

I read this book in one sitting [almost…]. I actually started it a week ago….I read the first couple pages [via kindle unlimited], and decided I wasn’t going to like it, so I put it aside and started something else. WELL, the last few days I have been on a contemporary binge, so I decided to give it another shot. Sometimes you just have to be in the mood for a certain genre. It was really good! Confusing at times, but I gave it 4 stars.

It was just released a month ago, so as of yet, there isn’t any sequel planned. I am not sure there is really an reason to have a sequel, to be honest. MAYBE a spin off for another character.

“Jane Austen meets K-drama in this compulsively readable New Adult novel of movie stars, golden beaches and intense romance.” – Basically all I need to hear is “Jane Austen retelling” and I am there………Pride & Prejudice is life.

I loved the plot! It was so fun, and unique. It caught me by surprise though. I didn’t fully understand the synopsis of this book……It may have started out on the lighthearted side, but this book was pretty filled with drama and tragedy – I teared up more than once. That being said, I have no idea what it is about contemporary, but I sometimes just can’t stand the writing. I thought the writing was messy at times….It MAY have been that I read the kindle version, but it seemed like one scene would take place and then the next sentence is a totally new scene with no breaks. I got lost more than a couple times, which gets pretty frustrating after a while. Overall I enjoyed it though.

I know he wasn’t a major character, but I really loved Ari’s dad. I liked most of the characters, but I just loved him. I could have read a lot more scenes with him in it. Her grandfather was pretty fantastic too! I did like Ariadne [Ari], she was smart, and crazy talented. I did like the scenes involving her stunts [shes a stunt double], those were pretty unique and original. Wes……I didn’t like him at first……He was an arrogant jerk…..BUT, you know how it goes with the jerks, they always “show their true colors” and come out as seriously misunderstood. I liked him a lot, but my one problem would be the….wait for it…………THE INSTA LOVE……the one thing contemporary is good for. At times, that got to be too much.

Ari has a good head on her shoulders….she goes through some major stuff in this book, and since its pretty much nothing I could even imagine happening, it is hard to say how I would react…so I couldn’t really tell you if she responded “appropriately” to situations, but I think she did….I didn’t in anyway think that she was stupid at all, I don’t think I rolled my eyes once [at her anyway….Wes though, haha].

I thought the stunt double female role was unique to this story. And the fact that the mother was not only absent, but had not been present in her life at all. [Think…Leonard’s mom on TBBT – personality wise]. A nice thing was that even though it was Hollywood stars, you skip all the paparazzi BS that seems to take up so much room in other books involving hollywood stars. I mean, there was one or two things, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as some of the scenes in other books that I’ve come across.

I think what could have been left out of this story was the magazine interview snippets and news articles that took place between the articles. Sure, some of them added a little to the story, but I didn’t think they were totally necessary. And I know the best friend is usually pretty important to the MC’s life, but honestly? The best friend is absent. She doesn’t live in Corfu anymore, she has moved on to College in a different part of Greece….and except for a few video chats, she isn’t really in the story, and I didn’t think she was really written well enough to be important to the plot in any way. I would have liked to have seen the female antagonist written differently too. Yes, she was trouble, but it was like…one major incident, a couple mean-ish words and then she kind of just disappears from the story.

And what needed to be IN this story? A better played out plot. So, the whole first half of the book, the whole point of the characters meeting is because she is a stunt double for a movie Wes stars in, and something happens near the end of filming, and the author just…dropped that story plot [to keep with Ari’s drastically changed story, so that itself is not bad], but you just NEVER hear about how the movie turned out. How the end of filming went….what happened to some of the other characters we had met…..It was odd. I felt that there were quite a few unanswered questions by the time I finished.

Regardless of the small issues I had, I really liked the book overall, and once I better understood what was happening [because the beginning was a bit slow and confusing..] I felt like I really didn’t want to put this book down. Although I did not read it in one sitting, except for the first few pages I read last week, I read it in less than 24 hours….I don’t find many books that I need to finish ASAP often anymore.

I rated this 4 stars on Goodreads, but I think it is probably more of a 3.75/5. I enjoyed this book a lot, and I think I will buy the paperbook version one of these days and reread it sometime down the road. I think anyone who is a pride and prejudice lover, and who enjoys contemporary would like this one. It does deal with an alcohol problem with one of the characters though….OH, that, that was necessary to see for that character…but I think it could have been written better. It is a serious issue and I didn’t think the response to it was realistic or really dealt with.

~Ash

Weekly Progress & Goals [19]

I would have to say that this week was really productive…READING wise! YAY! I don’t know what happened, but just in the last 3 days, I’ve knocked out like 4 books. ALL CONTEMPORARY, what is wrong with me? haha.

I finished them all but I think I really only LOVED one. Altogether, I read 5 books total. The first being The Isle of the Lost….see non spoiler review here. BUT, I also started a book that I’ve yet to finish. After finishing challenge 6, I jumped into challenge 7…..This Savage Song. I am LIKING IT, but because I am currently in a kindle book phase [because it really is hard to read actual books sometimes…], I haven’t really made much progress. I like what I’ve read [although I am a bit confused also…], so I am really hoping to make an effort this week.

After that came The Vixen & The Vet, WHICH I ABSOLUTELY LOVED. Which you can probably tell if you read this.

My 2nd non favorite book was By Your Side…..which I want to write a review for, but since I read PS I Like You IMMEDIATELY after, both written by Kasie West…I am not totally sure I can write reviews for either and keep facts straight. I have come to the conclusion that West is not for me. I love the plots just fine……but there is a certain element to her writing that I just don’t like. I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly what it is, but since I have read quite a few of her books, it is definitely something with the way she writes. Like I said, I love the story line….not just the random, added in drama. By Your Side was about a girl stuck in the library, I thought it was okay……I gave PS I Like You a higher rating [4 stars, I gave BYS 3….], not necessarily because I liked it more, but because it had a You’ve Got Mail vibe and that is my favorite movie. The writing problem still existed, but it wasn’t as annoying as I thought it was in BYS. I think whatever my problem is with her writing is why I say I don’t like contemporary.

AND, on that note, apparently I’ve been in a contemporary mood………ADULT Contemporary is really not bad though. I have problems with the YA contemporary because its high school drama and annoying teenagers, so thats more of a miss than a hit for me….but I’ve really never had any problem with adult contemporary. Like TV&TV, I loved that book.

Anyway, after those books, I jumped back into a book that I had read a chapter of last week. It is called Lose Me, by M.C. Frank. I am going to try and write a review for it later – I think I am definitely getting better at writing reviews! – so I don’t want to say too much about it now.


I am not really sure if I can have as much of a productive week this week as I did last week…..but I do think I will be knocking out more contemporary. I also would really like to finish This Savage Song before the end of the month….so I am going to work hard at sitting down and reading it.

This week, I really want to get out and take more photos too. It has been kind of crappy this week, but the sun did come out for a little while yesterday, so I got some much needed photos of my Blood for Blood trilogy. I AM SO SUPER HAPPY THAT THEY ARE ALL FINALLY HERE. I seriously want to drop everything and reread them, even though I just read them a month ago, haha.

I am going to get to some reviews this week too. I don’t remember if I said, but my husband bought me a new laptop a couple weeks ago, and it has been really nice being able to sit down and write and plan. The desktop is in the bedroom, and since I don’t generally hang out there during the day, it is hard to go in there with a VERY VERY VERY active [now] 9 month old, and at night, I feel like the tapping on the keyboard is too loud and might wake my husband up…..so, now when L is finally down for the night, I can just grab my laptop and sit and relax in the dining room.

Speaking of planning, have you seen June‘s photo challenge yet? 🙂


Well, if I had anything else to say, I have forgotten……it is now 8:20 AM, and I’ve been up for about 2 hours……after staying up late to read. I think I am going to go back to sleep now. Sleep is good. Sleep is amazing.

I hope everyone has an amazing week! tell me below what you’re planning to read.

~Ash

currently reading:
This Savage Song

current tunes:
the fish tank [filter], that desperately needs water.

Once Upon A Time…. [non spoiler]

THE VIXEN & THE VET [Kate Regnery]
Published
June 15, 2014
295 pages
Contemporary Romance

I read this via kindle. I actually forgot I owned it since I had bought it a few months ago. I kept hearing how good it was, and that it was a modern day Beauty & The Beast retelling….yep! I was all over it. I definitely give it 5 stars. It had its flaws, but its so rare that I find books that I have a hard time putting down these days.

The thing about surviving something truly tragic is that it changes your expectations forever. You make do with very little. You’re grateful for crumbs. You make the best of small mercies. You endure large trials. You understand that life owes you nothing. You expect nothing, and when something wonderful happens, you don’t trust it. You know it can’t possibly last.

This is definitely a standalone book, but it is part of a [standalone] series of modern day fairy tales written by the author. I’ve read one other one [a Hansel & Gretel retelling], and although I did like it, I liked this one much more.

In this modern-retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since.” Goodreads

I really, really, really loved this book. The writing was amazing, and I’d say the unputdownable rating was a solid 4/5. And really, who doesn’t love a good fairy tale retelling? I actually really liked that it was a disable vet, it made it seem 1000000 times more realistic. The southern aspect was fun too. I can just imagine Asher saying “darlin” and I swoooooon. BUT! For real, it was funny when it was supposed to be, it was heartbreaking when it was supposed to be, and man, oh man, was it downright sexy when it was supposed to be. *fans self*.

I really loved all the characters. Savannah had her moments, but overall, she was a great “Belle” character. AND ASHER……………….Asher Lee……isn’t that such a lovely name? He was a great character, and his POV bits were my favorite. Well, there was that one asshole……….the Gaston-ish character. I did NOT love him, not one bit. He gave me the creeps. So, I guess he was written correctly, haha.

So…..Savannah……she did and did NOT respond to situations ‘correctly’, up until the end I wanted to give her a good smack. The reasoning for having to meet Asher was okay, but then it went sideways from there….and I KNEW, I KNEW IT WOULD BE AWFUL. Just thinking about it makes me all upset….it resolved itself nicely though. I was worried for a while, but I think it ended the way it was supposed to.

It is kind of hard to pinpoint any specific ‘interesting’ thing other than the male character is a military veteran with severe injuries. I read some, but not a TON of contemporary romance, so I can’t say if this stands out in the genre, but it was definitely like nothing I’ve read before, therefore it was a unique story to me.

As it is with all books……there of course, were plenty of parts that could have been left out….like every scene with Savannah’s sister, Katie Scarlet [cool name though, perfect for the southern belle she is, anyone else know where it is from?]. I really couldn’t stand her. AND, although she did have a couple good lines here and there, I really didn’t see why she was important to the story overall.

All in all, I loved this very awesome beauty and the beast tale, and I can definitely see myself not only rereading it at some point, but buying the paperback sometime down the road so I can have it on my shelves and show it off more on IG.

~Ash

So, I’ve written a couple reviews so far, I am enjoying them, but what does everyone else think?