Friday, October 19, 2018

On My Shelf: The Year We Fell Down by: Sarina Bowen

On My Shelf is a feature I started here on the blog and I'm sure there are a ton of similar ones out there, but basically I just wanted to start spotlighting some of the MANY backlist titles I have accumulated on my shelf and kindle. The idea is to spotlight an older book I have on my massive TBR. I also thought it would be a fun way to discuss these books with my fellow bloggers, get some of your thoughts and figure out which ones I need to read ASAP and which ones can wait a bit more. And if you want to join in too, I would love to see what is on your shelf! Just leave me a link in the comments.

I have had this one for a while. This really sounds like such a Teresa read and I know so many people absolutely love it. But there are always just so many books to pick from and I never seem to get to this one. But I still hope to.

So tell me. Have you read it? Did you love it? Hate it? Was it meh?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Nicole Speaks: Dear Evan Hansen by: Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Benji Pasek, & Justin Paul

Every now and then my sister drops by the blog to join me in my book rambling and share her thoughts.
If you want to know more about Nicole, click here.

Release Date: October 9, 2018
from Hachette Book Group
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: Received a copy of this book from the publisher and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review. 
"From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation."

Nicole Speaks:

When I first found out that Dear Evan Hansen was becoming a book, I was thrilled. Dear Evan Hansen means more to me than any Broadway play probably should.  I still remember the first time I listened to the soundtrack. I was walking to school, when I first heard Words Fail and I began to cry.  I couldn’t control it.  I walked through New York City with my headphones in just crying.  When I saw Ben Platt perform as Evan my heart was shattered and put back together.  I cried to the point where I was shaking.  I left the theater with makeup staining my face and now, over a year later I have a tattoo inspired by the show.  So when I picked up this book I knew that I was going to have high expectations and there were parts that exceeded my expectations.  I fell in love with this story even more, but I have never been angrier reading a book than I was when it came to Evan’s speech.

Dear Evan Hansen is the story of a boy Evan with severe social anxiety and his “friendship” with a boy named Connor who committed suicide.  This book allowed us to step into Evan’s shoes as he struggled not only with his own anxiety and depression, but how he was sucked into the world of Connor Murphy after his suicide.  The author did an incredible job of capturing Evans anxiety throughout his every day life, and during some of his most stressful moments.  However, one of the most crucial parts of the entire musical was the speech Evan gives at Connor’s memorial.  This is the turning point of the play and book, and is one of the most emotional scenes.  Yet, for some reason that I just cannot understand, his entire speech is summarized into a few short sentences.  Now, I would have maybe understood this if they hadn’t used exact lyrics from almost every other song in the book before this point.  Why wouldn’t they do the same thing with the song You Will Be Found?  I had to close the book and walk away I was so upset.  I had felt that the most emotional scene was ripped from the story. This song means so much to me, and is so important to the story, I truly could not understand why the author wouldn’t want to include the lyrics.  I was unhappy when it came to the changes they made to Evan’s speech, but if you have not seen the play, these changes may not bother you the same way they bothered me.

While I was very upset by this part of the book, I still loved the book, all thanks to Connor Murphy.  There are new chapters from Connor’s point of view that were by far my favorite part of the book.  Reading these chapters let us gain an understanding of what was going on in Connor’s life before and up until the moment of his death.  These weren’t always happy moments, but it lets us get a glimpse of what it was like to be Connor and why he made the decision that he did.  This story revolves around him, but in a world that he no longer exists.  These quick glimpses into Connor’s life made the story more emotional and even more meaningful.  Connor teaches us that you can never judge a book by its cover and that there is so much more to a person than what meets the eye.     

When I finally finished the book, I loved the story of Dear Evan Hansen even more than I expected because of Connor.  Connor and Evan show you what its like to feel so completely alone.  Everyone needs to read their story because they remind you that even when you feel broken and alone You Will Be Found. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday #276: Through Blood, Through Fire by: Cassandra Clare & Robin Wasserman

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine
It spotlilghts upcoming releases that we are dying to read.

Add To Goodreads
"Jem Carstairs and Tessa Gray are finally united after waiting over a century to be together, but they become aware a dark threat is looming over a child of the Shadow Market: a lost Herondale, from a line of Herondales who have used the Market to hide from their fellow Nephilim. Now is the time for the lost Herondale to be discovered. Jem and Tessa have to find him before his enemies can.

Look at that cover! I cannot wait for this book! I need it in my life.

Through Blood, Through Fire will be released on November 13, 2018.
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Recent Reads: Squips and Spectacles and Shadows and Shadowhunters

Recent Reads is feature here on the blog. The point is to feature books I've read recently in quick recap fashion with fun info-graphics. The info-graphics came from the Bookly app, which is a great app for bloggers. You can log quotes and thoughts and track your reading stats (and no I'm not paid for this, I just really like this app). Recently I dove into worlds of squips, spectacles, shadows, and shadowhunters.

Monday, October 15, 2018

111 Thoughts I Had While Re-Reading A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 3, 2016
from Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Goodreads | Amazon

"Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart."

My Thoughts:

1. First off, gonna be spoilers for the series, so you have been warned.
3. And there it is again… Feyre looking at the night sky to calm herself.
4. She is so broken when this book starts and Tamlin just ignores it.
5. It’s so aggravating that Tamlin thinks Feyre needs all this protection when she saved them all.
6. It’s such a stark contrast that Tamlin won’t bring Feyre anywhere because he would worry about her safety and Rhys just sends her into danger or goes with her because he trusts her to handle herself.
7. Another contrast…. Tamlin forcing her into pretty dresses and Rhys handing her fighting leathers.
9. Fragile male ego.
10. Everyone rationalizing Tamlin’s behavior is ridiculous.
11. I’m ready for my High Lord to show up and make this nonsense stop.
12. I can’t wait for the moment when Ianthe gets what she deserves. She is such a snake.
13. There’s my High Lord… always one to make an entrance.
14. Also, thank God Ianthe didn’t listen to Feyre and used red flowers… because in the end that one moment is what saved her in the long run.
15. All Feyre wants is for someone to help her and Rhys answers the call even though it makes him look like a villain.
16. Mor!!!
17. Can we talk about how Mor is wearing turquoise instead of red here? I think we all know it was intentional not to upset Feyre.
18. Rhys is 100% right. They treated Feyre like a present for Tamlin… like he deserved the reward and it wasn’t Feyre who saved them all.
19. Tamlin. Is. Not. Feyre’s. Keeper.
20. Part of what makes Feyre great is that she is kind… she is many other things as well… but she’s kind and she always tries to help those who truly need it.
21. In regards to the tithe – Tamlin is so stuck in tradition and will not break and it’s aggravating and how things don’t progress when they need to.
22. Tamlin really thinks he is Feyre’s keeper and not her soon to be husband.
23. And this is the moment that I completely lost any shred of hope I had left for Tamlin the first time I read this book… when he loses his temper and shatters the room… he could have killed Feyre because of his “mood”.
24. God, Rhysand is so freaked out when he comes to get Feyre that second time… she is drowning and he knows it and feels helpless.
25. Rhysand is all that keeps her from falling apart.
27. It must have killed Rhys to be nonchalant about Feyre staying in the Night Court when that is one of the things he most wants.
29. Rhys literally gives her freedom.
30. “Wait your turn tiny ancient one.” *snorts*
31. Seeing Rhys with his court for the first time was such a shock… he’s so normal and there’s such lightness to him.
32. Rhys really knows Feyre and knows when to push and when not to push.
33. You are not worthless Feyre.
34. Rhys was so nervous introducing Feyre to his family. Precious little bat.
36. And that is deff when Amren senses the mating bond.
37. Feyre always belonged with the Night Court… they got her so much better than Tam and Lucian ever did.
38. I love watching Feyre slowly realize what shits they were in the Spring Court.
39. Always so blunt Cassian.
40. God Rhys gave up so much. He had to be in control for every second of those fifty years.
41. Gosh, Rhys even reacts better to Feyre’s nightmares compared to Tamlin. Tamlin was happy to ignore it all.
42. Bone Carver time!
44. Home was on the other side of that tether. She followed the bond home. To Rhys. *sobs*
45. I can’t with Rhys. “Feyre the only way to test your abilities is to get this ring from the weaver… oh and btw it’s your engagement ring.”
46. God it seems so small, but it’s so huge that Rhys kneels before Feyre.
47. “You are my salvation Feyre.” *sobs forever*
48. Weaver timeeeeee.
49. “I would not. I could not. Be broken. Tamed.”
50. “So I wouldn’t waste it.” *snorts* I cannot with you Rhys.
51. Ianthe is so disgusting.
52. “Don’t let the hard days win.”
53. This book is so quotable.
54. You know when I first read this book, Cassian was the one who stole the show… but every time I re-read I fall for Azriel more and more and he’s become my favorite.
55. I can’t stand Nesta. Feyre gave so much for years and she has no desire to help Feyre ever. This is why I cannot stand her most of the time.
56. And in some ways Elain is the stronger of the two. She is willing to help and recognizes what Feyre gave. She also recognizes the seriousness of the situation.
57. Good Cassian… Nesta deserved to be called out.
58. Every re-read I’m more and more convinced Elain is the stronger of the two.
59. I’m with Rhys… forever upset with her sisters.
60. GAHHHH I love their little notes.
61. The balls on Tamlin that he blatantly ignores that note Feyre sends him.
62. “Because you were breaking and I couldn’t find another way to save you.”
63. "Yes he’d fought for me, but I'd fought harder for him.”
64. This is why Feyre belonged with the Night Court. They accept her for who she is and they GET her. Cassian just standing there and letting Feyre take out her anger is such a heartbreaking scene.
65. “I wrecked one building.” God I want that backstory Cassian.
66. “He locked you up because he knew—the bastard knew what a treasure you are. That you are worth more than land or gold or jewels. He knew, and wanted to keep you all to himself.”
67. “To the people who look at the stars and wish Rhys.” “To the stars who listen and the dreams that are answered.”
68. I love that what saves Feyre from drowning is her kindness from before.
69. Rhys’ nightmare scene always kills me.
70. “One hell of a High Lord.” *snorts*
71. GAHHHH Court of Nightmares.
72. “He thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.” This is such a great quote, one of my very favorites!
73. Oh Starfall, how I love Starfall.
74. “Of course I’ll dance with you. All night if you wish.” GAH I can’t. He loves her so much.
75. Tamlin is such a bastard and betrayed Rhys and get his mother and sister killed, and then has the balls to pretend he is the victim.
76. “I want to paint you.” “Nude would  be best.” Lmao.
77. Stupid dumbass Lucian not listening.
78. “I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”
79. Feyre goes insane when she thinks Rhys is hurt. Like literally nothing could have stopped her.
80. Hey Suriel hey.
81. Love the Suriel. Dropping truth bombs.
82. MATE!!!
83. “Not Tamlin’s mate. Rhysand’s.”
84. I love Mor in this moment. Doing what is right for Feyre and what she needs.
85. Oh man. I didn’t realize when I read ACOFAS, but Feyre thinking about the future here is exactly what she ends up getting in ACOFAS and my heart.
86. Rhys’ story always breaks me.
87. Rhys literally saved her with that bond.
88. CHAPTER 55!!!
89. “It’s worth it. You are worth it.”
90. I hate these Queens so damn much.
91. These bitches stole Velaris and I hate them for it.
92. Well not the golden Queen… her I like.
93. Nesta and Elain should have gone to Prythian.
94. My badass Feyre and her water wolves.
95. Just another thing to note… Rhys is proud of Feyre for fighting and saving his people and isn’t mad at her.
96. “You might be my mate,” he said, “but you remain your own person. You decide your fate – your choices. Not me. You chose yesterday. You choose every day. Forever.” – just gonna leave this quote here.
97. “I need you protecting me from our enemies with your water wolves.” *snort*
99. Ohhh Feyre thinks of Velaris as “my city”, that was a cute little High Lady hint there.
100. Ughhhhh Jurian.
101. This mother effing King hurt Azriel.
103. God I remember being TERRIFIED when the King first threatened to break that bond.
104. Goddamn you Tamlin… look what you did!
105. Mother effing Ianthe!
106. “I don’t give a shit if she’s your mate. I don’t give a shit if you think you’re entitled to her. She is mine—” To me this is the line that truly captures the difference between Tamlin and Rhys. We literally just spent an entire book in which  Rhys gave Feyre time to heal and where everything she did was on her terms and her choice and over that time she fell in love with Rhys. And in one line Tamlin proves he sees her as his possession.
108. I love Amren. “Go get her.”
110. Also love Mor. “You mean to tell me that my High Lady is now surrounded by enemies.”

Wrap Up:
This one is forever my favorite book of the series and probably in my top 5 all-time favorite books ever. It’s just such a slow burn but also nonstop, which I know makes no sense, but it’s true. I’ve re-read this book a bunch of times now and every single time I’m addicted and just head over heels in love with the book.

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