5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Chance on The Mortal Instruments

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare kick.

It’s never too late to start a new series and with the last book, City of Heavenly Fire, being released in May – there is still plenty of time to get up to date with this fantastic series before it ends.

I thought I’d share five reasons with you why I recommend this series.

 

The Creatures

Werewolves may be your thing. Or perhaps you like to read about vampires. It could be book with Fae in them are what you crave. With the Mortal Instruments series – you don’t have to choose. Vampires, Were and Fae all manage to co-exist in this world although not entire peacefully. And you also get an incredible type of mystical being called the Shadowhunters. They’re descendants of angels and they are essentially demon hunters. They have a magic of their own and are so very kick-arse.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

City of Bones – the first book in the Mortal Instruments series

 

The Characters

It’s hard for me to pick a favourite because there are so many incredible characters in this series. The main character, Clary Fray, is learning about the Shadowhunters and all that goes bump in the night and as a reader we get to learn along with her. Her best friend Simon, a mundane, is by her side as they both discover that things were a lot simpler before they knew the stuff of horror films exists. All of the shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fae, mages (and even the mundanes) are great characters. I think every single person who appears in these books has their flaws. They are not perfect people. They are selfish and make mistakes but they adds to their realism and appeal.

Simon, Isabelle, Alec, Jace and Clary – the main characters of the series

The Plot

There’s a lot that goes on in these books. So much action and drama, romance and tragedy. But it is a series that feels planned. The surprises are shocking to me as a reader but I can tell that the authors knows exactly what she is doing. I’m eager to read on and see what is next for Clary and co. despite the pain and anguish Ms. Clare puts them through. I know that there is a lot more excitement ahead.

Valentine

He’s diabolical. He thinks his way is the right way and will stop at nothing till he gets what he wants. And somehow – despite how much I despise what he’s doing to my favourite characters he’s admirable with his abysmal and atrocious actions.

The Spinoffs

While the Mortal Instruments series might be coming to a close, it’s not the end if you want more Shadowhunters. There is a prequel series, The Infernal Devices, which already has three novels out and another spinoff called The Last Hours which is set in  Edwardian London and fin de siècle Paris and is set to publish in 2017.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

Clockwork Angel – the first book in the Infernal Devices series

There you have it. My five reasons why I love this series. I’d love to hear your reasons for enjoying Cassandra Clare’s writing or why you aren’t as much of a fan as I am.

Book Review: Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep

Killer Frost (Mythos Academy, #6)

Title: Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult, Last in the Series
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publication Date: February 2014
Pages: 384
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I’ve battled the Reapers of Chaos before–and survived. But this time I have a Bad, Bad Feeling it’s going to be a fight to the death … most likely mine.

Yeah, I’ve got my psychometry magic, my talking sword, Vic–and even the most dangerous Spartan on campus at my side, in Logan freaking Quinn, but I’m no match for Loki, the evil Norse god of chaos. I may be Nike’s Champion, but at heart, I’m still just Gwen Frost, that weird Gypsy girl everyone at school loves to gossip about.

Then someone I love is put in more danger than ever before, and something inside me snaps. This time, Loki and his Reapers are going down for good … or I am.

My Review:

Gwen Frost, Nike’s Champion and psychometric Gypsy, has been though a lot. Reapers, Rocs and Fenrir Wolf Pups have all done their best to try and quash Gwen and her friends but they haven’t succeeded. And now it’s time for the final battle. Nike’s followers verses Loki’s Reapers. Gwen knows she isn’t alone. She has Vic, Logan the Spartan, Daphne the Valkyrie and a whole bunch of friends to back her up…  but Gwen knows that she is the key to locking Loki back up but she hasn’t the slightest idea how she is supposed to do it.

I’ve been a big fan of this series since I read the first book a few years ago. All kinds of mythology, boarding school and some fantastic characters. It’s always sad when a series you’re enjoying comes to a close but as the saying goes – all good things must come to an end. Gwen is trying to navigate her first romantic relationship with Logan whilst trying to decipher Nike’s cryptic advice. The Reapers are out in force, stealing artifacts and rearing up for a big finish.

One of the things I’ve come to love about this series is Gwen however I wasn’t the biggest fan of her in Killer Frost. I want characters to grow and mature as people as their get older. To have their experiences improve them. But in this book Gwen regressed slightly. She’s not learned that she’s stronger when she has her friends beside her and constantly reminding everyone that she’s the only one that can defeat Loki. I understand that she has a lot on her shoulders. That she is the chosen one. But it felt somewhat out of character to me for her to be shunning those who can help her and still taking such disregard for her own safety – especially since she knows if anything happens to her then the entire world is at risk.

The way the final battle went down was great to read. It incorporated so much of what the things I loved about the previous books as well as new things I wasn’t expecting. The ending was perfectly fitting for all of the characters and I liked seeing familiar faces showing up again.

I’m glad that I read this series. It’s fun and I really enjoyed how the mythologies were incorporated together. It feels like we may get a spin-off and if that does happen I will definitely be reading it too!

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Teen for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Words

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Tuesday REWIND! (Pick from previous topics that you want to do again or may have missed)

I’ve decided to pick a topic that I have never done before and share with you ten of my favourite words.

There are certain things that make me like a word. I love words with Q’s, X’s and Z’s. Words which are fun to say is also something that could put a word on my favourite list. And also – when the meaning seems to fit the word even if you didn’t know the definition.

All of the definitions for my list this week came from dictionary.com

scha·den·freu·de

[shahd-n-froi-duh]

noun

satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.

Origin: 
1890–95;  < German,  equivalent to Schaden  harm + Freude  joy

u·biq·ui·tous

[yoo-bik-wi-tuhs]

adjective

existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time; omnipresent: ubiquitous fog; ubiquitous little ants.

Also, u·biq·ui·tar·y  [yoo-bik-wi-ter-ee]

Origin
1830–40; ubiquit(y) + -ous

 ty·ran·ni·cal

[ti-ran-i-kuhl, tahy-]

adjective

1. of or characteristic of a tyrant.

2. unjustly cruel, harsh, or severe; arbitrary or oppressive; despotic: a tyrannical ruler.

Also, ty·ran·nic.

Origin
1530–40;  < Latin tyrannic ( us ) (< Greek tyrannikós,  equivalent to týrann ( os ) tyrant + -ikos -ic) + -al1

flum·mox

[fluhm-uhks]

verb (used with object) Informal.

to bewilder; confound; confuse.

Origin
1830–40;  origin uncertain

non·sen·si·cal

[non-sen-si-kuhl]

adjective

1. (of words or language) having little or no meaning;making little or no sense: A baby’s babbling isappealingly nonsensical.

2. (of behavior, conduct, actions, etc.) foolish, senseless, fatuous, or absurd: His nonsensical behaviorwas unusual for such a serious person.

3. objectionable, impudent, insubordinate: I refuse to listen to that nonsensical gossip.

4. of trifling importance or of little or no use: I’ve had more than enough of your nonsensical advice!

Origin
nonsense + -ical

ser·en·dip·i·ty

[ser-uhn-dip-i-tee]

noun

1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.

Origin
1754; Serendip + -ity; Horace Walpole so named a faculty possessed by the heroes of a fairy tale calledThe Three Princes of Serendip

be·spoke

[bih-spohk]

verb

1. a simple past tense and past participle of bespeak.

adjective

2. British .

a. (of clothes) made to individual order; custom-made: a bespoke jacket.

b. making or selling such clothes: a bespoke tailor.

3. Older Use. engaged to be married; spoken for.

Origin
1745–55 for def 2

moist

[moist]

adjective, moist·er, moist·est.

1. moderately or slightly wet; damp.

2. (of the eyes) tearful.

3. accompanied by or connected with liquid or moisture.

4. (of the air) having high humidity.

Origin
1325–75; Middle English moiste  < Middle French;  connected with Latin mūcidus mucid

she·nan·i·gan

[shuh-nan-i-guhn]

noun Informal.

1. Usually, shenanigans.

a. mischief; prankishness: Halloween shenanigans.

b. deceit; trickery.

2. a mischievous or deceitful trick, practice, etc.

Origin
1850–55,  Americanism; of obscure origin

quix·ot·ic

[kwik-sot-ik]

adjective

1. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) resembling or befitting Don Quixote.

2. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable.

3. impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.

Also, quix·ot·i·cal.

Origin
1805–15;  ( DonQuixote + -ic

So there you go 🙂
Here are ten of my favourite words – I think Quixotic is my favourite of the lot as it uses two of my favourite letters, it’s fairly uncommon and I like the idea of something being extravagantly impractical.

I hope you’ve all had a great list. Please leave me a comment linking back to your TTT – I love checking out what people have and I’m interested to see what topics everyone chose for this week!

Follow on Bloglovin

Book Review: Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins

Forever (Temptation, #3)

Title: Forever (Temptation #3)
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Culture, Last in a series
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 336
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
All I want is my happily-ever-after.
That’s all I’ve wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I’m carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there’s a storm on the horizon, and it’s sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we’ll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.
But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

My Review:

Rose and Noah have overcome so much – their cultural differences, their families and now they may have a chance at happily ever after. Except that for these young lovers, the course of true love never did run smoothly. It might seem a little odd that after the low rating I gave the previous book (Belonging) that I have continued on with this series but there is something oddly compelling about Rose and Noah’s story. They may have a selfish and tumultuous relationship with a lot of emotion however I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next for the star-crossed pair.

With Rose finding out she’s pregnant, everything is different. She is confused. After experiencing Amish culture for six months she’s not sure that it would be the best place for her baby. Trying the keep the secret from her father and Noah isn’t easy but at least she has her big brother Sam and her best friend Summer to help her though. With the point of view shifting between Rose and Noah and the occasional chapter being told by Sam and new narrator, Noah’s sister Sarah, Forever is an interesting read.

I wasn’t entirely happy with Rose finding out she was pregnant. And for the most part I found Rose’s story in Forever to be fairly boring because of this. She spends a lot of time trying to hide her pregnancy and apparently considering her options. But I never really felt like she was weighing up any decision. She was understandably scared but I doubt anyone was the slightest surprised by what Rose finally decides. Noah’s story was more interesting with a lot of drama unfolding from his decision to break his engagement with Constance – an Amish girl he courted and proposed to just to hurt Rose. I’m still not a fan of his actions in the previous book but I liked that there were repercussions. And not just for Noah – but for his entire family and friends.

This novel has heartbreak and I was shocked by one of the storylines. I was surprised by how much I had grown to anticipate a certain relationship and was a little devastated when events came to pass. However for the most part I thought this book was fairly predictable but I was never quite sure when the things I was expecting to happen would occur.

Overall – this hasn’t been one of my favourite reads. The characters are overwrought by emotion and the idea that no sacrifice is too large when it comes to love. The two main characters spend most of the series trying to convince the other to give up their family and beliefs for their relationship and neither seem to be all that understanding about anyone else’s’ feelings. The ending of the series is a little… too happy with everything somehow working out so very neatly and somewhat unbelievably. I don’t believe that this book shows off Amish culture in the best light and I’m still curious about this group of people. If you are looking for an emotional read about all-consuming young love and who will do anything to be together then I recommend this series. On the other hand if you like a bit more realism to your relationships and don’t enjoy selfish characters maybe this series is not for you.

 Thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for the review copy. 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Other books in the Temptation series by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation (Temptation #1) 

Temptation (Temptation, #1)

Belonging (Temptation #2)

Belonging

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Title: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, Fairy Tale Retelling,
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 2014
Pages: 550
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

My Review:

In the third instalment of the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder is still on the run. In a stolen ship captained by the handsome yet criminal Caswell Thorne, Cinder and her motley crew (Wolf, Scarlet and the ever effervescent Iko) are trying to stay one step in front of the Lunar Queen. When they get contacted by a girl imprisoned by one of the Queen’s thaumaturges, they change their plans to rescue the technologically skilled, Cress. When things don’t go as smoothly as expected, the group gets separated. All of them have to survive as best they can whilst still trying to come up with a way to thwart the Lunar Queen from enslaving Earth.

Cress has been one of the books I’ve been most anticipating this year. I adore Marissa Meyer’s storytelling and this book did not let me down. Cinder has a lot of pressure on her shoulders. She knows that she is the only chance Prince Kai and Earth have against Queen Levana. She’s brave and intelligent but what I like most about her is that she’s logical. She thinks things though and doesn’t rush in just because. The way she cares about her crew is a plus and I enjoy her differing to others when she needs help.

The other characters all get their chance to shine in this novel too. Scarlet and Wolf are great together but still get their chance to show what they are made of as individuals. Iko is the funniest most loveable artificial intelligence that I have ever encountered. Cress was a pleasant surprise. There’s mystery surrounding her – some of which is revealed in this book – and I love how Meyer wove her Rapunzel likeness into the plot. Finally – there’s my favourite character of this series, Captain Caswell Thorne. He may initially come across as somewhat superficial and vain (and I’m not saying he’s neither of these things) but he really shines in Cress.

There are a lot twists in this novel as well as a lot of action. One of the highlights is how well the ensemble cast work together and apart. This series really is coming together and its one of those stories that I could picture in my mind as a film. There’s a Star Wars-esque vibe as the plot switches between following different characters. I never feel as if I know what is going to happen next but when the action unfolds it feels right for the characters and circumstances.

Cress cements The Lunar Chronicles as one of my favourite series. I thought the relationships were more developed than in the previous books and the plot was a lot more exciting. I cannot wait for the fourth book in the series, Winter, to be released early 2015.

 

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison

Anything To Have You

Title: Anything to Have You
Author: Paige Harbison
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 2014
Pages: 303
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

Natalie and Brooke have had each other’s backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can’t remember and Brooke’s boyfriend, Aiden, can’t forget. Suddenly there’s a question mark in Natalie and Brooke’s friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.

My Review:

They may seem like opposites but party girl Brooke and homegirl Natalie have been best friends for years. With only a few months left of their senior year of high school, Brooke is determined to make sure Natalie lets loose and enjoys herself before college. They may not see eye to eye on everything but they have always been there for each other. But life gets in the way and suddenly the two girls who used to tell each other everything are now keeping secrets. Is their friendship strong enough to last the distance?

I wasn’t expecting this book to switch point of views from Natalie to Brooke and back. It was a bit of a shock the first time it happened as I was a third of the way into the novel but I like the rounded view point that getting to hear how certain events transpired and just how both the girls were feeling about situations. Natalie is the solid best friend. She has always had Brooke’s back but she can’t help the feelings that she has for Brooke’s longterm boyfriend, Aiden.

I liked the realism of this novel. You can feel how jealous both of the girls are of the other for different reasons. There’s also a genuine feeling of confusion for them both as their lives take them places they weren’t expecting. Popular Brooke never thought she’d be jealous of Natalie’s camaraderie with Aiden and Natalie can’t help but be envious that the boy she has so much in common with is dating her friend. And the problems they face regarding their feelings towards Aiden are only the beginning. We get to see how the girls deal with conflict and deal with some hefty life altering decisions.

There wasn’t a lot in this book that I wasn’t expecting. But it was interesting to see how everything played out. Brooke isn’t nearly as well put together as she would like the world to see and Natalie is someone who usually just goes with the flow and she has to face up to a few things. I would have loved getting to see a bit of this story from Aiden’s point of view. There are questions about his actions and thoughts regarding the two friends that I would love some more insight into but I understand why he doesn’t get to share his POV. Because at heart – this is a book about female friendship. How there are voids in a girl’s life that can only be filled with her friends. I like the bond that Brooke and Natalie have and how it’s stretched and tested throughout the course of the novel.

Overall I enjoyed Anything to Have You. Paige Harbison has a great style and reading the stories of Brooke and Natalie felt authentic. There are some great characters facing real teenage issues. I will be reading more from Paige Harbison in the future.

 Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon| Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I Love to Read/Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Reasons I Love to Read/Blog

1. I love getting to know like-minded people from completely different backgrounds. Before I found goodreads and book blogs, I often felt like there was no one I could talk to about the books I liked to read. But I have found so many people and so many more books than I even knew existed now that I blog about books. It’s amazing.

 photo connection_zpsdebc5f6e.jpg

2. The things I’ve learned. I feel like I learn something new – either some kind of fact or something about myself – from every book I read. It’s not always something big or profound but I love learning new things.

3 I’m thinking more in-depth about the books that I’m reading. I like writing reviews (which is something I’ve learned about myself since blogging) and writing them makes me think about a book in a different way than before. It’s a semi-organized way to get my feelings out on the page and a way for me to really stop and think about how I felt about events and characters.

4. Blogging and Reading both improve writing skills. I think I’m becoming a better writer and better and converting my thoughts into words on a page. Reading certainly improves my vocabulary.

5. Apparently there are studies that find reading literary fiction improves empathy. Whilst I don’t read much Dickens, I do like to think that reading is improving myself.

6. Reading is the easiest and cheapest way to travel and live multiple lives.

7. Blogging gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. My blog may not be the biggest or most read out there – but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I like getting the opportunities that blogging has given me and getting to know people who are passionate about books and reading like I am. There may be days when it seems like a bit too much work but overall I’m really happy with what I’ve done.

8. Reading is getting me fit! I’ve been listening to audiobooks lately whilst I’ve been going for my daily exercise. I’m not the most fitness happy person but when I’m in the middle of an exciting part of the book and it’s time for me to finish my run – it just gives me the motivation I need to get up early tomorrow just to find out what’s going to happen next!

9. It makes me happy. I love getting to experience things for the first times with characters – despite having gone though that myself or conversely NEVER going to have those opportunities. It makes me happy to fall in love a thousand times and the times when I’m so proud of characters for their decisions and actions that I feel my heart burst. It’s happy.

10. It gives me an excuse to drink lots of tea…

I love reading. And I also love blogging. I can’t see either of those things changing any time soon. I love to hear from all of you so feel free to leave me a comment. What do you love about reading? What about Blogging? What are your thoughts about tea? Hope you all have a great week ahead.

Follow on Bloglovin