A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Goodreads Blurb

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Review

I am so sad I finished this book so quickly. I loved it as much as the Throne of Glass series. Actually, I may have loved it more. I enjoyed how dark this book was and romantic. One thing that I have noticed about Maas’ stories is that she leans more to the New Adult genre. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, the main character Feyre is 19 years old vs that of a Young Adult heroine who is usually around the ages of 15-17. I find her heroines more relatable since I am in my twenties. It’s nice to have a genre that’s between Young Adult and Adult. I know that most editors and publishing houses would tell authors to stay away from that age bracket because it’s too small of a population to aim for but I think more and more adults are reading the New Adult fiction genre. Even women in their thirties who want an older heroine with all the Young Adult adventures and whirlwind romances are reading New Adult. Most authors that write this genre have to go to such lengths as independent publishing because bigger publishing houses can’t decide where these books fit within their market.

Although Feyre definitely had some flaws, they weren’t teeny-bopper flaws liked throwing herself at boys or being irresponsible.  If anything she held too much responsibility and it made her a little big for her britches. I liked that about her.

And Maas has a way for making me fall in love with multiple people. Like with Chaol and Rowan in the Throne of Glass books. In this novel I first fell in love with Tamlin of course, but I also love Lucien and Rhysand. I know I know! Rhysand’s a “bad guy”. But I think he actually loves her in his own twisted way. He fought for her when no one else did and orchestrated all the events that went down in the end. I’m secretly happy she has to spend a week with him every month. It will be like Persephone and Hades, but hopefully she will find it more tolerable there than Persephone found the Underworld. And who doesn’t love a bad guy with a good heart?

Oh my gosh, and the setting. It was perfect! Sometimes I think Faerie stories fall short because it’s a hard concept to do well, it can come off cheesy and overdone but she did it perfectly. I loved it even more with the Beauty and the Beast story intertwined. I loved Beauty and the Beast as a child. In my mind I was picturing Tamlin’s manor on a sunny moor in Ireland or Scotland and the mountain reminded me of Moria from Lord of the Rings. 

I can’t tell if Feyre and Tamlin’s next journey will be solely against Rhysand and the Dark Court or if it will also be against humans since Jurian’s ring disappeared after Amarantha was killed. I think he will find a way to come back and cause trouble against the faeries and humans. I don’t know how yet but I think someone from another court will be helping him. Maybe Lucien’s brothers from the Autumn Court since they despise Lucien so much.

I gave this book 5/5 stars. I would have given it many more if it were possible. I would not recommend this book though if you are under 18 without asking your parents first though. It has very sexually explicit parts in it. If you HAVE read it and loved it as much as I did the next one, A Court of Mist and Fury , will be released May 3rd! Yay! Happy dance!!! I can’t freaking wait!

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Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

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Goodreads Blurb

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.


With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

Review

Unhooked was very entertaining. I went on a La Madeleine/Barnes & Noble date with my coworker Saturday night and picked this one up. I have been wanting it for several months now. I found the author, Lisa Maxwell, while perusing through up and coming book releases and stalked her website. It was in December because I received a Christmas card in the mail for signing up to follow her page. I love it when authors go out of their way for their readers like that! I instantly liked Lisa.

I finished Unhooked this morning so it took me all of 3 days to read. I love her writing, I love the fact that she’s a teacher, and I love fairytale twists. She even mentions Barrie (the original author of Peter Pan) in this book! She has several epic quotes in this book as well. I love to mark up and tab all of my books when I find quotes that stand out to me. Some of hers are:

“But mortal hearts aren’t meant for flight, and human bodies are made to break.”

He remembered everything then, . In that frightful moment, his fierce heart broke…”

“Neverland might have helped with the forgetting, but it didn’t create it. That we do well enough on our own.”

How pretty are these? She’s a philologist and teacher! I feel like I can really relate to her. haha

I love the story line of this book. I love Rowan (Captain Hook) and his crew. I like any story that can make me love the villain, even if the villain turns out to be the good guy like in this book! Or like Elphaba in Wicked. Pan was awful. I hated how cocky and seductive he was to everyone. I felt bad for Gwen’s friend Olivia. I wish that Olivia had been more present in the book. Her ending was sad and felt undeserved.

It was neat reading about all the different beasts and monsters in Neverland. Some I had head of and some were new to me. The only thing I wish was that there had been a more clear story about the monsters and Gwen’s father. I wonder if there will be another book explaining where he is, who he is, and more information about Gwen’s mother. I couldn’t tell if she was a good mother or a crap one. I think Gwen’s lack of parenting made her not confident. She never had anyone to trust and did not trust herself when she was told she was part Fey.  I think if there is another book she will come back a new person and trust herself because she has Rowan with her. Maybe they can restore Neverland!

The cover needs to be mentioned in this post too. It is BEAUTIFUL. I love pretty covers! I just want to put them where everyone can see them when they come in my house and this one is definitely worthy of coffee table exposure.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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“It’s the choosing that’s important, isn’t it?”
Lois Lowry, The Giver

Goodreads Blurb

 Lois Lowry’s 1994 Newbery Medal–winning tale has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on Jonas who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.

Review

I start this book with my students the week we get back from Spring Break. I had never read it until now. I moved around quite a bit when I was a kid so I missed a lot of required reading. I had never read The Giver, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. But now I can cross The Giver off my list!

I remember that my friends had read it in the 8th grade. My husband and my best friend really enjoyed it. And I think, had I read it in the 8th grade, I would have enjoyed it more. I think I was a little disenchanted by it because I have read many other Utopian/Dystopian novels. My husband said he loved how the main character and Giver were against the government and the idea of them fighting for what they believed in, and that it was the first book he had ever read of this genre.

I on the other hand have read The Hunger Games, Divergent, Orleans, Legend, etc. So it wasn’t such a mind blowing experience for me. I thought it ended too quickly and that there wasn’t enough explanation for the background.

Also, I kn0w I’m a weirdo because of this but I do not enjoy books that have an ending open for interpretation. I just want to know how it ends! The ending of this book drove me crazy. Did Jonas and Gabriel die from the elements of the outside world? Did they find another community beyond theirs? Did they just keep on walking and slip into the memory of Christmas because it was the only thing that could keep them moving forward?

Don’t get me wrong, I think this will be a very teachable book. I think endings like that will create good discussion in the classroom among students. I think it helps them with higher order thinking. You have to decide which ending you most agree with. But I personally would not call this an amazing book. I gave it 2/5 stars on Goodreads purely on the fact that I did not enjoy it.

It made me sad after I read it. The whole thing was depressing and morose. There was no trust, no love, no life, and no happiness. I am happy the Giver found a companion but the circumstances were awful. And I know the general public was desensitized to all of the wrong doing but I could not get past what his father did. What an awful human.

I think the discussions that will come from this book will be good for my kids though. Except the whole “Stirrings” bit. I can’t wait to have that conversation with my hormonal 12 and 13 year olds -________- I am excited about the conversations about the ending, about the differences in Utopian/Dystopian societies, honor vs. power, duty, and friendship/love vs never experiencing pain.

I would have enjoyed this book a little bit more if the ending hadn’t been so rushed. You never even know what happened with the Giver. And the actual ending was so different than the plan Jonas and the Giver had actually plotted out because he decided to save Gabe in the end. I just wish it would have shown more of what reaction his parents, friends, and the Giver had to the turn of events. Was the Giver proud of Jonas for saving Gabe? Or angry for risking their entire plan?