Always forever maybe book cover

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Gray

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa GrayThe Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) by Melissa Grey
Published by Delacorte Press on April 28th 2015
Pages: 357
Goodreads
four-stars

Magic lives in our darkest corners.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

I quickly and easily became invested in The Girl at Midnight. From the moment I met our MC Echo I knew I was going to like her. Echo is sassy and smart. She’s gotten a raw deal in life but still perseveres. Even though Echo often jumps headfirst into bad situations, she always seems to make it through. She’s clever and observant which makes her a very accomplished thief. She steals everything from books to trinkets to magical objects.

Echo’s early childhood is a mystery to us. She was living on her own in a public library when she met Ala, an Avicen. Avicens are a race of human/bird supernatural creatures. The only thing we know about Echo’s parents is that they weren’t “very nice”. Echo is found by Ala in the beginning of The Girl at Midnight. After a few pages of introduction the story shoots 10 years into the future.

10 years later: Echo is a teenager who has an Avicen best friend named Ivy and a newly acquired Avicen boyfriend, Rowan. Besides Ivy, Rowan, Ala, and a couple other Avicens, Echo is rejected by the Avicens. Being the only full human in the nest, Echo has felt out of place among the Avicens. It also doesn’t help that the majority of Avicens gossip, look down at her, and all but say she doesn’t belong.

The Girl at Midnight really gets juicy when Echo finds a hidden message in a music box she stole for Ala. The message contains a riddle that has to do with the legendary Firebird, a creature who is said to wield such immense power, that it could end the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin. The Drakharin is another race of supernatural creatures in this book. Unlike the Avicen, the Drakharin are human/dragon. Echo, by Ala’s request, undertakes the journey to find the Firebird.

I appreciated Echo’s humor throughout The Girl at Midnight. Even in dark moments, like sitting in a Drakharin dungeon, Echo kept her sarcasm.

I didn’t give this book 5 stars because even though it was great, it wasn’t spectacular. There wasn’t really a cliffhanger at the end of The Girl at Midnight, but I liked the ending well enough to want to read the next book.

four-stars
books i dnf2

Books I DNF & Why ft. The Graces & Hexed

The Graces

This book was agonizing to read and I didn’t even finish it.

I’ve never disliked a MC like I did River. She was incredibly annoying. She’s completely obsessed with the graces. Not the graces themselves, but the idea of magic and power that the graces are rumored to possess. River plans all her words and actions carefully. She snoops around and looks for any grace she can find. River never tells the truth to anyone.

River has no identity of her own. To River everything is graces, graces, graces. She wants to “catch” a grace. She doesn’t care for the graces she just wants to use their “powers” for her own agenda. They aren’t people to her; they’re tools.

So yeah. River – BLEH.

Also the pace of this book was soooo slow and the story didn’t get good until halfway through the book. Unfortunately by that time I was so miserable that I didn’t bother trying to stick it out. I returned the library’s copy and never looked back.

 

Hexed

I tossed this book a side early on because of the confusing, off-balanced and unrealistic portrayal of characters in this book. The part that really put me over the edge was a line that Indigo the MC says. She’s describing the captain of the cheer leading squad as being bitchy and sleazy, always trying to hook up with Indigo’s boyfriend, yet, and here’s the kicker, this chick is Indigo’s “best friend”. WHAT THE FRACK? This chick is a horrible person and yet Indigo makes excuses for her, saying she’s been off lately/not herself. Even Indigo’s mom and aunt call her “friend” bitchy. Excuse me. But a best friend does not continually try to hook up with their friend’s boyfriend so blatantly. If this chick is continually a horrible person, than she’s not your friend, let alone your BEST friend. It makes no sense! This one aspect of the book just rubbed me the wrong way so much that I couldn’t continue on.

The other characters that I was introduced to were also juvenile and weak.

I hate writing such a scathing review for a book I only read about 20 pages for, but it’s how I feel. Nothing against Krys because I’m sure she’s super proud of this book, but I just feel like it’s not fully formed or realistic. It’s seriously lacking and I couldn’t take it seriously.

Bookish Thoughts for Wordpress

{Bookish Thoughts} Do rate books immediately after you finish reading?

When I first started blogging I would publish my rating the minute I finished reading. I eventually realized that it wasn’t a good idea because after fully processing a book occasionally my feelings would change.

Like sometimes I’d be super impressed and totally in love with a book so I’d be like 4 stars!! Totally 4 stars!! However, after a few hours or even a few days my feelings would change. I could have still enjoyed the book but after my reading-high died down my feelings became less cloudy and more specific.

There were times when my opinion of a book rose. Take Frostblood, I finished it with an air of disappointment so I immediately gave it 1 star. After a few days I changed my rating to 2 stars because I realized that even though it had a lot of pitfalls, I enjoyed reading it nonetheless. Then you had books like A Court of Thorns and Roses where I knocked it from 5 to 4 stars.  I really struggled with rating A Court of Thorns and Roses. I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses but then A Court of Mist and Fury came along and I loved that one even more. I knew both books weren’t on the same level so I had to knock down book one’s rating so I could express that I loved book two more.

Do you wait a couple days before you publicly rate a book? Do you find that a few hours or a few days affects your thoughts and feelings of a book? For that matter, do you also re-write reviews that have been sitting in your queue?

Always forever maybe book cover

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. MaasCrown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on August 27th 2013
Pages: 418
Goodreads
five-stars

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

***Somehow this review got lost in my blog queue. I actually read Crown of Midnight months ago, and then wrote this review. Anyways — I got a kick out of reading this review when I found it because I just finished book 5 and so many things have changed since book 2!!

Yep. I’m officially and incredibly addicted to this series. I’m not going to beat myself up for not starting it sooner anymore because I’ve officially hopped on the bandwagon and I’m invested in Celaena’s journey.

Crown of Midnight isn’t one of those books that succumbs to the dreaded second book slump, in fact, I’d say that Crown of Midnight was even better than Throne of Glass. Everything was just so heightened in Crown of Midnight. This book was darker, deeper and more devastating.

We see Calaena unlike we’ve ever seen her before. In her grief and rage shes becomes a deadly creature with no sense of restraint. She’s unstoppable. It was actually quite scary to see how powerful she truly is able to become. Her emotions flip off and she’s lost in blood lust.

Enough of the dark and gloomy! There was some light in this book…mainly Celaena and Chaol my current favorite ship. Celaena, since book one, has been see-sawing between Chaol and Dorian.  However, after pulling away from Dorian she fully leans toward Chaol in Crown of Midnight. I just love these two together so damn much. He’s uniform and logical and she’s reckless and unpredictable, together they just fit wonderfully. They help each other grow in ways they didn’t think possible.

A lot of reveals were made in Crown of Midnight regarding the king’s agenda, Celaena’s past and where her future lies.

5 whopping stars of course! This series excels at many things especially when it comes to creating compelling characters like Celaena. She has so many layers and it’s been such a treat to peel them back.

five-stars
Always forever maybe book cover

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood by Elly BlakeFrostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) by Elly Blake
Published by Little on January 10th 2017
Pages: 376
Goodreads
two-stars

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating - yet irresistible - Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her - and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Okay, so here’s the thing, I started Frostblood right after I finished Empire of Storms. Empire of Storms was absolutely incredible. In my opinion, it was one of the best books in the Throne of Glass series. So when I began Frostblood I was already riding high on sizzling romance and shocking twists. I was an emotional tornado.

While reading Frostblood, I couldn’t stop comparing it>to Empire of Storms. Because… BOTH series has a main female character who 1. wields fire 2. is part of a prophecy 3. life is interrupted many times by a god who has a plan for her. ALSO in both book series there’s a slow budding romance between the main character and a secondary character. The relationships both begin with verbal and physical sparring. Now I’m not trying to say that Frostblood is a rip or anything, there is just A LOT of similarities and I feel like I scrutinized Frostblood because of how fresh Empire of Stormswas in my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of differences between the two series. For instance, the whole frostblood vs. fireblood thing is definitely different. There’s only 3 types of magic wielders in the Frostblood world (at least as far as we know). The gods at play are connected to the directions/different winds. Nor of the North is the father of frostbloods, Sud of the South is the mother of firebloods, there’s also Cirrus of East who seems to be the most reasonable and benevolent of the bunch. Then there is Eurus of the West who is very dark, tricky and dangerous.

The current king, and frostblood sitting on the ice throne is malevolent. He has no interest in creating peace between the frostbloods and firebloods, instead he imprisons or outright kills firebloods. Some firebloods also end up in a tournament against warrior frostbloods that fight and kill firebloods for sport.

Frostblood’s writing style is basic in the sense that it relies mostly on dialogue with very few descriptions of characters, their positioning, physical looks including facial expressions, and mental processes. I had a hard time picturing what each character looked like, what each character was doing and what Ruby was thinking in every scene. It’s a shame because I liked Ruby, she was sassy and motivated to survive. She also had a lot of compassion, even for those that she considered enemies.

I’m not sure if I will read the second book. The whole end “fight scene” was brief and underdeveloped. I skimmed through the last 30 pages.

I was all around let down by Frostblood. It had one-of-a-kind gods and a great rivalry between firebloods and frostbloods. Unfortunately neither story line was fully fleshed out and utilized. The characters melded into the background because there wasn’t enough descriptions.

I’m giving Frostblood 2 instead of 1 stars because even with it’s pitfalls I found some enjoyment while reading. This book was a quick read because of the lack of descriptions so I flew through it. It cleansed my palate after reading Empire of Storms and made me ready for the next (hopefully) great read.

two-stars