10

The Emptiness That Comes With Finishing a Cassandra Clare Book

…if you didn’t already read the title, this post is about Cassandra Clare books. About an hour or so ago, I finished Lord of Shadows, Cassie’s new book and my 11th (?) book of hers.

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And, as always, I feel empty.

I know her books have a lot of controversy surrounding them. Many don’t like the fact that she’s published so many in the Shadowhunter world, others don’t like the characters, so on so forth. But ever since I read City of Bones in 7th grade (it’s been like 3 and a half years now?), I’ve been in love with her books.

Sure, they have flaws. Sure, they could be better. But with each book, I swear, her books just get even more intense. While I don’t think I loved LoS just as much as Lady Midnight, I sure as hell still loved it. There’s just something about them that usually doesn’t happen to me with other books. Where I’m so engrossed in the story that I just keep reading and reading and reading.

And then I finish, and it’s done, and usually the ending is heartbreaking. (Of course that’s exactly what happened with LoS. I won’t be getting into spoilers, but for me it had the most heartbreaking ending I’ve ever read from all of her books.)

I wrote about this last year when I read Lady Midnight and how much I loved it. They’re just so beautiful, and I think the only book series that I can call intoxicating. Every year, I forget how much I love her books, and every year, I read a new one and fall in love with the world all over again.

Thank you for this experience, Cassie. Thank you.

Do any of you guys know what I mean in this post about her books? The emptiness, the wonderfulness that accompanies her series? I can’t wait to discuss with you guys!

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22

Unexpected Favorite Books

I’m going to smack myself in the head. (I’m serious). I’ve been telling myself over and over and over again to just sit down and write a blog post. But it’s been two weeks and I”m only getting to it now! Gah. I’m so sorry. I’m trying to get back into reading and blogging more but…it’s the usual story. AKA, school is consuming me.

Anyway, today I decided I would write a post that Melissa over at Rabid Reads suggested: my unexpected favorite books! I may or may not do a part two about this post based on you guys’ feedback about books I did not like, but here we go!

I am generally not that surprised by my favorite books. I tend to pick up books I think I will enjoy, and last year, about 80% of the books I read were from authors I had already read from before. So, I usually know what I’m getting into before reading it. However, there have been of course times where I did not expect to like a book so much but ended up LOVING it, and that’s what I’ll be talking about today!

*Note: these are only my favorite books–so this list won’t be too long although there are other books I was surprised by.*

  • Still one of my favorite books–even though I read it two years ago–is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. I can’t stress how much I love this book but sadly not many people know about it. When I read it two years ago I just picked it up randomly and at first I thought it was really weird…until I finished it in a couple sittings and realized: Wow. That…was beautiful. This is one of the first books I read where I was shocked by how much I loved it.

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  • Next I have My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga–another book I read about two years ago. I picked it up and read a sentence and thought: This is so good! Little did I know I would finish it in a day, which was unusual for me at the time, and fall in love with it. I would really like to reread it now because it has been so long, but thinking of it still makes me happy and I think I relate to it even more now. (Deals with heavy topics like depression)

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  • Then, similar to my story of Ava Lavender, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I bought this book at a library sale and randomly started reading it, only to become totally and completely encapsulated by it. Again, same theme: a beautiful beautiful beautiful book.

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  • And I Darken by Kiersten White has a slightly different story. For this one, I had expectations before going in but I was very skeptical because I didn’t want things to be misrepresented or off. However, because I didn’t expect to like it that much…I think I fell in love with it more. It blew my mind: the story, the characters, the dynamics. All so amazing.

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  • Now, getting closer to some of my more recent reads, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I literally only meant to read one page of this book. That’s it! The next thing I knew, I was sitting on my couch on page 50 in like 20 minutes, completely engrossed in the story. (Of course I finished it in a day.) This also blew my mind, in an emotional way–I definitely know why this book is so popular.

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  • And last but not least, my last read–which I haven’t talked about on here, but a review is coming: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I had read Yoon’s previous book before it was published and thought it was okay: fun, but not impacting. So I went into this book thinking I would enjoy it but not love it. Wrong. This book was extremely deep, thought-provoking, and went into subjects about race and family and what love actually is. It was so well done. Hopefully, a review will be going up soon!

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And that’s it for this post! I really hope you enjoyed reading it because I’m taking time from my (precious, precious) sleep. I’ve really missed blogging and I can’t wait to write more posts!

What were some books YOU were surprised by? Please let me know!

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13

Favorite Books of 2016 (And Other Bookish Trivia!)

Hello everyone! Happy New Year! 2016 is finally over, gosh. I can’t believe its 2017 though. Anyway, I am going to write a post about my year in review with more personal stuff but this post is about: BOOKS! Or rather, the books I read this year, my favorite books, least favorite books, etc.

By the way, this is probably my favorite post to write because I love gushing about all the amazing books I read throughout the year and so I would love it if you guys commented and told me about your favorites/linked your posts! This post is in no particular order except chronologically.

This year, I read 35 books–completing my Reading Challenge of reading 35 books–and I chose my top 8 out of all of them. Six of them are some of my absolute favorites and the other two I love, just a little tiny bit less, so “honorable mentions”. My reading goal for 2017 is also 35 books, since I barely finished that many last year and I know things are going to be crazy this year.

So here it is!

My first favorite read of 2016 was the one and only Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I know this is a favorite for a lot of people, and for a reason. I read it in January and I still think about the characters a year later. I cannot wait to get to Crooked Kingdom because this has an ingenious plot, beautiful characters, and is just all around so damn good. If you haven’t read it yet, I don’t know what you’re doing.

My next favorite book shouldn’t be a surprise to you. And that being…Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. At first, I was a bit apprehensive while going into this. What if I didn’t like it? What if I was let down? After all, Cassie’s books remained my favorites for two years when I read this, and now three years. But I shouldn’t have feared. Lady Midnight was just as amazing as Cassie’s other books, and I fell absolutely in love with it. [Read in March]

Then, we have one that I read on a whim, randomly, because I bought it at a used library book sale. And I’m so happy I did. The writing, the world, the characters, all so beautiful. I wanted to be able to visit The Night Circus so badly, and I still do. Thinking of it makes me happy and I would give anything just to go there for one hour, so thank you to Erin Morgenstern for somehow thinking of and writing this masterpiece.

A month or so after I read The Night Circus, I picked up And I Darken by Kiersten White. Like Lady Midnight, I was apprehensive about this book–actually, even more than LM. The reason is because this book is set in the Ottoman Empire (full with Turks! I’m Turkish-American) and I knew it involved religion and sultans and things that are special for me. I was afraid that they would be misrepresented, but…no. They’re not. And I ended up falling in love with this book too. I was constantly thinking about it, and I love the characters oh-so-much. I also actually met Kiersten and told her how grateful I am for this book. Anyway, please please PLEASE read this if you want something unique and 10/10.

My next favorite was Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. This is one of the books that I’m not obsessed with but I still LOVE. I read Truthwitch randomly, expecting to like it, but then I realized how special it was. Truthwitch probably has the most complex magic system I have EVER read about in any book. The characters are awesome. The romance is just how I like it. Plot twists everywhere. And you know what? It does not get NEARLY as much hype as it should. So: please read it. You won’t regret it!

Next we have another super popular book…Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I don’t even need to explain this book, do I? I know this series has a lot of problems. And they annoy me. But I still can’t help but love EoS. I had to choose between this book and ACOMAF, so I decided to go with EoS. Anyway, if you want to here me gush about it more, you can just click here. 

One day, I was just sitting and looking at my books, trying to figure out what to read, when I decided to pick up A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I didn’t really have the intention of devouring it in 24 hours and absolutely loving every second of it. It was one of those books that just…hit me, you know? It was so eye-opening and raw and real and it made me f e e l. Which sometimes doesn’t happen in books because I became desensitized. So yea. ❤

Lastly, the second “honorable mention” book, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Similar to my experience with A Thousand Splendid Suns, I decided to start reading it, and then I finished it in 24 hours. Apparently, I’m really good at reading historical fiction novels in a couple sittings. I can’t wait for the movie and I have really high hopes for it that this book set. 🙂

And those were my favorite books of 2016! Although I read so little compared to previous years because of school, the books I read last year were mostly really good. The only book I disliked–not even hated–was Wink Poppy Midnight–which I rated around 2 stars. Out of the other 34 books I read, 10 I rated 5 stars (two that weren’t in this favorites list: ACOMAF and The Wrath and the Dawn, but I still love them), 13 I rated around 4 stars, and 11 I rated around 3 stars.

You can look at all the books I read if you add me on Goodreads!

Goodreads says I read 14,464 pages in 2016, and sadly none of them were debuts. That’s why it’s my goal for 2017 to read at least five debuts. Usually I read much more because I love newly published authors, but I think last year authors I’ve already read from had high priority.

Okay, this post is getting really long so I think it’s time to end it. Talk about your favorite books below! I’d love for some recommendations for the new year! 🙂

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10

High Fantasy Book Recs That are NOT S.J. Maas Books

Hello everyone! In today’s post I want to give you some high fantasy book recommendations. If you’re not familiar with the genre/or are confused about what it is: high fantasy means that the book is set in a completely different world (or there are multiple worlds) with complex creatures, characters, magic, etc. Lately I’ve realized that most of the fantasy I read is actually High Fantasy rather than Urban fantasy, which is set in our world.

However, whenever someone says “high fantasy!” the only recommendations I see are of Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. And don’t get me wrong: I think those are amazing too. In fact, ACOMAF is one of my favorites. But I want to give more recommendations for those of you have already read these. Also, this post is being written by August-Silanur so of course my opinions may change.

Without further ado, let us begin!

  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard–this is the first book in a new series which I read back in August and LOVED. The world is really interesting, with a lot of political intrigue and the magic is so cool. It also happens to be one of my favorites of the year! (5 stars)

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  • Six of Crows & the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo–this is actually a pretty popular series, but for a reason. The Grisha world that Leigh created is one of the best fantasy worlds I’ve ever read. I like SoC better just because I think the characters are more developed, but the Grisha trilogy is amazing too. I gave SoC 5 stars, Shadow and Bone 4 stars, and Siege and Storm 4.5 stars.

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  • Next I have The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh. Some may argue that this is more romance than fantasy, but I disagree. It is set in a Middle Eastern, Arabian nights fantasy setting with beautifully written characters and magic. I am actually currently reading the second book right now (but in August) so you’ll have probably read my thoughts haha!

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  • Then, The Young Elites by Marie Lu. This is a dark story, and I love it. The third book is coming out soon and I can’t wait. Everyone loves Legend, however, I hear few people discuss this series although I think its even better. I highly recommend it–I gave both books that are out 5 stars! 🙂

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  • An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir–this is also pretty popular, and it makes sense why. The brutal world is addicting to read about and the story itself is so intricately thought of. I can’t wait for the remaining books in this series to come out!

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  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor–this is actually kind of urban fantasy as well, but it is also set in a completely different fantasy world and when I read it two years ago I loved it and still do ❤

The books above are my favorites–I’ve rated most of them 5 stars–but there are also some other High Fantasies that I enjoyed reading that I will list below without detail:

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The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (4 stars, 4.5 stars, 3.75 stars)

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (Only read the first book so far) — 3.75 stars

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik–3.75 to 4 stars

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessi Khoury–4 stars

And that’s it for this post! I hope you guys enjoy my recommendations! Please let me know some of your favorite high fantasies that aren’t ToG or ACOTAR 🙂

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1

My All Time Favorite Authors: Updated (Part One)

Hey everyone! First off, I’m sorry for not updating you guys for the past 11 days. I was travelling and I just came home, so I hope you guys forgive me. ❤ Anyways, today I wanted to share with you a list of my all time favorite authors. I actually wrote a post about this last year, however, my opinions have very much changed and I have found newer authors I love as well. You can look at that post here.

Like last time, this list is in no particular order, except that I will have two parts: Part 1 of authors I’ve read a lot of books from, and Part 2 one or two. However, because my list will be so long, I’ve decided to split up parts one and two. So this one will have only authors of part one.

Part 1: Authors I’ve Read 4+ Books Of

  • Firstly, let’s start with…Cassandra Clare. I’ve read 10 books of hers, and I’ve loved each and (almost) every one with all of my heart. I know she has a lot of controversy surrounding her, but I can’t help but love her books because they mean so much to me ❤
  • Then, the classic, Rick Riordan. I’ve read all of his books so far except for The Sword of Summer and The Trials of Apollo (which I will get to soon!). Although I don’t talk about his books so often anymore, PJ is what got me into reading and Rick will forever be one of my favorite authors. (I’ve read over 13 books by him)
  • Next up we have another really popular YA author, Sarah J. Maas. Everyone and their mother loves her books, and for a reason. Of course, I do too ❤ I’ve read all of the books she has put out so far. (7 books.)
  • Kinda following the theme of “Popular YA Fantasy Author” I have Maggie Stiefvater. If you know me then you know I love The Raven Cycle. Even though I have not yet read her other books I fell in love with the four I did read, and she has to be on this list. 🙂
  • Another popular YA author! Marie Lu! I’ve read all five of her books, and I love her new ones even more than Legend. She knows what she’s doing 😉
  • Of course, I can’t type up this list without Marissa Meyer…Even though I was a teensy bit disappointed by Winter, I loved her other books and I can’t wait for Heartless to come out! Read book count: 5

And that’s it for Part One of my favorite authors! I hope you enjoyed reading this ❤ Who are some of your favorite authors? Let me know!

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5

Reading Wrap-Up of 2016 // Some of My Favorites!

Can you guys believe it? Its JULY. The seventh month of the year, which means we already went through six months. HALF THE YEAR PASSED OH MY GOODNESS. This also means…its time for a wrap-up, of half the year. First, I want to talk about my reading goals.

My goal this year is to read 35 books. I know, its a tiny number, but I’m struggling to do even this because of school. As of right now, I have read 14 books, and I am 3 books behind schedule. However, I plan on coming right back on track because its summer so let’s just ignore that fact, shall we?

One thing I’d like to say is that, even though I read a very little amount of books, most of the books I read I gave 4 or 5 stars. This is not because I’m a terrible reviewer (I hope not!) or that I just mindlessly give five stars away, but rather because I choose what I think I will love. I don’t pick up random books, or controversial books. I research before buying my books, and make sure I have heard a LOT of good opinions on them so I enjoy them. This is because I barely have any time and I don’t want to waste my time reading bad books. Just wanted to let that out there.

This is also why although I rated some of these five stars, they aren’t my favorites. In my eyes, my favorites deserve all the stars, so yea.

Anyways, here are all the books I read so far:18798983

  1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh–5 stars. I LOVED this book. I actually read most of it in 2015, but since I finished it in 2016 I’m counting it as one of the fourteen books I read this year. It was so beautifully w18007564ritten, and even though I have yet to read TRATD, its sequel, I can not wait.
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir–4 stars. Review here. I’m a nerd. This book was nerdy. Hence, I ended up enjoying it
    very much despite the fact that some parts were super long and scientific. The humor was amazing though.
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo–5 stars. I gushed about this book a lot, and for a reason. This is a really cle22294935ver book. Because I have a long review I’m really proud of, I won’t say anything else. Just click here.
  4. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo–4.5 stars. I loved this much more14061955 than its predecessor, Shadow and Bone. I still need to finish this series but I hope its as good as this sequel. You can find my full review here.
  5. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken–3.5 ish stars. This was actually really good, but not necessarily my cup of tea. I think Alex’s writing 20983362is too slow even for me. Though I enjoyed it, I think there are books that deserve more hype than this one. Here’s my review!
  6. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch–4 stars. A really fun, unique fantasy read! Even though I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this b17399160ook, I certainly enjoyed reading it. You can find my full review here.
  7. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare–ALL THE STARS IN THE UNIVERSE. I think this was my favorite of the year so far. Anyways, I’ll be talking about this soon. [You can find my review here]
  8. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi–3.75 or 4 stars. I was a bit disappointed in this book, sadly. Not because it was bad, but I guess everyone had hyped it up so much that I expected to be obsessed with it but then I ended up only…13188676liking it, sadly. You can find my review for it here.
  9. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski–4 stars. I never ended up writing a review for this one, but like Ignite Me, this one was just a bit disappointing. It may be from the fact that I expected so much, or from the fact that I was so busy wi20443235th school that I rarely had time to read it, but something was just MISSING and I can’t give it the five stars that I wanted to.
  10. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater–5 stars. I loved this book. When I first read it I was certain it would be in my favorite reads of the year, but I’m not sure yet. I do know that I loved it, but I only want to say “this book is my favorite” if it has stayed wit17378527h me. So I’ll wait a little longer before declaring this one a favorite book of mine. You can find my review here.
  11. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson–5 stars. Again: loved this book. When I first read it, it was the only thing I thought about. But again, I don’t want to say its a favorite book of mine too early. You can read my review fo17838528r it here. ❤
  12. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas–5 stars. Do I actually have to describe this book to you? I think everyone knows about it. Its like the biggest, most hyped book of the year–for a reason, of course.
  13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern–ALL THE STARS. I think this is another favorite of mine, so I’ll describe it later.
  14. And finally, Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins–3.5 stars. I ended up disappointed in this one, but I still did enjoy it. My full review can be found here.

Okay, so now for my favorite reads…

This was definitely hard to pick, but I boiled it down to two books for half the year. The main way I chose this was for how the books stayed with me. If you didn’t realize, books staying with me after I read them is one of the most important aspects of books for me. Even if I loved a book while I’m reading it–which happened with A LOT–of these books, if I close it and then don’t think about it…I don’t want to call it a favorite. My most favorite books are books that I think about randomly.

And those two books are…

This one is a no-brainer. Everyone knows about this book. Then, the second book is one I actually read less than a month ago, but I’ve been thinking about it nonstop ever since, so I think it very much deserves its place on here:

I thought this book was absolutely stunning. The writing, the metaphors, the meanings, the characters. I’ll post a review for it soon, but yes. Definitely deserving of the word “favorite.”

And that’s it for this post! I hope you enjoyed! Which of the books you read so far are YOUR favorites? Please let me know!

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7

Things in Books I NEED More Of

We always talk about our favorite books, or our favorite traits in books, and how we can’t get enough of them. Because honestly, we can’t. When we love something that much, you just always, always want more. But a lot of times, there are very little books like that. What I mean by this is: I LOVE a Genre X. But there are like two books in Genre X, and from those two, I’ve already read one.

That’s why in this post I decided to talk about some of my favorite books and why I wish there were more books like them. (As in, more books in their genres or more books with the same traits, not more books in the same series.)

  • I NEED more YA Magical Realism. Last year, I read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender on a whim, and I fell absolutely in love with it. Some may argue it doesn’t have a plot, or that it doesn’t make sense, but I disagree. There’s so much in this book. Beautiful writing, heartbreaking ending…I still think about it to this day.

But–there are like NO other magical realism books! Especially in the YA genre! The only other ones I’ve heard about are Bone Gap by Laura Rugby and The Night Circus, which isn’t even YA. I even emailed Leslye Walton asking if she was writing more books, but she said she doesn’t want to say anything about it right now as she likes keeping her books secretive.

  • Then, I know this isn’t very specific, but I NEED more eerie, but beautifully written and kind of creepy but in an awesome way books. Basically, I need more books like The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I know she has other books out–which I need to read–and her new book is coming out (I’m SO excited!) but still. I love love atmospheric books, and a lot of books just don’t have atmosphere. Which sucks. 😦 If you have book recommendations that are similar to The Archived: please tell me!!

  • I also NEED more Middle-Eastern/Asian protagonists and stories. Whether the book be set in those areas or not, I need these types of characters. The only book I can directly think of that has Middle Eastern influences is The Wrath and the Dawn, and that’s a fantasy book. I can easily say that there are only a COUPLE books in the entire YA genre that have Muslim-American characters–and those books aren’t even that good. Why can’t we have a Muslim main character who kicks butt? WHY? Everyone is talking about how diversity is so increasing, but I don’t think so. Either way: I need more Middle Eastern influences in books that DON’T represent those countries in a bad way.

  • I NEED more books with antagonists and morally ambiguous main characters. Aka, books like The Young Elites or Six of Crows. I just find it so much more appealing when the characters are dark–again, it makes the story atmospheric, and just intriguing rather than a perfect character.

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  • Finally, I just NEED funnier books. A lot of times, characters really aren’t funny, and as much as I love fantasy and I understand WHY characters don’t have a sense of humor, it becomes a bit…boring. Besides Percy Jackson I can’t think of a funny fantasy book with humor. Even in contemporary books, characters aren’t that hilarious. The only ones I can think off the top of my head are Mosquitoland, Finding Audrey, and Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. So yes. More humor please.

…and that’s the end of this post! I hope you enjoyed! Please PLEASE tell me if you have any book recommendations that are similar to these books! I will forever be indebted, haha.

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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