September Wrap-Up & October TBR

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September Wrap-Up

I definitely meant to upload this blog post like, three days ago… but I have been deathly ill with a disgusting cold and I went to the Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour on Friday (which absolutely did not help my cold) so I completely forgot! I also have two upcoming midterms this week so I have been dedicating all my time to studying. Better late than never though, right?

September wasn’t the best reading month. Between going back to school, working, and attempting to do homework I haven’t had much time to read. However, I did finish a series I have been working on for a while, so I wasn’t completely useless!

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

I honestly have a pile of like 20 graphic novels that I have accumulated in the last few months, so naturally I was like “I’m going to read all of these in a week!” and then clearly did not. However, I am so glad I read this one before I failed at the rest! This was a fantastic continuation to the story. I was so much more invested in this volume and I have the third volume sitting on my desk already so I honestly don’t know why I haven’t picked it up yet! 5 out of 5 stars!

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4) by Richelle Mead

Probably the most stressful book in these series. So many things were going on, it was bound to go to shit at some point! I enjoyed this one, but definitely not my fave. 4 out of 5 stars, find out more in my series review.

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5) by Richelle Mead

Definitely my favourite book in the series! I felt like this book was really reminiscent of Vampire Academy for me in that I could not put it down. I didn’t really feel that way with a lot of the other Bloodlines books. 5 out of 5 stars, again check out my series review for more thoughts!

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6) by Richelle Mead

I finally finished the series! I also felt like I could not put this one down, but more because I just wanted to find out what happened in the finale. I definitely think it was a good concluding novel, but I refuse to believe Richelle Mead is done with this world. 5 out of 5 stars. Do I need to mention the series review again?

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Oh my heart, this book. I honestly can’t even wrap my head around the events that occurred in this book. It was so upsetting and so dark, but simultaneously so heartwarming and beautiful. I literally cannot even form coherent thoughts. I just can’t. I’m not emotionally ready for Queen of Shadows, I’m just not. 5 out of 5 stars, can I even give her any less?

I guess I did okay this month considering how much I’ve got going on! I’m just ready to get these midterms over so I can read all my October TBR books!! Which brings us to…

October TBR

Okay, so I was at home sick last week and wanted to get some fresh air…? Yeah, sure we’ll go with that… So I decided to take pictures of my October TBR instead. Except for you literally cannot bring a camera out without attracting my puggle. She is the definition of a princess and thinks you just want to take pictures of her. Whereas my other dog is so camera shy you will never see him on camera, ever. So my little puggle princess Bella decided she also wanted to be part of the TBR.

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Here’s my Halloween themed October TBR.

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Here’s my Halloween themed October TBR featuring Bella and her “can I eat the Voldey now?” face.

I’m currently 222 pages into Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor so hopefully I can finish it this week!

What are you reading in October? Do you also have a Halloween themed TBR or are you just reading regular books this month? 

I’m off to watch Once Upon A Time! Who else is excited to see what’s in store for Dark Swan??

xx

Jacqueline

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Bloodlines: Series Review

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Warning: will contain spoilers seeing as I will be briefly talking about all the books in the series!!

bloodlinesBloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: August 23rd, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Source: Bought
Finished: January 29th, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts: 

If I’m being completely honest, I don’t remember what happens in this book at all. All I remember is that Sydney Sage is back and gets sent to Palm Springs, CA to protect Jill Dragomir (Lissa’s half sister) from anyone who decides they want to remove Lissa from the throne, as you need at least one other family member in order to be King/Queen. Honestly, I was just super excited to be back in this world and I was so happy the first book started out with the same characters we know and love from Vampire Academy *cough* rose and dimitri *cough*. This was definitely a great introduction to the new series and it set the stage really well for what was to come.

***

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The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: June 12th, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Source: Borrowed
Finished: July 14th, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts: 

The second book to the series was definitely one of the most important ones. This is when we finally see Sydney start to question her Alchemist beliefs, which is such a relief. We also get more of an introduction into her as a human magic user and it’s really interesting stuff! Her teacher, Ms. Twillinger, is hilarious! I just loved that this book covered so many different dynamics. The magic, the group really becoming a family, the brewing love interests, and of course the weirdo vampire hunters.

***

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The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: February 12th, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Source: Borrowed
Finished: July 26th, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts: 

This book was definitely my least favourite in the series. I felt like too much was going on and I was getting confused and annoyed at some of the decisions that were being made. Sydney finds herself tracking down Marcus Finch, an ex-alchemist who has been on the run for years, while simultaneously tracking down a rogue witch who is using her powers to suck the life out of other young, gifted magic-users. She finds out a lot of important things about herself and is able to accomplish a lot in this book, but of course this is not without it’s consequences. At the end of the book we learn that Zoe Sage, Sydney’s younger sister, is to join the ‘family’ in Palm Springs to help Sydney ‘cope’ with the vampires she deals with daily. Also, I can’t remember if Angeline was introduced in this book or the last one, but she quickly sky rocketed to one of my favourites… She’s so hilarious and unpredictable!

***

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The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: November 19th, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Source: Borrowed
Finished: September 8th, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts: 

This book was so stressful!! OMG. Zoe’s presence definitely threw everyone off. Neil, the new damphir assigned to them, stirs up some ‘romantic’ feelings in Jill and Angeline. Sydney struggles to balance her sister’s presence as well as all the problems she usually takes care of for the crew, all the while trying to keep her secret relationship with Adrian under wrap and at the same time create two tattoo formulas that could one, break the alchemists hold and two, prevent damphirs/moroi from becoming strigoi if attacked by one. Sydney has many amazing traits, but the fact that she is so stubborn and self-sufficient isn’t helpful when she has so many priorities. Of course she starts raising suspicion and of course it doesn’t end well.

***

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Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: July 29th, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Source: Borrowed
Finished: September 11th, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts: 

This was by far my favourite book in the series, which is strange because I for sure thought I would hate reading an entire book of her being stuck in re-education. It was so good! I love that Sydney was risking everything to help the people in re-education even though they really didn’t deserve her help. I love that Adrian was struggling back at court without her. I love that regardless of the hell she was going through, she knew she had to find a way out so that she could be with Adrian again. I love that Adrian finally snapped out of it and enlisted Marcus and the rest of their friends to help break her out of re-education, and I love that they saved everyone else in the process. The end of this book was absolutely fantastic. The running from the alchemists, the shotgun wedding, the hope that being at the moroi court would save them, the fact that they didn’t care at all what anyone thought of their relationship… It was all fantastic!

***

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The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6) by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: February 10th, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Source: Borrowed
Finished: September 17th, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts: 

A really good ending to the series. The fact that Jill was kidnapped was terrifying, but also the best way to end the series seeing as they were sent to Palm Springs to hide her away in the first place. There was just so much that still needed to be resolved and this book was certainly successful in resolving all of it. Adrian had to deal with his spirit demons. Sydney had to accept that her life would certainly not be easy as a full-fledged witch and wife to a vampire. They found Olive and although they couldn’t save her, they made and kept an important promise. Jill and Eddie finally accepted their love for each other in the end <3. Adrian’s mom accepted both Adrian and Sydney, while accepting herself as a divorced woman. THE BABY. OLIVE’S FRIGGIN BABY ❤ ❤ ❤ The end of the book was probably my favourite. Adrian and Sydney and their new little family. The fact that she speaks to the baby in Spanish… The fact that Rose and Dimitri got engaged… Ugh. Just so good. How can these books be over?

***

I refuse to believe that Richelle Mead is done with this world. Even if she doesn’t write about the Moroi and Damphirs for years, I will be right here when she does. I will never be able to get over the characters she has created, she is so gifted. The series was so kick ass and emotional and hilarious and heart-warming… and just UGH.

For those of you who have read the Bloodlines series, which book is your favourite? Which character? Tell me your feelings! 

Until next time,

Jacqueline

xx

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

First of all, thank you so much Ellen B. @ The Wanderlust Reader for nominating me!

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The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions they’ve set you.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Nominate ten people.

I was nominated for this award about 2 weeks ago, but because I was still doing exams and Christmas shopping and wrapping and all of the things that December entails, I haven’t had time to do this! Which also means, most of the bloggers I follow have already done it… So I’m not going to tag anyone or make any other questions, but if you haven’t yet done this feel free!!

Now for the 10 questions:

  1. Favourite reading snack?

    I tend not to snack when I’m reading! If anything I will sip on a tea, but even then I usually get too into the story and forget about the drink until it gets cold… So yeah, no snacks for me!

  2. Would you rather read first, or movie first?

    I would definitely rather read the book first. However, there have been a few exceptions. I did not read The Maze Runner before I saw that in theatres, but that is also because I didn’t really hear great things about the book series. I saw Dear John in theatres when I was half way through reading the book, but I did finish it even after I saw it. Most of the time I end up running out and buying books to power through the week before a movie comes out, for example Divergent, The Last Song, & Safe Haven. OR, I’ll put off seeing a movie until sometimes years later because I am so intent on reading the book first, for example The Book Thief The Great Gatsby

  3. Thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars?

    Oh goodness! I read the book years ago when I was still in high school and all I remember really is that I cried so hard I had to PUT THE BOOK DOWN to accommodate my tears. “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.”
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    All I can say about the book and movie is … the feels.

  4. TBR this holiday season?

    I have a December/Holiday TBR here. However, I have been failing miserably and haven’t accomplished much reading yet. I had a bunch of really long books on my TBR and I think that’s the problem. I’m just gonna start picking up smaller books and some graphic novels so that I can at least make a significant dent in my overall TBR piles.

  5. Favourite holiday reads?

    I have never specifically read anything during the holiday before. I am currently reading My True Love Gave to Me and I am really loving it. This might become a staple in my future holiday reading. I usually just read whatever books I have on hand that I haven’t read yet! I don’t tend to read specific books at specific times of the year.

  6. Thoughts on film adaptions?

    I feel like I’m one of the only people in the world that doesn’t make a stink about film adaptations. I mean, if something is completely wrong then yes of course that is annoying and I will definitely get irritated. That being said, I really don’t hold my standards high enough to be disappointed, in fact, I’m usually pleasantly surprised. I understand how extremely difficult it must be to turn books that can be between 200-1,000 pages into a movie that is maybe 2 hours (or if you make a part two then 4 hours total). Realistically there are A LOT of details that they physically cannot incorporate into films and for the most part I’m okay with that. I’m just happy they get made into movies in the first place. The thing I’m usually the most critical of is the choice in actors, not because of the actors themselves being poor, but because everyone of course comes up with their own idea of what they should look it.

  7. Top 3 favourite series?

    Oh dear… Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, of course. The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (every book she ever writes will be my favourite and it will be mashed into one because it is technically all the same world). A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, because childhood. There are a ton of different series I could choose, but these will always hold a special place in my heart.

  8. Contemporary young adult; yay or nay?

    I typically prefer Fantasy just because I love magic and made up creatures, but lately I have been LOVING contemporary. It just makes me so happy and squeal-y and excited. It’s cute and fun and YAY!

  9. How is your 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge going?

    I didn’t have one! I mean I guess I could have started one half way through the year when I really started using Goodreads and blogging… but that would have bothered me. I need things to go full circle so once I miss something starting I just automatically thing “oh I’ll start it next time” or “I’ll do this next year”!

  10. Which fictional character would you be for a day?

    I am not going to say anyone from Harry Potter because that’s definitely a given and everyone probably answers with that. I would LOVE to be either Isabelle Lightwood or Rose Hathaway for a day. One, because they are both kick ass female characters. Two, because the fantasy aspects. Three, because being surrounded by attractive boys is always fun. 

Thanks again to Ellen for the nomination! This was so much fun, but her questions were definitely very tricky…

xx

Jacqueline

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Book Review

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown
Published: September 27th, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis 

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Thoughts:

Karou is a 17 year old human art student living in Prague, or so she thought. She was raised by four demons who are not at all human – as they are made up of an array of animal and human parts – in a shop that can open it’s doors to almost any city in the world. In these cities she runs “errands” for Brimstone (her, uh, foster father?) who collects teeth and grants wishes. So far, it sounds confusing, but that’s because it is. The interesting thing about Karou is she doesn’t try to live a double life. She fills her sketch book with drawings of her demon family and of the places she goes on her errands. The funny part is, when her bestfriend Zuzana ( or any of their other friends for that matter) ask her where she has been or what the drawings are, she tells them the complete truth. However, because it is completely insane and impossible they laugh it off and become addicted to her drawings and the stories that go along with them. Karou’s life is somewhat normal and consistent, that is, until three winged figures start showing up in the shadows of cities to mark the doorways of Brimstone’s shop. These fiery hand prints keep appearing until eventually they have marked the doorways of every portal and Brimstone’s shop is destroyed forever.

The first little bit of this book was very fast paced and completely mysterious. I had no idea what was going on, how these creatures were real, who they were, why the doorways were being marked, who the doorways were being marked by and how the heck Karou has anything to do with it. But honestly, that was half the fun of reading it. I was so overwhelmed and just wanted to find out what was going on that I could not put this book down. After every chapter it was like, oh, oh, OH, OH MY GOSH. Karou is so mysterious and so relatable. Of course not in the sense that normal people are raised by demons and can use magic to grant their wishes… But because she’s really confused by who she is and where she fits it and she just really wants to find her place in the world. I think every young person feels a little out of place at times and just wants to understand where they belong, and that’s why she is such a great protagonist.

It is also so refreshing to have everything we’ve every known about angels and devils shaken up and tipped on it’s head. Reading about angels as these pure evangelical beings gets a little tiresome after a while… This story is nice because for once it makes you question whether angels really do represent “good”, innocent beings. On the flip side, you really feel for the devils (or the chimaera as the book refers to them) and it makes you understand why Brimstone does what he does, and why it was necessary.

Overall, this book was a really awesome, action packed read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good fantasy book. I can’t decide if I’m going to pick up the next book, Days of Blood and Starlight, right away or if I will let this one sink it for a little bit longer. Either way, I can’t wait to continue this trilogy and I will definitely do so soon.

xx

Jacqueline