Cruel Beauty Discussion 

Cruel Beauty Discussion 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Because my favorite princess story is Beauty and the Beast, I absolutely had to read it. I was in no way disappointed by what I read. Cruel Beauty follows Nyx, a girl who has been bartered away to marry the man who killed her mother. She is sent to the castle with a mission to kill the Gentle One, the man she is marrying, and free her lands. In the castle, she realizes it will be much harder than she thought.

The book had characters that changed and grew as the story moved along. It was a beautiful thing to read. All characters weren’t perfect, and that was another beautiful piece added to the story. Each and every one of them had their flaws, but their flaws didn’t overpower their ability to do good (except for maybe Nyx’s father who is a completely horrible man). The plot line was interesting and held my attention throughout the entire book.

The following contains major spoilers so I suggest hiding in a corner and reading this book before you continue reading.

When the love triangle emerged, I was a little distressed. Nyx seemed to be perfect with both men presented! When Shade (a butler who is also a shadow) hurt Nyx, I figured that the love triangle was solved and Ignifex (the man that Nyx marries) would be the one she ends up with. Oh, was I wrong! Nowhere in my mind had I even considered the two men being to same person. I really enjoyed this surprise and how it was handled. In the end, it made perfect sense and all the loose ends were tied up.

Speaking of the end, that was another wonderful surprise! When I first started read that portion I was a little disappointed that it was all a dream. What’s the point of reading an entire book about a dream? Luckily, it wasn’t a dream at all. The world was entirely altered. It was amazing watching Nyx run out and find Lux. It was so sweet how they fought to be together even when the odds were against them.

When I finished the book and was talking to my friend about it (she hasn’t read it and probably never will but is such a good friend that she listens anyways), I had a realization. I had been ranting about how stupid the people were to trust the Gentle One’s bargains. They knew that no matter what, their deal would always come back to bite them. After a little bit of thinking on the subject, I figured that we aren’t much different. Satan is always tempting us with things that will only satisfy us for a moment while God has things that will last forever, but we still sometimes choose Satan.

So as you may have noticed, this was a pretty good book. What were your thought on it? Did you like how Shade and Ignifex were the same person? What do you think about my metaphor? I would love to know!

Winter by Marrisa Meyer Discussion 

Winter by Marrisa Meyer Discussion 

(This is a discussion for people who have already read the entire series. If you haven’t read the entire Lunar Chronicles, I suggest fleeing to a safe place and finishing them all.)

Winter is mostly about the entire crew that has come together throughout the Lunar Chronicles trying to put Cinder (aka Princess Selene) on the throne. While this would be good for stopping Queen Levana, I don’t think that Cinder was the best choice as ruler. I love Cinder, but she has almost no knowledge on what it’s like to rule a country, and definitely not Luna. Before I even started Winter, I knew that I wanted Winter to become queen instead of Cinder.

Now, I’m guessing you’re thinking something along the likes of “What? She’s crazy!” But I honestly believe that this was the better choice. Winter had a lot of experience around various rulers, even if they were tyrannical and slightly insane. She knew the land well and the people loved her. They even wrote songs on how beautiful she was! Cinder was a lost princess who was more of an idea than an actual leader. She had no memory of Luna as opposed to Winter who I’m 99% sure has never even left the moon.

There is the problem of Winter being insane. Having an emotionally unstable leader could possibly lead to Luna ending up as they were under Levana. While Winter’s kindness would hopefully overcome her insanity, we don’t know how her lunar sickness will progress. That’s where I remind you of the rumor that the Lunar’s powers will go away if the ruler isn’t of decent of the Blackburn family. I’m pretty sure that this was just a rumor, but it has never been proven wrong. That means that if Winter became queen, she may not even have lunar sickness anymore. This would solve not only her problem with lunar sickness but also the distrust between Earth and Luna.

I also understand the Winter never expresses the desire to be ruler, and I might remember that she says she doesn’t want to be ruler. (This is a faint memory and I can’t find where I might’ve seen this in the book because it’s a little over 800 pages to search through.  It would make sense, though, because she has been around terrible leaders her entire life and would probably be afraid of becoming them.) I don’t think that if Winter would become leader it would be by choice. Near the end of Winter, when Cinder almost dies, I saw how Winter could be put on the throne. The people of Luna would be left with Winter and love her so much that I don’t doubt she would be their first choice as leader. Winter could use Jacin to help her and I’m sure that he would care for her when she had doubts. 

If you still aren’t convinced that Winter should’ve been queen, think about how kind she was. Winter was constantly thinking of everyone around her, especially the ones who had much less than her. Ms.Meyer slightly hinted at Winter being a good queen when the children have Winter a crown. Winter accepted it gratefully and was nothing but kind to the kids. Winter was already loved by everyone and she loved all of them.

So what do you think? I believe that Winter should most definitely be the queen instead of Cinder, but maybe you can change what I think. Also, I haven’t read the stories that take place after Winter, so haven’t really Cinder in action much as queen. I am also not saying that Cinder would be a bad leader, she had many good attributes. I simply believe that Winter would’ve been a better queen.

The Best Places to Read

The Best Places to Read

I can read almost anywhere, but there are a few special places the are perfect (or almost perfect) to read in. Here are my favorite places to read:

  1. My bed. This is my ideal spot to read when the weather is anywhere below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I can burrow under the covers while I loose myself in a captivating story.
  2. The couch. In my house there’s a couch upstairs that is perfect for reading on. It seems to be the exact length for me to stretch out and read. The only downfall to it is that it is usually occupied by my brother, leaving me to retreat back to my bed.
  3. The library. The library in my town isn’t the quietest, but I still love to read there. It’s fun to sit on the chairs and ignore the world around me. The open atmosphere of the library is always welcoming to read in.
  4. My grandparents’ chair. Going to my grandparent’s house is always great because I can read in their chair. It’s one of those chairs that kind of resemble a basket or nest and is very fluffy. To add on the experience I can look out their giant window onto the pasture of cows that is below them.
  5. The car. This is a bit of an odd one because some people can’t read in the car. Of course, I don’t mean trying to drive and read at the same time (that would be stupid), but when someone else is in the car it is so relaxing to listen to music as we travel down the road.
  6. The morning. This last one is a time, not a place, but I feel like it deserves a spot on this list. I love to wake up an hour earlier than usual and read before anyone else in the house has gotten up. Reading in the morning always seems to wake me up and prepare me for a focused and productive day.

So where do you like to read? Can you relate to any on this list? I’d love too know!

Curses and Smoke Discussion 

Curses and Smoke Discussion 

I know that Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Schecter isn’t a very popular book, but I did enjoy reading it and I have many thoughts. I didn’t really get into the book until about page 180, but that was because of personal preference and not book quality. The book was set in ancient Pompeii right before the volcano erupted. It followed Tages, who is a slave, and Lucia, who is the daughter of the man who owns Tag. Lucia is about to be married off away but falls in love with Tag a few weeks before her wedding. While the book was set on love (the back cover has love in bold letters), I didn’t really feel too much romance in the story. The conflict was because of love, but the story had much more to it.

The following will go into details about my feelings on specific subjects. Do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled:

So as I mentioned above, I didn’t really get into the book until about page 180. Because of this, most of the things that stuck out to me were near the end of the book. The action towards the end of the book really caught my attention. To get an idea of how I read this: pages 0-180 were read in a week, pages 180-whenever the end was too less than 24 hours. I read like this sometimes and it can really mess up my veiw of the book.

By the end of the book, I had a lot of emotions attached to various characters. Reading the book over a long period of time also helped with this. I feel like Quintus really got a bad rap most of the time. He was simply uneducated in the feeling of empathy. Nobody really tried to help him understand why he was hated so much. If everyone else would’ve just given him a chance, he would’ve been much more likeable to everyone. Quintus was trying to be better, he just wasn’t sure how to be. Castor was adorable. I didn’t really feel a connection to him until the very end of the book when he starts to call Tag “Apa” and was being completely adorably about it. It felt like while Tag had lost a father, he also became one and that was very important. Speaking of Tag’s father, I didn’t really feel a connection to him. He and Metrodona were just characters that felt added in. Yes, they had an important role in creating the conflict of Lucia and Tag’s love, but the weren’t ever really around. A few more scenes with them would’ve been nice.

I especially like the little parts above some to chapters that said things like “two weeks before” or “two hours before”. They were obviously meant to lead the reader to believe they were counting down to the explosion of the mountain, and I bought it. I had slight suspicions on them when reading, but couldn’t come up with any other solutions so I just accepted them as they went. I didn’t expect it to be leading up to Lucia dying at all! If I could’ve guess for either Lucia or Tag to die, I would’ve said Tag. He cared for the well being of other people so much that he could’ve died protecting Lucia, not the other way around. I was ready for people to die (because, you know, Pomeii was a city buried alive) but I didn’t expect it to happens he way it did at all.

So yeah, it was fun. What were your thoughts on the book? I would to love what other people thought and keep the discussion going. Who knows, maybe my opinions will change!

Top Books I Read In 2014

Top Books I Read In 2014

The year is almost over and I read a lot this year. We all know what that means: top books of 2014.

1. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

I love the shadowhunter chronicles, and this was an epic ending to the series. I absolutely can’t wait for Lady Midnight.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This was beautiful and magical. I felt strong emotions toward all the charecters and lived in Prague. In thsi book we follow Karou and her magical adventures. This book nearly beat City of Heavenly Fire on this list, just nearly.

3.Diva by Alex Flinn

In Diva we follow Caitlin, an opera singer. She lives with her mom who doesn’t support what she does. Caitlin is very conscience of her weight and looks. It’s a very inspiring story that teaches us to reach for our goals.

4. Extras by Scott Westerfeld

This book satisfied my needs for science fiction this year. I’ve always loved the Uglies Series, and this was a beautiful companion. I think these books show us how twisted our society really is. It also brings up the question “Are we really pretty if everyone else is pretty?”

5. Host Club by Bisco Hatori

I’m a fan of manga, and this the manga I read and loved this year. It’s funny and made me feel happy inside. I’m still working on reading it and still loving it. My most favorite part of the books is the character development. The characters changed so much and had so much more depth as the stories went on.

6. The Selection by Kiera Cass

This is at the bottom of the list because as much as I loved it, it had many problems. I think my biggest problem with it were the characters. The characters, mainly America Singer, were so annoying. The choices they made made no sense and weren’t helpful in the long run. As I say these bad things I want to point put that it is on my favorites list for a reason. Even though I it was annoying, the story is so intresting and fun to read.

So there it is, my 2014 favorite books. I can’t wait to read all the new books in 2015.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles

(please ignore the fact that I haven’t reviewed any of the other books. I will. I’ve read them)

This book is a collection of short stories that follow Magnus Bane. It is also a companion to The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

I absolutely loved this book. I love The Mortal Instruments, so why shouldn’t I? Magnus was one of my favorite characters from the series, so it felt good to read about him. He’s funny and has a good sense of humor, but sometimes you suddenly get caught off guard by the fact that he is deep and has lived a while, which I love. All of the stories in this book are entertaining and make me want more.

I also really liked the different settings and the way they were described. When I would put down the book to do something else I felt like I had just woken up from a nap or I’m in another world. I really felt like I was in Peru or London or New York in the time period they were set.

Another thing I really liked was the fact that they were short stories. I love short stories especially (maybe I’ll write a post about that) because you just start to love the characters and then it just ends. With short stories you can also just pick one up, read it quickly, and move on with your day.

So, over all, I’d give this five out of five stars, 100%, and say it was perfect.

Bookshelf Solution

Bookshelf Solution

bookshelf

If you’re anything like me you don’t have the money to buy a bookshelf and have books piling up everywhere. I have come up with a solution! All you have to do is stack books on a hard surface! That’s what I did above (please ignore the fact that not all of them are the best books, I get most of my books from the library) and it works great! Of course it does have some problems, I can’t make a second layer, it isn’t very professional, I have to put them in my closet (ha ha…), but it will work until I get a real bookshelf.