Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag!

*freaking out*
Oh my god, is it really the middle of the year already?!

It doesn't seem all that long ago when I wrote my Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2016 Edition.
And now it's already time to wrap up the middle of 2017.
Welp! Shall I? 

The second half of 2017... here we come. 

#1: Best book you've read so far in 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 3.5

It's funny.
There were books I rated more than this and yet... Lord of Shadows is still my favorite as of this half of 2017.
What's also funny: Lady Midnight was in this exact same place last year.
What can I say... I'm a shadowhunters obsessed. *smirk*. 

The next shdowhunters book cannot possibly come soon enough.
Cannot possibly, I tell you. 

"The Lightwood family motto is 'We mean well'." 
"Very funny." 
Julian looked over at her. "No, really, it actually is." 
"Seriously? So what's the Herondale family motto? 'Chiseled but angsty'?"  
He shrugged. " 'If you don't know what your last name is, it's probably Herondale'?" 
Emma burst out laughing. "What about Carstairs?" She asked, tapping cortana. " ' We have a sword? ' ' Blunt instruments are for losers'?"  
"Morgenstern," offered Julian. " ' When in doubt, start a war'?"  
"How about 'Has even one of us ever been any good, like ever, seriously'?"

#2: Best sequel you've read so far in 2017

The End of Oz by Danielle Paige
My rating: 4 stars

I was going to review this book but... it never happened.
I don't know. I asked my brain many times but it does not reveal its inner workings.
If it had, I'm sure life would be much easier. 

I'm not sure if this counts as a sequel but this is the fourth and final book in the Dorothy Must Die series

A short synopsis about the series (for those of you who aren't familiar with it): We all know Dorothy Gale's story. The lion, the tin man, Toto, Yellow road, magic. It was all supposed to come to an end with 'there's no place like home!'
But what if Dorothy came back to Oz? What if magic corrupted her and she became... evil?
Enters Amy Gum, a modern Taxes girl swept into Oz to be its savior.
But can she do it? Does she have what it takes? Is she willing to fall into the dark side to achieve that? 

This spin-off/retelling story will sweep you off your feet.
It has magic, mayhem, good and evil, dubious morals, a lunatic Dorothy, romance, and so much more.
I highly recommend everyone to give this one a try. 

I had enough problems of my own back in Kansas. Why couldn't I have been swept away to an imaginary kingdom where nothing was wrong at all - where I could just kick my legs up and enjoy a nice, relaxing vacation? I racked my brain, trying to remember if there were any books or movies like that, and realized there weren't any. 

#3: New release you haven't read yet, but want to

                                 If Birds Fly Back          This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
                           by Carlie Sorosiak  

I've already read a sample of each of those books and they both seem amazing.
I really can't wait to dive deeper into them.
They're complex, they deal with difficult subjects, the writing is great.
I think I'm going to start with If Birds Fly Back. Hope to love it (:

"We can't define people by their worst actions."  
-- Paula Stokes, This is How it Happened

"Sometimes there are no second chances to say how we feel." 
-- If Birds Fly Back, Carlie Sorosiak 

#4: Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

                      Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff        The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
                Publication date: September 5th           Publication date: October 3rd

My level of excitement for Godsgrave: AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
My level of excitement for The Ship of the Dead: AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

See? I couldn't exactly choose between those two. I would feel way to guilty for not including the other. 

It's funny, those two fantasy books can't be more different from one another yet I love them with a passion that cannot be vanquished. 

Godsgrave would probably destroy my soul (as Jay Kristoff does best).
The Ship of the Dead would probably make me squeal in happiness and swoon at every single thing.  

Like I said, those two books can't be more different :O 

"Where's the gold?" I demanded. "Don't make me unleash my sword's playlist."  
-- The Ship of the Dead, Rick Riordan

"Conquer your fear. Conquer the world." 
-- Godsgrave, Jay Kristoff 

#5: Biggest disappointment

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 3 stars

I literally started my review with these words: 'I'm disappointed.'

It pains me to say this but Flame in the Mist was so very disappointing for me. For various reasons. The main one being I found the book to lack a lot of development. I felt like I was seeing what was happening but not actually feeling it. 

For basically all of the story I just felt like some unwelcome passenger in the back seat of a car.
Stuff were happening, but no one bothered to explain the motives or feelings behind them.
I just... it's hard to explain, but this is as close as I can describe it.
I did my best to convey my emotions in the review. It was especially important because I received it as an e-ARC from NetGalley (which I'm still so very thankful for). 

"If I am marching to my death, then I will march to it as a girl. Without fear." 

#6: Biggest surprise

How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahren
My rating: 3.5 stars
My review

I definitely did not expect this wonderful little book. 

And it's all thanks to Amy from A Magical World of Words for making me want to read it.

Some of the best books are the ones that catch us by surprise. Especially if it's a book you never imagined you'd like.
I mean, How to Fall in Love is wonderful and it's heartfelt and it teaches you so much about life, love, death. But based on the genre, and considering this is considered an adult book, I would never have imagined to pick it up.
I'm so glad I did, though.
It was such a wonderful journey, and I really highly recommend it to everyone. 
Although, pay attention that this book deal with Suicide, so if it's something that's a trigger warning for you than you shouldn't be reading How to Fall in Love.  

Life is a series of moments and moments are always changing, just like thoughts, negative and positive. And though it may be human nature to dwell, like many natural things it's senseless, senseless to allow a single thought to inhabit a mind because thoughts are like guests or fairweather friends. As soon as they arrive, they can leave, and even the ones that take a long time to emerge fully can disappear in an instant. Moments are precious; sometimes they linger and other times they're fleeting, and yet so much could be done in them; you could change a mind, you could save a life and you could even fall in love.  

#7: Favorite new author (debut or just new to you)

Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky & Riders

Okay, so... I - ashamedly so - have not discovered any new (debut or new to me) authors this half year.
But! My love for a certain's author books did grow considerably this year with the release of her newest book Seeker

For those of you who don't know, Riders has been one of my most favorite books of last year. It's an original and intense story about the four-horsemen of apocalypse (who are actually 4 messed up teenagers) and the girl who guides them on their journey to save the world.
Really cool stuff. Please read. 

Evil is its own undoing. 

#8: Newest fictional crush

My favorite question is here!
Okay, so... 
Kit from The Dark Artifices.

I am actually aware that he's (currently) way too young for me.
I shall wait. I shall wait as long as I must!
Then again... I'm pretty sure someone already stole Kit away (: 

It wasn't that he had any particular desire to learn how to use a dagger - nothing beyond the general interest he figured most teenagers had in deadly weapons. 

#9: Newest favorite character

This is a hard one.
I have many not-new ones, but the question is newest - which I'm assuming means someone who became my favorite this past half year.
Then it that case I would say...
Daryn from Seeker
We got to know her so much better in this book. I appreciated how strong minded and tough she was. She never gave up, and it's not something that is ever easy to do. 
Daryn is fiercely independent and she would do anything to save her friends. 

Sometimes you hurt people even if it's the last thing you want to do.

#10: Book that made you cry

I would say that there are three book that made me emotional this half-year. Not to the verge of tears, but... to the verge of sadness. Each in their own way. 
And those are: 

How to Fall in love, naturally made me emotional because of its difficult subject. More especially so because something like this happened to someone that I knew and it was very important for me to read this book because of it. 

Lord of Shadows was filled from beginning to end with ominous signs. There were quite a few scenes when I didn't think I could deal with it if it actually happened. I know Cassandra Clare, and while she's not ruthless... she doesn't spare us from tragedy and sadness. I feel like something terrible is going to happen, and it's probably going to crush us. 

When people die, our dreams of what they could be die with them.

The Dark Prophecy's main character is a thousands years old god. You can't have that without darkness. It's not a teenage boy like Percy or Magnus. They had it rough, they had it terrible, but Apollo is old. So old. And when you start learning about all the things in his past... it's also so sad. 

Was there anyone I hadn't betrayed and disappointed? Any relationship I hadn't destroyed? 

#11: Book that made you happy

The Shadowhunter's Codex by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 stars

Reading The Shadowhunter's Codex (finally!) was great.
I found it lying there in one of those rare bookstores that actually have some selection of English books, and I took it and made it mine (*evil laugh*).

It was fun, it was funny, it was insighting.
I simply had a great time reading it, and it was great. 

After my somewhat disappointment in Lord of Shadows, I was reminded with this one why I love this world and characters so much.
I loved it.
Highly recommended for all of you Shadowhunters out there that have yet to read it.
I also recommend reading it in its physical edition (because of the side notes), but it can be read on kindle as well. 

"Sometimes the newly marked go into shock. The good news it, if this happens to you, you are unlikely to notice, because you'll be in shock." 

#12: Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Publication date: January 17, 2017

I have yet to read it (as I tend to do), but there is no denying this cover is absolutely beautiful in the flesh (yep, I have this book in physical copy! One of those rare moments). 

You know what it reminds me of? The crack in the wall from Doctor Who. 

It's simple and it's beautiful. Definitely one of the best looking covers out there. 

I also love the cover of The Shadowhunters Codex and Seeker. They're both beautiful. 

"You want to see people as extremes. Bad or good, trustworthy or not. I understand. It's easier that way. But that isn't how people work."

#13: What books do you need to read before the end of the year?

Well... no one is exactly sitting on me and threatening me to read books here :'D
Reading is not something I need to do, it's something I desperately want to do.
Need is just... it sounds too forceful.
I can never force myself to read something. It has to come from the heart. 

But anyways!
I really-really want to get to Six of Crows & Rebel of the Sands.
I also want to re-read Fangirl, Maybe Someday, and The Mortal Instruments - they're always my go-to comfort books, and I feel like I need to re-read them again (:

And this conclude my Mid-Year Book Freak-Out tag of 2017!
How was it? Hope I did well ;)
What about you? Have you done this already? If not, consider yourselves tagged.
This is a really fun tag to wrap up this half a year.
I guess I'll see you with another wrap up like this at the end of the year, huh? ;)
Until then there should be lots of book reviews and other posts!
*saying is believing*
See you soon!
Until then...

"Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you."  
-- Louis L'Amor 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Most Anticipated Books of July 2017

After last months' embarrassingly long time it took me to write this post, I decided to start up early.
I really love these posts - they're probably my favorite thing to write other than book reviews. But even the slightest of blogging slumps can overshadow that (like what happened last month).
So! I decided not to let it deter me this July ;)

Here I am with my most anticipated books of July 2017! 

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Publication date: July 11, 2017

Somehow I've become a liar. A coward. This is how it happened. 

This is How it Happened is an important story.
It's a contemporary YA about the power of the internet on society today. 

Genevive Grace, a 17-year-old girl, was involved in a car crash that killed her boyfriend - a famous YouTube star. 
She doesn't remember much about the crash or the events that led to it.
As the whole world starts pointing fingers towards the other driver, Brad Freeman, Genevive starts picking up the pieces, fearing she might have had something to do with the crash herself. 

I've actually attempted to read a Paula Stokes book before. It was one that came last year Girl Against the Universe. And while I did enjoy it, I didn't really connect to it for some reason.
Which is why I want to give this author another try with this new book of hers.
I hear a lot of good things about Paula Stokes, and I'm looking forward to checking this one out. 

"We can't define people by their worst actions."

"Where does seeking justice end and seeking vengeance begin?" 

"Some people just want to be part of the story, even if it's a story that's completely fabricated."

"Our 'protective bubbles' - our houses, our cars, our friends, our online identities - might make us feel secure, but most of it's just an illusion. it's easy to get hurt, just as it's easy to hurt other people."

"You have more power than you think. Be careful what you do with it."

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller
Publication date: July 11, 2017

Color me intrigued. 

If I do end up reading The Art of Starving, it'll be the first book about eating disorder I have ever read. 

I'm quick to jump on anything from anxiety to depression to OCD, but the truth is there are many more mental disorders out there. 

I'm also intrigued because this one doesn't seem like your typical eating-disorder book + the author is basing some of it on his own experience with eating disorder as a teenager. 

The Art of Starving is about a young boy named Matt who believes that when he starves himself he gets superpowers.
It also apparently has some LGBT elements to it. 

"Being better isn't a battle that you fight and win. Feeling okay is a war, one that lasts your whole life and the only way to win is keep on fighting."

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Publication date: July 11, 2017

The blurb says it's for fans of Rainbow Rowell. I'm a fan of Rainbow Rowell. So... (:

I also read an excerpt of this book on NetGalley and I pretty much fell in love with David's POV (one of the main characters).
He seems to have somewhat of a mental health disorder, by the looks of it, and the way he thinks is... fascinating. Funny. Wonderful. 

This is the story of Kit (can't help but think about Kit from TDA) & David.  

"I realize we all walk around pretending like we have some control over our fate because to recognize - that no matter what we do, the bottom will fall out when we least expect it - is just too unbearable to live with."

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Publication date: July 18, 2017

Stop the magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future. 

Logical conclusion: read the book. 

Esta is a thief. But she's not just your regular run of the mill kind of thief. No, Esta can jump through time itself. 
Where she comes from, modern time New York, magic is all but extinct. But if she travels to 1902 to steal a certain powerful book, she can save the future of magic and restore it to the world.
But not is all that it seems, even the supposed evil Magician.
As Esta navigates her way through the past, she must decide what's wrong and what's right. 

Time travel! Magic! Mayhem!
My favorite bunch :')

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Publication date: July 25, 2017

16-year-old Sorina is an illusionist. She creates life-like illusions at the Gomorrah festival.
Together, she and her illusions make up the cast of the Festival's Freak Show.
So then what happened when one of her illusions is murdered?
As lifelike as they are and as real as they seem, at the end of the day they're only just illusions - not real. And what's not real... can't be killed, can it?
To figure out what's going on and desperate to protect her remaining family of illusions, Sorina teams up with Luca - a gossip worker - to investigate who's behind it all. 

I don't know what about you but this looks awesome to me!

Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno
Publication date: July 25, 2017

I just love seeing these types of books. 
The ones about anxiety.
They make me feel... like I'm not alone.
Logically, I know I'm not.
But it's only when I'm reading these books that I actually feel it too. 

It's only the synopsis, but I can already see myself in Lottie - scared of the world around her. 

It's a story about mental illness and about books and writing.
It's a story I need to read. 

Also... the title... it's like the perfect representation of anxiety. 

"I'm fine," I said quickly, because we are taught as children that automatic response: I'm fine, when we're not. I'm fine, when we are anything but. I'm fine, when we can't stop thinking about death, about dying, about ceasing to exsist. 

Aunt Helen always said if you really wanted to get to know someone, take them to a bookstore. You can tell a lot about a person based on how they behave around books. 

"Whenever someone tells you they don't have time for you, just remember that we make time for the things we want to make time for, and then kick them to the curb." 

Some mentions:  

As you know, I can't include every single book coming out every month.
We would be here for ages.
Some books are just not for me. Others, the above, I'm highly anticipating. And the rest are in some gray area - those are the books that definitely intrigue me, I would definitely try to give them a shot, but I'm not so sure about them for various reasons (reviews I read, my own intuition, etc).
So I decided to put them in a category of their own under 'some mentions'. 
That being said, I read a lot of books in the past that I didn't expect much of that turned out to be my favorite, so... (:

Bombshell by Rowan ManessI See London, I See France by Sarah Malynowski: both seem like possibly interesting YA contemporaries. I had my fair share of disappointments with YA contemporaries, which is why I'm ever so cautious these days.  

Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell: I don't know why but there's something about this book that kind of reminds me of Riders by Veronica Rossi (which I loved). I think it's why I'm so interested in it. 

Waste of Space by Gina Damico: This one seems... weird. Not sure if good-weird or bad-weird yet. Or just plain old weird. Anyways, this is about a bunch of teenagers doing a reality show in a space-like environment (not in space, though, as far as I gathered). It seems to have a lot of humor. I do love humor (a lot), but sometimes too much of it can feel... unrealistic, if you know what I mean. 

What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy: Another teenagers-in-space kind of book. Only this time they're actually in space, fighting an unexpected alien invasion. 

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana: Is it wrong of me for wanting to read this book solely because it says 'perfect of fans of The Wrath and the Dawn'

Heroesville by Cassie James: This books actually sounds hella cool! Done right it could be fantastic! Who doesn't love a good, twisted, fairy tales retellings stories? I know I do. The only thing I'm not so sure about it the publication date of this one. It says July 2017 but nothing specific yet. Which is weird. Hmm. 

And that's it for my Most Anticipated Books of July!
I had lots of fun writing this post (:
I hope you had fun reading it, too.
Now tell me all about your anticipated books this month. Are any of them on this list?
Did you manage to find new ones you want to read?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
See you again soon.
Until then... (:

"Books can make you live a thousand lifetimes, a thousand different lives. Books make you immortal."  

-- Everything All at Once, Katrina Leno

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare - Book Review

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Publication date: May 23, 2017
My rating: 3.5 stars

Here I am.
Trying to find the right words to describe all of... this.
, but I suppose I should initially mention this is the second book in The Dark Artifices series and you should by no means read this review if you haven't read the first book, let alone the previous books in the Shadowhunters world.
Here's my review of Lady Midnight and here's my explanation of Cassandra Clare's books for you there who want to jump onto the Shadowhunters train (highly recommended, BTW).
Sorry for being so... well... flippant, should I say?
I think I'm a little shell-shocked.
There's no possible way I can talk about this book without freaking out or being none spoilery so... there's that. 

*Full Review - With Spoilers*

*taking a deep breath* 
God, where to even begin? 

I suppose I should start with my rating?

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a huge fan of Cassandra Clare (to put it mildly). For me to rate a book by her less than 4 stars has... well, quite frankly, never happened.
But then again it seems to be an occurring this with me this year - rating my most anticipated books in the history of ever by my favorite authors so low.
It's not that I don't find them great, or awesome, or fantastic.
They're still all of the above.
It's just that... there's something missing. Something I know in my heart should be there but isn't.
Something I'm sure I'll see again in the next books to come and will be able to explain why I didn't love this one quite as much more clearly. 

It wasn't that he had any particular desire to learn how to use a dagger - nothing beyond the general interest he figured most teenagers had in deadly weapons. 

Ah, Kit.
I knew I was going to love you from the very end of Lady Midnight.
There's just something about Kit that is so obviously Herondale yet... different.
He's not as bitter and as self-destructive as Jace & Will, and he also lacks the general arrogance of Shadowhunters since he didn't grow up knowing he was one (in many ways, thank the angel for that).

At the same time, he's terribly (by which I mean awesomely) sarcastic, charming, and a natural warrior.

For me, Kit & Ty were the highlights of this book.
There were no characters I loved both separately and together as much as I loved these two.
I lived for every interaction they had.
It was the sweetest, the most heartwarming, and definitely the best parts of Lord of Shadows.
The way they slowly grew from curiosity to the kind of friendship you can only dream of, into something more... was bordering on heartbreaking with how wonderfully sweet those two characters together are. 

I was so happy Cassandra Clare developed their bond as strongly has she had, and soon enough I realized why.
Because Ty can't possibly handle what that ending brought on his own.
Hell, I'm not even sure he can handle it now. 
He's going to need Kit, and he's going to need him bad, to be there for him. And just the thought of what Ty is going to go through in the next book - and books - to come... breaks my heart. 
And Julian... Oh, Julian. Who was more of a father to Livvy than a brother is now... is now...
God. That ending. 

I usually don't see Cassie Clare's deaths coming, but I saw it this time.
The Livvy part, not the Robert one.
I was certain of it after she was injured at the Shadow Market. I don't know why, it just... felt like this was what was going to happen. It felt certain and imminent.
Something about Livvy and Ty and Kit this book all led to this terrible, terrible, terrible conclusion of Livvy's death. 

*shaking my head* 

I'm not broken (not as much as I was in Clockwork Princess or as much as I would have been if Ty, Kieran, Jace, Clary, Alec or Magnus died), but I'm so very sad.
Because Livvia was such a bright and beautiful character.
And because she was so loved. And so happy. And so sweet.
And because I know what it's going to do to the blackthorns (Julian & Ty specifically), that my heart cries out to them all. 

Ty... Ty is going to be catatonic, possibly bordering on self-destructive. He's going to blame himself for ever contacting Annabel.
And Julian... Julian is going to be so full of hate and guilt and self-blame it's going to kill him from the inside out.
And poor Alec... losing his father just after finding him for the first time.
Not to mention Isabelle, Jace, Clary and Simon who are all connected through this death of Robert Lightwood.  

It was a bloodbath. 

Beside her was Diego Rocio Rosales, notable for the Clave for being a highly trained centurion and to the Blackthorns for having the nickname Perfect Diego.

Diego was very imperfect this book, huh?
Poor guy, having to deal with Zara Dearborn (I hate her I hate her I hate her I hate her) - whom I simply had an undeniable case of immediate hatred to.

Speaking of the Rosales, we finally got to see the much talked about Jaime.
Whom I really liked. I found him charming, and I loved his interactions with Dru - super fun. I would say I ship them together if not for the fact they have an age gap that I'm not sure can work.
But even them just staying good friends would be perfect to me.
That being said, I'm sensing that Jaime is going to come into bigger play in The Queen of Air and Darkness. As well as Cristina's strange connection to the Fey and the unknown and dangerous artifact Jaime is smuggling.

We also got a glimpse of a very interesting looking character, when Dru got temporarily sucked into Feary. She met this fairy boy who asked her if his mom sent her.
Said boy had pale blond hair and green eyes.
Now, I did not think anything about it - hell, I didn't even remember it - until I saw this booktalk of Lord of Shadows by my favorite booktuber.
It turns out that boy could quite possibly be Sebastian Morgenstern's child. 
Shocking? I know!

If you remember, Sebastian and the Seelie Queen had quite the... arrangment in City of Heavenly Fire. Which included them being intimate, which then fired up the theory of a possibly Sebastian child.
Not to mention, it was said the Unseelie king was holding someone precious to the Queen hostage. Who could be more precious to her than her own child? And we all know the queen isn't the heartwarming type. The only person she could truly care about is her own flesh and blood. 

If this is indeed their child it would simply be... mindblowing. 
For everyone and especially Clary.
But maybe Clary already knows? She and Jace are, after all, on a secret mission to fairy. Is the boy who they're looking for?

The only question this theory holds is how the boy could possibly be around 13 when it's only been 5 years since The Dark War?
I think it could be pretty easy to explain with how time flows differently in feary. We mainly discussed how it flows slower, but does it nececerily mean it can't flow faster?
We shall see. 

"We're shadowunters," said Jace. "You'll find that the crisis is never over."

And that's precisely why we get a neverending amount of books. *smirk*.

It actually reminds me of a qoute in an anime I recently watched 'no tale is more compelling than one that never ends.'
I, personally, find it to be true.
But that just may be because I hate endings more than anything else. 

I actually didn't expect Annabel and Malcolm to still play such a strong role in this book. I suspected that, perhaps, Annabel may have risen from the dead, but I actually did not see her killing Malcolm happening. 

I understand that she was angry, furious, and betrayed by him but... like Kieran said, I think I also found it rather ungrateful of her (?).
I don't know.
All I'm saying is I'm surpsied she didn't even give him a chance to talk or explain or do something before she killed him.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Malcolm is dead (for good, though, I wonder?), it's just that the kind of love they had... I didn't think it would end like that.
But then, not everyone gets their happy ending.
That said, Annabel is not the same girl she was before. Not only did she come back as the broken girl she was after all her torture, she also has risen from the dead - which we have no idea what consequences it has on a person.
Or, actually, we do now...
Complete and utter bloodbath.
Which I also didn't see coming.
I knew Livvy was going to die, I just did not expect it to be by Annabel's hand.  

And now Annabel is in the Unsealie's king hold.
I was totally hoping for Emma to kill her, avenge Livvy, at the end.
And when it was taken away from her... the only thing she could do in a situation like that... I could practically feel her heart breaking. 

What do you suppose is going to happen now?
Will Annabel cooperate with the Unseelie king? She's definitely not going to be one big happy family with the Blackthorns now. There's no redemption left for her, sadly.
I can't hate her... I don't have that kind of hate towards her in me.
I'm more... disappointed, sad, and feel bad for her.
That being said, I will not - cannot - ever forgive her for what she has done. 

"That I'm going to die," Clary said. "Not a long time from now. Soon." 

Excuse me, but WHAT?
*Hysterical laughter* 

Just no.
Cassandra, if you kill Clary I... I don't know what I'll do but I'll definitely break.
What the hell!
Clary can't die.
No... she can't... can she?
Like HELL she can. 

Prophecy or no prophecy, there's no way Clary is dying and leaving Simon & Jace.
Not after everything they went through.
They went through hell - LITERALLY.
And Jace did die once.
And Simon also died - many times.
So... so... even if Clary does die, no WAY is it going to be permanent.
Sorry, but no.
I refuse to even hear about it.

And why, by the angel, oh why, does she think it's ever a good idea to hide it from Jace?
In the history of ever, did hiding this kind of secret ever worked for anyone?

Just ask Emma and her infuriating game of tag just not to tell Julian the truth (how did that work out, huh?). 

Up until that moment in the book I had a ridicules smile on my face.
I did not smile often after that scene on the roof.

"And I am a prince of Fearie," said Kieran. "Son of the king, Prince of the Frost Court, Keeper of the Cold Way, Wild Hunter, and Sword of the Host. Do not annoy me." 

I stand by my love for Kieran.
I love him even more so now than I did in Lady Midnight. And I also still stand by him and Mark as a couple, Cristina be damned.
Sorry, Mark & Cristina fans.
Okay, so I don't really want Cristina to be damned, that was a strong reaction on my side.
I just... never really connected to Cristina.
Everyone loves her, and I definitely do not hate her, I just... can't seem to see what everyone else sees in her.
I'm sorry, but I can't.
I simply can't seem to feel for her, no matter how hard I try.
And this is also why I just can't root for her and Mark together. You can't love a couple together if you don't first love them individually.
For me, it's always going to be Mark & Kieran till the end.
I adore Kieran and I really like Mark (he's so endearing).
Just a tiny question: 

"I danced with him. With Mark. And we kissed." 
"That's good! That is good, right?" 
 "It was, but then Kieran came in-"  
"But he wasn't angry. He just told Mark that he should dance better, and he danced with me. It was like dancing with fire." 
 "Woah, sexy weirdness," said Emma. "This may be more sexy weirdness than I can handle." 
"It is not weird!" 
 "It is," said Emma. "You're headed for a faerie threesome. Or some kind of war." 
"Hot faerie threesome," said Emma cheerfully. "I can say I knew you when." 

What the heck is that? 
And Emma basically said exactly what I feared some chapters before it actually happened.
And... what even is that?
Because I do not get it.
Is Cristina some fearie whisperer?
She even bewitched Kieran!
I'm honestly not sure what is going on with those three. What is going to happen in the final book should resolve this but still. I'm dreading it. 

My parabatai, she thought, looking at Jules, standing with his back straight and his head back, the only seventeen-year-old boy in the world who could make the King of the Dark Court doubt himself. 

So... can we talk about Julian for a sec? Because I'm pretty sure he's bordering into evil overlord territory.
We only saw a glimpse of that in Lady Midnight, but it became very much apparent in Lord of Shadows. Julian's... let's call it 'dark side'?

Eeveryone has one - Emma, Ty, Kit, everyone - but in Julian's case it's... so much darker, so much thicker, so much harsher. It's... kind of evil. And it's not something we expect from our main love interest and main protagonist. Racking my brain, none of Cassandra's previous protagonist ever went into... this kind of dubious territory where you honestly don't know if that good guy isn't actually capable of some pretty evil stuff.
Still don't know what to think about it.
Personally, I love dark characters, ones who are morally dubious (says a lot about me, doesn't it?), but it Jullian's case it feels... different. Which is why I haven't made up my mind about whether I like it or not.
After all, there's a great difference between being dark and evil.

I can't even begin to imagine what's going to happen to him now, after... after Livvy (*sob*).
Will it make him weaker? Stronger? Darker?
Will he honestly risk breaking every Parabatai bond from here on out for a future with Emma? (that was one dreadful truth to find out).
We know Emma would never, but Julian... Julian is an uncertain territory here.
Can you imagine - no more Parabatai ever again? *shudders*.
I love the parabatai bond (not Emma's and Julian though, that one was... I don't know what they were thinking). So much. If it was only real, huh?

"Magnus Bane," said Barnabas, with clear loathing. "The Ultimate Traitor."  
"Not my favorite nickname," Magnus said, gently wiggling his fingers in Barnabas's direction. "I prefer 'Our Lord and Master' or maybe 'unambiguously the Hottest.' "

Magnus Bane, high warlock of all. 
By the Angel, I missed him. Terribly.
That scene when he suddenly showed up for the first time... my reaction was: 'MAGNUS! HERE TO THE RESCUE!'  

The ending was such a mess of blood, murder, feelings, chaos, and tragedy, that it was easy to forget all the other revelations at the end.
Like the one where we're practically told all warlocks - including our favorite Magnus and Tessa - are very sick.
Apprently, much like with the blight that renders Nephilim powers useless, someone is determined to take all power away from Shadowhunters. Even if it means hurting the warlocks as well. 

We have no idea what that sickness is, or how to cure it...
All we can do is hope for Magnus and Tessa and... well, everyone. Ty, Kit, Emma, Julian, Mark, Helen, Dru, Cristina, Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, Tessa, Jem, Kieran, and even Perfect Diego... so many people, so much to lose.  

The new Jace Herondale.

For goodness sake, what is all this talk about 'the new Jace Herondale'?
Jace is still alive here, people! Hopefully for a very long time with Clary and some children of their own. And anyways... if anyone's going to be the so-called 'new Jace Herondale', it's going to be Kit.
And, well, even 100 years from now no one could truly replace Jace.
Like no one can replace Will, or Clary or Tessa or Jem.

Seem as if you're paying no attention, but absorb every detail, Gwyn had often said. A hunter's life can depend on what he knows. 

Gwyn & Diana were an unexpected and welcomed surprise.
Despite not knowing them, well, at all, I found myself totally shipping and rooting for these two to stay alive and together.

Diana's revelation was heartbreaking. I did not see it coming.
She deserves to be happy. 

"Break my heart," he said. "Break it in pieces. I give you permission."

That scene when they finally - mercifully - gave up all the pretense and came clean was... I wouldn't say beautiful more than it was a HUGE relief.
Okay, so it was beautiful. I was just too busy to notice that with how annoying those two were throughout the book until that scene. 

I can't believe I'm saying this - ME! - but... Lord of Shadows quite possibly had too much romance in it. 
I know, I can't believe I just said that.
I'm a HUGE-HUGE-HUGE-HUGE (add a few more HUGE there) fan of romance. I'm hardcore on all the shipping and fangirling stuff.
And yet I found there to be too much romance. Ha.
I think the main reason was, most likely, how fast things happened. The romance - aside from that of Mark & Kieran and Kit & Ty - was bordering on insta-love.
Not enough for me to scream 'Insta-love! My greatest enemy!', but enough for me to feel uncomfortable and often bored with it. 

And I think... no, I'm pretty sure, I just reached the heart of the problem I had with Lord of Shadows.  

A bad law is no law.

The Clave.
They never learn, do they?
If they only. Just. Stopped. And. Listened.
Their fear, their hatred, their mistrust and none-change policy will be the end of them.
Hell, it's already the beginning of the end of them. And they don't even know it.
Something is coming. Something darker, more dangerous, and eviler than anything that happened so far.
And that says a lot, considering how horrible The Dark War has been. 

Heroes aren't always the ones who win. They're the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don't give up. That's what makes them heroes. 

We thought, we hoped, Clary & Jace were able to bring change and peace to the Clave and Downworlders.
And they did - they did so much more than anyone before them. And yet... it still isn't enough. The clave is still the clave. Their laws are still bordering from insane to ridicules. 

They don't want change?
Well too bad, because they're going to be forced into one.
And it's all because they refused to listen, to try.
All that's now is survive and put our faith our heroes.

Favorite quotes (aside from, you know, all the quotes thus far): 

"After all" - Jace grinned - "Herondales can't resist a challenge."

(Kyaa, Jace! If this just didn't make me want to re-read TMI I don't know what would). 

"It is too bad - I was going to name in Magnus, because of it has sparkly scales." 

(A shadowhunter fish named MAGNUS due to his sparkly scales? Yes please. Magnus the fish did not survive this qoute, though. *too bad*). 

"I trust you to always keep fighting, Emma. I trust you not to ever give up."

(That reminds me... is Cortana the new Mortal Sword now? What in the world was that at the end when the Mortal Sword broke? We know Cortana is one hell of a sword, challenged by no other, but... breaking the Mortal Sword and absorbing its powers? Whoa, what will happen to the sword - and Emma - now?
On a completely different matter, I trust you not to give up, too, Clary). 

"Come to the library," she announced. "The tentacle is starting to dissolve." 
"You drive me wild with your sexy talk," said Jace, pulling on his gear jacket. 

"Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die." 

(A new favorite, this one. Right alongside 'heroes aren't always the ones who win' and 'all the stories are true'). 

Everything went. Happiness went, and so did loss and pain. Everything but love. 

(Julian, cruel and uncompromising, says the most heartfelt of things).

But you couldn't speak to fear, couldn't tell it the truth. Fear lived in your bones. 

"We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don't wish you didn't fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn't feel anything."

"We should get going, though. Morning is probably in just a few hours. And if we don't have Energy runes, we'll have to get our energy the old-fashioned way."  
Mark looked puzzled. "Drugs?"   
"Chocolate," Emma said. "I brought chocolate. Mark, where do you even come up with these things?" 
Mark smiled crookedly, shrugging one shoulder. "Faerie humor?" 

"Herondales don't do perfunctory kisses," said Kit. 

(They sure don't. *smirk*). 

After a moment, Kieran drank. Suddenly he pushed the vial away, coughing. "How dare you-" he began, and then his eyes rolled back and he sank down to the pillows. Mark caught him before his wounded back could touch the bed, and helped Nene carefully roll him onto his side."Don't feel bad," Mark said, noticing Nene's set jaw. "He always falls asleep yelling that."

Julian felt his mouth go dry. Why had Nene left her a dress? Why couldn't Emma be coming to bed in filthy gear? Why did the universe hate him?

... 2 seconds later: 

The gown fell away slightly as she climbed onto the bed, and Julian realized to his horror that it was slit up the side almost to her hip. Her long legs flashed against the material as she settled herself onto the bedspread.The universe didn't just hate him, it was trying to kill him. 

The weapons were carefully locked away, he didn't know how to sell candlesticks on the street, and though there were valuable first editions of books in the enormous library, most of them had been scribbled in by some idiot named Will H. 

(W-Wiiiiil *sob* *sob* *sob*. Will would approve of your sense of humor, young Kit. Also, he's not an idiot). 

"The world isn't the way you want it to be. It's the way it is." 


" 'The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for. ' "

"I swear I've seen it in the movies," Kit said. "Or maybe on TV." 
"Who would ever want movies or TV when there are books?" Said Ty with disdain. 

"It's not shadowhunter magic. We don't learn other kinds. It's forbidden."This struck Kit as a stupid rule. How were you ever supposed to know how your enemies operated if you made it forbidden to learn about them? 

(Welcome to 'the law is stupid, but it is the law' club, Kit). 

"This is the problem with revenge - you wind up destryong the innocent as well as the guilty."


She edged sideways, slipping her fingers out of his - closer to the edge of the bed - and went over the side with an ungainly tumble. She landed with a thump and a scream that woke Julian, who peered over the side of the bed in confusion. 
"Why are you on the floor?" 
"I've heard rolling out of bed in the morning helps you build up resistance to surprise attacks," Emma said, lying sprawled on the hardwood. 
"Oh yeah?" He sat up and rubbed his eyes. "What does screaming 'holy crap!' do?" 
"That part's optional," she said.

"The Lightwood family motto is 'We mean well'." 
"Very funny." 
Julian looked over at her. "No, really, it actually is." 
"Seriously? So what's the Herondale family motto? 'Chiseled but angsty'?"  
He shrugged. " 'If you don't know what your last name is, it's probably Herondale'?" 
Emma burst out laughing. "What about Carstairs?" She asked, tapping cortana. " ' We have a sword? ' ' Blunt instruments are for loseres'?"  
"Morgenstern," offered Julian. " ' When in doubt, start a war'?"  
"How about 'Has even one of us ever been any good, like ever, seriously'?"

(That nearly killed me. I was cracking up on the floor! 😂 We mean well? If you don't know what your last name is it's probably Herondale? We have a sword? When in doubt, start a war? I was cackling on the floor like crazy. This was HILARIOUS. Funniest conversation of the book). 

"All the stories are true." 

"Wikipedia knows about ley lines?" Emma took her phone back. 
"Wikipedia knows about everything. It might be run by warlocks."

(That's an exciting thought). 

"Now we know nothing we can do will change how we feel about each other. We'll have to find another solution." 

(This is no more of a quote than it is food for thought for every single annoyingly stubborn couple and love interests out there). 

Magnus Bane appeared in their kitchen, wrapped in a long black coat, his right hand sparking blue fire, his expression thunderous."Why in the names of the nine princes of Hell are neither of you answering your phone?" He demanded.Emma and Julian gaped at him. After a moment, he gaped back. 

(How is it Magnus always hilariously stumbles onto those types of situations? Although I can't think of anyone better to stumble onto these situations upon. It's like some sort of quirky kind of fate. Poor Magnus, lucky us). 

"You're suggesting we burn down Blackthorn Manor?" said Ty, his eyebrows up around his hairline. 
"Oddly," Magnus muttered, "you wouldn't be the first people ever to have that idea." 

(Do tell. Does it have anything to do with TLH? Looking forward to that). 

"They didn't see how revenge begets more revenge." 

(That's the thing about revenge. It's a neverending cycle. unless someone chooses mercy). 

If there was one thing Julian's life had taught him, it was that nothing was more dangerous than hope. 

(You can never truly lose hope. It'll come back to haunt you at the slightest of chances). 

"No one looks forward to meetings," said Emma. "They're a necessary evil." 

"Come on, Alec," she said. "The truth is that Shadowhunters and Downworlders aren't meant to be together. You and Bane are a disgrace. But you can't just be content with the Clave letting you pervert your angelic lineage. No, you have to force it on the rest of us." 
"Really?" said Kieran, who Kit had nearly forgotten was there. "You all have to sleep with Magnus Bane? How exciting for you." 

(Ha! Serves you right, Zara). 

There was a long silence. Magnus broke it. "I have to hand it to you," he said. "I never thought Jace and Clary would be topped by anyone else in terms of insane, self-destructive decisions, but you're all giving them a run for their money." 

(*laughing*. Too true). 

In conclusion: Lord of Shadows was a great sequel to Lady Midnight. It had too much of stuff (romance, drama, angst) and too less of others (action, plot development, etc.), but overall I really did love this book. It was a good one. I had great times reading it, and I absolutely cannot wait for the final one in the trilogy (oh boy, this is going to destroy us, isn't it?).
Although it seems like I'll have to wait. The next Shadowhunter books that are coming out next year are The Lost Book of the White (the first in a whole new Magnus trilogy) & Chain of Gold (the first in the heartbreaking The Last Hours trilogy, taking place almost a hundred years previous to Julian and Emma's story). 

Ahhhh, and the wait begins!
I'm not ever going to catch a break, am I?
Serves me right for loving these books so much.

"When people die, our dreams of what they could be die with them."

"You're wrong. No one dies alone. When someone dies, the part of them that lives inside someone else also dies." 
-- SAO