A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1), by George R.R. Martin

got

5/5 stars

Recommended for: high fantasy lovers, people who have the time for the never-ending epic saga, and people who like dragons (me)

Review:

This was so good, and I know it’s so good because I don’t feel like I wasted 800 pages of my life. This is one of the most notorious series, and this was proven to me when my aunt observed me reading GoT and asked if I was attched to any characters. When I responded I was becoming attached, she told me to stop reading the books.

All men must die.

I love the concept of a fantasy world with old gods and new gods, and all of the warring dynasties struggling for a throne that shouldn’t exist. It’s called the seven kingdoms for a reason. I wouldn’t call this romance, but the action was very good. I didn’t guess the main reveal of this book, even though as soon it was revealed it was obivous to me. It just didn’t enter my sphere of thought. A+ writing. The characters were all complex and very interesting, and the worldbuilding was fantastic.

The spoilers, since I can’t contain my emotions.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Ned Stark didn’t deserve to die, especially since now no one knows about the fact that Joffrey isn’t even Robert’s heir. Death to Joffrey. I don’t know who I want to win the Iron Throne, Daenerys or Robb. I feel like Dany wouldn’t actually want to rule, but I feel like Robb would let the job suck the life out of him, and despite the fact that he captured the Kingslayer, he’s stil pretty green. On Khal Drogo, I feel bad that he died, and especially bad that Rhaego had to be warped into some alien (the only truly bizarre part of this book to me) before Daenerys would let him go was too bad. I knew Rhaego would never make it, but…

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very ready to see some dragon action. Speaking of the dragon (or non-dragon), Viserys. He was awful and cruel. Frankly, he was just plain dumb as well to threaten Daenerys so publicly. Always take Ser Jorah’s advice. His “coronation” was a delightfully horrid play on words, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I found all of the Dothraki culture delightfully horrid, when I think about it.

Let’s talk Jon Snow.

I’m very ready for a triumvirate of Jon, Arya Stark, and Tyrion Lannister [who may be the most quotable person to ever exist. He’s a gold mine (pun not intended, but approved)]. They could take over everything. Jon quickly became one of my favorite charcaters for hsi non-nonsense attitude and for his valor. He was brave and seldom let himself be too hasty in anything. Except when Ser Alliser was involved, but that’s something else.

My quick opinions on the Starks (excluding Jon Snow), who all-around get a pat on the back for the direwolves. Such a good choice
Ned- very good person, very wise. Should have listened to Catelyn way earlier than he did, but at least he knew that in retrospect
Catelyn- she might be the best literary mom ever, except when it came to Bran, although I never like people who severely favor one child. It seemed out of character that she’d hate Jon so much
Robb- he seems like he’ll be as great as his father, but I can’t shake a sense of foreboding when it comes to him
Sansa- I’m willing to write her behavior off as being the behavior of a petulant child, but Sansa is wholly ridiculous and foolish. The end of the novel promises a new, tougher Sansa. I will reevauluate her character later
Arya- I like her a lot, especially with Syrio. I agree with Catelyn, she ought to make a better efoort at refinement for her own sake, but she is very brave and her relationship with Jon is the best
Bran- I feel bad for the kid, and I hope he remembers what he forgot. he and Hodor have a great dynamic, and I think Osha will be a good ally for him
Rickon- there is not much to say, but by the end of the book I felt like he was taking on Robert Arryn/Joffrey status

If we learn anything from Robert Arryn and Joffrey, it’s that any spoiled boy given any sort of power will abuse it sadistically. I still believe that if you could get Robert away from Lysa (who might actually be the most unpleasant character other than Gregor Clegane), you could fix him. Nonetheless, I’ll be staying away from him

Noblemen I liked: Varys (why? I don’t know), the Greatjon, the Hound, the Knight of Flowers
Noblemen I didn’t like: the Mountain, Ser Alliser, I’m going to go ahead and add Lysa because seriously she’s bonkers
Noblemen I’m not sure about: BAELISH?!?!?!?!?!

The moral of this book is that if everyone hates the Lannisters and fears them simultaneously, deal with them before they deal with you.

Dude, dragons.

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Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1), by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen songbird

5/5 stars

Reccomended for: fans of French culture, Tolkien-esque creatures, and political maneuvering

Review:

This was so good. Sooo good. I had been seeking a fairytale retelling when I found this, and it has been on my to read shelf forever. I finally got to it, because it was available right away, and I was surprisingly pleased with the story. Cécile is a surprisingly realistic narrator for such fantasy, and she defies most cliches. She definitely has major butt-kicking moments, like when Lessa is being beaten, but she’s not exactly your average, kick-butt heroine. She’s also by no means wimpy, but she has realistic moments when she throws tantrums. Like when Luc kidnaps her. It’s understandable that that would bother her. I found the troll politics fascinating, the way the full-bloods interacted with each other and how they were stuck in each other’s webs. There was never a dull moment in this book, whether it be parties, rebellions, politics, prophecies, eavesdropping, maniacal younger brothers, or the ominous Sluag (man-eating beasts that live in the labyrinth. There’s even a labyrinth! How cool is that?!) This book accurately portrayed the complexities of every decision you make, especially when the characters have to make decisions regarding the half-bloods, or breaking the curse. You’re never sure which decision is actually the wisest, and sometimes there isn’t a wise decision to make.

There was one major downside of this book, though

The love interest was named Tristan.

That’s one of my least favorite names used in YA.

Otherwise, this was a great read and I highly recommend it.

My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins

My true love gave to me

5/5 stars

Recommended for: people who are in the holiday mood, people who do not get too invested in characters, or general YA fans

Review:

It’s like Christmas in July came early for me, and I’m loving my holiday vibes

“Your Temporary Santa”, David Levithan
A very cute story of how a guy tries his hardest to be helpful for his boyfriend. For some reason, the narrator made me uncomfortable like “I have to go wake up my boyfriend in the middle of the night just to have him hold me,” but he was very cute with Lana

“What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?”, Gayle Forman
This was a great story. I loved that there was a Jewish character to represent some diversity, and Sophie and Roth’s relationship seemed genuine. Except the lines at the end, those were cliché

“Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus”, Myra McEntire
This story was amazing. I loved the characters, especially Gracie and Vaughn. Gracie and Shelby’s relationship was very entertaining and so was Shelby himself once the secrets began coming out. Bonus points for the Billy Idol reference

“Welcome to Christmas, CA.”, Kiersten White
Ben is such a cutie. I’m a sucker for food and the Spanish language, so for me, this story had everything. The ending was a cute twist, and I felt so bad for Candy

“Star of Bethlehem”, Ally Carter
This story seemed rushed and felt vaguely contrived. Like it took itself too seriously. I don’t have much to say here, but the ending was a surprise

“Angels in the Snow”, Matt de la Peña
This story made feel like de la Peña was just using generalizations to describe the Hispanics. I found Haley’s interactions with Shy, and how she dealt with his prides issues very interesting

“Midnights”, Rainbow Rowell
This story supports the “all Natalies throw themselves at all boys” stereotype, which brings me great unhappiness.Otherwise, it’s a lovely, if someone dragged out, story of two lovers that take a little while to find each other

“Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me”, Jenny Han
Shorter and much more juvenile compared to the other stories. This was sweet, but better suited for my 10-year-old sister

“It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown”, Stephanie Perkins
One of my favorites in the collections, I loved the hippie vibe and the fact that they’re organizing through the whole the story excites me in that way that only putting books on shelves can

“Krampuslauf”, Holly Black
Another one of my favorites, this tells a more gritty tale of teenage life, where the narrator tries to throw a classy New Years party in a bona fide trailer. I want that trailer though, because the real magic in this book is a trailer existing full of vintage clothing

“The Lady and the Fox”, Kelly Link
One of the more supernatural stories in the collection, and I’m dying to have more background on Fenny. This left me desiring more, and not in the best way

“The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer”, Laini Taylor
I saved the best for last. This one was so cool, I could see this being the equivalent of a Grimm Brothers’ story. I would read the anthology just for this story, it’s a beautiful new fairy tale to add to my LARGE collection. So awesome

Collection Review: an amazing collection for anyone feeling in the holiday spirit or living in the holiday season

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), by Robin LaFevers

5/5 stars 

Reccomended for: fans of Throne of Glassnunneries, or series that are all told from a different characters’ point of view (which I rarely am)

Review:Grave mercy

Lo-ove!

Lately, I’ve been reading books about assassins, and this one was great! There were lots of surprises, and for the most part the story flowed really well. There were a couple of scenes were the action was hard to follow, but everything still made sense. The were a few things I totally missed until Ye happened, like the fact that Anne was only 12. I will definitely be reading the next book, but I’m sad to lose Ismae’s POV! Gavriel seems like a great match for her, and I would love to hear more about the two of them. He was a very full character that seemed pretty realistic, and I loved that the romance went from their loathing of each other, to the reader realizing that over time, they really began to like each other. I am sad that, in my opinion, there was not very much description of what the characters looked like, this makes me have a hard time picturing them. Occasionally a character would be called pretty or ugly, or old or heavy.

As the tagline says, why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1), by Richelle Mead

Vampire academy hd

5/5 Stars

Reccomended for: fans of vampires, Slavic culture, or really well developed characters and relationships

Review:

This book is soooo good. I love Rose, she’s a rarity in YA. She doesn’t let herself stay down, she has a wicked sense of humor, and she has fabulous self-confidence. She doesn’t get caught up in stupid things, and she has a good head on her shoulders. She’s always there for Lissa, even when Lissa doesn’t appreciate her. I’m so excited for this movie to come out.

NOT SURE IF THIS COUNTS AS A SPOILER, PROCEED WITH MINIMAL CAUTION
I like the plot of this story, and I’m glad that Rose/Dimitri wasn’t like PLL in the sense that he’s a lot older than her and he’s her teacher. In VA, he’s only seven years older and he’s her Mentor. Another respectable thing about Rose is that she understands why they can’t be together and didn’t act like a whiny brat and pitch a fit. Kudos

I’m glad that even though I would figure things out before the characters, they weren’t that far behind me, so I wasn’t endlessly frustrated. I think I would have given this book five stars just reading Richelle Mead’s biography in the back. It’s perfection.

The things that bothered me? The typos I found, which were pretty obvious. This doesn’t change my opinion of the book, especially since every time I find a typo in a professional publication, it feels like a small victory. Also, sometimes Rose’s action surprised me, but they were probably more realistic. She never seemed to have the sense to let things go, and take the high road. She liked having the last word, but that is her character.

Overall? Dhampirs kick butt