August 2014 Recap

Nicole Read

Ashley Read


Nicole's Pick

Ashley's Pick

August Reviews

Other August Posts

What's New With Us

  • At the beginning of August, Ashley got together with Nicole and her other bridesmaids for her bachelorette *party* and bridal shower! It was a fun filled weekend with wine tasting, a photo shoot, good food and some bridal games! 
  • Nicole got back into horseback riding and couldn't be happier about it! 
  • Nicole also caught up on her social life while she had a break from school and got to explore a little more of Hoboken and Philly - The Independence Beer Garden was AWESOME!
  • Ashley is running the Disneyland Half Marathon in California today and she will get the Coast to Coast medal! 
  • Ashley gets married in less than one week!!!!

Stacking the Shelves (87) - Aug 30th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire: An Heir of Fire Blog Tour (+Giveaway)


Welcome to Day 5 of the Heir of Fire Blog Tour!!! I am honored to be part of the MaasThirteen bringing you Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire. This is one of my FAVORITE series EVER and it brings me great joy to share my love for it and push it on all of you. For my stop on the tour, I wanted to share with you the reasons why I love this series and how Heir of Fire continues and furthers the epicness that is this series. But first, a huge thanks to our lovely hosts: Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Rachel from Hello Chelly, Judith from Paper Riot, and Jaz from Fiction in Fiction in Fiction. You girls rock for setting this up! Also, don't forget to check out the TWO giveaways at the end of this post as well as the other stops on the tour. And for more updates, follow the Twitter hashtags #HOF13Tour and #MaasThirteen! Thanks for stopping by!

Tour Schedule

August 25 – Jaz @ Fiction In Fiction In Fiction
August 26 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
August 27 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
August 28 – Elena @ Novel Sounds
August 29 – Nicole @ The Quiet Concert
September 1 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs 
September 2 – Judith @ Paperiot
September 3 – Melanie @ The Daily Prophecy
September 4 – Magan @ Rather Be Reading
September 5 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 8 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 9 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 10 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

The Book

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Summary from Goodreads:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

The Author 

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.

Author Links: 

Why I Love This Series:

1. This story is epic. Everything a reader of fantasy could want and more. Throne of Glass was a nice introduction to the characters and the world, with just enough action and intrigue to lure you in. A captured assassin is offered a chance at freedom but first she must prove herself worthy by winning a competition and then serve a year under her enemy. There is magic and forces not quite yet understood. But in Crown of Midnight everything is explored in greater detail – the history, the magic, the characters – as it should be in a sequel. A LOT happens in this second book to further the plot and there are a lot of surprises as new discoveries are made about the characters, the source of the King’s power, and the rebellion that is brewing. But by the end, everyone and everything seems broken. Where Crown of Midnight was plot-driven, Heir of Fire is very much character-driven. Celaena has left Adarlan searching for a way to destroy the King under the pretenses of working for him. But to learn the truth she seeks, she must first master herself with the Prince of the Fae as her teacher. That means she must also piece herself back together since she is so utterly broken at this point. Meanwhile, in Adarlan, new friends and foes are introduced and loyalties are tested while a sinister force is brewing in the mountains, readying for war. Now what part of what I just said doesn’t sound AWESOME!?!

2. The characters are damaged and wonderful. I can’t express how much I love these characters. Celaena, our fearless assassin, is like the fiercest character I know but so utterly broken inside that I want to give her a hug and never let go. Chaol is this loyal and caring Captain of the Guard that just wants to do right by all but circumstances have made that impossible so he’s just trying to do the best he can. Prince Dorian is nothing like his father but to protect himself and those he cares about he must put on an act to hide his true self, which is becoming harder and harder to sell. The King is as cold and unforgiving as they come and will stop at nothing to control everyone and everything. These are the key players in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, with others coming an going. But in Heir of Fire, we are introduced to 3 new equally noteworthy characters. Rowan, the immortal Fae Prince, whose many yeas on this earth have hardened him to stone, is relentless in his teachings of Celaena but may be the greatest ally she's ever gained. Aedion, the quick-talking General, is not who he appears to be and refuses to be controlled but his devotion is unquestionable. And last but not least, Manon Blackbeak, the ruthless and stubborn Witch whose led a hard life trying to live up to expectations but is still willing to take risks for what she believes in. These characters make up the heart and soul of this series, and Sarah J. Maas has made it so that I care about each of them deeply. When they experience joy, I experience joy. When they suffer, I suffer. That is why each book gives me anxiety. 

3. The relationships are varied and intricate. There are friendships that rival family bonds. There are romances that make you ship it like you can't ship no more. There are rivalries that have you bloodthirsty and merciless. There are loyalties that span history and hopelessness. There are losses that leave you feeling hollow. There are promises that have you begging for what's to come. So many of these characters are connected in ways we have only started to discover. Heir of Fire had a few new relationships for us and I loved them all.

4. There is so much emotion. My poor heart when reading these books. There are so many feelings to be felt and I feel it all - love, lust, kinship, grief, shame, anger, hatred, pity, jealousy, vanity, fear, cowardice, bravery, uncertainty, hope, hopelessness, indifference and on and on. These are emotional books and I experience all of the highs and the lows while reading it. But that is because of points 1, 2 and 3. I am so beyond invested in this series that I am living this journey with these characters. And Heir of Fire was a difficult but precious journey. Celaena's personal transformation from hating herself to forgiving and owning herself was tragic and beautiful at the same time. Her bond with Rowan, first resistant and then just right was amazingly developed. Meanwhile, Chaol's promises and honor are finally catching up to him. Dorian's self-induced isolation has given him both welcome and regretful insights. And Aedion has been given an unimaginable hope only to have it taken away again. This was a book filled with grief and pain and ultimately hope. 

5. These endings kill me. The wild ride that is each book always culminates in one hell of an ending that tears me to pieces.  I have died twice now. And I might die again just waiting for the next book. But you bet your ass that if Sarah J. Maas is at BEA again next year I will be right back at first in line.

So yeah, that is the beginning of why I love this series. And I hope to have convinced at least one person to read it if you haven't started yet.

Giveaway One

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Two

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thoughts for Thursday (31) - A Very Important Question About the If I Stay Movie

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday! This feature is our outlet to talk with you about whatever we currently have on our minds. It might be bookish, it might not! Now for this week's thought:

A Very Important Question About the If I Stay Movie

Ok guys, this has been nagging at me all week so I hope that by writing this post I can find some peace of mind.

On Sunday, I went to see the If I Stay movie. It was a pretty darn good adaptation and I recommend both the book and the movie but that is not what this post is about. The point of this post has to do with the ending. There is a very important line in the book which I found to be missing in the movie. The line I am referring to is this, spoken from Adam to Mia:
"If you stay, I'll do whatever you want. I'll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I'll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would just be too painful, that maybe it'd be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I'd do it. I can loose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay."
Remember this part? The emphasis on the letting her go part. It is pretty much the entire reason Mia decides to live, and sets up the story in Where She Went  but it wasn't in the movie!! There was no mention of Adam letting her go!! WHY? Is there no plan to make a Where She Went movie? Was it an intentional omission? Did you even notice its absence? I feel so alone in my confusion hah.


The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Title:The Jewel
Series: The Lone City #1
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date:September 2nd 2014
Pages: ARC, 358 pages
Source: BEA 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


The Jewel, I had such I hopes for you.  I thought what a beautiful cover and interesting premise, I could not wait to dive into the book.  Unfortunately, the insta-love and main character were not for me.   Violet started out being a very unique, strong-willed and sometimes stubborn strong female lead.  As the story progressed I felt that her stubborn personality started to overpower her smart, strong-willed, intelligent decisions. By the end of the book, I just wanted to shake her silly.  Her life choices were infuriating at times.

Right along side with Violet's stubborn and just plain not smart decisions was the overwhelming insta-love. On a scale of 1-10 of instalove, one being rather subtle but still insta-love, I would rate the relationship between Violet and Ash about an 8!  I just could not stand behind it; after one encounter that was it, she was full commit.  

Insta-love and Violet aside, I did enjoy the setting and the overall concept. The setting is a bit similar to The Selection, with different levels in society each with their own jobs and roles.  The unique thing about The Jewel was the unique abilities the surrogates possessed and their role within that structured society.  I am still intrigued about how the story will play out, especially after the ending.  The ending took me by surprise in a good way, I was not expecting it; it is one of the main reasons I would consider picking up the next book.


Top Ten Books That We Want to Read But Don't Own Yet

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