A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Honestly if you loved ACOMAF don't even bother reading this because it's about 500 pages of waffle and not much else. I was so hyped up for this book when I finished ACOMAF because I had no idea what was going to happen, but then there was a lot of discussion in the community about SJM and her lack of diversity and I gradually felt less and less excited. But when the book came out and arrived at my door I was still anticipating what would happen and how it would end.

And the end was good. The last 150 pages or so were really enjoyable. It's just a shame that the majority of the book prior to that was just a lot of nothing. I love Feyre and Rhysand but there was just so much couple stuff from them that did not need to be there. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. I feel like Maas has the kind of style that after a while begins to feel pretty repetitive. You seem to notice the same phrases used a lot and whilst it's good to have a grasp on your own style you need to find a balance.

Maas began to pair up everyone as it was coming to a close and for some reason a lot of mainstream fantasy writers do this. They can't bear to have single characters left. What I did find interesting though was that there was unrequited love from one of the guys as Mor comes out as being a lesbian at the end of the novel, or it read like that but I was a bit confused as to what she considered herself. If you consider this a spoiler fight me, people's sexualities are not spoilers. And whilst I was glad that she wasn't straight it kind of felt like Maas was doing it just for the sake of it.

There is a character in the book who is bi though he is not one of the main 6 it's still good to have representation. But I saw a lot of comments on how he as a character was too stereotypical of bi people as he slept around a lot and had threesomes and I completely understand the criticism but that doesn't mean it's not ok to be bi and sleep around. The problem is that Sarah is not bi herself or at least hasn't came out as bi so for her to have a character with that stereotype as opposite to an own voices author writing from experience is harmful.

Something I was quite glad of in this book was that Maas had clearly listened to criticism a little bit and had clarified that the Illyrians were not white and had darker skin. Obviously it's a bit too late on that front but at least it was mentioned at some point. Just a shame it was in the final book and people might have given up on the series before this point.

I still loved the characters they still felt true to themselves and I loved seeing Feyre grow into her powers more and feel better about herself and her place in the Night Court. I also enjoyed getting to see characters from different Courts are the previous 2 books had mainly focussed on Spring and Night. I liked getting to see the different personalities and attitudes cultivated by living in different places.

Honestly I don't think I'm going to buy the next 3 books in this series as I just don't have an interest anymore. Which makes me sad because ACOMAF was so good but oh well.

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The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle

Arianna Barrington needs to get away from her mother after a sex tape leaks of her, so she flies with her brother to New Orleans where she meets Sol DuMont, hotel mogul. Sol is still getting over the loss of his dad, the breakdown of his marriage and his complete lack of interest in life. The pair instantly click and begin a wild affair.

As a chubby girl this book meant so much to me. The MC is fat and I’ve read a fair few romance books in my life but this was such a breath of fresh air and it didn’t make me feel like an absolute mess who could never get a man because I’m not thin enough. And to add to that the love interest is a bi male, and it’s not just like a stated fact either, he references his past relationships with men and flirts with other guys a lot. You don’t read a lot of bi men in books. I think the biggest thing that I loved was just how casual everything was, from Arianna’s weight to Sol’s sexuality. Arianna is fat and it’s not made out to be a bad thing, it’s not made out that she’s beautiful despite being fat. She’s beautiful and she’s fat, it felt quite empowering for me to read.

Now there was insta-love in this, however when you’re reading it you kind of forget about the concept of time and just fall so into the story and Rain and Sol’s relationship. There was a couple of times where I did roll my eyes at how fast they seemed to be moving but the characters themselves were aware of how fast their lives were moving and weren’t acting like what they had was normal.

Any book is better if it includes dogs and this was extra good because it has a corgi and corgis are some of the cutest funniest dogs out there. Corgis are high up on my list of dogs I want to own so reading this made me so happy whenever there was a scene with the dog.

There is an age gap in this book, and if that makes you uncomfortable don’t read it. However consent is very important, and Sol is very aware how much more experience he has compared to Rain and tries very hard to make sure that he isn’t don’t anything to lead her into something she might not be into.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Ben and Fallon meet on November the 9th when she is moving to New York and instantly feel a connection and agree to meet every November 9th after that to see if the connection remains.

So at the time I read this I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun read, but then I saw a review on goodreads that made me think a lot. This review talked about how Ben was manipulative and abusive. There were times when I thought what he was saying was a bit creepy but not necessarily wrong, and there were times I was too wrapped up in the book to realise that something wasn’t right. Now I’m sure we’ve all done this, it’s easy to get really involved in a book and not realise the problems with what you’re reading. I do consider myself a strong feminist but I miss things like this, and that’s ok.

Now I found the book easy to read and I loved the actual plot to it, meeting each other once a year is a cool idea. It was interesting to see how the characters changed as time went on. I liked Fallon she was a really interesting character to read.

I still gave the book a relatively ok rating on goodreads because I did enjoy the book when I was reading it and the writing was ok, but that doesn’t mean that I condone a lot of the content. It’s not ok to treat someone the way Ben treats Fallon just because she’s got visual scars and hasn’t had much experience.

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

This was my first Colleen Hoover book and I completely understand why everyone loves her; her writing is so addicting.

Tate moves in with her brother to try and get herself back on her feet after breaking up with her boyfriend. She meets her next door neighbor on her door mat who she instantly has this weird love/hate chemistry with. They start up a friends with benefits relationship

This book is told in 2 POVs and 2 different timelines, we see the modern day story from Tate’s POV and 6 years ago from Miles’ POV. It was really interesting to read it this way, I’ve not really read stuff like this. It really helped with the build up, not only was there a build up in the modern day to the big fight, and then there’s the bid build up to the past for the big heartbreaking event which made Miles the guy he is.

I read this book so fast, I could not put it down. I read romance novels so quickly when they’re good, and this one was really good. There were some really sweet moments. There was also some really hot moments as there is sex in this novel, however of course there were some bits where I cringed. I don’t know what it is about novels but I always find book sex a lot more cringey than fanfiction sex. I will actively search smutty fanfictions but in books I don’t mind if there is no sex, though I do enjoy when they start getting a bit hot and heavy when kissing.

I loved that Miles was an airline pilot, mostly because I love the idea of shagging a pilot whilst on a layover. It was a different career for me to read as I mostly read YA and you aren’t going to find 16 year old pilots anytime soon.

Can we just talk about covers for 2 seconds? The British cover is so damn ugly and makes it look like a really awful romance novel, the American cover looks so much better and also goes with the plot, though I can’t discuss that because spoilers.

After reading this I am desperate to read more Colleen Hoover but there’s only one other book by her in my library and her books are super expensive in the UK for some reason.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I saw a lot of hype about this book, and I was uncertain after reading ACOTAR and thinking it was good but not as great as the Throne of Glass series which I adore. But then I read this and I understood the hype completely.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with so much character development. Feyre becomes a completely different person, someone I like as a character and doesn’t feel like a huge wet blanket. Rhysand is the most wonderful person ever, the more I learnt about him the more I fell in love. He’s such a beautiful soul and he’s so selfless, nothing in ACOTAR prepared me for how much I would adore Rhysand. There’s a lot of time where not much is really happening in this book but that’s because we’re learning so much about the characters and the characters are learning so much about each other. I wrote a note to myself when reading it that said “a whole lot of nothing and everything at the same time” which is pretty much what about 70% of this book is.

I’ve seen a lot of talk of how “Tamlin was always a bit controlling and abusive” etc. and I’ve seen people say the opposite and thought his character did a complete 360; my thoughts on the subject are that he was quite controlling in the first book but then the complete trauma of what happened Under The Mountain brought out all his worst traits. I don’t think he’s a bad person, yes he’s abusive but life isn’t all black and white, he’s misguided and needs someone to talk to who isn’t going to completely mislead him.

The other thing that completely struck me with ACOMAF was the way the Night Court was described, I felt like I could imagine everything. It feels like somewhere I could imagine visiting and having a wonderful, magical time.

ACOMAF brings something to the table that is often pushed away and is just completely left unsaid in many modern iterations of fairy tales: happy endings aren’t always happy. I think it’s important for younger readers to have something like this to read, most books have happy endings and it gives a warped view of life. You don’t always stay with the person you risked your whole life for.

I still prefer Throne of Glass as a series as it’s more action driven than this, but I adored¬†ACOMAF and I’m so stressed out that I have to wait for 2 bloody SJM books next year.

 

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

I honestly don’t even know where to start with this review. I’m still reeling after finishing EoS and now I have to wait a year for the next instalment. I hate myself for reading this so quickly, less than 2 days, and I’m just sitting here like “CURSE YOU SJM”.

Once again Sarah J. Maas proves why she’s a force to be reckoned with in young adult fantasy, though there’s so much sex in this that it’s not exactly YA anymore (this isn’t a spoiler there’s a bloody warning on the back of it, even ACOMAF doesn’t have a warning on the back of it.)

One thing I wanted to talk about was how a week or so ago a bunch of people found some spoilers and were absolutely fizzing about it on twitter and how “omg Chaol isn’t in the book, Sarah hates him, first she makes him disabled now he’s not even in it, she’s trash” etc etc etc. I love how they were saying all that nonsense without even reading the bloody book. Chaol isn’t in the book but that doesn’t mean Celaena doesn’t think about him, it doesn’t mean that Dorian isn’t missing him. He’s mentioned a fair amount and come on, he’s in another country getting healed after all the crap that happened to him in QoS.

So if you’re a regular reader of fantasy fiction you’ll be aware that periods aren’t something that’s spoken about. Women just continue on as if they don’t bleed every month, they can go on very long quests and have no mention of bleeding or pain or anything. THIS HAS PERIODS IN IT. Well, one, but it was and important part of the book, because the character hadn’t had one for a while due to being malnourished she had to go to a town to get supplies for it leading to some action happening.I was honestly so happy when I read this part because it’s just not a thing in fantasy, and it’s as if it’s taboo, despite most people who have a womb have a period.

I really loved getting to see more of Erilea as in previous novels we’ve only really being in Adarlan and Wendlyn. Yeah I know that there’s more in The Assassin’s Blade but I haven’t read them yet, I’m leaving it until I get really antsy waiting for the next one. On top of that everyone is back together for this one, after being all split up for the past 2 books all my faves are in the same place and bonding and I was just so happy and squealed a couple of times.

Aelin is her classic arrogant self but every now and then insecurities show through and you can tell at times that she’s just stumbling through it and getting lucky and it’s really nice to see her letting her guard down and showing that she’s not always powerful and mighty. GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Now there is a lot of sex in this as I said, if sex in books makes you uncomfortable, do not read this. I’ve read a lot of sex in book and in fanfiction so it didn’t bother me but some of the language was a bit dodgy, though nothing compared to that of romance novels. My personal favourite was describing a penis as “velvet-wrapped steel” I could not stop laughing about it.

There’s so many big reveals as per standard in a SJM book, she always keeps you guessing. I often compare her to JKR in terms of everything being planned and foreshadowing things that you didn’t even think of in previous books and they suddenly are so important. I love it, it keeps me on my toes when reading which I both love and hate.

I don’t really know what I’m going to do with myself for the next year, I mean at least the next ACOTAR is out in May but man I don’t know if I can hack waiting. Especially the way this book ends, like I was literally sitting here in shock and nearly started crying, I only stopped myself because my dad was sitting next to me. Speaking of my dad he’s now reading it, which I’m not exactly thrilled about because of all the sex but oh well.

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All For The Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic

This series was honestly just ridiculous. It was another of of those books that I saw being talked about by the same people who recommended The Song of Achilles and The Captive Prince and it was dead cheap on Amazon so I thought why the hell not.

The best way to describe the trilogy is you go in expecting some gay sports romance and instead there is 9 completely unhinged college kids, a Japanese mafia and some sport that’s a cross between tennis and lacrosse.

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