“Nameless is my price” // Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

 photo EOS_zpssxu4bjdm.jpgEmpire of Storms 
Author: Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Series
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance, Action
Release Date: 9/06/16
Stars:
4 STARS

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Goodreads Description

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

But please be aware, this is the fifth book of the series, and some minor spoilers from past books will be revealed.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas is the fifth installment of her Throne of Glass series. Though part of the same series, Empire of Storms could easily take on a new series in itself. The concepts from the third book in the series and on is just so incredibly different than the first two books.

The plot of the story was hands down fantastic. While Queen of Shadows had its slow moments, Empire of Storms never slowed down, not for a second. I really enjoyed this about the book. Throughout the book, the characters and multiple points of view from other characters really pulled in to one story at this point. In the past books, Manon was definitely not a favorite, but in Empire of Storms I really enjoyed her characters company. But I must say, the end of the plot was basically the same plot twist in A Court of Mist and Fury and that really bothered me. Maas could have come up with something more creative.

The characters for the most part, were spot on. Aelin was, well, Aelin. Snarky, badass in every way. And all the other characters, especially characters we didn’t connect with in the past books like Lysandra and Aedion really got their own part in the story. You get to see a little bit more of their history. As for Dorian, I was severely concerned. Dorian has always been quiet, definitely a gentlemen and definitely a reader. By no means is Dorian a ladies man. But in Empire of Storms, it is almost as if Dorian is no longer Dorian. His character changes dramatically and in ways I did not like. I felt like there were no indications whatsoever about Dorian’s sudden change. Don’t even get me started on Chaol. Chaol is a main character in the Throne of Glass series. Yes, I ship Rowan and Aelin, but that does not mean you get to just kick out Chaol. I feel like he is essential to the plot and having at least his point of view in the story would have been nice.

Moving to the sexy scenes in Empire of Storms. For me personally, a few sex scenes, like two, are nice. They give the story heat. But in Empire of Storms there were sex scenes everywhere. I swear, there were. They were mentioned in too often in unnecessary ways. I was tired of hearing about Aelin remembering last night and the sound Rowan makes, I was tired of Aedion smelling Dorian’s horniness on Manon. It was just so tiring and I really wanted to just get back to the story.

Finally, I want to talk about the new places and the characters from The Assassin’s Blade that popped up throughout the story. Personally, I don’t remember every single place that was in The Assassin’s Blade. I just don’t, I read those novellas a couple years ago and though I vaguely do remember the places and characters, a refresher would be nice. As these new characters showed up and these place from the novellas appeared, I was surprised and it was for sure nice to see these old characters, having Maas sum up these characters again would have been a nice idea.

Overall, Empire of Storms was fantastic, I really liked it. I must say that it is the first book of Maas’ that I had problems with. That was disappointing. Sarah J Maas definitely has her storytelling on point. She created such a fantastic plot and kept the pace up to perfection, but the general problem for me was the sex scenes. Not because they were more NA than YA, but because they occurred far too often in ways that made me cringe.

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Have you read Empire of Storms yet? What did you think? Did the ending kill you? I’d love to know down below in the comments!

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What is the Deciding Factor in Your Next Read?

 photo phonto1_zpsjrqwfa3f.jpgWe finish a book. Sometimes the book was physically soul wrenching and there are literally tears running down your face. Sometimes you’re smiling, happy at the ending of one story. Sometimes you’re so happy and feeling so many different emotions at the same time, you just feel exhausted. This can often lead to one of those dreaded book slumps sometimes.

But the nest question is, what is the deciding factor in your next read?

What makes you decide to read a contemporary, or a fantasy? Maybe something new like an autobiography? What is that deciding factor?! The worst case scenario is, there is no deciding factor, you literally cannot think of what to read next and it kills you. But most of the time there is something that makes you decide on your next read. Today’s post will be about just that if you haven’t guessed already.

Done with your Fantasy Book?

Most of the time, after I read a heavy fantasy book I enjoy reading a light contemporary. Usually extremely fluffy books with some drama, heartbreak and this book usually follows every typical contemporary trope. Me likes cutesy love stories.

I usually like the fluffy reads because fluffy reads turn my insides to goo and that is the best feeling EVER. Also, usually fantasy books, especially very good fantasy books…aka anything written by Sarah J Maas, could literally give you a mini heart attack from simply reading it. Contemporary is a good way to pull yourself back into a half reality of the real world, but a fun, unrealistic and light love story with the drama.

Some great contemporary books that really turn your insides to goo are:

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • PS I Like You by Kasie West

Done with your Contemporary Book?

Usually once I’m done with any contemporary, I am done with contemporary for awhile. I myself don’t particularly enjoy read contemporary books unless it is summertime. For some weird reason, but once I’m done, I’m usually hungry for a fantasy book or a book that I know will be absolutely fantastic. These are usually ARCs I’ve requested and have heard nothing but amazing things, or they are books that I’ve been anticipating forever but haven’t had the chance to pick it up.

Books that I know will be fantastic are always the best to read because you go in with high expectations. You know it will be fantastic so you have a really strong urge to read it opposed to another book on your TBR that you do want to read but you don’t really want to read it like this book you’ve been waiting at least a year for!

Some books that are fantastic are:

  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Done with that Book that Made You Cry Ugly Tears?

There have only a couple books out there that had me in tears. To name them specifically, The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Earl by Esther Earl. Usually the reason why a book gets me in tears is because it is usually pretty deep and dark. This usually pushes me towards something funny or contemporary. Or, sometimes, because I’m now sad and forever moved by a book, I go to one of my comfort reads and reread my favorite parts.

Comfort reads especially always make me smile, it is a great feeling while reading books, to grin like a madwoman. And that usually gets me back in the mood to read, or crying again because it is a sad part in my comfort read.

Some funny and comfort reads of mine are:

  • My Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton, and Cynthia Hand
  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Splintered by AG Howard
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Done with a Science Fiction Novel?

For me personally, I don’t particularly enjoy read Science Fiction as much as I do fantasy or contemporary. The only science fiction novel I really liked was Divergent and Illuminae. I didn’t even really like The Hunger Games very much. But on the rare occasion that I do read and actually finish a science fiction book, I’m usually ready to dive back into a fantasy novel.

Science fiction novels are great, but on the other hand, the concepts don’t appeal to me as much as other genres. That is the main reason why I go back to a fantasy. Can you tell that fantasy is my favorite genre?

Some of my favorite Fantasy reads are:

  • The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Air Awakens by Elise Kova

 

So What is the Deciding Factor in Your Next Read?

Well, since I haven’t directly answered this question, the deciding factor in your next read is the book you read before! Occasionally the season also decides what your next read is, but most of the time, it is the book you read before. Sometimes you might read the same genre over and over and over again. But for me personally, I probably won’t, I like to mix things up. For instance: I cannot read one whole series, one book after the next, I need breaks from the world!

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Did you enjoy this post? Do you have the same deciding factor in your next read? Let me know what you think down below in the comments! 🙂

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Ready…Set…Fall // ARC Review: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia 

 photo book-LovelyReckless_zpsnuqxssav.pngThe Lovely Reckless
Author:
Kami Garcia
Series: Standalone
Genre(s): Romance, Mental Illness, Crime
Release Date: 10/4/16
Stars:
4 STARS

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Goodreads Description

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia definitely beats her last book. Her writing has definitely improved and that is evident while read The Lovely Reckless. The Lovely Reckless is not just a romance story. Though it may seem it, there are many more aspects to the story that out rule the story’s romantic plot. This book definitely has a Romeo and Juliet vibe no doubt. The Lovely Reckless is about Frankie, a rich girl from the rich part of town with a dead boyfriend. After moving with her strict paranoid undercover cop of a father after an accident, she goes to regular kid public school. There she meets mysterious Marco Leone, a boy fighting the law to keep the ones he loves safe.

The characters of The Lovely Reckless are quite interesting. Though they definitely weren’t a hundred percent the best out there, they definitely felt like real people. Frankie seems genuine and suffers PTSD which that alone proves she isn’t playing typical rich girl and though Marco does in a way follow the stereotype of a badass drag racer who actually isn’t a bad person, he is still written decent enough that builds the story. The characters were definitely not flat. If anything, they made up the majority of the story. The side characters like Cruz and Lex are also well written. I really liked this about the story because Garcia made sure that these side characters had history and their own story opposed to just being characters that are simply there to support the character for whatever reason.

The setting of the story was okay. The concept was pretty typical. There is the Heights, which is the rich side of town and then you have the Downs, the poor side of town. Honestly, I felt that the plot didn’t play too big of a part in the entirety of the story, but at the same time, Garcia could have done better in creating it a little better. Telling me where the story actually took place would be nice too. I knew there were the Heights and the Downs, but where exactly did this take place? A more specific place would have helped me picture the setting better.

The plot of the story was well written. I sped through this book in a day. The author did a good job keeping the reader invested in the story. Especially with all the drama that surrounded poor Frankie. Garcia also overlays conflicts, conflicts cause other conflicts which solve past conflicts. Very confusing I know, but I was pleased by this. In the end, everything is tied up really nicely but at the same time, not everything is happily ever after.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Lovely Reckless. Everything about it was fantastic except the writing, which no doubt was good, but I felt like there was definitely something missing to the story. I recommend The Lovely Reckless though! 🙂

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Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Let me know down below in the comments! 🙂

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My Auto Buy Authors

 photo phonto_zpskrdl9xht.jpgAuto Buy Authors.

Basically, these are the authors that no matter what they write, you will buy it. To normal people (non book nerds) this might seem kind of ridiculous especially since at this point, you probably don’t even know what the hell the book is about. On the other hand, who cares? This author has clearly impressed you enough times, it isn’t that huge of a deal to just…buy their book.

Today, I’m going to be sharing some of my Auto Buy Authors with you guys. I hope you enjoy this post and perhaps we share some of the same auto buy authors! Then we can fangirl together in the comments. Haha, anyway, let’s get to it!

1. Sarah J Maas

Okay, okay, okay! I know, she is a pretty big author and this isn’t a huge surprise at all, but I really do love her books and I would most likely buy anything from her that comes out in the future. She is such a good writer and though she is lacking on the diversity side, her storytelling is absolutely fantastic and I love everything about it. My favorite of hers was probably A Court of Mist and Fury.

2. VE/Victoria Schwab

All of Victoria’s books have impressed me. She too is a fantastic storyteller and honestly, I have no idea why a lot of her books are going out of print. It is ridiculous because they are all so good. The only book I have not read of hers is The Near Witch, it is out of print and I would really love to own it in a physical copy before reading it. My favorite book of hers is either The Archived or A Gathering of Shadows, both are equally fantastic in their own ways and killed my soul.

3. Jennifer L Armentrout

Within everyone of Jennifer’s books there is a swoon worthy dude in it and I just love it. Seriously, her books are the books to go to when you need to get out a book slump. Though her books do contain an enormous amount of trope, I argue that she is a great writer and does add lots of humor to even her darker stories that make me laugh. My favorite of hers is Obsidian.

4. Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, I will admit that I did not finish reading the Shiver series because I didn’t particularly care for it. But all of her other books after that blew my mind. Specifically, The Raven Cycle. Wow, that series is just epic on so many levels and if you have not read it yet, I really really think you should. Her characterization is on point, every single one of her characters feels real and all her stories are so unique and don’t have any tropes that make the story unoriginal.

That’s it for today! I would have done 5 authors, but I guess I only have 4 auto buy authors!

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Who are your auto buy authors? Do we have any of the same auto buy authors? Let me know down below in the comments!

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HOLY GOD // My One Year Blogiversary!!!

Today I’m beyond excited to share my one year blogiversary with all of you. This means so much to me because I’ve come so far with this (still) little blog. I really want to thank everyone for reading my blog and commenting. I read every single comment and just recently I’ve gotten into the habit of commenting back. Comments really make my day and ack! they just make me so happy! 🙂

First of all I want to thank some certain specific people in the book community for helping me out this past year and always giving me the encouraging support I need. Not only that, but I’ve made some amazing friends this year.

Thank you so much…

Nori @ ReadWriteLove28
Em @ Piplup’s Shadowy BookshelfDuane @ Duane Reads
Sam Hewa
Ava @ BookishnessandTea
Katrina@24hrBookBlog
Ryan @ Unbookly
Allison @ abookishali
Bee @ Bee the Dreamer
Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!
Liv @ Curly Hair Bibliophile
Paige @ The Paige Turner

All of these people have made my blogging experience just so much better this past year and I cannot thank you enough for that. The uplifting tweet, the comments that make me smile. And even meeting some of you in real life, like wow. I never could have possibly thought we could get to that point. It is all just so amazing.

There are so many other people out there in the book community on Twitter that helped shaped me as a blogger and created such an amazing blogging experience. Just because you weren’t mentioned doesn’t mean you aren’t in my thoughts, there are just so many of you!

This past year in blogging has been successful. A lot of people have been way more successful than I have in just one year, but really, I don’t care. Good for you, sure, but I’m proud of myself. Some of my accomplishments in blogging this past year include:

  • 310 Blog Followers
  • My First Requested ARC from a Publisher, Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • My First Book Signing, PassTruth Tour
  • Being Able to Join the Teen Board at my Local Bookstore
  • Going to my first Bookish Con, YallWest
  • Starting a Bookstagram

This list isn’t too long, but regardless, it is still important to me and I am so proud to be sharing it with you guys. I cannot believe that a year has already gone by, I remember when I first started blogging and how I was doing it all wrong and – *starts getting emotional*

Since I don’t want this post to just be ushy gushy stuff about thank you’s and all that jazz, I’m going to be doing a mini post about 4 things blogging has taught me.

1. The Internet RULES

All of my life my parents were strict about the internet. I was the only 8th grader (at the time) who still used Google Plus and not Instagram, and the only form of real social media I had was Pinterest and Wattpad. Both of which was not “cool.” When my dad finally allowed me to get a Twitter account I was beyond the moon excited. I. Could. Not. Wait. The first couple months were rocky, but once I got to know people, I realized just how awesome the people online are and together, Twitter and Blogging have helped me realized this.

2. Don’t Play It Safe Anymore

Everyone is always saying to be yourself. Well, yeah but at the time before blogging I was an “emo” moody seventh grader who “hated life” and everyone at my middle school was afraid of. I bet you could believe that. Anyway, once I started blogging I truly embraced the craziness of Claire. Like I admitted to myself that I loved books and no one could do anything about it. At the beginning of blogging I still played it safe, did what everyone else was doing, but eventually I learned that I needed to be creative about my blog. After all it was mine. No one else but me should be influencing it.

3. Embrace Your Passions

You might have already realized this based on number 1 and 2, but blogging helped me learn what my true passions were. One of them being reading. As a teenager, I am always asked what I want to do, or major in in college and for a long time I thought I wanted to major in creative writing. But it wasn’t until I was in the middle of dancing over getting a new follower that I realized that this was the kind of thing that made me happy. It was not writing but in fact this incredible love for reading.

4. Interacting with Professionals

Before blogging I was just some kid doing whatever. As  my blogging career has progressed, I’ve interacted with multiple publishers and authors and it just has been such a wonderful experience. Now I know how to be like professional. It is weird and scary and exciting all at once and blogging has taught me that.

Thank you so much guys. From the bottom of my heart, seriously. I cannot wait for what the next year of blogging brings me. 🙂

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Interview with Kerri Maniscalco, Author of Stalking Jack the Ripper

 

 Hi guys! Today I have with my the lovely Kerri Maniscalco! She is gonna be talking about her book, Stalking Jack the Ripper which was absolutely fantastic. Seriously, it was such a stunning novel! She will also be talking about a few other important and cool things! I’m so excited to have Kerri on the blog, this is my first author interview! Read on and I hope you enjoy!

Stalking Jack the Ripper is without a doubt a new take on the legendary mystery of Jack the Ripper. What drew you to the story of Jack the Ripper, and why did you choose him as a villain?

Unsolved crimes and history have intrigued me since I was a teen. I was fascinated by the Ripper case in particular because of the mystery that still surrounds it. There are so many theories and suspects, and as a writer it’s a wonderfully blank canvas for creating your own backstory. Who was Jack? Where did he come from? What were the circumstances leading up to that Autumn of Terror? I think the most interesting villains are ones that fit into that questionable gray area—the place where we understand their motivation, even if we’re horrified by it.

I chose Jack because I wanted this story to focus on a young woman who turned the tables on him. When I researched case details, I immediately thought about the forensic team behind the scenes. It was one of the first times in history forensics were applied to a case with gusto, so I imagined how interesting it’d be if a teenage girl was involved with stopping this notorious killer of women. From there it evolved into Audrey Rose’s story of how her world and Jack’s converge.

 

Audrey Rose is a brilliant, sensitive, headstrong and decidedly modern girl—even by our 21st-century standards. What do you hope teens who read her story will take away from her character?

I hope that teens—and readers of all ages, really—are inspired to live their authentic lives, regardless of what society thinks. Audrey Rose would encourage curiosity and fearlessness. The world needs trailblazers and I hope readers are inspired to continue on their paths, even in the face of difficulty. Our actions today will hopefully inspire others tomorrow, and that’s how progress and change are made. Sometimes it’s fighting those quiet everyday battles that shift perspective one degree at a time.

 

There are allusions in the story to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the interactions between Audrey Rose and Thomas (or, as they might prefer, Wadsworth and Cresswell) are reminiscent of a Watson/Sherlock pairing. What stories inspired you as a teenager, and how did your favorite stories affect your writing?

Whether in friendships or with adversaries or romantic interests, push-pull relationships and witty repartee get me every time. As a reader I hang on the edge of my seat, salivating with the will they/won’t they that builds on each page. Growing up, I was obsessed with gothic horror stories and books about amateur sleuths. Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, the Nancy Drew series. I loved the palpable tension and the way the atmosphere was a character unto itself. When I read stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” or “The Cask of Amontillado,” I felt the beat of the buildings, the psychological darkness seeping onto the page, and was blown away by the character motivations.

I’m a pretty big Shakespeare fan, and the way he crafted allusions and double meanings into his work is a huge inspiration. In fact, the opening Macbeth quote is more than just an allusion to the blood being spilled in the book…

Poe was another master at including allusions in his work, and I adore those little Easter eggs that are left for readers to snatch up. And Frankenstein’s monster? My goodness. Shelley’s monster and his reflection on both himself and his dark deeds, and how he related to Satan in Paradise Lost—that was so powerful to read. My favorite characters—whether heroes/heroines or villains—are the ones who are more gray than black or white. I think that’s the common bond between all of my most cherished reads and what has inspired my writing the most.

 

Most writers have a specific writing routine—whether it’s chaotic, strictly regimented, or somewhere in between. What would you say is the most unique aspect of your own writing process?

One of the more unique aspects of my writing process includes a lot of pre-writing research that I tackle like a nine-to-five job. Most of it is pretty gory, so I balance out the darkness with plenty of cuddle time with my kitty muse, Bella. I’ve found I work best creatively when I’m in a routine—I get up, write/research until dinnertime, then stop to cook for (and with) my family. Cooking is something I’ve loved since I was a kid standing on a stool in my grandma’s kitchen. While I’m chopping up veggies, I’m plotting and planning my next day’s material. One little quirk of mine is I always leave off on a high point in a chapter. I’ve found that when I do it’s easier to dive back into writing the next morning. I already know where I’m heading and then the writing flows into the next scene. I also take breaks throughout the day to either do yoga or some crunches (or any form of exercise). If I do sets of fifteen it helps oxygenate my brain and keep the creativity flowing.

After dinner I answer emails and work on any interview requests or online events I’ve committed to. I also chat with readers and writers on Twitter, then I either read or watch a little TV before bed. (Usually I’ll try to watch something that evokes atmosphere and I’ll think of how to incorporate those feelings into my work.) I’ve found that if I try and write in the afternoon and mess up my morning routine, I have a difficult time with getting into my groove. I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to my schedule. No matter what I’m doing, though, I always strive for balance. If I’m off-kilter my work will suffer, so I’m a big supporter of having at least one day a week to step away from writing and get out of the house. It’s good to nourish your muse.

Audrey Rose often speaks of a darkness within herself, less consuming but akin to the darkness within Jack the Ripper. Do you think we all have that darkness within us, lingering just below the surface?

To a certain extent I think we all have darkness that surfaces from time to time, whether we want it to or not. Maybe not murder or anything so drastic, but darker emotions. Anger. Frustration. Negativity. Jealousy. Pessimism. We’re human and have a multitude of feelings on any given day, but it’s what we choose to focus on that truly matters.

For Audrey Rose it’s a bit different. She often struggles with her passion for studying the inner workings of the human body and society’s opinion on it. During that time frame [the Victorian era], forensics and cutting into a corpse were considered to be desecrating the dead. Which was blasphemous for a man to do, let alone a young lord’s daughter. She won’t be deterred from her chosen path, but doubt sometimes crops up if she allows herself to think about her dark deeds. On the outside she might appear to be on the same path as Jack, but Audrey Rose knows there are lines she won’t cross for science or discovery. Which is what ultimately separates her from the Ripper.

How much of the book, if any, is inspired by personal experience?

Honestly? I believe it’s hard for any writer to not have a bit of themselves or some personal experience creep into their work. Audrey Rose and I would definitely get along in real life. We both have a love of dresses and forensics. Lucky for me, my sister has a boutique, so I’m always adding to my dress collection. When we were growing up, my parents encouraged my sister and myself to pick a job we loved and work hard to achieve our dreams. Our gender wasn’t considered a limitation for a second. I attended art school in New York City but considered changing majors and studying forensics. I was serious about it, and took criminal justice and psychology courses. It was so refreshing to be good at science after being told in high school that girls weren’t as good as boys were. Part of hearing that from teachers inspired me to write about this girl who uses forensics like a superpower to hopefully stop one of the most infamous killers in history. And she does it all with style, naturally.

The details in the book are remarkable—from the specifics of dissection and Victorian-era medicine to the historically accurate descriptions of late 19th-century London. What research did you do to make the story so authentic?

Thank you! I pored over actual Ripper case files and studied the notes the forensic team/medical examiners had taken during their autopsies. I thought it was really important to capture the medical techniques of the day and spent a great deal of time investigating what was around, how it was used, and what the general thoughts of the public were. One of my favorite parts in Stalking Jack the Ripper is when [Audrey Rose’s] uncle, a brilliant forensic medical examiner, has his own theories that cannot be proven by medical professionals, but are practices and truths we know today. I also did a lot of research into how autopsies are conducted today, what bodies smell like after trauma, to fully flesh out my understanding of how our procedures might differ from Victorian practices. I’m also into history, and growing up outside of New York City meant that there were many historic sites to visit. Family vacations always included stops along the way—whether we’d attend a historic home tour or visit the Vanderbilt Mansion, history was incorporated into our activities. When it came time for my Victorian research, I really enjoyed getting lost in the details of the period.  Fun fact: the house I grew up in was built in the 1700s, with an addition in the 1800s.

Writing for an audience of teenagers is no easy task. Why did you choose to write for young adults?

Young adults are complex and intelligent, and have so much passion for their beliefs. It’s a time in our lives where we’re struggling to either be who we are or find out who we are through trial and error. It’s this faltering step into the adult world, where ideals can be crushed or fostered. YA literature shows us—in a big way—that we can be the light in the darkness. We can all be the heroes/heroines of our own stories. Thanks to my grandma, I still believe the impossible is absolutely possible, no matter how many doors are slammed or how hopeless things may appear. That’s just an unexpected, crushing plot twist, which, as YA readers know, makes the resolution all the sweeter. All of the firsts and the unfettered belief that we can make a change in the world so we attempt to do just that—that’s the true magic of YA literature, and why I chose to write for teens.

 What’s next for you? Will we see a sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper?

The early response to Stalking Jack the Ripper has been absolutely incredible. Things I never dared to dream have been happening and I just sit back, pinching myself most days. I’ve always wanted to have a series of interconnected stand-alones, like novel-length penny dreadfuls, and am thrilled to say there will be two more gothic adventures for Audrey Rose. Right now I’m hard at work on book two, and I’ll just say that it’s got a new setting that’s as creepy as Victorian London. We get more forensics and autopsies, some scary folklore, and twists and turns that will hopefully keep readers guessing until the end. There may also be an infamous castle involved where a bloodthirsty legend is said to haunt the halls at night. I cannot wait for it to hit shelves in the fall of 2017.

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Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper yet? Do you plan to? Let me know down below in the comments! 🙂

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Why There Are Mostly Love Stories in YA

(I’m not saying that I don’t like romances, we all need some of them sometimes).

First of all, many thanks to Claire for letting me to do a guest post on her blog!

“To love is to destroy” Cassandra Clare.

We all see this kind of quotes in all books, where the author explains how much love is dangerous. Well this is completely true!  Love is something very precious, something that can kill you and makes you feel alive. I’m not only talking about the relationships that end with weddings, or happily ever after!

Yes, love exists but where? Oh well, I have the exact answer. There are different kinds of “love”, mother Love, siblings love, friends Love, and Family love in general.

I admit it, most of characters we meet in YA, are orphans or have never seen any kind of love. I also understand authors for their choices, to find a “soul mate” for their characters. (Aren’t there some parents who finally feel like they did their job after marrying their child?) Same thing I guess with authors.

But what about, us, readers? To be honest, I love finding some “realistic” love stories! REALISTIC, like it was real! I found out that there are some books where the LOVE story is completely unreal, something IMPOSSIBLE! Even if they say that everything is possible with love *sigh* LOVE IS SO HARD, OKAY? IT’S NOT “HEY I LOVE YOU”AND THEN EVERYTHING IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!

This question is: is it important to find a love story in all YA books? In most of them, YES! But there are other books where we don’t NEED a romance, where it can be only minor. (please don’t kill me)

A lot of love interests take most place in the story than the main story itself, the author just forget that there is a WORLD, OTHER CHARACTERS and a PLOT (except if the author doesn’t care about the story)

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I was just reading some opinions about this topic, and one of them was saying that normally if you sit with “teenagers”, they are always talking about someone they appreciate. All teenagers appreciate someone in a certain age of their life, but it’s not always the soul mate, THE LOVE OF THEIR LIFE! THEY JUST APPRECIATE SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They don’t get the happily ever with this person especially (in a way, no one gets a happily ever after).

Other thing, love triangle!!!!! I am just wondering how can a teenager (like me) have two boys who love her SO MUCH and WOULD DIE FOR HER? (Well these are love “triangles, what about FOUR boys?)

So, yes we need romance in YA! But we need realistic LOVE the one that can inspire us, teach us, and advise us! Also we don’t ALWAYS need romance, because there are other things in life more important!

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WOULD YOU READ A YA BOOK WHERE THERE ISN’T A ROMANCE? DO YA MEAN ROMANCE FOR YOU? WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT ROMANCE IN CERTAIN BOOKS?

Salma, Sea of Books!

 

 

Pokemon Go Book Tag

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Hello everyone! Today I’m doing the Pokemon Go Book Tag created by Aentee at Read at Midnight. She has a fabulous blog so definitely go check her out! I feel kind of late doing this book tag, but I felt like it, so I did! 🙂 Enjoy!

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The book that started my love for reading was probably the Percy Jackson series. I had never heard anything about it, I don’t even remember where I got it. I just remember picking it up off the shelf sometime in third or fourth grade and falling in love after that.

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Hmmm…iconic classics…I don’t read many classics but Mathilda, The BFG and Harry Potter are definitely some books that I will always love. Though I’m not sure if you could consider them classics as I haven’t read any true classics if you get me.
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I can’t say there are any books for this one because any book that I have come across that has been EVERYWHERE has been quite good and I can understand why it is everywhere!

 photo pokemon-tag-04-ditto_zpscqi6iqeu.pngDefinitely Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout. That book is FULL of tropes. From the hot sexy guy to the average slightly nerdy girl who becomes special in her own way. I love that book, that book is seriously just drop dead amazing. I don’t care if it has nearly every trope out there, I love it!

 photo pokemon-tag-05-snorlax_zpsoll95wxh.pngDefinitely A Song of Ice and Fire series because damn those books are long. The series sounds absolutely fantastic, I don’t watch the show but I’ve heard great things. But those books are so long! It makes my head hurt just looking at it!
 photo pokemon-tag06-gengar_zpsutlskkeb.pngDefinitely Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I stayed up way too late finishing that book. It was fabulous by the way if you haven’t gathered yet. Kind of like a YA version of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
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UM FEYSAND OF COURSE. Feyre and Rhysand are like seriously goals. They are perfect for each other. He treats her like an equal and I love that and he is such a gentlemen. I mean next is Rowaelin, but Feysand definitely beats them. Rhysand and Feyre just make me so happy. Way happier than it should.
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A fire hot fast paced read was definitely Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. That book was speedy. There was hardly a moment where the plot got boringly slow, every bit had surprising twists and turns that had me making anxious faces.
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Definitely the Covenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout. She is such a queen. She already wrote one spinoff series and it was about Seth and so far I am absolutely in love. I hope she writes more spinoffs for this series, regardless of how good or bad they are, I would never get tired of having more.

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A book series that was surprisingly awesome was The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I read this series a long time ago with no expectations. After reading this series as the books came out I was surprised to find how invested and connected I was to these characters. It was awesome in case you hadn’t realized yet. Magic, Queens, romance, and wars.

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I can’t answer this one because I have literally read every overhyped series out there and usually I’m disappointed, For instance: Truthwitch.

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I’m not sure if the black edged pages of Nevernight is a collector edition, but I definitely want it. I have the red collectors edition and that thing is a piece of beauty. I loved Nevernight so much!

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Wintersong by S. Jae Jones. This book sounds like something perfect for me. It is actually one of the few releases that I’m really looking forward to that I haven’t read yet!

 photo pokemon-tag11-lure-module_zpsu6npwby2.pngSarah J Maas definitely. Her books blow my mind every single damn time and I will probably always be buying her books. They are just so fantastic, from the characters all the way to the world building!

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The Returned by Victoria Schwab, AKA third Archived novel. That series is amazing and the concept is so wonderful and ever since I heard there would be a third one I can’t stop thinking about it. Thankfully, we know for sure it is happening and the publishers aren’t just teasing us readers!

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Thank you so much for reading! Have you done this tag yet? If not, I tag you! PS: I’ve created a scheduling plan so I can get this blog up and running again! 😉

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Discussion » Pricey Book Subscription Boxes

We all love our book subscription boxes right? Is there anyone her that actually doesn’t? I know I love them, it is always a fun thrill to guess what the book will be, and see all the cool knew stuff you get in a box. But there is one problem to these Book Subscription Boxes…they are pricey and expensive. Really pricey and expensive when you include shipping.

Personally, as someone who doesn’t have a job, I clearly can’t afford these boxes. Below are the prices of some boxes not including shipping.

  • OwlCrate:$29.99
  • Uppercase: $23.99
  • FairyLoot: $35
  • LitJoy Crate: $29.99

These four book sub boxes are probably some of the more popular boxes out there. The cheapest box is $23.99 and that alone is without shipping. For almost all of these, shipping is around 7 dollars. That is a lot of money, nearly 40 dollars for simply a book and some swag.

Now for me, I can totally understand the awesomeness of expecting such an adorable and fun package. But on the other hand, when I think of 40 dollars, I also think of how many more books I could buy with that money. I am a reader and I love books, swag is just an extra. It is hard for me to ask myself if it is worth it to pay for swag.

For some of these boxes, the final valued price of all the swag inside is worth more than the price that each box is selling for. That is great, clearly you are getting better than what you paid for. But what if I don’t want all that swag? What if I want to spend that money on useless RedBubble trifles?

I have only subscribed to Uppercase’s book box. Can you guess why? It was the cheapest. Yup. The book inside it was This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. I was pleased with the book choice, but the swag inside was meaningless to me. The swag was an exclusive bookish post it note set and some bookish pencils. Um, cool, but I probably won’t ever use this.

That is the main problem with some of these book subscription boxes. To be perfectly honest, I think that you are paying for the surprise. The surprise of seeing what you get. Which is nice, but I’m simply not willing to pay such a high amount for that.

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Do you subscribe to any book boxes? If so, which ones? Do you agree with me? Disagree?

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Discussion // What do you think about prequel novels?

PREQUELS PREQUELS PREQUELS! Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be discussing prequels (if you haven’t guessed already). If you don’t know, prequels are books that take place before the original story, sometimes they’re a money grab and sometimes the author actually means to make a real story out of them. Sometimes, the prequels are even better than the main series. Well, enough talk, let’s get to what I think about prequels.

Prequels Being Written to for Money

When I think of prequels being written for money, the first author I think of is Cassandra Clare. That woman has officially milked the Shadowhunter world. I think any prequel being written for money should not be written. Writing is a passion, right? That means that any book that you write should be because you have a fantastic idea and you want to truly write a book regardless if it sells. It should be because you love it.

I’m not saying that Clare doesn’t love writing, but I can say, all the drama about plagiarism makes me want to steer clear. Her prequel series The Infernal Devices is actually better in my opinion than the main series, The Mortal Instruments. I doubt it was on purpose. But we all know that if that series wasn’t written for money, I can tell you the rest of her series’ in the Shadow world are. Who writes a sequel series to the prequel series?! When does something come to an end? As they say…all good things come to an end.

Do I Read Prequel Novels?

It depends. If the series is one of my most favorite books ever, then I probably will. But typically I lean away from prequels because for one, they are either ebooks that are overpriced, they come in a special edition of a book that I can’t afford, or I just have no interest in buying a book with different characters other than the ones I love from the main series.

Have you read any prequels before? Here are some books with prequels down below. Some of them I’ve read, some I haven’t!

  • The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
  • The Assassins Blade by Sarah J Maas
  • The Kill Order by James Dashner
  • The Fever Code by James Dashner
  • Extras by Scott Westerfield
  • Tiger’s Promise by Colleen Houck

The Benefits of Prequel Novels (from the readers perspective)

Though prequels can be a pain in the butt, there are some benefits for the reader. How things came to be and that kind of thing. For example, Cassandra Clare did an excellent job doing this with her Infernal Devices series. It was also written so much better than TMI which also helped. Prequels can also be fun to see the ‘before’ aspect of a story and what life was like before the events that lead up to the main series.

Overall, though I enjoy reading some prequels, I also can find prequels to be really unnecessary sometimes. I also dislike when authors write prequels only to make money, it makes me sad that simple things like books are now about money instead of passion.

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What prequels have you read? Did you like them just as much as the main series? Tell me down below in the comments and thanks for reading!

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