Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Just a very short post to say that I moved my blog to wordpress and it is now called intrepidpages. So if you want to follow me there as I will no longer be posting here. :)

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: Book #1 of  Monsters of Verity

Rating★★★★★ 5 stars

Synopsis: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Book provided by publisher for an honest review.
"Plenty of humans are monstrous, and plenty of monsters know how to play at being human."
 — V.A. Vale
I always love a solid epigraph, it always sets a good tone for the main theme of the book. You can only imagine my joy when this book happened upon my doorstep. Though I have not read any of Victoria Schwab's other books, word from the grapevine entered my thoughts as I became inevitably hyped for this book. It's safe to say that I was not disappointed.

This Savage Song is by far one of the most unusual, interesting and even creepiest books I've read all year. Even after finishing it I cannot pinpoint the exact genre. Personally, it feels like a blend of scifi, fantasy, and even dystopian. This book definitely gave some Tokyo Ghoul/Code-breaker even Gotham vibes. Victoria Schwab is able to create a haunting and phantasmagoric atmosphere that at the same time doesn't feel over complicated.

The city of Verity, otherwise known as V-City is inevitably split two North and South sections after constant tensions and war between the two leaders. With our two protagonists belong to opposing sides. August and Kate are distinctly different from each other, but they really do blend well together which makes reading this novel worthwhile.

Kate Harker is a very demanding and imposing type of person. The type to know what she wants and doesn't care what she must do to get it. Being the daughter of the leader of North Verity, Kate feels to compulsion to prove her worth in being by her father's side. At first, I'll admit I wasn't the biggest fan of Kate, her ruthlessness and sometimes arrogance can rub people the wrong way, but as I read on I began to truly appreciate her as a person, and understand her actions. Not to mention her character arc is incredibly well written.
"That's life, August," She said. "You wanted to feel more alive, right? It doesn't matter if you're monster or human. Living hurts."
August Flynn is essentially the complete opposite. Out of the three types of monsters, August and his siblings are the rarest. Sunai, who have the ability to steal people's souls with music. Being sheltered in the compound for most of his life, August wants nothing more than to feel normal like a human would. You often see him struggle with what coincides with being a monster, But how do you fight the very thing that you are? Unlike his older brother Leo who embraces his being, seeing himself above humans and other monsters. I really loved August in this novel, and at times you can't help but feel bad for him.
"You also live. You don't spend every day wondering why you exist, but don't feel real, why you look human, but can't be. You don't do everything you can to be a good person only have it constantly thrown in your face that you're not a person at all."
Kate and August have such an interesting dynamic together, which is what made me love this book all the more. They seem to have a mutual understanding of each other that never once feels forced or cheesy. Especially once they are on the run, they essentially can only rely on each other and that seems to strengthen their bond.

Honestly this book was a whirlwind of emotions for me. For this being my first Victoria Schwab book I was so relieved to not be let down, and cannot wait to explore more of her works.

I'd definitely recommend this if you're a fantasy, scifi, or dystopian lover and want to experience something a little different. The violence and gore definitely gave me haunting and creepy vibes which would make this a perfect fall read. Which I might reread during that time, because that ending has me craving the next book immediately.


Friday, 3 June 2016

Updates: School, Stress, Summer, and No More Monthly Bookhauls

I mulled over constantly whether or not I wanted to write this post. Usually when I decide on something I almost never make a post about it. I'll usually make that decision and then people will have to see the subtle change for themselves, but this time I felt like voicing my reasons why.

It's pretty evident that I've been lax with blogging in recent months. I wouldn't use the term 'failing at blogging' because I personally don't believe the frequency of your posts correlate to you being a better blogger.

I debated with the fact of stop blogging altogether, transitioning domains, and or taking a lengthy break. As you can see, I did the latter, but not by choice, more or less because of school. Something I struggle with time and time again is my time management skills. I never hide the fact that I am a terrible procrastinator. If I'm given time to do something I will most likely wait until the last possible second to do it, or not at all. Pretty bad, but I'm working on it.

Now that we're nearing the end of the school year I can definitely relax a bit more. My summer will still be pretty busy with with my AP English and AP Psychology summer assignments, college tours, studying for both the SAT/ACT, coordinating the Summer Reading Challenge all summer long at my local library, all while trying to keep up with reading, bookstagram, and blog posts. Not to mention trying to find time to catch up and keep up with Games of Thrones season 6, Mr. Robot season 2, Big Brother season 18, and Orange is The New Black season 4.

Reading might not be my top priority this summer, but I'm totally okay with that. I have a few great high fantasy tomes that I really want to get through this summer at a steady pace, and if that's all I get to I'll be satisfied.

My main goal is to definitely be more consistent with blog posts. My hope is to get down to a steady consistency of two posts a week, more if possible. Which I deem doable, because I have a list written down of post topics, which I'm really excited about.

Another factor to my mild absence would have to be related to my monthly bookhauls and wrap-ups. I never even use to do bookhaul posts, but ever since I've been acquiring more books I felt this obligation to make a master post of all the books I bought/received in the month. But now after deliberating and watching a few discussion posts I decided to no longer post monthly bookhauls on here.

It just doesn't work for me personally. For some reason those posts take me the longest to write up, but throughout I have a sense of I'm just repeating myself. And I realized that bookhauls are no longer the videos I gravitate towards on Booktube. I'm just no longer interested in watching lengthy videos of someone holding up a book they most likely haven't read, and giving a vague description. And yes I know that bookhauls are a great way for people to find new reads, I am one of the said people that have found books that I have loved through watching bookhauls. But recently I prefer recommendation posts/videos of someone talking about books they love in a specific genre/category and also wrap-ups, which are like mini reviews and can really sell me on looking up a new book to read.

I still do watch the occasional bookhaul, and yes, everyone is different and people may find that as something they love and that's perfectly fine. Everyone has their own niche and it just wasn't working out for me.

From now on I'll still be doing monthly book wrap-ups, and I'll still be posting the occasional bookmail on my instagram and twitter, but doing a collective montly bookhaul, is something you'll cease to see on here. And considering that was a main focus of my posts, this new decision will definitely force me to think more creatively and I'm looking towards whatever this summer brings. I wish you all the best.

The Song Rising Cover Analysis

After awaiting many anxious months, the cover for The Song Rising, book three in The Bone Season series was revealed yesterday. And here it is in all its glory...

And also the UK/RoW cover which slightly differentiates in font color and missing the orange hue that resides on the U.S. cover...

In the beginning of the week I was quite nervous to see these covers, not only because I have been anxiously await for ages, but it was announced there was going to be a series cover change. You can imagine my reaction. There is nothing worse than a bibliophile hearing that there is going to be a cover change in their beloved series that is not even complete yet.

To be wholly honest I'm not the hugest fan of this new cover. I appreciate the minimalistic look they were trying to go for with these redesigns, but I prefer the look of the original Bone Season and Mime Order covers.

There is just something about this cover that throws me off. I think its the bright flame against the stark background. I'm curious as to why it was placed on the cover, which leads me to believe that there will probably be an inferno of some sort. Or can it be a metaphorical flame of an uprising revolution? Anyways I'm pretty sure the crown refers to pseudo-monarchy of the Mime-Queens and Mime-Lords of each cohort of The Unnatural Assembly, and of course Paige's new role in it all.

The covers for these books always remain obscure to me until I actually read the novel and see the symbols represented. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Along with the reveal of The Song Rising cover, the redesigned The Bone Season and The Mime Order covers were also revealed...

Again I will always love and prefer the new covers. I just don't really see the point in deciding to redesign the covers now, especially three books in what is to be a seven book series.

But to remedy the change, it came to my attention that the release date to The Song Rising has been set to March 2017, and according to Goodreads it says March 7th, 2017.

For some reason, when I heard about this book being pushed back to 2017, I assumed fall 2017, but we are getting it in the beginning of next year and I cannot wait.

I will have to give props to Bloomsbury for at least keeping the spines consistent. We as readers know that with a dreaded cover change comes the uneven, non-matching spines, but Samantha Shannon has confirmed that the future books will match the old book spines.

And here are the old paperback covers, next to the mock redesigned ones...

At least I can now sleep soundly, knowing that my series will still match spine wise, when viewing my shelves. This cover change does not in anyway hinder my excitement for The Song Rising release, I'm all the more eager to get it in my hands. Who knows, maybe it'll grow on me, once I've held a physical copy.

What do you think of these new redesigned covers?

Sunday, 17 April 2016

March Wrap-Up

I knew I wouldn't repeat my February feat of reading 20 books, but two out of the four books I read this month, definitely made it to my favorites of the year list.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars
"No Mourners. No funerals."
Reading this book was a great way to start off the month. Though I will admit that I read this so soon to keep my mind off the approaching release date of Lady Midnight. Nevertheless I enjoyed this immensely. I previously read the Grisha trilogy last month and I was really enjoying it until the last book fell flat for me. But still I went into Six of Crows with high expectations and was delivered just that every time. This book was excellent. If you didn't enjoy the Grisha trilogy that much and still unsure of whether you should read this I implore you do so. This book is leagues ahead of the Grisha trilogy. Not only do we get a diverse cast of characters, that are extremely well written, the plot is really fast paced and grips you, and also has you internally screaming at your book most of the time. This felt like a combination of Ocean's Eleven movie plus Heist Society by Ally Carter times 100. I am honestly anxious and terrified to see how this duology concludes in The Crooked Kingdom.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars
❝ Once I was the elder, but now you are elder than I. When I was in the faerie country, each night I would think of each of you—of you and Helen, of Livvy and Ty and Dru and Tavvy. I gave the stars your names, so that when I saw them wink to light in the sky I felt as if you were with me. It was all I could do to still the fear that you were hurt or dying and that I would never know. But I have come back to a family not just alive and healthy, but whose bonds have not been severed, and that is because of what you have done. There is love here, among you. Such love as takes my breath out of my body. There has even been enough love left for me. ❞
No surprise here that I managed to read this in the same month. If you know me, then you know how much I was anticipating this book. Feeling both excited and mildly terrified when I finally procured a copy on release day. This book. THIS BOOK. I don't even know what to say about this book to convince you how much I LOVED this it. Just go read my review where I exhibit all the feels.

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2 stars
“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.” 
I went into this book with pretty high expectations due to all the buzz around its release, but I was not a fan at all. I read this book for my book club's The Reader's Guild, book of the month. Honestly I don't even think I could explain the synopsis of this novel. A main component of where it fell flat for me is due to the fact that I felt the author was trying to do too much at once. Like there's time travel, parallel universes, Native American folklore, and some other scifi elements that just felt weird and confusing. I did enjoy a lot of points on feminism and the stories that were told, but that's about it. There is so much going on in this novel in a short amount of pages that it begins to feel rushed. Not to mention that I really didn't like any of the characters, nor cared for the insta-loved that inevitably ensued. The main reason that I disliked this besides the busyness was that it was confusing up to the point where I had to ask someone to explain the ending to me because I had no idea what was going on. But I guess some books just aren't for everyone.

When We Collided by Emery Lord

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars
"I feel like I know him a little, like if I collect fragments of the six of you and tape them together; there he is: a mosaic of your pieces."
Usually I'm not the hugest fan of contemporary, but this novel sat in the middle of my love-hate spectrum. There is a lot of great aspects of family and love ingrained in here that I believe Emery Lord delivers excellent, in a way that is not cheesy. I did love the Daniel family for the most part, but was kind of off and on with our main character Vivi. Though I really enjoyed the realness of this contemporary and more of my thoughts can be found here.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars
"He imagined the future I could have before I even wanted it for myself, and he was the one to push me toward it. That’s faith. Growing up, I thought faith was about believing Jesus died for us, and that if I held on to that, I’d get to meet him when I died too. But faith doesn’t mean that to me anymore. Now it means someone seeing something in you that you don’t, and not giving up until you see it too. I want that. I missed that."
I technically finished this in April, but it was near the beginning so I'll just count it towards March. This book is sold as a thriller, but I feel like that it doesn't read like a thriller at all which is why a lot of people are disappointed when they don't get something like Gone Girl from it. This is told in the present day and flashback rotations our main character, Ani, reflects at her freshman year of high-school and the events that occurred then. There is a lot of important themes of feminism and forgiveness in this novel, and even more so gut-wrenching when you realize that the author wrote this book based on events that happened in her own life. My full review can be found here.

March Book Haul

It's becoming a recurring habit to post my book hauls half way into the next month, but what can I say, I'm easily distracted and swift to procrastinate. I was expecting this to be an extremely small bookhaul, like one or two books, but somehow I ended up acquiring 9 books in the month of March.

Part I: Books I Bought/Gifts/Won

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

The first book to make its way into my possession is none other than my most anticipated book of the year Lady Midnight. I am still in awe of the beauty of this, both inside and out. This book already stands as my favorite book of 2016, if you want to know more of my thoughts I have a full non-spoiler and spoiler review here. I also created some Dark Artifices playlists that I listened to as I read, which you can check out here.


A History of Notable Shadowhunters by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean

The next book is one of the most beautiful to have graced my life that my lovely friend gifted me for my birthday. A History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of the Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean, is a book that contains beautiful illustrations of various important shadowhunters and downworlders told in the language of flowers, and beside each photo contains a short bio about each of them. I have already started flipping through it and the illustrations are so gorgeous and there are so many little facts about characters that I did not know about. This is a must have for any fellow TMI/TID/TDA trash like me. ☺☺☺

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

This book I'm pretty sure I won this in a giveaway I entered awhile back. The main reason I entered was because it has the word library in the title like c'mon how can that not interest me. All I know is that it takes place in underground London and the characters have to retrieve a dangerous book, and its full of libraries and secret societies and honestly it was making me think of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, which you know I love. More like hopelessly obsessed enough to name my twitter after a fictional character. I'm hoping that it does have some magic involved and the synopsis also slightly reminds me of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

Part II: Review Books

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

This is a book that I'm really excited to get to. A Tyranny of Petticoats is a 15 story anthology all about belles, bank-robbers, and other badass girls. Some contributing authors include, Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, Beth Revis, Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, Kekla Magoon and many more. There's so much diversity in this anthology and was perfect to receive during Women's History Month. I'll definitely have to get to this soon.

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Gutsy Girl by Carolina Paul

Gutsy Girl is a more unconventional type of book to come my way. In this book, Carolina Paul speaks about her adventurous escapades, and also those of other girls throughout history and offers insight on confidence and self-positivity. Throughout there are cute illustrations and even places to journal your own thoughts. Another excellent book to be received during Women's History Month. I can't wait to set out on my own adventures and catalog them as I go.

Publisher: Bloomsbury

When We Collided by Emery Lord

A rare contemporary finds it's way into my possession. When We Collided is actually a book I managed to finish in the same month that I received it. It was actually refreshing to read a contemporary after bombarding myself in fantasy novels. I wrote a full review on my thoughts here. And this book has already released so you should definitely check it out if you're a contemporary fan or enjoy any of Emery's previous books.

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Another book I managed to complete in the same month I received it. Yes, I am quite proud of myself ☺ I also wrote full review on this here. I was quite surprised to have really enjoyed this novel, it definitely did not feel like a thriller at all, but I think that's what I liked about it. I'm really interested to see how they adapt this to film.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Desert Dark by Sonja Stone

I had requested an arc from the lovely people at Holiday House publishing, but had not known that the arcs weren't out yet. So in turn they sent me one of their finished books while I waited. From what I can gather from this novel, is that our main character is sent off to a government funded boarding school in the desert only to discover it’s a covert CIA program training high-achieving students for the Black Ops. Anything about spies or heists always intrigue me. This slightly reminds me of the Gallagher series by Ally Carter, which I have yet to finish, but also Heist Society trilogy by her, which I also loved.

Publisher: Holiday House

Have you acquired any exciting books this month?

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars

Synopsis: Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.
Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.
Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.
In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.
Book was provided by publisher, but in no way affects my personal views on this book.
"I feel like I know him a little, like if I collect fragments of the six of you and tape them together; there he is: a mosaic of your pieces."
I'll be the first to admit that contemporary isn't my favorite genre, which is why I haven't been reading much of that of particular genre, but When We Collided seems to be on the better half for me.

This novel is told in dual POVs, which I'm always wary of. When reading a dual pov novel, the different points of views can begin to seem like the same person is speaking, until you correct yourself when you finally notice the different pronouns. My least favorite example being Allegiant by Veronica Roth and my favorite example being Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. But Emery Lord writes these characters so distinctly that you are able to tell who is speaking in the rotating chapters.

You are first introduced to Vivi. A very vibrant and eccentric character. I wasn't the hugest fan of Vivi for a majority of the novel. Emery Lord has distinct way of writing where she creates an unapologetically brash female character and you either love or hate them. In this case I was in the middle with Vivi. There were parts where I did like her, but at times she could be so blatantly selfish it began to rub me the wrong way. I will give her credit that I really did begin to like her character by the end of the novel.

We then meet Jonah. Who is almost a complete opposite of Vivi. Jonah is more reserved and refined. A majority of this due to the fact that after the death of his father, his mother has essentially turned into a recluse who can barely leave her room without breaking down. Leaving Jonah to raise his three younger siblings, with his older brother and sister. The latter who is in college and barely is home to begin with.

A main point of this novel I really enjoyed were Jonah and his family. The six Daniel siblings are individually unique. I appreciate the way Emery Lord, developed them with their own mannerisms and how they interacted with each other was fun to read.

Vivi and Jonah eventually meet and soon become entagled in each others lives. Each of them initially holding secrets. Jonah not wanting Vivi to know how he and his older brother are basically raising their younger siblings. Vivi not wanting Jonah to know the real reason why she moved to Verona Cove for the summer.

At first I enjoyed the conversations that happened between Vivi and Jonah, but soon the inevitable insta-love began to creep up, even though I really hope it wouldn't. And you all know how I feel about insta-love. Even knowing how short this novel is, I felt like the romance could have been drawn out longer, due to the fact that this book takes place practically over an entire summer. Honestly if it didn't feel so rushed I may have loved this book more.

When We Collided is encompasses all the different types of love. Those familial, friendship, and romantic. You watch these characters develop and come to realizations that soon turn to important actions later on in this book.

What I really loved about this book was the ending. I am really glad that a contemporary novel ending has satisfied me in such way that this had. It had the realistic element that I couldn't help but appreciate.

I definitely recommend checking this out if you're a fan of any of Emery Lord's previous novels, or I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. Though they are distinctly different, I believe fans of either novels would enjoy the other.

Review: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Title: Luckiest Girl Alive
Author: Jessica Knoll
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Rating: ★★★★☆ 4 stars
Synopsis: As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. 
But Ani has a secret. 
There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything. 
With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears. 
The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?
Book was provided by the publisher, but in no way affects my personal views on this novel.

"He imagined the future I could have before I even wanted it for myself, and he was the one to push me toward it. That’s faith. Growing up, I thought faith was about believing Jesus died for us, and that if I held on to that, I’d get to meet him when I died too. But faith doesn’t mean that to me anymore. Now it means someone seeing something in you that you don’t, and not giving up until you see it too. I want that. I missed that."
Pleasantly surprised by this novel. It's easy to say that I enjoyed this for the most part, due to the fact of me staying up late into the night to read the last hundred pages or so, because I needed to know how this resolves. I came across many opportunities to read this book in the past, drawn in by the title and cover, but for some reason I never did. I'm so glad I finally gave this a chance.

I think the general consensus surrounding this novel is that many people go in this novel expecting some sort of chase or murder mystery. Being compared to the likes of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, Luckiest Girl Alive is bound to be perceived that way prior to reading. I just realized all these titles have 'girl' in it, is this a new fad for thriller novels? But anyways if you go into this novel, try not to expect any of the aforementioned things because that is not what you get.

This novel focuses on TifAni FaNelli. A plucky twenty-something who finally achieved her long aspired dream of having a great career, perfect Manhattan zip-code, and engaged to a very wealthy husband. Ani has struggled hard to get to where she is and puts on many facades for the people around her, including her husband.

This novel alternates between present day Ani, in anticipation of her wedding, and flashbacks to highschool freshman Ani at the prestigious Bradley highschool, where she receives countless humiliation and what occurs there is what she desperately tries to dislocate herself from now.

What I enjoyed most about this novel were the back and forth passes between the past and the present. Seeing both teenage and adult Ani, in rotating chapters felt conversive and seemed to flow into this novel. Not once did I feel a choppy break.

It was quite interesting to read about a highschool setting in an adult novel. usually this is young adult territory, but seeing the main character in highschool is essentially the crux of this novel. Giving it an almost Mean Girls feel. I will admit that it was quite surprising to enjoy this novel as much as I did, while really hating a majority of the characters in here.

I understand it's highschool, kids are mean. But these kids were downright malicious and cruel. And Ani is no saint herself. In her desperate need to fit in, she tries to assimilate herself with the popular crowd. There are times where she stands on the sidelines, absorbing herself in this crude behavior, and learns things that soon have an impact and become crucially evident in adulthood. Even in her adult life, she still sometimes constantly judges people which I understand many people found annoying.

Despite that there was a part of me that liked Ani, the further I read into the novel. She is a self-determined person, who doesn't fear against speaking out against what's wrong, which is something you can see she struggled with in highschool.

I will trigger warn you that there is a rape that occurs in this and is a core part of the events that occur, so it is prevalent.

There is a lot of lessons that Ani takes from her past experiences and the people she meets throughout her life, which forms her into the person she is today and the decisions she makes.

Personally I found many of the twists surprising, but what makes this a four star rating is that the ending felt a little flat for me, and was also kind of confusing.

I'm not one to get excited for movie adaptations. Actually hate almost all of them, but that's another story. But I'm actually looking forward to the adaptation of Luckiest Girl Alive starring Reese Witherspoon.

While reading I could vividly picture may of the events happening, which would translate really well to screen. I really hope they do this novel justice, as it was based off events that the author personally experience. And I greatly commend her for that.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Bookish Playlist: The Dark Artifices

As you may know Lady Midnight has pretty much taken over my life so it comes as no surprise that I've been cultivating numerous playlists to coincide with this marvelous book. I actually have been writing down these songs before I even read the book and as I went along made gradual changes and added in some new songs. Which I prefer than just creating a playlist at the end. So far I've made a playlist for Cristina, Mark, and one for Emma and Julian. I'll definitely be creating more once more books release and when I reread and spontaneously feel like concocting a new playlist. My 8tracks Dark Artifices collection can be found here.


Genre: indie/alternative/electric
Main Influences: Aurora, Regina Spektor, Isobel Anderson

❝ no one is ever the villain of their own story. ❞
I knew once we were introduced to Cristina Rosales that I was going to want to make a playlist about her. I went on 8tracks to see if anyone had made one about her for reference, but I didn't find any. For this playlist I wanted to stick mainly to female artists because usually when I create indie playlists the artists/bands are a majority male. Pretty proud that this playlist only has two males artists in it. I wanted to use vocals of all my favorite female indie/alternative singers and listening to this playlist there is a great variety of vocals. I wanted Cristina's playlist to be a mixture of soft calming vocals, but with chilling and haunting chorus'. You can listen here.


  1. Runaway // AURORA
  2. She Used To Be Mine // Sara Bareilles
  3. Earth // Sleeping At Last
  4. The Disappearance of the Girl // Phidel
  5. Rest Your Head // Bat For Lashes
  6. Can We Go There Again? // Isobel Anderson
  7. Hiding // Florence + the Machine
  8. Fidelity // Regina Spektor
  9. Scars // James Bay
  10. Leaving The City // Joanna Newsom

hopeless wanderer.

Genre: indie/folk
Main influences: James Bay, Head & the Heart, Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard

❝ but it is not all bad, to ride the winds, run upon the waves, and dance upon the mountains, and it is all that I have left. ❞
This is the playlist I had most wanted to make and what sparked this need to made TDA playlists in the first place. I actually wanted to make a playlist about Mark when I was reading Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy but felt it was too early, so I just began to note down songs that popped into my head and would continue to add to later. Also that quote from him isn't from LM it's from novella #7 of TFSA, which is one of my favorite novellas and the catalyst for initially making this playlist because I truly love Mark Antony Blackthorn with every fiber of my soul. Most of these songs were already in my phone because for some reason I really love songs that have to do with nature and of course indie/folk music is my favorite genre. I wanted Mark's playlist to be light, breezy blend of various melodies that all coincide with each other. My main influences of this playlist were Head and the Heart, Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, and of course James Bay. Not only those are some of my favorite artists, but their voices blend very well together, that sometimes I even get confused which band wrote which song. On a side note there was a song that I wanted to put in here called 10,000 Weight in Gold by The Head and the Heart, but couldn't due to 8tracks two songs per artist limitation, but anyways I think this song can really fit in well with Mark so you should listen to it sometime. You can take a listen to this playlist here.

  1. Elysium // Bear's Den
  2. Hold Back The River // James Bay
  3. Clocks Go Forward // James Bay
  4. Silhouettes // Of Monsters and Men
  5. Shake // The Head and the Heart
  6. Black Flies // Ben Howard
  7. Sing For the Wind // Roo Panes
  8. Down in the Valley // The Head and the Heart
  9. Winter Winds // Mumford & Sons
  10. Butterfly Culture // Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  11. Pagan Poetry // Bjork
  12. Old Pine // Ben Howard
  13. Goner // Twenty One Pilots

in the midnight hour.

Genre: indie/alternative/electric
Main influences: James Bay, Ben Howard, Seafret, Sleeping At Last

❝ the sea-softened air filling the car and lifting the light hair around her temples. This was how she’d always ridden in cars with Julian, with her feet up and the wind in her hair. It was something Julian loved, Emma beside him in the car, driving with the blue sky overhead and the blue sea to the west. It was an image that felt full of infinite possibility, as if they could simply keep driving forever, the horizon their only destination.❞
Another reason for my sprawl of TDA playlists is the bane of my existence, Blackstairs. I can go on and on about how much I love them, but you can just read my review of Lady Midnight if you want to see that. I will most likely create separate playlists for Emma and Julian, but right now I just wanted to have one of them together. This playlist is heavily influence by me picturing Blackstairs midnight car rides and such, hence why I have a few songs that reference driving. But I also wanted to heavily feature the beach and the aspect of water. I wanted this playlist to have a chill indie vibe, but also with alternative and electric influences. I am truly in love with this playlist. You can take a listen here.

  1. Sinking Ship // Seafret
  2. Here With Me // Susie Suh x Robot Koch
  3. Hear Your Heart // James Bay
  4. Cigarette Daydreams // Cage the Elephant
  5. Flowers In Your Hair // The Lumineers
  6. Memo // Years & Years
  7. Fire and the Flood // Vance Joy
  8. The Beach // The Neighborhood
  9. Car Radio Drive // Halsey + Twenty One Pilots {mashup}
  10. Move Together // James Bay
  11. Depth Over Distance // Ben Howard
  12. Draw Your Swords // Angus and Julia Stone
  13. Young God // Halsey
  14. I Like Not Knowing // Fatherson
  15. Empire // Of Monsters and Men
  16. Destiny Rules // Fleetwood Mac
  17. Love Love Love // Of Monsters And Men
  18. In My Veins // Andrew Belle

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Review: Lady Midnight ɤ by Cassandra Clare

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Book #1 of The Dark Artifices

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 stars (BEST BOOK OF 2016)

Synopsis: It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses. 
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions… 
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

After anxiously counting down the days until my most anticipated book of the year is finally in my hands, the wait was over. Hours upon hours spent pouring over these pages and absorbing this story in the ungodly hours of the night until early mornings. This book has been everywhere with me as I frantically read, so content to finally be back in the Shadow World again, and as you can see I fairly enjoyed it.

Which is an understatement. This book, THIS BOOK was everything I wanted and then some. I'm going to split this review into two parts. The first one being a non-spoilery general thoughts of this book. And the second part is where I spoil the life out of it, so I advise you don't read part two unless you have read this book. And I advise you to go read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices while you're at it. I won't be spoiling any of the events of Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy unless it was directly mentioned in Lady Midnight, which if you have read LM by now, you were spoiled for a majority of TFSA. But if you need further convincing to read these novellas read this.

Part I: Non-Spoiler Review

❝ Once I was the elder, but now you are elder than I. When I was in the faerie country, each night I would think of each of you—of you and Helen, of Livvy and Ty and Dru and Tavvy. I gave the stars your names, so that when I saw them wink to light in the sky I felt as if you were with me. It was all I could do to still the fear that you were hurt or dying and that I would never know. But I have come back to a family not just alive and healthy, but whose bonds have not been severed, and that is because of what you have done. There is love here, among you. Such love as takes my breath out of my body. There has even been enough love left for me. ❞
There is always that dreaded feeling whenever you begin a new series by one of your favorite author. There's always that nagging thought in the back of your mind of: what if this book isn't as good as the other series? Or the dreaded: what if I really hate it? Though I was excited for the release of Lady Midnight, these were the thoughts going through my head as I counted down the weeks in anticipation. This was the first new release of the year I was purchasing, and my most anticipating book of the year; it would kill me if I hated it or thought it was just meh, but rest assured that wasn't the case.

There is something so familiar but different about this newest Cassandra Clare book. It feels more mature in the aspect of writing as opposed to her other books, but that is obviously the case when this is her most recent book and has had time to perfect her craft. But also we are reading a shadowhunter's novel where we are seeing these characters deal firsthand with the effects of the war and how it directly impacted their family, which is another reason for the more solemn tone of this novel. But don't get me wrong there is plenty of humor found throughout this story in increments which is classic to Cassandra Clare.

Honestly with the way this novel is going, this might replace The Mortal Instruments for my second favorite Cassandra Clare series. (The Infernal Devices hold a special place in my heart and will always be #1)

I just can't believe how much I fell in love with these characters. And I fell hard. While reading City of Heavenly Fire we were first introduced to Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns and to be honest I didn't care much for them at the time because I have this thing where I can't bring myself to like characters who are brought in at the end of the series. I don't even know why I do this, but I do. Anyways, now that they are all five years older, I really grew to love them. Cassandra Clare doesn't just write characters. Each member of the Blackthorn family is their own individual person and they all feel as tangible as one's breath.

Some people complain that this novel is very slow in the beginning, but I have to disagree. Lady Midnight is the first in a new series, and it can be read without reading her previous books, though I wouldn't recommend it because you honestly will not enjoy this book half as much if you did not read any of her previous books and novellas.

Reading this was an emotional roller-coaster for me. There is no greater feeling than to be back into the Shadow World again. And this time it takes place at the Los Angeles Institute. Even though I've never been to the west coast, reading Cassie's descriptions of Los Angeles, and the Sunset Strip, and Santa Monica, were so vividly descriptive it felt as if I was there right along side of these characters.

And this is a big book, but Cassie manages to balance the plot to the point where it doesn't drag. Honestly I was having so much fun reading this that I wouldn't mind if there was a mundane scene of them just in the supermarket. This is essentially a mystery and as the novel progresses we are increasingly advancing on discovering who killed Emma's parents and who is behind all these murders going on and it was just genius how Cassandra Clare manages to weave this core plot, with the other advancements that are going on in this novel.

A favorite part in this book (though there's many tbh) was seeing Emma and Julian's relationship strengthen and development. I highly recommend you just go and read this book because those two are just something you need in your life. This book was everything I was expecting and then some, some things Cassie gives us that we didn't even know we wanted, until you realize that you are fangirling over the most frivolous thing a character is saying.

Lady Midnight is full of action, mystery, suspense, family values, and core love aspects which ranks this book as my favorite of 2016. I know it's a little early in the year to be making #1 spot declarations, but I honestly can't see what can top this read for me.

Part II: Spoiler Review

Spoiler city for all ye who enter. You have been forewarned.

As I write this review hours (it was hours, but I was too lazy to finish it which is why it is actually days later, but then again I digress) after completing Lady Midnight, I am still in awe of the masterpiece that is this book. As aforementioned one of my biggest fears in the back of my mind was not loving it in comparison to her other books, but this book was heaven on earth for me.

We start off with the perspective of Kit Rook, which threw me off guard for a short while. I will admit that I was so anxious to meet my favorite characters that I did sort of read this quickly, but in my mind I was questioning why would Cassie start off a book with a character we never heard about, and who we only see a couple of hundreds of pages later? It was when I was halfway through this prologue I went on twitter and saw that Cassie had tweeted that we would find out what had happened to the lost Herondale in this book. And that was when it clicked for me that Kit was most likely a descendant of the original lost Herondale. If you didn't know who the lost Herondale is about, it's a novella in Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy called The Lost Herondale, which you should definitely check out. I literally screamed and noted "I KNEW IT!! I CALLED IT!!" on my book in the middle of the night because I was so excited to have figured that out in just the prologue. I'm really excited to find out more about Kit in the next book Lord of Shadows, I honestly want to see him have an interaction with Jace and Clary. *please Cassandra Clare make it happen*

Reading this book was just an incredible experience. Lady Midnight is definitely a book of it's own in light of the rest of the shadowhunter books. You really get to see how much Cassie's writing has grown and developed and honestly the way she can construct sentences so beautifully had me highlighting and tabbing things all over.

This book felt so much more mature in certain aspects of it. There was definitely less comic relief in this book, mainly due to the fact of how the Dark War had impacted these children's lives, but when there is humor in here, it's pretty hilarious.

What makes this book so phenomenal is the amount of love in it. I loved formally meeting the Blackthorn family and getting to see their different personalities and weird idiosyncracies that make up who they are. You can see there is a strong bond and connection that they share with each other, because they only have each other.

What's interesting is that we do get to see a new aspect of nephilim society, which is the Scholomance. Which was originally opened to train Shadowhunters to deal with both demons and Downworlders, but it was closed after the signing of the First Accords in 1872. But now after the Dark War, it is reopened to investigate cases involving faeries. I'm intrigued to know more about this place and I wonder if we'll visit it in later books. It's also interesting how Cassie draw this version of the Scholomance from an actual fabled version, because the original version of the Scholomance is a fabled legendary school of black magic run by the Devil located somewhere in the Transylvanian mountains.

We also get to see a new face that we haven't seen previously before in Cassie's other books and that is Cristina Rosales. I really grew to love Cristina in this book. Not only is she a great friend to Emma, but she stands so solidly in her own right. She's very understanding and can really compartmentalize situations and seek out solutions among the craziness that is the Blackthorn family. I just love her sense of sensibility and wisdom, which is unusual for people her age. Like how she made everyone clear the room when Mark was first returned to them and how she could see how much everything was overwhelming him. I also really love the growing bond between her and Mark throughout and I really hope it does pan out into a relationship.

I really want to take this time to mention again how much I love Mark Blackthorn. Originally I believed that we wouldn't be seeing Mark until later in book two, but when I read on twitter that we would see him return home in this book I was beyond excited. I wasn't expecting it to be so early on in the book, which led to a lot of tear shedding. Mark Blackthorn is honestly one of my favorite characters in this novel. When he comes back for the first time it's heartbreaking to see how he struggles to recognize his siblings faces, for they've grown so much without him in the past five years. There's that constant feeling in the back of his mind, once he eases more into his family that he worries he will say something to screw it and up and make them hate him. Honestly I just wanted to hug Mark and take him under my wing. *must protect at all costs*

I love the repetition of the reference of the stars throughout this, which was a nod to the Bitter of Tongue novella where we first see Mark mention naming different stars after his siblings every night so he wouldn't forget them. That was my favorite quote in Bitter of Tongue and probably out of all the Shadowhunter Academy novellas, and it was making me so nostalgic to see it again. And also a little teary eyed.

But can we talk about how much I love his faerie speech. Everything that comes out of his mouth is so lyrical and beautiful that he could probably make an insult sound like a compliment. That scene at the diner with the strawberries honestly killed me.
But you do have strawberries on the menu,” said Mark. “And I have seen plates being carried to and fro. So it stands to reason that the strawberries could be placed upon a plate and brought to me.” 
Jean stared. 
“He has a point,” said Ty. “Strawberries are offered as a topping on several dishes. Surely you could separate them out.” 
“A plate of strawberries,” Jean repeated. 
“I would take them in a bowl,” said Mark with a winning gaze. “It has been many years since I have eaten freely at my choice, fair one, and a plate of strawberries is all that I desire.”
Jean looked dazed. "Right," she said, and disappeared with the menus. 
“Mark,” said Julian. “Was that necessary?” 
“Was what necessary?” 
“You don’t have to sound like a medieval faerie poem,” Julian said.”
Honestly that was just perfection. Can we also talk about Mark and Kieran? I sort of saw this coming having know previously that Mark was bi, but also in Bitter of Tongue, (one of my favorite TFSA novellas) when Mark is talking to Simon and then Kieran tries to lead Mark away there was something strangely intimate the way he would talk to him that lead me to believe that there was something going on between them. Though I'm grateful for Kieran taking care of Mark while in the Hunt I couldn't help but ship Mark and Cristina. Mark and Kieran's relationship felt more of something inevitable because they were all they had in the Hunt and Cristina puts it perfect in saying "That is not love, that is a debt." I feel as if Mark hangs on to Kieran so long because he feels guilty of leaving him alone in the Hunt. I was pretty chill with Kieran in this book, but at the part where he got petty and told Gwyn and Iarlarth about Mark breaking the Hunt's rules I was done with him. I don't even care that he sort of tries to redeem himself by the end of this novel, because if he truly loved Mark he would want him to be happy and not forcibly bring him back into the Hunt as a punishment.

That entire whip scene was a mess. I knew. I KNEW. That once the punishment was twenty lashings that this would turn into the Hunger Games with everyone volunteering as tribute for Mark. Of course Julian had to step up to the plate and volunteer despite me frantically screaming at my book for him to stop. Then Emma has to be martyr too and knock him out so she could take the punishment instead. Can all my faves stop putting themselves in danger, that would be great. *cries*

But now let's talk about the bane of my existence; Blackstairs. I can't even express to you how much I am Blackstairs trash. I have never shipped a couple so much in these shadowhunter books as I have with Blackstairs.

But let's start off with their friendship. Emma and Julian have such a unique and all encompassing parabatai relationship, that it was giving me throwbacks to Will and Jem's relationshp, which led to more crying. The way they look out for each other and how they sleep in each other's beds at night to just to comfort each other. Cassandra Clare loves to do this thing where she likes to drag out romantic tension and slowly kill you with feels, which was evident in this book. Oh my god I can't tell you the amount of times I was squealing whenever they would do something so simple such as placing runes on each other. Then in their minds they would always be scolding themselves of how they shouldn't feel this way about each other and how the other would find them disgusting for feeling this way. Which as a reader you're like "WELL MAYBE IF YOU TWO JUST TALKED TO EACH OTHER THEN YOU WOULD KNOW HOW THE OTHER FEELS." Like c'mon Emma and Jules a little heart to heart wouldn't kill you.

This was dragged out a good 350 pages or so until we get to the dance scene at the midnight theater where Julian and Emma finally dance together while I'm hyperventilating in a corner. I shall enlighten you with an excerpt:
“He had never touched her like this. 
He seemed like someone under a spell. Someone who knew he was under a spell, and was fighting against the pull of it with every nerve and fiber, the percussion of a terrible internal struggle pounding through his veins. She could feel his pulse through his hands, against the bare skin of her back. 
She moved toward him, just a little, barely an inch. He gasped. His chest expanded against hers, brushing the swell of her breasts through the thin material of her dress. The sensation whipped through her like electricity. She couldn’t think. 
“Emma,” he said in a choked voice. His hands contracted, sharply, as if he’d been stabbed. He was pulling her. Toward him. Her body slammed up against his. The crowd was a blur of light and color around them. His head lowered toward hers. They breathed the same breath.”
In my Blackstairs trash mind I was chanting for them to kiss, but of course that didn't happen. Earlier on, about 270 pages in we begin to see the abnormality of Emma and Julian's parabatai relationship. More specifically the scene where they are in the car after Julian has been shot with that arrow. Emma's panicking, I'm panicking, Julian's trying to calm her down and this turns into another mess. In my mind at that moment I'd rather take my chances and call the Silent Brothers, then just sit there hopelessly trying to heal them. And when she puts on the iratze on him and it doesn't work my heart clenches, and when she tries again and it doesn't work I'm then again panicking. And then third time she is able to do it:
“Something in her chest seemed to split and crack; she marveled that it wasn’t audible. Energy raced along her veins and the stele moved in her hand, tracing the graceful outline of a healing rune across Julian’s chest. She heard him gasp, his eyes flying open. His hand slid down her back and he pressed her against him, his teeth gritted."
Honestly when I first read this I didn't know it had anything to do with the bond. I thought maybe that Emma maybe had some sort of power we didn't know about. It's later emphasized when Malcolm tells Julian that that arrow should have killed him, that he shouldn't even be alive right now. We're still pretty unclear so far as to why parabatai can't fall in love. Throughout all the shadowhunter novels we've consumed we never really know the reason why, I'm honestly surprised why I rarely question it. I didn't even think that Cassie would give us an answer in this book, but right around the end of the book we have a scene with Jem and Emma and he finally tells us that if the parabatai fell in love romantically, the parabatai spell would cause them to wield magic similar to warlocks. But he also say that it would drive them mad and they would destroy their family. I'm curious to see how that would work out. This part had me internally screaming because I honestly don't know H O W we are going to get around this. This isn't some minute law where we can talk our way around, it psychically affects and its only a matter of time before they're found out.

But my Emma and Julian NEED to be together, there's no question about it. Cassandra Clare can't do this to me. We need to find someway around this. They can break the bond if they become mundanes, but being stripped of your Marks can lead to death and besides they don't want to not be shadowhunters. I highly doubt the Clave will ever legallize something that can be so potentially dangerous so my guess is that they're going to have to find some way to break the parabatai bond. Maybe sever it with Cortana, because "A blade by Wayland the Smith can cut through anything." Could that be possible foreshadowing? Who knows Cassie never does anything in this book without reason.

I truly believe that their lives are tied together. Like if Emma dies, Julian would too. There's a physical connection through the bond where they can feel each other's pain more strongly than a normal parabatai bond. In the studio, when he throws up seawater. That has never happened in a normal parabatai relationship. Julian even goes on to think:
"He placed his hand over the rune. And he knew. He knew without knowing how he knew, knew it down in his soul where his connection to Emma had been forged in blood and fire. He knew in the way that she was a part of him, the way her breathing was his breathing, and her dreams were his dreams, and her blood was his blood, and when her heart stopped he knew that his would too."
And even afterwards on the beach when he pulls out the water he says to Emma that "I don't live if you die!" After that terrifying scene of possible imminent death Cassie rewards us with an official Blackstairs kiss scene. I squealed, cried, and died at the same time. Oh my god you don't know how hard it was to read this in the middle of English class trying to keep calm. This epic scene which just gave me all the feels and made me emotionally unstable:
“He found her mouth with his again, and as if her lips were connected to every nerve ending in her body, her “whole self seemed to spark and dance. So this was what it was supposed to be like, what kissing was supposed to be like, what all of it was supposed to be like. This. 
He leaned in to outline her mouth, her cheek, the sandy curve of her jaw with kisses. He kissed his way down her throat, his breath warm on her skin. Tangling her hands in his wet curls, she stared up in wonder at the sky above them, wheeling with stars, shimmering and cold, and thought that this couldn’t be happening, people didn’t get things they wanted like this. 
“Jules,” she whispered. “My Julian.” 
“Always,” he whispered.”

I just couldn't anymore. I am so glad that we had a kiss and sex scene this early on in the first book of the series. This is something that so rarely happens, but these characters are so intimately connected in every other way, it was only inevitable. And they can also speak in each other's minds now?? What even.

I am so in love with the way Cassie write's Emma and Julian. They're so different from characters from other books and they feel so tangible. Especially Julian. My heart just goes out to him. This is a kid who had to kill his father when he was twelve years old, see his two older siblings getting taken away from, raise his four younger siblings like they're his children, AND not only RUN the Los Angeles Institute by himself at the age of 12, but hide the fact of his uncle's mental deterioration. If this is not a steadfast example of endurance then I don't know what is. So many decisions, so much adult responsibilities was thrown onto this boy of twelve years old, who is just trying to keep his family together, which is what makes him into the 17 year old he is now. Julian has such a strong sense of protection for his family, even more so that he refers to them as his children. In Lady Midnight it is evident that he will do anything to keep them safe and together. Not caring if he has to get his hands dirty. Which is what makes his character so interesting and as Kieran said it perfectly that Julian has "a ruthless heart". The ease and conviction which he can lie is also frightening, even to Emma. He knows when something needs to be done and he does it, to save his family. Such as convicting Anselm Nightshade at the end of the novel which he with no remorse, but I believe will have repercussions later on.

I also saw in watching emmabooks review that Nightshade is a shadowhunter last name and that it was the last name that Clary's grandmother, Adele Nightshade, so it stands to good reason that Anselm might be/was a shadowhunter.

But I digress. Emma is the first main character we have in the Shadow World who grew up as a shadowhunter, unlike Clary or Tessa. I loved how people compared Emma's combativeness to Jace. OMG can we talk about the fact that Jace and Clary are now the most famous shadowhunters in the world, this makes me so nostalgic and proud, and weirded out at the same time. But anyways back to Emma. I honestly loved Emma as a protagonist more than I did Clary. She has the fierceness about her and the kind of person that gets stuff done. You still see her struggle with coming to terms with her parents death, as the rage and the need for revenge consume her daily thoughts. You see Julian be her balance and the one to rein her in. There's no perfect match than these two, okay. The way she has found her place among this family where she is related to no one. I'm just really in my Emma Carstairs feel right now. *cries*

So we've reached the inevitable betrayal. I. Was. Not. Expecting. This. At. All. Usually I'm good at predicting things, but I did not see Malcolm's betrayal at all. I was reading this in the car and audibly gasped at my book, something that I practically never do. I didn't see it coming right up until a second before Emma did. It then all clicked, and had me thinking back to a quote Malcolm had said in the beginning that "they should not depend on him too much, because he'll let them down, people always do" or something along those lines. When reading it first struck me as such an odd statement, but now I can see the foreshadowing. I can't imagine how this betrayal of Malcolm will affect the Blackthorns in later books. I was so ready to be trusting of him, because of Magnus and Catarina I actually liked warlocks, but then we were so blinded to see this betrayal. A part of me wants to feel bad for him, though I do feel terrible for what Anabel Blackthorn had to endure. Being buried alive, by your own family? Who even does that?? I can't help to wonder if this took place during the time of The Last Hours or Infernal Devices or if it was before.

Anyway it will be interesting to know more about this situation considering the fact that she is now alive. Even though I saw this coming I'm still anxious I know what happens next. I doubt that Annabel is going to come out her grave and be all chill. How is she even alive? I think that one of Blackthorns probably started bleeding during the fight and that must have been the 'Blackthorn blood' that was needed. Can we also talk about the fact that Malcolm is supposedly dead. I do not believe for a second he is dead. I wanted to yell at my book when Emma stabbed him and then pushed him into the water, like whyyyy??? Why couldn't you make sure he was dead. Even though we see a demon grab him in the water I still believe he's alive and the Black book is now in the ocean and probably in his possession.

And JESSA. For some reason I was lead to believe that there was a lot of Jessa in this book, but they were only really seen at the end. *sigh* You can bet I got emotional when I saw my favorite characters again. And I love Jem and Emma's relationship, I really hope to see more of it in the later books. And I couldn't help but think of Will when Tessa was speaking about love.
“Oh, if we could end love just by willing it, life would be very different!” Tessa laughed. “It’s easier to end someone else’s love for you than kill your love for them. Convince them that you don’t love them, or that you are someone they cannot respect—ideally both.” Her eyes were wide and gray and youthful; it was hard to believe she was older than nineteen. “To change your own heart, that’s nearly impossible.”
That part of Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince where he tried to push Tessa away from him because of the curse. *hides and cries again* 

And then, the end of the novel, where Emma basically pulls a Will Herondale and tries to convince Jules that she doesn't love him.
“Emma,” he said, reaching for her hand. “I will never, never give up on you.” 
It was a strange irony, she thought, a terrible irony that because she loved him so much and knew him so well, she knew exactly what she had to do to destroy everything he felt for her, in a single blow. 
She pulled away from him and started back toward the house. “Yes,” she said. “You will.”

At least Julian knew that she was doing this on purpose to protect him. But to make matters worse Emma then goes to Mark, and tells him that they should "fake date" to protect Julian. Honestly I don't know how Mark wasn't able to catch on to why she was asking him this, but then he agrees and the ending line was him closing the door and saying, "Why Lie?" I love you Mark but you need to take 500 steps back.
“The storm calls you as it calls me, does it not?He held out a hand to her, half-beckoning, half-offering.“Why lie?” he said.”
I wanted to scream at my book at this part. Why does Cassandra Clare do this to me? I can already see the mess that is going to be in Lord of Shadows, ughh why would Mark agree to this?? Like you obviously like Cristina, and now she's going to think you're in love with Emma and this going to hurt Jules and ugh this is such a mess. I hate it when characters try to do something that they think will benefit the other person. Why do you think this is a good idea??? It's almost NEVER a good idea. I'm not ready for the next book at all. I'm so unprepared, and I'm anxious and excited all at the same time for Lord of Shadows. So now Jem and Tessa are going to look for the Black book. Like how does that work are they physically going to have to in the ocean or can they track it? But I'm just waiting to see them again.

I'm also very excited to see more of Christopher Herondale and how he is at the Institute. Even though we pretty much see how he isn't too fond of shadowhunters, but hopefully he'll come around. What are your thoughts on Lady Midnight? I don't know how I'll survive a year for the next book Lord of Shadows, but rest assure that they'll be a lot of rereading in the near future. I have various playists plan for these books so keep an eye out on my 8tracks or bookish playlists tab.