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REVIEW {47} SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch *Spoiler Free*

Snow Like Ashes
AUTHOR: Sara Raasch
SERIES: Snow Like Ashes [Book #1] | Ice Like Fire [Book #2] Release Date: October 13, 2015
PUBLICATION INFO: Harper Teen | RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2014
CATEGORY: Young Adult, Four Star Rating, Fantasy, Romance, Kick Ass Heroine
ACQUISITION: Library | EDITION: Hardcover; First Edition, 416 pages
RATING: 3 STARS | GOODREADS RATING: 4.05/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

MY THOUGHTS: Snow Like Ashes was one of my most anticipated reads for 2014. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to it last year, and I also didn’t get it for Christmas – even though it was on my Wishlist. So, when I was recently at the library and saw a copy sitting there on the shelf, my greedy little hand grabbed it so fast I swear there were flames!

World Building
Snow Like Ashes follows the story of Meira, a sixteen-year-old girl who is one of only a handful of refugees from the kingdom of Winter. In this world, there are eight kingdoms – 4 Season Kingdoms (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn) and 4 Rhythm Kingdoms (Cordell is the one that plays a major part in this book). Spring is ruled by Angra, the major villain in this series. He has taken over Winter and enslaved all of the Winterians in slave labor camps within the kingdom.
A majority of the first few chapters is spent on world-building and back story. We know that deep in the Klaryn Mountains is the source of the magic that exists in this world; however, the entry into the caverns has been lost over the centuries. Each of the rulers of the kingdoms has a conduit (be it jewelry, a weapon, etc.) that contains the magic, and they can only use it for the good of their kingdom. It also passes down by bloodline, and gender. The conduit for Winter – a locket – has been confiscated by Angra, and the sixteen years since Winter fell have been spent trying to recover the locket, which of course, Angra has split into two.
So the book begins with a mission to steal back the first half of the locket, and sets into motion events that will carry us through the rest of the book.
Plot & Pacing
We are thrown immediately into action, and for the most part there really isn’t much lag in this book – it’s pretty must fast paced until the end. I can’t remember many slow parts, or parts where I was bored. I also found Raasch’s writing to be enjoyable. Unfortunately, though, I did have trouble connecting with Meira in the beginning. I have to admit first though, that I was distracted at the start and may have not given the book the full attention it deserved. I found myself having to reread some paragraphs. Such is life with a one year old *insert ‘wah-wah’ face*.

Characters & Development
The major characters of this book are:
Meira – the main character; Winterian Refugee
Mather – the heir to Winter; son of Queen Hannah and future King of Winter.
Sir – Winterian General; leader of the refugees
Theron – Prince of Cordell
Angra – King of Spring
Herod – Angra’s Second in Command
Noam – King of Cordell
The Refugees – Alyson (Sir’s Wife), Finn, Greer, Henn, Dendera
Queen Hannah – Queen of Winter when Winter fell
Nessa, Conall, and Garrigan – Winterian slaves in Spring labor camp
I think each character had their own personalities and desires that were conveyed well; however, I felt as though the main character, Meira, was lacking. I was able to connect more with Theron, whom I dare say is my newest fictional crush! Together, I believe Meira and Theron can become a force to reckon with. They each have characteristics that the other lacks, so as one they will be unstoppable. Nessa, a winterian currently enslaved in Spring’s labor camp with her two older brothers was also one of my favorite characters. Her hope is what keeps her going, that someone will free them and lead them back to a free Winter. I also feel as though a “good” character at some point may turn “evil”. I can’t explain it, just a hunch. It is also interesting to see how the alliance between Winter and Cordell holds up. Not in the aspects of Meira and Theron, but King Noam.
Writing
I found myself enjoying Raasch’s writing style, and I found her ability to tell Winter’s story pleasing. However I did have trouble connecting with Meira’s character in that I couldn’t “read” her. I knew what she wanted and how she felt, but I was having a lot of trouble getting inside of her head. I truly felt that Winter’s story was being told, not necessarily Meira’s. I believe this will change in the second book – at least I’m hoping for it. I truly want to know more of Meira.
I also felt that when it came to the world-building, Raasch did a little too much telling, and not enough letting my mind “show” me what the world looked like. It caused me too much confusion, and feel that it was rehashed too many times what the world was like. Especially since the major kingdoms are season kingdoms and reflect the characteristics of their said season. Regardless, I really enjoy the world she has created and I definitely look forward to spending more time here once the second book in the series is released. 
It doesn’t happen very often, but I found myself very intrigued by the villain in this story. Angra has been able to take in dark matter/magic “decay” and make himself a sort of “conduit” and that is how he carries out his evil deeds. He is a dark, evil character that I’m so interested in that I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the rest of the series. If Meira can become this amazing, kick-ass heroine that I think she has the potential to be, it could make for an interesting fight between the two.

Review Summary
A less than impressive introduction to this fantasy series, but enough excitement, action, intrigue and potential to make me excited for book two.
Would I Recommend This Book? Yes. If you love YA Fantasy with magical themes and evil villains with a heroine who has tons of potential. There is lots of action and adventure; magic and romance mingled in to keep anyone fully engaged.
SIMILAR READS: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas |  Winterspell by Claire Legrand | Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White | Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh | Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburn

Happy Reading!
Laura

BIRTHDAY BOOK HAUL!

What’s up, bookworms – today I share with you the books that I got for my birthday. Enjoy!

Happy Reading,
Laura

REVIEW {46} Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry

NOWHERE BUT HERE
AUTHOR: Katie McGarry
SERIES: Thunder Road [Book #1]
PUBLICATION INFO: Harlequin Teen | RELEASE DATE: May 26th 2015
CATEGORY: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Motorcycle Clubs, First Love, Four Star Rating
ACQUISITION: Own | EDITION: Hardcover; First Edition, 496 pages
RATING: 4 STARS | GOODREADS RATING: 4.06/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

MY THOUGHTS: This one has been compared to the TV Show Sons of Anarchy, but having never seen the show, I cannot offer my opinion on that.
What I can do however; is tell you that if you loved McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series as much as I did (Which is a whole freaking lot!) then you will love this first entry in the Thunder Road series. It has all the bad boy yumminess, flawed characters, and a whole lot of anxiety-inducing action to keep  with Julie Kagawa (double-freaking-awesomeness!) and while I knew I’d read Nowhere But Here, it wasn’t until after I heard Katie speak that I got super pumped for this book, and decided that I was going to buy it instead of waiting for a copy from the library. These books are ones that I can see myself rereading in the future.
What I love about Katie’s books is that she isn’t afraid to take her characters anywhere she wants them to go – whether that puts them in danger or a dangerous downward spiral – she will have you laughing, crying, and screaming page after page at characters so real that they feel like they’re your friends in real life.
For me, I had a little trouble getting into Emily’s character at the start of NBH. She was so innocent and naive, so trusting and believing in her parents that she was completely ignorant to an entire other part of her life… that included her bio-dad. I came to care for Emily as the chapters flew by, and by the end of the book I was definitely happy to see the person she became over the course of the book.
The whole premise of the book, being based around a motorcycle club, was a refreshingly new idea that I fully embraced and was very curious about. While seeing Katie speak, she explained how she had actually spent time with a real motorcycle club – to remove the stigma that is associated with them. Not all clubs are bad, illegal, or gangs – and that is what she proved with this book.
I was not expecting the big secret of the book to end up being what it was. It was an awesome curve ball that she threw, and I think it was awesome the way the whole story was centered around this big secret, and the whole time I was thinking how this secret is being so over-hyped and it probably won’t even be that big of  a secret, but yes, it is quite a doozy – and the consequences are dire.
Overall, I fell in love with a little town called Snowflake, Kentucky and the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club, and all of the characters that I got to meet and spend time with. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary stories, romance done well, and some seriously sexy bad boys you can’t help but fall for too.

NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES:  Walk the Edge | Expected Publication Date: March 2016

OTHER BOOKS BY KATIE MCGARRY: Pushing the Limits | Dare You To | Crash Into You | Take Me On | Crossing the Line | Breaking the Rules | Chasing Impossible

SIMILAR READS: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid | Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally | The Lies About the Truth by Courtney C. Stevens | Another Little Piece of my Heart  by Tracey Martin | What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Happy Reading!
Laura

BOOK HAUL!!!

Hey bookworms!

Here’s my latest book haul; hope you enjoy!

Happy Reading!
Laura

HOW TO: READ SEVERAL BOOKS AT ONCE

Hey Bookworms!
Today I wanted to share with you my tips and tricks for reading multiple books at once. 
Now, this isn’t for everyone. Some people can only handle one book at a time, and that’s just fine! Sometimes that is all that I can do. But on average I tend to read at least two books at the same time, however; I have been known to read three or four. So here are some tips to help ease into multiple book reading – if you choose to do so.
CHOOSE BOOKS OF DIFFERENT GENRES.
I do not recommend reading similar themed books if you are going to read more than one book at a time. A typical choice of multiple books for me would be 1 adult novel and 1 young adult novel. Most of the adult fiction that I read is historical fiction/contemporary/romance or paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy so for the most part it doesn’t really impact my young adult choice. If I choose to read a contemporary adult fiction though, I will skip over a contemporary or romance in young adult. You don’t want to burn yourself out or get confused on what is happening between the stories. 

READ ONE PHYSICAL BOOK AND ONE EBOOK (AND/OR AUDIOBOOK).
I have an easier time dividing my time between books when one is a physical copy and one is on my iPad. I will devote daytime to the physical copy, and then at night I will devote that time to what is on my iPad. This way I don’t get sucked into one book more than the other. 
TAKE NOTES.
One way to help keep story lines straight is to take notes. I keep a notebook with my physical book, and jot down what happens every few chapters, or if there is something that I think was important. I don’t always remember to take notes so I will at least try to at the end of the book, gather my notes and thoughts before I write my review. On an ereader it is easier to make notations right in the text and go over what you’ve highlighted at the end. This way you can always refresh yourself if need be  – plus it’s a great way to remember what happened once you get further in a series.
IF YOU CANT DO IT – TAKE IT DOWN TO ONE BOOK – AND DON’T FEEL BAD.
If you end up not being able to read two books at the same time, it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s just too much. Choose the one that you are most connected to, and finish it up. If you still feel like you want to finish up the other book once you’re done – go for it! But don’t stress if you have completely disconnected from the 2nd book. I’ve found that if I set a book down and don’t end up reading it again right away, I will try again a few months later and will have a better chance at finishing it. Not all books appeal to us at the time that we tell ourselves to read it. Sometimes we have to wait until we have clearer minds or are really in the mood for that genre of book. I will go through phases where I can’t get enough contemporary/romance, and then there will be times were I’ll go months without reading one. It all depends on your mood and mindset.

I hope this had some tips to help you out, if you’ve decided to try reading more than one book at once. Again – it isn’t for everyone, or sometimes it isn’t the right time for more than one. And don’t confuse a looming reading slump with your desire to read several books. Good luck!

Happy Reading!
Laura

REVIEW {44} – SILVER SHADOWS by Richelle Mead

SILVER SHADOWS
Series: Bloodlines – Book #5
Author: Richelle Mead
My Rating: 3.50/5.00 | Goodreads Rating: 4.40/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.


LIKES
  • Sydney and Adrian’s love for each other.
  • Hopper – the dragon!
  • Sydney and Adrian’s relationship status – at the end of the book.
  • How fast paced and full of action this book (and ultimately the entire series) is.
  • How strong the bond of friendship is between Jill, Angelina, Eddie, Sydney, Neil, and Adrian. In a world where dhampirs and vampires do not have relationships (friendship or otherwise) with Alchemists, the way they’ve banded together and the loyalty towards each other is insane!
  • Sydney’s magic. I love this aspect of the book, I truly do!
  • Carly Sage.
  • Rowena.
  • Jill’s bond with Adrian – and her maturity.
  • Jill and Eddie. Please, get together! I’m OTP’ing it! Jeddie? 
  • Diversity in characters and lifestyles.

DISLIKES
  • The Re-education center and the Alchemists.
  • Queen Tatiana’s voice in Adrian’s head. (Curious to see what that’s all about.)
  • Adrian’s negative Spirit attributes.
  • Some parts that seem to lag and drag.
  • The Alchemists. Did I already mention them? I hate them.

MY THOUGHTS: 
*I cannot promise that this is a spoiler-free review. If you haven’t read the first 4 books of the series, I recommend not continuing with this review!*
 I have been obsessed with the Vampire Academy world from the first page of Vampire Academy, and when I found out that there was a spin-off series, it made my little vampire-loving heart leap with joy! So far, I’ve loved Sydney and Adrian’s story, told throughout the Bloodlines series.With  every book, I’ve closed the cover and had the worst book hangover – desperately awaiting the next book to come out.
While I did enjoy the continuation of the story, I felt that this one was just a little stagnant. At the end of The Fiery Heart, Sydney was taken by the Alchemists for re-education, and Adrian is left fighting to find her. But in his spirit-wielding way, Adrian falls back into old habits at the start of Silver Shadows, and Sydney is wasting away in a dark cell, drugged until she admits she sinned, and is willing to undergo re-education to find her way back to the light. She is in this dark place both physically and emotionally – as it was her own sister, Zoe, who betrayed her, and her father who committed her to this place. She leaves her hopes of rescue in Adrian – who is back at Court, after his mother came to get him and bring him back after Jill contacted her. Back at Court, Adrian teams up with Nina – another Spirit user – who joins him in his drinking escapades, and makes sure he gets back to his room. She also has feelings for him.
Mostly, this book just starts to tie up the loose ends from the series, getting ready to end it all in just one more book.
While it ended on a cliffhanger in true Richelle Mead style, I found large chunks of this book leaning towards boring. Even though we get the typical unexpected – like what Sydney and Adrian do in the end – that I can say that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL – for the most part it’s Sydney in re-education, confirming what we already know – that she is a bad ass – and Adrian falling back into old drinking patterns and we follow him around Court while he parties. I don’t feel like a lot happens, which I suppose being the last book before the finale, it can happen. 
I still love Mead’s writing style, and her characters feel like they are really some of my BFFs. Her characters have such depth and emotion that it’s hard not to get invested in them. Even though this was not one of my favorite books in the series, I still fully enjoyed it and I am so sad that when I read The Ruby Circle, that this series will be finished. I don’t think I am ready for that!
Would I recommend it? Obviously, if you’ve read the first 4 books then YES you need to read it!

Happy Reading!

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT + MARCH LIBRARY HAUL [video]

Hey bookworms!

Happy Saturday, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Today I’m sharing exciting news with my YouTube channel about my online shop, The Bookish Nook, as well as sharing my library haul books.

Check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you can stay up to date with my latest videos!

Happy Reading!
Laura

REVIEW {41} – THE DEMON KING by Cinda Williams-Chima (Spoiler Free!)

THE DEMON KING
BY: Cinda Williams-Chima
SERIES: Seven Realms #1
GOODREADS RATING: 4.21 out of 5.00 Stars
MY RATING: 5.00 out of 5.00 Stars
ADD TO GOODREADS

WHAT THE BACK OF THE BOOK SAYS: 

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her—including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

LIKES
  •  Princess Raisa! My goodness, I didn’t realize how badly I’ve been in need of a strong heroine. One thing that I love is when a character completely transforms over the course of the book, and Raisa is no exception. She starts out as a naive, ignorant princess heir but who she is at the end of the book is not the same girl.
  • Han Alister. Or Cuffs Alister. Or Hunts Alone. You know – whichever name you decide to call him! Han is such a unique character as well. He is often thought of as this vicious street gang leader who has no care or regard for anyone, but that is so far from the truth! He is a complex character, and I cannot wait to see where the rest of the series takes him. He has immense potential, so it will be interesting to see if he ends up as a hero or villain.
  •  The world-building. This is a giant world – uh, hello, it’s called the Seven Realms series – and it’s incredible how easily the landscapes come to life right off of each page! From the grimy, dirty streets of Ragmarket or Southbridge, to the royal castle of Fellsmarch to the Vale and the camps – Marisa Pines and Demonai – each is unique and incredibly detailed.
DISLIKES
  • It started off reading a little young, but the content didn’t match that. I enjoy the writing, but it did take me a few chapters to really connect.
  • A few events were predictable.
  • I didn’t realize that there was a map – my Kindle copy opened to chapter one, skipping the title page etc., so I didn’t know there was a map included! Duh!
MY THOUGHTS

I don’t know how I haven’t read this book yet. I mean, seriously – it was THAT good. It just really missed my radar. We start the book thrown immediately into action, and pick up information about the main characters and the realm along the way. I enjoyed that the story was told from alternating perspectives as well. It was a great way to contrast Raisa’s life growing up as royalty, and Han’s life, growing up as a street thug. I thoroughly enjoyed Williams-Chima’s writing style. She writes in such a fantastic way, that the characters came to life on each page. I was able to feel everything that Raisa and Han did – from happy moments to really heartbreakingly sad ones.

I also love the character growth in this book. Raisa becomes such an admirable character by books end, that it’s hard to believe she came from where she did. She always had it in her to start a revolution, and now she’s ready to carry it out. She isn’t the type of future monarch to sit around and let her people live in squalor while they live in grandeur in the castle.

Another great part of this book is the range of characters. From humans, to those who wield magic, to those who create magical amulets. I love, love, loved the magical themes in this story! We had good magic users and of course, bad. It was written beautifully, and I cannot wait to see how the magical use will evolve in the next books. It was nice to see such an array of characters as well, from all races and walks of life. It really added a diversity to the book that was wonderful.

The world building was helped greatly by the provided map in the beginning of the book of the Seven Realms. It can be a little overwhelming at first, since the books takes place in many different parts of the world – and different areas are mentioned often. But once you really get a handle on it, it’s incredible how author’s can create these worlds in their minds!

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT? Whether your a newbie to fantasy or an avid fantasy reader – you’ll love this book!

Happy Reading!
Laura

FEBRUARY WRAP UP + WHAT’S UP IN MARCH

Hey Bookworms!
Can you believe we are saying goodbye to February already, and hello to March? How quickly this year seems to be going already. 
February was a slow reading month for me, and I only added one book to my 2015-Read Shelf on Goodreads, and that was The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams-Chima [Review to come].
I am Currently Reading Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon, Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead, and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
So What’s up for March?
I am going to be finishing the above books, as well as The Thorn and the Sinking Stone by C.J. Dushinski as part of a blog tour [look for my review on March 13th]. I don’t know what books I’m going to be reading this month yet, as I don’t really have any sort of craving for any one type of book. I have been eying my set of Beautiful Creatures Series for a re-read though. 
Sorry this was such a boring post! It’s been slow reading for me, and there was

about a week long period where I wasn’t really reading at all.

But I’d love to know what you guys read in February and what you plan to read in March, so please leave me comments below letting me know!
Happy Reading!
Laura

BOOK CHAT {1} City of Bones – The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare

Hey Guys!
So today I am doing my first Book Chat post, which will be replacing my old style of reviews. I hope you like it! Be sure to comment below and let me know if you do, and what you thought of City of Bones.
CITY OF BONES
The Mortal Instruments #1
Cassandra Clare
My Rating: 4 Stars Goodreads Rating: 4.12 Stars
LIKES
– Unique story and ideas
– Good cast of characters with lots of potential – Excited to see the character development throughout the remainder of the series.
– Variety of supernatural races – Downworlders.
– Good world-building.
– Fast paced. 
DISLIKES
– Third person narration. It made it difficult to connect with and give individual voices to the characters.
– The writing wasn’t the greatest.
– The characters felt 2 Dimensional; lacking depth.
– The Jace and Clary spoiler.
– There was not a lot of development in Clary as a character, considering what she is going through and learning. There is a lot of potential as she is witty and snarky.
– Info dumping – there is A LOT of information to sort through and remember.
– The characters didn’t feel as close as they were supposed to be. Jace to the Lightwoods for example.
– Jace is really actually a giant douche.
MY THOUGHTS
It took me forever to finally read this one – and having added it to my Winter 2014-2015 TBR I finally gave in and read it.  Though I rated it a 4 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads, I think I’m leaning more towards a 3.5. I liked this book but I didn’t really like it, and I didn’t love it. I know there is a lot of articles online about plagarism with Cassandra Clare, and while reading it I didn’t pick up on that, but afterwards I read a few articles and yes there are similarities, cliche even to the genre, BUT I think the story was unique enough that it captured my curiosity and held my interest.
Clare’s writing style really leaves a lot to be desired. There are horrible similes littering the pages, and there is little to no character development in my opinion. But there was enough good to keep me reading, and I do look forward to finishing the series – even though I’m currently forcing myself to keep reading the second book. There is just that je nais sais pas that is missing that keeps me from really loving this series and wanting to read the books. I’m taking longer reading them than is necessary because I find myself getting bored with the characters. It could also be that I’m sort of on the edge of a book slump that it’s hard to keep me focused, but I’m taking a break and will come back once I find my drive to read.

WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? I think so. I think there is enough good that I’d happily suggest it to other paranormal fantasy readers.

Happy Reading!
Laura