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Beautiful Creatures Series (Wrap Up)

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Series Description:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least, that’s what I thought. Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world where a curse has marked Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals for generations.
Mysterious, suspenseful, and romantic, Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, and Beautiful Redemption introduce a secret world hidden in plain sight. A world where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending.

Series Rating: 5/5 (average rating = 4.5)

If you can’t tell by my rating, this series is definitely one of my favorites!  From the characters to the settings to the romances to the clever, witty lines of Ethan Wate, this series will live on my bookshelves for years and years to come!

If you’re a fan of YA/fantasy/magic, grab your hands on this series!

Favorite:  Beautiful Chaos
Least Favorite:  Beautiful Redemption

Talk about a series hangover.  I was devastated when this ended.  I wish it could have ended better, but I didn’t hate it.  Now, I know this series seems to be hit or miss with some people because they find it slow or cheesy, but I just could not relate to that at all, although I do understand the “slow” at some parts in the books.  The only reason I didn’t trudge through those parts was because of my love for the characters that I was willing to go in depth and hear all of those “boring” details that other people who are just trying to get through could care less to hear.

Here are my links to each separate review:

⦁ Beautiful Creatures
⦁ Beautiful Darkness
⦁ Beautiful Chaos
⦁ Beautiful Redemption

Now, as much as I ADORE this series, I also know that it’s not for everyone.  So while I completely think highly of these books, depending on the person interested, I may or may not recommend.  It’s kind of a balance between contemporary and fantasy/magic.  If you can read both of these, I might suggest this mash up for you :]

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The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

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Book Description:

Lie, torture, kill—there’s nothing Chris and Derek wouldn’t do for their younger brothers…

When Chris wakes up tied to a chair in a dark basement, he knows that he’s trapped—and why. He shot and killed Derek’s little brother. He had his reasons, but no matter how far Derek goes to uncover the truth about that night, Chris’s story won’t change. It can’t. There is far too much at stake…
Derek is desperate to prove his brother didn’t deserve to die. And if kidnapping his brother’s killer is the only way to the truth, than he’ll go to extremes. But Chris’s truth is far more dangerous than Derek could have imagined, and knowing could cost both their lives…

My Rating: 2.5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston for free via Sourcebooks Publishing in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

Let’s start off with: the dedication – his kid was inspiration?  Either they have a crazy back story or he means inspiration to keep writing.  Let’s hope that’s what he means 😛

I’m kind of tired of reading these books about siblings that get along.  I grew up with 2 brothers.  That’s now how it works when your 10 and 16.  Especially angsty 16 and confused 10.  Even through tragedy, it’s usually short lived.

^Okay so, I tend to write out my thoughts as I go and if I’m being honest, my opinion did change a bit on this.  I later understood more of the “protective brother” thing at the plot twist.  Turned out to not be as cliché lame as I thought BUT it did also make me think the main character was a little nutso.

This book wasn’t HORRIBLE – but it was a little predictable and I just clearly couldn’t relate (besides the main thing happening here, I also dislike most sports SO sitting through all of the baseball parts was a bit of a struggle,  I really didn’t care), nor was I feeling any emotion the author was going for.  I didn’t feel sad/scared/anxious/sympathy… I really just wanted to see how the book ended.  And yes, it made my eyebrows rise, it was worth reading once, but then I threw it to the side and probably won’t ever touch it again.

And for the sake of being petty, I hate the page breakers.  I looks like someone dropped their fat tipped marker on the page.  Ew.

I don’t typically like these type of stories, but if there’s a HUGE twist in the end that blows my mind, then of course I’m gonna love it!  But this just didn’t have that and it just fell kind of flat.  I personally wouldn’t hand this out as a recommendation.

If you read this, let me know what you think!

Happy Reading! xo

2016 January Wrap Up

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Total Books = 5
Average Rating = 4

What a month full of Mrs. Sarah J. Maas!  But she is queen so clearly it was a great month for Ashley 😀

With that being said, here’s my finished reads for the month of January:

1.) The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – 5/5
2.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – 5/5
3.) Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – 5/5
4.) The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels – 3/5
5.) The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston – 3/5

Hope you guys have a safe and wonderful month full of reading!

2016 January Bookhaul

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January bookhaul – New Year, new haul!

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 18
Total Spent: $27.54

Thrift Store 1 – $19.98
1.) The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown; hardcover
2.) The Fiery Cross by Diana Galbaldon; hardcover
3.) Brisingr by Christopher Paolini; hardcover
4.) Sabriel by Garth Nix; paperback
5.) Doctor Who: Judgement of the Judoon by Colin Brake; hardcover
6.) The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore; hardcover
7.) The Host by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover
8.) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson; hardcover
9.) Airframe by Michael Crichton; hardcover
10.) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer; hardcover
11.) Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast; paperback
12.) J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter by Marc Shapiro; paperback
13.) The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks; hardcover
14.) The Magykal Papers by Angie Sage; hardcover

Thrift Store 2 –$7.56
1.) Lord of the Flies by William Golding; paperback
2.) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen; paperback
3.) Burned by Eileen Hopkins; paperback
4.) Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden; paperback

-1 The Painted Lady, this was apart of December’s haul and she somehow snuck her way in to this pic, attention whore.  I don’t have time to retake this picture as I’m headed to work and this is the 2nd month in a row I’ve snuck in an extra book 😛

I also acquired another version of The Host by Stephenie Meyer BECAUSE I had the paperback/movie cover version and I couldn’t resist when I saw the original hardcover edition for only $1.75!  I’m a sucker for hardcovers!

As well, I use to own a paperback of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer but a friend (no longer a friend) once borrowed it and due to previous statement, I clearly never got it back.  I was very sad about this loss as I am a fan of Twilight and am very anal about my belongings.  This was AT LEAST 6/7 years ago.  I’m still mad, I still want my book back, hmph.

Hope everyone had a great month buying books!  How many did you acquire this haul?

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Description:

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

 
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My Rating: 5/5

THIS SERIES IS TOO GOOD FOR WYRDS!!  <—heh heh heh…

But seriously, just like the first book (Throne of Glass) and the novellas (The Assassin’s Blade), it’s full of the feels!  I’m happy, I’m ‘dawwwww‘ing, I’m angry, I’m crying – reallllly crying, I’m gagging cause it’s so awesomely disgusting!  When we first start this book, Celaena is throwing severed limbs on to the floor – how awesome is that?!  I totally love how brutal these books can be!  And the throwback to the Endovier slaughter is badarseee >:]

I love that we can go from gore and blood and slashing to complete heart melting moments.  This is what I really love about these books is this diversity.  I thought it was sooo cute of Dorian to give Celaena Fleetfoot, granted he could save ALL the puppies from there on out, but whateves.  And my SWOONWORTHY moment – when Chaol catches Celaena sneaking off from her post only to find her dancing by herself and then JOINS HER!!  I’m a Chaol/Celaena fan all the way so this scene had me grinning from ear to ear and hugging my book to my chest whilst rocking it back and forth.  Totally not weird.

Then the “ERMERGERD!” moments – being 2 huge ones!  I’m not even going to get into the one but it was insane, is was gross, it was sad.  Lastly, the way this book ends revealing a HUUUUGE secret is insane!!  I’m so excited to jump in to Heir of Fire – you can’t just say these type of things and leave me hanging!  I also kind of wish I waited till ALL of these books are out because this seems to be a common theme and I don’t want to have to wait!

HEIR OF FIRE, HERE I COMEEEE!!

 

+Side note:  I LOVED how the Throne of Glass picture turned out, that I think I may have found a theme for my book reviews!  For more random pictures – please see my bookstagram found on the right of the front page or via my Get To Know Me page!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Description:

“Nothing is a coincidence.  Everything has a purpose.  You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin.”

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle.  She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom.  If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her.  The Captain of the Guard will protect her.
And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle – and it’s there to kill.  When  her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival – and a desperate quest to root out the source of the eveil before it destroys her world.

My Rating:  5/5

Brave, brave, brave Celaena!!  She’s so strong, I’m so proud of her!

In case you haven’t noticed, Celaena is my fictional bff.

ALSO –  THESE COVERS I WILL NEVER GET OVER!!  No matter how many times I see them, I just want to rub my face all over them, they’re so pwetty!!

I find this book a little difficult to talk about because it’s basically the build up to what happens at the end.  We meet people, we watch Celaena retrain and go through these tests (which I actually thought would be a little more difficult than they were but whateves) and we watch her go back and forth through these beautiful men (TEAM CHAOL FTW).

I stand behind what I said through The Assassin’s Blade, if you can, READ IT BEFORE THRONE OF GLASS!!

I already know that this is going to be a favorite series of mine.  Personally, I enjoyed The Assassin’s Blade a little better, but that in no way makes this book any less than a 5/5…. if that makes any sense… heh.. heh…

Short, sweet and to the point.  READ THIS BEWK!

Happy Reading! xo

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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Book Description:

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

My Rating:  5/5

Wow… just… wow!  And to think these are only the novellas!
I feel a little sorry for anyone who wasn’t able to start off with this in the series (which, obviously, I chose to and not fro).  Not that it’s a terrible thing to read it by release date, I just can’t imagine you’ll have the same mind blowing experiences I had!  Reading it later on and not FIRST will definitely spoil a lot of great events.  Still readable though.

If this is just a glimpse of what’s to come, I can’t wait.  I’ve already jumped in to Throne of Glass.  So far, these books are living up to the hype!

The love for books Celaena has is all too relatable:

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I really hope in the future we run in to Ansel again.  I really adored the relationship her and Celaena had!  Of course you can imagine I was crushed when she was betrayed (in her own friendly kind of way) but at the same time, like Celaena, I can’t put that arrow through her neck.  I’m rooting for you Ansel!  Turn your life around and do the right thing!  ILOVEYOU!!!!

On to Mr. Sammy Sam Sam.  I didn’t really quite get him at first.  I could easily put him off to the side.  He did nothing for me… but as his relationship with Celaena grew, my relationship with him grew as well and I am in UTTER shock at what happened to him.  I won’t give away spoilers for those who haven’t read this series yet because it is a good one to not know about.  As sad as I was for this, thank you Sarah, for not being a baby and doing what you did.  Respect.

This book was interesting in the fact that it was an upward slope to jaw dropping greatness!  Just when you think you read the best novella out of the book, the next one greets you with a slap across the face saying, “NO BITCH, IT GETS BETTER STILL!”
And do I need to point out the cover?  SWOOOOOON!!

Please please please, if you have not started this series and are wondering whether or not to start with The Assassin’s Blade, do yourself a favor – START HERE!