Top 5 Wednesday: Books for your Hogwarts House (Gryffindor)

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:

June 7th: Books For Your Hogwarts House
— Show your Hogwarts House Pride, and tell us the top 5 books that represent your house!

Last year I took the Pottermore quiz and discovered that I was a Gryffindor

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Mainly because this book deals with overcoming many hurdles, and both Laia and Elias both through pain and loss throughout the series so far, and no matter what they have shown bravery.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

From the moment Katniss screamed “I volunteer” she was a Gryffindor, risking her life to enter the Hunger Games knowing that she may die in order to protect her sister. In doing do she started a rebellion and became a symbol for that rebellion.

The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

In my opinion both Day and June are Gryffindors, and like Katniss both becomes symbols of a rebellion and want to make changes happen. June is very intelligent and it shows throughout the series and Day comes across as very brave.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

While the crows could vary on which Hogwarts house they belong to, I will focus mainly on Kaz. Kaz as a Gryffindor is has a leadership role and his job is to lead the crows through their heist. He also cares about every one of them in his own way.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Kinda like Six of Crows, most the characters can belong in many other house (Cress in Ravenclaw). But Cinder definitely belongs in Gryffindor. She is brave, intelligent and when the chips are down she keeps fighting.

Those are my books for fellow Gryffindors. What Hogwarts House are you? What books would you recommend for your Hogwarts house? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Get you out of a reading slump

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:
February 22nd: Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump
–Winter is a hard season for a lot of people and many of us are slumpy. Let’s talk about some books that are great for getting you out of a slump!

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Another great topic, mainly because I have reading slumps and it took a really great book in order for me to get back on track.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I read this book during one of my reading slumps in which before that, the previous books I read I either DNF or was just plan bored by them. An Ember in the Ashes got me back on track. I was action packed, had well developed characters and left you wanting more.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Another great read, especially if you haven’t read anything in a while. While it may seem like a beach read. It is a very dark and disturbing book that you wouldn’t want to put down.

Legend by: Marie Lu

Another great and action packed book with a lot of twists and turns, especially if you haven’t read something in a while or was just burned by the previous books you read.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

If you are looking for something unconventional to read, I would recommend Illuminae because of how different it is from everything else that I have read and it seems refreshing to read a book like that.

The Shadow Queen by: C.J. Redwine

As a fan of fairy tale retellings, of course this you get me out of a slump. I read it just last summer and really loved the book and it got me back on track with reading. Also the cover looks amazing.

Those are the books that I would recommend to get me out of a reading slump. What books are great to get you out of a slump? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villians

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday.

Today’s topic is favorite villains: While we all love our heroes, but a great villain really makes the story great.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles

Both an evil queen and a wicked step mother. She is willing to do anything and everything to get what she wants, including setting a plague on Earth and using an antidote as leverage to marry the Emperor. She also kills her sister and almost kills her niece, and keeps trying to kill her niece in order to become Queen.

Commander Jameson from Legend Trilogy

A cold hearted commander who is willing to everything to maintain the status quo and killing anyone who gets in her way. She is even willing to kill the Elector, in order to keep things how they are when he wants to change things.

Amy Dunne from Gone Girl

She sets up her husband for her murder, in order to send him to jail and give him the death penalty. She manipulates everyone in order to get what she wants. Her punishments also ruins the lives of other people, including an old prep school classmate and an ex-boyfriend.

Ramsey Bolton

I was thinking of other villains from the Song of Ice and Fire; King Joffery, Tywinn Lannister and Queen Cersei. But Ramsey Bolton in another kind of evil, while King Joffrey was more drunk with power, Ramsey takes a pleasure of killing and sees it as a game. While I am mostly going by the show he kills his infant brother and its mother in order to maintain control of the North.

The Commandant from An Ember in the Ashes series

She is another military leader who rules with an iron fist. It is also scary that she is mother of Elias, the main protagonist and even has an almost hatred of him. She even tries to kill him slowly and painfully by poisoning him. She also manipulates everyone and even sets up Helene in A Torch Against the Night.

Those are my favorite villains. Who are your favorite villains? Let me know in the comments below!

 

All the Series EVER (Read, Reading, To Read) Tag

Happy Sunday everyone,

It has been a long time since I did a tag post and I saw this on Donna at  Cholatenwaffles, and thought I should give it a go. This tag was created by Fadwa at Word Wonders.

I like that this tag will tackle book series that I have finished or will be finishing and also go over my favorites.

Series that I have finished.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Overall rating: 5/5

One of my favorites. Love this series so much. A great mix of fairy tale retelling with science fiction.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Overall rating: 4/5

One of my favorite trilogies, with Katniss being one of my favorite characters. I love the world it is set in, and is one of my favorite dystopians.

Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

Overall rating: 4/5

Another great dystopian series. Love both characters of Day and June. While I felt the ending was off it was still an amazing series.

Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

Overall rating: 3/5

While I really loved the first book, and second book was pretty good as well, it was the third book that fell off, and I am not talking about the ending. It was a series I felt that was getting weaker.

The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner

Overall rating: 3.5/5

I actually really liked this series. I know it has its problems, but I loved the characters and how they interacted with one another.

The Darkest Minds trilogy by: Alexandra Bracken

Overall rating: 3/5

I thought this series was good but overrated. I liked the concept of kids with powers but I didn’t really feel that the powers connected with the story and I also felt that the powers were not clearly defined.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Overall rating: 5/5

I know, I know. But I love this series so much. What more than I can say.

Series I am currently reading:

The Young Elites trilogy by: Marie Lu

I loved her Legend trilogy and so far this series is amazing. Can’t wait for the last series to see how it ends.

Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

I recently finished the first book and loved it, and kicking myself into wondering how I didn’t read this series earlier.

An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir:

I loved both of these books. This is one of my new favorite series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Throne of Glass/ A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

After seeing most of my blogger friends reading both of these series, I decided to start reading them, and I like them both. I am on Queen of Shadows right now and I really like this series so far.

Six of Crows duo-logy by: Leigh Bardugo

I wasn’t a fan of her Grisha trilogy, but Six of Crows blew me away and I loved it. Can’t wait for Crooked Kingdom.

Books to be read:

Labyrinth Lost by: Zoraida Cordova

The premise looks amazing and I like to see more diverse authors coming into YA

And I Darken by Kiersten White

I am usually not a cover person, but the cover looks great, and I have heard some good things about the book so far.

There is my tag list. Is there any other books or series I should read? Let me know in the comments below.

I also Tag:

Alex at Young at Heart

Megan at Book Slayer Reads

Aria at What Aria Loves

Jillian at Rant and Rave Books

And also YOU. If you are reading this consider yourself tagged.

Have a good one.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Spoiler Talk)

This is a spoiler talk about A Torch Against the Night. As I said in my review for this book, if you haven’t read the book please go to my spoiler free review here.

Be warned the spoilers will be heavy.

There was so much I wanted to talk about in this book.

First, I love how the book just started right away with Laia and Elias on the run and I loved how he went face-to-face with his mother, The Commandant, and boy was she as vicious as she was in the last book. She stabs him in what looks like a flesh wound, but she really poisoned him and it is slowly killing him.

Throughout most of book Elias is going in between the life and death and that would cause his seizure, and even though he is basically dying he is still willing to fight for his life.

The main plot for Laia surrounded trying to break her brother out of prison. She does it with the help of the rebels from the previous book, Keenan and Izzi. While she doesn’t get a lot in terms of development at first, I really did like her plot. Also Izzi’s death was very brutal, as she was one of my favorite characters.

Now let me talk about the Keenan twist. When Keenan was first introduced in the last book, I really thought he would be another Jacob and how his only purpose is to be another boy to fight fro Laia’s affection, and even throughout the book some of their romance kinda warmed me over until you find out Keenan wasn’t Keenan at all he was basically a demon taking a human form. At first I thought it was a cheep twist and than I really thought about it and I thought it was a very clever twist.

This is also where Helene has POV chapters and I loved her chapters. I love how you kinda see her going deeper into into the Empire and getting a little more darker. I like how she works for the Empire to try to protect her family even if her family was mostly against them. When she finds out that the Commandant was trying to take over she tried to tell Emperor Marcus and let’s just say that it doesn’t go well. The consequences resulted in most of family being executed and her only surviving sister is set to marry Marcus. In the end of the book she basically goes full on dark mode. Throughout the book you keep seeing her conflicted in taking out Elias and even almost letting him escape. I really think Helene maybe one of my favorite characters.

I also loved the prison break in, when Elias had to go undercover in the prison to find Darin and he befriends Tas. I loved Elias and Tas friendship throughout those chapters and I liked how he had to protect Tas. There was also a scene during the prison break , where I thought Elias was going die, when you see him in the “in-between” talking to the Shaeva, the Soul Cather and making a deal with her, in order to become her successor, and a new Soul Catcher.

There is my spoiler talk on A Torch Against the Night. I know there was a lot I most likely forgot about, this book just had so much to talk about. Is there anything I missed? What were your favorite moments about the book, or what are your predictions for the next books. Let me know in the comments below.

 

A Torch Against the Night by: Sabaa Tahir (Spoiler free)

I am going to keep this review spoiler free. In the next few days I will be doing a full on spoiler discussion about the book because there is just too much I want to talk about.

Summary: Elias and Laia are running for their lives

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

The Review:

An Ember in the Ashes was one of my favorite books of last year. It got me out of my reading slump, after DNF a lot of books that bored me to tears, and I wanted to know if a sequel was happening especially how the last one ended. This book did not disappoint. This is basically the Catching Fire and Prodigy of book sequels. It was that good.

The story basically picks up where the previous one left off, as Laia and Elias are fugitives trying to escape the Empire. What I loved about this book is that it expanded the world and giving us differ parts of the Empire that Laia and Elias are exploring. It started off pretty action packed with a lot of things going on, what I liked most was Elias’s breaking into prison to free Laia’s brother, wile working with Keenan and Izzi, the rebels from the last book.

Also this book added another POV with Helene, Elias’s friend from the Academy. This is where for book mainly takes place. While she had her fair share of development in An Ember in the Ashes but here is where is character is fully explored. She is tasked to find both Elias and Laia by Emperor Marcus in order to prove her loyalty. In her POV chapter you could feel her conflicting feelings about her assignment and her feelings for Elias.

As what great sequels do, this book also takes a lot of twists and turns with the plot. Like I said I don’t want to spoil anything because if you are a fan of the series you will read it. All I am going to say is that the book is definitely an emotional roller coaster that after you are reading it, you just want to know when the next book is coming out because the way the book ends is basically setting up for the next book.

I also thought the villains were extremely well done and really helped with making the book  a lot darker and deeper.

In the end, A Torch Against the Night is everything I want a sequel to one of my favorite books of last year to be. The book kept me on edge and wanting to know what happens next with every page. It didn’t have any dull moments and is maybe one of the best books I read this year.

Also sorry for me being vague in this review. Later on this week I will be doing a spoiler discussion about the book.

Grade: 5/5

Star Wars Book Tag

Here is another tag, that I found online. The creator is Elisabeth Paige and Joana Sousa

Links to their videos:

Elisabeth Paige

Joana Sousa

I always wanted to do a Star Wars Book Tag and I looked it up and discover it. I wasn’t tagged but I decided to do it anyway because I love Star Wars and in honor of both the Rogue One trailer being released and Star Wars The Force Awakens coming out on Blu-Ray in marks the perfect opportunity to do it.

R2D2: A book that made you laugh at loud

Tina Fey is one of my favorite comedians. She created one of my favorite shows 30 Rock and wrote Mean Girls, one of my favorite movies. Her humor translated well into this book. While it is an autobiography it is still very funny.

Padme Amidala: A Kickbutt female character.

Before Katniss, Celeana, Arya, Tris and June, there was Hermione Granger. A muggleborn who wasn’t afraid to be smart, and assisted Harry and Ron in their adventures.

Leia Organa: best or worst love triangle 

Since I couldn’t really think of any good love triangles I choose the worst love triangle and the Bella, Edward, Jacob love triangle was the love triangle that started it all. I am not against love triangles but it doesn’t help if the characters are not fully developed, and instead of focusing on plot and conflict it focuses on who Bella chooses.

Luke Skywalker: A rising star author or a new author you discovered and love

Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes. She is fairly new to the YA scene and what a knock out for a debut author. An Ember in the Ashes was seriously one of the best books I read last year and I really look forward to what the series and the author has in store.

Anakin Skywalker: a book or series that started out well and then became bad.

This was a book series that was set to be the next The Hunger Games, and it started off so well. Then Allegiant happened. It wasn’t the ending (I think it was a worthy risk) but the story took a turn that really didn’t make sense.

Qui Gon Jin: Worst Character Death

Any one who gave their lives in the Battle of Hogwarts, and who died in the entire book.

Han Solo: A book with a lot of sass

While the book does have a lot of dark moments, I think the sass, especially coming from Patrick helped the book find a great balance.

Emperor Palpatine: Best World Building

A song of Ice and Fire book series, or Game of Thrones, sets up its world perfectly and gives us backstory of all of the characters, settings and conflict without resorting to flashbacks. I always hold a Song of Ice and Fire as how high fantasy series should use world building.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: a book you went in with low expectations and that blew you away

I went into Cinder not really expecting anything. It was recommend based on my purchase history, and I gave it a shot. I really didn’t expect it to be that good. It really did a good job mixing Fairy Tale elements and Sci Fi perfectly.

Yoda: a book that taught you something or made you grow

I read it back in sixth grade, and I felt that it helped through tough times. It also was a gateway book through other book series I grew up with.

Darth Vader: favorite villain

I know Voldemort would be the go-to villain in the Harry Potter series. But Umbridge puts a new meaning to villain, she didn’t really need spells, she ruled with an iron first and managed to take over Hogwarts.

That’s my book tag. If you are reading than you have been tagged.