Review: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Tahir Sabaa

book review

A Torch Against the Night

Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes Book 2
452 pages

Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

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“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.”

I was really disappointed with Torch Against the Night because Ember was so fantastic. I might have had high expectations but either way, it fell flat with Torch. Characters that I really enjoyed in the first book didn’t interest me as much in this book. I don’t know if it had to do with the book entirely or because I read my favorite book right before and I wasn’t over that world yet. I grew to really enjoy Laia’s point of view because of how strong she ended up being in Ember. It was really sad to see her slide back in her development. Even then, she didn’t hold much of my interest. I wanted her story to be more than just getting her brother out of Kauf. Helen’s point of view provided great insight to what was currently happening in the Empire but I wasn’t too fond of her point of view either.

“Failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.”

Whether it was bias or not, I only really enjoyed Elias’s point of view. His journey in this book was definitely hard. He went through so many things. We get to see his tribe and family that he grew up with and it was so refreshing. I loved the scenes with the tribes. It was beautiful and more interesting than what Laia had to do. Another thing about Elias? How unfair his story was and how Torch ended for him. I was so angry about what the author did with his story. He deserves much better after all that he suffered through. AND after all he’s done for Laia .. she still doubted him for some things. Just no. Seriously love him.

“Perhaps I have become so accustomed to the burden of secrets that I do not notice their weight until I am free of it.”

One of my main issues was the book digressing to the love triangle that seemed to have been solved at the end of Ember. I really didn’t like that it fell into that trope again. It really didn’t add anything to the plot but dramatics. There was a very good and major plot twist involving the love triangle and I would’ve loved it had I not been angered by the scene that previously transpired before the reveal *oh so cryptic*. The book was more or less slow for me, except with the tribe and the end at Kauf. I hope the third book really picks up and focuses more on what is happening with the Empire rather than just Laia and her brother.

xoxo

Current Song Obsessions

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Happy Top Ten Tuesday Day! It is a meme created by the lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, they come up with different topics of discussion. This week is an Audio Freebie! It can be anything audio-related: audiobooks, favorite musicians, favorite songs … you get the gist. I will talking about my Ten Current Song Obsessions! These songs are ones that I can play on repeat right now and it wouldn’t even bother me.


Current Song Obsessions

1. All This Time by OneRepublic

(This is totally gonna be my wedding song. I love it so much!)

All this time
We were waiting for each other
All this time
I was waiting for you
We got all these words
Can’t waste them on another
So I’m straight in a straight line
Running back to you

2. This Is Gospel (Piano Version) by Panic! At the Disco

(This is the song I feel like Feyre would dedicate to Tamlin in A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas)

If you love me let me go
If you love me let me go
‘Cause these words are knives that often leave scars
The fear of falling apart
And truth be told, I never was yours

3. Feel It by TobyMac ft. Mr. Talkbox

(Ugh I love Tobymac! This is such a fun song!)

Oh, I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know
You take our brokenness and make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know (can’t take that from me)

4. Heaven by DJ Sammy

(I listen to this when I run and it’s perfect. I can dance to this all the time, too. So old school!)

5. The Sound by The 1975

(Thank you Me Before You for introducing me to this song! Another great song to run to! Just listen to it)

6. Magnify by We Are Messengers

(The message of this song just hits home for me.)

God be greater than the worries in my life
Be stronger than the weakness in my mind
Be louder let your glory come alive

Be magnified

7. The One I’m Running To by 7eventh Down Time Down

(I lurve this song so much! It means a lot to me)

Tonight I’m gonna fix my eyes
On the only Hope who satisfies my heart
You are the One I’m running to
Everything that’s good and right and true
Jesus, I’m coming after who
You are, You are
The One I’m running to

8. How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle

(This is basically a song about my relationship with Jesus — seriously though)

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now

9. Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been by Relient K

I’m sorry for the person I became.
I’m sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I’m ready to try and never become that way again
‘Cause who I am hates who I’ve been.
Who I am hates who I’ve been.

Who I am hates who I’ve been
And who I am won’t take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I’ve been
‘Cause who I’ve been only ever made me
(If you like Relient K — I guess even if you don’t — I recommend listening to Deathbed by them. It’s a little long but worth it. It’s a beautiful ballad)

10. Monster by Skillet

(This was my Dorian Havilliard song during Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. It fits perfectly lol — I put “lol” but it’s not even funny. My poor baby Dor. I had to put the lyrics because it’s just Dorian singing it, haha)

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
‘Cause if I let him out he’ll tear me up, break me down
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

It’s hiding in the dark, it’s teeth are razor sharp
There’s no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart
No one can hear me scream, maybe it’s just a dream
Maybe it’s inside of me, stop this monster

What songs do you currently love and can listen to over and over again?

xoxo

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

book review

99 Days

Katie Cotugno
384 pages

Synopsis:

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

My Review:

2star

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I don’t know what happened here. I really enjoyed Katie Cotugno’s other book so I was really excited to get into this one. However, it was just a mess. It was honestly a terrible plot but it interested me. I was curious as to how it would all end with the main character. Cheating is always a hard topic to write about and it’s a precarious situation, especially if you cheat on your boyfriend with his brother! Okay, technically it wasn’t cheating since they broke up but it’s still the brother, you know? It also happened like 5 minutes after they broke. There’s got to be some ground rules about that haha.

The 3 main characters, whom this book revolves around, were all terrible people. I don’t understand how they have any friends to begin with! Julia was just the example of someone who makes mistakes and doesn’t learn from them. I don’t know what was going on in her head (even with 1st person POV), that she thought how she was acting was acceptable. Okay, she knew she was doing something wrong but then never really stopped it. Gabe.. come on! He’s your brother, why would you do that? Patrick was probably the most bearable, up until the plot twist that happened in the book. I honestly can’t believe he did what he did either. I don’t know, maybe Cotugno was trying to make a theme here? The only character I did like was Patrick’s current girlfriend. She was the only one who seemed sane in the town… Was there something in the water?

TL;DR: It was a messy plot with even messier characters who didn’t care about the feelings of friends and loved ones. I wish I could go back and not read this.

xoxo

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

book review

P.S. I Like You

Kasie West
330 pages

Synopsis:

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds thatsomeone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mysteryand juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

My Review:

5star

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 “Words brought us together though they almost kept us apart.

You trusted me with your secrets and then you stole my heart.

They say that love is rare, like …

“What’s rare?” I asked.

“What?” His eyes lifted from the page and met mine.

“What are some things that are rare?”

“Meat?”

I laughed. “We’re more alike than you know.”

I LOVE this book! I don’t know what it is about love letters of any sort that just makes it a beautiful story already. It was such a fun and simple read — great for relaxing and de-stressing (is that a word?!). I don’t know how Kasie West does it but I really think that her writing stood out with PSILY. It was funny, believable, relatable, and had some good drama in it. It really cheered me up and got me out of a book hangover! The characters were all great and I love that West showcased friendship here because YA really needs to have more representation of good friendships and not just romance.

Lily was a really great main character. She was funny, smart, musical, relatable, and she didn’t make stupid decisions. I mean not utterly stupid ones. I really liked reading in her point of view. I don’t want to say the name of the guy who Lily ends up writing letters to but oh! I love him! He is everything. I was surprised but at the same time not surprised at who it was but ohmygosh. It was so great when it was finally revealed. I really loved their relationship and how it grew throughout the letters. I liked how serious the conversations became and how understanding they both were. It was honestly so cute! I wish the book was longer.

TL;DR: READ THIS BOOK! It’s so cute and fun. I love the originality of the music. The story overall will not let you down
xoxo

Unpopular Opinions Tag!

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Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve done tags so here we go! Thanks for everyone who have been tagging me. I’ll do them all … eventually. Anyway, I will be doing the Unpopular Opinions Tag — pretty self explanatory. Answer the questions and then tag some people haha. Thank you Shanayah from The Scarlet Bookkeeper for tagging me!


1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Actually I really enjoyed the first book but I read spoilers for the rest of the trilogy. No. NOPE. Everyone loves Warner and I just don’t and I will never like him.

2. A popular book that everyone hates but you love

I can’t say that everyone hates it but I know a lot of people who don’t like the Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver. Everyone hated Alex there — I can never hate Alex. He’s my baby. The book also had a very open ending, which Oliver said she did to let us fill in our own ending. I won’t say I LOVE it but I did enjoy it more than others.

3. A love triangle where your ship did not sail

It’s not exactly a “triangle” anymore but my original ship in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas did not sail — and before I would be really adamant about how beautiful they’d be together but now, I’m glad they’re not together. He could do better. *shots fired*

4. A popular genre that you hardly reach for.

I don’t do horror. I can’t read Stephen King. I will die from fear. I can’t do horror. I can’t even watch a scary movie. Supernatural is just about the scariest thing I watch and that’s not even horror. I wish I was courageous enough to read The Shining by Stephen King. I’ve heard so many good things!

5. A beloved character you didn’t like.

ROWAN MOTHERFREAKING WHITEHORN. Screw you buddy. Anger has passed. He’s from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.  I really liked him actually in Heir of Fire when he helped Aelin out of her depressive funk but then Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms happened and no thank you.

6. A popular author you can’t get into

I’m gonna say Patrick Ness. I’m not sure if I can’t get into his writing. I tried to read The Knife of Never Letting Go but gave up. But to be honest, I didn’t try very hard to keep reading it. I might not have been in the right mood for that kind of book. Maybe one day!

7. A popular book series you have no interest in reading

If you know me, you know I love series so I’m always down. But I guess I’d have to say like The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy/ series … I honestly don’t know. I also can’t remember the author’s name.

8. An adaptation you like better than the book

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I really loved the movie! I thought that the events in the movie were much better than the book and I loved seeing it on screen. Mandy Moore and Shane West were great!


I taggeth:

Giovanna @ Book Coma

Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

CW @ Read, Think, Ponder

Jesalin @ JBelkBooks

Michelle @ Book Adventures

And … YOU!

xoxo

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I Want as Family

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 Top 5 Wednesday is meme found in Goodreads (Check them out here and join!) and operates like TTT. This week’s topic is *drum roll* Characters You’d Want as Family. This is so much fun! Make sure to share who you would want as part of your family!


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Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas – if you’ve read A Court of Mist and Fury … why wouldn’t you want him as your husband haha. He’s beyond perfect. He’s kind of scary sometimes but I love him.

Cassian from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I love him — but not that way. Hence him being my brother. He looks like he would be an awesome, loving, over protective brother.

Gavriel Duval from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – Anyone else love how loyal, loving, and protective he was over his cousin and duchy, Anne? I love it. He’d be a perfect oldest brother.

Ismae Rienne from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – Who else would be married to Gavriel?? Either way, she’d be fun to have as a sister … even if it’s only through marriage. She’s kick butt and smart. She’d be someone I would look up to and I would sister approve that marriage so fast.

Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare – I’m really close to my cousin in real life so of course in this fantasy life, we’d be best friends too. Imagine having another bookworm as your best friend and cousin! I also wouldn’t mind if she brought Will Herondale along with her haha.

Who would you want as part of your fantasy family?! Let me know below!

xoxo

Ten Books I Wish Were TV Shows!

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Hey guys! I am back with this week’s TTT! I am busy busy busy trying to get in all the reviews from my decathlon so get ready to see a bunch of posts from me! Anyway, Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by the lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, they come up with different topics of discussion. This week I will be listing the books I wish were TV shows. Fall is here-ish and so are season premieres of TV shows! I know that it’s always hard to see your favorite books come alive in screen because so many things can go wrong. But a girl can dream that if done properly, she can see her favorite stories and characters come to life.


Ten Books I Wish Were TV Shows

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – A real life Rhysand?!?! Sign me up. But seriously, ACTOAR is one of my favorite fantasy worlds out there. I love the different courts and all the fae. I would definitely like to see what Hollywood would do with all the worlds … especially Velaris! Imagine Starfall, oh my! Just imagine it all and all the details that a show can put in!

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Even though Queen of Shadows infuriated me, I’d really like to see this as a show as well. SJM knows her stuff! Plus Prince Dorian❤ and Aedion! Ohhh and Abraxos and Manon! yes Yes yES YES!

3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – I love this trilogy so much and I love the time period. I enjoyed it more than The Mortal Instruments and I thought it was very well-written. Ugh that epilogue will haunt me for the rest of my life.

4. The Winner’s Cuse by Marie Rutkoski – I can totally see this on TV! We need more shows with girls like Krestel!

5. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – A TV show about women who carry out the will of the god of Death himself?!

6. Angelfall by Susan Ee – I’ve seen a couple of angel apolcalypse films but never a show. If there is one out there, let me know. I love angel apocalypse type of books. Oooh imagine seeing Raffe in his glorious wings. YESSS PLEASE

7. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – We have Once Upon a Time which I think is a show of fairy tales right? (Can you tell I don’t watch it haha) But what about the Arabian Nights?! That’s cool (No offense to fairy tale retellings because I love them too)!

8. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – TEN. BLEEDING. HELLS. Elias on screen and his super compassionate, muscular, blue-eyed self. Ember is a very dark book and I would love to see that reflected on screen. With everything that happened in that book … imagine having to wait a week to see what happened next!

9. Delirium by Lauren Oliver – This was actually optioned for a show and it never made it. They released the script and it was a hot mess! Literally everything in book one happened in like one or two episodes! There were so many things cut from the show … no wonder it didn’t make it. Nonetheless, I’m really curious about seeing it as a show.

10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I’m still mad about book 3 (hence why I haven’t read another Bardugo book) but I did love the magic in the book and think it would be such an amazing show. And then of course there’s Nikolai❤

What books would you want to see as a TV show??

xoxo

Review: Deity (Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

book review

Deity

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Covenant Book 3
330 Pages


Synopsis:

History is on repeat, and things didn’t go so well the last time.

Alexandria isn’t sure she’s going to make it to her eighteenth birthday–to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she’s a goner… and so is Aiden.

If that’s not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time “training”–which really is just Seth’s code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time–she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she’s caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed… and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate…


Bullet Review:

4star

 

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Now that’s a 5 star book! I am in love with this series!

❤ The romance, the action, villains, pot twists, surprises — just wow. I was so speechless when I finished reading this book!

❤ While Alex did mature even more, she still angered me with how dense she was over things. I don’t know how she didn’t see what Seth was doing (totally cryptic, I knew but not spoilers). I thought it was obvious what he was trying to accomplish haha

❤ Do I need to say anything about Aiden? Other than he’s been the only perfect person in this series. I am 100% biased by the way.

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❤ Seth was the worst! I cannot stand him and it just got worse and worse in this book. *tries to calm self*

❤ The villains here were very well written! It really makes you hate them. Lucien is the worst. He’s so vile and horrible!

❤ Like I said, plot twists! One of them surrounds Leon and I did have my suspicions but oh my gods! It was so fantastic and I just loved everything surrounding that. I love his character and how he would just pop in there.

❤ We get to see more of the minor characters like Deacon, Luke, Lia, and Olivia. We learn more of Aiden’s past *that scene down memory lane, I choked up so much!*

❤ We’re finally getting more answers and more information on the Apollyons and a clearer picture on who the really villain is! It was such a fun read and that last chapter!!! Have the next book handy!

xoxo