Heartless Book Review (Spoiler Free)

heartless

“Sometimes the heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: November 8th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 453

GoodReads

Rating: 5/5

OMG WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? My emotions are a wreck right now and my heart is literally in pieces!! Marissa Meyer is just a goddess in writing fairy tale re-tellings and this prequel to Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts was beyond beautiful to read. She captures the right balance of the original fairy tale and her own creative plot line. Everything about this book was so beautifully crafted: the characters, the whimsical setting, the plot, the romance. I honestly believed after the Lunar Chronicles, it would be pretty hard to live up to the expectations in placing another fairy tale retelling into the YA market, but Marissa Meyer had done it with Heartless! ❤

Summary:

Catherine Pinkerton or Cath is a talented baker in the Kingdom of Hearts and she wants nothing more than to open her own bakery with her best friend, Mary Ann. Her mother, however, has other plans for her future and she aims for her to marry the King of Hearts to eventually lead the Kingdom. When Cath soon meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker, she instantly captivated by his charm and together the two of them enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to make her own decisions and live her own life; however, fate has other plans . . .

Characters:

  1. Cath -Daughter of a Marquess; I honestly loved Catherine Pinkerton. She is just so full of passion for her baking (I love baking as well – one of my personal hobbies hehe) and is generally a good-natured, average girl. What makes this book such a great read is how we her transformation to the Queen of Hearts slowly start to materialize through the course of the novel.
  2. Jest – oh Jest . . . he is just swoon worthy! Let me just add you to my list of ever growing book boyfriends ❤ What can you say about Jest? He is just too beautiful and perfect for this world and you can not help but fall for him the moment he is introduced. Everything about him is just so captivating from his impossible, crazy “magic” to his never ending charm. He is one of the most unique male leads I have read in YA fiction! ❤fangirl.gif
  3. King – oh lord this babbling man . . . While it is true he such a foolish and dimwitted character who honestly does not have the skill and strength to lead a kingdom, you cannot help but feel sorry for him at times since he is quite oblivious to the world around him.
  4. Mary Ann – Catherine’s maid; I admired the relationship between Catherine and Mary Ann since both of them share a deep friendship despite the difference in social class. Although they do have different approaches on how they view certain issues, I did love the fact that they supported one another for Cath’s dream: to open a bakery.

Marissa Meyer also includes various other familiar characters/ references from Wonderland including The White Rabbit, The Cheshire Cat, The Hatter, unbirthday cakes, tea parties, the Looking Glass, and a murderous Jabberwock. Everything is beautifully tied together to re-create the whimsical and reimagined setting of Wonderland.

My thoughts: 

I loved this book! Marissa Meyer has such an addicting quality to her writing that you cannot help but fly though the pages of her books. What I also love about this novel was that you do not have to be an Alice in Wonderland fan in order to read this book. It has the ability to stand on its own despite drawing references and characters from the original story.

I also appreciated how you can start to see the small qualities of the Queen of Hearts within Catherine from the beginning of the book. Although, her rage and true evil character is not present, you can see a glimpse of certain characteristics and I like how Marissa slowly weaved them into her character: it was almost as if they were dormant and have yet to arise. And Jest OMG! There are moments where his words had me swooning! Like how can you do this to my heart???

“I cannot tell you how I look forward to a lifetime at your side, and all the impossible things I’ll have you believing in.”  ❤

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Heartless is also a unique novel to read since as a reader, you do know the outcome and that certain doom is just around the corner but this is what makes it to be such a thrilling read, especially during the last few chapters. It was almost as though you knew that if any form of hope does arise, it will soon dissipate within moments and that is what makes this book so heartbreaking.

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If any of you have not read Heartless, I highly recommend that you do! And if you have read it, please let me know what you thought of it!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you soon with another post!

~Ash~

 

Stars Above Book Review (Spoiler Free)

stars-above

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: February 2nd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 400

GoodReads

Rating: 4.5/5

Below is a quick recap of all the chapters within this collection of novellas

  1. The Keeper – Honestly, I will say that I didn’t completely enjoy this specific story since I thought it was just extra details and it didn’t really make me feel for any of the characters that much. It did give more background with Scarlet which I appreciated. In the second book we don’t really dive into her character – she was just searching for her grandmother – and we didn’t really get anything else or why she is so attached to her but I think this story shed more light on it. Maybe its because we didn’t see too much of their interactions in the second book and as a result, I couldn’t really understand their connection that well.
  2. Glitches – This story basically delineates how young Cinder first arrived at New Beijing and how she started her life with her Stepmother and Stepsisters. It slightly tugs on your heart and you start to see how Adri’s hate for Cinder began to grow.
  3. The Queen’s Army – This was a short story revolving around Wolf and how he was recruited into the Queen’s Army. I did enjoy reading about his character, the training process and how much he fought to not lose himself in the process.
  4. Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky – You all know how much I love Thorne and this was just absolutely hilarious to read. Of course you will find the occasional witty, flirtations dialogue from Thorne and it also gives us a small background on his character when he was younger. Usually we see Thorne as a light hearted, fun character but in this story, we dive deeper into his character and discover why he makes certain choices
  5. After Sunshine Passes By – Sweet, Precious Cress. She is one of my favorite characters in the entire series and I loved the transformation she goes through within the Lunar Chronicles to be brave. This story truly does capture her innocence and it crushed my heart a bit. She must be protected at all costs!
  6. The Princess and the Guard – Heartbreaking. That’s all I can say about this one. It is definitely one of the darker chapters within this collection of novellas and we see how both Winter and Jacin grew up together and how their friendship evolved into something more. Tension also starts brewing with Queen Levana and Winter and we see her cruelty and jealousy for her stepdaughter in more detail. I grew to appreciate Winter a lot more after reading this novella so I am thankful that Marissa gave us more background of Luna.EMOTION.gif
  7. The Little Android – WHY DON’T YOU JUST TAKE MY HEART OUT ALREADY? DAMN THE FEELS WITH THIS STORY! I honestly had my doubts when starting to read this since it introduces new characters (with a a small appearance by an old character) and it was a re-telling of the Little Mermaid. Prepare yourselves before reading this. This is NOT the Disney version. I still thought it was quite moving and Marissa Meyer has a way of making you feel for her characters which is why I love her stories.em
  8. The Mechanic – Another one of my favorites since this story is basically the first meeting of Cinder and Kai in New Beijing but in Kai’s perspective. When I first read the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder), Kai automatically captured my attention in the first chapter so it was pretty interesting to read from his perspective. Very cute!
  9. Something Old, Something New – Swoon worthy! The Final Epilogue where we finally say goodbye to all these awesome characters. It had me feeling all sorts of FEELS!

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If any of you guys read the novellas, feel free to share your thoughts below!

Follow me on Instagram! 🙂

 

The MakeUp Book Tag

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And centuries later, Ash decides to do this tag . . . LOL First of all, I would like to thank Sam @ RiverMooseReads for creating this tag. Her blog is awesome so please go check it out!

Primer
Pick a book that left a lasting impression on you

An Ember in the AshesSix of Crows

This is a close tie with an Ember in the Ashes and Six of Crows. After reading both of these books I had to take a few days to recover from the epic awesomeness 🙂

fistjlaw

Foundation
Favorite first book in a series

the darkest minds

The Darkest Minds is one of the most intriguing and explosive first books I have ever read in a series. The characters were brilliantly developed, the themes and plot lines were just so brilliantly woven together it was just an amazing read altogether!

Concealer
Pick some characters you wish didn’t exist.

ShatterMe

“Didn’t exist” seems kind of harsh lol Maybe a character who I wasn’t too fond of? In that case probably Adam from The Shatter Me trilogy and I won’t say much because of spoilers hehe

zootopia

Powder
Pick your favorite last book in a series.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows_(US_cover)

AKA my childhood and my all time favorite series (though the Lunar Chronicles is a close second). The wait for this book seemed like forever! But I immediately devoured it as soon as I got my hand on that marvelous masterpiece! That was how intrigued I was with the world and the characters and I am pretty sure every other kid reading the book felt as well.

Eyebrows
Pick a book you think everyone should read

Hunger_games_trilogy

I would probably say The Hunger Games Trilogy because of how AWESOME it is. Plus, Katniss Everdeen is a BOSS 🙂

Eyeshadow
Pick a book with your favorite colors on the cover

these broken stars

I absolutely adore the cover for These Broken Stars. It’s just so gorgeous with our two main characters and the stars in the background. Plus, it’s also reflective of the story as well 🙂

Eyeliner
Pick a dark and mysterious book

172 hours

I would probably day 172 Hours on the Moon. This book is beyond mysterious and dark (and not to mention seriously creepy). I made a bad mistake of reading it at night. I swear, there were moments when I couldn’t sleep. I would definitely recommend it if you are into those thriller/dark type books. I would say the second half is more intriguing than the first but it’s still a good read!

Mascara
Pick a long book

game of thrones

A long book of my shelf would probably be The Game of Thrones which I still haven’t picked up yet . . . haha

Blush
Pick a book with a cringe worthy romance

orange.jpg

Hmm . . . I don’t think I have ever read any books with a cringe worthy romance. I noticed a lot of answers for this question came from contemporary books which I normally do not pick up 😦 But if I can choose one, I would probably say Orange: The Complete Collection. I mean this is technically a manga but it fits this question. The romance is just so sweet but it never gets super uncomfortable. Plus, I loved the concept of this series, it was such a great, meaningful read. Highly recommend it!

Highlighter
Pick a book that brightens your day

doon

Doon is one of those books which is a such a light read but entertaining as well. Everything about it from the Scottish setting, the magical elements, dual modern-fantasy worlds, and awesome characters made me adore this book. It isn’t anything too serious or too fluffy but it was right in the middle and it was one of those books which pulled me out of a reading slump and it definitely did make my reading experience a lot more brighter 🙂

demi

Lipstick
Your favorite book kiss

Winter_Cover-318x480

My favorite would have to be Thorne and Cress in Winter . . . OMG everything about it was completely swoon-worthy!

vanessa

I tag

@GeorgianaDarcy

Sam@Sam’sLittleCorner

@BoundtobeMe

Sammie@Bookshelves&Biros

SquishyMaru@Barefoot&Pregnant . . . NOT

Please check these bloggers out! They are amazing 🙂 Sorry if you have already been tagged. You do not have to do it twice of course! Have fun and let me know when you are done, I would love to check it out!

Until Next Time, Keep Reading ❤

 

Top 5 Books of 2016 so far

Hello everyone! Hope your week is going well! We are more than half way through the year already! Can you believe that? My July reading was not so great but I am hoping to catch up this month haha  So far, I seem to be on schedule with my Good reads goal – completed 27 out of 40 books. So without further ado, lets get to the list:

5. Orange: The Complete Collection by Ichigo Takano

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– The most cutest and heart wrenching thing I have ever read; I was recommended this manga through a few reviews and I absolutely loved it. It does have that comedic humor we see in these types of literature but there was a deeper message behind it and it was so refreshing to read. I will have a review on this soon! 🙂

4. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Braken

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 – This was just an amazing start to a fabulous series. I absolutely loved everything from the plot line, the setting, and the characters! If you are looking for a great dystopian read, I definitely think you should give this one a try. If you would like a more in depth, spoiler free review, check it out HERE

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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 – One word to describe this would be BRILLIANT. This was just beautifully written and even though the characters are flawed, the writer does a fabulous job of making you feel for them. The premise of this book was so intriguing it automatically captured my attention: Outlaws trying to pull of an impossible heist. Who wouldn’t want to read that? Check out my review HERE 🙂

2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an-ember-in-the-ashes-by-sabaa-tahir

 

 – This book kept me up until 4AM. Yes, 4AM. I read this in one sitting. That was how dangerously addictive this book was. As soon as I started reading, the story just takes off and there is never one dull moment. There is just so much action mixed with a thrilling and captivating story, it’s just too much of an awesome read! You can read a more in-depth review on my blog HERE

1. The Lunar Chronicles By Marissa Meyer

lunar-chronicles-by-marissa-meyer

– It’s official. This has become one of my favorite series of all time (after Harry Potter of course). I just loved how Marissa Meyer crafted this story as a fairy tale re-telling but with a scifi twist. How cool is that? All the characters in the stories were amazing in their unique way. Brave Cinder, Fiery Scarlet, Sweet Cress, and Crazy Winter lol I adore each and everyone of them. Plus, Cress and Thorne are relationship goals! 🙂 Definitely check out my blog for their individual reviews!

How about you guys? Do you have a top 5 of the year so far? Let me know in the comments below?

Winter Book Review (Spoiler Free)

winter

“Scars, scars, she was coming to have so many. She wondered if it was wrong to  be proud of them.”

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 824

Goodreads

Rating – 5/5

Wow! What a crazy roller coaster ride that was. This is how you end a series. Everything from the build up to the revolution, the actual war, the romance and character struggles were just so well done! This has got to be one of my most favorite series of all time! I will admit that there was a lot going on in the story but I still enjoyed reading this regardless. I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to the series. Parts in the book had me going like:

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As with the other novels within this story, Winter picks up from where we leave the characters in Cress; however, this novel focuses on a new character, Princess Winter and we finally get to see the Lunar Kingdom. This is where Marissa Meyer sheds a bit more light on the conditions on the moon all while the Lunars are being oppressed by Queen Levana’s rule. The set up delineates the society to be a bit dystopian where the Royal Palace has the most wealth while the other sectors live in poverty. Together, Cinder and her friends start to build up the resistance against Queen Levana to defeat her once and for all.

Characters

  1. Princess Winter – Winter is the step daughter of Queen Levana and despite being related to the most WICKED woman throughout the kingdom, she is still loved by her people for her beauty, gentleness and kindness. Because of this, she undergoes constant abuse and manipulation by her stepmother who is without a doubt jealous of her ability to charm the people.
  2. Jacin Clay – Silent, Cold, Protective – Being a childhood friend of Winter, Jacin already cares for this “crazy” Princess even though he tries hard to mask it since he is part of the Queen’s royal Guard. Nevertheless, he tries his best to protect her would do anything for her. *Swoon*

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Despite being 800 pages long, I ended up flying though this book especially when I reached the mid-way point. It never slowed down and we are constantly pushed to the edge of our seats, curious as to what is going to happen to the characters. I used to think that the characters were placed in crazy situations in Cress but they are pushed even further in this book and their loyalties are tested. It’s also amazing to analyze the character development within the novel. Everyone is NOT the same as they started out in the beginning of the series.

  1. Cinder and Kai – These two grow off of one another so much throughout the books and I’ve always rooted for them since the series started. Cinder loves Kai’s ability to speak and lead people while Kai is overly charmed by her skill in mechanics. They are too sweet. I loved that Kai at this point in the series is literally DONE with all the Lunar manipulation and he gives no Fs. His sassy comments were awesome! Go Kai!
  2. Scarlet and Wolf – These two have honestly been through the most compared to the rest of the group but they still manage to have a beautiful relationship with one another. They feel for one another when dealing with turmoil and they still manage to pick themselves back up and I love how Wolf calls Scarlet his “alpha.”
  3. Cress and Thorne – OMG The ship of all Major Ships! This was by far my favorite couple of the series. I love how they develop from one another to become the best they can be and how they inspire each other to be strong and “heroic.” Their passion, struggles and overall relationship is just so beautiful, I love them! I used to love Kai a lot since I started the series but it seems like Thorne may have stolen the spotlight!emma.gif
  4. Winter and Jacin – A classic Princess and the Guard tale. Their longtime friendship grows into something deeper and passionate and my god these two would do anything to protect each other no matter the costs and I just thought that they were so sweet for each other.

I also found it amazing that the women in this novel were so strong together and I loved how despite their different personalities, they supported one another. Typically in most YA novels we tend to see women against each other but it was so refreshing to see the opposite here. We are all on the same team! LOL and the guys were just hilarious. Especially Thorne and Kai! OMG I loved one particular scene with the two of them together where they were going back and forth with hilarious comments! Absolutely hysterical!

Its so sad that the series had to end. I ended up enjoying the story and the characters so much!!

Did you all enjoy the Lunar Chronicles? Let me know your thoughts down below!

Cress Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Cress_Cover.jpg

“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe It’s just the opportunities we’re given and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 550

GoodReads

Rating – 5/5

OMG. What a crazy adventure that was! This is probably my favorite book of the series so far. I was completely hooked by the first few pages. Even though this was 500+ pages, the novel never slowed down for me. There was always something happening in every chapter and for that reason, it was pretty fast paced. I also adored the characters as well. Cress and Thorne were absolutely adorable and fun and I loved those two together. Let’s not even bring up Queen Levana . . . OMG  she just gets worse and worse with every book. I love how Marissa was able to bring these different story arcs together. It was done so well. Even though a lot of things happen in this book, it never once got too overwhelming to the point where it was chaotic. The pacing was perfect, the characters were dynamic and so well crafted and the story was just brilliant.

As Cinder and Scarlet followed the stories of Cinderella and the Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is about the story of Rapunzel. What I love the most about Marissa Meyer’s writing is that she can flawlessly intertwine the story of a new character along with the bigger story arc which progresses throughout the stories. Cinder, along with her band of friends, venture to a satellite in order to free Cress. However, the rescue mission ends up going haywire and the group becomes separated. We follow the characters through their travels while simultaneously learning new information about their rivals while meeting a few new characters as well.

Characters:

Cress – Soft-spoken, shy, brilliant hacker – Cress is a character who undergoes tremendous character development since she starts out as a shy, sheltered girl who eventually learns to spread her wings and fly on her own. Her relationship with Captain Thorne was also something which I ADORED since she was a bit of a fangirl, which I could relate to!

Captain Thorne – I absolutely loved Thorne in this book! We typically see him as the comic relief of the novel but in Cress, we see a completely different side to him. The characters are placed in crazy situations and we get to see how they tackle the different obstacles  in their path. Plus I’m a fangirl of his like Cress! *faints*

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Discussion:

It isn’t just the new characters who go through so much struggles, it’s also the previous characters as well. For example, we find Cinder struggling to grasp hold of who she is and also become a leader for this revolution despite the amount of negative press against her. We also see Kai in a difficult situation where he needs to make decisions which would be best for his people even if it means making personal sacrifices. The emotions the characters feel are so real that you can’t help but feel for them. The addition of new characters also allows for more intricate plot lines to develop and Marissa Meyer does this so well that you can’t help but be glued to the book. Even if the next chapter moves onto a character which I am not quite interested in, the chapter always turns out to be interesting since we learn new things about the plot line/mysteries, etc. As of now, my favorite couple has to be Cress-Thorne since they just seem so adorable together. Next would be Cinder-Kai and then Scarlet-Wolf. We also see/meet a Lunar Princess Winter and I can’t wait to learn more about her in the next book! Cress was definitely 5/5 stars!

Did you guys enjoy this book? Let me know!

Scarlet Book Review (Spoiler Free)

scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 452

Goodreads

Rating – 4.5/5

In the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles, we follow a new protagonist by the name of Scarlet. As Cinder was a re-telling of Cinderella, this book is a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood. As usual, Marissa Meyer adds her own spin on it by incorporating a sci-fi twist. We basically have Scarlet who is on a mission to find her lost grandmother and along the way, she recruits the help of a fighter named Wolf. We also still see the stories of Cinder and her new accomplice, Captain Thorne, as well as Kai’s story arc too. Eventually all these stories do intertwine and more mysteries about the Lunar civilization are unraveled which keeps you glued to the book. I will admit that the first half of the book is quite slow which is why I gave it a 4.5/5 stars but the second half was very fast paced and it made up for the slow start.

Characters:

  1. Scarlet – Fiery, Outspoken, Bold. Scarlet is a very strong character but I kind of saw her to be all over the place in the beginning but by the end of the book she does become a bit more rational and mature about her actions. Another issue is that she was only dealing with one problem which was finding her grandmother and that was pretty much it. However, since we will see more of her character in the future novels, I am sure there will be more room for character tension, struggles and development.
  2. Wolf – Silent, Strong, Fighter. Wolf is sort of the opposite of Scarlet since he is more reserved but still strong in character. There were a lot of mysteries surrounding his character which kept me intrigued and I ended up liking him in the end.
  3. Captain Thorne – A bit vain, Flirtatious and ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. Captain Thorne was definitely the comic relief in this novel and there were so many moments where I couldn’t help but laugh out loud with his shenanigans.

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While I wouldn’t say this was a perfect book, I do think it offers a lot of potential for the continuation of the series. There are a lot of unanswered questions and mysteries which remain unsolved but this is what makes you fall in love with these books and reach for the next novel in the series. Marissa Meyer has definitely become one of my favorite authors of all time. How about you all? Did you enjoy Scarlet?