[Book Review] Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

I did it. I finished Heir of Fire. I have a lot of thoughts here, so I’m going to try & organize them as best I can. I’ve tried my best to avoid spoilers for the other 2 books in the series, but if you haven’t read those & don’t want to risk it, I suggest you go back to one of my earlier reviews: [Throne of Glass] or [Crown of Midnight]!

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

First of all, this book took me a LONG time to read (I guess some people don’t consider 3 weeks that long for a book, but I definitely do). I just couldn’t binge-read it the way I did with the first two books. Now, this could easily be attributed to book burnout after the aforementioned binge sessions, OR it could be because the storytelling in this book changed so significantly & felt really disjointed compared to the rest of the series. My guess is it was the latter, but the whole burnout thing is maybe a contributing factor.

The thing about this book compared to the first two is that we’re following multiple concurrent story lines. This I have no problem with – I mean,  our favorite characters get separated & we start following each of them independently – duh. There was just something about the way it was executed in this book that felt…choppy? Every time I started getting invested in one of the story lines, the narrative would switch over to a different one & I’d lose my momentum. And then put the book down and not feel that burning desire to pick it back up.

The book is divided into two “Parts”, which are directly related to a decision Celaena has to make. I’ll say that Part 2 was MUCH more consistent than Part 1 & only took me a few days to read. Once I hit the 70% mark in the book, I got that fire back for the series. It was just one of those instances where the book in the middle of the series is spending so much time building up to what’s to come that nothing REALLY happens. Except for that one thing that happens in the last 100 pages. Because Damn. That HAPPENED.

Celaena’s character development is basically stunted for the first 2/3 of the book. She’s her same stubborn self, still reeling from the events of Crown of Midnight.  It takes a long time for her to start climbing out of the abyss of despair she was dropped in, but once she takes that first step, things really start to pick up.

We’re also introduced to quite a few new characters – dare I say too many? I think maybe. Perhaps not too many for the entire book, but too many in close succession, for sure. Things got kind of chaotic for a little bit during Part 1 & it was hard to keep track of the pieces that were flying in every direction and in no way coming together.

All-in-all, I did really love this book once I had finished it. I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads because I think it’s setting us up for something absolutely, undeniably epic in the next two installments. It just suffered a little bit from what I call “The Two Towers” syndrome – where the middle of the story is just the middle of the story & has no beginning or end of its own. Can’t fault a series book for that, but it does make it EXTRA frustrating to have to wait around for the next installment!

4 star

Have you finished Heir of Fire? What did you think?! I need to know! I need someone to talk about this book with, please tell me!

Until Next Time ❤

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Nailed It. Highlights From Wizard World Des Moines 2015.

At least now the world knows. YES. Iowa – little old, in the middle of the country, surrounded by cornfields, home to James T. Kirk & Clint Barton, Iowa – can most definitely support a large-scale comic convention. The weekend was so successful that Wizard World has already announced their return in May of 2016.  3-Day Passes sold out weeks before the event (much to the detriment of one procrastinating blogger) and Saturday passes were sold out by Friday. People have wanted this for so long and we had something to prove to those Wizard World Execs. Pretty sure we nailed it.

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Based on my experience, the event was very well-organized & the venue was highly conducive to the flow of such a convention. Vendors and Artists set up booths in the main exhibition area, while celebrity meet-and-greets/photo-ops were housed in a smaller, adjacent area. Panels could be accessed either from an escalator within the photo-op area or via the main escalators in the lobby. The smaller breakout rooms were packed & made it easy to find whichever panel guests were interested in attending.

I’m thrilled by the success of this event and cannot wait to return year after year. It’s a single step towards getting all kinds of large-scale events to come to the Midwest AND for showing the world what kind of crazy fun us nerds can have when we all come together to celebrate our fandoms.

And now, the weekend in photographs:

Friday

We spent the majority of Friday just exploring the exhibition floor & getting in lots of selfies with our favorite cosplayers. I met the greatest Spock impersonator I’ve ever seen & obviously HAD to get a photo. I was honestly a little intimidated (dude was 6’7″!) and maybe acted a bit of a fool, but whatever. Happens, right? I was excited.

My girl KiT & I made one large sweep of the autograph area, where we ran into Miss Iowa 2014, Autumn Weaver, dressed as Wonder Woman! She is such an inspiration & a total doll. I spied her on Saturday dressed as Slave Leia (I think it was her) and then again as a member of Starfleet.

There were a number of Clark Kents floating around, but this was by far the best. I was really struggling with my camera here, thus the ridiculous faces.

When we headed back to the bar, we ran into this all-female Guardians of the Galaxy group & definitely had to get a picture. And then hubby snuck up on us & gave us the best photobomb of the weekend. Because of course hubby was at the bar. I should have known.

The best part of Friday, though, was ABSOLUTELY the 41st Chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs, Vhett Manda Clan, who were taking bounties & arresting members of parties for a small donation to their charity. We arrested KiT’s husband since we had lost them & didn’t feel like scouring the hall to find them. Instead we paid $5 & waited for them to come to us.

Hahaha. I giggled for a long time.

After the convention closed for the night, we all went out for a group dinner at Quinton’s (because Zombie Burger had a 1.5 hour wait…obviously). Look how cute we are!

Saturday

Saturday was the only day any of us Cosplayed, and we had 3 very different characters. One of these times, we’ll have to figure out a group thing, I think.

I have to say, for pulling hubby’s costume together so last-minute (we’re talking Wednesday night), I’m pretty damn proud of myself on this one. I give you: Matt Murdock (and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, just for good measure).

I had never done SFX makeup before, but I’d say this turned out pretty rad. I did  a couple trial runs on myself Thursday night, just to make sure I knew what I was doing. I still had a few difficulties with the prosthetic Saturday morning, but it all came together in the end 🙂

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Of course, then you’ve got my iteration of Days of Future Past Quicksilver! This was a costume hubby wore for Halloween last year, but since I wanted to color my hair silver anyway, I decided to just hijack the costume.  We even found my twinsie (although from a different universe) and I slowed down long enough to get a photo. The rest of the day I must have been moving too fast, because I don’t have any other pics of my cosplay. Oops.

Of course, then you have the most in-character cosplayer of the day: our Joker, aka RyanTheGr8. He was hamming it up for the camera all day. The kids loved him (except for the one that screamed bloody murder….oops) and the professional photographers loved him, so he’s in a bunch of official Wizard World photos from the weekend, too.

Here’s that time he found the rest of his villain buddies & Batman.

And that time he got his head chopped off by Revan.

That time he got REALLY excited about finding Carmen San Diego & Waldo.

That time he protested against vegetarianism with Poison Ivy.

And that other time I slowed down enough to be caught on camera.

Haul

Last, but not least, my comic con haul – not as big as I would have expected, but that’s probably for the best considering our current financial situation:

My first and only purchase on Friday was this Spike Funko! I mean, obviously.

We passed the Colorworld booth on Friday & I just KNEW I needed to buy something from them, so I rushed back over on Saturday. We found out they had a discount for people who have the ConTV app (which I do), meaning I got a free paper print with my purchase of 2 bookmarks (which only cost $5 total)! These bookmarks are AMAZING. They are printed on aluminum & appear holographic. They’re just gorgeous. I got a Boba Fett (which I don’t have a pic of) and this Hermione Patronus one. I’m super obsessed & will probably buy more from them in the future. Also, the Colorworld book sounds so interesting & is now on my TBR.

The paper print I chose from the Colorworld shop was this Super Smash Bros. print – it’s so epic & will look great in our guest room, but it did get a little bent before I had the chance to buy a protector for it. Womp womp. Hopefully it won’t be noticeable in its frame. If so, I’ll just have to go ahead & buy another. Because I lurrrrve it.

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Sorry for the absurdly long post today, but it was such a great weekend. I don’t even think I recapped 60% of it here, but these are the only photos I ended up with. Lol. SOOO that’s what you get. Because I’m a bad blogger. It’ll be better next time, I promise!

Until Next Time ❤

[5] Obsessive Wednesdays: Music Madness!

Welcome back to Obsessive Wednesdays! This week is a little music-heavy (and, consequently, Youtube-heavy). Likely due to the Cincinnati road trip a couple weeks ago 🙂 Kristi & I discovered LOTS of new faves. I’m just gonna share a couple, though. Let’s not get crazy.

MUSIC

New Miley! (Nightmare)

Guys, this song leaked on the internet yesterday & I’m in love. I actually really love the majority of Miley’s music since “We Can’t Stop” came out. And I’m not ashamed to admit that. Sure, her antics have been INCREDIBLY eyeroll-worthy. But I can forgive that. She’s making huge strides with her charity, which I greatly admire. She really does have a heart of gold. And this song is LE-GIT.

1989 Mashup / Sam Tsui & Kurt Schneider

This is maybe my favorite mashup/remake/cover/whatever that I’ve ever found on YouTube. I just can’t. I can. Not. It’s so good.

Also, check out Sam Tsui’s Sam Smith/Ed Sheeran mashup, because it’s a close contender.

Anna Kendrick’s/ John Krasinski Lip Sync Battle

This is maybe old news to some of you, but I just got around to watching it last week and HOLY SHIT. Anna Kendrick is a freaking goddess. It takes a LOT of courage to take on J-Lo and she totally kills it. Even with her little white girl booty. Just more proof that any booty can be a great booty.

Last-minute entry! Happy Playlist!

 

I dare you to be in a bad mood while this playlist is running. I DARE YOU. (playlist by @loudlysilent)

YOUTUBE

Carmilla

 

Moving along from music, bookavid was a terrible human being & made me start watching the web series, Carmilla, about a quirky girl whose roommate disappears & is replaced by a vampire. The cast is just phenomenal, and I blew through the first season in a couple days. The majority of characters in this series are gay, but it’s never really “addressed”, which I found fucking refreshing. Nobody needed to quantify their affections for whoever they were into. Everything was just accepted as normal. This is the way the world should work. Woah. That might have been a borderline rant. My bad.

BOOKS

P.S. I Still Love You / Jenny Han

I finally picked this up from the library & cannot wait to dive in. I need to finish Heir of Fire first, but I’m getting close, so YAY! I really, really enjoyed (review) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I am super excited to read the ongoing adventures of the Song Sisters! Also super excited to do a joint review of the book with @loudlysilent for The Wind-Up Books Chronicle this month!

Stephanie Perkins Novels

I also picked up the 3 Stephanie Perkins novels – Anna & The French Kiss, Lola & The Boy Next Door, and Isla & The Happily Ever After – from my library. I’ve definitely gotten the tiniest burnt out on fantasy lately, so I’m really glad to have these contemporaries (with INCREDIBLE reviews) at the ready for me!

A Court of Thorns & Roses

When I’m ready again for more fantasy, I’ve got this beauty at the ready!! I know I should probably move on to another author, but I’ve heard such INCREDIBLE things about this book that I just don’t see the point! Sarah J Maas does fantasy like nobody I’ve ever read, and I am a FAN.

BEAUTY

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Everybody & their mother is pooping their pants over this. And with good reason. Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette is set to be released next month, and people. are. excited. Just look at the gorgeous packaging & the perfection that is every single shade of shadow! I don’t have any UD palettes in my arsenal, but this seems like a good one to get for me. When Kristi & I were sharing makeup, I always reached for her UD palettes before my own, so I know I’ll get good use out of it! These are TOTALLY worth the price tag.

HOME

Julia Goodwin’s San Francisco Home

Holy crap, you guys. This is like my dream interior. Every single photo in this home tour has me slobbering all over my keyboard. Seriously. I had to restrain myself from posting ALL of the photos right here. Every. Single. One is gorgeous & I have so much inspiration for my own spaces now!

Speaking of my spaces…

My New Bookshelves!

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Last but certainly not least – I have bookshelves now! Apologies for the crappy-lighting photo. My bedroom needs some serious work. If you follow me on Instagram or Tumblr, you may have seen that these suckers are getting lots of love from me. They’re a little sparse because my book collection is just getting underway. Having these right next to my bed has been AMAZING this week. They’re the perfect nightstand. I’ll do a whole bedroom tour once my room is no longer an embarrassment. K? Thanks.

I think that’s long enough for today. Let me know in the comments if there’s something YOU’RE completely obsessing over right now? Maybe it’s the new Mockingjay trailer? Or an announcement that something you love is being brought to screen (Lumberjanes, anyone?). I want to know!

Until Next Time ❤

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases Remaining in 2015

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Woo! So I was going to do something a little different today, but it’s going to take more time than I had anticipated to put it together. Hopefully it turns out well & becomes a regular feature I can do here. Ooooh surprises! I hope to have it done by next week for y’all 🙂

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Most Anticipated Releases For The Rest of 2015 – and boy, do I have a few of THOSE suckers. A few of them have come up in my Waiting on Wednesday posts, but most of the ones I’d posted for that have already been released this year (YAY!) so there are quite a few new ones on this list!

1. Queen of Shadows / Sarah J Maas

2. Library of Souls / Ransom Riggs

3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here / Patrick Ness

4. Armada / Ernest Cline

5. Lair of Dreams / Libba Bray

6. Carry On / Rainbow Rowell

7. The Stars Never Rise / Rachel Vincent (released today: COUNTS!)

8. The Trouble With Destiny / Lauren Morrill

9. Ink and Bone / Rachel Caine

10. Soundless / Richelle Mead

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke & The Bookish
Until Next Time ❤

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to be Movies

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I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to imagine some of my favorite books as movies/ tv shows, so here’s another Top Ten Tuesday, comin’ at ya.

 1. Crewel by Gennifer Albin. This book was really unique & the world-building was just so vivid. I didn’t ADORE the other books in the series, but I think the first would make a really great movie adaptation. There are so many aspects that would be really amazing to see recreated with movie magic.

2. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. Another REALLY unique universe. I think it’s great that we already have the wonderful visuals of the universe, thanks to Fiona Staples’ breathtaking illustrations, but I’d love to see these characters come to life even further!

3. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. This is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year, just because it is SO sweet & cute & I really feel for Lara Jean. I think it would make a fun movie that would probably get added to my stack of sick day chick flicks.

4. Blink by Ted Dekker. One of my favorite books when I was in high school – this book is fast-paced with tons of action & a cute little love story beneath the primary plotline. I would love to see how a filmmaker would interpret the experience of Seth’s visions of the future.

5. Circle Series by Ted Dekker. I really love Ted Dekker, and his Circle Series is phenomenal. You get two parallel story lines in two different worlds, and they each make impacts on the other. You barely have time to catch your breath when reading the books – I can only imagine what kind of experience this would be on screen.

6. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant. Ok, I don’t talk about it much, but I effing LOVE historical fiction. None more so than The Birth of Venus. It’s sexy and exciting while paying homage to some of the greatest artists to ever walk the Earth. The costuming alone would be incredible.

Now, some of my favorites are also in the PROCESS of being adapted for the screen. These are the 4 I’m most excited about:

7. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Putting Tim Burton at the head of this ship was the best move I could have ever wished for. I ADORE this series & I’m a huge Burton junkie, so this match has me tinkling myself until release day.

8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Just finished this & could NOT be more amped for the film. I think Spielberg has this locked down. I mean, who can better emulate the 80’s than someone who had his thumb on the pulse of EVERYTHING as it was happening?

9. The Selection by Kiera Cass. Warner Brothers just won the rights to option this film & I’m so, so hoping that it comes to fruition. The WB has attempted to make pilots for a TV show before, with really negative reception from audiences (yours truly included). I’m praying that IF the film is developed that it is done justice. Maxon + America MUST be done justice as one of my all-time favorite ships.

10. The B.F.G. by Roald Dahl. Another of my all-time favorite books. Spielberg’s got his name on this one, too. And I really think it’s going to be great. I read this thing like 100 times as a kid & can’t wait to reread it before the film release.

 

Woop, there it is. And I assure you, I am geeking the hell out over those last 4.

Top Ten Tuesdays is brought to us all by The Broke & The Bookish. Check out the link-up for more page-to-screen wishlists today!

Until Next Time ❤

Ready Player One Review on the Wind-Up Books Chronicle

Oh, hello there! So I’m just back from a whirlwind adventure to Cincinnati for my BFF’s sister’s baby shower. The weekend was seriously the best & I’ll be putting together a brief recap of our escapades soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to direct your attention to The Wind-Up Books Chronicle, where I sometimes contribute book-related jibberings and have participated in my first group review of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. *Spoiler Alert: I LOVED it*


 

Head over to WUBC to check it out!

Ready Player1


 

Until Next Time ❤

5 Fandom Friday: Fictional Characters I Identify With

I think the best part about being a fiction lover is finding a character that resonates with you on a molecular level. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about all of these characters at one time or another, but my personality is a blend of all of them & it’s kind of like they’re a part of me. Without further ado:

5 Fictional Characters I Identify With

1. Zoe (Fanboys)

Equal parts nerdy and crass, Zoe is basically me. My nerd culture knowledge is probably a few lightyears behind hers, but I might be able to out-crass her, so I think it evens out in the end. She surrounds herself by nerdy boys all day long and acts as kind of a den mother to them. That is definitely an experience I can relate to.

2. Cisco Ramon (Flash)

Aside from the fact that I consider myself merely of  average intellect, everything else about Cisco’s personality resonates with me. He is quirky and loyal and unapologetically himself.  He isn’t afraid to show his excitement over anything and frequently geeks out in the most hardcore ways. He is just a joyful person, which is something I absolutely strive to be.

3. Bianca Piper (The DUFF)

I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m not sure this all applies to Mae Whitman’s portrayal of the character, but I see Book Bianca as snarky and intelligent, albeit slightly cynical. While I realize I’m being contradictory by identifying with the joyfulness of Cisco Ramon and the cynicism of Bianca Piper, isn’t that what humans are? Walking contradictions? There are days when I just FEEL like Bianca. Insecurities and general grump-itude. Nothing a little sex therapy can’t take care of though, #amiright?

4. Jess (New Girl)

I’m actually SUPER behind on New Girl, but this still holds true. Jess is quirky af. No denying it. She’s super passionate about a lot of things, but especially about her friends/family. Sometimes they look at her like she has two heads, but they love her back, and just as fiercely. THAT is something that hits me way down deep. Sometimes I’m talking to my husband or my mom or my best friend & I can see their eyes start to glaze over. It doesn’t mean they don’t love me, it just means they’re overwhelmed by my extreme passion for that particular subject matter. Which is basically all subject matter.

5. Charlie Bradbury (Supernatural)

A nerdy badass with a taste for adventure. I just ADORE Charlie, and have since her very first appearance on the show.  *NO SPOILERS, PLEASE* because I’m way far behind on Supernatural right now, too. But Charlie’s character development over the last few years has been one of my favorite things to watch. She’s constantly exploring and learning new things about herself to become the person she’s always dreamed of being. Even if it’s a risk & could potentially backfire. Plus, Felicia Day, so…

Honorable Mention: Nora (The New Guy)

This was one of my favorite movies when it first came out & there’s just something about Nora that has been so relatable. Maybe it’s just the fact that Zooey Deschanel is super relatable to me, but idk. She plays bass & is a hardcore feminist & not afraid to speak her mind. I love her.

Clearly I identify most with quirky-yet-social types, because that’s just me. If someone’s willing to put up with my weird, we’ll be just fine.

How about you? Check out the twitter tags for 5 Fandom Friday (#fandom5 & #5fandomfriday) to see what everyone else thinks!

Until Next Time ❤

[Book Review] Crown Of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

HOLY… Everything. Holy everything. This book. Well, this book destroyed me. Ripped out my heart & crumbled it a la Regina Mills.  Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series, and it really outdoes the first in terms of eliciting emotional responses.


 CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by SARAH J. MAAS

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion—yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.


The instant I turned the last page of Throne of Glass, I hopped into the car with kiddo and drove to Half Price Books to pick up the rest of the series (not exaggerating). They didn’t have any in the store, so I just picked up a couple books for mini-me and we headed over to Barnes & Noble, pushing dinner back by a couple hours in the process (oops!). Anyway, I grabbed Crown of Midnight and had intentions to get the rest of the series, but Heir of Fire is only released in hardcover right now and they didn’t have any paperback copies of Assassin’s Blade. Gotta make sure the set matches, yo!

Crown of Midnight picks up basically where Throne of Glass left off, so there are going to be a few mini-spoilers for Throne of Glass in my review, because it’s basically unavoidable.

The general premise of this second installment is that Celaena is now the King’s Champion and, as such, is contracted to eliminate targets deemed to be a threat to the crown. She uses her position to continue the mission set forth by Queen Elena in the first book, investigating the secrets held within the castle while maintaining the appearance of a loyal servant to the King. All the secrets she is keeping begin to cause tensions between those closest to her, with everyone questioning each others’ intentions.

Crown of Midnight weaves a pretty intricate web, and reveals even more about Celaena’s past as the castle’s secrets begin to become her own.  We get to see the lethality of our favorite assassin on a number of occasions, as well as seeing her softer side as she  learns to trust her friends and puts their needs above her own time & time again. We experience incredible heartbreak as she is betrayed (more than once) and we finally have the opportunity to witness the power of magic in the world of Erilea.

I reiterate, this book is filled with SO much emotion. Celaena is learning about herself and what she wants for her life once she is free from the King’s command. She begins to heal old wounds, only to have them ripped wide open as her secrets begin to unravel. It’s a gut-wrenching ride from beginning to end, and I found myself in tears more than once (thank you, husband, for not laughing at me as I sobbed over the pages of this book!).

As in the first book, I found a few of the plot twists to be somewhat predictable but, unlike the first installment, it in no way affected my opinion of this book.  Watching all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place was incredibly satisfying, even if my suspicions were right on-point. And the ending….well, you really need to read this book.

Final Verdict:

5 star

No surprise here, I am OBSESSED with this book, and really looking forward to diving deeper into the story with Heir of Fire!

Did you read Crown of Midnight? Did it affect you the way it affected me? I’ve been chatting with some other fans of this series & we all agree – this book cuts through you like a knife (or maybe one of Celaena’s daggers)!

Until Next Time ❤

[4] Obsessive Wednesdays: The Year of Cotton

Happy Wednesday! Don’t you love short weeks? This week is one of those busy, busy ones for me, so it’s actually moving pretty quickly. It’ll be the weekend before I know it & then I’m off for a whirlwind adventure to Cincinnati! In the meantime, here’s what I’m obsessing over THIS week!

Life

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That’s me, I promise. I’m a hair chameleon

This guy. Today’s our 2-year anniversary, which kind of sounds like nothing, and really, the last two years have flown by. I know, I know. Everyone says that, but it really doesn’t feel like it was a whole two years ago that we were in Las Vegas & I was having meltdowns left & right because I failed to plan out where I’d get my hair & makeup done or where we’d get flowers for the ceremony!  We had a few hiccups, but in the end the ceremony was BEAUTIFUL and I couldn’t be happier to have married the best friend I’ve ever had.  It’s been a crazy couple years, but there’s absolutely no one I’d rather be stuck with for the rest of my life

Just for funsies & nostalgia, here are some of my favorite wedding photos:

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The Springs Preserve – Las Vegas, NV

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Oh, that little munchkin back there!

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This venue is breathtaking

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Back home on the day of our reception

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Cutest little love bug there ever was

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I love these silly boys

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Obligatory nerd photo

Look at all the fun we had. And we’ve been having fun ever since 🙂

Books

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Throne of Glass Series!! Well, hopefully you saw that I read Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight last week. These books were incredible. I’m currently reading Heir of Fire, but I’m honestly having a hard time getting into it – I can’t tell if it’s just burnout since I read practically non-stop over the weekend or if this book is just that much slower than the other two. It’s still interesting, I just haven’t had that burning desire to binge-read it. The series as a whole, though – thoroughly obsessed. I’m so excited to read Assassin’s Blade & learn more about Celaena’s past! And then it’s a waiting game for Queen of Shadows in September…torture!

If you are unfamiliar with the series, it’s about an Assassin (obvi) who is pulled out of the labor camp she has been imprisoned in for the last year by the Crown Prince to compete in a tournament to become the King’s personal Champion. After 4 years of service, she’ll earn her freedom. It’s a series full of magic & faerie lore, as well as rather a lot of brutality. It’s seriously a great fantasy series.

Internet

Coldplay’s Game Of Thrones Musical.  If you haven’t at least heard about this, you have to be living under a rock (no offense), but this is quite possibly my favorite thing that has EVER come out of the internet. It is just utter perfection and every single second of it makes me impossibly happy. If you’re not a GOT fan, you probably won’t get any of the jokes, but if you are, they are AMAZING. Pretty sure I’ve watched it 100 times. And I can’t stop reblogging gifs of it on my tumblr.

Fashion

Two things I bought for myself yesterday with leftover birthday money:

Spider-Gwen Hoodie. I’ve been looking around & these are impossible to find, still. So when I saw that We Love Fine is coming out with a Spider-Gwen collection, I knew I had to scoop up that hoodie ASAP. And for only $45, I feel like I won the lottery! Especially considering that they were already nearly sold out as of yesterday – Small & Medium were both gone already, as well as some of the larger sizes. Hopefully Large is the right size for me (I’m hoping they run a little small). I’m freaking pumped for this & it’s gonna make my Halloween costume kind of a no-brainer. The worst part is going to be the wait! Not shipping until September 1 (between this & Queen of Shadows, September is going to be AWESOME for me).

Reversible Vegan Leather Tote. I’ve been dying for a leather tote for ages, but let’s be honest – ain’t no way I can afford real leather. This vegan leather tote from Urban Outfitters is a great alternative for only $60 – it looks amazing & it’s REVERSIBLE! Are you kidding me? I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. UPS, get your shit together & bring me my bag! It’s big enough to hold my laptop & some books and even my camera, if I start figuring out how to use that thing. I have a feeling I’m going to be ordering another one of these bags in the future in a different color. Because options.

The list is a bit shorter this week than usual, but I’m probably WAY more excited about all of this than I usually am, so the level of obsessiveness is the same.  What’s got you excited this week? I’d love to know!

Until Next Time ❤

[Book Review] Throne of Glass

Woo! I finally jumped onboard the Throne of Glass train! I’ve felt so left out these past few months since I started blogging & following all these book blogs that are just OBSESSED with this series. I knew I was going to have to read it & finally got around to cracking open the first book last week.


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


I knew from the book synopsis that I was going to enjoy this book. I mean, an assassin, a land without magic (just the mention of it would indicate that magic had existed at one point in this world), and a competition to become the King’s personal Champion? Those things are all 100% in my lane. I love fantasy, so there was no way I was going to dislike this book.

This is one of those narratives that just dives right into the story. There’s no character- or world-building up front. It’s just BOOM. Immediately into the action. I love that. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the development of characters and settings, but I love the feeling of being hooked on the story from page 1. And with this one, I most definitely was.

The story begins as Celaena is being hauled into the building at the labor camp where she has been imprisoned. She is taken to see the Crown Prince of Adarlan (who else kept reading this as Alderaan the whole time? Just me? Ok...) who will make her an offer to compete to become the King’s Champion and, after 4 years of service, earn her freedom.  That’s all within the first 10-or-so pages of the book. Sarah J. Maas definitely has this whole “hooking readers” thing down to a science.

Celaena Sardothien is a character I have been waiting for for ages – not the FEMALE character, but rather ANY character. The fact that she is a she is just the cherry on top.  She is absolutely fierce and lethal, yet she opens her heart so easily despite everything she has been through, including waking up between her murdered parents in a pool of their blood, being taken in & trained to be an assassin at the age of EIGHT, and spending a year in a labor camp at age 17 where most prisoners only survive for a few months. She also loves as fiercely as she kills, whether it’s a friend, lover, or even stranger – she is capable of such compassion.

There are many secrets throughout this book that unfold over time – when done well, it’s a thrill ride and you find yourself just hanging on for dear life. However, not all instances are done well, and I did find many of the twists and turns to be somewhat predictable. Either the foreshadowing was a little obvious, or I’m getting WAY too good at picking up on the subtle hints & putting the pieces together. That’s not a huge gripe, as I still love each and every turn the book made, but it did kind of unhook me from the story when I was just waiting for the ball that I knew was coming to drop.

I’d say the one thing that genuinely irked me throughout this book was the love triangle. I’m definitely a fan of romance in books (I don’t find it necessary, but who doesn’t love watching people fall in love? This is why shipping is a thing, right?) BUT I’m so incredibly over the love triangle thing. Will she? Won’t she? Who’s she gonna pick? Bouncing back & forth between the two… ugh. It’s exhausting & I’d rather just watch two people dance around each other for 400 pages than have the main character waffle between two men who are completely dopey over her. Also, I ship one of the guys with her SO hard it’s not even funny. So there’s that.

All said, I still loved the crap out of this book. The ending was pretty epic and leaves us wide open for book #2.  There are hints at magic throughout, and I expect that to become a bigger part of the story as the series progresses. I’m completely in love with the characters and I totally see where all the hype is coming from.

I’ve actually already finished Crown of Midnight & started reading Heir of Fire, so it’s safe to say I’m a fan of the series. I wish I had realized that it’s not complete yet before I had started, though. There is no greater torture than waiting for the release of the next installment of a series.

Final Verdict:

4 star

(only lost one star because of the love triangle)

Well, how about you? Have you read this series? Are you in the group of uber fans? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until Next Time ❤