how-to-capture-readers-hearts-adsom-style

How to capture readers’ hearts A Darker Shades of Magic style

A Conjuring of Light is OUT!! Ahhhhh so many people have already started reading it, and I am DYING to read it, guys. UGH. I’m currently in the middle of my re-read of the the second book, A Gathering of Shadows, which is the only reason I haven’t picked up ACOL yet. #bookwormstruggles And I absolutely LOVE IT but I am so ready for the third book. I can’t wait to read it so I can do a joint review (… more like fangirling post, probably…) of books 2 and 3!

THAT ASIDE. I wanted to do something V.E. Schwab/Shades of Magic series related, which is why we’re here, as you can tell from the title of the post. I recently finished re-reading the first book of the series (and I loved it so much akskjfjkgnjchskkkansr) which is what this post is based on, essentially. Reading A Darker Shade of Magic was absolutely amazing, I loved it even more than I already did if that’s even possible. Pretty much none of my feelings changed except I loved Lila a lot more than I did the first time haha.

But I digress! I’m terrible at staying on track, oh my god. I suppose you can call this a review of sorts–although I already wrote one the first time I read this–but simply put: A Darker Shades of Magic is a lovely, torturous device of a book designed to crush and capture your hearts. I’m warning you. But also pushing you to read it immediately if you haven’t already because what bookworm doesn’t want their heart crushed? Psh, brb as I try to repair my fragile heart…

So alas, finally, let’s get into how to capture readers’ hearts A Darker Shade of Magic style! And don’t worry, this is fully SPOILER-FREE. You’re welcome, to the belated readers who have not read this yet. 😉

how-to-capture-readers-hearts-adsom-style

1. Create multiple worlds with vivid descriptions and magic.

It is an absolute given, if a book has multiple worlds and magic that you have captured at least one poor bookworm heart. (Mine, obviously.) Not to mention having vivid descriptions that make me feel as if I’m IN the book without having any threat of dying and other mild inconveniences?? SOLD. Who wouldn’t love that, honestly.

ADSOM reference: MULTIPLE LONDONS. Is that genius or what? Okay, so Grey London (‘Dull London’), White London (‘Creepy London’) and Black London (‘Dead London’) are not exactly tourist destinations* but Red London is to die for (!!) and nonetheless, they’re all the sign of amazing world-building.

adsom-londons-map

Even at night, the river shone red. As Kell stepped from the bank of one London onto the bank of another, the black slick of the Thames was replaced by the warm, steady glow of the Isle. It glittered like a jewel, lit from within, a ribbon of constant light unraveling through Red London. A source. A vein of power.

LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION.

*I mean, if I could just stop by them all as some kind of invisible side character for a while and be able to escape at a moment’s notice, I would totally do it just because they sound so EPIC, albeit very very dangerous.

2. A subtle, but swoon-worthy ship, YES.

Slow-burn romances are one of my absolute FAVOURITES. The feeling you get, reading a book and that warm feeling you get when you know two characters like eachother but they’re dancing around their feelings and also the banter and the sweet moments that slowly develop the relationship… so many emotions ahhhh.

ADSOM reference: Not even a spoiler because everyone can see this from a mile away: Kell and Lila are such an OTP. Their banter is adorable and the fact that they both have each other’s backs and are constantly saving each other is just so awesome and they just work so well together and agh no words. Such a perfect ship. What’s even better is that it doesn’t overshadow the main story at all, and instead is the perfect addition to the rest of the story.

“He would see her again. He knew he would. Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time they were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people. For someone who never stood still, Lila felt like a pin in Kell’s world. One he was sure to snag on.”

SHIP. My heart is SO attached to this.

3. Have the characters stab all the things?!

Disclaimer: I am not crazy or sadistic when I say this! LOL. It will: a) Create awesome action scenes, b) show off your character’s fighting skills, c) be lots of fun to read (aka very very stressful because your character will most likely get hurt) and d) create much tension and suspense.

ADSOM reference: Now I can’t give away too much because #spoilers but let me just say, there was A LOT OF STABBING. And magicking with the aim to kill. So. I mentioned this in my first review, but A Darker Shade of Magic is not for the squeamish people! But if you enjoy fantasy and don’t mind stabbing and fight scenes, you know how EPIC a story can be with the right battle scenes. Omg. This book had so much stabbing and fighting and aghhhhh it totally made my heart race but it was SO GOOD.

Pretty accurate depiction of my own heart tbh when I'm reading...

Pretty accurate depiction of my own heart tbh when I’m reading…

4. Much sass and banter!

This may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but trust me when I say that sass and banter can be one of the BEST things ever. Besides, it can also: a) develop character (sassy pirates and princes, yes please) b) create a deep fondness in the reader for the characters because banter = fun amidst pain and c) make Analee very very happy.

ADSOM reference: There are so many little quips from the characters that I loved and made the reading experience so much fun! I lived for the quips and lines from Rhy, Kell and Lila omg. So perfect.

“Delilah Bard,” she said. “We’ve met before. And you looked worse.”
Rhy laughed silently. “I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg,” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
Rhy broke into his perfect smile. “I like this one,” he said to Kell. “Can I borrow her?”
“You can try,” said Lila, raising a brow. “But you’ll be a prince without his fingers.”

GO LILA!

5. Have an epic bromance.

Bromances are very very important. *nods* They can make you either a) fall in love with the characters in said bromance or b) make you love said characters even more. In both situations, a beautifully written bromance = powerful emotions rivaled only by chocolate (of course) and perhaps a romantic ship. 😉

ADSOM reference: Kell and Rhy are one of the most amazing bromances everrrrrrr!! There is just something so beautiful and so adorable and so heartwarming about brotherly ties, and theirs was no exception.

Rhy sighed (…) [before he finally said] “There is nothing I would not give you.”
Kell’s chest ached. “I know.”
“You are my brother. My closest friend.”
“I know.”
“Then put an end to this foolishness, before I do.”
Kell managed a small, tired smile. “Careful, Rhy,” he said. “You’re beginning to sound like a king.”
Rhy’s mouth quirked. “One day I will be. And I need you there beside me.”
Kell smiled back. “Believe me. There’s no place I’d rather be.” It was the truth.

MY HEART. Captured and crushed by these two. ❤


So! That’s all I have for this post aha. Let me finish this off by saying: y’all should go read the Shades of Magic series IMMEDIATELY if you haven’t already. (#nopressure psh) And let me brb, need to go piece back my heart in preparation for ACOL to break it again. Ahem.
No, but really, I hope you enjoyed this post! ❤ A Darker Shade of Magic is an amazing book, and the series only gets better from there. If you’ve read this book; what do you think on my tips on how to capture a reader’s heart ADSOM style? Have you read the rest of the series? (No spoilers for ACOL please!) If you haven’t read the series, do you plan on it? (The right answer is yes, btw.) (Jk.) Let me know your thoughts!
Happy Friday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

favourite bookish bromances

My favourite bookish bromances | Because romantic relationships aren’t always everything.

Hello everyone! I hope your Monday has been amazing, and, for those of you in Canada celebrating family day, I hope that has been great as well. 🙂

So, as you guys all know, I love my romantic relationships in books. But that’s obviously not the only type of relationships there are; say hello to friendship/bromances, which are so amazing.  The platonic relationship, the friendship that is so strong, it just has to have its own title.

Why are bromances so awesome?

I shall tell you.

  • There is literally all the banter??! I love banter between characters so so much and bromances basically mean wit and sass 98% of the time which is so great AND very relatable–but mostly just VERY fun to read. Ahem.
  • So much platonic, beautiful, sibling love!! Without being siblings. The amazing brotherly bonds the characters form is so so wonderful and it makes my heart into a gooey mess just as much as our fellow romantic ships. Seriously, this love is so beautiful it can even totally be better than the romantic kind.
  • No complications of love triangles! There are so many times where a love triangle creates oh so unnecessary problems that cause readers much grief and frustration, and just in general, romantic relationships can be so angsty and whatnot (don’t get me wrong, I love them, but it’s still true!) but with bromances, there’s no such issue which makes the relationship even more awesome. The love and the feels without the pain? Fine by me.
  • Realistic, and relatable relationships. I suppose it depends on the book (most of us aren’t super close with a prince or have a buddy for a super dangerous journey or whatever the circumstances are) but a lot of the time, we read about romantic relationships that may or may not be something we’re familiar with. Most of the time, for me, I’m not familiar with it, but I love to read about them for that reason (and the feels, obvi). But despite that, it’s nice to see how valued platonic relationships are because those are the majority of the relationships I’m going to have. Apart from romantic love, friendships are one of the biggest aspects of my life, and most likely yours as well. It’s important to have that rep, you know?

So you can see how they are just as important, just as amazing, as my OTPs! Which is why I decided to make a separate post to list my favourites! I think I’ve rambled long enough, let’s get to the list!

favourite bookish bromances

Percy and Grover

“Meat!” he said scornfully. “I’m a vegetarian.”
“You eat cheese enchiladas and aluminum cans,” I reminded him.
“Those are vegetables.”

~Percy Jackson & the Olympians

As much as I love the trio here, and later the group of 7, I really wanted to focus on Percy and Grover, because these two were such a highlight of the Percy Jackson series! Their banter, their friendship gave me so much life and I was so sad when Grover no longer showed up as much later. #bringbackgrover2k17

Arin and Roshar

“You could offer her a seat,’ Arin said.
“Ah, but I only have two chairs in my tent, little Herrani, and we are three. I suppose she could always sit on your lap.”

~ The Winner’s Curse series by Marie Rutkoski

winners-curse-series

You must know my love for Arin and Kestrel, but to shine a light on my other favorite pairing: Arin and Roshar are SO AWESOME. There’s of course, the banter (love love love), but they have each other’s back in such a way that is so inspiring and makes me so happy ahhhh. Although there are tense moments between them (like any friendship), we know it’ll work out because they’re such an awesome pair.

Will and Jem

“Remember when you tried to convince me to feed a poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?”

“They ate it too,” Will reminisced. “Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck.”

~The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, book 1

We can’t have a bromance list without these two lovelies! Ahhhhhh aside from the fact that I love them both as love interests for Tessa, these two have their own connection (they’re parabatai, a term for two Shadowhunters who fight together as warriors, bonded for life under an oath) which is so beautiful. I love Tessa, but these two, form a ship that’s much stronger than anything I can describe! They just go on to show that romantic relationships aren’t necessarily everything.

Ron and Harry

“He must have known I’d want to leave you.”
“No, he must have known you would always want to come back.”

~Harry Potter series, book 7

Ron has a reputation for being the sidekick (which, I’ll admit, is pretty true), the humorous one (also true), and the dumber one (not true) in the Golden Trio. And although the movies did a pretty accurate job on recreating the books, in the books, Ron and Harry had a strong relationship that is kind of underdeveloped in the movies. They had their fights, their problems, but at the end of the day the both need each other, and they both are very close friends. Bromances for the win!

Darrow and Sevro

“You tell anyone I cried, I’ll find a dead fish, put it in a sock, hide it in your room, and let it putrefy.”
“Fair enough.”

~Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown

Red-Rising-Trilogy-by-Pierce-Brown

Oh my gosh, the amount of love I have for Sevro and Darrow is UNREAL. Seriously. I would go even as far as to say I love them even more than Darrow’s romantic ship?? Sevro and Darrow’s friendship was formed earlier on and developed more and more throughout the series, so maybe that’s why, but seriously. I adore these two so so so much aghhhh I just can’t. ❤ ❤

The Raven Boys

“I never taught him to break his thumb.”
“That’s Gansey for you. Only learns enough to be superficially competent.”
“Loser,” Ronan agreed, and he was himself again.”

~The Raven Cycle by Marie Stiefvater

My beautiful Raven boys!!! ❤ ❤ I love each and every one of them so much. I haven’t finished the last book in this series yet (I will soon promise) but each and every book I’ve read so far has me loving their bond. All the characters individually are so wonderful, and seeing their connection as a whole is just so sweet and killllllllls me. So awesome. Now I shall go hide because I still haven’t read The Raven King and squeal over the Raven Boys because they are so great, ahhh.

Kell and Rhy

“A fine idea,” said Rhy. “But no. We must go out, you see, because we’re on a mission.”
“Oh?” asked Kell.
“Yes. Because unless you plan to wed me yourself—and don’t get me wrong, I think we’d make a dashing pair—I must try and find a mate.”

~Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab, book 1

shades-of-magic-series

Let me first pause to say A CONJURING OF LIGHT IS BEING RELEASED TOMORROW!!! And I am. freaking. out. Ahem. Apologies. But I’m so ready for this book, for more Kell, more Lila, more Kell and Lila, and definitely more Kell and Rhy! Kell and Rhy have the most amazing bonds ever and I love them to death. Seriously, they are my absolute favourites right now and ahhhhhhhhhh I can’t describe how beautiful their brotherly bond is. ❤ You just have to read it.


So that concludes my list for today! Valentine’s Day is long gone, but I wanted to showcase these bookish bromances, because this form of relationships deserves so much love and appreciation, which I feel as if it doesn’t get enough with so much attention on the romantic ships.

What are your thoughts? Which of these bookish bromances do you absolutely love? Do you prefer romantic ships or platonic ships–or both? Let’s chat!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

What my bookish OTPs would do on valentine's day

Things my bookish OTPs would do on VALENTINE’S DAY!

Hi, everyone! Happy belated Valentine’s Day!! ❤ I hope your day was great. 🙂 This post was actually planned to go up on Valentine’s Day itself, but obviously, that didn’t happen, as I didn’t get it finished in time–but I still wanted to share this, and didn’t want to wait ’till next year haha.

So most of you know, I have my bookish OTPs and I love my ships. I have many, many of them, and I won’t be including them all, but here are some of the things I thought a few of my bookish OTPs might do on Valentine’s Day!

What my bookish OTPs would do on valentine's day

Annabeth & Percy

Percy and Annabeth

“You promised, Seaweed brain. We would not get separated! Ever again!”

-House of Hades

In case you didn’t know, Annabeth & Percy are from the Percy Jackson series and also one of my most favourite bookish couples of ever??? Just fyi. They’ve been through so much, and the amount of Percabeth moments that have captured my heart ahhhh. But wait, we’re talking about Valentine’s Day plans, right. 😉

  • They will totally visit a) Camp Half-Blood and/or tour b) New Rome
  • Reason: Both of those places hold so much history for them, and I can totally see them having the sweetest and most amazing time in either of the two places.
  • Or, they visit Manhatten and have a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant
  • LOL, nah, probably at a park or something because Percy forgot about Valentine’s Day
  • And stumbles a lot and improvises greatly when Annabeth asks about it
  • But then steals everyone’s hearts with his beautiful, thoughtful, heartwarming declaration of love (lol) to Annabeth
  • Though I vote for a recreation of the underwater lake kiss (!!!) (PLEASE THIS SHOULD HAPPEN) (!!!).
  • I’m totally calm about this.
  • That moment when you have no romantic life of your own so you obsess over a hypothetical situation for a fictional character
  • What is my life.

Kaz and Inej

“I’m a business man,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”

-Six of Crows

Can we please just admire the perfection–actually the perfection of the imperfection that is Kaz and Inej. (Kinej? Inaz?? Kanej???) They stole pretty much everyone’s hearts, and I’m telling you, if you haven’t read the amazingness that is the Six of Crows duology, you are missing out on so so so much. Namely this, but also so much more. But I digress.

Kaz and Inej’s plan for Valentine’s Day (as decided by me):

  • Another awesome business venture featuring Kaz: Scheming face™
  • Aka a heist and thieving of some sort
  • This is Kaz, after all
  • Very romantic.
  • Also waffles.
  • And heartbreaking but sweet moment between Inej and Kaz. ❤ ❤
  • More scheming face, because it’s KAZ
  • And wraithing. Possibly. And wraithing is totally a word. Psh.
  • Let me just say: such extreme contrast between this couple and the one above it! Yet I ship both?? THEY ARE MY CHILDREN. Except not. But whatever, don’t need to get into the technicalities.

Cress and Thorne

“Captain?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”

-Cress

Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore all the ships from the Lunar Chronicles series (if you haven’t started that series by the way, what are you waiting for?!) but I wanted to just focus on one of the couples because I didn’t want to overwhelm you with my nonsensical shrieking. Ahem. And Cress & Thorne are too cute to not mention!

Cress and Thorne’s Epic Valentine’s Day Journey™ features:

  • Cress and Thorne. Obviously.
  • Epic voyages through time and space
  • Nope, just space, they’re not time travelers oops.
  • But still epic voyages!
  • To tour earth, which actually, can be not-so-terrible in a fictional world where there is no longer any war or awful leaders of countries.
  • Because Cress always wanted to visit places on earth and Thorne is a sweetie pie
  • (Even if he tries to hide it)
  • But he makes Valentine’s Day perfect for Cress
  • + Thorne witty remarks YES.
  • Sidenote: Cress likes traveling. Analee likes travelling, therefore, Analee = Cress
  • So it will also feature me, pretty much.
  • Or it has featured me because this is a belated post and Valentine’s Day has already happened.
  • My logic is outstanding.

Lila and Kell

I just had to include this omg. THIS IS <3

I just had to include this omg. THIS IS ❤

GUYS A CONJURING OF LIGHT IS ALMOST OUT *cue squeals of excitement* I am so excited for this book, you guys have no idea (actually now you may have an inkling). I adored A Gathering of Shadows, but that ending was tortureeeeee I need this book so so much. Okay, so not the point of this post, but 4 days!! YES. The Shades of Magic series is so amazing, and ahhhhh okay. Done.

Their Valentine’s Day will most probably go horribly wrong, given their luck BUT it would be awesome anyway:

  • Ideally, Kell and Lila are safe in Red London, magic is flourishing, all my favorite characters are safe, and they get to stay together, for longer than 2 minutes without some threat overhead.
  • So basically what I’m praying A Conjuring of Light will end up to be. (Don’t dieeeeee please)
  • But also Kell and Lila have their own adventure, and Lila gets to properly explore Red London for enjoyment
  • They will dance at a ball and will have all the witty banter and sassy comebacks between the two
  • Probably lots of pirating and magiking.
  • #ValentinesDayGoals
  • Lila and Kell finding peace, finally and sharing a heartwarming moment but still super sassy because that’s how these two roll. 😉
  • I just need A Conjuring of Light right now *sob*
  • 4 more days. We got this.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day, once again! ❤ What do you guys think of these hypothetical Valentine’s Day dates? What do you think your OTPs would do on that day? Let’s discuss. 🙂
Lots of love!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

 

The Value of Ships

Discussion: The value of ships in books | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

Valentine’s Day is almost here! And in case you guys missed it from my February posts last year, I love doing themed posts in honor of this celebration (i.e. my way of making up for my lack of celebration in real life ahem)! If you want some more V-Day posts, you could check out the ones I did last year; Valentine’s Day bookish gift guide, 7 romance tropes we love or hate, books to read for Valentine’s Day, Rip it or Ship it Book Tag, what makes a good romance, types of male love interests, and there are a couple more in my February 2016 archives. (#self-promo oops)

But amidst all of this, we’re missing something very crucial, which, hint hint, is in the title of this post. Something that’s very dear to my heart when it comes to romance in books: SHIPS. We all have them and we all recognize what it is and the feelings that come with having our bookish ship be canon and having an OTP (one true pairing)–basically over-the-moon joy and lots of excited fangirling, for me. But I don’t think we ever actually stop to think or recognize how important they can be, in terms of romance in a book. So let’s do that!

For reference:

Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters (in film or literature) to be in a relationship, romantic or otherwise.

(Thanks, Wikipedia)

The Value of Ships

1. It can cause you to start or continue with a series.

Not gonna lie, there were times where I was totally putting a book or series on my TBR because of a ship that everyone seemed to love, or perhaps two ships that people were conflicted about. This happens with TV shows too for me haha. When people talk about a particular couple they loved from a book, it makes me curious because it means they got invested in a book and its characters to care about them and support a relationship. And so I pick up that book. And sometimes, we can continue a series because of a ship; for example, even if I may not particularly enjoy certain aspects of the book, if there’s a couple I ship strongly, I would more often than not persevere through the rest of the series to see how they end up. The power of ships is strong!

2. Invokes passion or support for the characters.

If I have an OTP in a certain book, you can bet I love those characters to death. It’s a must, for me, in order to ship two characters, that I like them, aka see chemistry, feel their development, or the slow-burn that I love in a romance. Makes sense, right? I’m not saying without these aspects I won’t feel passion or support for the characters, but if a book does have a ship that I love, it means I’m invested in the characters in a way I might’ve not been otherwise. You know? What I’m trying to say.. imagine your favorite book that has a ship you love… and then imagine if they were no longer a ship. It would be different, you know? Having a strong ship can create a lot of passion for the characters, which can be such an important factor on whether the book is a hit or miss.

3. Can make you super emotional.

I love my happily ever afters for my ships, and fortunately most times I get them (yay!). Other times, I don’t, which basically leads me to be a huge sobbing mess. Ahem. But even in the happily ever afters, the amount of pain my poor children (my ship) has to go through can leave me a huge sobbing mess as well (aka most fantasy novels). And, naturally, this book becomes a favorite (or close) because THESE EMOTIONS ARE IMPORTANT. It means I’m super invested in the characters and the story, which is always a plus!

4. Creates hype.

Series like Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Infernal Devices (or anything Shadowhunters tbh), all have huge fandoms–and a lot of that is centered on the ships. In the case of Throne of Glass’s love pentagon-thing going on at one point, it definitely caused a lot of discussions (some bad, some good; shipping wars are terrible, but more on that later), as well as the Tamlin vs Rhys debacle for ACOTAR. I, for one, adore the ships in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters books. And I know I’m not alone because of the amount of HYPE that is created with each of these series! Strong fandoms are be created due to ships, and that, in turn, is great publicity. The only downside is if a book just uses romance as a publicity maneuver and the ‘ship’ is just in there because it draws readers–but the romance is actually poorly developed and not very shippable at all…

5. Brings you closer to other people.

Have you ever bonded with someone over a ship? If you have, you know how amazing it can be aha. Bonding over books, in general, is so totally awesome, but I especially love it when I learn that someone has the same ship as me because I can trust that they love the book and characters as much as I do. And that’s such a great feeling! ❤ It’s also so easy to do that, in the blogging community. There are so many people passionate about the same thing as you, that it’s not a challenge at all to find a person who loves a ship as much as you and bond over ships haha. Basically, guys, you should totally hit me up in the comments to discuss ships. Ahem. Just saying. 😉


All in all: I’m a firm believer in the fact that not all YA books must have romance or a ship to be a good book/series–and in fact, I totally support there being more books without romance because we don’t have many of those in my opinion–but I do believe that ships are super super important and a very powerful addition to a book/series if written well. I’m definitely an avid shipper and could not imagine not having my ships! They can be so perfect to draw me into a series or continue one, and most importantly, get me to love the characters/story and talk to other people.

Though, side note; having shipping wars occur is definitely not something I love. A friendly debate or discussion or disagreement is perfectly fine, but having arguments over a ship is totally not warranted and when they get out of hand it can get very hurtful. Agree to disagree!! But I digress. What are your thoughts on ships? Do you love ’em? Hate ’em? Or do you prefer other non-romantic focused ships? Friendships maybe? (Gotta love those too!) What ships do you love to death? What ships do you despise? How important are ships, to you? 

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Winner's Curse Series Review

Amazing characters, a hate-to-love romance, and war // Why I love The Winner’s Curse series by Marie Rutkoski

Hello everyone! 🙂 Disappeared for a few days from the blog, aha. So I had other plans for posts, but I haven’t done a book review in SUCH a long time! I have such a tremendous pile of them now I guess I’m scared to approach them. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it is a HUGE pile! Not TBR-huge (nothing’s going to beat that, probably) but huge when I think about my books-read vs books reviewed ration and when I see everyone else’s reviewing queue consisting of, like, max, 7-10 books. ANYWAY. Moving on! The point: I’m doing a review! On a series, in fact. I read the third book in this trilogy pretty recently, but the other two books were read quite a while ago and I thought it might be easier to just do a series review. I won’t be getting too much into the specifics of each book, though, so no spoilers! Let’s get into it!

Winner's Curse Series Review

Check out the books on Goodreads: The Winner’s Curse | The Winner’s Crime | The Winner’s Kiss

What I Loved

  • KESTREL KESTREL KESTREL omg. She is one of my absolute favourite book characters–with such good reason. She’s such a strong character, and not in the traditional fighting and battling department (as we see nowadays). No, the thing I loved about her was the fact that she relied on only her brains. She was not thoroughly trained in the art of sword-fighting and etc (in fact she was not good at all) but that did not mean she was not able to protect herself, nor was she a weaker person for it. Her strength was found in her brains, and in her resilience and determination. She did not give up, did not stop fighting, and her sass thoughhhhh. All around love her, honestly.
  • Can I get an IRL Arin, please??!!
  • Seriously, though. He’s so awesome, albeit the fact that he made terrible decisions sometimes. But don’t they all?? I may absolutely adore Kestrel but Arin is no less of an important character. His love towards his people, and what he does to save them is so sweet and his love towards Kestrel!! That brings me to my next point which is:
  • THE ROMANCE. Agh. So so cute. And amazing. And sweet. And heartbreaking. Did I praise it enough yet? Basically, it was one of the best things ever. The hate-to-love trope appears in this one, and it was so well done! You can see, through each of the characters’ thoughts, how they slowly go from hatred to genuinely care and concern for each other, and the uncertainty behind what those feelings entail (primarily in the first book). My heart suffered so so much because of this, with us being left with a will-they-won’t-they situation throughout the series.
  • The feelssssssss. Ahhhh there were so many. My heart was just a puddle, basically. It melted. (Rip)
  • The excitement! There was so much at stake here and I loved the thrill of reading all that happened. There wasn’t a single book in the series that didn’t have me sitting in anticipation of what happened next. The endings of the first two books always left me on such a cliffhanger, though!!
  • Oh but I LOVED THE ENDING SO SO MUCH. It was so so perfect.
  • But to finish the characters: Can I just say how much I adored Roshar??? We meet him first in the second book, I believe, but it’s really in the third book where I fell in love with his character. His and Arin’s relationship is just such an amazing bromance and ahhhhhh I love it.
  • But also the world is so fabulous! I loved how Marie Rutkoski made us really part of the world, and the politics, the description, the set up of everything made it a really great experience.
  • Her writing is also so great and I would totally read anything else she puts out. (Speaking of, when will she do it I NEED MORE)
  • But the amount of heartbreak it took to get there oh my lord.
  • Basically this series: Betrayal! Intrigue! Strategy! On how to kill people and make the life of the emperor miserable! All the good stuff. What are you waiting for?

What I Disliked (very very briefly because the list is minimal)

  • The pacing did feel off for me in certain books. I can’t pinpoint what it was exactly, but although the books were very concise and everything and the pacing were generally very fast and fit well, there was just something… off, sometimes. But honestly not a big deal at all.
  • That is literally it.
  • There may have been more things but they’re so insignificant I can’t remember them…

Final thoughts

Basically this trilogy is one of the best of ever and you MUST read it if you haven’t already! Go. Do it. The world is amazing, the writing is so good, you will (most probably) love the characters, and the story is just so interesting. And, also, just in case you were curious for the individual ratings:

AKA I LOVED THIS SERIES. ❤ ❤


So that’s it for this (kind of short) series review! Have you read this series? Are you a fan of the hate-to-love trope or no? Let me know your thoughts! 🙂

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Reasons why i could never be a fantasy character

Reasons why I would be the worst protagonist in a YA fantasy novel EVER!

I love books. They have wonderful characters who you want to squish and keep away from harm forever and (preferably) relatable, realistic, and flawed characters. Right?! And although there are the groups of them that make horrible decisions and get into huge messes… generally they’re either a) able to get out of the situation or b) they’re just perfect and end up suffering minor consequences or something. And many people hate on them for either their decisions or whatever foolish mistakes they make, but let’s be real here; I would totally be the worst one of them all. Why? I’m glad you asked! (That’s totally not the whole point of this post or anything.)

Reasons why i could never be a fantasy character

1. I can be TERRIBLE at making decisions.

Which, no biggie, right? Sure, in real life it’s just a minor inconvenience perhaps–I mean, I’ve survived my whole life making decisions, so it’s all good? But those decisions are, say, should I be productive today or should I watch Netflix? (Netflix, of course.) Should I eat another chocolate bar? (No, I shouldn’t. But I will.) OR WHAT BOOK DO I READ NEXT?!?? As you can tell by my extreme use of capital letters, this is a very important and very #stressful decision to make.

So now, I ask you, how on earth am I suppose to choose between whether I should go fight to the death or stay in the comfort of my home and wait for others to protect me??? Or… if I had to choose between Jem or Will??! Or any two male love interests, really. It’s so easy to make fun of characters in books, but I would be so much worse in their situation, I bet LOL.

2. I am greatly allergic to anything that might cause my death.

And you know, seeing how 99% of the time in fantasy novels, the main/secondary characters are constantly at the risk of being KILLED (or they actually are killed… *sob*) I believe my allergies would flare up greatly if I were in their shoes. I’ve never had the symptoms before, but knives, arrows, weapons, all terrible for my allergies and always present in the midst of a war or something. *sigh* They have no consideration. Not all of us can be fierce assassins like Celaena or courageous wizards like the golden trio and company. Ahem. By not all of us I mean *me* because, um. Allergies, remember? Very deadly. *nods*

3. I’d probably end up dying for the stupidest reason anyway.

Seriously, knowing me, just watch me trip and end up on my face, on the ground, during the middle of a dance or something. And falling unconscious. And thereby missing whatever attack or battle or something that happened next because I’m on the ground and accidentally dying. (Is that possible? Sure.) But serious question: How are YA protagonists all so graceful on their feet??? I WANT TO KNOW. So that I’m prepared, obviously, and can train to not trip and fall unconscious in the middle of a dance floor. Because I’m also allergic to that, by the way.

4. Or I’d die of fear before the battle even begins, tbh.

I would like to think that I’m super brave and totally capable of fighting off, I don’t know, Voldemort or an army of deal people, or something, but ummmmmmmm. Actually being up there, having to fight? Even after loads of training, that wouldn’t prepare me for the shock and actual threat in battle. It is totally possible for me to faint or something. (How are YA protagonists so chill with the whole battle thing, though?? Sure, you’ve had training but how do they not collapse from fear? I mean, that would probably detract from the whole amazing-ness and suspense of the battle and all the stabbing and killing that I only like when I’m not hypothetically imagining myself in that situation, lol, but it’s a natural reaction! It’s totally acceptable during a time like that.)

Except then you remeber that fantasy novel characters often have no parents....

Except then you remember that YA characters often have parents that are MIA.

5. I lack any sort of skill that would be useful.

Do I have magical powers a la Harry Potter or Grisha? No. Am I kick-butt Shadowhunter or fighter of any sort? Nope. Am I able to pick locks or be super stealthy a la Kaz and Inej? No. What can you do, then? You ask. Well I wasn’t exaggerating when I said I lacked any sort of skill! I mean, sure I can… read? And blog? And… spend too much money like a pro, but none of those would be useful at all so basically my book would be filled with me trying to keep up with the actual helpful people and trying to feel useful and special. Ahem.

6. I hardly have any tolerance for pain.

Well, that’s a kind of lie. As any girl can relate, I’m sure, those monthly appearances are dreadful. But do I survive those silently and courageously? Of course not! I can’t withstand a papercut without groaning, like. What if I got a… sword-cut?? (That doesn’t sound right.. maybe just stab wound is better.) I would probably give up. Do you know the number of times my fictional friends have gotten hurt?? If I felt bad for them while reading, I doubt it will compare to my own self-pity if I got stabbed, to be honest. 😀 But can you blame me, really?

7. I would whine about not having food.

Not all the time, but most of the time, the protagonists hardly get food! You can take many things away from me but not my food (or my books)! How the characters go so long at a time without any food astounds me and causes me to want to run away in horror just thinking about it. I get super cranky and am in a terrible mood if I don’t get enough food and it’s just so good why would I want to go without it? To be fair, I suppose the main characters don’t have a choice really, but currently, as this is all hypothetical (thank god) I do! And basically, I’m not prepared to leave food guys. If I was a YA character and had to, I’d probably groan about how I’m so hungry 70% of the time. The other 30% would probably be for water, which would increase to 50%, and soon the whole book will be filled with inner monologues about how I’m hallucinating that my enemy has a head made of cake or something.

8. I would be way too gullible.

One of the most anxiety-filled moments (or perhaps frustration-filled for some people) when reading a book is when the main character is walking into a trap and you know it. The whole time you’re either praying you’re wrong or that they stay alive (if you like them) or cursing them for being so stupid and naive (if you do not). Either one. In any other circumstance perhaps I’d be in the first group but there’s only so many times a person can make the same mistake, right? I mean, of course, I’m familiar with all the tricks used to lure the main character into a trap, but I imagine there are probably a lot more that I’m not aware of that may be used on me–and like I said, I can be very gullible. And tempted by things like food (especially if I’m forced to not have enough of it throughout the book) Oh and books of course. I should hope there are no people aiming to hurt me reading this post because I’m revealing sensitive information here!

9. I am not fond of killing people.

Yay, you may all rejoice in the fact that I am not, in fact, crazy, and actually, do not enjoy killing people. LOL. (Nor do I have the ability, fyi.) Problem is, one of the best parts of a fantasy novel is the conflict and the battles, which means YA characters in fantasy novels have some inborn ability to fight like a boss. (Or they trained and learned to fight, but who likes extra work?) Basically, it means most of the time, they kill their enemies quite brutally and… I probably would not be able to stomach that which also means I would be useless in battle (if my lack of skill with a weapon didn’t already prove this) and thereby useless to the whole quest-plot-adventure-thing because I DO NOT FIGHT.

10. Not interested in, you know, dying.

Most YA characters have something to lose–actually, human beings in general always have something to lose. And then they have something to fight for, something at stake. Their dedication and their strength in face of difficulties is inspiring and fun to read about because it leads to #battles but in real life? Having to do the same thing as them? Yeah…. no, thank you! I’m not as selfless as book characters. Few people are when it comes down to it. Book characters have the liberty of doing whatever, sacrificing whatever because they are fictional and will live forever even if they die. (*gasp*) Me, as a human with A) a will to live and B) no willingness to die and C) very selfish motives, I don’t need to think so honorably towards some random fantasy world for the sake of a hypothetical situation. Wow, I’m making this a lot more complicated than it has to be. I DON’T WANT TO DIE. The end.


Wow, this was a slightly depressing thread to walk upon, but, well, you asked! (Hush, this post was not my idea. I wrote this up at like 1 or 2 AM in the morning and I blame that for my utter nonsensical rambling.)
But I think that’s all the rambling I have for this post! This post puts me in such a bad light, haha. Let me know your thoughts in the comments; do you think I’d be or you’d be a good protagonist in a YA fantasy? Can you relate to any of these or do you perhaps have any additions to mention? I’d love to know! Hope you enjoy your Monday. 🙂

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Let's ignore the overly-pink theme of this graphic...

Yup, still more books! | 2017 February Releases

Hi everyone! It’s February, the start of a new month which means another book releases post! I swear, each and every one of these posts are constantly filled with so many pretty covers. Stop making me want you, books! I don’t have enough money lolll. This month is full of exciting releases, once again, so let’s just jump right into it!

Let's ignore the overly-pink theme of this graphic...

I apologize for the overly-pink theme of this graphic…

February 2nd

  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton: The US cover (being released next month) is horrifying so I shall ignore it because I despise cover changes and just whyyyyyyy. UGH. But aside from that, I really want to read this book! ❤
  • This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton: I don’t know what it’s about but it looks cute!

February 7th

  • Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan (Reign of Shadows #2): I haven’t read the first book, but I’ve been meaning to. The cover’s pretty cool though!
  • Starfall by Melissa Landers (Starflight #2): GIVE THIS TO MEEEEEE. I adored the first book and I want this so much ahhhh.
  • Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza:
  • King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #3): I have mixed feelings on this series, but I am definitely going to read this book in hopes of it turning out to be a worthwhile read. 🙂
  • The Sky Between You and Me by Catherine Alene: I don’t know what this is about (I did read the synopsis on Goodreads but I don’t remember it anymore??) but I’m cover-judging and it looks cute aha.
  • A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom: I really enjoyed his other novel, Not If I See You First, so I can’t wait to see what he did with this one. (And that cover though!)

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t have a clue what any of these are like (except for the first one, duh) but they’re being released this month and seem interesting!

February 14th

  • The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine (Ravenspire #2): I should probably start the first book…
  • The Valiant by Lesley Livingston: Ooh female gladiators and lots of action, is what this sounds like! Me want.
  • Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey: This book seems so heart-wrenching!
  • #famous by Jilly Gagnon: Awww this seems so adorable. Check out the synopsis on Goodreads haha. 😉
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi: This book seems to deal with multiple topics and it has good reviews, so fingers crossed it’s as good as it sounds. 🙂

February 21st

  • A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic #3) CAN WE JUSTTTTTT. Omg. I’m actually dying. I NEED THIS BOOK. If you haven’t picked up this series, you absolutely must ahhhhh. ❤
  • The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins (Transference #1): Dragons!
  • Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas:  Pretty cover haha. But it’s also a fantasy stand-alone (which is rare, when you think about it) and I’m intrigued by the storyline!

February 28th

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: So many people are looking forward to this one, and I’m certainly not an exception! It seems like such an important and great read. I hope it doesn’t disappoint!
  • The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (The Girl From Everywhere #2): Another sequel to a series I’ve been meaning to start but haven’t! According to Goodreads there doesn’t seem to be another book after this so I think it would be perfect to start this series haha. (And not have to die for the next book, ahem.)
  • Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot: This book deals with a girl who has an eating disorder (ARFID) and omg it sounds so sad but also hopeful and I really do want to read it.
  • 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac: The main character in this book has anxiety, and it seems like a very good read!
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (Daughter of the Pirate King #1): PIRATES.

So many amazing reads, as usual! Well, I’m assuming they’re amazing. I could be wrong. But I hope I’m not haha. Which of these are you looking forward to? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee