Book Review | Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 701

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Romance, YA

Publisher: May 23rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Bought, Hardcover

Rating: 5/5 stars


*Slight Spoilers for LoS*

*Spoilers for Lady Midnight”

HOLY COW!!!

I waited a month before writing this review but oh mY!!!! I don’t think my thoughts will ever be coherent enough to write a review without gushing about how much I adoRE THE CHARACTERS AND THE WRITING I NEED A HUG!!

pJ0my

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Book Review | Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

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The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 393

Genres: Fantasy, Adventure

Publisher: Published May 16th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: Bought, Hardcover

Rating: 4/5 stars


*No Spoilers* 

Alright!! This book was actually quite nice! I was a bit worried going into it as some reviewers said it took them a while to finish, but I found it to be a relatively quick read!

And so, in true Mulan-inspired fashion, Let’s get down to business! 

(That song has been stuck in my head ever since finishing the book, send help)

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Bookish Fun | Lara Jean’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Oh boy do I have a treat for you!

tenor

If you don’t already know, I am a huge fan of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han! Lara Jean (the main character) is a baking genius, and she is in possession of the perfect chocolate chip cookie!

So, obviously I had to try and recreate it.

After hours of digging around, I found a recipe that I’m pretty darn sure Lara Jean would be proud of.

Without further ado, I give you…. (drum roll please)…

Lara Jean’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Tried and tested by yours truly 🙂 and let me tell you what! They are certainly the best cookies I’ve ever had (including homemade, store-bought, bakery bought, etc.!).

(Recipe found on The Cookbook Chronicles. This website that no longer exists.) 

The Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature!)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp bread flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt OR sea salt
  • 18 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)

The Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla extract, flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well!
  5. Add chocolate and stir in!
  6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the cookies batter and them roll into balls. Place them on the baking sheet and dust them with a bit of demerara sugar.
  7. Bake on the middle rack (this is important!) in the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes. When the time is up, the cookies should have a slightly darker color around the edge, while still looking very soft and gooey in the center.
  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post (and enjoy the cookies!)!

Thanks for reading!

Book Review | The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

trailsHow do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 376

Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Adventure

Publisher: May 3rd 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Format: Bought, Paperback

Rating: 5/5 stars


*Slight-Spoilers*

I didn’t know how much I have been missing Uncle Rick’s writing style until I opened this book. It’s always so fun and light-hearted to read! I was a little worried I had outgrown these books (I haven’t read one since Blood of Olympus), but ohohO I was mistaken! It was kind of like a reunion with old friends and it was so so so nice 🙂
tenor

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Book Review | Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 382

Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: December 11th 2012 by EntangledTeen

Format: Bought, Paperback

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Recommend: People who like books about aliens and romance. Good for book-slumps and those who want a light read!


This book surprised me!

The last two books were light, fun reads, but a lot of the plot consisted of unnecessary angst and making out. Don’t get me wrong, this edition did have quite a bit of angst and making-out, but it was (mostly) relevant!

And who doesn’t love relevant angst and making-outamiright?!

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Book Review | Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

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Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 336

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: May 2nd 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Bought, Kindle

Rating: 5/5 stars

Recommend: People who like fluffy romance and realistic characters. Good for after a heavy book.


*Very slight-spoilers*

WOWOWOWOW!!!

Can I be Lara Jean??? I mean, really. She has the cutest life (and Peter Kavinsky doesn’t hurt either amiright?)

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Book Review | Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 693

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Romance

Publisher: September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Format: Bought, Kindle

Rating: 2.75/5 stars


*Spoilers*

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Book Review | Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Doon

DOON…

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months.

But the Scottish countryside holds other plans.

Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for…or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 368

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: August 20th 2013 by Zondervan

Format: Gifted, Paperback

Rating: 3/5 stars


 

*Slight-Spoilers*

Okie dokie, so I’m just gonna casually buy a one-way plane ticket to Scotland, who’s with me??

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Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crooked

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Available: Goodreads // Amazon

Pages: 536

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult

Publisher: September 27th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books

Format: Bought, Hardcover

Rating: 5/5 stars


*spoilers*

Yikes, guys!!!

The New Year is here (I’m ringing it in fashionably late apparently … Oops!) and I haven’t written a review in quite a while, so I decided to finally sit down and write a lil bit!

THIS ONE. THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK. I AM IN LOVE.

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Top 5 Books to Read When Its Snowing Outside

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Happy December 1st friends!

(Or, as I like to call it, Christmas #1)!

I haven’t been super active lately due to exams and AP Chemistry (ewewewewew), but I’m trying my best to keep it together in school which means this blog has to take a back seat every now and then 😦

BUT! Here I am with a post on the very first day of December! And today it’s all about the holidays and books, so cozy up with a warm blanket and a hot beverage and let us begin!

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