Thoughts and Theories on Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare!

It’s that time again… A new Cassandra Clare book came out just a few weeks ago and of course it was on the top of my most anticipated list! Lord of Shadows did not disappoint! I have a ton of sticky notes stuck in my copy and some extra notes from after I finished. SO many questions, and such a long time to wait for the final book! Now comes the fun task of deciphering my notes and seeing if anything makes sense at all…

P.S. This post should be called “Katie writes a book about a book!” It’s almost 3000 words long… That’s like longer than most of the papers I’ve written in college.

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

My rating: 5 stars (duh)

If you haven’t read Lord of Shadows yet, you need to. Trust me, it’s great. But also don’t read any further on this post because there will be all kinds of spoilers from here on out! Continue reading “Thoughts and Theories on Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare!”

Let’s Talk About… Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (Spoiler-Free)

I am so excited to be back to reading hard copies of books for summer break! I have so much on my TBR list, and I love it. Modern Lovers is one that I picked up on a discount in Boston because I loved Emma Straub’s last novel, The Vacationers. I started this book on my travel day back to Vegas with my family, and finished it pretty quickly. The characters were all so sweet and intriguing. Modern Lovers is a s story about the complications of love and life, and the themes incorporate parallels between the way love is experienced in adolescence and middle age.

This is spoiler-free so you don’t have to be afraid to read on. I am also not going to include the Goodreads synopsis because what I’ve written is basically a glorified blurb! Read on and I’ll be back with another review (*teaser alert* Lord of Shadows) soon. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (Spoiler-Free)”

Let’s Talk About… The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

I received an e-ARC of this novel from Random House through NetGalley, as well as the image I featured above. I was initially interested because the blurb was about the family relationship and made it seem like a story with some mystery. This was true to some extent, but there was also a larger amount of violence and murder than I had originally expected. I suppose, in my mind, I hadn’t imagined Hawley would be a hit man, but that’s basically what he was. Here’s the description from Goodreads

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past—a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks. Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.

Overall, I have pretty mixed feelings about this novel. I never really fell in love with the characters, but I felt that I had to see how the story ended. I wanted to know what happened to Loo’s mother and why Hawley was such a bad father, but Loo was so loyal to him. Once I hit the halfway point, I had hoped I would like the characters more, but they still seemed too obscure for me to really understand them. Even though there are several chapters that go into the backstory of each bullet, I still felt as though I hardly knew Hawley and that he had very little character development from his criminal past-self. I was intrigued by the mystery, and so I stuck it out until the end. This is mainly a story about family loyalty above all else, but I never felt like I bought into most of it. I could understand being loyal to those who love you and who raised you, but there was an emotional detachment in Hawley that made him seem too cold to even be capable of real parental love. He was a rough man, who was really only present in his daughter’s life when she was causing trouble. And then when he rescued Loo from trouble, he taught her how to hot-wire cars or shoot an automatic rifle.

All of this said, I gave it a decent star rating, becuase I thought it was well written and planned out (albeit slightly wordy at some points in my opinion). I personally didn’t need such detailed descriptions of each character that ever came up in the whole novel, but I can’t judge too harshly on that.


My rating: 3 stars Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti”

Lil’ Update

Hey everyone! Between everything that’s been going on this past week and a half—moving out of my dorm for the summer, sleeping on my sister’s couch for a week, her graduation, hanging with family on the East Coast and flying home (yesterday)—I have really been slacking on posting. I made it a goal this year to have a post up every Monday, but sometimes that just doesn’t quite happen. I did finish a book over the weekend (The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley) which I will have a review up for next week and I am going to have tons of time to read and blog this summer so I promise I will keep up!! Up next will be Modern Lovers by Emma Straub and Lord of Shadows of course so keep an eye out for those reviews too as we move into June, wow this year seems like it’s flying by! I hope everyone is having a great summer.

I would also like to mention that my heart is broken for the victims of the Manchester bombing that occurred last night. I was on a plane when it actually happened and I didn’t have much of a chance to process it all until today and I have devastated for those lost, their families, and the families of those who are still missing. I hope everyone can find peace soon.

Even though it may be cliche: Spread love not hate. I think the world needs this more than ever right now.

Katie xo