Sunday, 28 February 2016

Recommendations | Underrated Books

When watching Booktube, I saw a video by Benjaminoftomes talking about some books that he has read which he believes should be bigger than they are. I have read hundreds of books that I feel more people should know about so I thought I would copy this idea.
I have shortlisted five books that I feel more people should read.

The first book is .... Procession of the Dead, by Darren Shan 
People have probably heard of Darren Shan because he has several famous series out there. Such as the Darren Shan saga (which was turned into a film). But not a lot of people know about his book (which may have been turned into a series, I don't know) called Procession of the Dead. I got this book for my 16th and I think it was one of my favourite books for that year.

Quick-witted and cocksure, young upstart Capac Raimi arrives in the City determined to make his mark. As he learns the tricks of his new trade from his Uncle Theo he's soon on his way to becoming a promising new gangster. Then he crosses paths with The Cardinal, and his life changes forever.

The second book is ..... Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy 
This amazing series kept me loving reading. I was in a period of time when I was fed up of people telling me that reading was stupid and I was stupid for reading and if I hadn't been introduced to this amazing series then I would not be writing this blog. 

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant:
Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
Walking, Talking, 
Fire-throwing Skeleton
—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.
These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.
The end of the world?
Over his dead body.

The third book is actually more to do with the author. Anything written by Bali Rai
This talented author is actually from near me and would regularly visit my old school. He is a lovely gentlemen, who is insanely talented, and I think he deserves to have so many more fans than he does. Most of his books are about different aspects of Asian life. Which is rather fascinating since I am a white girl. In these books he incorporate's real life as well including amazing plots! He does have a different styled book, it's a sci-fi distopian which is amazing. That is called Fire City and I would recommend it (and him) to anyone who likes demon styled books. 

The forth book is ..... Forsaken, by Jana Oliver
This is the first book in the Demon Trapper series and it is still one of my favourite young adult books out there. Yes, it is another demon book but trust me when I say that it is amazing and people need to read it. I have no idea why loads of people don't know about this amazing  series so please go and check it out. 

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary demon trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

And finally book five is ....... My Sword Hand Is Singing, by Marcus Sedgwick 
This is like nothing else I've read, similar to all of this talented authors books, and by another author I have had the pleasure of meeting thanks to being a librarian at my old school. I did a book awards thing called The Carnegie Awards up until I left the school and I had the pleasure of meeting this author through that (and getting my copy of the book signed in the process!). 
All I can really say about this book is to read it for your self (and the rest of his books because they are amazing!)

WHEN TOMAS AND HIS SON, Peter, settle in Chust as woodcutters, Tomas digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut, so they have their own little island kingdom. Peter doesn't understand why his father has done this, nor why his father carries a long, battered box, whose mysterious contents he is forbidden to know.

But Tomas is a man with a past: a past that is tracking him with deadly intent, and when the dead of Chust begin to rise from their graves, both father and son must face a soulless enemy and a terrifying destiny.

Book Total of 2016 - 15

February Book Haul

Even though I am supposed to be saving money because of going on holidays and uni is starting in a few months .... I bought a few books. Well, actually my mum bought me a few and I got some for myself whilst I was in New York.

Firstly the books that my mum got me.
For my English course, I have a set list of books that I need to read including a lot of classics. These are books that I don't own so my mum bought me a few Wordsworth classic editions of:

  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte 
  • Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austin 
  • Persuasion, by Jane Austin 
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley 
Whilst I was in New York I bought two books too:
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker (which is also on my English Reading List)
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir 
Did you get any nice books this month? 

Book Total of 2016 - 15

Friday, 26 February 2016

How to Annoy Readers

Being a reader is not easy, despite what many people will believe. We have to face many hardships in our day to day lives. The emotional trauma that comes with the premature death of a beloved character. The ever present danger of a papercut. The pain of our arch nemesis; spoilers.
With each book that we read, the more pain we feel even though we love to read and throw ourselves into these amazing books. But something adds to our pain. Well, really I should say someone. Non-readers.

I understand that people don't read and that people don't like books or whatever but that doesn't mean that they have to be assholes about it all. So any non-readers reading this little titbit, here is some advice for you.

Never interrupt; could result in possible death.
When you see a reader who is fully engrossed in a book, shoulders hunched and eyes frantically scanning the pages, do not interact because you will regret it. They will find a way to hurt you, most likely hitting you with said book that they are reading. There are a few reasons for you to interrupt them. Such as: you are dying, they are dying, there is a fire/earthquake/tsunami or some other natural disaster, there all time favourite celebrity is offering to marry them. Okay, maybe there are a few other reasons that you can interrupt them but be careful when doing so. Perhaps come with a piece offering?

Do not compare their books.
Many times I have been reading a book and someone comes up to me, asking what I'm reading. Obviously, you have broken one of the rules already but we're going to ignore that. Say I was reading Fangirl like Rainbow Rowell. Now this person would ask what it was about and I'd willingly tell them. Then they say the fatal thing: 'oh like Fault in Our Stars.' Cue scream. No not like The Fault in our Stars!
Do not compare a book to another book especially if you have only seen the awful film adaptation!

Never damage their books. 
If you are lucky enough to be trusted by a reader that they lend you one of their precious books. If you are graced with that then take care of their book or else they will kill you. I cannot tell you how many times I have been given back a book that has a creased spin, tattered corners and water damaged pages. My poor baby!

Do not complain about their reading.
I get that people hate reading. But that doesn't mean that you have to complain about their reading. We don't hate you for obsessing over football or basketball or swimming. So please don't hate us for the thing that we adore. Don't say things like: how can you read that, it looks so boring. Or why don't you go outside and actually live your life. Why don't you leave us alone? We like to read, so what? You like to play football which is boring to us! So do not complain about their reading.

Be careful around their favourite book.
I have had this experience many times. People think that just because a book is a well known film then you know that book because you like the film. It's okay. I get that everyone watches films but please be careful when you say things. I won't judge you but please be careful.
An example:
People know that my favourite book is The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien, if not where the hell have you been? This is a fairly well known book considering that it is a classic and it has recently had three films made out of it. Basically everyone on this planet has heard of it.
I was laughing the other day and saying how I have Hobbit Hair maybe I should go and dress up like Bilbo Baggins.
Then someone, who had all three films in the cinemas, said 'who the f*** is that?'
Really? How can you not know who Bilbo Baggins is? I mean it's not like I said Thranduil or Tom Bombadil. Then once I told them who it was, they replied with 'oh I only watched it for the fit lads. Thought it was a bit boring really. Only good bit was the romance between that elf and dwarf.'
Cue screaming. People should know what I mean when I am saying this, considering that that isn't even supposed to happen but I've accepted it. But still. Never say that the film adaptation of someone's favourite book (that may also be one of their favourite film series) boring.

Just be careful. You might not like what we do, or how much time we read. You might find reading boring. But remember this, don't ever offend their favourite book because you will regret it.

Book Total of 2016 - 14

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Review | Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas

What You Need To Know:
Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Number of Pages: 648
Series/Standalone: the forth book in the Throne of Glass Series
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Adventure
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: 1st September, 2015

The Plot:
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire— for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

My Thoughts:
Epicness. The one word that I would use to describe my opinions on Queen of Shadows is epicness. I loved Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. Heir of Fire literally blew me away and broke my heart in about fifty million pieces.

"She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows, and these men were already carrion."

I was utterly blown away by Ms Maas' writing in this book. She adapted just as Celaena adapted in Aelin. That specifically was amazing. You will be completely astonished with the unraveling of Aelin Ashryver Galathynius because this is the first time you meet her as she hasn't been all that visible. She's still the same heroine we've come to love and adore over the previous books and yet she has a different persona. She has every trait of Celaena Sardothien yet has truly mastered a unique character through her stubborn but sassy nature of this brave young woman and stunning character development into the fierce Queen we only glimpsed in Heir of Fire. Aelin is in complete control of everything around her, even if it doesn't look like it at times, and she is ready to reclaim her Kingdom in the usual flamboyant style.

"But she has her own champion now"

In addition  to that, she has matured a long way and, for the first time, we see her without her impulsive side. Instead she's more observant and kinder in places.

"Elegant, feminine, and utterly wild. Warm and steadfast - unbreakable, his queen."

We met  wide range of new characters in this book, or characters who we've only heard of.
Lysandra the Courtesan, who is beginning ot become my favourite character after the disappearance of her bitchiness from 'The Assassin's Blade'.
Elide Lochan, potentially the bravest of them all.
Nesryn Faqin the rebel, who I was slightly off with initially but now adore.

"Ten years of shadows, by no longer, light up the darkness, majesty."

And then there's Abrobynn Hamel. the King of Assassins, who was as tyrannical and scheming as I imagined. He was a ruthless bastard who got everything he deserved.

"The prick was enjoying every second of this. If Dorian was dead or hurt -"

Now onto some of my reoccurring favourite characters.
Rowan Whitethorn returns and is a main focus again and I rather enjoyed the sight of him. The alpha-male intensity and those rare moments when he let his emotions take over. Aelin's effect on him after his return brings out a new side to him, that we'd only glimpsed briefly, he was sweet and protective. It was adorable!

"Rowan stood with his queen in the rain; breathing in her scent, and let her steal his warmth for as long as she needed."

Aedion Ashryver is basically a male version of Aelin with the sassy comments and the quick temper. Seeing them together was wonderful. Even though they did almost kill each other several times.

"Behind them, across the hall, the dancers shattered their roses on the floor, and Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell."

I have to admit that Chaol wasn't my favourite character in this book. Please don't hate me for admitting that. He was a bit of an arse to Celaena at the start and although he did sort of return to the man he was before as the book developed, I was sort of put off of him. Yes, it does make sens that he felt and acted the way he did with everything going on with Dorien. But that doesn't mean that he didn't piss me off.

"Maybe this city did deserve Aelin Galathynius' flames. Maybe Chaol deserved to burn, too."

Speaking of Dorien, the poor boy! Things were not easy for him in this book. Who would have though that Manon would be one of his greatest saviours. Certainly not me!
But the way that Dorien and Aelin completed each other with their magic! They may not have worked out well as lovers but they certainly fit together as rulers!

"They were infinite. They were the beginning and the ending; they were eternity. The King standing before them gaped as a shield of flame died out to reveal Aelin and Dorien, hand in hand, glowing like new born Gods as their magic entwined."

I shall admit this now, I never liked Celaena with Chaol or Dorien. I despise love triangles which I am sure you all know by now. I think they are tacky. Not only that but I felt that their relationships were forced at times. They just didn't feel realistic.
But I am so happy Rowan was introduced. There was always something there, something I knew would eventually surface. I basically grinned and giggled at a lot of the scenes. But I can't be the only one who now wants a possessive fae, right?  

"He shifted his arms so he could brush her hair back. His fingers lingered along her jaw. 'You make me want to live, Aelin Galathynius,' he said, 'Not exist - but live!'"

This was an amazing book, much like its predecessors, and I cannot wait until the next book is released. *****

Book Total of 2016 - 14

Sunday, 21 February 2016

New York Haul 2016

On Friday I got back from the best trip of my life thus far. I went to New York for four days with my school and had an amazing experience. Something that I am going to write about in detail soon.

We were given some time to do a bit of shopping so I, obviously, bought some things from various shops around Times Square and some of the major monuments that I went to. Things that I thought I would share with you all.

Now I am not a major girly girl, which I'm sure most of you will know by now, so I didn't by any makeup or underwear or fancy clothes like a lot girls did on the trip. In fact the majority of my money was spent on food because ..... I like food. But I did buy some other stuff.

We went to see two shows so I obviously bought a programme for both of them in order to remember the show. But I didn't know that a programme in America is actually the Playbill (which are free) and the programmes that they sell us are more like our brouchers that have photos of the production. But I usually buy them too so I was fine with that really. Oh the two shows that I went to see were The Color Purple and School of Rock. As well as this I bought a t-shirt from both of the Productions. The Color Purple, for people who do not know, was first a book which is a part of my wider reading in English so I bought that at the show since I don't have a physical copy of the book and ... well it looked cool. From School of Rock I bought these coasters that are in the shape of vinyls because my dad has something similar which I keep asking if I can have and he keeps saying no so I bought something similar for my uni room.

We went to Radio City Music Hall and I met a Rockette (so I got a photo of me meeting her) but I also got a top that says 'Rockette' on it in order to remember the occasion.

Now my friend has had a really bad year thus far. She has already lost a few relatives and one of her grandad's had a stroke and whilst I was away another relative passed away. She collects Tsum Tsum's so in order to cheer her up I decided that I would buy her a tsum tsum from the Disney Store on Times Square. This is a limited Edition Statue of Liberty Minnie Mouse which has actually made her day. I'm a good friend!
Whilst in the Disney Store I saw a Minnie Top which turned her into the Statue of Liberty and I just thought, I want this. So I bought myself that as well.

I have always wanted a Hard Rock Cafe top so I decided to go into the Hard Rock Cafe top to get one. They didn't have the top that I wanted but they did have a beautiful jumper that I knew would come in handy when I was in Tech Week because it was warm but light weight so I could wear my leotard and tights under it so I invested in that as well.

We also went up the Empire State Building and I knew that I wanted to get a snowglobe whilst in America (I have a small collection of them and I want to collect as many as possible) so I bought one that had the major landmarks in it from there. As well as this I bought a guide book because I also have a fair few of them from various trips and we didn't get a lot of time in the building itself so I wanted to learn some more about the building.

Even though I was told not to, I bought something for my mum and dad. It's a New York Skyline paper weight (which dad is already trying to convince mum to let him take to work) and a bar of Hershey's chocolate each because neither of them have tried them before.
I also bought my grandparents a New York Thimble. My Grandma has collected them for as long as I can remember and I don't think they've ever left England, let alone the continent, so I thought that that would be a nice little present for them.

Finally when waiting in Duty Free to board the plan I bought myself a copy of The Martian by Andy Weir because .... well I wanted to read the book before I saw the film and it was there so why not.

So year, that's what I bought whilst in New York. My adventures whilst on this trip will be uploaded shortly but I thought that this might be something sweet for you all to read first.

Any holiday plans this year? Please let me know in the comments down below.

Book Total of 2016 - 10

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Review | Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas

What You Need To Know:
Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Number of Pages: 562
Standalone/Series: 3rd Book in the Throne of Glass Series
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Magic, Adventure
Publishers: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: 2nd September, 2014

The Plot:
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 the world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

My Thoughts:
I believe the word "unputdownable" is all that needs to be said about this book. Magic and fantasy are at the forefront of this action packed sequel.

"She was the heir of ash and fire, and the would bow to no one."

Heir of Fire is undoubtably one of the best fantasy books I've ever read. You think you know Celaena from the first two books but you're wrong.
In this book we see a broken child, relentlessly blaming herself for the deaths of her loved ones. She is basically an emptiness, for her to lose the swagger and to fully embrace her pain, regret and self-loathing she kept hidden for so long the things etched into her memories.
And those memories are gruesome. Finally we can see what happened ten years ago, how she became Celaena Sardothien. by facing all that grief and darkness, she's able to step into the role of a leader; far more powerful and deadly than any can imagine.

"You didn't need a weapon at all when you are born one."

I have to applauded Ms Maas on her character development. It was phenomenal. Her new experiences make her stronger, wise, more determined. Her fierceness was inspiring and her sassy self was still there but dwindling. Not as dramatic as before but she's still the brave young woman. Yet she's not proud of who she is, what she's become and what she's done. That doesn't mean that she isn't ready to throw herself into battle and win back her kingdom.

"It would not take a monster to destroy a monster - but light, light to drive out darkness."

I wasn't sure how the different perspectives would work now that Celaena is in Wendlyn whilst the others were still in Adarlan. But it did. I stayed connected and felt like I knew more about Dorien and Chaol now that Celaena doesn't smother them.
Also some new characters were introduced. The first being Manon; an iron-teethed witch.
Initially, I disliked her as a character but as the book developed and I knew more about her and her life I started to enjoy her so much. She's like an immortal, slightly bitchy Celaena.

"Witches didn't need blood to survive, but humans didn't need wine, either."

Rowan Whitethorn, you are a beautiful fae. Can I have him in my life please? He started off as this moody, brooding figure and then slowly developed into this brilliant companion.

"Gods, he was brilliant. Cunning and wicked and brilliant. Even he beat the hell out of her. Every. Damn. Day."

He is the ultimate alpha-male, with kick-ass moves that even Celaena can't beat. Him being around her created this new humbler character. Together they are amazing.

"You don't bite the women of other males."

The atmosphere is a lot darker and far more intense. The pace is thrilling, allowing time to breath between each near death experience or epic battle. And the world-building was so amazing because I know so much more about the world. Seeing new places like Wendlyn, Doranelle and the Ferien Gap really helped me picture the world further.

The plot was action packed and contained several twists that I did not expect. I feel that this was so much better than Crown of Midnight (which was amazing, don't get me wrong) and it is an amazing third book.

I have to say that I loved this book and it definitely deserved the *****
Time to jump head first into Queen of Shadows

Book Total of 2016 - 8

Review | The Assassin's Blade, by Sarah J. Maas

What You Need To Know:
Title: The Assassin's Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Number of Pages: 448
Standalone/Series: Prequel to the Throne of Glass Series
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, Magic, Novellas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: 4th March, 2014

The Plot:
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. 

My Thoughts:
Truthfully, I didn't know what to expect from this book. I didn't know when these took place or when to read it among the rest of the series. 
That, though, did not stop me from loving it. All the novellas flowed really well into each other and showed a wider image of Celaena's life. Although The Assassin and the Healer' was slightly slow in comparison to the rest of the novellas. 

'If you learn to endure pain, you can survive.'

In some ways, I think that this was actually better than Throne of Glass as an introduction to the various characters as the writing style is more elegant and Celaena was a more believable character, more realistic. 

'She was fire, she was darkness, she was dust and shadow'

As I read this before reading Queen of Shadows I was able to further understand Celaena as a character and had an emotional connection with her. Hence why I wept during lunch at a certain point near the end when a certain thing happened that I was not expecting at all. 

'The girl wasn't like wildfire - she was wildfire. Deadly and uncontrollable. And slightly out of her wits.'

In total, there is little I can say about this without spoiling but it was beautiful. Definitely read it before reading Queen of Shadows because it expands Celaena's character so much and makes you hate a certain King of Assassin's a lot more. 
This was definitely a *****

Book Total of 2016 - 8

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Reading Wrap Up | January 2016

I have decided that this year I am going to try to talk more about the things that I've read this year. Since I don't think I'm going to do reviews for every book. And even if I do, these wrap ups will give you the blurb of the book and my rating for that particular books. No spoilers and no real opinions, other than my rating.

So here is my Reading Wrap Up for January 2016.

Desires of the Dead, by Kimberly Derting 
The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found. Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally, she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My rating for this was: *****

Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My rating for this was: *****

Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas
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.

My rating for this was: *****

Winter, by Marissa Meyer
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

My rating for this was: *****

The Assassin's Blade, by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? 

My rating for this was: *****

Yes, I know that all of these books were given five stars but they truly deserve it. I did try to start another book but I just couldn't get into it. So that would have likely been rated a lot lower than the others. But it was a good reading month overall. Good to start me into a year of reading. 
And I've already completed ten percent of my reading challenge for the year so yay!

Book Total of 2016 - 5