Book Review: “Throne Of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

Hello!

On the day I published my review of “Women Of Scotland” by Helen Susan Swift, I finished reading my then current book “Throne Of Glass”. If my mom hadn’t been ready for bed the night before, I would have been done with it because I was like 10% of the done so I will be forever kicking myself for that!

I have known about this series for an awful long time. I have seen their beautiful covers all over BookTube and they are one reason why I absolutely hate the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” because that’s how I became interested in the series in the first place! I was attracted by their covers and I just wanted them for their beauty. So, the fact that I had an open opportunity to get the first book of the series for like a dollar on Amazon, a week or two after Christmas was amazing!

WARNING: There are spoilers included below! If you haven’t read the book/series, I’d highly recommend you skip the rest of this post

16034235After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

taken from Goodreads


I knew very little before going into this, I vaguely remember reading the description when I first heard about it (seven years ago is a long time!) and checked it as “want to read” on my Goodreads account. Other than that, I never really expected to see it anywhere but on my TBR list for the next decade. That’s part of my problem when I watch book hauls on YouTube, because I will collect over 20 books at a time and look into them on the site, and I will either leave it out or put it on my “curious” shelf with the others!

The book itself is very hefty and honestly it scared me in the beginning.

It had been a while since I’ve read an over 300+ page book, but I took the challenge and was quite proud of myself for buying it back in January. I was also extremely happy I still adored fantasy/historical fiction. After going reading Melissa de la Cruz’s novel “The Ring and The Crown” a couple of years ago, I was for sure thinking I had lost all desire to read another type of book that were written in both topics again.

This book hooked the moment we hear Celaena is being taken out of the salt mines and is escorted by the Captain Of The Guard and several other guards to this strange place. I immediately fell in love with Celaena, but what is so interesting is that she has this cocky attitude during this part and if you know me well enough, you’d understand that I do not like anybody–both real and/or fictionized–that acts this way! I also have to say that I remind family members to not be like that because karma is a real bitch and she’ll find you out quick! So, the fact that I loved Celaena was semi-cocky around her guards, especially Choal, cracked me up!

Although, there were times where I had issues with imagining the glass castle and various characters, I was still able to enjoy myself while learning more about Celaena’s world and it wasn’t until I was halfway in the book did I start to see everything come together in my head. Once I established this, I could see Nephemia easier and the smallest details of the castle and what everyone was wearing in the different chapters.

Another part that I loved was the fact that even though I knew in my mind I would start to figure out how everything ends for Celaena. The duel was a huge deal for her and us, of course, but from the time I had begun reading the second chapter I was spoiling the ways everything could work out for her in the end. However, once I got there I realized that I hadn’t done anything to mess things up for myself. It was still concealed and those final three chapters moved rather fast at first but nicely stilled for a moment, but I wasn’t in the know of what was about to happen afterwards.

I have to add one more thing. It is mostly for anyone who has read the book and possibly the rest of the series. Who were seeing in your mind as the “perfect” person to play each character? For me, I had issues coming up with both Celaena and Chaol, but Dorian was actually the easiest out of the bunch. I instantly thought of Dylan O’Brien. I’m not too familiar with him, but I loved him in the movie American Assassin (2018) and the way he looked in that film, became part of the map I was seeing described in the book. Choal was next and I am furious with myself that this one appeared, but an image of the actor who played Joffrey in Game Of Thrones popped in my head. I just imagined him a little older, so they matched in age. Choal was actually my favorite male character of the book.

Now as for Celaena though, I had the worst luck figuring her out. After several chapters and learning more of her personality, I finally came to the conclusion that Dove Cameron would be perfect! I’ve seen her play a villian on Agents Of S.H.I.E.LD. so that helped me establish she could fight hard and of course, she’s a natural blonde on top of it!

Have you read Throne Of Glass yet? If you have, what book (without spoiling too much for me!) are you on now? What were your thoughts on the first book?

snowflake

March Playlist

Hello!

Welcome back to another monthly playlist! I hope you are doing good, and finding your isolation comforting and possibly a little fun here and there.

I started this month on the right foot, as for the last four years, March has become more of a sadder time for my family and I since my papaw’s death. I try not to bring it into my playlist but it’s like my brain likes to have softer sounds around. The first week was nothing but Ingrid Michaelson, Plumb and a little of Dido mixed in there too. If you were to see the collection of songs I put into my Spotify playlist, the first four songs are all in gray/white so I’ve been secretly calling it the “gray” playlist.

Towards the middle of the month though, I found upbeat tunes and wanted to listen to some of my favorite albums, ones that I knew I liked all the way through and this brought me back into my rock phase for a little bit. I listened Halestorm, Icon For Hire, and Within Temptation. I also realized I still had a three hours worth of old school hip hop music videos I could be watching on my DVR, and I started adding some of my favorite tracks like “I Do!” by Toya, “Right Thurr” (Remix) by Chringy featuring Trina and Jeremaine Dupri, and “Snap Yo Fingers” by Youngbloodz featuring Lil Jon, Sean Paul, & E-40.

How about I just give you my Top 20 songs instead of talking about the process? It might be less boring for you too!

Open Hands by Ingrid Michaelson featuring Trent Dabbs
Chocolate & Ice Cream by Plumb
I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
You Will Become by Glen Hansard
Fire Breather by Laurel
Beautiful With You by Halestorm
Don’t Think I’m Not by Kandi
Queen by Loren Gray
Good In Goodbye by Madison Beer
Say So by Doja Cat
Baby, I’m Back by Baby Bash featuring Akon
A Mili by Lil Wayne
Carry On by Ashanti
AM To PM by Christina Milian
Imagine by Ariana Grande
Our Last Gloomy Dance by Diabulus in Musica
All Is Found by Evan Rachel Wood
Zipper by Jason Derulo
Sluil a Run by Ella Roberts
Nobody Wants To Be Alone by Christian Reindl featuring Atrel

I hardly ever play favorites when it comes to my own playlists–especially the monthly ones, but this one just feels different compared to the others. It’s calmer but you can sense the shift on where I was emotionally; for example I associate the month of March with my papaw of course, March Madness, and listening to lots of Celtic Woman. I have my mom to thank for that because a couple of weeks before my papaw died, she found PBS was airing the newest Celtic Woman concert (Destiny) and hearing them sing always gives me a sense of peace.

This month I was allowed to watch some of my favorite Disney movies, but honestly I just wanted to watch Frozen II on Disney+ and now that I have, I am sort of taking advantage of the opportunity and watching classics like Bambi, Alice In Wonderland and even the newest live action film: Aladdin. By the time, this post goes live I’d probably watched the rest! Back to Frozen though, I absolutely loved it! The wait was so worth it, and yes. I am as obsessed with the soundtrack like I am with the first one. I have already learned both “All Is Found” and “Show Yourself” like a pro! I did not know that Evan Rachel Wood could sing so good!

If you would like to check out my Spotify playlist, click here and you’ll hopefully be directed back to my profile. If not, please let me know so it can be corrected!

What are you listening to this month?

snowflake

Book Review: “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

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Howdy!

In February, I read only three books.

Ride Me Dirty by Vanessa ValeJane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone and Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My tastes in books at the moment has been very interesting, I’m not really sticking to one genre but then again if you know anything about me, you’ll know this is completely normal because I can be completely at peace when my music is on shuffle. I figure going this route will help me stay motivated to read more and maybe keep it entertaining and so far so good!

This book was my final “disability” read on my list and I’m glad I read it, but I am somewhat surprised by the fact that I gave it a four star rating on Goodreads. I enjoyed reading it. I thought it was really good, but I just didn’t think it deserved five stars.

Hmmm…


13510287“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

taken from Goodreads.

The story of August “Auggie” Pullman was beautiful! I loved his attitude and surprisingly his hobbies like Star Wars. Although, I have to say, I don’t know anything about that fandom. Honestly, I am more into the “newer” Star Trek world of Captian Kirk and Spock. Anyways, I loved that there was still a silver of a young child in him, but as you continue reading the book, you also discover there’s a mature side wanting to come out too.

It was a bit difficult to see him as a middle schooler, because where I’m from, when you become a fifth grader, you’re still in elementary so I had to get it into my brain to not create this avatar character younger than he is in the book. Another part of this process was when the term “dating” come up and oh my gosh, I had so many flashbacks going on, it was nuts! I fully agreed with Summer’s mother, fifth graders are too young to start dating or anything else in that realm.

We talk about Auggie’s life in his perspective first, but then we come to a stop and there are a few parts for some of the close characters that August is surrounded by and I feel like these were my favorites because of course, everybody is going to have another perspective of a certain person, but you never get to really know what they are thinking about them in real life. So, the fact that we see Via, Jack Will, Justin’s telling us their thought process made it more interesting for me. It actually brought me back to the time when I first met my friend Haley in kindergarten, because for me this was the first time I was around a group of kids all day long, so they were allowed to get to know me but the only person I remember who had a good experience was Haley. She thought I was the coolest thing in the world and I still appreciate everything she ever did for me back then.

One of the other things that is discussed is these precepts in Mr. Browne’s English class. I thought it was only right to end this post with one of my own. Actually, this is a quote that I used for my senior year in high school to go underneath our pictures in the yearbook. It was:

Why be different when you can be so much more?

At this point in my life, I wasn’t comfortable with my body, disability at all. So, I still don’t fully understand why I would come up with such a thing. I came up with it on the spot too! It was crazy, but the real question is now that 10 years have passed, do I believe it? In a way, yes I do. I am different, but I am more than my disability. I am a woman, who thinks for herself and enjoys things like any other person. I am just me. I think Auggie could believe it too. He is more than what is going on with his face. He is more than what other people may think of him. He is just himself.

I think I might’ve figured out why I gave it four stars. At the end of the book, Auggie does understand that he is just an ordinary guy and is perfectly fine with it. He is also looked upon others as an inspiration. He did do an extraordinary thing and even though he was happy about it, as the reader I didn’t much care for the ending of the story. It was exactly like it was supposed to be, a happy ending with a greater reason behind it. I expected it to happen and I’m sure others did too, but because of that, I was immediately offended. So, I left out a star and I know, people will say something about it, but this is what I feel and what entered me emotionally while I was reading it.

How you read the book “Wonder” yet? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know below! 

snowflake

Top 5 Favorite “Into The Unknown” Covers!

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Howdy!

I love Frozen! I only decided to watch it after seeing the SacconeJolys on YouTube. The elder children: Emilia and Eduardo were first obsessed with it and something about them dressing up as Elsa and Anna, just reminded me of my own childhood and how much I still love Disney Princess movies. Afterwards, I had so much joy inside of me and now I am as obsessed as they were, and love knowing they have influenced their younger siblings Alessia and Andrea.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the second film and I’ve been really jealous of every and anybody that have seen it. I’ve done the same things I did before watching the first film, which is only knowing about a couple of the characters’ backgrounds and learning one song from the soundtrack! The main theme: “Into The Unknown” sung by the beautiful Idina Menzel, who plays Queen Elsa and Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA.

I have been thinking about doing this post since the end of January, which is significant because at that time I had found my third favorite cover of the song! In all, I have picked out a good mixture and wanted to share them with you. However, I do not include the band, Panic! At The Disco’s cover because it is on the soundtrack.

1.) Claire Crosby

So, this was the first I found and it started on this mini adventure! Little Claire is seven years old, and at this age she loves everything, especially Disney films! She and the rest of her musical family created a version of their own and I was stunned on how fast they were able to get things together to create this amazing footage!

The video is absolutely adorable as you have Miss Claire walking around this beautiful landscape of broken trees and this eerie lake that definitely gives you those Frozen vibes! She is dressed as both Princess Anna and Queen Elsa throughout the video.

Since this was my first time ever hearing Claire sing before, I was in shock on how much control she has in her voice at such a young age! Of course, she has the help of her parents to keep her voice in a way that will hopefully help ease and make her vocal chords stronger as she continues in age.

2.) Malinda Kat

So, when I found this next video, I actually wasn’t looking, I just stumbled upon it when I was in the mood for choir music inside abandoned churches or Cathedrals because sometimes I enjoy listening to them while I read, and I did find an artist who has two different videos and her name is Malinda. I just fell in love with her voice.  I’d say she has definitely had singing lessons in the past. I found out she had recorded an acoustic version of the Frozen track with some friends Hannah and Tobias and I was just like, “okay, let’s check this one out too!”

This video feels more casual, almost coffee house inspired. Sometimes I like acoustic music, but when it is mixed with a song that is supposed to sound so powerful with Idina’s voice and the orchestra in the background, to see it basically strip down to only an acoustic guitar and what looks to be like a speaker that Hannah is tapping on to sound like drums was really interesting! Another part that I enjoyed was that even though it was so chilled, they kept on belting out the high notes throughout the song and I was surprised on how much it worked together, because I didn’t think it would sound that great keeping that in with this new tone, but like with most things, I was wrong!

3.) Connor Engstorm

This one pulled me as I was busy listening to Malinda’s reindintion, but I think the main reason why I wanted to listen to it is because the title of it said “symphonic metal” and I thought to myself, “this is going to be awesome” and after my first video was over, I switched it to this one.

This video is cute, it really is. It takes place at Grant Central Station in New York City at the beginning of December so there are Christmas lights up all around and everyone is bundled up in heavy jackets and have mittens over their hands and you hear a little bit of heavy metal blaring through your speakers as these two characters are playing cat and mouse on screen! The vocals featured on the song are Anthony Niccolo and his wife Val while Connor is in charge of everything else.

As someone who absolutely loves symphonic metal, I felt as both a critic and lover of this cover. I didn’t know how it was going to sound like at first and I will say, I did not love it right away. This didn’t happen until I actually finished. Anthony and Val have two different styles in their voice. Anthony definitely has that almost glam rock tone about him but Val is more demure to him but not where they are belting out those high notes, that’s when she really shines! I was a bit wary of this transition but ultimately I ended up really enjoying it!

4.) Acapop! KIDS

For this video, you have a fairly large of kids that are singing in acapella, which means there really is no music in the background, but for this performance the kids are creating the beat along with singing; they take turns in the role of singing and becoming the various  instruments. I thought it was very cool to go in this direction, because they made it into a very clear pop song and I think that was the main reason why I liked it so much because they managed to completely change the genre of the song!

5.) Musicality

This cover is the newest to be released to the world, and it resembles the previous video because of the amount of people involved in the project. Here you have teenagers instead of children, so they’ve probably already went through their puberties and their voices have changed and sound older.

One thing that I liked about the video is the look of the space they’re in, it looks as though they are in a newly painted warehouse in all white and they are dressed in winter colors of white, grays, and baby blues. It looks so dreamy and lovely! I think fashion helps bring out the mood of the song especially in the way of the previous group, where they are singing in acapella. The phrase of “less is more” really shines here!

So, I think that is it! If I find any more or you have a cover or video that is not featured above, please send me the link to check it out! Most importantly, you should definitely check out the other videos that everyone I have featured in this post too. Before I go, I’d also like to know your overall thoughts of the new Frozen movie too, just don’t spoil everything for me, okay?

snowflake

REVIEW | Five Feet Apart

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I’m back!

On the day I finished this post, I’d been sick for at least a week and a half. It has been so frustrating to say the least, because at first we thought it was allergies and then three days later, I developed this awful cough and my mom had to get some medicine tablets because I refuse to drink the liquid stuff. Hopefully, this isn’t your only post of the week but let’s not push our luck!

I am very excited to finally chat with you about the film adaption of Rachael Lippincott’s novel Five Feet Apart. I mean, this was the main reason why I wanted to read the book in the first place. Before we continue, I have to say this post will probably have spoilers included, so if you haven’t read the book and want to, I highly suggest you skip this blog post for now.

The first thing–well, there were two actually–I had to tell myself. I literally had to give myself a little talk because I had read the book and I was still reeling from the fact that I cried many times and enjoyed certain scenes within the story. I knew it is going to be very sad and when I finally I made a deal to watch the whole thing before I judged everything that was presented on my TV screen.

What I Really Thought 

So, I absolutely loved the film! I was surprised by my reaction after I finished it because I didn’t think I would love it that much, but yes, I thought it was absolutely beautiful! It didn’t have every single thing, but it had enough that it followed the same timeline from the book, and that was it for me.

One thing that I totally forgot to put into my head while I was reading the book was that hospitals are busy places, as you see on film. However, while I was reading the book, the only professionals that turned up in my head were Barb, Julie and Dr. Hamid. That’s it. I don’t know why I just kept other nurses or random people from entering various scenes. I mentioned in my book review that I used the hospital I went to back in 2002, to draw some inspiration on how to map out this massive space, and the section I stayed had probably three or four nurses at their station. So, we were never without someone there besides our parents of course, so I don’t know how I managed to create a space with only three medical professionals!

Have you watched the film adaption “Five Feet Apart” yet? If you read the book beforehand, did you have any issues with it? Did you like it just the same? Tell me your thoughts about it below!

snowflake