A Court of GIVE ME MORE: A Court of Frost & Starlight Review

Welcome back to the Night Court, reader darling.

A Court of Frost and Starlight is the first novella and fourth installment in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. ACOFAS acts as a tie-in to the upcoming books in the series, and follows the Night Court’s first Winter Solstice together after the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin.

While there was some confusion over if ACOFAS was technically the fourth book or just a novella (after all SJM’s Tower of Dawn was supposed to originally be a novella…), the size of ACOFAS alone indicates novella status for SJM! Not including the sneak peek, ACOFAS clocks in at 229 pages, which is pretty short in the ACOTAR world—ACOWAR was 699 pages itself. Despite everyone talking about its length on bookstagram (*insert angst about my copy not coming until 6 days after release date when I preordered it back in February HERE), even I was shocked by its size! However, I have now have plenty of room to give it in a home (aka squeeze it amongst my SJM books) on my shelf.

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Top Five Wednesday: Current Non-Bookish Favorites

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In honor of Top Five Wednesday Rewind Month, my T5W topic for today is a throwback to February 2017. It may be bit of a surprise but I do have interests outside of books… for the most part. While reading is my #1 hobby way of life, you won’t always find me lost in the books. I love watching monthly favorites videos on Youtube, so it ‘ll be fun to channel my inner lifestyle blogger today.

Coach- Many thanks to my mom to giving me this obsession, but Coach is hands-down my favorite brand when it comes to bags. Being that Coach can be a bit on the pricey (but considerably low side for designer) side and I live that #brokecollege student life, the two bags below have both been treat yo ‘self gifts that I bought both at my local Coach outlet. I also don’t mind putting out a bit more money for Coach because I know the bags will last for a very long time. I’ve been using the tote to hold my laptop and personal items when I go to my internship, and the cross-body has been my go-to bag for city trips and days out with friends. I’ve also found that both bags compliment almost any outfit!

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Leah on the Offbeat Review ft. Unique Blogger Award

Summary: When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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I’m a Moody Reader and Proud: Monthly TBR Discussion

A new month in the book blogging community often brings book hauls, the previous month’s wrap-ups, and of course, to-be-read posts for the month. Let me start by saying that I commend anyone who creates monthly TBRs.

GIVE ME YOUR MAGICAL PLANNING POWERS, PLEASE. AND EXTRA HOUSE POINTS TO THOSE WHO STICK WITH THEIR MONTHLY TBRS.

But Fangirl Fury, you always refer to your organization and planning skills when giving advice about blog scheduling. You’re absolutely right, as I live by Leslie Knope’s matra of “Jammin’ on my planner!”.

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However, I have the hardest time choosing and planning out all the books I want to get to within a month. The reason why? I’m a moody reader.

By moody reader, I mean that I tend to pick up books that I am specifically in the mood to read. I’m in the mood for a British contemporary? Then I’ll be picking up Sophie Kinsella or Jenny Colgan. I’m craving a Marissa Meyer book? Then I guess it’s time yo read Renegades! My point is that by not setting a list of books that I need to get to, I give myself more freedom to choose what I want to read. And I realize that most people’s TBRs are composed of books that they want to read, not books that their TBR magically spits out at them. I feel like that could be a book lover’s dream or worst nightmare.

Another aspect of creating monthly TBRs that keeps me away is the pressure of sticking to your TBR. Creators tend to feel stressed about hitting all the books on their TBR if they’ve shared their list with their audience. Insert overdramatic example here:

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN’T READ SIX OF CROWS THIS MONTH! HAVE YOU NOT READ HARRY POTTER EITHER? BUT IT’S MY FAVORITE!! WHY? WHY?

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A bit of a drastic example, but there’s a certain pressure when sharing your monthly reading goals. There’s been a lot of discussion in the book community about this feeling, the main point being that READING SHOULD NEVER STRESS YOU OUT. I’ve recently seen bloggers, especially larger-scale creators in the Booktube community, stray away from sharing monthly TBRs to alleviate some of this stress.

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I am not saying that monthly TBRs are pointless. People enjoy creating monthly TBRs so they can stay on track with their personal reading goals and have an idea of what they want to get to in a certain month. When it comes to planning my own reading, I tend to plan when I need to read advanced readers’ copies by so I can have a review ready for release day, or when I want to reread series by in time for the next installment or film adaptation- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is definitely my summer rereading goals.

What do you think of monthly TBRs?

 Do you create monthly TBRs? If you do, do you find yourself stressing out over getting to all your books? Share in the comments!

Tower of Feels: Tower of Dawn Review

Since Tower of Dawn is the sixth (technically seventh if you count The Assassin’s Blade) installment in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, I will not be providing a summary today. I love my non-spoiler folk, especially since I just read ToD in April and I myself spent 8 months avoiding spoilers, but when it comes to the love of my life, Chaol Westfall, your girl needs to talk some spoilers about her man.

In lieu of a summary, I’ve answered what I’m sure are your burning questions (Aelin’s nickname isn’t Fireheart for nothing) on how to go about reading Tower of Dawn: 

Do I need to read The Assassin’s Blade to read Tower of Dawn? No, not necessarily, but I recommend that you read The Assassin’s Blade because by Tower of Dawn, all 5 stories have significantly come into play. If you are trying to plan out your Throne of Glass series read or reread, I recommend that you read The Assassin’s Blade in between Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows.

Do I need to read Tower of Dawn to read Kingdom of Ash? Obviously, Kingdom of Ash has not yet come out, but I 100% believe that Tower of Dawn is necessary for character development and plot development. There are a LOT of new details that honestly can be considered to be plot twists about the magic system and dark forces our characters are facing.

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 My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Warning: Spoilers for the Throne of Glass series and Tower of Dawn below

Many of you know that Chaol is my #1 fictional boyfriend. I’ve loved him since Throne of Glass , I used to consider Crown of Midnight to be my favorite ToG book because of all of its Chaolness (despite the whole Nehemia thing and Celaena basically wanting to rip him to shreds), and I should probably make my first bookish candle one  inspired by him. So even I’m still trying to figure out how I did not read Tower of Dawn immediately after its September 2017 release. I’m trying to chalk it up to the fact that I had really wanted to reread the first five ToG books beforehand (which I’ve ended up doing this year) and fall semester stress.

I’m sure it’s again no surprise to you guys that I loved Tower of Dawn. It’s easily made its way into my top 3 ToG books and most definitely a favorite read of 2018. There’s just so much world building in this installment, as Chaol and Nesryn journey to Antica and the Southern Continent. I’m not sure if we’ll get anything else from the ToG world after Kingdom of Ash, but my spin-off predictions now includes with one of our new ships and a new favorite OTP of mine starting a new life together as rulers of the Southern Continent…

I still need to look into some ToD fanart, but does anyone know what a ruk acutally looks like? I feel like I finally understand what a wyvern is supposed to look like, but now I have to figure out this giant, but awesome bird??? Are we going to get an Abraxos and Kadara ship now???

As you may tell, I’m quite excited to discuss some new ships (really Haley, a wyvern and a ruk??), but I do want to talk about character development beforehand. We get three perspectives in ToD, Chaol, Yrene, and Nesryn. Chaol experiences the most development, from coming to terms with his disability to overcoming his anger over the past. There’s that one chapter, Chapter 55 to be exact, that was just so heartbreaking, as Chaol faces his past in Anielle and his actions from Crown of Midnight, including his bitterness over his relationship with Celaena/Aelin.

But fear not, because Yrene was there to save the day! I am SO happy with Yrene and Chaol as a couple, and I’m so excited to see more Yrene in Kingdom of Ash. She’s easily become one of my favorite characters, and I’m really excited to explore her and the healers’ magic, not to mention her BOND with Chaol. Below are some of my favorite quotes from Chaol AND LADY WESTFALL (!!!):

“Yrene could have sworn it was far more than the dawn that shone in the captain’s brown eyes as they rode into the city” (177).

“And that this moment, flying together over the sands, devouring the desert wind, her hair a golden-brown banner behind her…

Chaol felt, perhaps for the first time, as if he was awake.

And he was grateful, right down to his very bones, for it” (489).

If I can’t have him, I’m more than happy that Yrene can.

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And speaking of OTPs, I am HERE for Sartaq and Nesryn. If Tower of Dawn remained as its intended novella, I think there would’ve been a chance that Nesryn and Chaol set sail as a ship, but I think Chaol needed Yrene for his own development. I also think Nesryn and Sartaq’s personalities fit really well together, and while Kingdom of Ash is not going to be a light-hearted read, I could use some more of Derala’s teasing:

“Sartaq gave her a knowing, cocky grin. As if he’d fully decided what would come after and nothing she could say would ever convince him otherwise.

And from the courtyard just a wall away, her sister shouted, loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear, ‘I told you, Father!’ ” (648).

And while Chaol and Yrene definitely make some discoveries of their own, I was shocked by Nesryn and Sartaq’s finding out that Maeve is QUEEN OF THE VALG?? And those giant spiders definitely didn’t help adjusting to that fact Rereading Throne of Glass this year allowed me to pay closer attention to plot details and set-up for later installments, but I would love to know how much and how long ago SJM had everything planned out. How many notebooks did she use??? I really want to go back to Heir of Fire, for example, and look for owl references when Aelin meets Maeve.

If you’re planning to reread Empire of Storms AND Tower of Dawn before Kingdom of Ash, I recommend checking out Jenna of jennaclarek’s awesome Eos meets ToD reading guide. I know a lot of EoS readers were upset that we didn’t get Chaol and Nesryn in that installment (little did we know what Sarah had up her sleeve), so I think this is a really awesome way to experience our full cast before the final book.

If you want more ToG content, check out my guest post with my rankings of each book over on Literary Sea!

Have you read Tower of Dawn? What’s you favorite ToG ship? Share in the comments!

Top Five Wednesday: Making My TBR Bigger

Across all of your favorite bookish blogs, this month’s Top Five Wednesday posts are going to be a different in that we’re all going retro! Welcome to Top Five Wednesday Rewind Month. This month I’ll be using T5W posts from the past, i.e. before I joined the T5W family back in May 2017.

My first rewind is going back to July 2016, where one of the month’s topics was “Most Recent Additions to Your Wishlist.” Blame it on finals stress and not wanting to do anything else but read, but my TBR went from about 65 to 90 books real quick at the end of April. Today I’ll be talking about my 5 most recent additions to my TBR.

newfireborderStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor- One of my best friends IRL loves YA fantasy and when she found out that I haven’t read Strange the Dreamer yet, she made me add it to my TBR immediately. I think I’m going to pick this one up later this summer or in the fall closer to the release of Muse of Nightmares.

Ship It by Britta Lundin- Blame Kristin of Super Space Chick’s Booktube video about Book Expo & Book Con on this TBR addition! I love books that incorporate fandom, so Ship It sounds right up my alley. Britta Laudin is also a writer on Riverdale, so that makes me even more interested.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo- I’ve seen a ton of positive hype around To Kill a Kingdom since its March release, and this is another one that my best friend has thankfully pushed on to my TBR. I’ll take any book with The Little Mermaid vibes! I also really enjoy reading standalone fantasies every once and a while.

Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi – I saw a few bloggers haul this one from the LA Festival of Books. I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews for this diverse read that features feminism and female friendship.

Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han- Being a huge Jenny Han fan, I figured that it’s time to check out her Burn for Burn trilogy with Siobhan Vivian. I also adored Siobhan Vivian’s The Last Boy and Girl in the World two summers ago and Stay Sweet is on my summer TBR. I plan on borrowing the trilogy from my library, but I actually found Burn for Burn among the library’s used books for sale! I think I also saw Fire for Fire for sale, so hopefully Ashes to Ashes will pop up too.

What are some books you’ve just added to your TBR? Share in the comments!

College YA Meets 90s TV: Finding Felicity Review

Summary:Caroline Sands has never been the best at making friends. Especially in Arizona, where her parents’ divorce sent her and her mom for a fresh start. Being the new girl and being socially awkward didn’t make finding friendships so easy. What was easy? When her mom started worry about her, Caroline invented a whole life for herself, using the beloved characters of her favorite TV show, Felicity. But it’s now time to head off to college and Caroline has plans to start a “new” life for herself, even if it means taking a tip or two from Felicity. However, Caroline’s plans come crashing down when her mom discovers her lies about her high school friendships. Her ultimatum? Prove in the first semester that Caroline is able to make nonfictional friends and a healthy life for herself at college. If not, she’s headed home to Arizona for good.

 My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

If you’ve been following me even for the tiniest bit, you’ll know that one of my reading obsessions of 2018 has been college YA. Currently a college student myself, I’ve just been craving stories with settings and characters I can personally relate to at this stage of my life. I’ve been quickly adding more college YA books to my TBR, but I’m trying to take my time getting through them so I’ll always have the genre on my TBR (not to mention the other 90+ books that are waiting to topple over me). So next on my TBR was Stacey Kade’s Finding Felicity.

As the title suggests, our main character, Caroline, loves the ‘90s TV show, Felicity. You do not need to watch the show going in. Before reading, I never saw the show and I only watched the first two episodes the day I started the book. Stacey Kade does not include spoilers for the show because odds are if you enjoy Finding Felicity, you’ll love Felicity. The show follows a college-aged protagonist who decides to go to college in New York City, against her parents’ expectations to go to Stanford and become a doctor.

I’m sure true Felicity fans will pick up on more, but I did enjoy how Stacey Kade includes elements from the show in the book. There’s bigger plot points, like Caroline wanting to go to Ashmore because Liam will be there, and smaller moments, like when Caroline tears up in class and her classmate asks if she’s okay.

Now, CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A BOOK LIKE THIS WITH PARKS & RECREATION OR FULL HOUSE? YOU WANT ME TO WRITE IT? That’s good because, I already have the first twenty chapters or so planned out.

I’ll keep you up to date on my WIPs one day, but I just love how this book incorporated fandom love. Caroline also loves watching films and other TV shows, including the HGTV channel.I’m a firm believer that everyone needs some Fixer Upper in their life, and I think Caroline would agree.

Outside of its fandom aspects, I really appreciate Finding Felicity because Stacey Kade shows that transitioning to college and making a new life there isn’t that easy. While her situation is a bit unique, we see Caroline struggle to find friends and adapt to Ashmore, but along the way she starts to form some relationships and we leave her at a great starting point. I think it’d be really fun to see Caroline every year of college, like Felicity!

Overall, Finding Felicity is a cute college YA read that will warm your heart and make you crave pizza, as it seems to be the food of choice for Caroline and her classmates. Pizza is truly its own food group for us college kids.

Have you read Finding Felicity? Have you seen Felicity? Share in the comments!