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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There will be spoilers for ACOFAS and the series overall in this review. However, before I jump into spoilers, here’s some non-spoilerly info about ACOFAS.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Cover Lust?: This is my second favorite Feyre dress, right after the gorgeousness that is Charlie Bowater’s dress on the A Court of Wings and Ruin cover. However, the detailing on ACOFAS’s cover, aka Charlie’s border, blows the other three books to shreds (those poor Illyrian babies). Before ACOFAS was in my hands, I didn’t understand why everyone was freaking out over the border. But when I opened up my Barnes and Noble package and saw ACOFAS staring back at me, the border is the first thing that popped out! Reminder to never ever doubt anything that Charlie Bowater creates (how did I in the first place??).

Is it necessary to read ACOFAS to read the upcoming ACOTAR books? Obviously, we don’t have any of the latter books just yet, but I’d say that it is necessary to read ACOFAS to continue on with the series. Based on the sneak peak at the end of ACOFAS, the slight plot development and character mindsets in the novella are necessary for going into the next book. And if you’re a Feysand fan, it seems that ACOFAS is the last time we’ll be getting first-person POVs from Rhysand and Feyre. I’ll let you find out if ACOFAS is the last time we’ll also be seeing them in this series…

Spoilers will start below, so goodbye non-spoiler people, courtesy of Ben Wyatt in his own fantasy realm:

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As you may expect from this massive Sarah J. Maas fan (puns and rhyming can be fun for English majors, okay?), I really enjoyed ACOFAS. It was just fun to be back with the Night Court. While my best friend and I thought that ACOFAS would be one giant Friends episode, there is a decent amount of plot and character exploration. I know that’s not an ordinary term to use, but ACOFAS reveals a lot about our characters post-war. While we primarily get Feyre’s perspective, we do get first-person POV from Rhysand and third-person POV from Cassian, Mor, and Nesta. I didn’t mind having these latter three perspectives, but it did feel sort’ve out of place at times since they were third person POV.

But no worries, there are quite a few Friends moments in ACOFAS, snowball fights and family dinners included.

And apologies to all who only have eyes for Rhysand, but Cassian is the true fictional bae of this series (even though I wouldn’t have minded a spinoff following the mysterious Azriel either). As per usual, Cassian has so many funny moments, especially when it came to Amren and her um, snowy, appearance:

“Only her chin-length dark hair and solid silver eyes were visible above the collar. She looked-

‘You look lie an angry snowball,’ Cassian said.” (101)

BUT LET’S NOT FORGET THAT THIS ANGRY SNOWBALL ALSO ENJOYS FINE JEWELS AND PUZZLES:

“I took a seat across from her at the long, dark wood table, examining the half-finished puzzle of what seemed to be some sort of autumnal pastoral. ‘A new hobby of yours?’

‘Without that odious Book to decipher, I’ve found I miss such things.’ Another piece snapped into place. ‘This is my fifth this week.’ ” (140).

I also enjoyed exploring Rhysand and Feyre’s life together as High Lord and High Lady, even in some of its mundaneness. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much I’d forgotten about ACOWAR/ the war (I spent way too much time than I should have trying to remember who Jurian was), so I enjoyed the moments where the two are shopping in Velaris or discussing their future. I’m sort’ve happy to SJM didn’t try to jam pack Feyre and Rhysand’s happily ever after in this installment—we don’t know if a mini Feyre or Rhysand are on the way. I think it would’ve been giving fans too much of what we want right away, and now there’s plenty of opportunity to do so with the focus of the upcoming books…

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But I am also here to admit that like my A Court of Wings and Ruin feels, A Court of Frost and Starlight is not perfect. Maybe it’s my fault for not really refreshing on ACOWAR beforehand, but I forgot so much of what happened regarding the war. I couldn’t have told you who Jurian and Vassa were before I read an ACOWAR recap, and I’m still a bit confused about the whole Tamlin and his borders thing and the possible revolt from the Illyrian army??

And yes, while the point of ACOFAS being a novella is that there’s not enough story for a whole book, but I wish that the sneak peek for ACOTAR #4 would have been included in it. The sneak peak is not included in ACOFAS’s 229 pages, instead taking up 30 or so pages  after the novella. I think I just didn’t like how separate it is from the novella, and its two chapters could have worked well within the novella. But then again, these are probably the first two chapters in ACOTAR #4., which follows… NESTA AND CASSIAN!! While I am still shipping Azriel and Elain and wouldn’t mind a story all about them, I AM SO HERE FOR CESTA OR NESSIAN OR WHATEVER WE ARE CALLING THIS THING.

I really wouldn’t have expected the spin-offs to follow this duo or anyone in the Night Court at all! I thought it would be following other High Court members or explore more of the ACOTAR gods, like Drakon and Miryam. Nesta and Cassian were my favorite ship in ACOWAR and I’m really excited to explore them as characters and their relationship.

Overall, I enjoyed ACOFAS for reuniting us with the Night Court, and yes, the sneak peek did make me excited for this series to continue on

Have you read A Court of Frost and Starlight? Are you excited for the upcoming books? Share in the comments!

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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Brooklyn Nine-Nine- B99 has easily become a 2018 favorite overall because it’s made my Parks & Rec heart so happy. The humor is so reminiscent of my all-time favorite show, but the cast and various storylines obviously give it there own fun & unique take. Plus who isn’t obsessed with the “I Want It That Way” cold open?? I’m currently watching Season 4, and I’m hoping to watch Season 5 on demand soon. The show just gets better and better with each season, which why, like many (inlcluding Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Hamil), I’m super disappointed that Fox is cancelling the show. Based on fans’ outrage on Twitter and love for the show overall, I hope that Hulu or Netflix come in to save the day! If you’re interested in learning more about B99, I have a discussion post on Season 1.

AND UPDATE: I am now all caught up with Season 5 (I can’t believe the finale is this week), and I am so happy that the show will be officially joining the Schur-verse, as NBC picked up Season 6!

Morphe 25B Eyeshadow Palette- I’m not a makeup guru in the least bit. I didn’t really start wearing makeup until the end of my senior year of high school because I wanted to wear some for prom, and even today, I really only put it on when I go to one of my internships. My “rountine” is simply concealer (if needed), eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. Eyeshadow is definitely my favorite and palettes are slowly becoming an obsession of mine-thank my sister for that one!

Since Christmas, I’ve been loving the Morphe 25B Bronzed Mocha Eyeshadow palette. It has a variety of shades (is that the right word??) that I can use for going to the office or going out to dinner with friends.

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More Zoella- Another 2018 favorite, I’ve been loving how active Zoe’s been on MoreZoella this year. Her NYC vlogs have been among my favorites of hers, since I recognize so many of the spots she visited. It’s also been really cool to see her progress on her new book, Cordially Invited.

Gel nails- Ooo look at me go with another beauty favorite! This is probably a bit of a random favorite (I was originally going to talk about my new book sleeve, but sticking to the prompt!), but I got my first gel manicure two weeks ago and I’ve been loving it! I only had one nail chip after the first week, but other than that,the polish has stayed on really well.

ACOFAS skyMy nails tend to get beaten up and since I’m doing a summer internship, I wanted to them to consistently look nice. While gel manicures tend to cost more than regular manicures, I think its worth it and I plan on keeping up with my gels throughout this summer. Having painted nails also makes for some nicer bookstagram photos.

I’ve been considering adding more lifestyle-type posts to the blog, so let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in!

What are some of your current non-bookish favorites? Share in the comments!

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!