Reading

City of Heavenly Fire – Cassandra Clare | A Book Review

City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Heavenly Fire

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: It’s the sixth and last novel in the Mortal Instruments series that follows Clary and her friends who fight against Clary’s brother, Sebastien Morgenstern, in the demon realm.

First impressions: I read the previous books a while ago and finally got around to picking this one up to see how everything gets resolved. I like the cover and title. I found the prologue interesting.

Characters: The characters grew on me with each book. By the end, I found myself quite fond of Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, Alec, Magnus, and others. They’re unique with their own strengths as well as weaknesses. I especially enjoyed seeing them interact with each other and the conversations between everyone.

Quote:

“Sometimes it’s hard when you want to be like someone but you don’t know how.”

Writing: It’s the longest book in the series at over 700 pages, but the plot doesn’t feel too slow or dragged out in my opinion. The author tells the story from multiple characters’ point of view in the third person. There are some romantic scenes here and there. Clare strikes a good balance between dialogue and description with world-building sprinkled in when necessary.

Final thoughts: I think the epilogue tied up a lot of loose ends. I recommend checking out the previous books before reading City of Heavenly Fire. Overall, it’s a solid fantasy series with magical elements and interesting relationships.


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Reading

Books Of The Month | December 2016

November Herminia thought she would read a lot in December. And now December Herminia thinks she’ll read a lot in January. She doesn’t learn. She probably won’t in 2017 either, so don’t expect much from her.

As you can see, I still haven’t gotten over the talking in third person about myself phase.


What I Finished:

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

robinson-crusoe-by-daniel-defoe
One phrase description:

Description without chapter division.

Quote:

“It is never too late to be wise.”

My general thoughts:

The main issue I had was the non-existent chapters and chapter breaks. It was one long block of text after another. I’m not sure if that helped or hindered my ability to read RC quickly. I read a few pages, put it down, did something else, picked it up again, and repeated that process a billion times. I like books that let me know when I should probably return to the real world. It’s weird having more decision over when to take a break from reading.

Also, I was supposed to read this novel in September back when school started. But I didn’t get the book delivered to me on time, so I skipped RC and returned to it in December. I read more rushed than I would’ve liked because I wanted to finish the novel before my English exam. I managed to finish the book and maybe even fail the exam. I don’t know because I can’t bring myself to check what I think are horrible grades.


Morning Star by Pierce Brown

morning-star-by-pierce-brown

One phrase description:

Shatters your heart and returns it to you on a platter.

Quote:

“Life’s not just a matter of breathing, it’s a matter of being.”

My general thoughts:

There was a lot more world-building than I expected in MS. I can see why that build-up might feel slow to some, but I found it worthwhile. The different twists and turns and deaths make for a fun read, even if I saw some of them coming. Like the ending.

I’m trying to get my friend to read the series. She hasn’t. I don’t know how we’re still friends. But I can’t wait for whatever else Pierce Brown is cooking up.


City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

city-of-lost-souls-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description:

Kissing and kissing and more kissing.

Quote:

“In difficult times, in dark times, some people shine.”

My general thoughts:

Of all the books in the series so far, I think I enjoyed this one the least. It read more like a romantic novel than anything else to me. I didn’t like the kissing and more than kissing scenes. Especially since just about everyone loves someone else, when one romantic scene ended, another began with a different couple.

I’m not sure why I went out a long time ago and bought all the books in the series at once. So I have the last one sitting on the shelf, staring at me. I think I need a break from Clare’s writing. I need a break from the protagonist, Clary. I need a break from everything really.


What I’m Currently Reading:

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

the-brothers-karamazov-by-fyodor-dostoyevsky

First impressions:

It’s long. So very long. Nearly 800 pages long. Yes, I have to read TBK for school. No, I don’t hate it…yet. I hope I don’t by the end. Keeping track of all the Russian names hasn’t been that bad. Then again, I think I haven’t met half the characters.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

heir-of-fire-by-sarah-j-maas

Why: 

I liked Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, the first two novels in the series. Hopefully I’m not disappointed. Though I tend to find a third book in any series is either hit or miss.


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New year, new books. Am I right or am I right?

Reading

Books Of The Month | November 2016

Oh November, why are you always so busy? How I managed to finish a book—much less four—this month is beyond me.


What I Finished:

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

to-the-lighthouse-by-virginia-woolf

One phrase description:

Thoughts.

Quote:

“Why, one asked oneself, does one take all these pains for the human race to go on?”

My general thoughts:

It’s not my kind of book. I’ve come to the very unfortunate conclusion that I don’t love modernism. There really isn’t much of a plot. And I understand the novel is written the way it is for a reason. I appreciate the writing. I appreciate the language. I’m a writer. But I also adore stories. The words are beautifully put together. I just wished Woolf injected about 10 mL of narrative into her work. I had a tough time getting through it because I had no story to follow. Also reading To The Lighthouse on the subway is not ideal. Then again life isn’t. To be honest, if the novel wasn’t a required reading for my English class, I probably would have put it down twenty pages in and never picked it back up.


Golden Son by Pierce Brown

golden-son-by-pierce-brown

One phrase description:

Feelings.

Quote:

“There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extroverted.”

My general thoughts:

I think my heart was dead prior to reading Golden Son, but Pierce Brown found a way to awaken that organ. And now it’s beating again. I didn’t know I had feelings. I didn’t realize I felt so strongly for certain characters. But I know now. I realized along the way. This book had an actual story. A bloody good one. I enjoyed most of the scenes. At times the novel reminded me of Ender’s Game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although a lot of sci-fi elements go right over my head because science is confusing. I’m a confused child. Anyhow, GS provided a great escape from the cruel world that is university. If I had friends, I’d rope them into reading the series.


City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

city-of-fallen-angels-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description:

Angels.

Quote:

“And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”

My general thoughts:

I keep holding out hope that the next book will get better. I will keep hoping until I can’t. The writing in City of Fallen Angels didn’t bother me nearly as much as the writing in City of Glass did. Maybe I went in with lower expectations. Who am I kidding? The book isn’t a literary masterpiece. That’s besides the point. At this point, I’m invested enough in the story to want to know what happens, how it ends. I don’t love the characters. Some days I can tolerate them. Other days I roll my eyes at their actions and shake my head at their inaction. But I care enough to finish the series, especially since I’m this far in.


Zone One by Colson Whitehead

zone-one-by-colson-whitehead

One phrase description: 

Zombies.

Quote:

“In his mind, the business of existence was about minimizing consequences.”

My general thoughts:

Had to read this for school. I finished it today, and I think I’m still trying to process the ending. I don’t know how I feel about the last line in particular. Whitehead makes you think. He made me reflect on the world I live in so many times I’ve lost count. I make it sound like I kept count. I didn’t. It’s a zombie book. It’s a post apocalyptic novel. But at the same time it isn’t. Does that make sense? This isn’t your typical zombie book. Read at your own peril.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

morning-star-by-pierce-brown

Why: 

Because I love the series so much. And I want to feel feelings, so I know I’m a human being and not just a zombie in a human body.


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Reading

Books Of The Month | October 2016

It’s the end of October already? I’m not ready for November, where I’ll be attempting to write more, which means I’ll likely read less.


What I Finished:

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown

One phrase description: 

Love.

Quote:

“Life is the most effective school ever created.”

My general thoughts:

I didn’t love it at first. But by the end, I did. I may have purchased the next two books already, which is a testament to how much I enjoyed the one pictured above. For the longest time, I saw pictures of it everywhere, and I was tired of seeing something I didn’t have.


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
northanger-abbey-by-jane-austen

One phrase description: 

Like.

Quote:

“All has been, or at least all have believed themselves to be, in danger from the pursuit of some one whom they wished to avoid; and all have been anxious for the attentions of some one whom they wished to please.”

My general thoughts:

I don’t love or hate it. I’m fond of the characters despite their flaws or maybe in spite of them. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the middle chapters more than I did the beginning or ending. It took some time to get used to Austen’s writing early on. Also, the end didn’t satisfy me. I feel the need to mention I read this for school rather than pleasure. Funny, I told a friend I probably wouldn’t read Austen on my own for fun.


Atonement by Ian McEwan

atonement-by-ian-mcewan

One phrase description: 

Like led to love.

Quote:

“It wasn’t only the wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding.”

My general thoughts:

I fell more and more in love. The story started a bit slow, but picked up nicely. A part of me wants to watch a movie adaptation. If you know me at all, you know I don’t watch many movies. Similar to Northanger Abbey, I read McEwan for my English class. Still I’m going to gush about it to anyone who cares to listen to me, meaning no one.


City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

city-of-glass-by-cassandra-clare

One phrase description: 

Love and hate.

Quote:

“And no place that you are never allowed to leave can be a home.”

My general thoughts:

I liked some things, disliked others. The writing irks me at times. For some reason, I’m not really fond of characters calling other characters by name multiple times in a conversation. I don’t think it’s realistic. But the story arc works for me. If I didn’t buy all six books at once though, I’m not sure if I would have read beyond the first novel. So what does that say about me or the series as a whole (in my opinion)? I don’t know. I’ll let you form your own conclusion.


What I’m Currently Reading:

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

to-the-lighthouse-by-virginia-woolf

First impressions:

It’s short, but I’m not the biggest fan so far, but let’s see if Woolf can win me over in the next couple hundred pages. It hasn’t happened yet. I just wish the story would unfold quicker because I’m impatient.


What I Want To Read Next Month:

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

city-of-fallen-angels-by-cassandra-clare

Why: 

Because I want to finish the series and move on with my life. I mean that in the best way possible.


Those affiliate links take you to Book Depository where you can buy more, you guessed it, books. Don’t you want more?

Reading

Books Of The Month: April 2016

Reading over studying?

Of course!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

One phrase description: Wow.

Quote:

Is it right…to do something only because everyone else is doing it?

My general thoughts: It’s so beautifully written. Unlike my stories.

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll

One phrase description: Animals rendered like human beings.

Quote:

We find purpose in our lives by leaving no stone unturned in our search for it.

My general thoughts: I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did. And I did manage to finish it before the exam. I also managed to pass, somehow. I’m still not sure how.

City of Ashes by Cassandra ClareCity of Ashes by Cassandra ClareOne phrase description: Incest!

Quote:

Everyone has choices to make; no one has the right to take those choices away from us.

My general thoughts: I didn’t like it as much as the first. Shame because I planned to finish the series but now I don’t know if I will. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Guilty by David Baldacci
The Guilty by David Baldacci

One phrase description: Read it and guess who’s guilty.

Quote:

If you want it done, send a man. If you want it done right, send a woman.

My general thoughts: Baldacci didn’t disappoint. For once I saw the ending coming. Professional reader right here.

What I’m currently reading and hoping to finish next month…

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

Why: Because I love the Millennium series.

Happy reading. Read happily.

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Reading

Books Of The Month: March 2016

I know I know I know. I didn’t read a lot, but I still read. That has to count for something, right?

City of Bones by Cassandra ClareCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare

One phrase description: Incest? 

Quote:

Only people with no purpose are unhappy.

My general thoughts: I liked it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. But then again I’m different about a lot of things.

Get Me Out of Here by Sachiko Murakami
Get Me Out of Here by Sachiko Murakami

One phrase description: A book of poems you could potentially read at an airport.

Quote:

Hint: we’re not really “here.”

My general thoughts: The cover looks much better in real life. I’m sure the poems read better when read by everyone else as well. What can I say? I’m a wannabe poet who wants to appreciate poetry but lacks the ability to do so.

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

One phrase description: A book that gets better and better.

Quote:

A tale, like the universe, they tell us, expands ceaselessly each time you examine it, until there’s finally no telling exactly where it begins, or ends, or where it places you now.

My general thoughts: I enjoyed the novel enough to write a paper on it.

Now onto what I want (and kind of need) to finish next month…

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll

Why: Remember when I said this?

“And because I want to be honest for once, there was another book I was supposed to read for class. I barely opened it.”

I finally opened it!

I’m aiming to finish the book before my final exam. Just to decrease my chances of failing.

As always, happy reading!

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Reading

Books Of The Month: February 2016

Breaking news: I read! I’m surprised I still find time to read, especially considering the amount of time I spend on YouTube.

Just so you know, I finished Oscar Wao last month and The Speedy is a short play. Emphasis on short. And because I want to be honest for once, there was another book I was supposed to read for class. I barely opened it. Now that’s one secret I won’t be taking to the grave.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

One phrase description: Everything you’d never expect in a novel.

Quote:

And maybe, just maybe, if she’s as smart and as brave as I’m expecting she’ll be, she’ll take all we’ve done and all we’ve learned and add her own insights and she’ll put an end to it.

My general thoughts: I finished this in January because university. If you’re looking for something different, here it is.

Sky Key by James Frey

Sky Key by James Frey

One phrase description: Everything the second book in a series should be.

Quote:

She knows that doubt is the seed from which failure grows…

My general thoughts: It looks amazing. It is amazing. I can’t wait for the next one.

Soucouyant by David Chariandy

Soucouyant by David Chariandy

One phrase description: Everything you could ask for from an assigned text.

Quote:

We can only ever live despite ourselves.

My general thoughts: I got through this text fairly quickly, which says a lot. Though I’m sure had I read it even a year ago, I wouldn’t have the capacity to appreciate the writing.

The Speedy by Keith Barker, Chris Hanratty, Shira Leuchter, and Jordi Mand The Speedy by Keith Barker, Chris Hanratty, Shira Leuchter, and Jordi Mand

One phrase description: Everything confusing and puzzling in fifty pages.

Quote:

In fact, powerlessness was probably the most prominent feeling for all those dealing with the tragedy.

My general thoughts: I don’t think I have the knowledge to fully understand this play and the story behind it.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

One phrase description: Everything a traditional romance story contains.

Quote:

You don’t always have to solve your problems alone…

My general thoughts: I chose to read this during February to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit. So festive, I know. I’m not against love, but I didn’t love this book.

What’s next?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Why: I’ve had this book and the others in its series for way too long, and I’m finally getting around to opening them.

I may have abused the word “everything” in this post. Forgive me.

On another note, spend some time reading on the “extra” day this year. You have 24 hours. No excuses!

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Reading

A Weird Bookish Wish

I sometimes wish that books in a series were approximately the same length.

So the books would look about the same in terms of thickness.

Consistency makes me happy.

The Maze Runner Series

The above pleases me.

The below not so much.

The Mortal Instruments Series

I’m not that bothered by it. I just thought I’d make a blog post about my strange thoughts.