“Waiting on Wednesday”: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Fan-made book cover
Fan-made book cover

Lady Midnight

Cassandra Clare

To Be Released March 2016

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

I am beyond excited for Cassandra Clare’s new addition to her Shadowhunter World: her upcoming series, The Dark Artifices. Lady Midnight will be the first book in the series.

warrior

It follows the life of seventeen-year-old Emma Carstairs, an orphaned shadowhunter, and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn. She idolizes Jace Herondale and is a badass fighter. She aims to exact revenge upon whoever killed her parents, bringing comparisons to my mind to Arya Stark of Game of Thrones, another kick ass fantasy female character much loved by me.

shadowhunters

I’m super thrilled to read her story, especially since I can’t get enough of shadowhunters in general. It’s so exhilarating to have another girl to join the ranks of Clary Fray, Tessa Gray, and Isabelle Lightwood. I’m particularly elated for a main female character who seems to be a fierce warrior. I’m used to seeing that more from male characters like Jace and Will Herondale. Sure, Isabelle was tough, but I see her more as a femme fatale, than just a kickass fighter. I’m highly anticipating Emma’s badassery.

shadowhunter girls

I can’t wait to explore Emma and Julian’s relationship as parabatai of the opposite sex. It’s cute how Emma is going to be crushing on, and I’m always a sucker for forbidden romance (parabatai cannot be together romantically). More so, I’m ecstatic to get to read an opposite sex friendship that also involves them being fighting partners.

Julian’s family, the Blackthorns, are going to be so much fun to read! I love reading about big families. I’m so interested in their family dynamic and reading the interactions between all the many different kids: Helen, Mark, Julian, Livia, Tiberius, Drusilla, and Octavian. I’m also particularly fascinated by the faerie blood in their family as a result of their father, Andrew Blackthorn’s extra-marital affair with a faerie producing Helen and Mark. I find it interesting that he named all his kids after Greek and Latin historical. I’m falling in love with this Shadowhunter family already.

Something that is really exciting about this series is that it is set in Los Angeles, which is a far cry from the New York setting in the Mortal Instruments series. It also continues Cassandra Clare’s portrayal of different big cities in her books, such as London in The Infernal Devices. I think that Los Angeles is going to be a fresh, interesting setting.

Mark is a character that I am desperate to know more about. I need to find out what happens to him after the events of City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6). He’s the second child and oldest boy of the Blackthorns, and his character really intrigues me. I don’t want to give away any  events of CoHF, though. I suspect that he could also be a love interest for Emma, which I wouldn’t mind at all. Fingers crossed!

After reading about Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns last summer in CoHF, I’m dying to read more about this enchanting bunch. I was drawn to twelve-year-old Emma’s impetus and outspokenness in CoHF, so I’m highly anticipating more of that in Lady Midnight. 2016 can’t come fast enough!

If you’re interested in kick-ass heroines, large families, and forbidden love, look no further than Lady Midnight, coming out in March 2016!

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Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Book Cover
Book Cover

Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson

Published 1999

YA Fiction

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Summary

Melinda is a friendless outcast at Merryweather High. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. It is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and who is still a threat to her. It will take another violent encounter with him to make Melinda fight back. This time she refuses to be silent.

My Thoughts

Speak was not an easy novel for me to get through. Laurie Halse Anderson’s language was viscerally powerful and her metaphors gave me pause countless times. The main character, Melinda Sordino, is a tragically sympathetic character. My heart almost-literally bled for her throughout the whole book. Anderson did a great job of tackling such a triggering subject matter as rape in a piercingly artistic fashion. I was literally seeing the world through Melinda’s eyes, and her story was emotionally tasking to read. I became emotionally invested in her character, and by the time I got to the end, I wept. I wept because Anderson had taken me on an emotional roller coaster ride with Melinda and I didn’t know how to feel when it ended.’

The ostracized Melinda let me in to her inner thoughts with an unceasingly witty internal commentary. She grappled with not speaking, something I could definitely relate with. She closed herself off from the world. Yet, she also grappled with her art project throughout the novel, and by the end, the reader could definitely feel fulfilled that Melinda had found her voice: both literally and artistically.

If there was one thing I took away from this book, it was this: If we don’t express ourselves, we kill ourselves little by little, slowly by slowly, everyday.

Favorite Quotes:

If people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. – Melinda

I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too? – Melinda

He says a million things without saying a word. I have never heard a more eloquent silence. – Melinda

It wasn’t my fault. He hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not going to let it kill me. I can grow. – Melinda

download5 starsimagesKele

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

we were liars

Title: We Were Liars

Author: Emily Lockhart

Published: May 13th 2014

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Synopsis

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Thoughts

The Marketing

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, just intrigued by the insistence that readers must lie about the ending. So, first off, I must say what a persuasive promotional campaign that was! I simply had to know what happened that was so unexpected that I couldn’t talk about without giving away too much information, as reviews had been constantly assuring me. And you know what? Everything I’d heard about this book was completely accurate.

The End

The twist at the end hit me like a ton of bricks. My heart stopped, dropped, and rolled in anguish in my chest. To me, atleast, it had been utterly unseeable. I had no idea, absolutely no clue what the truth was, and I think that really is what made We Were Liars such a magnificent book to me. Then when I was hit with the truth, all the pieces came together and everything that I’d read all made sense.

The Romance

Apart from the shocking twist, We Were Liars contained such a sweet romance. I adored Cadence Sinclair’s love interest, Gat Patil. He’s right up there as one of my fave YA boyfriends, right with Augustus from The Fault in our Stars and Levi from Fangirl. He represented everything a summer courtship should be: sugar sweet and ocean deep. I found myself “awwwing” way too much reading him with Cadence.

The Family

I really enjoyed reading about the dysfunction that was the Sinclairs. It’s always fun to read about rich people who couldn’t even be happy with all their wealth. I was really happy that Cadence kept on seeing more and more through the veneer that was her seemingly ‘perfect’ family. We Were Liars also touched on really touchy subjects like racism and social class, in an excellent way.

The Writing

Overall, I really enjoy books that make me think and ponder about the world and life in general, and We Were Liars did just that. In a way, the Liars’ escapades were really inspiring. E. Lockhart’s lyrical prose is an added bonus. It kind of reminds me of Tahereh Mafi’s in theShatter Me trilogy, which, by the way, I adore.

The Spoiler Effect

It’s fun that I can’t really discuss this book without spoiling it, but it still leaves an insatiable urge inside of me to spill. There’s so much I want to talk about! Now to get my friends to read it . . .

5-stars

kele