Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published: 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s
Pages: 416
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9781619634442
My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down! (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

So it took me about a week to read A Court of Thorns and Roses because I had a really busy week. I would have loved to give the book more time and effort because I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had. However, I still did enjoy the book and am really looking forward to A Court of Mist and Fury. I started this book at the end of April hoping to have my pre-order of A Court of Mist and Fury in the mail by the time I was done. Sadly, my order ended up being delayed by 3 weeks so I didn’t get my order for A Court of Mist and Fury in for a while. But that doesn’t really have much to do with A Court of Thorns and Roses.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It follows Feyre, a human girl, who killed a wolf and now must pay her debt to the fairies by living with them in their court for the rest of her life. Feyre soon discovers that the fairies are very different from what she has heard in tales told by her mother. She also discovers that there is something brewing within the fairy politics.

So like I said I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I had had more time to read it. I really enjoyed the characters especially Tamlin and Lucien. Tamlin for me didn’t necessarily remind me of the Beast but he was sweet and caring towards Feyre which I really liked. I also enjoyed Lucien because of his protectiveness over Tamlin and the Court. I enjoyed his back story which gave him a lot more dimension in my opinion. Feyre for me was an okay character, I was annoyed with her quite often but she was also a strong female character as well. I started liking Feyre a lot more towards the end of the book. For me that was when she really started acting like a strong character and showed us what a badass she could be.

I really liked the mystery in the book surrounding the blight. For me, this made the book so much better. Instead of having us already know what’s going on in Prythian, we learn about the world and problems along with Feyre. This also added a layer of excitement to the story. Sometimes it did feel like a bit of an infodump, so I wish Maas would have done that a bit differently. Hopefully this will be different in the next novel.

I’m pretty sure everyone knows about this part of the story, but if you don’t skip over this paragraph because it could be a spoiler. I did think this was important to add to my review because it really is what knocked a star off the rating for me. I hate love triangles. And I really didn’t like the one that was introduced at the end of this story. I really hope it doesn’t take a big part of the second book because for me that will probably ruin the series. I guess we’ll see what A Court of Mist and Fury brings.

So generally, I really enjoyed the fantasy aspects of this novel and I hope that that takes up most of the second novel. Along with hopefully some political drama, but we’ll see. I would definitely recommend this book if you are a fantasy lover. It is a great world you’re thrown into and it really did keep me hooked from beginning until the end.

Book Review: the Crown by Kiera Cass


This review does contain spoilers for the first 3 books of the Selection series. 

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Title: 
the Crown
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: the Selection #5
Published: May 3rd, 2016 by
Pages: 279
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
IBSN: 9780062392176
My Rating: 3.5/5

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I know a lot of people had issues with the Heir, I however quite enjoyed it. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Selection series but it was a nice quick read between other books. For me the Crown was the same thing. Although this book had much more substance and character development than the Heir, it still wasn’t more than a quick romance read to me. That being said, there is nothing wrong with that and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.

As I said the Crown has much more substance than the Heir. Cass attempts to show us more of the political side of becoming queen, I enjoyed having this throw into the book because it gives the story more depth. Though it didn’t somehow become a completely politic driven novel.

The romance in this book was not as big as in the Selection books, Eadlyn approaches her choice much more rationally. Although I would have liked to see more heart in the book I understand that for an upcoming queen the choice has to also be looked at rationally. I enjoyed the character development Eadlyn went through. If felt she really grew up in this novel and started to act has her own person instead of just being the upcoming queen.

The reason I only gave this novel 3.5 out of 5 stars is because I felt the ending was very rushed. I would have loved it if Cass had taken more time with the ending. It would have made it more logical and also more realistic. I believe the way she ended it was correct, but I would have loved it if she took her time with it and explained it in more detail.

I also would have loved to see more from the side characters. Besides the boys from the Selection I didn’t feel like Cass put much effort in her side characters. She pretty much neglected Ahern and Kaden and Osten. I also don’t feel she gave us a lot of interaction between America and Maxon. It was more than in the Heir, but it still didn’t feel like America and Maxon were anything other than Eadlyn’s parents. They were just there to fill a hole, but they weren’t really their own characters anymore.

I am glad that I wrapped with series up and that it had an alright finish for me. I don’t hope that they add more books to this series because I really think this should be the end. Although I enjoyed reading all these books I think if they add more they’d be stretching it really thin and it wouldn’t be enjoyable anymore.

Have you read the Selection series? Let me know what you thought of it! I’d love to hear from you all and know what your opinions were on the books.

Book Review: the Heir by Kiera Cass

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Title: 
the Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: 2015 by Harper Teen
Pages: 342
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia Romance
IBSN:
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I started reading this book in the middle of April to prepare myself for the Crown coming out. But knowing myself once, I got the Crown I started putting off reading it because I didn’t want the series to end. I have really enjoyed the Selection series as a guilty pleasure and knowing that I’ll have to find a new guilty pleasure is pretty haunting.

Anyways, the Crown follows Eadlyn, America and Maxon’s oldest child, she was born 7 minutes before her twin brother which makes her the heir of Illéa. She isn’t very happy with this but also takes the role upon her and does her best to become a great future queen. However, recently there have been uprisings in some states and therefore, Eadlyn is thrown into her own form of the Selection.

I quite enjoyed this book, it wasn’t my favorite of the Selection series but it was a nice read. Of course like most people I disliked Eadlyn in the beginning of the book, but for some reason, she ended up growing on me. She is whiny and entitled but I think that gives her character. We always read about pristine and perfect girls and I’m glad Eadlyn also has realistic flaws, because let’s be honest all girls can be whiny sometimes. Eadlyn reminded me a lot of America and she had a lot of the same stubbornness that America had.

I really liked a lot of the boys in the book too. For me, I haven’t been able to choose a ship yet which pretty much never happens. I am really stuck between two boys and I really want both of them to become the one. This is probably another reason I keep putting off reading the Crown, because I want both of the boys to win. If I were in her position, I just don’t know how I would ever choose.

Book Review: Too Late by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Too Late
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: April 8th 2016, on Wattpad
Pages: 247
Genre: New Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sloan will go through hell and back for her little brother. And she does, every single night.

Forced to remain in a relationship with the dangerous and corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to make sure her brother has what he needs.

Nothing will get in her way.

Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the only good thing to ever happen to Asa. He knows this and he never plans on letting her go; even if she doesn’t approve of his lifestyle. But despite Sloan’s disapproval, Asa knows what it takes to get what he wants. He knows what he needs to do to remain on top.

Nothing will get in his way.

Nothing except Carter. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

For me, this was my first Colleen Hoover book so I was pretty excited going into it because everyone raves about Colleen Hoover’s books. Sadly, I was kind of let down by the book. First off I would like to give a trigger warning for domestic violence and sexual abuse because those are recurring themes in this book. So if you do not want to read about those things, don’t read this book. This book is available as a free book on Wattpad. So for anyone who’s wallet is as empty as mine and is still looking for a book to read, check this out!

This book is about Sloan who is in college and dating Asa Jackson. Sloan’s brother has a lot of issues in his life and is stuck in a mental care facility. Sloan is dating Asa to be able to help her brother out in his tough situation. Asa claims he loves Sloan but does not always show it correctly. One day Sloan meets Carter in her Spanish class and she starts to fall for him and his sweet demeanor.

First off a few things I did like about this book, I thought Colleen Hoover’s writing style was very good. I liked her description of things and I liked that she didn’t sugar coat situations, even the events of sexual abuse. This may sound weird to say, but sometimes I feel it is very unrealistic how authors portray sexual violence and abuse in novels. They may shy away from the really horrible parts of it. For this reason, the way Colleen Hoover didn’t sugar coat the events made it feel more realistic.

I also enjoyed Sloan’s relationship with Carter. Both of their characters were very likeable and you grew attached to them very quickly. I also enjoyed the way they interacted with each other. They were cute and made jokes which felt very true to what a college relationship should be like.

I disliked the way Hoover didn’t really go into Sloan’s brother. I would have loved to have seen more of Sloan’s relationship with him and I really think he could have been a much bigger side character.

I also felt that there was some instalove between Carter and Sloan, this really put me off at first and I even thought about putting the book down. Eventually, I got over the instalove and was able to continue on with the story but it did keep burning in the back of my mind.

Overall, I enjoyed this book enough to continue with Colleen Hover’s books. I will probably be picking up another one of her books in the summer for a nice contemporary read. This book didn’t get me off to the greatest start on her books but I did really enjoy the writing style and it was a quick and easy read so I will be picking up more of her books.

Book Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

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Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: 2013 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 405
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
IBSN: 9781442445802
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading the Program by Suzanne Young. I thought it was original and at the same time dealt with some tough topics.

The Program is a dystopian book, but it’s very different from most dystopians in my idea. The plot is very original, I’ve never come across a book that has a similar plot. It was also very well executed in my idea. It was a fast-paced novel that kept me hooked from the first few pages.

The book is about a society where teenagers are committing suicide, according to the book every 1 in 3 teenagers dies from suicide. For this reason, the government started the Program which should apparently cure depressed teenagers and stop them from committing suicide. Sloane is our main character and the people around her are dropping like flies, so to speak. She does her best to keep herself and her boyfriend, James, out of the Program.

I really liked the characters in the book. I found Sloane to be very relatable, she had a lot of issues but I cannot imagine going through the things she had to go through and still putting on a brave face.  James I thought was sometimes hard to understand and he was a bit hot and cold. But I liked his character more and more throughout the book because I felt like I understood him more. Reign was my favorite character. Even though I am team James all the way, I loved Reign’s character. He was nice and warm and he cared for Sloane. But he also had a bit of a mysterious side.

I am very excited to start the second book, the Treatment soon. I want to see where the series goes, though I am a bit afraid it may take the conventional dystopian road. I hope there are some unexpected plot twists to shake it up a bit.

I gave the Program 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed the book and will be continuing on with the series. However it wasn’t the most surprising books I’ve ever read.

April Wrap Up

So this was my first full blogging month, and I loved it! I have totally fallen in love with blogging and posting my thoughts and feelings about books. I love it even more when I am able to talk to people about these books.

But because it was my first official blogging month I also read a whole lot of books! When I looked at my read pile for April on Goodreads I was shocked and so proud! Here I will just post the books I read this month and the rating I gave them (if I haven’t reviewed the book yet I will not post the rating)

So I read 11 books this month! Which is amazing! Of those 11, three were 5 star ratings. Now that I look at it I may upgrade the Jewel to a 3.5 out of 5 stars because I did enjoy that book more than the Selection books. I think I was too brutal because besides the instalove, I enjoyed most of the story and it was quite original.

I also dnf’ed (did not finish) two books, which I really don’t mind. I know a lot of people don’t like stopping books but I honestly believe that life it too short to read bad books.

Furthermore, I  haven’t reviewed the Program yet but it will probably end up pretty high on the list because I really enjoyed that book.

These were all the books I read this month. I think I can say I had a pretty great reading month! Let me know what books you read this month and if you read any of the books I read what you thought of them!

I will be posting my May TBR soon!

Book Review: the Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Title: 
the Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Pages: 355
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9780374384685
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Wow, this is definitely my new favorite series. No doubt. I am actually kicking myself that I hadn’t found this book sooner. But on the other hand, I’m glad because I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. I only have to wait two weeks until the second and third book get to me by mail, which is also waaay too long. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep away from spoilers for that long. I neeeeed to know what happens next!

I absolutely flew through this novel. It hooked me after two pages, after that I just couldn’t put it down. To start, the world-building in this novel was excellent. I understood and was intrigued by the whole concept. In this world, there are two communities, the Valorians and the Herrani’s. The Valorians took over the Herrani country ten years ago and have since then made the Herrani’s their slaves. The book follows our two main characters, Kestrel, a Valorian and Arin, a Herrani. Kestrel buys Arin at a slave auction and is then confronted with a developing friendship and the consequences thereof.

The romance in this novel was built up to very well, there is in no way instalove, which if perfect. The way Kestrel and Arin communicate with each other feels very real. The rise of the Herrani people in the novel also completely flipped the dynamics of the relationship which gave the book a whole other dimension. This is not a simple fantasy romance novel, it has so many political and social aspects which really intrigued me.

I love Kestrel’s character. In most novels the lead protagonist is a badass fighting machine and can kick any man’s butt. But I loved that in this novel Kestrel was a smartass. It felt very realistic and comforting to me that a woman can also beat many men by using her wits instead of violence.

Finally, this novel has one of the best plot twists that I have ever read. I just did not see that coming in any way and after I had put the book down I was just flabbergasted. I loved what Rutkoski did and I am so curious as to how this is going to play out in the second novel. But I am of course so routing for Kestrel and Arin. Anyway, I hope the books come in the mail super soon and I can marathon the rest of this series. I just really want to know what happens and how the story ends.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and I honestly believe it deserves 6 out of 5 stars. I loved it and I cannot wait to read the next books in the Winner’s trilogy.

Book Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Title: This is Where it Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Published: 2016 by Sourcebooks, Inc
Pages: 282
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
IBSN: 9781492622468
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

 

 

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I was very excited about this book when I first bought it. I heard it was written by a dutch author and so as a fellow Dutchie I really hoped it would be a great book. But I was kind of let down.

The book deals with a very important issue in the United States, that being school shootings. Therefore, I was expecting a very heavy and accurate portrayal of these events and what effect that would have on the survivors. But instead, I got a cheesy kind of romance with a very fluffy description of a school shooting.

I found the book to be extremely superficial, this important and heavy issue wasn’t at all explored in depth and that for me was the biggest let down of the book. The description of the deaths that these characters witnessed was very very little and at most it described what the victims looked like, and not at all what kind of effect this had on the characters themselves.

Another thing that annoyed me about this book was that it was written in multiple points of view. That is something that if you use it, it needs to be well executed. Which, in this case, it wasn’t. I felt as though every character had the same voice so to speak.

Lastly, I was very disappointed in Nijkamp’s portrayal of the shooter. He was put away as the bad guy very quickly and there was no in-depth look into how he came to this decision. The shooter was extremely one dimensional. All the victims and survivors had extremely sad stories that connected them to the shooter and the shooter was simply the shooter. After finishing this book I had more questions than answers. I wondered how the shooter came to his decision, why he decided that this was the nessesary outcome of passed events, and what was the final straw that made him snap?

This book could have been great, amazing and influential. But in the end it was a fluffy sad story, with a black and white portrayal of shool shootings and an easy ending. It had no depth into important issues and was a let down. Considering this I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars, mostly because I really liked the book cover.

Book Review: the 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

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Title: the 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: 2013 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 457
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
IBSN: 9780399162411
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

First of all, I loved this book! I know most people saw it as an average book, I just don’t understand why? I found that even though this is an “overused” idea of an alien invasion, Rick Yancey gave it a unique twist.

I did find the book a bit slow in the beginning, but in the end I appreciated all the explanation that is given at the beginning of the book. This makes for a more fast-paced story at the end. I just could not put the book down the last 100 pages.

I usually shy away for books with more than one point of view, but in this case it really worked because it just gave different sides of the story. I also found that all the point’s of view had a different voice, which I imagine is very hard to do. I liked the way we could see the story coming together through these points of view.

I liked the character development in this book, it wasn’t too much but it also gave the characters dimension. At some points I almost felt like I was Cassie, I could sense why she made her choices and that is something I enjoyed. I also really enjoyed Zombie’s POV, it gave a nice insight into what the different outcomes for different people in the invasion were and it added an extra dimension to the story.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who love science fiction and books about aliens. If that’s not your thing then maybe this book isn’t for you. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City of Bones (the Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: Margret K. McElderry Books in 2007
Pages: 485
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 978-1-4169-5507-8
My Rating: 4.5/5

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know… (Goodreads)

City of Bones is about Clary Frey who finds out she is part of a secret world that she didn’t know about. After her home is attacked and her mother is taken from her, Clary teams up with Jace, Isabelle, and Alec and with them tries to find the Mortal Cup and her mother.

My thoughts:

I know it’s awful that I hadn’t read this entire series before, but now that I am trying to be a good book blogger, I thought it was about time. I had read City of Bones before and I really liked it, I don’t even know why I didn’t continue the series. However, here I am trying again, and this time I can document all of it with reviews, yay!

In general, I liked the story, there were a lot of little things I had forgotten about after having read City of Bones the first time. So it was nice to re-read it.

I really liked the plot, it of course was quite unique. At least I had never read about a Shadowhunter world before. I thought there were great plot twists, and the story didn’t necessarily go where you expected it to go, which was nice.

The characters I also liked, I know a lot of people really dislike the not confident main character trope, but I really don’t mind it. As long as it’s not extreme I actually think it makes the character more relatable. In this case, I didn’t mind Clary’s unconfidence in her looks. I believe she only really said it maybe once or twice in the entire book, so I thought it made her more relatable. I also liked Jace and Simon and especially Alec for some reason. I liked how he was overprotective and a bit untrusting. It really enhanced the story for me and I am really curious how that it going to develop throughout the rest of the series.

The reason I didn’t give City of Bones 5 out of 5 stars, is because I felt there was a little bit of instalove, not a whole lot that it bugged me, but I would have liked the relationships to have been slower in this book.

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