Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s Tuesday and as I looked around it seems that almost every book blogger has participated in Top Ten Tuesday, so I will too. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Top Ten New To Me Authors.

  1. Veronica Roth — I received the first two books in this series for Christmas and got started reading them at the very beginning of the new year. Definitely a fan of the Divergent series, although I thought the ending could have been better.
  2. Beth Harbison — So far she has been a one-hit-wonder for me. On a whim I bought one of her books at a secondhand shop and didn’t love it, but enjoyed it. Will read another eventually.
  3. Diane Chamberlain — The book I read by her was definitely a let down. I had heard such good things about her writing, but didn’t think it was up to par.
  4. Cassandra Clare — I began the Mortal Instruments series over the summer and although I am only two books in, I am hooked! Can’t wait to complete the series and start her others.
  5. Heather Gudenkauf — She has also been a one-hit-wonder, but I am dying to read more by her. The first, and only, book I have read by her, I completed within 12 hours. So good!
  6. Gayle Forman — When I found out If I Stay was becoming a movie, I decided it was time to read the book. I liked it a lot, but am deciding whether the sequel is worth reading.
  7. Emily Giffin — The book I read by her was a let down as well. I had heard great things about her work, but I just didn’t like it as much as others. I am contemplating trying another.
  8. James Dashner — Mastermind behind the Maze Runner series; I read the first book before I saw the movie, but I wasn’t THAT impressed. It didn’t suck me in like others have, but I still want to find out what is in store next.
  9. Jamie McGuire — I will gladly admit that I am a fan of the “Beautiful” series. Yes, there were things in there that I disagree with, but they are extremely addicting books. I can’t wait to read about the rest of the Maddox boys.
  10. Maggie Stiefvater — I joined a read-a-long in order to read her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and was taken by great surprise. Her writing is wonderful and I enjoyed the series so much!

xofarah

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Book Review: City of Ashes

If you really love something, you never try to keep it the way it is forever. You have to let it be free to change.

cityofashes_cassandraclareTitle: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare

# of Pages: 453

Published:  January 1, 2008

Rating: 4 Hearts

Synopsis:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? [Goodreads]

My Opinion:

This book was fantastic! I didn’t necessarily love the first book, but I liked it enough to read the next book in the series and I am so glad that I did. This book was intriguing, hilarious, and action-packed.

What I liked:

Above all, I liked the relationship/friendship between Clary and Simon. I just find there to be something so special and innocent about the two of them. Maybe it is because they have known each other practically their whole lives, so it is safe or because how Simon thinks and feels about Clary is just so sweet. I haven’t decided yet, but I can’t wait to see what is in store for them.

The character of Magnus Bane is slowly growing on me. I wasn’t too much of a fan of his in the first book, but he really came back for the win in this one. Besides his “secret” relationship with Alec, I just find him to be absolutely hilarious. From his outrageous outfits to his remarks; there is just so much spunk and attitude surrounding him. “… a warlock who looks like a gay Sonic the Hedgehog and dresses like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

I really liked the take on faeries, vampires, and werewolves in this series. I am normally not one for fantasy novels (besides Harry Potter and Twilight), but I think the way they are portrayed a bit differently than usual is quite creative.

**SPOILER** One of the character changes that I most enjoyed is Simon’s transformation to a vampire. He is by far my favorite character in all his nerdy-ness, so I wasn’t so sure how I felt about him becoming a child of the night, but in the end it worked for me. He adapted to it and the jokes he managed were the best! “Because I forsee many romantic picnics in our future. You, drinking a virgin piña colada. Me, drinking the blood of a virgin.” **SPOILER**

This was a beautifully written sentence: “Inside him the cold of fall battled with the memory of summer.”

What I disliked:

The Jace and Clary thing. I understand the story there and in the first book it made sense- long lost brother and sister who met not knowing they were related and ended up falling for each other only to find out they are siblings. That is where it should stop. It seemed as if they were trying to end it, but then certain events would throw them back together such as the seen in the Faerie Court. I thought that part could have been left out. I am not going to bash this storyline as incest, but it needs to end.

I haven’t figured out why all of a sudden in this book there are random Bible verses thrown into the mix. I am a Christian and I enjoy a good fantasy book about demons and angels every once in awhile, but I don’t see why we need to bring the Bible into it. The first book was good and it made sense, sticking random verses in there didn’t really help the story.

What I thought overall:

I really, really enjoyed this book. I am so glad I didn’t give up on the series after the first book, because City of Ashes was definitely worth my time. It made me laugh on multiple occasions and held me on the edge of my seat. I honestly couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait to start the next one. Do I recommend reading it? Yes (but only after reading City of Bones).