Favorite Quotes

'Once upon a time, there was a man as great as the gods...... But even the great can tremble with fear. Even the great can Fall.

Mary E. Pearson, Kiss of Deception

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Warning; There will be spoilers for the first two books in the series. Not big spoilers, but enough that you will feel spoiled. Just a fair warning

Grade:4.5 Butterflies
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #3 (Finale)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books

Goodreads Summary

Some kisses come at a price.

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

So, this book was a thing! I'm still in shock over it! It was a very heartbreaking, nail-biting, amazingly fantastic conclusion to this series! I'm torn between feeling sad that this series is over and being happy that this was such a great conclusion! When starting this, I was so nervous that this book wouldn't meet the expectations that the first two books created for me. Needless to say, this book had a very high bar to meet and I am happy to report that this book didn't just meet the bar, it surpassed it! I loved this book so much!  I loved the characters, I loved the war and the story, I loved the setting, I loved the romance, basically everything about this book I loved!

This book starts out right where The Winner's Crime left off. Kestrel is off to the work camp in the tundra and Arin is coming back from the East to start the war. When I started reading I was so focused on getting to the part where Arin learned about everything Kestrel kept secret. This was because I was so excited to read his response. The second book was literally leading up to that point and boy did that scene not disappoint! I loved the war of emotions that swirled like a sandstorm inside Arin and the agony it created. This sounds a bit sadistic but hear me out. I got so irritated with Arin and his self-doubt in the last book that I was incrediably happy to leave behind. He finally put all the pieces together and was like "gee, I was right". I appreciated that and his guilt.

Kestrel starts out at the work camp and I was truly terrified for her because that place is freaking messed up! All the drugs they gave her made me so scared for her and the emotions that she felt just made my heart ache! I was truly scared for her safety and her sanity! This says a lot about Marie Rutkoski's writing because when you connect enough with a character that you actually feel for them and their pain it makes the whole book better!

The book went on from there and holy crap it was a whirlwind! The onslaught of emotions this book created was wonderfully draining. The writing style is so fantastic because the emotions that the characters have just jump through the page. This book started off with a glimmer of hope which turned into devastation into hopelessness into sadness, into hope again. This author has such a talent for describing emotions that the characters feel. You get the sense that the emotions you are reading are real and they are real people being described. This aspect of Marie Rutkoski's writing really immerses you into the book and I loved it!

This whole series had been heavily focused on the romance and love story between Kestrel and Arin. The plot is driven by the political tensions and intrigue but it is focused on Kestrel and Arin. This bothered some people but I loved it!! The whole series is basically shipping Kestrel and Arin and I was on board! Kestrel and Arin have such chemistry and it's so great to read! Even when they hated each other they still worked! The emotions they had for each other were so real and so heartbreakingly beautiful! They longed for each other, they needed to be near each other and practically lived for each other! This was just so enjoyable to read! Especially considering there was never even a hint of a love triangle. However, they were still two separate people whose whole lives didn't circle around the other person. I appreciated this so much because it made their relationship even more realistic than it already was. Kestrel and Arin have the kind of love you wish for as a teenager while at the same time not being overbearingly cliche and I just loved it so much!

This book was amazing! I can't say more than that, well I could but it would just be more gushing and fangirling then actually reviewing the book, so I'll spare you that! The only aspect that I got a little annoyed with was how it didn't focus on any of the supporting characters at all. I was happy with how much limelight Kestrel and Arin got, but towards the end of the book I got a little disappointed that none of the other characters were being focused on.

Besides that one aspect, I loved everything of this book!! Arin and Kestrel had such chemistry, the war created a very nail-bitting story (I was so afirad Marie Rutkoski would pull a George R. R. Martin and just start killing everyone), the setting was beautiful as always, and I loved how the book ended. I like how everything was wrapped but still open enough that she could write another book. I just loved this book and series! Seriously, read this series (get it? I made a punny XD) These books are amazing!

This book got...

4.5 Butterflies
Beautiful, this is a great book. 

Happy Reading

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Grade: 4.5 Butterflies
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Goodreads Summary

Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement... if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

It is no secret that The Winner's Curse was one of my top reads of last year. So I was very excited for this book. I am so happy to say that I loved this book so much!! It was just as good as the first one!  I fell in love with the characters, the plot, and the writing all over again! This book was amazingly written, with such in-depth characters, and a plot that had me on the edge of my seat! There was just one aspect that annoyed me a little and this was how god damn frustrating Kestrel and Arin were.

This book starts off a little while after the events of the first book. Kestrel is in the capital trying to wade through the court politics and Arin is in Herran trying to govern. Things progress from there. The first thing I want to note is how glad I was that Arin and Kestrel meet again early on. At first, it seemed that their paths wouldn't cross and I'm so happy that this wasn't the case because Arin and Kestrel together are my new ship life. This whole series is about their romance, essentially this is their love story. So, I am really glad that their meeting again wasn't pointlessly put off.

As I just said, this whole series is focused on Kestrel and Arin. The plot is driven by the political intrigue and tensions but mainly focused on the love story between the two characters. I am totally fine with this because these characters have so much chemistry and they go together so well! Kestrel and Arin are just so well written and the longing they have for each other just leaps off the page making you feel all of their emotions as well! This book gives you such a rollercoaster of emotions and I loved every second of it!

The writing in this book was so wonderful! Marie Rutkoski has a talent for writing! The book was like an elegant poem. Even if everything about this book was horrible I would still read it because I just love her writing! It is just so enjoyable to read! This author can do everything, she can write amazing settings, develop outstanding characters, and create nail-biting stories!

This is the squeal and thus the second book in the series and it does have a tiny bit of a second book syndrome. In hindsight, after finishing the book, it does seem like a setup for the last book. This book focused a lot on the possibility of another war and how Arin and Kestrel's relationship was deteriorating. However, when reading this book I did not get this vibe at all. I was thoroughly enjoying reading this book and stayed up for to late finishing it! Marie Rutkoski somehow made a second book syndrome actually enjoyable. I am kinda shocked!

The only aspect of this book that I found very irritating was how Kestrel and Arin acted around each other. It was beyond annoying. Let me explain a bit because that sentence might have sounded a bit contradictory with all I just said about Kestrel and Arin. First off, Kestrel was bound and determined to keep Arin in the dark. She did not want him involved because she feared for his life, which makes sense. However, I wanted to throw the book at the wall when it got to the point that he was in more danger not knowing and she still insisted to push him away. She was creating more grief than was needed and I was getting so frustrated! And Arin! He was beyond irritating! He kept guessing all the right things about Kestrel but then pushing them to the side. He kept being like "I'm way to stupid for that to be right". It. Was. Annoying! I understood why the author wrote it this way. I am not mad at that at all, I am more just annoyed with the characters. In hindsight, this means that the author did an amazing job connecting me to the characters but it was still annoying to read!

This book was such an amazing book to read! I loved every second of reading it! The setting was great to read, because Rome, The characters were just so developed and in-depth, the plot was freaking fantastic, and the romance was heartbreakingly beautiful! My heart hurts after reading it because of my ship! Kestrel and Arin are my ship life and how their relationship was falling to pieces. I hated how much I loved reading it! I would recommend this series to everyone!

This book got....

4.5 Butterflies
Beautiful, this is a great book. 
Recommended if you like: Fantasy, Love stories, The Remnant Chronicles by Mary. E. Pearson

Happy Reading

Monday, June 6, 2016

May Wrap-Up

So, Its been a while. Before I go on, I am so sorry to all of you guys. It's been a rough few months because I had a lot of things on my plate. It isn't an excuse but it's why I stopped blogging. And I think being so stressed out for so long caused me to lose my drive to blog. I would be so tired by the end of the day that I wanted to read or just sleep instead of going on the computer. After such a long time not blogging its hard getting back in the swing of things and I tried so many times before to start blogging again and failing. I would write two reviews, post them, but never writing any more posts. So, my new strategy was to write a shitload of posts before starting again so I have a buffer while I get back into the rhythm of things. I am so happy to start  blogging again! I am determined to keep it up because I love doing this so much! I love writing posts, I love commenting on other blogger's posts, I just love everything! 

Now on to happier and less guilt-ridden topics like books!

May was a really good month! I read some kick-butt books and started ACOMAF and was instantly obsessed! I finished school for the semester and got accepted into the new school I'll be starting in the fall! I'm so excited!  Basically, everything that was making me stressed ended and I can actually sleep now! Its good! 

-Books Read-

A Darker Shade of Magic by V . E. Schwab
The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
NoWhere But Here by Katie McGarry

I finally finished the Winner's Trilogy! It completely destroyed my emotions and I loved every second of reading them! Marie Rutkoski knows how to write a heartbreaking and beautiful love story! I want to go and reread the whole series now, just to experience Kestrel and Arin falling in love again! Also, the covers are gorgeous! Just look at them!

That's how my May went, how'd yours go?

Happy Reading!