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Review of Frostblood

frostblood

It’s not anything that will keep you awake at night stressing over.  You probably won’t be pulling your hair out until you get your hands on the second installment….However, it was still an awesome read and you’ll most likely end up buying the sequel anyways because you know the series can only get better.

I want to start off by listing my favorite things about this book.

  1. The sarcasm was ON POINT.  I could not have been more proud of silver tongued main chick.  Ruby never turned down an opportunity to bite back at people’s comments.  Home Girl knew hot to hit it and I obviously appreciated it.  And I can only hope as her character continues to develop throughout the series that this quality isn’t eased out of her.  I know sometimes sarcasm in a hero/heroine can come across as being insensitive and immature, therefore when a main character reaches their changing point and becomes “responsible” and “mature” they feel as though they must swallow any witty remarks because that’s no way for an understanding, caring hero to behave.  But I surely hope that isn’t the case with Ruby.  It’s little details such as these that make a reader love a main character sometimes.  And sometimes, having the character grow out of all their first-book-qualities messes up the relationship between them and the reader.
  2. The story was interesting, obviously keeping me engaged until the end.  I will admit that there were a few moments in which I skipped certain, unnecessary filler pages because I needed the story to progress faster, but other than that I no complaints about the authors creation.  Her world was unique in many ways and easy to understand.  Go Elly Blake!
  3. It’s not very often that the storyline of a book in a series comes to a COMPLETE close and doesn’t leave you desperately clinging to the edge of some big cliff hanger.  Similarly to Harry Potter, the plot of Frostblood was finalized, whilst still leaving the reader with questions about what is to come next in the series.  This makes me excited to receive the sequel because I don’t fear that it will repeat any of the previous book, but rather introduce brand new action, conflict, and topics, utilizing our favorite characters! I understand however that this doesn’t always work for books, but I’m glad Elly Blake concluded Frostblood and handled it to where I’m still curious about what will happen in the second book.
  4. Ruby and Arcus’s relationship contained both positive and negative qualities.  The positive ones being, they both did the sarcasm thing very well.  I enjoyed their constant bickering back and forth, it’s what made the book have an easy flow for the first half.  They also trusted each other!  WOW! That’s a first!  It’s so rare to read a young adult novel in which the love interests aren’t making stupid, last minute decisions to not trust the other person.  I understand relationships need issues to be worked out and conflict to arise so the lovers can strengthen their bond and end up with a healthy relationship.  That’s all great and part of the growing process required in everybody’s life.  I don’t have a problem with authors constantly putting strife in any companionships within the novel to torture the reader a little bit.  Although, what I don’t like is petty drama which produces a lack of faith and trust.  Give me something better than that.  Or, perhaps give the characters REAL reasons to have distrust in one another.  So, needless to say, the fact that there was none of that between Ruby and Arcus pleased me very much.

Here are the things I’d like to see more of:

  1. World AND character building.  The biggest thing missing from the entirety of the novel was development of the world and its characters.  It all remained very static, filling the pages with just enough details to keep the reader reading and not bored.  It’s also my opinion that the authors got a really cool world going on and some nice characters that I’m interested in seeing more of both.  But I’d appreciate it if the sequel provided more background and intricacy to the universe.
  2. There was also a lack of character development.  Despite me liking the characters in Frostblood, if some dynamicity isn’t added later I might find myself annoyed and bored.
  3. In spite of Arcus and Ruby both being tenacious, trusting, and understanding, they didn’t face much strife as a couple which made the few surface level issues between them rather cold and unfeeling.  But I think they make a sweet and tender couple and would really enjoy watching their relationship blossom into something with more depth.  Especially with the two already learning sacrifice in Frostblood.

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Bekah, books, Elly Blake, Frostblood, Frostblood Saga, Reviews, That Nerd Show, YA, Young Adult
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Texas Teen Book Festival

I had an amazing time at the Texas Teen Book Festival this year, where I got to interview Mary E. Pearson, Sabaa Tahir, and Kendare Blake.  Getting to talk to these authors was an awesome experience and I’m so honored to be able to feature them on my blog!  All of the authors at TTBF this year ROCKED!  Thank you to everyone who makes TTBF possible, it’s always a blast going to St. Edwards for this event!

Interview with Mary E Pearson:

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Kiss of Deception: A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, ntrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Published July 8th 2014 by Henry Holt

The Heart of Betrayal: Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

Published July 7th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

The Beauty of Darkness: Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

Published August 2nd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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Interview with Sabaa Tahir:

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An Ember in the Ashes: Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Published February 9th 2016 by Razorbill 

A Torch Against the Night: Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Published August 30th 2016 by Razorbill

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Interview with Kendare Blake:

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Three Dark QueensEvery generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Published September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen

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A Torch Against the Night, An Ember in the Ashes, Austin, Bekah, Interviews, Kendare Blake, Mary E. Pearson, Sabaa Tahir, St Edwards University, Texas Teen Book Festival, That Nerd Show, The Remnant Chronicles, Three Dark Queens, TTBF, Young Adult
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Frying Pans. Who Knew?

MY LADY JANE

Published June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen 

My Lady Jane is just as comical, fantastical, and romantical as I hoped it would be! I had a most splendid time in the courts of merry ole’ England following the (not-so-true) events of Lady Jane Grey’s life.  I also drank lots of tea when any conflict conspired, because that’s what one does when one is reading about how one does when one is English and there is conflict.  Some scenes I laughed so hard I practically wet my pants, but maybe in a moment of such utter humiliation I would have discovered any Evian powers I’ve thus kept hidden…….My Evian form is most definitely a white tiger…….Unless it somehow relates to ones Patronus.  In that case I’m totally a horse.

The author interjections throughout the novel made it even more hilarious(ical) and entertaining(ical)!  Elegance oozed from the pages in written form, helping the reader connect to the settings time period.  Words and plot flowed easily from beginning to end, and the spontaneity of the entire book made it absolutely perfect.  I admit there is little I have to calmly, maturely, and coherently say about this book.  I’m barely containing the urge to jump up and down screaming about how amazing and perfect and lovely and funny and wonderful it is!  LIKE SERIOUSLY GUYS ITS PERFECT.  EVERYONE MUST GO READ IT.  AND OMG THE TANGLED REFERENCE AND THE BICKERING COUPLE AND THE HORSE JOKES AND THE LOVE OF BOOKS! IT WAS ALL (looking up synonyms) BREATHTAKING, MAGNIFICENT, STUNNING, IMPRESSIVE, JAW-DROPPING, EXCELLENT, LITERARY WONDROUS, MARVELOUS, AND SPECTACULAR!

I will cherish this book forever the same way that Jane cherishes her collection of novels (also if the carriage ride in which Jane’s mass of books divides her from her husband doesn’t speak to my future self  on so many levels then I don’t know what does).

That’s it.  It’s hard to review a book that is utter perfection.

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Bekah, Jane Grey, My Lady Jane, Reviews, That Nerd Show, YA
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Review of Ruined

Ruined-Amy-Tintera

Published May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen 

Ruined, ruined me.

So, I’ll be honest and mention that the book didn’t truly hold me captive until around page 200 when the action picked up; upon reaching that point I couldn’t put it down! I’m not sure if it was the humor interfering with the serious atmosphere that bothered me, or if the humor keeping the atmosphere light is what kept me reading until page 200…?

I definitely liked both main characters and reading from their different POV’s! Cas is an absolute sweetheart and Em’s character felt very honest. Em inhabited such raw emotions within herself that drove every action she took towards helping her people and ensuring the release of her sister. However, Em’s thirst for revenge wasn’t so all-consuming that we didn’t see bits and pieces of a genuine personality shining through her inner turmoil. Emelina had moments of self-doubt, she allowed people to assist her in her missions as long as she could assure their safety, she wasn’t always fearless but was passionate about seeking reason and justice, she wasn’t pitiless, and even she couldn’t control falling in love, especially when giving her best efforts to avoid it. These qualities show vulnerability yet power and when placed together they create a remarkable heroine who deserves more credit than she’s bound to get. Em was definitely an unexpected and refreshing character. I also reallyyyy appreciated that Em isn’t some “Chosen One” princess with the magic her sister has, yet doesn’t let herself be defined by being ordinary either, she just does what she can with what she has. She’s simply a nice change to the characters I’ve been reading about of late. Cas wasn’t your typical playboy prince who sneers at the idea of picking one girl to love. He was shy and sincere (and pretty awkward there in the beginning) and behaved how you would expect a young prince to behave considering the situations he was thrown into. I sympathize with him for being caught in a very messy web of loyalties and ethical debates over the actions of his parents, but he could have also been a little more forceful and stopped allowing people to push him around so much. I got frustrated during certain scenes and wanted to yell at him to put his big boy pants on! But you can tell there is hope for his character because of the way he listens to everyone before forming his own opinion. He starts off the book being very aloof but even by the end of it you see him starting to take a stand for what he believes in. It might be nice to witness Casimir grow into a strong male lead.

Cas and Em’s relationship was sweet, but lacked the passion they contributed in other areas of the book. I know everything can’t be rushed into one book, so I assume if Cas and Em are to continue being together then the author will include more depth and growth between the pair later on. At this point though, I’m not even sure if them staying together is an option. By the end of the book it seems pretty impossible that it will ever workout, but I won’t spoil why!

Lots of unexpected things happen in this book.  There are unexpected deaths and unexpected behavior from certain characters. I was surprised and pleased by many of the daring choices the author made. I loved how there really is no villain and nothing is black/white. Everyone’s done something to hurt the other side, so the conflict continues escalating in the name of revenge and self-preservation. It’s not super deep or anything, but it makes things more realistic that at this point besides the main characters I really don’t know who to like and trust. Loyalties are split in a considerable amount of groups of people and those that are friends still gave you moments of doubt and distrust. This is a dangerous position to be in as I hope to eventually like some of the characters, but know that the author could twist it at any moment and make me change my mind while breaking my heart at the same time. I will tread carefully and try to not get too attached! But will probably fail miserably and be left crying thanks to Amy Tintera.

The world itself seemed a little confused and complex at times. I was left with many questions about each group of people and the different societies they maintain. I think it’s probably due to the fact that we are dealing with more than the classic two enemy nations. We are dealing with at least three plus all the extra individuals who agree with the Prince and Em, The I think Amy Tintera will really make or break her universe in the second installment. She will either provide clarification where there is confusion and then continue to grow her world into something awesome…. Or things well get even messier and harder to follow.

Lastly, my absolute favorite thing about this book is that men and women are EQUAL!! No one ever questioned if women should be warriors or whether or not they made as good as warriors as men. They had women leading and listened to them when they offered their advice or opinions. It was perfection. Enough said.

 

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Amy Tintera, Bekah, books, Reviews, Ruined, That Nerd Show, YA, Young Adult
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nttbf

North Texas Teen Book Festival

popcorn panel

After 3 (maybe it’s been 4. I’m so busy I can’t keep track of time) weeks of my insane schedule, I have finally found time to finish this review.  I don’t typically review book events, but after the most recent one I really felt that I should voice my opinion, in the hopes that it will help the planners with the next endeavor.

Every year, around the same time, I journey to different places across Texas for three major book events.  Those events being, TLA (where I’m fortunate enough to receive ARCs of all the upcoming Young Adult book releases) and North Texas Teen Book Festival (which is hosted by the Irving Public Library and its main attraction is having big name authors come and sign your books) and Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin (mostly the same attractions as NTTBF).  I’ve always been a fan of the Irving Libraries book events (this coming from a library worker) and I’ve been going to their launch parties and author signings for about 4 years now and until recently they’ve never disappointed me and I’ve never not thoroughly enjoyed my time there.  However, North Texas Teen Book Festival was so bad this year I almost left early.  And so did half the other serious book bloggers and regular attendees.  The Irving Public Library (from hereon out I will refer to as IPL) has always managed to host awesome book events because until now they’ve always kept the atmosphere of the occasion feeling very intimate for the readers/fans.  They are usually organized and timely, and well prepared for a decent amount of people.  They’ve brought in smaller, local authors, as well as more popular authors who have to travel farther, but either way, the events are done right.  So now, here is a long list of complaints I have after attending NTTBF16 (in the hopes that the IPL will see this and take into account what they could do better next year).

My biggest complaint about the whole event (but more specifically what they lacked in the panels) was the same feeling of intimacy.  Usually after a panel readers have the opportunity to go up to the authors and take pictures, engage in small conversation about whatever, and ask questions one on one.  At every book event I’ve ever gone to that is the norm (that includes all of Irving’s past endeavors, as well as Texas (Austin) Teen Book Fest, and YAK Fest).  And unless you are hosting Veronica Roth, John Green, Suzanne Collins, and or J. K. Rowling then there is no need for the readers to not be able to  have that experience.  The authors don’t mind, in fact they understand it because they know that they would be nothing without the teens that frequent these festivals.  At Texas Teen in Austin the authors don’t necessarily stay in their seats at the panels but they do stand to the side and wait a few minutes before they exit so people can take pics with them and they can interact with their fans.  So NTTBF, you don’t need to “escort” the authors out, they are grownups who should know when and where they are supposed to be and who can make the decision for themselves if they want to use 10 of their 15 minutes in between panels spending time chatting with the awestruck teens.  Because people like me who wait all year for this event, and who starts planning my visit as best I can a week in advance, and then sup at 4:30am the day of and travel an hour to get there  (for some people they traveled the length of three states to get there) and then wait in line for 4 hours at different intervals, I should be able to secure A SINGLE PICTURE WITH MY FAVORITE AUTHOR!!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH.  I say that as lovingly as is possible.

I sat through the Small Town Girl panel which was pretty good.  I think everyone was still waking up and that’s why it lacked the energy of all the other panels.  I was most excited for the second panel I went to, titled “The Pawn,” which seated some of my ALL TIME FAVORITE authors and not ONCE did the moderator ask the authors to discuss the topic of the panel.  The moderator asked very bland, general questions that nobody really cares about.  I went in there to hear my favorite authors speak about the subject of the panel because it obviously plays a huge role in all of their books, and instead I was bored to tears. If you’re going to be in control of a panel can you PLEASE ask at least one question that involves WHY I AM SITTING IN THERE.  Thanks, I’d really appreciate it.  Also, I don’t really care to hear what the moderator has to say.  Someone needed to kindly tell her to shut up because the audience wasn’t their to listen to her but rather the important people sitting next to her.  I’m not trying to be rude or picky.  It’s just that there is a fine balance between asking the authors questions and putting in a good word or two, and acting like you’re one of the authors and you think anybody in the room wants your input.  So let’s just be more aware of that next time.

I did however enjoy the Book Boyfriend panel because a. Ally Carter was in it and b. because Ally Carter was in it and c. because Ally Carter was in it.  I’m possibly a huge Ally Carter fangirl.  Just a little bit of a huge one.  Just slightly.  Or maybe a whole lot.  I’ve only read the Gallagher Girl series like 12 times.  And I only think about it and reference it about a billion times a day.  My friends and I, who are friends because of this series, only discuss it maybe all the time.  Zach is definitely my forever crush.  Okay I’m going to move on now.  I liked that panel because a. they stayed on subject, b. by that point everyone was fully awake and the energy levels were high, and c. the moderator asked good questions but she also didn’t talk too much but instead let the authors take off with the topic.  It was GREAT!  EVERYONE rocked that panel!

I also had an issue with the fact that the volunteers didn’t know anything.  Many times I tried to ask a person that was working there a question and they pointed me in the direction of someone else because they didn’t the answer.  A couple of times I made my way to 3 different people for one question because none of them knew the answer.  Seriously, why do you insist on having volunteers that don’t know anything?  I don’t think it would be a huge deal to have a meeting prior to the start of the event.  Whether it’s days before or an hour before, a meeting where you assign the volunteers their posts and give them information on even the most basic questions (because I was asking simple questions, it wasn’t like I was asking anything ridiculous) is necessary.  and if the volunteers can’t make it to the meeting send it out in an email, otherwise they just can’t work there!  It’s POINTLESS and frustrating.

Okay, here is the reason I almost left.  The traffic control was non existent.  You could tell the very few rent-a-guards on duty were not equipped to handle the amount of people that were there.  And I don’t blame them, or the police officer who finally showed up to yell at people for the safety hazards the masses were causing.  And obviously there were MANY safety hazards as a result of the large crowds.  Like, I’m pretty positive escalators have a weight limit just like elevators do.  And I can guarantee that whatever the weight limit is, we were passing it.  You could practically feel the escalators sagging under every person and their books combined weight.  It was a little scary to say the least.  The people I blame for this are the IPL workers.  Because they are the ones in charge, they planned this, and they should have handled and readied all of this before the 23rd.  If that means having better security guards that are specifically tasked with the job of doing crowd control and following safety regulations then the event coordinators should have taken care of that.  And I want to say I remember seeing on the NTTBF website that it said they were expecting close to 7,000 people, but in no areas during the day did it appear they were prepared for that amount of people, and one would assume if you have any sort of expectation then you’d be ready for it.  Before I finish this most important rant, I would like to express that I UNDERSTAND the book signing started at 3:30! Everybody understood that was the time you were opening the doors! However, that DOES NOT MEAN that people aren’t going to start lining up early for that!!! Obviously people want to be first in line (especially when you’ve got Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Sarah Dessen, and James Forman…..but mostly Ally Carter)!!  For people like me, who do not go as pert of school, but rather for pure enjoyment, this is basically Black Friday.  I’m serious about seeing these authors, because, for me at least, it’s the equivalent of meeting your favorite childhood star, or the attractive actor/actress you’re convinced is actually your soul mate (they just don’t know it yet), or meeting the Queen of England! It’s all the same.

I also didn’t appreciate the fact that I spent a decent amount of money on a fast pass and it didn’t prevent me from standing in line for a long time because I had to wait for a worker to find the time to escort me to each author.  And there wasn’t very good communication between the workers because I was handed to several different escorts, each of which seemed confused and didn’t know how it worked.  I was at the point of asking for my money back because the pass was useless.

For the most part, this was all I had to say.  There were a few other nitpicks I had, like I preferred the first years setup, when they had authors split into different rooms/levels.  The most popular authors were setup in one giant room, while everyone else had booths spread out amongst the building.  That made the crowds easier to navigate and it gave you time to chat and take pictures with the authors because nobody generated any outrageous lines.  It also seemed that last year when the attendees started their own lines early, without any direction or help from workers, that went smoother.  We all sat down in front of the author we were visiting first and then moved between lines quickly and efficiently as the day went on.  Nobody was telling us we couldn’t line up, or that we had to line up in a specific portion of the hallway outside of the signing room.  No, we lined ourselves up in the room and waited patiently while causing no problems.

In the end, I got what I needed done that day, but I definitely didn’t have a good time.  Let’s hope next year is done better!

 

Cheers,

Bex (The one who was crying in Ally Carter’s line because, you know, it’s Ally Carter)

 

 

 

 

Authors, Bekah, books, North Texas Teen Book Festival, NTTBF, NTTBF16, Reviews, That Nerd Show, Young Adult
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A Candor’s Review of Allegiant

AllegiantParts12If you don’t get my clever title for this post then you should probably exit out of this website and not return until you’ve caught up on life.  Kay, thanks.

This review might possibly be an incoherent piece of merde (look it up).  It took me a lot longer to write this review than I expected because I couldn’t seem to form a coherent thought following the end of the film.  After watching the movie my head was practically buzzing with thoughts and opinions ready to burst from cerebrum confinement and be released in a review but I just couldn’t write anything understandable.  So, I apologize for the lateness of this review, however, it was necessary for me to take some time to gather myself before I could begin my rant.

I guess I can go over CGI first.  Look guys, I get it.  The super advanced (and possibly futuristic) technology we imagine up using a green screen is exciting and full of endless possibilities!  But that doesn’t mean you need to go overboard and make everything look fake.  Honestly, it was like I could see the freaking green screen.  There comes a point when you need to use a little reality in order to create something believable.  And I’m not sure if this is a repercussion from overusing CGI, but there were times when I felt the screen was extremely blurry and it started giving me a headache (I wasn’t sure if anyone else noticed or if this was due to the fact that I’m already pretty blind).  A scarce amount of scenes held me captivated in the CGI department, and mostly I enjoyed them because stuff was blowing up or people were fighting.

Alright, let’s discuss the acting.  I’ve been saying from the start that Shailene Woodley is not an action actress, and my opinion has not changed.  She is great in the contemporary romance films but big action hero is not her forte.  I won’t hate on Shailene too much since Allegiant seemed to lack good acting on everyone’s part.  The really only enjoyable character is Peter, and that’s because luckily in all three movies they’ve made him the source of comic relief.  But all of the acting was extremely cheesy and rather predictable.  Theo James had a couple of nice fighting scenes, but other than that he struts around not doing anything important and during the dramatic scenes his acting was kind of a joke.  AND SPEAKING OF DRAMATIC SCENES, WHAT THE FUDGE WAS UP WITH ALL THE AWKWARD MAKING OUT!?  Tris and Four would literally stop and make out at the most inappropriate times!  I guess it would have been fine if they just shared a quick kiss like, “Oh hey man, glad to see you’re still alive, love you, but let’s get back to work.” But instead they literally would stop and make out while people around them were dying or other people just stood there and watched.  I just did not approve of the awkward kissing.  And I’m a 16 year old girl who still watches The Prince and Me, so yeah….it says a lot that even I didn’t appreciate the “romantic” scenes.  Especially when the romantic scenes include gorgeous Theo James.  But nope. They ruined that too.

Also, I’m super confused where they’re going with the plot.  Because actually, the plot is making no sense.  At the end of the film they basically opened it up for another 3 movies.  I’m totally into the whole theme of genetics and what happens if humans discover a way to alter our genome and start changing our babies in order to make them more perfect, and what happens when that breaks us into war, and then what happens after the war, and who is right in these situations, who get’s to decide everyone’s fate.  That all stands for a great discussion and honestly I’ve always thought the more we work towards that we are prophesying our own demise.  So don’t get me wrong, I think this topic is incredibly fascinating and I would debate it for hours.  But that’s not where this movie went and they definitely did not wrap anything up.  In fact, we’re almost back to where the characters began.  Can someone explain to me what’s going?  I am thoroughly confused.

What was with all the random standing on top of buildings btw?  Especially since it appeared that they didn’t have anything protecting them if they slipped and fell….that would have been so unfortunate but rather hilarious if Tris and Four were just making their way up the side of this super tall building all casual like and then one of them just lost their footing and fell to their death.  That would have made the movie ten times better.

wait….did anything about this movie make sense and make me not cringe?

Music didn’t stick out at all, so I have no comments on the soundtrack.

I suppose that’s it…..I could probably say more, but why should I? The movie was just bad.

In the end, I’m not sure why the movie industry is struggling so much with making decent YA movies.  Maybe they’re picking the wrong books to turn into movies?  Not every movie has to be based off a “popular” YA novel.  They should try taking some of the stories that aren’t as mainstream, but rather the ones that have strong fan-bases in the teen book community.  Or maybe they shouldn’t take so long to finish the film series.  By the time the last movie comes out teens are already tired of that story or have aged out.  Maybe they should consider taking more YA books like Harry Potter that can be enjoyed by both middle schoolers, teens, and adults.  I fear that we are seeing the end of YA book to movie adaptations because they’ve failed so miserably to please audiences.  There are so many good YA book series out there that would make awesome movies or even TV shows if they just put a little more effort into them *cough The Gallagher Girl Series Cough* But here’s hoping that Miss Peregrine’s and Fantastic Beasts, that are both coming out this year, will be awesome!

Rating: a hand to cover your eyes during the awkward kissing + a friend that will laugh with you at the horrible acting + some glasses to clear up the blurry screen

 

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the 5th wave

I Survived The 5th Wave

the second wave

 

Before I begin my review I just want to do a shout out to all the ANNOYING ASS CHILDREN (specifically idiotic teenage boys) out there who talk REALLY LOUDLY during movies. Nobody cares about your opinion, nobody wants to hear you whispering a play by play, nobody wants to hear your voice over the actors, and nobody wants to listen to you trying to impress your equally annoying friend.  AND SERIOUSLY, TAKE A HINT, BECAUSE SERIOUSLY YOU WERE TOLD TO SHUT UP TWICE AND I KICKED YOUR CHAIR TWICE!!!

 

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I did survive The 5th Wave.  It was actually a pretty short Wave.  Only about an hour and a half.  You could definitely say that’s one of the shortest action movies I’ve ever seen.  And it makes you wonder about all the things they wouldn’t have had to leave out had they added even 30 minutes to the length of the movie.  I actually couldn’t help but compare it to Mockingjay Part 2.  Not that they are anything alike, however when it came to length of The 5th Wave, all I could think about was how there seems to be no in between when making these young adult movies.  Either they are too long, or too short.  Why can’t I have a movie that’s a good length and that doesn’t cut out anything too important, but yet doesn’t follow the book so much that you get bored watching it play out on screen?  There is a nice balance to what the fans of the book want to see on screen to what should be cut because it obviously doesn’t play out as well in movie form.

Plot:

Basically they cut out a lot.   I understood why they changed what they did about the movie in order to make it all believable within an hour and a half, but had they made it a little longer they wouldn’t have had to change as much.  The beginning was rather confusing for those who hadn’t read the book (I went with a friend who hadn’t read it).  She didn’t like it because she felt like she couldn’t follow along.  Which I get why.  Not only did they cut out a lot but even the things that were important to the plot seemed rushed and glossed over.  Also, just like with the Hunger Games I had issues with the lack of informing the audience of how much time had passed in the movie.  It appeared as though everything happened to this chick within weeks and the constant jumping between past and present in the beginning of the movie didn’t help.  It would be SO FREAKING simple to have the character mention that it’s been X amount of weeks.  Seriously, like I shouldn’t have to be pointing that out.  If you hadn’t read the book it seemed like in the movie that Evan and Cassie’s relationship happened extremely quickly.  Also I’d like to point out that even though you sort of speculate that Evan isn’t human, the commercials totally ruined it for people who didn’t read the book.  Way to go commercials.  Now, I don’t want anyone to think I hated this movie and I only have negative things to say about, because it wasn’t the worst I’d seen and I’m glad that in the end I did see it.  Even though a lot was changed in the plot it at least didn’t make it dumb or boring.  The things that my friend had a hard time understanding in the beginning just made her want to go and read the book.  So all in all I didn’t think it was horrible. But there were lots of things they could have done better.

 

Characters:

There were lots of changes made to the characters personalities as well.  Immediately I noticed the change they made with Cassie.  In the books she isn’t the type of person who goes to high school parties and she would never talk to her long time crush Ben. However in the first 10 minutes of the film when they are playing out her life before the alien invasion she goes to a high school party and talks to Ben Parish.  I understand they probably made that change not only to introduce Ben in a good fashion but this slight personality change makes Cassie more relatable and likeable on screen.  So I didn’t mind that because at least when this movie was made they got the concept that some things just work better in a movie even if that means changing things from the book slightly.  They made Ben’s character much softer, which I’m taking a guess here and saying that’s because they want people to like him and then ship him with Cassie to create the next love triangle (bring on the new Katniss-Peeta-Gale). Although it’s really not necessary and is probably just to spark more buzz about the films.  They cut short a lot of deaths that were rather emotional in the book, and they changed all these little details about the characters and what they really do in the books just to make the movie flow better.  Again, had they made the movie longer they could have worked on character growth and development (there’s always the chance to do that in the second of course, but I don’t see the point in not doing it now).  It honestly would have taken the extra 30 minutes to sit the characters down and have them talk about themselves.

 

Music:

To be honest, I wasn’t even paying attention to the music. So I don’t want to say it was bad but I really can’t make any judgment on whether or not they chose songs that fit perfectly with the scenes.  Except for the credits at the end when they played Alive by Sia.  That was a good song choice for the movie, plus I just really like it.

 

Rate: 5/10 stars and a soft drink to dump on the noisy people in front of you

finalgrade5

 

Bekah, Movies, Reviews, That Nerd Show, The 5th Wave, Will you survive, YA
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world-without-harry-potter-gifs-snape

Alan Rickman Has Passed Away at the Age of 69

alan rickman

 

While the world is still reeling from the death of singer/musician David Bowie earlier this week, we’re struck by the equally-shocking news from The Guardian about the death of actor Alan Rickman, also at the age of 69, also from cancer.

Rickman was a beloved actor from the stage and screen, probably best known for his role as Professor Severus Snape from the “Harry Potter” films, a character he successfully managed to bring to life to from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books.

In 1988, after a decade of British theater and television roles, Alan Rickman came to Hollywood and made his big-screen debut as the villain Hans Gruber in Bruce Willis’ breakout film Die Hard. The role quickly cemented his status as one of the great film villains and he’d go on to play other villains before becoming Snape, such as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991. 

In 1996, he took on the role of Grigori Rasputin in the HBO film Rasputin, for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

But he also took on more likable characters such as alien science officer Alexander Dane in the sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest, played Emma Thompson’s husband in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually after appearing with her in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Sense and Sensibility. They would reunite a second time for the 2010 BBC drama The Song of Lunch. 

Possibly one of Alan Rickman’s finest performance, and sadly least-seen and little-known ones, was in a 2006 indie film called Snow Cake, directed by Marc Evans and co-starring Sigourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss, in which he played a character that was closer to the warm and affable personality Rickman exuded in person.

Rickman also got behind the camera, directing the 1995 film The Winter Guest and more recently, the period romance A Little Chaos, which reunited him with Kate Winslet for the first time since they appeared together in Sense and Sensibility. 

Beyond his television and film work, Rickman solidified his status as one of the finest stage actors with roles in many productions both in London and on Broadway, as well as directing a number of stage productions. He often worked with actress Lindsay Duncan and director Howard Davies, most notably on the 1986 production of “Les Liaisons Dangereus,” written by Christopher Hampton, for which Rickman was nominated for a Tony for his performance as Vicomte de Valmont.

Alan Rickman is survived by his wife Rima Horton with whom he had been together with for fifty years, although they only were married in 2012.

Extra:

All of us Potter fans are internally sobbing from the news released today about the beloved actors death.  In our eyes he will always be the perfect Professor Snape.  From the time he wasn’t sure he would even play the character all the way to the last movie in the Harry Potter franchise, it seemed everyone knew he was the perfect fit for the infamous Severus Snape. To deal with the pain of his loss I know the first thing I did was check Twitter and read all the loving and supportive tweets coming from the Harry Potter cast and other actresses/actors who have worked with Alan Rickman.  A wonderful outpour of tweets, Instagram pictures, Tumblr and Facebook posts, Yahoo Articles, and other media reports have been coming world wide from fans, family, friends, and co-workers of the Actor in just the few morning hours of being informed of the loss. It makes us Potter fans tear up more especially seeing all the love coming from the cast that knew him for 10+ years.

This morning J.K. Rowling tweeted:

“There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.”

and

“My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan’s family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.”

J.K. Rowling@jk_rowling

Oliver Phelps:

“Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.”

Oliver Phelps@OliverPhelps

James Phelps:

“Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I’ve ever met.Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time”

James Phelps@James_Phelps

Matthew Lewis:

“I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I…

Matthew Lewis@Mattdavelewis

Daniel Radcliff:

“[news] Alan Rickman has died aged 69

Daniel Radcliffe NL@DanJRadcliffeNL

Emma Watson:

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and
“Go to Google plus to read Dan’s essay on . It’s his second most recent post x”
Emma Watson@EmWatson
Newsweek:
Read Emma Thompson’s heartfelt statement on the late Alan Rickman

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Alan Rickman, Bekah, Crying, Harry Potter, Snape, That Nerd Show, YA
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mockingjay part 2

Peeta: Is this real? Me: Yes this is very real

mockingjay-part-2-comiccon-teaser-143324

 

So because I found that there were a a numerous amount of problems with this movie I went ahead and wrote a cons list and on each con I wrote the details about it.  

 

 

The Cons: 

1. Katniss’s throat. In what world does someone go from almost get strangled to death and can barely talk to the very next day speaking fine and have no signs of brushing??? This was literally in the first five minutes of the movie! I’m sorry, but for movies that have up till now been very realistic, this was a super dumb mistake. Like, if Jesus can turn water into wine the audience better believe he’ll heal Katniss’s neck in one day. 

 

2. Gales Transition. So I knew from reading the cheat sites on online for books that in the end Gale kinda turns into a not so nice person, so congratulations to the movie for sticking to the book however, on screen his change was a little too abrupt and (again) unrealistic. So far in the movies we haven’t seen much of Gale but what we have seen we have felt sorry for him because Katniss’s didn’t have romantic feelings for him and he was so sweet to her and her entire family. And no offense, but I also always felt that Katniss wasn’t even a good friend to him. In the end, I just always felt sorry for the guy whenever you did see him on camera.  I also figured out that the reason he was supposed to have suddenly started being a cold hearted jerk in the last movie was because he lost his family, and for a book that’s great, good, fine, but they didn’t show that in the movie so by the time he makes his big attitude change in the last movie you’re kinda like…..oh…well…um….I could laugh at how stupid this is. Sorry but turning into a ruthless jerk after being the sweetest person ever is no a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kinda deal. And it almost could have seemed that his change was due to his everlasting pining and then being turned down by Katniss which was his sole purpose in the movie (please, someone, I dare you to give me a time we really see him not pining for her). And then would have been the crappiest reasoning for ANYTHING to happen. 

 

3. Snow not being bad enough to dislike. Not that Snow was a good guy, but I didn’t really care what happened to him. All Katniss’s drive and motivation comes from her dislike for him but to be honest, I wished she just gotten over her childish revenge seeking thought system and focused her attention on the bigger picture. Or….I don’t know…..maybe LISTENING to Snow. But who knows anything these days right? I mean, obviously Snow didn’t need to be in any sort of leadership position…but Gosh Katniss’s thing for him went on forever freaking ever and became so boring. And she didn’t even get to kill him in the end. Like I’m confused….. What was the point of this movie? 

 

4. Drawn on too long. If there were ever a movie that was too damn long…this is the movie. There were so many points in the movie that it was like YES END HERE WND THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! Or omygosh it’s over that was so powerful! But every time that happened it just kept going…..I just wanted to go home. Sorry but they should have sped the ending up a little bit. Sometimes it’s OKAY for movies to not follow the book exactly if that’s what looks better on screen. Because readers should understand that yes, some things to go better in a book then they do on screen.  These movies are freaking notorious for dragging themselves on.  

 

5. So am I the only one who thought it would have been perfect had they ended it with Katniss and Peeta in bed with the whole “real or not real?” Probably not. It would have been so much better. I should freaking make movies.

 

6. So predictable. I’ve never read the books. But I knew what and when everything was going to happen up until the end because it just kept going….and going….and going….going some more….and then…more going….right till.. Hah oh no still going…..almost finished…but not quite…okay…over. 

 

7. There was just so much waste time in the beginning of them running around they should have just gotten to the sewer faster. Since the end was supposed to be this huge climax rise and fall like on the ride the Titan at Six Flags Over Texas but instead was like the Mini Mine Train.

 

8. No resolution with haymitch’s character. Sorry but I don’t just accept that an important and major character just wanders off and we never see him again. Like I’m so confused…..he just sort of vanished and then they made no mention of him again. I FREAKING LIKED HIM YOU KNOW! Thanks for ruining that for me! 

 

9. Awkwardly ended between haymitch’s and Effie. I’m sorry….but are they together or nah? Y’all should have made that a little (or a huge freaking ton) more clear. 

 

10. They literally don’t tell us how much time has passed after Katniss was asleep from being burned. Cause a lot had happened when she was sleeping…..but it could have been a short amount of time or a long amount of time….? Do I need to say it or can y’all already guess? Yet again, I’m confused. 

There are some things that play well on books because you have more passage of time and some things are better on screen because there’s less of a passage of time. Like the ending. Katniss isn’t the kind of character who gets a happy ending (sorry that sucks but it’s true) And it was a cheap ploy of “oh we’re all suddenly happy” for what they did in the movie. Not gonna lie… I think Lionsgate could take some pointers from 20th Century Fox because The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns were PERFECT book to movie adaptions. 

Final Grade, 3 and a pillow and blanket to sleep with when you get bored, the angry, disgusted, and sadness characters from Inside Out to snuggle with, and a confetti shooter for when it FINALLY ends and you’re put out of misery. 

 

finalgrade3

Bekah Stepanian, Book to movie adaptation, Mockingjay Part 2, Movies, Reviews, That Nerd Show, The Hunger Games, YA
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celaena

I JUST HAVE SOME THINGS TO SAY.

throne of glass

So over the past 3 days I’ve read and finished Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas.  And this isn’t going to be a review on it, so much as me just expressing some frustration I had towards the end of the book.  Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and I loved the main character (well up until the end when she made some split second decisions that have eternally pissed me off….). Sardothien was full of badassery whilst still being a hardcore chick about some things.  Her character kept things real and pretty hilarious at times.  However, there wasn’t a lot that a person could relate to her which always makes things hard on a reader when it comes to connecting to the characters.  So I went pretty back and forth with which guy I shipped her with… I think I definitely was more biased towards Dorian because he’s got everything I totally look for in a guy. He’s silver tongued which is something I prize myself for at times and who doesn’t want a partner who you can go back and forth with? Which if I may point out as well, Celaena herself was also pretty silver tongued and there were times when they bickered with each other in the cutest way so I totally shipped them harder. Plus he’s a prince….so you know….WINNING.  However I will admit there were times when I couldn’t help but get the warm fuzzy’s when a scene involved Chaol.  I’m not typically so indecisive when it comes to picking which guy I like better in a book.  I’ve always been rather quick to choose one guy and remain solid with that choice throughout the entire book/series no matter who the endgame guy is (which sometimes leads to dramatic, pissed off ranting to people who most likely don’t care).  The only other time I’ve ever flopped between the main characters romantic interests was in Heart of Betrayal when I suddenly couldn’t help but switch to team Kaden.  I did conclude that I think why I couldn’t choose a guy for Calaena was because I personally liked Dorian better and he would have been my choice out of the two men, but there seemed to lack a lot of emotion when it came to both characters. Like, you’d be in what was supposed to be a romantic scene but you couldn’t fully lose yourself in it and fall in love with Dorian because it was almost boring.  And because the book takes place over quite a long time, it was rushed in a lot of areas and as a reader I felt like I had missed a whole bunch of important character and relationship development.  So the scenes that were supposed to be full of love (sometimes they were cute and funny) weren’t full of anything.  It also made it seem like Dorian’s love for Sardothien was instant (which insta-love is bullshit btw) when really it wasn’t. I had to constantly remind myself that it had actually been months within a couple of chapters.  And this my friends is why I was very conflicted with my choice of love interests. As I said, I personally would choose Dorian for a husband, but there was a lot more emotion and heat (AKA sexual tension) between Calaena and Chaol which made it hard to not want them to be together.  There’s was also a lot more depth to the relationship because you see more of what goes on between them throughout the many months in the book (although it’s still not a ton because the book is so packed with a whole crap ton of stuff).  However at the same time, Celaena LIKED the Prince and HAD genuine feelings for him.  So now that I’ve explained all this you might be wondering what it is exactly that I really want to say.  Here it is.  I CAN’T STAND WHEN CHARACTERS MAKE THE STUPIDEST LAST MINUTE DECISIONS FOR NO FUCKING REASON.  Excuse my language children.  I just need a moment to truly express what I’m thinking.  IT BOTHERED ME TO MY VERY DEEPEST INSIDES WHERE NO LIGHT IS EVER LET IN AND WALLS ARE BUILT UP TO PROTECT MY VERY DELICATE BLACK HEART WHEN CELAENA JUST ALL OF A SUDDEN IN LIKE THE LAST FUCKING CHAPTER ENDED IT BETWEEN HER AND DORIAN!!!!  It literally went like this: “OH! I’m the King’s Champion now so we just can’t be together because we just can’t.  I still want us to be friends but like yeah that’s it.” LIKE WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT???????????????????????????????????????? FREAKING DORIAN LITERALLY JUST GOT DONE EXPLAINING HOW HE’D DO ANYTHING FOR HER BUT NOW HIS POOR HEART JUST GOT BROKEN FOR NO FREAKING REASON!!! AND THEN HE JUST TAKES IT! LIKE THAT’S NOT HOW ACTUAL PEOPLE WORK.  WHEN YOU HAVE FEELINGS FOR SOMEONE YOU DON’T JUST END THINGS FOR NO REASON AND ARE BOTH OK WITH IT.  SORRY BUT THERE’S A LOT MORE THAT GOES INTO THAT.  Being the King’s champion changed nothing.  Like did she not think about that during all the time she spent with Dorian sneaking around everyone’s back while still trying to win the competition? NO! SHE DIDN’t!  Literally at no point in the book is Celaena ever conflicted about it.  Never once does the author mention that Sardothien feels any hesitation towards being with him because of the possibility that she might win. And she expects that she’s gonna win too! It’s not like she didn’t know she’d win.  There were few times throughout the entire story that she questioned whether she’d win.  So she KNEW she was gonna win and was still with him without problem and even though they acted like it was a secret the WHOLE court really had already seen them together and could tell they liked each other so it’s not like that was really the problem!  I. Am. So. Pissed. SO THEN I couldn’t help myself I had to know if by the end of the series they were gonna end up together. Because I felt like if she wasn’t gonna be with Dorian in the end she might as well end up with Chaol. I could be content with that.  Now, here I am reading these spoilers and it turns out she does it AGAIN!!?? Celaena suddenly ends it with Chaol and then finds ANOTHER guy to be with!!!!!????? WHAT THE FUCK?????????????????? Our main character has some bipolar issues or something. So I’m freaking pissed off for the rest of the night.  I’ll probably finish the series but I won’t be happy about it.  I’ll read it till the end but it doesn’t matter because I’ve already decided how it really ends in my head. Screw what the author writes.

 

Okay,

Thanks for listening!

 

Yours truly,

I’ve-had-really-violent-nightmares-of-killers-ever-since-I-started-this-book

Bekah Stepanian, Book Reviews, Celaena Sardothien, Chaol Westfall, Dorian Havilliard, Sarah J Maas, That Nerd Show, Throne of Glass, Young Adult
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