Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #153 - Winterspell by Claire Legrand
by Claire Legrand
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Publication Date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781442465985
Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear. (Goodreads)

I absolutely love the cover and summary for this novel.
It sounds like it's going to be amazing!
Especially when the story is inspired by The Nutcracker.
Super excited that I got an advance copy of this.
I'm planning to read it asap!

What are you Waiting on this week??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Brazen by Katherine Longshore
by Katherine Longshore
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Publication Date: June 12th 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9780670014019)
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fiction
Source: Netgalley
(From publisher for honest review)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for? (Goodreads)
I really couldn’t wait to get started on Katherine Longshore’s Brazen! I had heard really great things about this author, so I was super excited to start reading the book. Especially since it was said that fans of the TV show ‘Reign’ would really enjoy the book, and I love that show.  I really, really enjoyed reading this novel, and now that I’ve read it, I can’t wait to check out Gilt and Tarnish. I wish that I would have had time to read these books before I started Brazen, but I’m definitely excited to check them out now.

The story in Brazen revolves around Mary Howard, who was a lady’s maid to Anne Boleyn during her marriage to Henry VIII, and who was also married off to Henry’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. I knew absolutely nothing about Mary when I started reading this novel, and to be honest, I was a bit worried at first that she was just going to be a weak young lady that let everyone run over her. But she proves over and over again through the novel that that was not the case. She was strong and determined and had the heart of a fighter. I love the relationship between her and Fitz, and wanted so much more for them, because they were wonderful when they were together. I also loved the friendship between Mary and Madge, and even the one that she formed with Margaret. Even when I things were at their worst, they never really gave up on each other. Mary’s story is a bittersweet one, one that doesn’t have the best of endings, but that will make you love her even more.

I really loved the historical storyline in this book. I haven’t read too many novels at this point regarding royal history, but I definitely find it fascinating, especially the people in history. I kept putting the book aside so that I could search for information on each character because I wanted to know so much more about them. And it wasn’t only the people in history that I had to stop and look up, but events as well. It was such a fascinating time period, although not one that I could ever imagine living in. I also love that most the events in the novel that happened between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII are events that happened in real life. And even though I knew how some of these events ended, they still managed to shock me throughout the novel.  With such interesting characters and a fascinating storyline, this book made for a really great read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and now I’m dying to read more by this author! If you’re looking for a really interesting historical fiction book to read, I highly suggest that you consider adding Brazen and its predecessors to your reading list.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
The Murder Complex
(The Murder Complex #1)
by Lindsay Cummings
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Publication Date: June 10th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 398
ISBN: 9780062220004
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopian
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings. (Goodreads)
Imagine a world where all natural causes have been cured, and the only way to die is from Unnatural causes. A world where the death rate is higher than the birth rate, where you life on rations and don’t dare go out after dark, and where you have to fight for your life more often than not just to survive. That is the world that we are introduced to in The Murder Complex.

The main character in the story, Meadow, is not only a kick-butt character, but she’s a trained weapon as well. She can hold her own and defend herself in just about any situation that she needs to. Yes, this is a young girl that can take care of herself, no matter what. And that was her plan all along. Get a job to help support her family, to do whatever she has to do to survive and keep her little sister safe. That is until she meets Zephyr, and everything in her world starts to change.  Zephyr, who is also a trained specimen in his own right, was a very interesting young man. While he was also a weapon and could hold his own, there is another side of him that is caring and even somewhat vulnerable. While these two characters worked really well together, the relationship between them was a bit fast paced for me. Then again, that could just be a result from the world in which they live.

I love the relationships between Meadow and the people in her family, especially since the relationship between each person is completely different. Her father loves her, but shows his love through his training. Meadow has a hard time seeing it, but it’s there. Koi is the typical ‘big brother’ type, always wanting to keep his sisters safe from harm. But the relationship that I loved the most was between Meadow and her sister Peri. When they are together, we get to see a completely different side of Meadow, one that is softer and caring. I loved their sisterly bond.

The dystopian world that Cummings created was very interesting. I can’t even imagine living in the world that these characters live in. It was brutal and violent, and death is imminent. This allowed for a lot of action throughout the novel. The book was very fast paced, and there was a lot of blood and gory parts throughout; I found a few moments quite cringe-worthy. But that really only made the story that much more intense for me.

Overall: The Murder Complex was an intense beginning to what promises to be a wonderfully suspenseful series. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, which is not coming out soon enough!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
(Don't You) Forget About Me
by Kate Karyus Quinn
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Publication Date: June 10th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062135964
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all. (Goodreads)
The town of Gardnerville is a magical place where no one ever gets sick, and no one ever dies. A place where people come from all around to be healed from whatever illness plagued them. But once you are healed, there is no leaving, and living there comes with a terrifying price.

I had my doubts about the main character, Skylar, when I first met her in the book.  After her sister was locked away for an incident involving over a dozen of her classmates, Skylar has lived in a drug induced fog, trying to forget the pain of her loss. She wants to forget everything, and she pretty much succeeded with doing exactly that. But when even stranger than normal things start happening, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop the disturbing cycle of events that keep tormenting the small town. Skylar definitely proves herself to be a determined young lady, and she definitely kept me guessing throughout the novel.

I loved that the chapter names in the book were song titles from the 80’s. I kept getting the songs stuck in my head, especially the one that the book is titled after, and it makes me want to go watch The Breakfast Club, or even Pitch Perfect.

The storyline for this book was definitely unique. I can’t say that I have read anything similar to it before. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the story that had me second guessing about what was really happening. That uniqueness made the book a very refreshing read, and kept me flipping through the pages. The pacing for the book was a bit on the slow side, but I think that just made it even more interesting to read, as I kept waiting to see what was going to happen next.

Overall; I found this book to be a very interesting read. It was kind of weird, but in a good, addictive way. I’m really looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #152 - The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Orphan Queen
by Jodi Meadows
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Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world. (Goodreads)

So, the cover for this book was released this past Monday,
and is it GORGEOUS, or what???
The story sounds amazing as well.
I really enjoyed Meadow's Incarnate,
and I'm really looking forward to checking out this book as well!

What are you Waiting on this week?

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer TBR List

June 16th 2014 :
Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list

1. That Summer by Sarah Dessen - I've been trying to get to this book for a long while now, and I'm hoping to read not only it, but the rest of the Sarah Dessen books that I haven't read as well this summer.

2. Paper Towns by John Green - I can't wait to read Paper Towns! I've only read The Fault in Our Stars by Green so far, so I'm really hoping to read the rest of his books this summer as well.

3. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick - I love the cover for this book! And I'm dying to read something by this author already. I've heard great things.

4. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Hann - This book sounds like it is going to be a fun book to read. I can't wait to check it out!

5. The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson - I'm going to be starting this book soon, and I can't wait to read it! I also have Tiger Lily by Anderson to read soon for my next book club meeting. Super excited to start both!

6. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - This book sounds like a great summer read, and after reading Since You've Been Gone, I've been dying to start it.

7. Amy & Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Yes, another Morgan Matson book. I've heard so many great things about this book. I'm super excited to check it out.

8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - Yes, another Huntley Fitzpatrick novel on my list. I've heard great things about this book as well!

9. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares - The girls in my book club recently turned me on to the Sisterhood series, and after reading the first book, I've been dying to get back into this series. Hopefully I can do that this summer.

10. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan- This is another book that I've had on my to-read list for quite a while now. My daughter is wanting to watch the movie this summer, so I have to read the book asap!

What's on your Top Ten list this week?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #151 - Made For You by Melissa Marr
Made For You
by Melissa Marr
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Publication Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062011190

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling. (Goodreads)

Does this Melissa Marr novel sound great, or what??
I've only read her Wicked Lovely series,
but I have some of her other books that I still need to read.
I'm super curious to check this out!

What are you Waiting on this week?

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross
The Girl with the Windup Heart
(Steampunk Chronicles #4)
by Kady Cross
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Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780373211197
Genre: Young Adult | Steampunk
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields. (Goodreads)
The 'Steampunk Chronicles' by Kady Cross has to be one of my most favorite series from Harlequin Teen. I was super excited to finally read 'The Girl with the Windup Heart', as I was excited to see how Griffin, Finley and crew were finally going to beat The Machinist. This book definitely did not disappoint, and is a wonderful addition to this awesome series!

The book had two parts to the story. One part revolves around Griffin, Finley and crew verses Garibaldi, who, even in death, just will not leave Griffin alone. Seriously, this guy is evil like no other, and there was nothing that I wanted more than for him to be defeated once and for all. Can I just say that all of these characters work so wonderfully together as a group? They are all among some of my most favorite characters. I love Griffin and Finley’s relationship, as well as Emily and Sam’s, and Jasper and Cat’s.  Not only are the relationships great, but the friendships are excellent as well. And I love that they are all willing to do whatever it takes to keep each other safe, and to defeat The Machinist once and for all.

The other part of the story was about Jack Dandy and Mila. Jack Dandy is a character that I’ve loved every since we first met him in the beginning of the series. He’s so dark and mysterious, and I was thrilled that we get to learn more about him in this book. He has definitely had an interesting past. Jack and Mila were so super cute together, I adored them!

I’ve really enjoyed the storyline for this series since the very beginning. It’s made for a really unique read for me, as I’ve not really read a lot of steampunk books. I liked that this book wrapped up all the loose ends throughout the series as well.  I really hate to see this series end, as I’ve really come to love these characters.

Overall; I really loved this wonderful addition to the 'Steampunk Chronicles' series. While I am sad to see this series end, I am really looking forward to reading Cross’ next series, expected out in 2015!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel
Vivian Divine is Dead
by Lauren Sabel
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Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780062231956
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Filled with surprising twists and poignant moments, Lauren Sabel brings a fresh new voice to contemporary fiction with Vivian Divine Is Dead. Creepy, clever, funny, and romantic.

When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine's fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he's a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won't stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn't she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?

Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can't be trusted-what could he be hiding?

Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she's running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there's no option to yell "cut" like there is on set....

Lauren Sabel's Vivian Divine Is Dead is a creepy, witty, fast-paced adventure about family, fame, and having the courage to save yourself. (Goodreads)
When Vivian Divine finds out that she only has a few days until she will be murdered, she does what her bodyguard suggests; hops a ride to Mexico to hide out with a complete stranger that she hopes will protect her until she’s safe again. Unfortunately for Vivian, things do not go quite as planned. Lost and penniless, she depends on Nick, a guy she meets along the way, to help her get to safety.

Vivian Divine was an interesting character. She had been through a lot in her young life, with the death of her mother and the almost suicide of her father. She comes across as very privileged in the beginning of the novel, but quickly learns to deal with the situation that she has been thrown into. There was definitely a lot of character growth for this girl throughout the novel. I never really bought into Vivian’s relationship with Nick. Unfortunately it felt too insta-love for me, and I never really felt any chemistry between them. While Nick was mysterious, I found myself wary of him throughout the whole novel, and I was spot on with my gut feeling. There is twist at the end of the novel that made me think differently of him, however.

The storyline for the book was very unique and fast paced; there always seemed to be something intense happening to Vivian. There was a lot of mystery as well, and that is what really kept me turning the pages. The end of the book left me hanging a bit, as quite a few things were left undone. That makes me wonder if there is supposed to be a sequel to this novel. I can’t find any information that there will be, but I’m assuming that there might, just judging by the ending.

Overall; this book was a really quick, mysterious read for me. I think people who enjoy mysterious thriller novels will really enjoy reading this book.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #150 - Captive by Aimee Carter
(The Blackcoat Rebellion #2)
by Aimée Carter
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: November 25th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373211289

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price? (Goodreads)

Soooo excited to finally see a cover for this book!
After finishing Pawn last year, I've been dying to get my hands on
this book to see what is going to happen next..
November is not going to get here soon enough!

What are you Waiting on this week??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
City of Heavenly Fire
(The Mortal Instruments #6)
by Cassandra Clare
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Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 725
ISBN: 9781481426305
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal
Source: Own

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? (Goodreads)
How super excited is everyone now that 'City of Heavenly Fire' is out??? I’ve only been waiting on this book for TWO years now. *Wink* I started reading the book with both anticipation and dread. I wanted to know how the book was going to end, but I was also anxious about it as well; especially after all the rumors floating around the interweb. The book didn’t disappoint, and it’s definitely a great ending to the series.

Since it had been two years since I had read 'City of Lost Souls', I had to read a quick refresher on the series before starting 'City of Heavenly Fire'. (Thank goodness for Wikipedia!)  I’m really glad I decided to do this before I started the book, because there was a lot that I had forgotten.

The characters in this series have been some of my most favorite book characters ever. I think it’s because 'City of Bones' was one of the first books that I read that got me interesting in reading Young Adult books. These characters mean more to me than most do, and it’s going to be hard to part with them now that the series is over. It has been really fun watching them all grow as characters throughout the series. I think I’m definitely going to miss Jace and Clary the most.

The book was definitely better than 'City of Fallen Angels' and 'City of Lost Souls' for me. In the book we meet some new characters, some that are setting the stage for the spin-off series that is coming out in 2015, as well as some characters we’ve met long ago. I LOOOVED seeing these characters again, and it was definitely a highlight of the book for me.

At a whopping 725 pages, you are definitely getting the most bang for your buck with this book. While I really loved the ending of the book, especially the epilogue, it was all a bit … anticlimactic for me. I think there was just so much hype and build-up about the book over the past two years that I had expected something massive to happen, and nothing happened the way I expected it to. So that was kind of a letdown for me. Not saying that I didn’t like the ending, because I do, I just expected more.

Judging by what I’ve read so far, the spin-off sounds like it’s going to be interesting. I hope Clare puts some kind of twist to it so that it doesn’t feel like we are reading the same story over and over again, because I can see it starting to get old after a while.

Overall; I really enjoyed reading ‘City of Heavenly Fire’. As much as I’m going to miss all the characters that I love in this book, I’m glad the series has finally come to an end. Although, I think it would be pretty sweet to see these characters in the future when they are all grown up. (Fingers crossed.) Now I’m looking forward to start ‘The Dark Artifices’ series in early 2015!