November Wrap-Up 2016

In My Life

November was a pretty terrible month. The election happened, and I’m still not over it (and refuse to get over it). Watching Trump’s cabinet assemble has horrifying and frustrating, making it hard to get excited about the year ending.

Other than that disaster, November was focused on college apps and schoolwork. I had a week off from school, which was great, but I spent entire days working on college essays, so it wasn’t all fun and games. Thanksgiving was filled with family and wonderful food.

On This Blog

This was an okay month for blogging. I did not meet my goal of posting three times a week, but I liked the posts I did manage to write. I posted 10 times.

Also! After two and a half years of blogging, 52 Letters now (finally) has a review directory. I have been putting it together since summer, but I managed to finish it over break.

Top Ten Tuesday

Discussion Posts

In Reading and Reviewing

I read 5 books this month, which is better than I expected, to be honest. They were all incredible, which is a bonus. I also caught up on one review (Drowning is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley — 4/5 stars).

  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater — 5/5 stars (will not be reviewed)
  • His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik — 4.5/5 stars (review)
  • Throne of Jade (Temeraire #2) by Naomi Novik — 4.5/5 stars (review)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare — 4/5 stars (review to come)
  • Headless by Tristram Lowe — 3.5/5 stars (review)

In Writing

This was a great month for writing. I added almost 13,000 words to my WIP, which brings my total word count up to 84,500. That puts the end in sight, and I now officially think I can meet my goal of finishing it by the end of the year. I also shared one poem here, This Was Supposed to Be a Poem, in response to the election.


How was your November? Did you read any amazing books? What are you going to read in December?

Book Review: Throne of Jade (Temeraire #2) by Naomi Novik

A lot more emotionally painful than the first book, but in a good way. Combined with a new setting, I am officially 110% in love with this series.

4.5/5 stars

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Read my review of the first book, His Majesty’s Dragon, here.

synopsis for reviews 2

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces.

Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await.

See it on Goodreads

my thoughts for reviews 1

While His Majesty’s Dragon made me fall in love with the Temeraire world, Throne of Jade was the book that captured my heart. It was not like I did not have an emotional connection to the first book, but I had a much stronger (and more painful) one with the second.

Throne of Jade revolves around Temeraire and Laurence’s fight to stay together, despite Chinese tradition that says Celestial dragons must belong to emperors. Politics, customs, and the lure of Chinese dragon culture all come between the two of them, creating an undeniably stressful story.

The world-building was incredible. Though two-thirds of the story focus on the journey to China, Naomi Novik still started to introduce the new characters and customs that they would encounter directly once they reached their destination. She brought the new setting to life and created an entirely different dragon culture than the one she had established in Britain.

Despite the complexity of the world Novik built, the specifics were never hard to keep track of. I easily understood the different perspectives of the Chinese envoys, the power struggle in the royal household, and the different aspects of dragon life. This creative but understandable world-building allowed me to enjoy the new setting without losing the train of the original story.

Temeraire experienced significant growth, becoming an even stronger character. The Chinese had a distinctly different view of dragons than the British, and in the new environment, Temeraire started to embrace different parts of his identity. Though it was painful when those changes brought him away from Laurence, I loved watching Temeraire’s development. He truly was a three-dimensional character, more fleshed-out than most of the human characters in the series.

Laurence changed in his own ways, fully embracing his identity as a dragon captain and fiercely fighting to keep Temeraire. I had not expected the argumentative side of Laurence that appeared, but I enjoyed seeing him come out of his uptight shell. Though he took longer to adjust to the Chinese culture, Laurence did allow it to change how he saw his native country.

The side characters remained somewhat one-dimensional, though the characters that were introduced in Throne of Jade had more layers than those that stuck around from the first book. I did not mind the way the characters were portrayed, because it did not hamper the story. Each character added a necessary element without getting in the way.

Throne of Jade was well paced, with action-packed fight scenes balanced against more emotional scenes of character growth. Though the book was not constantly dramatic, the threat to Laurence and Temeraire’s relationship kept me engaged and eager to read on.

Of course, with the Napoleonic Wars still going on, there are lots of intense fight scenes. One part of this book that separated it from the last one was the complexity that was added to Temeraire’s bloodthirsty nature. Yes, he still loves a fight, but he starts to think about the consequences of his actions and the nature of the battles he is fighting.

I would recommend Throne of Jade to anyone who read His Majesty’s Dragon. If the world-building or characters were not complex enough in the previous book, that problem is solved. If you want more fight scenes and dragons (who doesn’t?) they are just as dramatic and nuanced as before. And if you fell in love with the series in book one, book two will not disappoint.

Top Ten Books to Give Friends to Turn Them Into Bookworms

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is a Holiday Gift Guide freebie, so I’m talking about books to give people to turn them into bookworms. I think a lot of people want to be readers, and know what they’d want to read about, but do not know which books to read.

For the person who wants magic

1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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One of the first YA books I ever read, Graceling has stuck with me because of its unique world-building, fierce characters, and slow-burn romance.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Nothing says “magic” like The Night Circus. Told in an interesting voice, this book creates a vivid and wonderful magical world and throws the reader into the middle of a heartwrenching romance.

For the person who loves social change

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

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I will shout about this book until the end of time. I thought it would be a frivilous, trope-filled story about beauty pagents, but it ended up being one of the most unabashedly feminist stories I’ve ever read.

4. Going Underground by Susan Vaught

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This is another book that has profoundly shaped the way I see the world. With complex characters, a subtle romance, and a hilarious parrot, this book is perfect for anyone looking to see teenage relationships in a different way.

For the person who needs A Dramatic Story

5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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This is the kind of book that grabs you on the first page and steadily breaks your heart for the next 300 pages. Perfect for anyone who needs to be 110% invested in a story to finish it.

6. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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Hilarious and terrifying in equal measure, Illuminae is another book that will force even the most half-hearted reader to devour the story.

For the person who wants fluffy feels

7. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

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This book is perfectly fluffy, with surprisingly emotional scenes and low-key Doctor Who references.

8. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Though this book is long for a contemporary romance, you will savor every single page. More than just a fluffy romance, The Unexpected Everything talks about friendship, self-discovery, the perils of dog walking, and writers block.

For the Person who just doesn’t have time

9. I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

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This is the kind of book that you can read in one sitting. Light-hearted and slightly ridiculous, the first Gallagher Girls book is perfect for someone who wants to read, but does not have time to commit to a longer story.

10. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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Short but profound, A Monster Calls is the kind of story that breaks and heals your heart simultaneously. For the full experience, read the illustrated version!


What are your go-to books for gifts? Have you read any of these books?

Happy Tuesday!

Book Review: His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik

How can dragons be so cute and so bloodthirsty at the same time?!?!?

4.5/5 stars

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synopsis for reviews 2

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors ride mighty fighting dragons, bred for size or speed. When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

See it on Goodreads

my thoughts for reviews 1

Ever since I read Uprooted, I have been dying to read this series. The ninth and final book just came out, so I figured it was time to start.

I loved this book. It’s the Napoleonic Wars with dragons—what could go wrong? But it ended up being so much more than bloodthirsty dragons and fight scenes.

Laurence was the perfect protagonist. He started the book as a naval captain, but then the dragon, Temeraire, chose Laurence to be his companion. Thrust into the Aerie Corps, Laurence had to not only figure out how to be a dragon captain, but unlearn his navy habits and learn new Corps ones.

Older than other captains and an accidental captain, Laurence was a permanent outsider, creating a fascinating POV for the book to be told from. His voice was simultaneously stuffy and empathetic, so if his naval prejudices were ever annoying (which they were), his clear compassion for dragons and his fellow officers made up for it. His character’s arc was nuanced but natural, and though he learned how to be a part of the Corps, he never lost his naval quirks.

While I loved Laurence, I LOVED Temeraire. He was adorable—there’s no way around it. His voice was clear from his first line. He was unabashedly himself and ridiculously loyal to Laurence. Intelligent, inquisitive, and wholly unconvinced about things like royalty, Temeraire was also an outsider in the dragon world. Also, he was freaking bloodthirsty. Like Laurence, his character created a fascinating window into the dragon world because he has one foot inside and one foot outside of it.

The rest of the characters helped round out the novel. None of them had complex characterization, but in their own ways, they added necessary personalities to the story. I especially loved the different dragons that Naomi Novik added to the story and the way they interacted with Temeraire.

The world-building in His Majesty’s Dragon found a rare balance between historical accuracy and fantastical creations. Naomi Novik created an intricate dragon culture both a national level in the Corps and an international one, with different breeds and training systems for countries across the world. Additionally, the Corps’s society was hierarchical but easy to understand.

Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, the book was tied closely to real historical events and details. However, Naomi Novik managed to add dragons to the story without losing the historical fiction feeling. Reading His Majesty’s Dragon honestly feels like reading historical fiction—so much so that I sometimes forgot that dragons didn’t exist in Napoleonic times (not really, but almost).

His Majesty’s Dragon started out a little slow, but after the first quarter of the novel, the pace picked up. Honestly, I didn’t mind the slow pace of the beginning because it gave me time to understand the characters and the world before the intense fighting started. Laurence and Temeraire’s training was dramatic at times, but also light-hearted, giving the book an interesting mood. However, His Majesty’s Dragon got intense, and if you’re looking for heart-pounding fight scenes, this book is perfect for you.

I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a story that straddles the line between historical fiction and fantasy. Though the characters are adults, I feel like this book would be accessible to YA fans. There is no romance, so the story is a celebration of friendship and loyalty, something every reader can connect to.

Top Ten Authors I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is a Thanksgiving freebie, so I’m talking about the top ten authors I’m thankful for.

1. Libba Bray

Libba Bray is important to me for a lot of reasons. Her stories are complex and imaginative, never staying in the same genre. Her female characters ooze Girl Power. And her writing is hilarious.

2. Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater is the author who convinced me that lyrical writing does not have to get in the way of storytelling. Her stories have amazing world building with sutble fantasy elements and slow burn romances that give me all the feels.

3. Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is the author who convinced me that incredibly complex world building can make a series more dramatic, instead of weighing it down, and that plot twists can be genuinely shocking.

4. JK Rowling

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Though I am not the biggest Harry Potter nerd out there, I am thankful for those books. They inspired my love of reading and were the basis of some of my closest friendships.

5. Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss was one of the first contemporary romance books that I read that genuinely impressed me. Up until then, I had enjoyed the genre without expecting much from it, but Stephanie Perkins convinced me that the stories could have substance and emotional impact in ways that I hadn’t expected.

6. Morgan Matson

If Stephanie Perkins convinced me to expect a lot from contemporary romance, it was Morgan Matson that met those expectations. SYBG was one of the first books I read where I deeply empathized with the main character, and TUE has a hilariously unique love interest.

7. Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth Wein is the author who convinced me of the heartbreaking qualities of historical fiction. Code Name Verity blew me away in a way that no other book has since, and Black Dove White Raven put my soul back together with an adorable story about friendship (and then shattered it again). If you are looking for deeply moving historical fiction with amazing friendship (and no romance!), you need to read her books.

8. Kristin Cashore

Graceling was one of the first YA books that I ever read. It sucked me into the YA fantasy genre, and I’ve never looked back. Even now, her stories are some of my favorites to reread, with their gorgeous world building and heart-wrenching romances.

9. Susan Vaught

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Going Underground was one of the first books that ever changed the way I saw the world. When I read it, I hadn’t even heard of the problem the book addressed (I’m purposefully being vague so I won’t ruin the surprise), but its message has stayed with me to today.

10. Megan Whalen Turner

Finally, Megan Whalen Turner is the author that convinced me that slow, carefully written books with hidden meanings are my favorite. Her stories do not race from start to finish, but if you give them a chance, they will blow you away.


Which authors are you thankful for? Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations?

Top Ten Books I Want to Read Before the Year Ends

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Tuesday! This week’s topic is supposed to be Books I’ve Added to my TBR Recently, but my TBR is a disaster right now, so I’m taking my own spin on the topic. Here are some books that I hope to read before the year ends.

1. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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I read the Grisha trilogy over summer and didn’t love it, but I’ve heard amazing things about the sequel series. My friend just read it and DIED over it, so I know I have to read it soon.

2. Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

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I have literally been meaning to read this book all year…and yet I never got around to it. I can’t let 2016 end without reading this book finally,

3. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

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I am fascinated by this book—I mean, when I think Tahereh Mafi, I definitely do not think MG. I know that she will do an incredible job with the genre and the story.

4. Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson

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Another book that I have been meaning to read since it came out! I love everything Brandon Sanderson writes, and I am ready to finish the Reckoners’ story.

5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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I’ve had this book forever. My sister read it and didn’t love it, but there is a lot of love for the series, so I want to give it a shot.

6. Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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BECAUSE OF COURSE. Just looking at this book makes my heart race, though, so I’ll probably wait to read it until a break from school and its stress, lol.

7. The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

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My sister has been bugging me to read this book for months. I should read it before 2016 ends, just so that she won’t nag me in two different years 😉

8. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik

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I LOVED Uprooted (if you haven’t read it, GO READ IT) so I am excited to see what else Naomi Novik has created. The series is nine books long and the last one finally came out, so I think it’s time to binge-read it. I just started this book, and so far it’s good—but I’m only 10 pages in.

9. Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin

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Another OF COURSE on my TBR. Wolf by Wolf was incredible, so I HAVE to know how the story ends.

10. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

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I’ve seen this book everywhere and I’m excited for it. I don’t read a lot of poetry, but I took some poetry classes earlier this year and it reminded me just how much I like poems when I read them.


What books do you want to read before the year is over? What books are on your TBR and what books should I add to my own?

The Halloween Book Tag

Thank you so much to Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books for tagging me! If you guys don’t know her blog, you should check it out! She is an incredibly lovely blogger 🙂

Carving Pumpkins: What book would you carve up and light on fire?

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Okay, so I’d never actually burn a book…but I really didn’t like It’s a Wonderful Death. I had really high hopes, and it ended up being cliche and boring. Bummer.

Trick or Treat? Which character is a treat and which character is a trick?

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Trick: Gen

Not because he’s a villain of anything, but because he is the dictionary definition of a trickster.

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Treat: Sean Kendrick

Because Sean Kendrick is freaking dreamy.

Candy Corn: What book is always sweet?

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

This book is one of the sweetest, cutest stories ever. I laughed, I cried, I smiled. It was awesome.

Ghost: What character would you like to visit you as a ghost?
[no spoilers]

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Noah from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Because…well…I love him. (Among other reasons)

Dressing Up in Costume: What character would you want to be for a day?

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Shazi from The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh

Because HER CLOTHES. And her personality. And Khalid. Okay, so everything.

Wizards and Witches: What’s your favorite Harry Potter moment?

I absolutely loved the moment after Harry takes his Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL when the examiner asks Harry to show his Patronous. It was a really badass moment.

Blood and Gore: What was a book that was so creepy that you had to take a break from it?

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The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I have a very conflicted relationship with this book, but the one thing I can say for sure is that it was RIDICULOUSLY CREEPY. So. Freaking. Creepy. If you want to know more, you can read my very conflicted review.

My tags


Happy Halloween! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have any book recommendations?

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me In A Haunted House

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is a Halloween-themed freebie. I thought about featuring horror/thriller novels…and then I remembered I am a total scaredy cat and that I don’t read horror/thriller novels.

Instead, I am imagining that some of my favorite characters and I have been dropped in a haunted house. I’m not talking about a touristy, fun haunted house; I mean a literal, oh-my-gosh-I’m-in-the-middle-of-a-paranormal-novel haunted house. (Not that I believe in hauntings, but they’re fictional characters, so anything is possible.)

So that they would protect me

1. Lysandra from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Okay, so I’d want the entire cast of TOG by my side. But if I can’t have all of them, I want Lysandra. I think her particular skill set would be really freaking useful.

2. Vin from the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I’m not going anywhere near something unpredictable and scary without a Mistborn by my side.

3. Katsa from Graceling by Kristen Cashore

And as long as I’m surrounding myself with fantastical warriors, I might as well bring Katsa with me. She would 110% make sure that I survived.

So that someone could talk to the ghosts/monsters

4. Suze from The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

It just seems pragmatic to make sure that I have a person who can talk to ghosts with me in a haunted house. Plus, Suze has dealt with a lot of crazy stuff, so she’d be able to keep her cool.

5. Gemma from the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

Gemma doesn’t talk to ghosts, per se, but she has dealt with a TON of paranormal craziness, so I think she’d be helpful for dealing with the haunted stuff.

 So that someone would figure out how to get us out

6. Gansey from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Am I the only person who would want Gansey’s obsessive research brain with me in a haunted house? Because it sounds like a solid plan to me.

7. Lilac from the Starbound Trilogy by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman

Lilac took a while to grow on me, but now I appreciate her for what she is: a total badass. She has been through it all and she’s brilliant, so I would definitely trust her to get me out of there.

To counter my fear with intense sarcasm

8. Shazi from The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh

So, yes, Shazi’s archery skills would also be nice, but honestly, I just want her their to keep making jokes to distract me from everything else. Also the idea of Shazi sassing a ghost is funny enough that I would endure a haunted house to see it.

9. Adina from Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Adina’s deadpan, take-no-shit personality would totally calm me down.

So that I would not be the only one screaming

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10. Carmen from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

I can’t be the only person freaking out, looking like an idiot among a ton of battle-hardened fighters, right? I just read this book, and I am 110% sure that all of the characters would do just as badly in this situation as I would. I’d take Carmen because I liked her personality the most.


So what do you think? If you were in this situation, who would you want with you?

Book Review: Empire of Storms (TOG #5) by Sarah J. Maas

My heart. Is. In. Pieces.

5/5 stars

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No spoilers for EOS, but I can’t avoid spoilers for the previous books. Sorry!

synopsis for reviews 2

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Add it on Goodreads.

my thoughts for reviews 1

This book was amazing. There was not a second of this book that did not completely enthrall me. And that ending—I SOBBED.

I knew this book would break my heart, and right on schedule, it did. But that’s not to say that EOS only broke my heart. It made me laugh, grin, and curl up into a ball of happy feels just as often as it destroyed me.

I love Aelin. Her character is a force of nature. She’s brilliant and brave and strong and selfless, but most of all, I believe in her. She’s not one of those incredible characters that is too perfect for real life. Even when she is raising armies and battling the forces of evil, she still feels human. She is larger than life and intensely realistic at the same time.

Elide also became a stand-out character for me in EOS. I had liked her in QOS, but it wasn’t until this book that I truly fell in love with her. She is a great compliment to Aelin, strong and determined like the queen, but with a very different underlying personality. I loved that she is simultaneously an introvert and a hero, a combination you don’t see a lot of in YA.

Lorcan was an interesting addition to the story; I didn’t expect him to be a part of the plot, but I ended up enjoying his presence. I am fascinated to see what happens with his character in the next book after that ending.

Manon’s character grew on me a lot. I had always liked her well enough, but it was in this book that she finally won me over. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but if you’ve read it, you probably know the moment I’m talking about. (I cheered.) Aelin and Manon working plotting together is my new favorite thing, especially if Lysandra is also involved.

Lysandra remains one of my favorite characters in the series. If possible, she becomes more badass in this book. I loved her interactions with Aedion, how they showed a different side of her that helped round out her character. Aedion himself continued to grow on me; I think I have finally let go of my initial (and somewhat random) annoyance at his existence.

Dorian has been a weird character for me. I always liked him more than Chaol (#sorrynotsorry), but in recent books his plot line had felt kind of tacked-on to the rest of the action. In this book, however, we get to see him interact with Aelin and the rest of the gang and grow into his own. His story finally melded with the rest of the book, and I started to like him again. I love how broken and imperfect he is; he has come such a long way from the cheery prince that he was in the first book.

I cannot say that I love Dorian and Manon together. It was fascinating to read, adding a dark and reckless vibe to the story, but I feel like their relationship needs to do more to convince me that the relationship should last.

And then there’s Rowan. Words cannot describe how important Rowan is to the story. Yes, he’s a big ball of swooniness, but he is also exactly what Aelin needed as she grew into her own in EOS. I loved finally reading a YA story where the romance is incredibly important to the characters’ growth without being the only reason they grow. Aelin and Rowan complement each other really well, but they each have their own individual characters as well—which only strengthens the romance between them.

Wow, there are a lot of characters. I didn’t even start to touch side characters (though those were also the perfect balance of interesting without overpowering the story). The beauty of EOS, though, is that the massive cast of characters doesn’t stop the story from fully exploring each one’s personality and arc. Of course, that means that the book is ridiculously long, but it also gives it the emotional power needed to break my heart in every possible way.

I don’t know what to say about the plot of EOS, mainly because so much happens. The plot is fast-paced and addictive. All of the subplots weave together well, better than in previous books, creating a continually powerful narrative. I never wanted to put the book down, though I had to force myself to take a break from the story so I could get schoolwork done.

The incredible thing about EOS is that it feels real. I have read countless stories of wars, revolutions, and diplomatic sparring matches, but none of them made me feel like I was actually in the middle of power plays between entire nations.

EOS just has this indescribable feeling of enormity. I could feel just how important every decision was, that each move Aelin made would affect hundreds of thousands of people. I don’t know how SJM did it…but it is awe-inspiring.

I need to talk about the ending, though I’m not going to spoil anything. Basically, the ending is a series of intense reveals that change the way that you see the entire series, and then a heartbreaking cliffhanger that sets up what will surely be an amazing sixth book. I sobbed for the last hundred pages, literally unable to control myself. I almost wish that the book had had a few more chapters, just to give me some time to absorb everything that was revealed in the last pages. As it was, I was left tear-stained and ruined, with a gaping hole in my chest that won’t be filled until the next book is released.

I know, that sounds overly dramatic. Trust me when I tell you it is an understatement.

I would recommend EOS to anyone who has enjoyed the TOG series so far. If you didn’t like HOF or QOS for character reasons, then I would honestly say don’t read EOS. You probably won’t like it, and it seems kind of pointless to put yourself through so many pages for such a little reward. But if you enjoyed HOF and QOS, READ EMPIRE OF STORMS RIGHT NOW. And then we’ll cry together.


Have you read EOS? If you have, have you recovered yet?

Top Ten Characters I Would Name a Cat After

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I LOVE this topic! I am a total cat person, and there are so many book characters that I would name a cat after.

As a personal side note, my cat is named Muzgle, which is partially a nod to “Muggle” from Harry Potter. You can see pictures of her begrudgingly posing with books on my bookstagram.

1. Katsa (from Graceling by Kristen Cashore)

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I mean, c’mon. You just have to. She’s a badass warrior AND her name literally has “cat” in it.

2. Kendrick (from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater)

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I was going to say Puck or Sean, but then I thought of naming a cat “Kendrick” and I decided that I’m kind of in love with the idea.

3. Ink (from The Twixt series by Dawn Metcalf)

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This is one of those series that is just weird enough that I like it. While it isn’t one of my all-time favorites, I love the world-building, and I would totally name my cat after the super-mysterious love interest.

4. Adina (from Beauty Queens by Libba Bray)

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Adina is literally the queen of sarcasm. Since most cats basically have her personality, naming a cat after her would be both appropriate and catchy.

5. Lara Jean (from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han)

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This would have to be a really classy, polite cat to live up to Lara Jean’s name. This cat would be the one that seems to always fall asleep in an Instagramable pose.

6. Sarene (from Elantris by Brandon Sanderson)

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Sarene is brilliant, strategic, and a little bit ruthless. All characteristics of cats 😉

7. Vin (from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson)

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Vin is literally described as a mix between a noblewoman and a cat. She is one of my favorite main characters ever, and if you haven’t read Mistborn yet, go read it already so that you understand her awesomeness.

8. Steris (from The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson)

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It’s possible that I have to admit that all of Brandon Sanderson’s female characters are part cat. I started out this Mistborn sequel series hating Steris’s guts, but she grew on me to the point that I would totally name a cat after her.

9. Gansey (from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)

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How could I make this list without Gansey? This would totally be the cat that insists on lying in the middle of whatever book you’re reading or whatever homework you’re doing to “help.”

10. Shazi (from The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh)

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I don’t know how I got to #10 on this list without remembering Shazi! This cat would have a really loud “meow” and would definitely be an outside cat.


Well, I feel like a Crazy Cat Lady now.

What do you think of these names? Have you read any of these books?