Sunday, 24 May 2015


Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to meet one of my favourite ever authors, Sarah J. Maas!!!

For those of you who don't know, Sarah J. Maas is the author of the amazing Throne of Glass Series (my review for which can be viewed by clicking here!), and the new A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy, which was the purpose of this signing. I have read and loved every one of Sarah's books, they really are all incredible! If you haven't yet read them, what are you waiting for? Go and read them now!!!

It just so happened that my local Waterstones was one of the venues for the A Court of Thorns and Roses Tour, so there was absolutely no way that I would miss out!
This was the very first book signing I've ever been to, so while I was beyond excited at the prospect, I didn't really know quite what to expect.

When I arrived at the bookshop, there was already a long line of people all waiting to meet Sarah, which meant that I would also have to wait a little while until I got to see her, but she was most definitely worth the wait!!
Some of my signed books!!!

I had decided to bring all five of her books along with me, so that I could choose which one I wanted signing when I got there, but Sarah was lovely enough to sign all of them- including one with a personal message and my name on!!!

What surprised me the most about the book signing was the fact that Sarah was so chatty with her readers and spent a little while talking to each of us. I had almost expected her to be a little abrupt, and thought that she might just want to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible (as I might in her situation!!) but I couldn't have been more wrong! She was really lovely and enthusiastic towards everybody there, and while she signed my books, I managed to learn a few things...

While on the subject of 'how to make male characters so dreamy', Sarah explained that most of the hotties (I can't think of a more suitable word!) were actually based on her own daydream, as opposed to real people, like her husband, which I found to be quite amusing!!!
However, when I told her that my favourite male character was Sam, and that I - SPOILERS - couldn't accept that he was actually dead, she explained that he was 100% dead and couldn't believe how many people suspected otherwise!
I know- sad faces all around!
But I haven't lost all hope in his return, and I'm grasping on to the idea that Sarah doesn't want to spoil the rest of the series for us so is doing her best to cover up the ending! At least I really hope so... - I believe in you, Sam!

When all of my books had been signed, and a picture had been taken of me with Sarah, I was asked to sign one of  Sarah's own copies of Throne of Glass with a comment of my own. I thought this was a lovely touch, and even though I'm completely against writing in books (unless you're the author, and you're signing it!), I felt completely honoured to be able to write in the author's own copy!

Honestly, if I didn't have the books or pictures to prove it, I would be completely convinced that I had daydreamed the whole event! It really was an amazing day and I feel so lucky to have been able to meet one of my favourite ever authors!!! If you get the chance to go to one of the A Court of Thorns and Roses Tour venues to meet Sarah J. Maas, I cannot recommend going enough! It was such an amazing experience and I really wish I could do it all over again!

That's all for now, but I should have another post up soon!

Charlotte xxx

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Just One Day | Duology Review

Just One Day is the first book in another duology by Gayle Forman. Her first duology, made up of If I Stay and Where She Went, was amongst my favourite books of last year. They were beautiful and heart-warming and made me blubber like a baby, and if you haven't already read them, please go and check them out because I think everyone should read them! Since I loved them so much, I thought I should read Gayle Forman's other books.

This (relatively) new series is made up of Just One Day, Just One Year, and I guess you could also include the little novella, Just One Night, which reveals what happens at the end of the two books.

In Just One Day, soon-to-be College student Allyson is given a graduation present in the form of a tour of Europe, along with her best friend Mel. When, in England, Allyson and Mel run off from the rest of the tour group to see an outside production of Hamlet, their trip takes an unexpected turn... Soon, Allyson finds herself swooning over Dutch actor Willem, who takes her on a whirlwind day trip to Paris she will never forget... But for the wrong reasons. After a day of travelling and romance, Allyson wakes up to find that Willem is nowhere to be seen. Lost and alone, she leaves Paris, but Willem never leaves her thoughts. She knows she must find him, but with only a name to go on, this proves to be more challenging than anticipated...

Beware - Spoilers Ahead!

The If I Stay Duology had left such a huge impression on me and I was actually slightly worried about reading this series, just in case it didn't live up to my expectations. I must say that it didn't quite live up to the amazingly high standard left by If I Stay, but nevertheless, it was still such a lovely book to read and made me experience 'All. The. Feels.', as was described!
I thought it was so interesting reading from the point of view of an American visiting England, and it was really funny to read about how differently they view our lifestyles and traditions, since I don't tend to think twice about them! I loved how the book started off in Stratford Upon Avon, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, as I have visited there on a few occasions and could relate to where the characters were and could picture all of the settings, which is quite a rarity.
The whole 'Lulu' persona thing that Allyson took on kind of frustrated me. I know it was a huge part of the story- in fact, there probably wouldn't have been a proper story if it weren't for this factor, but I could tell from the start that this would be make more trouble than it was probably worth. Through the whole of their day, I just wanted them to reveal more about themselves and get to know each other properly, but this never happened.
Despite this, I felt as if I knew the characters, particularly Allyson, quite well. This was probably due to the amount of back-story we were given on her, which I found to be a great part of the story. I didn't feel as much of connection with Allyson as I previously had with Mia, but I still related to some parts of her, which made me like her a lot.
I didn't personally feel all that connected to Willem though. It may have been to do with the fact that, in this book, barely anything was revealed about him other than the fact that he had many female 'friends' all dotted around the world, and acted like a bit of a player! I did find him a little arrogant at times, and felt sorry for Allyson after some of his actions. It also really confused me when he disappeared.
I really liked how much Allyson develops as a character throughout this novel. It was really nice to see the transition from her moping around over Willem, to being confident and going to look for him.
Overall, Just One Day was a really enjoyable book, even if I was so tempted to throw the book at the wall when it ended!! I needed to know more!!

Just One Year was not what I had expected. It was not a sequel. I did not contain information regarding what occurred after the door closed. It was essentially a rewritten version of the first book, but from Willem's point of view.

Willem wakes up in a hospital, not knowing where in the world he is, but realising that he needs to be somewhere. It doesn't take him long to remember about the girl he has left behind in an artist's flat while he went out to get breakfast- the girl whose train is soon about to leave. Missing his opportunity to say goodbye, Willem is forced to seek out this 'Lulu' to tie up loose ends. But there's one problem- he doesn't even know her real name, never mind anything else about her. Will the same fate that brought them together keep them separated forever?

In the first book, nothing much was revealed about Willem as a person. This book revealed so much about him and made me think twice about being judgemental towards him, as I had been in Just One Day.
Again, I didn't really feel as connected to Willem as I had Allyson, and I didn't enjoy reading about his side of the story as I had hers, but it really did help me to understand more about him as a character, and it all meant more at the end. I was really on edge towards the end of this book, when I recognised some of the scenes from the previous book, so I was able to realise how some of the choices Willem made, and some of the events that took place, would lead up to how the story ended. 
One of my favourite parts of this whole book was the Adam Wilde reference!!! I had to do a double take when I read his name on the page, and it quite literally made me squeal! If you're confused at this reference, did you not understand me when I asked you to read If I Stay?! When you've read it, you'll understand!

The ending of this book made me more than frustrated! I really wanted to know what happened after they found each other, so to end the book like that was torturous!
This leads me on to the novella...

Just One Night had everything that I needed in it. If I hadn't have been able to read this minutes after closing Just One Year, I don't know what I would have done! This book gave me (and the characters) the closure that I had been desperate for since the ending of the first book!
I was beyond happy with how the story ended and was so grateful for being able to read about it!

Overall, while it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting, I did still really enjoy this series. I would definitely recommend it to fans of If I Stay, because even though the two stories were completely different to each other, the writing style was similar, and I'm a huge fan of Gayle's writing! In all honesty, I thought the this series would be more similar to If I Stay than it was; it wasn't nearly as sad and even though I shed a few happy tears after Just One Night, I didn't end up sobbing my head off!
I think most fans of cute romances, contemporary or young adult novels will enjoy and take something away from this book- I know I did! 

That's all for now, but I'll be back with more reviews soon!

Charlotte xxx

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Throne of Glass (Books #1 - 3) Review

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas is a six book YA fantasy series about a young assassin named Celaena Sardothian, who is fighting for her survival in a world in which she's considered notorious. So far, the series is made up of Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, with the fourth book set to be released near the end of this year.

If you don't already know, Throne of Glass is set in the Fantasy land of Erilea, where Celaena Sordothian, a known and feared assassin, has been captured and is working as a slave in Endovier's Salt Mines. When Captain Westfall arrives with a special deal for her, Celaena is reluctant at first, but soon finds herself representing the Crown Prince in a to-the-death fight for the position as the King's assassin. Live or die, she will be free, but will her assassin's heart be melted..?

From the second I opened this book, I knew it was set out for big things. Why? It had a map on the very first page! A map that was really cool to look at and was actually quite detailed (for the first book in a series). It's a well-known fact that every book with a map inside is setting itself out to be incredible, so I was really excited!
No time was wasted setting up a big premise for the story, the book quickly jumped into a fast-paced plot which was really intriguing to read about.
I found the book so hard to put down! I kept telling myself 'Just one more chapter' when I attempted to finish that night's reading! I really love it when a book does that!

I really, really, really loved the characters in this book. I'm pretty sure that this is the first book for which I've loved all of the heroine's love interests, and while I think I would like Celaena to end up with Dorian at the end of this series, I don't think I would hate Sarah J. Maas if Celaena got together with somebody else.
My favourite character, of course, is Celaena. I wasn't sure if I'd like her at first, with her being an assassin I expected that she would be purely stubborn and wouldn't be likeable, and even though she had these traits, they weren't excessively prominent and there was so much more to her than that! I loved how, even though she's a notorious killer, she still loves pretty dresses and seems to have an obsession with sugary porridge! I also thought it was really funny that, despite all of this, she was still insistent that she was a scary killer, and was insulted when Dorian made up that she was such a petty thing as a jewel thief! I admired her from the first page, which is why I'm sure she will live amongst my absolute favourite heroes and heroines of all time by the time this series has ended!

Immediately, I thought Throne of Glass would be a cross between Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, and Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi. And while the first book and a few of the characters had the same feel to these other books, by Crown of Midnight it was clear that this series was its own category. I've never read anything like it!

**Spoiler Alert!**
Spoilers from this point onwards!

For me, Throne of Glass was the best book of the series so far. However, this didn't stop me from loving Crown of Midnight, the second book, almost as much.
Now that Celaena has passed through the trials and has become the King of Adarlan's private assassin, she's ordered and sent to do his dirty work, getting rid of the people he doesn't like. However, being an assassin is harder than Celaena remembered- she cannot bear to kill for the crown. But every death she fakes means the ones she loves are put in even more danger. How far will she go to protect what she believes in?
The ending of this book was absolutely amazing! It was left at such a cliffhanger... Chaol had sent Celaena to Wendlyn and he discovered that she was actually Aerila, the heir to the Fae throne! I really didn't see that coming, so it made me really excited to find out about it, and it made me really want to pick up the next book.
However, as I've already said, I didn't quite enjoy this book as much as Throne of Glass, since I did think that the middle was a little slow and slightly confusing. I wasn't as engrossed in this as I had been, but I'm not completely certain as to why this was. I really did like the faerie aspect of it, and I loved learning more about the wyrds and wyrdkeys, but to be perfectly honest, I found this aspect confusing at times. There was a lot of terminology used, and if you didn't keep up with it or pay complete attention, it was a little hard to follow.

Even though I'd already began to love Celaena Sardothian, I admired her even more in this book. I loved her attitude to the King of Adarlan and how she refused to kill her victims, setting them free instead. However I really loved how she reacted to Archer near the end of his book, and I felt she was justified with what she did.

From the first book, I was wary of Nehemia, so while I was still shocked by her abrupt ending, it didn't come as a huge surprise. I was, however, really shocked to read about how Celaena dealt with it, and what she did to Chaol as a result! I didn't expect that to happen at all, and I was so, so glad that Dorian stopped her with his magical powers. I don't think I quite had realised how much Celaena depended on Nehemia's friendship and how traumatised it would make Celaena to not have her around. I did think that it was a brave thing for Sarah J. Maas to put into the book because if it had been written differently I think it would have portrayed Celaena as a different figure and certainly lowered my feelings for her.

As I've already said, I loved the ending to this book and had to pick up Heir of Fire immediately! I loved how we discovered about Celaena's true identity, and how Chaol had given her an escape route of sorts. It really tied Crown of Midnight up nicely but still left me longing to find out what would happen next.

Heir of Fire is the third and latest book in the series to be released.
In this instalment, Celaena has been sent to Wendlyn and is set on avenging the death of her dearest friend. Despite being under his command, Celaena wants to make the King of Adarlan pay for Nehemia's brutal death. Under the guidance of new-found trainer Rowan, Celaena must overcome her boundaries and push her powers to the breaking point to learn of her new destiny and fight the battles that approach...

For me, this seemed a long book. It was only 560 pages, but despite me thoroughly enjoying the other books in the series, it took me quite a long time to get into. We were introduced to a lot of new characters in this book, including Celaena's cousin, Aedion, a new possible love-interest for Celaena in the form of a strict trainer, and a whole population of Fae including Manon Blackbeak.
I did find this book hard to follow for quite a lot of the time. The split narration was a good idea, since it meant that other character's stories could be followed, but I found myself really having to think hard about that had happened previously in a certain character's storyline, since other characters had been explored since we last heard from them.
The parts with Manon really confused me. I didn't quite understand her as a character, but she was still quite cool. I am looking forward to learning more about her in the next few books because I want to know more about her. In this book, though, I wasn't too captivated by her. 

I felt so bad for Dorian in this book. While I was a little angry with him for kissing another girl in Celaena's absence, Celaena had essentially written him off and said that she didn't want anything to do with him - the silly girl!! Even though I was a little angry at Dorian, I did really like Sorscha. She seemed so lovely from what we heard about her, and even though I think I would like Celaena to end up with Dorian, Sorscha and Dorian did make a really cute couple!! I couldn't help but compare their relationship to that of Arthur and Gwen (from BBC's Merlin). This actually made me more interested in Dorian's part of the story than the other parts. I had expected something bad to happen - maybe they would be separated if Dorian's father found out, but then I thought that they'd later get back together.
I did not expect her to die!!! That part really just broke my heart! I couldn't believe that would happen. It made me so upset, for her and for Dorian. I hope his story gets a bit better in the next few books!!

After reading Heir of Fire, I went on to read the collection of novellas in The Assassin's Blade, which is set before Throne of Glass and is about how Celaena started as an assassin and got caught.
It also centres around Celaena's relationship with Sam.
In the Throne of Glass series, part of the information from this book is revealed, such as the fact that Sam is killed, and Celaena is imprisoned at the end. This made it quite strange to read because I already knew what was going to happen. Nevertheless, I had completely fallen for Sam - he's such a darling and a gentleman, even if he's a notorious assassin - so there was a small part of me which doubted that he would actually die. This part of me then proceeded in being crushed like a bug and stamped all over.
The Assassin's Blade made me admire and connect even more with Celaena because I could see where she came from and what she'd been through.
However, after reading this book, my brain hasn't been able to stop whirring around and I have come up with a few theories...

Theories for the next books...

I kind of have the feeling that Celaena will only be able to be with either Chaol or Dorian if one of them does something really horrible to her or ends up betraying her trust in some way. I have the same sort of feeling with this series as I did with The Infernal Devices trilogy, by Cassandra Clare, and while I'm not going to spoil that, people who have read the trilogy will most likely know what I mean. I think that because Dorian and Chaol are both really good friends, Celaena would feel guilty to be the person who broke up their friendship, so I think that something (probably something bad) will have to happen to one of them. Unless, that is, somebody else steps into the love triangle, which leads me onto my next theory...

I think that Sam is actually still alive. When Celaena sees his body at the end of The Assassin's Blade, his eyes had been removed, so that she couldn't recognise him, and he didn't have the right smell.
 "There was a strange, musky scent all over him—a smell that was so distinctly not Sam that she almost vomited again”
Yes, it was clear that 'Sam' had been through a lot of torture by a sadistic psychopath, but I feel like those two pieces of vital information - the lack of his eyes and his strange smell - were included for a reason. How hard would it have been for Arobyn to just find a body of someone roughly the same size and build as Sam, or even just murder somebody who looks a little like him? If he didn't have eyes and his body had been mutilated, how could you really tell?
If Sam was still actually alive, how would Celaena have found out if she's been in Endovier for so long?
I believe that in the later books, Celaena will find Sam, even if it's accidentally, and will then find Arobyn has been lying to her for all these years. After all, Arobyn was angry that Celaena had left his business to be with Sam. He may have wanted to get back at her and knew that Sam was her weakness...

I cannot wait to find out what will happen in the next three books and I'm excited to see if my theories are true. Has anybody else read the series and come to the same conclusion?

Overall, while a few parts were a little dull, I loved this series so much! I gave Heir of Fire 4 stars and the rest of the series 5! It really is a rare occasion in which I mark books that highly!
I would recommend this series to everybody! It really was a great read!

That's all for this review, I'll be back with another one soon!

Charlotte xxx

Friday, 1 May 2015

April Reading Wrap Up

The month of April seemed to disappear so quickly for me, however I have still managed to stick to my reading schedule, and this month I have read a total of eight books.
These are...
My total number of pages I read this month is 3632, which equates to just over 121 pages per day!!

This month, I've tried to vary the books that I read, so I've definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with a couple of these! This has resulted in me disliking a few more books that usual, but I have read some really good novels!

I have already reviewed Faerie Tale, by Raymond E. Feist, which you can read by clicking here.

I absolutely adored the Throne of Glass Series, by Sarah J. Maas, and my review for the first three books in this series will be posted very soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for it!


I picked up Gone Girl on the off chance that I'd enjoy it. I wasn't all that hopeful at first, to be honest. I had already managed to spoil the majority of the plot for myself by reading too many other reviews for it, so I already knew what the basic story line would contain. Also, I've never really been a huge fan of mystery books as there don't really tend to be many in the YA genre, which is what I usually stick to. However, on the odd occasion, I pick up a mystery novel that really grips my attention and I thoroughly enjoy. Gone Girl was one of these books. 
When Nick Dunne's wife, Amy, disappears without a trace, the police immediately suspect Nick as Amy's killer. However, Nick had no part in this disappearance... 
So what did happen to his lovely wife?

I feel like revealing my thoughts on this book would really spoil the book, but I'm going to talk about them anyway, so if you don't want to know what happened to Amy, please just skip this paragraph!!
I thought the start of this book did drag on a little and I didn't find myself liking either 'Diary Amy' or Nick. However, as soon as the real Amy started narrating, things really picked up. While she is such a creepy character, I couldn't help but admire her determination and brains! Yes, she might be little psychopathic, but that girl was so clever at times!
I personally thought that it was a little strange at how quickly Nick assumed that Amy was behind her own disappearance and was framing him, but I think the story might have dragged on too much if it had taken him any longer. I also thought it seemed a little rushed at the part where Amy was robbed of all of her money, but obviously the author needed something to happen to her to make her dependant on somebody else.
My only other complaint centres around the ending. I wanted a more significant event to occur (i.e. Amy gets found out, Nick runs away, or somebody gets killed!), since the ending seemed a little anti-
climactic. However, it was a realistic ending to the story... A creepily realistic ending.
It was almost as if it was based on true events (which scares me so much!!)...
I'd recommend this book to fans of a good mystery who, unlike me, don't get creeped out easily!

The Night Circus is a book that I've wanted to read for quite a long time now. It immediately jumped out at me because of Erin Morgenstern's amazing name - I suspect that she's really a Shadowhunter!!!
The book centres around a magical Circus that arrives at a destination with no warning. The gates open at nightfall and shut at dawn, and the acts are unlike those from any other circus around.
I had heard a lot of great things regarding this book, so I thought I'd give it a go.
Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. I really enjoyed the writing in The Night Circus; it was really pretty and was full of detail, which I like, and the overall concept was really interesting. However, I found the plot to be a little jumbled at times. It seemed that there were quite a few stories tied into one big story, and the order in which they were positioned in the book made it a little confusing.
It was a unique concept, which I liked the idea of, but I personally don't feel that it was pulled off very well. However, I have read many reviews for The Night Circus by people who really enjoyed the book, so while it wasn't completely for me, it wasn't a bad book and you may still really enjoy it!

Overall, while there were a few books I didn't like all that much, I have really enjoyed the books I read in April! 
Since I'm beginning to feel slightly summery at the moment, my TBR list for May is full of fluttery romances (however some of Gayle Forman's books are on the list, so I don't know how happy these romances will actually be!!). 

I hope everyone else had a productive month of reading! 
I'll hopefully be reviewing some new books soon, but until then, goodbye!

Charlotte xxx