On the TBR Pile: The Princess Bride

tbr14

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything

Advertisements

Slammed, Colleen Hoover

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

In the last month or so, I’ve realised that I really like Colleen Hoover’s writing. Sometimes, the only thing to read is a good romance…as long as it’s also an angsty romance.

This is, I think, my fourth Hoover book I’ve read, and  probably one of my favourites- it’s definitely up there with Ugly Love.

I’m not saying its perfect- far from it, within the first quarter, I wanted to throw something at Lake (the main character) about 20 times, because she was annoying, and actually used the phrase ‘I’m not like other girls’ (God I hate that sentence with every fiber of my being). Even Will, who was lovely, annoyed me at some points.

But what made this book for me was the poetry. It’s called Slammed for a reason- because woven into it is poetry. Will loves poetry, and introduces Lake to Poetry Slams- getting up on stage and performing your words.

What I also loved about this was that it was a romance without a single sex scene- and those scenes are something I expect from Hoover. I liked that- I liked that it focused on the romance and difficulties without much actual making out.

What actually pulls this book down for me is its sequels. I get it, I really do. Second books are never as good, but while I loved this book and read it in one night, the second one fell flat (and the third even flatter, as I have not picked it up in four days. Thankfully, Slammed can be read as a stand-alone)

 

 

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

ember-in-the-ashes

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself

I first read this book a year ago and thought it was amazing. I then went back to reread it this year (in the run up to Torch Against the Night) and had forgotten how dark it was. I mean, its still amazing and brilliant, but its not a light read.

The chapters alternate between Laia- who has turned rebel and spy against the leaders and ‘army’ that push down her people- and Elias- who is training to be a Mask, one of the army that she is meant to hate. While both characters stories are interesting, I much prefer Elias.

Laia is a slave and spy in the Commandant house, tasked with watching and listening to everything that is going on in the school.  Her chapters are brutal and harsh; the Commandant is an unforgiving character who is happy to scar and break anyone who works for her. Elias’ chapters are no less harsh, but they are, to me, more interesting, more action packed, and his character is one that you feel for- he is training to be a monster, and he hates it. He wants to escape but is stuck at every turn, having to hurt friends and turn enemies with people. A character that has somehow managed to keep his heart and mind in a place where it is trained out of you. Between his interactions with other characters and the tasks he has to complete, I just want to sit and read his whole story and leave Laia- because she just doesn’t seem as important.

What I love about Sabaa Tahir’s writing is that I still feel sorry and my heart still breaks slightly for the evil, cruel character in the book. There are not many authors that can humanise a baddie like that, not many that can make you feel for a character even while wanted to kill them.

four stars

The September Fairyloot Box

fairyloot

With every box I get from Fairyloot, I love them more, and I think this one has been my favourite so far. The second I saw it was a box for fans of Six of Crows, I knew I had to get it, and I am so glad I did. Because inside it is a range of goodies from two of my favourite  series- and a new book that looks really interesting.

In this box was-

  • Six of Crows/ Crooked Kingdom postcards (which are already stuck on my wall)
  • Shadow and Bone Candle (which smells amazing…and I dont actually want to light it because I like the smell)
  • Shadow and Bone notebook
  • Shadow and Bone mini poster (again, already up on my wall)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic badges (which are ready to be put onto my next bag. I love badges. So much)
  • A necklace
  • A Harry Potter sticker
  • A fairyloot book bag
  • The book- Vassa in the Night, a signed sticker, letter from the author and bookmark for the book.

So, really really good box this month.

So many books, so little time…