“Shades of Magic” series by V.E. Schwab


Do you like fantasy? I have really been getting into this genre lately. It’s nice to be swept away to a new world full of magic, villains, and adventure.

The most recent series I’ve finished is the series by V.E. Schwab: A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light. If you’re not afraid of GIANT beautiful masterpieces, you definitely need to pick this series up.

It’s a bit of a mouthful to explain, so here goes:

There are three Londons: Grey London (has no magic), Red London (has a good amount of magic), White London (has a dangerous amount of magic). The people know of these three Londons thanks to the two Antari in the world, Kell and Holland. They can travel between worlds and deliver messages (and smuggle magical items between the worlds).

In Grey London, Lila Bard is a pickpocket. She’s really good at stealing and weaseling her way out of things. One day, she picks Kell’s pocket, and the two become travelling buddies in a weird twist of events.

I don’t want to spoil too much, so I can’t really get into more details. But there are pirates, evil rulers (in abundance), a magical gladiator-like competition, several curses, and a fight for everything the characters know and love.

V.E. Schwab is a colorful writer, and while the books can be slow-moving, you don’t notice because the world-building and writing style are so magical (pun intended?). I can’t recommend this series enough. Just be glad you are hearing about it now that the books are all out and you don’t have to wait for the story to continue. You’re welcome.

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase the books here: A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light

January Wrap-Up

Well, January was a fantastic reading month! I read 31 books this month — one per day! One reason I read so much this month is that I re-read the whole Series of Unfortunate Events series because of the Netflix series. The series is good either book or movie (but the book is better).

My goal this year is 200 books again — I have some more vacations/trips planned than last year, so I think I’ll be even with last year at least (214).

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Here are the books I read in January:

  1. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
  2. Frostblood by Elly Blake
  3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness*
  5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  6. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  7. Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter*
  8. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
  9. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
  10. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
  11. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
  12. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
  13. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
  14. The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
  15. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
  16. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
  17. The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket
  18. Indelible by Adelia Saunders*
  19. The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket
  20. The End by Lemony Snicket
  21. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  22. Amazing Fantastic Incredible by Stan Lee*
  23. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  24. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  25. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  26. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough*
  27. I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi (review)
  28. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
  29. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

(Plus 2 books that don’t fit the scope of my blog and were read for work.)
*These books aren’t pictured because they were either audiobooks or ebooks I don’t own a copy of.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

November Wrap-Up

November was a great month for reading. I had a four-day weekend thanks to Thanksgiving, in which I read like the world was ending. I managed to get through 31 books! Some of them were graphic novels, which I just started reading for the first time. They still count in my eyes!

2016 challenge update: As of the end of November, I am at 192 books read for my goal of 200. I’m on track to win!

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Here’s what I read this month:

  1. Defending Jacob by William Landay*
  2. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  3. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  4. Ex Machina Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, et al.
  5. Can I Sit on Your Lap While You’re Pooping? by Matthew Carroll
  6. The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey* (review)
  7. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  8. Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan*
  9. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
  10. Saga Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan*
  11. Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan*
  12. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
  13. Saga Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
  14. Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi
  15. iZombie Vol. 1 by Chris Roberson*
  16. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  17. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  18. iZombie Vol. 2 by Chris Roberson*
  19. Panic by Lauren Oliver*
  20. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  21. iZombie Vol. 3 by Chris Roberson*
  22. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver*
  23. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  24. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  25. Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
  26. Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk*
  27. Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid*
  28. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  29. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham*

*Not pictured — read as audiobook, library book, or ebook. Not included are 2 books read for work that are outside the scope of this blog.

Man, I really need to catch up on reviews this month! What did you read last month? What are you looking forward to reading in December?

“Another Day” by David Levithan

★★★☆☆

Another DayAnother Day is the sequel to David Levithan’s book Every Day, following the same story from Rhiannon’s point of view this time. This book was a great companion to Every Day — it gave the perfect background to what Rhiannon was thinking during this whole period of time and what she was going through with Justin, her boyfriend.

This book talks about some really “real” stuff for young adult readers, just like Every Day did. Rhiannon is in an extremely emotionally abusive relationship with Justin. She is constantly walking on eggshells and anticipating his anger at most things she does. You are left cheering for A to win her over, knowing even if they are in such a weird situation, at least she won’t be with Justin anymore.Every Day

If you read Every Day, you’d be missing out on most of the story if you don’t read this one. See my review for Every Day here.

You can purchase Every Day here and Another Day here.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

“The Heir” by Keira Cass (The Selection Series Book 4)

★★★★☆

The HeirTwenty years after Prince Maxon’s Selection, the country is once again facing turmoil and rebellion. Though Maxon ended the caste system, some citizens of Illéa still base decisions (hiring, marriages, etc.) on the old castes. This is creating unrest, and King Maxon and Queen America have an idea of how to bring some peace and to stir up some patriotism  — a Selection for their eldest daughter, Eadlyn.

Eadlyn has spent her formative years training to take on her birthright: the throne and all the responsibility that comes with it. So when her parents want her to put politics on the back burner and try to find her “one true love,” she’s less-than-ecstatic. She agrees to do the Selection on a few conditions that she believes will protect her from actually having to marry one of the boys who she is sure will be foolish and immature — in other words, unworthy of her and the duty of ruling Illéa. But just like her mother and father’s story before her, the Selection doesn’t turn out to be what it seems.

The Heir is the first of two books in Eadlyn’s story (the second of which with no known title or pub date yet). I highly enjoyed coming back into Illéa to learn about some of its new royalty and I am excitedly anticipating the release of the sequel.

In the meantime, you can read my review of the first three books in The Selection Series: The Selection, The Elite, and The One. In October, Kiera Cass is releasing a special collection of 4 novellas, new scenes from the Selection, a map of Illéa, and much more. Pre-order “Happily Ever After” here (releases Oct. 13, 2015).

Purchase “The Heir” here.