Saturday, August 31, 2013

DNF: August

Did Not Finish books: August


1. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Reason for not finishing: Too many holes in the logic of the story. 

Reason for recommending: Not sure.

Full Review:


2. Adaptation by Malina Lo

Reason for not finishing: Annoying insta-love/romance & plot holes.

Reason for recommending: Interesting story!

Full Review:


3. Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Reason for not finishing: The characters/romance/world

Pretty much all of the characters in this story are not interesting to me. Ash has a disgusting smoking habit and can't make up his mind between being as asshole towards anything with a heartbeat or actually caring. Natalie, on the other hand, has a snarky side to her like I like, but also lets her self be pushed around and manipulated by her mother and ex-boyfriend body guard. She also seemed like a spoiled brat to me. All of the sides characters, too, just completely unlikable and nothing about them that made me care to know more.

The romance consists of the main characters being "inexplicably drawn to each other" and talk of them being "blood mates" made me roll my eyes. Plus, it ranked of insta-love.

If anything, I probably would have been able to push on if not for the world. It just didn't interest me- like everything else in this story. 

Reason for recommending: I don't know if I would, really.



4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Reason for not finishing: Right from the start, it is hard not to pegged this book as being filled with plenty of sexual tension between a girl and a wolf (who the girl does not know can transform into a human).

So this girl Grace is attacked by wolves.. and she just lays there doing nothing. Then, a wolf stares her *meaningfully* in the eyes and "saves her". Everyday since then, they watch each other from the woods, yearning for one another like secret lovers.

The romance is insanely unbelievable. If I have to hear Grace refer to the wolf as "my wolf" one more time I swear- And I was only 38 pages in when I stopped. The way she thinks about this wolf- and she gets distracted for a whole week of school thinking about him- it's almost as if she knows he's part human. Which she doesn't. Considering how much they know each other (which they don't, at all, besides watching each other from a distance) the amount of time spent thinking of one another was too much.

I can just tell I'm not going to be able to connect to either of the characters. Especially not after Grace says that she "couldn't forgive Jack for dying" because he endangered the safety of "her wolf" by making everyone think they are bloodthirsty and dangerous.

And am I just supposed to just sit here and not think it's weird that Grace's dad calls her mom "Rags" and refers to her as "his pet" in front of Grace, without wanting to gorge me eyes out?

Reason for recommending: Would not.



5. Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier

Reason for not finishing: So boring. I will pick this up again later on.

Reason for recommending: This series is still a great, I think.


Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Title: Tandem

Author: Anna Jarzab

Book #: 1st of Trilogy

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: October 8th 2013

Pages: 448

Format: Kindle Edition

Date Read: August 31st 2013

½ / out of 5

"The universe, he said, strives for harmony and balance. All that is born will someday die. Ashes to ashes. Things fall apart."


Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

ReviewI received a free copy of this book for review.

I'm not going to sugar coat this or anything: I hated this book for the first 75%. 

What I really loved, right from the start, is the science behind it all. While this concept of multiple universes is not original, it is my favorite. In the book A Crack in the Line by Michael Lawrence, every time a decision is made (down to what color shirt you decide to wear that day) the universes split and you get a world for each of your possible choices. Left or right? Yes or no? This is basically the idea that Tandem works with, and I loved it. I also loved how the extra ideas the author added to this concept. Your alternate self, or your double in another universe, is called your "analog". The author also created a great explanation of the system, which we see an example of on Loc 3069 of 5272 (Sorry guys, I don't have the page number! I was reading this on my kindle. I will find it when I buy the book).

Unfortunately, for most of the book, the story was too romantically dramatic, angst filled insta-love, with a way-too-gullible M.C. who makes poor decisions and cries a lot. The one love-interest, who Sasha has the more romantic feelings for, was too hot/cold in the beginning. He pulled the answer-questions-with-questions and you-can't-handle-the-truth things a lot and I honestly just wanted to smack him for the majority of this book. And, while with Juliana (Sasha's analog) it's really hard to point the finger at who's wrong in that situation, I couldn't help but not like her for running away from her problems (albeit we learn a lot more about her problems later on). The rest of the characters made little to no impression on me. 

Bottom line: I just wasn't really feeling it with this one because of the characters and the story which, though I liked the science part, wasn't giving me any feelings of excitement and thrill.

But wait, there's more!

I'm not sure exactly where and when it happened, but it did. Sometime while read the last part of this book, I fell in love. I saw huge improvement in the characters (though Sasha still cries a lot, hell, I cry a lot too sometimes. Can't help it if we're overly emotional people, can we?) and the story took a couple of turns that, while I could have seen coming if I think about it now, I hadn't really paid attention to being possible in the beginning. We see where Thomas begins to draw the lines between duty and his morals. We also see more complexities behind the analogs, which I began to find fascinating in Sasha and Juliana's case.

My favorite development was what Sasha goes through. In the beginning of all this, she really hates her situation and just wants to go home to her normal life. In a way, she is very much like Juliana, who just wants to be free of her problems and have that normal life. However, as the story starts coming to a close, we see where Sasha and Juliana's motives shift and diverge. The winy, "woe is me" Sasha from the beginning of the story slowly disappears and we meet a more determined, selfless version of her former self. When Sasha gets her first, real opportunity to go home, she says this:
"I won't go! I cried, digging my nails into the fabric of this jacket. "Not until Juliana's back. There are other lives at stake here, not just ours"
Juliana does wish that she could stop running away and be this better person, it is obvious that she can't. Unlike Sasha, who is beginning to mold into this situation and become determined to fix the problem, Juliana plainly admits that she just can't:
"I'm sorry," she repeated. She sounded like her heart was shattering. "I can't. I wish I was better, but I'm not."

Based on this evidence, I have a prediction that: (view spoiler)

Overall, while this was a tough journey for the most part, the end of this really left me hungry for more. Chapter 38!?!? Crazy stuff. I would recommend this book, but with caution. I really didn't like the characters for the most part, but their growth in the end made it almost worth it.


"What did she do?"
"She wept," Gloria said, her own eyes wet at the memory. "Like a child, she wept. And my heart broke for her, as it breaks for you now. You're both so young, and you have so much resting on your shoulders. The fate of an entire nation- two nations, in fact. It just seems so grossly unfair."

"I know this is hard for you," The queen continued. "But you have to believe that it's for the best. The past is the past, but the future is still worth preserving."

"Sometimes our names are chosen for us, and sometimes we choose our own."

It wasn't just that she didn't want to die. She wanted to live. And she could not call what she'd been doing for the pas sixteen- almost seventeen- years living. Her mother hadn't wanted her to be a flesh and blood mortal, but she was one, and she couldn't imagine another sixty years being a pawn in someone else's game.

"But you can't really protect people from anything, cal you?"

"If there's anything I learned from my mother, it's that power makes you just as vulnerable as it makes you strong. People want to use you for it, or take it from you, all the time."

"I didn't want to see that I was wrong, that I was capable of being wrong."
"We're all capable of being wrong," I whispered.

"There's more than one way to stop a war," he told me.

This was it. The vilest thing I've ever done was happening right before my eyes. But did it really matter? It was inevitable anyway.
Or was it?
"Stop!" I cried.

Thomas shook out his hand; his knuckles had taken quite a beating tonight. "Screw the General," he said.

I mad a face at him, and he returned it. God, I was glad he was alive.

For the moment, though, none of that mattered. He bent his head and kissed me deeply. I kissed him back. We kissed each other, sinking deeper and deeper into an unfathomable ocean straining toward infinity.

This was the part of love I hated, the pain of losing the person you wanted to keep more than anything in the whole world. All the worlds.

I didn't think I'd ever be all right. Not in a million years, not in an infinite number of lifetimes. But I had to go on. I couldn't give up. Thomas had risked his life to return me to mine, and I wasn't going to waste it.

On My Goodreads:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Dream Theives

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Book #: 2nd of Series

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publish Date: September 13th 2013

Pages: 416

Format: Kindle Edition

Date Read August 31st 2012

★★ / out of 5


I just have to say that the synopsis for this book is more what I was expecting to see with the first book, except that the first book (who's summary hints at romance) has no romance, while this book (who's summary does not hint at any romance) has romance. Do I think that makes sense? No. Do I really care? No. I still love this series, regardless.


Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

ReviewI received a free copy of this book for review.

Wow. Just wow

This second installment in The Raven Cycle series is everything I wanted and more: More action. More character development. More secrets uncovered. More lines being drawn and unlikely alliances being made. More Gansey and Ronan and Adam and Noah and Blue and Mara and Calla and Persephone. And, also, some Mr. Gray. 

And that last chapter, are you kidding me? No way. How am I supposed to wait a year for the sequel after that?

Here is just a little insight to these wonderful characters:
Blue brought a pitcher of iced tea to the table. "What's that?"
"Jane!" Gansey said joyfully.
Adam said, "It's a wizard in a box."
"It will do your homework," Noah added.
"And it's been dating your girlfriend," Ronan finished.
Blue scowled. "Are you all drunk?"
If you want to know anything else about this book, just read my quotes!

Overall, read this series. That's all I can say. 


Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold. It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate.

Theoretically, Blue Sargent was probably going to kill one of these boys.
"Jane!" The shout came from across the hill. It was directed toward Blue, although Jane was not her real name. "Hurry up!"

Cues the song "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings

Anyway, if fate thought it could tell her who to fall for, fate had another thing coming. 

Adam Parrish, gaunt and fair; Noah Czerny, smudgy and slouching; and Ronan Lynch, ferocious and dark.

"They also told me the future," added Gansey, turning to Blue.
"Don't look at me," she said shortly. Her lack of psychic talents was legendary.
"Or helped him tell the future," Gansey went on, which did not particularly make sense, but indicated that he was trying to unirritate her. Blue's short temper and her ability to make other people's psychic talents strong were also legendary.

The Camaro's air-conditioning had only two settings: on and broken.

Gansey's phone chirruped. He read the message before letting it drop next to the gearshift with a strangled cry. Abruptly melancholy, he lolled his head in dismay against the seat. Adam gestured for Ronan to pick up the phone, but Ronan despised phones above almost every other object in the world.

"- Noah doesn't count," Ronan replied.
Noah said, "Hey."
"You're dead. You don't weigh anything!"

Ronan slumped in his seat, all the fight sucked out of him. "You never want to have an fun, old man."
"That's not fun," Gansey said, putting on his turn signal. "That's trouble."

Back then, it had surprised Ronan; he hadn't realized yet that Gansey could persuade even the sun to pause and give him the time.

"Ronan, there's no reason for that," Gansey said sternly, as if Ronan had hurled a toy on the floor.
"No shit, Sherlock. But there it is."

It didn't help that Nino's clientele was mostly Aglionby boys, who often thought rudeness was a louder sort of flirting.

"Bye. Will you be home for dinner? I'm making midlife crisis."
"Oh," Blue said, "I guess I'll have a slice. If you're making it already."

"We don't know," Gansey said, around his straw. "Why is the tea so good here?"
"I spit in it. Let me see this thing."

Blue, feeling oddly warm around the cheeks, told Gansey, "I don't need you to stand up for me. Don't you"- this was directed at Ronan- "think I'll let you talk to me like that. Especially not because you're mad I'm right."

"How sweet, man." Ronan lifted one higher, like spaghetti. "It goes with everything."

He slapped a palm on Ronan's shaved head and rubbed it. Ronan looked ready to bite him.

Only the mountains looked out of place, blue ghosts on every horizon.

Blue Sargent was pretty in a way that was physically painful to him. He was attracted to her like a heart attack.

What do you want, Adam?
To feel awake when my eyes are open.

"You be careful, Adam Parrish. 'Cause one day you might get what you asked for. There might be girls in Henrietta who'll let you talk to them like that, but I'm not one of them."

"Adam thinks he saw an apparition at his place."
Ronan eyed Noah. "I'm seeing an apparition right now."
Noah made a rude gesture, a hilariously unthreatening act coming from him, like a growl from a kitten.

Blue was a fanciful but sensible thing, like a platypus, or one of those sandwiches that had been cut into circles for a fancy tea party.

Maura watched Gansey carefully. Blue suspected this was not because of anything Gansey was saying, but because she was waiting for him to take a drink of whatever horrid potion she had sleeping in that cup in front of him.

"I'm nearly drunk enough to be transcendent," Calla said after a space. She was not the only psychic drinking, but she was the closest one to transcendence.

Gansey, dangling his arm outside, patted the side of the car as if it were a horse. "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."

Ronan told Gansey what he thought of this plan, very precisely, with a lot of compound words that even Adam hadn't heard before.

But in everything Gansey didn't say, in every feeling he didn't paint on his face, he was shouting:
It's gone.

"Jane, how do you feel about doing something slightly illegal and definitely distasteful.?" Gansey asked.
She left the door hanging open as she retreated into the house, calling, "Mom! I'm going with the boys to... do... something!"
"WHAT SORT OF SOMETHING?" This was Maura, from inside the house.
"SOMETHING DISTASTEFUL!" Blue roared back. "What are we doing, by the way?"
"Well," Gansey said slowly, as thunder rumbled once more, "the illegal part is that we're going to Ronan's family's property, which he is not allowed to do."
Ronan flashed his teeth at her. "And the distasteful part is that we're burying a body."

"It looks like another country," Blue said.
It was another country. It was a country for the young, a country where you died before you got old.

On My Goodreads:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Book #: 1st of Series

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's

Publish Date: August 7th 2012

Pages: 404

Format: Hardcover

Date Read: August 31st 2013

½ / out of 5

She could do it. She just needed to clear the wall. She had come so close before...
"I'm listening," was all she said.


Being raised to be an assassin by the King of the Assassins, Celaena knows one thing true, above all: She is good, very good, at what she does. Though, after a year slaving away in the salt mines, she is surprised to find herself bargaining for her freedom with the Crown Prince, the son of the man who sentenced her. 

The deal: to compete against twenty four notorious criminals and come out alive and victorious at the very end, to then serve the King for four years as his Champion. Only after will she be granted freedom.

But, by accepting this challenge and moving into the castle made of glass, Celaena discovers love and friendship, things she certainly never saw herself having again, and also a horrible evil that threatens to destroy them all.


I had refused to read this book- as I have so many others- because of the looming love triangle. I do not like them and don't ask me why, because I just don't know. I know that I don't, and that is all.

However, my love for fantasy and strong willed and talented female heroines (also, the non-stop hyping that I can't seem to escape from anywhere) really pushed me into finally giving this book a try. And, for what it is worth, though I am still waiting to see how that is sorted out in the future books, I am glad I did.



Here we have Celaena: an assassin, raised and trained by the best. She is strong of will and strength, beautiful and very, very witty. I loved her sarcasm and gotta-get-the-last-word comments. She has a dark past that I loved getting glimpses of and still want to know more about. Most importantly, though, she uses her experiences to better herself and doesn't spend too much time sulking or feeling bad for herself. If something happens and doesn't go her way, she fights to turn the tables.

However, I can't help but feel the same way as a friend of mine on Goodreads, Khanh, felt and expressed in her review. Even though she does have to work to regain her lost endurance and stamina, and does battle dark, emotional demons from her past, I didn't feel any real character growth. Now, most of the time I appreciate more a female character who we are introduced to from the beginning as being strong, and that is definitely the case with Celaena, it did start to bother me just how perfect she thought she was. Confidence is one thing, and a very good thing to have, but over-confidence and believing everyone around you is incompetent (though she does prove herself as being superior) is unattractive. I am looking forward to seeing what becomes of her in Crown of Midnight.

Dorian, the Crown Prince, finds himself completely enthralled by the assassin. While I eventually learned that there is more to him than meets the eye (Transformers, robots in disguise! Sorry, guys. Had to.), I really do feel that his relationship with Celaena is too physical and didn't require much effort on either end to develop. It is obvious from the start that they are both attracted to each other. I couldn't help but notice, too, that when reading from Dorian's POV he mostly takes note of her physical beauty. He toys with her with the purpose of making her furious and finds it entertaining:
He glanced down at her form. Average height aside, her curves were enticing (page 145).

Her cheeks were flushed, making her blue eyes even brighter. Did she know what he might have wanted to do with her is she wasn't an assassin (page 148)?
Dorian, in my opinion, looked at her like she was his latest conquest. Celaena catches on, too, and I was proud of her when she pointed out what I was beginning to feel was true:
"I'm not some commodity that you can gawk at! I'm not some carnival exhibit, and you won't use me as part of some unfulfilled desire for adventure and excitement!" (page 147)
While I have an idea that (view spoiler), I really hope that it doesn't open the door way for Dorian and Celaena's relationship to develop into something more. I like him, and it is true that he likes Celaena for her intelligence, too, but I want to see him with someone else.

Chaol, on the other hand, is intense. Just the way I like 'em. He is the Captain of the Guard and is very serious about what he does. Being that, his relationship with Celaena is very slow- if not non-existent in this first book- because she is a trained criminal. I appreciated these two much more as a couple because what bond they have between them takes time to develop and does so on a deeper level than just being attracted to a pretty face and witty comebacks. And I love the banter they partake in:
"The truth? You treated me like I'm a crazed criminal!"
"And you said that you hated me more than anyone alive."
"I meant every word of it." However, a smile began to tug at her lips- and she soon found it reflected on his face. He tossed a piece of bread at her, which she caught in one hand a threw back at him. He caught it with ease. "Idiot," she said, grinning now.
"Crazed criminal," he returned, grinning, too.
"I really do hate you."
"At least I didn't come in eighteenth place," he said. Celaena felt her nostrils flare, and it was all Chaol could do to duck the apple she chucked at his head (page 158).
For the most part, they both don't even realize that they might actually have feelings for one another until they very end. From his POV chapters, we see the contrast between how he notices Celaena compared to how Dorian notices her. He comments more on her personality and character, and the deeper meaning behind her appearance and actions, than focusing on the beauty of her face and features:
She was was still in her clothes, and while she looked beautiful, that did nothing to mask the killing potential that lay beneath. It was present in her strong jaw, in the slope of her eyebrows, in the perfect stillness of her form. She was a honed blade made by the King of Assassins for his own profit. She was a sleeping animal- a mountain cat or dragon- and her markings of power were everywhere (page 180).
He looks at her like she is a labyrinth; enticing him to come and explore, but dangerous enough for him to want to keep his distance. However, as the story progresses, it is more and more subtly shown that the possibility of a relationship is opening up between them. Especially so, when Celaena begins to notice her attraction for him, about 3/4 into the book:
"Are you mad? You're better than everyone in here. And you're- you're very handsome." There was beauty in Chaol's face- and strength, and honor, and loyalty. She stopped hearing the crowd, and her mouth became dry as he stared at her. How had she missed it for so long (page 293)?
I honestly hope that their relationship grows and stays strong and real throughout the next 5 books. A lot can happen in those many pages, and I would really be disappointed if they didn't end up together.

Nehemia is my new favorite fictional best-friend. I have decided that she is Princess Leia herself, in disguise: a princess leading a group of rebels against a tyrant king. I loved how cunning and smart she was, as well as her passionate quest to protect and better the lives of her people:
"What is the point of being a princess of Eyllwe if I cannot help my people? How can I call myself their princess, when such things happen?" (page 252)
She is also very observant, and I liked how she commented on the bond between Chaol and Celaena:
"That man cares for you more than either of you realize."
I am so glad that she befriended Celaena, and I am looking forward to see where their paths lead in the next book.

Story & Writing Style:

The way the author writes made it easy for me to be pulled into the story, but I also enjoyed how the plot developed from being just Celaena trying to win her freedom, to her discovery of a darker evil lurking in the castle. I really hope that that is the focus the story takes as we continue on with this 6 book series. Because of how much of a Skyrim obsessed nerd I am, something about long-dead Kings and Queens, and evil magic really entices me.

Overall, this was a thrilling fantasy adventure that I would easily recommend to any and all.


She hadn't tasted fear in a while- hadn't let herself taste fear. When she awoke every morning, she repeated the same words: I will not be afraid.

Still, the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lonely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.

"Over a million? A million books?" Her heart leapt and danced, and she cracked a smile. "I'd die before I even got through have of that."

He should be hanging from the gallows. He had killed many more people than she- people undeserving and defenseless.

She glared. "I hate women like that. They're so desperate for the attention of men that they'd willingly betray and harm members of their own sex."

She practically threw the rapier into place, and drew the hunting knives without hesitation.
My dear old friends.
A wicked smile spread across her face.

But Nehemia just clicked her tongue. "That pretty boy? He grinned at me far too much- and you should only see how he winked at the other women in the court. I want a husband to warm my bed, and my bed alone."

"And what's wrong with headstrong girls? Other than the fact that they're not wooden-headed ninnies who can only open their mouths to give orders and gossip?"

He remained standing there for a moment longer, studying her. "I'll see you tomorrow morning," he said, and left. In the silence that followed his wake, she contemplated his story, and the paths that had made them so different, but so similar.

"We each survive in our own way."

Ardalan could take their freedom, it could destroy their lives and beat and break and whip them, it could force them into ridiculous contests, but, criminal or not, they were still human. Dying- rather than playing in the king's game- was the only choice left to him.

She didn't fear the night, though she found little comfort in it's dark hours. It was just the time when she slept, the time when she stalked and killed, the time when the stars emerged with glittering beauty and made her feel wonderfully small and insignificant. 

While she might be used to darkness, she wasn't foolish enough to trust it.

Queen Elena put her hands on Celaena's shoulders and kissed her forehead. "Courage if the heart is very rare. Let it guide you."

Celaena's hand trembled. If she hit him... if she hit him, is she got into a brawl right here and the guards had to pull them apart, Chaol might not let her see Nehemia again, let alone leave her rooms after lessons, or stay late to practice with Nox. So Celaena smiled and rolled her shoulders as she said brightly: "Shove it up your ass, Cain."

"Do you feel that?" She asked Choal, who slowly, maliciously grinned. He held out his dagger and dragged it on the marble floor, creating the exact sound and feeling. 
"Damned idiot," she snarled.

"Mock me again," she spat at Verin, "and I'll do that with my sword the next time."

"Life shouldn't be like this. And.. and the world shouldn't be like this."

There was good in people- deep down, there was always a shred of good. There had to be.

"We all bear scars, Dorian. Mine just happen to be more visible than most."

"You think I want to be here? It was either this or Endovier! I had no choice. Before you start lecturing me on my morality, or before you run away and hide behind your bodyguards, just know that there's not a moment that goes by when I don't wonder what it will be like to kill for him- the man who destroyed everything that I loved!"

Would she have laughed if she'd known that other things- other people- would come to mean as much as her freedom?

For a heartbeat, she saw the king with stark clarity. He was just a man- a man with too much power. And in that one heartbeat, she didn't fear him. I will not be afraid, she vowed, wrapping the familiar words around her heart.

Nehemia leaned to whisper in Celaena's ear. "Let it be with an Eyllwe weapon that you take them down. Let wood from the forests of Eyllwe defeat the steel from Adarlan. Let the king's Champion be someone who understands how the innocent suffer."

"No matter what happens," she said quietly, "I want to thank you."
Chaol tilted his head to the side. "For what?"
"For making my freedom worth something."
He didn't say anything; he just took the fingers of her right hand and held them in his, his thumb brushing the ring she wore.

Chaol squeezed her hand, his skin warm in the frigid air. "Give him hell," he said.

"My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me."

"There is nothing I wouldn't do for my country- no sacrifice too great to keep my people alive and out of slavery, to keep another massacre from happening."

"I have enough secrets. I don't need another one."

The sunlight warmed her skin, and the weight around her shoulders drifted away. "I'm saying that in four years, I'm going to be free, and I've never been free in my entire life." Her smile grew. "And I want to know what that feels like."

There was still something soft in her face. It gave him hope- hope that he had not lost his soul in the act of killing, hope that humanity could still be found, and honor could be regained... She had come out of Endovier and could still laugh.

"You could be different," Elena said quietly. "You could be great. Greater than me- than any of us. You could rattle the stars. you could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That's what scares you most."

On My Goodreads: