Too Many Netgalley’s To Read

October 25, 2011 Bonnie Uncategorized 1 Comment

I always swear I’m never going to let it happen, but once again I’ve let my Netgalley pile get out of control. I blame it on all the good books they post, not that I’m complaining! 🙂


Can’t decide which to read next though… any thoughts/recommendations?
I’m thinking it’s almost time to start reading my Christmas books. 😀

Heart of Evil
Rebirth
Isles of the Forsaken
The Whitefire Crossing
The Windup Girl
Alien Contact
Those Across the River
Ward Against Death
A Line in the Ice
Blood
Sacred Evil
The Evil Inside
The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy's Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici
The Taming of the Rake
Where Demons Fear to Tread
The Sleepwalkers
By Grace Possessed
Knight's Curse
In Total Surrender
1225 Christmas Tree Lane

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Short and Sweet Review – A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Short and Sweet Review – A Vintage Affair by Isabel WolffA Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
on June 17, 2010
Pages: 386
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Very Picture of You, Shadows Over Paradise

four-stars

Every dress has a history. And so does every woman.

Phoebe Swift’s friends are stunned when she abruptly leaves a plum job to open her own vintage clothing shop in London—but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream, and her passion. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread—you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life.

Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of elegant suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s sky-blue coat—an item with which Mrs. Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the poignant tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell—one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again.

‘There are some people who say they’re able to ‘compartmentalize’ things, as though it is possible to put negative or distressing thoughts into neat mental drawers to be taken out only at a psychologically convenient time. It’s a beguiling idea, but I’ve never bought it. In my experience, sadness and regret seek into one’s consciousness willy-nilly, or they suddenly leap out at you with a snarl. The only real remedy is time…’

This was an incredible story and not exactly what I was expecting.

The story centers around Phoebe who has just fulfilled her dream of opening her own vintage clothing shop. Her life isn’t completely happy; however, because she’s still trying to deal with the loss of her best friend. She blames her ex-boyfriend for reasons that aren’t explained till the end of the novel.

A side-story involves a French woman who contacts Phoebe to sell some of her vintage clothes. Phoebe visits her and while browsing through all of her beautiful clothes she discovers a seemingly out of place children’s blue jacket. The woman decides to share her story involving life during WWII for the first time in her life with Phoebe. The two are able to help each other by sharing their stories and being able to move on with their lives.

It was truly a beautiful story.

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Book Review – Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefanoWither by Lauren DeStefano
Series: The Chemical Garden #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 22, 2011
Pages: 384
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Perfect Ruin, Burning Kingdoms, The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart

one-half-stars

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

I had major issues with the dystopian situation this book found itself in. The virus and evolution of everything seemed too far-fetched for me. The more YA books I read, the more I’m finding that there are books out there labeled as YA that young adults should not be reading because of the topics… this book being one of them.

Spoilers ahead..

Girls hide inside their houses at night scared of being kidnapped by ‘Guardians’ and sold into prostitution or sold as child brides to men who can afford them. The opening scene was a group of girls that had been kidnapped, three were ‘approved’, the rest were shot. The approved child brides are taken to the mansion of their future husband where they are promptly married to 21-year old Linden. One of the brides is only 13 years old. Sure this happens and sure this is real; however, there are some topics that just shouldn’t be glamorized and geared towards young adults.

I didn’t think it would be possible, yet I did manage to finish it. I can understand the story, I understand that these kind of things do happen in this world… but it was one of the worst books I’ve ever read.

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Book Review – City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra ClareCity of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 5th 2011
Pages: 448
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Clockwork Princess

one-star

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most importantly of all - she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and now he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other one.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

As happy as I was that the Mortal Instruments series was continuing… I would’ve preferred that it hadn’t. Because this book? Was painful. I am usually able to finish books quickly but this one drug on and on and on to the point where I just wanted to give up. Some spoilers ahead.

I had a hard time from the very beginning understanding exactly what was going on. There wasn’t a clear plot and even if the author was attempting to be vague and have it be a surprise or whatnot, she failed miserably. The basis of the book solely revolved around Jace and Clary’s relationship problems, but even those weren’t clear. And it was beyond irritating that Jace was clearly having issues and yet he refused to talk to Clary about it. And him continuing to say ‘I love you but I can’t be with you, but lets kiss and make out but… now I can’t look at you. Get away from me.’ That repeated about 5 times kinda made me want to rip his face off.

And then the ending?! Come on. Yeah, we’re going to leave Jace up on the roof alone with the kind of not so dead guy but everything’s going to be fine because obviously things went perfect the FIRST time they killed him. Stupid. It was like a bad horror movie where the dumb blonde decides to go down to see what the chainsaw-like noise is in the dark basement even though the light won’t turn on and she can’t be bothered to find a flashlight.

I loved the first three of the Mortal Instruments but was seriously disappointed in this one. The series would’ve been better off left as it was in the third book.

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Book Review – Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

Book Review – Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare BlakeAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Published by Tor Teen on August 30, 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Ghosties, Horror
Format: Hardcover
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

‘Anna is a murderer. Yet Anna is not evil. Anna kills, but Anna doesn’t want to kill.’

Anna was murdered and a curse was placed upon her that kept her forever locked inside the house where she died and she can’t stop herself from attacking and killing anyone who enters.

Cas is a ghost killer. He travels the country based on news and tips received about ghosts who are doing harm to humans… he only goes after the most dangerous ones. The second he hears about Anna he knows he’ll be going after her next.

‘Anna Dressed in Blood’ quickly became initiated into my Favorites shelf. This was one fabulously exciting novel that turned me into a wild page turning crazy person. I was initially intrigued by the cover but had thoughts that it would turn out to be cheesy and not worth my time… boy was I wrong. This was one extremely well written book. The storyline was original and I loved it. I’m a total sucker for ghostie books or anything undead in general so I knew I had to give this a shot either way.

CREEPY. Man! I would not have expected this, I suppose because it’s a YA book but wowsa… there were a few times I thought my eyeballs were gonna fall out of my head my eyes were open so far. Creepy, gruesome, but I LOVED IT. No fluffy bunny stuff here, beware.

There have been a lot of comparisons between ‘Anna Dressed in Blood’ and ‘Necromancer’ and while I’m in complete agreement because of the sense of humor, but there is a subtle difference between the main characters. In ‘Anna’ Cas is fully aware of his powers at the start of the novel and what he is able to do and he has a confidence that is admirable and quite lacking in ‘Necromancer’. Overall, all of the characters were well written and extremely likeable and I enjoyed every minute of this.

Holy crap. That? Was some awesome shit.

I’m so excited for the next installment Girl of Nightmares… I’ll be getting my hands on this ASAP. I would HIGHLY recommend this book.

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Book Review – The Witches by Roald Dahl

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Middle Grade, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – The Witches by Roald DahlThe Witches by Roald Dahl
Published by Scholastic Press on August 16, 2007 (first published 1983)
Pages: 208
Genres: Classics, Fantasy, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Gremlins

three-stars

This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! "In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch." Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.

“In fairy tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks, and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.”

I decided to read this in support of Banned Book Week. So obviously I’m a bit behind schedule as this is my first time reading this and I know many of you had read this early on in your childhood. I’m 25 years old and am just now getting around to experiencing it. I positively adored Roald Dahl’s writing and am quite surprised that I never actually read a single one of his books.

“The curtains were never drawn in that house, and through the windows I could see huge snowflakes falling slowly on to an outside world that was as black as tar.”

Does it make me a total wuss to admit that this book really freaked me out a few times? And what about those pictures?! Holy crap.

That? Is some seriously scary shit right there.

Bottom Line… it was quite a charming little book and the relationship between the little boy and his grandmother was damn adorable.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.”

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Book Review – The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2) by Julie KagawaThe Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 1st 2010
Pages: 361
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Knight

two-stars

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey - ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I really feel like I’m missing something with this series. I started reading it based solely off the declarations of love and whatnot and I’ve since become sorely disappointed.

The Storyline
In The Iron Daughter, Meghan has become the prisoner of Queen Mab the Winter Faery Queen. After Meghan witnesses the death of Queen Mab’s son by the hands of the Iron Fey she once again gets entangled in that drama. Meghan and a few friends set off in search of the Iron Fey where all kinds of predictable fun is in store for them.

The ‘Romance’
Is there some manual out there for aspiring YA writers? Is there a requirement listed that in order for a YA book to be successful there must be a love triangle? I don’t know who started it (My hunch? It’s all Twilight’s fault) but the idea that love triangles are fun, exciting, and makes a book all sorts of romantical is so so wrong. But I’m not picking sides! I’m going to go a complete different route.

Team Grimalkin! One bad ass kitty cat. Even though he is kind of a shit.

Bottom Line
I feel so entwined in this series that I feel I must continue, but I can’t promise I won’t complain the entire time. Meghan’s character is the WHINIEST person I have ever had the unfortunate opportunity to read about. I understand she’s like 17 or something but COME ON. Between the constant whining and crying about Ash, and the whining and crying about Puck, and not having powers, and wanting to go back to high school, wanting to go home, some more whining about Ash… it really got old. I feel no connection with this main character and honestly? Somebody really needs to slap some sense into that girl. The ending was somewhat redeemable though… what with Meghan turning into kind-of a badass. I did say kind-of. I can only hope for more in the next book.

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Book Review – Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4) by Nicole Peeler

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4) by Nicole PeelerEye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True #4
Published by Orbit on August 1, 2011
Pages: 342
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, Tempest's Fury

three-half-stars

Nothing says "home" like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.

Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she's not the only thing that's been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.

Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped...and Jane's just the halfling for the job.

Jane True Series

Tempest Rising (Jane True, #1)Tracking the Tempest (Jane True, #2)Tempest's Legacy (Jane True, #3)

Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)
Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2)
Tempest’s Legacy (Jane True #3)

Alright, it’s official. I love Nicole Peeler. There, I’ve said it. I’m SO glad that I finally got off my ass and read her Jane True series because it is truly a wonderful, hilarious, hell of a good time series. In the fourth installment of the Jane True series, after an altercation with a group of humans who attacked Jane and Anyan, Jane uses a power against them that no one knew she possessed. She used so much magic that she practically fell into a coma for the better part of a month. When she wakes, things aren’t much better; actually, they’re quite worse. Jane’s friends inform her that Phaedra’s evil group has been searching out the locations of four ‘locks’ that are around Rockabill that when unlocked will unleash and ancient power. It’s up to Jane to locate the locks and get to this ancient power first so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

I won’t continue to gush about my love for this series, I’m sure everyone is fully aware by now, since this will now be my fourth review of this series and I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record. As far as new thoughts and feelings, I must say I am so glad that Jane and Anyan are still ‘together’. I absolutely adore those two.

I loved seeing Iris go through her healing process after what she suffered in the 3rd book. It made it all the more real that the author didn’t simply glaze over that whole ordeal and transform Iris right back to her normal funky self.

It never ceases to crack me up how Jane’s libido has a life of its own and it’s almost a completely separate entity form Jane.

’Now I can do the slurping! My libido crowed, causing me to blush. I hated when I blushed at my own sex drive.’

I had this horrible feeling that I was going to be left with some massive cliffhanger about midway through the book. Fortunately, that feeling was short-lived as Nicole managed to wrap it up quite nicely. All I have to say though… poor Jane and Anyan. Lol Can’t they get cut some slack here??? I can’t wait for the fifth installment; this series just keeps getting more and more exciting!

If you have yet to read this series, well… what are you waiting for?!

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Book Review – Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 2 Comments

Book Review – Love in Mid Air by Kim WrightLove in Mid Air by Kim Wright
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on April 1, 2010
Pages: 321
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the community. She finds herself cutting through all the instincts that say "no" and instead lets "yes" happen. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. There are consequences for Elyse, her family, and her circle of close friends, all of whom have an investment in her life continuing as normal. But is normal what she really wants after all? In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find--and follow--her own path to happiness.

An intelligent, sexy, absorbing tale and an honest look at modern-day marriage, Love in Mid Air offers the experience of what it's like to change the course of one's own destiny when finding oneself caught in mid air.

There are some books that need to be read when you’re at the right place in your life to be able to fully appreciate it. If you’re super happy in your current relationship I could see this being a very negative book, from that perspective. If you’ve had your relationship ups and downs and even occasionally daydream of simply running away from life, I believe you’d be able to understand this book more.

This was a very powerful book, and at first glance not a very happy one. Elyse Bearden is a married mother of one who has realized lately that her marriage is stale. After meeting a man on a plane ride home that she later begins to have an affair with, she begins to really question what she wants out of her marriage and what she wants out of her life. She doesn’t fall in love and daydream about running away with this man, but he alone has transformed her thoughts and her overall expectations.

‘Thinking about him is addictive, I know that from yesterday when I became so drunk with memory that I took to my bed like some old-time Hollywood starlet.’

Finally coming to the conclusion that she can’t stay in this marriage and continue to live the way she has been. She unfortunately realizes that if she really wants to leave, she’s going to have to leave a lot more than just a marriage.

‘When I was a teenager my grandmother used to tell me, “You marry the man, you marry the life,” and it seems to me logical, perfectly ordinary karma, that the reverse is also true. If I leave this man then I must leave this life.’

Simply put, this was a very heartbreaking novel. Elyse was a very vivid character and her story was quite authentic. The ending wasn’t your traditional tale of happily ever after; however, it is a tale of life continuing even when you didn’t think it could.

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Book Review – Bonnie (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #3) by Iris Johansen

October 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 6 Comments

Book Review – Bonnie (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #3) by Iris JohansenBonnie by Iris Johansen
Series: ,
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 18th 2011
Pages: 373
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Quinn

one-star

The truth has eluded her for years. . . . Now is she ready to face it?

When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life---until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape. But a new Eve emerged: a woman who would use her remarkable talent as a forensic sculptor to help others find closure in the face of tragedy. Now with the help of her beloved Joe Quinn and CIA agent Catherine Ling, Eve has come closer than ever to the truth. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes that Bonnie’s father is a key player in solving this monstrous puzzle. And that Bonnie’s disappearance was not as random as everyone had always believed . . .

The Eve, Quinn and Bonnie Series

This is the series that I have read the longest, at least a decade. I read all 11 of her Eve Duncan series and when the author announced that she’d be making a final trilogy to fully resolve everything, well, I was ecstatic. The Eve Duncan series chronicles a mother losing her child and never having the closure she needed, never knowing what happened to her, her daughter Bonnie simply disappeared off the face of the Earth. This kick started her career in forensic sculpting and she began helping other families who had lost children bring them home finally. So, this is essentially the conclusion to a 14 book series that I’ve read from the very beginning and loved. I had a lot riding on Iris Johansen being able to pull this off in making it feel the series came full circle and I wasn’t left with any nagging questions. I’m thinking I set the bar too high.

The writing seemed a bit too literal, especially since it’s such a long term series it seemed as if she was writing so that someone could jump into the series at any point and completely understand what was going on. I think people need to just read from the beginning so the author isn’t making statements like this:

”You’ve been trained in police sketching as part of your training, Eve.”

No shit? Trained as part of her training? Redundant much?

Bottom line, the constant repeating of everything that was gone over millions of times already was irritating. And I swear, the last 50 pages from the previous book were pasted at the beginning of this one. I appreciate the refresher but seriously?

The Ending

This is going to be one ginormous spoiler but I HAVE to say it. So if you haven’t read this book yet and still have intentions of doing so? Don’t click the spoiler button.

…I warned you

View Spoiler »

I have nothing more to say, but even if I did I don’t feel like wasting my time on this series anymore. It’s over, the big finale has been read after so many years of waiting, and I’m one seriously disappointed reader.

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