A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES 🖤 book review + reading vlog

So I was super skeptical going into A Court of Thorns and Roses, but now I’m OBSESSED.

Here’s my review and vlog of the first book in what I hope to be a new favorite series! 🖤

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury
ReleaseDate: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First things first. Why did no one scream at me to read this sooner?

This is my first time reading a book by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve heard mixed things about this series in particular on book blogs and BookTube. But I’m so glad I picked up this book. 🖤

There were many things I didn’t like—Tamlin’s character development (I never felt like I knew who he was), language used to describe the sex scenes (e.g. “predatory”), and other issues I mention in my vlog—but the plot. Feyre. Her trials. The fae world. The DRAMA OF IT ALL.

I have a feeling we’re going great places in the next book, even if I’m nervous about how it will all go down. Now I can’t wait to finish this series and read the Throne of Glass series next!

Vlog

My review vlog for A Court of Mist and Fury to come! 🖤

Have you read this series, reader friends? Let me know what you think in the comments!

BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0 ✨

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It’s the BookTube Newbie Tag 2.0! ✨

I’ve been on BookTube now for about 4 months, and making bookish videos honestly brings me so much joy.

Books, new reader friends, what more could I ask for. 🖤

QUESTIONS

  1. What genres would you like to see talked about more on BookTube?
  2. What do you feel is the best way to make friends on BookTube?
  3. What will/ do you enjoy the most about making BookTube videos?
  4. What do you least look forward to when making BookTube videos?
  5. What videos other than tags, TBR’s, wrap-ups, reviews and recommendations would you want to see more of?
  6. What are some themes you want to see more of or less of in books?
  7. What advice would you give to a BookTuber that has just created their channel?
  8. What are some qualities or traits that you look for when it comes to watching other BookTubers?
  9. What’s a hobby besides reading and writing that people on BookTube might not know you have?

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER BOOKTUBERS DOING THIS TAG!

My #PimpMyBio for Pitch Wars

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First things first.

I’m Morgan Vega, and thanks for checking out my #PimpMyBio for Pitch Wars 2018!

ABOUT MY BOOK

My young adult contemporary SLEEPING AROUND is about a foster-care escapee searching to belong at college.

Sleeping Around Aesthetics

Eighteen-year-old freshman CORA LI has never belonged—not with her unknown parents in Taiwan or at her past eleven foster homes. But Cora must belong at Borns College. She’s supposed to live in Harmony Hall, make good grades, and sit first chair violinist. She’s not supposed to show up on move-in day without a room, rejected from the music program. So when Residence Life shoves her into a temporary triple after effing up her room assignment, and one of her new roommates throws her out, she struggles to keep hold of her dream to belong. Cora begins sleeping around campus—from air mattresses to drainage tunnels—while waiting for reslife to call with an open room.

College feels like the foster care system Cora’s trying to escape, complete with incompetent adults and bitchy peers. Then her plummeting grades threaten her with academic probation. But despite her friendship fall-outs, messy romances, and lack of a room, Cora refuses to be another foster care statistic.

SLEEPING AROUND IS . . .

Emergency ContactStarfishPitch Perfect + sassy but insecure protagonist + foster care + quirky, small college + coffee shop + autumn + music + violin + unexpected friendships + toxic friendships + first love + wrong crowd + regret + mistakes + overcoming + pumpkin picking + strict professors + understanding foster parents + siblings + found families + diversity + bisexual rep + hope + belonging + independence + trust + identity + personal growth + character development

ABOUT ME

IMG_3948I’m currently a graduate student in the Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication program at James Madison University, where I also work full-time in career services. I’ll also be an intern at a publishing house this year!

Some of my favorite books are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Raven Boys, and some of my favorite shows are Stranger ThingsSupergirlPretty Little Liars, and the YouTube series Carmilla.

As a mentee, I’ll bring a dedicated, persistent work ethic. This book is near to my heart—as I went through a similar but less-traumatic experience in college—but I want to make this book the best it can be. Along with beta readers, critique partners, and sensitivity readers, I’ve taken this book as far as I can. I would be thrilled to be chosen as a mentee, and I would give my everything to this process.

Want to know even more? Check out How I Came Up with Sleeping Around and Why I Wrote Sleeping Around.

A Room Away From the Wolves Book Review and Giveaway

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Here it is! Another book’s blog tour!

One of my fave genres is magical realism, so I was thrilled to receive an ARC of A Room Away for the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. 👌🏼

Bring on the strange and mysterious. 🖤

Also, don’t miss the giveaway details below my review!

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A Room Away From the Wolves
by Nova Ren Suma

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery

Synopsis

37792722Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…

About the Author

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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as Harper Collins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing work-shops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I wanted to love this book, I really did, especially because I’m a fan of magical realism. And because the main character Bina is bisexual. (She doesn’t identify with that particular word anywhere in the novel, but we know she’s attracted to both boys and girls.) I wanted it to be a five-star read.

However, I needed more from this book, specifically more of the mystical and romantic elements. Basically the elements I most wanted to read.

More than anything, I enjoyed the mysterious atmosphere—and mysterious plot points—of this book. Greenwich Village, Catherine House, even Bina’s stepdad’s house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods. Each setting had creepy (and some super creepy) details that I was here for.

The atmosphere and setting (and the ghosts) honestly made this book for me. 👻

There were a lot of characters, but I didn’t get to know a single one of them well except for Bina and her mom. Even our sort-of-romantic-but-not-really interest Monet, another girl staying in Catherine House, wasn’t fully developed.

Mysterious, yes. Developed, no. Disappointing, definitely. 😢

But I did appreciate how flawed, seriously flawed, Bina was. She stole, she vandalized, she lied, she got together with her stepsister’s boyfriend, and the list could go on. She wasn’t exactly likeable, sure, but I’m not a fan of too-likeable characters anyway. And, like you’ll see below, there were lots of almost brooding descriptions of Bina’s thoughts that really resonated with me.

Last was the ending. I won’t spoil anything, but geez, it was not all I had hoped it would be. The magical realism elements took a confusing turn, and I didn’t get the on-the-page romance I NEEDED.

All in all, though, it was an okay, solid read that I do recommend. The elements I liked kept this at three stars, and the elements I didn’t kept this from being four stars.

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “One by one, in quick succession, these thoughts struck me: She thinks my mother sent me here on purpose. She thinks I talked to a dead woman on the phone. Get up. Get out of the chair. Walk to the door. Get your suitcase. Go. But my body didn’t move. Only my mouth did.”

🖤 “The way she spoke made the sunny street dark for a moment. I heard the whistle of wind, as if I were back inside that gated garden, down on my knees in the dirt by the grave, where the city didn’t seem to touch.”

🖤 “The girls who lived in this house didn’t really have Monet’s back, not like I did. There was a point at which you threw your lot in with someone. There was a point when you were all in, and there was no scrambling out of it when you got scared, or found morals, or wanted to save your own skin.”

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Kobo | IndieBound | iBooks

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway to win a free copy of the book!

  • US only
  • August 8 – September 5, 2018

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

I MET AUTHORTUBER KRISTEN MARTIN 💖 | All About the Indies Vlog

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I went to the indie book expo All About the Indies and omg. I met AuthorTuber Kristen Martin! 😍

Meeting Kristen was everything and more. I’ve been watching her YouTube channel for forever, but I never thought I would actually meet her.

She’s such a kind, positive, uplifting, high vibe human. ✨

Shoutout to my new writer friend and fellow BookTuber Books Are My Hart—and, of course, my partner in life Kelvin Vega.

Now to read her new book, Be Your Own #Goals! 👍🏼

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Enjoy the vlog! 💖

AuthorTube Newbie Tag 🖤

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Still a BookTube newbie. Now an AuthorTube newbie too.

I’m here to make new author friends! 🖤

5 Thoughts on Starting My BookTube Channel

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It’s happened. I’ve reached 100 subscribers on my BookTube channel👍🏼📖

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Not to sound super extra—but from starting my channel—I’ve learned a lot about the BookTube community, about myself as a reader, and about the power and magic of books. ✨

Here are my 5 main thoughts from these past three, bookish months.

1. The BookTube community is the kindest community ever.

Like I mentioned in my first video BookTube Newbie Tag, I wanted to start a BookTube channel because I wanted a new, *digital* space to talk about books with fellow readers who also like to talk about books. 🖤

I knew the BookTube community was supportive.

But it wasn’t until I started posting my videos and engaging in the community that I realized how incredibly supportive it is.

To give an example, cynthiaspaperbackheart on BookTube mentioned me in one of her recent videos, gave me a shoutout on Twitter, and I genuinely lost my cool.

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She is one of the many, many fellow BookTubers that has supported and welcomed me in to the community.

I’m proud of myself for trying something new—and scary (since sometimes it feels like I’m opening myself up for unwanted criticism)—but the response makes it a little less nerve-racking.

2. I read a lot of middle grade and young adult books. Like a lot, a lot.

I guess I never realized how many MG and YA books I read.

As a previous English major, I mostly read the classics and modern adult fiction. Not anymore, though.

Because of BookTube, I’ve started using Goodreads to track my books, which has totally revealed my preference for reading MG and YA.

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3. YA books are more than just pleasure reads. Many are lifelines. 

Once I realized how many YA (and MG) books I read, I wondered why that is. And not only read, but why I also write YA books.

My answer? Because they’re lifelines.

I write books that I wish I had read as a teen. I read books that I wish I had read as a teen. Their message is helping me grow and heal and learn as an adult.

I’ll never get too old to read YA.

4. I read to escape.

You would think I would have known this about myself by now. Nope.

Starting my channel has held me accountable to my reading goals and prompted me to read more consistently. Because of this, I’m more in-tune with my reading habits and preferences.

One being that I read to get out of my head. I read to escape.

I talk about this a bit in my Mental Illness in Young Adult Books and Mental Health Book Tag posts, but I binge read my way through the Percy Jackson series when I recently was struggling with my mental health.

This middle grade fantasy series was everything I needed. Its sassy protagonist, its humor, its greek mythology—it all made for an easy, fun, adventurous read that helped me escape (even when the characters were stuck in the endless Labyrinth).

BookTube and the Percy Jackson series taught me—not only about myself as a reader—but that reading, especially MG fantasy, is a resource for me and my mental health.

5. Books connect us and inspire us to be and do good.

The BookTube community wouldn’t exist without books (obviously), and books—I believe—make this community one of kind, empathetic, and supportive people.

Books help us better understand each other. Relate to each other. Empathize with each other.

For example, reading YA books that feature mental illness helped me feel understood and to understand others better.

I’m proud, happy, fortunate, excited (basically all the good things) to now be a member of this community. I’m inspired by other people’s support and kindness on BookTube to be a positive force online with my channel. 🖤

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, with 100 subscribers, my channel is something that has just began, will continue to be, and will become an even more significant passion in my life.

I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in three more months!

What do you love about BookTube? Are you a member of the community or want to be? Let me know in the comments! If you have a BookTube channel, I would love to check it out! 👍🏼