Mini Reviews #8: I Give Five Stars to Something!?

by - 10:31 PM

Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce

With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic--and to trust each other. But then disaster strikes their new home. Can Sandry weave together four kinds of magical power and save herself, her friends, and the one place they have ever been accepted?
4/5 L'oreal-worthy elves.
Three years ago, I read Briar's Book, Magic Steps, Street Magic, and Shatterglass - books 4,5,6, and 8 in the Emelan Universe series. But those were the only ones my school library had, so I was never able to finish (or properly start) this series. However, I've recently found myself drawn back to it, and I picked this book up a few days ago with the intention of putting my toe in the water again.

I think I forgot how much I loved this series.

Although Tamora Pierce's writing is slow at parts, this is overall an engaging read with very enchanting characters. Perfect for fans of high fantasy and Ursula K. Le Guin, Sandry's Book is a beautiful introduction to a classic fantasy world with a pretty unique magic system (i.e., not elemental) and incredible characters. Daja is badass, Briar is precious, Sandry is surprisingly down-to-earth, and Tris is - well, Tris is Tris. 

I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.


I was rather skeptical about Carry On, as I'd tried and failed to read Eleanor & Park a while back and wasn't sure this would be any be -

Yeah. Shut up, Ellie from the past. You were so wrong.

This is the best book I read in October and probably one of the best of 2016. Not only did Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch basically make the entire book, but also


Okay, now that that's out of the way -

Simon, Baz, and Penelope - and even Agatha - were all very real and awesome characters, and the whole thing with the Humdrum like WHAT I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. This book did a great job of blending Harry Potter with fresh concepts and ideas, and.....don't kill me.....I think I like it better than actual Harry Potter?

(I mean, actual Harry Potter does not have Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch, so what do you expect.)


The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. 

5/5 Smauglocks.
After being seriously underwhelmed by Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I had high hopes but low expectations for this book.

I was very pleasantly surprised.

Right from the first page, I was swept headlong into the world of the Raven Boys and felt completely immersed in the story. Gansey ceased being the bland bowl of potato soup he'd been for the last few books and transformed into a realistic, relatable, and multi-dimensional character; and I actually began to ship Bluesey. Although Noah (my smol baby) didn't have as large a role in this book as he has in the past, I still found the part he played to be a very fitting and satisfying conclusion to his character. All of the characters and storylines melted together seamlessly into a climax with a few surprising twists and turns - a wonderfully triumphant conclusion to The Raven Cycle.


Let's chat! Have you read The Raven King or Carry On? Opinions? And what have been some pleasant bookish surprises of late? Comment below, and have a lovely day. <3


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  1. Ok so now I have to read Carry On. I read Fangirl, which I believe Carry On is based off the fanfic in right? I got this book when it originally came out but then had to return it to the library because at the time my TBR was so big (ok who am I kidding it's always huge) and I ran out of renewals. But I've wanted to read it for quite a while now... ok I'll be checking this out now haha I need to read it you sold it well. Great reviews as always :)

    1. Yes, I think that's right! YES YOU MUST OH GOD I'M PRETTY SURE YOU'LL LOVE IT.

      Thank you!

      - Ellie

  2. SO GLAD YOU LOVED THE RAVEN KING. It's so beautiful and fab and ughhhh why does it have to be over?! :(

    I've heard such good things about Carry On...I even bought a copy last Christmas with a gift card. I still haven't read it though, and I think that's because I wasn't a big fan of Fangirl? Anywho, your review has re-ignited my desire to read it, so thank you for that!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these ones! :D

    1. I know! I think I was ready for the storyline to come to a close, but I'd love seeing the same characters go on new adventures. Have you heard about the Ronan-centered trilogy that's being plotted?


      Thank /you/ for your awesome comments!

      - Ellie

  3. I actually need to read every single thing on this list... damn you ;)


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