Posts by: Jamie Mariano


Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Ma..

Posted 26 May, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Review / 1 Comment
Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

“I was loosened, a top whirling around and around, and I didn’t know who I danced with or what they looked like, only that I had become the music and the fire and the night, and there was nothing that could slow me down.” Sarah J. Maas has done it again. What it is, I don’t quite know, but I’m still recovering. A Court of Thorns and Roses is an incredible retelling with a faerie twist, and if it was any other author I would have been weary. Like her Throne of Glass series, Maas’ writing is effortless, with perfect pacing, and characters that are to-die for — a sure breathtaking read for all fantasy and fairytale lovers. Feyre and her family are poor and impoverished, yet they are still above begging for food and clothing… for now. For now, Feyre is the sole provider for her weak father and two older sisters, which means she must hunt and bargain just to keep her family alive. So when she encounters a seemingly ordinary wolf preying after the same doe, Feyre must risk the consequences of breaking the Treaty in order to keep her family alive. When a beast-like creature comes knocking at her door demanding retribution, Feyre is dragged to the magical faerie lands, where she must live out the rest of her life in her captor, Tamlin’s, estate. There, she begins to learn that the myths and legends told […]


Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica ..

Posted 19 May, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Review / 0 Comments
Review: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

“I didn’t come to England to fall in love with anything but England. I didn’t come to get married. I came to draw. I came to be inspired. I came for adventure. I suppose I got it.” Screw it. I’ve spent the past couple of hours trying to come up with something to say about The Royal We, but I don’t have the words. To say this book was a whirlwind of a romance honestly diminishes the kind of story this is. Of course, it’s a hell of romance, which I loved to bits, but it’s also a novel that unreservedly captures what it’s like to love something and someone without capacity. So when it comes to stories that I just completely give myself over to — stories like this — I let my feelings speak for itself. (And, yes, those damned emotions are as loud and incoherent as ever.) Bear with me, guys. Rebecca “Bex” Porter is an American college girl with dreams of studying abroad in England. So when she’s accepted to Oxford to study art, she gets every bit of the experience she’s ever wanted… and then some. It turns out Prince Nicholas — the heir to Great Britain’s throne — lives right down the hall from Bex. And being in such close proximity, Bex not only befriends Nick’s circle of friends, but falls for the royal prince himself — thrusting her into a world […]


Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Posted 14 May, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Review / 1 Comment
Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

“I never feared the night, not even as a child, but Blackcliff’s night is different, heavy with a silence that makes you look over your shoulder, a silence that feels like a living thing.” SEQUEL? Sequel. Need sequel. Tell me there’s a sequel. There’s always something captivating about a book that refuses to let your fingers pry itself from its pages. An Ember in the Ashes is like that, with a little hint of something… more. Again, we come across a hybrid novel of fantasy and dystopia, and again, it works. Though the novel presents a world that is left slightly unanswered, Tahir gives readers an enticing spark of a story with characters you just can’t leave behind. Laia and the remaining members of her family live under the Martial Empire. It’s tyranny at its finest, and for Laia and the rest of the oppressed Scholar people, it’s useless to fight back. But when her brother is taken away by the Empire’s soldiers, all Laia has left is to fight — even if it means infiltrating the Empire’s most dangerous walls: Blackcliff Academy. For Elias, Blackcliff Academy’s walls breed nothing but heartless, brutal weapons for the Empire. He knows this because he’s one of the academy’s top soldiers, trained to enforce the Empire’s cruelty on command. But as promising as his future is in Blackcliff, what Elias desires is far more dangerous: freedom. When Laia and Elias cross paths […]


Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Wanted To Start Yesterday

Posted 8 April, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments
Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Wanted To Start Yesterday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. This series is open to any book-lover who wants to participate. Be sure to check out the T5W group on Goodreads for more information! This week’s topic: Books I Wanted To Start Yesterday Like any (in)sane bookaholic, I tend to buy books regardless of the amount of unread books stacked on my shelf. It’s an unfortunate habit, yes, but a habit I’ve grown quite fond of. Below is a list of books that I probably should wipe the dust off and start: 5. Vicious, by V.E. Schwab       I have yet to read any of Schwab’s novels, but I am such a fan of this cover. And this premise. And look at the colours! I’ve heard nothing but glorious praise for Vicious (especially a certain two characters), and I’m such a sucker for those complex antagonists.           4. The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken         Strange abilities. Rehabilitation camps. Rebellions. Enough said? I think yes.           3. Alias Hook, by Lisa Jensen   Peter Pan is one of my childhood favourites, so the premise of Alias Hook had me hooked (ha). The story explores the character of Captain Hook, where we get to see him beyond the infamous pirate villain we’ve all loved to hate.             2. The Fiery Heart, by Richelle […]


Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Posted 7 April, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Review / 0 Comments
Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

“There’s something about the way she has her hands folded under her chin that makes me think she wants to touch him but she’s holding back.” Aside from the almost-inevitable romance clichés, this novel is the cutest, sweetest story that I’ve read in a while. A Little Something Different was definitely something different, in the way Hall presents this love story. The use of multiple perspectives (14!!) for the most part worked in the novel’s favour, creating a lovely mixture of angst, delight, and all that cheesy goodness. Azalea and Gabriel are meant to be. Everyone can see it. Everyone knows it. From their friends, to their teachers, even from their local squirrel and park bench, Lea and Gabe are destined to be together… except these two are completely oblivious to the fact. With angsty stares and serendipitous encounters, Lea and Gabe become the love story witnessed and rooted by many. But will Lea and Gabe realize their true affections for each other, or will they need a little push along the way? This is a love story through and through. The romance is pretty tame, but the angst is real. Where Lea is reserved, Gabe is shy, which makes for a tension-filled love affair. Like the characters, the readers find themselves helplessly rooting for “Gazalea” (unofficial ship name? Yes.) mainly because they seem to be the main concern for all the other characters. Because of the novel’s structure, the […]


Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Posted 24 March, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Review / 0 Comments
Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“I’m a Red girl in a sea of Silvers and I can’t afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.” When there are stories that leave you up at 3:41 in the morning, wondering why haven’t I learned my lesson yet, then those are the stories worth talking about. I always try my best to stay away from hype, but sometimes, sometimes I just can’t resist. Red Queen was a good read. And while this story is indeed reminiscent of other YA favourites, it is Aveyard’s writing and world building that win you over. All her life, Mare has only known how to survive. As a Red, it’s the only thing that matters. Pickpocketing scraps for the family seems like the right thing to do, before she’s conscripted to a centuries-war fought by the Reds and won by the Silvers. Mare can’t afford to waste her time longing for a life elsewhere… that is, until her best friend is forced to join the war. To save her friend, Mare enters the Silvers’ elite society — one of privilege, power, secrets, and to her surprise, a revelation that would change history. Mare’s world is divided between Red and Silver, but what Aveyard reveals is a story much greyer than expected. Nothing’s certain in Red Queen. There are secrets. Betrayals. Lies. The history between the Reds and Silvers sprawls through centuries […]


Top 5 Wednesday: Best Character Arcs

Posted 25 February, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments
Top 5 Wednesday: Best Character Arcs

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. This series is open to any book-lover who wants to participate. Be sure to check out the T5W group on Goodreads for more information! This week’s topic: Best Character Arcs   For me, I find the best characters are always the most impactful. Whether a character is good or bad, lovable or absolutely despicable, my favourites always tend to leave a mark — even after the last page. My list here is always changing and always growing, but alas, here are the ones that have refused to leave.   5. Queen of Attolia, The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner     While I’m only halfway through this series, the Queen of Attolia is without a doubt one of the best characters I’ve ever come across. She’s a complete mystery in the first book, but Turner manages to twist and pull at our hearts until we, even for a brief moment, see the kind of queen she really is. Indeed, Attolia is cruelly seductive and manipulative, but she is far from the heartless ruler she wants others to believe.           4. Will Herondale, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare       With Will being Jace’s ancestor, I’d assumed Clare had written a character who was somewhat similar, nothing surprising. I was wrong. Definitely wrong. Will’s development, not as a shadowhunter, but as […]


Top 5 Wednesday: Friend Groups

Posted 18 February, 2015 by Jamie Mariano in Top 5 Wednesday / 0 Comments
Top 5 Wednesday: Friend Groups

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. This series is open to any book-lover who wants to participate. Be sure to check out the T5W group on Goodreads for more information! This week’s topic: Friend Groups You Want To Be A Part Of   So, this list was terribly hard to compile because I’m that type of reader who’d give up a limb just to share the same air with a character. Nevertheless, here is my attempt:   5. Q, Ben, & Radar, Paper Towns by John Green       I’ve made it my life’s goal to find the best road trip buddies. Having read this book, Q & his best friends have completely skewed all my expectations. These guys are the greatest kind of awkward-nerdy out there, and most importantly, they care deeply for each other. Q, Ben, & Radar — I’d hooky with you to the moon and back.           4. Alana, Marko, & Hazel, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples       All the characters in this series are absolutely ridiculous. But if I had to choose, I’d rather be ridiculous with Hazel’s family. Her parents, Alana and Marko, are star-crossed lovers surviving in the midst of an intergalactic war, yet despite this, the family still has time to love and laugh and be super-badass. Because family. (Please adopt me.)         […]