Review: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

I read Tower of Dawn recently, so here are my thoughts!!

Title: Tower of Dawn

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Date of Publication: September 2017

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Synopsis

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

My Review

Many of you may already know that I was never a big fan of Chaol. I liked him a bit in the first and second ToG books, however I always thought he was just a coward and he really annoyed me (sorry to all the Chaol lovers out there – and I know there are ALOT). So I was less than excited about ToD. I was annoyed that it wasn’t the follow on from EoS because…umm…MASSIVE cliffhanger!!

Anyway, I was very, very surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying this book by the 4th chapter in. It started off a bit slow, but then I think all of SJM’s books tend to do that. Despite the slow start, I still found myself really interested in what was happening.

The portrayal of Chaol’s injury and disability, I thought, was done really well. SJM obviously did a lot of research on back injuries and mobility which I really appreciated. I think it would be challenging to write about disabilities while being sensitive and not offending readers (i.e. I have seen books where someone has a disability and they get referred to as a “cripple” and I absolutely LOATHE that word).

I always love SJM’s character development in her books. I love the way they tend to be in the dark and build their way into the light – if that makes any sense? Chaol’s character development in this book was really on point, and I thought his story was very inspiring. I really grew to love Chaol and what he stands for. I felt sad for him but also felt joy because out of all of the characters in this series, Chaol is probably the most deserving of happiness (who would have thought I would ever say that!!).

I loved the other characters in this books such as Nesryn, Yrene Towers and Sartaq. I loved the world building – but then I think SJM has always been great at this.

I really don’t have much to fault with this book at all. Yeah, it probably didn’t need to be as big as it is, but if that’s the only fault I can find at this point then I am pretty happy with that!

For those of you who haven’t read this story and aren’t sure whether to read it or not – you definitely need to read it as there are some points throughout the ToD that will be EXTREMELY relevant to the 7th and final book. And for those of you wondering if you need to re-read QoS to read ToD – I would say, no you don’t. If you remember what generally happened in QoS then you will be fine.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has made me even MORE excited for the final book to come out (even though I know I am going to be an absolute freaking mess…none of my faves better die!!!). I highly recommend this book to those of you who were a bit iffy on reading a book about Chaol, I can almost guarantee that you will love it!

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10 Random Things Booklovers Do

Us booklovers do a lot of things that might seem super weird to non-book lovers. Many of us pretty much live our lives around books and book events, we obsess over new releases and fangirl over our favourite characters. We love to quote our favourite quotes and we act like these fictional characters are real, living, breathing beings (because they are RIGHT?!?). So today, I have compiled a list on some of the random things us book lovers do:

Take pics of books

Either for our own amusement or we put them on Instagram (or in book terms – bookstagram). We walk around our gardens, other people’s gardens, public transport, cities, towns etc. looking for that money shot. We get started at, but we don’t care because our books deserve to look good in their photos!!!

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Obsess over quotes

We take pictures of them, copy them down into our diaries or notebooks, highlight or mark with post-it notes. We live for amazing quotes that we relate to or want to live our lives by.

Hugs!

I speak for myself with this one but I hug just about every book I finish. Take for instance, Tower of Dawn. When I finished it the other night I sat there with tears in my eyes, hugging the shit out of the book. This is a normal tradition (unless I absolutely hated the book).

Walk and read

I KNOW a lot of you have done it!! How many of you get off the train or bus at the wrong time during a book and need to finish that chapter/paragraph/book? I do it a lot, and I like to think I look like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Remember everyone, us book readers were walking and reading LONG before mobile phones!!

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Skip meals

I have done this one quite a few times because I am way to invested in my book to even THINK about hunger. I usually come to regret it at 1am when I realise I haven’t eaten and now it’s too late to eat. I am sure I am not the only one who has done this one!

FAN ART!!

Whether you draw it or search for hours for interpretations of your favourite characters, we all do it!! I absolutely LOVE looking for drawings, and let’s be honest, there are some freakin AWESOME drawings out there.

Read in the bath

I don’t want to just sit in the bath and relax, I need this time as reading time. Of course, I get super scared I will drop my book in the water (that would be devastating!!).

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Cry

So much. I have cried over soooooo many different things when reading books. Sometimes I will just cry because I thought the book was amazing. Pretty much, books turn me into an emotional mess – but in a good way.

Fangirl

We fangirl over everything. Ships, fanart, theories, authors, book covers, quotes, characters. We cry, and jump around with our arms flailing, we tell friends and family even though they either don’t know or care what we are talking about. We get giddy at the thought of meeting our favourite authors and telling them how much of an impact they have made on our lives.

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Reviews

Whether we loved it, hated it or just felt “meh”, we leave reviews on goodreads/amazon etc. because we feel passionate about other people reading (or not reading) certain books. We want to share our feelings with others because sometimes those feelings can be super overwhelming after finishing a book. We love to read other readers’ reviews of books we have read to see if they had the same feelings as us. Sometimes it is our way at screaming at someone “READ THIS BOOK!!!”. But mostly, it allows us readers to talk about something we really care about with people who care about reading…and sometimes that in itself is the best feeling!

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So there you have it! Whilst I have put 10 items on this list, there are probably so many other things that book lovers do that I haven’t even thought of. Do you do any of the above? Or do you do something that I haven’t put on the list? Let me know in the comments section below!!

Steff xx

 

 

One Year On: Little Booky Nook turns 1

Hello Everyone!!!

This morning I received a notification to say that my blog has reached it’s one year anniversary!!! Hurrah!!!

I started my blog after reading Empire of Storms, and if you have read that book and felt a ridiculous amount of emotions, you will understand why I say that I started this blog because I needed to talk about it….I was in a great deal of emotional turmoil!!!

I don’t blog on a schedule so I am pretty random with my posts, but I like to think that is because I am just a really random sort of person. I try not to force myself to post, I write when I have inspiration and I find it really, really helps with my mental illness.

Here are a couple of my favourite blog posts I have done over the last year. I really love ranting and raving about books…it’s so much fun!! I also like to talk about things that are “taboo” such as mental illness, as I think it is really important to let people know that they aren’t alone.

The Cons of Reading Because I Am A Muggle & Can’t Have Nice Things

Poem

ACOWAR: The one where perfection becomes boring

Rant (kinda): What I want more/less of in YA

Songs that will forever overwhelm me with their awesomeness

8 book characters I hate with the fire of a thousand suns

Rant: The WORST book series ever written

A cautionary tale…Spending $$ and The Hate U Give

I would like to thank everyone who reads and comments on my blog posts, you guys make it worthwhile and it’s always nice to know people are reading the things I post.

I love being part of the book community, sure it has it’s negative side, but I try and keep away from that and stick with the positivity 🙂

Thanks everyone!!

Steff xx

Review: Yassmin’s Story

Title: Yassmin’s Story

Author: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Date of Publication: March 2016

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Synopsis

Frank, fearless, funny, articulate, and inspiring, Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a young Muslim dynamo offering a bracing breath of fresh air—and hope. At 21, Yassmin found herself working on a remote Australian oil and gas rig; she was the only woman and certainly the only Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian background Muslim woman. With her hijab quickly christened a “tea cosy,” there could not be a more unlikely place on earth for a young Muslim woman to want to be. This is the story of how she got there, where she is going, and how she wants the world to change.

Born in the Sudan, Yassmin and her parents moved to Brisbane when she was two, and she has been tackling barriers ever since. At 16 she founded Youth Without Borders, an organization focused on helping young people to work for positive change in their communities. In 2007 she was named Young Australian Muslim of the Year and in 2010 Young Queenslander of the Year.

In 2011 Yassmin graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (First Class Honours) and in 2012 she was named Young Leader of the Year in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards, as well as an InStyle cultural leader and a Marie Claire woman of the future.

Yassmin has now been awarded Youth of the Year in the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards.

Penguin Random House is contributing royalties to Youth Without Borders.

Review

Yassmin’s Story was given to me by a lovely friend back in 2016 following the Brisbane Writers Festival. Regretfully, I only just got around to reading it (all you book lovers know what it’s like…TBR and all). I had heard good things about this book and have also seen Yassmin on television, so my expectations were quite high.

This book absolutely lived up to my expectations which I am so happy about. It was funny, sad, honest and diplomatic. I loved learning about Sudanese culture, something I know very little of, and how there is a really big focus on family. I also loved learning about Yassmin’s faith, which I really felt shined throughout the book.

What really got me was some of the casually racist remarks that are made to her on a regular basis. Her book isn’t a pity party at all, there are just parts throughout her book where she mentions things some people say to her that made me just think…what?! It really brought home my “white privilege” and what it means…i.e. not having to worry about people making judgments on my character, based on skin tone and faith.

Yassmin’s discussion about kids who are told to “go back to where you came from” or are called a terrorist, really struck a chord with me, so much that I had to mark the page so I can come back to it in the future:

“We cannot underestimate how important identity and belonging are, and what young people will do to find them. We need to provide the right kinds of support to so that people don’t see the attraction in sacrificing everything for a path that may lead to destruction”.

Another very relevant point was the one she made about women who wear a hijab, burka, niqab etc. and how the west continue to point out that women shouldn’t wear them because ‘it is oppressing’. She says:

“Denying people the right to wear the hijab or disparaging its legitimacy is definitely more about reducing the visibility of Islam in the community than about ‘protecting women’, and it comes from a place of fear, ignorance and bigotry”.

I loved learning about Yassmin’s education both at school and university…she is ridiculously smart and driven. She just did so much in terms of extracurricular, and a lot of it based around helping others. When I was at school I was worried if a certain guy liked me or not and when my next shift at Red Rooster would be. But I grew up in my own little world, not knowing anything about other countries or cultures…if someone asked me where Sudan was I wouldn’t have been able to tell you (I know, it is extremely sad…I’m more educated these days guys, I promise!!). Reading about all of the things she does and continues to do, makes me so proud that she’s Australian, I honestly believe we have a lot to learn from her.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I feel like I have learnt so much from Yassmin and I am so excited to see more from her in the future. I am disappointed that she has copped so much criticism from the Australian media and public, when all she has done is speak what is in her heart and remained true to herself. It honestly goes to show, when we have a male media personality who can call a football player a racist name and then have it completely forgotten, that women and people of colour still have a long way to go until there is real equality.

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