Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - Review

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**Quotes based on the US paperback
“Name one hero who was happy...you can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
“I can’t”
“I know. They never let you be famous and happy...I’ll tell you a secret.”
“Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this.
“I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Why me?”
“Because you’re the reason…” (pg. 104-105)

The Song of Achilles tells a twist of The Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus. It follows the life of Patroclus from being a young, simple prince and all the way through the Trojan War. It tells a heartbreaking tale of him meeting Achilles and the progression of their relationship from strangers to companions to something more. 

I latched onto this story from the very start. In my freshman year of high school, before I knew this book even existed, I wrote a retelling of The Iliad where Achilles and Patroclus were implied lovers, but never explicitly said so. When I heard of this book, I knew I had to read it. This story was beautifully tragic and wonderfully heartbreaking. In the beginning, Patroclus is so depressing (yet somehow humorous) that you can’t help but feel bad for him and the bad luck the Fates seemed to bestow on him. 

“She wants you to be a god,” I told him.
“I know.” (pg. 55)

Watching Achilles grow in his experiences from a perspective other than Homer’s is unexpected and something I welcome. Seeing him embrace Patroclus as a friend so readily was so heartwarming. 

Thetis. The wrath I felt for the minor goddess was not something I had anticipated. She clearly loved Achilles and the fact that she wanted him to become a god is something I had never looked at before. Heracles became one, so why shouldn’t he? Her disdain for Patroclus was gut-wrenching and left me tense with every interaction. By the end, I was almost completely over her character, but the last few pages left me feeling only grief for the goddess.

“There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles,” Chiron said. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?” (pg. 84)

It was when the war came that I truly began to feel the full weight of this book. Anyone who has read The Iliad or read up a little on Greek stories/history knows there is only one way for this book to end. I saw a deep change in Achilles during the Trojan War. He was no longer the same innocent boy and he knew what the war would mean. Not only for himself, but for Patroclus. In the war, it is the first time Achilles feels the full weight of his mortality as realization sets in that he will not be a god.

Achilles was looking at me. “Your hair never quite lies flat here.” He touched my head, just behind my ear. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you how I like that.” (pg. 182)

Patroclus makes it clear to the reader that he has no intention of surviving the war or ever leaving Troy. He will do anything to keep Achilles alive and even goes as far as to keep him from killing Hector. It is a running theme during the war for Achilles to claim he has no reason to kill Hector. It is obvious that he is doing this not only to buy time from the Fates, but to remain with Patroclus for as long as possible. 

The time in war weighs heavily on Achilles and even starts to change who he is. His hubris begins to consume him as he realizes that the gods never promised how much or why he will have fame. Patroclus fears that people will remember him for the wrong things, the terrible things he does in war instead of the Achilles he knows and loves. There is even a time in which Patroclus considers suicide in a fit of rage to punish Achilles for his selfishness. 

I forced my voice to match his in lightness. “I’m sure you’re right. After all, Hector hasn’t done anything to you.”
He smiled then, as I had hoped he would. “Yes,” he said. “I’ve heard that.” (pg. 247)

This book was the most beautiful book I have ever read. I could read the story of Achilles and Patroclus and still cry at the end. That is how amazing this is. I could go as far to say that this is now my favourite book and that I play to read it many many more times in the future. The Song of Achilles truly makes you appreciate the time you have while on earth, however short it may be. 

Achilles makes a sound like choking. “There are no bargains between lions and men. I will kill you and eat you raw.” (pg. 344)



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mini Reviews - November

The Queen's Rising (Untitled Trilogy #1) (ARC) by Rebecca Ross
Without giving too much away, I adored this. I can't wait for everyone to be able to pick this up and jump into Brienna's life! This book is full of magic and adventure that every fantasy lover absolutely needs to get their hands on!

Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1) by Chani Lynn Feener
I make my love for this book no secret. Sci-fi is one of my favourite genres and throwing hot aliens into the mix just makes it 110% better. Main character Delaney is so awesome, I just can't get enough of her. Seeing what an alien culture would be like without all of the corruption and change humans would bring is facsinating. Book two comes out July 24th 2018 and I am more than ready to get my hands on it!

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifacts #2) by Cassandra Clare
This book once again throws us into the lives of Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn (who is, let's face it, perfect). If the entire book was written in Julian's POV I would love it so much more, but apparently multipul POVs is the hit new thing and we're forced to read about Livvy, Ty, and Kit as well. I love them as much as the next character, but they get in the way of me reading about Julian and Emma, which makes me just want to skip their chapters. Not to mention a certain something that Clary brings up in this book that sent me reeling. I am now incredibly nervous for Queen of Air and Darkness.

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff is amazing. His world building skills are on point and, for the most part, I love his characters. Mia, beautiful character. Mr. Kindly, not only an amazing character but perhaps my favourite. Furian, I wanted so much more of him, he had so much untapped potential. However, I cannot get past how biblical his writing is. By this I mean that I have a hard time understanding one paragraph and find myself gravitating to the dialogue more than anything. Mia and Ashlinn were a fun plot, but I can't find it in me to trust anything Ashlinn says and, for this alone, I didn't like them together.

The Piper's Price (The Neverland Wars #2) by Audrey Greathouse
Neverland has always been a special kind of world. In a way, I think it's one of the first fantasy worlds we learn about as child, so reading this as an adult is such a different experience. Gwen and Peter are adorable together and if I had one complaint about this book it would be that I didn't get more of them together. With the amount of twist and turns in this, my head was swimming with theories and assumptions almost the entire time!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mini Reviews - October

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi 
This is always my go-to book to read when I have a book slump. I adore Warner and with the upcoming 4th book, I just had to immerse myself in this world again. His relationship with Juliet is so heartbreaking and beautiful it's hard not to fall in love with it over and over again.

The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
I finally decided to read Crooked Kingdom, so naturally I read Six of Crows as well. If both books were entirely from the point of view of Kaz, I don't think I would have been disappointed, but I still loved both books. Kaz and Inej have so much depth to their characters that I can't help but want more about their lives and relationship, especially after reading the last page of Crooked Kingdom. I can only hope that there will be more of them in the future!

Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) by Elise Kova
This wasn't as amazing as the first book, but it was still fantastic. For some reason I didn't realize how much older Aldrik was than Vhalla and that made me pause for a while, but after the initial realization I got over it and went straight back to loving them. I have no idea why it took me so long to read this other than the fact that now I have to go buy the third book. The last page was a bit of a disappointment and not near as panic-inducing as intended.

Dreamer (Traveler #2) (ARC) by L.E. DeLano
I make my love for the first book no big surprise, so the fact that I love this one as well came as no shock. Finn and Jessa have to be one of my OTPs, but throughout the entire book I couldn't get it out of my mind that I was somehow betraying the original Finn. I love Pirate Finn, but the fact that he wasn't, dare I say, my Finn made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I get that he's essentially the same person in every reality, but it was at the back of my mind from page one. As much as I want to love Ben, he angered me so much with his clinginess to Jessa. This book was overall heart-breaking and earth-shattering. I can't wait to have my hands on the final copy.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Book in Quotes - Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Page #s based off of US paperback

'My eyes are filling fast with tears and I blink and blink but the world is a mess and I want to laugh because all I can think is how horrible and beautiful it is, that our eyes blur the truth when we can't bear to see it.' (pg. 5)

'There's a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets.' (pg. 50)

'No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence' (pg. 121)

'Sometimes I wonder if the planets are still up there, still aligned, still managing to get along after all this time.' (pg. 154)

'Words are like seeds, I think, planted into our hearts at a tender age.' (pg. 358)

'We are hours and minutes reaching for the same second, holding hands as we spin forward into new days and the promise of something better.' (pg. 365)


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine - Spotlight

Image result for goodreads abducted lifeTitle: Abducted Life
Author: Patricia Josephine

Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.
Evan Sullivan never gave extra-terrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him.
But neither can let the other go. When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.
Something––or someone--closer to home is watching.

Where to buy/more information?

GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes and Noble

Get to know Patricia Josephine:

Image result for patricia josephine
Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes New Adult under the name Patricia Josephine.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.









Friday, July 28, 2017

Author Interview - Lisa Maxwell + Giveaway

Lisa Maxwell, author of the New York Times best selling book THE LAST MAGICIAN, took enough time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions I had about writing and her new book! Plus, there will be a giveaway for a swag pack on this blog AND a giveaway for a signed copy of the book that will be posted on all participating blogs! 

1. What character do you feel a close personal connection to? 

Probably Viola. She has my temper, I think. And I drew a lot on my own upbringing and Italian-American identity to create her.

2. What is your ideal setting for writing? 

On my couch with my laptop and a cup (or 6) of coffee. This book, though, didn’t like that setting. I wrote a lot of it in my bed, in the dark. There was something about being cocooned in the dark that helped me focus.

3. Did your original idea for The Last Magician change by the final draft? 

Oh…yeah. Considering that at first I thought the thief would live in DC and drive motorcycles? It took me a really long time to figure out where Esta’s story was set—and even then, I hadn’t been planning on writing a time travel book. That all came later.

4. What was your inspiration? 

I had a few things. I loved the show Leverage and wanted to write something as fun and smart as that show was—bad guys trying to be the good guys. I also loved Newsies and the whole world of life in the streets…though, THE LAST MAGICIAN has no signing or dancing. Maybe in the sequel? ;)

5. Any plans for the future? 

I’m working on the sequel right now. 

6. Any advice for aspiring writers? 

Read everything. Finish something.
You have to read widely—even things that you don’t think you like or things that are hard, because they all help teach something about how writing, stories, or language works. And if you can finish something, then you always know you’re capable of finishing. That’s an amazing source of confidence in future projects, because you know you’ve done it before.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!



I know I usually never cross post between my blog and my bookstagram, but I figured I should post something patriotic since it's the 4th of July! So, here's what I posted on my bookstagram @acrossthebookiverse! If you like it, maybe give me a follow or a like! I love meeting new people, so don't be afraid to comment or send me recommendations or thoughts on titles I review!



Happy #4thofjuly #Bookstagram! Here's some #redwhiteandblue for y'all! #books