What Books Mean to Me

AKA: why am I starting this blog?

Reading has always been a huge part of my life –that’s how these things are supposed to start, right?

But seriously, my earliest memory at school is learning how to read, my parents used to read to me every night before bed, I started a book club in high school with my friends just so I would have an excuse to read even more and me able to call it “socialization”. Books have always been there for me in whatever aspect I’ve needed them.

Books have so much to offer us; from wisdom to comfort to creativity.

            WISDOM: You can learn literally anything from a book. Yes, Google is nice and convenient and at the tips of your fingers at all times but nothing is better than a book. I mean, my university keeps making us buy at least five new textbooks every semester even in this digital era so there must be some value in them…right? Books don’t only teach us facts, they give us wisdom through experiences and lessons learned. They allow us to see the lives of others from a point of view that gives us insight into people and places that we may never have the chance to see in our own lives. And that’s pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.

            COMFORT: Books are amazing if you’re trying to get away from something. Don’t want to do homework? Grab a book instead. Avoiding cleaning your room? Head outside with your next TBR. Feeling a little down and just want to get away for a little? A book is always there for you. Now while there is always comfort in escaping, I find the most comfort in being understood. Nothing is better than when you’re reading a book, getting to know a character, and realizing “wait, this is so me”. There’s nothing more reassuring than seeing your own traits in a character and knowing that someone out there understands you and values you and thinks that other people will connect with these attributes in the same way. {Enter me –connecting to every single introverted character who would rather be home alone than out with friends…is this just reinforcing my bad habits?}

            CREATIVITY: I, for one, am not creative. I’ll be the first to admit that. I have always been a math and science person. I have an analytical mind and I honestly think that’s why I love reading so much. I’m astounded by how creative other people can be; how they can introduce us to worlds beyond our imagination, make us fall in love with fictional characters and then proceed to cry when they’re ripped away from us. I fully believe that the creativity of on person can spark the creativity of others. Books give me the opportunity to feel like, maybe, one day, I could possibly create something special.

Which gets me to my wrap-up point. Why am I actually making this blog (other than the fact that I clearly love books)? If you’re here, you probably already love books. You don’t need me to tell you how truly amazing they are. But I’m also making this blog for a selfish reason: I’m trying to let all the books I’ve read, and will read in the future, spark something in me. I’ve never been a writer and I’ve frankly never wanted to be. I have always been more comfortable reading other people’s words than trying to come up with them on my own. So, here is my attempt make some words by myself that hopefully some of you will enjoy reading.

Hope you have a paw-some day! ~Lindsay

Book Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson & Robin Wasserman Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5 paws

Synopsis: In Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, we follow Simon Lewis and his fellow new recruits in their journey to ascension now that the Shadowhunter Academy has reopened. Simon faces many challenges; including being a former vampire, saving the world but not being able to remember it and slime-covered dormitory walls. Through these ten short stories, we see Simon trying find his new self as well as some old favorites exploring a bit of their past.

“They shared a small moment of bizarre, companionable silence -the boy who’d forgotten everything about his history, and the boy who’d never known it.”

Okay so, I loved these short stories. It’s been a few years since I’ve read a Cassandra Clare book and it was so great getting back into her world. It took me forever to get to this and now I can finally move on to The Dark Artifices!!

It was so great getting to hear Simon’s story and see him and Izzy work through his memory loss and his feeling of living two different lives. Simon has always been a favorite of mine, from his nerdiness to his humor to his unexpected, but completely warranted, leadership and sense of righteousness. Simon truly shined here, not as the geeky sidekick, but as the star he is.

It was also so fun to check in on other storylines like those of Helen and Mark Blackthorn and Julian and Emma (who I’ll finally get to read about in Lady Midnight – yay!!) And, of course, Magnus and Alec. This couple…just yes. I can’t wait to see what happens next with them after the new development in this book.

The flashback scenes were an awesome addition to the story. While Robert Lightwood isn’t my favorite character, it was interesting to read more of his backstory. We were able learn who he is and how that compares to what he thinks of himself. Also, James Herondale. He is my precious little baby and I will protect him at all costs. I cannot wait for Chain of Gold to come out (March 3rd 2020, where you at??) so the hole in Herondale-loving heart can be filled again. And of course I’ll ALWAYS take more Will Herondale in my life. ♥

Now, things are going to get sad.

That ending though…my heart actually broke. I didn’t see it coming until seconds before it happened. I had this realization and thought wow, Cassandra, you’re really gonna do this to me huh? and yup, she went and did it. She soothed me into a false sense of security, filled my heart up to max capacity, then ripped it out and threw it into a fire (not to be dramatic or anything). Did I really think I’d read a Shadowhunters book that was all happiness and good times? How naive of me.

This was an amazing compilation of stories in one of my favorite worlds, but it wasn’t a 5 star read for me because I felt like it was somewhat difficult to tell how much time had passed between stories. This made the timeline a bit confusing for me. Not enough that I was completely lost, but I felt that it took me until halfway through a story for some hint to tell me where in time I actually was.

In summary, I will be reading every book Cassandra Clare writes, this emotional rollercoaster just doesn’t get old.

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