Author: Sarah J Maas
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Cheers Factor: 4.5/5
Pairing: Give Me Relief
I feel like the name of this cocktail feels like how I wanted the characters to feel. The drink is refreshing and pleasant and absolutely calming. The cucumber mixed with the botanicals of the gin are great. But truly I wanted the characters to have some sense of relief and knowing Sarah we would get nothing of the sort for our band of characters and in her style she did indeed deliver.
"And every horror, every nightmare...all of it had been worth it for her."
-2 oz empress gin
-½ oz simple syrup
-Put 4-5 cucumber slices in a glass with simple syrup and a few mint leaves and muddle
-Add in gin and stir with stirring spoon
-To a rocks glass put ice and add optional garnish of cucumber slices to ice
-Strain gin into glass and top with soda water
-Add optional mint sprig garnish
Take a Shot: After the shocking events of book one we catch back up with our cast of characters as they attempt to return to a normal life, however they are destined for anything but when a new Archangel is set to take control of Lunathion and Bryce ends up betrothed to a distant cousin. Things are never boring for our frat pack plus Bryce and Hunt and they certainly will continue to surprise.
"Team Survive at All Costs - that was her team. She didn't care if that made her a coward."
I love Crescent City. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I love it. I also really loved the additions we get to see of Tharion’s lodgings and his court as well as some of the other locales we get to visit like the submarine type ship that our band of characters gets to travel on.
""You'd be surprised what people will stomach when they find their families threatened."
I absolutely love that we get more of the side characters. I knew it was going to happen similar to Throne of Glass, but was so incredibly excited to get more of Flynn, Declan, Ruhn, Tharion and Ithan. I also loved the new characters we got to meet like The Hellhound, The Harpy, The Hind and the rest of their crew. It was nice to get their introductions and to also see them interact in the same space as many of the characters we became accustomed to in the last book.
"Wherever you're headed when this life is over, Quinlan, that's where I want to be, too."
Plot and Themes
I thought the book was a little slow at points I won’t lie. It took me a beat to really get into it. I did love the new storyline we got and the deeper we get into the Asteri and their story it was truly illuminating. I also loved the introduction of Cormac and all his motivations that bled into those of our main characters. It was very well woven to bring all the characters together in true SJM fashion. She is a master of melding plots and themes together and I cannot speak highly enough about the way she does all this and it is something to be admired and studied in order to replicate to the best of one’s abilities so that all books may feel as clever as her plots.
"The dead have little reason to lie."
I did indeed feel shocked at the end even though I had been spoiled prior to reading it. I really loved this book and loved all the new antics our crew got up to. I won’t say this is my favorite series of Sarah’s but I can say that if recency bias says anything it’s my favorite for the moment by way of both books in the series have both thoroughly enticed me. I recommend this series to anyone I come across and will continue to do so.
Too Strong: Some slow pacing
Reasons to Raise a Glass: RUHN. FUCKING. DANAAN. That’s all. I mean Hunt too, and Flynn but mainly RUHN. FUCKING. DANAAN.
"Males will always try to control the females who scare them. Marriage and breeding are their go-to methods."
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk.
Author: Sarah J Maas
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Cheers Factor: 5/5
Pairing: Light it Up
This drink will make you want to light it up both on the dance floor, in the club and then light it up alone so you can cry when you read this book. That’s not even me spoiling it because my friend who NEVER cries while reading sobbed at the end of this book and I sobbed when I read it and then when I listened to the audio book a week later.
"Danika had died, and she was alone, and Bryce couldn't breath."
-2 oz tequila
-3-4 cubes of watermelon
-½ oz watermelon cranberry juice
-1 oz lime juice
-Put watermelon and watermelon cranberry juice in a blender and blend thoroughly
-Strain into stirring glass and add tequila and lemon juice and ice
-Prepare wine glass with ice and garnish with optional lime slices
-Stir thoroughly and strain into wine glass
-Top with prosecco
"Her goal was to protect you. Always. Even from yourself."
Take a shot: Bryce Quinlan despite being half human half fae has the perfect life full of working hard and partying harder. Well had a perfect life until a demon murdered her closest friends and she was left to pick up the pieces two years later when it seems the demon may be killing again. In true Sarah J Maas style we get to see Bryce try to put the pieces together with more than one pieces of arm candy winged and not.
"Let someone in, give them the power to hurt you, and they do exactly that, in the end."
I love the way that Crescent City really feels like the real world. I love the old buildings with the new feel. I like the inclusion of modern technology like “electricity” the internet, cell phones and everything in between. It makes this novel a really interesting one she has written given her settings are normally far less real world and find themselves wholly rooted in fantasy, but truly I loved the new vibe.
GODS SPARE ME HUNT ATHALAR. Now I know it’s an SJM book so I’m trying to not get too attached to Hunt Athalar, but I think he has to be end game. Sarah otherwise would seem a bit cliche given her previous two series and the main love interest switches that happen so often. But seriously I think if a winged angel sat by me on the couch with a backward hat and wanted to watch football/soccer (sunball is never explained but I’m leaning toward the former), I think I would fizzle into a puddle. I also love the adult language. This book feels very mature and it’s meant to be that way and I appreciate it given I can’t tell you how much I wanted Aelin to be able to curse in ToG. Now we get Bryce and Hunt who get to do it with reckless abandon and it feels very comparable to ACOSF with the character maturity which is great.
Plots and Themes
This is the only part I had a slight gripe about. The beginning is very interesting. The ending is incredible and I will not lie I UGLY cried. But the middle, while good, just felt a little long at points. Like I loved the sexual tension build up and the true relationship building between our love interests. It was actually one of my favorite parts of the book, but this circumstance to me felt like the plot warranted a more phsyical relationship than we got given the nature of how the relationship develops and we did not get that sadly.
I’ve read this book then subsequently bought the audio book to listen to it the week after. I cried at the same points, was anxious and nervous at the same points and that’s a sign. I truly think this is one of my favorite books by Maas and cannot wait for the rest of the series to unfold. I think she’s so talented and love the way that she reveals new information that it truly feels like a shock to the reader. I am forever in awe of the entirety of this woman’s work and this book was no exception. I even like the slow burn even though I like a good sexy time moment I found myself respecting it the more I think about it.
Too Strong - The book is a little long at some parts and feels a little like it should move on, but it’s not that deterring.
Reasons to Raise a Glass - HUNT. FUCKING. ATHALAR. He’s the new loml for book boyfriends and I now want a man obsessed with sunball to wear a backwards hat on my couch, Murder mystery, loss and death with purpose, great depression and PTSD traits and characteristics present with characters ina respectful, meaningful and realistic way
"Momento Mori. Remember that you will die."
Warning spoilers ahead if you read more. Proceed at your own risk.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue
Author: V.E. Shwab
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Cheers Factor: 3.75/5
Pairing: Aged and Confused
When making this my mom mistook the name of the infused brand for “Aged and Confused” as opposed to “Aged and Infused”. However, it felt like it matched Addie’s vibe and I also think it was one of those drinks that felt like it was different enough that it would fit Addie.
-2 oz apple, ginger and cardamom infused vodka from Aged & Infused
-2 oz pear juice
-orange slice for garnish
-Combine all ingredients in a copper mug
-Stir thoroughly and garnish with optional orange slice
"What a luxury, to tell one's story. To be read, remembered."
"Take your echoes and pretend they are a voice."
Take a Shot: Addie LaRue is not like other girls. You’ll meet her and then forget she ever existed and your interaction will float into the wine with her. That’s because she made a deal with the devil back in the 1700’s when she was a young woman who wanted more than her life could offer. She wanted to see the world and he gave her the ability to do so. But then a sweet boy from a bookstore, he remembers, he remembers her and then her world doesn’t feel so small anymore.
Honestly the setting is the most boring part of the book. It’s really not all that life changing given our character has lived for hundreds of years and undoubtedly traveled to many cool places. But like we get a handful of locations and they feel lackluster. No granted, the story is our focus not the setting, but I can’t objectively say that the setting was all that great given other pars of the novel were quite good and opposite to this.
I love Luc. He gives me Darkling vibes even though I think the darkling is yucky. I could not get enough of him. I also loved sweet Henry. He’s nerdy and cute and sweet. I liked Addie for her sheer tenacity as a person. She’s fiery and strong despite having grown up in a time where women were not favored to be such. I did love the LGBTQ+ representation. The fluid love of both Henry and Addie was quite intriguing as well as refreshing to read. Sometimes I don’t ove the blatant LGBTQ+ storylines, but I really liked this one and the way that it was so subtle as a way of informing us to both of the characters. Truly a job well done.
Plots and Themes
I loved the twist. And no I won’t spoil it, but I thought it was really well done. Now did I feel as sad as some of my counterparts on the internet did? No, no I did not, but I did feel attached to them all individually. I thought they were all so entwined in the story that it felt really nice to feel so attached to them individually in their journeys. Overall, did I predict the ending? Yes. Was I mad about it? No. So I did feel satisfied with the ending and moved quite honestly.
I wouldn’t say this is the best book I read, but I have to give props to the way it was written. It’s truly so well done and absolutely stellar in the writing style. Story, plot and characters aside the writing makes the book so amazing. I would love to read more of her work because I was truly blown away and would recommend this book solely on this principle.
Too Strong - Tall, dark and sexy man was the villain, for real (you can’t do this to me), Where was the cool settings?!?!
Raise a Glass - THE. WRITING. GETS. YOU.
"History is a thing designed in retrospect."
Warning spoilers if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk.
Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!