Author: Cassandra Clare
Plot and Themes: 3.5/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: The Plot Said What?
This one is strong enough that if you have enough you forget that this book ends the way it does. If you haven’t read it…google exists, but just know I warned you so maybe have two of these first then come back.
1.5 oz vodka
2 oz El Guapos Lemon Drop Mixer
-Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice
-Shake well and strain into chilled glass
"The descent into hell is easy."
Take a Shot
Clary Fray is a mundane living a mundane life, but is she? One night when out at a club she witnesses something only she can see which in turn opens her up to a world of Shadow Hunters, Demons, Warlocks and Vampires. Clary quickly finds herself immersed in the world when her mother is kidnapped and rumors are swirling of Valentine’s return and it turns out her mom might be more connected to Valentine than many thought.
"I've always needed you more than you needed me."
I think it’s very fun to have a fantasy book that’s grounded in real life. They drive cars, have cell phones, take taxis, go to clubs, etc. I think it’s a fun way to be in a fantasy world that makes you feel as though it might actually be real life instead of a fully developed world. I also like that it takes place in New York, it’s cliche but I still enjoy when stories are set there especially fantasy stories.
I really like the characters, but their character development is just somewhat lacking in my opinion. I think it’s hard to feel really connected to a character when they don’t feel as well rounded as you want. The hardest part being they are quite close to being stellar characters it’s almost as though they needed some more depth and I would have truly loved them. It’s possible we clearly get that in the remainder of the 6 book series, but you have to hook someone book one by really showcasing your characters for who they are especially given that we aren’t world building as much given so much can be grounded in reality.
Plots and Themes
It’s a really overdone trope to have the main character thrust into a fantasy world they know nothing about. Take for example Harry Potter where he has no idea he is a wizard then is literally shipped off to Hogwarts only to find himself in the middle of a war? Yeah well same thing here Clary has no idea about the world only to realize there’s an impending war and she’s finding herself at the center of it. I understand the trop and don’t have an issue with it, but it’s been done before and happens a lot. I’m also going to mention that I hate a very specific plot point. I’m not even going to write the word here, but you can google it and it will likely be easy to find. I just don’t really see the point in that kind of addition in a mainstream novel. I don’t really like it even in fan fiction, but I believe it should stay in that genre if it’s going to be in literature even at all and I will avoid it like the plague.
"Half of your attention is better than all of anyone else's."
I do like this series, but it’s not my favorite from this era. It’s a good enough first book that hooks you into the story and makes you want to read more, but it’s an overall very YA novel series from the 2010’s so take that for what it’s worth.
Reasons to Raise a Glass: There’s a movie adaptation with Lily Collins (it does lowkey suck, but I just love her if you couldn’t already tell), nostalgic for 2010’s YA lit
Too Strong: YUCKY PLOT POINT (I will never not die on this hill that’s all)
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk.
Author: Julia Quinn
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Cheers Factor: 4/5
Pairing: Tea in the Drawing Room
2 oz gin
1 English breakfast tea bag
½ oz Lemon juice
½ oz Simple syrup
-Take gin and pour into glass and steep english breakfast tea bag in it
-Let steep for half an hour
-Combine infused gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice into a shaker
-Strain into chilled glass
-Top with club soda
“Simon caught her gaze, his eyes burning hot and intense into hers. A warning bell sounded in his mind. He wanted her.”
Take a Shot: Daphne is not the diamond in the start of her **third season being out** and is always seen as the friend. That is until a handsome Duke shows up in London who is also friends with her brother. He and Daphne devise a plan to pretend to have an attachment and as the best laid plans always go…they go awry.
“If Anthony isn’t a rake, I pity the woman who meets the man who is.”
I love a period piece. I will never not like a period piece and will always feel fondy of them. That being said I read this after the lovely television adaptation by the incredible Shonda Rhimes so I love the setting in fiction. In reality it was a lot smellier and far less glamorous that we make it seem on the big screen. Nonetheless regency era London still sounds like fun if you were one of the ton and got to live in lavish mansion style homes with endless balls to attend in the lavish homes of your friends.
I really love Daphne and the Duke. I have to admit I liked their characters equally to the television adaptation which is hard to do. I think their slight variances in their story make them likeable in different ways. I think the books are obviously better because I love the character development we get when we see in both Daphne and Simon’s heads and getting to watch the events of their relationship unfold from their respective perspectives.
Plot and Themes
I think this book is a perfect example of a mass market paperback that is successful. I found such utte renjoyment out of a simple plot, that did have some unexpected turns, that was quick and easy. There is something to be said about reading a 300 some odd page book and getting a lovely bow on top at the end. I’ve made many a tik tok about this but it’s so rewarding. We get minimal investment, 300 pages, for a happy ending. That’s not to say an 8 book series across multiple thousand pages is not amazing but it’s so wonderful to just read a nice book with a nice easy plot.
I really liked this book. It was easy to read and easy to get invested in. It was also easy to read a chapter and put it down then pick it back up a day or two later. While that is contradictory to my reading goal for the year, it’s nice to not feel so pulled in by a book that I can’t breathe without reading it. I think a balance of a book like this one with one like House of Sky and Breath is vital and this one was necessary to break up my routine.
“I just don’t know whether to thank you or throttle you.”
Too Strong - I know a lot of people take issue with Daphne taking advantage of the Duke and I don’t disagree. I negatievley support non consensual relationships, however, I do recognize that it was a different era and truthfully Daphne’s lack of knowledge about a lot of things can be seen as equally as bad. Sending a woman into a marriage not knowing what to expect is so dangerous because who is to say her husband is to be righteous and honorable in the interaction. I think in this story it is easy to see that as the sole transgression, but I think overall as it is a period piece we must all reflect on the progress that has been made not only for women, but for consent in all forms as well.
Reasons to Raise a Glass- I love seeing inside the heads of our characters. It takes what we see on the silver screen and in my opinion amplifies it and expands upon it in ways that only literature can.
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!