Book Signing: Meeting Sarah J Maas!

On Monday 25th May, Sarah J Maas was doing a book signing in a bookstore as close to us as possible, so we rounded up our best friend, and fellow ‘Throne of Glass’ lover, Sarah and jetted to Waterstone’s for the signing and release of ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’.

Because Bee and I had already read the book, (check out our review!) we only bought one physical copy, and then gathered our Throne of Glass collection to have signed.

photo 1The ride over was super fun. We just screamed, I mean sang, along to Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood in the car, before arriving. The signing was meant to happen from 4pm-6pm. It had just turned 3pm when we arrived, and people were already queuing! Luckily, it wasn’t a Disney World sized queue, but it was enough to snake outside the store. I’d say we were in line for about half an hour to forty minutes before we were close enough to see Sarah J Maas.

Overall, it was a good experience, but over in a second. We got our books signed. Bee got Crown of Midnight made out to her because that was her favourite one, and I got ACOTAR, while our copy of TOG just got a signature, because the policy was one dedication and one signature per person.

photo 2I always wonder what to say to authors. I wanted to say I liked her writing, and that fairy tale retellings are my favourite genre, but when the time came, I just smiled and said hi. Thirty seconds really isn’t enough to say anything more profound than hi, or convey how much I liked the series so far, and where I hoped ACOTAR would go.

It got me thinking about the author experience, and, if I were an author, how I’d want my fans to feel after meeting me. I’d want them to feel like meeting author me was special. I’d want to ask them questions like “Who was your fave character?” or “What was your favourite setting?” rather than “So, how far did you travel to get here?” which doesn’t really give shy fans like me the opportunity to say how much I admire an author.

photo 3It just all felt a little impersonal. Other authors I’ve met have written cute stock messages in my book that fit the story, like Cathy Cassidy wrote ‘Life’s a beach!’ in ‘Driftwood’ and that level of story intimacy was absent from Sarah’s dedication. But, I’ve only met three authors in my life so far, two of which have happened this year, so I never really know what to expect. At least Sarah was giving out badges at the signing. Plus, she had a first edition of Throne of Glass, the US edition, all library bound, that she wanted us to sign. That was a cool touch.

It was definitely interesting and great to meet such a high profile author before she jetted off to BEA, but perhaps not as memorable as my other author encounters…

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

UK Heir of FireHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 560
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★
Series: Throne of Glass (#1) | Crown of Midnight (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by this book as a whole. 550 pages is probably one of the longest books I read, and I didn’t think that enough actually happened to make this as much of an engaging read as the first two books in the series – which I LOVED, by the way. The writing style was still incredible, and Rowan’s character development was unparalleled. Sarah J. Maas, is an extremely talented writer, but I still didn’t enjoy Heir of Fire all that much and found myself really having to push towards the end. HOWEVER, I think this book has set up Queen of Shadows to be absolutely amazing, I just wish it could have done that with 200 less pages!

Continue reading “Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas”

Readalong Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glassI read ‘Throne of Glass’ as part of my first read-along with a friend of Goodreads! I thought as well as posting my formal review of ‘Throne of Glass‘, you may be interested to read my immediate thoughts on different parts of the book! But be warned, there are going to be spoilers, so only read this post if you’ve already read the book. So, ready for the bullet point style of notes?

Continue reading “Readalong Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

17670709Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 418
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Series: Throne of Glass (#1) | Heir of Fire (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

This book was so action packed, it literally never stopped! The amount of content in this series so far really is incredible, and the pacing is perfect for a fantasy novel, where the world needs detailed explanations. I was literally in shock after Part One, after which I thought the story went downhill, but about 100 pages from the end, man, did it pick up rapidly!

Continue reading “Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas”

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glassThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 412
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Bee and I got the opportunity to read ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses‘ a few months back, which meant we read Maas’s books in kind of the wrong order. Everyone loves the Throne of Glass series. Everyone loves Maas’s writing style and the fantasy setting. Well, when ACTR fell a little short of the mark, we didn’t know what to expect when it came to reading her debut. Thankfully, it was AMAZING. Here’s what we thought…
Continue reading “Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

Cover Comparisons: Girls in Dresses

As part of the gendered covers debate, I thought for this ‘Cover Comparison’, I’d discuss some covers filled with girls in dresses, a classic trope used to obviously market books to a female audience.

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The first collection of books are ‘The Selection’ series by Keira Cass. These stand out, as America’s dress is the central feature of the cover. It makes sense, and links to the almost-beauty-contest concept of the novel. The covers are accurate and appropriate. These books are very ‘girly’, focused on romance and making a good impression because of appearance. Only in the final book are the social injustice themes prominent. Looking at these covers, you wouldn’t be expecting anything more than a cutesy light read.

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The ‘Precious Gems’ series by Kerstin Gier does the same thing as ‘The Selection’ series. The appearance of Gwen, in fancy ball gowns, is quintessential to her time-travelling adventures – she needs to fit in with the societies she’s investigating. At least there’s a slightly dystopian looking background of curled clocks and cities.

the winner's crimethe winner's crime

So, what about ‘The Winner’s Trilogy’ by Marie Rutkoski? Like with ‘The Selection’ the focal point of the covers are Kestrel’s dresses…she just happens to be holding a sword. I think covers like this do the content an injustice. Boys are going to be less likely to pick up this book because of the cover, when in actuality, the books are filled with war, conflict and social struggle, set in a high fantasy world resembling the 18th Century. Why wouldn’t boys be interested in that?

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The His Fair Assassin trilogy is a real contrast to the previous examples. With the stormy backgrounds, dark colour palette and the weapons. It’s important to notice that their dressed are not made of satin and silk, but much heavier materials like velvet – these girls are obviously not afraid of getting their hands dirty, and I wouldn’t mess with them because they look extremely comfortable holding those weapons. These covers are excellently well designed and I think actually do the story justice. You can see the tense emotions, and even the titles are enticing. These covers tell you that you are in now way about to experience a fluffy read.

throne of glass throne of glass back

The ‘Throne of Glass Series’ by Sarah J Maas is taking book covers in the right direction. Sure, Celaena is on the front of every cover, but she’s not in a ball gown. She’s wearing combat weaponry, cloaks and armour. I love that when you look at the back cover, only then do you seen a girl in a dress, because Celaena is a warrior first and a lady second.