YA Review | A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I am so late to the party on reading these books I'm sure the party has literally been cleaned up and almost forgotten about - especially in the fast paced world of Book Bloggers and Influencers. But one of the best things about being a part of the book community online is that there is always someone who is willing to join the conversation about a newly discovered book and indulge in a little bookish chat! 

It was only in July 2016 that I fell head over heels in love with the YA genre of books and since then it's been a consistent love of my fictional reading pursuit. I was introduced to the Dystopian world through reading The Selection Series by Kiera Cass which whilst some may roll their eyes at, I actually enjoyed and will always have a soft spot for - for without those books I wouldn't be reading so much YA fiction now. Starting with a soft Dystopian novel really helped me in making the transition to the more Fantasy based genre that Sarah J Maas writes. 

The Sarah J Maas obsession and fandom has long been popular amongst the "serious" book bloggers & influencers for some time yet I failed to "get it"...like at all! I say that behind my hands now because having read A Court of Thorns and Roses (referred to as ACOTAR) I totally get it!!! Whilst I've now read the first 2 books in the series and am onto the third, this review is for the first book - ACOTAR so let's refocus. 

This book was a bit of a jump for my imagination into the fantasy genre but once I got started I couldn't put it down and picked up my kindle at every available chance I had - and I mean even whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or whilst filling the bathtub to immerse myself into both bath and book! 

The main characters in this book (and we do meet a fair few so be aware of that if you're used to reading about 1-2 central characters) are Feyre (Mortal), her sisters and father (mortal), Tamlin (High-Fae Lord of the Spring Court, Lucien (Tamlin's friend), Rhysland (Interesting character - High Fae-Lord of the Night Court, Sexual Slave to Amarantha who is an evil evil ... so and so! and one to watch!). 

You'll see that I mentioned a series of "courts" and I should mention that I love how the author has sectioned off the United Kingdom and turned Cornwall and Devon areas into the Mortal Lands, and then the rest of the country is split into various courts such as; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Day, Night, Dawn, etc. Each Court has a High Fae Lord and there has been some discord amongst them. 

We see Feyre begin with hunting in the Mortal Lands where she lives and about to make a killing that will send her on a journey she could never have imagined for herself. This one shot means that everything as she knows it will change and it could take some getting used to. We see a romance blossom between Tamlin and Feyre once she adjusts and at points throughout I could see a similarity to the Disney Classic; Beauty and the Beast but in a mashup retelling...sort of... sort of not. I think that's what sold me really as at the time of reading I was heavy into Disney retellings. This romance isn't all that it seems and the twists and turns continue into book 2 and beyond. 

The scenes in this book are categorically some of the best written descriptions and in depth character development plots I've ever read, and for that alone it has to be said that Sarah J Maas has got a talent that must be appreciated for its expertise. The graphic nature of these scenes aren't for the faint hearted and all I'd say is don't eat food whilst reading those scenes - not unless you want to see it again that is. This is not a bad thing but rather a compliment to the way in which Sarah develops the plot and characters and brings to life words from a page into the imaginations of the reader. 

During the last chapters of ACOTAR I admit that I did cry - I didn't think I would cry during violent scenes of a high fantasy novel set in faeland but alas I did due to the sheer beauty and delicate nature of the intricately woven emotions of the characters. 

If you've been wanting to try a YA Fantasy and this one seems to keep popping up and has left you wondering if you should - I would hand on heart say "GO FOR IT". I'm hooked now and book two couldn't arrive quickly enough so upon completing this book I immediately downloaded the next installment. That's a perk to waiting until the hype has hyped down over a big series like this, there's no waiting around a year for the next installment - it's instantly at your finger tips. 

I have to award A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 5/5 stars because it was unputdownable, thrilling, and the work of a pure literary genius. 

To buy your copy please use this link and full disclosure; it is an affiliate link so I earn a tiny amount of money if you purchase through me. 

**Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? What are your thoughts? Have you reviewed it? Leave a comment and/or link below so we can open up a discussion about this book. I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this book** 

Speak soon lovely, 

Bookish Lifestyle | 5 Ways To Overcome Book Hangover

Having Book-Hangover is not something made up in the fictional world of books but is actually something very real that we book-Bloggers and general bookworms experience often - sometimes a little too often. 

So what actually is a book-hangover? 

A book hangover is in its most simplistic terms when we have finished reading an absolutely outstanding book that we couldn't put down, didn't want to finish or can't wait for the sequel too (or all of the above). It progresses into the actual 'book-hangover' when try as we might we simply cannot get into reading another book. Why does this happen? Well basically it's that feeling like when we are heartbroken when we're so sure that we'll NEVER experience a love like the one we've just lost... It's all wrong and our only chance of being happy is to have stayed with that person (NEWSFLASH!!! it's really not! I'm actual living proof that there is love after heartbreak - and it tends to be way better than you ever dreamed, hoped or wished for! And the same can be said for your next "current read". 

The problem of having a book-hangover

Mostly it's just really frustrating to not be able to read another book without thinking about the one we've just finished reading, especially as a book-blogger because reading books is what we do! We can only blog about books (largely) if we are in fact reading books! If we can't get into the zone of reading a book we'll it's not worth thinking about! It's like being a Baker and not being able to bake bread or cakes, or like being a builder and not able to actually build anything. 
Another problem with having Book-Hangover is the feeling of hopelessness. Being a blogger is about reaching out to others and sharing our thoughts, feelings, opinions, reactions and our lives with our readers and audience. When we reach that stage of feeling hopeless and full of despair it has a knock on effect to our confidence as a blogger (you know that feeling of being an imposter? - how can I say I'm a book blogger when im not blogging because I can't get into another book?! 😮 😭).

How can I overcome book-hangover?

Ahhh sorry to disappoint you but if I had the answer to that I'd be a millionaire - JOKING - I actually do have some tips for you that I've used and found to help me. 

> let yourself off the hook and take the pressure off of yourself to read straight away. Sure you might usually put one book down and legit pick up the next one (that you secretly started reading before you even finished the last one) but sometimes (again like dating) you actually need time away from books to process what just happened, to talk about it, blog about it, really get into conversation about the book. Allow yourself to take time to almost get fed up of thinking and talking about the book so that you literally leap at the chance of a shiny new book (although I KNOW the problems with book love that lasts forever: The Cruel Prince, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Lunar Chronicles and more - more about how to deal with this in an upcoming post!) 

> find something else to do other than read. This is why I have a few hobbies so that when I get bored or experience hobby hangover or literally lack enthusiasm or creativity I can put one down and pick up the other. My hobbies include; crocheting, home decor/inspiration, blogging (lifestyle over at Our Country Home Comforts), books and spending time exploring new places with my handsome Mr R. I find that time away usually gives me breathing space and enough inspiration to reignite my passion for reading, blogging, crocheting and more! 

> try a different genre of book. Sometimes reading a book that isn't in the same genre as the one that's given you book hangover can really help. When I first started my book blog I focused on women's fiction and romance and whilst I absolutely adore those books (you can tell by my blog name - another upcoming post for you) sometimes I get book hangover really quickly and can't face reading another romance novel. When I discovered crime fiction by reading Angie Marsons' Silent Scream I entered a whole new world (totally just sang the Aladdin version of that song in my head) and its one that's stuck with me. I find reading crime fiction, or a good psychological thriller a great escape from romance and life in general. So if you usually read YA sci-fi, try a YA without the sci-fi element or try a adult contemporary, or if you usually read women's contemporary try a YA (I did and I loved it!) 

> Blog about related topics. So if you're a book blogger that's lost the mojo (do we still use that word?) for reading right now write about something related to books, or even open up to your audience about your book mojo having took a vacation without warning ⚠ It will make your blog more authentic to your readers and you more relatable. Remember some of the readers of your blog are inspired by you and you have a huge influence on them. Teenage girls (and boys) are more social than we were (if your in the 25-35 age bracket) and therefore it's important I feel that we show them the truth about adulting and blogging! Yes share the highs but think about sharing the lows too because maybe then we can break the stigma and shame about not being happy 24/7, stop comparing ourselves to others and embrace who we are flaws and all, and plus maybe we can reduce our own stress levels by allowing ourselves to be human and not robotic. 

> Read until you fall back in love with reading. Yep you can just push your way through the sludge of book hangover like having the "hair of the dog" - which by the way I have no idea if it works alcohol wise as I don't drink and neither does Mr R. Just read and keep reading until the hangover fades and eventually you'll find that you are enjoying another book! 

There's no easy way through book hangover, no pill to pop, no magic spell to recite or yoga pose to hold. You simply have to just find your own way through via trial and error and even after many years of doing just that you might have to shake things up and tweek them a little. But that's the joy of being alive right? And as a blogger we're totally used to adapting and changing with the times right? 

I hope these tips I've shared with you that have helped me and continue to help me, well I hope they inspire you to pick up your next great read.

If this post has helped you, inspired you to blog or read, and you have actually overcome your book hangover using these tips please come back and share in the comments and let me know! Also, please share this with your friends and bookish friends if you think they'd find it useful 🙏

Also if you have any great tips for overcoming book hangover feel free to share them in the comments below 👇 with the other readers. 

I hope your book hangover subsides soon if you're currently experiencing one, 

Speak soon lovely, 
Dawn-Tracy xxx