I Will Follow Where You Lead || July Wrap-Up/August TBR

Wow! July has gone by so freaking fast! It’s hard to believe that I’ll be back on my campus in 16 glorious days. I’ve really missed Vandy (Vanderbilt University), and I can’t wait to be back.

So, this month has been pretty successful. I caught up on a lot of my favorite series. Something that I’ve been meaning to do for almost 3 years. IT FEELS SO GOOD.

Plus, I read 3 of the 4 books on my July TBR! I think that I did pretty well this month.

I’ve also done a lot of Netflix binge watching that I *probably* shouldn’t have done… but oh well!

What did I read/listen to this month?

  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – THIS WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. I don’t think that I can quite articulate (though I’m dern sure going to try when I write my review) how I felt about this book. It was so good! It’s probably my favorite in the series. Despite September being a couple months away, it feels like such a long time to wait for Empire of Storms.
  • The House of Hades by Rick Riordan – It literally took me almost 3 years to read this one. I feel so DUMB not reading this sooner. The Heroes of Olympus series has always been pretty lackluster for me, but the last two books in the series really solidified my love for this series.
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan – Riordan brilliance strikes again! Once again, I really enjoyed this books. It was a pretty good ending for the series, even though I had some issues with it. I honestly think that the ending was rushed. However, it really reminded me why I love Rick Riordan’s books so much.

What did I watch this month?

  • Gilmore Girls – As you can tell from the title of the blog post, this month was, once again, defined by my love for Gilmore Girls. I blew through another three seasons this month! I finished season 6 this morning, and I’m SO ANGRY. (*yells dramatically into the air* WHY LORELAI, WHY???). I only have one season left, and I’m really sad. However, DID Y’ALL SEE THE TEASER FOR GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE?!
  • Finding Dory – This was such a cute movie! While I think that it ran a little long, I still enjoyed it.
  • Shakespeare: The Legacy – I actually just watched this one. It’s a Netflix documentary about William Shakespeare, and it was pretty good. I already knew a lot of the information, but it was still well done.

What did I post this month?

What did I get/buy/borrow this month?

  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Borrowed from library
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Bought eBook
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Bought eBook


August TBR

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by  J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016 

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.


Waiting on Wednesday: The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

29631300Title: The Architect of Song

Author: A.G. Howard

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy/Paranormal/Historical Fiction

Pages: Hardcover, 425

Publication: August 15, 2016


A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness


I saw Jen from The Starry-Eyed Revue reading this and absolutely loving it on Goodreads a few days ago, and I 100 percent trust her judgement on books. So, I checked out the synopsis, and it sounds INCREDIBLE.

Not only is the heroine deaf, which you don’t see hardly at all in YA or NA literature, it freaking takes place in Victorian England. Books that take place during that time are my absolute weakness.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about A.G. Howard’s books, so I can’t wait to check this one out.


This post is a little different from my usual stuff, so bear with me.

18705209So last night at 2 AM, I finally finished the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. To put how I felt about it simply, I was an emotional mess. I was filled with so much nostalgia from the Percy Jackson series. I was crying both happy and sad tears as our heroes completed their quest.

In a weird, maternal way, I was so proud of them.

While reading the last two books in the series, The House of Hades and The Blood of Olympus, I couldn’t help but think how good of a television show this series would make.

We all know how the Percy Jackson films went. They were a complete and utter disaster with terrible writing and stupid plot changes. The movies just didn’t capture the same appeal that the series had for me.

Honestly, I just don’t think that film was the right form of media.

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Review: The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renée Ahdieh


Synopsis for The Wrath and the Dawn:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.



Y’all have heard me talk about how much I absolutely love with The Wrath and the Dawn, the first book in this beautiful series by Renée Ahdieh.

First of all, when deciding to dive into this series, I was drawn by its plot. A mad, evil king who kills his brides? Sign me up. I wanted to fall in love with characters who were incredibly complex and three dimensional, and this book definitely gave me that. I fell in love with Khalid with his brutish harshness and gentle kindness. While I didn’t like Tariq in the first book, I really grew to like and respect him in the sequel because we get to see his motivations and understand his reasonings.

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Waiting on Wednesday: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

23203252Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Author: Jessica Cluess

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 416

Publication: September 20, 2016 by Random House


I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. 
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess’s spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.


I want to take this cover, frame it, and hang it on my wall. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.

Not only is the book gorgeous, it sounds absolutely AMAZING. Fantasy + Victorian England? SIGN ME UP. The plot sounds like a perfect mix of Red Queen, Throne of Glass, and Clockwork Angel, all of which, are among my favorite fantasy novels.

So many good books are coming out in September! I’m going to be so broke.

What are you waiting for?

Top 10 (Probably Boring) Facts About Me!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

  • I have 10 brothers and sisters.

    While most of them are half-siblings, it’s really nice to have such an extensive family. When I’m not at school, I live with three of them, MJ, Harrison, and Joseph.

  • The first books that I remember turning me on to reading YA seriously was the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.

    One of my friends was reading The Lightning Thief on a school field trip, and the next day I was at the bookstore picking up the first book in the series.

  • I’m currently a student at Vanderbilt University.

    Vanderbilt University is a private university in Nashville, TN. This year, I’ll be a sophomore, and I’m double majoring in Political Science and History and minoring in English. ANCHOR DOWN!

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The Book Love Tag


Ah, romance… Literally my biggest weakness when it comes to books. If it has a good romance in it, I’m completely sold (even a little bit obsessive).

I was tagged by the wonderful Reg over at She Latitude (I love her and think both she and her blog are absolutely brilliant).

This tag has enabled me to talk about one of my favorite bookish topics: couples and romance in books.

Your favorite book couple

heir of fireDamn. This is hard.

Because it’s so fresh in my mind, right now, I’ll have to go with Rowan and Aelin from the Throne of Glass series. I just really love how they interact with each other.

Verbal sparring? Check.

Insane chemistry? Check.

A bond that can’t be broken? Double check.

Your top 3 book boy/girlfriends.

Khalid Ibn al-Rashid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh – Passionate and loyal to a fault. What’s not to love?

Peter Kavinsky from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Peter is just so kind to everyone around him, and, although he tries not to show it, he cares deeply about everything.

Zachary Goode from the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter – I think the fact that he’s both a spy and really hot is answer enough.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

28260587Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 704

Publication: September 6, 2016


The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?


First of all, look at that GORGEOUS cover. I didn’t think the covers for the Throne of Glass books could get even prettier, but Empire of Storms completely baffled me when it came out.

About two weeks ago, I started my journey to catch up on the Throne of Glass series because it is one of my all time favorite fantasy series. I found an audiobook of Heir of Fire on my Audible account (that I had somehow just forgotten was there??), and I listened to that in about a week. Currently, I’m listening to the audiobook of Queen of Shadows, and it’s just as phenomenal as its predecessor.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this extremely, but probably rightfully, long book.

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Under 2000 Ratings

Today’s topic is: “Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Under 2000 Ratings.”

Well, as I was browsing my Goodreads list to find some books for the post, I realized I was only able to find 3 books that hit both criteria.

The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan – 303 ratings

I looovvvveeeddd this book. In fact, I read it in basically one sitting. While the story was casual and the dialogue genuine, the story was so incredibly moving.

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison – 1,407 ratings

I think the title basically sums up this book. It’s cute, hilarious, and extremely cringe-worthy (not the writing, just the character’s stories, which is what makes it so relatable).

The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse – 1,870 ratings

My entire freshman class at my university had to read this book for  a special freshman seminar Vanderbilt hosts every year. It follows the lives of several Mexican-Americans as they deal with trying to fit in to a country that won’t quite accept them. While I’m not an immigrant or a Mexican-American, I am a person of color, and this book really hit me hard. Brando Skyhorse completely understands what it feels like to live in a place that, sometimes, you don’t feel like you belong in. It was excellent.

What books have you enjoyed that are under 2000 ratings?

Breathing Dreams Like Air || June Wrap-Up/July TBR

After an extremely long hiatus that I have absolutely no explanation for other than lack of motivation, I’m back!

So, after I got out of school at the end of April, I thought to myself, “Hey! I can read all of the books that I wasn’t able to read when class was in session!”

Well, I started a book…

And it took my almost two months to finish it.

I guess I was just so spent from all of my finals that I just needed some time doing nothing but watching Netflix?

But now, I’m back with renewed motivation to read and review and whatever else I feel like putting on my blog.

What did I read/listen to this month?

  • The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – Absolutely LOVED it. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first one, I still really loved reading this book. Both the story and its characters are extremely rich and diverse.
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (audiobook) – I know what y’all are thinking, “Halee, why did it take you so freaking long to read the third book in a series that you’re so in love with?” The answer to that question remains unsolved because I literally have no idea. I guess I just kind of forgot? Well, I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was phenomenal; she absolutely blew my mind. Also, I LOVE ROWAN SO MUCH.

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