The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

BOOK REVIEW TIME YALL!

Today we are talking about The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell! Since this is my first review on this blog, I am going to tell you my format so you all understand what to expect going forward. First I am always going to have the synopsis from Goodreads, some stats about the book (ie: genre, page count, how I read the book, my rating, etc) and a spoiler-free section, to give you an idea of my thoughts. For all of my reviews, if I have a spoiler part it will always start under the Read More portion, that way there is no fear of being spoiled for a book if you’re scrolling through my reviews!

74

Goodreads – Scribd – Amazon – Books-A-Million – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository

Synopsis:

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Stats: 

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy 
Page Count: 498
Published By: Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: July 18th, 2017
Format: Audiobook 
Read Dates: 11/12-11/15
Rating: 4 ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  

Spoiler Free: 

Let me start of by saying that this book immediately pulled me in. I’m always a sucker for time travel in books, especially when we’re going back in time (not forward). Throw some fantastical elements in there, and we’ve got a winner. Esta, who is our main character, is such a delight! She’s snarky, sarcastic, stubborn (I need more ‘S’ words!) and not afraid to rough it and tough it like all the boys in this book. Above all though, my biggest enjoyment of her character was her ability to be all of those fun characteristics, and yet also have the biggest heart toward the other people in this book. She just cares so damn much, though she might try to hide it.                 

There were two drawbacks about the book for me that wound up dropping this rating from a 5 star down to a 4.

  1. The bury your gays trope: I can’t speak about who without fear of some spoilers, but just be aware that this book has it, and it infuriated me. 
  2. One of Esta’s main reasons for not trusting the people she meets back in time, and feeling the urgency to get back to the present, is because she’s worried about her people, her chosen family, in her time. I personally felt like the author had Esta jumping too quickly into the past, and we didn’t get enough time to develop the relationships Esta has with Logan, Dakari, and Professor Lahlan to feel that urgency along with Esta. 

Besides those two things, I think Maxwell did a really good job handling other topics, such as Esta being a woman in 1902, and all the difficulty that entails, the fun romance that was intense from the very beginning, a fun hate-to-love(iiiiish) relationship that did not take away from the plot at all, and showcasing the difference between the family you’re born into, and the family you choose.  

Overall, I thought was plot was thrilling, the twists were super fun, and I’m definitely going to be picking the second book “The Devil’s Thief” up soon! 

Let me know if you’ve read this book or are wanting to in the comments below! 

-Abi

Instagram – Goodreads – Twitter

 

 

Advertisements

T5W: Books You Want to Read Before 2019

Back when I tried to post 5 videos a week for a VERY short time, I really enjoyed discussing the topics from the Top 5 Wednesday Group!

This post is about discussing the top 5 books I am going to prioritizing for the end of the year!

5. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi 

I recently have had very little interest in reading contemporaries, but Tahereh is definitely one of my top 5 authors when it comes to writing. Hers is just so lyrical and whimsical, it’s amazing! Also the topic of this book is very different from anything I’ve read, so I definitely want to read this before the end of the year.

Synopsis:

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book only caught my attention in September, although it’s been out since June 2017, and it’s definitely made the rounds on BookTube. Even though so many people mentioned this book in their hauls and tbrs, I didn’t realize that this was a historical fiction until September and then I finally read the synopsis thanks to Book-of-the-Month, and knew that I had to get it! I’m very excited to read it.

Synopsis:

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

3. Vicious & Vengeful by VE Schwab

I have been very aware of Vicious over the past few years but never felt interested in reading it until I started reading some of her other books and absolutely felt enchanted by her storytelling. I immediately purchased Vengeful even though I hadn’t read Vicious yet, and feel no guilt over owning two copies of each book despite not having read either, ha! I really want to be caught up in all the VE Schwab books by the end of 2018.

Synopsis:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My goodness this is a book that I have been meaning to read FOREVER. I’m sure many of you know how much I love historical fiction, and this is one of the most famous historical fictions of them all on my shelf. It has been on my monthly tbrs countless of times and yet I’ve never read it. Hopefully this will change before the end of 2018!

Synopsis:

Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

1.The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I have had the first three books in the series on my shelves forever as well! The fourth book is supposed to be releasing in 2019, and I really would like to be caught up by the time it comes out.

Synopsis:

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.


Thank you all for reading! Please let me know what are some of your top 5 reads are before the end of 2018 in the comments below!

Love always,

Abi 🙂

Explanation of my Youtube Absence

(Here is my post I put on youtube, explaining my absence. I wanted to put it here as well.)

*Disclaimer: please understand that with this post that I am in NO way, trying to garner sympathy or pity. I am merely trying to answer the questions I’ve been receiving about my whereabouts. Also I apologize or any mistakes/all of my run on sentences.*

Good afternoon friends,

I am very happy that this community tab has finally opened for me as I have wanted to share with you information about my absence on here, but haven’t been able to bring myself to film a video discussing it.

Go ahead and buckle in because this is going to be a long post, but it’s going to be about 3 topics: 1. What caused my unplanned hiatus, 2. When I plan to be back, and 3. Where you can find me in the meantime.

Okay *deep breath* so the first topic is going to take the longest to explain, because there truly are so many reasons as to why I stopped filming. One thing I need you all to understand is that this wasn’t something I just decided to do without some serious consideration. I had been debating for a while about going on a hiatus, and really weighed the pros and cons.

The thing that actually pushed me over the edge were some Youtube videos that I watched. The week before and after the VE Schwab signing that I attended, about 5 videos from different creators were made, that all had to do with growing your channel. Each video when you broke it down, talked about being consistent, connecting well with your community, and have original content. While these videos may have been very helpful for some people, all they did was give me HUGE anxiety.

For me, my channel has always been a hobby. It’s been something that I could look forward to coming home and help me de-stress from a busy work day. It was always something that was supposed to remain a part-PART time gig. Nothing too serious, just a girl in her room, posting a video every once and a while about my love for books. That very quickly changed though.

It seemed like after I hit 5K, people really started to expect things from my channel that I had never promised or expected to give. If my upload schedule changed or went wonky one week due to something in my personal life, before when most people didn’t care, suddenly I was getting comments/twitter mentions demanding to know where the video is/why it wasn’t up.

(Now let me be VERY clear, so many of my subscribers are wonderful people and I appreciate you so much! Your comments and posts mean everything to me. When you’re being polite and wondering about me, it’s no bother whatsoever. But the other people, who feel like my content belongs to them, and that if I don’t post something they are being ripped off, they can go to hell. I don’t owe anybody ANYTHING. I post this content for FREE, because I enjoy doing so. That’s it.)

The videos that I watched, pretty much pointed out every flaw that my channel has. I can’t post consistently every week. It’s just not possible. I constantly fall behind on answering comments, and interacting with other creators because I work two jobs (which means I work about 50-60+ hours on average ESPECIALLY around the holidays), am very close with my family so I’m with them a lot, am trying to rebuild friendships that wilted a bit while I was gone at Disney, and then reading, filming and editing as much as possible. Let me also say that I understand that I’m not the only one who has a busy life. I’m just trying to put everything into perspective.) It’s hard to juggle sometimes as I’m sure many of you can understand. But as I watched each video and realized how much I was failing at the YouTube game, instead of bolstering me up, it made me feel like “what’s the point?”

After that, I realized that I forgot why I started. When I fell into the booktube side of youtube, I was posting videos because I love reading, and wanted to share my thoughts. The numbers truly didn’t mean anything to me. Again, this was purely a hobby that was my relaxation after work. Lately though, all I have been able to focus on, is the subscriber count and why it hasn’t been moving like everyone else’s. I couldn’t put the time in that everyone else seemed to be able to do. It was frustrating to say the least. (Again, please understand that I’m sure soooo many booktubers have just as busy lives if not MORE. It just seemed to me like it came easier to them, or they had somehow found a balance that I just can’t seem to master.)

Then, with hitting 5K, the hate comments began to come in. Not only were people attacking my opinions, but they were attacking things that had nothing to do with books and were about things more personal. My weight, my appearance, and one person even had the audacity to comment on my financial situation, as if my income and the way I decide to spend my money is ANYONE’S concern except mine. (Again let me say, that for the most part, everyone is VERY kind. But you can have 1 mean comment for every 100 kind ones, and unfortunately the mean ones are going to be the comments you can’t get out of your head.) I was just getting fed up.

Everything finally hit the fan and became too much when I got a FLOOD of hate on two very specific videos: 1. Books I Want to REREAD and ANNOTATE video and 2. Throne of Glass Review + Discussion. Now, if you were to look those up you would notice two things right away. My reread and annotate video has the comment section removed, and my throne of glass review has been taken down. That is because the comment section got so ugly, so fast on both videos that I couldn’t deal with those comment notifications coming in anymore, all because I had opinions that didn’t match other peoples.

In my reread video, I mentioned the possibility of rereading the Mortal Instruments series by CC, in fact I said word for word “…I want to talk to you guys about it, because I really really do value all of your opinions. Please let me know, if you guys think that I should try to give this book series another shot…” I went on for a few more minutes about my thoughts of each book series, and how so many people have told me how it important it is to separate the author from the book material, which is something that SO MANY of the bigger booktubers preach and people seem to love them for. And yet, when I tried to show in that video that I had grown as a critical reader in the last 3 years since I read this series and that I wanted to show some support, I got SO. MUCH. HATE. One comment even said, “I’m so disgusted that you would support that cow. Kill yourself.” Word for word, someone left that on that video.

Then, in my throne of glass video, I dared to show that my rating and love for that book had gone down, and got attacked in the comments so bad, that I had to take the video down, simply for having an “unpopular opinion” and I just decided that if I can’t post videos showcasing my opinions and my thoughts about books (which is literally what booktube is about) then I don’t want to post videos anyone. I don’t want my channel to grow so much where not so nice people notice me. It just got so overwhelming, that I just stopped filming videos.

 

So now we come to topic #2: when I plan to be back. The true and honest answer to this is, I don’t know.

I have VERY hesitant plans to start posting again in 2019, but I can assure you that I will not be posting again for the rest of 2018. I do have some ideas on how my channel will work and operate if I do come back. It will be different. I will no longer be stating any type of upload schedule, and I will really start to focus on content that I want to make, not the videos that I know are most popular on booktube. I really hope that you can understand and be supportive of the fact that I won’t be here for a while.

 

That, then brings me to my next and last point: #3. Where you can find me in the meantime. I haven’t totally disappeared from social media. In fact, I honestly think I’m more present now, that I have been in the last few months. Only instead of YouTube, it’s on good ol’ Instagram. I have always enjoyed this social app and have over the last month really engaged myself in the bookstagrammer side and have been having soooo much fun! I’m posting on my stories almost every day and I’m currently trying to post a picture everyday as part of some November photo challenges. I’ve made some amazing new friends, and it’s been great! I would love for you all to join me over there if you’d like at AbigailHaleigh as well! Then, I’ve also revived my blog: www.abigailhaleigh.com. I got rid of my old posts and am starting fresh, so it’s a bit bare boned right now, but I have some good things in mind.

This is where I am choosing to focus my time right now, and hopefully you will all understand. I hope you all realize that this change is the best thing for my headspace right now, and will support what I’m doing. I do truly hope that by 2019 I will be ready to return to YouTube, but only time will tell.

Thank you so much for reading this tiny novel, and I hope that you will continue to hang in there with me as I try to figure things out.

Love always,

Abi

PS- if you have any questions or need any clarification, I will answer anything in this comment section, but at this time I am not answering any comments on my other videos.

Welcome to AbigailHaleigh!

Hello world!

It has quite honestly been a long time since this blog was active. I started this site more than 2 years ago, when I officially decided to switch my YouTube channel over from a “beauty” channel to booktube! I was posting on here so much for maybe the first 6 months, before it was completely abandoned because YouTube took up so much time!

Now that I am taking a bit of a hiatus from YouTube and focusing more on my other social media platforms, I thought I would rise this blog from the ashes, and begin posting more content! Now, I did take down all of my old posts. Many of them don’t represent who I am as a reader anymore, and I really want to start this site out on a clean slate.

So, what to expect? I really want to blog to be a place where I can expand on the topics I discuss on my Instagram. The descriptions of photos over there can only be so long, and my Stories can only be so long before before people start speed tapping. So I hope to soon have all of my reviews on here, fun bookish tags, my thoughts on topics from the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads and more!

I really hope you all enjoy what my page has to offer!

-Abi 🙂