Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why You Should Read Sarah J Maas's Books

Hello, my ducklings! How are you? Wonderful? Well, you're about to be better, because I'm about to tell you about a book.
If you are a a reader, then you have favorite books. You have many books that have entertained you, some books that have captivated you, and you probably have a couple of books that have changed your world.
I say this in all seriousness. If you doubt me, ask any person who grew up reading Harry Potter why they loved it. Ask any bookish girl who loved Hermione why. Reading makes you better. Reading can shape you and it can save you. Sometimes, it can just make you laugh. And sometimes it can make you remember what you love.
Last fall, I sent my mom a link to a book that I'd been hearing about called Throne of Glass. She bought a copy and I read it over Christmas break. At this point, this was what the book looked like.
(It doesn't look like that anymore.)
I kind of stopped reading my senior year of high school. It was a mix between focusing on other things and a newfound aversion to writing, brought on by the first English teacher that I didn't really . . . understand, I guess? I don't want to get into that, though.
Fast forward. My first semester of college, I read a lot of the classics for a class that I loved, but I didn't read much else. I justified it as ' Let's focus on the book instead.
A year after I'd stopped voraciously reading, I picked up this book. 
It is a book that will make you laugh, gasp, panic, and then text your friends at midnight about characters that they haven't met.
And then you'll force your friends to meet them. At this point, I've handed the book off to six of the readers that I have amazing bullying powers a system of mutual respect and admiration for. All six of them have responded the same way.
There are books that change your life. And this is one of the books that has changed mine.
It reminded me why I loved to read. It reminded me that even when my world is filled with obnoxious drunk people in the room next to mine obstacles, books are a way to slip into a better mood. It reminded me that books that are worth reading are not always the ones that college classes force you to buy.
And it reminded me that I shouldn't be embarrassed about reading YA, even when I'm in college, even while I'm taking the 'smart' classes and carrying a book with a character younger than me. I can't point at a book I've read in the last three years that brought me more enjoyment than the one Sarah J Maas wrote.
In a couple of days, the sequel is coming out.
I got very lucky. I have a friend that got an advanced copy earlier in the summer.
Crown of Midnight is just as good and in many ways better than Throne of Glass. For one, it's got the updated cover, which looks like this:
For another, it continues talking about themes about friendship, loyalty, family, resilience, and power. The world building, at one point, had me putting down the book and frantically messaging the friend that gave it to me to panic about how in the world someone is that talented of a writer.
It's a sequel worthy of the first story presented, which, unfortunately, is not always true.
(I tend to dislike trilogies, a lot of the time, because the second story does not seem to carry its own arc.) 
Plus, you know, there are several cute boys. And those relationships? They are done with a nuance and skill that I absolutely adore. They are done in a way that feels right for the character, and that, to me as a 19 year old college student, feels right and realistic. 
Beyond that, Sarah J Maas is an author that inspires a lot of love. Her personal story is inspiring. At the risk of sounding like a crazed fangirl (because I kind of am one) (Oh, who am I kidding? I totally am) I have spent more time talking about this author and her books with my friends than anything since Divergent.
Bottom line:
Go read this book. Buy its sequel. I bought the novellas, even, and those are pretty incredible too. 
And now, my roommates have put on the VMA's, so the book love is gonna have to wrap up.
But really.
This book made my life better. It relaunched me into reading, and that made me start writing again. It meant that I went to Alpha, where I worked with other authors my age as well as Scott Westerfeld, Tamora Pierce, Justine Larbalestier, and Theodora Goss. I owe it -- and the author -- quite a bit because of that.
Go get this book. I don't care how old you are. Read it anyway. And then give it to your friends.

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