Tuesday, October 23, 2018

How "Throne of Glass" Changed My Life

As today is the release of Kingdom of Ash, I wanted to talk a little bit about how this series has affected me. From the moment I started reading it until now, I've been obsessed. So prepare for a weepy, probably rambly, unedited post on how much I love the Throne of Glass series. This will probably get a little incoherent at times, but that's ok. The general message is, simply, that Throne of Glass (henceforth referred to as ToG) has changed my life for the better and I would not be the person I am today without it. 

It's hard for non-readers to understand my love for books. It seems weird to some people that I have such a passion for this series and books in general. Most of my family doesn't understand, and a lot of my friends don't either. They understand that it's exciting for me, but they don't understand just how vital books are to me.

When I was younger, I was always an avid reader. My dad has told me stories about me loving reading from a young age. I can distinctly remember being excited for homework in kindergarten, partly because it made me feel like a big kid and partly because I was learning how to read. I read and read all that I could, up until the summer after sixth or seventh grade. I didn't have easy access to a library, but I did have Wattpad, so most of my time spent reading was on Wattpad or Fanfiction.net. This was also the time I discovered Netflix. Between these things, I fell out of touch with reading books. 

I found ToG at a weird time in my life, a little less than three and a half years ago. It was June of 2015. I wasn't particularly unhappy with life, but at times it just felt like I was going through the motions of life and like there was something missing. Then I found BookTube and, more importantly, ToG. I discovered other books at the time, too, but the two series that stand out the most are the Lux series and ToG. These are the two series that I read--binged, more accurately, over that summer before junior year of high school--and rediscovered my love of reading through.

So here's the thing with ToG...I wouldn't be the person I am today without it, for a few reasons. It brought me back to reading, for starters. My life pretty much revolves around books at this point: I'm writing a book, pursuing a degree in Writing and Publishing, hoping to get a job in the book publishing industry, and I run both this blog and a book-themed Instagram. All of these because of two book series, ToG being one of them. If I'd never discovered ToG, I might have never been put on this path towards doing something that I'm genuinely excited to do. I would most likely not have found so many amazing people on Instagram and BookTube if not for this series, either, and formed so many friendships (but more on that later).

Not only that, ToG has been with me through many tough times. Through all the worst low points in my life, ToG was there. I can remember crying in my room after a long day and feeling very down about myself and the future, and I'd just look at the series sitting on my bookshelf and feel better. I'd pick up one of the books and flip through my favorite scenes and I'd feel better. This series has been with me through pretty much every shitty event in my life, and it's helped me continue on. I think that's one of the two main reasons it means so much to me: that it bypassed all the pain and sadness to be a shining light in the dark.

This falls hand in hand with another reason ToG means so much to me: it's helped me form so many friendships...friendships that have probably saved my life. I remember sitting in Film Studies class in high school, with three people who I was friends with but not best friends with. But through that class, we became best friends and are still best friends to this day. It is also in that class that I remember reading Empire of Storms, the 5th book in the series, and crying over it. Because of that, my friends started reading it. And we all bonded over it. Our friendship was formed through a lot of other reasons, too, but this series helped me bond even tighter with these amazing friends.

In another instance, one of my friends at college also loves this series and we didn't realize that it was both of our favorite series until we were walking into town one day. I was talking about how I loved books and, I kid you not, I had to sit down on the sidewalk because I was so excited she knew about ToG. Our friendship formed even faster after that, and she's one of my closest friends. I've bonded with teachers, classmates, librarians, and so many others through this series. Especially as of late, I've made four new friends on Instagram because of our mutual love for the series.

And I have to mention that this series is also the one that has impacted me the most, emotions-wise. I've never cried more in a book series, laughed more, loved the characters more. It really is such a powerful, amazing series.

So, as we go into reading the final book, I don't know how to feel. I'm excited to finally know what happens next after the cliffhanger I read TWO years ago...but I don't know how I'm going to react when I finally finish it and realize that this series is complete. Since I started back into reading, blogging, and instagram, there's always been a ToG series book coming out. Every year since I discovered this passion of mine, there's been a ToG book that has released...that I've gotten to look forward to and fangirl over.

So today is a bit surreal. I don't know how to feel about this series ending. All I can say is that I love this series with my entire heart and I'm so grateful for Sarah for sharing this amazing series with us. I know this final book will absolutely wreck me, and I can't wait to see how it ends. ToG will forever hold a special place in my life, my heart, and on my bookshelf.

Book Reviews:
#0.1-0.5: The Assassin's Blade
#1: Throne of Glass
#3: Heir of Fire
#5: Empire of Storms
#6: Tower of Dawn

Cringey and Not-So-Cringey Posts:
Throne of Glass Dream Cast! (2015 Lauren was wild)
Where to Preorder Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas...
Everything You Need to Know About Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas!


Left: meeting Sarah for the first time at BookCon 2016. We bonded over Star Wars theories. She was so nice and I'm so happy to have met her.

Right: My ToG shelf at college. I have many many more copies of the books and a lot more merch, but I only brought one set of the books to college. It's still my favorite shelf. 

Stay tuned for more ToG content this week! I'll have Kingdom of Ash subscription box unboxings, a recap of the KoA Naperville Tour Event, most likely a review soon, and more! And in December, I'll be doing a complete ToG collection tour that I'm super excited about!

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