Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Diverse Main Characters

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

So this week’s theme is basically anything to do with characters! You can put any spin on it that you’d like and I decided to do diverse characters since we could always use more diverse book recommendations, am I right? The characters I’m including are diverse in ethnicity and sexuality and there’s also some mental illness rep here as well.

I’m slowly working my way through the diverse books on my TBR but putting this list together has made me realize I really need to read more of them faster!

These are in no particular order and I will link each book title to my full review in case you’re interested!


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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

This book has a Latino main character who also happens to be a bruja (witch) and when she seeks to rid herself of her power she ends of losing her family and to find them again she must enter a magical realm to save them. This is a very creative and magical book, highly recommended for Halloween coming up too!


Want by Cindy Pon

While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book I did still enjoy it and it’s diverse cast of characters (mostly Taiwanese) and Pon’s tackling of many big issues such as global warming, pollution, and poverty within the plot line. Still a very interesting book even though the pacing was a little off for me.


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

While this isn’t the most diverse book on this list it still includes a really adorable F/F romance between the main character and another side character, I don’t want to give it away. This is a Snow White retelling that really delves into new representations of “Snow White and the Evil Queen” in a very unique way.


Timekeeper by Tara Sim

This is a very underrated book that’s set in a steampunk Victorian London with a gay main character who falls in love with a clock tower’s spirit. It’s so incredibly adorable and heart warming! Plus it’s something I’ve never seen done before!


The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters

Cat Winters is an incredible writer and her books should be in the lime light a lot more than they are! This book deals with a biracial girl in the 1920’s dealing with racism and hate crimes who is starting to suspect her father’s death wasn’t an accident. There is also the inclusion of a gay character dealing homophobia and hate crimes as well. This is said to be a sort of retelling of “Hamlet” and there is a bit of the paranormal in the plot as well.


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Probably the most diverse book included on this list! We have bisexual characters, gay characters, characters of different ethnic backgrounds, characters with mental illness or other disabilities. Everything is also handled and represented incredibly well due to it being an #OwnVoices book and I personally can speak for the anxiety rep as well. There is so much adorableness and so many heart warming moments as well, overall fantastic book full of diversity!


A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A story with a M/M romance and the characters both think the other doesn’t love them back, but it’s also full of some crazy shenanigans and a trip across Europe. You’ll ship these two so hard, trust me!


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

This was a huge surprise to me, I found it way more enjoyable than I had originally anticipated! This is what I wanted “Throne of Glass” to be, full of violence and a main character who isn’t afraid to show their skill and do anything it takes to win. The main character is also gender fluid!


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Pretty sure everyone’s heard of this one by now! This is a fantastic story with a very powerful plot which includes an African American girl as our wonderful main character who is dealing with the aftermath of a police officer shooting her unarmed friend. As I said it’s incredibly powerful and so well written, I highly recommend reading it.


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

The main character of this book is Welsh Romani (which we definitely do not get to see very often in books at all) and is studying herbcraft (and hopefully witchcraft) under her Gran. However, her and her friend are brutally assaulted and in order to save his life she must harvest body parts from the boys who did it. I recommend checking out my trigger warnings in my review before reading this one.

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think?

Do you have any of these on your TBR?

What are some of your favorite books with diverse characters?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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It’s Finally Fall Book Tag!

Top Ten Tuesday (23)

It’s finally the first day of fall/autumn so I figured this would be the PERFECT tag to do today! Fall is my favorite season! I love all of the warm, cozy clothes and all the colors.

I found this tag over on Zane Reads where she did a fantastic job with it so be sure to head over and check out her answers as well!

This tag was created by Tall Tales.

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1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

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This book had some fantastic world building full of magic and even some mythical beings, it’s also very Roman inspired as well. There’s definitely plenty of attention to detail in this setting!


2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief

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“The Hate U Give” deals with some very powerful topics (loss, grief, overcoming prejudices) but it is very beautifully written and also very heart warming as well. I loved the family dynamic in this story.


3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

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I don’t read much non-fiction and the last one I probably read was “Hyperbole and a Half” in which case I did learn a bit about depression which helped me to understand, a loved one who does suffer from it, a bit more.


4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

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Can anyone NOT say the Weasleys for this? I mean come on they really are the ideal fictional family to go hangout with!


5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

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I’m actually not at home at the moment of making this tag so I’ll just put a collage together of covers, still counts!


6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

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In my head I’m thinking of a kind of “story-ception” situation in which case I’ll go with “The Wrath and the Dawn” since Shazi is telling stories within a story!


7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

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Creepy reads are my jam! I’ve got so many I’d love to recommend but I’ll go with “Slasher Girls & Monsters Boys” since there’s plenty of creepy and dark stories in that anthology and there’s sure to be something for every horror lover within its pages.


8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day

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This book is hilarious as well as very heart warming, it’s all around awesome and adorable at the same time!


9. Fall (luckily, it’s my favorite season) returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

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Perhaps a Percy Jackson re read? I don’t really  do re reads all that much but I’d go for this series!


10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

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Definitely some comfy sweatpants, a warm blanket, fuzzy socks, and a cup of tea! I love being all warm and cozy to read!


11. Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

I’ll tag a couple people but please do not feel obligated to do this tag at all! 

Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Coffee Loving Bookaholic

Amanda @ Metal Phantasm Reads

Steff @ Little Booky Nook

The Sassy

Books I’d Like to Finish Before the End of the Year

So of course I’m going to be pretty busy this month and next month with ARCs but by the time November and December roll around what will I be reading? It’s been a bit of a chore with certain posts to not discuss my planned October TBR, why is it so secret? Just for fun! I have quite a few spooky books set up for October. However, there are a couple books I would for sure like to squeeze in before the year ends that aren’t going to be a part of my Halloween TBR for October. Here are just a few of them!


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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

I just purchased this book and would LOVE to dive into it soon since it promises to be pretty dark and full of some serious plot twists. If it’s anything like Thomas’s other book “The Darkest Corners” then it’s sure to not disappoint!


The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I’m actually ashamed that I haven’t read any of his books yet since I’m an avid fantasy reader! Plus on top of that EVERYONE keeps telling me I must read this series and I know they’re right. I’m really hoping I can manage to make some room for it before the year is up.


Because You Love To Hate Me Edited by Ameriie

I’m sad I couldn’t fit this in any sooner but the ARCs got the best of me! This should be a fairly quick read since it’s an anthology by some fantastic authors and all about villains. Can’t wait to get to it!


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

I’m all for anything that seems “Alice in Wonderland” inspired and I also have been meaning to give Tahereh Mafi a try. I just got a copy of this book and hoping I can test it out soon, especially with that gorgeous cover!


The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I know, I know how can I NOT have read the Heroes of Olympus series yet? I read and adored and loved the Percy Jackson series but just haven’t gotten to this one yet. Fortunately I got a fantastic deal on a box set so now I have no excuse to not just dive into this series finally!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I have zero excuses on this one, especially now that the trilogy is complete! I’m hoping I can finally get started on the sequel to the fantastic “A Darker Shade of Magic” because Schwab is Queen!


The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

This book is a little bit more under the radar but I thought it sounded interesting and I have heard good things about it. I’m all for interesting magic systems!


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’ve been meaning to read this ALL YEAR and still haven’t gotten to it yet! So I’m hoping I can finally read it especially since I adore Laini Taylor’s writing to bits and pieces.

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Do you have any of these on your TBR as well?

Have you read any other books by these authors?

What books are you trying to squeeze in before the end of the year?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

ARC Review: The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

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Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

review

**** Huge thank you to Delacorte Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! ****

I knew I was going to enjoy this book but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! Even though this book handles some tough content I still thought it was a fantastic book and something I just know I’ll be recommending, however, please keep in mind the following trigger warnings since this book gets very dark and gritty:

****Trigger Warnings: Rape, Graphic Violence, Physical and Sexual Abuse, & Gore****

PLOT

First I’d like to say I actually really liked the Author’s Note/Forward at the beginning of this novel explaining her Romani heritage and some background on her inspiration for this book. I thought the Romani culture included in the story was absolutely fascinating and it’s very clear it’s handled and represented well by the author.

The story follows our protagonist, Bethan, who is learning herbcraft from her Gran who is also their clan’s drabarni (dealing in witchcraft). She desperately wants her Gran to start teaching her spells and witchcraft but must be patient and so instead goes to the market to sell their “spell” bags. At the marketplace she meets a very bold, sweet boy named Martyn who quickly befriends her. However, Bethan is constantly being harassed by the chieftain’s son Silas and his cronies and on her way home, she and Martyn are attacked and brutally assaulted. Bethan is learning quickly the ugly prices they have to pay to cast spells and must collect body parts from the wicked boys in order to save her friend.

The atmosphere in this story is very dark and very gritty dealing with blood and dark witchcraft, it definitely isn’t a story for the faint of heart. It’s also a very powerful and emotional story though and I thought the rape scene was handled well as it happens off page. How Bethan deals with the aftermath is incredible she’s an extremely strong character and slowly comes to terms with what was done to her over the course of the story.

I was on an emotional roller coaster while reading through “The Hollow Girl”, the way Hillary Monahan writes it made me feel every emotion that passed through Bethan. The anger, the rage at what was done to her and Martyn but yet she still had so much hope and mercy to give as well. We go from raging on a Hell bent revenge story to something……a lot more powerful and that’s all I’ll say. Everything comes full circle in a bit of an unexpected way. So overall though I thought the writing was fantastic.

As far as the pacing goes I thought it was very fast paced and was incredibly interesting from start to finish. The beginning may be considered more slow to other readers but it’s building up the story, the characters, and Romani rep so it really isn’t dull or boring at all. The action really picks up in the middle though and there’s also a couple surprise plot twists I did not see coming whatsoever!

Overall the plot was dark, suspenseful, and just plain amazing.

characters

There weren’t too many central characters that came into play but the ones that did were fantastic, there was a lot of complexity and development to our main characters.

Bethan, is an amazing protagonist she’s extremely strong and develops a lot through the events of the story. Probably one of the best character arcs I’ve read! I don’t want to give too much away though by going in depth, just know she is a very well done character.

Gran, the current clan’s Drabarni and who is teaching Bethan to take her place, is also a very powerful and important character. Honestly Gran was such a badass, straight up badass is the best way to describe her. There were some scenes where I had goosebumps from her powerful spell craft displays. Go Gran!

Martyn didn’t have much “screen time” but he’s an important character at the beginning and end of the story especially. I thought he was incredibly charming, sweet, and adorable he was very much the chivalrous gentleman in my opinion. So much cuteness!

As for that little toad Silas and his gang they were despicable, I WISH I could have gone into this story and whooped some ass myself! However, every character got what they had coming to them and it was very satisfying.

romance

While there isn’t really a romance in “The Hollow Girl” there is some flirtation and attraction between Martyn and Bethan, however after her assault she doesn’t want to be touched or too close to anyone, for good reason. However, it’s implied at the end of the story that they could be together in time. They are adorable and I’d love to see them end up together eventually.

in conclusion

Overall an incredible story that had horror, suspense, and gore but also managed to be an incredibly emotional and powerful read.

What I Loved:

  • The writing was incredible
  • The Romani rep and culture was done well and was fascinating
  • Loved the dark, gritty revenge aspect of the story
  • Very fast paced and interesting all the way through
  • Very strong protagonist and great characters all around

What I Didn’t Love:

  • I honestly can’t think of anything I DIDN’T like about this story

RECOMMEND

 

I highly recommend checking this book out if you’re a fan of YA horror that gets dark and gritty. The addition of Romani culture and the witchcraft added to the story all the more as well. However, as I mentioned earlier please keep in mind the trigger warnings as this won’t be a book everyone can read.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Authors I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet!

Top Ten Tuesday(88)

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Of course there are always a ton of authors that I need to read but these are just a few with MULTIPLE books that I’d like to give a try! I also have no excuses for myself regarding these authors either, I even have some of these books! These are all in order of how you see the author’s picture represented (so it explains which is which below!).

Basically this is one big “shame on me” post!

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Tahereh Mafi

Books I’d Like To Try: Furthermore & Shatter Me

I’m actually not 100% sure if I’d enjoy “Shatter Me” or not but it’s a pretty hyped book and everyone sings its praises so I figure I can give it a shot. I do have a copy of “Furthermore” on its way to me so I’ll be reading that first, hopefully it’s as amazing as everyone says it is! Then I can decide if I’d like to read “Shatter Me” or not.


Libba Bray

Books I’d Like To Try: A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Diviners, & Beauty Queens

There are honestly so many books by Libba Bray that I’d love to read! I have copies of all of these except “Beauty Queens” but I’d really like that one as well! I think I’m especially excited to give “The Diviners” a go since everyone seems to like it and it seems pretty creepy.


Brandon Sanderson

Books I’d Like To Try: The Final Empire, The Way of Kings, Steelheart, and The Rithmatist

This is probably the author I’m most ashamed of myself for not having read yet, honestly. I’m a HUGE fan of fantasy and yet I haven’t read anything by Brandon Sanderson yet? And also I have copies of his books and still haven’t read any? Shame on me! Of course I hear NOTHING but wonderful things about his books so I really do need to read one of them here sooner rather than later…..


Morgan Rhodes

Books I’d Like To Try: Falling Kingdoms & A Book of Spirits and Thieves

I have copies of both of these books and you’d THINK I’d have read one by now but nope. One of the most popular YA Fantasy series and I’m just sitting over reading everything else.


Julie Kagawa

Books I’d Like To Try: The Iron King, The Immortal Rules, & Talon

I actually REALLY want to read any of her books because people really seem to enjoy them and they have pretty unique concepts. Fairies, vampires (except done differently, not the run of the mill paranormal romances vampires), and dragons that turn into people. Count me in….eventually.


Rainbow Rowell

Books I’d Like To Try: Fangirl, Carry On, & Attachments

I’m always a little on the fence when it comes to Rainbow Rowell because I’m not sure if I’ll actually enjoy her writing. I’d have to say if I was going to try any of her books it’d be one of these three.


Samantha Shannon

Books I’d Like To Try: The Bone Season (Entire Trilogy)

Okay so Samantha Shannon is probably the only author on here who doesn’t have multiple books/series that I want to read but “The Bone Season” is a pretty big deal and I’d really love to give it a try! I’m all for anything with a unique magic system.


Elise Kova

Books I’d Like To Try: Air Awakens & The Alchemists of Loom

This is actually one of those YA fantasy series that’s popular but not super hyped, if that makes sense? Both are fairly cheap on Amazon Kindle and they definitely sound interesting enough to give a go.


Cinda Williams Chima

Books I’d Like To Try: The Demon King & The Warrior Heir

Big player in YA/Middle-Grade Fantasy and I see her books/series around a lot so of course I want to give her a try. I have copies of both of these books and I just need to get to one of them here soon!


Alexandra Bracken

Books I’d Like To Try: The Darkest Minds, Passenger, & The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

I actually have a copy of “Passenger” and just haven’t read it because after all of the hype I’m terrified that it will be slow and boring. I think I’m most excited to try “The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding” now since it involves deals with demons.


Ruta Sepetys

Books I’d Like To Try: Salt to the Sea, Between Shades of Grey, & Out of the Easy

Tons of people rave about Sepetys’s books but I’m usually not a huge fan of historical fiction. However, I’m definitely ready to give her a try especially “Out of the Easy” since it’s in 1950’s New Orleans and that just really piques my interest.


Adam Silvera

Books I’d Like To Try: More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, & They Both Die At The End

As you all know I’m not much of a contemporary reader and especially not a romance reader, however, Adam Silvera’s books get a lot of praise and they’re diverse. That’s all I need for once, I’m willing to give one of his books a go!

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Have you read any of these authors?

Or are you still awaiting to read any of them?

Which books do you recommend the most by any of these authors?

Do you have any authors you’re ashamed you haven’t read yet?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

ARC Review: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

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A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

review

**** Big thank you to Entangled Publishing for sending me an copy in exchange for an honest review!****

This was definitely a very unique and dark story and unlike anything I’ve ever read before, I won’t be forgetting this one any time soon! Remember when paranormal romances were big? This is how a majority of them SHOULD have been, engaging and well written! However, there were just a couple things that didn’t work enough for me to full rate this at 4 stars.

PLOT

I loved how the story opens up with some interesting happenings right away, there are some mysterious new neighbors next door in the house where a family was brutally murdered. Pretty good attention grabber, right? From here the plot takes off with Angie being drawn to the new boy next door, Reece, and she starts to notice odd things happening around town such as a significant increase in the local crow and bee populations and she thinks Reece has the answers.

The plot is very fast paced and stays that way for the duration of the book, which was nice, and there definitely isn’t a lack of action at all! You’ll be able to zip right through this book! I loved how Kassel kept things interesting and kept you reading for answers and when you finally got them she’d leave you with more questions too! Her writing was spectacular and I’ll be interested to see what she’ll write next.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the world building and mythology, it was extremely creative and I wanted to know everything about it! The curses of the Harbingers and Beekeepers were really interesting but I would have liked to have known a bit more about their origins as well as the history of the magic and other magical entities that are mentioned, such as Strawmen. I would have loved a lot more depth into the world building for sure, it would have made the story even better but I did love what I got!

I also really liked how the general atmosphere of the story was kind of creepy as well since we are dealing with Harbingers of Death after all, it’s a perfect book to read for Halloween coming up here if you don’t like horror but like something a little spooky!

I also have to say that the second half of the book is where things got pretty dark and dangerous but it was also really thrilling to read through. Best part of the book, in my opinion! However, the ending to the book felt a little too…..convenient for me? I didn’t like how they are dealing with a problem for the majority of the story and then at the end it is magically solved for them, just a little too cheesy for me.

characters

The characters were a little tricky for me in this book, while they were decent I just didn’t feel connected to any of them and felt they lacked depth.

Angie was an alright narrator and main character, she had a pretty tough break as a child but has learned to deal with it. I think one of my favorite parts about her character was her love for making and mixing music and the parts where she would DJ were a lot of fun! When she DJs she uses an alter ego she likes to keep separate from herself which she has completely understandable reasons for. However, there is a moment where she has to choose between learning more about why her life might be in danger or to reveal her DJ persona to Reece and I thought it was a bit ridiculous because come on girl your life could be in danger!

Other than Angie there are a few other characters who get “screen time” such as her friends Deno and Lacey, her father, Roger (her dog), and of course Reece. I did really like all of these characters and they did have a little background and personality but overall they just didn’t have a whole lot of depth. Like I said though I really like them, they were very supportive of Angie the entire story. (I adored the dog though, seriously)

Reece is the other central character and love interest and he does get quite a bit of background as well but he doesn’t ever really develop. He doesn’t change or grow, the only character that did that was Angie. Overall I thought Reece was just sort of okay, I didn’t love or hate him he was just kind of…there.

One character I did not care for AT ALL though was Kiera Shaw who is basically the “high school mean girl” trope and she lives to make Angie’s life miserable. I did not see the point to her character at all and even towards the end where Angie and Kiera’s pointless “rivalry” is resolved it still felt really flat and not genuine. Even Rafette who was technically the story’s main antagonist was way more sympathetic than her!

romance

I actually did enjoy the romance between Angie and Reece and while there is an instant attraction the romance is not insta-love at all. I liked how it was slow at the start but it did feel a little rushed towards the middle of the book but it is explained so I forgive it. I actually really liked the tension that was between them at the beginning where they felt that attraction initially and it just had me rooting for them from the get go!

There was a sort of side romance between Angie’s two friends and honestly I felt it wasn’t needed at all. I liked the two characters but did we really need a side romance?

in conclusion

Overall I loved how unique the concept of this book was and the world building and mythology were fantastic, although I didn’t care a lot ton for most of the characters. So I’d like to give this a full 4 stars but the issues I had with the book it just doesn’t feel right to rate it anything more than 3.5.

What I Loved:

  • Concept and general plot
  • The writing was engaging
  • World building and mythology were creative
  • Very fast paced and full of action
  • Loved the musical side of Angie, the main character
  • The romance was slow burn and adorable
  • Roger, the dog, was just the best

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The ending felt WAY too convenient
  • Could have used a little more expansion with the world building
  • Characters were just kind of alright, didn’t really connect
  • Pointless girl on girl rivalry with school mean girl

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly recommend checking this book out though especially if you’re looking for a very unique story concept or a creepy (but not terrifying) book to read this fall!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

The Sassy

ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

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Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

review

****Big thank you to Flatiron Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!****

This was a very unique and creative take on Snow White and one that I really did enjoy especially with the minor F/F romance and feminist themes! However, there was just something not there for me to rate this any higher than 3.5 unfortunately.

PLOT

My biggest complaint about this book is the extremely uneven pacing because it would have me turning pages eager to know more or I’d set the book down and not pick it up for days it was so slow. This is a problem for me since it’s harder for me to want to finish a book when it gets super slow after being so good! I have to say the end  and the middle is where it slowed down significantly for me and thought the first 40%-50% was much better.

The story is told in two different POVs one is Mina, the Queen and stepmother, and Lynet, the princess. In this way Mina is the “evil Queen” and Lynet is “Snow White”. The story revolves around Mina wanting to keep her power as Queen so she can be loved even though her heart is made of glass and Lynet is supposed to take her place but would rather spend her time climbing the castle walls and spending time with the new surgeon. Personally I found Mina’s chapters to be much more interesting.

As I already mentioned this book is a little slower with the pacing since it’s a very character driven story and doesn’t have an action packed plot by any means. I really loved the overall themes of feminism, family not being only blood, and being accepted for you who are and not who you “should” be. I also thought the general retelling of the Snow White fairy tale was done very well here, very creative and unique, and I loved seeing the twists on certain elements such as the enchanted mirror, huntsman, and poison apple!

The writing was also very well done and compelling…just saying. It really was wonderfully written and helped set the atmosphere for a fairy tale retelling.

I kind of stated already that I loved the themes in this book and I really appreciated that this is a book that focuses on female empowerment and women helping and supporting other women. Instead of Mina and Lynet fighting each other for the sake of power and the whims of oppressive men they stood against that and helped and supported each other. And that’s awesome.

characters

Now to the characters which were the best part and what drove the story forward!

Mina was by far my favorite character, I really thought her chapters and flashbacks were the most interesting parts of this story. Her character had so much depth and development throughout the book and we really see so many layers to her. She was raised motherless and by a father who constantly tells her that with her glass heart she cannot love or be loved. In her desperation for love she makes some bad choices but ultimately she is a very sympathetic character.

Lynet is the main character overall but she wasn’t as interesting to me as Mina, probably since she’s younger and there isn’t as much complexity to her character. She is constantly being compared to her late mother and instead of allowing herself to be groomed for the throne she would rather spend her time climbing and getting into mischief. I found myself really sympathizing with her though since she just wants to be her own person and not be a version of her mother like everyone wants. Lynet does grow over the course of the story significantly though as she learns she can use her power as queen to help people and help her kingdom.

The only other characters of any importance in the story would be King Nicholas, Mina’s father Gregory, Nadia the surgeon, and Felix the huntsman. King Nicholas and Gregory the magician were probably my least favorite characters since they’re both men trying to rule over and pressure our female characters Lynet and Mina (their daughters respectively). Sure King Nicholas doesn’t go about ruling over his daughter Lynet in an abusive way like Gregory rules over Mina, but he still tries to force her mother’s image on her. As for Gregory….he is straight up an asshole….just saying.

Nadia’s character was very interesting and she does play the love interest for Lynet which was a very slow-burn and sweet romance. Nadia actually develops quite a bit over the story even though she doesn’t play a huge role in it.

Felix plays the role of the huntsman and he is….adorable. I thought the take on his character was very, very creative and he actually grew a lot considering he’s more of a minor character.

romance

The romance does not play a central role in this book at all but it is there! It’s an F/F romance between Lynet, our Snow White character, and Nadia. I really loved the romance here since it didn’t overtake the main plot line and it was a nice slow burn romance, it was also very adorable!

in conclusion

I did really enjoy this book and think it’s a very creative take on the Snow White fairy tale but the pacing was something I had a hard time looking past while reading. There wasn’t much action which I understand but it would have been nice to have a little more and a few more complex side characters as well! Minor complaints those last two though.

What I Loved:

  • F/F, slow burn romance
  • Great feminist themes
  • Fantastic characters that were well developed
  • The writing was done well
  • Creative take on Snow White

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Not a whole lot of action
  • Very uneven pacing (most of the time a little on the slow side)
  • Would have liked a few more complex characters

RECOMMEND

I do recommend checking this book out especially if you’re looking for a good Snow White retelling or even just a book that has some great feminist themes!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy