Top 5 Wednesday: Series That Got Better!

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

I’m not much of a series reader I’m usually the kind of person that can start a ton of series and then not actually ever finish them. So this list was a little harder for me especially since I feel a lot of series really get worse the farther they go on for me, however, here are a few I felt got better!

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5.) Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

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I read this series such a long time ago but when I read the first book I honestly didn’t think much of it, it was okay. However, I decided to continue on and read “Pretties” and “Specials” as well and in my opinion both of those books were a lot better than “Uglies”. I never did read “Extras” but I don’t really feel like I need to either since it isn’t from Tally’s POV.

Would I still think this if I re-read these books now? Maybe but from what I remember when I was younger I thought the books got way better as they went!


4.) Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

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Once again this was a series that I read when I was younger and thought it was amazing! Of course my opinion might change if I read them again now but I like to live in my nostalgia…..

The first couple of books in this series are kind of so, so there really isn’t anything too crazy special about them but as they go they get a lot more action, plot twists, and more interesting back stories!


3.) The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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This might be cheating since I haven’t actually finished the series! BUT I have read the first two books and I definitely loved “The Dream Thieves” even more than I loved “The Raven Boys” so I’m just kind of assuming the series will only continue to get better as well!

You can read my full review of “The Raven Boys” here.


2.) The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

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Once again I haven’t fully completed this series but I’ve read the first two books just not the last! I was really leery with the first book since I wasn’t sure it was going to be good or not and I was actually really pleasantly surprised by it! So of course I devoured the second book which was EVEN BETTER than the first one! So I think it’s safe to say this is one of those series you should stick with after the first book.

You can read my full review of “The Winner’s Curse” here.


1.) The Inkworld Trilogy

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This is my most prime example of a series that gets WAAAAAY better as it goes, the jump in awesomeness from “Inkheart” to “Inkspell” is huge! While I did really like the first book I still wasn’t super impressed with it but since I already had the second book I pushed on anyways and I am so glad I did! “Inkspell” is ten times the fun with way more characters, magic, and world building! Then there’s “Inkdeath”……I didn’t know it could get any better than “Inkspell” but it did, there are so many plot twists and so much emotional turmoil! The ending was perfect though.

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What are some series you think got better?

Do you agree or disagree with any of these series? Have you read any of them?

Are you big on finishing series or, like me, start them more than finish them?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

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It’s my favorite time: unpopular opinion time! Maybe it’s just me but I really love reading reviews or opinions from people who are breaking the mold with hyped books! I feel that I, personally, am one of those people sometimes since I don’t usually go for super hyped books but then again I do at the same time. It’s fun to see different opinions on popular books!

I saw this tag over on Hannah’s blog Mortal Reader so be sure to head over and check out her beautiful, amazing blog as well!

****Please remember that we are all entitled to our own opinions so if you agree or disagree feel free to discuss in the comments BUT I’d appreciate if there were no “hate” comments towards my opinions or anyone elses’s in the comments!****

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A popular book you don’t like?

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I really, really wanted to like this book since it promised a magical fight to the death in a competition to be the czar’s enchanter in a fantasy Russian setting. However, I thought it was really tedious with the over the top love triangle, lack of extravagant magical displays, and the other lack of actual fighting to the death.

It was definitely a hyped book last year and it seems a lot of other people DID enjoy it so it seems I’m a bit in the minority.

You can read my full review of “The Crown’s Game” here!


A book series everyone hates but you love?

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I actually can’t really think of any books people HATE that I did like but “The Bone Witch” is probably the closest thing to it. A TON of people did not enjoy this book and found it to be really boring but I really enjoyed it! It was a bit slower paced but I understood that Chupeco was working up the plot and world building and it was definitely interesting enough to keep me reading. I’m all about those dark magic witches!

You can read my full review of “The Bone Witch” here!


A love triangle where the MC ends up with the person you didn’t want them to?

DON’T HATE ME! I really, really didn’t like Ginny all that much and I really didn’t like that Harry ended up with her. I would have much rather seen Harry end up with Hermione. (basically I go against every love triangle or love interest in books, I always root for the underdog!)

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A popular genre you rarely reach for?

Contemporary

I will on occasion pick up contemporary books especially if they’re not mostly romance. However, seeing as a lot of YA contemporaries are romance based I definitely don’t reach for them that much. I will pick them up but only if they have a TON of amazing reviews!


A popular beloved character you didn’t like?

Celaena Sardothien

To be fair I’m only basing this off of just reading “Throne of Glass” but I really didn’t like Celaena at all. She was all talk and no action in my opinion, I wanted to see exactly why she’s the most feared and deadly assassin and yet she spends most of her time mooning over boys, dresses, and shoes.


A popular author you can’t seem to get into?

Cassandra Clare

Not a big fan and unless she writes something outside of her shadowhunter world I probably will continue to not be a big fan. I really didn’t enjoy “City of Bones” at all and if the rest of the series are all similar I won’t be reading those either.


Popular trope you’re tired of seeing?

Love Triangles

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I would love to actually see this trope become completely eradicated because I really don’t like it. Is this really an unpopular opinion though? I feel that I see a lot of other people who don’t like love triangles either.

Anyways I just don’t buy into them unless they’re very, very believable or that I genuinely think both options are suitable.


Popular series you have no interest in reading?

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I just feel like this series doesn’t have anything that interests me, a competition to win over a Prince with lots of dresses? No thanks I’ll pass.


The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie” but what movie do you prefer more than the book?

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The Da Vinci Code maybe? I don’t usually like anything truly better than the book but this is probably the closest one since the movie follows the book quite closely and I really did like the movie.

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If you’d like to do this tag then consider yourself tagged!

What are some of your unpopular opinions?

Do you agree or disagree with any of the books, characters, or authors I listed?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

*Spoiler Free* Series Review: The Wicked + The Divine Volumes 1-4 by Kieron Gillen

I don’t think I can praise this graphic novel series enough, seriously! This is hands down the BEST ones I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and I loved every part of it.

I’m going to be giving little mini reviews of each volume (1-4) here and each with their own rating etc.

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Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5

reviewWith volume 1 here I was absolutely hooked from the get go! The premise is so unique and interesting, I mean everyone’s pop star idols are literal GODS reincarnated every 90 years and only live for 2 before they die. The only problem is that we don’t get much explanation for anything in this volume and I was left with a lot more questions than answers. I’m actually still not 100% sure of what’s going on….at all. But that’s okay because it’s still SO GOOD!

The overall mythology/world building is pretty vague but already extremely fascinating. Of course there’s loads of room for more development, which I’d love, such as exactly why the gods are reincarnated and why it’s only every 90 years etc. Anyways probably one of my favorite parts about this graphic novel is how diverse the gods are, not only with thier human bodies but with the actual gods themselves. We see gods from all different kinds of mythology and religions : Irish, Egyptian, the religion of Christianity, Norse, Shinto (a Japanese religion), Greek, Sumerian, and probably a ton more as well! I think it’s AWESOME to see some other mythologies other than the traditional Greek and Roman being represented in stories, it’s fun to learn about all of these other gods, goddesses, and deities.

The characters, if you couldn’t already tell, were a-ma-zing! As I already stated they were all very diverse characters with different races and sexualities as well as the gods themselves being from many different mythologies and religions. Laura, the main character, was really relatable one of the main reasons being that she’s a huge fangirl of the gods. She’s pretty down to Earth and feisty! I also absolutely fell in love with Luci aka Lucifer, I mean seriously her character is so badass and all around amazing. One of the greatest characters I’ve ever come across! The Morrigan is a close favorite as well since I think her character is gorgeous and also one of the more interesting gods since she’s an Irish war goddess but is a sort of 3 goddesses in 1 type of thing! Overall though each god was very different with their own unique styles and personalities so they’re pretty easy to keep track of.

The art style……..how do I even begin to gush about the stunning artwork in “The Wicked + The Divine”? It’s one of the best art styles I’ve come across in a graphic novel it’s realistic, detailed, and the color palette is absolutely beautiful! I adored how vibrant all of the colors were! I was forcing the pages in everyone’s faces so they could behold how gorgeous the art is!

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*gush, gush, gush, gush*

Also that ending is pretty brutal so I recommend having the next volume on hand!


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I think I have to say that this was my favorite volume so far (out of the 4 I’ve read) because it was very action-packed with many crazy plot twists!

Basically in this volume Laura is trying to figure out who was behind the events that occurred at the end of volume 1 and some of the gods are willing to help her out as well.

We finally get a little more insight on the gods, which I liked but I still really had no clue what all was going on and what the “bigger picture” is. I’m starting to think there isn’t really any larger plot line here at all though, which is a little disappointing.

There’s also new characters! Yay! More badass and visually pleasing gods and goddesses! I have to say I absolutely loved the addition of Inanna because he’s gorgeous and also reminds me very much of Prince which I think was the point but still! He’s perfection!

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Of course the artwork is STILL gorgeous too!

And also this is probably the most cliffhanger-y ending I’ve ever read! Definitely have volume 4 at the ready! (volume 3 is filler)


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My least favorite volume seeing as how it’s mostly just filler and doesn’t really continue the story from volume 2 at all. Also apparently James McKelvie was on a break during this volume so a bunch of guest artists were brought in to illustrate each issue so the beautiful artwork we all know and love was not present in volume 3. I honestly really hated some of the artwork too…….

I really, really, really didn’t like the art for the issue about Sakhmet’s backstory……

Basically all we get to see here is the backstories on a lot of the gods and see how they went from human to deity. My favorite origin story would definitely have to be The Morrigan and Baphomet which was also thankfully accompanied with a decent art style.

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I just felt that I couldn’t really focus that well on appreciating the backstories when that ending from volume 2 had me still screaming in agony!

My overall thoughts were that this was okay but definitely not as impressive.


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Finally answers to what the hell happened at the end of volume 2! A ton of shit goes down in this volume, there’s a lot of action and fight scenes and they are amazing! It was a lot of fun to get to see all of the gods’ powers and abilities since we haven’t seen too much of them up until this point.

Really loved getting to see Laura again and especially in this volume, no spoilers though! The characters were of course all as wonderful as they’ve been so far but we don’t really see any new characters in this volume either.

As much as the story picked up on this volume it was also very, very confusing. Once again I’m left wondering if there’s really anything else going on behind the scenes or if the only story we get to see is the “whims of the gods” type of thing. I am still hoping there’s something “bigger” going on. I’m also just very confused in general especially with that ending. The ending this time around was a little underwhelming and left me feeling curious but also not dying to know what’s going to happen next either.

I’m also glad we are back to the original art style, thank goodness!

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Overall I HIGHLY recommend checking this series out!

Links for The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act

Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Aren’t Set in the Western World

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s topic is books that aren’t set in or inspired by the Western World, so nothing in North America or Western Europe! That also means no Fantasy or Sci-fi that may have been inspired by these places so nothing medieval based in a fantasy for example!

This is such a fun topic that calls for us to really think outside the box and opens the way for us to potentially find more diverse reads!

These are also in NO particular order and if I have reviews I will link them up as well!

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5.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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While this is YA fantasy not directly set in the real world it’s pretty clearly based off of Russia and Russian culture. Therefore I’m just going to say it counts! It’s also a very well written, fast paced, heist book and I say the hype is worth it!

You can read my full review of “Six of Crows” here.


4.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

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This is a historical retelling with a gender bent Vlad the Impaler as one of the main characters. It’s set in the 1400s in both Wallachia, which is modern day Romania, and the Ottoman Empire, which is mostly modern day Turkey.

I personally thought White did her research very well for this story!

You can read my full review of “And I Darken” here.


3.) The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This is a 1,001 Nights (a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories) retelling set in the Middle East and it also has some fantasy elements but they’re clearly inspired by Middle Eastern culture as well.

You can read my mini review of “The Wrath & The Dawn” here.


2.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This is a YA fantasy story but it’s also a retelling of “Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp” which is a story from 1,001 Nights (which as stated above is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories). The story and it’s setting are inspired by the Middle East.

You can read my full review of “The Forbidden Wish” here.


1.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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This is a fantasy and steampunk story that was inspired by Japan or the Eastern World if you will. I, personally, really enjoyed this book but I have heard people mention that it was not researched very well and the Japanese vocabulary wasn’t used correctly. That’s why I’m saying the book is “inspired by” versus saying “based on” and I acknowledge other people’s claims that this wasn’t necessarily the best book as far as the cultural representation goes.

However, it’s still inspired by the Eastern World so I decided it applies here and as I said I did still enjoy the story. It’s nice to see steampunk elements in a book that isn’t set in Western Europe!

You can read my full review of “Stormdancer” here.


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

What are some books you’ve read or have on your TBR that aren’t set in the Western World?

Do you have any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Retellings I’d Like To See More Of!

 

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Everybody likes a good retelling don’t they because I know I do! It’s really fun and interesting to see different, unique spins on stories we already know! However, there seem to be some stories out there that just don’t get enough love in my opinion. This list just puts together a few I’d really like to see done or see more of and they aren’t “fairy tale” specific either!

My list is specifically  referring to the YA genre for the most part.

Of course if I have happened to read an example of one of these I will link up a review or mention a retelling I know of even if I haven’t read it yet. I will also link up the books I have not read to their Goodreads pages! I will bold the ones that are personal reviews.

Also if you know of any retellings for these please let me know in the comments!

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Robin Hood

Such a popular classic story, wouldn’t you agree? However, as much I feel we see Robin Hood represented in other things such as movies or TV shows we really don’t get to see any different spins on the tale in books. I do know of one YA retelling called “Scarlet” by A. C. Gaughen.

I’d really like to see the same kind of idea as in “Scarlet” where outside characters interact with Robin Hood, or maybe a gender-bent Robin Hood, or maybe even a sci-fi retelling!


Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp

Of course the story of Aladdin has been done a couple of times already but I still feel like I haven’t read enough Aladdin retellings! With all of the One Thousand and One Nights retellings that have been coming out recently I just feel it’d be even more appropriate for more Aladdin as well. There is a retelling called “A Whole New World” by Liz Braswell based off of the Disney version but it hasn’t really received great reviews. There’s also “The Forbidden Wish” by Jessica Khoury that is a simply amazing retelling where Aladdin falls in love with the gender bent genie, I highly recommend it!

I’d like to see more retellings in the style of Khoury’s with gender bent characters or a badass “Princess Jasmine” (I know that’s only her name in the Disney version but you get what I mean!) or even a gender bent Aladdin would be neat too! Really though I’m just down for any kind of retelling.


Beowulf

How epic and awesome would a Beowulf retelling be?! Ya know because the poem is already “epic” …………see what I did there?

Anyways, I actually heard there was going to be a sort of gender bent retelling coming out next year called “The Boneless Mercies” by April Genevieve Tucholke. Hopefully it turns out fantastic because I’m usually not the biggest fan of Tucholke’s writing.

However, I’d be really really interesting to see any kind of retelling of Beowulf like the gender bend Tucholke is doing or maybe a retelling from Grendel or Grendel’s mother’s POV?


The Arthurian Legends

Really just any of them from King Arthur and Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Touble, Merlin, or Morgan le Fay. Just any retelling on any aspect of the Arthurian Legends I need some authors to do this! I’m thinking it would make for some pretty great YA fantasy if it was done properly!


The Little Mermaid

Of course I feel it’s pretty safe to say we all know the story of The Little Mermaid but aside from the Disney adaptation are there really that many other retellings of it? The recent release “The Seafarer’s Kiss” by Julia Ember is the only retelling I know of and it combines a bit of Norse mythology with a F/F romance as well.

I’d love to see a retelling of this story since I feel there’s many creative ways to do it, the main character doesn’t even necessarily need to be a mermaid (even though mermaids are pretty great).


Hansel & Gretel

I really don’t know of any retellings of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale and why that is I have no idea! The only representation I can think of is the movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters which I like the concept of. I’d really like to see a dark, horror retelling of this tale or something similar to that movie where the two characters are witch hunters.


Hua Mulan

I know that there are technically several retellings of this legend but in my mind just because your main character is disguising herself as a man doesn’t make it a  Hua Mulan retelling. So while books such as “The Flame in the Mist” by Renee Ahdieh, “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” by Hannah West (which was actually amazing), and “Defy” by Sara B. Larson have all been labeled as such I want the REAL deal! I’m thinking either fantasy or more historical fiction-y would work well!


The Iliad & The Odyssey

I know that Madeline Miller has done a retelling of “The Iliad” featuring a M/M romance with “The Song of Achilles” and is going to be publishing a sort of “Odyssey” retelling called “Circe” from the witch Circe’s POV as well which is fantastic! ( I also know those aren’t really YA either) However, why aren’t there more of these? There are so many different characters and creatures to work with from both epic poems I feel there should be more especially in YA!

It’d also be really great to have more M/M or F/F/ romances in them or maybe even some gender swapped characters as well.


Hades & Persephone or “The Abduction Myth”

As many retellings or uses we see of Greek mythology in modern literature we really don’t see all that much of the goddess Persephone or of her abduction by Hades. I feel like the overall allusion of this myth may be used quite a bit but there really aren’t any specific retellings.

I feel once again a gender-bend or M/M or F/F could make for a very interesting retelling of this myth. Or even just a twist where Hades might not be that bad of a guy and he and Persephone actually fall in love kind of like a “Beauty and the Beast” thing. Just throwing this out there since it’s one of my favorite myths, I know it sounds weird but I love how her story is an origin myth for the seasons.


Honorable mentions (since I don’t know a whole TON about these stories but would still like to see some retellings of them!)

  • The Snow Queen
  • Sinbad the Sailor

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Do you want to see any of these retellings as well?

Do you have any recommendations for books that are retellings on this list?

What are some retellings you’d like to see more of?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Books I Just HAD To Have…..& Still Haven’t Read

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The other day I was looking at my bookshelves and noticing all of the books I’ve bought under the delusion that I could NOT wait and HAD to have them right away……and then still haven’t read them.

This makes me wonder sometimes if I’m actually nuts or not because why do I torture myself like this? Plus everyone always tells me “hey remember when you bought all those books and still haven’t read them? You don’t need more until you read those.” which they’re sort of right….

So I thought that it would be a great idea to share what a horrible reader/book hoarder I am with you all!

Basically this is me:

And then after not reading any of them:

I’ll be putting these in order of how long I’ve actually had these sitting around my house starting with the newest additions!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Of course with all of the hype that was surrounding this book before and after it’s May release date I had to get my hands on it! Most of the time I don’t give into the hype, or at least I like to think so, I just thought everything about this book sounded wonderful: diverse characters and culture, a cute cover, and non-stop glowing reviews!

Then obviously I couldn’t wait to get a copy and then it arrived and now it’s just sitting all lonely on my shelf because I’m a terrible person…….


Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

I actually ordered this with “When Dimple Met Rishi” because once again I could not wait and just haaaad to have a copy right away! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I’ve seen great reviews for it, plus I think it will be interesting to read about a dysfunctional relationship in a YA setting. I know that makes me sound weird but it’s nice to see unique books and books bringing attention to abuse like this (because it happens).


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

If I was going to rate all of these books by which book I was literally dying to have “Strange the Dreamer” would be #1 because I seriously acted like I was going to die without this book in my life. I even went to the trouble of ordering a UK edition as well because I HAD TO HAVE THIS BOOK AND LAINI TAYLOR IS LIFE!

And guess where the book is sitting? On my shelf. Unread.


The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

I was super pumped for this book before it came out and then with all of the great reviews afterwards I was even more excited for it. Female gladiator! That’s all I want in my books so when I was in the bookstore and saw it I decided to splurge and buy it right then and there because I NEEDED IT. Now it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months……


Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

I bought this book along with my spontanous purchase of “The Valiant” as well. You can see where this got me.


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

When I saw this book come out at first I was like: Norse Mythology?! Told by Neil Gaiman?! I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY! So I kind of started it and then slowly it worked its way back onto my shelf where it is still sitting waiting to be finished.


The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Everyone, everyone, everyone recommends reading this series and I saw the box set on sale on Book Outlet for about $12.00 so of course I was all “Hell yeah!” and bought it right away. Soooooooooo it’s all sitting on my shelf still unread where it will probably remain for a while.


Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

This was a spontaneous buy I got with birthday money last year and I decided to use that money for this book because once again…..I couldn’t resist. It’s even a shorter book and I STILL haven’t gotten to it!


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I asked for this one for my birthday last year because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted it and so then I actually received it for my birthday…….and haven’t read it yet.


The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

After reading the first book “The Winner’s Curse” I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it after how much I was expecting not to enjoy it. So then after devouring the sequel as well I NEEDED to read the last book that was just released last year! And guess who still hasn’t finished that trilogy even after buying the last book? Me.


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

This book was super, duper hyped last year and because of that plus the pretty cover and promise of unique mythology I was 100% sold. I saw it when I happened to visit a Barnes & Noble and instantly bought it and now it’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year still unread.


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

This one hasn’t been a new release for a while but I found while reading a bunch of glowing reviews for it and having it recommended a ton. So I found it on Book Outlet and bought it straight away because I love twisted thrillers! I started reading it…..and then set it aside for some reason…..and it’s been sitting there waiting for me to return to it eventually.


The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

This book is the one I’ve had the longest on this list because back many, many years ago when I was binge reading the Percy Jackson series and finished it and was DYING for more! So I found the Heroes of Olympus series and bought the first book straight away…….it has been sitting on my old Nook Color for ages and honestly it probably won’t get read because I want physical copies now….awkward.

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

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

Did you buy any of these right away and haven’t read them yet either?

Do you buy books and let them sit for a long time?

What are some books you HAD to have and haven’t read yet?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1) by Amy Plum

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Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

review

This was as good as I was hoping it’d be! Of course I was definitely not thinking it’d be as creepy and thrilling as it ended up being, this is sort of a mash of sci-fi and horror together. It’s definitely a very, very unique premise and I thought the execution was great!

PLOT

First of all the pacing is pretty even throughout the story since it never really felt like it lagged but also wasn’t super fast to the point where I had my eyeballs glued to the pages. I really liked how there wasn’t a bunch of time wasted on pointless filler too and we are thrown into the action right from the start and it stays that way up until the end. There are also quite a few DAMN GOOD twists along the way as well and I did not see them coming either!

The story is narrated by three different POV characters: Cata, Jaime, and Fergus. The great part was that I always knew when we changed POVs right away even without the help of the chapter headers because each character had a more distinct personality and “voice”. My only complaint was that I didn’t feel that Fergus’s POV was really necessary since he and Cata were both “dreamers” and had similar experiences. I did really like how much depth Jaime, the pre-med student watching the experiment, added to the story overall though.

Also apparently we never learn if Jaime’s character is male or female and I honestly didn’t even notice until the end but I guess I had just assumed Jaime was a he, however, Amy Plum has stated she left it out on purpose. Maybe it’s a twist for the next book? Who knows! Also just a fun side-note here I saw some other reviewers debating this saying they thought Jaime was a girl because of the spelling and ALL I could think of was Jaime Lannister guys! Come on!

I absolutely LOVED the overall atmosphere of this story too! It’s so freaking creepy! Although I will say even if you’re not a lover of horror or horror-esque stories this isn’t TOO scary to handle but it will definitely have you flailing about in suspense and maybe even looking over your shoulder every now and then! I also really liked how unique and interesting each “nightmare” was too, they were all very different and terrifying in their own ways. We saw very realistic horrors as well as your traditional monster type horrors and I thought it was very neat to show what types of things haunt these kids.

I’m just gonna throw this out there too: there are some very Weeping Angel-esque statues that literally terrified me in one of the nightmares. So many creepy monsters! I was pretty stressed out while reading because of this but also I still had fun? I know, it’s odd.

Plus that cliffhanger ending has me practically screaming for more! That was such an insane twists and I’m definitely excited to see where the next book in this duology takes us!

Also another little fun tidbit is that this book has no romance! Yay!

characters

The characters in “Dreamfall” were good but they still felt a little under-developed and one dimensional by the end of the book. None of them really stuck out to me either while reading but I still liked them enough to care about their fates in that messed up dreamworld!

I did like how none of these kids were perfect either, they all had their flaws and knew how to deal with them and come face to face with them as well. It was really intriguing to learn more and more about what past events traumatized the characters enough to suffer from such severe insomnia too (their backstories essentially). This is the only kind of development we see for them though.

One other big plus I have for the characters is that they actually always made smart decisions! This feels a lot like your typical horror slasher movie at times and you always wait for the characters to trip up and get caught or split up or something equally as unwise but these guys didn’t ever do that. I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of dumb decisions throughout the story, it was great!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • The intense and pretty scary nightmare scenes
  • Even pacing
  • Great, great plot twists!
  • Zero romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Personally felt Fergus’s POV wasn’t really needed
  • Characters weren’t very developed or complex

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend checking this book out if you’re looking for a unique YA book with no romance or if you’re a YA horror or thriller fan! This book is definitely full of enough thrills to keep you interested!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy