The Birthday Book Tag

top-ten-tuesday11

Hey guys! I’m definitely looking to be back to blogging this coming month since I’m getting a little more back on track AND October is my favorite month containing my favorite holiday: Halloween! I’m hoping to have a TBR list of all the spooky books I plan on reading up on Saturday!

Also the reason I’m doing this tag today is because it’s my birthday, woohoo! I’m 22 years old and I’ve had Taylor Swift stuck in my head all day so far….

Image result for taylor swift 22 gif

So anyways I found this lovely little birthday book tag via Kat @ Book Whore, I’m not sure who the original creator is so if you know give me a heads up so I can link it!

my page divider

1.) Count Your Birthday Along Your Bookshelf and Then Subtract Your Birth Month

Image result for eon alison goodman

That would be #20 on my bookshelf and that is “Eon” by Alison Goodman…which I read part of but had to return to the library and then bought it because it was awesome and STILL haven’t finished it! Yay for slacking!


2.) If You Could Spend Your Birthday With Any Fictional Character Who Would It Be and Why?

Image result for weasley twins approve gif

Wow, there are way too many to choose from! I’d have to go with Fred and George Weasley because you can’t JUST pick one! I feel like they’d definitely make my birthday the most fun by pranking people and having fun in general.


3.) Find A Book That Takes Place In The Season You Were Born In

Image result for shiver maggie stiefvater

That would be Fall where I live and I really can’t recall myself reading any books explicitly about fall so I had to look one up and I ended up with”Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater. From what I’ve read of her Raven Cycle series I think I would love anything she writes but I’m not too sure about this one. If any of you have read The Wolves of Mercy Falls series please let me know if they’re even “fall books” and also what you thought of it in general I’d love to hear some thoughts!


4.) Find A Book That Is The Color of Your Birthstone

Image result for daughter of smoke and bone

Since my birthday is in September my birthstone is a sapphire sooo “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” fits the bill! Also…this is a fantastic book just saying.


5.) Pick A Book Set In A Time Period, World, or Country You Would Like To Have Been Born In

Image result for and i darken

Okay so besides the obvious choices such as the world of Harry Potter or Middle Earth I’ll just go with a time period book. “And I Darken” by Kiersten White is set in 1400’s Europe (and sort of the Middle East) and that would definitely be my choice. Why? Because anything with a medieval setting reminds me of a fantasy setting so…close enough.

my page divider

That wraps up this tag! If it’s your birthday today as well firstly Happy Birthday and feel free to do this tag too, otherwise keep this tag in mind for your own birthdays coming up guys! Thanks for reading!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Gateway Books Into YA Fantasy

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 theme is gateway books into our favorite genre! These are books that I feel are great to introduce readers into the world of YA Fantasy, which are just my own personal picks! YA Fantasy is hands down my favorite genre after all though I read many, many others as well. Hopefully some of these might interest you and get you into this genre too!

my page divider

5.) The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Image result for the winner's curse

While world building is definitely an essential part of every fantasy book and in “The Winner’s Curse” it is considerably light on that matter, I still consider it a great gateway book into Young Adult Fantasy.

It has a fantastic heroine, Kestrel, who isn’t a damsel or a warrior, she is in fact, a master strategist which is a breath of fresh air in a world where most YA heroines usually are either damsels or very gifted warriors. The politics that are so much fun in fantasy books make an appearance here as well with Kestrel using secrets ad information to gain the upper hand.

It’s such a fun book and definitely a recommendation from me!

Read my full review of “The Winner’s Curse” here.


4.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Image result for six of crows

While I had problems with Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy I had none with the first book in her new series The Dregs. What I found lacking in “Shadow and Bone” I found plenty of with “Six of Crows”, there was fantastic and unique world building and a top notch cast of characters. I could go on and on with this rant but just trust that you won’t be disappointed with this one and once you’re done you’ll be looking for more just like it which is why I consider this to be an excellent gateway book into YA Fantasy!

Read my full review of “Six of Crows” here.


3.) Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Image result for half a king

This is a book that I can only describe as a YA version of the A Song of Ice and Fire series complete with betrayals, revenge, and other really fucked up happenings that will make you want to throw your book down. It’s awesome. So if you want to get into fantasy books but just can’t gather the courage to read the whopper of a book that is “A Game of Thrones” then maybe go ahead and give “Half a King” a try because not only is it as good but it also has less pages……

Read my full review of “Half a King” here (and forgive me it was one of my very first reviews).


2.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Image result for stormdancer jay kristoff

While some people may not consider this an actual YA book, I do. It has a young adult protagonist and there aren’t any elements that I would see as strictly “adult” or things that might fly over a young adult’s head. It has everything any fantasy book needs: great world building and mythology, great characters, and a great story these are also things every book needs period. “Stormdancer” is one of my favorite books of all time for sure!

See my full review of “Stormdancer” here.


1.) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Image result for daughter of smoke and bone

This, I think, is a very popular series and for good reason it’s simply amazing. For those of you who like a little more swoony romance in your fantasy books it’s absolutely perfect and if you’re like me and don’t really want that….it’s still perfect. Fantastic world building and such a unique premise this book is worth all the hype and is one of the best books to introduce you into the world of YA Fantasy!

See my full review for “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.

my page divider

That wraps up this week’s Top 5 Wednesday I hope you all enjoyed it!

Are any of these books on your list this week?

Have you read any of these?

What books do you think are gateway books into YA Fantasy or other genres?

Feel free to link up your T5W as well!

The Sassy

ARC Review: The Graces (The Graces #1) by Laure Eve

a-title-here23

description

Everyone loves the Graces.

Fenrin Grace is larger than life, almost mythical. He’s the school Pan, seducing girls without really meaning to. He’s biding his time until someone special comes along. Someone different, who will make him wonder how he got along all this time without her. Someone like me.

Fenrin’s twin, Thalia, is a willowy beauty with rippling, honey-colored hair. Wherever she goes, Thalia leaves behind a band of followers who want to emulate her. She casts spells over everyone she encounters, just like Fenrin—even if they both deny it.

Then there’s Summer. She’s the youngest Grace, and the only one who admits she’s really a witch. Summer is dark on the outside—with jet-black hair and kohl-rimmed eyes—and on the inside. It was inevitable that she’d find me, the new girl—a loner with secrets lurking under the surface.

I am River. I am not a Grace. But I’ll do anything to become one.

review

**** Thank you to Amulet Books for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!****

I have to say I’m a little disappointed with this one I was expecting more magical realism and more witchy things for sure but really what I got instead was something reminiscent of “Twilight”. The Graces and the Cullens are so much alike the resemblance is uncanny, they’re “mysterious” and everyone moons over them for the duration of the book. So yes “The Graces” very much had a “Twilight” vibe to it, which can be either good or bad depending on how you liked that series.

PLOT

As far as the plot goes….there wasn’t really one at all. Pretty much the entire first half of the book is our MC, River, trying to get into the Graces social circle because she has the hots for Fenrin Grace (aka Edward Cullen). That actually sums up the the book very nicely. Nothing supernatural really happens at all and you’re left questioning if the Graces are or aren’t actually witches, which added some mystery to the overall atmosphere but mostly felt a little annoying since the “witch” part felt like it took a backseat to River trying to win them over. I felt like this book was trying too hard to be deep meaningful and thus lost focus on actually developing a great story.

The pacing was also pretty slow and there was a lack of atmosphere, I’d say you have to be pretty damn patient with this book. As I said you don’t get any story until later in the book and even then? Not that great. The twist was predictable and everything up until the twist is pretty confusing, I found myself asking “what the hell is happening?” a lot and this was definitely not the good kind of confusion where it’s suspenseful….like I said it was just annoying.

However, I actually did kind of enjoy the writing. I mean how else could I have made it through the entire book otherwise? I did enjoy the dialogue between River and the Graces, those scenes were definitely my favorite because they added a bit of structure to the story for me. I also liked the little bit of general mystery surrounding the Graces, while overall it was disappointing, I craved answers through the whole first half of the book. Are they witches or aren’t they? That was what kept me reading!

I found the ending to be kind of confusing and very unsatisfactory, I read all of this just for THAT? I felt that it left me with more questions than answers and I already had a lot of questions! Although it does have me considering reading the sequel……

characters

The characters were easily the worst part about this book for me which is sad since the driving force of this book is the characters.

 River, the MC, is quite scheming and manipulative. Her goal is to get in good with the Graces in order to get to Fenrin, right? So she will do whatever it takes to get there and that means playing along with them and pretending that she’s not using them to get to Fenrin when in fact she is. I kind of liked River’s scheming honestly it made her a sort of unreliable narrator which I love. However, we as the readers never actually get to know River and that was kind of tedious because yes it made sense to hide her “real self” from the Graces but from the readers as well? How about no? I felt like we never got to really know her which made her feel like a very flat, unrealistic character and not to mention she was also quite immature her whole purpose after all was to become best friends with these people for a boy.

The Graces themselves were…okay, at least they had some personality. Summer was probably my favorite character while Thalia and Fenrin came off as sort of shallow. Not that impressed.

romance

There wasn’t really any romance besides River swooning over Fenrin but there was a kind of …plot twist romance that was pretty predictable. So overall there isn’t romance and what there was wasn’t that great, no surprises there.

in conclusion

“The Graces” wasn’t terrible but it was far from becoming a favorite of mine. I found it interesting enough to finish but ultimately a disappointing read. Am I interested in the sequel? A little bit but would I perish if I never read it? No, definitely not.

RECOMMEND

If you’re into books about witches I would say this one will probably be disappointing to you but if you want a less interesting version of “Twilight” this will be for you. That’s right I said it, a LESS interesting version of “Twilight”. Honestly I don’t think I can seriously recommend this to anyone, as I said it isn’t a terrible book but it has nothing I could brag about to someone to get them to read it.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

ARC Review: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova

a-title-here21description

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

review

****Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review****

“Labyrinth Lost” was a very delightful surprise of a book, I loved it way more than I expected to. The entire plot of the book is very unique and unlike anything I’ve read before and there is so much diversity going on here as well. Not only do we have a cast of Latin American characters but also a LGTB romance! Yes, “Labyrinth Lost” has a lot of wonderful things going on!

PLOT

  I would say that maybe my rating is more of a 3.5 than a 4 because while I did absolutely love certain aspects of this book I also had a few problems with it as well. For instance I loved the diversity in this story I found there to be a few inconsistencies throughout my reading of it that my nit-picky little brain couldn’t handle.

One of the big ones being the pacing, it started out decently, grabbing your attention straight away but towards the end of the book it got a little….wonky. It was too fast! While I read I had to double check and make sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped a page because what was happening changed with just a sentence. I felt like the ending was crammed into a few pages which left me more than a little unsatisfied. Overall it started out strong but was all a little too rushed at the end for my liking.

I loved the plot itself it was crammed full of magic (literally), adventure, and some very interesting world building. I loved every scrap of information on the brujas (witches), the Deos (their gods), and basically just all of their lore and mythology. Yes, I would say the world building was definitely my favorite part of “Labyrinth Lost”.  There are some great plot twists that I did not see coming too because everybody loves a good plot twist, am I right? Also as you probably read in the description it’s compared briefly to “Alice in Wonderland” which is probably the best comparison I could make for this book, Los Lagos is very much a Latin version of Wonderland.

characters

Something I didn’t enjoy all that much were the characters they weren’t as developed as they could have been in my opinion, in comparison to the vibrant world and story, the characters felt a little bland. They weren’t great and they weren’t awful, they were simply just…okay. Which is why it’s kind of hard to make up my mind on how I feel about all of the characters. I liked them but they were just sort of…two dimensional and not all that relateable for me.

Alex, the heroine, wasn’t anything special or new and she didn’t really stick out all that much in my mind. She had a bit of a case of “Special Snowflake” but not to the point where it was nauseatingly bad. Overall she was just your average YA heroine.

Nova was probably one of the most developed characters in this story and I honestly really liked him, we got to see a little bit more backstory and insight into his character than we did with anyone else. Rishi, Alex’s best friend, was probably one of the blandest characters for me. I felt like she had no other purpose in the story other than to just simply BE there and to be a love interest. She never really actually did anything to contribute to the plot and was basically just kind of useless overall.

Then there’s the villain, The Devourer. Sounds badass and incredibly terrifying, right? Wrong. This was probably one of the saddest excuses for a villain I’ve ever seen and I’m really sorry to say that because there was a lot of potential there. There was zero development or backstory or insight into The Devourer’s character, so basically  we never really got a motive as to why she’s evil other than she’s just evil. How boring and very unmemorable.

My favorite characters were probably the secondary/minor characters such as Alex’s family and the inhabitants of Los Lagos, they were by far the most interesting. Probably because their characters were more “fun” and didn’t need a lot of development to be likable.

romance

Moreover we have the romance which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand I applaud the fact that it is an F/F romance which I don’t think we see often enough in YA books but on the other hand the way it was executed was pretty bad. I felt ZERO chemistry and honestly I didn’t even think there was a romance going on at all until their sweet little kiss, which is pretty bad if you think about it, I mean how hard is it to BUILD the romance up a little instead of just diving into it headfirst out of nowhere? Alex and Rishi were such an underdeveloped couple and the whole thing felt like it was trying a little too hard. I desperately wanted to love them but I just couldn’t, the lack of development and chemistry just makes me cringe. I think Alex and Nova would have been better, sadly, because I think we saw way more bonding between them.

in conclusion

Overall I really did enjoy “Labyrinth Lost” but as I said it had it’s share of flaws as well. I absolutely loved the plot and the world building but the characters and romance really fell short. My favorite parts about this book would be the unique premise, Latin American characters, and the LGTB romance even if it wasn’t executed that well.

RECOMMEND

Yes! If you’re looking for any kind of diversity in a YA book this is most definitely for you! Also how can you pass up something that can be called a Latin version of Wonderland, I mean come on!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Going On An Unplanned Hiatus (That Technically Has Already Begun)

Top Ten Tuesday(10)

Hey everyone, firstly I’d like to apologize for my complete lack of posting! I’ve already been having trouble finding time to blog this summer and now that fall is arriving I’ve found that I’m in a bit of a blogging slump that is slowly turning into a reading slump as well.

So I’m taking this chance to officially announce that I’m going on a blogging hiatus for a bit and therefore will not be posting any memes, reviews, or tags for a while. I also won’t be commenting on posts until I come back as well. The only thing I will be posting are any ARC reviews I have coming up this month since I’m obligated to review those of course! I am not sure at this moment how long the hiatus will last (it could be a month or a few weeks or just a week, who knows?!)  since I’ll be very busy soon with helping my best friend get married, which is very exciting of course and being a bridesmaid is hard work!

I miss talking with all of you and being able to post consistently and hopefully on this hiatus I will find the time and motivation to start back up again soon! When I come back I will be back in full force and be stalking all of the posts I have missed so be prepared for a comment barrage!

Thanks guys!

Image result for love you gif

The Sassy