Best Books of 2016 Part 1: New Releases

top-ten-tuesday33

Of course I need to rant and rave about my best books of 2016 so I’ll be doing this in 2 parts. Part 1 will be the best books that were released in 2016 and Part 2 will be the best books I read this year that were published before 2016!

Keep in mind that these are ordered by the dates I read them (oldest to newest) and NOT by favorites, I love all of these books!

I also will link up full reviews for these books if I have them since I won’t be spending too much time going into detail about all of these (there are quite a few!).

my page divider

13.) The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Image result for the impostor queen

A very unique and refreshing YA Fantasy book with a very interesting magic system. Also the world building and characters are great as well, the pacing got a bit slow sometimes but that’s about my only complaint!

You can read my full review of “The Impostor Queen” here.


12.) The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Image result for the darkest corners

An excellent mystery/thriller that gets pretty dark and twisted for a YA book not to mention it’s totally unpredictable making it for one of my favorites.

You can read my full review of “The Darkest Corners” here.


11.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Image result for the forbidden wish

An absolutely fantastic retelling of the Aladdin story along with some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever read. I think of this book as I kind of hidden gem since a lot of people haven’t read it.

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


10.) With Malice by Eileen Cook

Image result for with malice

Another twisted YA mystery/thriller book where the main character wakes up with amnesia making it a lot of fun to read through and had some great plot twists. Plus I really love when books are set in Italy which this book’s flashbacks do.

You can read my full review of “With Malice” here.


9.) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Image result for nevernight by jay kristoff

One of my new all time favorite books (and authors) I loved this book for it’s beautiful writing, fantastic world-building, and a downright dirty, gritty, dark, and twisted storyline.

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


8.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

Image result for and i darken

This book has one of the most badass female protagonists that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about, Lada is awesome! Also how can you resist a book that’s a gender swapped Vlad the Impaler retelling? This is very character driven and all of the characters are interesting and complex and very fun to read about.

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


7.) My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

Image result for my lady jane

This book is charming, silly, and just plain wonderful. It’s a historical retelling of the Lady Jane Grey (or the Nine Day Queen) and it is just so hilarious, light-hearted, and very fun!

You can read my full review of “My Lady Jane” here.


6.) Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Image result for labyrinth lost

A beautiful book both inside and out full of magic and a kind of dark, twisted version of Wonderland. I loved this book for said magic and the fact that’s it’s something so unique and rarely seen in YA books, I also love the strong family dynamic.

You can read my full review of “Labyrinth Lost” here.


5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

Image result for kingdom of ash and briars

If there is going to be one true hidden gem of a book that was released this year it’s this one, you all seriously need to read this beauty! We have an original fantasy world complete with magic, world building, and one evil villain and it also includes retellings of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma as well.

You can read my full review of “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” here.


4.) And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Image result for and the trees crept in

First of all…just look at that cover! This is also one of the creepiest books I’ve read and it also really messes with your mind, in a good way that is. I love horror books and it takes quite a bit to get the hair on my neck to rise in terror and this book definitely had these moments!

You can read my full review of “And The Trees Crept In” here.


3.) This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Image result for this is our story

A surprisingly great YA mystery/thriller that actually breaks the mold, it’s definitely not like others that I have read that’s for sure! You also won’t see these twists coming!

You can read my full review of “This Is Our Story” here.


2.) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Image result for heartless book

Probably the most surprising book for me this year since I did not enjoy Meyer’s book “Cinder” at all and here I am loving this book to bits and pieces. An origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and it’s sure to be a fun read for any Alice fan!

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


1.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Image result for the diabolic

This was slow to start but then turned into something absolutely epic! Political intrigue, a badass heroine, a romance that I shipped so hard, and plenty of action! This was a seriously amazing book and I’m hoping to have my full review up soon.

my page divider

What new releases did you read this year?

Which ones did you like and/or dislike?

Have you read any of these 2016 releases?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

 

Advertisements

Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

a-title-here40description

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

review

 I would first like to say I read “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer a while ago and was not impressed and vowed to not read any of her works again because of the issues I had with “Cinder”. I assumed everything she wrote would all be the same, which was clearly very stubborn of me. So it’s kind of a big deal when I say that I not only read “Heartless” but really, really loved it. I have been won over!

It also may have something to do with the fact that I love Alice in Wonderland retellings…..

PLOT

For those of you who don’t know this isn’t just a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, oh no. It’s an origin story for the Queen of Hearts herself….which makes it all the more fun am I right?

Image result for off with her head gif

One of my biggest complaints about “Heartless” is that it’s pacing is extremely slow and a bit tedious at times. I would say this is true for about three quarters of the book and the last quarter it definitely picks up and gets REALLY interesting! This was kind of a “meh” or “okay” for a lot of the book but damn that ending completely won me over!

I have seen a lot of negative reviews for this book and their problems were with the slow pacing and the plot itself. You see the plot is mainly about Catherine not wanting to marry the King of Hearts and that’s really all there is to it which does get very repetitive and boring, I agree. However, I overlooked that because I was having so much fun with the characters and references to Alice in Wonderland. I would say the slow pacing has a lot to do with the plot not really moving in any other direction for a long duration of the story.

There’s also an inclusion of the Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater nursery rhyme which I thought was pretty neat. Just saying.

I also loved the way Marissa Meyer weaved in her Wonderland references without info-dumping us. We are, after all, pretty familiar with the Alice in Wonderland and I thought that made it all the more fun to pick out her references while reading.

The ending was my favorite part of the story because of how dark, twisted, and awesome it is! I loved seeing what happened to Catherine that turned her in to the beheading crazy Queen of Hearts we all know and I was NOT disappointed! Actually I take that back I was disappointed because with that ending I thought this was a series but alas it’s a standalone and I’m very upset…..

Image result for crying gif

I want more!

So while the pacing is slow and plot is more or less a little boring it’s still okay because this is more of a character driven book in the first place.

characters

As I said this is a very character driven book so the characters are pretty important and Meyer does a great job of making them as interesting and complex as possible. I think you can have a boring plot and the book will still be great if you do a good job developing your characters and that’s proven in “Heartless”.

Catherine is a likable enough main character she’s sweet, kind, and the most fantastic baker in all of Hearts (which made for some stomach-rumbling reading). I ended up being very sympathetic to Catherine’s cause, she wants to open a bakery and her mother wants her to marry the king and become Queen of Hearts. You can see how those two wants would conflict and I just became very invested in Catherine’s plight.

Jest, the new court joker, is also a very interesting character and also the love interest. He wasn’t particularly the best character or even my favorite character but he was very charming and a lot of fun , if that makes sense. I also really loved his bird companion Raven, who speaks in poetry and quotes Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” which was hilarious!

Hatta (aka The Mad Hatter, speaking of which the name Hatta for this character drove me insane! It’s just stupid to me and I hated pronouncing it Hatta in my head!) was also a great character and stayed pretty true to the Alice in Wonderland character. Even if he was rude sometimes…..but you’ll understand when you read his origin story which I thought was very interesting and adds a lot to your perspective of the Mad Hatter.

I, of course, have to mention how much I loved Cheshire because I always love the Cheshire Cat in every Alice in Wonderland related work. He’s just as mischievous as always!

There’s also a slew of other characters that were absolutely wonderful as well and even if we saw very little of them I still feel like they had a complexity all their own.

romance

As you all already know it takes a lot for me to enjoy YA romances since they’re usually so full of cliches. While I did catch a whiff of some insta-love at first this romance was not completely nauseating. It was a bit charming and a bit cute but overall it was just sort of okay and I didn’t mind it but I didn’t love it either.

However, the romance between Cath and Jest is a major plot point and yet it never feels like it totally takes over which is definitely a plus.

in conclusion

Overall I very much enjoyed this book even though it had a few issues I was able to easily overlook them and still end up loving “Heartless”.

What I Liked:

  • The Alice in Wonderland references and that this world stayed pretty true to the original
  • The characters were interesting and complex
  • That ending!
  • Cheshire

What I Disliked:

  • The pacing was very slow
  • The overall plot was a bit boring
  • The romance was just okay/meh

RECOMMEND

I definitely recommend reading “Heartless” if you’re willing to push through the slow pacing and get to that wonderful ending but if you aren’t a fan of slow books and lose patience quickly then maybe give this one a skip.

Also if you’re like me and didn’t love “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer and aren’t sure if you want to give this book a try I strongly urge you to take the plunge! I really disliked “Cinder” and ended up not only loving “Heartless” but am now willing to dive back into the Lunar Chronicles as well!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

 

The Joy of Christmas Book Tag

top-ten-tuesday31

Christmas is in 3 days! Woohoo! Let’s get into the Christmas spirit with a Christmas book tag! I was tagged to do this by my blogging bestie Michelle @ Book Adventures so make sure to head over and check out her answers for this tag and give her a follow!

my page divider

Anticipation – The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating.

Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology, #1)Daughter of the Pirate KingEmpress of a Thousand SkiesCaraval

I’m definitely the most excited for these 4 books “Carve The Mark” and “Caraval” both come out in January and “Daughter of the Pirate King” and “Empress of a Thousand Skies” come out in February.

I’m on a sci-fi kick so I want all of the YA sci-fi I can get, I also have been dying for an actual YA pirate book, and “Caraval” is super hyped and has tons of great reviews so I want to see what that’s all about.


Christmas Songs & Carols – What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises.

d30e6-jay-kristoff-1006752

I would go with Jay Kristoff because since reading 4 of his books (all 5 star ratings except “Gemina” which got 4) this year I can’t help but recommend them to everyone and sing his praises! If you love brutal, fast-paced, and great plot twists I’d recommend checking out his books.


Gingerbread Houses – What book or series has wonderful world building.

Image result for daughter of smoke and bone cover

Okay well besides all of  Kristoff’s books that I just mentioned I’d have to say “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor has some fantastic world-building! I can’t wait to continue on with the series too.


A Christmas Carol – Favorite classic or one that you want to read.

Image result for the hobbit jrr tolkien

I don’t read a lot of classics because I find it hard to get into the writing a lot of the time. My favorite classic is “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkien though.


Christmas Sweets – What book would you love to receive for Christmas.

Image result for the night circus

Of course there are LOADS of books I’d like to get for Christmas but they one I’m looking for the most is “The Night Circus” because tons of people love it and recommend it (Michelle included!) and I really need to read it.


Candles in the Window – What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling.

Image result for kingdom of ash and briars

I don’t read a lot of books that are warm or fuzzy but this book ,while tragic at times, was absolutely magical and adorable.


Christmas Trees & Decorations – What are some of your favorite book covers.

Image result for the forbidden wish coverImage result for and i darken cover

Apparently I have a weakness for purple…..


Christmas Joy – What are some of your favorite things about Christmas.

Getting to spend time with family and friends first of all because that’s important of course! Then I’ll have to go with Michelle and say Christmas lights because they’re just so pretty, I love driving around and looking at Christmas lights. Lastly I’ll say gifts both giving and receiving I looooove Christmas gifts!

Image result for elf gif

my page divider

I’m not going to tag anyone this time around since I feel I’ve been racking up tags for everyone so if you want to do this tag go right ahead!

 Image result for merry christmas gif

The Sassy

Book Review: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

a-title-here39

description

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

review

Let me say this first: Not as good as “Illuminae”.

I gave “Illuminae” 5 full stars despite the minor issues I had with it and so my expectations were extremely high for “Gemina” and I have to say I was a bit disappointed with it overall. However, this book is still getting a 4 star rating because it’s still a great book despite not enjoying it as much as the first book.

PLOT

First of all the plot stays really true to what Kaufman and Kristoff did in “Illuminae” in which case I mean it’s full of action and death mostly. However, I felt like the plot could have used MORE suspense and that survival feel that we saw in the first book. I didn’t feel as…thrilled as I did during “Illuminae” my adrenaline wasn’t pumping as much (well as much as it can be while reading a book). Remember all the insane plot twists in “Illuminae”? Yeah. Didn’t really see them in “Gemina”. There were a few that I enjoyed but for the most part they were either not that great or a little bit predictable.

I did enjoy the inclusion of alien life forms in this book because come on what sci-fi series would complete without that? They were terrifying and interesting and probably one of my favorite parts about this book and I almost would have enjoyed them playing a bigger part than they did. There’s also a kind of Russian Mafia in this story too which is pretty much guaranteed to always make things more interesting. Then we have space pirates/mercenaries invading a space station and even a time paradox which may or may not be a little confusing.

The pacing of the story was a little off in the beginning of the book by which I mean it was slow and a little boring at first. I’m here for the spaceships and death! I don’t care about a teenage girl and her boy problems, damnit! Anyways, the pacing picks up as the story progresses until suddenly you’re done with the book, very much true to “Illuminae” style.

Of course we have the same awesome format in “Gemina” that we saw in the first book and even the inclusion of some of author Marie Lu’s illustrations. There’s also a few hidden things in the book if you pay close enough attention, one being the names of several other YA authors included on a list of casualties. So I thought those were some cool little treats to include for us booknerds!

I enjoyed the story at the ending the most where we got to finally see some of the characters from “Illuminae”, *cough* AIDAN *cough*. It really livened things up in my opinion.

I would also like to take a moment to discuss the thing that irritated me the MOST in this entire book and while I will not mention names I will mention a sort of situation that might be considered a spoiler soooo….

****Start of potential spoilers****

The single most irritating thing in this whole book is: HOW DEAD PEOPLE DO NOT STAY DEAD!!!! This is the most proficient way to piss me off and make me resent the character that did not stay dead. The whole entire point of killing a character off is to make us shocked and it really ruins that when they were fine the entire time! Quit ruining it!

I also feel like that twist is a little “been there done that” considering it was used in the first book as well.

****End of potential spoilers****

characters

One word for the characters in this book *ahem, cough* NOOOOOOOOOO!

Really by this I mean Hanna one of the main characters, couldn’t stand her. I thought I had issues with the characters in “Illuminae” but oh boy they look like gold compared to the characters in “Gemina”. Hanna starts out as a spoiled, entitled teenage girl and really that shows in her attitude a lot of the time. Does she develop? Yeah, I guess but she still never failed to annoy me.  I thought Hanna acted really selfish through a lot of the book, sorry sweetheart but the world doesn’t revolve around you…or your boy problems.

Nik, the other main character, I actually thought was pretty decent. He was funny and a little more down to Earth (space? space station? not technically Earth…) than Hanna was. Although his constant flirtations with Hanna were by far the most annoying thing about this book. Still liked him though.

I liked a couple of the secondary characters as well and the villains for this book were pretty intimidating which I LOVED.

Overall though I just felt that the characters weren’t all that great in “Gemina”, I didn’t feel a connection and I really could have cared less about most of them.

romance

I briefly mentioned the constant flirtations between Nik and Hanna but I’m here to say it again. This took so much away from the plot itself I thought, it wasn’t cute or funny it was just extremely irritating because of how constant they were. Seriously! I do not exaggerate! It’s happening all the time throughout the entire length of the book.

There’s also insta-love, not in it’s traditional form but it’s still kind of there. If you’ve read the book you might know what I mean and if not you’ll find out. There’s also a love triangle that once again isn’t your typical love triangle but is still technically a love triangle. Both of those things annoyed me as well….

Overall not impressed with the romance whatsoever but no real surprise there.

in conclusion

I DID like this book but it was not as impressive as “Illuminae” in my eyes. I’m hoping this is just a case of “middle book syndrome” and the next book will live up to expectations.

What I Liked:

  • The unique and fun format
  • The fast pacing (although it was a little slow to start)
  • Aliens
  • Space mercenaries
  • Time paradoxes
  • The inclusion of characters from “Illuminae”

 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The thing in my potential spoilers section
  • Hanna, the main character
  • A lot of the other characters were bland
  • The romance
  • The constant flirting which was more annoying than cute

RECOMMEND

If you’ve read “Illuminae” I definitely recommend continuing with “Gemina” but I would maybe lower your expectations a little bit so you don’t end up like me. If you aren’t sure about this sequel you can always wait to binge read it when the last book comes out!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Most Disappointing & “Meh” Books of 2016

top-ten-tuesday30

I’m definitely going to be doing a list of the best books of 2016 as well but since I’m still trying to finish as many 2016 releases as possible so I’m going to put it off until the end of next week!

These are all 2016 releases! Not just books I’ve read this year!

This list is compiled of books I have reviewed and have yet to review if there are reviews I will include links to them, so click on the titles to go to their reviews. I also am including books I loathed as well as books that I kind of enjoyed but also had a lot of issues with, so anything between a 1 and 3 star rating.

my page divider

untitled-design9

“Fate of Flames” by Sarah Raughley 3/5 Stars

I loved the concept and the cover but overall it wasn’t executed that well and the main character was absolutely horrible. Still had a few redeeming qualities though but definitely a “meh” book of 2016.


“Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco 3/5 Stars

A much anticipated book (also with a fantastic cover) that was overall a disappointment for me, it was just really slow and not enough suspense or action for me.


“The Merciless II” by Danielle Vega     3/5 Stars

Not as good as the first book but still interesting enough to finish. I felt like it wasn’t as gory or scary as the previous book and that was kind of a big let down for me.


“Red Queen” by Christina Henry 3.5/5 Stars

I’m actually thinking this deserves a solid 3 stars and not 3.5 because it was so much LESS than the first book “Alice”. It wasn’t as interesting or horrific or dark and the characters didn’t feel the same. I gave the first book a full blown 5 stars because it is literally perfection so to go from that to this mediocre sequel was very disappointing.

untitled-design10

“Truthwitch” by Susan Dennard 3/5 Stars

This is the definition of a “meh” book for me, it had good but also a lot of bad and definitely not worth the hype in my opinion. The world-building was pretty messy and the characters and story were just “meh”.


“Wink Poppy Midnight” by April Genevieve Tucholke 3/5 Stars

Pretty cover, pretty writing, what the hell is going on with the story? This is one of the most confusing books I’ve read and not in a good way, I still can’t really tell you what it’s about. Why did I rate this 3 stars? I should probably lower it to 2…..


“The Crown’s Game” by Evelyn Skye 2/5 Stars

One of my most anticipated books of 2016 and one of the biggest let downs, I was expecting fantastic magic and a battle to the death. What I got was insta-love, more insta-love, and some very complicated love triangles.


“The Graces” by Laure Eve 2/5 Stars

Slow, boring, and confusing. I expecting something more exciting with witches and all I got was a very dull reading experience.

untitled-design11

“The Outliers” by Kimberly McCreight  2/5 Stars (Rating May Change)

I haven’t reviewed this yet but it started out pretty strong with the mystery and suspense but dwindled down from there to the point where it just got really weird and confusing. What the heck did I read?


“Unhooked” by Lisa Maxwell 2/5 Stars

I love Peter Pan and dark retellings but this was just a mess. There was a mish-mash of different elements that left me more and more confused as I read. All in all the only thing that even remotely made this feel like a Peter Pan telling were the uses of the names Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Neverland. That’s it. I was extremely disappointed with this.


“A Fierce and Subtle Poison” by Samantha Mabry 2/5 Stars

Slow, boring, and the ending was just odd although I did really like the setting of Puerto Rico and the writing.


“The Mystery of Hollow Places” by Rebecca Podos 2/5 Stars

The mystery in the end was really unsatisfying and boring, I felt like I read the book for nothing. I did like the writing style and would check out Podos’s future books though.

untitled-design12

“One Was Lost” by Natalie D. Richards 1/5 Stars

Judging this book by it’s premise and cover I thought it would be more of a horror book or at least have some suspense. What I got instead was a book about a bunch of whiny, annoying teenagers blundering through the woods. No.


“Beware That Girl” by Teresa Toten  1/5 Stars

This is marketed for fans of “The Girl on the Train” and “Gone Girl” and that is the funniest joke I have ever heard. There is nothing original about this book, the characters are so bland and stereotypical, and the plot twists are utterly predictable.


“Blackhearts” by Nicole Castroman 1/5 Stars

I’m sorry but to me this book is a complete joke. An origin story for Blackbeard? Yeah, right. There is no piracy to speak of in this book just a period romance. WHERE WERE MY PIRATES?!


“Once Upon A Dream” by Liz Braswell 1/5 Stars

I should have known better than to try this book after the first book in the Twisted Tales series received very negative reviews. It’s flat, boring, and the writing is awful and I DNF’d the crap out of it.

my page divider

What were your most disappointing books of 2016?

Did you like or dislike any of the books on this list?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Discussion Post: (The Great Debate) E-Readers vs Physical Books, What Side Are You On?

top-ten-tuesday-8

I feel like this is an age old debate but I’d like to not only give my two cents on it but hear from you guys as well! I’m going to be sharing my opinions from both sides since I do enjoy both eBooks and physical books, there won’t be any bashing on my part since there are pros and cons to each side.

So let’s just get right into it!

my page divider

What are some of the pluses to owning an E-Reader?

For the most part I find that eBooks are cheaper than physical books, like I said…for the most part. This isn’t always true of course but you do find some really great deals on books if you have a Kindle, Nook, or other eReader such as $0.99 or $1.99 books. That’s awesome! Who doesn’t love getting super cheap books?

Image result for i love a great deal gif

E-Readers are easier to carry around than physical books and are more convenient when traveling. E-Readers are pretty small and slim which obviously makes it a little nicer to carry around in your purse or backpack, much nicer than say…a physical copy of “Illuminae” or “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” am I right? Also I know us book lovers LOVE to have more than one book when we travel ya know….in case we finish the one we are currently reading. In which case having an e-reader gives you a lot of options to choose from since you can have loads of books on there and just one little device to carry them around on.

For those of us who book blog it’s also nice to have an e-reader to be able to read digital ARCs on. Digital ARCs are a lot easier to get a hold of than physical ARCs so it’s definitely nice to have a way to read them that isn’t just on your computer screen (unless that floats your boat, in which case, float away my friends!).

No flashlights or page holders necessary with an e-reader(this may or may not be me just being lazy). A small thing to be sure but sometimes it’s just nice to lay in bed with no lamps or flashlights on and still be able to read your book before going to sleep. It’s also really nice when you’re trying to multi-task and not have to worry about finding something to hold your book open while you read and do your hair or whatever else you’re trying to do (yes I have tried doing my hair and reading at the same time and it never ends well).

You can also download books in the blink of an eye on an e-reader and not have to worry about waiting for your books to get shipped to you. Another thing you can do is use your e-reader to download ebooks from your local library which is fast and easier than taking a trip into the library.


What are some of the downsides to owning  E-Readers?

Ebooks aren’t always cheaper than physical copies, as I mentioned briefly above. Honestly, there are times where the eBook is either more expensive than the paperback version or near the same in which case it’s your own choice on which you’d rather spend your money on. I find it a little frustrating when an ebook is $10.99+ because why pay that much when I could just get a physical copy?

Ebooks don’t have pretty covers to line up on your bookshelves because obviously they are not physical books. You can’t touch them or hold them or sniff them….

Image result for sniffing book gif

E-Readers do need to be charged and it’s kind of a big investment right away. As you all very well know e-readers can be spendy and they’re certainly more than the cost of a few physical books but depending on how much you’ll use it it will be worth it. Also depending on what kind of e-reader you get they don’t really need to be charged that often but they do still need to be charged which can be annoying when you’re using it to have your reading interrupted.

You can’t lend ebooks out to your friends or family. I’m aware that in some cases you are able to do this with certain e-readers but it isn’t with every book and I’m not sure if there’s a way to share at all on Kindles. It’s really disappointing when you really want someone to read a great book you have and are unable to loan it to them.


What are some of the pluses of physical books?

Physical books have gorgeous covers and are fun to collect and put on display in your home on your bookshelves. Also who doesn’t love the touch and feel of paper pages and hardcovers? And the smell…..we all love the smell of physical books old or new. This is probably the biggest plus of owning physical books.

You can lend physical books out to friends and family when you want to force your favorite books on them.

Image result for read this book gif

You never need to worry about a physical book running low on battery power.

Bookmarks! With physical books you get to use all of the adorable and stylish bookmarks you want ( I horde bookmarks like there’s no tomorrow).

If you’re looking to get rid of a few physical books you didn’t enjoy you can always give them to others, donate to the library, or sell them to a used bookstore (and feel good about yourself).

When shopping for physical books you get to go into bookstores and what book lover doesn’t love going into a bookstore for hours on end?


What are some of the downsides to physical books?

Physical books can be lost. When you own an e-reader and ebooks you’re always backed-up but you know what happens when you lose your physical copy of a book? It’s gone for good and you’ll have to buy another, no one’s got your back on that one.

Physical books are also easily damaged, they’re poor fragile creatures. Spines get cracked, pages can be torn, ink can be smeared, and the worst of all is they can be spilled on! Also if you loan out your books there’s also a good chance they’ll come back to you with any amount of these blasphemous damages.

Books can be kind of spendy with the norm being $9.99 for paperbacks and $18.99 for hardcovers. This really adds up when you’re looking to get a few to add to your collection.

They can be heavy and inconvenient to carry around with you everywhere you go. Also as mentioned it can be a bit of a hassle trying to take more than one book with you when travelling. Physical books also take up quite a bit of space when you don’t have enough room to store them in your home.


My Opinion

I sort of stated my opinion in all of the above comments but…..

With all of these pros and cons in mind I have to say that I like e-readers for their cheap books, they’re a lot nicer to travel with, and if you want to read the next book in a series NOW you can download it right away.

However, I will always prefer physical copies over ebooks because they’re fun to collect and show off, hold and smell, and they’re more aesthetically pleasing.

To be perfectly honest though I love both my Kindle and all of my physical books!

my page divider

Come Join The Discussion! 

Do you agree/disagree with any of my points?

What are some of the pluses/downsides to owning an e-reader/physical book for you?

What is your favorite part about e-readers or physical books?

Ultimately would you choose ebooks or physical books?

The Sassy

Book Review: The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen #1) by Sarah Fine

a-title-here38

description

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

review

**** I apologize for the extreme tardiness of this review (almost a year!) but better late than never! As a result this will be a little shorter than usual.****


6 Reasons You Should Read “The Impostor Queen”


1.) The Magic System

This book contains one of the most fascinating and well executed magic systems I’ve ever read about, it’s simple and yet intricate all at the same time. In this world magic wielders can control either fire or ice and the only one that can control both is the Valtia (the queen) who uses it to serve the Kupari people. The thing about the Valtia’s magic is that while it makes her the most powerful magic wielder it also consumes her, the magic is so strong it can only be contained within its vessel for so long ultimately killing it.

I just really enjoyed how unique it was and also that instead of having all elements represented it’s only fire and ice and how the magic isn’t all-powerful and can sometimes be dangerous and uncontrollable.


2.) The Story

While it starts out a little slow (and slows down quite a bit in the middle) the story in this book is so suspenseful and addicting that it’s just un-put-downable. Not to mention how unique it is! We essentially start out with Elli who is going to be the next Valtia and is prophesied to be the most powerful one the Kupari have ever had. Basically the “Chosen One” trope we see a lot in YA Fantasy books but boy oh boy did Sarah Fine throw us for a loop. Turns out Elli is not who everyone thought she was because the magic does not enter her body and she isn’t going to be the next Valtia. The thirst for answers to these questions will have you turning pages until you finish, trust me!

The story also gets pretty gritty and brutal, which I loved (I’m not weird, okay?). Sarah Fine puts our heroine through hell and back and it was painful to read about sometimes but also very important and I understood why it was happening. It added a bit of shock value that I think fits in with this genre (and this book) really well.

Really my only complaint about this book is, as mentioned, the occasional slow pacing.


3.) The World-Building

Usually when reading YA Fantasy I always find the world-building to be way too lite and lacking depth, this was definitely not the case with “The Impostor Queen”. This is how world-building should be done, there’s enough information provided so you know what’s going on and so you feel completely immersed in the world without ever info-dumping.


4.) Elli, The Main Character

Elli is a fantastic, likable, flawed heroine and what she goes through in this book it’s easy to root for her the entire time. While she isn’t what I would call a badass female protagonist she’s admirable nonetheless with her courage and selflessness. I also liked the addition of Elli’s bisexuality and while it didn’t take it center stage I thought it was a nice touch and one that we rarely see in YA Fantasy.


5.) The Secondary  Characters

If there’s one thing I love in a book it’s well-developed secondary characters, which this book has! As the story unfolded I grew quite attached to a lot of them especially Sig and Oskar, the little darlings.


6.) The Romance

As I mentioned earlier there is a bit of LGTB romance in this story but it isn’t the main romance it’s more of a crush. The main romance between Elli and Oskar is adorable, sweet, and never actually took precedence over the plot. I also just ship them really hard because they’re just so sweet and both characters could use some happiness.

Image result for i ship it gif


 Overall this is a great book and I highly recommend reading it, especially if you enjoy YA Fantasy books!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy