Non-Romance Book Recommendations for Valentine’s Day

Top Ten Tuesday(21)

Ya know, because some of us just don’t see what’s so great about Valentine’s Day! I’m sure there will be TONS of posts out there about what romance books to read or favorite romances but since I’m not big on romance myself, I decided to do a post of NON-ROMANCE books! Or just books that romance isn’t the focus in.

These aren’t in any particular order and I will link up my reviews if I have them!

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

One of the major reasons I liked this book was because there weren’t any of the typical YA romance tropes present: no love triangles or insta-love! We got a nice friendship between the two main characters and it could possibly develop into a romance but it didn’t in the first book here. So refreshing!

You can read my full review here.


Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

Sometimes I find that horror books, as with horror movies, are filled with cliched romances but this little anthology isn’t the case! There are stories for just about every horror lover in here with monsters, serial killers, curses, and Death itself. And none involve romance with the exception of Danielle Page’s story but I recommend steering clear of that mess.

You can read my full review here.


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

If you want to be emotionally wrecked by a non-romance book on Valentine’s Day, this is the book for you. This is more sci-fi mixed with coming of age, there are two adorable kids and a talking dog.

You can read my full review here.


Night Film by Marisha Pessl

This book is hard to explain because it’s sort of horror mixed with mystery/thriller, but it’s absolutely 100% addicting. It’s 600 some pages long and it felt shorter than that because the story was so intriguing. Romance isn’t the focus at all in this book just pure suspense! It’s a great “rainy day read” but in this case it’s a great book to stay at home and read this Valentine’s Day!


A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

There is a tiny bit of romance in this book but it’s so small it’s like it isn’t even there! Plus you’ll be too swept up in the plot and gorgeous world building of this YA sci-fi to notice.

You can read my full review here.


Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Hmm how about instead of romance you read something with morally gray characters who also happen to have awesome super powers? Yes, I think that’s a great idea too.

You can read my full review here.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

There is a bit of romance in this book but once again it isn’t the main focus whatsoever, instead the focus is more on the love between Starr and her family. The family dynamic in this book is so, so fantastic and of course the story is important for more than this reason as well as it explores police brutality and the Black Lives Matter Movement. I can find a reason to recommend this book ALL the time, trust me, so why not Valentine’s Day?

You can read my full review here.


Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The overall motivation of the main character involves a romance but this is not a romance book at all, way too twisted and dark. If you want crazy plot twists in your life, you will find them here!

You can read my full review here.


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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

In this short novella there is discussion of romantic relationships but they aren’t the focus, instead the focus is on the fantastic world building. These characters have all been to different worlds and must cope with returning to our world, it’s similar to Alice going down the rabbit hole and the Pevensie children going into Narnia.

You can read my full review here.


Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

This is a very dark, twisted retelling of Peter Pan told from the POV of James Hook and is the origin story of his rivalry with Pan. It’s a very unique and creative retelling, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of Peter Pan and of course there’s no romance!

You can read my full review here.


Dreamfall by Amy Plum

This is another book whose genre is hard to pinpoint, it’s about a group of children/teenagers who suffer from insomnia going into an experiment that is supposed to help them. Instead they are all thrown into a shared dreamscape in which they have to battle through their nightmares. It’s nice that there was no romance to distract from the thrills!

You can read my full review here.


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

This is what “Throne of Glass” should have been like: badass assassins and a badass competition with NO insta-love or love triangles!! You’ll find a generfluid thief/assassin fighting in a competition to become one of the queen’s assassins, nothing but romance-free action and adventure here!

You can read my full review here.


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

This book isn’t for the faint hearted, it is very gory and graphically violent as the plot focuses on a girl seeking revenge for her rape. The rape IS depicted off page but it’s still hard to read through. However, it’s a fantastic story involving a Romany main character who uses magic/witchcraft to collect special “ingredients” from the boys who assaulted her in order to save a friend. Obviously there isn’t any romance.

You can read my full review here.


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

This is a pretty dark and twisted YA mystery/thriller, I did NOT see those twists coming at all! I like that there was no romance to take away from the plot and overall suspense, it means there’s more time to tell a great story.

You can read my full review here.


Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

There is a tiny bit of side romance that develops later but if you read the book you’ll know why I’m saying it’s not really romantic. It’s nice when there’s a fantasy that doesn’t focus on a romantic relationship and instead focuses on world building, plot twists, and characters like “Stormdancer” does.

You can read my full review.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Sure there’s a romance we would all LIKE to develop in this book but ultimately there isn’t any romance. Schwab, if you couldn’t already tell, is kind of the Queen of writing fantastic books that don’t use romance as a focal point. Instead we get great characters, great world building, and a great plot to focus on instead!

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

What do you think of these recommendations?

What are some of your favorite non-romance books?

Would you rather read romance or non-romance on Valentine’s Day?

Let me know in the comments!

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The Sassy

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Down The TBR Hole #16

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

Check out my other editions of “Down The TBR Hole” here.

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Current TBR: 770


Book #150

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Date Added: August 13th, 2015

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I actually thought about getting rid of this one but I heard it’s a “Hades & Persephone” retelling and I NEED all of them that I can get so I’ll give this one ago. I actually got a signed copy off of Book Outlet so that’s neat!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #152

The Child Thief by Brom

Date Added: August 13th, 2015

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Definitely keeping because I need all the Peter Pan retellings and especially if they’re dark and twisted versions!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #153

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

Date Added: August 13th, 2015

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The premise still sounds interesting if not a little confusing, but it’s got fallen angels I believe. However, I just don’t have any interest in trying to read it anymore.

The Judgement: Go


Book #154

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

Date Added: August 27th, 2015

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I’m a little on the fence with this one but I’ll keep it for now because it seems like a good Halloween read!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #155

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Date Added: August 31st, 2015

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I already own a copy and I do like the sound of a book called “The Creeping”, I believe it’s a mystery thriller but I’m also hoping (as the title implies) that it is a little creepy as well!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #156

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Date Added: September 3rd, 2015

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I absolutely loved “Anna Dressed in Blood” it’s really an amazing book so I’m excited to eventually read the sequel.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #157

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Date Added: September 4th, 2015

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I don’t really remember why I ever added this but I’m removing it now.

The Judgement: Go


Book #158

Blood & Salt by Kim Liggett

Date Added: September 24th, 2015

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I’m so torn on this one because I love creepy books but it didn’t get the best reviews and I’m not sure if I really want to bother. I hate being disappointed so I think I’ll just get rid of it.

The Judgement: Go


Book #159

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Date Added: September 24th, 2015

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I don’t know if this one will disappoint me or not but I really cling to YA horror books on my TBR so I let one go this round and I’m keeping this one. I’m hoping it’s worth it!

The Judgement: Keep

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

Do you think I should have kept any of these books?

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

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February TBR

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I’ve been doing fairly well with monthly TBRs so of course I’m going to keep doing them, they’re good motivation and it’s always fun to let you guys know what I’m planning on reading for the month! I’ve got a few ARCs to get through this month. I also have some potential Buddy Reads in the works so I’ll hopefully be getting through A LOT of books!

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown

I’m finally reading this! Currently! It’s amazing and I have “Morning Star” on hand so I can just jump right into it! This series gives me life!


Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Because I heard the cliffhanger ending in “Golden Son” will destroy me.


The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

I was very fortunate to receive an ARC of this one and I’m excited to continue with this series because I adored “The Bone Witch”!


The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

This was a “Read Now” on Netgalley a little while ago and of course I snagged a copy because this is one of my most anticipated reads for 2018!


Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

I got an ARC of this on Netgalley and I’m very excited to read it, it’s about gladiators and I believe Spartacus too. So it sounds badass!


Giant Days Vol. 1 by John Allison

I love graphic novels, I’m always looking to try new series too and I heard good things about this one. Borrowing from the library!


Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill

I’m going to finish this series up and I’m super excited because this last volume should be awesome!


Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Search by Gene Yuen Lang

So I actually didn’t know anything about this graphic novel/series until I watched a video by Booktuber Super Space Chick where she mentioned it. Now I am a HUGE fan of the Avatar series and always wondered about Zuko’s mother which this graphic novel answers. I am now obsessed with getting my hands on it!

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Are any of these books on your TBR?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

What are you planning on reading this month?

Let me know in the comments!

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February Releases I’m Excited For!

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There are more than a few great books being released this month, much to look forward too! As always I will list these in order of their release date and will do an “honorable mentions” at the end of the post of other releases that I either need to catch up in the series on or just don’t care to read myself.

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The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
Release Date: February 6th

This is a YA Fantasy with a bit of magic and political intrigue, I happened to get an ARC of this one and wasn’t too impressed unfortunately. It was a little too slow for me.

You can read my full review here.


The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Release Date: February 6th

I AM SO BEYOND EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK! It actually kind of reminds me of “Uglies” because people are born gray and need the help of a Belle to be made beautiful.


By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell
Release Date: February 6th

I’m all for carnival books especially ones that are bound together by a curse! Sounds interesting!


Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Release Date: February 13th

A YA sci-fi about two girls traveling space in a sentient spaceship, I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this and it was an alright read but not as fantastic as I thought it would be.

You can read my full review here.


Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Release Date: February 20th

This is probably one of my most anticipated books of the year because 1.) YA Horror is very underrated and 2.) the premise sounds just like ‘Alien’ and that’s one of my all time favorite horror franchises so yeah I’m pumped!


Fire & Bone by Rachel A. Marks
Release Date: February 20th

This one is an urban fantasy about a girl who discovers she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, I’m just excited because you don’t see a whole lot of Celtic mythology in YA books!


The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg
Release Date: February 20th

I actually just finished up an ARC of this and it was okay but nothing really impressive. I’ll have a full review up soon! (P.S. it’s a historical fiction!)


Ink, Iron, & Glass by Gwendolyn Clare
Release Date: February 20th

A YA historical fiction set in Italy and revolving around a girl’s talent for “scriptology” which a person can use to create new worlds. Sounds very, very good!


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The Armored Saint by Myke Cole
Release Date: February 20th

This is a fantasy novella from Tor about a girl who rebels against an Order that kills mages to prevent demons from being unleashed into the world. Basically it sounds badass and novellas are quick reads!


Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Release Date: February 27th, 2017

Another book where I was very lucky to recieve an ARC, this is described as ‘Anastasia in Space’ which is both fitting and not so much at the same time. It was an enjoyable read but not anything to write home about.

You can read my full review here.


People Like Us by Dana Mele
Release Date: February 27th

I’ve heard this being pitched as “Gay ‘Mean Girls'” so I am 100% sold!


Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Release Date: February 27th

I’m always a sucker for fantasy especially when it involves dragons, so I’m interested!


The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielson
Release Date: February 27th

Another YA Fantasy but from the synopsis I’m getting strong hints of politics which is my favorite in fantasies!


Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney
Release Date: February 27th

This is a sort of ‘Frankenstein’ retelling involving a girl, who is the first female med student at the academy, who wants to prove herself by fixing a faulty Bio-mechanical (mechanized cadavers used for study) and finds that it contains the “human spark” of Victor Frankenstein.


Honorable Mentions:

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Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) by S. Jae-Jones
Release Date: February 6th

I just feel like “Wintersong” should have been a standalone….


American Panda by Gloria Chao
Release Date: February 6th


Immortal Reign (Fallen Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes
Release Date: February 6th


Sightwitch (The Witchlands #0.5) by Susan Dennard
Release Date: February 13th


The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3) by Emily R. King
Release Date: February 13th


Shatter (Glitter #2) by Aprilynne Pike
Release Date: February 13th


Blood of a Thousand Stars (Empress of a Thousand Skies #2) by Rhoda Belleza
Release Date: February 20th


Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daugher of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller
Release Date: February 27th

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Are you also looking forward to any of these books?

Have you read any of them yet (ARCs etc)?

What are some February releases I didn’t include that you’re looking forward to?

Let me know in the comments!

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The Sassy

Down The TBR Hole #15

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

Check out my other editions of “Down The TBR Hole” here.

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Current TBR: 771


Book #140

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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I really loved “Midwinterblood” it was the perfect kind of weird and I want to read more of Sedgwick’s books.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #141

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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Once again, Marcus Sedgwick. I heard good things about this one and it’s short.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #142

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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This one is a dystopian with soul-sucking demons, it sounds awesome and I got a copy really cheap from Book Outlet so I’m excited to read it. Eventually.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #143

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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A magical realism/paranormal story that I feel will be odd but in a good kind of way, I hear Nova Ren Suma’s writing is very unique!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #144

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Date Added: August 5th, 2015

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Because who doesn’t love a good circus book? Plus I have heard a lot of good things.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #145

Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Date Added: August 6th, 2015

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A YA western featuring a Chinese main character, of course I want to read it! Plus I’ve heard tons of good things about it.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #146

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Date Added: August 7th, 2015

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I basically HAVE to keep any and all Brandon Sanderson books on my TBR, there is no negotiating with myself on this.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #147

Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace

Date Added: August 12th, 2015

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This seems like a wonderfully strange book, about a girl who hunts ghosts and ventures to the underworld to hunt one and to learn more about the pre-apocalyptic world. It really does sound fantastic!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #148

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Date Added: August 13th, 2015

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Honestly I didn’t think this would be a book I’d ever want to read but it sounds like so much fun with all of the gowns and tiaras but also the badassery. Hopefully it’s as light-hearted and fun as it sounds!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #149

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Date Added: August 13th, 2015

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This sounds like it would be an okay read especially since it’s compared to “The Handmaid’s Tale” but with the mixed reviews and my lost interest I think I’m going to have to get rid of it.

The Judgement: Go

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

Do you think I should have kept any of these books?

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

January Wrap-Up

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So surprisingly enough January ended up being a decent month even though half way through I felt like I was on the verge of both a blogging slump and a reading slump. However, I kind of forced my way through it and now I’m hoping to get a little bit more on track this month.

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Books Read This Month: 9

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel CaineHeart of Iron by Ashley PostonDaughter of the Burning City by Amanda FoodyThe Ravenous by Amy LukavicsBad Romance by Heather DemetriosLocke & Key, Vol. 2 by Joe HillLocke & Key, Vol. 3 by Joe HillLocke & Key, Vol. 4 by Joe HillLocke & Key, Vol. 5 by Joe Hill

I have to say I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t read more and that all of the books were “meh”, the only ones I enjoyed were “Bad Romance” and the Locke & Key graphic novels. Everything else didn’t live up to my expectations, unfortunately.


Reviews Finished This Month:

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston


Tags & Memes Done This Month:

Top Ten Tuesday: New To Me Authors I Read in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read in 2017…and Failed

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Bookish Goals and Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can’t Believe I Read and Loved!


Other Posts Done This Month:

December Wrap-Up

January TBR

1,000 Followers Q&A Announcement

Down The TBR Hole #12

January New Releases

Q&A Answers

Down The TBR Hole #13

2018 Beat the Backlist TBR

Down The TBR Hole #14

Christmas & January Book Haul

Books I Recently Added To My TBR

Discussion Post: Longer Reviews vs. Shorter Reviews


Currently Reading:

Golden Son (Red Rising, #2)

I am in love already, this series is badass.

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How was your reading and blogging month this January?

What were your best or worst reads?

What are you currently reading?

What books are you excited for this coming month, February?

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

 

Discussion Post: Long Reviews vs. Short Reviews

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I actually think about this quite a bit as I never know if I should do a short review or a longer review. I’m interested to know what you guys prefer in reviews, shorter or longer ones! I honestly don’t really prefer one strongly over the other and both have their own pros and cons, which is what I’d like to discuss.

I have a lot more pros for each than I do cons, because honestly I think both short and long reviews are great!

Definitely let me know what you think down in the comments and join the discussion!

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What are some pros of shorter reviews?

  • I like to think that shorter reviews can be a lot easier to do overall since you aren’t writing as much of course, and they definitely don’t take up as much time.
  • You can get your overall feelings on the book across a lot quicker with a shorter review.
  • If you don’t really have much to say about the book and it felt kind of “meh” to you, it’s nicer to write a short review because there isn’t much to say about it!
  • Honestly, if you’re just feeling plain lazy a short review can be your ticket to getting the review done and over with (I know I have those days!)
  • Short reviews are much quicker to read through if you’re just looking for a general idea about what the book is like.
  • You can do a list style/bullet point review, which is simple and fun!

What are some cons to shorter reviews?

  • Not as much detail is provided
  • Sometimes you might not be able to get enough out of a short review to determine if you would like to read the book or not (depends on your personal preference)

What are some pros to longer reviews?

  • More details on elements of the book: plot, characters, romance, writing, etc.
  • There should be plenty of information provided to determine if you’d like to read the book or not.
  • If you really loved/enjoyed the book you’re reviewing, it’s nice to do a long review so you can express and discuss it more!

What are some cons to longer reviews?

  • More time consuming to write/type.
  • They’re longer to read, of course!

Which style of review do you prefer more, shorter or longer?

I really do enjoy both styles of review! However, I think I lean more towards short reviews when I’m writing them and towards longer reviews when reading them (that might just be me being lazy though). Although sometimes I prefer a quick, short review  to read just to get a general idea bout the book and if I’d like to read it or not!

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What are some of your pros/cons for shorter reviews?

What are some of your pros/cons for longer reviews?

Do you prefer one over the other? Why?

Let me know in the comments and come join the discussion!

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The Sassy