September Releases I’m Excited For!

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This is also a little more belated than I wanted it to be but here are this month’s new releases that I’m pumped for! Lots of great books coming out this September!

I’ll provide the descriptions for each of these books so you know if you want to add them to your TBR as well! Also keep in mind these are ordered by release date from the beginning of the month to the end.

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****Sorry, just have to put this one first! I’m the most excited for it!****

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles #2) by Jay Kristoff
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.


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Even The Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

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

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

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


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

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

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

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


Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.


The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: September 5th, 2017

“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.


Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Release Date: September 12th, 2017

Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.


Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Release Date: September 12th, 2017

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


Odd & True by Cat Winters
Release Date: September 12th, 2017

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.


Warcross by Marie Lu
Release Date: September 12th, 2017

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.


Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Release Date: September 19th, 2017

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.


Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Release Date: September 19th, 2017

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.


The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

From the outside, the Cane family looks like they have it all. A successful military father, a loving mother and five beautiful teenage daughters. But on the inside, life isn’t quite so idyllic: the Cane sisters can barely stand each other, their father is always away, and their neglectful mother struggles with addiction and depression.

When their youngest and most beloved sister, Rose, dies in a tragic accident, Mona Cane and her sisters are devastated. And when she is brought back from the dead, they are relieved. But soon they discover that Rose must eat human flesh to survive, and when their mother abandons them, the sisters will find out just how far they’ll go to keep their family together.


The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.


Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.


There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.


An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.


Freefall by Joshua David Bellin
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated planet Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and its 99% of rejects.

Then Cam sees a banned video feed of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight though the feed directly at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.

When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.

Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?


Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King
Release Date: September 26th, 2017

In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.

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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 September releases I didn’t include that you’re looking forward to?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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August Wrap-Up

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Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been absent pretty much all month so far just a bit of a life update for you guys: I haven’t had the best family or health news these past few weeks so I’ve been trying to handle all of it. I’m fine but just not having a good time of it, I’ve been trying to get my reading and blogging done so please bear with me!

August was a pretty fantastic month for me though as far as reading and blogging go, I did up a ton of posts and got quite a few books on my TBR read! I was supposed to finish and review both “Girls Made of Snow and Glass” and “Black Bird of the Gallows” which didn’t happen due to my personal problems but I am going to try and push through them here soon.

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Books Read This Month: 8

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi LeeMonstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. LiuZero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle PrendergastMask of Shadows by Linsey MillerAsylum by Madeleine RouxAlex + Ada, Vol. 3 by Jonathan LunaAlex + Ada, Vol. 2 by Jonathan LunaBitch Planet, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick

I had an okay reading month this August, I have to say my three favorite reads would have to be “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue”, “Monstress Volume 1”, and “Mask of Shadows”. Other than those my books were average to mediocre.


Reviews Finished This Month:

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller


Tags & Memes Done This Month:

The New York Times By The Book Tag

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recs For People Who Love Fast Pacing

Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading for SFF Lovers

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems in Fantasy

The Leonardo DiCaprio Book Tag


Other Posts Done This Month:

July Wrap-Up

August TBR

Discussion Post Collab: Handling Blog Comments

August Releases I’m Excited For!

Book Recommendations: Retellings

Books With Romances I Actually Enjoyed

Disappointing Books In Disguise: Part 1

Backlist Books I Need To Read

How To Beat The Dreaded Reading Slump!

A Few Favorite Book Quotes: Part 1


What I’m Currently Reading:

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

I’m actually enjoying this one quite a bit but the pacing is really off so it feels like I’m taking forever to finish it.

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How was your reading and blogging month this August?

What were your best or worst reads?

What are you currently reading?

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

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

A Few Favorite Book Quotes: Part 1

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Hello fellow book lovers!

I was noticing how very little I ever talk about book quotes on my blog and decided to start doing a series of posts all about them. Pretty straightforward stuff. So today I will be bringing you part 1 of a few of my favorite book quotes!

These are all from some of my most loved books and with some I have included multiple quotes. Especially with “Red Rising”…..I honestly could quote the entire book with that one.

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Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”


Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

(****These quotes are in all caps because they are spoken this way by a character in the book****)

“DYING IS EASY. ANYONE CAN THROW THEMSELVES ONTO THE PYRE AND REST A HAPPY MARTYR. ENDURING THE SUFFERING THAT COMES WITH SACRIFICE IS THE REAL TEST.”

“WHEN IT IS DONE, WE WILL FLY FAR FROM HERE. FAR FROM THIS SCAB AND ITS POISONED SKY. WE WILL DANCE IN THE STORMS, YOU AND I.”


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

“There are worse things in this world than monsters, and somehow, they always manage to find me.”

(This next one is just because I found it hilarious pertaining to how hot the temperature is….)

“..even though it feels like I’m cocooned in the folds of Satan’s ball sack every night.”


Vicious by V.E. Schwab

“Plenty of humans were monsters, and plenty of monsters know how to play at being human.”

“I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

“The field of battle is my temple. The swordpoint is my priest. The dance of death is my prayer. The killing blow is my release.”

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.”


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”


Red Rising by Pierce Brown

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”

“Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.”

“I am the Reaper and death is my shadow.”

” ‘I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you.’
‘Then you must live for more.’ ‘”


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes. The future is never set in stone, remember that.”

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”

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

Are any of these quotes favorites of yours?

What are some of your favorite bookish quotes?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

The Leonardo DiCaprio Book Tag

The Leonardo DiCaprio Book Tag

Hello fellow book lovers!

I figured it was about time for another book tag and what better, random book tag to do than one about Leonardo DiCaprio?! Because we all love Leo, right? I know I do!

This tag was created by gingerreadslainey; video.

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1.) Growing Pains – A book you read before it was popular (or hyped-up)

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This book was one that I read way back before I started blogging and it was also before the entire trilogy was out too. So I mean “technically” I read it before it was super popular, especially since I didn’t really know if it was popular or not anyways…..still counts! I didn’t love it as much as everyone else anyways though!


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2.) Tobey Maguire – Your favorite book best friends

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I’ve got a few but the ones freshest in my mind would be Jamie, Taylor, and Charlie in “Queens of Geek”. They were all so geeky and adorable and they treated each other all so well too, positive friendships for the win!


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3.) Kate Winslet – Your OTP

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Of course I have many, many, many OTPs but the most recent one that I adore to bits and pieces would have to be Monty and Percy from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue”. They were both so clueless to the other’s feelings when they were clearly in love with each other, I loved that they finally got together!


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4.) Titanic – A book that made you cry or emotionally distressed

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I usually don’t cry while reading books, they have to be pretty darn sad to get me to shed actual tears. I haven’t cried while reading a book in years until I read “Red Rising” in which the first few chapters had me bawling, I had to put the book down and have a good cry about it.


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5.) Martin Scorsese – An author you will always buy their books no matter what

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I have a few other authors I’d auto-buy but V.E. Schwab is the Queen! Her books are always so unique, well-written, and full of action!


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6.) Victoria’s Secret Models – A genre you will always go back to

Fantasy is my most loved genre so of course I will always go back to it, there’s nothing like getting immersed and lost in a creative, unique, and new world!


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7.) Happy Meme Leo – A character that makes you smile

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Mark Watney from “The Martian” is honestly one of the funniest characters I’ve come across in a book. Seriously, I laughed my way through a lot of that book…..you know when my brain wasn’t overloading from all of the science and math bits!


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8.) Every Leo Character – Your favorite complex characters

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The best, most complex, and morally ambiguous characters can be found in “Vicious”! Seriously some of the best characters I’ve ever come across in a book, hands down!


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9.) Leonardo NoOSCARo (but now he does!) – A book that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves!

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I know I sound like a broken record but this is one of the most underrated books I’ve read and it’s just plain fantastic! A great magical realm that also combines four retellings: Sleeping Beauty, Hua Mulan, Cinderella, and Jane Austen’s Emma!

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If you love Leo and would like to give this tag I try then go right ahead and enjoy!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems in Fantasy

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Hello fellow book lovers!

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

This week’s theme is Hidden Gems in whichever genre you’d like to pick! Of course I adore hidden gem recommendations and I have more than a few to give but fantasy is my most read genre so that’s the genre I went with. Some of these may be a little more iffy as far as having them be considered fantasy but there are fantasy elements none the less and most of them are 100% pure fantasy. Some of my choices also might be a little more popular than others and some of you may not consider them a “hidden” gem but they still aren’t super popular so I’d like to recommend them!

I will link up each title to my full review as well if you’d like to be convinced some more to add these to your TBR! Also these aren’t in any particular order!

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10.) Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry

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This is more of a horror book than anything but it still counts as fantasy in my mind especially since it’s a dark retelling of “Alice in Wonderland”. This book isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s truly terrifying, graphic, brutal, and violent and yet it’s still an addictive story. I highly recommend reading it if you’re looking for a unique retelling!

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


9.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

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A collection of three short fairy tale-esque stories all revolving around a kiss but trust me when I say it’s not the gushy romance fest you think it would be! Laini Taylor’s writing is gorgeous and she weaves together such creative tales with mythology of her own making, these stories are fantastic. Plus the illustrations are gorgeous as well!

You can read my full review of “Lips Touch: Three Times” here.


8.) The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen #1) by Sarah Fine

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This is such an underrated fantasy novel it isn’t even fair! The magic system is one of the best I’ve come across with both fire and ice users but the magic doesn’t come without it’s costs. The Valtia is the queen of the land who is the only wielder of both ice and fire magic and when she dies it passes on to the next but when the magic doesn’t enter Elli she is forced to flee. Great characters and great world building, go give this book some more love!

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


7.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This book is a little more well known but still not enough in my eyes! It’s an Aladdin retelling where the genie is female and they have a relationship, it’s got some great world building, badass female characters, and gorgeous writing! What more could you want?

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


6.) Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova

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Not only does this book have a gorgeous cover and diverse characters but it’s also filled with magic and a very Wonderland-esque adventure. Alex is a bruja (a witch) and wants to rid herself of her powers but when she tries her whole family vanishes into thin air.

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


5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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I recommend this book ALL the time and it’s probably the book on here I feel is the most underrated. It has a great story, world building, and characters plus on top of all of that it has four retellings weaved into the plot which include: Sleep Beauty, Cinderella, Hua Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s a fantastic story!

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


4.) The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

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This is a dark fantasy featuring a witch with the gift of necromancy who goes to train under another bone witch. She must control her powers if she is going to aid her fellow witches with the war that is brewing in the kingdoms. I really loved how dark and sometimes creepy this book got especially with the necromancy, great world building too!

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


3.) Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Once again this one is a little more popular so it may not be considered a true hidden gem but it’s not a book I see tons of people talking about all of the time either. This is a Peter Pan retelling revolving around the character Tiger Lily, her backstory, and her relationship with Peter. It’s a darker version of Neverland and you’ll definitely be heart broken by the end.

You can read my full review of “Tiger Lily” here.


2.) The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1) by Emily R. King

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A girl raised by the Sisterhood is chosen to be the Rajah’s 100th wife and she must fight in gladiator style battles against his other 99 wives in order to secure her place. This book is full of magic and some badass females, it may not be the best written book ever but it was highly addictive and entertaining!

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


1.) Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1) by Linsey Miller

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This book is pretty hyped up at the moment but still isn’t receiving as much hype as it should. This is everything I wanted and expected “Throne of Glass” to be with the brutal competition to be the Queen’s assassin, plus we get a genderfluid main character!

You can read my full review of “Mask of Shadows” here.

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

What are some of your hidden gems in YA fantasy?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

How To Beat The Dreaded Reading Slump!

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Being either a reader or book blogger or both we all come across that dreaded reading slump from time to time, it happens! Sometimes we just burn ourselves out with reading and need a break but sometimes we WANT to get back to reading but just can’t muster our “reading strength”. So I’ve put together a little how to/tip post about things that can help you break out of that reading slump!

Before I get started though I’d just like to say that if you’re in a reading slump it’s OKAY! We all just need a break sometimes! So this post is in no way stating that you need to read all the time and if you want to take a break then take a break. This post is to help those seeking to break their slump and that is all.

Let’s get into it!

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1.) Organizing Your Books

This may sound odd but when I’m in a reading slump just touching books can get me out of it, sometimes I just like to go pick them up and re-organize my bookshelves. Staring at the gorgeous covers, the feeling of a book in your hands, smelling the books, or finding all of those books you’ve been meaning to read while re-organizing can definitely help you defeat that slump! Or maybe the accusing glares of your TBR books can be enough to guilt trip you back into reading….you never know.

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2.) Read Some Book Reviews

Remember all those new release, upcoming books, or books on your TBR that you desperately wanted to read at one point? Go read some glowing book reviews and get yourself re-hyped to read them!


3.) Take A Trip To The Bookstore or Library

What’s a better cure for a reading slump than perusing shelves filled with hundreds upon hundreds of books? The atmosphere in a place filled with books and other book lovers can definitely make you more excited to get back into reading!

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4.) Read A Graphic Novel, Comic, Novella, or Short Book

You know what they say: baby steps. I great way to ease yourself back into your reading game is by getting through a quick, easy to read book! You’ll feel more accomplished by finishing one and then move back into your usual books as well.


5.) Get Comfy and Cozy

Sometimes it’s all about your atmosphere, if you’re in a space filled with constant noise and busyness you won’t really feel like concentrating on reading while in a slump will you? So a simple solution for that is to find a quiet, comfy place to sit down and get to reading! I highly recommend putting on some PJs or comfy clothes, brewing yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and snuggling in with your favorite blanket! This definitely will put you in the mood for reading……..or napping which is also great!

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6.) Read Something By A Well Loved Author

Have a favorite author that you absolutely adore to bits and pieces then what better way to get back into reading than with a book by that author? This one’s pretty straight forward but let’s say you loved the Percy Jackson series but haven’t read Rick Riordan’s other books, there you go!


7.) The Good ‘Ol Re-Read

Have an all time favorite book that you haven’t read in years? Pull that sucker out and get to re-reading, there’s no better way to get out of that slump than by re-reading an old favorite and getting to re-experience it!


8.) Pick Out A Book You 100% Know You’ll Love

Are you a picky reader or a mood reader like me? One of the best ways to get out of that slump is to select a book that you’ve been dying to read and haven’t yet, pick one that you are certain you will enjoy and won’t be able to put down. Nothing gets you back into the swing of things than a hella good book after all!


9.) Argue With Yourself (My Personal Favorite)

Sometimes you need to just sit yourself down and tell yourself:

“You need to read. You need to read something now, you KNOW you’ll be unhappy if you continue this reading slump of yours. So go over to that shelf and pick out that book you just bought that you HAD to have and sit your butt down and READ!”

Believe it or not this is the way I get out of most of my personal reading slumps.


10.) Check Out Book Recommendations

Whether it’s from someone at your local bookstore or library, a family member or friend, or just browsing the internet; book recommendations are a good way to help you out. I mean when people recommend a book to you it’s usually a good one and if it sounds up your alley you’ll probably be excited enough to want to go read it right away!


11.) Check Out New or Upcoming Releases

Remember earlier when I said to read some reviews to get hyped? That kind of goes hand in hand with this. Go check out what’s coming up and maybe you’ll find a book you didn’t know you’re dying to read, getting excited for books is always the best way to get out of a slump.


12.) Watch BookTube or Read Book Blogs

Watching or reading about other book lovers getting excited for books whether they’re old favorites or upcoming releases can always get you hyped up and back into reading. This also kind of goes hand in hand with checking out new books or reading reviews.


13.) Watch Some Book-To-Movie Adaptations

This also applies to Book -To-TV as well of course! Personally I just watched the Miss Peregrine’s adaptation and afterwards it had me jumping in excitement to finish the series, since I only read book one. Nothing quite gets you excited to read a book or series than watching it’s adaptation because you know what they say; the book is ALWAYS better than the movie!

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Do you try any of these things when in a reading slump?

Did you find any of my tips helpful?

What do you try and do to get out of a reading slump?

Let me know in the comments!

Hopefully some of you found this helpful!

The Sassy

ARC Review: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears — Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal — their world changes. They know it’s a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

review

****Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!****

There seem to be a lot of mixed feelings on this book with people either DNF’ing their ARCs or loving them, fortunately I was one of the people who LOVED it! I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed “Mask of Shadows” everything about it was entertaining and it really blew away all of my expectations!

Trigger Warnings: Misgendering and Much Violence (gets pretty brutal at times)

PLOT

As you can see in the descriptions right away this is being compared to books by both Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo but let me tell you I thought this book was so much better than those! You can see the similarities to the plot of this book and that of “Throne of Glass” right away, which I did, but trust me when I tell you I thought this was far better than “Throne of Glass”. “Mask of Shadows” was essentially everything I had wanted “Throne of Glass” to actually be: full of action, brutal violence, and a main character who isn’t all talk! So I personally thought the descriptions didn’t do this book justice, or it did in case you’re a big fan of either of those authors I suppose.

I really loved how we are tossed into some action immediately at the beginning of the story and we don’t waste anytime getting into all the action the synopsis promised! Of course considering the fact that Sal is auditioning to become part of the Left Hand there is quite a bit of training in many various areas so those parts can become a bit tedious, I personally found them enjoyable though. I also liked how none of the contestants were messing around either, they were hardcore! I actually really liked how brutal and violent the lot of them were because this means the author wasn’t sugar coating the fact that these people are trying out to be ASSASSINS. That’s what they do.

While the pacing wasn’t necessarily fast and went kind of back and forth a little bit, I still never got bored while reading since there was always something going on. The action definitely wasn’t lacking here! But as I said the pacing did go back and forth pretty erratically.

The plot was very entertaining, even though it seems it could be a run of the mill YA fantasy plot. Sal’s thirst for revenge and the lengths they go to achieve the revenge was interesting to read about and definitely had me rooting for them.

Another thing that was very well done was the world building but I could have used a little more of it as well. I thought one of the most interesting points were the “shadows” which I won’t go into detail about but the descriptions honestly terrified me! I personally never felt like I was being “info dumped” on but I could see some people getting annoyed with the amount of info being spilled all at once throughout reading.

There were quite a few shocking plot twists and that ending definitely has me dying to read the sequel!

characters

One of the best things about “Mask of Shadows” is the fact that the main character, Sal, is gender fluid, that’s right we have a gender fluid main character in a YA fantasy! While I personally cannot say whether this was represented well or not I read a review from an amazing blogger I follow (Avery @ The Book Deviant) who has an own voices review up that I will link for you to check out!

It’s stated in the book that Sal prefers to use the she/her pronouns when dressed as a woman, the he/his pronouns when dressed as a man, and they/their pronouns when dressed as neither. Since this is just a book review I will refer to Sal using the they/their pronouns.

Sal was a fantastic character and I really adored them, they just had so much spunk and spirit. However, they also came with their flaws as well from the rough past that they’ve had and what they’re willing to do to get their revenge as well. I LOVED that Sal came into the competition with a realistic set of skills and admitted that they didn’t know everything and did their best to learn other skills worthy of an assassin. That is so unbelievable refreshing, a main character that doesn’t magically have ALL the skills!

I’d also like to take a moment here to discuss the cases of misgendering Sal that occurred in the book. This happens in one instance at the beginning of the story and Sal corrects them right away explaining how they liked to be addressed according to what they are wearing and it doesn’t happen again. However, there is a more villainous character that misgenders Sal more than a few times and Sal challenges it immediately, which I loved. There is just one thing that goes along with this that I wanted to mention was that Sal states they like to be addressed as they dress: dresses for she/her and trousers/tunics/leggings for he/him. Now I KNOW this is just a fantasy and most clothing is gendered and that’s accepted but when Sal is misgendered by what they are wearing they state that “clearly” they are a woman/man by how they are dressed and would get very angry (which is understandable of course). I just kind of didn’t like this considering the fact that women and men can dress in whatever clothes they like and not have to identify as that gender based off of the clothes they are wearing, especially since this is a book about a diverse character.

Food for thought and hopefully that made some sort of sense.

AS for the secondary characters I really enjoyed quite a few of them but mostly I adored the other members of the Queen’s Left Hand: Emerald, Amethyst, and Ruby (MOST OF ALL RUBY!). I didn’t have too hard of a time keeping track of the other contestants but it did get a little annoying at times considering they were only ever referred to by number. Elise was also a pretty great character and I loved that she was diverse as well (either bisexual or pansexual) since she states that she’s interested in more than just men.

There is a romance in this story but it doesn’t take central stage and is more of a minor plot device. It really wasn’t anything special though and was more of your run of the mill YA fantasy romance.

in conclusion

Overall I really did have a great time reading this book and it surpassed ALL of my expectations!

What I Loved:

  • Genderfluid and overall fantastic main character
  • Stabby plot that doesn’t sugarcoat!
  • Interesting world building
  • Great secondary characters (mostly Ruby…)

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Erratic pacing
  • Sal’s outlook (or just the book’s) on gendered clothing

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend checking out this book whether you’re looking for a fun new YA fantasy or if you’re looking for a great diverse read as well!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy