Book Recommendations: Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday(76)

Hello fellow book lovers!

Time for a couple more book recommendations! Woohoo! I absolutely love giving out book recommendations but unfortunately I don’t have a ton to ever recommend usually since I read so many different genres and sometimes I don’t like the book! However, I have a decent amount of retellings that I adored so I wanted to share a couple of them with all of you!

I will provide links to my full reviews of each book if you want some more details!

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

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This is one of my most favorite books of all time and definitely one of the top retellings! This is a very, very dark, horrific, and graphic version of “Alice in Wonderland” where the characters we all know and love are twisted versions of themselves. I have to say it’s one of the most unique retellings I’ve ever come across since it takes elements of the original story and does so many different things with them including making them absolutely horrifying.

So if you’re a fan of Alice retellings and aren’t afraid to see the darkest side of it then definitely check this one out!

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


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Another wonderful “Alice in Wonderland” retelling that is also an origin story for the Queen of Hearts character. While the beginning half of the book was pretty slow and filled with descriptions of food and moony eyes, the end half was full of action and plot twists! It was really fun getting to see all of the different characters come into play as well!

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


The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This is an AMAZING “Aladdin” retelling where the genie is a female and falls in love with Aladdin. However, there is plenty of action and great world building so this isn’t just a romance focused story! On top of the unique plot there is Khoury’s beautiful writing, seriously it’s just so gorgeous and made reading this book such a breeze! There is also some kickass feminist themes as well since Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens are basically Robin Hood and are super badass.

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


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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A “Peter Pan” retelling that centeralizes around the character of Tiger Lily, it’s narrated by Tinkerbell as she watches Tiger Lily grow and eventually watches the romance the develops between her and Peter Pan. It’s a very warped version of Neverland that we see in this story it’s dark and very saddening. Overall I highly recommend reading this one just for the unique take on Neverland as well as the story of Tiger Lily but be warned you’re probably going to cry!

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


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

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Another “Peter Pan” retelling but, as the title states, it’s the origin story of Captain Hook. Like with “Alice” Christina Henry takes the Neverland we all know and love and flips it upside down, this is a dark and very gritty version filled with many horrors both monstrous and more realistic. Trust me when I say you probably won’t be the biggest fan of Peter anymore……

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


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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This is it’s own unique story but it also weaves in four other retellings throughout as well. That’s right, four! We get to see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hua Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma and while I can’t really speak for the Emma retelling I can tell you the other three are well represented within the main story line. I recommend checking this book out for the great story and world building alongside the retellings too!

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


The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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This is a “Little Mermaid” retelling with a F/F romance and quite a bit of Norse mythology weaved in as well. While I did have a couple problems with this book I generally did really enjoy it and thought it was a really unique take on the “Little Mermaid” story as well as adding in a bunch of original elements as well.

You can read my full review of “The Seafarer’s Kiss” here.

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

What are some of your favorite retellings?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Creepiest YA Covers

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

This week’s theme is covers, anything to do with covers! It’ll definitely be interesting to see everyone’s take on this and I decided to go with the creepiest book covers, because I looooove horror books. Of course there are actually quite a few creepy covers out there and these are just a couple of my favorites, some I have read and some are just on my TBR.

I will link up a review if I have one! These are also in no particular order.

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10.) And The Trees Crept In (or The Creeper Man) by Dawn Kurtagich

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For this book I just HAD to have both the US cover and the UK cover since they’re both creepy as hell! I do love the US cover more because it’s more beautiful than it is creepy but I can’t deny that the UK cover is probably the creepiest book cover I’ve ever seen.

Also the story is creepy and amazing so you can judge this book by its covers! It’s about two girls living in a mansion with their aunt and they notice that the trees are creeping closer to the house and that the entity known as the Creeper Man that watches them from the woods is getting closer too.

You can read my full review here.


9.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

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Two Dawn Kurtagich books? Yes! She’s becoming a queen of YA horror in my book and her covers match the stories perfectly too. This is a very creepy psychological thriller about a girl with a split personality disorder or maybe….it’s something more sinister than that.

You can read my full review here.


8.) Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

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Creepy cover? Yes! Creepy story? Definitely yes! This one revolves around a family living out on the prairie, their secretly pregnant daughter, and well…..demons. This one is pretty insane but also scary, highly recommend!

You can read my full review here.


7.) The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

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I’m sorry! I’m done with the repeat authors now I swear! I really love the typography on this cover, it is super eerie. The story is about a girl whose aunt tragically goes missing and her cousin claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice inside the house’s walls…..

You can read my full review here.


6.) Alice by Christina Henry

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I don’t know it could just be me but I find the creepy rabbit head pasted over top a man’s body to be very creepy. This is a very, very graphic horror retelling of Alice in Wonderland and I found it to be absolutely amazing. This one definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted though.

You can read my full review here.


5.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

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Quick story time: when I was 10 years old I made the mistake of watching “The Grudge” and am now forever terrified of Asian ghosts. Therefore this book’s cover (and the book itself) creeps the shit out of me! It’s a very interesting and scary book revolving around the spirit Okiku, who takes vengeance on wrong-doers.

You can read my full review here.


4.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Whatever that thing is on the cover it’s disturbing and it creeps me out, but I suppose it fits the stories in this YA anthology perfectly in that case. There are TONS of creeptastic (shhh that’s a word) stories in here and pretty much all of them are amazing with the exception of 1 or 2.

You can read my full review here.


3.) Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

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Is it just me or are mirrors super creepy? So yeah, ghostly reflections in them = creepy. I have yet to read this one but it’s a take on the Bloody Mary urban legend.


2.) Asylum by Madeleine Roux

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Blurred/scratched out old timey photos are creepy, actually a lot of old photos are creepy but especially when they’re blurred or scratched out. This is a pretty popular book that I also have yet to read but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing if it’s any good.


1.) Shutter by Courtney Alameda

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Look at that black, gaping ghost and tell me it isn’t creepy! This is a book I have sitting on my shelf currently awaiting to be read and it’s about teenage ghost hunters basically.

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What do you think of these covers? Creepy or not so much?

What are some of your favorite creepy YA covers?

Have you read any of these books or anything similar?

What cover theme did you choose for you TTT this week?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your TTT as well!

The Sassy

The Harry Potter Tag

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I was tagged to do this by both Michelle @ Book Adventures and Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd , these ladies are both absolutely fantastic bloggers so make sure you head over to their blogs and check it out! Seriously, do it.

This tag and all of these lovely Harry Potter themed images were created by Lashaan and Trang from Bookidote! The only rule of the tag: you cannot use Harry Potter books for any of your answers.

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flagrate

A book where you found the theme interesting , but you’d like to rewrite it.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

A darker Peter Pan retelling with a potential love triangle between the MC and young adult versions of Hook and Pan? Yeah that drew me in right away, but it was not dark or twisted, the love triangle wasn’t as great as it should have been, and these versions of Hook and Pan were boring. If it were up to me to rewrite it I would actually add some darker, creepy elements to the story as well as make Hook and Pan a little more swoon-worthy.

You can find my review here. 

alohomora

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

I haven’t finished this series YET but as soon as I finished the this first book I went out and bought ALL of the other 3 books. So yeah, I guess you could say I was hooked and I can’t wait to finish!

You can find my review here. 

accio

A book you wish you could have right now.

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In

There sure are a lot of books I wish I could have right now! Normally I would probably go with “Gemina” but I REALLY need some good old fashioned creepy horror right now and this book is sure to be perfect! I really enjoyed Kurtagich’s other book “The Dead House” and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed with this one either.

avadakedavra

A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like.

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

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1)

This book definitely falls under both senses! It was a five star read for me it had everything I wanted: a dark, twisted plot, morally ambiguous characters, and fantastic writing. Not to mention it is a horror book so it definitely is “killer”.

You can find my review here. 

 

confundo

A book that you found really confusing.

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Bliss

I read this book a looooong time ago and never reviewed it but I do remember when I read it that I was confused as hell! I felt like there was too much trying to be crammed in and at the same time nothing was explained well enough which all lead up to an unsatisfying ending. Not a fan.

epectopatronum

Your spirit animal book.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)

I am a sucker for fantasy novels. Especially when they contain 100% badass heroines, unique and in depth world building/mythology, Thunder Tiger companions, and chainsaw katanas. There’s a lot going on but seriously best way to sum up this book: badass. I just really feel like “Stormdancer” is my spirit animal book, read this and you will know me! Not really but you should read it anyways!

spetumsemtra

A dark, twisted book.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

Dammit! I already used “Alice” by Christina Henry….well just so you all know that’s my real answer! The next best thing to that, though, is anything Gillian Flynn writes especially “Dark Places”. It shows the very dark and twisty side of human nature.

You can find my review here.

adaasd

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is.

Lips Touch: Three Times

So at first glance at both the cover and the description you’d think this is some sappy, trope-filled, romance book when in fact it’s so much more. While it IS a very romance focused book it’s very unique, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and the stories are filled with original mythology. This was such a wonderfully surprising book!

You can find my review here.

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nominees

***No obligations to do this tag and sorry if you’ve already done it before, if that’s the case please leave a link to it so I can check out your answers!!***

Brooke @ Brooke’s Books

Isabella @ The Book Pandas

Esther @ Chapter Adventures

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Nessa @ Bookish Nessa

Cassidy @ The Little Book Cottage

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Christine Joyce @ The Book Harpy

Britt @ Geronimo Reads

Hannah @ A Mortal Reader

Donna @ Chocolate ‘N Waffles

Carrianne @ Carrianne’s Cuppa ‘N Critques

 The Sassy

Book Review: Alice by Christina Henry

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description

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

review

“Beware the jaws that bite, the claws that snatch….”

This is one hell of a book and it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. If I could rate it and give it a thousand starts I would do it in a heartbeat, that’s how amazing it was.

Although I will say it’s not a book for the faint of heart, there is much disturbing content such as torture and rape and overall violence. It gets pretty hard to swallow so if you’re strongly against reading about any of those things I would skip this book.

Honestly this whole review will be me gushing over how great of a read this was because I don’t have a single bad thing to say about it.

PLOT

This is a very dark retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” but it’s also an extremely entertaining one. Even the mildest of fans will love how Christina Henry tied the many familiar faces into her story.

I have only seen movies based on the adventures of Alice and I wasn’t lost for a second, so if you’re worried that you haven’t read the original book, don’t be.

So the story revolves around Alice (obviously) and Hatcher who reside in an asylum together in the New City. One night destiny presents to them an opportunity to escape the asylum and disappear into the Old City, but this opportunity also releases an ancient and terrible evil, the Jabberwock. It is now Alice and Hatcher’s job to destroy the Jabberwock and to do so they must travel through the streets of the Old City where they encounter many of our favorite “Wonderland” characters – Cheshire, the Caterpillar, the Walrus, & the Rabbit.

There isn’t really a cliffhanger ending, but you will be left craving the next (and last) book in this duology. That ending was damn perfect and it was completely satisfying, but I really need to read the continuing adventures of Alice and Hatcher. Now…please.

The world building is superb throughout the story, it makes you feel dirty and gritty whilst reading and that’s exactly how you’re supposed to feel. The Old City is a dirty and gritty place after all, full of atrocious crimes and people. Bad things happen in the world, but fortunately we don’t get that messaged shoved into our faces and forced down our throats. Yes, bad things happen in this book but there’s also some sort of justice in it as well….or vengeance whichever you prefer.

The pacing is fast as well, I predict that you’ll have a hard time putting this one down just like I did. Also the writing is perfect, it makes you FEEL everything and trust me with this kind of story you’re going to feel all sorts of emotions .To me, that’s a perfect book when it makes you emotional.

characters

How do I even do the characters justice? They were all so well written, even the villains were well portrayed. You will hate the villains but you will admit that they’re damn good at being VERY bad.

Alice and Hatcher are the definition of a dynamic duo. Together they can pretty much do ANYTHING and I put emphasis on the together part. It’s true one wouldn’t succeed without the other. They’re so different yet they fit together so well. They’re both completely mad but also clever and they’re on the path of vengeance. Who doesn’t love some badass, vengeance-driven, crazy people?

Cheshire, of course, is and always will be my absolute favorite character in ANY Wonderland retelling. This book was no exception either, he’s exceedingly clever and very helpful while also not so helpful at the same time. I can’t help but love him though, such a little shit…..

Of course as mentioned all of our villains are exceptionally…villainous. Trust me they are bad, bad, and worse. They’re absolutely sickening but they’re as well written as any of the other characters. They’re monumental to the story, without characters like the Walrus, Caterpillar, and Rabbit, it would be very dull indeed.

in conclusion

I absolutely adored this book and to me it was perfection, I haven’t a single complaint about anything. I will be (not so patiently) waiting for the next book “Red Queen”.

This is a fantastic piece of work and I raise my teacup and salute you Christina Henry you mad, mad genius!

In the mean time I think I’ll go have a tea party…or maybe just watch the Tim Burton movie…probably safer….

RECOMMEND

Hells to the yes!

I recommend this to any “Alice in Wonderland” fan and to anyone who loves dark retellings.

However as I mentioned earlier there’s a lot of sexual violence in this book so if you can’t stomach this then I don’t recommend reading it.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: My Fall TBR

top ten tuesday

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

This week’s theme is books on my fall TBR, which there’s always a ton on my TBR. Now some of these books are ones that I’m planning on buying and reading, others I already own.

So first, books I own and have yet to read (that are towards the top at least):

10.) You by Caroline Kepnes

You

This one hasn’t been sitting around for too long, and I’m pretty excited to read it. So it’s in my top 10 to get at this fall. But until then it’ll be sitting by my night stand…waiting.

9.) Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

The Ghosts of Heaven

I’m actually about half way through this already….but I got distracted by other books. So I’m looking to finish this one up soon.

8.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)

I just bought this one even though I’ve read mixed reviews about it. It still looks like something I might enjoy reading so I bought it anyways! I’m waiting to read “The Girl From The Well” a little closer to Halloween though.

And now books that are either newly released or soon to be released:

7.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

The Dead House

The minute I discovered this book I knew I wanted to read it.

Here’s the description:

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…
…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.
But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?
The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.
The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known…

Sounds pretty awesome right? Once again I’m going to save it for around Halloween hoping that it’s at least a little scary.

6.) The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

The Creeping

This one was released fairly recently, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Apparently it has a really dark and creepy atmosphere to it. So I’m hoping to pick it up soon.

5.) Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls

This book is going to be released next week (on my birthday) and I’ve heard mixed reviews of it. It’s a thriller and I think it sounds interesting enough for me to give it a shot.

4.) Alice by Christina Henry

Alice

A retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” obviously, and apparently a very grim, dark, and graphic one. I’m really excited to get my hands on this book, I’ve heard a TON of good things about it. There is one drawback for me though, it’s been mentioned that there is some really graphic, disturbing content such as rape. I don’t think that’s enough to keep me from reading it though.

3.) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace, #1)

This one was released today and I’m just waiting to buy it (because I’m lazy). It sounds so cool and I’ve had this on another one of my mini lists. Check it out here.

2.) The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Once again this one’s been on here before, check it out on my “Most Anticipated Reads for September”.

1.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

If any of you have been on my blog before then you KNOW how excited I am for “Six of Crows”. IneeditIneeditIneeditIneedit.

Are there any books on YOUR fall TBR that we have in common? Are any of you guys as excited as I am for any of these books?