Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017!

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

This week’s theme is your favorite books of 2017 and you can put any kind of spin on it that you want but since I have similar posts planned already I’m just going to do some of my favorites I’ve read this year! There will be another post with the rest of the books I enjoyed since it wasn’t ONLY ten so be on the look out for it!

These aren’t in any particular order and I will be linking my reviews if they are available.

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Night Film by Marisha Pessl

There are only two books on this list that were just so amazing I couldn’t even put together a review to describe how awesome they were, this is one of them.

It’s a very fast paced, suspenseful and thrilling. I was addicted to this story while reading! It combines a sort of classic mystery but also combines it with horror and supernatural elements as well which was fun for me especially since you don’t know what to believe or not. One of the best books I’ve ever read and very unique, I highly recommend checking out too by the way.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

And this is the other book that was just so good and so amazing that I couldn’t form a coherent review for it! Lots of people rant and rave about “The Night Circus” and for good reason too it’s simply a magical wonderful book full of great characters and a great romance. Plus the circus setting was one of the best and most interesting settings I’ve ever had the pleasure of being transported away to via reading.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’m not usually a big contemporary reader but this book is perfection, seriously. Not only is it incredibly powerful but it’s also extremely well written and full of the most endearing characters. If I was rich enough to buy everyone in the world a copy to read, I would.

You can read my full review for “The Hate U Give” here.


Red Rising by Pierce Brown

THIS BOOK! Why did it take me this long to finally read this treasure? It’s everything I wanted in a book and didn’t even know! There’s fantasy and sci-fi elements both present along with the BEST characters ever, revenge, betrayals, plot twists, and some pretty brutal violence. It’s been a long time since a book has made me feel so many different emotions from sadness to pretty much screaming in outrage. And yet it was great.

You can read my full review for “Red Rising” here.


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This one actually reminded me a lot of “Red Rising” except set in a fantasy world that’s very Roman inspired. There’s fantastic characters, magic, and the world itself is actually very dark and brutal. So many plot twists though I couldn’t stop reading!

You can read my full review of “An Ember in the Ashes” here.


Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

While this happens to be a pretty short book it still managed to pack a lot of punch. It’s about a home for children/teens who have returned from other fantastical worlds (very much like Alice in Wonderland or Narnia) and learn to cope with being back in reality. The characters were extremely diverse and learning about all the different worlds they have visited was the most interesting part, I’m really hoping Seanan McGuire writes like fifty of these books.

You can read my full review for “Every Heart A Doorway” here.


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

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Christina Henry’s horror retellings and that’s because they never fail to amaze me. The creativity she puts into them is just awe-inducing. This one happens to be about my favorite fairy tale “Peter Pan” and is told from James Hook’s perspective, it’s definitely not the Neverland we all know and love. It’s a very vicious island full of deadly creatures and beings. If you’re a fan of horror and “Peter Pan” I highly recommend checking it out.

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


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

This book is just amazing, full of diversity, and FUN. I loved the Comic Con-esque setting and the characters were amazing, I especially related to Taylor who suffers from anxiety I thought the anxiety rep was pretty spot on.

You can read my full review “Queens of Geek” here.


A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Another genre I don’t read to often, historical fiction, but man was this a treat! It was very fast paced, the writing was fantastic, and the characters were great. If I was going to pick just one word to describe how I feel about this book it’d be: fun!

You can read my full review of “A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue” here.


 The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

Probably one of the best YA horror books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! It’s about a Romani girl who is brutally assaulted and her friend is left at the edge of death, in order to save him she must collect “ingredients” and take revenge on the boys who are responsible. It’s brutal, violent, gory, and full of witchcraft. It’s truly a fantastic book but definitely not for the faint of heart.

You can read my full review of “The Hollow Girl” here.

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

What were some of your favorite reads of 2017?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Top Ten Tuesday: Great Reads That I’m Thankful For!

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

Since U.S. Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday this week’s theme is books/bookish things we are thankful for! There are plenty of books out there that I’m thankful for but these are a few that just really stick out for me!

I will link reviews for each title if I have one and these are in no particular order!

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10.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

This was the first book I read by Jay Kristoff and I am thankful for it because I found him and he’s now one of my favorite authors! He’ writes very beautifully but also NEVER fails to throw in a ridiculous amount of shocking twists and turns, and he also knows how to write a badass female protagonist! “Stormdancer” has great world building, a badass heroine, a talking animal companion, and an intense/action packed plot. What more can I ask for?

You can read my full review for “Stormdancer” here.


9.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I’m thankful for “The Diabolic” because it’s a book that really got me interested in reading more YA sci-fi, which I was always interested in but now it’s a favorite genre of mine! This book also had tons of action, another badass heroine, political intrigue, and a romance I could actually ship!

You can read my full review for “The Diabolic” here.


8.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I highly doubt there’s anything even close to it out there in the book world either. It’s got morally gray characters with super human powers along with an “edge of your seat” plot line, I need the sequel desperately. Schwab’s writing is absolutely fantastic and I will pretty much read anything and everything she writes. I’m thankful for her because she puts out so much unique and creative content!

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


7.) Night Film by Marisha Pessl

It’s a perfect blend of horror and mystery and thriller, seriously this book was like winning the jackpot for me. There was plenty of suspense and I just adored it to bits and pieces, I am really hoping Pessl will release something just as good soon!


6.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don’t think I need to explain why I’m thankful for this gem, this is such a powerful and beautifully written book and I think it deserves to be read by everyone.

You can read my full review of “The Hate U Give” here.


5.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I’m thankful I finally read this amazing book! It’s such an awesome blend of some of my favorite genres such as fantasy and sci-fi, but it’s also full of great characters (that I became overly attached to) and shocking plot twists. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!

You can read my full review of “Red Rising” here.


4.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This is a brutal book full of some great world building and even greater characters, there are some magical elements as well. This BOOK kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and it’s just great, I need to read the sequel!

You can read my full review of “An Ember in the Ashes” here.


3.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I honestly don’t know how to describe how great this book but it’s about children who came back from other worlds (similar to the Chronicles of Narnia) via different doorways and learn to cope at a home with other children. After reading books such as the Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter as a child I found this book extremely relatable and very magical as well.

You can read my full review of “Every Heart A Doorway” here.


2.) The Wicked + The Divine Series by Kieron Gillen

One of my absolute favorite graphic novels series I am SO thankful I found! The plot is intriguing, the characters are all amazing, and the art is stunning!

You can read my full review for Volume 1 here.


1.) Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I’m very thankful for this beautiful book right here not only because it’s incredibly diverse and has a TON of pop culture/geeky references but because the anxiety rep was so spot on. I thought it was so great to see a main character with anxiety being represented so well, since it’s something I suffer from as well and it was just very relatable.

You can read my full review of “Queens of Geek” here.

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What are some books you’re thankful for?

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

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading For SFF Lovers

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Hello fellow book lovers!

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

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week’s theme is “Back To School” which can be anything from books you read in school or books you think should be required reading etc. So I decided to go with books I feel are required reading for any Sci-fi and Fantasy lovers out there!

I do have full reviews for each of these titles (which I am not going to link this time around) if you’d like to check them out!

These are also in no particular order and there are equal amounts of sci-fi and fantasy books here!

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10.) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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This book is simply amazing and definitely something you should check out if you’re a fantasy lover! Schwab weaves together some incredible world building and an action-packed plot focusing on a main character who has the magical ability to travel between the 4 parallel versions of London.


9.) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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This is technically sci-fi but while reading you don’t get very many vibes of this except for the alien type creatures and some plot information you receive later on. It’s sci-fi though trust me! This is about a boy living in a town of men who can all hear everyone’s thoughts and when he learns a secret about said town he must flee for his life.

Very heartbreaking story but so, so good.


8.) Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Yes, another Schwab book! Basically if you’re a lover of SFF then just check her out period! This book is probably my favorite of hers and it involves morally ambiguous characters and super powers, what more could you ask for? It’s definitely a page turner!


7.) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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This is one of those books that may not be for everyone but with the super unique formatting and the literal non-stop action I can’t help but recommend it for all sci-fi lovers. It has everything from a self-aware AI to creepy space viruses! There really is never a dull moment.


6.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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 I honestly recommend this book ALL the damn time but here I am again with it! This book has such creative world building and the characters were amazing too, tons of plot twists, and plenty of action as well. All around amazing fantasy book with all of the fantasy elements I personally look for. Who doesn’t love talking animal companions?


5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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Another fantasy book I recommend all the time which is also very underrated, it has some very unique world building along with four different retellings weaved into the plot as well (Hua Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Jane Austen’s Emma). It’s got some very heart warming and heart breaking moments for sure, overall amazing story though!


4.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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This is sci-fi but the political intrigue and plots are very reminiscent of fantasy as well, the pacing is insanely fast and there’s non stop plot twists and action! You’ll also love the complete badass main character, Nemesis, who pretty much just kicks ass the entire book. She’s one tough cookie!


3.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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If I were going to sum up why this should be required reading it’d just be me screaming because of how awesome this book is.

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There are so many wonderful characters and it’s like a much more brutal and violent version of the Hunger Games except in space….well Mars but you get what I mean.


2.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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The world building is very Ancient Roman inspired, there’s loads of action,  fantastic characters, and plenty of shock worthy plot twists. This has all of the wonderful fantasy elements most of us look for and is extremely entertaining!


1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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Very short, sweet, and to the point this book is magical and actually has some great world building for how short the story is. It’s about a home for “chosen one” children who have been kicked out of their magical worlds and must learn how to cope back in reality.

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

Do you think these should be required reading for SFF fans?

What are some books you’d consider required reading for SFF lovers?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

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Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

review

“This life is not always what we think it will be,” Cain says. “You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

I have to say I was a little worried about this one since it’s a pretty hyped up book but it was definitely worth the hype in my opinion! This book is very intense and just all around amazing!

PLOT

As I said this book is intense that’s honestly the best word to describe it! It’s very fast-paced and action-packed with a plot that grows more and more complex as the story progresses. I actually really enjoyed reading both perspectives, Elias and Laia, because it added a lot of depth to both “sides” of the story even though I preferred Elias’ a bit more since it was more eventful. There’s plot twists, betrayals, secrets and even a little politics as well which all adds to the excitement.

I also really like the world building, I like the Roman inspired bits and pieces as well as a bit of the mythical and magical being tossed in for good measure. It’s also a pretty dark, nasty world as well which I loved (I’m not weird, I promise). The punishments and trials the characters face are gruesome and the threat of torture, violence, and even rape are almost constantly hanging over there heads. This book was EVIL but it also kept me turning pages because I was honestly terrified for the characters and that’s exactly what all the brutality in this book wanted was to shock and infuriate us, it succeeded!

That ending killed me though, talk about a cliffhanger! I am really curious to see how the story will further develop though since we were left with many, many questions regarding a bit of the world building and just what will happen next in general!

characters

The characters were easily the best part of the book and they aren’t the usual, run of the mill YA Fantasy characters either. I loved how complex, well developed, and unique each character was even the secondary characters were interesting! I also really loved and appreciated how realistically badass all of the women in the story were, not always with weaponry or fighting either but with their wits and compassion as well.

Laia isn’t the secretly badass heroine we always seem to see, she’s “weak” and “cowardly” and constantly thinks these things of herself as well. I feel like Laia’s trials were a lot more challenging for her because nothing came surprisingly natural for her, she wasn’t a “special snowflake” in disguise at all which was very refreshing! Overall I loved how her character felt very real she wasn’t weak or cowardly she was normal, I think it’s safe to say most of us would act the same way if we were put into similar, horrifying positions!

Elias was also a very likable protagonist and really differed from the usual YA male characters we see. Like most YA characters we see he’s trying to get away from his “fate/destiny/what’s expected of him” but what makes Elias’s story a little different is that he actually has really good reasons to feel this way that also makes him feel very real and relatable.

Like I said earlier, the secondary characters were really great as well but two that are well worth mentioning are Helene and the Commandant. Helene is a badass and I adored her ferociousness and skills, she’s just an all around great female character! As for the Commandant she is the head of Blackcliff Academy and she is a vicious bitch that I loved to hate, honestly she’s one of the most cold-hearted characters I’ve ever read about. Just so many great characters!

romance

First off I’d like to say that the romance in this book is some sort of weird love square? It’s odd but honestly I didn’t mind it at all, which is really saying something! I actually like all of the potential couples in the story and thought they’d all be great together which really kills me because if certain characters are together they break the other’s hearts, awwwww feelings!!!!!

I also like the fact that there weren’t really any other tropes concerning the romance, there was a case of instant attraction but NOT insta-love. The romance didn’t ever really feel like it was over-taking the main plot line either, it felt like a bigger part of the story after a while but never actually overshadowed anything else which I LOVED!

in conclusion

I actually really enjoyed this book and am eagerly waiting to get my hands on the next book because I need more of this world! Overall I think this was a wonderful, unique YA fantasy book.

What I Loved:

  • The characters, all of them!
  • Female representation
  • All of the action, fast-pacing, and brutality of the plot
  • The world building
  • The romance didn’t really take precedence over the plot
  • I like all of the potential romantic couples!

What I Didn’t Love:

  • I don’t really have anything to complain about!

RECOMMEND

Yes! I highly recommend checking this book out, especially if you’re a YA fantasy lover! It’s a very actio-packed, fast, unique book!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy