Down The TBR Hole #14

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

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

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Current TBR: 774


Book #130

The Calling by James Frey

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I bought this when it first came out when I was wondering around Target looking for a book to buy, I really regret blindly buying it now of course. I have zero interest in even reading it. Plus I don’t hear good things about the author…..

The Judgement: Go


Book #131

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I’m on the fence with this one because I think I will read it eventually (especially since my grandpa has been asking me if I’ve read it yet, forever) but just not soon. I have other books I’d rather get to.

The Judgement: Go


Book #132

White Cat by Holly Black

Date Added: July 31st, 2015

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I know, I know. I said I think Holly’s books aren’t really for me but I do own this so I want to at least try it….and also I want to try “The Cruel Prince” because of the hype.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #133

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Date Added: August 3rd, 2015

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I actually don’t really remember why I added this one…..hm.

The Judgement: Go


Book #134

In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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I absolutely adored “The Steep & Thorny Way” and loved Cat’s writing so I’m really excited to read another of her books!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #135

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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Yep another Cat Winters book….

The Judgement: Keep


Book #136

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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I love magic and magicians, it’s always a fun time for me so I’m excited to read this one!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #137

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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This one actually sounds pretty good, with robots and things, but I think I’ll just remove it until I read more of Clarke’s books and decide if I like her style first.

The Judgement: Go


Book #138

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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Okay so there are apparently PIRATES in this book so I’m going to keep it of course because I love me a good pirate story even if it’s minor pirates.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #139

Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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This one sounds interesting, people living in a dome in Antarctica! I got a cheap copy on my Kindle so I’ll give it a shot.

The Judgement: Keep

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

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

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

2018 Beat the Backlist TBR

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So I decided to join the Beat the Backlist challenge this year as I have SO many books I need to read that I own! My goal for this year is 60 books on my backlist TBR and hopefully I’ll get through more than that as well.

There are a couple 2017 releases on here but MOST of these were released even earlier than that, as I said I want to get through my older books. Here are the books I’m hoping to read!

You can sign up for 2018 Beat the Backlist here.


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Did you sign up for the Beat the Backlist challenge this year?

What are some of the books you’re hoping to read?

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

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

Book Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

review

Trigger Warnings: Racism, Sexism/Misogyny, Violence, & Police Brutality

Honestly, how do I even begin to write a review for an excellent book such as this?

A brilliantly written book that is not only incredibly powerful and packs a lot of punch in just 210 pages. I can already tell that “Dear Martin” and “The Hate U Give” are going to be compared and let me just tell you: read them both. They are both excellent and both deserve to be read as they handle important issues like police brutality and racism.

Of course I’d just like to say that I, being a white woman, can’t even begin to fully understand the issues described in this book nor can I fully give my opinion on them because of that. However, I do think this book is very important and I urge you all to give it a read. That being said you should definitely check out some #OwnVoices reviews of this book and if you know of any please feel free to link them below!

PLOT

Right off the bat I’d like to say that it was great to be reading from Justyce’s POV,  he’s just a great character but it was also nice to read from not only a male POV but also a POC POV in YA. I also really enjoyed the sections of the story in which Justyce wrote his letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. they added so much insight into not only his character but the issues that African Americans endure every day.

While this book focuses a lot on police brutality it also focuses a lot on racism micro-agressions as well. For example throughout the course of the story Justyce is faced with white male peers constantly making racist jokes and telling him to “quit being so sensitive” about them at the same time. Many of the side characters act atrociously in this perspective throughout the story too. I will say that one of the characters makes a bit of a turn around by the end of the story, which was nice to see.

One other thing that I mentioned in the trigger warnings was sexism and misogyny which we do see a bit of in this story and while it’s challenged I don’t think it was challenged enough. At one point during the story Justyce’s best friend, Manny, states that he isn’t interested in black girls because they’re “ghetto and full of attitude” and Justyce doesn’t want to date the girl he’s interested in because she’s white and his mother would not approve.

Aside from the plot the pacing is very fast and the writing is excellent, it’s easy to breeze through this one! I’ll also be looking forward to anything Nic Stone will be writing in the future as well!

Also my only real complaint is that it wasn’t longer!

characters

I really enjoyed Justyce’s character as well as his friend Manny, his love interest SJ, and their debate teacher whom they refer to as Doc. I thought they were all great characters and good people on top of that. I have to say though SJ, honestly, was my favorite I loved how fiesty and intelligent she was every time she would speak up about the racist and unintelligent remarks made by some of their classmates. I wish there would have been more development for a lot of the characters but with such a short novel that can’t really be helped.

As for some of the other characters such as Justyce’s peers, whom I don’t remember all of their names because they were horrible people, I loathed them. They were so blatantly ignorant and racist it was ridiculous and got to the point where I thought to myself “Do people actually talk this way?!” to which the answer is yes there are horrible people out there that do talk, think, and act like the people in this story.

romance

There was a bit of romance in “Dear Martin” and sometimes I felt it became too much of a focus in the plot and a little….overly dramatic. There’s a love triangle between Justyce, his on again, off again girlfriend Melo, and his friend SJ. Melo is clearly not a great girlfriend and manipulates Justyce whereas SJ is clearly perfect for him, so of course I spent the entire book rooting for Justyce x SJ! I really loved their relationship. So overall I did like the romance but like I said it got to be a little “too much” at times.

in conclusion

Overall thoughts: a fantastic book that my review simply cannot do justice (pun, unintentional!).

What I Loved:

  • Fast-pacing
  • Excellent writing
  • Fantastic characters
  • Important plot
  • Justyce’s romance with SJ

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Romantic sub plot got a little overwhelming and trope-y at times
  • Would have loved to have seen some of the sexism challenged more

RECOMMEND

I cannot recommend “Dear Martin” enough, it is an extremely important and powerful novel. I also recommend checking out “The Hate U Give” as well if you have already read this one and loved it!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

Down The TBR Hole #13

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

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

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Current TBR: 774

**** For some reason I skipped a book last week! But I’m back on track this week.****


Book #120

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get around to reading this but I’ll keep it for now since I own it. Plus I really loved “The Shining”!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #121

The Gift by James Patterson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I did enjoy “Witch and Wizard” when I read it AGES ago but I don’t really think I want to continue with the series anymore.

The Judgement: Go


Book #122

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Once again I read this series a while ago and enjoyed it but I don’t think I’ll ever continue with it.

The Judgement: Go


Book #123

School’s Out Forever by James Patterson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Again, read a while ago. Don’t want to continue with the series.

The Judgement: Go


Book #124

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Are you guys seeing a pattern here in this patch of my TBR? Series I started and won’t be finishing because I just didn’t really think “Divergent” was that great.

The Judgement: Go


Book #125

The Name of Stars by Maureen Johnson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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A sort of retelling of Jack the Ripper including a girl who can essentially see ghosts, at least that’s what it sounds like! It sounds interesting and I own a copy so I’d like to see if it’s any good.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #126

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I love Star Wars and I love zombies but I just don’t know about this one anymore. Maybe I’ll read it eventually or maybe not but for now meh.

The Judgement: Go


Book #127

I, Iago by Nicole Galland

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I freaking love “Othello” it is by far my favorite Shakespeare play and Iago is one of my absolute favorite villains. So of course I’d love to read anything related to the play!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #128

Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I really love the Assassin’s Creed games especially the Ezio ones and so I kind of wanted the book but I just don’t think I’ll read it. I’d rather go play the game!

The Judgement: Go


Book #129

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I tried reading this a really long time ago and just wasn’t very intrigued by it, I just don’t think Holly Black’s writing is for me. Although I will be trying “The Cruel Prince” because the hype is ridiculous.

The Judgement: Go

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

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

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

 

Answering Your Questions! 1,000 Follower Q&A

Top Ten Tuesday (37)

Again, one HUGE thank you to all of my followers, and to those of you who commented or left a question!

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Debby @ Always Booking, Asked:

Coffee or Tea?

Tea, I love tea and drink it pretty much daily. I really want to be a coffee person but I just don’t like the taste as much.


Theo @ Reading and Rambling, Asked:

What’s your absolute least favorite character you have EVER read?

Trust me there are definitely quite a few and it’s hard to pick between them for the absolute worst! I’m probably going to have to go with Zoe Redbird from the House of Night series, she was like Bella Swan but waaaay worse. It was constant stupid decisions!


Meghan @ Meghan’s Whimsical Explorations & Reviews, Asked:

What helped inspire you to create your blog name? 

So my friends are constantly teasing me for being “sassy” all the time, mostly it’s my tone when I’m being sarcastic (which is kind of a lot) so that’s why I went with the Sassy part of my blog name. Then of course I love books and I fully embrace my geekiness (with all things from movies to video games) so Book Geek!


Lilly @ Lair of Books, Asked:

Which new to you 2017 debut author are you most interested in following into 2018?

There were SO many but I’m gonna have to go with Angie Thomas, her book “The Hate U Give” was perfection and her writing is amazing. Super excited for her book this year “On the Come Up”!


Kayla @ Kayla’s Book Nook, Asked:

Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs personality test? If so, what was your result?

Yes, I am INFJ.

What is your Hogwarts house and do you own any merchandise pertaining to it?

Ravenclaw and I do have a shirt but I’m definitely wanting to get a lot more merch!


Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger, Asked:

If you could trade places with one character in any book, who would you trade places with?

Definitely Eowyn from “The Lord of the Rings” because she is a badass!

What is your favorite bookish item that you own (bookish shirts, mugs, prints, jewelry, etc.)?

Probably my canvas print of the Marauder’s Map that I have hanging on my wall, it’s gorgeous and of course I want to fill my space with Harry Potter related items…

What is one skill you’d like to learn (fictional or real life)?

Sword-fighting, more on the fictional side of things though.


Aria @ Snow White Hates Apples, Asked: 

What’s your most favorite and least favorite literary trope?

Favorite: Forbidden Romance

Least Favorite: Insta-love (it’s just so unrealistic, I like a slow burn romance!)


Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books, Asked:

Who would you want to write your autobiography?

Jay Kristoff, he’s my favorite author, and his writing is gorgeous. Also I feel like he could really embellish my autobiography….by adding swords and thunder tigers…..


Jess @ Beaucoupbooks, Asked:

Any advice for newbie bloggers?

I feel like I always give the same advice but it’s because it’s the best advice I feel I can give. So newbie bloggers: do not be afraid to interact with other bloggers! If they have 5 followers or 5,000 followers we all love chatting with each other so go for it!

And what was your favorite read of 2017?

Probably “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown, it had everything I love in a book!


Kelly @ Just Another Book in the Wall, Asked:

What made you decide to start blogging?

Well back in 2015 I finally joined Goodreads and while I was reading reviews and searching for new books I discovered book bloggers! Of course I didn’t really know much about it then but I figured what better way to express my love of books than to start my own? Plus I actually get to talk about them now, as I don’t really have any IRL family or friends that read.

And, who is your current favorite book blogger?

Destiny @ Howling Libraries, she’s not only super sweet and supportive but I’m always looking forward to her reviews and posts!


Orangutan Librarian, Asked:

Which book world would you most like to live in?

Hands down Middle Earth! I’d get all the adventure but also be relatively safe too, haha!


Misty @ Misty’s Book Space, Asked:

What was you favorite and least favorite read of 2017?

Favorite: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Least Favorite: The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood

What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2018?

I have to say I’m most looking forward reading “The Cruel Prince” since it is super hyped and everyone seems to love it!


Anna @ My Bookish Dream, Asked:

-Which fantasy world would you love to live in? What would you like to do there?

Middle Earth, for sure! As far as what I would do there…hmmm. I’d probably act like a tourist to be honest going and seeing the Shire, Edoras, and Minas Tirith. Also I would probably hunt down Legolas and cling to him.

-And which one would you definitely stay away from? Why?

Probably the world of “An Ember in the Ashes” because it is extremely brutal and I would more than likely not survive whatsoever!


Amanda @ Metal Phantasm Reads, Asked:

What’s a movie or music album you’re looking forward to this year?

I’m not really big into music albums but as for movies I’m probably most looking forward to Avengers: Infinity War!


Lucinda @ Lucinda is Reading, Asked:

What book/author never fails to make you smile?

Probably “Hyperbole and a Half” by Allie Brosh as I always find it hilarious and it really never fails in that!


Ignited Moth, Asked:

What book have you read that made you feel the widest range of emotions while reading it?

“Red Rising” by Pierce Brown, I was shocked, sad, happy, and enraged while reading that one! So many different plot twists!


Hannah @ Mortal Reader, Asked:

What was your favorite read of 2017?

“Red Rising” by Pierce Brown!


Zezee @ Zezee with Books, Asked:

What are 2 fantasy novels you’d highly recommend?

“Stormdancer” by Jay Kristoff and “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir


Michelle @ Book Adventures, Asked:

If you ever came across the mirror of Erised what do you think it would show?

This is such a creative question Michelle! I think the Mirror of Erised would show me happily in love and sitting, reading inside of a giant home library.

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The Sassy

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

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

So these are all actually books I have on my 2018 Beat the Backlist TBR (which has yet to be posted) so I am bound and determined to ACTUALLY read them this year! They deserve it!

These are in no particular order.

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10.) Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

I absolutely LOVED “The Darkest Corners” it was such a dark, twisted mystery/thriller especially for YA, there were times when I forgot I was even reading YA! After an amazing debut like that I want to read all of her books and this one is no exception, I just really need to get my butt into gear!


9.) The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I KNOW I NEED TO READ THIS SO VERY BADLY! I am ashamed of myself for not having read this yet! It’s pretty much a must read for fantasy fans and I am one, therefore I must read this. This is the year!


8.) Because You Love To Hate Me by Various Authors

I am all for tales from the villain’s POV which all of these are, plus I like a good collection of short stories! I have heard mixed things about this one but I’m still excited to read it! I am so terrible, I’ve been meaning to read this for months. Literally.


7.) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I bought this right when it released and still haven’t read it. Why am I like this? I love Laini’s writing and I need to get lost in her newest fantasy creation! Soon, my friends, soon.


6.) A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I do have a sort of excuse for this one but also not really because I own both this and “A Conjuring of Light”. I feel like I need to read this at exactly the right moment because I do not want to start reading and not be ready or have time to be fully immersed in this one, it deserves my attention 100%!


5.) The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

I’ve hear tons of good things about this book and I got it a while ago for Christmas so honestly I have no excuses for myself since I own it! It sounds super good and I love a good fantasy with interesting world building!


4.) The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I finally got the complete box set of the whole series so I am fully prepared to re-enter the Percy Jackson world. Now I just need to get to reading it…..


3.) Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

I borrowed this from the library, didn’t finish it, brought it back, bought a cheap copy on Book Outlet, and then proceeded to still not read it. I love pirates, I want to read all the pirate books, so I am FINALLY going to read it this year!


2.) Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Okay this book comes highly recommended by a ton of people and I’ve started it and stopped a couple of times just because I had other things to read. But this year I’m finally going to finish it, maybe during the summer since it gives off that vibe with the cover.


1.) Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

This is a book about an abusive relationship and while that may be hard to read through I think it’s going to be a very honest and important book about abusive relationships. I’m really excited to finally read it plus I think the cover is stunning.

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

Did you mean to get to any of these last year as well?

Are you planning on reading any of them this year?

What were some of YOUR books you meant to get to in 2017 and didn’t?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

January New Releases I’m Excited For!

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It’s a new year and of course that means tons of new books! January is LOADED with new releases and I can’t wait to get my hands on a lot of them.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Release Date: January 2nd

Everyone has been raving about this book, I don’t think there’s anyone out there who ISN’T loving this book! I also love this black and gold cover from Barnes & Noble and I think that’s the one I’ll be getting. I need to read more Fae books!


Everless by Sara Holland
Release Date: January 2nd

This one is like a fantasy mixed with the movie ‘In Time’ if you’ve ever seen that, people use time off of their lives as currency. I am down for this!


Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Release Date: January 2nd

Well I already have the Wonder Woman book so I need the Batman one, it’s just good manners.


Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
Release Date: January 2nd

A dystopian, western featuring a girl who fights against a corrupt city. I like the blend of two very distinct and different genres, I think it will prove to be a very unique book.


Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking
Release Date: January 2nd

I was lucky to recieve an e-galley of this book and really enjoy it. It’s about Valkyries who are put in charge of slaying the other immortals on Earth, including many different supernatural beings from many different mythologies around the world.

You can read my full review here. 


A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole
Release Date: January 2nd

I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! It reminded me a lot of the movie ‘Avatar’ with the lush flora and fauna on a far off planet that a group of humans now inhabit along with the indiginous people. The world building is seriously creative, unique, and amazing.

You can read my full review here. 


The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser 
Release Date: January 2nd

This one is about a girl who finds a book that whatever she writes in it comes true. Sounds very “Inkheart” and also kind of like “Death Note” hopefully not the latter, haha!


Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: January 9th

This is being described as Indiana Jones in space and that right there has me sold.


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Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
Release Date: January 9th

The third book in this series I’m excited to read about one of the “nonsense” worlds and hope that McGuire gives us more books!


Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
Release Date: January 16th

While I have yet to finish the last 2 books I am 100% ready for this one too so I can binge!


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Release Date: January 16th

All I know is this is about an unsolved kidnapping mystery and a new kid attending the school where it happeend tries solving it but also a new crime that has appeared as well. Sounds pretty good though.


Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Release Date: January 23rd

I’m SUPER excited for this one because 1.) the cover is gorgeous and 2.) it’s a fantasy about a necromancer and it’s also LGBT!


Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra
Release Date: January 23rd

This fantasy sounds badass, it’s about a sisterhood of elite warriors that use telepathic blades. Awesome.


Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Release Date: January 23rd

This one seems like a really fun and cute read featuring POC and also an asexual main character


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Release Date: January 30th

This one is a about a girl whose grandmother wrote a book of dark fairy tales and when her mother is kidnapped by something that claims to be from the land portrayed in those tales she is determined to rescue her. It SOUNDS great but I haven’t been hearing great things about it so far, so eehhhh.


Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
Release Date: January 30th

A high fantasy about a girl who marries a king to ensure the safety of her family and her people but finds out her husband is hell bent on destroying Elementae, people who have control over the elements, and discovers she has these abilities. Sounds really good though!


HONORABLE MENTIONS
(aka not on my own TBR)

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Meet Cute by Various Authors
Release Date: January 2nd

Thunderhead (Arc of the Scyth #2) by Neal Shusterman
Release Date: January 9th

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Release Date: January 16th

Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
Release Date: January 16th

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

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy