ARC Review: A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

a title here (21)description

Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.

But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.

With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

review

****Huge thank you to HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!****

Trigger Warning: Animal Abuse & Experimentation

This book really surprised me in the best possible way, I was not expecting to love it this much!

PLOT

“A Conspiracy of Stars” is a bit slow to start as it slowly introduces us to the characters and the planet of Faloiv, however, world building and plot were definitely enough to keep my interest regardless of the slower pacing. The pacing and action really does pick up in the second half of the book though, there were some great twists!

As I mentioned there are some pretty great twists in this story, although many of them I found to be predictable but that didn’t make them any less enjoyable! However, the main focus of the story is on Octavia and her friends who are interns in the labs studying the local fauna. That’s all I want to really say since I don’t want to spoil anything! And that cliffhanger at the end was awesome and I will definitely be anticipating the sequel!

The world building was absolutely fantastic in this book, it’s very unique and creative but I would say it’s safe to compare it to Avatar (the movie, not the Last Airbender!) with the native people, Faloii, and native plants and creatures. I was enthralled with the planet of Faloii, there was a lot of detail and thought put into it and I really can’t wait for the sequel so I can learn more!

However, since a lot of the book focuses on the human settlers on Faloiv and their scientific experiments it can get very emotional at times. Some of the scientists are cruel and subject these poor creatures to cruel experiments, it’s heart-breaking. That being said there are good characters that do everything in their power to help though.

I also thought the writing flowed well and was very descriptive, although it would have been nice to get some more character description.

characters

While I really liked the characters in this story I just felt like they were a little…distant at times. I do think that Octavia especially could have used a bit more personality as the main character and the side characters could have used a little more development too.

Octavia and her friends, in general, were all pretty likable and sweet. They must be protected at all costs because of their adorableness! I thought the friendships were portrayed positively and well, they were all very loyal to each other.

Even with the lack of character descriptions there were some hints at diversity in the characters too, such as many characters being described as having brown skin and one character who has two dads.

romance

There is a bit of romance in this book and it definitely doesn’t take the spotlight at all, which is nice especially in YA. It’s also more slow burn and develops from a friendship, they were pretty cute!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • World building
  • Plot was interesting
  • The writing was good
  • Bit of diversity
  • Well portrayed friendships
  • Cute, slow burn romance that doesn’t take over the plot

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Slower pacing
  • Characters could have used a bit more complexity

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly recommend checking this book out! It’s beautifully written and is an incredibly unique YA Sci-Fi that really breaks the mold in my opinion.

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

The Sassy

 

2017 End of the Year Survey

Best books of 2017

What better day to do this than the literal last day of the year? This is an annual survey created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner so go check it out if you’d like to join in on this as well!

my page divider

Copy of Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Number Of Books You Read: 83
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (Young Adult)

Copy of Top Ten Tuesday.png

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

Copy of 1200px x 800px – Untitled Design

My favorite 2017 release has got to be “The Hate U Give” and my favorite backlist book is “Red Rising”, either way both books pretty much emotionally destroyed me.

(You can read my full reviews of The Hate U Give & Red Rising here, they are mentioned a lot throughout this survey!)


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Image result for the beast is an anima

Yep, with the gorgeous cover and the fantasy/horror vibes I got from the synopsis I thought this one was going to be waaaay better but in the end it was just really messy, slow, and confusing.

(You can read my full review here.)


 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Related image

There are a couple but I’ll have to go with “Queens of Geek” since I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it weren’t for all the glowing reviews. I usually hate contemporary books and definitely ones that are romance driven but this one had so much diversity and geekiness that it ended up being a ton of fun!

(You can read my full review here.)


 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I am not sure whatsoever since I push a lot of books and also nobody really tells me if they read something or not? So. No idea. ****Pssst, if you’re reading this and DID read something because of me please let me know!****


 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Series Starter: “Red Rising” because I am 100% ready to devour the rest of the trilogy!

Sequel: “The Empress” I was not prepared to be blown away with this one but I was, so many brutal plot twists!

Series Ender: None


 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Image result for the hate u give

I’m going to have to go with Angie Thomas the author of “The Hate U Give” because I will definitely be adding her books in the future she writes like a PRO!


7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Related image

Definitely “Queens of Geek”, again. As I already mentioned it was not only contemporary but romance which are two genres I don’t really go for.


 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Image result for an ember in the ashes

I could easily go with “Red Rising” again but I’ll go with “An Ember in the Ashes” since that one was pretty much CONSTANT action and I definitely could not put it down!

(You can read my full review here)


 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Image result for every heart a doorway

I don’t really re-read books ever because my TBR is ridiculous and I like to devote time to that instead but just to pick one for the sake of the question I’ll go with “Every Heart a Doorway”.

(You can read my full review here)


10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

This is an ARC I have so it isn’t out yet but technically I read it this year and the cover is just gorgeous.


11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Image result for twtd lucifer

Lucifer from “The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act”. She definitely made an impression on me in just one graphic novel and she’ll continue to be a favorite of mine!

(Full series review here)


 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Image result for enchantment of ravens

“An Enchantment of Ravens” was very beautifully written! It reminded me very much of Laini Taylor’s writing style.

(You can read my full review here)


13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Image result for the hate u give

DEFINITELY “The Hate U Give”! This is a book that really makes you think and take things into a different perspective.


 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

Image result for red rising

“Red Rising”! Why did I wait so long to read this masterpiece?!


 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.” – Angie Thomas, “The Hate U Give”


16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: Pretty Deadly, Vol 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue Deconnick

Longest: Night Film by Marisha Pessl


17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Image result for the empress sj kincaid

There are actually a few (Red Rising and An Ember in the Ashes among them) but I think the book that honestly shocked me the most was “The Empress” because THAT book was constantly throwing twists at me, at one point there were 3 different twists on a single page and my mind was just reeling!

(You can read my full review here)


18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Image result for gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

Probably going to have to go with Monty + Percy in “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue”.

(You can read my full review here)


19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Umm….is it weird if I say Darrow and Sevro as Howler besties? Because that’s what I’m going with…


20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Image result for lost boy christina henry

I absolutely loved Henry’s horror Alice in Wonderland retellings and I adored her Peter Pan one as well, “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook”!

(You can read my full review here)


21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Image result for the night circus

The closest thing would probably have to be “The Night Circus” which literally every blogger has pushed on me! I loved it though!


22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

I’ve said this before and it’s kind of odd but Sevro from “Red Rising”….I don’t know I just really liked his character!


23. Best 2017 debut you read?

Image result for the hate u give

Once again “The Hate U Give”!


24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Image result for an ember in the ashes

“An Ember in the Ashes” had a very well fleshed out world and also is full of hardships and even magic.


25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Image result for gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” was so much fun to read, Monty’s antics were hilarious at times!


26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Image result for red rising

Many, I actually get really emotional. But I was hardcore ugly crying multiple times while reading “Red Rising” especially at the beginning….


27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Image result for the hollow girl

There are actually quite a few but I’m going with “The Hollow Girl” because it only has 162 ratings on Goodreads, that’s it! I loved the diversity, the magic, the revenge arc, and the main character. It definitely isn’t for everyone but it’s a great book.

(You can read my full review here)


28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Image result for the empress sj kincaid

“The Empress” because I was put through so many brutal twists that I feel crushed for sure, especially after the cliffhanger at the end!


29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

Image result for the seafarers kiss

Maybe “The Seafarer’s Kiss” because not only does it have an F/F romance but it’s also a Little Mermaid retelling AND filled with Norse mythology. Definitely pretty unique.

(You can read my full review here.)


30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Image result for there's someone in your house

“There’s Someone Inside Your House”, I just feel really cheated.

Copy of Top Ten Tuesday (2)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

Howling Libraries! Destiny has been an absolutely fantastic blogging buddy and I am so fortunate to have met her this year!


2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

Okay so I wrote a ton of reviews and I don’t every really feel like one is better than the other but I guess here’s a few of books I enjoyed a lot.


3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

My post on how to request physical review copies!


4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Top Ten Tuesday is pretty much always my favorite meme to participate in!


5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Um, I guess I’m not really sure! I don’t remember anything really substantial happening to me so maybe I’ll go with getting approved for some ARCs on Edelweiss because I felt I never got approved on there!


6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Slumps! I had this happen a few times this year where I would either be in a reading or blogging slump and it’s definitely a challenge to get back on track.

(But here is a post I made on how to beat them!)


7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Halloween Book Tag post, which is the most popular every year for some reason! I have no idea why!


8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Fantastic Book Settings and Where To Find Them, mostly because I laughed forever at my title…..


9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I don’t really have one….


10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Just my Goodreads Reading Challenge which was set at 80 and I did finish it!

Copy of Top Ten Tuesday (3)

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

Image result for strange the dreamer

STRANGE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR. I don’t know why I never got around to reading this one, I am ashamed!


2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

Image result for the boneless mercies

“The Boneless Mercies” because I NEED a feminist Beowulf retelling!!!!


3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Image result for children of blood and bone

Probably “Children of Blood and Bone”, it’s a diverse YA fantasy and sounds so amazing and unique!


 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

Image result for obsidio

“Obsidio” by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff!


5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Cut down on my TBR because it’s out of hand, seriously! I have way too many unread books on my shelves and a terrible book buying habit.


6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

“A Conspiracy of Stars” it’s seriously amazing you guys, it’s a bit slow but really picks up in the second half and the world building is amazing (it’s a YA Sci-Fi).

my page divider

Here’s to  a Happy New Year filled with reading books, everyone!

The Sassy

Least Favorite Books of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (33).jpg

These are all going to be books I read and ended up rating anywhere from 1 to 2.5 stars, so the baddest of the bad for me! Its kind of nice since my list of favorites is waaaay longer than this one!

****PLEASE try and remember that these are my opinions and if you enjoyed these books, that’s great but they just weren’t for me.****

If you would like to see my list of Favorite Book of 2017 please click here!

These are in no particular order.

my page divider

Untitled design (9)

Traveler by L.E. DeLano

This one was just incredibly slow, boring, and at times confusing. It’s about two characters in an insta-lovey romance who can swap places with their other selves in alternate realities, hence the confusion I felt the entire time I was reading. Plus it’s filled with tropes.

You can read my full review here. 


The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins

This book was just one big NOOOOOO for me. Imagine every trope that you hate in YA and this book has it, throw in a terrible romance, action-less plot, and some cringe-worthy dialogue and you have “The Dragon’s Price”. Honestly the only redeeming thing in this book were the dragons and even then they weren’t that great.

You can read my full review here. 


The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

I am still upset that I didn’t enjoy this because the cover is GORGEOUS and synopsis sounded interesting. However, it was just kind of a mess. It was incredibly slow and not really about anything at all, I honestly couldn’t tell you what the point of the entire story was or even make sense of the things that did happen.

You can read my full review here. 


The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

I wanted a fast paced mystery/thriller with some dark gritty twists. However, all this book is about is dysfunctional sexual relationships and not really a mystery at all. The characters were completely dull and uninteresting and I really, really disliked them. Was it too much to ask for an actual plot instead of using sexual abuse as the plot device?

You can read my full review here. 


One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

This is an unpopular opinion, I know, but I really didn’t enjoy this book. I found it to be very predictable and ultimately very boring and at times ridiculous. I mean come on, a mystery is supposed to keep you guessing and shocked..not this.

You can read my full review here. 


Dare Me by Megan Abbott

I read this after I really liked Abbott’s other book “You Will Know Me” which was pretty fast paced and full of twists. However, THIS book was incredibly boring and slow. The mystery was boring and predictable and the characters were all wet mops, I skimmed a lot of this just so I could be done with it. Not to mention there is a TON of slut shaming along with cheating and statutory rape.


Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

I like alien-invasion books, they can be fun BUT this one was just a mess. It was slow, everything that happened was just way too convenient, Raven (the MC) was awful she treated everyone like crap all the time, it was predictable, and the romance was cringey.

You can read my full review here. 


This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

Yet another YA mystery/thriller that fell flat. It was predictable, slow, the romance was verbally/emotionally abusive and portrayed as not being so, and the plot itself made zero sense.

You can read my full review here.


Untitled design (10)


No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear

Extremely flat, underdeveloped characters that made constantly stupid decisions and were also pretty self absorbed. The plot itself was slow and boring and ultimately had nothing to do with “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote as it was meant to.

You can read my full review here. 


The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

This was described as being a psychological thriller and it just isn’t, it does represent mental illness but in no way was this thrilling or suspenseful. The big reveal at the end while not predictable was extremely anti-climatic.


There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

I really did want to enjoy this book but it was just…boring for me. It was way more focused on the romance than anything horror/murder-y, the murderer is revealed way too early, no shocking twists, everything was just very anti-climatic to me.


Final Girls by Riley Sager

I haven’t fully decided what I want to rate this but it definitely won’t be high. I did like the ending so points for that but overall I felt this book focused on all the wrong points, plus it was PAINSTAKINGLY slow and boring all the way up until the end. Disappointing since this is based on a great trope.

my page divider

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

What were some of your least favorite reads of 2017?

Let me know in the comments! 

The Sassy

Down The TBR Hole #11

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

If you missed my other posts of Down the TBR Hole here they are:

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!

my page divider

Current TBR: 779


Book #101

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Image result for the madman's daughter

I haven’t read many Gothic books so I’d like to keep this on my TBR just to give it a try, plus I like anything remotely horror-y. I am a little leery about it though since I think it might be full of tropes like insta-love and a love triangle.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #102

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Related image

This one is a dystopian about a girl who protects her and her mother’s pond from all outsiders as water is a precious resource. It actually sounds really interesting and while I don’t have a copy yet I do want one!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #103

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Image result for stardust by neil gaiman

I’m pretty keen on reading a bunch of Neil Gaiman’s books so I’ll be keeping “Stardust” for now.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #104

Tsarina by Nelle J. Patrick

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Image result for tsarina nelle j patrick

This is fantasy and Russian historical fiction all rolled into one so I’m really excited to read it as Russia is a setting I love to see explored.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #105

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Image result for stitching snow

This is a sci-fi Snow White retelling which sounds awesome but I just have zero interest in it anymore and the reviews for it are kind of “meh”.

The Judgement: Go


Book #106

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Image result for perfect ruin

I already own a copy and it seems interesting especially with the whole concept of a floating city!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #107

Charming by Elliot James

Date Added: July 27th, 2015

Image result for charming elliott james

I don’t really know why I ever added this because I’m really not that big of a fan of urban fantasy. So I’ll definitely be getting rid of this.

The Judgement: Go


Book #108

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

Date Added: July 28th, 2015

Image result for the mirror empire

I’m kind of iffy about this one still because on the one hand I don’t really want to read it SUPER badly but it does sound really interesting so I kind of want to give it a try. See? I’m terrible, this is why my TBR is so high.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #109

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Date Added: July 28th, 2015

Image result for the last wish

This is another one I debated heavily about but I really do love the Witcher games (who doesn’t?) so I kind of would love to read one of the books.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #110

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Date Added: July 28th, 2017

Image result for the girl of fire and thorns

I feel like with this YA Fantasy that people either loved it or hated it, I don’t think I’ll buy a copy but rather borrow it from the library just in case since my opinion could go either way.

The Judgement: Keep

my page divider

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

ARC Review: Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1) by Amanda Hocking

a title here (20)

description

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos. 

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

review

*** Big thank you to St. Martin’s Press for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review***

This ended up being such a quick and entertaining read! Everything just flowed so well and I absolutely devoured this!

PLOT

The story is an urban fantasy that mixes together many different mythologies but the main one mostly being Norse since the story revolves around Valkyries who were created to kill immortals. However, there are so many different supernatural creatures portrayed including your basic vampires, demons, and angels but we also get to see some more unique ones such as gorgons, aswangs, and jorogumos! I thought the world building, in this case, was fantastic it was fun seeing such a blend of supernatural beings! I did want a little more information and details on the world but I’m sure I’ll get more in the sequel.

Apart from the world building, another aspect I really enjoyed was the pacing. This was an incredibly fast paced book, I was hooked right off the bat and all the way up until the end. The writing and dialogue flowed well and kept my interest, I’ll definitely be checking out more of Hocking’s books!

There also wasn’t any lack of action and twists, and be forewarned the book ends off with a pretty brutal cliffhanger!

characters

I also really enjoyed all of the characters and while I think they could have used a bit more development and complexity I still thought they were all a lot of fun.

Malin, our MC, is a badass Valkyrie who is also smart and stubborn at times. I liked how feisty she is, however, at times I felt she could be a little….fickle since she seems to not really know what it is that she wants.

Then there’s Quinn, the ex-lover, and Asher the new guy and both are love interests. I liked both characters and I could easily see how Malin fell for both of them. Basically Quinn and Asher are both badasses as well.

Speaking of badass….Malin’s mother, Marlow, was also really badass. She’s a fellow Valkyrie and is incredibly focused on her job and doesn’t really open up ever, even with her own daughter. I kind of had a love/hate relationship with Marlow.

There was also a strew of many other side characters that I loved as well such as Malin’s best friend who is also a witch and her pet Wolpertinger (which is the most adorable thing ever).

romance

I wouldn’t say I loved the romance in this book but I also didn’t hate it either but there is a bisexual love triangle so there is that. There is a bit of insta love and there definitely is a love triangle, but as I mentioned I didn’t mind it too much. Malin’s attraction to both Quinn and Asher was believable as both characters could offer her something different, however, I don’t think Quinn treated Malin the best though. I’m here for Malin x Asher!

in conclusionWhat I Loved: 

  • World building
  • Fast paced, action packed plot
  • Unique supernatural/mythological creatures

What I Didn’t Love: 

  • Characters could have used a bit more development
  • Romance was “meh”

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend checking this book out! Especially if you love urban fantasy, mythology, or just a fun, action-packed read!

• Add on Goodreads!
• Purchase: Amazon – B&N – Book Depository

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

 

WEBSITE • GOODREADS • FACEBOOK • TWITTER

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

 

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

Of course there are already TONS of 2018 releases to look forward too but these are the most exciting to me! These are books coming out all throughout 2018 and not limited to a month or half of the year, I do posts every month of the upcoming releases so you can always check those out as well.

These are in no particular order!

Untitled design(15)

10.) The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

After reading “Queens of Geek” and absolutely freaking loving it, I’m now fully prepared to read everything Jen Wilde writes. This is about a teen drummer who must navigate family problems the paparazzi, and coming out as bisexual. It sounds amazing!


9.) Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This is so close to being released now and I am SO excited because it’s described as being Indiana Jones in SPACE!


8.) Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

I did enjoy Alameda’s other book “Shutter” and I can never get enough of YA horror! Plus it’s inspired by the Alien franchise which are some of my favorite movies.


7.) The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

So far Tucholke’s books haven’t really agreed with me but I am so ridiculously excited for a feminist Beowulf retelling that I will still chance it!


6.) The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Three sisters battle each other for the crown, I mean what could sound more awesome in a fantasy? I love fantasy filled with politics, too.


5.) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I’m so freaking excited for this, honestly. It’s a diverse fantasy (which we need more of, seriously) about a land thats magic has disappeared and the magic wielders hunted down. Zelie must now try and bring the magic back with the help of a rogue princess. Also hints of a forbidden romance, which I’m here for.


4.) Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women and Witchcraft by Various Authors

I AM HERE FOR THE WITCHY ANTHOLOGY!!!!


3.) Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

A sci-fi with two badass heroines who become cyborg soldiers, essentially. I feel like this is going to be as badass as it sounds, I hope so anyways.


2.) Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

To be fair the real reason I’m even adding this is because it’s a fantasy with pirates. I need ALL the pirate books in my life.


1.) Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

A Viking-age inspired fantasy book and just like with the pirates I am all for Viking books!

my page divider

Are you excited for any of these books as well?

What are some 2018 releases you’re looking forward to?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

ALL My Favorite Books of 2017!

Top Ten Tuesday (32)

Prepare for a long post guys because there’s quite a few books I loved reading this past year! I will also be doing posts for all of my “meh or liked but not loved” books as well as all of my least favorite books of 2017, so keep an eye out!

These are in no specific order and I will link reviews if I have them!

my page divider

Untitled design (5)

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

This book was AMAZING! It was the perfect blend of horror, suspense, and mystery and for being such a long book I absolutely flew right through it. I really loved how dark it became and the mystery was very unpredictable as well, it was interesting learning more and more about the cult horror director that went off the grid and whose daughter committed suicide….or something worse happened to her. This is the perfect book for a rainy day, you won’t be bored!


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

I loved Chupeco’s other book “The Girl From the Well” and was super excited to read her new dark fantasy book, which didn’t disappoint. The world building was insanely creative with the different magics, Tea’s necromancy, and of course the dangerous monsters! It could get slow in some parts but I thought the world was just so interesting I had to keep reading.

You can read my full review here. 


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

One of the most popular books ever and one that everyone has been telling me to read forever too! This was such a magical and atmospheric books I have ever read, it was simply beautiful. I loved all of the acts of magic displayed in the story and usually I don’t enjoy more romance driven books but this was just amazing.


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

I have a sort of morbid curiosity about cults which is what this book is more or so about. I thought Minnow was a great, strong character and the bits of flashbacks she had back to her time with the cult were interesting as well.

You can read my full review here. 


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don’t think I need to really hype this book up any more than it already is but trust me when I say it’s powerful and 100% worth ALL of the hype.

You can read my full review here. 


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I’m always up for “Peter Pan” retellings and this one is excellent. It’s about the romance between Tiger Lily and Peter before Wendy shows up and it’s told from the perspective of Tinker Bell. It’s a very dark, grim, and sad version of Neverland but incredibly well done.

You can read my full review here. 


Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I finally read this! It was perfection! It’s got both fantasy and sci-fi elements and the action, twists, and characters are all amazing! I seriously have nothing bad to say about this book.

You can read my full review here. 


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This is actually really comparable to “Red Rising” it’s set in a very brutal and Roman inspired world that’s also filled with bits of magic. The twists are crazy in this story and I absolutely loved Elias and Laia.

You can read my full review here. 


Untitled design (6)


Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This is probably one of the most diverse and relatable books I’ve ever read. It’s about children that come back from magical worlds and go to a home to cope with being back in reality. It’s a quick read as well.

You can read my full review here. 


Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles by J.M. Sullivan

A very Resident Evil style Alice in Wonderland retelling that’s fast paced and creative. It’s also pretty underrated I recommend checking it out!

You can read my full review here. 


You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

While not something I would normally read it’s a great fast paced mystery/thriller about a family entangled within the web of gymnastics politics.

You can read my full review here. 


Paper Girls Volumes 1 & 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

An interesting graphic novel series about a bunch of paper girls who end up facing some alien type creatures as well as time travel. It’s kind of reminiscent of Stranger Things.


The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

This was actually surprisingly good, it’s full of magic, badass women, and it’s very fast paced.

You can read my full review here.


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

I am a HUGE fan of Henry’s horror retellings and this one was no exception. It’s a Peter Pan retelling from James Hook’s POV and it gets very dark but it’s also incredibly creative.

You can read my full review here.


The Wicked + The Divine Volumes 1-4 by Kieron Gillen

Gods reincarnated every 90 years in the forms of pop stars, how can this go wrong? These graphic novels are amazing and the art is absolutely gorgeous.

You can read my series review here.


Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Another surprise for me this year! This was a horror/sci-fi book about a group of teens with sleeping disorders becoming trapped inside their nightmares.

You can read my full review here. 


Untitled design (7)


Alex + Ada Volumes 1-3 by Jonathan Luna

A short little series of graphic novels about a man and an android and a forbidden romance.


Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick

A western graphic novel about the daughter of Death himself. The art was pretty and the plot, while confusing at times, was very interesting and fast paced.


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

A very diverse book about romances and friendships at SupaCon. I loved the anxiety rep and the characters were amazing.

You can read my full review here. 


Monstress Volumes 1 & 2 by Marjorie Liu

AMAZING art and plot, these graphic novels are seriously perfection. I loved the world building the most I think, there’s so much going on and it’s all interesting.


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

This story is fast paced, well written, and hilarious. I also loved Percy and Monty’s relationship plus the multiple European settings didn’t hurt either!

You can read my full review here. 


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

A fast paced fantasy story featuring a genderfluid thief who enters a competition to become one of the queen’s assassins. It’s so freaking good too!

You can read my full review here. 


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

A revenge tale about a Romani girl who was brutally assaulted and must collect the body parts of her assailants through witchcraft in order to save her friend’s life.

You can read my full review here.


The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

This is a pretty fast paced mystery thriller full of twists about a girl who fakes being psychic and ends up helping the police try to find the town’s missing golden girl.

You can read my full review here. 


Untitled design (8)


The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

This is a slower book that concentrates more on the characters but there’s a F/F romance and the world building was very interesting.

You can read my full review here. 


Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

A surprisingly scary story about some girls facing off against Bloody Mary! It’s a quick read and actually very entertaining.

You can read my full review here. 


Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

This is sort of magical realism and while I felt a few things weren’t explained it was a great coming of age adventure with some great characters and a great mystery.

You can read my full review here. 


The Empress by S.J. Kincaid

An amazing sequel that was just as fast paced and twisted as the first! I was not fully prepared for all of the plot twists!

You can read my full review here. 


Down Among The Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

I loved learning more about Jack and Jill and their world, the Moors. I’m excited to read more of these short novels as the world building and characters never seem to disappoint!


An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

The writing in this story was just gorgeous as was the world building and romance, it’s such a fun book! Also if you love the Fae you’ll probably love this one as well!

You can read my full review here. 


Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Just as amazing as “The Hate U Give” about a boy who writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in order to deal with the issues and difficulties he faces every day as a young African American man. Very powerful and very important.


Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

This was actually a lot of fun! There are lots of different mythologies included in the world building along with the main mythology of the Valkyries, it’s also very fast paced.


Image result for a conspiracy of stars olivia cole

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole 

While this book was a tish bit on the slower side I thought it was still so, so good. It’s very much like Avatar (the movie not the show) and the planet of Failov is full of amazing creatures and peoples. It’s so freaking interesting!

my page divider

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

Down The TBR Hole #10

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

If you missed my other posts of Down the TBR Hole here they are:

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!

my page divider

Current TBR: 783

Book #91

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

Date Added: July 22nd, 2015

Image result for an inheritance of ashes

This one sounded interesting but it hasn’t ever really interested me much after I added it and it has received “meh” reviews.

The Judgement: Go


Book #92

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

Date Added: July 22nd, 2015

Image result for half the world joe abercrombie

I absolutely loved “Half a King” so I am definitely going to get around to reading the sequel, so many plot twists!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #93

Dark Shimmer by Donna Jo Napoli

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for dark shimmer

This is a dark sort of retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White that’s also set in medieval Venice. It sounds super unique and I already own a copy.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #94

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for walk on earth a stranger

A western about a girl who has the ability to see gold veins during the Gold Rush era. It sounds good and I do like westerns so hopefully it turns out!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #95

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for the emperor's blades

I love fantasy especially fantasy with political intrigue which this book sounds like it has plenty of! I own a copy of this as well.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #96

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for grave mercy

This one I debate a little back and forth on because it sounds good but I’m not sure if it will be good. It sounds like it could be a little trope-y but also assassins are awesome.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #97

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for blood red road

This sounds very “Mad Max”-esque which I like. I own a copy of this as well!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #98

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for the declaration by gemma malley

I tried reading this and it was just kind of boring and I kept it on my TBR because I own it but eeeehhhhhhh I really don’t want to finish it.

The Judgement: Go


Book #99

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for genesis bernard beckett

A very, very short book that’s only 150 pages long! Its a sci-fi book about a futuristic Utopian city that’s holding old secrets and a girl races to uncover them. Honestly at only 150 pages I’ll keep it even if it isn’t as good as I hope it will be.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #100

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Date Added: July 23rd, 2015

Image result for ultraviolet by rj anderson

While a few people seemed to have enjoyed this I just lost interest in reading this, it’s about a girl who is put into a mental institution for murdering a girl. I think there’s a spoilery element that comes into play but I won’t mention it, I just don’t think I’m ever going to get around to reading this.

The Judgement: Go

my page divider

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

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

a title here(6)description

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

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. 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—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight 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.

review

Wow, color me surprised. I was not expecting to end up loving this as much as I did! I’m kind of regretting that I didn’t buy myself a copy of my own, the cover is insanely gorgeous and so is the story! I’m usually not one for more romance driven books but this was just really great.

This review is going to be a bit shorter than usual as this book was short and I don’t want to spoil anything!

PLOT

I loved the overall story so much, just everything about it! I thought, for as short of a book that it was, the world building was also great! I really liked how the Fair Ones in this story followed a lot of the same traditional rules of Fairies in folk lore such as not being able to touch iron, using glamours, and not being able to lie. It made the story all the more interesting! I also liked the idea of the Craft, such as cooking and painting, that the Fair Ones cannot do and therefore rely on humans to do for them. I thought the world building was enjoyable, creative, and well explored.

The pacing could get off track every now and then but I thought overall it was well done and quick. This is a journey book so it could get slower in spots, keep that in mind!

Overall I did enjoy the plot as well, Isobel being swept away by Rook, they got themselves into many different situations and I definitely was never bored. There were also quite a few twists and turns, were any completely jaw-dropping and shocking? Not really but I was entertained! However, towards the end I felt the story ended a little abruptly and a lot of things were too convenient but since the story is a standalone and is very short, it’s forgivable. Plus I’m just always a fan of the star-crossed lovers trope!

Plus the writing was absolutely wonderful, it was just gorgeous and really brought each image vividly to my mind. I am definitely excited to see what else Rogerson will write up in the future!

characters

I think, while the plot was well done, it’s a bit more character driven. I loved the characters too!

Isobel, is a very talented painter and she’s very quick-witted as well especially when it comes to dealing with the Fair Ones. She was also very mature, she had to grow up fast, she takes care of her family and is always looking out for them. Therefore when she meets Rook she has trouble choosing between what’s “right and logical” over doing what she desires. Isobel, really develops a lot through the story and I thought she was a great narrator and an enjoyable character overall, I was definitely rooting for her!

As for Rook, I liked him a lot as well. He was charming, arrogant, but he could also be very sweet too. I also loved the moments where he was completely bewildered by human acts such as cooking meat before you eat it, it was hilarious and cute. He grows a lot throughout the story as well and learns to let certain things go and not bother him, he’s precious.

There were also a few side characters that were interesting such as some of the Fair Ones like Gadfly who was…interesting, and Isobel’s twin sisters were adorable!

romance

I LIKED THE ROMANCE! Normally under the circumstances I probably would have hated it but I didn’t. It is a little insta-lovey but honestly I thought there was chemistry between Isobel and Rook and I’m a sucker for forbidden romance! I was rooting for them the whole time! As I said this is a little more romance-driven but I was completely all for it.

in conclusion

I really enjoyed this book, sure there were a few problems I had with it but overall it was fantastic!

What I Loved:

  • Forbidden romance!
  • Great, lovable characters
  • Interesting, well done world building

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Ending felt abrupt
  • Too many convenient things happened to further the plot
  • Pacing could be a little uneven at times

RECOMMEND

I recommend checking this book out especially if you’re a fan of books with Fae!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

 

20+ Books! Black Friday/November Book Haul

Top Ten Tuesday(12)

So I didn’t end up getting TOO crazy on Black Friday with my book purchases since I didn’t buy anything from Book Outlet but I still did haul quite a few PLUS I got a ton of ARCs as well. So here they all are! I’ll do the physical copies first and then do the ebooks last!

I was also expecting another ARC to arrive and for some reason it hasn’t yet (wasn’t sent when I was told or got lost in the mail!) so I’m going ahead with this haul since there will probably be another one after Christmas!

my page divider

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 5: Imperial Phase 1 by Kieron Gillen

I absolutely LOVE this series and some RUDE person decided they weren’t going to bring back the library’s copy so I went ahead and ordered my own. I’m really excited to continue with these graphic novels, they’re just so so good!


Artemis by Andy Weir

I have actually been hearing a lot of mixed things about this book which is kind of a shame since it sounds amazing, but I got it on Black Friday for a good price so I’ll give it a go!


The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

I got this on Black Friday from the bargain priced section at Books-a-Million, it’s pretty and I’ve been curious about this one.


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

This one and the next three books were all ordered online on Black Friday.

I love the cover for this it’s a gorgeous green color and I think that it sounds amazing. It’s an East Asian retelling of the Evil Queen legend in which a peasant girl desires to become an Empress but must do evil things in order to get there.


The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Not only am I here for the fantasy but I’m also here for the Egyptian setting and characters.


Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Every time I read the synopsis I get REALLY excited to read this one, I mean they travel through time to steal things!


Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

This is based on the Norse wariors called Berserkers and a girl who has inherited the power, however, after killing someone her and her siblings must flee to America and out West onto the frontier to find their Uncle. They’re also guided by a young cowboy. So Vikings and Cowboys, count me in!


Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

First of all I love the cover/spine on this book because the title is glitter, GLITTER! Plus it sounds amazing, it’s about a girl whose family is called to the river by the river god to go on voyages essentially. Then the main character must try and free her father by delivering  a crate and gets caught up in politics, lies, and PIRATES! I’m here for pirates.


The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal

Love the cover and it’s about a kingdom’s royal family falling ill under the influence of a mysterious plague and the two main characters, servants in the castle, become intertwined in the court’s politics and power plays. Plus it’s Scandinavian!


The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

My local bookstore is going out of business so books were 40% off and  this is one of the ones I nabbed, it sounds like a decent enough mystery/thriller so I decided to give it a try.


These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner & Amie Kaufman

I have debated on buying this book so many times I finally just decided to do it, the cover is so pretty!


The Rogue Queen by Emily R. King

This is the third book in the Hundredth Queen series and I received this copy for review. I was also being sent the sequel “The Fire Queen” for review as well (and was the reason I waited so long to do this post) but haven’t gotten quite yet!


Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor & Jim Di Bartolo

I haven’t finished the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy yet and I know this story is a tie-in novella but I couldn’t pass it up at 40% off since I know I’ll read it! I adore Laini Taylor!


A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

I finally got a copy of this! I’m ready to be completely stressed out again, but in a good way!

my page divider

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Related image

I 100% blame Melanie for this purchase! Her review completely convinced me that I needed to read this book! I got it on sale for Cyber Monday I believe.


Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Image result for between the blade an the heart

I received an ARC for the upcoming blog tour (December 27th is when I’m scheduled!) and it’s about Valkyries, it was excellent!


The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Image result for queen's rising

I was completely blown away when I recieved all of these next 9 ARCs via Edelweiss, honestly so surprised I got any of them and also super excited to read them!

This is a YA Fantasy about a girl who gets swept up in a plot to overthrow the king, I’m guessing lots of political intrigue so I am sold!


Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Image result for heart of iron book

I am SO PUMPED to read this book, honestly! I love YA sci-fi and this one is about a girl and her android who were rescued by crew in space and when the android starts glitching she will stop at nothing to fix him but is beaten to what she needs by a boy. Then when things go wrong they both end up as fugitives with the entire kingdom after them!


Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

Image result for beyond the darkened shore

Another YA Fantasy about a Princess who has the ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions but she starts having visions of an even worse threat, which everyone disregards. She meets an enemy leader who is having the same visions and they must team up to defeat the growing evil.


The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg

Image result for the tombs deborah schaumberg

A YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction about a girl who starts developing the same powers that got her mother locked up in the Tombs asylum, however, when she causes an explosion at the factory she must run and hide and learn to use her power.


Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist

Image result for devils unto dust

A plague has gone across the West Texas desert and infected people, called shakes, attack the living (basically zombies) and when Willie’s dad steals money from the most dangerous shake-hunter in town she is sent into the desert to find her dad.

It’s very much horror meets western and I am here for it!


A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

Image result for a conspiracy of stars

I actually JUST finished this ARC yesterday and it was excellent! It’s very reminiscent of James Cameron’s Avatar, very imaginative and fascinating.


Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine

Image result for honor among thieves by rachel caine

A YA Sci-fi about a girl who is recruited into the Honors which is an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan, a race of sentient alien ships, to explore the universe as their passengers.

This seriously sounds awesome.


Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Image result for dread nation

In Civil War era America the dead have risen and the new nation’s law requires children (Native and African American) to train in combat schools and learn how to put down the dead. However, all Jane wants is to return to her home in Kentucky but soon gets caught up in conspiracy when families start to go missing.

It’s diverse and it’s got zombies, I am ready to love this!


Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Image result for ace of shades

I honestly am so excited I recieved an ARC of this! Casino families, gangs, and secrets!

my page divider

Are you looking forward to any of these books as well?

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

Did you haul any good books last month?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy