ARC Review: Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Various Authors

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved Less Than Everyone Else

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

This week’s theme is books we either loved less or more than everyone else, pretty self explanatory. I, being the black sheep that I am, chose to go with books I loved less since that usually seems to be the way things go for me with more popular books.

As usual I’ll link up my full reviews to the titles!

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10.) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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This book was insanely hyped last year when it came out and so my expectations were pretty high for it and….it was not that great. It lacked world building and honestly I didn’t think anything was developed at all. There were elements I enjoyed but overall it was a disappointment.

9.) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

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So a TON of people love Rosamund Hodge’s books and they do sound amazing, I mean dark fairy tale retellings? Hell yes! Unfortunately this one was confusing, I spent a lot of my time completely lost as to what was going on and the characters were really flat. Maybe I’ll like her other books more but if they’re like this one I already know I won’t.

8.) Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Another extremely hyped book and series that I just did not love as much as everyone. I hated the main character and I felt there was a lack of world building. However, I thought Bardugo’s writing improved vastly with “Six of Crows” which I loved.

7.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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I honestly think I should turn this rating from a 3 to a 2 since I really didn’t like this book all that much. Celaena was annoying and vain and not as badass as everyone makes her seem, also a lack of world building. Definitely a black sheep with this one since EVERYONE loves this series.

6.) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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The Lunar Chronicles is another series that is wildly popular and for me “Cinder” was a big disappointment. My main problem was how predictable the story was but I am thinking about continuing the series.

5.) The Crown’s Games by Evelyn Skye

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Another book that got super hyped and was wildly disappointing for me. It was FULL of insta-love, an awful love triangle, and lack of world building once again (see a theme here for me?). Also the magical fight to the death was just a bunch of parlor tricks and no actual fighting occurred.

4.) Soundless by Richelle Mead

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I absolutely loved Mead’s Vampire Academy series so I was expecting to love her new standalone but I did not. Once again the complete lack of world building was the biggest reason I did not like this book.

3.) Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Seems a ton of people loved this book and while the writing is very beautiful I thought the characters were awful and idiotic, and the romance was also full of cliches.

2.) These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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I really wanted to like this book because EVERYONE loves it but it was just so slooooooow and boring for me. Seriously this book had no business being 500 pages….

1.) Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

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Lots of people actually liked this book and I can see why like if you like historical fiction romances for the most part. However, for me I was expecting actual PIRATES since this is supposed to be about Blackbeard! Did I get pirates! No! I got zero pirates!

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What books do you love more or less than everyone else?

Did you dislike any of these books too? Or like them?

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

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Took Me The Longest To Finish

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s theme is books that took us the longest to read! I don’t know about you guys but I always feel like I read a lot slower than I actually do so here I was thinking this would be easy but apparently that was not the case. I thought I took WEEKS or even a month to finish certain books when in reality it may have been a week or a week and a half but at the time it felt like forever. So I don’t read as horrendously slow as I thought I did and that’s a relief.

I also wanted to pick some books that have been sitting on my shelves forever that I finally read and ran into a problem with that….which is I haven’t read many of the books that have been sitting there forever. Whoops.

So here are some of the most recent reads that took me longer than  usual to push through! Enjoy!

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5.) These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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This only took me a few days to actually read but it FELT like forever, honestly if you asked me how long it took me to finish this book I’d have to say a few weeks when in reality it didn’t. Usually I’m not one to complain about page number but when you’re bored out of your mind then 488 pages feels like a lot.

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In the end the pacing was slow and the book was too long for me, but that’s just my opinion!

You can read my full review of “These Shallow Graves” here.

4.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Reading “Throne of Glass” was not only a slow process for me but also a bit painful, I don’t understand the hype with this book and series. BUT before anyone lynches me I’m willing to give the sequel a try to see if it gets better!

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The first time I tried reading this book I got 20% in and set it down to read something else because it just wasn’t that interesting to me. So the second time I picked it back up it took me 3 weeks to finish which is a long time for me personally.

You can read my full review of “Throne of Glass” here.

3.) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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Firstly I’d like to say I LOVED this book, OK? So why exactly did it take me a little over a month to finish this bad boy you may ask? Well it’s a damn hard book to zip through in my opinion because: 1.) It’s long 2.) The pacing is a little slow to start off 3.) There’s A LOT of information to grasp. It’s definitely worth it to push through the beginning though, trust me it’s such an amazing book…it just might take you a while….

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

2.) A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin

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Do I need to even explain why this took me so long? It’s 1,125 pages and I mean come on it’s a fantasy book so there’s A LOT of stuff going on to keep track of. I picked this baby up a handful of times and kept setting it back down until I finally managed to push through it and now I have epic bragging rights!

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1.) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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Once I actually started this lovely book I could not put it down and finished it in a jiffy. So why is it #1 on this list? Because it sat unread on my Nook for about 3-4 years. YEARS. I just never got around to it and once I joined the book blogging community I saw how much love it got as well as how much everyone loved Laini Taylor period. This is a book I should have read sooner and it’s worth all the hype for sure!

You can read my full review of “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.

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Have you read any of the books on this list?

What books did it take you forever to read?

How long did it take you to finish them?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your T5W as well!

The Sassy

Book Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.



“If you’re going to bury the past, bury it deep, girl. Shallow graves always give up their dead.”

Let me start off by saying that this is NOT a bad book by any means, it’s actually quite good but definitely not my cup of tea. My relationship with “These Shallow Graves” has a serious case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.  My low opinion on this book seems to be in the minority, it’s an unpopular opinion. Most people LOVED this book, it’s just not for me.

Things I Did Not Like:

  • Most of the characters were completely clueless about a lot of things.
  • How predictable a lot of the twists and reveals were.
  • This book was way longer than it should and needed to be.
  • I found the cover and the title to be pretty misleading about what the book is REALLY about.

Things I Liked:

  • The setting was very well presented and researched.
  • Jo was a pretty great protagonist.
  • The secondary characters were awesome.
  • I really enjoyed the ending of the book, seriously that was a great ending.

**** Prepare for a lot of ranting and raving****


First off this book is WAY too long for its content, seriously, it’s probably my biggest complaint about the whole thing! There is no way this thing needed to be 500 pages, the plot was majorly stretched out to make it fit. I could rant and rave all day about how unnecessarily long this book is!

When you make a plot longer than it should be it starts to get very repetitive, I felt like Jo was saying and doing the same thing for half the book. Sneaking out, doing things she shouldn’t, and sneaking back in. Over and over and over and over. And for what? An inch of progress in her mystery, that’s what.

Secondly, a mystery is pretty hard to get into if you can guess over half of the twists and reveals chapters before they happen. For some people you might read this and not see it coming and for some other people you might be like me and see most of it coming. Everyone’s different and I respect that. For me though personally, I didn’t think the mystery was all that mysterious.

Reading a 500 page book is pretty damn hard when you guess “whodunnit” within the first several chapters. Did I have proof? No. Did I strongly suspect throughout the entire, excruciating length of the book? Yes.

I didn’t guess every single twist though, therefore keeping it at least somewhat entertaining.

Another thing, the pacing got on the slow side. When I said the story gets repetitive I meant it and thus makes the plot drag on in some parts.

As mentioned earlier, I also found the cover and even the title of this book to be pretty misleading. I makes it look like a very creepy or dark book which it’s not. It’s the polar opposite. There wasn’t a single creepy or scary thing that happened in this story at all, sure there were scenes where you were WORRIED about the characters but never creeped out or honestly scared. Disappointing. We’ve all heard “don’t judge a book by its cover” and with this one it rings more true than usual.

Now on to more positive comments!

I really liked the overall setting of the book, 1890’s New York City is pretty exciting. It was very well executed and Donnelly definitely did her homework on this one.

Everything had a very authentic feel to it, the slang, the language, and the items and places. You have carriages, corsets, newsboys, brothels, and newspapers galore. I loved it and it’s probably my most loved aspect of the entire book. It also showed a lot of the nitty, gritty about poverty as well. Kind of depressing but like I said: authentic.

I also really enjoyed the ending, I didn’t really expect to at all but I was pleasantly surprised. It ended well and with Jo doing what she wants and it did not involve around the romance whatsoever. I loved that the most, I was DREADING some sort of running off into the sunset with the love interest. It’s an ending that I think will please every reader.


Josephine Montfort is our main character, and I have a ton of mixed feelings about her. On one hand I thought she was clueless and kind of annoying, on the other I really liked her strong will and caring personality.

Yes, I understand that her being an upper class girl she wasn’t taught or exposed to certain things. But I thought she was more clueless than normal. If you’re going to go traipsing around New York City at night then you should know some things.

I was on page 110 and it was the 4th time she’d been referred to as a prostitute, at least. Now I don’t like that everyone assumes that just because she’s walking around town at night, but what I really didn’t like was how Jo had zero idea they thought she was a prostitute. Come on, girl! You can’t be that naive!

Then Eddie Gallagher is our other main character and the love interest. Honestly I don’t even really have much to say about him at all. He’s a pretty meh character, to me. Not all that interesting and especially not swoon-worthy.

Actually though my favorite characters were the secondary ones such as Oscar and Fay. I kind of liked them more than Jo or Eddie. Oscar was hilarious and Fay was a badass. They had a lot more personality and were just more likable for me.


I’m pretty sure you all know by now that I am not a romance fan, at all. It takes a lot to thaw this cold heart of mine and after reading 500 pages you would think it would have. Sadly, not the case.

The insta-love is there but not overwhelming and there is no love triangle so I suppose I’ll settle for that.

One major thing I didn’t like about Jo’s romance was how easily swayed she was. She’d see or hear something and instantly it was, “OH NO HOW COULD I HAVE EVER LOVED HIM WHEN HE HAS USED ME SO?”.

It was the most annoying thing ever. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, because she’d take him back and then think he betrayed her AGAIN and decide she was through with him and take him back AGAIN.

The romance was a little too….fluffy for me.

in conclusion

I said it once already and I’ll say it again, it was me and not the book. I just didn’t like it. I had a lot of my own issues with it. I really don’t have any interest in reading anything like “These Shallow Graves” again or really even reading anything else by Jennifer Donnelly. Lots of other people loved this one, I’m just not one of them.


I’d recommend this to anybody who likes the historical fiction and romance genres. I definitely don’t recommend this to anybody looking for a good mystery just because I felt it was too predictable and honestly the mystery was second to the romance.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy