My Votes Are In! 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards

Top Ten Tuesday(4)

100% credit for this post idea goes to the wonderful Melanie @ Mel To The Any so be sure to go check out her post as well as her amazing blog!

This post is pretty straight forward in that I’ll just be sort of discussing my votes in the Goodreads Choice Awards. If you haven’t gone and voted already be sure to go check it out, voting ends November 27th and the winners are announced December 5th!

I will only be discussing the categories I actually submitted a vote in, there are PLENTY of categories with nominees that are on my TBR but since I haven’t read them I didn’t feel it was very fair for me to vote for them (with one exception I will discuss below).

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Best Horror

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

I will probably always and forever vote for Christina Henry’s horror books because they’re so well done and well written and just everything in general is fantastic about them. This is a retelling of Peter Pan from the POV of a young James Hook and serves as an origin story for the classic villain. I loved how Henry put such a unique, dark and twisted spin on the original tale it was so well done and utter perfection in my opinion.

You can read my full review of “Lost Boy” here, if you’re interested!


Best Young Adult Fiction

My Vote: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

There were actually a few I wanted to vote for in this category but “The Hate U Give” is such an important, powerful, and well written story I couldn’t stand the idea of NOT voting for it! This book is perfection, PERFECTION! It deserves to win every award and if you haven’t read this book already I highly, highly urge you to do so because it’s game-changing and powerful.

You can read my full review of “The Hate U Give” here, if you’re interested!


Best Debut Goodreads Author

My Vote: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

As I said, SHE DESERVES EVERY AWARD! When I was reading “The Hate U Give” I was blown away by her writing, it didn’t feel like I was reading a debut at all but more like the billionth book of a seasoned pro. I am very confident this book will win in both these categories!


Best Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction

My Vote: Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

So as I mentioned I usually don’t vote for books I haven’t actually read BUT I decided I need to make an exception and here’s why:

I love Laini Taylor’s books and I’m 100% confident I will love “Strange The Dreamer”. But another reason I wanted to vote for this book (besides the fact that I will love it when I do get around to reading it) is that I’m really tired of Sarah J. Maas’s books winning every year JUST because they’re Sarah J. Maas’s books. I’m sure her books are good but I’d like to see A DIFFERENT book and author win for once and so I wanted to help boost Laini Taylor because she deserves it.

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

Did you vote for any of these books in the Goodreads Choice Awards?

What books did you vote for?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Book Recommendations: Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday(76)

Hello fellow book lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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

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


The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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

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


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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

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


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

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

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


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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

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


The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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

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

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

What are some of your favorite retellings?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Without Romance (Or Very Little)

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 Without Romance or they can be books with very little romance as well. I personally am a huge fan of books with little to no romance, it’s a big pet peeve of mine when romances cloud over the plot and all other happenings. I’m very happy to find books like this and share the ones I’ve read as well!

I will link up my reviews for each title as well if you’d like my full thoughts!

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5.) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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While I suppose it could be debated a little bit since it sometimes feels like the two main characters are developing feelings for each other throughout, this is still very much romance free. This is a story about monsters and monstrous humans and that’s where the focus stays, there’s no getting muddled up in any lovey-dovey moments here!

You can read my full review of “This Savage Song” here.


4.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Um…yeah here she is again! Schwab really is a master at keeping the plots of her books straight and interesting without getting too lost in any romance. This is a very complex novel about two men that gain “superpowers” and turn into enemies but the lines between who’s good and who’s evil blur very much.

One of the characters does have a girlfriend and the other character loves her as well but it’s very briefly mentioned and serves more as a motivator in the story than it does an actual romantic subplot. So no romance!

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


3.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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Have I talked about this book enough on my blog? Yeah, I don’t think so either. This is an amazing fantasy story with fantastic world building and a brutally unpredictable storyline, plus the heroine is a badass! I digress, there is a point in the story where Yukiko becomes a bit smitten with a boy but it is extremely brief and hardly mentioned. Plus when you get to the end of the book you definitely wouldn’t say there is any romance either…..trust me.

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


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

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I cannot recommend Christina Henry’s books enough, honestly, and them being very romance-light is one of the reasons. With “Lost Boy” there is a point in the story where a character has a crush on someone but other than that it’s very romance free. It was nice to see a female character whose sole purpose wasn’t to be the love interest.

You can read my full review of “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook” here.


1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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What’s great about this book is how diverse it is with the characters’ genders and sexuality. We see both a transgender character as well as an asexual character, which I though was absolutely fantastic! Plus there was no romance at all, it was really great that we got to see such diversity like this and the author didn’t feel a need to push any of the characters together.

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

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

Do you agree about the “non-romance” in any of these books? Disagree?

What are some books you’ve read with little to no romance? (please tell me I love these kinds of recommendations!)

Do you find that you enjoy books with little to no romance more or less?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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

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There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

review

**** Huge thank you to Berkley Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!****

(This was a buddy read with Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd! I will be linking up her review when she has it up here and keep a look out for our buddy read discussion and Q&A!)

As you all probably know by now I was a HUGE fan of Christina Henry’s “Alice” and “Red Queen” which were horror retellings of Alice in Wonderland. On top of that I “Peter Pan” is my all time favorite fairy tale so a Christina Henry retelling was going to be right up my alley……and it was!

(For those of you who are interested my reviews for “Alice” and “Red Queen” can be found here!)

PLOT

“This isn’t a wonderful place for boys to play and have adventures and stay young for always. It’s a killing place, and we’re all just soldiers in Peter’s war.”

While this story is a retelling of “Peter Pan” it’s also an origin/redemption story for the character of Captain Hook/James Hook where we get to see his side of the story and here he is a boy known as Jamie who was whisked away to Neverland by Peter. He is the first and favorite Lost Boy who watches over all of the other Lost Boys because while in Peter’s mind the island is nothing but fun and games…..it’s quite the opposite for the boys.

Enter the horror aspect of the story.

Jamie has watched countless other Lost Boys succumb to the horrors of the island: pirates, the Many-Eyed, crocodiles, disease, and battles aka arena fights to the death. After so many years of this it starts to weigh on Jamie and it starts bothering him how Peter doesn’t seem to care about the well being of anyone but himself.

The pacing is a tiny bit slow to start but once the plot picks up you won’t be able to put this book down. There’s plenty of twists and turns you most definitely will not see coming.

I was absolutely blown away by how unique and twisted Christina Henry made the world we all know as Neverland. It was almost as if I was reading an entirely new story! Trust me when I say twisted too, this book is DARK and full of carnage, it’s almost like watching a slasher movie play out. She took the tale of “Peter Pan” and completely flipped it on its head and took us to its darkest depths.

I also loved the world building that was given, it wasn’t a whole lot but more and more was revealed as the story went on. Could it have used more? Definitely. Did I still enjoy it? Of course! All of the allusions to the original tale were fun to pick out as well because they all had their own dark twists such as why Hook is missing his right hand and of course why Peter and he are sworn enemies.

Be prepared for a very emotional ride because the things that happen to Jamie and the other Lost Boys can not only be terrifying but also extremely heart-breaking. You have been warned!

characters

Of course the characters were fantastic since they are the driving force of the story here the main characters, Jamie and Peter, were incredibly complex.

I really enjoyed these versions of Hook and Pan, plain and simple. Jamie is a bit of a mother hen, always looking out and caring for the other boys while Peter is selfish, jealous, and doesn’t show any remorse.

Jamie is a very easy character to sympathize with as he is very caring towards the younger, inexperienced boys always helping them out and even burying them when they perish. He gets upset and angry with Peter over their deaths as Peter could care less and always goes off to get more boys as replacements.

Peter on the other hand was easy to dislike, he’s the true villain of this story. He only cares about playing games and having the boys adore and worship him, he grows very jealous if anyone is getting more attention than he is. However, even though he needs the constant attention of his Lost Boys he is very careless about looking after them and shows no guilt when one of them dies.

I have to say it was truly horrifying to see such a twisted, sick version of Peter Pan but I also loved every second of it. However, I can say my childhood may be ruined and I don’t know if I’ll ever look at Peter Pan the same ever again!

As for the secondary characters they didn’t really get a lot of depth but this makes sense as most of them are fodder for the island anyways……However, notable Lost Boys that I absolutely adored were Nod and Fog, Sal, and Charlie.

in conclusion

I need to scream my love of this book to the heavens! It was perfection! It was everything I was hoping for!

What I Loved:

  • Unique, horrifying twists on the original story (and just in general)
  • Complexity of Jamie and Peter
  • Great allusions to the original story
  • Even to fast pacing
  • Horror, carnage, and shockers! (this may not be a plus to some people but it was to me!)

What I Didn’t Love:

  • The world building could have been a little more fleshed out
  • (Other than that it was FANTASTIC!)

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly, highly recommend reading this book if not just checking it out! If you love “Peter Pan”, fairy tale/classic story retellings, or even just horror stories then you most certainly will find something to love with “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook”!

This book goes on sale July 4th, 2017!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy