Halloween Non-Horror Recommendations!

Top Ten Tuesday(93)

So as I promised I’ve done up a post for those of you who want to read some spooky books for Halloween but don’t necessarily like horror or want your pants scared off! These are mostly all thrillers or have a paranormal factor present.

If you want to see my Halloween Horror Recommendations you can check that out here.

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

(Review Here)

A great diverse read featuring a Latino family of brujas (witches) and when Alex tries to rid herself of her powers her entire family vanishes. This is a very magical adventure full of family love and who doesn’t love a good witch book?


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

(Review Here)

This is a thriller about a girl who lied about who murdered their babysitter when they were younger and must now hunt for the true killer. This doesn’t have much for Halloween vibes but it is a very dark and twisted story full of surprises. It definitely gets gritty and you’ll get chills reading through it!


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

(Review Here)

Who doesn’t think “Coraline” is a Halloween classic now? Because I sure do! It’s subtly creepy and just absolutely perfect for reading this time of year.


The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

(Review Here)

Another thriller but this one has some psychics involved making it all the more perfect for some Halloween reading. A girl who fakes being psychic must now help the police find a missing girl but she may just have some insider information….


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

(Review Here)

Harbingers of Death? That screams Halloween in my opinion! A mysterious boy shows up in town accompanied by flocks of strange crows and when he saves Angie from something supernatural she realizes he may not be human either. Paranormal elements and a slightly creepy atmosphere makes this another great read for non-horror fans!


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Another book that shouldn’t surprise many of you but “The Graveyard Book” is about a boy who is raised by the supernatural residents of a graveyard. It’s full of adventure and just straight up adorableness.


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

A mystery thriller revolving around Jasper Dent the son of the most infamous serial killers in the world. Jasper was being groomed to take over the “family business” and therefore can see crime scenes from a criminal’s POV so when a new serial killer shows up in his small town he’s determined to prove it’s not him.

So, so, sooooo many twists and turns with this one it’s especially great if you have a morbid curiosity about serial killers, like me.


The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

(Review Here)

I could honestly recommend any of Flynn’s books but this short story fits the best in my opinon. It’s about a woman who fakes psychic readings and help from the beyond for money. When a woman wants her help ridding her house of something evil our main character may just start believing in ghosts….

Super quick read and open ended so if open endings aren’t your thing I’d skip it.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

(Review Here)

Psychics, ancient sleeping kings, ley lines, and magic trees I think it’s safe to say this isn’t your run of the mill paranormal romance or urban fantasy. It’s full of magic and sets a very fast pace not to mention you will definitely fall in love with the characters!


The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

This is more Middle Grade than YA but it’s still super interesting and full of supernatural spirits and creatures and there’s more than a few creepy moments too as Thomas learns about how to be a Spook.


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

(Review Here)

This one is filled with monsters, demons, undead, and spirits and while it has a few dark moments it mostly follows a girl named Tea learning to control her powers of necromancy.


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

(Review Here)

This book fits into a kind of neat genre but it’s about a girl who wants to hunt monsters and boy who is one of those monsters in a city torn into two sects. The monsters are very unique and fun to read about and the characters are a bit morally grey, definitely a fun read though and the monsters aren’t TOO creepy either!


Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta

(Review Here)

Another witch book makes the list! This one is about a girl who visits Scotland and learns a bit more about her family’s past as she continues having visions of two women and a bit more about witchcraft and blood magic. Honestly the background of Scotland makes this book worth the read as well!

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

Will you give any of these books a try?

What are some of your favorite non-horror Halloween reads?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Backlist Books I Need To Read

Top Ten Tuesday(80)

Hello fellow book lovers!

Have you noticed my love for making bookish lists yet? I do a ton of them…..Today’s list is all about those backlist books! We all talk so much about new or recent releases that I sometimes forget I can talk about books that were published ages ago as well. So today I’m just going to be listing a few backlist books I’ve been meaning to read and that I’m excited to get to! Of course these aren’t even close to all of them though!

I’ll link each title to their Goodreads pages in case you want more of a description or to add them to your TBR as well!

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Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

Alias Hook

I’m 100% all for any kind of Peter Pan retelling so of course I want to give this one a try. It’s about Captain Hook surviving the end of the original tale and meets a grown woman who comes to Neverland who discovers that Hook may not be the villain everyone makes him out to be. Like I said, I’m ALL for it!


Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box

This book just sounds interesting, creepy, and short. I’m not sure how to describe it but it’s about someTHING that with one glimpse will drive a person to extreme violence and no one knows exactly what it is. After surviving it five years ago Malorie wants to escape to somewhere safer with her two children but must travel down the river blindfolded as something follows them.

Sounds super creepy and very unique, I can’t wait to read this one!


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore

This one isn’t quite a year old yet but I still consider it backlist by now, while I’m not super interested in Mafi’s other series “Shatter Me” I did think this one sounded really fun and interesting. It seems to be inspired by “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” with the magic and seemingly whimsical land of Furthermore that the main character must travel through.

Plus the cover is so colorful and pretty!


Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

Keturah and Lord Death

I really, really need to get my hands on a copy of this book, it seems like such a hidden gem! It’s about Keturah who gets lost in the forest and as death nears she comes to find that he is a handsome, young lord who she charms with her storytelling which gains her 24 hours to find her true love or perish. This story seems very unique and I’m just itching to read it especially since it’s so underrated.


Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

There are actually quite a few backlist Libba Bray books that I need to read but this is one I didn’t even know about until a little while ago! It’s about a group of beauty pageant contestants getting stranded together on an island after a plane crash and must survive and work together. It sounds like such a witty and hilarious story though, I can’t wait to read it!


Scarlet by A.C Gaughen

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)

This one’s a Robin Hood retelling, I think that’s kind of all I need to say about it. I loooove retellings and especially underrated ones such as Robin Hood.


The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones, #1)

This sounds unique and also pretty creepy! It’s about an Amish girl whose village has declared that no one is to leave or enter their village due to massive unrest out in the “real world”. However, she finds an injured young man and opts to hide him in her family’s barn at a cost.


Say Her Name by James Dawson

Say Her Name

This is a horror story about the urban legend Bloody Mary, that’s kind of all there is to say about it. Sounds super good and super creepy! Finding a copy for some reason is really hard though?


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

First of all I love Stiefvater’s other book “The Raven Boys” so of course I’m going to add her other book as well. Second of all a book about horse racing is for me since I’m a pretty big horse lover!


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)

Ever since I loved “Illuminae” I’ve been wanting to try Amie’s other series and plus I’m always one for a good YA sci-fi! I do have my doubts with this one a little bit since it seems like it might be full of tropes and be heavily romance focused. It’s about two teens crash landing on a planet.

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

What are some backlist books you’re dying to read?

Do you have any backlist book recommendations?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Series That Got Better!

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!

I’m not much of a series reader I’m usually the kind of person that can start a ton of series and then not actually ever finish them. So this list was a little harder for me especially since I feel a lot of series really get worse the farther they go on for me, however, here are a few I felt got better!

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5.) Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

Image result for uglies series

I read this series such a long time ago but when I read the first book I honestly didn’t think much of it, it was okay. However, I decided to continue on and read “Pretties” and “Specials” as well and in my opinion both of those books were a lot better than “Uglies”. I never did read “Extras” but I don’t really feel like I need to either since it isn’t from Tally’s POV.

Would I still think this if I re-read these books now? Maybe but from what I remember when I was younger I thought the books got way better as they went!


4.) Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Image result for vampire academy series

Once again this was a series that I read when I was younger and thought it was amazing! Of course my opinion might change if I read them again now but I like to live in my nostalgia…..

The first couple of books in this series are kind of so, so there really isn’t anything too crazy special about them but as they go they get a lot more action, plot twists, and more interesting back stories!


3.) The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for raven cycle book covers

This might be cheating since I haven’t actually finished the series! BUT I have read the first two books and I definitely loved “The Dream Thieves” even more than I loved “The Raven Boys” so I’m just kind of assuming the series will only continue to get better as well!

You can read my full review of “The Raven Boys” here.


2.) The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

Image result for winner's trilogy

Once again I haven’t fully completed this series but I’ve read the first two books just not the last! I was really leery with the first book since I wasn’t sure it was going to be good or not and I was actually really pleasantly surprised by it! So of course I devoured the second book which was EVEN BETTER than the first one! So I think it’s safe to say this is one of those series you should stick with after the first book.

You can read my full review of “The Winner’s Curse” here.


1.) The Inkworld Trilogy

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This is my most prime example of a series that gets WAAAAAY better as it goes, the jump in awesomeness from “Inkheart” to “Inkspell” is huge! While I did really like the first book I still wasn’t super impressed with it but since I already had the second book I pushed on anyways and I am so glad I did! “Inkspell” is ten times the fun with way more characters, magic, and world building! Then there’s “Inkdeath”……I didn’t know it could get any better than “Inkspell” but it did, there are so many plot twists and so much emotional turmoil! The ending was perfect though.

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What are some series you think got better?

Do you agree or disagree with any of these series? Have you read any of them?

Are you big on finishing series or, like me, start them more than finish them?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

The Harry Potter Tag

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I was tagged to do this by both Michelle @ Book Adventures and Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd , these ladies are both absolutely fantastic bloggers so make sure you head over to their blogs and check it out! Seriously, do it.

This tag and all of these lovely Harry Potter themed images were created by Lashaan and Trang from Bookidote! The only rule of the tag: you cannot use Harry Potter books for any of your answers.

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flagrate

A book where you found the theme interesting , but you’d like to rewrite it.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

A darker Peter Pan retelling with a potential love triangle between the MC and young adult versions of Hook and Pan? Yeah that drew me in right away, but it was not dark or twisted, the love triangle wasn’t as great as it should have been, and these versions of Hook and Pan were boring. If it were up to me to rewrite it I would actually add some darker, creepy elements to the story as well as make Hook and Pan a little more swoon-worthy.

You can find my review here. 

alohomora

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

I haven’t finished this series YET but as soon as I finished the this first book I went out and bought ALL of the other 3 books. So yeah, I guess you could say I was hooked and I can’t wait to finish!

You can find my review here. 

accio

A book you wish you could have right now.

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In

There sure are a lot of books I wish I could have right now! Normally I would probably go with “Gemina” but I REALLY need some good old fashioned creepy horror right now and this book is sure to be perfect! I really enjoyed Kurtagich’s other book “The Dead House” and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed with this one either.

avadakedavra

A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like.

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

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1)

This book definitely falls under both senses! It was a five star read for me it had everything I wanted: a dark, twisted plot, morally ambiguous characters, and fantastic writing. Not to mention it is a horror book so it definitely is “killer”.

You can find my review here. 

 

confundo

A book that you found really confusing.

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Bliss

I read this book a looooong time ago and never reviewed it but I do remember when I read it that I was confused as hell! I felt like there was too much trying to be crammed in and at the same time nothing was explained well enough which all lead up to an unsatisfying ending. Not a fan.

epectopatronum

Your spirit animal book.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)

I am a sucker for fantasy novels. Especially when they contain 100% badass heroines, unique and in depth world building/mythology, Thunder Tiger companions, and chainsaw katanas. There’s a lot going on but seriously best way to sum up this book: badass. I just really feel like “Stormdancer” is my spirit animal book, read this and you will know me! Not really but you should read it anyways!

spetumsemtra

A dark, twisted book.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

Dammit! I already used “Alice” by Christina Henry….well just so you all know that’s my real answer! The next best thing to that, though, is anything Gillian Flynn writes especially “Dark Places”. It shows the very dark and twisty side of human nature.

You can find my review here.

adaasd

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is.

Lips Touch: Three Times

So at first glance at both the cover and the description you’d think this is some sappy, trope-filled, romance book when in fact it’s so much more. While it IS a very romance focused book it’s very unique, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and the stories are filled with original mythology. This was such a wonderfully surprising book!

You can find my review here.

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nominees

***No obligations to do this tag and sorry if you’ve already done it before, if that’s the case please leave a link to it so I can check out your answers!!***

Brooke @ Brooke’s Books

Isabella @ The Book Pandas

Esther @ Chapter Adventures

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Nessa @ Bookish Nessa

Cassidy @ The Little Book Cottage

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Christine Joyce @ The Book Harpy

Britt @ Geronimo Reads

Hannah @ A Mortal Reader

Donna @ Chocolate ‘N Waffles

Carrianne @ Carrianne’s Cuppa ‘N Critques

 The Sassy

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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description

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

review

Well this is me officially jumping onto the Raven Cycle bandwagon, I cannot even begin to explain how surprised I was by my love for this book.

This book and the entire series is CRAZY hyped and I was very nervous to read it, who wouldn’t be? I didn’t want to end up hating it and having a mob of fangirls attack me. Good news is I am now one of those fangirls and the hype was most definitely correct.

I usually don’t go for any kind of paranormal romance or urban fantasy books since they’re usually full of YA tropes in my opinion and I originally thought “The Raven Boys” would be the same. I mean the description doesn’t do it justice at all, all it did was make me think the book was ALL about Blue falling in love with Gansey and not being able to kiss him. I’ve never been so glad to be proven wrong and I’m extremely happy that I took a chance on this series.

PLOT

First off let me address the things that I was expecting this book to be all about:

  • Poor girl meets rich boy and falls in love (kind of a forbidden love trope)
  • Insta-love ( I mean the description straight up says he’s her true love before they meet)
  • A very plot-centered romance overall

Yes, the description made me think this book was all about true love, kissing, and romance.

But….

It most certainly is the opposite.

This book is in fact more about psychics, spirits, ley lines, magical trees, and the search for an ancient Welsh king who waits to be woken. Now doesn’t all of that sound so much more appealing than the kissing? I know I found it to be, I couldn’t resist turning pages to find out what would happen with all of these things next! Stiefvater intricately weaves the paranormal with the fantastical, sure there are supernatural things happening but yet you still get the very distinct impression of magic. How could you not love a blending of the paranormal and the magical?

The atmosphere that was created, it was eerie and also suspenseful, I loved everything from Blue’s family demonstrating their psychic abilities to Gansey and boy’s quest for Glendower (you know…that ancient Welsh king I mentioned earlier). There are definitely a lot of things happening within the plot of this book, lots of different plot lines to be followed. It may come off confusing right away to some people but the mystery and anticipation is half the fun, trust me! There is also a bit of POV jumping, which I know can confuse some readers or at least annoy, so you’ve been warned about that now.

As far as all of the romance goes though there still is some but it really does take a backseat in the story which I appreciated very much. However, I don’t think any of you romance fans will be too disappointed with it. It’s a very slow-burn romance and it doesn’t completely take over the plot and the romance isn’t exactly between the characters you would expect…..

The pacing did get a little slow at times and it would really go up and down a lot, however, I didn’t mind since my thirst for answers concerning our many plot lines far out-weighed any slow pacing.

Overall I think my favorite part about this story and its plot is how original it feels, which is something I wasn’t expecting at all. I was actually expecting a book full of the same old tropes but I have definitely never read or heard of anything like this before.

characters

Honestly I think the characters are the best part of this whole book, the story is kind of character driven overall. There wasn’t a single character I disliked which is quite the feat on its own. Everyone is complex, developed, and interesting. Emphasis on the interesting. They’re also all very likable in general but most of all they’re realistic.

Blue Sargent is one of our MCs don’t let the description fool you into thinking this is a 1st Person POV told only by Blue because it isn’t. Blue and The Raven Boys themselves are on equal footing as far as the POVs go. I digress, I actually really liked Blue’s character she’s sensible (as she so often calls herself) and quirky and she doesn’t really take shit from anybody. Qualities I love in a heroine. She’s also a kind of the opposite of a special snowflake seeing as how she’s the only member of her family that doesn’t have psychic abilities which I like because it makes her just a bit more relatable as a character. However, Blue does make things “louder” for other psychics but I still don’t view this as special snowflake status.

Then we have our Raven Boys and they really are the stars of the show in my opinion and Blue pales in comparison,  I could sit and sing their praises all damn day. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah are just complete and utter perfection as far as characters go; they’re flawed, complex, and actually quite….swoon-worthy. I also really love how strong their friendship is and how realistically it’s portrayed. It’s also a nice change of pace to have interesting male main characters in a YA book.

Gansey is very determined in his quest for Glendower and he’s clever and a loyal friend. He’s also not my favorite character I just found something a little lacking with him, don’t get me wrong he’s still a great character and I like him but he just isn’t my favorite. Something just didn’t quite spark my interest enough with Gansey’s character.

Adam makes me heart bleed, I came close to tears every time we switched to his POV. He’s got the whole “rags to riches” thing going on but it doesn’t come without its costs and he’s had to work very hard to get where he’s at. Honestly I just wanted to give him a hug the whole time and he deserves one!

Ronan is by far my favorite character he’s the “bad boy” and I feel cliched for having him be my favorite but he’s so awesome I don’t even care. There’s actually a lot going on with Ronan and he has his fair share of secrets that keeps his character intriguing. Plus everyone loves a sarcastic little shit, right?

Noah is probably one of the single most adorable characters I’ve ever come across in a book, he puts fluffy kittens to shame. He’s quiet and very much in the background but that doesn’t make him any less important. I think the most significant thing I can even say about Noah is that he’s adorable, seriously that’s probably all you need to know.

There are also many secondary characters that are equally complex and play equally important parts in the plot. Mostly Blue’s family. They’re just as quirky and eccentric as Blue and they’re just overall a fun set of characters. Blue’s mom is definitely one of my favorite literary mothers of all time now.

in conclusion

“The Raven Boys” is a great, original tale that blends the paranormal with the mystical and has amazing characters that are easy to connect with.

I’m giving this a rating of 4.5 because I don’t quite feel it’s a full 5 star book but I’m also giving it that extra 0.5 star just because I can’t stop thinking about this book!

Overall I can say that the hype was worth it and I’m so glad to have finally read it.

RECOMMEND

I’m going to just add to about 100,000 other voices telling you to READ THIS BOOK, ok? I think even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea you should still take a chance on it like I did, you may end up loving it!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

(As of right now, if you own a Kindle, you can get a copy of this book for $1.99!!)

The Sassy