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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Books I Just HAD To Have…..& Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday(70)

The other day I was looking at my bookshelves and noticing all of the books I’ve bought under the delusion that I could NOT wait and HAD to have them right away……and then still haven’t read them.

This makes me wonder sometimes if I’m actually nuts or not because why do I torture myself like this? Plus everyone always tells me “hey remember when you bought all those books and still haven’t read them? You don’t need more until you read those.” which they’re sort of right….

So I thought that it would be a great idea to share what a horrible reader/book hoarder I am with you all!

Basically this is me:

And then after not reading any of them:

I’ll be putting these in order of how long I’ve actually had these sitting around my house starting with the newest additions!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Of course with all of the hype that was surrounding this book before and after it’s May release date I had to get my hands on it! Most of the time I don’t give into the hype, or at least I like to think so, I just thought everything about this book sounded wonderful: diverse characters and culture, a cute cover, and non-stop glowing reviews!

Then obviously I couldn’t wait to get a copy and then it arrived and now it’s just sitting all lonely on my shelf because I’m a terrible person…….


Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

I actually ordered this with “When Dimple Met Rishi” because once again I could not wait and just haaaad to have a copy right away! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I’ve seen great reviews for it, plus I think it will be interesting to read about a dysfunctional relationship in a YA setting. I know that makes me sound weird but it’s nice to see unique books and books bringing attention to abuse like this (because it happens).


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

If I was going to rate all of these books by which book I was literally dying to have “Strange the Dreamer” would be #1 because I seriously acted like I was going to die without this book in my life. I even went to the trouble of ordering a UK edition as well because I HAD TO HAVE THIS BOOK AND LAINI TAYLOR IS LIFE!

And guess where the book is sitting? On my shelf. Unread.


The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

I was super pumped for this book before it came out and then with all of the great reviews afterwards I was even more excited for it. Female gladiator! That’s all I want in my books so when I was in the bookstore and saw it I decided to splurge and buy it right then and there because I NEEDED IT. Now it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months……


Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

I bought this book along with my spontanous purchase of “The Valiant” as well. You can see where this got me.


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

When I saw this book come out at first I was like: Norse Mythology?! Told by Neil Gaiman?! I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY! So I kind of started it and then slowly it worked its way back onto my shelf where it is still sitting waiting to be finished.


The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Everyone, everyone, everyone recommends reading this series and I saw the box set on sale on Book Outlet for about $12.00 so of course I was all “Hell yeah!” and bought it right away. Soooooooooo it’s all sitting on my shelf still unread where it will probably remain for a while.


Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

This was a spontaneous buy I got with birthday money last year and I decided to use that money for this book because once again…..I couldn’t resist. It’s even a shorter book and I STILL haven’t gotten to it!


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I asked for this one for my birthday last year because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted it and so then I actually received it for my birthday…….and haven’t read it yet.


The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

After reading the first book “The Winner’s Curse” I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it after how much I was expecting not to enjoy it. So then after devouring the sequel as well I NEEDED to read the last book that was just released last year! And guess who still hasn’t finished that trilogy even after buying the last book? Me.


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

This book was super, duper hyped last year and because of that plus the pretty cover and promise of unique mythology I was 100% sold. I saw it when I happened to visit a Barnes & Noble and instantly bought it and now it’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year still unread.


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

This one hasn’t been a new release for a while but I found while reading a bunch of glowing reviews for it and having it recommended a ton. So I found it on Book Outlet and bought it straight away because I love twisted thrillers! I started reading it…..and then set it aside for some reason…..and it’s been sitting there waiting for me to return to it eventually.


The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

This book is the one I’ve had the longest on this list because back many, many years ago when I was binge reading the Percy Jackson series and finished it and was DYING for more! So I found the Heroes of Olympus series and bought the first book straight away…….it has been sitting on my old Nook Color for ages and honestly it probably won’t get read because I want physical copies now….awkward.

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

Do you have any of these on your TBR as well?

Did you buy any of these right away and haven’t read them yet either?

Do you buy books and let them sit for a long time?

What are some books you HAD to have and haven’t read yet?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’m Intimidated By

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads!

This week’s theme is books we’re intimidated by and there are a couple that I think I can safely say I am intimidated by but for the most part if I want to read it, I will regardless of size. I mean I didn’t make it through the entire (so far entire, until dang Winds of Winter comes out)  A Song of Ice and Fire series for nothing! Those are some intimidating books I tell you and I’m just really proud of myself for getting through all of those pages….

But I digress, here are my top 5 intimidating books.

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5.) The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5)

I’ve had a copy of this for a while because I really liked the movie, that’s all there really is to it.

The reason I have not read it yet is because it IS a volume with all 5 books in it making it a daunting 815 pages and then there’s the fact that it’s a classic. If there’s one thing that really intimidates me about books it’s the “classic” status. Usually for me that screams “Heather, you probably won’t like it and everyone else will think you’re uncultured swine because of that.” I would feel really bad if I didn’t love a universally loved classic book, the guilt would weigh on me!

However, I think I’ll eventually get around to reading it. I have read a little bit of it and it is as funny as everyone says.

 

4.) The Lord of the Rings & The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien

The SilmarillionThe Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)

Now, if any of you have actually read anything I post ever then you know how much love I have for Middle Earth. I really, really do love Tolkien’s fictional world, BUT I always feel like a hypocrite since I have not actually finished reading “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Silmarillion”. (I’ve come to terms with this and just say yeah I only read “The Hobbit” but I adore all of the movies so I can still call myself a fan.)

I digress, honestly I have a lot of random knowledge about Tolkien’s books without actually having read them (with the exception of “The Hobbit”) so I would like to get even more insight by actually reading and finishing “The Silmarillion” and “The Lord of the Rings”.

Once again the reason I’m intimidated is because it’s a classic and the older writing style usually gets to me, just a pet peeve but I can definitely look past it to read these. (Plus these are looooong books).

 

3.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (Outlander, #1)

Alright so the reason I want to read this is because: A.) it’s super hyped and everyone loves it and B.) it has its own TV show that I’d really like to watch.

I do own a copy and have read maybe a 100 or so pages and liked it. My problem is that it’s a little bit slow and it’s a romance oriented book for the most part. I don’t like any of those things but from what I read it doesn’t bother me too much. Also the fact that it’s 896 pages long really intimidates the crap out of me.

Hopefully I’ll finish it someday because I may just have to start watching the show in the meantime……

2.) American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods

I like Neil Gaiman so of course I want to read “American Gods”, however, I’m intimidated by the fact that everyone says its a little……weird. I’m talking about the kind of weird that may just not work for me. Also I’m worried I may grow bored with it while reading and it’s 541 pages long, which isn’t terrible but it will be if I’m bored with the story.

We shall have to wait and see since I do have a copy waiting for me on my bookshelf…..

 

1.) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

I am a fantasy lover and this book seems to be everyone’s go to for a fantasy lover. Therefore I must read this book, but it’s large and I’ve never read anything by Rothfuss before so I’m a little leery about reading it. If I put the time and effort into reading this I kind of want a guarantee of loving it, I know I’m weird.

I really do want to read this but there’s just something intimidating about it. Like if I had a copy sitting on my bookshelf I’d probably just have a stare-down with it and say “I see you there and I’m not reading you…yet”. In which case yet is pretty much going to be forever.

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What books are you intimidated by?

Are there any on my list that you have read and hated/loved?

Are you intimidated by any of these books as well?

Have you seen any of these books’ movies or shows?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave a link to your Top 5 Wednesday as well!

The Sassy

 

Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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description

Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

review

This is going to be a shorter review than I’d like but the story itself is under 200 pages so I don’t have too many opinions about it.

Let’s start!

I loved everything about this book, it’s practically flawless just like the rest of Gaiman’s work. I don’t know if I can count myself a true Gaiman fan yet though since I’ve read 3 books but I’ll definitely be working my way up there!

PLOT

Trust me when I say it’s creepy because it most definitely is, but in a very simple way. I don’t think the goal was to scare you or creepy you out, but to just simply tell Coraline’s story. Well, and if we get scared and creeped out along the way that’s just a bonus isn’t it?

The plot line is very straight forward and it excels at delivering an overall eerie atmosphere at the same time. Coraline has moved into a new flat where her parents work all the time and ignore her a lot. She wants to explore and wants things to be more…..interesting.

Remember how people always tell you to be careful what you wish for?

Well that’s pretty much the whole plot because Coraline’s life does indeed get quite a bit more interesting. She decides to open up a tiny door that’s supposed to be bricked up, but imagine that, when she opens it there’s a tunnel. Of course she walks through it and appears in a copy of her flat where she meets her other mother and other father.

They have black buttons for eyes and they’re scary as fuck. But Coraline doesn’t mind because she’s suddenly in a new world that’s so much more fun than the other one she lives in. She gets to do whatever she wants and everything’s perfect.

Or is it?

The other mother wants Coraline for herself, however, and that’s really where the story begins. When everything starts to go bad.

Gaimain’s writing is, as always, beautiful and easy to read along with. You’ll be at the end of the story before you know it!

characters

Coraline is wonderful. She’s curious, clever, and courageous. “C” what I did there? I’m not lame. I enjoyed her character so much, she’s everything I love in a heroine! Coraline is determined and not easily fooled, which makes things all the more interesting.

And the cat was an awesome addition to the story! Who doesn’t love a good, sarcastic cat character? He pretty much talked and acted how I’d expect a real cat to, you know…if real cats could talk.

The other mother made for a great villain as well, she was actually very terrifying. If she just sat across from me and stared I’d be paralyzed with fear and if that doesn’t make for a great villain I don’t know what does.

in conclusion

Coraline is a great read for all ages, she’s a brave character that’s a lot of fun to read about. Plus everyone likes a good, creepy book once in a while right? Oh come on now, it’s not that scary.

I can’t wait to get my hands on more of Gaiman’s books!

RECOMMEND

Definitely, like I said it’s for all ages! If you’re a Gaiman fan and haven’t read this you’ll love it and if you haven’t read any of his books before this it’s absolutely one I’d start with!

 Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Book Review: The Sleeper & The Spindle by Neil Gaiman

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description

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems.

review

“She cursed the babe at birth, such that when the girl was eighteen she would prick her finger and sleep forever.”

This isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. Yes it was a short fairy tale retelling and yes it was decent, it just didn’t go in the direction I wanted it to. I am a fan of Gaiman’s writing so this wasn’t as bad as it could have ended up being.

PLOT

The story has some very unique twists on the fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty AND Snow White, that were pretty enjoyable. Everyone likes a good twist don’t they? And Gaiman’s twist is no exception, it was quite good but it did lack a little in my opinion. Once the big twist is revealed the story quit being interesting, it depended too much on it.

I’ll also say this ISN’T the lesbian retelling everyone (myself included) was expecting and wanting, which is ultimately a little disappointing but it definitely didn’t ruin anything for me.

characters

This story is only 72 pages so it’s very, VERY short and therefore lacked any sort of complex plot or characters.

Although I will say I adored the Queen who is the main protagonist of this short little fairy tale. Instead of being given a cliched Prince to go save the Princess we get a Queen, a very capable queen.

The villain of the story was actually very run of the mill, all she wanted was youth and power. We’ve heard that a million times haven’t we? Yes we have.

Then we have the princess in need of saving, our Sleeping Beauty. She isn’t in the story really that much to even discuss.

The three dwarves were pretty great also, they’re the supporting characters. They help out the queen and that’s about it. They provided a little bit of comic relief as well and I’m also a fan of the comic relief.

Those Beautiful Illustrations:

Chris Riddell does some fantastic illustrations for this book, and I was unlucky enough to have read this book in Kindle format. I didn’t get to truly appreciate how gorgeous they were in the hardcover copy. Oh well life isn’t fair.

The illustrations depict everything happening in the story every step of the way, I actually relied on them more than the words. Don’t judge me, you would too if you read this with the pretty pictures.

in conclusion

I like Gaiman’s writing style therefore I did enjoy the book, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. Nothing game changing here. It was enjoyable enough though, and with illustrations like those it made it hard for me to be TOO disappointed.

RECOMMEND

Hard to say. If you’re a Gaiman fan then I’d recommend at least reading it, I don’t know if I can really recommend buying it though since it is so short. If you’re a fan of Riddell or books with really great illustrations then I definitely recommend reading it.

However, if you’re expecting a really great retelling with all sorts of unique twists then I’d say pass this one up. Yes there is a twist in this one but it won’t be enough for fans of retellings I wouldn’t think.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy