January TBR

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So since I actually completed a monthly TBR last month I figured I go for it again, and keep my expectations realisitc! Once again I have quite a few ARCs to get through this month and a couple library books (why do I keep getting library books when I have so many physical TBR books? The world may never know.) but if I get through all of them I’ll have a couple “bonus” books to try and squeeze in as well!

I’m also planning on doing the “Beat the Backlist” challenge this year so be on the look out for that post as I will be listing all of my backlist books I plan on reading!

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Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

This might be cheating a little bit since I finished it yesterday but still counts! I wasn’t as impressed as I was expecting to be but it was still an entertaining read, I’m a sucker for a good action-packed sci-fi.


Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

My current read at the moment this is kind of fantasy and sci-fi mixed together complete with emperors, kingdoms, robots, and space pirates! So far it’s really great with lots of action and interesting world building.


The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg

Normally I’m not one for historical fiction, it really depends. However, this one has….super powers? I feel like that’s the best way to describe it or maybe more like psyhic abilities. Anyways it sounds great!


Fire & Bone by Rachel A. Marks

An urban fantasy featuring a main character who discovers she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess. I think it sounds interesting because Celtic mythology is something I don’t see very often and would definitely enjoy reading about, however, there does seem to be a love triangle so I am a little leery.


The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics

So I do really enjoy Lukavics’ books but I heard this one wasn’t her best so I borrowed it from the library just because I want to see for myself!


Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Also borrowed from the library I wanted to give it a read before reading my ARC of “Ace of Shades” just for fun. I’ve heard lots of good things about it so I’m excited.


Locke & Key Volumes 2 and 3 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

I’m slowly picking through the graphic novels available at my library and actually really narrowing it down. I decided to continue with this series and see if it interests me enough to continue further with it.


BONUS BOOKS!

As I mentioned, I don’t want to pressure myself too much but IF I get through the other 8 books I have 2 more on deck!

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The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

I really loved the dark fantasy world in “The Bone Witch” and I’m very excited to continue on with the series with this ARC!


Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

I finally got a copy for Christmas so I am ready to devour the last two in preparation for “Iron Gold” that comes out this month!

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Are any of these books on your TBR?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

What are you planning on reading this month?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017!

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

This week’s theme is your favorite books of 2017 and you can put any kind of spin on it that you want but since I have similar posts planned already I’m just going to do some of my favorites I’ve read this year! There will be another post with the rest of the books I enjoyed since it wasn’t ONLY ten so be on the look out for it!

These aren’t in any particular order and I will be linking my reviews if they are available.

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Night Film by Marisha Pessl

There are only two books on this list that were just so amazing I couldn’t even put together a review to describe how awesome they were, this is one of them.

It’s a very fast paced, suspenseful and thrilling. I was addicted to this story while reading! It combines a sort of classic mystery but also combines it with horror and supernatural elements as well which was fun for me especially since you don’t know what to believe or not. One of the best books I’ve ever read and very unique, I highly recommend checking out too by the way.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

And this is the other book that was just so good and so amazing that I couldn’t form a coherent review for it! Lots of people rant and rave about “The Night Circus” and for good reason too it’s simply a magical wonderful book full of great characters and a great romance. Plus the circus setting was one of the best and most interesting settings I’ve ever had the pleasure of being transported away to via reading.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’m not usually a big contemporary reader but this book is perfection, seriously. Not only is it incredibly powerful but it’s also extremely well written and full of the most endearing characters. If I was rich enough to buy everyone in the world a copy to read, I would.

You can read my full review for “The Hate U Give” here.


Red Rising by Pierce Brown

THIS BOOK! Why did it take me this long to finally read this treasure? It’s everything I wanted in a book and didn’t even know! There’s fantasy and sci-fi elements both present along with the BEST characters ever, revenge, betrayals, plot twists, and some pretty brutal violence. It’s been a long time since a book has made me feel so many different emotions from sadness to pretty much screaming in outrage. And yet it was great.

You can read my full review for “Red Rising” here.


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This one actually reminded me a lot of “Red Rising” except set in a fantasy world that’s very Roman inspired. There’s fantastic characters, magic, and the world itself is actually very dark and brutal. So many plot twists though I couldn’t stop reading!

You can read my full review of “An Ember in the Ashes” here.


Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

While this happens to be a pretty short book it still managed to pack a lot of punch. It’s about a home for children/teens who have returned from other fantastical worlds (very much like Alice in Wonderland or Narnia) and learn to cope with being back in reality. The characters were extremely diverse and learning about all the different worlds they have visited was the most interesting part, I’m really hoping Seanan McGuire writes like fifty of these books.

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


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

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Christina Henry’s horror retellings and that’s because they never fail to amaze me. The creativity she puts into them is just awe-inducing. This one happens to be about my favorite fairy tale “Peter Pan” and is told from James Hook’s perspective, it’s definitely not the Neverland we all know and love. It’s a very vicious island full of deadly creatures and beings. If you’re a fan of horror and “Peter Pan” I highly recommend checking it out.

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


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

This book is just amazing, full of diversity, and FUN. I loved the Comic Con-esque setting and the characters were amazing, I especially related to Taylor who suffers from anxiety I thought the anxiety rep was pretty spot on.

You can read my full review “Queens of Geek” here.


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

Another genre I don’t read to often, historical fiction, but man was this a treat! It was very fast paced, the writing was fantastic, and the characters were great. If I was going to pick just one word to describe how I feel about this book it’d be: fun!

You can read my full review of “A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue” here.


 The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

Probably one of the best YA horror books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! It’s about a Romani girl who is brutally assaulted and her friend is left at the edge of death, in order to save him she must collect “ingredients” and take revenge on the boys who are responsible. It’s brutal, violent, gory, and full of witchcraft. It’s truly a fantastic book but definitely not for the faint of heart.

You can read my full review of “The Hollow Girl” here.

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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

Top Ten Tuesday: Great Reads That I’m Thankful For!

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

Since U.S. Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday this week’s theme is books/bookish things we are thankful for! There are plenty of books out there that I’m thankful for but these are a few that just really stick out for me!

I will link reviews for each title if I have one and these are in no particular order!

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10.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

This was the first book I read by Jay Kristoff and I am thankful for it because I found him and he’s now one of my favorite authors! He’ writes very beautifully but also NEVER fails to throw in a ridiculous amount of shocking twists and turns, and he also knows how to write a badass female protagonist! “Stormdancer” has great world building, a badass heroine, a talking animal companion, and an intense/action packed plot. What more can I ask for?

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


9.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I’m thankful for “The Diabolic” because it’s a book that really got me interested in reading more YA sci-fi, which I was always interested in but now it’s a favorite genre of mine! This book also had tons of action, another badass heroine, political intrigue, and a romance I could actually ship!

You can read my full review for “The Diabolic” here.


8.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I highly doubt there’s anything even close to it out there in the book world either. It’s got morally gray characters with super human powers along with an “edge of your seat” plot line, I need the sequel desperately. Schwab’s writing is absolutely fantastic and I will pretty much read anything and everything she writes. I’m thankful for her because she puts out so much unique and creative content!

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


7.) Night Film by Marisha Pessl

It’s a perfect blend of horror and mystery and thriller, seriously this book was like winning the jackpot for me. There was plenty of suspense and I just adored it to bits and pieces, I am really hoping Pessl will release something just as good soon!


6.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don’t think I need to explain why I’m thankful for this gem, this is such a powerful and beautifully written book and I think it deserves to be read by everyone.

You can read my full review of “The Hate U Give” here.


5.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I’m thankful I finally read this amazing book! It’s such an awesome blend of some of my favorite genres such as fantasy and sci-fi, but it’s also full of great characters (that I became overly attached to) and shocking plot twists. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!

You can read my full review of “Red Rising” here.


4.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This is a brutal book full of some great world building and even greater characters, there are some magical elements as well. This BOOK kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and it’s just great, I need to read the sequel!

You can read my full review of “An Ember in the Ashes” here.


3.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I honestly don’t know how to describe how great this book but it’s about children who came back from other worlds (similar to the Chronicles of Narnia) via different doorways and learn to cope at a home with other children. After reading books such as the Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter as a child I found this book extremely relatable and very magical as well.

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


2.) The Wicked + The Divine Series by Kieron Gillen

One of my absolute favorite graphic novels series I am SO thankful I found! The plot is intriguing, the characters are all amazing, and the art is stunning!

You can read my full review for Volume 1 here.


1.) Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I’m very thankful for this beautiful book right here not only because it’s incredibly diverse and has a TON of pop culture/geeky references but because the anxiety rep was so spot on. I thought it was so great to see a main character with anxiety being represented so well, since it’s something I suffer from as well and it was just very relatable.

You can read my full review of “Queens of Geek” here.

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What are some books you’re thankful for?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading For SFF Lovers

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Hello fellow book lovers!

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

Time for another Top Ten Tuesday and this week’s theme is “Back To School” which can be anything from books you read in school or books you think should be required reading etc. So I decided to go with books I feel are required reading for any Sci-fi and Fantasy lovers out there!

I do have full reviews for each of these titles (which I am not going to link this time around) if you’d like to check them out!

These are also in no particular order and there are equal amounts of sci-fi and fantasy books here!

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10.) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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This book is simply amazing and definitely something you should check out if you’re a fantasy lover! Schwab weaves together some incredible world building and an action-packed plot focusing on a main character who has the magical ability to travel between the 4 parallel versions of London.


9.) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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This is technically sci-fi but while reading you don’t get very many vibes of this except for the alien type creatures and some plot information you receive later on. It’s sci-fi though trust me! This is about a boy living in a town of men who can all hear everyone’s thoughts and when he learns a secret about said town he must flee for his life.

Very heartbreaking story but so, so good.


8.) Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Yes, another Schwab book! Basically if you’re a lover of SFF then just check her out period! This book is probably my favorite of hers and it involves morally ambiguous characters and super powers, what more could you ask for? It’s definitely a page turner!


7.) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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This is one of those books that may not be for everyone but with the super unique formatting and the literal non-stop action I can’t help but recommend it for all sci-fi lovers. It has everything from a self-aware AI to creepy space viruses! There really is never a dull moment.


6.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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 I honestly recommend this book ALL the damn time but here I am again with it! This book has such creative world building and the characters were amazing too, tons of plot twists, and plenty of action as well. All around amazing fantasy book with all of the fantasy elements I personally look for. Who doesn’t love talking animal companions?


5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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Another fantasy book I recommend all the time which is also very underrated, it has some very unique world building along with four different retellings weaved into the plot as well (Hua Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Jane Austen’s Emma). It’s got some very heart warming and heart breaking moments for sure, overall amazing story though!


4.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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This is sci-fi but the political intrigue and plots are very reminiscent of fantasy as well, the pacing is insanely fast and there’s non stop plot twists and action! You’ll also love the complete badass main character, Nemesis, who pretty much just kicks ass the entire book. She’s one tough cookie!


3.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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If I were going to sum up why this should be required reading it’d just be me screaming because of how awesome this book is.

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There are so many wonderful characters and it’s like a much more brutal and violent version of the Hunger Games except in space….well Mars but you get what I mean.


2.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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The world building is very Ancient Roman inspired, there’s loads of action,  fantastic characters, and plenty of shock worthy plot twists. This has all of the wonderful fantasy elements most of us look for and is extremely entertaining!


1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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Very short, sweet, and to the point this book is magical and actually has some great world building for how short the story is. It’s about a home for “chosen one” children who have been kicked out of their magical worlds and must learn how to cope back in reality.

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

Do you think these should be required reading for SFF fans?

What are some books you’d consider required reading for SFF lovers?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

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Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

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“You’re used to knowing what’s what. You think like the rest of them. Things are set in stone. Things are well ordered. Reds at the bottom, everyone else standing on our backs. Now you’re looking at me and you’re realizing that we don’t bloodydamn like it down there. Red is rising.”

Where do I even start with this book? It was absolute perfection and simply amazing! Basically I could sit and fangirl over it all day instead of actually writing a coherent review! It’s super hard to write a review for a book that I found to be so utterly brilliant but I’ll try.

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PLOT

First of all I’d like to say this book is very much a blend of genres, it’s not JUST sci-fi and it’s not JUST a dystopian either. “Red Rising” has a little bit of everything because it’s got both sci-fi, dystopian, and even a little bit of high fantasy elements as well. Now being the big lover of both sci-fi and fantasy that I am, I was completely blown away by having these all combined into the “perfect book” for me! I think the blend of genres would make it a book that’s easy for every type of book lover to enjoy!

I absolutely loved the world building as well, Pierce Brown did a magnificent job of being original in my opinion. There is a caste system where people are placed according to Color and do jobs according to that Color, it’s also set on Mars (which we learn more about that as well!), and there’s a lot of Roman mythology in it as well! There’s also just so much unique slang and culture in the world too. It blew me away honestly, I just thought everything was so creative and compelling.

The plot was just overall amazing I love stories about rebellion, rising above oppressors, and rooting for the underdog! This story is all of those things! I was hooked immediately and could NOT put this book down to save my life once I started it. There’s constant action, plot twists, and is very complex overall. While the pacing could be considered more on the slow side I still felt there was enough going on not to be bored. It’s so VICIOUS! There is a lot of violence but it’s awesome (I’m horribly like that), I thought it helped this book break the mold of the usual YA.

Also, the writing? Just as amazing as everything else, of course! I loved how the writing made me FEEL what the characters were feeling and honestly I cried more than once. For me, crying because of a book is always a sign of it’s perfection. I love when a book’s writing is so wonderful it actually brings out emotions in the reader.

This book is VERY reminiscent  of “The Hunger Games”. It bothered me only a little bit that it was so similar but I got over it easily because it’s still a very different book. The arena the Golds compete in is similar to THG as well as the factions since they’re very reminiscent of the Districts in THG. But like I said it’s different too, for example “Red Rising” is by far more violent and gory and I LOVED it for that. There’s also a lot more strategy to it as well, which once again I loved.

characters

Let’s see here……hm…..the characters? Were as freaking awesome as everything else in this book! They’re ruthless, savage, and will do ANYTHING to further their own agendas. I love characters that are this complex and developed, seriously, ALL of them! I was amazed with Brown’s skill to take so many secondary characters and develop them in a few sentences!

Darrow is a great narrator, I loved how fiery he is but yet he knows he has flaws and weaknesses. He has his moments where he’d have his moral lines blur but overall he never forgot his purpose in doing all of this. I’ve seen people complain that Darrow is a “Gary Stu” because he’s chosen and perfect which I can understand but overall I saw that Darrow did have his flaws and I adored him.

The secondary characters were all fantastic as well, honestly it was like having a bunch of other main characters alongside Darrow. I loved how Pierce Brown could make you go from hating a character to loving one in a matter of sentences and vice versa! Everyone was so full of surprises.

I’d also like to take a moment and share my love for both Pax and Sevro who were both the most vicious and adorable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. That is all.

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romance

The romance definitely isn’t the central focus of the plot but it is important as Darrow’s love for his wife, Eo, is his main driving force. I thought those two were very adorable and Darrow is just so sweet and loves his wife so much, ugh, feels!

There is a bit of another romance in the story that I also was  a big fan of but I won’t get into details because….spoilers!

in conclusion

I am concluding that “Red Rising” is an amazingly perfect book and I, personally, found nothing wrong with it. I just had so many emotions and so much FUN reading this book!

Hopefully this review was at least moderately helpful….and not just me gushing too much!

What I Loved:

  • The unique setting
  • The world building
  • The writing
  • The characters, who were wonderfully complex
  • Literally, everything

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Nothing!

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend this book, seriously, especially for those of you who enjoy dystopians, sci-fi, or fantasy! I pretty much just recommend it anyways though…it’s perfection!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy