Best Books of 2018

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It’s finally time! Time for my best books of 2018 post! Honestly these are some of my favorite posts to do and read since it’s like one giant wrap up for the entire year! These books will be all of the ones I’ve rated 4 stars or higher, I didn’t include anything with 3 or 3.5 stars but if you’d like to see those books as well in a separate post let me know in the comments down below!

I will include links to my full reviews for each title, unless I didn’t get to it yet in which case I won’t!

Now prepare for a long post!

Brace Yourselves X is Coming Meme | BRACE YOURSELVES A LONG POST IS COMING | image tagged in memes,brace yourselves x is coming | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

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July Wrap Up

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I feel so freaking accomplished! Overall I had a fantastic month with both blogging and reading and I’m pretty proud of myself. I read 9 full books and did a whole lot more posts than I usually do and actually kept on top of things pretty well. I’m not going to get my hopes up too much for August but hopefully I’ll do well this coming month too!

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Books I’m Rethinking My Rating On

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I actually think about this a lot, there are books out there that I rated and reviewed that I just don’t agree with anymore. Sometimes it just takes more time for me to mull over my thoughts. Some books I think deserve a higher rating now and some a lower rating, whether I’ll actually change them or not we’ll see! I also always feel like I should re-write my old reviews too, so cringey!

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*Spoiler Free* ARC Review: The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

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2018 Beat the Backlist TBR

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So I decided to join the Beat the Backlist challenge this year as I have SO many books I need to read that I own! My goal for this year is 60 books on my backlist TBR and hopefully I’ll get through more than that as well.

There are a couple 2017 releases on here but MOST of these were released even earlier than that, as I said I want to get through my older books. Here are the books I’m hoping to read!

You can sign up for 2018 Beat the Backlist here.


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Did you sign up for the Beat the Backlist challenge this year?

What are some of the books you’re hoping to read?

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

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

Book Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

review

Trigger Warnings: Racism, Sexism/Misogyny, Violence, & Police Brutality

Honestly, how do I even begin to write a review for an excellent book such as this?

A brilliantly written book that is not only incredibly powerful and packs a lot of punch in just 210 pages. I can already tell that “Dear Martin” and “The Hate U Give” are going to be compared and let me just tell you: read them both. They are both excellent and both deserve to be read as they handle important issues like police brutality and racism.

Of course I’d just like to say that I, being a white woman, can’t even begin to fully understand the issues described in this book nor can I fully give my opinion on them because of that. However, I do think this book is very important and I urge you all to give it a read. That being said you should definitely check out some #OwnVoices reviews of this book and if you know of any please feel free to link them below!

PLOT

Right off the bat I’d like to say that it was great to be reading from Justyce’s POV,  he’s just a great character but it was also nice to read from not only a male POV but also a POC POV in YA. I also really enjoyed the sections of the story in which Justyce wrote his letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. they added so much insight into not only his character but the issues that African Americans endure every day.

While this book focuses a lot on police brutality it also focuses a lot on racism micro-agressions as well. For example throughout the course of the story Justyce is faced with white male peers constantly making racist jokes and telling him to “quit being so sensitive” about them at the same time. Many of the side characters act atrociously in this perspective throughout the story too. I will say that one of the characters makes a bit of a turn around by the end of the story, which was nice to see.

One other thing that I mentioned in the trigger warnings was sexism and misogyny which we do see a bit of in this story and while it’s challenged I don’t think it was challenged enough. At one point during the story Justyce’s best friend, Manny, states that he isn’t interested in black girls because they’re “ghetto and full of attitude” and Justyce doesn’t want to date the girl he’s interested in because she’s white and his mother would not approve.

Aside from the plot the pacing is very fast and the writing is excellent, it’s easy to breeze through this one! I’ll also be looking forward to anything Nic Stone will be writing in the future as well!

Also my only real complaint is that it wasn’t longer!

characters

I really enjoyed Justyce’s character as well as his friend Manny, his love interest SJ, and their debate teacher whom they refer to as Doc. I thought they were all great characters and good people on top of that. I have to say though SJ, honestly, was my favorite I loved how fiesty and intelligent she was every time she would speak up about the racist and unintelligent remarks made by some of their classmates. I wish there would have been more development for a lot of the characters but with such a short novel that can’t really be helped.

As for some of the other characters such as Justyce’s peers, whom I don’t remember all of their names because they were horrible people, I loathed them. They were so blatantly ignorant and racist it was ridiculous and got to the point where I thought to myself “Do people actually talk this way?!” to which the answer is yes there are horrible people out there that do talk, think, and act like the people in this story.

romance

There was a bit of romance in “Dear Martin” and sometimes I felt it became too much of a focus in the plot and a little….overly dramatic. There’s a love triangle between Justyce, his on again, off again girlfriend Melo, and his friend SJ. Melo is clearly not a great girlfriend and manipulates Justyce whereas SJ is clearly perfect for him, so of course I spent the entire book rooting for Justyce x SJ! I really loved their relationship. So overall I did like the romance but like I said it got to be a little “too much” at times.

in conclusion

Overall thoughts: a fantastic book that my review simply cannot do justice (pun, unintentional!).

What I Loved:

  • Fast-pacing
  • Excellent writing
  • Fantastic characters
  • Important plot
  • Justyce’s romance with SJ

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Romantic sub plot got a little overwhelming and trope-y at times
  • Would have loved to have seen some of the sexism challenged more

RECOMMEND

I cannot recommend “Dear Martin” enough, it is an extremely important and powerful novel. I also recommend checking out “The Hate U Give” as well if you have already read this one and loved it!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

Down The TBR Hole #13

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This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

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Current TBR: 774

**** For some reason I skipped a book last week! But I’m back on track this week.****


Book #120

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get around to reading this but I’ll keep it for now since I own it. Plus I really loved “The Shining”!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #121

The Gift by James Patterson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I did enjoy “Witch and Wizard” when I read it AGES ago but I don’t really think I want to continue with the series anymore.

The Judgement: Go


Book #122

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Once again I read this series a while ago and enjoyed it but I don’t think I’ll ever continue with it.

The Judgement: Go


Book #123

School’s Out Forever by James Patterson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Again, read a while ago. Don’t want to continue with the series.

The Judgement: Go


Book #124

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Are you guys seeing a pattern here in this patch of my TBR? Series I started and won’t be finishing because I just didn’t really think “Divergent” was that great.

The Judgement: Go


Book #125

The Name of Stars by Maureen Johnson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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A sort of retelling of Jack the Ripper including a girl who can essentially see ghosts, at least that’s what it sounds like! It sounds interesting and I own a copy so I’d like to see if it’s any good.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #126

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I love Star Wars and I love zombies but I just don’t know about this one anymore. Maybe I’ll read it eventually or maybe not but for now meh.

The Judgement: Go


Book #127

I, Iago by Nicole Galland

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I freaking love “Othello” it is by far my favorite Shakespeare play and Iago is one of my absolute favorite villains. So of course I’d love to read anything related to the play!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #128

Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I really love the Assassin’s Creed games especially the Ezio ones and so I kind of wanted the book but I just don’t think I’ll read it. I’d rather go play the game!

The Judgement: Go


Book #129

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I tried reading this a really long time ago and just wasn’t very intrigued by it, I just don’t think Holly Black’s writing is for me. Although I will be trying “The Cruel Prince” because the hype is ridiculous.

The Judgement: Go

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

Do you think I should have kept any of these books?

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy