ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

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Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

review

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

This was a very unique and creative take on Snow White and one that I really did enjoy especially with the minor F/F romance and feminist themes! However, there was just something not there for me to rate this any higher than 3.5 unfortunately.

PLOT

My biggest complaint about this book is the extremely uneven pacing because it would have me turning pages eager to know more or I’d set the book down and not pick it up for days it was so slow. This is a problem for me since it’s harder for me to want to finish a book when it gets super slow after being so good! I have to say the end  and the middle is where it slowed down significantly for me and thought the first 40%-50% was much better.

The story is told in two different POVs one is Mina, the Queen and stepmother, and Lynet, the princess. In this way Mina is the “evil Queen” and Lynet is “Snow White”. The story revolves around Mina wanting to keep her power as Queen so she can be loved even though her heart is made of glass and Lynet is supposed to take her place but would rather spend her time climbing the castle walls and spending time with the new surgeon. Personally I found Mina’s chapters to be much more interesting.

As I already mentioned this book is a little slower with the pacing since it’s a very character driven story and doesn’t have an action packed plot by any means. I really loved the overall themes of feminism, family not being only blood, and being accepted for you who are and not who you “should” be. I also thought the general retelling of the Snow White fairy tale was done very well here, very creative and unique, and I loved seeing the twists on certain elements such as the enchanted mirror, huntsman, and poison apple!

The writing was also very well done and compelling…just saying. It really was wonderfully written and helped set the atmosphere for a fairy tale retelling.

I kind of stated already that I loved the themes in this book and I really appreciated that this is a book that focuses on female empowerment and women helping and supporting other women. Instead of Mina and Lynet fighting each other for the sake of power and the whims of oppressive men they stood against that and helped and supported each other. And that’s awesome.

characters

Now to the characters which were the best part and what drove the story forward!

Mina was by far my favorite character, I really thought her chapters and flashbacks were the most interesting parts of this story. Her character had so much depth and development throughout the book and we really see so many layers to her. She was raised motherless and by a father who constantly tells her that with her glass heart she cannot love or be loved. In her desperation for love she makes some bad choices but ultimately she is a very sympathetic character.

Lynet is the main character overall but she wasn’t as interesting to me as Mina, probably since she’s younger and there isn’t as much complexity to her character. She is constantly being compared to her late mother and instead of allowing herself to be groomed for the throne she would rather spend her time climbing and getting into mischief. I found myself really sympathizing with her though since she just wants to be her own person and not be a version of her mother like everyone wants. Lynet does grow over the course of the story significantly though as she learns she can use her power as queen to help people and help her kingdom.

The only other characters of any importance in the story would be King Nicholas, Mina’s father Gregory, Nadia the surgeon, and Felix the huntsman. King Nicholas and Gregory the magician were probably my least favorite characters since they’re both men trying to rule over and pressure our female characters Lynet and Mina (their daughters respectively). Sure King Nicholas doesn’t go about ruling over his daughter Lynet in an abusive way like Gregory rules over Mina, but he still tries to force her mother’s image on her. As for Gregory….he is straight up an asshole….just saying.

Nadia’s character was very interesting and she does play the love interest for Lynet which was a very slow-burn and sweet romance. Nadia actually develops quite a bit over the story even though she doesn’t play a huge role in it.

Felix plays the role of the huntsman and he is….adorable. I thought the take on his character was very, very creative and he actually grew a lot considering he’s more of a minor character.

romance

The romance does not play a central role in this book at all but it is there! It’s an F/F romance between Lynet, our Snow White character, and Nadia. I really loved the romance here since it didn’t overtake the main plot line and it was a nice slow burn romance, it was also very adorable!

in conclusion

I did really enjoy this book and think it’s a very creative take on the Snow White fairy tale but the pacing was something I had a hard time looking past while reading. There wasn’t much action which I understand but it would have been nice to have a little more and a few more complex side characters as well! Minor complaints those last two though.

What I Loved:

  • F/F, slow burn romance
  • Great feminist themes
  • Fantastic characters that were well developed
  • The writing was done well
  • Creative take on Snow White

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Not a whole lot of action
  • Very uneven pacing (most of the time a little on the slow side)
  • Would have liked a few more complex characters

RECOMMEND

I do recommend checking this book out especially if you’re looking for a good Snow White retelling or even just a book that has some great feminist themes!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved The Year I Started My Blog

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

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme is a throwback freebie so it can be anything you’d like to discuss about older books such as: books published 10 years ago, older books you forgot you loved, or books from the year you started blogging (which I’m doing!).

There are so many books I read a while ago that I don’t talk about enough and some of them I do talk about plenty. This is going to be a list of my favorite reads from 2015 back when I started this blog!

These are in no particular order and I do have reviews up for each of these books but I’m not going to link them since they’re older and slightly embarrassing! Still though they are available if you want to hear my full thoughts on some of them.


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

This was one of the first books I read when I started my blog because there was a ton of hype and glowing reviews for it! Of course I’m super happy I gave Schwab a try because she’s one of my favorite authors now.


9.) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I had read “Gone Girl” as well as “Dark Places” before I gave this one a go because I really enjoy the way Flynn tells her stories, they’re also super twisted. This one is probably one of my favorites of hers now as well because of that twist at the end!


8.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

This was a new release when I started my blog and I had heard a few good things about it and I’m ALWAYS looking for some great, creepy YA horror books. This is an anthology and pretty much all of the stories were fantastic plus some of them definitely did not fail to give me nightmares!


7.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

I actually mention this book quite frequently but when I first started blogging I was digging around for some great books to read that I hadn’t heard of before. “Lips Touch” was one of the ones I found and it definitely is very underrated. It’s three short stories told by Laini Taylor and her writing here is just as beautiful as it is in her other book “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. Highly recommend checking out if you’re a fan of hers!


6.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

I bought this book when I got “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys” as well because I had heard mixed things about it and was looking for more scary reads. I’m really terrified of Japanese horror stories every since getting nightmares in the fourth grade from the movie “The Grudge” so I was easily scared reading this book, which was fun!


5.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I hadn’t actually heard much about this book but I saw it in my local bookstore and the cover was so intriguing and creepy that I HAD to buy it. It’s also told in a really unique format consisting of transcripts of video footage, journal entries, and even drawings. It’s an interesting and pretty suspenseful psychological thriller.


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

This book….broke my heart! It came highly recommended when I was searching Goodreads for new books to read since I started my book blog and while it was fantastic and very well written….it was also completely emotionally devastating!


3.) Alice by Christina Henry

Okay, okay I KNOW I mention this book all the time but that’s only because it’s so fantastic! I think it’s pretty good for me to still be recommending a book two years after reading it! This is a very twisted, gritty retelling of Alice in Wonderland and is very much worth reading through in my opinion.


2.) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This book was actually recommended to me by one of my blogging besties Arianna @ The Quirky Book Nerd and I of course always take her recommendations to heart! This was such a hilarious graphic novel and I enjoyed every minute of it, it’s a great book to brighten up your day!


1.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Probably my most highly recommended book I’ve read and I was pretty proud reading two of Schwab’s books in half a year too when I started all of this! It’s got morally ambiguous characters with freaking superpowers….so yeah I was definitely impressed. I’m also DYING to read the sequel!!!!


A Few Honorable Mentions:

  • You by Caroline Kepnes
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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

What are some of your favorite books from the year you started blogging?

How about some older favorites in general?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems in Fantasy

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Hello fellow book lovers!

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

This week’s theme is Hidden Gems in whichever genre you’d like to pick! Of course I adore hidden gem recommendations and I have more than a few to give but fantasy is my most read genre so that’s the genre I went with. Some of these may be a little more iffy as far as having them be considered fantasy but there are fantasy elements none the less and most of them are 100% pure fantasy. Some of my choices also might be a little more popular than others and some of you may not consider them a “hidden” gem but they still aren’t super popular so I’d like to recommend them!

I will link up each title to my full review as well if you’d like to be convinced some more to add these to your TBR! Also these aren’t in any particular order!

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

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This is more of a horror book than anything but it still counts as fantasy in my mind especially since it’s a dark retelling of “Alice in Wonderland”. This book isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s truly terrifying, graphic, brutal, and violent and yet it’s still an addictive story. I highly recommend reading it if you’re looking for a unique retelling!

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


9.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

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A collection of three short fairy tale-esque stories all revolving around a kiss but trust me when I say it’s not the gushy romance fest you think it would be! Laini Taylor’s writing is gorgeous and she weaves together such creative tales with mythology of her own making, these stories are fantastic. Plus the illustrations are gorgeous as well!

You can read my full review of “Lips Touch: Three Times” here.


8.) The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen #1) by Sarah Fine

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This is such an underrated fantasy novel it isn’t even fair! The magic system is one of the best I’ve come across with both fire and ice users but the magic doesn’t come without it’s costs. The Valtia is the queen of the land who is the only wielder of both ice and fire magic and when she dies it passes on to the next but when the magic doesn’t enter Elli she is forced to flee. Great characters and great world building, go give this book some more love!

You can read my full review of “The Impostor Queen” here.


7.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This book is a little more well known but still not enough in my eyes! It’s an Aladdin retelling where the genie is female and they have a relationship, it’s got some great world building, badass female characters, and gorgeous writing! What more could you want?

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


6.) Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova

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Not only does this book have a gorgeous cover and diverse characters but it’s also filled with magic and a very Wonderland-esque adventure. Alex is a bruja (a witch) and wants to rid herself of her powers but when she tries her whole family vanishes into thin air.

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


5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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I recommend this book ALL the time and it’s probably the book on here I feel is the most underrated. It has a great story, world building, and characters plus on top of all of that it has four retellings weaved into the plot which include: Sleep Beauty, Cinderella, Hua Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s a fantastic story!

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


4.) The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

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This is a dark fantasy featuring a witch with the gift of necromancy who goes to train under another bone witch. She must control her powers if she is going to aid her fellow witches with the war that is brewing in the kingdoms. I really loved how dark and sometimes creepy this book got especially with the necromancy, great world building too!

You can read my full review of “The Bone Witch” here.


3.) Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Once again this one is a little more popular so it may not be considered a true hidden gem but it’s not a book I see tons of people talking about all of the time either. This is a Peter Pan retelling revolving around the character Tiger Lily, her backstory, and her relationship with Peter. It’s a darker version of Neverland and you’ll definitely be heart broken by the end.

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


2.) The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1) by Emily R. King

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A girl raised by the Sisterhood is chosen to be the Rajah’s 100th wife and she must fight in gladiator style battles against his other 99 wives in order to secure her place. This book is full of magic and some badass females, it may not be the best written book ever but it was highly addictive and entertaining!

You can read my full review of “The Hundredth Queen” here.


1.) Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1) by Linsey Miller

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This book is pretty hyped up at the moment but still isn’t receiving as much hype as it should. This is everything I wanted and expected “Throne of Glass” to be with the brutal competition to be the Queen’s assassin, plus we get a genderfluid main character!

You can read my full review of “Mask of Shadows” here.

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

What are some of your hidden gems in YA fantasy?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

How To Beat The Dreaded Reading Slump!

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Being either a reader or book blogger or both we all come across that dreaded reading slump from time to time, it happens! Sometimes we just burn ourselves out with reading and need a break but sometimes we WANT to get back to reading but just can’t muster our “reading strength”. So I’ve put together a little how to/tip post about things that can help you break out of that reading slump!

Before I get started though I’d just like to say that if you’re in a reading slump it’s OKAY! We all just need a break sometimes! So this post is in no way stating that you need to read all the time and if you want to take a break then take a break. This post is to help those seeking to break their slump and that is all.

Let’s get into it!

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1.) Organizing Your Books

This may sound odd but when I’m in a reading slump just touching books can get me out of it, sometimes I just like to go pick them up and re-organize my bookshelves. Staring at the gorgeous covers, the feeling of a book in your hands, smelling the books, or finding all of those books you’ve been meaning to read while re-organizing can definitely help you defeat that slump! Or maybe the accusing glares of your TBR books can be enough to guilt trip you back into reading….you never know.

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2.) Read Some Book Reviews

Remember all those new release, upcoming books, or books on your TBR that you desperately wanted to read at one point? Go read some glowing book reviews and get yourself re-hyped to read them!


3.) Take A Trip To The Bookstore or Library

What’s a better cure for a reading slump than perusing shelves filled with hundreds upon hundreds of books? The atmosphere in a place filled with books and other book lovers can definitely make you more excited to get back into reading!

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4.) Read A Graphic Novel, Comic, Novella, or Short Book

You know what they say: baby steps. I great way to ease yourself back into your reading game is by getting through a quick, easy to read book! You’ll feel more accomplished by finishing one and then move back into your usual books as well.


5.) Get Comfy and Cozy

Sometimes it’s all about your atmosphere, if you’re in a space filled with constant noise and busyness you won’t really feel like concentrating on reading while in a slump will you? So a simple solution for that is to find a quiet, comfy place to sit down and get to reading! I highly recommend putting on some PJs or comfy clothes, brewing yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and snuggling in with your favorite blanket! This definitely will put you in the mood for reading……..or napping which is also great!

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6.) Read Something By A Well Loved Author

Have a favorite author that you absolutely adore to bits and pieces then what better way to get back into reading than with a book by that author? This one’s pretty straight forward but let’s say you loved the Percy Jackson series but haven’t read Rick Riordan’s other books, there you go!


7.) The Good ‘Ol Re-Read

Have an all time favorite book that you haven’t read in years? Pull that sucker out and get to re-reading, there’s no better way to get out of that slump than by re-reading an old favorite and getting to re-experience it!


8.) Pick Out A Book You 100% Know You’ll Love

Are you a picky reader or a mood reader like me? One of the best ways to get out of that slump is to select a book that you’ve been dying to read and haven’t yet, pick one that you are certain you will enjoy and won’t be able to put down. Nothing gets you back into the swing of things than a hella good book after all!


9.) Argue With Yourself (My Personal Favorite)

Sometimes you need to just sit yourself down and tell yourself:

“You need to read. You need to read something now, you KNOW you’ll be unhappy if you continue this reading slump of yours. So go over to that shelf and pick out that book you just bought that you HAD to have and sit your butt down and READ!”

Believe it or not this is the way I get out of most of my personal reading slumps.


10.) Check Out Book Recommendations

Whether it’s from someone at your local bookstore or library, a family member or friend, or just browsing the internet; book recommendations are a good way to help you out. I mean when people recommend a book to you it’s usually a good one and if it sounds up your alley you’ll probably be excited enough to want to go read it right away!


11.) Check Out New or Upcoming Releases

Remember earlier when I said to read some reviews to get hyped? That kind of goes hand in hand with this. Go check out what’s coming up and maybe you’ll find a book you didn’t know you’re dying to read, getting excited for books is always the best way to get out of a slump.


12.) Watch BookTube or Read Book Blogs

Watching or reading about other book lovers getting excited for books whether they’re old favorites or upcoming releases can always get you hyped up and back into reading. This also kind of goes hand in hand with checking out new books or reading reviews.


13.) Watch Some Book-To-Movie Adaptations

This also applies to Book -To-TV as well of course! Personally I just watched the Miss Peregrine’s adaptation and afterwards it had me jumping in excitement to finish the series, since I only read book one. Nothing quite gets you excited to read a book or series than watching it’s adaptation because you know what they say; the book is ALWAYS better than the movie!

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Do you try any of these things when in a reading slump?

Did you find any of my tips helpful?

What do you try and do to get out of a reading slump?

Let me know in the comments!

Hopefully some of you found this helpful!

The Sassy

(An Ambitious) August TBR

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The reason I’m going to be a little more ambitious with my TBR than usual is because I have to cram a few of these in this week since they’re due back to the library and I have a couple of ARCs that need to get read quick as well! I think if I try hard and believe in myself I can read all of these though…..I hope.

So hopefully I will just turn into some sort of reading machine this month and get through all of these!

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

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I’m currently reading this and loving it! It’s a bit longer than the books I’ve been reading but I think I can easily tear through the rest since the writing is excellent and the story is actually pretty hilarious!


Asylum by Madeleine Roux

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Hopefully I can squeeze this in this week quick! I always want to read more YA horror books so this has been on my TBR for a while but I haven’t heard too many great things about this book so I’m going in with lowered expectations.


Alex + Ada Volumes 2 & 3 by Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn

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I really loved how the first volume ended and it left me curious as to what would happen next so I borrowed the last two volumes from the library and I’m going to, once again, cram them in this week before they’re due!


Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

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Everybody has been ranting and raving about this graphic novel and especially now since the second volume has come out! It’s a really interesting concept and the art is gorgeous so I’m hoping to finish this week.


Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast

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This is an ARC I got that sounds super interesting! It’s about an alien invasion and a girl in the human resistance is injured and an invader deserts his unit and the two must trust each other in order to survive. There really aren’t too many YA alien invasion or sci-fi involving aliens books that I know of so I’m excited to get to this one!


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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This book has quite the bit of buzz since it features a gender fluid main character who must compete to become one of the Queen’s assassins in order to exact their revenge. It sounds pretty reminiscent of “Throne of Glass” actually the more I think about it but I’m a big YA fantasy lover so I’m excited to see how this one turns out!


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

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This is described as being a fantasy feminist reimagining of Snow White and I’m lucky enough to have an ARC of it! This doesn’t come out until September 5th but I’m hoping to fit it in here quick so I can review it on time!


Because You Love To Hate Me Edited By Ameriie

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I just bought a copy of this book and I’m VERY excited to get to it so I’m making time to read this for sure! I love reading and reviewing short story anthologies it’s just fun and a nice break in the grand scheme of things! I’m also excited to see what all of these authors and BookTubers came up with because I love me some villains.


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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I love, love, loved Kara Thomas’s other book “The Darkest Corners” which was super dark and full of awesome twists! I’m expecting nothing less with “Little Monsters” so I’m really excited to read it and hopefully I get time 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

July Wrap-Up

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Fortunately for once I actually stuck to my July TBR! With the exception of “Daughter of the Pirate King” since I had to return it to the library where someone had a hold on it, so maybe someday I’ll get to it! I definitely didn’t read as much as I wanted to this month, I still did pretty good don’t get me wrong, but I got pretty hung up with “Want” and that put me into a mini reading slump there unfortunately.

Overall July was still a pretty great month and I’m hoping it went well for all of you, my fellow book lovers, as well!

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Books Read This Month: 6

The Disappearances by Emily Bain MurphyDreamfall by Amy PlumAlex + Ada, Vol. 1 by Jonathan LunaPretty Deadly, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnickWant by Cindy PonQueens of Geek by Jen  Wilde

I pretty much enjoyed all of the books I read this July which is pretty awesome! The only book I didn’t really like a ton and was “meh” would be “Want” by Cindy Pon unfortunately. I know it’s had a ton of hype but it was just a little boring for me. My favorites of the month would have to be “Dreamfall”, “Pretty Deadly Volume 1”, and “Queens of Geek” which were all pretty damn awesome!


Reviews Finished This Month:

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

Paper Princess by Erin Watt

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Dreamfall by Amy Plum

The Wicked + The Divine Volumes 1-4 by Kieron Gillen

Want by Cindy Pon


Tags &  Memes Done This Month:

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

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Childhood Books & Series

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Aren’t Set In The Western World

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Top 5 Wednesday: Series That Got Better


Other Posts Done This Month:

June Wrap-Up

July Releases I’m Excited For!

July TBR

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

Retellings I’d Like To See More Of!

Prettiest Covers On My TBR


What I’m Currently Reading:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueMonstress, Vol. 1: Awakening

I should have finished “Monstress” by now bu I just haven’t had time to sit down and give that one my full attention but it’s pretty dang good so far and the art is beautiful!

As for “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” it is immediately addicting and I’m actually having a ton of fun reading it!

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How was your reading and blogging month this July?

What were your best or worst reads?

What are you currently reading?

What books are you excited for this coming month, August?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Aren’t Set in the Western World

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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 topic is books that aren’t set in or inspired by the Western World, so nothing in North America or Western Europe! That also means no Fantasy or Sci-fi that may have been inspired by these places so nothing medieval based in a fantasy for example!

This is such a fun topic that calls for us to really think outside the box and opens the way for us to potentially find more diverse reads!

These are also in NO particular order and if I have reviews I will link them up as well!

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5.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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While this is YA fantasy not directly set in the real world it’s pretty clearly based off of Russia and Russian culture. Therefore I’m just going to say it counts! It’s also a very well written, fast paced, heist book and I say the hype is worth it!

You can read my full review of “Six of Crows” here.


4.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

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This is a historical retelling with a gender bent Vlad the Impaler as one of the main characters. It’s set in the 1400s in both Wallachia, which is modern day Romania, and the Ottoman Empire, which is mostly modern day Turkey.

I personally thought White did her research very well for this story!

You can read my full review of “And I Darken” here.


3.) The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This is a 1,001 Nights (a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories) retelling set in the Middle East and it also has some fantasy elements but they’re clearly inspired by Middle Eastern culture as well.

You can read my mini review of “The Wrath & The Dawn” here.


2.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This is a YA fantasy story but it’s also a retelling of “Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp” which is a story from 1,001 Nights (which as stated above is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories). The story and it’s setting are inspired by the Middle East.

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


1.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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This is a fantasy and steampunk story that was inspired by Japan or the Eastern World if you will. I, personally, really enjoyed this book but I have heard people mention that it was not researched very well and the Japanese vocabulary wasn’t used correctly. That’s why I’m saying the book is “inspired by” versus saying “based on” and I acknowledge other people’s claims that this wasn’t necessarily the best book as far as the cultural representation goes.

However, it’s still inspired by the Eastern World so I decided it applies here and as I said I did still enjoy the story. It’s nice to see steampunk elements in a book that isn’t set in Western Europe!

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


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

What are some books you’ve read or have on your TBR that aren’t set in the Western World?

Do you have any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy