Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved Less Than Everyone Else

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

This week’s theme is books we either loved less or more than everyone else, pretty self explanatory. I, being the black sheep that I am, chose to go with books I loved less since that usually seems to be the way things go for me with more popular books.

As usual I’ll link up my full reviews to the titles!

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10.) Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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This book was insanely hyped last year when it came out and so my expectations were pretty high for it and….it was not that great. It lacked world building and honestly I didn’t think anything was developed at all. There were elements I enjoyed but overall it was a disappointment.


9.) Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

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So a TON of people love Rosamund Hodge’s books and they do sound amazing, I mean dark fairy tale retellings? Hell yes! Unfortunately this one was confusing, I spent a lot of my time completely lost as to what was going on and the characters were really flat. Maybe I’ll like her other books more but if they’re like this one I already know I won’t.


8.) Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Another extremely hyped book and series that I just did not love as much as everyone. I hated the main character and I felt there was a lack of world building. However, I thought Bardugo’s writing improved vastly with “Six of Crows” which I loved.


7.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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I honestly think I should turn this rating from a 3 to a 2 since I really didn’t like this book all that much. Celaena was annoying and vain and not as badass as everyone makes her seem, also a lack of world building. Definitely a black sheep with this one since EVERYONE loves this series.


6.) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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The Lunar Chronicles is another series that is wildly popular and for me “Cinder” was a big disappointment. My main problem was how predictable the story was but I am thinking about continuing the series.


5.) The Crown’s Games by Evelyn Skye

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Another book that got super hyped and was wildly disappointing for me. It was FULL of insta-love, an awful love triangle, and lack of world building once again (see a theme here for me?). Also the magical fight to the death was just a bunch of parlor tricks and no actual fighting occurred.


4.) Soundless by Richelle Mead

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I absolutely loved Mead’s Vampire Academy series so I was expecting to love her new standalone but I did not. Once again the complete lack of world building was the biggest reason I did not like this book.


3.) Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

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Seems a ton of people loved this book and while the writing is very beautiful I thought the characters were awful and idiotic, and the romance was also full of cliches.


2.) These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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I really wanted to like this book because EVERYONE loves it but it was just so slooooooow and boring for me. Seriously this book had no business being 500 pages….


1.) Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

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Lots of people actually liked this book and I can see why like if you like historical fiction romances for the most part. However, for me I was expecting actual PIRATES since this is supposed to be about Blackbeard! Did I get pirates! No! I got zero pirates!

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What books do you love more or less than everyone else?

Did you dislike any of these books too? Or like them?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your TTT as well! 

The Sassy

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Top 5 Wednesday: Most Unlikable Characters (NOT Villains)

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and created by Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. You can check out the group’s Goodreads page for this month’s topics!

This week’s topic is unlikable characters but they can’t be villains! So basically any main characters or secondary characters you found annoying or just ya know…unlikable.

Please note that these are my own opinions and I don’t mean to offend anyone who does like the characters I mention!

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5.) Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas)

While Celaena isn’t the most unlikable character I’ve come across she still can contend in my top 5. My biggest problem with this character is that she is made out to be the kingdom’s most badass assassin and it just does not show at all, she spends far more time concerned about her cleanliness, clothes, and boys. Where was the badass-ness I was promised? I just found her to be really…annoying.

I feel scared because this is such a popular series but…

I’m basing this only off of book one since I have not read the entire series, let me know if she gets better later in the series!

You can read my full review here.


4.) Zoe Redbird (House of Night Series by P.C. & Kristin Cast)

How did I manage to read so many of these books? They were pretty bad in my opinion and all of the characters were pretty intolerable. Zoe Redbird is the main character and pretty much all she cares about is…you guessed it, boys. Basically you have a bunch of sex-crazed, annoying teenagers and Zoe is at their front.


3.) Alina Starkov (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)

Alina is probably the most special of snowflakes and it was annoying as hell. Not to mention the fact that she spends pretty much all of her time hating how attractive all of the other Grisha are compared to herself, because she’s “so plain and boring”. Almost every decision she made felt idiotic and it irritated me. All of that, for me, made for a very unlikable character.

You can read a mini review here.


2.) Jace Wayland (City of Bones by Cassandra Clare)

This was actually pretty much a toss up between him and Clary, I find them both equally annoying but Jace won out. I found him to be too narcissistic and he was more or less a douchebag. Sorry but this guy was way too annoying for me!

You can read a slightly rage-y review here.


1.) Bella Swan (The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer)

I don’t feel like I really have to explain this one, do I? It’s Bella Swan guys.

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Have you read any of these books?

What did you think of these characters?

What characters do you find the most unlikable?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave a link to your T5W as well!

The Sassy

Hyped Books: The Good & The Bad

Top Ten Tuesday(2)

Hey guys! So today I’m just going to discuss a couple of really hyped up books in the book blogging community, ones that I’ve read at least, and share my opinion on whether I think they deserved all of the hype they got or not. Some of these are new and some are older series but nonetheless we hear a lot about them in this community.

I’d just like to remind everyone again that these are strictly my opinions and I mean no offense to any of you if you liked or disliked any of these books!

I will also link my reviews to all of these books as well!

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The Good

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

This book and series may not be quite as hyped anymore since it ended but it is still pretty popular. Not to mention it feels like everyone who reads it ends up loving it! I’ve been seeing this series around for a while and with Laini’s new book “Strange the Dreamer” coming out this fall I decided it was finally time to see what the hype was all about.

Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely gorgeous and I would read this book just for that but also the mythology, the plot, and the world building are amazing as well. I don’t think I found a single flaw while reading it! So in my opinion “Daughter of Smoke & Bone” definitely lives up to the hype.

Illuminae ( The Illuminae Files #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

This one is a fairly recent release and so the hype is big especially since we’re all anticipating the sequel “Gemina” this October. Everybody seemed to have read this right when it came out and the reviews were a bit mixed, people either hated it or loved it. So of course I was extremely nervous to read it because I wanted to like it!

Long story short I ended up LOVING it! So for me the hype surrounding this book was worth it.

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

Probably the second most hyped YA series out there, next to Throne of Glass. I don’t know but The Raven Cycle is CRAZY hyped, everybody loves it and talks about it all the time. Plus with the recently released “The Raven King” it was practically blowing up the blogosphere so of course I couldn’t stand it any longer and finally caved.

I didn’t think I would love this one as much as everyone else but boy was I pleasantly surprised! It was a ton of fun to read through and left me craving more and that craving caused me to go out and buy the rest of the series without question. Worth the hype? You bet.

The Wrath and The Dawn (The Wrath and The Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

This one came out last year with the sequel being released this year so the hype was pretty insane. Seemed like everybody was reading it and loving it and giving it great reviews!

This book gave me the warm fuzzy feelings, it’s full of adorable-ness and magic. Rarely does a romance based book win me over but this one certainly did.

Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo

This book was a big deal last year mostly because it was a new series by Leigh Bardugo and her Grisha trilogy is very, very popular. Since I wasn’t a huge fan of “Shadow and Bone” I wasn’t really sure I would want to try “Six of Crows” but there were just so many glowing reviews that I was curious enough.

This is SO MUCH better than “Shadow and Bone” the characters are better, there are multiple POVs, the action is better, and the world building is more complex. It is a fast paced book and it’s just awesome. So when you hear everyone talking about how great “Six of Crows” is, listen to them.

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

Lots of love for this series but maybe not quite as hyped up as a few of these others on this list. Don’t get me wrong it’s definitely a very popular book and series BUT we don’t hear about it as much as Throne of Glass or The Raven Cycle, especially since the last book of the trilogy came out this year.

This one I was a little leery about since it looks like it’s a bit too fantasy lite for me with more focus on ballgowns and dancing and boys. While there are elements of those things in “The Winner’s Curse” it most definitely isn’t the focus, it has some great action and politics. However, with this first book it pays off to be patient with it until the end!

The Good(1)

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

This was an OK read for me, it wasn’t horrible but it was not as great as I thought it would be either. This is probably one of the most popular YA series out there and so my expectations were pretty high and honestly I should have gone in with none so I wouldn’t be so disappointed.

Celaena was not as badass as the book promises which was my biggest pet peeve, I mean how hard was it to give me some assassin action? Celaena is apparently the deadliest assassin out there and it just doesn’t show. Overall the hype surrounding “Throne of Glass” didn’t really feel worth it to me and I might have enjoyed it more if there wasn’t so much hype.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

You’ve heard of the Grisha trilogy, right? Probably, it’s pretty popular and still is.

It has magic and is based off of Russian culture/folklore, how could any of that go wrong? Well it went wrong with the characters if you ask me that and some very light world building. Not worth all the hype it gets to me but maybe the series gets better? I’m willing to give the rest a try.

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

This book was plastered all over Twitter for the longest time up until it’s release, then when it was released it felt like the entire world was reading it! So of course when you see a book that much everywhere you look you want to check it out, right? I did and I almost wish I hadn’t bothered.

It got pretty slow paced, lacked great world-building, and the plot had quite a few holes and left me with more questions than answers. For me a fantasy relies heavily on the world that’s built for it and “Truthwitch” didn’t really have that. Not worth the crazy amounts of hype it received and I don’t know if I’m even interested enough to read book 2 when it arrives.

Soundless by Richelle Mead

Not as hyped up as other books but since it was a book by Richelle Mead it still received a lot of attention. Did you read her Vampire Academy series? If you did you’ll understand why everyone was so excited for a new standalone book by her that was “steeped in Chinese folklore”. Yeah that’s how it was marketed and it was basically just that, marketing. This book really didn’t contain any Chinese folklore or mythology to speak of and there was next to no world building at all.

Big disappointment especially since I loved her Vampire Academy series a lot but I think I may just have to give up on any other books she writes.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

Just thinking about this book makes me want to rage. It’s HUGE of course since it has a movie and a TV series now and there’s also tons of books plus their spin off series. Too much if you ask me but then again I’m not a fan.

This book just failed to captivate me I was left wondering what the heck the big deal about is was. I have no interest in ever reading anything else by Cassandra Clare either since it seems she won’t write anything outside of the Shadowhunter universe.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Don’t hurt me, please,I know The Lunar Chronicles is a super big deal! It seems to be yet another one of those books/series that pops up everywhere and everyone’s read them. I actually read “Cinder” a long time ago and didn’t really enjoy it because I thought it was too predictable. I mean the “big twist” at the end of it wasn’t even a little surprising and to me that makes the book a bit boring.

However, I do own “Scarlet” and it seems that that the series may get better so I’m willing to continue with it and find out.

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So are there any books on this list that you thought were worth the hype?

How about not worth the hype?

Have you read any books that received crazy amounts of hype, not on this list?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Making Up For Monday: Not So Heroic

This is a weekly meme hosted by An Avid Reader; A Wanna Be Writer!

This week’s question: Who is your least favorite hero-esque character and why?  

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Now I know I’ve said this at least once on this blog before but I’ll say it again: Alina Starkov. I hated her with a burning, fiery passion. I’m actually not even sure she should qualify as a hero for this question, that’s how awful she was. She’s just a pathetic, sad excuse for a heroine. I thought she was a complete damsel, and she had no idea what she was doing 100% of the time. Does that sound like the type of hero you want to rely on to save your fantasy world? No. No it does not.

Granted I’m picking Alina based solely on her character in “Shadow and Bone” because I have not read the rest of the Grisha trilogy yet, I’m working on it people!

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Fantasy 101

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101 (examples: feminist literature 101, magic in YA 101, classic YA lit 101, world-building 101).

After some thought I’ve decided to “teach” Young Adult Fantasy 101. This is my syllabus:

1.) We shall start my class with the mother of all fantasy books:

 

Harry Potter! This counts as Young Adult Fantasy right? Of course it does because I’m the Professor and I said it does, so sit back down. I can’t possibly teach a class about YA Fantasy and NOT talk about the perfection that is Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling is a goddess of writing ya’ll. Do we have time to read all 7 in this syllabus? We will make time my dear pupils. The Harry Potter series cover one of the MAJOR fantasy necessities: magic. You don’t have to have magic to be in the fantasy genre but it is a big element and Harry Potter is all about that magic. It also has an imaginary world (Hogwarts) and magical creatures (Hippogriffs, etc.). With these books we can concentrate on the magical aspect of the YA Fantasy genre.

2.) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Now if we can’t have YA Fantasy 101 without Harry Potter then surely, SURELY we absolutely cannot have it without anything by Tolkien!! Now you may be wondering why I picked “The Hobbit” over any of “The Lord of the Rings” books, and the reason is that “The Hobbit” quite simply is easier to follow and understand. If this was Fantasy 101 then we’d probably switch them out but this is YA Fantasy 101 and “The Hobbit” just fits better. With this book we have all the classic fantasy traits: different races (men, elves, dwarves, hobbits), magic, it’s 100% imaginary world setting, and the traditional good vs. evil. So that should be all the reason I need to include this into my syllabus.

3.) Half a King by Joe Abercrombie:

This is a perfect example of a YA Fantasy book that blends many of the fantasy subgenres together. Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy, and so forth. Once again it shows traditional elements of magic and magical races (elves). But then it shows the grim atmosphere of Dark Fantasy with its royal politics and betrayals and such.

4.) Eragon by Christopher Paolini:

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)

Dragons. This is included because there’s dragons…..I’m sorry doesn’t that count? Fine. “Eragon” demonstrates the fantasy element of magical creatures very well because obviously…dragons. But it also has the traditional races such as elves and men, and contains magic.

5.) Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes:

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)

This is essentially the Young Adult version of “Game of Thrones”, and since that is definitely an adult fantasy book I’m including “Falling Kingdoms” as my replacement. You have your magic, royal politics, different POV’s, and so forth. I think the whole YA “Game of Thrones” is enough to convince you that it NEEDS to be included into the syllabus.

6.) Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas:

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

This series is HUGE in YA Fantasy. It’s set in an imaginary world, with royals, battles, all that good stuff. It needs to be included. It just does.

7.) Graceling by Kristin Cashore:

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

Same as with “Throne of Glass” I think it’s very hard to think about YA Fantasy and not include “Graceling” on the list. It is a staple of YA Fantasy in my opinion.

8.) Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch:

A fairly recent addition to the YA Fantasy genre but a very, very good one. It’s fantasy because you have your basic sword and sorcery type stuff going on and it’s young adult because you get your love triangles and male eye candy! Ta-Da!

9.) Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan:

Again, I’m including the entire series….because I can. These books contain everything you need in a fantasy series: magical creatures (Pegasi), magic, different races (demigods, gods, cyclops, etc.). It’s awesome. The Percy Jackson series focuses on Greek mythology, and combining them with our modern day world. They will help us focus on the aspect of magical races and creatures in the YA Fantasy genre. (I know this is technically Middle Grade but I don’t care!)

10.) And finally, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo:

I think I’m putting this one in as a “What Not To Do If You Want A YA Fantasy”. There’s very light world building. There is magic though so there’s some points. I also don’t feel right doing a syllabus about YA Fantasy and not having this one here.

So what do you guys think? Would you want to take my YA Fantasy course?

The Sassy

Mini Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

review

Well, I just didn’t love this as much as I should’ve. I know a TON of people absolutely ADORE this book and this series but I just didn’t feel that connection. Don’t get me wrong though it was okay I did kind of like it, I just had some issues with it.

I would say one major issue I had with “Shadow and Bone” was the world building. This is supposed to be a FANTASY and I didn’t feel like I was reading one. I felt like I was kind of thrown into the world without being told the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, or why’s. I felt like one of those blindfolded people in those Febreze commercials, “Oh here’s a really nice smelling fantasy, YA book with a wonderful description I bet it’s really wonderful.” *takes blindfold off and discovers a book full of disappointment and no fantasy* I just can’t do a good job of expressing it really, I just felt frustrated with it.

Then there’s our MC Alina. What a sorry excuse for a female protagonist. She was weak, pathetic, and needy. I HATED HER. She was a complete damsel, she wasn’t the badass Grisha that I was promised! All she does is stumble around not knowing what’s going on and going all gaga over Mal and the Darkling. That’s it. She sucks. She’s the #1 reason I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I should have.

The plot was decent, it was enough to keep me reading throughout the beginning of the book and the end, but I felt like I really had to force myself to keep reading through the middle. There were a couple of times I thought about DNFing it, but as I’ve said before in other reviews, I HATE not finishing books. Especially when I bought and paid for them already. It was really easy to keep putting this book down and not picking it back up for a while, it didn’t capture my attention as much as a fantasy should have.

Also the characters weren’t really that great, I didn’t care what happened to any of them really. Usually I have a problem with getting too attached but that was not the case with any of these characters. Alina sucked, Mal was boring, and all of the others were just meh. Pretty much all of the other Grisha were stuck up jerks. I did, however, LOVE Genya. She was freaking awesome. And the Darkling was just….yummy, if you’ve read “Shadow and Bone” then you get it, if you haven’t then you WILL.

So “Shadow and Bone” is really just a decent read, I will eventually get around to reading “Siege and Storm” because I REALLY want this series to get better.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy