Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

I don’t have much to say about this week’s choices since the theme is pretty straightforward so this post will be shorter than usual!

These are not in any particular order.

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10.) Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

9.) And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

Because it’s pretty yet creepy sounding.

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

7.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

6.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

5.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

4.) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

3.) And I Darken by Kiersten White

2.) Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

1.) Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I don’t know why but for some reason I really like the word vengeance?

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

What are some of your favorite unique book titles?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Boyfriends/Girlfriends

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

This week’s theme is pretty straightforward! I did add “Girlfriends” to the title since I did include one female character but a majority here are book boyfriends! Let’s just get right to it!

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Lucy/Lucifer (The Wicked + The Divine)

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My only bookish girlfriend on the list but I HAVE to add her because I love her character so freaking much! Lucy was such a badass in the first volume of The Wicked + The Divine and also extremely attractive in general.


Sevro Au Barca (Red Rising)

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Is it weird that I adore Sevro to bits and pieces? Hopefully I’m not the only one! He’s just so…unique, I loved his character.

P.S. I also adore Pax…


Jon Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire)

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Because I mean…..come on…. who doesn’t love Jon Snow?


Tyrus (The Diabolic)

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While I completely ship Tyrus and his love interest I wouldn’t mind having him for myself either! He’s ruthless, deadly, and extremely smart and I tell you any character that can play around with all that court intrigue is attractive as hell.


Brack (Kingdom of Ash And Briars)

Definitely a  lesser known book and definitely a lesser known character! Brack isn’t the main love interest but he is an important side character and I just loved him, if you read the book you may know what I’m talking about!


Dr. Pellinore Warthrop (The Monstrumologist)

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I really do just swoon at the mention of this character! He’s just so dark, broody, and intelligent and while he does come off as a little standoffish there is a lot more to him than that.


Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows)

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Yet another character I’m pretty sure anyone who has read this book will love! I think Kaz is the definition of roguishly handsome.


Adrian Ivashkov (Vampire Academy)

I read this series AGES ago but I still remember Adrian being one of my favorite characters! He’s so suave, sometimes an asshole but still not that bad of a guy.


Fred & George Weasley (Harry Potter)

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Probably my all time favorite set of bookish boyfriends, I have had a crush on these two since I was a kid reading Harry Potter for the first time! What’s not to love about them, honestly?


Victor Vale (Vicious)

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I loved Victor when I was reading through “Vicious”, I loved how he thought he was playing the part of the villain but in reality he was a pretty good guy. I adored his soft spot for Sydney and Mitch!

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Do we have any bookish boyfriends/girlfriends in common?

Any that are from the same books listed?

Who are some of your favorite bookish boyfriends or girlfriends?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

 

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

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 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

Top 5 Wednesday: Gateway Books Into YA Fantasy

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 theme is gateway books into our favorite genre! These are books that I feel are great to introduce readers into the world of YA Fantasy, which are just my own personal picks! YA Fantasy is hands down my favorite genre after all though I read many, many others as well. Hopefully some of these might interest you and get you into this genre too!

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5.) The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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While world building is definitely an essential part of every fantasy book and in “The Winner’s Curse” it is considerably light on that matter, I still consider it a great gateway book into Young Adult Fantasy.

It has a fantastic heroine, Kestrel, who isn’t a damsel or a warrior, she is in fact, a master strategist which is a breath of fresh air in a world where most YA heroines usually are either damsels or very gifted warriors. The politics that are so much fun in fantasy books make an appearance here as well with Kestrel using secrets ad information to gain the upper hand.

It’s such a fun book and definitely a recommendation from me!

Read my full review of “The Winner’s Curse” here.


4.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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While I had problems with Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy I had none with the first book in her new series The Dregs. What I found lacking in “Shadow and Bone” I found plenty of with “Six of Crows”, there was fantastic and unique world building and a top notch cast of characters. I could go on and on with this rant but just trust that you won’t be disappointed with this one and once you’re done you’ll be looking for more just like it which is why I consider this to be an excellent gateway book into YA Fantasy!

Read my full review of “Six of Crows” here.


3.) Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

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This is a book that I can only describe as a YA version of the A Song of Ice and Fire series complete with betrayals, revenge, and other really fucked up happenings that will make you want to throw your book down. It’s awesome. So if you want to get into fantasy books but just can’t gather the courage to read the whopper of a book that is “A Game of Thrones” then maybe go ahead and give “Half a King” a try because not only is it as good but it also has less pages……

Read my full review of “Half a King” here (and forgive me it was one of my very first reviews).


2.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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While some people may not consider this an actual YA book, I do. It has a young adult protagonist and there aren’t any elements that I would see as strictly “adult” or things that might fly over a young adult’s head. It has everything any fantasy book needs: great world building and mythology, great characters, and a great story these are also things every book needs period. “Stormdancer” is one of my favorite books of all time for sure!

See my full review of “Stormdancer” here.


1.) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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This, I think, is a very popular series and for good reason it’s simply amazing. For those of you who like a little more swoony romance in your fantasy books it’s absolutely perfect and if you’re like me and don’t really want that….it’s still perfect. Fantastic world building and such a unique premise this book is worth all the hype and is one of the best books to introduce you into the world of YA Fantasy!

See my full review for “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.

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That wraps up this week’s Top 5 Wednesday I hope you all enjoyed it!

Are any of these books on your list this week?

Have you read any of these?

What books do you think are gateway books into YA Fantasy or other genres?

Feel free to link up 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

Top 5 Wednesday: Rainy Day Reads

Top Ten Tuesday(1)

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

This week’s theme is “Rainy Day Reads”, which got me thinking: what exactly is a rainy day read? Well I just decided to do what I think they would be, to me a rainy day read would be a book that is fast paced and un-put-downable. Something that would keep you entertained while the weather outside is…well not so entertaining.

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

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

A fast paced, heist book with fantastic characters. You’ll be so drawn into the action of the heist and so intrigued by the backstories of the characters you won’t be able to put it down until you finish. Definitely a great book to start when you’re stuck inside all day.

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

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

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

For me, this book was about as fast paced as you can get! There’s a constant stream action. Think of everything imaginable that could go wrong for a group of people and this book has it happen. There’s crazy AI’s, space battles, mutating viruses, and more. This book is more than capable of keeping you entertained for a day, you’ll definitely keep turning pages.

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

3.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Vicious (Vicious, #1)

Once again we have a book with a fast paced plot, the story progresses so quickly you won’t be able to stop reading until you find out what exactly is going on! Morally ambiguous characters who are so fascinating you’ll keep reading just to spend more time with them. Everything about this book will keep you interested and makes for a great book for all day reading.

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

2.) Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happend by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

This book is absolutely hilarious, plain and simple. So funny, in fact, that I can’t resist NOT recommending it for a rainy day. You’ll be so busy laughing that you’ll completely forget about the bad weather outside!

You can check out my “mini” review of “Hyperbole and a Half” here.

1.) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona

This is actually a graphic novel but it’s a very loooong one and therefore I think it can qualify on here as being more of a book. This book is hilarious and heart-warming all at once, really those two words sum up the entirety of “Nimona” perfectly I think. You can definitely finish it in a day so it’s perfect for a rainy one where you can just stay inside and read until you’re done.

You can read my “mini” review of “Nimona” here.

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So that wraps up my Top 5 Rainy Day Reads! Hopefully you found some books on here to stash away for a rainy day or just to add to your TBR anyways.

Feel free to link up your T5W’s as well!

The Sassy

 

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

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

review

This was an amazing book plain and simple. When a book has as much hype surrounding it as “Six of Crows” does you definitely go into it expecting it to blow your mind and in this case it did not disappoint.

I was actually a little worried I mean everybody and their grandma loved this book and gave it at least 5 stars! Beside that I wasn’t exactly a HUGE fan of Bardugo’s “Shadow and Bone”, while I didn’t hate it I wasn’t crazy about it either. So needless to say I thought I might not like her newest book/series.

While I cannot give this book the full 5 star rating that most people have given it I can say it was still a great read, I did have some complaints though. I think it might just be a problem I have with Bardugo’s writing because I feel like some of the same problems I had with“Shadow and Bone” are apparent for me in “Six of Crows” as well.

One more note is that you CAN read this book without reading the Grisha trilogy! Although I will say it helps out a little, just reading “Shadow and Bone” gave me a better grip on understanding terms and such.

 PLOT

I’m going to start off by saying my favorite part about this book was the plot. Six criminals pulling off an impossible heist? Heck yes! I love heist stories, I can’t get enough of them. “Six of Crows” definitely delivered that. The entire planning aspect of said heist was a lot of fun, I loved reading how these guys were going to make the impossible, possible.

This book has been advertised as a cross between Game of Thrones and Ocean’s Eleven, it definitely has elements of both. Although I think it’s leaning a little more towards Ocean’s Eleven, actually it’s JUST like Ocean’s Eleven. I think most days EVERY new fantasy book gets slapped with the “Like Game of Thrones label”. The only thing that was remotely Game of Thrones-esque was the multiple POVs and some plot twists. However, good shocking plot twists are not exclusive to Game of Thrones. Point made.

Anyways! I loved the world-building in this book, whereas “Shadow and Bone” was very fantasy-lite I feel “Six of Crows” has ten times that depth. We actually learn about the separate countries, cultures, and languages. THIS is how you do fantasy world-building. There was TONS of diversity as well, we had characters with a lot of different skin shades and belief systems. I loved it. SO MUCH FANTASY CULTURE.

Also even though this is marketed as YA it felt surprisingly more adult-like. There’s definitely YA elements and I myself would label it that but there were some pretty dark moments that made me question what genre I was reading. In a good way, of course! I mean after all you are reading a book about a bunch of criminals and criminals they most definitely are.

The overall pacing of the book is very fast, it’s a pretty big book after all and didn’t really take all that long to finish. That’s how quickly I was turning pages. There’s SO MUCH action, I couldn’t go to sleep because I just wanted to keep reading.

Also there’s a pretty cliffhanger ending, so if you’re not up for that…..now you know.

characters

I freaking adored every single one, they were developed incredibly well. They all had such great depth to their personalities, I couldn’t believe it. Bardugo managed to craft excellent characters in just one book. They’re all badass criminals but there’s also so much more to them than that.

Each character has a POV int his book (minus Wylan, no idea why though) and they have flashbacks throughout the book to help us get background on their pasts. I loved this element in the story, learning about what drives each of these characters to do what they do. It helps you feel so much more attached to characters when you know where they came from and what they’ve been through.

Seriously, Bardugo did an OUTSTANDING job writing these characters. I could sit here and gush about them all day.

romance

Please excuse me while I rant and use some curse words…..

I hated how EVERY SINGLE FUCKING CHARACTER HAD TO BE PAIRED UP FOR A ROMANCE. EVERY SINGLE ONE. There’s six main characters thus the book’s title and each of them was GAGA over one of the others. Sure one of the pairs isn’t as outright as the other two pairs but it’s still definitely there and noticeable. I HATED IT. Like really? Can’t we just have great characters that like being their own person and don’t NEED another one of the characters? Can we? No?

Like excuse me for not wanting a huge love fest in the middle of my heist book.

A lot of people say the romance did not take over the book at all and I beg to differ. While you can still read this book for the heist and action and have a good time, I found all of the romances to be a bit distracting. I hate romance driven books for the most part and I’m just not a fan of having that many going on in one book at one time.

This is why I didn’t like “Shadow and Bone” I hated the romance(s) even though I loved the characters. So I think it’s safe to say that I just don’t like Bardugo’s writing when it comes to romances.

Basically it all boils down to I thought the sheer amount of romances was completely unnecessary. I did NOT need all of my main characters trying to romance and flirt with each other.

 

in conclusion

I loved it far more than I thought I would, this is a book that really lives up to all of its hype. Even if you didn’t really love Leigh Bardugo’s other book “Shadow and Bone” (like me) I still think you should give this one a try.

I’ll definitely be returning for the sequel!

RECOMMEND

Yes, yes, yes. As I said earlier you do NOT have to read the Grisha trilogy before this book! So go ahead and read this book now!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy