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

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

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Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading For SFF Lovers

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Hello fellow book lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Very heartbreaking story but so, so good.


8.) Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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


7.) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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


6.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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


5.) Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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


4.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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


3.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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

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


2.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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


1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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

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

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

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

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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description

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

review

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

Wow, this has got to be one of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Seriously, everything about it was perfection. It was heart wrenching, beautiful, adventurous, thought-provoking, and original. Everything about it was SO ORIGINAL, I’ve never read anything like it before. I also don’t think I’ve ever felt this emotional about a book ever, or at least not in a very long time.

Reasons Why You Should Read “The Knife of Never Letting Go”:

  1. It’s fast paced with plenty of action, adventure, and heart-break. It’ll keep you reading and on the edge of your seat begging to know what happens next.
  2. The world building is extraordinary it’s original and unique and there’s always new things being learned even when you thought you knew everything.
  3. Every single character you meet is complex and full of personality, you will fall in love with them. Even the ones you hate, you’ll love to hate them.
  4. There’s no romance! I don’t know about you but that’s fantastic for a YA book! That means no insta-love or love triangles!

PLOT

Trust me when I tell you that you’ll have a hard time getting bored with this book, it never has a dull moment. I hated to even put the book down at all!

There’s quite a bit of traveling in the story and usually ,for me, that equals slow pacing or a boring book overall. That was not the case with “The Knife of Never Letting Go”. There’s always something happening during their travels that’s interesting whether it’s a sort of chase scene, meeting a new character, or unveiling secrets. No slow pacing here which is awesome for an almost 500 page book, could you imagine reading that many pages and getting BORED? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

The world-building Ness did with this book was simply amazing, practically nothing was left to the imagination! There were no info-dumps either, you gradually learned about the world throughout the course of the book. Not to mention how original and creative the world Ness built is. People hearing each others thoughts, animals talking, native aliens, and space ships. All of which are explained in extraordinary detail, it was fascinating to learn about.

Now to the actual plot, you will be frustrated A LOT and yes that is a good thing. It means you actually care enough about what’s happening to get frustrated! Yay! Don’t let all of the action I mentioned earlier deceive you though, this book will test you emotionally and it will rip your heart out and stomp all over it. There’s much more to this book than meets the eye, you will feel absolutely moved by the time you reach the last pages. I guarantee it.

Another point I’d like to make is that every thing that occurs in “The Knife of Never Letting Go” and every choice Todd has to make is never easy. Never. Nothing about this book is easy and none of it is black and white. Everything exists in a moral gray area. Which if you ask me just makes the book that much more interesting and that much more unpredictable.

Seriously, I dare you to try and predict anything that happens in this book.

This book was utterly flawless, I don’t have one single complaint about anything in it. However, there are two things that I’ll discuss that may bother you or other readers.

Todd’s slangy speech. This didn’t bother me any while I read but it might bother you, Todd’s speech in the book is lots of slang and mispronounced words. Here’s a quote that demonstrates this:

“That’s the thing I’m learning about being thrown out on yer own. Nobody does nothing for you. If you don’t change it, it don’t get changed.”

See what I mean? He also pronounces the word creatures as creachers and so on.

The second thing about this book that may bother you is that it ends on a big cliffhanger that demands you pick up the next installment right away. Cliffhangers don’t really bother me any, I’ll either pick up the next book or I won’t, but you’ve been warned now.

characters

First off let me tell you that every single character you meet will make an impression on you. Everyone in this story is more than meets the eye, and practically everyone is well developed. Random people you meet on the road? You’re damn right they’re developed characters. I felt that I really KNEW every person Todd came across in his journey.

If that’s not great character writing I don’t know what is!

Our main protagonist is Todd (which I keep accidentally typing as Tood, how embarrassing) who is probably one of the most deep, complex, and well developed protagonists I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. He’s a fantastic narrator, and not only that but he’s an incredibly real and relatable character.

(Yes I just made a meme to use to make my point)

We get to watch Todd grow as a person throughout the course of this book, and it’s enough to make you feel almost proud of him.

Viola is the other main character in this book and I loved her as well. She’s strong, smart, loyal, and very capable. Pretty much everything I love in a heroine!

Then we have Manchee, Todd’s dog. Holy crap is he ever the greatest dog in any book I’ve ever read. He talks! And he talks EXACTLY how I imagine real dogs would talk.

“The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.
About anything.
“Need a poo, Todd.”
“Shutup, Manchee.”
“Poo. Poo, Todd.”
“I said shut it.”

If dogs ever talk while I’m alive and they don’t talk like this, I’m going to be so disappointed. Manchee is as loyal a friend to Todd as anyone, and he’s actually very smart. He helps Todd throughout his journey more than anyone I think. Manchee just warms my heart, he’s basically Doug from the movie “Up”. If you think I’m lying go read the book and you’ll agree with me. I’m patient….I can wait.

Other Things I Have To Say:

There’s no romance in this story, which always merits points from me. Sorry, I’m just not a romance fan. There’s no love triangles or insta-love or any of that. Nope, this book has something better. Bonds and the kind of love we feel towards friends or family, not romantic love. That’s the kind of love that’s in this book and you’ll feel it too.

in conclusion

“The Knife of Never Letting Go” is a very emotional book that will succeed at completely immersing you into its story. I just wish I could properly explain how wonderfully beautiful this book truly is and writing this review was very difficult. How do you write a review for such perfection? I hope I did OK.

RECOMMEND

Yes! A million times yes! This book makes all of my other 4-5 Star ratings seem like 2’s!

Although I’d say if you’re NOT a fan of crying or getting super emotionally attached to characters then skip this one. You will cry. That’s the only reason I have to not recommend this though.

So hurry up and read this dang book that I love! Then we can all sit and cry together! I mean discuss this great book together!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

 The Sassy