Halloween Non-Horror Recommendations!

Top Ten Tuesday(93)

So as I promised I’ve done up a post for those of you who want to read some spooky books for Halloween but don’t necessarily like horror or want your pants scared off! These are mostly all thrillers or have a paranormal factor present.

If you want to see my Halloween Horror Recommendations you can check that out here.

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

(Review Here)

A great diverse read featuring a Latino family of brujas (witches) and when Alex tries to rid herself of her powers her entire family vanishes. This is a very magical adventure full of family love and who doesn’t love a good witch book?


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

(Review Here)

This is a thriller about a girl who lied about who murdered their babysitter when they were younger and must now hunt for the true killer. This doesn’t have much for Halloween vibes but it is a very dark and twisted story full of surprises. It definitely gets gritty and you’ll get chills reading through it!


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

(Review Here)

Who doesn’t think “Coraline” is a Halloween classic now? Because I sure do! It’s subtly creepy and just absolutely perfect for reading this time of year.


The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

(Review Here)

Another thriller but this one has some psychics involved making it all the more perfect for some Halloween reading. A girl who fakes being psychic must now help the police find a missing girl but she may just have some insider information….


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

(Review Here)

Harbingers of Death? That screams Halloween in my opinion! A mysterious boy shows up in town accompanied by flocks of strange crows and when he saves Angie from something supernatural she realizes he may not be human either. Paranormal elements and a slightly creepy atmosphere makes this another great read for non-horror fans!


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Another book that shouldn’t surprise many of you but “The Graveyard Book” is about a boy who is raised by the supernatural residents of a graveyard. It’s full of adventure and just straight up adorableness.


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

A mystery thriller revolving around Jasper Dent the son of the most infamous serial killers in the world. Jasper was being groomed to take over the “family business” and therefore can see crime scenes from a criminal’s POV so when a new serial killer shows up in his small town he’s determined to prove it’s not him.

So, so, sooooo many twists and turns with this one it’s especially great if you have a morbid curiosity about serial killers, like me.


The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

(Review Here)

I could honestly recommend any of Flynn’s books but this short story fits the best in my opinon. It’s about a woman who fakes psychic readings and help from the beyond for money. When a woman wants her help ridding her house of something evil our main character may just start believing in ghosts….

Super quick read and open ended so if open endings aren’t your thing I’d skip it.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

(Review Here)

Psychics, ancient sleeping kings, ley lines, and magic trees I think it’s safe to say this isn’t your run of the mill paranormal romance or urban fantasy. It’s full of magic and sets a very fast pace not to mention you will definitely fall in love with the characters!


The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

This is more Middle Grade than YA but it’s still super interesting and full of supernatural spirits and creatures and there’s more than a few creepy moments too as Thomas learns about how to be a Spook.


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

(Review Here)

This one is filled with monsters, demons, undead, and spirits and while it has a few dark moments it mostly follows a girl named Tea learning to control her powers of necromancy.


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

(Review Here)

This book fits into a kind of neat genre but it’s about a girl who wants to hunt monsters and boy who is one of those monsters in a city torn into two sects. The monsters are very unique and fun to read about and the characters are a bit morally grey, definitely a fun read though and the monsters aren’t TOO creepy either!


Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta

(Review Here)

Another witch book makes the list! This one is about a girl who visits Scotland and learns a bit more about her family’s past as she continues having visions of two women and a bit more about witchcraft and blood magic. Honestly the background of Scotland makes this book worth the read as well!

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

Will you give any of these books a try?

What are some of your favorite non-horror Halloween reads?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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

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 Books Without Romance or they can be books with very little romance as well. I personally am a huge fan of books with little to no romance, it’s a big pet peeve of mine when romances cloud over the plot and all other happenings. I’m very happy to find books like this and share the ones I’ve read as well!

I will link up my reviews for each title as well if you’d like my full thoughts!

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5.) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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While I suppose it could be debated a little bit since it sometimes feels like the two main characters are developing feelings for each other throughout, this is still very much romance free. This is a story about monsters and monstrous humans and that’s where the focus stays, there’s no getting muddled up in any lovey-dovey moments here!

You can read my full review of “This Savage Song” here.


4.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Um…yeah here she is again! Schwab really is a master at keeping the plots of her books straight and interesting without getting too lost in any romance. This is a very complex novel about two men that gain “superpowers” and turn into enemies but the lines between who’s good and who’s evil blur very much.

One of the characters does have a girlfriend and the other character loves her as well but it’s very briefly mentioned and serves more as a motivator in the story than it does an actual romantic subplot. So no romance!

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


3.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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Have I talked about this book enough on my blog? Yeah, I don’t think so either. This is an amazing fantasy story with fantastic world building and a brutally unpredictable storyline, plus the heroine is a badass! I digress, there is a point in the story where Yukiko becomes a bit smitten with a boy but it is extremely brief and hardly mentioned. Plus when you get to the end of the book you definitely wouldn’t say there is any romance either…..trust me.

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


2.) Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry

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I cannot recommend Christina Henry’s books enough, honestly, and them being very romance-light is one of the reasons. With “Lost Boy” there is a point in the story where a character has a crush on someone but other than that it’s very romance free. It was nice to see a female character whose sole purpose wasn’t to be the love interest.

You can read my full review of “Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook” here.


1.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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What’s great about this book is how diverse it is with the characters’ genders and sexuality. We see both a transgender character as well as an asexual character, which I though was absolutely fantastic! Plus there was no romance at all, it was really great that we got to see such diversity like this and the author didn’t feel a need to push any of the characters together.

You can read my full review of “Every Heart A Doorway” here.

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

Do you agree about the “non-romance” in any of these books? Disagree?

What are some books you’ve read with little to no romance? (please tell me I love these kinds of recommendations!)

Do you find that you enjoy books with little to no romance more or less?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

 

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description

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

review

I really wish I could rate this higher, and don’t mistake a 3.5 for bad by any means, but my expectations were so high  for this book and I felt more than a little disappointed with it. I was expecting to absolutely LOVE this book after loving her other two books “A Darker Shade of Magic” and “Vicious” but I really don’t think this book is anywhere near that level (regardless of the fact this is YA and the others are not). So I enjoyed it but not nearly as much as I was supposed to.

PLOT

I absolutely loved the concept for this story I think it’s unbelievably interesting as well as unique but I think it was still a little lacking. First of all I thought the entire world was extremely underdeveloped, which I may forgive depending on how the next book goes, but still! We are essentially thrown right into the story with absolutely no clue as to what’s going on or why or anything really and then out of nowhere we are hardcore info-dumped which only confused me more. All in all I think we had a lack of information and when we received it, it didn’t really do a whole lot to help.

Even though I felt this way I still thought the world building was fantastic! We have some terrifying monsters who feed off of humans and humans who not only fight the monsters but also each other in a territory war for V-City. So the monsters are probably the most interesting part because they all have different classes, weaknesses, and strengths etc but there’s also a very Romeo & Juliette feel to the story as well with Kate and August on opposite sides of the territory war.I thought overall this made the story super unique and interesting, this is what kept me reading!

I also really loved how good and evil are blurred in the story it’s all one big grey area which is actually what I kind of expect from Schwab’s stories. We are meant to question who the real monsters are in this book (which come on who doesn’t love that right?).

The plot is also slow to start and takes a little time to unravel and for me it felt like I read half the book before things got really good. So I wouldn’t expect fast pacing and action around every corner because “This Savage Song” doesn’t have that, what it does have is some pretty great thrilling and intense scenes. Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was unputdownable for me.

No romance! That’s right guys there is no typical, cliched YA romance in this book! No insta-love, no love triangles, no romance period! What we did get was a very nice friendship between the two main characters, will it develop into something more? Maybe, only time will tell. I thought this overall was a breath of fresh air for a YA book.

Also the ending! I both loved and hated it because on one hand it was absolutely amazing and unexpected but also because it was such a cliffhanger, I’m torn between hating cliffhangers (because I lack patience) and loving how they make me crave more!

characters

I did really like Kate and August both but at the same time I felt like they were a little flat and underdeveloped, like everything else.

Kate was strong, determined, and definitely not a damsel. All she wants is to prove herself to her father who runs the North half of V-City. Although I will say she got a little annoying at times because her stubbornness lead her to make the not-so-greatest of decisions.

August is quiet, shy, and clever I actually liked his character more than Kate’s. I felt more sympathetic towards him and his problems versus Kate’s because of his nature.

I also really enjoyed how the friendship developed between Kate and August I loved that they grew so close throughout the story and yet remained out of the romance zone.

The secondary characters could have all done with a development overhaul since as important as they were to the story they didn’t seem like it, they were pretty boring and lacked the complexity I thought they deserved.

in conclusion

Overall I did enjoy this book but I didn’t find it particularly game-changing or mind blowing, I definitely expected to love a book by Schwab much, much more. It’s a good book and I can see how everyone enjoyed it a little more than me but I was a little disappointed.

What I Liked:

  • The overall premise/concept of the book
  • Morally ambiguous plot/characters
  • World building (even if it lacked a little)
  • No romance
  • That hellish but wonderful ending
  • The writing because it’s Schwab of course

What I Didn’t Liked:

  • The extreme lack of information especially at the beginning of the book
  • Info-dumps (when we actually got information)
  • Underdeveloped world building and characters
  • Slow pacing throughout

RECOMMEND

I actually would recommend reading this since it is an interesting concept and it wasn’t terrible but I’d say if you’ve read Schwab’s other books (such as “A Darker Shade of Magic” or “Vicious”) than I’d maybe lower your expectations for “This Savage Song” or just give it a skip all around because this doesn’t even compare to them.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy