Books I’d Like to Finish Before the End of the Year

So of course I’m going to be pretty busy this month and next month with ARCs but by the time November and December roll around what will I be reading? It’s been a bit of a chore with certain posts to not discuss my planned October TBR, why is it so secret? Just for fun! I have quite a few spooky books set up for October. However, there are a couple books I would for sure like to squeeze in before the year ends that aren’t going to be a part of my Halloween TBR for October. Here are just a few of them!


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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

I just purchased this book and would LOVE to dive into it soon since it promises to be pretty dark and full of some serious plot twists. If it’s anything like Thomas’s other book “The Darkest Corners” then it’s sure to not disappoint!


The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I’m actually ashamed that I haven’t read any of his books yet since I’m an avid fantasy reader! Plus on top of that EVERYONE keeps telling me I must read this series and I know they’re right. I’m really hoping I can manage to make some room for it before the year is up.


Because You Love To Hate Me Edited by Ameriie

I’m sad I couldn’t fit this in any sooner but the ARCs got the best of me! This should be a fairly quick read since it’s an anthology by some fantastic authors and all about villains. Can’t wait to get to it!


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

I’m all for anything that seems “Alice in Wonderland” inspired and I also have been meaning to give Tahereh Mafi a try. I just got a copy of this book and hoping I can test it out soon, especially with that gorgeous cover!


The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I know, I know how can I NOT have read the Heroes of Olympus series yet? I read and adored and loved the Percy Jackson series but just haven’t gotten to this one yet. Fortunately I got a fantastic deal on a box set so now I have no excuse to not just dive into this series finally!


A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I have zero excuses on this one, especially now that the trilogy is complete! I’m hoping I can finally get started on the sequel to the fantastic “A Darker Shade of Magic” because Schwab is Queen!


The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

This book is a little bit more under the radar but I thought it sounded interesting and I have heard good things about it. I’m all for interesting magic systems!


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’ve been meaning to read this ALL YEAR and still haven’t gotten to it yet! So I’m hoping I can finally read it especially since I adore Laini Taylor’s writing to bits and pieces.

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

Do you have any of these on your TBR as well?

Have you read any other books by these authors?

What books are you trying to squeeze in before the end of the year?

Let me know in the comments!

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

Book Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

 

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description

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

review

First off all I’d like to say that I did this as a Buddy Read with Ariana at The Quirky Book Nerd. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again sometime since Ariana has great (and similar) taste in books! Make sure you check out her review as well.

Can I just use an Incredibles gif to sum up my entire review on a super hero book?

No? Ok fine…..

This book was amazing and I give all of that credit to V.E. Schwab’s incredible writing, seriously she’s definitely my new favorite author. “Vicious” is easily one of my new favorite books as well.

This is a book all about super powers and heroes versus villains, or is it? Who are the real villains and the real heroes? Quite simply the answer is, there are none. Not in “Vicious” anyways.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

This quote easily sums up the entirety of this book, I think. (Also there are TONS of great quotes from this book, just saying.)

PLOT

I think it’s safe to say the entire plot of “Vicious” is one big morally gray area. There is no good or evil, only an in-between and even then it gets a bit…blurry.

The storyline is intense and highly addictive, every chapter ended with its own mini-cliffhanger. It definitely left me craving more and forced me to keep reading. There’s just so much suspense and every little thing was building up to something bigger.

Seriously, there’s SO MUCH SUSPENSE.

One way that Schwab built up this suspense was by alternating perspectives, not only did we get insight into multiple character’s POVs but we also jumped back and forth in timelines. Normally that’s something that can be pretty annoying and confusing, having chapters in the past and present both, but ultimately Schwab uses it in her favor. By doing this we are given pieces of the story one at a time, which definitely adds mystery to the story as a whole.

I also thought a lot of things that occurred in the story were VERY unpredictable, I felt like I was being bombarded with tiny plot twists! If it was possible to cover my eyes while also continuing to read I would have while reading “Vicious”.

That’s something I REALLY loved about this book, the shock factor. When I don’t see things coming and am truly shocked by a turn of events, I know it’ll turn out being a great read. “Vicious” certainly turned out to be a GREAT read indeed.

characters

“Vicious” is a VERY  character driven book and I was not disappointed with them at all.

The characters are easily the best part about this book, hands down. They’re all incredibly complex, well developed, and more than a little fucked up. They all have flaws that make them feel all the more realistic and you won’t be able to help sympathizing with them.

Nobody is inherently good or evil, they’re all just morally conflicted and everyone follows their own agendas. Some do good things but for ulterior motives and some do bad things for reasons, in their eyes, are for the greater good.

There wasn’t a single character I didn’t love or at least loved to hate, how could I hate such well written characters?

Victor Vale is more or less our main protagonist and my personal favorite. Sure he’s hell-bent on revenge and will do anything necessary to get it, but he’s not all that bad. As I said Victor’s main concern is getting his revenge but there are certain things he does that really shows his humanity, making it impossible to despise him for the bad things he does.

Eli Ever is an asshat. He likes to play hero and has delusions that he’s supposed to carry out God’s will by killing off EOs (people with “extra-ordinary” gifts). Yeah, Eli’s pretty much deranged. I HATED HIM. Which is what made him an excellent character also, I mean he has to be pretty well written for me to hate him so much…….

The secondary characters such as: Mitch, Sydney, Serena, Dominic, and Dol were also just as fantastic and all had their own flaws making them feel just as important and real as Victor and Eli.

Serena falls into the same category as Eli, super messed up in the head. She does some extremely questionable things but still manages to show some decency that makes it so you can’t quite hate her as much.

Sydney is a sweet and innocent 12 year old girl. I felt protective of her throughout the story, she’s just too awesome and precious.

Mitch is actually one of my other favorite characters, he’s probably one of the nicest and most sincere people in this book. Meaning, Mitch actually has a conscience.

We didn’t actually see a lot of Dominic but he’s a pretty sympathetic character, well maybe in more of a “you pity him” kind of way. Anyways his power is freaking sweet and my personal favorite.

Dol is a dog. Do I need to say more? He’s an awesome, cute dog. That is all.

in conclusion

“Vicious” is definitely one of my new all time favorite books, how can you go wrong with morally ambiguous characters with super powers? Well maybe you can but not if you’re V.E. Schwab.

Now all I have to do is wait for the sequel….

RECOMMEND

A thousand times yes! If you love morally conflicting characters and if you want an “adult” super hero story then I recommend reading “Vicious”. Or if you’re not a big fan of super heroes and just want a really suspenseful, fast paced story then I’d give this a go as well.

“I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Mini Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 

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description

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

review

“You believe that magic is an equal. A companion. A friend. But it is not. The stone is proof. You are either magic’s master, or its slave.”

This book is absolutely amazing, I’ve never read anything quite like it, V.E. Schwab is a literary genius OK?

“A Darker Shade of Magic” centralizes around Kell, who is a Traveler. What’s that mean? Well he can use magic to travel between parallel universes, in this case, the universes are different versions of the same city of London.

There’s Grey London, which would be like our modern day THIS universe London, there’s no magic and few people know magic even exists.

Red London is the hub of all things magical,everyone is aware of magic and mostly everyone can manipulate it.

White London is a place full of desperate people where the city is ruled by whoever kills their way to the top.

And no one talks about Black London.

So basically what Kell does is carry messages between the monarchs of each London.

Also there is another central character, Lila Bard, a native of Grey London and a very talented thief. Lila steals in the hopes that one day she can buy a ship and sail the seas as a pirate.

These two both get caught up in events that force them to team up and work together for the greater good of ALL of the Londons.

Now what I loved about this book:

1. Kell and Lila are amazing characters, I loved them both sooooo much. They both are very believable characters, Kell overall was probably my favorite though, he will do things that go against what he believes or what he knows in order to save those he loves. I can really get behind that, you go man. Also I absolutely adore Kell and Lila together.

2. The plot was very intriguing, it kept me guessing and turning pages until I finished the whole dang thing. All of the scenes are written spectacularly, I laughed, I cried, and I got super creeped out by scary dark magic. This book gave me FEELS. It also ends in a very good place, not to where I’m ripping my hair out in anticipation. This book kept me turning the pages and dreading the end.

Overall I will definitely be blissfully awaiting the arrival of the next book “A Gathering of Shadows”

Recommend?

Definitely, especially for all of you magic lovers in need of your next book.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy