Top Ten Tuesday: Great Reads That I’m Thankful For!

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

Since U.S. Thanksgiving is this coming Thursday this week’s theme is books/bookish things we are thankful for! There are plenty of books out there that I’m thankful for but these are a few that just really stick out for me!

I will link reviews for each title if I have one and these are in no particular order!

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10.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

This was the first book I read by Jay Kristoff and I am thankful for it because I found him and he’s now one of my favorite authors! He’ writes very beautifully but also NEVER fails to throw in a ridiculous amount of shocking twists and turns, and he also knows how to write a badass female protagonist! “Stormdancer” has great world building, a badass heroine, a talking animal companion, and an intense/action packed plot. What more can I ask for?

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


9.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I’m thankful for “The Diabolic” because it’s a book that really got me interested in reading more YA sci-fi, which I was always interested in but now it’s a favorite genre of mine! This book also had tons of action, another badass heroine, political intrigue, and a romance I could actually ship!

You can read my full review for “The Diabolic” here.


8.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I highly doubt there’s anything even close to it out there in the book world either. It’s got morally gray characters with super human powers along with an “edge of your seat” plot line, I need the sequel desperately. Schwab’s writing is absolutely fantastic and I will pretty much read anything and everything she writes. I’m thankful for her because she puts out so much unique and creative content!

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


7.) Night Film by Marisha Pessl

It’s a perfect blend of horror and mystery and thriller, seriously this book was like winning the jackpot for me. There was plenty of suspense and I just adored it to bits and pieces, I am really hoping Pessl will release something just as good soon!


6.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don’t think I need to explain why I’m thankful for this gem, this is such a powerful and beautifully written book and I think it deserves to be read by everyone.

You can read my full review of “The Hate U Give” here.


5.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I’m thankful I finally read this amazing book! It’s such an awesome blend of some of my favorite genres such as fantasy and sci-fi, but it’s also full of great characters (that I became overly attached to) and shocking plot twists. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!

You can read my full review of “Red Rising” here.


4.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This is a brutal book full of some great world building and even greater characters, there are some magical elements as well. This BOOK kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and it’s just great, I need to read the sequel!

You can read my full review of “An Ember in the Ashes” here.


3.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I honestly don’t know how to describe how great this book but it’s about children who came back from other worlds (similar to the Chronicles of Narnia) via different doorways and learn to cope at a home with other children. After reading books such as the Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter as a child I found this book extremely relatable and very magical as well.

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


2.) The Wicked + The Divine Series by Kieron Gillen

One of my absolute favorite graphic novels series I am SO thankful I found! The plot is intriguing, the characters are all amazing, and the art is stunning!

You can read my full review for Volume 1 here.


1.) Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I’m very thankful for this beautiful book right here not only because it’s incredibly diverse and has a TON of pop culture/geeky references but because the anxiety rep was so spot on. I thought it was so great to see a main character with anxiety being represented so well, since it’s something I suffer from as well and it was just very relatable.

You can read my full review of “Queens of Geek” here.

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What are some books you’re thankful for?

Have you read any of these, what did you think?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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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

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

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

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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

Top 5 Wednesday: Rainy Day Reads

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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

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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

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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: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

 

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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