Top 5 Wednesday: Series That Got Better!

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!

I’m not much of a series reader I’m usually the kind of person that can start a ton of series and then not actually ever finish them. So this list was a little harder for me especially since I feel a lot of series really get worse the farther they go on for me, however, here are a few I felt got better!

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5.) Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

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I read this series such a long time ago but when I read the first book I honestly didn’t think much of it, it was okay. However, I decided to continue on and read “Pretties” and “Specials” as well and in my opinion both of those books were a lot better than “Uglies”. I never did read “Extras” but I don’t really feel like I need to either since it isn’t from Tally’s POV.

Would I still think this if I re-read these books now? Maybe but from what I remember when I was younger I thought the books got way better as they went!


4.) Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

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Once again this was a series that I read when I was younger and thought it was amazing! Of course my opinion might change if I read them again now but I like to live in my nostalgia…..

The first couple of books in this series are kind of so, so there really isn’t anything too crazy special about them but as they go they get a lot more action, plot twists, and more interesting back stories!


3.) The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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This might be cheating since I haven’t actually finished the series! BUT I have read the first two books and I definitely loved “The Dream Thieves” even more than I loved “The Raven Boys” so I’m just kind of assuming the series will only continue to get better as well!

You can read my full review of “The Raven Boys” here.


2.) The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

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Once again I haven’t fully completed this series but I’ve read the first two books just not the last! I was really leery with the first book since I wasn’t sure it was going to be good or not and I was actually really pleasantly surprised by it! So of course I devoured the second book which was EVEN BETTER than the first one! So I think it’s safe to say this is one of those series you should stick with after the first book.

You can read my full review of “The Winner’s Curse” here.


1.) The Inkworld Trilogy

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This is my most prime example of a series that gets WAAAAAY better as it goes, the jump in awesomeness from “Inkheart” to “Inkspell” is huge! While I did really like the first book I still wasn’t super impressed with it but since I already had the second book I pushed on anyways and I am so glad I did! “Inkspell” is ten times the fun with way more characters, magic, and world building! Then there’s “Inkdeath”……I didn’t know it could get any better than “Inkspell” but it did, there are so many plot twists and so much emotional turmoil! The ending was perfect though.

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What are some series you think got better?

Do you agree or disagree with any of these series? Have you read any of them?

Are you big on finishing series or, like me, start them more than finish them?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

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It’s my favorite time: unpopular opinion time! Maybe it’s just me but I really love reading reviews or opinions from people who are breaking the mold with hyped books! I feel that I, personally, am one of those people sometimes since I don’t usually go for super hyped books but then again I do at the same time. It’s fun to see different opinions on popular books!

I saw this tag over on Hannah’s blog Mortal Reader so be sure to head over and check out her beautiful, amazing blog as well!

****Please remember that we are all entitled to our own opinions so if you agree or disagree feel free to discuss in the comments BUT I’d appreciate if there were no “hate” comments towards my opinions or anyone elses’s in the comments!****

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A popular book you don’t like?

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I really, really wanted to like this book since it promised a magical fight to the death in a competition to be the czar’s enchanter in a fantasy Russian setting. However, I thought it was really tedious with the over the top love triangle, lack of extravagant magical displays, and the other lack of actual fighting to the death.

It was definitely a hyped book last year and it seems a lot of other people DID enjoy it so it seems I’m a bit in the minority.

You can read my full review of “The Crown’s Game” here!


A book series everyone hates but you love?

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I actually can’t really think of any books people HATE that I did like but “The Bone Witch” is probably the closest thing to it. A TON of people did not enjoy this book and found it to be really boring but I really enjoyed it! It was a bit slower paced but I understood that Chupeco was working up the plot and world building and it was definitely interesting enough to keep me reading. I’m all about those dark magic witches!

You can read my full review of “The Bone Witch” here!


A love triangle where the MC ends up with the person you didn’t want them to?

DON’T HATE ME! I really, really didn’t like Ginny all that much and I really didn’t like that Harry ended up with her. I would have much rather seen Harry end up with Hermione. (basically I go against every love triangle or love interest in books, I always root for the underdog!)

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A popular genre you rarely reach for?

Contemporary

I will on occasion pick up contemporary books especially if they’re not mostly romance. However, seeing as a lot of YA contemporaries are romance based I definitely don’t reach for them that much. I will pick them up but only if they have a TON of amazing reviews!


A popular beloved character you didn’t like?

Celaena Sardothien

To be fair I’m only basing this off of just reading “Throne of Glass” but I really didn’t like Celaena at all. She was all talk and no action in my opinion, I wanted to see exactly why she’s the most feared and deadly assassin and yet she spends most of her time mooning over boys, dresses, and shoes.


A popular author you can’t seem to get into?

Cassandra Clare

Not a big fan and unless she writes something outside of her shadowhunter world I probably will continue to not be a big fan. I really didn’t enjoy “City of Bones” at all and if the rest of the series are all similar I won’t be reading those either.


Popular trope you’re tired of seeing?

Love Triangles

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I would love to actually see this trope become completely eradicated because I really don’t like it. Is this really an unpopular opinion though? I feel that I see a lot of other people who don’t like love triangles either.

Anyways I just don’t buy into them unless they’re very, very believable or that I genuinely think both options are suitable.


Popular series you have no interest in reading?

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I just feel like this series doesn’t have anything that interests me, a competition to win over a Prince with lots of dresses? No thanks I’ll pass.


The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie” but what movie do you prefer more than the book?

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The Da Vinci Code maybe? I don’t usually like anything truly better than the book but this is probably the closest one since the movie follows the book quite closely and I really did like the movie.

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If you’d like to do this tag then consider yourself tagged!

What are some of your unpopular opinions?

Do you agree or disagree with any of the books, characters, or authors I listed?

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

Retellings I’d Like To See More Of!

 

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Everybody likes a good retelling don’t they because I know I do! It’s really fun and interesting to see different, unique spins on stories we already know! However, there seem to be some stories out there that just don’t get enough love in my opinion. This list just puts together a few I’d really like to see done or see more of and they aren’t “fairy tale” specific either!

My list is specifically  referring to the YA genre for the most part.

Of course if I have happened to read an example of one of these I will link up a review or mention a retelling I know of even if I haven’t read it yet. I will also link up the books I have not read to their Goodreads pages! I will bold the ones that are personal reviews.

Also if you know of any retellings for these please let me know in the comments!

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Robin Hood

Such a popular classic story, wouldn’t you agree? However, as much I feel we see Robin Hood represented in other things such as movies or TV shows we really don’t get to see any different spins on the tale in books. I do know of one YA retelling called “Scarlet” by A. C. Gaughen.

I’d really like to see the same kind of idea as in “Scarlet” where outside characters interact with Robin Hood, or maybe a gender-bent Robin Hood, or maybe even a sci-fi retelling!


Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp

Of course the story of Aladdin has been done a couple of times already but I still feel like I haven’t read enough Aladdin retellings! With all of the One Thousand and One Nights retellings that have been coming out recently I just feel it’d be even more appropriate for more Aladdin as well. There is a retelling called “A Whole New World” by Liz Braswell based off of the Disney version but it hasn’t really received great reviews. There’s also “The Forbidden Wish” by Jessica Khoury that is a simply amazing retelling where Aladdin falls in love with the gender bent genie, I highly recommend it!

I’d like to see more retellings in the style of Khoury’s with gender bent characters or a badass “Princess Jasmine” (I know that’s only her name in the Disney version but you get what I mean!) or even a gender bent Aladdin would be neat too! Really though I’m just down for any kind of retelling.


Beowulf

How epic and awesome would a Beowulf retelling be?! Ya know because the poem is already “epic” …………see what I did there?

Anyways, I actually heard there was going to be a sort of gender bent retelling coming out next year called “The Boneless Mercies” by April Genevieve Tucholke. Hopefully it turns out fantastic because I’m usually not the biggest fan of Tucholke’s writing.

However, I’d be really really interesting to see any kind of retelling of Beowulf like the gender bend Tucholke is doing or maybe a retelling from Grendel or Grendel’s mother’s POV?


The Arthurian Legends

Really just any of them from King Arthur and Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Touble, Merlin, or Morgan le Fay. Just any retelling on any aspect of the Arthurian Legends I need some authors to do this! I’m thinking it would make for some pretty great YA fantasy if it was done properly!


The Little Mermaid

Of course I feel it’s pretty safe to say we all know the story of The Little Mermaid but aside from the Disney adaptation are there really that many other retellings of it? The recent release “The Seafarer’s Kiss” by Julia Ember is the only retelling I know of and it combines a bit of Norse mythology with a F/F romance as well.

I’d love to see a retelling of this story since I feel there’s many creative ways to do it, the main character doesn’t even necessarily need to be a mermaid (even though mermaids are pretty great).


Hansel & Gretel

I really don’t know of any retellings of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale and why that is I have no idea! The only representation I can think of is the movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters which I like the concept of. I’d really like to see a dark, horror retelling of this tale or something similar to that movie where the two characters are witch hunters.


Hua Mulan

I know that there are technically several retellings of this legend but in my mind just because your main character is disguising herself as a man doesn’t make it a  Hua Mulan retelling. So while books such as “The Flame in the Mist” by Renee Ahdieh, “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” by Hannah West (which was actually amazing), and “Defy” by Sara B. Larson have all been labeled as such I want the REAL deal! I’m thinking either fantasy or more historical fiction-y would work well!


The Iliad & The Odyssey

I know that Madeline Miller has done a retelling of “The Iliad” featuring a M/M romance with “The Song of Achilles” and is going to be publishing a sort of “Odyssey” retelling called “Circe” from the witch Circe’s POV as well which is fantastic! ( I also know those aren’t really YA either) However, why aren’t there more of these? There are so many different characters and creatures to work with from both epic poems I feel there should be more especially in YA!

It’d also be really great to have more M/M or F/F/ romances in them or maybe even some gender swapped characters as well.


Hades & Persephone or “The Abduction Myth”

As many retellings or uses we see of Greek mythology in modern literature we really don’t see all that much of the goddess Persephone or of her abduction by Hades. I feel like the overall allusion of this myth may be used quite a bit but there really aren’t any specific retellings.

I feel once again a gender-bend or M/M or F/F could make for a very interesting retelling of this myth. Or even just a twist where Hades might not be that bad of a guy and he and Persephone actually fall in love kind of like a “Beauty and the Beast” thing. Just throwing this out there since it’s one of my favorite myths, I know it sounds weird but I love how her story is an origin myth for the seasons.


Honorable mentions (since I don’t know a whole TON about these stories but would still like to see some retellings of them!)

  • The Snow Queen
  • Sinbad the Sailor

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Do you want to see any of these retellings as well?

Do you have any recommendations for books that are retellings on this list?

What are some retellings you’d like to see more of?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Books I Just HAD To Have…..& Still Haven’t Read

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The other day I was looking at my bookshelves and noticing all of the books I’ve bought under the delusion that I could NOT wait and HAD to have them right away……and then still haven’t read them.

This makes me wonder sometimes if I’m actually nuts or not because why do I torture myself like this? Plus everyone always tells me “hey remember when you bought all those books and still haven’t read them? You don’t need more until you read those.” which they’re sort of right….

So I thought that it would be a great idea to share what a horrible reader/book hoarder I am with you all!

Basically this is me:

And then after not reading any of them:

I’ll be putting these in order of how long I’ve actually had these sitting around my house starting with the newest additions!

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Of course with all of the hype that was surrounding this book before and after it’s May release date I had to get my hands on it! Most of the time I don’t give into the hype, or at least I like to think so, I just thought everything about this book sounded wonderful: diverse characters and culture, a cute cover, and non-stop glowing reviews!

Then obviously I couldn’t wait to get a copy and then it arrived and now it’s just sitting all lonely on my shelf because I’m a terrible person…….


Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

I actually ordered this with “When Dimple Met Rishi” because once again I could not wait and just haaaad to have a copy right away! The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I’ve seen great reviews for it, plus I think it will be interesting to read about a dysfunctional relationship in a YA setting. I know that makes me sound weird but it’s nice to see unique books and books bringing attention to abuse like this (because it happens).


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

If I was going to rate all of these books by which book I was literally dying to have “Strange the Dreamer” would be #1 because I seriously acted like I was going to die without this book in my life. I even went to the trouble of ordering a UK edition as well because I HAD TO HAVE THIS BOOK AND LAINI TAYLOR IS LIFE!

And guess where the book is sitting? On my shelf. Unread.


The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

I was super pumped for this book before it came out and then with all of the great reviews afterwards I was even more excited for it. Female gladiator! That’s all I want in my books so when I was in the bookstore and saw it I decided to splurge and buy it right then and there because I NEEDED IT. Now it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months……


Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

I bought this book along with my spontanous purchase of “The Valiant” as well. You can see where this got me.


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

When I saw this book come out at first I was like: Norse Mythology?! Told by Neil Gaiman?! I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY! So I kind of started it and then slowly it worked its way back onto my shelf where it is still sitting waiting to be finished.


The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Everyone, everyone, everyone recommends reading this series and I saw the box set on sale on Book Outlet for about $12.00 so of course I was all “Hell yeah!” and bought it right away. Soooooooooo it’s all sitting on my shelf still unread where it will probably remain for a while.


Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

This was a spontaneous buy I got with birthday money last year and I decided to use that money for this book because once again…..I couldn’t resist. It’s even a shorter book and I STILL haven’t gotten to it!


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I asked for this one for my birthday last year because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted it and so then I actually received it for my birthday…….and haven’t read it yet.


The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

After reading the first book “The Winner’s Curse” I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it after how much I was expecting not to enjoy it. So then after devouring the sequel as well I NEEDED to read the last book that was just released last year! And guess who still hasn’t finished that trilogy even after buying the last book? Me.


The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

This book was super, duper hyped last year and because of that plus the pretty cover and promise of unique mythology I was 100% sold. I saw it when I happened to visit a Barnes & Noble and instantly bought it and now it’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year still unread.


Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

This one hasn’t been a new release for a while but I found while reading a bunch of glowing reviews for it and having it recommended a ton. So I found it on Book Outlet and bought it straight away because I love twisted thrillers! I started reading it…..and then set it aside for some reason…..and it’s been sitting there waiting for me to return to it eventually.


The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

This book is the one I’ve had the longest on this list because back many, many years ago when I was binge reading the Percy Jackson series and finished it and was DYING for more! So I found the Heroes of Olympus series and bought the first book straight away…….it has been sitting on my old Nook Color for ages and honestly it probably won’t get read because I want physical copies now….awkward.

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

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

Did you buy any of these right away and haven’t read them yet either?

Do you buy books and let them sit for a long time?

What are some books you HAD to have and haven’t read yet?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1) by Amy Plum

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Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

review

This was as good as I was hoping it’d be! Of course I was definitely not thinking it’d be as creepy and thrilling as it ended up being, this is sort of a mash of sci-fi and horror together. It’s definitely a very, very unique premise and I thought the execution was great!

PLOT

First of all the pacing is pretty even throughout the story since it never really felt like it lagged but also wasn’t super fast to the point where I had my eyeballs glued to the pages. I really liked how there wasn’t a bunch of time wasted on pointless filler too and we are thrown into the action right from the start and it stays that way up until the end. There are also quite a few DAMN GOOD twists along the way as well and I did not see them coming either!

The story is narrated by three different POV characters: Cata, Jaime, and Fergus. The great part was that I always knew when we changed POVs right away even without the help of the chapter headers because each character had a more distinct personality and “voice”. My only complaint was that I didn’t feel that Fergus’s POV was really necessary since he and Cata were both “dreamers” and had similar experiences. I did really like how much depth Jaime, the pre-med student watching the experiment, added to the story overall though.

Also apparently we never learn if Jaime’s character is male or female and I honestly didn’t even notice until the end but I guess I had just assumed Jaime was a he, however, Amy Plum has stated she left it out on purpose. Maybe it’s a twist for the next book? Who knows! Also just a fun side-note here I saw some other reviewers debating this saying they thought Jaime was a girl because of the spelling and ALL I could think of was Jaime Lannister guys! Come on!

I absolutely LOVED the overall atmosphere of this story too! It’s so freaking creepy! Although I will say even if you’re not a lover of horror or horror-esque stories this isn’t TOO scary to handle but it will definitely have you flailing about in suspense and maybe even looking over your shoulder every now and then! I also really liked how unique and interesting each “nightmare” was too, they were all very different and terrifying in their own ways. We saw very realistic horrors as well as your traditional monster type horrors and I thought it was very neat to show what types of things haunt these kids.

I’m just gonna throw this out there too: there are some very Weeping Angel-esque statues that literally terrified me in one of the nightmares. So many creepy monsters! I was pretty stressed out while reading because of this but also I still had fun? I know, it’s odd.

Plus that cliffhanger ending has me practically screaming for more! That was such an insane twists and I’m definitely excited to see where the next book in this duology takes us!

Also another little fun tidbit is that this book has no romance! Yay!

characters

The characters in “Dreamfall” were good but they still felt a little under-developed and one dimensional by the end of the book. None of them really stuck out to me either while reading but I still liked them enough to care about their fates in that messed up dreamworld!

I did like how none of these kids were perfect either, they all had their flaws and knew how to deal with them and come face to face with them as well. It was really intriguing to learn more and more about what past events traumatized the characters enough to suffer from such severe insomnia too (their backstories essentially). This is the only kind of development we see for them though.

One other big plus I have for the characters is that they actually always made smart decisions! This feels a lot like your typical horror slasher movie at times and you always wait for the characters to trip up and get caught or split up or something equally as unwise but these guys didn’t ever do that. I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of dumb decisions throughout the story, it was great!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • The intense and pretty scary nightmare scenes
  • Even pacing
  • Great, great plot twists!
  • Zero romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Personally felt Fergus’s POV wasn’t really needed
  • Characters weren’t very developed or complex

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend checking this book out if you’re looking for a unique YA book with no romance or if you’re a YA horror or thriller fan! This book is definitely full of enough thrills to keep you interested!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

Mini Book Reviews: Paper Princess, The Outliers, & Vicarious

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Once again it’s time to review some books I read last year (whoops) that I just couldn’t get my thoughts straight on at first, but at long last here they are!

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From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. 

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 


“Paper Princess” is definitely not my usual cup of tea but holy crap was this addictive and entertaining as hell! This is probably one of the most unexpected surprises for me as far as books go and I didn’t know how to review it for the longest time thus the mini review instead of a full fledged review. Also while the characters are in high school this seems a little more mature than your usual YA so it could be considered more NA than anything.

The pacing is ridiculously fast and there is non-stop drama and twists, never a dull moment with this book! Considering this is a book all about a girl who was stripping to make ends meet and is suddenly dumped into the lap of luxury with tons of gorgeous dudes, this book is very fun but shouldn’t really be taken too seriously. The writing and story were just so addictive (sorry I keep using the same word but it’s the only way to properly describe it!).

Of course as much fun as I had with this book there were still quite a few issues with it such as implied sexual assault, slut shaming, and just how sexist the boys treated Ella for a majority of the book. This may be hard to get past for a lot of people so I’d like to toss this all out there.

I really liked Ella as a character, she’s full of spunk and can take care of herself. All of the Royal boys are spoiled and honestly act like such assholes sometimes, however, as flawed as they are I couldn’t help but find them very mysterious and enjoyable as well. Especially Easton, I loved him sooooo much more than the main love interest Reed! Speaking of Reed I really didn’t like him all that much but the romance is pretty steamy and that says a lot since I usually strongly dislike romance books!

This book will definitely not be for everyone but if you’re looking for a fun, fast read you don’t have to take too seriously than this is it. I also think it’d make a great summer read!


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It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?


I really, really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t do it! It was all just so ridiculous and unbelievable, I wanted a mystery/thriller dammit not this!

There were some plot twists along the way but they just kept getting more and more insane, they were not good twists either. I honestly don’t know how this book could have gotten any weirder than it did in the end. I’ll tell you right now that this really isn’t the mystery thriller it’s made out to be and it’s more sci-fi than anything….not even a good sci-fi either. Nothing in the plot was believable and it all felt really forced.

The characters also made zero smart decisions the entire time! For example: Wylie and Jasper decide to trek across state lines alone to find Cassie and not tell any authoritative figures at all (seriously they ignore all parents and police officers here) and also Wylie suffers from agoraphobia but miraculously manages to just up and leave her house to go look for her friend who has become very distant over the years like it’s no big deal.

Overall my thoughts can be summarized into these three words: weird, ridiculous, and annoying.


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Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.


Trigger Warning: Sexual abuse

I have really mixed feelings about this book since I did enjoy it but it also didn’t live up to all I thought it would be.

Overall I thought the premise and the concept for the ViSEs were absolutely fantastic, I mean how can something like “Vicarious Sensory Experiences” not be awesome? Although I really wish there had been a bit more of these and more action like there was at the beginning and the end of the book. The mystery of Winter’s sister was interesting but I still wish it hadn’t overtaken so much of the plot and left more room for some real action. I definitely did not see those twists coming though!

Winter was a decent heroine she was very strong but also broken, however, considering what she went through when she is younger it’s definitely understandable. I really liked how developed and fleshed out her character was. As for the secondary characters, I did like Jesse but overall  they were all pretty forgettable.

I did enjoy this book and I’m kind of curious to see where the sequel goes but I just wasn’t as blown away with this one as I thought I’d be.

The Sassy