Christmas/January Book Haul

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This is my book haul composed of Christmas gifts, my Book Outlet Boxing Day sale haul, some super cheap Kindle deals, and ARCs!

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Mary: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan

I really enjoyed the first book and this one is super short so I’m really excited to have it. I love YA horror books especially when they are this creepy!


The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

I wasn’t too sure about this one but I love YA Fantasy and I did love “My Lady Jane” which Jodi Meadows co-wrote, so I want to give it a shot. Plus Book Outlet is super cheap!


House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

Another YA Horror book I got cheap from Book Outlet!


Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

This one is a Sleeping Beauty retelling but it hasn’t gotten the best reviews, but I’m hoping I’ll still enjoy it.


The Freemason’s Daughter by Shelley Sackier

A historical fiction set in Scotland, I absolutely adore Scotland settings so I’m excited to read this one.


Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

I’m not exactly sure what this book is actually about but it seems like it might be interesting…


I am Princess X by Cherie Priest

I get a very good “geek girl” vibe from this book and it’s got some of the fictional web comics throughout it as well. It seems fun!


The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

A book about rape culture and also a mystery/thriller, it sounds fantastic.


Warcross by Marie Lu

Super hyped book with a gorgeous cover, I used a giftcard from Christmas to buy a signed copy. I love video games so I’m excited to read this one and see what all the hype is about.


A Map For Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

The cover is super vibrantly colored and it seems like an okay story, I got it for 60% off since my local bookstore is going out of business.


Golden Son by Pierce Brown

My boyfriend got this for me for Christmas so I am SUPER pumped to continue this series because it’s freaking amazing!


The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

I received this ARC for review and I loooooved “The Bone Witch” so definitely looking forward to reading the sequel!


Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Another ARC I received for review and it sounds fantastic with assassins and Sun Queens and Blood Queens. Hopefully it’s as amazing as it sounds.


Roar by Cora Carmack

A YA Fantasy with characters who can control storms, it sounds so badass and so I got a copy from Book Outlet.


Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

I was sent this copy from Kim Savage herself, she’s amazing and I’m super grateful and very excited to read it!


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Maxwell’s other book “Unhooked” but everyone seemed to really love this one and I adore the cover so I wanted to give it a shot.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The other book my boyfriend got my for Christmas, I was super excited since it’s the 10th anniversary edition and it is absolutely gorgeous!

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**** And now for the eBook portion of the haul! These were all super cheap Kindle deals and ARCs! ****

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Geekerella by Ashley Poston

A “geeky” retelling of Cinderella, I think it sounds like it’s worth reading because I love retellings and books with geek culture!


Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I usually don’t go for YA contemporaries or romances but this one sounds adorable and everyone seems to love it, it’s also about a girl who writes web comics so it comes with a side of geeky which I always love.


The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

A Bluebeard retelling and it’s also super short, I figured it’d be worth a read since I love retellings.


The Butterfly Garden by Don Hutchison

I’ve actually seen quite a few good reviews for this one and once again it’s pretty short so I wanted to give it a read.


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Vikings! A YA Fantasy that’s Viking inspired, I am here for it and so excited to read it!


Fatal Throne by Various Authors

This is an anthology of stories all featuring the wives of Henry VIII, each other contributes a story for each wife. It sounded interesting so I requested it hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.


The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

This is a READ NOW on Netgalley guys! So if you want it go get it! I am so excited to have a copy of this book, although I did hear it might just be a sampler but that wasn’t stated on Netgalley and it seems to be the full book I downloaded onto my Kindle. So.


Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

This is about gladiators and also I think Spartacus, so I am pumped to read this. Hopefully it’s as badass as I think it will be!

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Are you looking forward to any of these books as well?

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

Did you haul any good books last or this month?

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

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Down The TBR Hole #14

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

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Current TBR: 774


Book #130

The Calling by James Frey

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I bought this when it first came out when I was wondering around Target looking for a book to buy, I really regret blindly buying it now of course. I have zero interest in even reading it. Plus I don’t hear good things about the author…..

The Judgement: Go


Book #131

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I’m on the fence with this one because I think I will read it eventually (especially since my grandpa has been asking me if I’ve read it yet, forever) but just not soon. I have other books I’d rather get to.

The Judgement: Go


Book #132

White Cat by Holly Black

Date Added: July 31st, 2015

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I know, I know. I said I think Holly’s books aren’t really for me but I do own this so I want to at least try it….and also I want to try “The Cruel Prince” because of the hype.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #133

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Date Added: August 3rd, 2015

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I actually don’t really remember why I added this one…..hm.

The Judgement: Go


Book #134

In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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I absolutely adored “The Steep & Thorny Way” and loved Cat’s writing so I’m really excited to read another of her books!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #135

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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Yep another Cat Winters book….

The Judgement: Keep


Book #136

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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I love magic and magicians, it’s always a fun time for me so I’m excited to read this one!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #137

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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This one actually sounds pretty good, with robots and things, but I think I’ll just remove it until I read more of Clarke’s books and decide if I like her style first.

The Judgement: Go


Book #138

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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Okay so there are apparently PIRATES in this book so I’m going to keep it of course because I love me a good pirate story even if it’s minor pirates.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #139

Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Date Added: August 4th, 2015

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This one sounds interesting, people living in a dome in Antarctica! I got a cheap copy on my Kindle so I’ll give it a shot.

The Judgement: Keep

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

Do you think I should have kept any of these books?

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Bookish Goals & Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

It has now been moved over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

So I always think I DON’T have any real goals or resolutions but once I sat down and started thinking I realized I did actually have a couple things I’d like to accomplish with my blog and reading this year!

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10.) Complete my 2018 Beat the Backlist TBR

I decided to FINALLY join this challenge this year as I have waaay too many backlist books I need to read, so I figured this was a good way to get some off my TBR! My goal is 60 books and I’m hoping to knock them all off, I’m on team “Novel Knights” too by the way.

You can check out my full 2018 TBR here.


9.) Complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge

I do this challenge every year and every year I try to read more than the previous year, I find it helps me concentrate on my reading more when I have a goal like this. This year I’m trying to read 100 books so I’m crossing my fingers because that’s A LOT!


8.) Get more into #Bookstagram!

I have always admired people who take all of those fabulous bookish pictures on Instagram and I always felt I couldn’t be “that good” and my anxiety definitely doesn’t help but THIS YEAR I’m not going to think negatively of myself like that! I’m going to try and get more into taking bookish pictures and uploading them on Instagram this year because it’s super fun and I actually really enjoy it!

P.S. I’m posting a few here because I’m very proud and it helps my anxiety a bit to be proud of them and show them off!

 

You can follow me here, if you want!


7.) More Buddy Reads!

Why? Because I feel really awkward when interacting with my blogging friends and followers sometimes and I feel like doing buddy reads could help me out with that! Plus buddy reading is fun!


6.) More Blog & Social Media Interaction

This sort of goes hand in hand with #7 but I’d really like to interact more and not let my anxiety get the better of me. I really enjoy talking with all of you and I want to get better at commenting and interacting on my other bookish platforms such as Twitter and Instagram!


5.) Knock Books of my TBR!

So of course with both of the reading challenges I’m doing this year I’m hoping to knock some books off of my TBR! I’m really wanting to read more this year and drop my TBR down a significant amount, this also includes my purging with the “Down the TBR Posts”. It’ll feel nice to clean it up a bit!


4.) Read More Books Outside of my Comfort Zone

Obviously it’s hard for everyone to read things outside their comfort zone but it can also be a great way to find new reads and broaden your horizon. For example I’m not a fan of contemporaries or romance but I could also be missing out on some fantastic books (like “The Hate U Give” which is amazing and I could have missed out!), so I’m looking forward to reading some books in those genres this year.

If you guys have any recommendations for great YA contemporaries or romances for people who normally don’t like those, let me know in the comments! I’d appreciate it!


3.) Schedule More Blog Posts

I’ve been getting better at this and hope to continue to improve as well since it helps reduce the stress of writing and posting something every day. I also like planning posts a lot more than flying by the seat of my pants…which is what I do now.


2.) Follow My Monthly TBRs

Another aspect of blogging that I have been getting better at! I used to be really terrible about not following the monthly TBRs I set for myself and just doing a lot of mood reading but I’ve actually started to follow them and want to get better at it too. It’s nice to know what I’ll be reading for the month!


1.) Finish a Series for Once!

I am notoriously bad at starting a series and then never finishing it. For some reason I just like starting them better and sometimes I’ll make it to the second book and THEN never finish it. I’m awful. However, this year I’m planning on actually finishing at least ONE series! Hopefully it will be the Red Rising Trilogy (which now has a 4th book sooooo it doesn’t really count anymore?), The Raven Cycle, Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, or all of them ( I hope all of them).

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What are some of your bookish goals and resolutions for 2018?

Do we have any in common?

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

ARC Review: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

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When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen? 

review

**** Huge thank you to HarperTeen for sending me an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ****

This was kind of disappointing because I felt it had a lot of potential to be amazing but it was just….extremely slow. It wasn’t terrible by any means but I just felt it was boring.

PLOT

Essentially the plot revolves around Brienna who is studying to be a passion of knowledge at Magnalia house with 5 other girls who are studying each passion as well-arts, drama, music, wit, and knowledge. She is left without a patron though and is swept up in a plot to overthrow a king! That’s the story! There’s also a kind of subplot where we are left wondering who Brienna’s father/family history is the entire book too, but this is literally given away by the family tree at the beginning of the book! Why would they do this? You want us to sit in suspense and make it a big mystery throughout the story and yet reveal it in the family tree at the beginning of the book? Needless to say I DO NOT recommend reading those before you read the book.

The plot was extremely slow paced and at times very boring. Brienna’s time at Magnalia house is spent gossiping with the other girls and they talk about their passions and such. It was tedious, so very tedious. From there I usually love the whole “rebellion” side of plots but this was very underwhelming, it completely lacked any action or twists. What twists there were, were completely predictable and in no way surprised me. That was probably one of the things that disappointed me the most since it took away any suspense from the story for me.

I also felt a lot of things were a little too convenient in order to move the plot forward and the ending felt rushed.

I DID like the family dynamics and lineages though, they were fun to keep track of especially with all of the political intrigue.

Also I really loved the idea of the passions and what little world building there was, was really interesting. However, I felt that there could have been a lot more world building and what there was could have been expanded on. I liked the magic system too, in which magic passes woman to woman and not to men whatsoever. Very feminist, which I loved.

The writing did flow well and was very descriptive, I think it’s one of the few reasons I managed to push through the entire 464 pages.

characters

Overall the characters were kind of “meh”, they were all likable enough but I definitely felt like they could have used a little more complexity.

Brienna was an okay protagonist, I didn’t love her and I didn’t hate her. I did like that she was very brave and bound and determined to help aid the “rebels” and that she didn’t make a bunch of stupid decisions either.

There were quite a few side characters such as Brienna’s peers who were all fine, but I really liked the rebel characters the most such as Alderic, Luc, and Yseult. But as I already mentioned I thought everyone could have been developed a bit more.

romance

The romance was definitely my least favorite thing about “The Queen’s Rising” right up there next to the painfully slow pacing. There is a developing romance throughout the book between Brienna and her teacher, Master Cartier. It was extremely awkward, lacked chemistry, and not to mention completely inappropriate. Sorry but I do not enjoy teacher/student relationships and that’s just my opinion.

Plus the romance became too much of a focus at times and was completely unnecessary.

in conclusion

Overall, this book just fell really short for me and I’m left feeling kind of disappointed with it. I expected a lot more action, suspense, and build up.

What I Loved:

  • Liked keeping track of the families and politics
  • Feminism!
  • World building was okay
  • Writing was good

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Complete lack of tension and suspense
  • No action
  • Extremely slow paced
  • Family tree provided at beginning RUINS a plot twist
  • Plot twists were predictable
  • Characters could have been more complex
  • The romance was unnecessary

RECOMMEND

Sorry, but I can’t really say I recommend this book as it wasn’t anything new to the YA Fantasy genre at all and was slow an predictable.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

2018 Beat the Backlist TBR

Top Ten Tuesday (38)

So I decided to join the Beat the Backlist challenge this year as I have SO many books I need to read that I own! My goal for this year is 60 books on my backlist TBR and hopefully I’ll get through more than that as well.

There are a couple 2017 releases on here but MOST of these were released even earlier than that, as I said I want to get through my older books. Here are the books I’m hoping to read!

You can sign up for 2018 Beat the Backlist here.


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Did you sign up for the Beat the Backlist challenge this year?

What are some of the books you’re hoping to read?

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

Let me know in the comments!

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

Book Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

review

Trigger Warnings: Racism, Sexism/Misogyny, Violence, & Police Brutality

Honestly, how do I even begin to write a review for an excellent book such as this?

A brilliantly written book that is not only incredibly powerful and packs a lot of punch in just 210 pages. I can already tell that “Dear Martin” and “The Hate U Give” are going to be compared and let me just tell you: read them both. They are both excellent and both deserve to be read as they handle important issues like police brutality and racism.

Of course I’d just like to say that I, being a white woman, can’t even begin to fully understand the issues described in this book nor can I fully give my opinion on them because of that. However, I do think this book is very important and I urge you all to give it a read. That being said you should definitely check out some #OwnVoices reviews of this book and if you know of any please feel free to link them below!

PLOT

Right off the bat I’d like to say that it was great to be reading from Justyce’s POV,  he’s just a great character but it was also nice to read from not only a male POV but also a POC POV in YA. I also really enjoyed the sections of the story in which Justyce wrote his letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. they added so much insight into not only his character but the issues that African Americans endure every day.

While this book focuses a lot on police brutality it also focuses a lot on racism micro-agressions as well. For example throughout the course of the story Justyce is faced with white male peers constantly making racist jokes and telling him to “quit being so sensitive” about them at the same time. Many of the side characters act atrociously in this perspective throughout the story too. I will say that one of the characters makes a bit of a turn around by the end of the story, which was nice to see.

One other thing that I mentioned in the trigger warnings was sexism and misogyny which we do see a bit of in this story and while it’s challenged I don’t think it was challenged enough. At one point during the story Justyce’s best friend, Manny, states that he isn’t interested in black girls because they’re “ghetto and full of attitude” and Justyce doesn’t want to date the girl he’s interested in because she’s white and his mother would not approve.

Aside from the plot the pacing is very fast and the writing is excellent, it’s easy to breeze through this one! I’ll also be looking forward to anything Nic Stone will be writing in the future as well!

Also my only real complaint is that it wasn’t longer!

characters

I really enjoyed Justyce’s character as well as his friend Manny, his love interest SJ, and their debate teacher whom they refer to as Doc. I thought they were all great characters and good people on top of that. I have to say though SJ, honestly, was my favorite I loved how fiesty and intelligent she was every time she would speak up about the racist and unintelligent remarks made by some of their classmates. I wish there would have been more development for a lot of the characters but with such a short novel that can’t really be helped.

As for some of the other characters such as Justyce’s peers, whom I don’t remember all of their names because they were horrible people, I loathed them. They were so blatantly ignorant and racist it was ridiculous and got to the point where I thought to myself “Do people actually talk this way?!” to which the answer is yes there are horrible people out there that do talk, think, and act like the people in this story.

romance

There was a bit of romance in “Dear Martin” and sometimes I felt it became too much of a focus in the plot and a little….overly dramatic. There’s a love triangle between Justyce, his on again, off again girlfriend Melo, and his friend SJ. Melo is clearly not a great girlfriend and manipulates Justyce whereas SJ is clearly perfect for him, so of course I spent the entire book rooting for Justyce x SJ! I really loved their relationship. So overall I did like the romance but like I said it got to be a little “too much” at times.

in conclusion

Overall thoughts: a fantastic book that my review simply cannot do justice (pun, unintentional!).

What I Loved:

  • Fast-pacing
  • Excellent writing
  • Fantastic characters
  • Important plot
  • Justyce’s romance with SJ

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Romantic sub plot got a little overwhelming and trope-y at times
  • Would have loved to have seen some of the sexism challenged more

RECOMMEND

I cannot recommend “Dear Martin” enough, it is an extremely important and powerful novel. I also recommend checking out “The Hate U Give” as well if you have already read this one and loved it!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble

Follow Me Elsewhere: Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads

The Sassy

Down The TBR Hole #13

Top Ten Tuesday(92)

This was “created” by Lost in a Story!

The Rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

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Current TBR: 774

**** For some reason I skipped a book last week! But I’m back on track this week.****


Book #120

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get around to reading this but I’ll keep it for now since I own it. Plus I really loved “The Shining”!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #121

The Gift by James Patterson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I did enjoy “Witch and Wizard” when I read it AGES ago but I don’t really think I want to continue with the series anymore.

The Judgement: Go


Book #122

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Once again I read this series a while ago and enjoyed it but I don’t think I’ll ever continue with it.

The Judgement: Go


Book #123

School’s Out Forever by James Patterson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Again, read a while ago. Don’t want to continue with the series.

The Judgement: Go


Book #124

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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Are you guys seeing a pattern here in this patch of my TBR? Series I started and won’t be finishing because I just didn’t really think “Divergent” was that great.

The Judgement: Go


Book #125

The Name of Stars by Maureen Johnson

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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A sort of retelling of Jack the Ripper including a girl who can essentially see ghosts, at least that’s what it sounds like! It sounds interesting and I own a copy so I’d like to see if it’s any good.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #126

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I love Star Wars and I love zombies but I just don’t know about this one anymore. Maybe I’ll read it eventually or maybe not but for now meh.

The Judgement: Go


Book #127

I, Iago by Nicole Galland

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I freaking love “Othello” it is by far my favorite Shakespeare play and Iago is one of my absolute favorite villains. So of course I’d love to read anything related to the play!

The Judgement: Keep


Book #128

Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I really love the Assassin’s Creed games especially the Ezio ones and so I kind of wanted the book but I just don’t think I’ll read it. I’d rather go play the game!

The Judgement: Go


Book #129

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Date Added: July 29th, 2015

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I tried reading this a really long time ago and just wasn’t very intrigued by it, I just don’t think Holly Black’s writing is for me. Although I will be trying “The Cruel Prince” because the hype is ridiculous.

The Judgement: Go

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

Do you think I should have kept any of these books?

Do you agree with any of my keeps or discards?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy