Disappointing Books In Disguise: Part 1

Top Ten Tuesday(78)

I was going to do up a post of a few books that really disappointed me but then I came up with the post title and decided it’d be more fun to do a post about books with gorgeous covers but whose contents were a let down. Because nothing in the book world is more disappointing to me than a bad book with a beautiful cover, it’s like false advertising!

There are actually quite a few books like this so I’m going to be making it into a kind of series so there will be at least another part to this post! Here’s Part 1 though!

These books will range from 1-3 star ratings since a couple of these did receive 3 stars from me but were still a “meh” kind of book. I will also link up reviews for these if you want to hear me rant and rage some more on any particular book!

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We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

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I really liked the cover for this one since it was really eerie with the tree branches and the font is kind of glowing like a fire which is a thing the main plot focuses around. However, I thought the pacing was extremely slow, not much happened, and the big plot twist at the end was completely predictable. Seeing as how this is a psychological thriller having a predicable ending isn’t really the way to go.

You can read my review of “We’ll Never Be Apart” here.


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

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I absolutely LOVE this dark cover and the font is gorgeous! Unfortunately this book was not dark, creepy, or eerie in the slightest and it was actually very confusing and very boring. It was also loaded with tropes such as insta-love and the characters make frequent poor decisions.

You can read my review of “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” here.


Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts (Blackhearts, #1)

I really like the minimalist approach with this cover with the little ship in a bottle and the contrasting black cover and hot pink/grey font. It’s not the greatest of covers but I thought it was cute but ended up really, truly hating the book. I wanted adventure and pirates and all I got was a very questionable historical fiction romance. Boo.

You can read my review of “Blackhearts” here.


Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound

I loooove the cover for this book, it’s mesmerizing and I actually enjoy most of Hodge’s covers period. But just because a book has a pretty cover does not mean its contents will be as pretty, which is where I found myself. I thought the plot was extremely confusing, the pacing was all over the place, and the characters were all pretty “meh”. This book had its good moments too but unfortunately I still didn’t really enjoy this all that much.

You can read my review of “Crimson Bound” here.


Wink Poppy Midnight by April Geneive Tucholke

Wink Poppy Midnight

Oh…look who it is again. I guess it’s safe to say Tucholke’s writing just may not be for me. Her plots just get really messy and confusing and the synopsis on the book promised something quite different than what was delivered. I just felt like there wasn’t a sold plot or story in this book, but I loooooove how pretty the cover is with all of the little plants, webs, and critters. I liked aspects of this book but just overall…meh.

You can read my review of “Wink Poppy Midnight” here.


A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

I wanted to love this book so desperately because the cover is so pretty with its tropical plants! However, I thought the premise was not executed well at all and the main character was extremely dull it would have been way better if we got to see more of the cursed girl whose touch is said to kill and who has green skin and grass for hair.

You can read my review of “A Fierce and Subtle Poison” here.


Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

This cover looks dark and eerie and I pretty much love anything with a pirate ship on the front! Then to top it all off it’s a Peter Pan retelling that’s also dark and eerie!

So what went wrong? Everything. I was completely confused because the plot was a complete mess filled with tropes such as love triangles and insta-love. There was virtually no world building and that was a shame since this was a dark, twisted version of Neverland! What a let down….

You can read my review of “Unhooked” here.


The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest

I really loved the white cover with all of the overgrowth and the font is really neat looking as well, however, this was….a mess. Yet another book with a pretty cover whose plot is never explained and lots of things in general are left unexplained along with very under developed characters. There really was so much potential here….

You can read my review of “The Darkest Part of the Forest” here.

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

Were you disappointed with any of these?

Do you think any of these covers are gorgeous as well?

What are some of your most disappointing books in disguise?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recs for People Who Love Fast-Pacing

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

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

I have missed doing Top Ten Tuesday memes! Finally they’re back though and today’s theme is “Book Recommendations For:______” so basically fill in the blank any way we want! I wanted to be a little more creative with these recommendations because I’ve done quite a few before and came up with “Fast Pacing” because who doesn’t love a book that just keeps going and going at fast speed? So here are a few books I could not put down whatsoever!

I will also link up my full reviews for each book if you’d like to know a little more about them! These are also in no particular order.

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10.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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This is a YA fantasy thats world building is ancient Rome inspired and right from the get go this book is super intense, action-packed, and of course fast paced. The story grows more and more complex as it goes on and it’s just one twist after the other, it will definitely have you on the edge of your seat!

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


9.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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If I had to pitch to you why you should read “Red Rising” I would simply describe it as “The Hunger Games on steroids” because essentially that’s what it is. It’s a sci-fi/dystopian where a color coded caste system is in place and a low Color must infiltrate an academy for a rebel cause and also to exact his own revenge. So much action and so many twists!

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


8.) A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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This is about a young man’s Grand Tour of the Continent in the early 1700’s and ends up getting his friend, who he is in love with, and his sister in to a great deal of trouble. This is full of one problem after the other for the characters and his hilarious and fast paced all at once! I think what really makes this so quick and easy to read is Mackenzi Lee’s fantastic writing.

You can read my full review of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” here.


7.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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Nemesis is a Diabolic, an engineered body guard, who ends up disguising herself as her charge in order to protect her at the galactic court. While the first few chapters of this story aren’t very exciting it sets the stage for a very action packed, twisty plot!

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


6.) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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If I was going to pick one of the fastest paced books I’ve ever read it’d probably be “Illuminae”! Not only is this book very uniquely formatted with many drawings, diagrams, fonts, and layouts it’s also 600 pages and just gets your adrenaline pumping! It’s kind of hard to understand how a 600 page book would be fast paced but if you read it you will understand! There’s nothing but constant action and plot twists! And it’s all in space!

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


5.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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This is also a pretty hefty sized YA fantasy book that took no time at all to fly through! It’s about a group of characters pulling off a heist so you can imagine how thrilling and full of action it is with many plot twists along the way. Worth all of the hype, I promise you!

You can read my full review of “Six of Crows” here.


4.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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This is about two men who gained super human powers by having near death experiences and are both bent on ending the other person. This is such a unique book full of wonderfully twisted characters, it’s highly addictive and each chapter ends with its own mini cliffhanger! The suspense and need to know what happens next will definitely have you flying through this book.

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


3.) A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

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This is a horror and thriller mixed together about a girl who was chosen along with others to excavate a large underground palace in France, however, nothing really goes according to plan and there’s something evil lurking in the depths. Super fast-paced with many twists and turns there is very little time wasted at the beginning of the book and we are almost immediately dropped into the good stuff right away!

You can read my full review of “A Drop of Night” here.


2.) The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

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Another super hyped series here all about a girl who is destined to kill her true love with a kiss and a boy’s search for an ancient, magical Welsh King. Sorry but that’s just how I sum up the story here, there’s so much more to it I know! However, I thought that the thirst for answers to things happening in the story made this book fly by and feel super fast-paced!

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


1.) The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

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A super fast paced mystery/thriller about a girl and her friend who wrongly accused someone for murder and now must catch the real killer before it’s too late. This story is completely unpredictable with so many jaw-dropping revelations, you won’t see the ending coming!

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

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

What are some of your favorite fast paced books?

What books did you recommend for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Books With Romances I Actually Enjoyed

Top Ten Tuesday(77)

Hello my fellow book lovers!

I think it’s safe to say if you’ve been following me for a bit that you all know that I am not the biggest fan of YA romances, romance heavy plots, or just the romance genre in general. However, I promise you my heart is not completely made of ice! Here are a few of books that had romances that melted even my heart!

Also just a fun little side note that I had “We Go Together” from Grease stuck in my head the entire time I wrote this for some reason:

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So of course I’m going to be talking freely about the romances in these books and why I loved them so much and as a result there will be potential spoilers for some of the books. Some books it comes pretty obvious who is going to get involved with who but a few of these are surprises so here is the spoiler warning!

**** Please note that there are potential romance related  spoilers for the following books: The Night Circus, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Queens of Geek, The Diabolic, And I Darken, My Lady Jane, The Forbidden Wish, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Winner’s Curse, and Six of Crows!!*****

Anyways! I will link up my full reviews for each title if I have them!

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Celia and Marco’s romance is subtle, magical, and star-crossed what’s not to love about all of that? Their romance does have elements of insta-love but I honestly didn’t mind it at all since it felt like they were fated to be together from the very first pages (which of course they were since that’s what the book is about but you get what I mean!). They’re the kind of pairing that felt destined, like soul mates and I couldn’t wait for them to be together!

I don’t have a full review up for this book unfortunately, I just don’t know how to review it!


The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This romance is between Aladdin and Zahra, the genie of the lamp, and as the title implies it’s a bit of a forbidden relationship. There were no tropes present here at all and Aladdin and Zahra’s relationship actually takes quite a while to develop, a nice slow-burn romance if you will. I was so desperate for them to get together while reading and was so satisfied when it finally happened!

You can read my full review of “The Forbidden Wish” here.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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I don’t think I’ve shipped a paring so hard in a long time! Monty and Percy were straight up adorable and I think what made me ship it even harder was that they were both so clueless to the other’s feelings that they spent a majority of the book thinking their love was unrequited! They’ve been friends forever though and we start the book with both of them secretly loving the other so there aren’t any tropes such as insta-love here!

I do have a full review up for this book!

I just can’t link it since both posts were pre-scheduled as I am currently on vacation sorry for the inconvenience but if you’d like to read it you can search for it under my review index or search bar!


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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Love, love, loved the romances in this book! There are two different relationships that develop throughout the story and that would be between Taylor x Jamie who have been friends for a while already and Charlie x Alyssa two YouTube vloggers we also get to see some awesome diversity here since Charlie is Chinese-Australian and Alyssa is African- American and both are bisexual. Plus on top of all of that the romances are just so positive, fluffy, and adorable!

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


The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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Nemesis and Tyrus kind of  had a “forbidden love” romance and there were definitely NO tropes or cliches with it either this was a complete slow burn romance and it definitely is secondary to the plot. I think that Nemesis and Tyrus fit so well together because they’re both ruthless but also with a strong underlying goodness to them. I also spent a good chunk of the book waiting for them to just love each other already! 

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


And I Darken by Kiersten White

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The romance definitely isn’t the only thing going on in this book which is probably part of why I liked it so much, it was more in the background. There definitely isn’t any insta-love at all and it’s actually quite a slow-burn romance, however, there is a love triangle but it isn’t your typical love triangle since it’s two sibling competing for the same man and is completely unrequited on the one side. It’s actually really complicated now that I think about it….

Anyways I really wanted Lada and Mehmed to get together just because they both spent so much time pining after one another in secret. The tension! I just wanted them to kiss!

You can read my full review of “And I Darken” here.


My Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton, and Cynthia Hand

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While this may not be the most swoon-worthy romance to me it was still amazing because it was slow-burn and trope-free! Jane and Gifford were extremely cute and adorable and I loved how they disliked each other right away but slowly grew to care for one another by being themselves. It was realistic!

You can read my full review of “My Lady Jane” here.


The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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This was one of those books that I thought was going to be a mess of YA romance tropes but fortunately I was proved very wrong! There is no insta-love, no love triangles, or anything! Kestrel and Aren’s romance is very much slow-burn and forbidden love but I loved all of it! I felt that both characters were just really good for each other as well.

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


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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The romance between Karou and Akiva is a little rocky for me because on one hand it’s very much insta-love (even though that’s justified later on) but on the other hand I loved the forbidden romance elements in this story. I think when characters can’t be together my brain rebels and declares “THEY MUST BE TOGETHER NOW!”, I’m seeing a pattern here. I digress, I really liked how well developed their romance was though and blame any misgivings I have on the romance due to the fact that I’m not the hugest fan of Akiva in the first place…I’m just not.

You can read my full review of “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.


Honorable Mentions

(aka romances I also enjoyed but not enough to go into great detail)

  • Alice by Christina Henry
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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

Did you enjoy any of these romances or not so much?

What are some of your favorite bookish romances?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

review

Where do I even begin to explain how great this book was? It’s one of those books that I insist you drop what you’re doing right now and go read it! Usually I am not one for historical fiction or more romance heavy plots but oh man was I glad I picked this one up!

Trigger Warnings: Parental abuse both physical, verbal, and emotional, racism, and homophobia (I understand that the last two coincide with the time period but it could have been challenged a bit more in the story)

PLOT

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” overall is just such a fun, light-hearted, and hilarious story that is all very reminiscent of “My Lady Jane” so if you enjoyed that book I definitely recommend checking this one out as well! It’s very fast paced, full of plenty adventures and shenanigans in which Monty gets everyone tangled up in one problem after the other. They even have run ins with highwaymen and pirates both! So yes this book is very much entertaining and never has a dull moment!

I also really enjoyed Monty’s narrative and inner monologues because of how sassy and sarcastic he was. I found that this is a majority of why I thought this story was so hilarious!

The overall setting is on the characters’ Grand Tour of the Continent so we get to have places such as Paris, Spain, and Venice as our backdrop to all of the trouble Monty seems to get himself and his friends into. We don’t see too terribly much of the cities or countries but there are a few landmarks mentioned and I just found it all to be very exciting. Venice was definitely my favorite place they visited…just saying.

Mackenzi Lee’s writing is also simply amazing, it had me hooked right from the beginning and had me turning pages all the way up until the end! I loved how she made it additive, hilarious, and touching all at once. There was also never a dull moment and we were never bogged down with pointless or boring details, we got the journey without all of the fussing!

I also really loved the ending even if it was a bit unrealistic.

There was also diversity! We got to have a bisexual narrator along with a M/M romance and Percy was also of a diverse ethnicity (I’m pretty sure he was English/African but I’m not 100% positive).

While I’d love to rate this 5 stars it just didn’t feel quite like a 5 star read for me so 4.5 it is!

characters

The characters were definitely my favorite part of this book, easily! All three of the main characters (Monty, Percy, and Felicity) were straight up amazing and adorable, they were all just so likable! I also felt that they were very realistic, had their flaws, and learned to deal with them or overcome them. So I guess you could say they developed very well over the course of the story.

Henry “Monty” Montague is our narrator and as I said earlier he is FULL of sass and sarcasm which ultimately gets him into quite a bit of trouble, well that and the fact that he loves to drink, gamble, smoke, and fool around with both men and women all the time. People that know him often refer to him as a scoundrel and it’s quite fitting. I find that most often his personality was hilarious in this way but he could be quite an ass sometimes, but his friends would call him out on it immediately and he would actually listen and learn from it. That’s right a character who actually learns from his mistakes and friends that aren’t afraid to call him out!

I also really loved Percy and Felicity since both were adorable but Felicity is a bookish badass! I’m actually really in love with Felicity’s character because she didn’t take shit from anyone and with the way the story ended with her I’m super pumped to read her spin off “The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats and Piracy”.

romance

I’m usually not the biggest fan of YA romances since they’re usually so filled with tropes but this was perfect! I shipped Monty + Percy so freaking much! Honestly they were both the most adorable and you could have cut the tension with a knife, seriously. I also found it very cute that they both were head over heels for each other but were both so completely clueless they thought their love was unrequited! I also really liked how their romance had a bit of a “forbidden love” feel to it since that’s one trope I can’t get enough of!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • Fun, light-hearted, and hilarious story
  • Great, adorable, and likable characters
  • Diversity!
  • Tons of adventure and shenanigans!
  • Pirates!
  • The amazing and fun writing
  • The settings (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, etc.)
  • The completely adorable and ship worthy romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Honestly nothing I loved everything! (it just didn’t feel like a complete 5 star for me personally though)

RECOMMEND

I highly, highly recommend checking out “The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue” because there’s definitely something for everyone in here! It’s overall just such a fun and entertaining book and I want everyone to read and enjoy it as well!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

New York Times By The Book Tag

Top Ten Tuesday (22)

I was tagged A SUPER long time ago to do this by the wonderful Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger! Be sure to head over and not only check out her answers for this as well but to just check out her amazing blog! Thanks for tagging me Jessica (it only took me a year haha!)

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What book is on your nightstand right now?

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I’m currently reading my ARC of this book which is about an alien invasion told from the POV of both one of the invading aliens as well as a surviving teenage girl. So far it’s interesting but not really anything special.


What was the last truly great book you read?

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It’s a tie since I finished both of these recently and honestly can’t choose between them! “Gentleman’s Guide” was the the funnest book I’ve read in a while full of adventure, good humor, fantastic writing, and the most adorable of romances (which is also M/M!). While “Queens of Geek” was also a ton of fun I mostly really enjoyed how diverse and relatable the characters all were, the geek culture, and how positively many issues were handled!


If you could meet one author (living or dead), who would it be? What would you ask?

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I’m sure almost everyone says this but I’ll have to go with J.K. Rowling because while I could hold a good conversation with many of my favorite authors I just feel I’d have so much more to ask her! I’d love to know how she came up with so many different aspects of the Harry Potter universe but mostly I’d have to ask why she chose Harry to end up with Ginny. My inquiring, nosy, Harry x Hermione loving mind would like to know!


What books might we be surprised to see on your shelf?

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The Vampire Academy series probably! I’m not really one for any urban fantasy books anymore and I really don’t like a lot of trope-filled YA romances so I think it’s at least slightly surprising to see I have the entire Vampire Academy series. I really loved this series though!


How do you organize your personal library?

I kind of….don’t really. I of course keep series together and books with the same authors together but other than that it’s pretty much a free for all. I keep the books I’m going to read soon along with books I read and loved on the top to middle shelves and the books I’m not going to read for a while or didn’t enjoy as much on the bottom shelves.


What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten around to yet?

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I’m actually really ashamed of myself for this because while I did read “The Hobbit” and absolutely worship all of the movies I just haven’t read this one yet. The writing is a little harder to click with but I keep telling myself I’m going to read it eventually!


Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t?

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I usually like YA mystery/thrillers and I thought I’d love this one especially since it drew some inspiration from The Breakfast Club (which I love) but it was not for me at all. I thought it was pretty cliched and didn’t spend enough time building up suspense or thrills either.


What kind of stories are you drawn to?

Fantasy stories for sure, there’s just something about being transported to a completely new and imaginative world! I find that for the most part Fantasy is a genre that is more complex and immersive and the biggest part of why I read is to be immersed in new worlds and stories.


If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

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Harry Potter is just kind of my for fun answer because…it’s Harry Potter but honestly out of the books I have read I feel “The Hate U Give” is a very powerful, moving, and important read and I feel someone in such a position of power could benefit from reading it.


What do you plan to read next?

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I have an ARC of this book as well which is being released at the end of the month so I’m planning on reading it next!

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If you’d like to give this tag a try then go right ahead, I tag you! 

The Sassy

Book Recommendations: Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday(76)

Hello fellow book lovers!

Time for a couple more book recommendations! Woohoo! I absolutely love giving out book recommendations but unfortunately I don’t have a ton to ever recommend usually since I read so many different genres and sometimes I don’t like the book! However, I have a decent amount of retellings that I adored so I wanted to share a couple of them with all of you!

I will provide links to my full reviews of each book if you want some more details!

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Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry

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This is one of my most favorite books of all time and definitely one of the top retellings! This is a very, very dark, horrific, and graphic version of “Alice in Wonderland” where the characters we all know and love are twisted versions of themselves. I have to say it’s one of the most unique retellings I’ve ever come across since it takes elements of the original story and does so many different things with them including making them absolutely horrifying.

So if you’re a fan of Alice retellings and aren’t afraid to see the darkest side of it then definitely check this one out!

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


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Another wonderful “Alice in Wonderland” retelling that is also an origin story for the Queen of Hearts character. While the beginning half of the book was pretty slow and filled with descriptions of food and moony eyes, the end half was full of action and plot twists! It was really fun getting to see all of the different characters come into play as well!

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


The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

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This is an AMAZING “Aladdin” retelling where the genie is a female and falls in love with Aladdin. However, there is plenty of action and great world building so this isn’t just a romance focused story! On top of the unique plot there is Khoury’s beautiful writing, seriously it’s just so gorgeous and made reading this book such a breeze! There is also some kickass feminist themes as well since Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens are basically Robin Hood and are super badass.

You can read my full review of “The Forbidden Wish” here.


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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A “Peter Pan” retelling that centeralizes around the character of Tiger Lily, it’s narrated by Tinkerbell as she watches Tiger Lily grow and eventually watches the romance the develops between her and Peter Pan. It’s a very warped version of Neverland that we see in this story it’s dark and very saddening. Overall I highly recommend reading this one just for the unique take on Neverland as well as the story of Tiger Lily but be warned you’re probably going to cry!

You can read my full review of “Tiger Lily” here.


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

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Another “Peter Pan” retelling but, as the title states, it’s the origin story of Captain Hook. Like with “Alice” Christina Henry takes the Neverland we all know and love and flips it upside down, this is a dark and very gritty version filled with many horrors both monstrous and more realistic. Trust me when I say you probably won’t be the biggest fan of Peter anymore……

You can read my full review of “Lost Boy” here.


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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This is it’s own unique story but it also weaves in four other retellings throughout as well. That’s right, four! We get to see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hua Mulan, and Jane Austen’s Emma and while I can’t really speak for the Emma retelling I can tell you the other three are well represented within the main story line. I recommend checking this book out for the great story and world building alongside the retellings too!

You can read my full review of “Kingdom of Ash and Briars” here.


The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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This is a “Little Mermaid” retelling with a F/F romance and quite a bit of Norse mythology weaved in as well. While I did have a couple problems with this book I generally did really enjoy it and thought it was a really unique take on the “Little Mermaid” story as well as adding in a bunch of original elements as well.

You can read my full review of “The Seafarer’s Kiss” here.

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

What are some of your favorite retellings?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

review

This is the wonderful kind of book that I’m going to go around recommending to everyone all the time. It’s full of diversity and fandom culture which let’s face it we need more books with either or both! I found it to be so relatable on all levels and I feel it would be the same for many other readers as well.

PLOT

Of course one of the biggest reasons I enjoyed this book was because of how well I thought it handled many issues from sexism, racism, homophobia, slut shaming, fat shaming, and girl on girl hate. The characters, when confronted with these issues in the book, handled them in a very positive way and I loved it. There were many scenes where the characters were put down by others for things such as their sexuality, weight, or mental illness but they fired back and didn’t let people judge or hate on them!

There’s also a ton of diversity as well but I’ll get into that in my “characters” section.

One of the other BEST parts about this book was all of the fandom and geek culture, this is the kind of stuff I live and breathe for you guys! I’m that person who will bust through a wall if I hear even the slightest reference to something nerdy that I love so of course a book that has tons of said references has me all moony-eyed and in love!

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So I absolutely loved all of the references from cosplayers dressed as Captain Malcolm Reynolds to Taylor and Jamie’s Supernatural love and countless movie quotes! However, being the greedy little geek that I am I would have loved to see even more fandom references throughout the story since you know…they are at a convention.

The only little problem I had with “Queens of Geek”would be that I felt there wasn’t really any story going on. It mostly consists of the characters doing panels or walking around looking at merchandise at SupaCon and the two growing relationships between the characters. There really isn’t anything else going on and between all of the convention events and things and the relationships you don’t notice too terribly but I personally would have enjoyed if there was a little something else added to the plot to make things more interesting.

The writing was also very simple and easy to read, I enjoyed it!

characters

This is also probably one of the most diverse books I’ve had the pleasure of reading and I thought the representation was also well done. We have the two main characters: Charlie who is a Chinese-Australian, bisexual vlogger and Taylor who is the “chubby” girl somewhere on the Autism spectrum who also suffers from anxiety.

I have to say what made this book so much more relatable to me was Taylor and her anxiety, I just felt a connection to her and it was so amazing to see someone with anxiety represented this well. I loved how her friends would help her through it and how she found ways, such as her love of Queen Firestone and other geeky things, to help her get through her anxiety attacks. I personally suffer from anxiety as well and I thought the way anxiety was represented in this story was very, very well done.

I can’t speak for the representation of Taylor’s autism or Charlie’s bisexuality but I do know that Jen Wilde is autistic and bisexual as well (so I discovered via Twitter) so this is an Own Voices book and I feel she probably portrayed it very well!

I loved Charlie and Taylor’s friendship and it was awesome to see a positive representation of female friendship!

As for the secondary characters I would have loved to have seen a little more development with Jamie and Alyssa but I still loved them and how adorkable they were! There were also many other side characters that were gay, POC, or also had autism and I thought they were all handled very sensitively as well.

Also just a quick side note on Reese Ryan, Charlie’s ex: I fucking hated his guts. I would have liked to have seen him learn a good, hard lesson in this story but I loved how Charlie, Taylor, and Jamie all put him in his place later on. Still, I felt they went too easy on him because he was AWFUL! I get that he was supposed to be the sort of antagonist of the story and represented the people out there that are sexist and homophobic (among other things as well) but I still hated his guts! I wanted to transport myself into the story when he would go after the characters and say hurtful things and kick his ass!

romance

This book is ALL about that romance! Usually I am not one for contemporary romances but everything in “Queens of Geek” is so ADORABLE AND FLUFFY AND CUTE!

I was completely sold on both relationships in this story: Jamie x Taylor and Charlie x Alyssa. Both couples were so dorky, adorable, and sweet! I also really loved how both relationships were very positive as well there was no mistreatment at all between all of them.

There was quite a bit of insta-love in this story but it was the kind of insta-love that I really didn’t mind, which really says something since it’s one of my most hated tropes in YA!

in conclusion

Overall very, very happy with this book and there was just so much POSITIVITY from being body positive to being mental health positive.

What I Loved:

  • Diversity to the max!
  • Issues were handled very well
  • Anxiety rep was also handled very, very well
  • Positive depiction of female friendship
  • Positivity everywhere!
  • Fandom and geek culture representation and references
  • Adorable, sweet relationships
  • Fun, amazing characters

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Reese Ryan (seriously I would destroy this guy)
  • Would have liked a little bit more of an overall story-line
  • More geeky references would have been great too
  • More development for Jamie and Alyssa

RECOMMEND

YES! I highly, highly recommend checking out this book period but especially if you’re looking for a well represented diverse and Own Voices book or if you’re just looking for a fun, geeky fandom book! This book is hands down amazing!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy