ARC Review: The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood

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Plenty of legends surround the infamous Boulder House in Whispering Bluffs, Wisconsin, but nobody takes them seriously. Certainly nobody believes that the original owner, Maxwell Cartwright Jr., cursed its construction—or that a murder of crows died upon its completion, their carcasses turning the land black. If anyone did believe it all, there’s no way River Red High would offer a field trip there for the senior class.

Five very different seniors on the trip—Violet, Paul, Ashley, Dylan, and Gretchen—have reasons beyond school spirit for not ditching the trip. When they’re separated from the group, they discover that what lies within Boulder House is far more horrifying than any local folklore. To survive, they’ll have to band together in ways they never could have imagined and ultimately confront the truths of their darkest selves.

review**** Huge thank you to Soho Teen for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! ****

Trigger Warnings: Racism, Homophobia, Victim Blaming, and Statutory Rape

Sadly I was more than a little disappointed with this book especially since I’m always up for YA Horror books! Unfortunately this isn’t really a horror book, in my opinion it’s exactly like “Night at the Museum” with slightly creepier things running around. I was expecting to be creeped out and scared a lot more than I was but it still managed to hold my attention for the most part, so there is something to be said for that.

PLOTThe story starts out pretty slow with the set up since we are introduced to each character through their own perspective, which got to be too much to keep track of at times but they did have their own unique voices so it was manageable. After the characters are FINALLY in the Boulder House things start to get a little more fast-paced and a little more interesting as well. They must all now work together in order to escape this house of horrors but may not be able to manage it since they are all harboring secrets they wish to remain hidden.

I thought the “secret” aspect to the plot was pretty interesting since a lot of these kids had some pretty odd secrets but this is where a lot of the trigger warnings I mentioned come into play: racism, homophobia, and the victim blaming/statutory rape (which was the worst one) and that’s why the kids chose to keep their secrets. I won’t spoil any of it but just know that the majority of the plot twists have these triggers in them and they can be a bit over whelming.

As far as the rest of the plot went I just felt like it was a mess, honestly what the heck was even going on? These kids went from room to room and everything got weirder and weirder as they progressed through the house! There’s whales, unicorns, centaurs, vicious angels, and all kinds of odd things that they come across. It just felt like the plot was “trying too hard” to be entertaining and it just came off being strange and messy.

Then there’s the writing….it felt really immature. Granted it is told from the perspectives of high schoolers and I’m sure Atwood was aiming for a younger crowd but it was just too much for me. The phrases “douchemunch”, “asstroll”, and “fuck-a-doodle-doo” show up way more times than I’d like to count, do people actually talk like this? It really got on my nerves while reading.

charactersThe characters are all high school students and all fit into various tropes: shy girl, popular/mean girl, goth girl and her boyfriend, and the jock. They all act accordingly as well, aside from their secrets but as I said I’m not spoiling them! Aside from the fact that they all couldn’t be more different they do try to stick and work together, which I liked since it would have been very infuriating for them NOT to in the situation.

I also liked the dash of diversity among the characters since we do have a lesbian character, bisexual character, and African-American character.

Other than that I didn’t really care about any of them and their dialogue and actions could get really annoying at times, as I mentioned when discussing the writing.

romanceAnother really messy aspect of the story: the romance. Every character got in on this too which is why it got to be too messy and too much overall.

There’s a couple that starts out a couple but one is bisexual and doesn’t care for their significant other anymore, one is secretly gay and has a crush on another character, one is head over heels for their significant other, and two other characters secretly have crushes on each other but won’t admit it.

Too messy, right? I thought so.

in conclusionMy thoughts on this book overall were that it was way too messy and I was very disappointed. However, I did finish reading it so points for that.

What I Liked:

  • Managed to hold my attention
  • Relatively fast paced
  • Bit of diversity in the cast of characters

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Plot was very messy and over the top
  • The writing and dialogue were very immature
  • Overly complicated romantic sub-plot

RECOMMENDThis just wasn’t my cup of tea and that disappointed me. There just weren’t enough horror elements for me to seriously consider this a horror book and everything was too messy and downright weird.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

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Down The TBR Hole #7

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Soooo with the holiday weekend last week I forgot to schedule this post but here I am…a week later which is fine. This won’t be a very exciting post because I hit a patch in my TBR where a lot of books I REALLY want to read are, so I’ll be keeping more than I’ll be getting rid of!

If you missed my other posts of Down the TBR Hole here they are:

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: 781


Book #61

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Date Added: June 29th, 2015

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I wasn’t a big fan of Lu’s other book (and series) “Legend” so I’ve been a little leery of giving her other books a try. However, the premise for this one sounds interesting so I figure I will give it a try.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #62

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

Date Added: June 30th, 2015

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This is set in the same world/universe as “The Blade Itself” which is also on my TBR but I figure I will read the first book and see if I like it before I go getting myself into the whole series. (Why did I add it in the first place? I have no clue!)

The Judgement: Go


Book #63

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Date Added: June 30th, 2015

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Of course I want to read another of Schwab’s books, it’s Schwab. Plus I like the idea of a library that keeps history in the form of dead bodies, I guess I’m just morbid like that.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #64

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Date Added: June 30th, 2015

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I adored Blake’s other book “Anna Dressed in Blood” so I wanted to add more of her books plus the synopsis with Greek gods sounds really interesting.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #65

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Date Added: July 2nd, 2015

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This series has come very recommended from other fantasy fans so I added it because I am a sucker for fantasy books.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #66

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Date Added: July 2nd, 2015

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Library books and books about books are my jam, but what bookworm doesn’t love that? The cover and spine of the hardcover are gorgeous on this book and the premise of the Great Library of Alexandria surviving sounds really, really good.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #67

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen

Date Added: July 6th, 2015

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I originally loved the idea of this western book with the half Native American main character who also dresses like a boy but I just don’t think I’m ever going to read it.

The Judgement: Go


Book #68

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Date Added: July 8th, 2015

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I already own a copy of this book and read part of it and it was very, very……interesting. It’s kind of weird but in a good way that made me want to continue just so I could know what the heck is going on. I’ll finish it eventually.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #69

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Date Added: July 9th, 2015

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I’ve actually heard quite a few good things about this book/series and I got it for $0.99 on Kindle so I can’t really go wrong there! After the slew of Vampire books back in my high school days I didn’t think I’d want to read anymore of them but this one sounds like it’s more creative.

The Judgement: Keep


Book #70

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Date Added: July 9th, 2015

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Another Kagawa book people seem to adore and hype up, I also don’t read that many fairy books so I want to give it a try.

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

The Ruler of Books Tag

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This tag was created by Ariel Bissett.

I saw this tag and thought it looked like a TON of fun because you know….I love books and I’d also love to be the ruler of all books. So let’s just get right into the tag!

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1.) What book would you make everyone read?

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There are literally too many to pick from! I’m going to go with “Nevernight” by Jay Kristoff just because I love the writing style and the plot twists are INSANE, I would love to fangirl with all of my new subjects about it.


2.) What would you abolish in book construction?

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Sorry but I’d have to get rid of mass market paperbacks! They’re just too small, the font is too small, and it’s hard as hell to open and bend them in order to read them. I don’t like cracking my book spines.


3.) What author would you commission to write you any book?

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Definitely Jay Kristoff, I love his writing style and his books are always 100% entertaining! I would be PUMPED if I had a slew of new Kristoff books in my hands!


4.) What book would you demote to the library basement to make room for new books?

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There are also quite a few of these for me as well but I’ll just go with one I happened to read this year. “The Roanoke Girls” would definitely be going down to the basement for me, I just thought it was a mess.


5.) What cover artist would you commission to make a mural?

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This is a tough question but I’m going with Sana Takeda who is the artist for the Monstress series of graphic novels! Is that cheating? Her artwork is simply gorgeous.


6.) What characters face would you put on a coin?

Let’s just go with Harry Potter and be done with this question, those books were very important to me growing up (and still now) so I’d definitely put him on a coin.


7.) What book would you award the “Ruler of Books” 2017 Prize to?

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I’ve read plenty of amazing books this year but I’m going to have to go with “Red Rising” on this one! Everything about that book was awesome from the writing to the characters to the plot, I could gush forever.

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I tag any of you who would like to do this tag!

The Sassy

Discussion Post: Juggling Blogging & Reading

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I thought about doing a tips post about juggling both your blogging and reading but realized I don’t have much to say about it because I’m literally the worst at it. So here we are having a discussion post instead! I was also thinking that maybe I could make a collection of replies and then use those in a sort of mass collaboration post of tips. Let me know what you think!

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How do you make time for writing and posting blog posts?

I personally am always a mess when it comes to this because to make it easier on myself it requires a bit more planning and scheduling, which isn’t my strong suit in this case. I kind of fly by the seat of my pants most of the time as far as planning posts goes! I try and type up a post of some kind daily during the week when I have time and post it the same day as well, it’s rare that I get a chance on the weekends to do so. Sometimes if I’m REALLY good I will schedule some up ahead of time but I’m lazy and that usually never gets done.

Basically if I’m lazing around not doing anything I will try and type up a post, that’s how I make time. Or if I’m doing something else such as watching TV then I’ll put it aside to do up a blog post instead.


How do you post when you DON’T necessarily have time?

Mostly I say if you can’t make time at all don’t stress about it, blogging is supposed to be a fun hobby after all! However, something that can be a real savior when it comes to stuff like this is scheduling your posts up ahead of time. This is a very good way of keeping up with your blog, just type them up when you have a chance and don’t worry about it! Of course, as I mentioned I’m really terrible at this but the few times I’ve gotten around to doing it I found it to be very helpful!


How do you keep up with comments and other blogger’s posts?

Yet another thing that I tend to fail hard at. Normally I sit down and comment and read other posts all at once, but this is a harder way of doing it. It ends up being a lot more work than it should, I SHOULD comment and read posts immediately. But I don’t. I think one of the easiest ways to do this is to have your blog provider’s app (WordPress in my case) on your phone and just comment/read whenever you have a few minutes throughout the day.


How do you make time for reading books?

We all know how hard it can be to balance blog posts AND reading equally! I, probably like the rest of you, always ensure that I have a book with me when I go places because you never know when you’ll get a chance to pull it out and read. If you have an appointment somewhere, read while you wait! If you take public transportation to work or other places, read while you ride! I find this to be one of the most helpful ways to get extra reading time in, plus I read when I get home of course.

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Come Join The Discussion!

How do you manage your time with blog posts?

Do you try and schedule posts up ahead of time?

How do you make time to comment and read other blogger’s posts?

What do you do to make time for reading?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: A Winter TBR

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

My planned TBRs always end up becoming such a mess because I get too ambitious or sidetracked and end up not reading the books I planned on reading. That being said I’m still going to try and have a TBR for the winter here and HOPEFULLY I will read at least a few of these. I really am terrible.

Also some of these will be included in an upcoming Book Haul I’m going to be doing I didn’t want to spoil ALL of the books I received and bought! I have a TON of ARCs that I’ll have to be reading here this winter as well but as I said I’m not going to spoil all of them!

These are in no particular order.

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10.) Dear Martin by Nic Stone

I JUST got this from the library so I’m going to be reading it right away here, I’m super excited to finally be reading this book! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it so I’m expecting to love it.


9.) There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Another library book I’m going to finish here quickly. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this book so I decided to just read it myself and see what I think although I’ll go in with lower expectations.


8.) Final Girls by Riley Sager

Once again another horror/thriller that I’ve heard mixed things about and yet again I wanted to read it myself and see what I think of it. I just really love the idea of the “final girl” trope being used in a book!


7.) Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I know, I know. I have been adding this to my TBRs FOREVER and I still haven’t read it! Once I battle through all of the ARCs I have to read I WILL READ THIS BOOK! I stare at it every time I pass my bookshelf!


6.) Because You Love To Hate Me

Another book I “had to have right away” and still haven’t read but I really do want to get to it sooner rather than later! It’s a collection of short stories so I feel that it will be a quicker read.


5.) A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

After reading the perfection that is “An Ember in the Ashes” I seriously need to get on to reading the sequel! I’m ready to be emotionally wrecked again, bring it on.


4.) City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a while but since it released this month I’ve seen TONS of great reviews so I’m even more excited to read it. I love fantasy but a fantasy set in Egypt is right up my alley.


3.) Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

I’m SUPER excited to be reading this ARC and I’m going to be a part of my first blog tour with it as well so be on the look out for my review this coming month!


2.) A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

Another ARC I’m excited to read here soon, it’s a YA sci-fi and it has one gorgeous cover.


1.) The Fire Queen by Emily R. King

I received an ARC of the first book in this trilogy and actually really enjoyed it! I also recently received an ARC of the last book in the trilogy as well and have a copy of the sequel on its way so I will be reading both of these here this winter but especially the second book.

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

What’s on your winter TBR?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

5 Star TBR Predictions

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I saw a video on Regan’s channel Peruse Project that was “5 Star TBR Predictions” and it looked like so much fun so I thought I would give it a shot as well! Basically I will be picking books off of my TBR that I believe will be 5 star reads for me, I don’t rate a ton of books 5 stars they have to be PERFECTION for that. Hopefully I won’t be setting the bar too high for these and will still enjoy them when I get to them!

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Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

So I have read two other books of Laini’s and ADORED them so with that alongside the fact that the synopsis sounds amazing for this book I can pretty much guarantee I’ll love it. The writing will be A+ because ya know….it’s Laini Taylor and she writes so beautifully plus her unique world building and mythology is always good too so really I can’t think of a single reason why this book wouldn’t be a five star read for me.


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The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I’ve honestly heard nothing but good things about this book (and series) and I KNOW Sanderson is a fantastic fantasy author and I’m positive this book will include a great magic system and a unique plot and world. For me a good fantasy book will have great world building and I just feel like Sanderson will deliver that. Therefore I have a pretty good feeling I’ll end up rating this a full five stars.


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The Child Thief by Brom

“Peter Pan” is pretty much my FAVORITE fairy tale/ story and I’m pretty much down for any kind of retelling of it. I also LOVE dark retellings and “The Child Thief” is definitely a very dark retelling. I’m really hoping it’ll be a great, unique retelling with a creative spin on Peter Pan and also full of dark happenings. If that all proves true I’ll probably be rating it 5 stars!


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Eon by Alison Goodman

Not only have I heard quite a few good things about this book/duology but the premise just sounds like something I know I’ll love: dragons + a badass female protagonist. I also cheated a bit and started reading part of it and really enjoyed what I read!


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Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I think the idea of a “retelling” of “The Iliad” is very creative and unique so I’m all for it! I also like that it’s a M/M romance between Achilles and Patroclus, honestly I just know everything from the setting to the characters will more than likely be 5 stars for me.


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Now I Rise by Kiersten White

I absolutely LOVED the first book, I thought the characters were absolutely fantastic and  all of the political intrigue was fascinating. I expect nothing less from the sequel!


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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

I really loved Thomas’s book “The Darkest Corners” it was so suspenseful, dark, and twisted. I think this one sounds just as twisted and I’m super excited to read it, if it’s as dark as the other book I will more than likely be giving it a full 5 star rating!


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Golden Son by Pierce Brown

If you’ve read “Red Rising” you’ll understand why this is going to be a 5 star read. Bring it on, I’m ready to be emotionally destroyed again.


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Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

“Stormdancer” was A-MA-ZING with all of the plot twists, world building, and badass characters! Honestly I’m expecting the sequel to at least be just as good, and if it is it is a definite 5 star rating from this girl!


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Dear Martin by Nic Stone

I’m very, very excited to read this book especially since it seems similar to “The Hate U Give” which I thought was an amazing, powerful book. I expect nothing less from “Dear Martin” I’m extremely confident that I will love it. I’m actually going to be reading it here within the next two weeks as I got it from the library!

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

What are some books on your TBR that you think will be 5 star reads?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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

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

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

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

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10.) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

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

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


9.) The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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

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


8.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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

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


7.) Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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


6.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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

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


5.) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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

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


4.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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

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


3.) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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

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


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

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

You can read my full review for Volume 1 here.


1.) Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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

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

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What are some books you’re thankful for?

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

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy