Thursday, August 17, 2017

REVIEW | The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

Forgive me, for I've now talked about this book quite a few times on all my social medias. BUT TODAY IS REALEASE DAY!

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of The Color Project by Sierra Abrams in exchange for an honest review. You can watch my non-spoiler video review here!

I gave #TCP a full 5 out of 5 stars! 

I highly recommend this adorable contemporary. This story follows Bee, a girl who hates her first name and doesn't know what her plans are now that she has finished high school. She's just recently gotten a new job at a floral shop and that's all she has settled in her mind so far. Then she meets Levi, a friend of her brothers' & co. who works at the car shop that all of the guys work at (sans brother for some odd reason).

Levi is not just some cool guy though. He runs a charity. A CHARITY PEOPLE. He's like Jesus in hipster teen form (this is a compliment let me be clear). Levi walks into Bee's life and shows her something that she really loves - helping people.

While this story is adorable and funny and quirky and beautiful, the tables turn when an unexpected illness brings Bee's perfect summer to a halt. I did not expect the heart wrenching story that I experienced when I started this ARC! I was just excited to support my friend in her writing and barely read the synopsis when I signed up to be on the tour for Sierra's novel. MY MISTAKE. 

I was reading this book at work (I'm a substitute teacher) and suddenly during my lunch break I was sobbing and lunch is only 35 minutes and I know damn well those high schoolers knew I'd been crying. God knows they assumed I was weird. 

Before I get into spoilers, I want to say that you basically just need to buy this book now. As I'm writing this, I'm getting choked up thinking about all the feelings this book gave me. Just do it. Do it now. Right here in this is a link. You have no excuse.


One of the things I love about The Color Project is how much both Bee and Levi's families are involved in their story. This is 100% a romance. But it feels more real, watching how these two previous strangers become a part of each other's families.  That is something that resonated so much with me from my experience with my boyfriend now. (My brothers like him more than me. I'm not biter or anything.)

Before we get into Bee's dad - there's so much to say there - I want to talk about Levi's parents.  Levi's mom the cutest little wreck I've ever seen. And even as a wreck, I love how put together she is most of the time after her divorce. Although I'd probably die with all the Paula Abdul in that house.

Levi's dad. whew, man. He is too much. I really liked (and by liked i mean truly enjoyed hating) what we saw of Levi's dad when they go to the party and his dad drives off in his nice car with the secretary that he can't keep her name straight, although I was expecting to see him get some help for his drinking. While I did hate him for what he did to Levi as well as Levi's mom, I was still really concerned for his safety. I though it was a great touch that we saw Levi worried, himself, for his dad, even though there's a lot of animosity there.

I also want to note that I absolutely loved Gretchen and the far away friendship we witnessed in this story. It was refreshing to see that kind of development, because friendships far away from each other can be really hard and I loved seeing it work in this narrative!

Okay. Bee's family. I LOVED THEM ALL. I loved how involved Bee's siblings were, and getting to see not only Bee's and her siblings reactions to her dad's sickness, but also to watch Bee's mom and how she dealt with everything -  which was so heartbreaking. I can't even wrap my head around what it would be like to be in her shoes. Never want to have to, either.

Bee's dad. What raw emotions did I end up with after finding out he was sick, and watching all of this unfold. He was such a wonderful man, I honestly feel like I lost someone with this book and he's fictional! He just seemed like such an awesome down to earth dad and it's not fair that he had to be the sick one! My heart broke when they didn't get to finish their book together, and TOO MANY FEELINGS IM GOING TO STOP NOW OR I WONT BE ABLE TO SEE MY KEYS ANYMORE BECAUSE OF THE TEARS.

I hope that you all enjoyed The Color Project as much as I did. It holds a special place in my heart, as does the wonderful author Sierra Abrams. I cannot wait for her next novel in 2018!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

DISCUSSION | Game of Thrones S07E01

In case you live under a rock, season seven of Game of Thrones came back on Sunday, July 16th! 
There's not much to say before getting into spoilers, except that my friend Sierra and I are doing weekly live shows to discuss the episodes on my channel! So make sure to subscribe so you can join the conversation!

*I apologize in advance if I spell character names wrong. Please don't kill me*

So let's discuss the first episode of season seven of Game of Thrones. The episode starts with a scene of badassery from one of my favorites, Arya Stark. She puts on the mask of Walder Frey (who she's already killed) and murders the rest of the Frey's who were there at the red wedding. IT WAS GLORIOUS.

We also get to watch Jon Snow acting as king in his new role, preparing the North for their fight with white walkers. We also get another badass girl moment when Lord Glover tries to protest Jon's announcement that women need to be trained to fight as well.  But Lady Lyanna Mormont takes none of that! 

"I don't plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me.  I might be small, Lord Glover, and I might be a girl, but I am every bit as much a Northerner as you. And I don’t need your permission to defend the North."


We also see Bran make it to the wall - I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE STARKS TO REUNITE AT LAST, see Arya continuing to make her way to King's Landing in order to kill Cersei - um hi Ed Sheeran that was weird, and watch Cersei and Jamie argue about the realization that they have no allies - and Cersei's annoyance that Jamie let Tyrion live so he could then become Dany's hand.

We watch a disgusting montage of Sam's daily routine - I gagged, and then it's with the help of his lady friend, Gilly, he discovers that the HUGE stash of dragon glass lies in Westerns where the mad king had his huge castle-like thing. In this montage, we also see that Jorah - the man who is sick because he was touched by a stone person - is in the Citadel, hopefully trying to get cured.

Ending with the glorious Dany and Tyrion landing at the very same dragon glass mountain, and ending the episode with, 
"let us begin."


I'm hoping to see Dany and Jon make an alliance of some sort to fight the white walkers. AND thinking they are possibly related (that's a theory, not proved) I would love to see Jon and the dragons react to each other.

I need to see Arya, Bran, Sansa, and Jon reunite. OMG I'll cry.

I want to see Arya kill Cersei, but I also think we could see some sort of repurcussion for that. We know our favorites will not come out unscathed in this series, but I can't live with the Stark children dying before reuniting - especially Jon and Arya. Dear god, it needs to happen.

Can't wait to see you guys later for the liveshow! Comment down below if you'll be joining!

Until next time,

Monday, July 24, 2017

REVIEW | Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares by Steve Copling.

Happy Bibliothon Day 2! I hope you are all enjoying the addition of blog challenges to the array of crazy we have going on this week. 

Today's challenge is simple. Write a book review. One of the last biblithons we had a challenge to film a book review - we hoped that we would get you guys comfortable with pretty regular videos on Booktube, if you're just starting a channel.

Reviewing can be crucial when running a bookish account, whether it Youtube, a blog, or Instagram. It might not be something you choose to do which is totally okay! But many people do review the books they read, so we thought we'd like to see the way you guys choose to do it!

Here's my challenge for today:

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares was a 3.5 star read for me. I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.


This story is super fast paced! I felt engaged the entire time reading it because it was very action packed! It felt a lot like Percy Jackson in certain aspects with the characters being involved in the fighting of monsters, having to go into something similar to Hell, etc. 

I did find some things felt a little unrealistic for me, and I don't mean the fact that there are half angel humans or magic powers, etc. But for example, our main character Sage is 14. In his 14 years he had time to train hard for a while and quit a few years ago before this story begins. It felt like not enough time passed in his life for Sage to be where he was in his irritation with his life/destiny/etc.

Some of the magic also didn't make a lot of sense. The fact that Sage is a destined warrior made it a very easy fix when he does end up having to fight after not training for most of his life essentially - remember he's only 14. If he had been aged up, and quit at 16 and was now 18 that might have been a little less frustrating for me. I also found it convenient that in the alternate hellspace nobody has ever seen, nothing attacks our inexperienced main character(s) unless provoked. That was just too easy in my opinion, especially after Leah so blatantly proves Sage isn't ready right before he goes. I think I would have loved a book of his learning to train before he ever had to go into the Hellspace.

But there were lots of things I did like about this story! Theo was a great character. I absolutely adored him and Sage's grandfather. They are both very endearing. I also found David and Kato hilarious while still being bad ass in their own magic. I loved the teamwork in this story too! All of the battles we see throughout the story were also well crafter, significant, and unique from each other. 

Like I said earlier, this book was a very quick read for me! Despite my issues, I found this book to be captivating every time I picked it up. I will be doing a spoiler free review on my channel as well very soon!

Comment down below - are you interested in picking up Sage Alexander? Along with a link to your challenge for the Bibliothon today so I can see them! (and hopefully find more books to aadd to my TBR)

Until next time,

Monday, July 10, 2017

REVIEW | Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

I've been making my way through the harry potter series in audio format as time goes on. The next book I listened to was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling!

I gave this book a four out of five stars. The Order of the Phoenix is my least favorite book in the series in general because I find a lot of the characters just downright obnoxious in this book.

Of course, I still love this book and some very important things happen in this installment of the series, but I just want to scream every time I get to this book, which is honestly why I haven't read the last three Harry Potter books that many times. I'm not one to pick up any of them and just read them out of order, so if I don't pick up this one I don't go through the rest.

Let me talk about some things that bothered me about this story, at least this time around.

Harry. We all know it. He jumps down everyone's throats in this book, and won't stop getting angry with his friends, the ones who are at his side even when the rest of the wizarding community thinks he's a liar. It drives me insane.

Umbridge. I don't need to say more do I? I want to strangle her every scene she's in. It's just not a fun time for me.

Sirius. I love Sirius, and there is of course heartbreak when I read this book, but I also am frustrated with Sirius throughout this entire novel. It frustrates me how much he doesn't separate James and Harry from each other in this novel. And the older I get, the more I feel myself being on Molly's side when her and Sirius fight. Although I do think Sirius was right to tell Harry more information than Molly wanted him to hear, I think it's unfair how much of her love for for Harry and acceptance into her family she has provided for him is swept under the rug. I think Molly and Arthur don't get enough credit for the way the treated Harry like their own son, and that shines brightest in this novel for me.

Dumbledore. This is when I really start to get annoyed. I know we get an explanation at the end for why he held Harry away from him at the end of this novel but that doesn't make me any less frustrated.

Basically JK Rowling makes me feel like an angsty fifteen year old when I read this book because I want to punch everyone in the face when I read it. Maybe that means this is the best book, since it does such a great job at pulling on my emotions.

One last gripe I had with this audiobook in particular was the French accent that Jim Dale gave Bellatrix LeStrange. Most of the time in the books, JK Rowling put the accent on the characters - Seamus' dialogue is very distinctly written with an Irish accent, you can hear "yer a wizard, Harry" when Hagrid speaks, and Fleur's dialogue has a French accent written into it. I don't remember that from reading the books on Bellatrix' dialogue so it took me by surprise when she shows up at the end of the book and has a French accent. 

There are many things to love about this book too, of course. It's the beginning of the darkest books in the series, which begins to make this books feel even more real. JK Rowling doesn't shy away from hurting people (although fun fact: Arthur Weasley was supposed to die in this novel, and JK loved him so much, she changed it to just harmed because she couldn't part with him), we see St. Mungo's and Neville's parents, and of course Voldemort does finally show himself in his true power to the ministry and greater wizarding community.

I can't wait for my reread of the last two novels of this book! The audiobooks are definitely a whole new experience for me as I continue with this series for the umpteenth time.

What book in the series is your favorite?

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

REVIEW | Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

I gave Their Eyes Were Watching God 5 out of 5 stars.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a very different book than what I usually decide to read, but my very good friend Kelsey and I were in a book shop last year and she gushed about this classic. She's an English major and always trying to get me to read classics, not something I'm usually too down for.

BUT the history of this book is really something I must point out, in case you were naive like me and have no idea about what this book IS. Published in 1937 by a woman - a black woman - this is a story about a black woman who decides not to follow the status quo.  She leaves her hometown, and finds herself in an all black town that her new husband basically builds from the ground up.

Not just reaching new levels for the black community, but also reaching new levels of a woman who wants to live a life she chooses and doesn't let anyone stand in her way, this book is truly inspirational.  Originally when this novel was published, it was hated - are you surprised? Sadly, I'm not.  Even from prominent African American writers such as Richard Wright, this story was denounced as essentially shit. It wasn't until the 1960's that this novel saw movement, acceptance, and more importantly inspiration.

This is why I should read more classics! While I do love me some great YA, novels like this one make me feel like I see our history better and in doing so, our real world better as well. It's weird how fiction can do that.

Have you read Their Eyes Were Watching God? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

Monday, June 19, 2017

BOOKS I'VE READ IN 2017. (pt 2)

If you missed my last blog post, this is part two of the list of books I've read so far this year. I fell off the blogging wagon and am jumping back on with some mini reviews of everything I've read up to this point. The goal is to begin reviewing every book I read starting with the 15th book of the year.

But for now, we're on number 8.

I finished Nevernight by Jay Kristoff in April.

Nevernight was one of the Bibliobook Club books, so I do have a liveshow you can check out here. I also made a book talk on this book because I LOVED it! I gave this book a full 5 out of 5 stars and I'm starting to think Jay Kristoff is inhuman.

Nevernight is about a girl named Mia Corvere who comes from high society class, but when her father is executed for treason she ends up with nothing but a shadow cat and a man who used to kill people as company.  She decides to follow in her new caregiver's footsteps, join the Church of Assassins, and avenge her father.

I then read Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot.

Sad Perfect is a book about a girl named Pea with an eating disorder called ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Instake Disorder). There is also a trigger warning for self harm in this book.

I gave this book another 5 out of 5 stars. I really connected with Pea. Although I've never had any sort of experience with being diagnosed with an eating disorder, the way she described food sounds a lot like how I've described foods throughout my lifetime. I've always been a picky eater and not to say that's the same thing, but it felt nice to hear someone else's view on something that has been similar to my own.

I also loved the way this book takes you on a roller coaster of a girl who needs help and thinks the boy in her life has fixed everything because now she's happy... and it all goes to hell. That's all I want to say in order to keep away from spoilers. I thought this book was great!

I also read Seas of Snow by Kerensa Jennings in April.

I was sent this book in exchange for a review, which you can watch here.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. HOLY CRAP this book was intense! This story follows a girl named Gracie growing up in a house with her mom and the uncle who visits when he decided he wants to -- only Uncle Joe is abusive to Gracie's mom and sexually abusive toward Gracie.  Gracie's next door neighbor and best friend Billy is the only one who knows and is trying to get Gracie and her mom some help.

We also follow a plot line where Billy as an adult visits his friend in hospice regularly. She doesn't remember much about what's happened to her, and when she does the memories are too painful to bear.

THE CREEPIEST part of this book though is that throughout the story, we also get Joe's perspective when he goes on the hunt as the predator that he is. It gave me the heebie jeebies any time I got to one of his parts. Blegh -- but SO good. how did Kerensa Jennings GO THERE?

Check out my haul and wrap up that includes all of these books through this link!

The last book I read in April was The Heir by Kiera Cass.

I also gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. It was a very quick read, as the entire Selection series is, and just what I needed on my trip to San Francisco to see Hamilton!

The Heir follows the daughter of the couple who comes together during The Selection series as she has to take part in the selection herself. It's very cute and quick and why I love these books so much.

In May, I was able to finish the audiobook of Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.

This was yet another 5 out of 5 star book for me. Something about Laini Taylor's writing is so whimsical and magical and I just want to be able to watch this book. Listening to these books is one step closer because the narrator does phenomenal things with her accents and voices. BUT JESUS imagine a tv show for this series?? please make that happen.

We can't leave the month of May without mentioning A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas.

Yet another 5 star book so far in 2017. Sarah J Maas is one of my favorite authors and this book did not disappoint. While there were things I would've loved to see I also ugly cried and was so anxious throughout the entire time reading about my favorite characters in a freaking war........ MY FEELING ARE FRIED CANNOT COMPUTE.

Check out my book talk on ACOWAR here.

The last book on this very long list before I start making regular one book reviews again is The Color Project by Sierra Abrams.

I was sent an arc of this book in exchange for a review, which you can watch here. I also will be doing a spoiler-y book talk on this blog that will go up the week of this book's release (July 18th, 2017).

ONCE AGAIN, we have a 5 star book to talk about. I cannot get over this book. It's adorable and beautiful and quirky and SAD all in one little pocket of sunshine that Sierra Abrams managed to write and make whole. HOW DID YOU DO IT SIERRA?

Those are the first 14 books I've read in 2017. I'd say I've had a pretty good reading year so far - although I am like 15 books behind schedule on my goodreads challenge. It's not a problem, I'm not panicking.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little catch up on the books I've read so far. If you have any ideas for this blog, let me know what you're thinking in a comment or on twitter!

Until next time,

Monday, June 12, 2017

BOOKS I'VE READ IN 2017. (pt. 1)

Hey nerds, what's up?

I figured a good place to start with blogging again would be a little list of all the books I've read so far in 2017. I won't be going into too much detail in the post as there are 14 books to get through! This post will have the first 7 and then I'll be posting the other 7 shortly. But I'll make sure to link to wrap ups and reviews on my channel when I have them.

So beginning in January:

I started off the year with Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Meniscalco.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. This was the group book for the Biannual Bibliothon, so you can find the liveshow here.  This book was creepy and fun and I really enjoyed the twisted ending!

The next book I read in January was My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier.

I gave this book a full 5 out of 5 stars! I don't have a review for this one, so I will make sure to link my haul and wrap up from January and February with the last book in that video! I truly LOVED this book! This book follows Che, a teenage boy who is worried his little sister, Rosa, is a sociopath. And OH MY GOSH is this book suspenseful and intense! I absolutely loved it. I want to give a quick shout out thank you to Catriona from Little Book Owl who recommended this book and then sent it to me for my birthday (or was it Christmas? I'm horrible at remembering gifts I apologize) and made January such a great reading month!

Next up, I read Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars.  I read this one for the Bibliobook Club, which is hosted by the Bibliothon girls on the Bibliothon channel! We read one book every three months (Feb-April, May-July, and so on) If you want to join us for that you should follow us on Twitter! A link to the liveshow can be found here.

This book is about the Queen of Hearts from Alice and Wonderland, and how she became the bad guy we all know and love to hate. I listened to this on audio and I absolutely loved the narration! My favorite thing was the king's laugh - please listen so you know what I'm talking about. I think the narration is really what made me enjoy this book. I think the plot was a bit slow, which is why it wasn't a 5 star read for me.

Next up is Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars as well. I was sent an ARC copy of this book in exchange for a video review, which can be found here! This book is about a girl named Aki who goes on her church's summer retreat and makes a pact with her best friend to have a summer fling.  In her quest for summer love, she discovers that she likes boys and girls.

I loved this book A LOT. I thought the family involvement in this story and talk about safe sex were so vital and well done. I didn't love the conflict of the story which is why I knocked a star off. But I truly enjoyed and recommend this book to you.

Moving into February, I read Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff.

I gave this book another full 5 out of 5 stars. OH MY GOD have you read the Illuminae Files yet?? You need to! This is the sequel to Illuminae by the same gorgeous authors as listed above. Illuminae is a Sci-Fi novel written in a collection of emails, audio files, etc with some AMAZING graphics inside. It's basically the coolest bestest most amazing book you'll ever read.

In case you haven't gathered yet, I love this series. You need to read it. Moving on.

Next I read The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins.

I got this book from the library on a whim and I'm so glad I picked it up. Ellen Hopkins writes in prose and never ceases to amaze me when I pick up one of her books.  The You I've Never Known follows two characters - Ariel and Maya.  Ariel is a teenager who lives with her dad, and has since she was a young girl when her mother left them to be with a woman. Maya is a teenager trying to get away from her mother who is abusive and part of a cult.  She decides to get pregnant so she can have a reason to run away with the man she's seeing.

THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. I don't want to go into WHY it was so good because there's a thing that happens that made this book phenomental and it was a shock and so so great.

The last book in this post is going to be History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.

Another book with 5 out of 5 stars. If you don't know about Adam Silvera, he likes to write books with LGBTQ+ characters that rip your heart out. It's a fun time. This particular story is about a boy named Griffin who used to date a boy named Theo until Theo decided to move across the country and met Jackson.  But then Theo died. The story follows both the beginning of Theo and Griffin as well as the present day time where Jackson and Griffin create an unlikely friendship after meeting at Theo's funeral.

Did I mention Adam Silvera likes to rip your heart out? Cool. Great.  This book was SO amazing. It's a rollercoaster that makes you feel one way and then makes you feel another and it just hurts my heart even thinking about it.

For the books that didn't get their own review/liveshow, here's the wrap up I posted with all of these books!

That's half the books I've read so far in 2017! I'll post the other half shortly and then plan to get back to reviewing every book I read with a new blog post.

It feels good to be blogging again!

Until next time,
Kassie - MissSassyKassie