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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I'M BACK BABY | Life Update.

Hey nerds, what's up?

You may have noticed that I've been having some trouble maintaining on online presence. The blog went first. Then my channel uploads got spotty. Then Twitter. Even Instagram and Snapchat have seen a decline of posts from me.

There's not really a specific thing that happened that I can point to and say, "THIS happened. Now it's over I'm going to do better!"

I don't really know what happened. I just lost motivation. Maybe I got caught up in views and subscribers a little bit. Maybe I just felt like I was wasting my time online. Maybe I felt like the community has been falling apart and it made me sad and I didn't want to see it happen. Maybe I got overwhelmed by the amount of books others were reading while I was sitting here not really wanting to pick up any books. Maybe it was a combination of all of that.

I do know that I've considered quitting. Quit Youtube. Quit Booktube. Quit this hobby.
But then when I take a break I still feel like I want to be here. I want to be a part of this community. I want to watch and make videos. I want to read AND write reviews on those books.

I tweeted the other day, "Sometimes I feel like I'm off in a little corner of the booktube community. I still find it hard to be friendly without thinking Im annoying." And then not only did my Bibliothon girls kind of pick me up and go UM HELLO HI WE LOVE YOU but other friends did too. Ones that I think I'm annoying when I tweet at them. And that really gave me some fuzzy feelings.

Then there's the stuff going on in my real life.

I got a new job in February and I now work mostly full time as a substitute teacher. But over the summer, I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do - get a job at a coffee shop? Retail? Will the job I got working from home be a steady enough income?

Matt and I are also looking for a new roommate. So we've been dealing with reaching out to strangers, keeping the house clean so they can come over and see our place, and just trying to find someone we like who also works on all the base requirements like financial things and what have you.

I'm trying to get on a healthier lifestyle routine. Eating better/cleaner and going to the gym. MY GOAL IN LIFE IS TO BE A GYM RAT. My problem is --- I fucking hate the gym.

I don't mean to be whiny and complain about my life or what's going on in my life. It's almost like writing all this out is helping me grasp a better understanding of what my problem has been lately with focusing on things that I love.

I am feeling more motivated lately. Which is why I'm hear, writing this weird diary-like post about what's been going on in my life.

I have some amazing stuff coming up! I'm working with a publishing house on a project (EEP). The bibliothon is in July and I've got four videos planned - now I just have to start filming! I have some books for review on my shelf waiting for me to pick them up. And Matt and I have watched some great things and I want to bring back #KATT reviews for them.

Maybe I have some weird addiction to this nerdy little hobby but I can't give it up. I'm obsessed with this community. I can't give up on it yet.

I love you guys. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support and friendship. I don't know what I'd do or who I'd be without you.