Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ten (and a Short Story) Favorite Reads of This Summer

School has been in session for a while and I've tried to upload this sooner, but school makes me lazy. 

 

Books Featured:
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Fantasy:7
Romance:4 
Classics: 2
Contemporary: 1 
YA:7

What were your favorite summer reads? Have some of the same opinions about these books? Do you plan on picking any of them up? Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Blog Name!

So for about the past two months I've been thinking about changing my blog my name. I've Vampire (and Other Paranormal Things) Queen for over three years, but it's time for a change. I no longer just read paranormal books and in all honesty paranormal books are something I hardly read at all anymore.

My new name is Sassy Sarah Reads. I really like this name since it's sentimental and it describes my personality. If you follow me on instagram then this is probably familiar since I'm @sassy_sarah16 on there! Most people know me as Sassy Sarah and it's just become a nickname. This name fits who I am as a reader and a person now and I love it! I hope you do, too!

Have you ever changed your blog name? Do you embrace changes on your blog or unsure about making them? Let me know down below in the comments!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Second book in the Harry Potter series

5 stars

Harry is back with the Dursleys for the summer and longs for the day when he can return to his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dobby, the house elf, pays a visit to Harry at the worst of times warning of dire plots at Hogwarts and warning him not to return. When Harry arrives at Hogwarts life is great, but then attacks begin to happen on muggleborns. Who will be next? What lurks in the castle that causes the petrifaction of his fellow classmates? The Chamber of Secrets is my least favorite novel of the Harry Potter series. It’s a great novel, but in my opinion the weakest of the series. This novel does have a lot of great things. Particularly the time Harry spends with the Weasleys and the introduction to garden gnomes. The whomping willow is a classic.



Harry Potter never fails to make me smile. This novel is a little bit darker than the first. It has dark undertones and hints to what is to come. The Chamber of Secrets is particularly dark when it comes to the end and what lurks within Hogwarts.


Harry Potter is back. He’s mischievous as ever. Harry discovers a good bit about himself in this novel. He realizes he’s a parseltongue.



Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

I love Harry. I think he’s a great character. While I don’t particularly love him in this novel as I do in some of the later ones, he’s a great character.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 4

The Villain-
As I’ve read further in the series, I appreciate this villain a lot more than I did when reading The Chamber of Secrets.


Villain Scale: 4.75

Hermoine is my favorite character in this novel. I love her intelligence and she is just a truly brilliant witch. Ron is more tolerable in this one and he doesn’t grate on my nerves. In fact, this is one of the novels where I actually love Ron. Draco is still vindictive, but I love him anyway. Hagrid happens to be the character I think most about in this novel. Has anyone really ever thought about how much Hagrid must hate Voldemort? Hagrid must have hated him before he even became Voldemort for what he did to him so can you comprehend his hatred for him as a monster? Hagrid probably loathes Voldemort more than most. Gilderoy Lockhart is a complete idiot and I absolutely abhorred his character. I hate narcissistic characters who only think of themselves and Gilderoy Lockhart is one of the characters in this series I hate.


Character Scale: 5

The Chamber of Secrets may be my least favorite novel, but it is still brilliant. I love the writing and the way this book sets up the future of Voldemort.


Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I love the illustrations for my addition. I don’t love it as much as the first illustration but it is gorgeous.


Have you read The Chamber of Secrets? Is it your favorite Harry Potter novel? Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Aesthetically Reading #4

What is Aesthetically Reading? It’s a new feature on my blog where I showcase photographs of books I own. Books are supposed to be aesthetically pleasing. You want a book you enjoy looking at when you aren’t immersed into the story. There are little things that make books special that aren’t inside the story, but that make up the physical copy. It could be the spine, dust jacket, art work, or anything that I think is worth sharing. I hope that this can help you decide whether you want to buy a copy of this book or not because it is definitely worth it. Note: I will be showcasing my ARC copies, which aren’t finished, but are still fun to show. I hope you enjoy this feature!

Previously featured: Allegiant

Today I'll be featuring my copy of:
Bad Attitude by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Published: July 2006
Publisher: Pocket Books
Page Count: 359
Summary (taken from GR): BAD agent Sydney Westbrook must find the perfect sniper for a risky counter-terrorism mission. J.D. Steele, a military sniper whose attitude problem landed him in prison, seems a good candidate. But as they're dragged into a secret world of freelance killers, Sydney begins to discover the man of honor and passion beneath Steele's arrogant fa├žade. It's a man even Steele didn't know he could be -- and a man whose mission will risk the life of the only woman he's ever loved... 

This is your basic romance novel cover. Hot shirtless guy and a city backdrop. The only thing it's missing is the girl in his arms. All jokes aside about how cliche it is, it's not a horrible cover. Especially up against my purple walls. The colors for the city are very well-done and it's not amazing or eye-catching, but it's decent. 

My spine is very loved, mainly because my edition is used. I like the ways the colors blend into an ombre' effect. It's not really anything special.

More city backdrops on the back. Meh. Meh. I'm not blown away by this back cover.

The inside flap includes more sexy shirtless men and a character profile. I actually like this page. Oops. Judge me, but shirtless guys on inside flaps is sometimes my weakness.

This cover page is just not doing anything visually for me.

The chapter titles are simple.

Should you buy a copy of Bad Attitude?
I recommend buying the kindle edition! It's probably cheaper than buying this full price. Or if you can buy it used like I did. It's definitely a book to buy if you are a fan of Kenyon or if you enjoy military romance novels. 
Other editions include:
 6606298 
This is the original cover the book was published under. I must say the re-released version is much better.

Do you plan on buying a copy of Bad Attitude? Do you already own it? Have you read it? Let me know down below in the comments!



Also, quick personal note! I'm back at school, so I may not be always present. I will try to be active, but it all depends on my life and how busy I am.

Monday, August 10, 2015

July Book Haul

Here are the books I've acquired over the past month!



What books have you recently acquired? Leave me links down below. Do you own any of these books or love them? Comment down below and let's discuss!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

This review is a whole year late. Actually over a year since I read this last May, but I concluded the series in August of last year, so the review is exactly a whole year late!

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

First in the Harry Potter series

5 stars

Harry Potter is a normal ten-year-old boy going on eleven. At least as normal as you can be living with the Dursleys. His room is a cupboard, he’s ignored, and he hardly eats. One day something happens. Something Harry can’t explain.

 



Soon owls begin to arrive and Uncle Vernon goes insane.
 


Then Harry learns he’s a wizard and it’s off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry he goes. As he makes friends and finally starts to belong, he learns who he really is, what happened to his parents, and that not everything is safe at Hogwarts. I have a confession to make. I have never read the Harry Potter series before this. I’m sixteen years old (Edit: I wrote this review a whole year ago and forgot to post it. I'm now 17.) and finally reading Harry Potter! You wouldn’t believe the weird looks some kids would give me when they saw me reading The Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter is a kids novel, but it doesn’t feel like it. I LOVE this series. I read this book in five days, which doesn’t seem like much, but when it’s the end of the school year and summer’s approaching reading doesn’t occur much. But this book grabbed me and didn’t let go. I’m so happy I finally decided to read this magical series. It’s a treat. Bloody brilliant! I’ve never been so nostalgic about reading a series before. I love the movies to bits and it’s weird to see the differences, but it’s so cool. For me, The Sorcerer’s Stone was a great opening novel. It opens with the third person POV of the day that Harry arrives on the Dursley’s doorstep. I loved it! When I started this I was sitting in Geometry class bored out of mind because I understood the lesson and was tiring of hearing it repeated for the umpteenth time, but once I started this novel I forgot I was even in Geometry. Rowling writes in a way that transported me into the novel. I was there when witches and wizards were celebrating the fall of Voldemort and when Harry found out he was wizard. I was there at Hogwarts. I met Fred and George and Ron the same time Harry did. I saw friendships start and magic form. My mind was at home. Hogwarts became my home. I have a special place in my heart for this book. It was the start to a world I don’t want to leave. I want to be a part of Hogwarts forever. I know when I open up this novel again years from now, I will be.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

The main male character is Harry. Harry Potter.


I quite love Harry’s character. He’s sarcastic and he just makes entering Hogwarts a treat. It’s amazing to see him grow from a boy who isn’t sure at the beginning of this novel into a boy who knows he’s a wizard.


Swoon Wizard Worthy Scale: 4

I love Hermoine and Ron, but for different reasons in this one. I love Hermoine because I connect with her. I am Hermoine Granger, but I don’t love nonfiction nearly as much as her. I love Ron because he’s Harry’s best friend. He’s a good friend to Harry. There is one drawback to Ron though. He’s a jerk to Hermoine. It really makes me dislike him. Fred and George are just hilarious. This series wouldn’t be the same without them. Draco Malfoy may be a jerk, but he also happens to be my favorite jerk.


Character Scale: 5

The Villain- I remember the first time I watch this movie I was about to start kindergarten and when I saw what lay under that iconic turban I ran. My small child mind was horrified. The next day, I watched the movie entirely without running and fell in love. Of course, I think this villain is pretty creepy.



Villain Scale: 4.75

Hogwarts is my home and I wouldn’t have it any other way. After reading this series I know that I am a witch. I have gone to Hogwarts and I have fought battles alongside Harry. Whether it was the Dursleys, Voldemort, or friendship quarrels. I was there through it all.

Plotastic Scale: 5



Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. It’s so beautifully illustrated and it’s beautiful. Not my favorite of my box set collection, but it’s beautiful.



Have you read the Harry Potter series? When did you read it? Where you late to joining the craze? Let me know down below in the comments!

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Aesthetically Reading #3



What is Aesthetically Reading? It’s a new feature on my blog where I showcase photographs of books I own. Books are supposed to be aesthetically pleasing. You want a book you enjoy looking at when you aren’t immersed into the story. There are little things that make books special that aren’t inside the story, but that make up the physical copy. It could be the spine, dust jacket, art work, or anything that I think is worth sharing. I hope that this can help you decide whether you want to buy a copy of this book or not because it is definitely worth it. Note: I will be showcasing my ARC copies, which aren’t finished, but are still fun to show. I hope you enjoy this feature!

Previously featured: Across the Universe

Today I'll be featuring my copy of:
  
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books 
Page Count: 532
 Summary (taken from GR) SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 & 2:  The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, ALLEGIANT, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the DIVERGENT series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in DIVERGENT and INSURGENT.

I do like the cover for Allegiant, but it's not a cover I'm particularly fond of. Out of the trilogy this has the nicest color scheme, but the weakest cover. My edition is the original hardback. 

While I'm not the biggest fan of the cover, I absolutely love the  spine. The way the reds and oranges blend together is absolutely beautiful. It's very striking to have on your shelf.

The most memorable thing about the layout for these novels is the big block and bolded text. I do like the way the novel's colors seamlessly blend into the front, spine, and back. It makes Allegiant look very well designed.

I love the emblem on this novel. Underneath the dusk jacket, the cover is striking and bold. It's just a very eye-catching color and design. I love it more than the cover. This is one of those times where the book looks better naked.

Spine game strong. This is a very shimmering spine under the dusk jacket. I love it!

The end papers are very foreboding. I love endpapers in hardcovers. They make me happy and while these aren't anything striking. They are dark and intense in person.

The cover page is simple and still keeps to the dark and luminescent feel. 

The title page is no different from the cover page.

The chapter titles stick to the bold letter theme. They alternate between Tris and Four's perspectives.

Should you buy a copy of Allegiant?
I would only recommend buying the hardback if you love your books to match or are a fan of the Divergent trilogy. Otherwise run back to the compounds because Allegiant drug the Divergent trilogy into the ground. (At least for me.) 

Other editions include:
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Besides the American editions the other popular covers for Allegiant are the UK editions. I definitely prefer the US editions of this trilogy, but I do see the appeal of these covers to certain audiences. 

Do you plan on buying a copy of Allegiant? Do you already own it? Have you read it? Which edition do you own? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

BookTube-a-Thon TBR

BookTube-a-Thon is a readathon hosted over on YouTube and Twitter, but anybody can join. If you want information about what BookTube-a-Thon is here's the channel. It's running from August 3rd- August 9th. The challenges are:

Read a book with blue on the cover.
Read a book with the same letter in first or last name as the author.
Read a book somebody loves.
Read a book you've recently acquired.
Read a book without letting go of it while reading.
Read a book you feel like reading.
Read a total of seven books.

Here's my TBR!

 

 I'm really excited for this year's readathon and I hope to do a lot of reading!

Are you participating in BookTube-a-Thon? What are you reading? Leave me links below in the comments!