My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s January 2018 Wrap Up

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (★★★½)

My first read of 2018 took me by surprise, mostly because I had no idea it was a murder mystery. Thankfully, I wanted to watch the HBO series and I’m a read it first kind of girl. Due in large part to the suspenseful nature of the novel (who done it and who!?!) I flew threw this Australian contemporary drama. Read: Pretty Little Liars for adults.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (★★★)

A dark fantasy set in the world of faerie, The Cruel Prince hits the ground running with a brutal double murder. What follows is a tale of revenge, beautiful dresses, crosses and double crosses, courtly drama, cruel faeries, even more murder, and magic, proving that this novel is deserving of all the online hype. Could it be Holly Black’s best faerie story yet? Damn straight it is!

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (★★★)

I could read 8,000 more books set in the worlds (plural) of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, which takes place at a boarding school for children forever changed after their adventures in other dimensions. The first two books are amazing in their own right, but Beneath the Sugar Sky is my favorite due to its multiple settings, including an underworld inhabited by the dead and a land made entirely of sugary treats. A candy land if you will.

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s 2017 Wrap Up

2017 may have ended over two weeks ago, but due to a prolonged (and continuing) fight with a never-ending cold, I didn’t get around to wrapping up my new favorites and biggest disappointments of the year … until now.

In 2017 — the year of the dumpster fire, not to be confused with the original year of the dumpster fire: 2016 — I completed all five of my reading challenges and accomplished my goal of starting and finishing 100 books.

Keep scrolling to check out the best and worst books I read in 2017, or head to GoodReads to see a visual list of all the books (the good, the bad and the in-between) I read last year.

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s December 2017 Wrap Up

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell (★★★★★)

The Disaster Artist is the unbelievably true story behind the making of The Room, the so-called worst movie ever made. Written by actor Greg Sestero — who plays The Room‘s Mark — the novel details his tumultuous friendship with the man, the myth, the enigma: Tommy Wiseau. With on-set tales that range from hilarious, to baffling, to downright awkward, this is a must-read for anyone who has ever seen the cult phenomenon that is The Room.

The Walking Dead Vol. 29: Lines We Cross by Robert Kirkman (★★★★)

An uneven and pretty slow arc, the 29th volume of The Walking Dead comic suffers slightly from a few snoretastic issues. Thankfully, a brand-new character named the Princess arrives to shake things up. To make matters better, the entire collection ends with a huge emotional bang 74 issues and five years in the making. Promise.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand (★★★)

Sometimes you just need a dumb, mindless read, and The Afterlife of Holly Chase is exactly that. This young adult tale inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol follows former socialite and failed Scrooge Holly Chase, a ghost who is now being punished for her sins in life by the workers at Project Scrooge, who force her to become the Ghost of Christmas Past. Nonsensical and predictable, I had so much fun reading this stupid book.

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s November 2017 Wrap Up

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (★★★½)

John Green is back with another touching novel that deals with the tough stuff. This time around Green tackles mental illness, dealing with his own OCD through the lens of Aza, a 16-year-old girl who struggles with crippling anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies. A thoughtfully written contemporary tale, Green’s latest work is an unflinching and occasionally difficult to read exploration of mental illness.

Saga Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan (★★★)

After a heart-wrenching Volume 7, Brian K. Vaughan has gifted us a slightly (take note of the term slightly) more lighthearted arc, exploring our heroes most recent trauma and throwing some social commentary in for good measure. The only downside to the continued greatness of the series after all these years? We’ll have to wait until 2019 for Volume 9.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill (★★★)

The first book in a fantasy duology, Erin Summerill’s Ever the Hunted is a predictable tale about a girl with incredibly rare magic powers she’s unaware of and an unlikeable love interest who may or may not have killed her father. While Ever the Hunted had some bright spots, it suffers from incredibly slow pacing and an insufferable love story.

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BookTube: The Spines With Wines Book Club Talks ‘Eliza and Her Monsters’ by Francesca Zappia

Welcome to the July episode of the Spines With Wines live book club. Yes, that’s right, the July episode.

Spines With Wines is made up of myself (Cassie-la) and book blogger/BookTuber Kristin Hackett and is your typical drunken book club … you know, except online.

This month, we finally got around to discussing Eliza and her Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia!

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s October 2017 Wrap Up

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (★★★★★)

A dark horror fantasy, Albert’s debut novel is about a fairy tale author turned cult phenomenon, and her granddaughter Alice, who has been raised as far away from everything to do with Althea Proserpine and the Tales from the Hinterland as possible. That is until her mother is kidnapped and she’s forced to learn the horrible truth of her past. From the dark fairy stories within the book, to a trip to a magical land and a journey of self-discovery, The Hazel Wood is three amazing tales all rolled up in one.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix (★★★½)

Both funny and horrifying, Grady Hendrix’s re-released novel is one giant walk down nostalgia lane, but with 100% more demonic possession. Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since a disastrous roller rink party, that is until Gretchen goes missing one night and returns possessed by a demon. With everyone else snowed by Demon Gretchen, it is up to Abby to save her bestie with the power of friendship.

Deep Dark Fears and The Creeps by Fran Krause (★★★★)

The Deep Dark Fears collection is a humorous look at humanity’s strangest and darkest fears. A webcomic turned into two collected editions, Deep Dark Fears and The Creeps are unique looks at strangers’ most horrifying and baseless fears, submitted through Tumblr and illustrated by Krause himself. Get ready to feel slightly less crazy!

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