Amanda- I’m currently reading The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Antonia- I just started Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi.
What did you read most recently?
Amanda- Last night, I finished Mirror’s Edge by Scott Westerfeld
Antonia- I recently read Alta by Mercedes Lackey.
What will you read next?
Amanda- Next, I’m going to start Hail Mary by Andy Weir and I think I might listen to the audiobook for Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi and reread the whole series before getting to the newest.
Antonia- I’ll either read the next Aru Shah book or Lackey’s next Dragon Jousters book.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is Book Titles That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayon Colors (Take a moment and Google some of the crazy Crayola crayon colors that exist. Can you think of any book titles that sound like they could also be a crayon color? It might be fun to include a description of the kind of color you’re picturing.)
Stardust by Neil Gaiman – I’m thinking a silvery gray.
The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory – A really dark gray.
Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts – A deep blue/teal.
Inferno by Julie Kagawa – A fiery red/orange.
Brighter than the Sun by Julia Quinn – A super bright yellow.
I had so much trouble with this week’s topic so I’m sticking with top 5. What colorful titles did you come up with?
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is books with titles that could be a Crayola crayon name.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas I could see this as a deep dark red.
Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi Maybe a pretty brown?
Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee Gold, like a yellow/red of a fire.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern A deep blue, like the sea.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman Grey like tv static.
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin What’s a good color for revenge?
The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco Something dark, like a deep blue or dark purple.
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett Deep blue, like the night sky.
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl Black or grey.
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner Green, definitely.
Hi, lovelies! I was talking with a new friend, sharing series that I love with them. But so many of the series that I love aren’t fully published yet. So, I thought it would be a fun idea to share some series that are completed that I love. I don’t know about you, but I love to be able to binge read a series, reading all the books in a row. That’s not really possible with a series that isn’t finished. Today, I have for you a list of series that you can binge because it’s completed.
The Empirium Trilogy by Claire Legrand Furyborn, Kingsbane, &Lightbringer “When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first. One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.”
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, &The Stone Sky “This is the way the world ends. Again. Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.”
The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, & The Crimson Crown (series review here) “Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell—the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off. One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back. Meanwhile, Raisa ana‘Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her… The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.”
The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty The City of Brass, The Kingdom of Copper, & The Empire of Gold “Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…”
The Never Tilting World Duology by Rin Chupeco The Never Tilting World& The Ever Cruel Kingdom “Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn. Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun. While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal. But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.”
Shadow of the Fox Trilogy by Julie Kagawa Shadow of the Fox, Soul of the Sword, & Night of the Dragon “One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos. Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn. Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll. There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart. With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.”
This Mortal Coil Trilogy by Emily Suvada This Mortal Coil, This Cruel Design, & This Vicious Cure “When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world’s leading geneticist, and humanity’s best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole’s genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine. Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. But it’s too late to turn back. There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.”
Arc of a ScytheTrilogy by Neal Shusterman Scythe, Thunderhead, & The Toll “A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.”
Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, & A Conjuring of Light “Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.”
Themis Files Trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, & Only Human “A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. But some can never stop searching for answers. Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?”
The Shadow Game Trilogy by Amanda Foody Ace of Shades, King of Fools, & Queen of Volts “Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted. Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam,1 so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…And she’ll need to play.”
The Bone Witch Trilogy by Rin Chupeco The Bone Witch, The Heart Forger,& The Shadowglass “Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price…When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha—one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.”
Fable Duology by Adrienne Young Fable& Namesake “For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive. Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.”
All the Stars and Teeth Duology by Adalyn Grace All the Stars and Teeth & All the Tides of Fate “Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice. She will reign. As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.”
There you have it. These are all series that I’ve read and absolutely loved (with my reviews linked!) They are all completed series, with all the installments published. The summaries I’ve shared are all for the first book in each of the series. I will recommend these series over and over again until the whole world had read and loved them. Have you read any of these? What completed series would you recommend to binge read?
Summary: Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?” A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time. Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better? In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
Review: The Midnight Library is a book that I have seen nothing but rave reviews for. It’s the entire reason that I bought it. I ended up getting my book club to choose this book for our March read. I was a bit disappointed by this book, but I can completely understand why so many people love it. We follow Nora in her life around when she attempts suicide. But instead of whatever is beyond life, she finds herself in the Midnight Library, a place before actual death where every possible version of your life is stored. I thought this concept was really cool. You could have the chance to see what your life would be like had you made another choice at any point during your life. Nora is shown her book of regrets and the story goes from there. She tries out different lives that she could have had, none of them being what she thought they would or making her happy like she thought they might. I thought the idea of being able to see alternate versions of your life was really cool. I didn’t love that once Nora was in these lives, she didn’t have the memories from them. I thought that made things more complicated than they needed to be. But, overall, I liked these parts of the story. My biggest problem with this book was Nora. She’s just tried to kill herself. So, she obviously is struggling with her mental health. It’s mentioned several times, in several versions of her life, that she takes anti-depressants. I liked this aspect. Normalizing taking medication and seeking help is such an important thing. But Nora just continually worked against herself. She was not a likable character in my opinion. I think this book did some great things, but I found that I couldn’t get myself to actually like Nora. Overall, I can understand why so many people love this book. But it missed the mark a bit for me. I liked the concept, but with a main character that I didn’t like, the story just wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been.
Summary: The last thing Barclay Thorne ever wanted was an adventure. Thankfully, as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer, Barclay need only work hard and follow the rules to one day become the head mushroom farmer himself. No danger required. But then Barclay accidentally breaks his town’s most sacred rule: never ever EVER stray into the Woods, for within the Woods lurk vicious magical Beasts. To Barclay’s horror, he faces a fate far worse than being eaten: he unwittingly bonds with a Beast and is run out of town by an angry mob. Determined to break this bond and return home, Barclay journeys to find the mysterious town of Lore Keepers, people who have also bonded with Beasts and share their powers. But after making new friends, entering a dangerous apprenticeship exam, and even facing the legendary Beast of the Woods, Barclay must make a difficult choice: return to the home and rules he’s always known, or embrace the adventure awaiting him.
Review: Thank you, NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an eARC of The Accidental Apprentice in exchange for an honest review. I love a good middle-grade story. So, when I learned that Foody (who gained my love and admiration with her YA books) was releasing a middle-grade series, I was beyond excited. The Accidental Apprentice follows Barclay Thorne when his life changes. He’s an orphan that lives in a town full of rules. He’s working as an apprentice to the town’s mushroom farmer and he’s found that he actually enjoys what he’s doing. One day, he’s working with his fellow apprentice when they accidentally break the town’s most important rule: don’t go into the Woods. While breaking that rule, Barclay somehow bonds with a Beast. This changes everything for him. After he’s run out of town, he finds Viola. Viola helps Barclay make it to the Lore Keeper town within the woods. There he searches for a way to remove his Mark and get rid of the Beast that has chosen him. I thought this book was such a fun read. It was filled with action and adventure, mystery and intrigue. There are so many misconceptions about the Lore Keepers that Barclay was raised to know. So, he spends so much time just unlearning all the things he thought he knew. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. Barclay studies and takes tests in hopes to win a competition, so we get to see him as he’s learning all these new things about Lore Keepers and Beasts, as well as, his own Beast. I think the best part of the story was Barclay’s internal struggle. We see him start to realize that he might actually belong with the Lore Keepers, but he’s in fierce denial about this because he still wants to return to his town. He thinks that his parents would have wanted him to stay in his hometown. His slow development out of those thoughts was really enjoyable. I thought it was well done. He didn’t just start having fun with his new friends and give up on his mission. It really was an internal struggle. I loved Barclay’s new friends. I was shocked at one of the twists involving them. But I also liked how things turned out with the boy that seemed mean. I think the friendships were really interesting. I liked the unexpected bits about them. Overall, I loved this book. I thought the Beasts and Lore Keepers were interesting and unique. I liked the friendships and the adventures the friends went on. I liked the competition aspects of the story. I also loved the development of Barclay. I think this book will be well loved.
Hi, lovelies! I have a fun post today that I’m excited about. Today, I want to share with you all my auto-buy authors. If you’re unfamiliar with this bookish term, basically these are all authors that I don’t even need to know what the book is going to be about to know that I will be buying it when it’s released. I have a few on this list that have been auto-buy authors since high school and a few that are newer. I also want to mention that there are quite a few authors I want to add to this list, but they only have one or two books out, so I can’t say for certain that they are auto-buy’s for me, yet. But I’m thinking I might do another post about these potentials another day. This list ended up being longer than I thought, so I’m going to get right into it.
Roshani Chokshi I discovered Chokshi’s books sometime in 2019 with her middle-grade debut, Aru Shah, and fell in love with her writing. I read all of the rest of the books that she currently had published in 2020 and The Gilded Wolves is tied with the Aru Shah series for my favorite book by her.
Ellen Hopkins Hopkins is one of the authors that’s been an auto-buy for me since high school. Her novels are all written in verse and younger me thought that was the coolest thing. I have since found other authors that write incredible novels in verse, but Hopkins’ books hold a special place in my heart. I also really love that the stories she writes have deep personal meaning to her. She has a few books that have author’s notes sharing a bit of her life and the reasoning behind the topics she’s chosen to write about.
Rin Chupeco Funnily enough, I didn’t like the first book that I read by Chupeco. I started with The Bone Witch and had so many questions when I’d finished the final pages. But I continued the series and absolutely fell in love. The Never Tilting World duology is my favorite series by Chupeco. I would recommend their work to anyone that loves diverse and compelling fantasy.
Elizabeth Acevedo This is an author I found because of Book Twitter. Acevedo writes some of her books in verse and for those I always choose the audiobook. Acevedo has won awards for her spoken poetry performances and she narrates her own audiobooks. They are incredible. They’re full of emotion and heart.
Jennifer L Armentrout I’ve been reading Armentrout’s books since high school. Her Lux series is actually what inspired Antonia and me to start this blog. I love all of her books and I will probably continue loving them forever. I’ve by no means read everything that she’s written, but I love that too because there’s always more of her backlist for me to discover while I’m waiting for her new releases.
Cinda Williams Chima Chima is the author that got me to fall in love with fantasy. TheSeven Realms series is one I read in high school and it’s the series that got me into high fantasy. I’ve loved it ever since.
Moira Fowley-Doyle This author writes books that punch you in the emotions. All the Bad Apples is my favorite of her books. All her books are filled with queer characters and once I started them, I couldn’t put them down until I’d reached the end of the book.
N.K. Jemisin I’ve read all of Jemisin’s work except for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy (but that’s on my TBR for the near future!) and I’ve either absolutely loved or really enjoyed all of her books that I’ve read. I cannot wait to continue her Great Cities series whenever the next one is released. The worlds she creates are so immersive and detailed. They’re full of diverse characters and incredibly unique worlds and magics.
Julie Kagawa Kagawa is another long time auto-buy author. I loved her Iron Fey series and all of its companions. More recently her Shadow of the Fox series was incredible. I cannot say enough good things about her books.
Anna-Marie McLemore Their books are so beautiful. The writing is absolutely stunning. The stories are full of family, full of love, and magic. I am glad that I still have a few of their books left before I’ve completed their backlist because I don’t know what I’m going to do once I’m caught up.
Tehlor Kay Mejia I fell in love with Mejia’s writing with the first books I read, We Set the Dark on Fire. That love didn’t fade as I finished that duology and then started Mejia’s middle-grade series. I love the captivating world and mythology, the diverse characters, and the writing brings all these things together.
Claire Legrand I liked Legrand’s books, right up until I read the Emperium trilogy and then I fell in love. Which I still can’t stop thinking about. So, yes I am excited to see what books this author will come out with next.
Ben Philippe His books are honestly just fun. He writes YA contemporary. I met him at the same event that I met Jeff Zentner and they both seem like such cool people. Philippe is also pretty hilarious on Twitter. His books are almost comfort reads, except they’re diverse and have great conversations about diversity. Specifically, racism and the experiences of black teens.
Justin Reynolds Reynolds writes books that rip my heart from my body, stomps on it, and then puts it back while saying, “everything’s okay now!” when it certainly is not okay anymore. He writes contemporary books with a science fiction twist and I love the way he combines these two genres.
Alisha Rai I’ve only read her Modern Love series so far, but I absolutely loved all three of the books. I’m excited that she has a good backlist for me to explore. She writes diverse romances that are fun and enjoyable, but they also cover important topics like mental health and I think they’re so well done. She’s also hilarious on Instagram.
Neal Shusterman This is another author I’ve been reading since around high school. I loved the Unwind series and his newer books are just getting better and better. Scythe is an incredible series that I will recommend forever. I’m beyond excited for his newest book Roxy which he’s co-writing with his son that will be releasing later in 2021. He writes such a wide variety of books that it’s always something new and interesting with him.
Scott Westerfeld Westerfeld drew me in with his Uglies series way back in 2005. I’ve loved all of his books since then and I actually reread that series in 2020. I would honestly say that I continue to read/buy his books more because of nostalgia than anything else. I feel transported back to being thirteen and so excited about my dad taking me to the bookstore for Westerfeld’s newest release.
Jeff Zentner I love his books. Every single one of them will break your heart. But they do a really great job of talking about tough topics in thoughtful ways. Also, I’ve met Zenter and he just genuinely seems like a cool dude.
Cassandra Clare The Shadowhunters have gone on for entirely too long, but for some reason I just can’t stop reading them. I’ve accepted my fate.
Sarah J. Maas I’m trash for Maas and I’m okay with that.
Leigh Bardguo I’ve been a fan of Bardugo’s books since Shadow and Bone first came out. I really enjoyed Ninth House and I’m interested to see where she goes once she moves on from the Grishaverse.
Nora Roberts Roberts was one of the romance authors that got me into romance. She’s one of my comfort authors that I go to when I feel a reading slump coming on or I just need to read something I know will be happy and that I’ll like.
This list ended up being way longer than I thought it was going to be. But in the last few years, I’ve found so many new authors that put incredible stories into the world. I’m sure in a year this list will be even longer than it is now.
Summary: It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
Review: Lost in the Never Woods was provided to me via NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This book follows Wendy Darling years after she and her brothers disappeared in the woods. But while Wendy reappeared with no memory of the time she was missing, her brothers did not. Wendy is turning 18. She’s about to go off to college and start life on her own. She volunteers at the hospital with the kids. When kids from her town start disappearing, they’re kids that Wendy knows. So, she feels like she needs to do something to help get them back. But things get weird when Wendy finds Peter Pan late one night near the woods while she’s driving home. I really liked the retelling aspect of this book. Things took a really dark turn that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve never been a super fan of Peter Pan, so I don’t know if this twist was one from Thomas’s imagination or if it stems from previous Peter Pan stories. But it shocked the heck out of me, so there’s that. I think the plot of the story, Peter and Wendy trying to rescue the missing kids was a good one. But I think the story felt really slow. They meet to brainstorm, try to find the kids, and figure out a general plan of action several times. Some of these times end up with them getting ice cream or doing something completely unrelated to their goal of finding the kids. I just felt like the story was pretty slow and drawn out. Now, I will say that the writing and the other topics covered in the story made this slow pace a bit more enjoyable. Wendy is suffering from survivor’s guilt. She made it out of the woods with no memory of what happened or where her brothers are now. So, this was a big focus of the story. I liked this aspect. It was hard to read at times, but I think the grief and guilt was really well done. Wendy’s parents are also pretty neglectful. As a parent myself, I felt for them. They lost their two youngest children with no sure knowledge of whether they’re dead or alive. This loss consumes Wendy’s parents and after her return they are not the same parents they were before. I liked the conclusion with Wendy’s parents. As hard as it was to read their suffering and grief, I really liked how their relationship with Wendy changed. Peter as a character was absolutely fascinating. I saw a review where he’s described as a ‘manic pixie dream boy’ and I think that perfectly explains his character. He’s mysterious, curious, and a bit wild. He’s dealing with losing his magic and growing into an adult, which he isn’t supposed to do. But it’s clear he knows things that he isn’t telling Wendy. They mystery of Peter and his secrets was really well done. Small things were revealed overtime to keep us interested until the big reveal. Wendy however, felt a little bland. She was pretty much only her grief and guilt. We get a little bit other than that with her volunteering and plans to go off to college, but it felt like she had no personality. Overall, I enjoyed this story. I think many will really love this story. It brings heavy conversations to the table and talks about them thoughtfully and with respect. It had characters you want to root for. The writing is beautiful and memorable but still easy to read.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is Books I’d Gladly Throw Into the Ocean (submitted by Beauty & Her Books). Now I’ll happily DNF a book I don’t like so most of these are going to be books I liked but that gave me so many emotions I want to throw them away.
Fallen by Lauren Kate – I seriously hated this book.
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron – I loved this book but literally cried my way through the entire thing.
Year One by Nora Roberts – Another one I loved but that left me with so many emotions.
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan- The. Ending. Killed. Me.
Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I liked this book well enough for most of it but the ending completely ruined it for me.
Nights of Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks – This was one of the first books that ever broke my heart.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls – This book killed me when I read it as a child. It was devastating.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – I was one of those weird kids that actually enjoyed reading for school except for this one. Definitely one of the worst books I’ve ever read.
Burned by Ellen Hopkins – I loved this book until the last few pages ripped my heart out and stomped on it.
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – Something that happened toward the end of the book left me feeling like a zombie. I cry every time I read it.
What books would you want to throw into the ocean? (But not really because of course we would never disrespect books like that.)
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is books that I’d gladly throw into the ocean.
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders The ending of this book made me want to throw this book into the ocean.
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel I hated the twist. I want it to disappear forever.
Vox by Christina Dalcher While I did enjoy this one, it made me so angry I absolutely would drown it.
Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young Again, I think I liked this book. But it made me so angry.
Finale by Stephanie Garber I really didn’t like the second book or this book. I would definitely get rid of it via the ocean.
A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis I did not like this one at all.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power The ending totally ruined the book for me. I’m not a fan of abrupt endings with little to no aftercare.
Horrid by Katrina Leno This is the same as Wilder Girls. I was left with so many damn questions after the last page and I don’t like that.
The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee There were so many icky things in this book. So, goodbye, into the ocean you go.
These are the books I would sacrifice to the ocean with no regrets. What did you choose this week?
Hello, lovelies! This post idea was originally going to be me rereading books I loved in high school, but looking back through the books I read then, I realized it was mostly Twilight, City of Bones, and adult books. So, instead these will be books that I read when I was a teenager, as the title says. But there are some books that I can’t bring myself to reread (which I’ll have a list of, some with the reasons why I won’t reread). Today, I’m just going to share the books I plan to reread. I also have reread some books over the last year or so that I loved when I was a teenager that I don’t feel the need to reread again. So, I’ll be sharing those today to give some thoughts on them. This will be a TBR of sorts (I say of sorts because as I’m scheduling this post I’ve already reread some of them) but they’ll be in my wrap up post with more details. I’m just going to be naming the first book (many of these are series) but if I like it when I reread I’ll probably continue the series and give my thoughts on the whole series. Let’s get into it!
Books I Want to Reread
The Angel Experiment by James Patterson Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter Evermore by Alyson Noel Evernight by Claudia Gray Crank by Ellen Hopkins The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder Unwind by Neal Shusterman Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Graceling by Kristin Cashore Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Books I Won’t Be Rereading
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer I have actually tried to reread this a few times over the years. I first read it in 2007 and obsessively read and reread the series until Breaking Dawn was released. But every time I’ve tried to pick it up to reread, I haven’t made it more than a few pages before I give up and end up reading something else. Also, after getting into the book Twitter community, I’ve learned more about some more of the problematic elements of the book.
Divergent by Veronica Roth I tried to reread this one a few years ago and just couldn’t do it. I think because I’ve watched the movies so many times and read the books so many times when I was a teenager, I know everything that happens pretty well and just couldn’t stay interested.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner I’ve heard some pretty gross things about this author that have to do with sexual harassment. I don’t really want to support anything like that and feel no need to reread this one.
Matched by Ally Condie I actually did try to reread this one sometime last year and DNF’d it because I couldn’t get through it and didn’t really care about anything that was happening.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater This is another that I tried to reread last year, and it just wasn’t good. So, I DNF’d it.
House of Night series by P.C. Cast I have read some of their newer work and have no interest in revisiting this series.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare I’ve reread this series (and all of the rest of the shadow hunter books) so many times that I don’t need to reread it again. Instead, I’ll just share my preferences for the series, starting with my favorite and ending with my least favorite. You can find my reviews for pretty much every book in the series on our Master Review List page under Cassandra Clare. 1. The Dark Artifices 2. The Last Hours 3. The Eldest Curses 4. The Mortal Instruments 5. The Infernal Devices
Books I’ve Already Reread
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld I feel so much nostalgia for this series. I found the full series for pretty cheap at my local used bookstore. Westerfeld has started a new series set in the same world but with different characters so I wanted to reread the original before I started the new series. I think there are definitely problems with this series that I didn’t notice when I devoured this series again and again as a teen. But I think the plot and adventure holds up pretty well. My review is linked here.
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead This series is still absolute perfection. I reread them via the audiobooks and couldn’t get enough. I listened to this series so quickly. I think the vampire lore and the characters are still so well done. This is really a series that has held up through the passing years. I think this series can easily find new readers that will enjoy it just as much as I did when I first read it as a teenager. I think the same goes for the spin off series, Bloodlines. The characters and story are easy to love and might even be better than the original series. You can find my review for the first book in the Vampire Academyhere and my review for Bloodlines here.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl I reread Beautiful Creatures via audiobook and while I did make it through the whole book, I didn’t end up continuing my reread for the rest of the series. I wouldn’t say that it’s totally bad. It was still an interesting and entertaining story, but I wasn’t invested like I was when I read it as a teenager. I think this series is another that could find new readers that will love it, but I think I’m no longer the audience for this series.
Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith This was….not good. I listened to the audiobook to reread. I made it through the first book (probably because it’s super short) but got halfway through the second book and just didn’t care to focus on the story. I think there are some things that the t.v. show did better and some things that the book did better, but I don’t know that I would actually be able to recommend this one to others.
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa I reread this full series, plus the Call of the Forgotten series, in anticipation for Kagawa’s newest release, The Iron Raven, which is set in the same world but follows Puck. We finally are getting Puck’s story. I have a full series review for both The Iron Fey and the Call of the Forgotten series here and here. I think these series are the ultimate Fey series and absolutely top the super hyped one that I won’t name. Meghan can be a little annoying, but her growth is so so good. The creatures and Fey that we meet in the series are so fascinating. I stand by this series excellence and cannot recommend Kagawa’s work enough.
Alright. That’s what I have for you today, folks! Some books that I will be rereading in the next few weeks/months (however long it takes me). Some books that I will probably never read again. And some books that I reread before I had the idea for this post with some brief thoughts on them.
What books did you love as a teenager that you think you would still love if you read them again now? If you are a teen, what books do you love that you think you will love once you’re no longer a teen? And the other side of that, what books did you love (or do love, if you’re a teen) that you don’t think you’ll love upon rereading?
Summary: Welcome to Amontillado, Ohio, where your last name is worth more than money, and secrets can be kept… for a price. Tress Montor knows that her family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. She might still be a Montor, but the entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the “White Trash Zoo,” – a wild animal attraction featuring a zebra, a chimpanzee, and a panther, among other things. Felicity Turnado has it all – looks, money, and a secret that she’s kept hidden. She knows that one misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she’s worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is… only that she can’t look at Tress without having a panic attack. But she’ll have to. Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity – brick by brick – as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. With a drunken party above them, and a loose panther on the prowl, Tress will have her answers – or settle for revenge. In the first book of this duology, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and masterfully delivers a dark, propulsive mystery in alternating points of view that unravels a friendship… forevermore.
Review: McGinnis’ books have been hit or miss for me. I either absolutely love them or I don’t really like them very much at all. The Initial Insult was one I really, really enjoyed. It was dark and gritty. It was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and that absolutely comes through in the story. It follows Tress and Felicity in alternating chapters. Tress and Felicity were best friends, but then Tress’s parents disappear late one night while they were giving Felicity a ride home. Felicity doesn’t remember what happened. She didn’t see anything, but vaguely remembers being carried away from the car. Since then, she’s become one of the popular girls in high school. She also has seizures that she doesn’t let anyone know about. I thought it was really interesting to see how Felicity deals with this. She uses drugs and drinks to excess. While I didn’t like Felicity for most of the book, especially after we flashback to story after story of her not handling things with Tress well, it was hard not to feel for her. She’s been pushed this way and that by her mother, her friends, even by Tress. The way her story ended was definitely shocking and I am very eager to see what will happen with her in the next book. Tress was a very unlikable character as well. But in a different way. Her parents went missing and she was sent to live with her grandfather. Her grandfather owns an exotic animal zoo (think Tiger King). It’s certainly an adjustment for her, moving from a stable home with two parents to a trailer on land with incredible dangerous animals that she’s now been enlisted to help take care of. To say that Tress is unhappy doesn’t accurately explain her feelings. She has never gotten over her parent’s disappearance. This is what fuels Tress to trick Felicity into the basement and question her about what Felicity remembers from that night. I think this story was a wild ride. It had so many different things going on, but it wasn’t too much. None of the plotlines took away from any of the others. I loved how dark this story was. Tress was a really dark character. She did illegal things to make money. She essentially tortures Felicity, who used to be her best friend. But also, I sort of loved her. The way the story was told was really well done. We start in present day, leading up to the Halloween party where most of this story happens. But while Tress is questioning Felicity, we get flashbacks into the past that show us both Tress and Felicity’s points of view in these moments. I thought McGinnis did an incredible job getting me to like both of these terrible girls. They’re so different from one another, but they’re both terrible. Overall, I really enjoyed this. I think anyone that likes dark books will like this one. I loved the way the story was told, the characters, the mood and tone of the story. I loved it all. The ending matched the rest of the story by being totally wild. Also, I just have to mention the chapters from the panther’s point of view. They were weird and I completely loved them. I definitely recommend this one.
Summary: Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town. But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer? Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger. This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.
Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi in her senior year of high school. She’s working on her senior capstone project. She has decided to solve a murder, though that’s not what she tells her school officials. Five years ago, Andie Bell was murdered. Her boyfriend, Sal Singh, committed suicide and confessed to killing Andie. So, case closed, right? Not so much since Andie’s body has never been found. Pippa remembers Sal fondly. He stuck up for her against bullies. He was best friends with Pippa’s best friend’s sister, Naomi. She doesn’t believe that Sal could have done this. So, she decides that she’s going to prove he’s innocent. I have to mention that I listened to the audiobook. This is relevant because of the format of the story. This book is written with journal entries that Pippa writes for her capstone project. These entries include transcripts from phone and in person interviews that she’s done with people to gather evidence. So, these interviews are narrated with a full cast. There’s one narrator that tells the story, Pippa’s chapters and journal entries. But there are so many other narrators that read parts of interviews and other things. I think this was such a great audiobook. If you liked Sadieby Courtney Summers, you will probably like this audiobook also. Now, Pippa. She’s an extremely smart girl. School and homework is basically her whole personality. She also is very family oriented. I loved the bits of the story that included her parents and her younger brother. She has a step-father that is Nigerian who she sees has her father. I believe this to be a big influence to why Pippa stands up when she sees racism or other discrimination. I think some may see this as her being a ‘white savior’ which I can understand, but I just didn’t see it that way. I think Pippa was raised to stand up for what is right and that’s what she did in this story. I thought it was really interesting to see Pippa, branded as a ‘good girl’, cross all kinds of lines (blackmail, cat phishing, breaking and entering) to find the truth about what happened to Andie. We see this mystery sort of unravel her and it was fascinating. I usually liked to read YA mystery/thrillers because they’re easy and usually a bit predictable. This book wasn’t either of those things. It talks about racism (Sal was Indian, so in this small town it’s easy for everyone to think that he killed Andie. There are some pretty racist things said about Sal.) There is the death of an animal, which was upsetting because it didn’t really add anything to the story. I don’t think it needed to happen. There’s talk of drugs and characters being drugged. But the twists and turns were not ones that I expected at all. I think the plot and writing was so well done. Also, I learned just before writing this review, that the US version of the story was changed so that the story took place in Connecticut instead of the UK (where the author is from and where the UK version takes place). I just don’t see why that was necessary and I think the book would have been even better had it not been changed. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I definitely think the audiobook had something to do with that. I think all of the characters were interesting and added something to the story. There were so many little pieces that were put together to make this mystery what it was and I loved it. The suspense and wonder were really well done. I also have to mention Ravi, Sal’s brother, who helps Pippa to solve this mystery. I liked that they worked together. I also liked that Ravi called Pippa out when she was doing too much. I also liked that they had a bit of a romance, but not so much that it took away from anything else in the story. If you like YA mystery/thrillers, you should definitely listen to this audiobook.
Hey, lovelies! Another month of 2021 has passed and that means it’s time to once again share the books I read in that month. So, I spent the first two weeks of March moving. Which for me, meant packing a bunch of boxes and then unpacking those same boxes. This allowed me to do a lot of audiobook listening. I listened to some great audiobooks and took some time to slowly reread some old favorites physically. I’m pretty pleased with what and how much I read this month.
Physical Books The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon Six of Crowsby Leigh Bardugo Crooked Kingdomby Leigh Bardugo Piranesi by Susanna Clarke Chain of Goldby Cassandra Clare Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
eBooks Namesake by Adrienne Young Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody Hello Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson
Audiobooks A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson Graceling by Kristin Cashore The Midnight Library by Matt Haig Fire by Kristin Cashore We Could be Heroes by Mike Chen The Fiery Heart by Diana Gabaldon Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney
That’s today’s list for you all. I know March still has a few days, but I have the time to write this now and I already have something scheduled for Wednesday. What books did you read in March? Did you find any new favorites?