Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases

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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 a list of ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020.

July 7th
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
by Hank Green

August 4th
Set Fire to the Gods
by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons

August 4th
Seven Devils
 by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

August 11th
Star Daughter
by Shvete Thakrar

September 15th
To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

September 22nd
Well Played
 by Jen DeLuca

October 6th
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

October 20th
Among the Beasts and Briars 
by Ashley Poston

November 3rd
Instant Karma
 by Marissa Meyer

November 24th
The Awakening
 by Nora Roberts

 

 

 

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR

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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 a list of ten Books on My Summer 2020 TBR (or winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere)

When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

 

What’s on your summer TBR?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: My Bookish Party

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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 for a list of ten things I’d have at my bookish party. (Choose ten things: items, accessories, food, people (real or fictional), decorations, activities, etc.) I’m going to do Top Ten People I’d want at my bookish party. My list will be a mix of characters and authors.

 

1. Nora Roberts- Nora is easily one of my favorite authors. I’ve read more than a hundred of her books and reread them many times. I’d be ecstatic to get to hang out with her.

2. Kendra from The Kendra Chronicles by Alex Flinn- If we’re gonna have a party we definitely need a witch there to make some magic.

3. Julia Quinn- She’s hysterical. I can’t help laughing out loud when reading her books even when I’m in public so I’m sure she’d have everyone dying laughing.

4. Alaska from Looking For Alaska by John Green- She’s the life of the party. I could never throw a bookish one without inviting her.

5. John and Hank Green- If you’ve ever watched any of the many vlogbrothers videos they have, you know these guys are highly entertaining.

6. Aelin from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas- I’m sure she would cause tons of trouble but that’s half her charm, right?

7. Adrian from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead- He’s got to be on everyone’s bookish party list. He was the first character to pop into my head when I looked at this prompt.

8. Mark Watney from The Martian by Andy Weir- He had me laughing through the whole book. His humor is infectious.

9. Morrigan from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas- Maas knows how to write seriously badass women. I would absolutely love to raise hell with Mor.

10. Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling- Confession time: Amanda and I were texting while I made this post and when I mentioned Hermione she joked about how Hermione and I would be off in the corner reading. Honestly? She’s probably 100% right and I’m not ashamed of that.

I had so much fun with this week’s prompt. Tell me all about the bookish party you would throw! Thanks for reading.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Borrowed/Bought Books

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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 for a list of ten books is Books I Bought/Borrowed Because…(Fill in the blank. You can do 10 books you bought for the same reason, i.e., pretty cover, recommended by a friend, blurbed by a favorite author, etc. OR you could do a different reason for each pick.) I’m going to go with books I bought (or borrowed) because Amanda made me.

 

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green

2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

5. Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg

6. Air Awakens by Elise Kova

7. Ancient Magic by Linsey Hall

8. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

9. Maximum Ride by James Patterson

10. The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner

 

What did you pick for this week’s topic?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Signs of a Book Lover

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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 for a list of ten is signs that show I’m a book lover.

1. I have multiple bookshelves- This is kind of a sad one for me because I used to own nearly 2000 books but when I moved across the country a few years ago I had to get rid of most of my collection. I’m slowly building it back up but it’s not nearly as big as I want it to be.

2. I can use anything as a bookmark- I love decorative bookmarks but still tend to use whatever’s on hand i.e. receipts, scraps of paper, the book jacket, etc.

3. I have a never ending TBR list- We all know how this goes. You check off one book and add two.

4. I have books everywhere- There are books on every flat surface of my house.

5. I have too many favorites- I would never be able to pick just one or two.

6. I own multiple copies of my favorite books- I’m generally not one for collecting certain covers and I don’t mind if a series doesn’t match but I like having the different versions of my favorites.

7. I have reading goals- I have a yearly reading goal (that I’ve unfortunately been failing the past few years) and I keep a list of which books I’ve read so I can keep track of how many I read each month.

8. I read more than one book at a time- I’m frequently in the middle of multiple series that I switch back and forth between.

9. Books make me emotional- I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times a book has made me laugh out loud or shake with anger or sob uncontrollably.

10. I think about books long after I finish- I love those books that stay with you long after it’s ended. That you stay up at night thinking about for days or even weeks afterward.

I had so much fun with this week’s topic. What makes you a bookworm?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Genre Freebie

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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 for a list of ten is genre-specific. “Pick a genre and build a list around it! i.e., best/worst romances, non-fiction for travelers, memoirs for foodies, classics that feel timeless, romance novel kisses, science fiction that feels too real for comfort, women’s fiction for newbies, etc.” My genre will be fantasy magic- worlds that I think have a cool style or type of magic.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Seven Realms by Cinda Williams China

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

What genre did you pick this week? Thanks for reading!

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2020 TBR

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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 for a list of ten books I’m hoping to read this spring. I’ve been so behind on my reading that there’s going to be a lot of repeats from my winter TBR but I’ll try to throw some new stuff in.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

 House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

 

What books are you looking forward to reading in the next couple months? Thanks for reading!

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Single Word Titles

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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 for a list of ten books with one-word titles.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Redwall by Brian Jacques

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Max by James Patterson

Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

Those are my picks for this week. What are yours?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Book Hangovers

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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 ten books that left me with a book hangover.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Earth’s End by Elise Kova

 

These are my picks for this week’s prompt. What are your choices?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Love Freebie

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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 for a list of ten is a Valentine’s Day freebie. I’m going to steal Amanda’s idea and do Top Ten Favorite Bookish Couples.

 

Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Cress and Thorne from Cress by Marissa Meyers

Abigail and Brooks from The Witness by Nora Roberts

Feyre and Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Percy and Annabeth from The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Kellen and Vestakia from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Wanda and Ian from The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Raisa and Han from the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

Sydney and Adrian from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Max and Fang from Maximum Ride by James Patterson

 

What are your favorite bookish couples? Did you have a different take on this week’s freebie? Thanks for reading!

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Five Star Predictions

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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 for a list of ten is ten books that I think have the potential to be five-star reads. I don’t give books star ratings, so I’m just going to list books that I think have the potential to become new favorites.

 

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

 

Those are my picks for this week, I’m so excited to read all of them! What books would you choose?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers

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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 for a list of ten is a book cover freebie. “Choose what kind(s) of covers you want to talk about: prettiest, most unique, most misleading, weirdest, most memorable, creepiest, ugliest, etc.”

This week I’m going to split my post into two categories and do five of each.

Top Five Books I Loved But Didn’t Like the Covers

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

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The Martian by Andy Weir

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Top Five Covers I Loved But was Disappointed by the Book

 

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

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Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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That’s my TTT this week, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!

2020 Blogging & Reading Goals

Today we are both here to talk a bit about what our goals are for this new year. Most people have new year’s resolutions, but we’re going to stick with goals because goals are something to work toward and resolutions are something to change. Let’s get right into it!

Amanda’s 2020 Goals

  1. I want to focus on reading the books that I already own (mostly backlist) instead of getting caught up in new releases. Additionally, I want to make an effort to read the physical copies of these books instead of checking the ebooks out from my library and reading off of my phone. Reading physical books is my preferred format and I’d like to attempt to get back to reading primarily in that format.
  2. The past year or so I’ve gotten back into GoodReads with rating and sharing my reviews on there. I’m pretty liberal with my ratings and I base them completely off of enjoyment. But in 2020, I’d like to be a little more critical with my ratings, basing them a bit more on my overall thoughts on all the aspects of the book.
  3. I’d like to, by the end of 2020, finish all of the series (that are already completely published) that I’m currently in the middle of. This will include any that I pick up in 2020. I don’t want to enter 2021 with any unfinished series. I’m hoping to pick up books in a series one right after another this year instead of starting a series and slowly reading it with other books in between.
  4. Finally, I’d like to get back to writing my reviews shortly after I finish the book. Toward the end of 2019,  I got in the habit of letting my reviews build up until I have five or six to write. I don’t want that to become a lasting habit. So, I’m doing well with this so far, but I’m writing it down to hold myself accountable.

Antonia’s 2020 Goals

  1. My first and main goal is simply to read more this year. I completely failed my goal for December and really want to start this year better.
  2. I’d like to get a little more involved with the blog this year starting with Top Ten Tuesday. It’s such a fun weekly post (one of the first we got into when we started the blog) and I’m hoping it’ll get me more motivated.

These are some of our goals for the new year! Do you have any blogging goals? Any goals specific to your reading habits? Leave a comment and share!

 

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Newest Additions

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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 for a list of ten is the ten newest editions to my bookshelf.

  1. Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn
  2. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  4. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
  5. The Last Namsara by Kristin Ciccarelli
  6. The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
  7. Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
  8. Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan
  9. The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  10. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

These are ten of the books I got for Christmas! What are the newest books on your bookshelves?

-Antonia

 

Blogtober Book Review: Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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GoodReads Summary: In this prequel to Ella Enchanted, which can stand on its own, young healer Evie is transformed into an ogre by the meddling fairy Lucinda. She’ll turn back only if someone proposes and she accepts!

Returning to the land and many of the characters from her beloved Newbery Honor–winning Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine has written a delightful tale about a clever and endearing heroine who is determined to defy expectations.

Evie is happiest when she is healing people, diagnosing symptoms, and prescribing medications, with the help of her devoted friend (and test subject) Wormy. So when Wormy unexpectedly proposes to her, she kindly turns him down; she has far too much to do to be marrying anyone. And besides, she simply isn’t in love with him.

But a certain meddling fairy named Lucinda has been listening in, and she doesn’t approve of Evie’s rejection. Suddenly, Evie finds herself transformed from a girl into a hideous, hungry ogre. Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever.

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Review: First off, thanks to Emily at Wunderkind PR for sending me a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s not something I usually do, especially because I hardly write reviews anymore but I’ve loved Levine’s books in the past and I just had to say yes to this one.

Unfortunately, I ended up being really disappointed by the ending. I’m going to give some general thoughts first and then go into the things I had issues with at the end so anyone who wants to avoid spoilers can skip that part.

Overall I enjoyed the characters. Evie is smart and kind and I loved the fact that the main character is basically a monster for most of the book. Yes, she’s still human inside but her ogre side takes over sometimes. She finds herself suddenly thinking humans might taste pretty good and she frequently has to resist the urge to eat her friends. She’s constantly hungry and isn’t too picky about what she eats as long as it’s meat. She smells terrible and the other characters comment on it a lot. She’s angry all the time about tiny things. They’re such unique traits to give a heroine and I enjoyed watching how she deals with these obstacles to try to break the curse and even just survive. Evie is a strong, brave young woman and I liked getting to see her learn more about herself throughout this adventure.

I liked Wormy as well though he wasn’t there for a big chunk of the book. I would have liked to have seen more of him especially because the change he makes by the end seemed a little unrealistic but that’s probably because I wasn’t able to see him actually go through the change. He was just suddenly different when he comes back into the storyline later on.

Eleanor was probably my favorite character (another reason the ending made me so angry). She was fun, kind and the most amazing friend to Evie.

The fairy Lucinda is obviously very annoying. If you’ve read Ella Enchanted (or even seen the movie) you know she just buts into everyone’s business randomly and ruins their lives because she can. I think the most annoying part is that in her twisted mind she honestly thinks she’s helping people. I get that she’s super powerful but it still astounds me that no one even tries to do anything about her, they just sort of let it happen.

The plot was decent. It’s exactly what you expect from a story inspired by fairy tales. Now that I’m older I find I don’t have as much patience for how unrealistic stories like this can be. Don’t get me wrong, I love the magic and mythical creatures but wish the characters didn’t act so ridiculous sometimes. However, given that this book is middle-grade it’s kind of to be expected.

**Now is where I’ll talk about the spoilers for the ending so please stop reading if you want to be surprised.

I’m not sure why I expected anything different but when I first read the description for this book I was like, “Finally! A girl who doesn’t want to get married at fifteen. Who has a guy friend she doesn’t fall in love with. This is great!” Guess what happens by the end of the book? They have a long engagement (which was something they said at the beginning Lucinda wouldn’t let them do so I don’t understand what changed) but they’re still engaged at sixteen and married at eighteen which is something we seriously need to stop portraying in books and film. I’m so sick of this trope of girls falling in love with their best friend. Just because he loves her does not mean she has to reciprocate.

Eleanor’s fate is what upset me the most though. Before everyone finds out he’s the villain, Eleanor gets engaged to Sir Peter and, of course, Lucinda shows up. Her “gift” is basically that Eleanor can’t back out of marrying Peter which she obviously doesn’t mind at the time. However, once everyone found out he was a traitor I assumed they’d figure something out, most likely that the king would execute him for treason (yes it’s middle-grade but there were ogres literally eating people). Nope. They all agree that they’ll pardon him for poor Eleanor’s sake and send him off to be a travelling merchant. As though being married to someone she hates is in any way a good thing. The part that really got to me though is that in the epilogue she’s pregnant. Why was that necessary? Their baby is Ella from Ella Enchanted so she had to exist somehow but since Eleanor hates Peter I’m trying really hard not to imagine how that baby was made.

**End spoilers.

Long story short: sorry guys. I really wanted to like this book but the ending absolutely ruined it for me. I’ve liked Levine’s work in the past so if you enjoy middle-grade and fairytales you should still give it a try. Thanks for reading.

-Antonia.