Book Tag – Mid-Year Check-In Book Tag

Hey, bookworms! We’re back with Amanda’s favorite tag of the year. It’s July, so a bit past mid-year, but we’re here to share some best and worsts of 2021 so far.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021 – 

Amanda: I can never pick just one, so Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler and The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman are both pretty high up there.

Antonia: Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam. This book was seriously amazing. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021 – 

Amanda:  Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. It was just so good.

Antonia: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. These books just get better and better.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore. I’ve loved all of McLemore’s books and I’m itching to get to thhis one.

Antonia: Legacy by Nora Roberts.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2021 – 
(See our full list of anticipated releases here)

Amanda: Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool and The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi. Two series finales to favorite series of mine. I can’t wait to finish both of these series.

Antonia: The Becoming by Nora Roberts coming out in November.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Everyone raved about this book and I let the hype get to me because I wasn’t impressed.

Antonia: Luckily I haven’t been disappointed by any books so far this year.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. As a rule, I don’t like horror. But now, maybe I do? I loved this book and that surprised the heck out of me.

Antonia: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. I’d been putting off reading this one for such a long time because I was worried I wouldn’t like Apollo as a narrator but I ended up completely loving it.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: Akemi Dawn Bowman and Adrienne Young. I still have more of their backlists to read, but I’m hoping to catch up before the end of 2021.

Antonia: Roshani Chokshi for sure. The Aru Shah series has been amazing and I can’t wait to pick up her other books too.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Casteel from The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I would die for both him and Poppy.

Antonia: Not really a new crush because I loved him from A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I have to pick Cassian from A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Rocky from Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I loved him so much.

Antonia: Aru Shah from Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. She is definitely one of the funniest narrators I’ve ever read about.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield. This book has some really tough subject matter so check out the content warnings before picking this one up.

Antonia: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler. I wish I had this book in high school. It really spoke to my soul in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Antonia: Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’ve loved the movie for years and even though the book obviously had differences, it was still so nice to see all my favorite characters again.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I’m sure everyones answer is this one but Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo that was adapted by Netflix. I had some issues with it, but I really did enjoy it.

Antonia: I have to agree with Amanda about Shadow and Bone. I think they did a really good job overall.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: Probably my review for Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. I feel like I came across as clear and said what I wanted to say.

Antonia: I haven’t written any reviews this year.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: Ohhh, probably a tie between The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He and the Fable duology by Adrienne Young (put them side by side and they are stunning.)

Antonia: I’ve been really good about not buying books this year.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda:

Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Antonia: So many. I’m way behind on my reading so I still have a lot from my winter TBR that I haven’t read and a bunch still coming out this year that I’m excited about. I’m definitely going to try to focus on books I already have before buying new though.

Anyone reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged, and feel free to tag us in your post.

Info Dump Bookish Tag

Hello, friends! It’s been a while since we’ve done a booktag. We saw this one over on Way Too Fantasy and thought it would be a good way for our readers to get to know us a little bit better. We thought these were some great questions. This tag was originally created by Books & Chocaholic over on YouTube, check out their video! Let’s get right into the questions.

1. How many books on average do you read per month?

Amanda- My average for 2020 was 31 books per month. But I have to add that I’m a stay at home mom, so, I’m home all the time and between physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks I’m reading almost constantly. So, please don’t compare you’re reading habits with mine.

Antonia- Recently my average has been around 4, but it can vary greatly month to month depending on my schedule.

2. How many books are on your TBR?

Amanda- My GoodReads ‘want to read’ shelf has 485 books on it. But the books I own and haven’t read yet is 107 with my physical books, eBooks, and my graphic novels.

Antonia- I don’t keep an actual TBR list, just kind of keep track of what I want to read in my head. I’d say I usually have around ten that I want to read at any given time.

3. How are your books organized on your shelves?

Amanda- At the moment, they’re alphabetical. But I’ve been itching to rearrange them again. I’m not sure if I’ll do it by genre or if I’ll go it by age range.

Antonia- I used to organize by genre then author. When I downsized my shelves I switched to just author. Since I moved last, I never took the time to actually organize so right now they’re just chaos.

4. Which genres do you read the most from?

Amanda- According to my 2020 statistics post, I read the most YA fantasy with adult romance as second.

Antonia- Definitely fantasy, either adult or young adult.

5. Which genres do you own the most of?

Amanda- This is probably also fantasy again.

Antonia- It’s probably fantasy tied with romance.

6. Which is your preferred format of reading (eBook, physical, audiobook)?

Amanda- I will always prefer physical books. But I also think eBooks and audiobooks have their times where they shine.

Antonia- Physical books, then ebooks with audiobooks way in last place.

7. Who is your most owned author?

Amanda- Probably Nora Roberts. I haven’t counted. But Nora Roberts, Rick Riordan, or Janet Evanovich are probably my top three. With maybe Cassandra Clare coming in close too.

Antonia- Definitely Nora Roberts since I own most of what she’s written.

8. Describe your favorite writing style.

Amanda- I like a writing style that’s pretty and lyrical without being overly so. I don’t want purple prose so flowery that the story gets lost, but I do still love beautiful writing.

Antonia- I don’t think I have a favorite, I just need a fast-placed plot.

9. Which literary devices do you like/dislike?

Amanda- Ohhh, I think imagery and flashbacks are tied here, but only if they’re done well.

Antonia- A clever plot twist. Something that you don’t see coming but once it happens all these little things from earlier in the book just suddenly make sense.

10. Which character archetypes do you enjoy?

Amanda- I like a lot of them. But the jester is probably my favorite. I always find myself loving the character that brings the comedic relief.

Antonia- I have to agree with Amanda on this one. Bonus points when that character is really snarky or sarcastic.

11. What are your favorite book settings?

Amanda- Honestly, settings are one of the least important thing to me. But if the world building is done well, I love any well built world. It’s described well enough for me to picture is a rare occurrence.

Antonia-I don’t pay too much attention to setting but I love when an author can help me see the setting without spending a page describing it.

12. What are your favorite tropes?

Amanda- I love childhood friends to lovers. It’s my real life love story. So, I love to read about it too.

Antonia- Antiheroes. I just think it adds so much more dimension to the characters. No one is wholly good or wholly bad.

These are all of the questions! We’re not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you feel like doing this tag, let us know!

Five Star Predictions – Round Three!

Hello, bookworms! During Blogtober and Blogmas we decided to try to predict a few books that we thought would be five star reads (find them here and here). We thought it was fun to predict what books we might love and then see how right or wrong we were, so, we decided to keep it going outside of October and December. Today we are going to wrap up our last five predictions and then come up with some new books that we think we will love. We both will be choosing books we already own (or plan to buy soon) because we’re working on getting our TBR that we own a bit smaller.

Amanda’s Prediction Wrap Up

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
I haven’t managed to pick this one up yet. It’s on my list for the summer, so hopefully soon.

The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco
I was right with my prediction! I absolutely loved this book. The characters are amazing and the things they do and go through made the story so great. I highly recommend this series. The world is fascinating. There’s compelling characters and relationships.

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
This one wasn’t 5 stars, but I did enjoy it. I think it was really interesting to read about a female firefighter moving from a station she considers home to one that has some really terrible opinions on female firefighters. I didn’t love the romance, but I liked the main character.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
I didn’t read this one yet. I really want to, but I’ve been rereading a lot lately instead of reading new things.

The Ravens by Danielle Paige & Kass Morgan
While this wasn’t quite 5 stars, I had a really good time reading it. I think it would have been higher rated for me if not for the petty dislike between the two main characters. This was resolved before the end of the book, thankfully. I liked the magic and the sisterhood and I’m definitely excited for the sequel.

Antonia’s Predictions Wrap Up

Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam
I LOVED this one. Definitely five stars. The characters were amazing, well developed and each had their own unique personalities. The futuristic world was so cool and I really appreciated seeing all the little details of it. I can’t wait for the second book.

To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
I still haven’t been able to get to this one but I’m hoping to soon.

The Awakening by Nora Roberts
I also really loved this one and Nora’s forever my favorite so five stars for this one too. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this story goes.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
I think this one fell just a smidge short of five stars only because Apollo’s narration took a little getting used to. I liked his character development and I get that his arrogance and non-human traits are sort of the point but it was really weird having a protagonist that’s so unlikable.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I’d have to give this one four stars. I really enjoyed it and I’ve loved the movie for years. Some of the differences from the movie I liked and some I didn’t but it was a really fun read.

These are our previous predictions and what we thought about the books. I think we did had a mix of books we loved and just liked. For the next round of predictions, we’re going to keep it to three since neither of us have been managing to read all five predictions.

Amanda’s Predictions

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia

Jade City by Fonda Lee

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Antonia’s Predictions

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Legacy by Nora Roberts

These are our next three predictions, a few books we think we will completely love. Do you have any books you own that you think will be five star reads?

The Cake Flavored Books Tag

Hi, friends! It’s been a while since we’ve done a book tag here on the blog and Amanda saw this one from Jess @ Jessica C Writes. It took a bit of searching, but the original tag was created by Paper Fury and inspired from the #CakeFlavoredBooks tag over on Instagram. Cake is something that we love here, alongside our love for books. So, we though it would be fun to do this tag that combines both!

Chocolate Cake // A dark book you absolutely love

Amanda- All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle. This book was honestly hard to read during certain parts, but it’s such an important story.

Antonia- I tend to avoid darker themes but I fondly remember reading The Devouring by Simon Holt with Amanda when we were teenagers. It was definitely terrifying but still such good memories.

Vanilla Cake // A light read

Amanda- The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai. While looking through my reading list, I realized I don’t read many ‘light’ books.

Antonia- Well Met by Jen Deluca.

Red Velvet // A book that gave you mixed emotions

Amanda- A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas, I almost hated Feyre and Rhysand by the end of the book and I’m not happy about that at all.

Antonia- Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa. I loved this series but the end was just a little bittersweet.

Cheesecake // A book you would recommend to anyone

Amanda- This is a hard question because everyone has different reading tastes. So, I’m going to give a few for a few different genres.
Contemporary: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Fantasy: For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig
Mystery/Thriller: A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Antonia- Oh wow, there’s so many. I always recommend Nora Roberts to everyone because she’s forever my favorite. I also always recommend The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss to fantasy lovers.

Coffee Cake // A book you started but never finished

Amanda- The Fiery Heart by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve been reading this book for what feels like a million years.

Antonia- The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco. This one is only sort of a DNF. I liked the first book but was having trouble getting through this one. I just wasn’t in the mood for it. So I moved on to something else but I do plan to pick this one up again at some point.

Carrot Cake // A book with great writing

Amanda- All of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books. Their writing is absolutely stunning. I’ve read Wild Beauty and Blanca & Roja which were both filled with beautiful prose.

Antonia- This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I loved the way this book was written, it just worked so well with the story itself and really drew me in.

Tiramisu // A book that left you wanting more

Amanda- The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. I really enjoyed this book right up until the ending. I was left wanting more and not in a good way. It felt like there were chapters missing to conclude the story. I wanted any semblance of a conclusion and I didn’t really get that from this book.

Antonia- All of them. I’ve never read a book and not wanted more from the story and characters.

Cupcakes // A series with 4+ books

Amanda- I absolutely devoured the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown in 2020 and I recommend that you do the same this year.

Antonia- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. All of them are amazing.

Fruit Cake // A book that wasn’t what you anticipated

Amanda- Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft. I went into this one thinking that it was a spooky and magical mystery in a creepy mansion. While part of the story is this. There is much more to the story. There’s interesting world building and politics, characters I loved and hated. This book wasn’t what I anticipated but not in a bad way.

Antonia- Year One by Nora Roberts. This book was so much darker than she normally writes but it was amazing.

Lamington // Favorite Australian book

Amanda- This was a fun question because I didn’t realize some of the books that I’ve loved were written by Australian authors. Some of those books are The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne, and of course, The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Antonia- I actually haven’t read any Australian authors. I would love some recommendations though.

If you’re reading this and think it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged!

Lowest Rated Books on Amanda’s TBR

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been seeing a few people on the various bookish platforms do a reading vlog or post where they read the lowest rated books on their owned TBR. I thought it was such an interesting way to get a few books off my TBR shelf that I might not love and unhaul them if that’s the case. As those of you that have followed the blog for a while, you all know I love lists, so this is just another way to keep me accountable to myself and read the books that I have. These are the five books that have the lowest GoodReads rating.

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher
Average Rating: 3.21 / 5

The Graces by Laure Eve
Average Rating: 3.29 / 5

A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee
Average Rating: 3.47 / 5

The End and Other Beginnings by Veronica Roth
Average Rating: 3.54 / 5

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Average Rating: 3.61 / 5

I’m going to try to read these five books this month. At the end of March, I’ll come back with a wrap up post with my thoughts and whether these books will be staying on my shelves or headed to my local library or used bookstore. Let me know if you’ve read these books or which one you think I should start with.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s 2020 Superlative Awards (Book Tag)

Hello, lovelies! I created this original book tag last year (find it here) when people on twitter were talking about how the bookish world should have an end of the year superlatives like our yearbooks did in high school. I loved the idea, so I made a book tag based on that and ran with it. I thought it would be fun to do it again this year!

Rules: 

  1. Tag me as the original creator
  2. Choose from either all the books you read in 2020 or only 2020 releases.
  3. Most importantly, have fun!

Best All Around: Your number one favorite book of the year.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, a story of sisters reconciling, magic, and a female/female romance. I loved it.

Biggest Flirt: Newest or favorite book boyfriend of 2020.

Casteel from From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (I know many will agree with this one, hah!)

Class Clown: Sillest/most goofy/funniest book of 2020.

I didn’t read many ‘funny’ books this year but I think The Martian by Andy Weir fits the bill for this one.

Cutest Couple: Favorite bookish couple of the year. 

This is technically two couples but in The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco both Haidee & Arjun and Odessa & Lan were definitely my favorites this year.

Most Likely to Succeed: Most hyped book you read in 2020. 

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Best Celebrity Lookalike: Favorite book based off of another story (fairytale/mythological/classics, etc.)

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Best Dressed: Most appealing book cover of the year.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Tallest & Shortest: Share the longest & the shortest books you read this year. 

Shortest: Skyward, Vol. 2: Here There Be Dragonflies by Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett, & Antonia Fabela (104 pages)
Longest: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (963 pages)

Best Clique: Share your favorite friend squad you read about.

Okay, I’m going to try to pick a book I haven’t already mentioned, so the crew from To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini.

Most Likely to Survive the Hunger Games: Share the character(s) you read about this year that you think would do well in the world of the Hunger Games. 

The crew from the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown basically have their own version of the Hunger Games and I loved it, but I also think that Xiala and Serapio from Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse would totally win together.

Best/Worst Plot Twist: What did you read that had a really great or really horrible plot twist?

Best: The Final Six by Alexandra. Aliens are my favorite.
Worst: This is more of a lack of a plot but, The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker.

Series: Best/worst second or concluding book in a series. 

Best: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (this is only sort of a sequel).
Worst: A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Most likely to become a classic: What book has the potential to become a modern classic?

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab or The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

Tagging to play:

Alana @ The Bookish Chick

Avhlee @ Tea Cups and Torn Pages

Blogmas Day Eleven: End of the Year Book Tag

Hello bookish friends! Blogmas, of course, means getting a few book tag posts up for the month. They’re always a fun time, especially the end of the year ones. This book tag is actually one of my favorites, along with the mid-year one. This tag was originally created by Ariel Bissett, but we found it on Bookbinder Way. Let’s get into it!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Amanda- For once, no.

Antonia- Nope. I’ve actually been really good this year about not DNFing anything.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?

Amanda- Nothing specific, but as Autumn comes around I tend to start picking up the mysteries and thrillers I’ve been collecting through out the year.

Antonia- I really don’t read seasonally, so no.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Amanda- No. I am getting a great haul for Christmas and all the 2020 books I’m excited about have already been released.

Antonia- I’m still waiting for The Awakening by Nora Roberts.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Amanda-

Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Tristan Strong Destroys the World by Kwame Mbalia
The Awakening by Nora Roberts

Antonia-

The Awakening by Nora Roberts
Rules for Being A Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno
Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Amanda- Absolutely. I have so many books on my TBR that I’m really excited about.

Antonia- All of them. I’m so excited about everything on my TBR.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Amanda- They’re about the same as this year. Focus on my owned TBR (physical and ebooks), and buy less books.

Antonia- Mostly just a continuation from my current TBR. I’ve been such a slow reader lately that I’m sure I’ll have some left over for the new year.

We tag anyone that feels like doing this one!

Blogtober Day Twenty-Six: The Nightmare Before Christmas Book Tag

Hey, bookworms. Today we have another book tag for your enjoyment. We found this Nightmare Before Christmas one over at Erica Robyn Reads while searching for a fun one. This definitely fits that. This tag was created by The Butterfly Reader. Check out her post here!

Jack Skellington
Jack – A book character who longs for more

Amanda: Zachary Ezra Rawlins from The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. He misses his chance for more when he was a kid and it lingers into his adulthood.

Antonia: Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. She spends her whole life stuck by herself floating in the middle of space and just wants to see the world and meet people.

Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas
Sally – A book character who loves someone so much and actually gets them in the end

Amanda: Amani from the Mirage duology by Somaiya Daud. Forbidden love that ends with a happy ending is always a good time for me.

Antonia: Alina from The Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. She’s loved Mal for so long and even though I kind of hated him for most of the first book, I ended up being so happy they got together.

Nightmare Before Christmas Zero & Jack
Zero – A book with a loyal sidekick

Amanda: Lehaba from House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. She’s literally just fire. I adored her.

Antonia: The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Not only is Shalkan the most sarcastic, hilarious best friend but he’s also a freaking unicorn. Like literally. It’s amazing.

Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie Boogie
Oogie Boogie – A book with one hell of a wicked villain

Amanda: The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty. The villain is trying to retake her city, a place her ancestors used to rule. She was complex and interesting, but took things too far.

Antonia: The Dragon King from The Last Namsara by Kristin Ciccarelli. Seriously, he was just awful.

Halloween Town – A book that’s creepy or has a scary theme

Amanda: The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher. I read this in September and it was creepy and suspenseful and everything I wanted for Spooktober.

Antonia: I never read scary books because I will definitely give myself nightmares.

Christmas Town – A book that left you feeling warm and fuzzy inside

Amanda: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. A man goes to an orphanage filled with some of the more dangerous supernaturals. He isn’t sure what to expect. He finds a family and I loved every page of this book.

Antonia: Anything by Julia Quinn. Her books are just so funny and I always love the romance.

What’s This? – A book that took you by surprise

Amanda: Furyborn by Claire Legrand. I actually pulled this book out of my ‘to be unhauled’ pile and it was a 5 star read for me.

Antonia: The Martian by Andy Weir. I watched the movie first and really enjoyed it but it’s outside of my normal book genre so I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. Mark’s voice is just amazing. I really felt like I could hear him while reading this.

That’s all the questions! Feel free to consider yourself tagged if this looks like fun to you! Happy Spooktober!

Blogtober Day Eight: Halloween Creatures Book Tag

It’s been a while since we’ve done a book tag here, but Blogtober is the perfect opportunity for a new and fun one. There are a bunch of great ones out there for Halloween but we liked this one the best. Let’s get right into it!

Rules

  1. Answer all prompts.
  2. Answer honestly.
  3. Tag 1-13 people.
  4. Link back to this post.
  5. Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  6. Have fun!

Witch: A magical character or book

Amanda- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I read this in August and I still can’t stop thinking about it. It was so many stories within one story that all connected to one another. The writing was beautiful. Plus, it’s about a magic library world.

Antonia- The Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. We all know how much I love Nora, particularly when she gets into magic. I love how in depth this book gets into the magic aspect.

Werewolf: The perfect book to read at night

Amanda- Literally any book. I don’t save specific books only to read a certain time. It’s more about format for me. Ebooks and audiobooks at night in bed and physical reading during the day.

Antonia- I also don’t have specific books that I read during different situations.

Frankenstein: A book that truly shocked you

Amanda- Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power. The twist at the end was wild. I know some saw it coming, but it was way weirder than what I predicted.

Antonia- Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I had many problems with this book but the twist at the end was so good. I couldn’t believe it.

The Devil: A dark or evil character

Amanda- Lada from The Conquerer’s Saga by Kiersten White. She’s not evil, but she will do literally anything to reach her goals and I love her for it.

Antonia- The Darkling from The Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. He’s one of the villains we love to hate. He’s just so well written throughout the entire series.

Grim Reaper: A character that shouldn’t have died

Amanda- Without spoiling anything, I will say that a certain adult from These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling didn’t have to die and I’m still seriously mad about it.

Antonia- The thirteen from Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. This scene killed me. Even the second time I read it, I bawled like a baby.

Zombie: A book that made you hungry for more

Amanda- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. I read this trilogy in like four days because I just needed to know the whole story.

Antonia- I always want more of my favorite characters. The Age of X series by Richelle Mead is a big one for me though because she never continued the series after book two.

Gargoyle: A character you would protect at all costs

Amanda- All of my babies from The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman except Justin. I literally don’t care about him.

Antonia- Blue from This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Not that she needs protecting from anyone but I just love her so much.

Vampire: A book that sucked the life out of you

Amanda- Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. This story sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go until I got to the end. I got lost in this story, so deeply invested in the characters and their goals.

Antonia- Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa. This series pulled me in so hard and gave me so many feelings. I can’t wait to read the last book.

Ghost: A book that still haunts you

Amanda- For this one, I tried to make sure to pick a book that I read before 2020 because I’ve read some great books this year that I can’t stop thinking about. So, I have a few. Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin, Ashlords by Scott Reintgen, and Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro are some from last year that I still have on my mind often.

Antonia- Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I vaguely remember finishing this book but can’t make myself read the rest of the series because I still can’t get over what happened at the beginning. I’m devastated.

Demon: A book that really scared you

Amanda- The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. There were many moments that had me nail biting and gripping the pages in fear for the characters.

Antonia- I don’t read many spooky books because I’m a wuss but when we were teenagers Amanda and I read The Devouring by Simon Holt and that series gave me nightmares.

Skeleton: A character you have a bone to pick with

Amanda- Dara, freaking Dara, from the Daevabad trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty. He was one of my favorites in the first book, but by book three he was not on that list anymore. I was happy with how his story ended, but I wanted more from him.

Antonia- Evie’s mom from The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I mean come on! Every choice she made just caused so many problems.

Mummy: A book you would preserve through time

Amanda- I hate to repeat books on these things, but I have to say The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern again. I think this book will be loved for many years to come.

Antonia- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. Honestly these books are just so well written, especially for children’s books. I love everything about them.

Creepy Doll: A cover too scary to look at

Amanda- There are two books and neither of them are out yet. Horrid by Katrina Leno and Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan.

Antonia- Since I don’t read anything remotely close to horror, I don’t have any book covers that creep me out.

The Monster Mash – It’s fun to be with friends on Halloween! Tag your friends here:

Alana @ The Bookish Chick

Avhlee @ Tea Cups and Torn Pages

Ari @ Bookish Valhalla

Book Tag – Mid Year Book Freak Out

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020 – 

Amanda: This was really hard because I’ve read quite a few books this year that have become new favorites, but I’m going to go with There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool.

Antonia: Hideaway by Nora Roberts. I always love Nora’s books and this one was no exception.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020 – 

Amanda: Okay, I have three and I have to mention all three because none of them are talked about on the parts of the internet that I participate in. The Life Below by Alexandra Monir was incredible and I can’t wait for the third book. Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen is another because this is the second book, but can also be read interchangeably with the first because the stories are happening at the same time and that is just incredible to me. The third is A Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig. No one ever talks about Heilig’s books but they are so diverse and incredible and more people need to love them.

Antonia: This one’s difficult because so many of the books I’ve read this year have been rereads or standalones. If I had to pick I’d say To Light A Candle by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. I talk about my love for this trilogy a lot but the second is always my favorite.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. I don’t know why I haven’t picked this up yet because I own it and I’m so excited to read it.

Antonia: Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn. I’ve been struggling to pick this one up but I always love Flinn’s books so I know I’ll like it.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2020 – 

Amanda: The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty.

Antonia: Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. I’m just going to pretend the first book in this series is a standalone because this sequel was all kinds of wrong.

Antonia: The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I was so annoyed by the characters throughout the whole book, I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: A friend recommended Rules for Being a Girl by Candice Bushnell & Katie Cotugno. It’s a new all-time favorite because I loved literally every aspect. It takes place in the state I grew up and is feminist in all the best ways.

Antonia: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I knew I would like it because of how highly Amanda recommended it but it was nothing like I was expecting. The writing style was so unique.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: Roshani Chokshi. In previous years I’d only read her Aru Shah series, but this year I’ve read all of the rest of her published books. I seem to love each more than the last and I’m very eager to read The Slivered Serpents when it’s published later this year.

Antonia: I haven’t really read any new authors this year so far, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Morgan from This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling. We really got to see more of Morgan and Hannah’s relationship in this sequel. Morgan was 100% my favorite character in this book and I would date her in a heartbeat.

Antonia: It’s kind of an old crush but I have to choose Rowan from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Cal from The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. He’s got goals and doesn’t let anyone (not even NASA or Star Watch) get in the way of those. He also made some really great friends and very obviously took new information and grew from it.

Antonia: Blue from This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I love Red as well but Blue was definitely my favorite.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: Probably all of them. But some examples, Allegedly by Tiffany  D. Jackson, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Internment by Samira Ahmed, Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa, and House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas just to name a few.

Antonia: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. I will never not cry at the end of this series.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore, Save the Date by Morgan Matson, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai, and Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert.

Antonia: All of them? I guess I’d have to choose The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I haven’t actually seen any this year but a few I plan to watch because I’ve read the books finally are The Hate U Give and Crazy Rich Asians. I’m also excited for the final season of  The 100 and the upcoming Shadow and Bone Netflix series.

Antonia: I actually haven’t seen any this year either.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: I don’t think I have one, I think my reviews have been pretty average so far this year.

Antonia: I haven’t written any reviews this year.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: This is hard because the book covers this year have been absolutely stunning. Here are a few I love, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Dark Shores & Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen, The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman, and This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling.

Antonia: I’ve been really good about not buying books this year because my TBR is so long but the couple covers I’m most looking forward to coming out this year are To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini and Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda: I’ve been working really hard to get my physical TBR down to under 50 books (and I’m doing pretty well). But more specifically I’d like to read all of Rick Riordan’s books and a few other series that have been completed but I haven’t finished.

Antonia: My entire winter TBR that I’ve barely touched this year.

Anyone reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged, and feel free to tag us in your post.

Amanda’s 2019 Superlative Awards (Book Tag)

Hi, lovelies. A few months ago, I saw a tweet that said something like “forget the ‘best of’ lists of the year. Give me a list of those HS awards but for books.” So, I’m here to do that for you. I’ve been thinking about how to do this since I saw the tweet and I think the best way (and most fun!) is going to be to make this a book tag. It’ll be the most fun and the best way for others to be able to participate too!

Rules: 

  1. Tag me as the original creator
  2. Choose from either all the books you read in 2019 or only 2019 releases.
  3. Most importantly, have fun!

Best All Around: You’re number one favorite book of the year.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, not that this is new information to anyone that’s been too this blog before.

Biggest Flirt: Newest or favorite book boyfriend of 2019.

Definitely Taavin from the Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles series by Elise Kova. I absoltely adore the bizarre love story of Taavin and Vi.

Class Clown: Sillest/most goofy/funniest book of 2019.

The Disasters by M.K. England was an easy choice. These disaster kids were hilarious and I loved them.

Cutest Couple: Favorite bookish couple of the year. 

Ohhh, this was a tough one. But I’m going with Alyssa ana’Raisa (Lyss) and Halston (Hal). They’re from the Shattered Realms by Cinda Williams Chima. I was sad to see this series come to an end this year, but adored this couple.

Most Likely to Succeed: Mosted hyped book you read in 2019. 

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I gave this five stars. I think it deserved the hype, but I know many others did not.

Best Celebrity Lookalike: Favorite book based off of another story (fairytale/mythological/classics, etc.)

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. The 12 Dancing Princesses is my second favorite fairytale. But this book took it to a dark place I never could have imagined. It was everything I wanted and more.

Best Dressed: Most appealing book cover of the year.

I’m going to try really hard to pick a book that isn’t House of Salt and Sorrows or The Ten Thousand Doors of January because those are two of my favorites for the year, but I’ve already used them.

With these two out of the running for this category, I’m tied between Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds and Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee. See the covers below and let me know which you like better.

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite MatineeOpposite of Always

Tallest & Shortest: Share the longest & the shortest books you read this year. 

This answer is accoring to GoodReads becasue I’m entirely too lazy to actually figure it out myself

Longest: Air Awakens (Kindle Boxed Set) by Elise Kova (1,758 pages)

Shortest: The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi (110 pages)

Best Clique: Share your favorite friend squad you read about.

Chronicles of the One by Nora Roberts. I read this whole series this year and there is an adult squad and their kids that we get to see and eventually become their own squad. I loved the dynamics and how clear their love for one another was.

Most Likely to Survive the Hunger Games: Share the character(s) you read about this year that you think would do well in the world of the Hunger Games. 

I read Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for the first time this year and I really think Percy & Annabeth would succeed, by skill or luck.

Best/Worst Plot Twist: What did you read that had a really great or really horrible plot twist?

I’m going to go with a series I just read in December. This Mortal Coil and This Cruel Design both had some plot twists I did not see coming and I loved it.

Best/Worst Swearing: What did you read that had great or terrrible use of swearing?

For best, I’m definitely going to go with the graphic novel series The Wicked + The Divine becasue they use swears frequently and creatively. I loved it.

For worst, I’m sad to say Ace of Shades and King of Fools. Amanda Foody made her own swears up and they were very jarring at first.

Series: Best/worst second or concluding book in a series. 

For worst, I have two novels that are both conclusions to series. Queen of Nothing  by Holly Black and Finale by Stephanie Garber. Both of these books had events in the first half that seemed to completely invalidate the big twists of the second books.

Best will have to be Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence. The third book was excellent as well. The series just got better and better.

Most likely to become a classic: What book has the potential to become a modern classic?

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers has potential to leave a legacy similar to LOTR in my opinion.

Tagging to play:

Alana @ The Bookish Chick

Avhlee @ Teacups and Torn Pages

Kim @ Whimsical Mama

Kelly @ Struggling Bookaholic

Rae & Jen @ Novels and Notions

Jess @ Jessica C Writes

Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

What books would you choose to ‘nominate’ for the bookish superlatives of 2019? I’d love to know your answers so fill this out and link back to this post!

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Blogmas Day Nine: Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag

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Hello bookish people! Blogmas is one of the best times of the year for book tags because there are just so many fun Christmas and holiday themed ones to do. So, of course we had to do the Harry Potter Christmas Tag. This tag was created last year by Charleigh @ Charleigh Writes. There are a few rules she’s created to go along with this tag, so let’s go over them before we get into the questions.

Rules:
1. Link back to Charleigh so she can read your answers!
2. You can’t choose Harry Potter for any of the answers.
3. Tag however many people at the end
4. Have fun!

It’s your first Christmas at Hogwarts. What’s one book you’ve asked for this year?

Amanda- The collectors edition of Crooked Kingdom. It’s stunning.

Antonia- Starsight by Brandon Sanderson.

You spot Hagrid hauling the Christmas tree through the grounds. What is the longest (or heaviest!) book you own?

Amanda- Without looking, I’d guess The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.

Antonia- I think it’s my copy of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It’s the entire series in one book.

It’s time for the famous Great Hall feast. What’s one book you can’t read without snacks?

Amanda- All books. I love to snack while I read.

Antonia- I’m also always snacking.

Well done, you’ve brewed your first Polyjuice Potion. What’s one book you’d change the cover of?

Amanda- The Vampire Academy series. I hate book covers with faces on them.

Antonia- Ooh, there’s so many. I’ll choose the Bloodlines series because I agree with Amanda.

You receive a brand new Firebolt for Christmas. What’s one book you read super quickly?

Amanda- All of Lynsay Sands Argeneau romance novels. They’re so fun and I can never stop until I’ve read it in one sitting.

Antonia- I really don’t read very fast. I guess I tend to go through Nora Roberts’ books quickly though. Even when rereading I get so invested in her characters.

You join Harry for his first proper Christmas. What’s one book you’d love to receive this year?

Amanda- Honestly, I’d love for someone to surprise me with a book they loved that I’ve never heard of.

Antonia- I like Amanda’s idea. Surprise presents are the best way to find books outside your usual niche.

You get hit by one of Fred and George’s flying snowballs. What’s a book you wanted to throw across the room?

Amanda- The Dragon Republic becasue it used addiction as a plot device and I was pissed.

Antonia- Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It’s been awhile since I’ve been so disappointed by a book ending.

You’ve just visited Hogsmead for the first time. What’s one popular book you haven’t read yet?

Amanda- Lots? But I’m going to list a graphic novel for this one, Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman.

Antonia- Oh wow. So many. Divergent by Veronica Roth comes to mind.

Congratulations! You’ve been invited to the Yule Ball. What book about Christmas do you love?

Amanda- If I was allowed to use the Harry Potter books for this book tag, I would use them here. But since I can’t, instead I’ll name The Polar Express. 

Antonia- Hmm, I don’t read a lot of Christmas books.

You find Ron’s deluminator. What’s one book that’s helped you through dark times?

Amanda- Looking for Alaska by John Green. It’s a book that came to me right when I needed the message it shared.

Antonia- The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.

We tag:

Alana @ The Bookish Chick

Kelly @ Struggling Bookaholic

Blogmas Day Four: End of the Year Book Tag

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Hello bookish friends! Blogmas, of course, means getting a few book tag posts up for the month. They’re always a fun time, especially the end of the year ones. This tag was originally created by Ariel Bissett, but we found it on Bookbinder Way. Let’s get into it!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Amanda- I have picked up, read a few pages, and put down a couple books. I don’t know that I’m planning to read them before the end of the year but I’ll list a couple. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer, The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon,

Antonia- Definitely a few. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini is the main one. I got several chapters into it and just haven’t been able to convince myself to pick it up since.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?

Amanda- Nothing specific. I tend to read a lot of romance going into the holiday season. I’m all about those feel-good reads.

Antonia- Not really, I bounce around between genres so much. I’m currently reading a scifi series, an adult dystopian series, and a children’s fantasy series.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Amanda- Waiting to release, no. Waiting to buy/arrive in the mail, yes. The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts and Starsight by Brandon Sanderson are the two highest on my priority list at the moment.

Antonia- I’m also (im)patiently waiting for Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. I made the mistake of putting it on my Christmas list so now I’ll have to wait for the holiday to read it.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Amanda-

The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts
These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch

Antonia-

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Amanda- It’s a very likely possibility. There are tons of potential five star reads on my TBR.

Antonia- I definitely have very high hopes for The Rise of Magicks and Starsight but I wouldn’t say they’d shock me because I fully expect to love them both.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Amanda- Yes. In 2020, I want to focus on my physical TBR and take a step back from social media. Not the blog, but twitter and Instagram and the like.

Antonia- No. I barely have an actual plan for reaching my book goal by the end of the year.

We tag anyone that feels like doing this one!

Amanda’s GoodReads Choice Awards Challenge – Final Round

Hi, lovelies! I’m back today with the final nominees for the GoodReads Choice Awards. I will only be going through the categories I will be voting in, or will be deciding between more than one book to vote for. I’ve been having fun with this, the pressure to catch up on the series I’ve fell behind on has been motivating. Let’s get into it.

Fantasy

Read:

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts
The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

TBR:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Romance

Read:

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

TBR:

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Science Fiction

Read:

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

TBR:

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

Graphic Novels

Read:

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo

TBR:

Heartstopper Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction

Read:

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Aime Kaufman
The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
The Wicked King by Holly Black
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Finale by Stephanie Garber

TBR:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Middle Grade

Read:

Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

TBR:

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

So, I have around two weeks to read twelve books. Will it happen? Who knows. But I’m going to try! Some books are higher on my priority list and I will make sure to get to them first. Have you read any of the nominees? Share with me below which you think you might vote for!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s GoodReads Choice Awards Challenge – Update

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been making pretty good progress on reading the books nominated for the  GoodReads  Choice Awards. I’ve had to play catch up for a few series, but I still think I’ve been getting to a few books that I definitely should have read by now. I’m just going to talk about the categories that I’ve read books from. I will create a new post when the final nominees are released with which books I’ve already read from the categories and which I hope to get to before voting ends.

Fantasy

Year One by Nora Roberts
I have finished Year One and will be starting Of Blood and Bone later today.

The City of Brass & The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
I loved both of these, but will have to see the final nominees to see which book will get my vote.

Romance

The Kiss Quotient The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

I really enjoyed all three of these books, plus the ones nominated that I read earlier in the year. I’m excited to see which books make it to the final round.

Science Fiction

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

I loved this book. It was different from most of what I read but just absolutely beautiful. It will be hard to top this one, but there are a few from this category for me to read still.

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Toll by Neal Shusterman
I absolutely loved this. It got my vote for the semi-final round, but there’s still a few more books for me to read before the final vote.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
I plan to pick up Archenemies in the next few days so I can get to the finale of the series.

Caraval, Legendary & Finale by Stephanie Garber
While I enjoyed this series and I’m glad I finally read it, I don’t know that it can beat the others in this category.

Middle Grade & Children’s

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

I loved this but it’s up against some other books I really loved. Also, I still have a few to read from this category.

Have you read any of the books nominated for the GoodReads Choice Awards? Are you going to read any before the final round of voting ends? Let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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