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?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Books Because

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 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 my trend lately of romance. These are ten romance books I bought (or borrowed from my library) because they were read and loved by people I trust.

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The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

The Hating  Game by Sally Thorne

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

These are some of the romance books I’ve bought or borrowed because they were recommended by other readers. They are also all ones that I loved. So,  if you’re in need of romance recommenndatiionns please read any and all of these.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley

GoodReads Summary:
Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.
Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn’t that easy or convenient—just like Nate and Cam’s friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept himself. But Nate—armed with a fierce moral code and conflicted by his own beliefs—started to push back. With each push, Nate and Cam moved closer to each other—but also spiraled closer to their breaking points.
Deposing NathanReview:
I picked this book up because the author will be at the NoVaTeen Book Festival in March, which will likely have already happened by the time this review is posted.
I read this book so quickly. I honestly just couldn’t put it down. I was sucked into the story of the friendship between Nate and Cam. The wondering of how these two best friends ended up fighting to the point of a stabbing and ensuing court drama almost killed me. I had to know what happened. The suspense was so well done. The story flashes back and forth between the present, where Nate is giving a deposition, and the past, which is the story that he is telling for the deposition. We also get bits in between where Cam and Nate talk a few times in the present.
I was completely blown away by the plot twist at the end with what really happened that night. I will absolutely be reading more books by this author when he publishes them. The conversation of sexuality and religion was captivating and horrifying at the same time. I thought it discussed these ideas in a well thought out way. It wasn’t condemning religion or any sexuality.
I loved Cam and Nate as friends. I totally held out hope for them even though their relationship turned pretty toxic. I really loved the way things ended in the final pages.
Overall, I don’t know why people aren’t talking about this book because it’s absolutely one that should be shouted about. It’s full of conflict and mystery. It pulls at the heartstrings while also managing to infuriate. I loved every page.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

GoodReads Summary:
Find the heir, win the crown.
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?
The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.
In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)Review:
Let’s talk about disappointment friends. So, I flew through this story because Kemmerer is an incredible writer and can draw me into the story even if I don’t particularly care or like what I’m reading. So many books that I’ve read in the last few months have fallen into the trap of one of the sequels (sometimes the second and sometimes the third book) completely undoing the events of the previous book. It seems like Rhen just completely undoes all of the character development that we saw in the first book. He’s cruel and horrible, even after finding out the identity of the heir. I hated him and hated that Harper was staying with him.
The next biggest issue I had was that it really felt like…nothing happened? Like I said above, Kemmerer is an amazing writer, so the story is paced well and I never felt bored, but I finished the book and honestly wondered what the point of the book was being really nothing happened aside from the heir deciding he wanted to be the heir instead of hiding or dying.
Despite these issues, I still enjoyed reading it? I know that doesn’t make any sense. I liked Lia Mara. I liked that she could see what was wrong with her country and how things could be better if only things other than cruelty and viciousness were valued.
Overall, I’ll probably finish the series when the third book comes out, but I won’t have very high expectations.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Spellhacker by M.K. England

GoodReads Review:
In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.
But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.
No pressure.
SpellhackerReview:
After reading The Disasters last year, I was very excited about England’s 2020 release. I was even more excited to see that they will be at the NoVaTeen Book Festival.
Spellhacker was diverse and funny. It was full of found family and diverse characters overcoming hardships. I loved every page. The group we follow are friends that are all very different but love one another anyway. They come from different places and manage to make the best found family. That was one of the big differences between this and The Disasters. This friend group had a past and in England’s first book the friends were strangers when they met. I think the backstory of the characters and how they met was well done and believable. Their history wasn’t info-dumpy, rather it was given to us in bits and pieces at the perfect moments.
Diz was an interesting main character. There were times I really didn’t like her. The conflict between the friends somehow was simultaneously silly, but also very understandable. Some of the fights seemed totally blown out of proportion but then we would hear from another character and it didn’t feel that way anymore.
I also loved the magic. It was interesting but there was so many different kinds so I was grateful for the guide of what each one did at the beginning of the book. I would have liked to explore the limits a bit more, but I didn’t think there was anything left unexplained or that didn’t make sense.
Overall, this story was so much fun. The banter was enjoyable. Though there was a certain betrayal I saw coming from a mile away. Part of me was waiting for it the whole time and another part kept doubting the first part would ever happen. I loved the characters and their relationships. The diversity was wonderful and I loved the little romances that came about. This is definitely one that people should be talking about.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

GoodReads Summary:
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. Walk on Earth a Stranger begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of young adult literature.
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?
Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns series, dazzles with the first book in the Gold Seer Trilogy, introducing a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance, as only she can.
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)Review:
I have to start by saying that I thought this was a totally different book. I was rereading this because I thought it was a book about something else. Despite going into this expecting a different story, I still liked it. I’m not big on historical fiction but this one was good.
Lee is going west to meet her best friend after her parents were murdered. Her journey was full of action and adventure, loss and love. I thought her ability to sense gold was really interesting.
This cast of characters had so many secrets that were revealed in time. I thought the writing was really well done. I also thought despite the book being kind of slow, it was still interesting.
It’s not my usual genre, but I still enjoyed this book. The characters were complex and interesting. The plot was a bit slow, but there was enough action that it wasn’t boring. Lovers of historical fiction will probably love this book. It talked about some complex topics with the inclusion of slaves and Native Americans. I thought those topics were discussed very well.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Bonds of Brass by Emily Strutskie

GoodReads Summary:
A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.
Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.
But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?
Bonds of Brass (The Bloodright Trilogy #1)Review:
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Bonds of Brass was immediately interesting. I love stories that take place in schools, which this was essentially a school in space. There were many things I love about this book, the characters, the world-building, the secrets, the romance. I loved it all.
We follow Ettain as his whole world changes. He’s found out that his roommate, best friend, and crush is actually the heir to literally everything. A secret that’s been kept for years. He figures out that things aren’t going how their supposed to and rescues him. I loved and laughed during these pages. The pair manage to escape and find themselves on a planet outside of the empire that Gal is intended to inherit. Things were a little slow at times when they were in this other world. But they make friends with a local and she becomes a part of their little run-away crew. All of them are pilots, some more trained than others.
As I mentioned, there were lots of secrets. One in particular toward the end that I legitimately said “no fucking way” out loud and my husband definitely gave me the side-eye. I think the suspense and drama leading up to this secret was so well done.
Overall, I loved this. I loved all the piloting, all the antics, and banter. I love the different parts of the world, the action, and drama. But that ending was a killer. We’re left with a cliffhanger that may or may not has actually torn out a piece of my heart. A definite must-read for science fiction lovers. Also, a side note. I’ve read this is Star Wars related, but I’m not a big part of that fandom so I don’t know much about those connections, but not knowing didn’t make me enjoy this any less.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.