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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A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro

GoodReads Summary:
Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson think they’re finally in the clear. They’ve left Sherringford School—and the Moriartys—behind for a pre-college summer program at Oxford University. A chance to start from scratch and explore dating for the first time, while exploring a new city with all the freedom their program provides. But when they arrive, Charlotte is immediately drawn into a new case: a series of accidents have been befalling the members of the community theater troupe in Oxford, and now, on the eve of their production of Hamlet, they’re starting all over again. What once seemed like a comedy of errors is now a race to prevent the next tragedy—before Charlotte or Jamie is the next victim.
A Question of Holmes (Charlotte Holmes #4)Review:
A Question of Holmes is the final book in the Charlotte Holmes series. Part of me is really sad that this series has ended, and another part of me thought it was the perfect ending. This final book is told entirely from Charlotte’s perspective, which is something I wanted in the first two books. But in this one, I mostly just wanted to hear from Jamie again.
Charlotte had grown exponentially in this series. This final book is evidence of that. We see her trying to use the things she’s learned in therapy. She’s trying to not fall back into old habits, even though it would be so easy to do so. I really liked this new version of Charlotte. She’s always been really self-aware, but now was trying to get out of her self-destructive habits.
Jamie has also changed. We only see him from Charlotte’s point of view. But it’s still clear that he sees Charlotte for who she is. He no longer adores her without abandon. He still obviously loves her, but he also isn’t afraid to leave if she starts becoming self-destructive again. He knows she has flaws and encourages her to overcome them.
The mystery in this one was exactly what I was expecting the first book to be. It was a light-hearted, curious but mostly harmless mystery. It was not the life or death matter that the other books turned out to be. I really enjoyed that. The stakes were much lower for everyone involved. I liked that because while the high stakes made the story fast-paced and exciting in the previous books, I don’t think that would have been right for this final book.
Overall, I enjoyed this one so much. I’m still undecided on whether or not I love the ending. I liked it, but did I love it? I honestly don’t know. It wasn’t the happily ever after that I wanted, but I think maybe it’s what was best for Jamie and Charlotte. Not a solid ending, but hope for a better future for both of them. If you haven’t read this series, please stop what you’re doing and go read it now.

Quotes:

“Whatever Watson and I were to each other was our business, no matter how the world leaned in and breathed against the glass.”

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t love these moments—him looking at me like I had in my hands a curtain pull, that I could reveal the underbelly of the world.”

“A secret is something embarrassing. Something compromising, something with power. Secrets are what we make art from.”

“My past made me who I am. There is no way to wipe that clean.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry

GoodReads Summary:
There are many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A supereruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.
Despite Ellis’s anxiety—about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of the ones she loves—the two girls become fast friends. But time is ticking down, and as Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, their search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?
Let's Call It a DoomsdayReview:
After absolutely adoring Heretics Anonymous, I knew I had to pick up Katie Henry’s new release, Let’s Call It a Doomsday. I’m so so glad that I did because it was even better than I expected it to be.
We follow Ellis as she struggles to keep her anxiety under control. She has intrusive thoughts, some that we get to see on the page. Her biggest worry is that the world is going to end. So, when she meets Hannah at her therapist’s office and then sees her again at school, she’s interested. Especially when Hannah tells her she knows when the world is going to end.
I loved Ellis. She was realistic and thoughtful and I just enjoyed her character. She battled her anxiety every day. She’s Mormon and despite lots of factors, she says true to her faith which was inspiring. Being able to believe so fiercely in something is admirable to me because I don’t have that same faith. Her journey of self-discovery, learning about her sexuality and how to handle her anxiety.
Then there’s Hannah, who is quirky and eccentric. I really liked her at first, but the more I learned about her the more I wanted her to just leave Ellis alone. She was the cause of pretty much all of the conflict in the story and every single one of her motivations were selfish. Despite that, she managed to push Ellis out of her comfort zone, to try new things and of course, she introduced her to Sam, Tal, and Theo.
These three boys were one of my favorite parts. Pot smoking, deep conversation having, ‘five-word-book-title’ guessing kind of friends. I love that they just immediately accepted Ellis into their group. They never pressured her to do anything that they were doing. They were just a funny group of kids.
I really really loved Tal. I loved the conversations about religion they would have. I also loved how he helped her see that there’s more to sexuality than she thought. I thought he brought so much goodness to the story. I 10000% ship them with my whole heart.
Overall, this book was funny, and heartfelt, and just wholesome. It showed anxiety in a realistic way. It talked about religion in a thoughtful way. Sexuality was talked about by several different characters in an honest way. I think this book did just about everything right. It’s one I plan to recommend again and again.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

GoodReads Summary:
Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.
But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.
While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.
These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1)Review:
Hello, I loved every single thing about this book. That is all. Goodbye.
Just kidding, friends. The cover is what drew me to this book. Then I saw the synopsis. Salem and witches? Sign me the F up. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this one because it was everything I wanted and more.
I loved the magic that Sterling has created. It was very clear and had well defined limits. I really love a well explained magic system and that’s what we were given in this one. I also really loved that there isn’t just one kind of magic. I thought that was really interesting. I loved the family aspect of the magic and of course, the setting. I would have liked to see a bit more of Salem, aside from the woods and the store Hannah works in, but it’s not the end of the world. Just something I hope to see more of in the next book.
Hannah was an interesting main character. She’s not really afraid to speak her mind which is something I want in all my main characters. She stands up for herself when her ex-girlfriend, Veronica, continues to try to get her back. This part was really relatable for me because I’ve been with people like Veronica and it was nice to see Hannah stand up for herself.
Gemma, Hannah’s best friend, was adorable. I adored her. She’s a dancer (which I’m super jealous of) and meet’s Morgan when she moves to town. She introduces Morgan to Hannah, as a good best friend does. I really liked Gemma. She’s was everything a best friend was supposed to be. Supportive when Hannah wanted to rant about her ex. But not letting Hannah do something she might regret later on. I’m really glad certain things were revealed, and I’m interested to see what kind of a role she will play in the next book.
Morgan was the new girl. I was pretty suspicious of her at first, but once Morgan shared her secrets, I was really happy for the two to be together. I really enjoyed seeing their new love blossom despite all the craziness going on around them. Morgan also brings a whole new aspect to the story with her secret. I’m interested to learn more about her.
The mystery in this book was one that had me guessing. I thought I knew who the big bad was several different times, but each time I thought I had it figured out someone else became even more suspicious. Toward the end of the book enough hints were dropped that I had a good feeling of who the big bad was before it was revealed.
Overall, I loved this book. It challenged characters when they did or said shitty thigns. There were a wide cast of diverse characters. The magic was well defined and fascinating. I just loved it.

Quotes:

“It’s hard when the people we loved move on without us.”

“What must it be like, to pray to a god you believe can hear you, a god who could answer your prayers is only you tried hard enough?”

“Would you want to be constantly punished for something your creator did thousands of years ago?”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Vampires are Forever by Lynsay Sands

GoodReads Summary:
Vampires Don’t Exist…Do They?
Inez Urso is beginning to have her doubts. Her business associate Thomas Argeneau has some interesting traits, like an allergic reaction to the sun, excellent night vision, and not much of an appetite for food. And to top it all off, he just tried to bite her neck…but maybe that was a sign of passion. If so, she’d be happy to experience more, despite her determination not to mix business with pleasure.
He’s Been Waiting Forever For A Woman Like Her…
Well, if not forever, at least two hundred years. Inez is the most beautiful woman he’s seen in centuries. Those luscious lips, seductive curves, and her elegant neck…he just couldn’t resist the temptation of one little bite. Now Thomas will do anything to convince her that only an immortal like him can satisfy her all night long…
Vampires are Forever (Argeneau #8)Review:
In this installment of the Argeneau series, we follow Thomas. He’s the kid brother that no one takes seriously. I was excited to finally get his story. He had to watch all of his siblings find their lifemates and fully expected to wait 100+ years to find one for himself.
I adored Thomas. He learned some things about his family, that maybe know him a little better than he thought they did. He secretly writes music, something he’s pretty successful at. But hides this from his older brothers. Until he finds out they all already know about it. I liked the familial growth that we got to see. I think the family dynamic is one of my favorite parts of this series.
Then there’s Inez, she’s the new vice president of the British branches of Argeneau Enterprises, but because of Bastien’s being a bit too wrapped up in his lifemate, Terri. So, he sort of forgets to tell her the big vampire secret when he promotes her. Thomas is left with that responsibility. He bites her and then, too late, realizes he can’t read her mind to wipe her memories. Then the lifemate antics ensue. I liked Inez. She was very logical. She’s smart and capable, but also way too judgmental of herself. I didn’t love how much she criticized herself. Her looks, her weight, etc, I didn’t love that at all.
I did love the pair galivanting all over Europe attempting to find Marguerite. The mystery of what happened to her was interesting enough to keep me invested in the story. Though I was a little annoyed that we never really get an answer as to what’s going on with her.
Overall, I enjoyed Vampires are Forever. I love the twist on vampires. I love Thomas with my whole heart. I love him with Inez. I just loved it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and Renegades by Marissa Meyer.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- Last night I finished The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.

Antonia- I just finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’m hoping to pick up Year One by Nora Roberts.

Antonia- Next I’ll read The Liar by Nora Roberts.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

End of Year-A-Thon: Round Two!

Hello, lovelies! The ever wonderful Vicky @ What Vicky Read and I are back again this year to host one of the final readathons of the year, End of Year-A-Thon! Last year, we came up with this readathon as that last-ditch attempt to reach our GoodReads goals, to read those last few books we swore we’d read in 2019, and to have fun reading with friends in the final few days of the year.

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Somehow my TBR has gotten even longer than it was this time last year, despite reading over 200 books so far in 2019. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this. We all struggle from the ever-growing TBR lists. This readathon is here to help!

Remember all those books we talked about in January that we definitely planned to read in 2019? Well, if you’re like me, you’ve only read a handful of those. We have come up with a few changes to the prompts we created last year, that will hopefully assist in finishing off those last few books you’ve been dying to read before the end of the year.

There are six prompts, which I know seems like a lot, but feel free to use one book for more than one prompt. Combine however you see fit or don’t use the prompts at all, just come and read with us from December 26th until December 31st.

IMG_0393Prompts:

Read a 2019 release

Read a book with a red cover

Read a book from a series you haven’t finished

Read a book under 300 pages

Read a book released before 2019

Read a diverse book

Personally, I will be selecting one book for each prompt because I’m a lady that needs options to choose from when doing readathons. I’ve already started thinking about what books I will be including in my TBR  for this. My TBR post will be coming in early December, so keep an eye out for that!

Finally, if you want to stay updated on all things End of Year-A-Thon follow either myself or Vicky on twitter, Amanda’s Twitter & Vicky’s Twitter. Leave a comment with any questions and let us know if you will be participating! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #EndofYearathon

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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