WWW Wednesday

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Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto. I’m rereading The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’ve also just started listening to For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten for this months book club pick.

Antonia- I just started The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finished Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.

Antonia- I most recently read Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.

What will you read next?

Amanda- Next, I’ll read something from either my TBR Jar list or from my Magical Readathon TBR. I’m close (ish) to finishing them and I have new books I’m excited to try to read this month.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Furyborn by Claire Legrand.

Why Everyone Should Read Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

Hey, lovelies! I’ve had this post idea on my list of ideas for what feels like forever. I’m here today to finally attempt it. I’m not sure how this post will do, but I’m excited to share some of the reasons that I adore the Dark Shores series. Just as a disclaimer, I will not be sharing anything that is a spoiler. I will be talking about all three published books in the series, but nothing with spoilers.

First off, a bit about this book and series. There are currently three published books in this series. Dark Shores, Dark Skies, and Gilded Serpent. I’ve read the first two books more than once. I also was lucky enough to read all three books when they were advanced copies. These books easily became favorites by the time I finished them. I gave all three books 5 stars and I don’t foresee that changing with the fourth and final book, Scorched Earth, which is coming December 2022.

Book Cover

“In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
A SAILOR WITH A WILL OF IRON. Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET. Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.
A DANGEROUS QUEST. When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.”

A fun fact about this series: the first two books in this series can be read in two ways. The first book follows Teriana and Marcus. The second book follows Lydia and Killian. But both of these books are happening at the same time. So, you could start reading this series with either Dark Shores or Dark Skies before moving onto whichever you didn’t start with. I’ve never seen this done with any other books, so, I think that’s such an interesting thing about the series.

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“A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST. Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.
A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE. Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.
A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE. With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.”

I think you should read this series because if you don’t love Teriana and Marcus (which you absolutely will), then you will definitely love Lydia and Killian. Or the other way around. I think Teriana is my favorite character in the series with Killian as a close second. Teriana is essentially a princess. She’s the Maarin heir. I very easily fell in love with the Maarin culture and people. These people are the only ones that know about both the Celendor Empire and Mudamora. Seeing her internal battle of keeping the secrets of her people and saving the lives of her crew and mother was such an emotional journey.

Book Cover

“THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY. Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever. His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark—and in doing so, risks starting a war.
BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN. Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for. Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves—or put them all in their graves.”

Killian is from Mudamora, so we learn most of what we know about their culture and people from him. We learn about the mythology of their gods (which is another one of my favorite things about this series.) Killian is Marked by the God of War. But things aren’t going so well for him. He’s disappointing his family. He’s letting the Corrupter win, or that’s what it feels like to him anyway. Killian is a character that feels as if every responsibility is on his shoulders. Everything is his burden to bare and no one else’s. I really liked that even though Killian was Marked by the God of War, he showed us that he was more than that. After losing an important battle, he’s assigned to guard the princess and it’s there that he shows his cleverness for politics. But once he’s living in the city, we also see how incredibly kind he is.

Book Cover

The covers for this series are absolutely incredible. I remember seeing Dark Shores and thinking ‘wow, what a beautiful cover’ and now we have one for book four (pictured to the right) which I didn’t know had been revealed. It literally took my breath away for a second when I first saw it. All four covers for this series are stunning. They just keep getting better and better. My library has the whole series, but I love the books and the covers so much that I had to buy physical copies for my bookshelves so that I could display them. I know I should talk more about the content of the series, but I just really had to mention my infatuation with these covers. Let me know what you think of them!

This is a fantasy series, but there is some excellent romance included. It’s a little obvious that the romantic interests are Teriana with Marcus and Lydia with Killian (though there are plot twists with Lydia and Killian that make it even better.) It took a bit longer for me to get invested in the romance between Teriana and Marcus because Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh legion. So, this was sort of a romance between a soldier and a prisoner of his government, which I didn’t always love. But once the 37th legion is out of the Celendor Empire, we really get to know them as people. They are more than unwilling soldiers trying to do their job. It was definitely easier to like Lydia and Killian together (I think they are my favorite couple from the series), but I did really love Teriana and Marcus by the end of the first book and again when we see them in book three.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for sticking with me and my love for these books. I want to mention that there isn’t yet a synopsis for the fourth book. But that cover, oh boy. I also want to mention the prequel book, Tarnished Empire. This is a full length novel that’s marked as Dark Shores 0.5, but on Jensen’s website, she’s said to read it before Gilded Serpent, but if you’re new to this series, you could start with this book as it’s set a few years before Dark Shores and follows Marcus. But you should read it before Gilded Serpent because it follows a character we meet in the third book.

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“A siege is laid against the last resistance to the Senate’s rule. As the battle rages, a commander, a soldier, and a rebel will decide how far they are willing to go for victory.
THE COMMANDER. Marcus is forced to choose between destroying the rebel forces and liberating his legion. He must face the true cost of being a leader. And an oppressor.
THE SOLDIER. Agrippa sets his sights on glory to fill the deepening void within him. He discovers that the price of fame might not just be paid in blood, it might be paid by his heart.
THE REBEL. Silvara joins the rebel forces to fight against the legions who would see her family dead. While she dreams of being a warrior, she finds her sharpest weapon is seduction. But to defeat the Empire, she’ll have to betray the young man who now has her heart.
DEFIANCE IS TREASON. TREASON IS DEATH. Inspired by the harsh world of ancient Rome, readers are obsessed with this martial tale of fiery romance, friendship, and enmity. Told from three points of view, Tarnished Empire is filled with twists you’ll never see coming but will keep you turning the pages all night.
Tarnished Empire is set in the world of Danielle L. Jensen’s Dark Shores. But readers new to the world can begin here.”

I actually haven’t read Tarnished Empire yet because I found it after I’d already reread the first two books and read Gilded Serpent. I was in a bit of a reading slump at the time, so I saved it. I’m glad I did because now I can read it this fall. It says in the synopsis that it has three points of view, which is one of the other things I loved and wanted to talk about with the other books. Dark Shores and Dark Skies both follow two points of view. Teriana and Marcus for the first book. Lydia and Killian for the second book. But when we get to Gilded Serpent, we are following all four perspectives. I was excited about this but mildly worried that it would be too many. I’m happy to report that it absolutely wasn’t. The four perspectives worked really well for the third book, especially since the four characters hadn’t all come together yet. So, we get to see all the things that have to happen for them to finally come together toward the end of Gilded Serpent. I think there was enough build up and anticipation to keep me from getting bored with any one point of view. I’m very excited to read the final book with the four points of view, as well as, Tarnished Empire, which has three points of view.

Alright, that’s what I have for you all. Some of the reasons that I love this series. The world is fascinating. The romance is to die for. The characters are well developed and (mostly) easy to love. And I still can’t get over those covers. Please let me know your thoughts on this post. I’ve never done a ‘review’ like this before, so I’m interested to see what you all think of it! Have you read this series or any books by this author?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

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Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin and I’m listening to Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I’m also reading Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- On Monday, I finished The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter. It was weird as hell but I think I liked it?

Antonia- I just finished Artemis by Andy Weir.

What will you read next?

Amanda- I’m planning to pick up A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon again now that I’m almost to season 5 in the show, where this book comes in.

Antonia- My TBR is crazy right now since I got so many books when I recently visited Amanda. I’ll have to see what I’m in the mood for.

Amanda’s August Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! Sadly, my birthday month is over. But I had a great reading month. I was on vacation visiting my parents for most of the month. I got to read on the beach and it was glorious. It’s all I’ve wanted to do all summer, so I was in my happiest place on Earth (the beach). It was a great month for me personally and I’m happy with what I’ve read.

What I Read

Physical Books
Small Favors by Erin A. Craig – 4 stars
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston 5 stars
Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning – 3.5 stars
Key of Light by Nora Roberts – 3 stars
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4 stars
Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams – 3.5 stars
That Weekend by Kara Thomas – 3 stars

eBooks
The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould – 3.75
Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts – 3 stars
Key of Valor by Nora Roberts – 3 stars
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 4 stars
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 4 stars

Audiobooks
The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson – 4 stars
When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey – 3 stars
They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman – 3 stars
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – 2 stars
The Anthropocine Reviewed by John Green – 4 stars

Blogging Highlights

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Book Review)

Amanda’s Favorite Time Travel Books

A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow (Book Review)

Amanda’s (Almost) Auto-Buy Authors

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (Book Review)

Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #3

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal (Book Review)

Other Bloggers I’m Loving

Ranking my Coffee Orders and Books I Would Read with Them from Charvi @ Not Just Fiction
I love coffee. So, I thought this was so much fun. I think these recommendations are excellent, too.

5-Star Book Predictions Update! from Sofi @ A Book. A Thought.
I love seeing what books people think they’re going to love. I especially love seeing the updates later on to see if they were right about their predictions.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson – Contemporary Audiobook Recommendation from Skye @ Books in the Skye
Skye has been collaborating with other bloggers to recommend audiobooks of different genres. This post is the first of my contemporary recommendations that she will be sharing with you all!

Five-Star Feminist, Fiery, and Fearsome: Iron Widow – A Blog Tour Review from Avery @ B for Book Slut
I have an advanced copy of Iron Widow , so reading such a rave review made me really excited to read this one.

10 Middle Grade Books to Read in Fall 2021 from Briana @ Pages Unbound
Seasonal recommendations are some of my favorite posts to read and to create. I’m incredibly excited to get into my fall reading lists.

New Young Adult Book Releases This Week [23/8] from Vee @ Vee_Bookish
I think I love these posts because no matter how much time I’ve spent looking at new releases, I always find more from these posts.

Three Year Blogaversary: Ten Favorite Reviews from Caitlin @ Realms of my Mind
Check out some of Caitlin’s favorite reviews. There are some really great books on this list!

How did you do reading/blogging wise in August?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s September TBR Jar Picks

Hey, lovelies! It’s September which means I’m going to be starting my ‘spooky season’ reading. I love to read thrillers, mysteries, and other stories like that during the fall/Halloween season. So, I will be picking five categories from my TBR jar and trying to match them with what I really want to read for spooky season.

Gifted to You
How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao
Thanks mom! This was a birthday gift from my mom and I’m super excited to read it.

New Release
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
I’ve had this tentatively on my TBR for the last several months since I bought it and I’m dying to read it.

Sequel
Cazadora by Romina Garber
I have an eARC of this that I’m behind on reading. I want to reread the first book, which I think I’m going to do via audio. So, hopefully I’ll be able to read both of these in September.

LGBTQIA+
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
It’s finally the perfect time of year to read this! I’ve been waiting for spooky season for this one because when I bought it last year it ended up being backordered at the indie bookstore I got it from.

5-Star Prediction
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Antonia and I did a five star prediction back in April. We honestly probably won’t wrap that one up and predict more until next month, but this book is on that list for me and I think it’ll be a good spooky season read.

As usual, I have a few books I want to read outside of what I’ve picked for my TBR jar. Some of these are NetGalley arc’s and some are just books I’m hoping to read in September.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochran

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

These are the books I’m hoping to read in September. What’s on your TBR this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fullsizeoutput_3273.jpeg
Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently rereading A Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m also trying to quickly finish up A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finished A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout and The Anthropocine Reviewed by John Green.

Antonia- I most recently read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

What will you read next?

Amanda- I haven’t decided what my first read of spooky season will be yet. But if you want to check out my Magical Readathon TBR for the options, you can find that here.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Artemis by Andy Weir.

Answer the three W’s in the comments today or share your post with us!

Amanda’s Magical Readathon: Orilium – The Novice Path TBR

Hi, lovelies! G has returned to us with a brand new version of The Magical Readathon! I’m honestly beyond excited about this because I loved the Magical Readathon in the past years when I did it. But with the author of the series that inspired the readathon being hugely transphobic, G has recreated this readathon with a brand new world of her own creation. I’m in awe of the amount of time and effort that it must have taken to think up and plan and organize everything for this. You can check out G’s announcement video with all of the details and stuff you need to know here!

Above is the ‘Novice Path’ which is the path I must take if I want to make it to Orilium and attend the academy there. To successfully venture on the Novice Path, I must complete two prompts, but I’m going to go for all seven. Each prompt must have their own book. So, here are the books I’m planning to read to complete the Novice Path and make it to Orilium.

The Novice Path Entrance: read a book with a map

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Ashthorn Tree: a book that keeps tempting you (or the book on top of your TBR)

Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Mist of Solitude: read a standalone

The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter

Ruin of the Skye: read a book featuring ghosts/haunted house, or other supernatural elements

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Obsidian Falls: read a thriller or mystery book

Holdout by Jeffery Kluger

Tower of Rumination: read a five star prediction

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Orilium Academy Arc: a book with a school setting

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

There are also a few prompts that have to so with creating my character (which I plan to use in future rounds of this readathon) so, I am planning to attempt these prompts as well this month.

Background

Wildling: read a book largely set in a forest/outside

The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Province

Irtheria: read a book that features fae or elven characters

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Heritage

Earthling: read a book with elemental magic or an element work in the book/series title (air, fire, earth, or water)

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

So, these are all of the prompts that I am hoping to complete this month (if you read my TBR jar post, you may have noticed that I definitely borrowed from that list too. What are you reading this September?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Boarding School Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been starting to plan my TBR for spooky season and I realized that I’ve been reading boarding school stories recently. I thought that was funny since it wasn’t planned. I have a few more I want to read during spooky season, so maybe I’ll talk about those in my wrap up.

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
“Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game. Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.  The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.”

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Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
“Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, The Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way. Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded-Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins. A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period illustrations.”

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
“Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires—the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them. After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger… and the Strigoi are always close by. Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…”

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Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
“Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better. Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute. The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess. She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland. At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?”

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Love Jacaranda by Alex Flinn
“Jacaranda Abbott has always tried to keep her mouth shut. As a foster kid, she’s learned the hard way that the less she talks about her mother and why she’s in jail, the better. But when a video of Jacaranda singing goes viral, a mysterious benefactor offers her a life-changing opportunity—a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school to study musical theater. Eager to start over somewhere new, Jacaranda leaps at the chance. She pours her heart out in emails to the benefactor she’s never met. Suddenly she’s swept up in a world of privilege where the competition is fierce and the talent is next level. As Jacaranda—Jackie to her new friends—tries to find her place, a charming boy from this world of wealth catches her eye. She begins to fall for him, but can he accept her for who she really is?

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Looking for Alaska by John Green
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.”

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A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
“The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar. From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.”

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The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
“When Moira Dreyfuss’s parents announce that they’re sending her to an all-girls boarding school deep in the Maine woods, Moira isn’t fooled. She knows her parents are punishing her; she’s been too much trouble since her best friend, Nathan, died―and for a while before that. At the Castle School, isolated from the rest of the world, Moira will be expected to pour her heart out to the odd headmaster, Dr. Prince. But she isn’t interested in getting over Nathan’s death or befriending her fellow students. On her first night there, Moira hears distant music. On her second, she discovers the lock on her window is broken. On her third, she and her roommate venture outside…and learn that they’re not so isolated after all. There’s another, very different, Castle School nearby―this one filled with boys whose parents sent them away, too. Moira is convinced that the Castle Schools and the doctors who run them are hiding something. But exploring the schools will force Moira to confront her overwhelming grief―and the real reasons her parents sent her away.”

Well, this is it friends. These are some books that have a boarding school setting that I enjoyed reading. Boarding school is a buzz word for me. I love to read about boarding schools, so hopefully you’ll enjoy some of these recommendations.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fullsizeoutput_3273.jpeg
Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee. I’m also listening to They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman and rereading A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finished listening to When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey.

Antonia- I recently finished Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

What will you read next?

Amanda- Next, I’ll continue rereading the Of Blood and Ash series, but I’m also planning to start my spooky season tbr.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Artemis by Andy Weir.

What’s everyone currently reading?

WWW Wednesday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fullsizeoutput_3273.jpeg
Hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer the three questions!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently rereading From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout because I needed something familiar while on vacation.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

What did you read most recently?

Amanda- I most recently finished Isn’t It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams.

Antonia- I most recently read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

What will you read next?

Amanda- Next, I think I’m going to pick up That Weekend by Kara Thomas.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Artemis by Andy Weir.

What’s everyone currently reading?

Five Fantasy Adaptations Amanda Would Watch

Hi, lovelies! There have really been some phenomenal book to movie/tv adaptations in the past few years, so I have a few books that I think would make incredible movies or tv shows. Some recent adaptations I’ve enjoyed are Shadow and Bone (while I have my issues with it, I overall enjoyed watching it), Bridgerton, and Big Little Lies. I haven’t watched many of the newer fantasy adaptations because I haven’t read the books yet. But there are some that have recently been announced that I’m incredibly excited forr (Percy Jackson, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Daisy Jones and the Six, and the Kane Chronicles). So, I thought it would be fun to share some fantasy stories I love that I think would make the jump to the screen well.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
I love this series with my whole heart. I’m really hoping that is the Disney adaptation of Percy Jackson does well, they might start working on some of the series from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. I love Aru and the other Pandava sisters. I think this series would do so well as a tv show.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I have some real nostalgia for this series. And since it’s been rebooted with new installments I’ve recently reread it. I think this series would do really great as a movie series. Especially the second book, Fire, with all the stunning colors and creatures. I think the concept of ‘graces’ and the general plot and setting would look great up on a big screen.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
This is another that I think would make a great movie or two. I do think that both books could be made into one movie. I would love to see Daniela and Carmen on screen. This book is queer and Latinx and I would love to see that representation in a movie.

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
This is one of my all time favorite series. So, I would obviously love to see it adapted. I think it would have to be a tv series to really show all of the characters and the paths they each follow. I love these characters so much that I would love to go on a several season journey with them.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
I think this would have to be a tv show. There’s just so much that happens between the two different time periods that this story happens in, that there’s no way it could all successfully happen in a movie. I loved Rielle and Eliana, and I really think that it would do will if it were to be adapted.

I think these five books would make excellent movies and/or tv shows. What books would you love to see adapted?

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 is hosted 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.

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m in the middle of a few things, but the only one I’m actively reading is Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts.

Antonia- I’m currently reading The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson.

Antonia- I most recently read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- I have no clue. Ask me again in a few days.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read Artemis by Andy Weir.

Thanks for reading. Let us know what you’re reading in the comments!

Amanda’s July Wrap Up

Hey, lovelies! July was a much better reading month for me than June was. I’m really proud of how well I did working on my physical TBR and getting it down to a lower number. I also read some really great blog posts this month. I did better at regularly checking my feed to read stuff from the people I follow. So, lets get into it!

What I Read

Physical Books
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – 4 stars
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson – 3 stars
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth – 4.5 stars
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer – 4.5 stars
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey – 4 stars
Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey – 4 stars
Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey – 3.5 stars
Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 5 stars

eBooks
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart – 4 stars
The Sea is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt – 2 stars
A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart – 4 stars
What We Devour by Linsey Miller – 4 stars
A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers – 4.5 stars
The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendigi – 3.5 stars

Blogging Highlights

Amanda’s Favorite Retellings

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (Book Review)

10 Popular YA Books on Amanda’s Physical TBR

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)

Amanda’s Summertime Book Recommendations

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi (Book Review)

5 Books Featuring Grief Amanda Recommends

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia (Book Review)

Other Bloggers I’m Loving

Thoughts on Prologues and Epilogues (Let’s Talk Bookish) from Briana @ Pages Unbound
I thought this was a really interesting discussion post!

Summerween TBR Time! from Destiny @ Howling Pages
Check out some spooky books that Destiny is going to read in July.

My 2021 Goals | Mid-Year Check-In from Jess @ Jessticulates
Come see how Jess is doing for their 2021 goals! I think you’re killing it Jess!

Our Friend is Here! A Discussion with Ryan Douglass, Author of The Taking of Jake Livingston – On Why We Need Radical YA Books from Skye @ The Quiet Pond
I love everything that comes from the Quiet Pond, but this post in particular was a great read.

Discover A Reader’s Book Buying Process from Kal @ Reader Voracious
See the how and why behind Kal’s book buying habits!

Book Drop // Library Book Haul from Book Loaner
Check out this library haul!

100 Books By Trans and Non-Binary Authors from Vee @ Vee Bookish
Some great recommendations here. I love the idea of collaboration to come up with ha huge list of recommendations.

Book Recommendations: Pride Month Edition – 10 Books with Bisexual and Pansexual Rep to Read During Pride Month! from CW @ The Quiet Pond
There are some really great recommendations on this list!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #3

Hello, lovelies! I’m back with another NetGalley update. Since April, I’ve read a fair bit, but no where near as much as I did in the month of April. Basically, I’ve been trying to keep up with the eARC’s I have that are soon to be published (aside from a few that I’ve fallen behind on that I will get to eventually).

Approvals I’ve Read

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The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim
Publication date: May 4, 2021
Another Rick Riordan Presents title and they never disappoint. This one is about an adopted Korean-American girl that just wants to have the same magic as the rest of her family. So, she and her sister cast something to make that happen and obviously things don’t go as planned. I really loved this one. I loved the sibling relationship and I thought the Korean mythology/folklore was so fascinating.

Off the Record by Camryn Garrett
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
I got this one because I attended a virtual event with Camryn Garrett, Victoria Lee, and Elizabeth Lim. I really enjoyed this one. It covers some pretty tough topics (like sexual assault) and I think it did it very thoughtfully.

Better Together by Christine Riccio
Publication date: June 1, 2021
I really wanted to like this book. I almost DNF’d it in the first 25%, but I pushed through. The writing was really jarring at times and there were a lot of ‘quirky’ things about the characters that I think just didn’t work. I had a good time reading this after a bit, but I wouldn’t say that this was a good book.

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Trouble Girls by Julie Lynn Rubin
Publication date: June 1, 2021
A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise, but I just couldn’t get behind it. I didn’t love the romance. I didn’t understand why they just kept running instead of trying to figure out how to fix the problem. I also didn’t like how we got nothing about the after.

A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow
Publication date: June 1, 2021
A Song Below Water was one of my favorite books that I read in 2020. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this one because it follows Naema. I didn’t like her at all in the first book, but I really grew to love her in this story. I think this was an excellent sequel.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
Publication date: June 8, 2021
This is the story of a young man that impulsively comes out, nine months before graduation and has to deal with living in a small town filled with expectations that represses his true self. I really enjoyed this story. Julian was a character I had no issues caring about. Getting to follow him as he fell in love for the first time and moved off to college. I really loved Julian and all of his friends.

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Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi
Publication date: June 15, 2021
This is a middle grade story that follows Rea as her whole world changes. Her brother goes missing and Rea is determined to find him, but she finds way more than what she planned. I really loved this one. I think it’s a really great middle grade story. We get to see Rea gain new friends and learn some really important lessons.

A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart
Publication date: June 22, 2021
I really liked this one. All of the characters were absolutely fascinating, even the one that I wasn’t supposed to like. I loved that Banghart was able to make me feel things for the characters that do terrible things. I thought the magic was really interesting and the politics were absolutely compelling.

What We Devour by Linsey Miller
Publication date: July 6, 2021
This dark and magical fantasy was excellent. I loved Lorena and the prince. I think the concept of the magic was really interesting and pretty well explained. I was sucked into the story right from the start and I didn’t want to put it down until the very end.

Flash Fire by T.J. Klune
Publication date: July 13, 2021
I loved the first book in this series. But sadly, I didn’t love this one. I ended DNF’ing it at about 25%.

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A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers
Publication date: July 13, 2021
Robots abandoned humanity and escaped into the woods. They agreed to come check in, but when they do, the question of ‘what do people need?’ isn’t an easy one to answer. But it must be answered before the robots can return to the woods. I devoured this book. I didn’t realize that it was a novella, so less than 200 pages. I flew through it and I wished that it was a full length novel. I loved everything about this story. It’s diverse and wholesome as hell. I highly recommend.

Approvals on my TBR

We Are Meridians by S. Ghali
Publication date: August 27, 2019
I don’t know why I was approved for this book over a year after it’s publication, but it sounds super good. So, I’m planning to read it soon. It’s about a group of humans that left Earth and traveled into space hundreds of years ago. But now they need to return for something. The people of Earth think that it’s an alien invasion and so obviously it doesn’t go well.

The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter
Publication Date: August 27, 2020
I got an email from NetGalley with a ‘read now’ option for this one. But I didn’t know this book had already been published. It’s a sci-fi thriller and I’m excited to read it.

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Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg
Publication date: November 1, 2020
I was a part of the blog tour for this book. Find my spotlight post here. I shared a bit of a blurb and other information about the book. Since this has already been released I’ll probably just read it on Kindle Unlimited and share that I read the finished copy in my review. Check out my spotlight post for the full synopsis.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Publication date: November 17, 2020
The only reason I haven’t picked this one up is because I’m scared. It’s a Romeo & Juliet retelling, so there is definitely going to be character deaths and I’m scared. I also have seen so many good things about this book, so I think all of the hype has intimidated me a bit. But I’m planning to read this one this month.

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
I honestly don’t know anything about this one except that I’ve heard amazing things about Suri’s books.

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The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig
Publication date: July 20, 2021
I honestly don’t really know much about this book except something about a spooky house.

Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Publication date: August 3, 2021
The second book in the Paola Santiago series and I cannot wait for another adventure with Paola and her friends.

Holdout by Jeffery Kluger
Publication date: August 3, 2021
From the summary, this sounds like a science fiction thriller, which is a sub-genre I’ve recently discovered I really love.

The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee
Publication date: August 3, 2021
This is a romance novel by an author I’ve liked before. The romance in this one starts with a game of truth or dare and I’m here for that.

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The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould
Publication date: August 3, 2021
A debut novel about ghosts in a small town, things you don’t want to meet in a dark corner, and finding a home. I’m excited for this debut novel. I think it’s going to somehow be both spooky and heartwarming.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publication date: August 17, 2021
I don’t know what this is about but I’ve really enjoyed her books in the past, so I think I’ll probably like this one too.

Cazadora by Romina Garber
Publication date: August 17, 2021
Magical werewolves. I loved the first book and this is the sequel.

The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma
Publication date: August 31, 2021
I honestly don’t know anything about this book but it was up for ‘read now’ on NetGalley. I’ve also seen a few people that really loved this.

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The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
I don’t know anything about this other than the comp titles are Red, White, & Royal Blue and One to Watch which I enjoyed both very much.

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Publication date: September 21, 2021
I read ‘giant transforming robots’ in the synopsis and that’s honestly all I needed to know.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune
Publication date: September 21, 2021
I really liked some of his previous books and I’m hopeful that I’ll like this one too.

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia
Publication date: October 5, 2021
I love this series. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next for Tristan.

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A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: October 5, 2021
I can’t tell if this is actually a Sleeping Beauty retelling or not, but Harrow is one of my favorite authors.

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin
Publication date: October 12, 2021
This seems like it’s going to be a summer camp sort of story but with peopple going missing and maybe some murder.

Truth of the Divine by Lindsay Ellis
Publication date: October 12, 2021
I had absolutely no business requesting this book. I own the first book, but I haven’t read it. So, requesting an early copy of the second book was not a smart move. But I did it anyway, so hopefully I like the first book.

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Publication date: October 19, 2021
Anther one that I don’t know much about aside from it’s a gothic horror (which is something I’m trying to dip my toes into) and some friends have read and loves it that I share a similar reading taste to.

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You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Publication date: November 2, 2021
Julie and her boyfriend, Sam, have plans for the future, for their future together. But then Sam dies and Julie tries to act like he never existed so she can move on. But then things take a sci-fi twist when she calls Sam and instead of his voicemail, he answers the phone.

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
Publication date: November 9, 2021
The synopsis tagline is that this is an Ethiopian inspired Jane Eyre retelling. It’s also the authors debut fantasy novel.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
I really liked both Foody’s and Herman’s books. So, I’m interested to see what they’ve come up with together. I’ve seen bits and pieces from their social medias and I’m excited for it.

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If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
This is another ‘read now’ that I got in an email from NetGalley. It’s about a boy band on tour and I think it will be excellent.

Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher
Publication date: January 1, 2022
I honestly don’t know what this is about. But I really enjoyed Schumacher’s debut. Also, this cover is totally stunning and I am a sucker sometimes.

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
Publication date: January 11, 2022
The buzz words ‘survival’, ‘found family’, and ‘bond with a wolf’ totally got me.

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The One True Me and You by Remi K. England
Publication date: March 1, 2022
I’ve loved all of England’s books so far, so I have high hopes for this one too.

A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft
Publication date: March 8, 2022
I liked Saft’s first book and this one sounds right up my alley. Mythical creatures and an ancient magic secret? Yes, please.

These are all of the books that I have coming up on my NetGalley TBR for the foreseeable future. I’m really excited for most of these books and I hope to get my ratio percentage up closer to 100%. Do you use NetGalley? Do you read any advanced copies?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Favorite Tropes

Hi, lovelies! I think the concept of tropes is such an interesting one. There are things that have been used in stories so many times that they’ve become a thing. I didn’t really think that I had any favorite tropes, but the more I read, the more I realize that I absolutely do have some favorites. Now, some are general story ones and some are specific events in stories. Let’s get to it!

Friends to lovers

This is my personal favorite trope in romance. I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s my real life trope with my husband.

Only one bed

The tension that stems from the ‘only one bed’ trope is just unlike anything else.

Forbidden love

As a teen, I was a big supporter of doing things I wasn’t supposed to do, so the whole people loving people they ‘shouldn’t’ because it creates such excellent drama and conflict.

Second chance romance

This is another real life trope for me. So, it totally checks out why I love this one.

Forced proximity

I think this one is another great one just because of the tension that’s created from the trope. I love to see characters that are trapped somewhere together that they don’t want to be.

Reluctant hero

The chosen one trope was really popular and still is, but I love me some reluctant heroes. A main characters that doesn’t particularly want to save the whatever, but they will because they’re the hero.

Fake dating

This one is incredibly popular. I like it, too. It’s fun watching a couple that’s totally in denial about their feelings for one another slowly realize they do actually love each other.

These are some of my favorite tropes. What are some of yours?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.