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

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

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 July TBR Jar Picks

Hi, lovelies! We’ve made it through another month of 2021. So, I’m back with five more picks from my TBR jar! I did really great with last month’s picks. I read all but one of them. I did start that last book, but a reading slump hit me in the end of June, so I didn’t manage to finish it. Despite the reading slump, I’m pushing through and picking five more books that I hope to read in July.

1st in a Series

We Set the Dark on Fire by Sara Raasch & Kristin Simmons

Standalone

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

LGBTQIA+

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Middle Grade

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Favorite of a Friend

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

I’m also planning to participate in the next round oof Pop Culture Readathon (find all the information for this readathon on their Twitter). I’m not really going to make a specific TBR for that though. There are so many prompts that I’m just going to fill them in as I read. I do, however, have some NetGalley ARCs that I need to read. So, I’ll add those below with a few books that I want to read in July.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
This was one of the books I didn’t get to last month, but it’s been chosen as the bookclub book for this month. So, I’ve got to actually pick it up this time.

The Sea is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart

That’s all I have this month. I’m trying to keep it smaller this month so that I don’t fall back into the reading slump that came for me in June. What are you planning to read this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s June Wrap Up

Hey, lovelies! Another month has come to an end. Can you believe we’re already halfway through 2021? I certainly can’t. I’m sharing this post a few days early for the sake of my blogging schedule.

What I Read

Physical Books
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert – 4.5 stars
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – 4 stars
The Only Good Indians by Stephan Graham Jones – 2.5 stars
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne – 4 stars
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones – 4.5 stars
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – 4 stars
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – 3 stars
The Test by Sylvain Neuvel – 3 stars

eBooks
Off the Record by Camryn Garrett – 4 stars
Better Together by Christin Riccio – 2.5 stars
A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow – 4.5 stars
Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin – 3 stars
Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi – 4.5 stars
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa – 3.5 stars
Middlewest Book One by Scottie Young, Jorge Corona, & Mike Huddleston – 4 stars
Middlewest Book Two by Scottie Young & Jorge Corona – 4 stars
Middlewest Book Three by Scottie Young, Jorge Corona, & Jean-François Beaulieu – 4 stars

Audiobooks
Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi – 5 stars
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal – 4 stars
The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu – 4.5 stars

Blogging Highlights

Rereading Books I Loved as a Teenager – Wrap Up

Amanda’s Favorite Underrated Backlist Books

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler (Book Review)

Amanda’s 2021 Anticipated Series Finales

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield (Book Review)

Amanda’s Beginner Fantasy Recommendations

If You Liked This, Then Try That (Series Edition)

On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig (Book Review)

Amanda’s Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Recommendations

Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #2

Other Bloggers I’m Loving

Fierce Fairytales Favorite Quotes from Michaela @ Journey into Books
This is one of my favorite poetry collections. Come check out some of Michaela’s favorite quotes.

Mid Year – 5 Star Predictions from LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks
Come see what books LaRonda thinks might be 5 star reads!

16 LGBTQ+ SFF books by BIPOC to read for Pride Month from Fadwa @ Word Wonders
Fadwa’s here again to share a list of incredible books. I’ve read quite a few of these and the ones I haven’t read are on my TBR.

Welcome to Pride Month at the Pond 2021! Celebrating Pride Month with Queer Authors and Intersectional Voices & Literature from CW @ The Quiet Pond
Just accept that CW’s posts will make this list of mine every month. This post shares lots of great recommendation posts and interviews from pride month 2020, and shares a bit about what The Quiet Pond will be doing this year. Now that June is over, you can check out all the great content that’s been shared.

Project Hail Mary from Anastasia @ Read & Survive
This is a review filled with spoilers, but I loved reading it! I also loved this book.

How to Write Amazing Blog Posts Using Notion from Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat
Sumedha has shared some great information about how to better plan and organize your blog posts before you write them!

Why Your Book Recommendation Posts Should Have More Than Three Books Listed from Briana @ Pages Unbound
Briana really made me think with this one. I usually make lists of around ten books, but I’d been thinking that was too many for one post. But now that I’ve read this, I’ve totally changed my mind.

What books did you read this month that you really loved? Are there any blog posts you’re particularly proud of from this month? Share with me in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s June Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

Hey, lovelies! I finallly picked up a few of my graphic novels this month! There was a readathon that I’ve done before called GraphicsAThon (find them on Twitter here). I felt motivated to try to read one or two graphic novels that I already own. Reading books I own is the theme for 2021 and I’m doing my best to stay on brand.

Middlewest Book One by Scottie Young, Jorge Corona, & Mike Huddleston

I’ve loved what I’ve read of Skottie Young’s graphic novels. So, this was my reasoning for purchasing this one. I have to say before you get into this one, there is a scene where the dad hits his son, Abel (who is our main character). And Abel’s dad definitely has anger issues, so it’s not a super healthy relationship. The story starts with Abel waking up late to his job of delivering newspapers. His dad is screaming at him. One thing lead to another and he and his dad are screaming at each other in the front yard. His dad turns into a giant wind monster and Abel flees for his life. But while he’s running away (with his best friend, a talking fox) he’s hit by the wind monster and this leaves a strange mark on his chest. After escaping, Abel searches for answers about what happened and how to heal this strange mark he now has. So, I enjoyed this. I think the art style was really interesting. There were lots of colors and each panel’s colors did a great job of portraying the mood of the pages. As for the story, I enjoyed it. I have quite a few questions about this world that I feel like weren’t answered. The art shows this world as a steam punk-ish kind of world. There’s lots of machinery with weird jars of green stuff that could be fuel of some sort. But there’s also things like regular doctors and hospitals, so it was unclear if this was supposed to be a realistic world like the one we live in or a fantasy world. There’s magic and many animals that can talk (like Abel’s fox sidekick), so there are definitely some fantasy elements (most of this book is about a wind monster, so). I’m not holding out hope that I will have my questions answered about the world building because it’s mostly shown through the artwork. But I’m still very interesting in reading the next book.

Middlewest Book Two by Scottie Young & Jorge Corona

So, this second volume of the series actually did answer some of my questions that I had. I believe that this is a fantasy world. It’s called Middlewest and there are all sorts of fantasy towns. But there are some elements that are similar to the world we know. We did learn a small detail about the green stuff in jars that seemed to be fuel. There’s also little bits of this worlds history mentioned, like the Great Plain Wars. I liked this second volume. The art was just as good as the first volume. We get to see some mythological and magical creatures that I thought were really cool. We also meet Abel’s grandfather who is a snow monster. I think the theme of controlling your feelings and emotions was a compelling one. We see a bit of Abel’s dad’s history when we meet the grandfather. I liked getting this character backstory. We also see Abel’s dad traveling in search of Abel and he’s having some really great realizations. I still wouldn’t say that I like him, but getting to see the character growth was interesting. Abel is still searching for a way to get rid of the mark, which we learned is called the Heart of a Storm. It’s seeming like there’s no way to actually get rid of it and Abel’s not happy with that. He’s still struggling with his anger and he takes it out on Fox. I loved Fox. He’s such a fun sidekick. Overall, I’m enjoying this series and I’m very interested to see where things go in the third volume. So far, both volumes have left off on a pretty compelling cliffhanger, which leaves me wanting to jump right into the next volume.

Middlewest Book Three by Scottie Young, Jorge Corona, & Jean-François Beaulieu

This is the conclusion to this series. I didn’t know there were only three volumes, but I didn’t mind that much. It was nice that I didn’t have to wait for anymore installments to be released. So, in this final volume, Abel and many other kids have been taken and put to work at an Ethol farm (ethol is the weird green stuff in bottles that we see in the first two volumes). This farm is run by a super not nice guy. Most of this book we are watching Abel and his friends try to figure out a way to escape the farm. But we also get to see other characters, like Maggie and Jeb, as well as Abel’s dad again. We follow what they’re doing as well. Everyone is trying to find Abel, basically. I enjoyed this conclusion. I think it was really fast paced and action packed. The stakes were high for Abel to keep his wind monster powers in check and he mostly succeeded. I think there could definitely be more created from this world, and I hope that we get to see that some day. I liked that there was a reunion between Abel and his father. I think it was really important for Abel to get to say his piece to his dad, finally. Abel’s dad’s growth was really good. I still didn’t like him, but I could appreciate him learning just how wrong he had been. Overall, I really enjoyed this series. It has a great message of breaking patterns, acknowledging and managing your emotions, and found families.

That’s all I read for graphic novels this month. I’m glad I managed to start and finish this series. It was a really enjoyable one with stunning artwork and important themes. What graphic novels did you read this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Summer 2021 TBR

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 the ten books on my summer TBR fo 2021.

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart

The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

Cazadora by Romina Garber

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

W.I.T.C.H., Part I. The Twelve Portals, Vol. 2 by Elisabetta Gnone

These are ten books that I’m hoping to get to this summer. What’s on your list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

10 Popular YA Books on Amanda’s Physical TBR

Hey, lovelies! Today I’m going to talk about 10 books that are on my TBR of books that I already own. I’ve said this many times already, but if you’re new here, 2021 is the year that I’m going to get my owned TBR down to about 20-25 books. So, making lists like these, where I get to talk about books I’m excited to read are helpful because I can look back on them and appreciate how much progress I’ve made with reading them, or see how many I haven’t read and kick my butt into gear to get them read. So, let’s talk about 10 books on my owned TBR that I’ll hopefully read today.

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Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
“Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.”

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Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard
“A strange darkness grows in Allward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea. She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:
A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
A forger with a secret past.
A bounty hunter with a score to settle.
Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.”

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I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
“When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.”

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The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
“Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her. In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return. Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.”

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Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
“Two girls. One night. Zero phones.
Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong? Well. Kind of a lot? They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore. Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future. That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight.”

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They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman
“In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems. Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on. Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it. But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.”

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The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
“In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything. That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost. But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.”

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Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout
“Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger. Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome. As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.”

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The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
“After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson. Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she’s back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer. But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls—the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case. Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders. But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.”

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Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
“Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him. Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them. When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive. What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?”

These are ten books I own, both physically and as eBooks that I’m really hoping to read before 2021 is over. I’ve heard good things about all of these, which is probably the reason I bought them in the first place. So, check in later in the year and maybe I’ll do an update for this post about whether I’ve read these or not. Have you read any of these? Which should I start with?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s June TBR Jar Picks

Hi, lovelies! Last month was pretty successful for my first attempt with my TBR jar. I did well enough that I’m going for it again. I think the idea of the TBR jar is such a fun one that I’m willing myself to do just as well this month. So, I will pick five slips from my jar and then pick books that fit the categories I’ve picked for this month. I will also be including a few books I want to read this month that aren’t a part of my TBR jar picks. I have some eARCs I need to make sure to read this month. Let’s see what I’m hoping to read this month!

Adult
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
I absolutely loved both The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine. I’m confident I’ll love this one too.

First in a Series
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one. I was actually asked to add this to my TBR so I can let a friend know if it’s as good as it sounds.

Standalone
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
This one I found as a local used book sale. I liked Big Little Lies the novel and the tv show. I’m interested to see if I like this one too as I’ve heard good things.

New Release
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
I absolutely loved Beach Read so, I’m very excited to pick up Henry’s newest release.

Favorite of a Friend
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
My friend, Alana, has been raving about this book for literal years. So, hopefully I’ll manage to finally pick this one up.

These are the books that I’ve picked to go with my TBR jar categories. I’m hopeful that I’ll manage to read all of them. I’m excited about quite a few of these, so I think I’ll actually be able to do that this month. I’m also participating in a readathon on Twitter this month. The Clear Your Shit Readathon was wicked fun to do last year and I am in need of clearing more shit off my TBR. So, I’m joining this month long mini-round. There’s a bingo board and all that, but I’m just going to list the prompts.

Candles: a book with a white or black cover
The Test by Sylvain Neuvel
I’ve owned this forever but never pick it up. I figure it’ll be good to have something pretty short on this list.

Athame: a book in a genre you don’t normally read
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
I got this one because I’ve heard incredible things about it. It’s horror and that’s far from my usual genre.

Cauldron: a book featuring a magical object
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal
I’ve actually already started this one. I’m only about 100 pages into it. But I really want to finish it as soon as I can. So, here it is on this TBR list.

Bells: a comfort read
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
I tried to share books from my TBR jar picks and this bingo board so that I didn’t have a huge list to read.

Free Space
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
This is my June bookclub book. I’m excited for this one because I adored Beartown. I’ve seen people hauling this one, but not many reviewing it. Also, I couldn’t fit it in any of the other squares.

Ancient Grimoire: a book that’s 400 pages or more
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
Another borrow from my TBR jar picks, but I have a lot of new romance I want to read and most of those aren’t over 400 pages.

Bag of Teeth: a creepy book
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
I’ve heard incredible things about this one and I’ve been eager to pick it up since I bought it.

Incense: a book in your favorite genre
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
So, technically science fiction is my favorite genre. But romance is a really close second and I don’t have any sci-fi on my physical TBR that I’m really excited about.

Chalice: a book with something elemental
Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi
This is my audiobook choice. I love the audio for this series. I also just love this series. Last month, I finished rereading the first three so I’m excited to dive into this one.

I do have a few other books on my TBR list. They’re mostly eARC’s that I really need to get to. I’ve been slacking a bit on my NetGalley arc’s since binging like 10 of them in April.

Off the Record by Camryn Garrett
I have an eARC of this one that I plan to read this month.

Better Together by Christine Riccio
Another eARC that I need to make sure to read this month.

Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin
There are a few NetGalley arc’s I need to read in June and this queer Thelma & Louise is one I’m excited for.

So, this is a much longer list than last month. But I did well enough with my May TBR jar picks. I read three of the five books that I picked. The only reason I didn’t read all five was because I didn’t read that many audiobooks last month and those two were both books I planned to listen to. So, I’m happy with my results from last month and I’m excited to push myself to stick to this TBR for June. What are you thinking of reading this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s May Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies! We have reached the end of another month. Which means that it’s time to once again talk about the things I read this month, how I read them, and last month I started sharing some of my blog posts I’m proud of as well as posts from other bloggers that I enjoyed. Let’s get into it!

What I Read

Physical Books
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – 4 stars
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder – 4 stars
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder – 4 stars
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – 5 stars
The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo – 3 stars
The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold – 4 stars
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore – 4.5 stars
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley – 4 stars
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – 4.5 stars
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo – 5 stars

eBooks
With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand – 4 stars
Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson – 3 stars
Evernight by Claudia Gray – 4 stars
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – 5 stars
Everlost by Neal Schusterman – 4 stars
Everwild by Neal Schusterman – 4 stars
Everfound by Neal Schusterman – 4 stars
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder – 3.5 stars
Sea Glass Maria V. Snyder – 3.5 stars
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder – 3 stars
The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim – 4 stars

Audiobooks
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – 5 stars
Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend: Notes From the Other Side of the Fist Bump by Ben Philippe
Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore – 4 stars
Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi – 5 stars
Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi – 5 stars

Blogging Highlights

Amanda’s Mythology/Folklore Recommendations

Rereading Books I Loved as a Teenager – TBR

Amanda Recommends Completed Series

Amanda’s Beginner Science Fiction Recommendations

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennfer L. Armentrout (Book Review)

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Book Review)

Other Bloggers I’m Loving

20 Best Hilariously Fun Drinking Board Games from Christine @ The Uncorked Librarian
This one cracked me up. These are definitely some games I want to try once we’re allowed to have friends over again.

Welcome to Asian Pasifika Heritage Month 2021! Celebrating 17 Amazing Asian and Pacific Islander Authors and Literature from CW @ The Quiet Pond
CW is forever doing to most for us and it’s no different for the month of May. In this post, they share some highlights from last May and share a bit about what they’ll be doing in May.

Books on my TBR: Poetry Collections from Ally @ Ally Writes Things
Ally shares some books that are on her TBR. I thought this was a fun post and a great one to find new poetry collections!

Review: House of Earth and Blood (Sarah J. Maas) from V @ The Sassy Library Fox
I personally loved this book and so did V. Check out V’s detailed review by clicking the link.

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield / Blog Tour from Jessica @ Jessica C Writes
Jessica’s review is a great one. Had I not already read this book, her review would have made me want to read it. This book covers some tough topics, so check out her review to see the content warnings.

Color the Shelves – a bookish playlist by Joan He, author of The Ones We’re Meant to Find from Fadwa @ Word Wonders
Fadwa’s Color the Shelves feature is one of my favorites. The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a book I’m really excited for and I’m hoping to read my copy very soon. I love reading about author’s playlists and writing inspirations.

The Definitive Book Blogger List from A Book. A Thought.
I had this on last month’s post. But it’s just such an incredible list of people that I had to share it again. Click the link to find some new bloggers to follow!

Share a blog post you’re proud of or share some of your favorite blog posts from the last month or so in the comments.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Rereading Books I Loved as a Teenager – Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! I’m back to wrap up my rereads! If you didn’t see my announcement/TBR post (which you can find here) I have been rereading books that I loved when I was a teenager. On that post, I have a list of the books that will be in this post, but I also listed books I probably won’t ever reread again. I also have books that I reread relatively recently, but before I had the idea for this post, so I shared thoughts on those books in that post. Now, lets get into my thoughts on how my rereading went! There were definitely some surprising hits and some not so surprising misses.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
This is the only book that was on my original TBR post that I didn’t reread. That’s mostly because I couldn’t find this book at my local library and I wasn’t going to spend money and buy it.

Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter
I just reread this entire series. I’ve owned all the books since I read them the first time in 2013. I remember loving them so much because of the creative variety of supernatural species. This follows Kylie who finds out she’s a supernatural. She sees ghosts. She gets sent to a summer camp for ‘troubled kids.’ What her mother doesn’t know is that this is a summer camp for supernaturals, a place for them to learn how to navigate the human world. I liked the concept behind the story and seeing as I read the whole series, I must have enjoyed it a little at least. But there were things I didn’t like. The girls were so catty and bitchy, even the ones that were supposedly best friends. There was growth with this and I appreciated that. I wouldn’t say this is the best supernatural series, but it was definitely entertaining. My review for the first book, Born at Midnight, is linked here.

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
I reread this via audiobook in February. I think the only reason I made it all the way through the book is because the narrator is Evan Rachel Wood (who I have a huge crush on after watching her in Middlewest). The writing is pretty bad. And somehow, I still remember some of the bigger plot twists from later in the series, so there wasn’t really any mystery for me. I think I might finally be too old for this series. I didn’t have the same emotional connection to the characters. But I will say that I didn’t realize that this series actually has a pretty diverse cast, which was a pleasant surprise.

Evermore by Alyson Noel
This one was a surprise for me. I actually found myself genuinely enjoying this book. I liked Ever. She’s grieving the death of both her parents and her younger sister. But ever since the accident that killed them, she is psychic. She can see auras, hear thoughts, and see her sister’s ghost. She hides underneath oversized hoodies and blocks out the world with her iPod (lol). I think the concept of Ever’s abilities are super cool. She’d found a way to cope that worked for the most part. I did not like Damen at all. Even Ever had bad feelings about their ‘relationship’ but found that she couldn’t say no to him? There was just a lot of icky stuff. I liked the story and the magic aspect, and Ever, but I couldn’t get invested in the relationship at all. I actually did try to continue the series. But at the start of the second book, it’s all about how in love Ever and Damen are and I just couldn’t stay interested in it because I don’t care about their relationship at all.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
This book was…not good. I didn’t really remember anything about it. I think I was remembering a different book. Hush Hush is full of fat shaming, horrible diet culture, dated references (myspace, dial up internet, etc.), and completely unnecessary girl hate. I really believe that we’ve moved past the need for high school girls hating each other and being cruel and vicious. I know from experience that these people exist, but I think we’re at a point in time that we don’t need to continually see this in fiction. At least, not in the way that it was done in this book. As for the story, I did like that the romance wasn’t insta-love. There was some actual friendship development before anything romantic started. I don’t think I will continue the series. This book wasn’t completely terrible, but it definitely wasn’t good.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I still really enjoyed this one. I chose to listen to the audiobook, which was certainly an experience. The audiobook is an older one. This is clear with all of the musical sound effects. It took me a bit, but I came to enjoy this narration of the story. I think the story as a whole has held up pretty well for a book that’s 13 years old. I definitely think I liked it less than I did when I read it originally. I think it could more clearly see the the negative things about Katsa, rather than just loving her because she’s strong and has a powerful Grace. I adored Po though. He was my favorite. I liked the politics of the different kingdoms, but the world itself was pretty bland. I’m definitely interested to continue rereading the series. I think the idea of the Graces is an interesting one. I also want to say that I’ve continued rereading the rest of the series and have enjoyed both books two and three. I think Bitterblue is and was my favorite in this series and I’m excited to read the newly published installment.

Evernight by Claudia Gray
According to GoodReads, I rated this book 4 stars. If I were to rate this now, I would probably go with 2.75 stars. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t like it, or that it was a bad book. Because I did enjoy it while I was reading it. I think this book was one of the few that I wasn’t all that excited to reread. I ended being a bit surprised because I honestly was expecting to actively dislike this book. But that wasn’t the case. I don’t totally understand why the author chose to act like the main character (who is our narrator) didn’t know that she was going to a school full of vampires. I think this was a weird choice considering what Bianca is. Even the synopsis makes it seem like Bianca doesn’t know why the school and the students are so intimidating. This felt like a weird choice because when we did find out Bianca’s truth, it felt a bit info-dumpy as she tried to share all of the things she knew about vampires in a few pages. Aside from that, I genuinely had fun reading this one. There were definitely some eye-roll moments. And I am just as much Team Balthazar as I was back in 2009 when I read this for the first time. I just didn’t believe the romance with Lucas because it was a bit of insta-love. Then we got to see her become friends with Balthazar and that was more believable. I’m not sure that I care enough to reread the whole series, but this was a fun experience.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Green has been a favorite author of mine for many years. I read Looking for Alaska in high school and it’s a book that changed me. But I haven’t reread this one since 2013, so I honestly didn’t know how I was going to feel about it. I will say that the review linked with the title of TFIOS is the review I wrote back in 2013, so if you want to see my thoughts from when I was actually still a teenager, it’s there. Now, I’m currently 27 years old, so this book has a pretty different effect on me now. I still really loved this story. I still was easily invested in the romance between Hazel and Augustus. I think the big thing that’s changed for me is that when it comes to YA books I don’t really self insert into the story anymore. So, while I still enjoyed the romance aspect of the story, it wasn’t what I appreciated the most this time. I loved the writing. The banter between Hazel and Gus. But most of all, I liked the the journey. I think because I’m in a different place in my life than I was almost ten years ago, I can appreciate all the things that Hazel learns and experiences in this story. I may not be fangirling over Hazel falling in love, but I can still appreciate the things she goes through. This is still a beautiful story.

Everlost by Neal Shusterman (The Skinjacker Trilogy)
So, to preface, I mistakenly called this book Unwind in my TBR post. The series that I had on my kindle and planned to reread for this is actually the Skinjacker trilogy, which starts with the book titled Everlost. I managed to reread this whole trilogy over Mother’s Day weekend because it was super interesting and I just needed to know how everything ended. I made notes for each book, so I’ll briefly mention them before I talk about the series as a whole. The first book was interesting mostly because of the concept of this in-between place for lost souls. I liked the characters well enough, but I thought the plot was lacking. It felt like the first book was just world building and set up for the rest of the series. The second book is where things started to get really interesting plot wise. The story moves slowly, but it’s very clear that Shusterman placed building blocks, little bits and pieces, that would come back into the story later. This goes for the third book, too. Some of the things we see and learn about in books one and two come back into play for book three. I loved this aspect where we get to see things come full circle. There were a few different romances in this series, I liked all but one of them. I just couldn’t get behind Nick and Mary as romantic interests for one another. I think this was really the only thing I didn’t like about the series. It was there through all three books and I just didn’t find it believable. I did, however, really like Allie and Mikey together, as well as the other couples we see get together. I also want to mention the historical sites that are mentioned and some that play a part in this story. In Everlost, we see the Twin Towers, the Hindenburg airship, In Everwild the characters leave the East Coast and move west across the United States. We get to see the World’s Fair in Chicago and Graceland. The final book we get to see the Alamo and the Trinity Vortex (the site of the first atomic bomb). I think the way that Shusterman included these bits and pieces of history was fascinating and thoughtful. I just overall had a fun time reading this series. It was silly and occasionally ridiculous, but it was also way more serious than I anticipated.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
When I read this book in 2012, I rated it 4 stars. I am standing by that rating. I’ve seen people compare this book to Throne of Glass, which I can see, except that Poison Study came first. We follow Yelena who is made the Commander’s new food taster rather than being executed. Yelena is a character that has some trauma in her past. But she seems pretty well adjusted. I am also totally here for the romance that develops later in the book between Yelena and the Commander’s chief of security. A good chunk of this book s Yelena learning how to detect poisons and I liked that. I love seeing characters learn new things. But once we’re past this part of the book, things get a lot more political. I also really enjoyed that part of the book. We see Yelena get involved in so many things that she just doesn’t need to be involved in. But also, it’s understandable because of the players that are involved. The Commander of Ixia is a trans man. I cannot speak to this representation, but if you can and you’ve read this, let me know about if you think this is good or bad representation. I enjoyed this book and I’m planning to continue my reread as soon as I’m finished writing this mini-review.

So, that’s all my thoughts on the books I picked up to reread. I’ve read all of these years ago, but it was really fun to revisit them. I was surprised to still actually enjoy some of them and not so surprised about the few that I didn’t enjoy. What books did you love as a teenager that you would consider rereading now?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s NetGalley Shelf #2

Hey, lovelies! Back in February, I did my first post dedicated specifically to the books I have been approved for on NetGalley. You can find that post here. Today, I’m back with an update on that post and sharing what books I’ve been approved for since then. My reviews for the books that I’ve read will be linked as the titles. I’m going to keep this short and get right into it.

Approvals I’ve Read

Blood Sworn by Scott Reintgen
The story of the phoenix horses is finished in this sequel. This sequel is less about the horses and more of a political fantasy about people at war. But there’s fascinating magic. I highly recommend this one.

Honey Girl

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
I am completely obsessed with this book. It’s an accidental marriage story, but it does so many good things for the conversation of mental health. They writing is lyrical and stunning. There were so many lines of this story that really spoke to me.

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft
A house that is creepy, but not magical. There’s healing magic and I liked the characters. This wasn’t a super memorable story for me aside from those details and the main character is bisexual.

Namesake by Adrienne Young
I’m in love with this series. This is the sequel to Fable which is the pirate story of my dreams. Namesake opens up the world of Fable so much more. There’s secretes revealed and so many emotional developments with the found family we’ve come to love.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
A modern day Peter Pan retelling. This was way darker than I was anticipating and I really enjoyed it. The plot was a bit slow to start, but I think many will love this one.

The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody
Middle-grade fantasy will forever be one of my favorites. This one will be on that list. This is such a great story about finding your passion. The main character hates everything about what’s happening to him, but it’s only because of the expectations that he thinks are on him.

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
This one will be making my favorites list of 2021. I loved everything about this story and I don’t even know how to explain why. It’s a unique story filled with diverse characters and an incredible plot.

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters
I thought this was a fun and quick read. There were a few things that I didn’t love about this, but it was still fun and fluffy to read.

Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
Anders finally makes it into the YA market with this one. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the found family. I loved the epic space adventure. The galaxy is at war and our main character might just be the last hope to save it.

The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
The Wayfarers series is one that I will love forever. This installment is a quieter story. It’s the story of four people that find themselves stuck together. They don’t always get along, but they talk and get to know one another. I loved this series.

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein
This is the only ARC that I have DNF’d so far in 2021. I just couldn’t stand to read anymore about this main character.

Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores, #3)

Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen
I don’t know how I have two pirate series on one list, but Dark Shores is one of my favorite series. It follows a diverse cast, with to die for romances, and politics galore. I think it’s a fascinating series.

Counting Down with You by Tashi Bhuiyan
This was a fun story, but I had a few issues that I couldn’t help notice. These issues took away from my enjoyment of the story, sadly.

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
I have another favorite of 2021. This one hit parts of my soul that I didn’t know needed to be hit. It follows a bisexual girl that doesn’t know she’s bisexual. She’s figuring things out. But when her long time crush finally shows interest in her, all she can think about is the girl she met over the summer. I wish this book existed when I was younger.

Legacy by Nora Roberts
Roberts’ books are always comfort reads for me. This one was no different. The characters are well developed and even the ones I didn’t like, I knew well and rooted for them. It was a fun read while I was reading it, but not one that I think will stick in my mind.

Approvals on my TBR

The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans #1)

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.

Better Together by Christine Riccio
Publication date: June 1, 2021
This is a story about sisters that don’t know about one another, think of Parent Trap. I love sibling relationships. So, I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy this one even though I didn’t love Riccio’s debut.

Trouble Girls by Julie Lynn Rubin
Publication date: June 1, 2021
A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise is all I need to know about this one.

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. So, I’m very excited for this sequel that follows Naema, who we met in the first book.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun

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 cannot wait to read this one.

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi
Publication date: June 15, 2021
One of the comparison titles is Aru Shah and the End of Time and that’s all I needed to know to be interested.

A Season of Sinister Dreams by Tracy Banghart
Publication date: June 22, 2021
I love Banghart as a human being. I met her at a book festival and I felt like we bonded in a way that I haven’t felt with any other author interaction. So, I will read all of her books until the end of time. The book also sounds good as hell.

What We Devour by Linsey Miller
Publication date: July 6, 2021
A powerful woman trying to keep her power a secret? Sign me up. I’ve seen lots about this book from the author’s twitter and it’s gotten me super excited for this one.

Flash Fire (The Extraordinaries #2)

Flash Fire by T.J. Klune
Publication date: July 13, 2021
I loved the first book in this series. So, I’m dying to get into the second. I loved the way Nick’s ADHD was shown. I liked the superhero aspect as well. Plus, friends to lovers is my favorite.

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.

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.

The Dating Dare (A Sweet Mess, #2)

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.

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.

A Spindle Splintered

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 people going missing and maybe some murder.

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.

You've Reached Sam

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.

So, this has been an update on my NetGalley TBR. These are the book since I’ve read since my last post about this and the books I will be reading in the near-ish future. What new books are on your TBR to read soon?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s May TBR Jar Picks

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been wanting to try and be better about making a loose TBR for each month. I think I’ve done okay so far this year without making actual posts about it. But that’s mostly because I’ve been rereading in preparation for new books (rereading the Grishaverse for the Netflix show and for Rule of Wolves for example). I’ve also been doing things like #ARCApril where I spent the month of April reading my NetGalley ARC’s (expect an update on my NetGalley shelf soon!) This month I want to finally use the TBR jar that I made in the end of December 2020. I have tried TBR jars in the past that didn’t work for me because they picked specific books, but this one is much more open. Instead of picking titles out of a jar I’m picking things like ‘most recently purchased’ or ‘science fiction’ so I will get to choose what book I want for each prompt. Let’s get into which prompts I pick out of the jar and which books I picked for them!

Middle-Grade

Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi
This one was obvious for me because if it didn’t fit a TBR jar prompt, I would have added it below to the books I’m reading anyway.

Adult

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
I found this one at one of my local independent bookstores and I couldn’t believe it. I want to make it a priority because I have heard nothing but good things about this author.

5 Star Prediction

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore
Antonia and I actually just did our next round of 5 star predictions, so I will just borrow from that post.

Sequel

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
I’ve been slowly working my way through this series and it’s been a bit since I finished book five. I think I’m ready to start the next book.

LGBTQIA

Flash Fire by T.J. Klune
I have an eARC of this one and I’m really excited to continue this series.

These are what I’ve picked from my TBR jar this month. So, I will check back in at the end of the month or after I’ve read all of these. I do have a few other books on my TBR as I usually read 10+ books each month and I wanted to start easy with only five picks from my jar. So, here are some of the other books I want to read this month.

The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold
This is the book that’s been chosen for May’s book club. I meet with four local friends each month and we mostly just catch up. But I’m really excited for this one as I’ve heard some good things about it.

King of Scars and Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
I’m still waiting for my preorder of Rule of Wolves to be delivered, so I’m waiting to reread King of Scars until I get shipping information about Rule of Wolves. It might not happen in May, but I’m hopeful.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
I think I’m going to be buddy reading this one with Allison over on bookstagram. I’ve been meaning to read this forever, but I’ve seen so many mixed reviews that I’m nervous to read it.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I’ve been really wanting to reread either this series or the ACOTAR series. I think I’m going to choose this one because it’s completed.

That’s all that I have planned at the moment to read for the month of May. I’m really excited about all of these books. What will you be reading this month?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s April Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies! April has come to an end, so I have another month of reading to wrap up for you. This month I want to try something a little different. I’m still going to share how many books, which books, and what format I read them in. But I want to do a bit more with my wrap up posts. I’m going to try it out this month and see how it goes.

What I Read

Physical Books
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria – 3.75 stars
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody – No Rating

eBooks
Between the Bliss and Me by Lizzy Mason – 4 stars
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman – 5 stars
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters – 3.75 stars
Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen – 5 stars
Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders – 4 stars
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers – 4 stars
On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig – 5 stars
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 3 stars
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – 4.5 stars
Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan – 2.5 stars
Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton – 4 stars
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler – 5 stars
The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 5 stars
Legacy by Nora Roberts – 3.5 stars

Audiobooks
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – 2.75 stars
Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen – 5 stars
Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen – 5 stars
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman – 3.5 stars
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – 3.5 stars
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour – 3 stars
Mirror’s Edge by Scott Westerfeld – 3.75 stars
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi – 5 stars
Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker – 3 stars

Blogging Highlights

This is one of the new things I want to try this month. Each month I’d light to highlight some of the content I’ve posted that I’m excited about or pleased with. So, I will be doing that here. Since this is new, I’m going to highlight posts from January until now, but in the future, I’d like to just highlight some of my favorite posts and reviews from the month I’m wrapping up.

Amanda’s Thoughts on How Vampire Novels Never Died

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas (Book Review)

Amanda’s Underrated Black Author’s Recommendations

Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire (Full Series Review)

21 Young Adult Anticipated Release in 2021

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (Book Review)

2021 Debut Novels Amanda is Anticipating

Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (Full Series Review)

Amanda’s 2021 Preorder Book Haul

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers (Book Review)

Amanda’s Favorite Audiobook Narrators

Amanda’s Springtime Book Recommendations

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle (Book Review)

Other Bloggers I’m Loving

SEO Basics from Kal @ Reader Voracious
Kal is such a light in this community. She’s always giving us the best content, so follow her if you don’t already.

The Definitive Book Blogger List from A Book. A Thought.
Just imagine how much time this took to put together? Some bloggers really are out there doing the most for us.

Cover Reveal: For All Time by Shanna Miles from CW @ The Quiet Pond
CW & the rest of the crew at The Quiet Pond are always blessing us with amazing cover reveals, reviews, and reading challenges.

Most Anticipated Releases of Q2 2021 from Kate @ Your Tita Kate
If you’re looking for diverse books that are coming out in 2021, look to Kate to guide you.

Saturday Spotlight #10 (showcasing small press and self published books) from Vee @ vee_bookish
Vee does a great job highlighting some books that don’t get the attention they probably deserve.

April TBR – #ARCApril from Skye @ Books in the Skye
Skye is one of my favorite bloggers and I highly recommend you follow her. Check out how she planned to tackle her ARC’s this April.

Spring 2021 TBR from Jess @ Jessica C Writes
I love how Jess doesn’t always stick to strictly bookish content. She shares her life and experiences with college and other tips and tricks. Come see what her spring reading plans are!

That’s it for today. I hope I shared some new bloggers with you all today.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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?

Rereading Books I Loved as a Teenager – TBR

Hello, lovelies! This post idea was originally going to be me rereading books I loved in high school, but looking back through the books I read then, I realized it was mostly Twilight, City of Bones, and adult books. So, instead these will be books that I read when I was a teenager, as the title says. But there are some books that I can’t bring myself to reread (which I’ll have a list of, some with the reasons why I won’t reread). Today, I’m just going to share the books I plan to reread. I also have reread some books over the last year or so that I loved when I was a teenager that I don’t feel the need to reread again. So, I’ll be sharing those today to give some thoughts on them. This will be a TBR of sorts (I say of sorts because as I’m scheduling this post I’ve already reread some of them) but they’ll be in my wrap up post with more details. I’m just going to be naming the first book (many of these are series) but if I like it when I reread I’ll probably continue the series and give my thoughts on the whole series. Let’s get into it!

Books I Want to Reread

The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Evernight by Claudia Gray
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Books I Won’t Be Rereading

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I have actually tried to reread this a few times over the years. I first read it in 2007 and obsessively read and reread the series until Breaking Dawn was released. But every time I’ve tried to pick it up to reread, I haven’t made it more than a few pages before I give up and end up reading something else. Also, after getting into the book Twitter community, I’ve learned more about some more of the problematic elements of the book.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
I tried to reread this one a few years ago and just couldn’t do it. I think because I’ve watched the movies so many times and read the books so many times when I was a teenager, I know everything that happens pretty well and just couldn’t stay interested.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I’ve heard some pretty gross things about this author that have to do with sexual harassment. I don’t really want to support anything like that and feel no need to reread this one.

Matched by Ally Condie
I actually did try to reread this one sometime last year and DNF’d it because I couldn’t get through it and didn’t really care about anything that was happening.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
This is another that I tried to reread last year, and it just wasn’t good. So, I DNF’d it.

House of Night series by P.C. Cast
I have read some of their newer work and have no interest in revisiting this series.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I’ve reread this series (and all of the rest of the shadow hunter books) so many times that I don’t need to reread it again. Instead, I’ll just share my preferences for the series, starting with my favorite and ending with my least favorite. You can find my reviews for pretty much every book in the series on our Master Review List page under Cassandra Clare.
1. The Dark Artifices
2. The Last Hours
3. The Eldest Curses
4. The Mortal Instruments
5. The Infernal Devices

Books I’ve Already Reread

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I feel so much nostalgia for this series. I found the full series for pretty cheap at my local used bookstore. Westerfeld has started a new series set in the same world but with different characters so I wanted to reread the original before I started the new series. I think there are definitely problems with this series that I didn’t notice when I devoured this series again and again as a teen. But I think the plot and adventure holds up pretty well. My review is linked here.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
This series is still absolute perfection. I reread them via the audiobooks and couldn’t get enough. I listened to this series so quickly. I think the vampire lore and the characters are still so well done. This is really a series that has held up through the passing years. I think this series can easily find new readers that will enjoy it just as much as I did when I first read it as a teenager. I think the same goes for the spin off series, Bloodlines. The characters and story are easy to love and might even be better than the original series. You can find my review for the first book in the Vampire Academy here and my review for Bloodlines here.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
I reread Beautiful Creatures via audiobook and while I did make it through the whole book, I didn’t end up continuing my reread for the rest of the series. I wouldn’t say that it’s totally bad. It was still an interesting and entertaining story, but I wasn’t invested like I was when I read it as a teenager. I think this series is another that could find new readers that will love it, but I think I’m no longer the audience for this series.

Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith
This was….not good. I listened to the audiobook to reread. I made it through the first book (probably because it’s super short) but got halfway through the second book and just didn’t care to focus on the story. I think there are some things that the t.v. show did better and some things that the book did better, but I don’t know that I would actually be able to recommend this one to others.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
I reread this full series, plus the Call of the Forgotten series, in anticipation for Kagawa’s newest release, The Iron Raven, which is set in the same world but follows Puck. We finally are getting Puck’s story. I have a full series review for both The Iron Fey and the Call of the Forgotten series here and here. I think these series are the ultimate Fey series and absolutely top the super hyped one that I won’t name. Meghan can be a little annoying, but her growth is so so good. The creatures and Fey that we meet in the series are so fascinating. I stand by this series excellence and cannot recommend Kagawa’s work enough.

Alright. That’s what I have for you today, folks! Some books that I will be rereading in the next few weeks/months (however long it takes me). Some books that I will probably never read again. And some books that I reread before I had the idea for this post with some brief thoughts on them.

What books did you love as a teenager that you think you would still love if you read them again now? If you are a teen, what books do you love that you think you will love once you’re no longer a teen? And the other side of that, what books did you love (or do love, if you’re a teen) that you don’t think you’ll love upon rereading?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s March Wrap Up

Hey, lovelies! Another month of 2021 has passed and that means it’s time to once again share the books I read in that month. So, I spent the first two weeks of March moving. Which for me, meant packing a bunch of boxes and then unpacking those same boxes. This allowed me to do a lot of audiobook listening. I listened to some great audiobooks and took some time to slowly reread some old favorites physically. I’m pretty pleased with what and how much I read this month.

Physical Books
The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

eBooks
Namesake by Adrienne Young
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody
Hello Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson

Audiobooks
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Fire by Kristin Cashore
We Could be Heroes by Mike Chen
The Fiery Heart by Diana Gabaldon
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney

That’s today’s list for you all. I know March still has a few days, but I have the time to write this now and I already have something scheduled for Wednesday. What books did you read in March? Did you find any new favorites?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.