Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Bonds of Brass by Emily Strutskie

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s March Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies! Why does it feel like it’s been a million years since my February wrap up? March has felt like the longest month and has been going on for literal years. I’ve read sort of an obscene amount of books this month. I’ve been on a romance binge because I can’t focus on any other genres and I don’t want to get into a slump, so I haven’t even bothered trying to read anything else. So, let’s get into all the books I read in March.

Physical Books
The Never Tilting World by Ron Chupeco
The Life Below by Alexandra Monir
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody
The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

eBooks
The Last Human by Zack Jordan
Admission by Julie Buxbaum
About a Vampire by Lynsay Sands
The Next Always by Nora Roberts
The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts
Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
What Kind of Girl by Alyssa Sheinmel
Runaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands
Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands

Audiobooks
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
Supernova by Marissa Meyer
This Train is Being Held by Isme Amiel Williams
The Awakening by L.J. Smith
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

What books did you read this month? Any romance that you would recommend (I’m running out of romance at home to read so pretty please leave a comment with your favorites)? Did you find any new favorites?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

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

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I just decided to pick up (but haven’t actually started) The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare and I’ve been seeing so many good reviews, so I’m hoping I’ll like it too.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished Sally Thorne’s books. I loved The Hating Game so much that I had to immediately pick up 99 Percent Mine. I really enjoyed both of these books, so keep an eye out for my reviews where I will more thoroughly gush about them.

Antonia- I just finished Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next, I’ll pick up something from my O.W.L.’s TBR List. Probably Crescent City, but who knows.

Antonia- I’m really not sure. I’m definitely gonna try to pick up one of my many new books from this winter though.

Thanks for reading. Let us know what your W’s are in the comments!

Amanda’s O.W.L.’s Readathon TBR List

Hey, lovelies! I’ve been trying to chill out with the readathons this year and I think I’ve done pretty well. I’ve participated (low key without posting anything) in a few but nothing too crazy. I’m feeling like I’m heading into a reading slump so I thought the OWLs would be a good way to keep me motivated. If you’re interested here’s the link to G’s announcement video which is where you can find all the details and links.

For the 2020 OWLs, I’ve decided to go with the career of “Trader or Magical Tomes” because doesn’t that just sound wicked cool? The description for this career that G has created literally starts off “Have books always been your one true love?” Like yes, sign me the hell up. I have to pass four OWLs to succeed in this readathon. I’ll explain which four and what their prompts are below, as well as what books I’ll be reading for each subject.

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Ancient Runes – Heart Rune: heart on the cover or in the title

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

Charms – Lumos Maxima: white cover

Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden

History of Magic – Witch Hunts: a book featuring witches or wizards

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Transfiguration – Animagus Lecture: book or series that includes shapeshifting

Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout

These are the books I’m (loosely) planning to read for the OWLs, but if you’ve been here before you know that I don’t usually stick to my TBR lists. We shall see how it goes this month since it is a smaller TBR. I might even try to manage some of the other prompts if I finish these ones.

What are you going to be reading in April? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Signs of a Book Lover

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic for a list of ten is signs that show I’m a book lover.

1. I have multiple bookshelves- This is kind of a sad one for me because I used to own nearly 2000 books but when I moved across the country a few years ago I had to get rid of most of my collection. I’m slowly building it back up but it’s not nearly as big as I want it to be.

2. I can use anything as a bookmark- I love decorative bookmarks but still tend to use whatever’s on hand i.e. receipts, scraps of paper, the book jacket, etc.

3. I have a never ending TBR list- We all know how this goes. You check off one book and add two.

4. I have books everywhere- There are books on every flat surface of my house.

5. I have too many favorites- I would never be able to pick just one or two.

6. I own multiple copies of my favorite books- I’m generally not one for collecting certain covers and I don’t mind if a series doesn’t match but I like having the different versions of my favorites.

7. I have reading goals- I have a yearly reading goal (that I’ve unfortunately been failing the past few years) and I keep a list of which books I’ve read so I can keep track of how many I read each month.

8. I read more than one book at a time- I’m frequently in the middle of multiple series that I switch back and forth between.

9. Books make me emotional- I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times a book has made me laugh out loud or shake with anger or sob uncontrollably.

10. I think about books long after I finish- I love those books that stay with you long after it’s ended. That you stay up at night thinking about for days or even weeks afterward.

I had so much fun with this week’s topic. What makes you a bookworm?

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

GoodReads Summary:
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
The Sound of StarsReview:
Thank you to NetGalley and the applicable publishers for providing me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I had to wait a few days to write this review because I had to talk with a friend who also read it and gather my full thoughts. I know I say this a lot but, which any book there were things I liked and things I didn’t. I think it’s pretty even on what I liked and what I didn’t.
This story follows Ellie who is a human living in a distant future where the world has been taken over by aliens. I really liked Ellie. She’s an avid reader and managed to hide her books and lend them out to others that living in her building. She lends books and follows the motions to get through the day. I believe she’s pansexual, though that word is never actually used. But she does say that gender doesn’t matter if she feels a deep connection to a person.
We also follow Morris, which is spelled with numbers in his language. He’s an alien that’s developed the “vaccine” that his superiors plan to use on the human race. He has a secret too. He loves music, though he’s not supposed to. I liked Morris because he wanted better for his people. He wasn’t in agreement with the things they were making him do and he was working toward dismantling the system.
I thought the concept of the aliens was really interesting. But there was a lot I didn’t understand about them. They seemed almost like cyborgs but I feel like it wasn’t very well explained. There were also other aliens that we met and their species (?) wasn’t explained very well either. Though I did see the identity of the other aliens coming from a mile away.
Another problem I had with this book was that it was a bit repetitive and over political. Our main character is black and lived in the Upper East Side before the alien invasion so she dealt with a lot of racism. I’m all about these sorts of topics because they’re real and relevant, but she mentioned it about a hundred times. I think it would have been okay to mention a few different events. But she thought about and talked about the same events over and over.
Overall, I had a good time reading this book. Right up until the ending. If there’s going to be another book (I’ve not seen it announced anywhere or anything) I’m more okay with the ending, but the final action scene seemed rushed and the events after were even more rushed. There wasn’t really a resolution either. I’m really hoping it has a sequel because if not, the whole goal they were working toward was never achieved. So if there will be another (which I will be asking when I see this author at the NoVaTeen Book Festival) I can accept the ending but if not then I will definitely be lowering my rating. This was a fun science fiction book, but it has a few issues.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.