Blogtober Book Review: The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and among the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe…and kill those judged corrupt.
But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, the Gatherer Ehiru must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering innocent dreamers in the goddess’s name, and Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.
The Killing Moon (Dreamblood, #1)Review:
The Killing Moon is a book that honestly might be a little over my head. I’ve finished it, but I still feel a little bit confused. From what I understand this is a world inspired by ancient Egypt. There are people that are trained to be Gatherers and they essentially kill people that are corrupt, or also those that are old or sick (this confused me because there’s also Sharers that heal, so I didn’t get why Gatherers killed the sick too). But Gatherers are only a part of society in Gujaareh (Don’t ask me how to pronounce that). There is a neighboring kingdom (I don’t think that’s the right word, but I’m going with it) that does not believe the way that those of Gujaareh do. When an ambassador from this neighboring kingdom is selected to be gathered, Ehiru (the Gatherer) listens to what she has to say and starts thinking that there are secrets he isn’t privy to. He does not gather her. Instead, he travels with her to her kingdom to find the truth to the things she’s told him.
I’m going to be honest; I was extremely confused for the first 100 or so pages. But once the story got going, I couldn’t put it down. The world was vivid and beautiful. It was full of complex and interesting beliefs. I liked the characters but couldn’t get as invested in them as I would have liked. I enjoyed them all, but I just didn’t care as much as I did with Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. I liked that this story was so dark. It wasn’t outright gory or anything, but there were so many dark themes and concepts that really interested me. It really brings a great conversation to the topic of morality and specific people having the power to kill others under the concept of religion.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’m very eager to see what happens in the next book. It’s not my favorite book by Jemisin that I’ve read, but it was an incredible story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Seventeen: Audiobook Recommendations

Hey, lovelies! I was running out of ideas for Blogtober posts and then an idea hit me: audiobooks that are perfect for the spooky season. I am a huge fan of audiobooks and I’ve listened to some really great ones recently. So, let’s get right into it and talk about some books that are creepy and I would absolutely recommend they be listened to this October.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power: This is a book about a girl who runs away from her mother to find her grandmother. She arrived at her grandmothers and the longer she’s there the more she realizes there are secrets that she needs to uncover. Here family has been hiding things from her and she’s determined to learn the truth. I was gifted this audiobook for my birthday and it was wonderfully creepy. I seriously couldn’t listen to it too late at night or I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. The story itself is pretty creepy and weird, but the narrator does an incredible job of adding to the suspense and emotion of the story.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust: An incredible fantasy story that’s based on Persian mythology and various fairytales. The story follows a princess that is poisonous to the touch. She is determined to find a cure which leads her to working with a Div that’s been captured. There’s romance and mystery and horrifyingly wonderful monsters. The narrator for this book did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed the narration. Between the accents and the emotion the narrator gave the characters, this book is a great one for October. It’s a story full of monsters, but also one of love and self discovery.

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin: If you like retellings that are set in modern times, you’ll probably like this one. We follow Cleveland as she moves to a new town, the town where her best friend lives. Her best friend, Henry, has dated a lot of girls. The weird part? Two of them are dead now. This story was great. The mystery of what really happened to these girls was excellent. The characters are very lovable even while you’re suspecting them of murder. I really enjoyed the audiobook of this story.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: I have to say the narrator for this series (Kate Rudd) is one of my all time favorites. So, please go read this series on audio. This is a boarding school mystery. It’s not your typical boarding school. Years ago the founders wife and daughter were kidnapped and are now presumed dead. Our main character, Stevie, now attends the school and is obsessed with solving the murders and to find out what really happened. This is the perfect series for the spooky season.

Sadie by Courtney Summers: I don’t even want to explain what this book is about because it’s been so hyped up on the bookish internet places. This audiobook is incredible. We follow Sadie as she goes out to investigate what happened after her younger sister is found dead. We also follow Sadie in a podcast. We get alternating perspectives from Sadie and also from the Podcast. The audioboook is incredible because it’s actually narrated like a podcast. I cannot recommend this enough.

These are five audiobooks I think would be perfect choices to listen to in October. They’re all creepy and mysterious. They’re all filled characters that are fascinating. Secrets and mysteries are what these stories are about and their narrators really bring life to them. What audiobooks are you planning to listen to for the spooky season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J. Hackwith

GoodReads Summary:
The Library of the Unwritten in Hell was saved from total devastation, but hundreds of potential books were destroyed. Former librarian Claire and Brevity the muse feel the loss of those stories, and are trying to adjust to their new roles within the Arcane Wing and Library, respectively. But when the remains of those books begin to leak a strange ink, Claire realizes that the Library has kept secrets from Hell–and from its own librarians.
Claire and Brevity are immediately at odds in their approach to the ink, and the potential power that it represents has not gone unnoticed. When a representative from the Muses Corps arrives at the Library to advise Brevity, the angel Rami and the erstwhile Hero hunt for answers in other realms. The true nature of the ink could fundamentally alter the afterlife for good or ill, but it entirely depends on who is left to hold the pen.
The Archive of the Forgotten (Hell's Library, #2)Review:
The Archive of the Forgotten is the second book in the Hell’s Library series. I don’t know for sure if there will be a third as I haven’t looked into it at all, but the ending of this book suggests there will be more. I had to pick this one up as soon as I got it in the mail because I absolutely loved the first book. I’m happy to say that I loved this book just as much. There is one thing I didn’t like about this book, but I’ll get into that.
Our story follows my favorite people, Claire, Hero, Ramiel, and Brevity. Sadly, we don’t get any Leto, which wasn’t a huge surprise but still was a little disappointing. Instead of Leto, we got a new character, Probity. Probity is a muse and Brevity’s sister. She visits the library and I didn’t like her from the moment we met her. This is all I’m going to say about her because the details would spoil things and I don’t want to do that.
So, the story starts off when Claire finds a damsel in front of what I pictured as a pool of ink. They can’t figure out where this ink came from. I wish the team had just worked together the whole book instead of letting things come between them. I think the story did a great job with the action. There were some really exciting and suspenseful moments, but there was also a good balance of character development and growth through some dialogue and sweet moments.
I think my favorite part of this book was that we got to see the other sorts of libraries that were mentioned in the first book. Some of the characters travel to Elysium and that was a fascinating library. We also get to see a different sort of library, one that made me a bit sad. I think this world (underworld) was absolutely fascinating. I really enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t just Heaven and Hell, there were all sorts of afterworlds and I really thought it was interesting.
Overall, I flew through this story and I’m still eager for more. I loved the characters. They grew even more in this book, and there were some romantic developments that made me completely fangirl. I’m obsessed with the world and the different libraries. Plus, the covers for this book and the first are both absolutely stunning.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Sixteen: Graphic Novel Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! Today I want to recommend some graphic novels. Some of these recommendations are repeats from last year, but I’ve been slacking on my graphic novel reading, so I don’t have many new ones to recommend. I’m just going to go for it becasue I still stand by the fact that I want others to read them.

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth: Witchy, diverse, and mysterious. Screams spooky season to me.

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson: Gods being reincarnated, but only for two years. Diverse cast of characters and stunning (but gory) artwork.

Moonstruck Vol 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis: Diverse as hell. Werewolves, centaurs, seers, witches, vampires? Yes, please!

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo: Raven’s powers are more on the magical spectrum and this is a pretty spooky mystery.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu: I adored this one. Witches and werewolves, mystery, and a female/female romance? I’m here for it.

These are the graphic novels that I’ve read and would recommend for spooky season graphic novel reading. What books would you put on you list? Leave me some of your own recommendations in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling

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GoodReads Summary:
Hannah Walsh just wants a normal life. It’s her senior year, so she should be focusing on classes, hanging out with her best friend, and flirting with her new girlfriend, Morgan. But it turns out surviving a murderous Witch Hunter doesn’t exactly qualify as a summer vacation, and now the rest of the Hunters seem more intent on destroying her magic than ever.
When Hannah learns the Hunters have gone nationwide, armed with a serum capable of taking out entire covens at once, she’s desperate to help. Now, with witches across the country losing the most important thing they have—their power—Hannah could be their best shot at finally defeating the Hunters. After all, she’s one of the only witches to escape a Hunter with her magic intact.
Or so everyone believes. Because as good as she is at faking it, doing even the smallest bit of magic leaves her in agony. The only person who can bring her comfort, who can make her power flourish, is Morgan. But Morgan’s magic is on the line, too, and if Hannah can’t figure out how to save her—and the rest of the Witches—she’ll lose everything she’s ever known. And as the Hunters get dangerously close to their final target, will all the Witches in Salem be enough to stop an enemy determined to destroy magic for good?
This Coven Won't Break (These Witches Don't Burn, #2)Review:
My job opened back up when I found that my library had this audiobook. So, basically, I listened to it while I was working (which I’m not supposed to do) and listened to it in almost one shift.
I really enjoyed this book. Probably my favorite part about this book was all of the kissing. Morgan and Hannah’s relationship was the best. They were sweet and new, but also made progress to become a more serious relationship. I liked that their relationship also helped others see how the other witches can use their magic together.
Hannah was very brave. She feels a little responsible for what’s going on and she wants to be a part of the team of agents that are working to take the Hunters down. I really liked how Hannah’s grief over her father was present in the story. She lost her father which is part of her motivation to help, but she also let herself feel that grief. I liked that she ended up being a key part of taking down the Hunters. It was nice to see the adults listening to her ideas.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the first one better, but this one was still good. There was a diverse cast with different sexualities and a trans character. I loved the diversity. I loved, even more, the way the story concluded with the three different types of witches learning that they can use their magic together.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Fifteen: Bookish Halloween Costumes

Hey, lovelies! Since having a child, I spend a lot more time thinking about Halloween costumes than ever before. So, I thought this would be a fun post. I certainly had fun picking out books and thinking about how to make the costumes relatively easy, but still identifiable as the characters or bookish whatever.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld: For this one I would mostly just get some cool ass face tattoos. Obviously, I couldn’t make them spin and stuff but I think it would be super fun.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green: I would totally love to dress up as a Carl. I would probably go low budget and make something out of cardboard, but I would have a really fun time doing it.

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir: This one is easy. Twenty-four teens get chosen to train as astronauts. The final six will be sent on a mission to terraform one of Jupiter’s moons. I freaking love this book and I also wanted to (briefly) be an astronaut when I was a kid, so this one would be fun.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca: Antonia used to get all kinds of dressed up every year for our local Renaissance Faire and I was always so jealous becasue she looked so amazing. I’d love to dress up as any of the characters we get to meet at this RenFaire.

My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows: This one’s easy too. I have two options: Calamity Jane, or Annie Oakley. Both would be fun. A revolver toting western girl in a dress, or a woman dressed like a cowboy with a whip as her accessory.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman: Another easy one. Just some robes and I could decorate them at home depending on which Scythe I decided on. I don’t think anyone would get it though.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: There are so many options for this one, but I think I would most enjoy copying Mirabel’s Max costume. The first time Zachary Ezra Rawlins meets Mirabel, she’s dressed as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. I really loved her costume and it’s an easy enough one to replicate.

These are my ideas for bookish Halloween costumes. I tried to pick easier ones that wouldn’t be super expensive to create. It was really fun for me to think about how I would go about making these. My only complaint is that most people probably wouldn’t recognize the costumes, but I would have fun making and wearing any of these ideas. What bookish characters would you want to dress up as for Halloween?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

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GoodReads Summary:
The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on the infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.
Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.
Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone….
The Loneliest Girl in the UniverseReview:
I buddy read this book with one of my favorites, Alana @ The Bookish Chick. I think we both felt similarly. This book was a wild ride.
We’re following Romy as she’s traveling alone through space. She was born in outer space to two astronauts that were on a mission to go to a planet thought to be able to support human life. But some mysterious something happened and Romy ended up alone. I think the suspense was done really well. For the first half of the book, I was really interested to find out what had happened to Romy’s parents and the rest of the astronauts on the mission. Sadly, the further into the book I read the less I liked it. I thought the mystery of Romy’s parents and the other astronauts was great, I also liked the representation of anxiety that we get from Romy. But I just really didn’t like the last third of the book.
So, for this last third of the story, we are anticipating another ship joining with Romy’s. Earth has sent another space ship to help her so that she isn’t alone when arriving on the planet she’s headed for. J is the astronaut from the other ship. J and Romy exchange messages while they’re waiting to meet. I liked this at first, but then it sort of felt icky. Romy is only sixteen and she’s falling in love with a 20-something-year-old. It just got worse when they finally met. I won’t go into too much detail because of spoilers, but I didn’t like it.
Overall, I wanted to like this book more than I did. I think Romy was a great representation of anxiety, but that and the mystery of how Romy ended up alone were the only things I liked about the story and they weren’t the main focus of the book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Fourteen: WWW Wednesday

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Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next, and have read recently.

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin and listening to Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega.

Antonia- I just started Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I most recently finished The Castle School by Alyssa B. Sheinmel.

Antonia- I just finished A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- I’m still mood reading so I don’t know what I’ll pick up next.

Antonia- Next I think I’ll read House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas.

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

Blogtober Book Review: The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

GoodReads Summary:
A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.
Pray they are hungry.
Kara finds these words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring the peculiar bunker—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more you fear them, the stronger they become.
With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.
The Hollow PlacesReview:
Thank you NetGalley and publishers for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I adored this book and every single minute I spend reading it was a ride.
The Hollow Places follows Kara (or Carrot) after she moves into the spare room of her Uncle Earl’s Wonder Museum. She’s gotten divorced from her husband and doesn’t want to move in with her mother. When her Uncle offers his spare room, she accepts. The Wonder Museum is a place full of bizarre things like taxidermized animals (read: otters, bears, mice), knick-knacks from around the world (some authentic and some with ‘made in china’ stickers), and of course, Wonder Museum memorabilia. But Kara grew up in this museum, so she’s not afraid or creeped out by any of these oddities. But one day, Kara finds a hole in the wall so she enlists the barista from the coffee shop next door, Simon, to help her fix it. This is when they discover that there’s something weird about what’s on the other side of this hole. They find themselves in a world that is not our own. Simon and Kara can’t help but explore, but they find more than they wanted to.
This story was delightfully creepy and suspenseful. Certain parts of the story had me gripping my Kindle so hard and my whole body tense. The writing was nothing short of incredible. I felt transported into this story. Kingfisher made this world come to life. It was so atmospheric. I was scared while Simon and Kara were in this other world, holding my breath when they did, but I just couldn’t get enough. I really loved that there was a ‘why’ to all of this. There was a reason this had happened and while it wasn’t wholly explained, there was enough to satisfy me.
Kara and Simon were characters I really enjoyed. At first, Kara is upset about her divorce. She’s disappointed that her life isn’t what she wants it to be, but once she finds another world, a horrifying one, it really puts things in perspective for her. I loved that the creatures of the museum love and protect Kara (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get to this part of the story). Simon is gay. He’s the barista at the coffee shop his sister owns. He’s full of wild stories that you almost don’t believe. I loved that Kara and Simon went from acquaintances to friends. They bonded through their shared experiences of the horrors of the willow world and I really enjoyed their friendship.
Overall, I loved this book. It was perfect for the spooky season. The atmospheric setting with the horror of the things Kara and Simon encounter made for a spectacularly spooky reading experience. I loved everything about this story and I will definitely be picking up more books by Kingfisher.

Quotes:

“Do objects that are loved know that they are loved?”

“I did not look at the words on the wall. If I didn’t look at them, they didn’t matter. Words are meaningless until you read them.”

“The Wonder Museum, for all its strangeness, was never haunted. If there were ghosts, they were benevolent ones. But perhaps skin and bones have a little memory to them, even after the soul is gone to greater things. And the bones in this museum had spent decade after decade marinating in my uncle’s fierce, befuddled kindness.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Thirteen (Part Two): Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Super Long Titles

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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 is a list of books with super long titles.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Glasdtone & Amal El-Mohtar

Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

The Secret of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

What’s the longest book title you’ve ever read?

Blogtober Book Review: The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

GoodReads Summary:
Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing– a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.
But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth.
The Library of the Unwritten (Hell's Library #1)Review:
I picked up The Library of the Unwritten because a few people I follow on social media were saying such good things about it. I am so glad that I trusted them and pick this one up because it just might be a new favorite fantasy series. There’s just something that I love about books that are about books.
Claire is the Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing. This is a library that’s located in Hell filled with all of the unfinished books that exist. Her job is to make sure these books don’t manifest. So, of course, the story opens with a book character manifesting from their story and Claire has to hunt them down with her Librarian Apprentice, Brevity, and Leto, the demon who was sent to inform Claire that a manifestation had escaped to Earth. The three travel to Earth to bring this manifestation, eventually named Hero, but what is supposed to be an easy enough job turns into a quest for something much more important. I really liked Claire. She’s not perfect, kind of cold, but soft underneath. I’m really excited to learn more about her in the second book. I would have liked to have more of my questions answered. Claire has many books of her own in the Unwritten Library, and there is some history there. She has secrets and I’m interested to see how or if those secrets come to light in the next book. I completely adored Brevity. She’s a former muse and I loved everything about her. Leto was an interesting character because there was so much to his story and I’m wondering whether or not we will see him in the next book or not. Hero was also interesting because we’re led to make assumptions about his character because of how Claire classifies him, but as we learn more about him, we learn that our assumptions aren’t quite right.
Their mission changes when they run into Ramiel, an angel on a mission to find The Devil’s Bible. He’s been working what’s essentially the front desk at the gates of Heaven hoping to work his way back into the Creator’s good graces so he can go back home. But the Creator is nowhere to be found and Uriel is the one in charge. Ramiel was a complex character because at first, he jumps at the chance to complete this mission and be welcomed home. But when he realizes that Uriel might not be telling him the whole truth with his mission, he isn’t sure that being welcomed back into Heaven is actually what he wants anymore. I really liked the complexity of Ramiel’s story. His character and the choices he made were fascinating.
Overall, I loved this story. I love books that are about books. The concept of the Unwritten Library was such a great one (but made me sad because I’m a writer with lots of unfinished books). I also am very interested by the Arcane wing of the library. I am very excited to read the next book.

Quotes:

“How much easier it would be if everyone knew their role: the hero, the sidekick, the villain. Our books would be neater and our souls less frayed. But whether you have blood or ink, no one’s story is that simple.”

“The trouble with reading is it goes to your head. Read too many books and you get savvy. You begin to think you know which kind of story you’re in. Then some stupid git with a cosmic quill fucks you over.”

“We think stories are contained things, but they’re not. Ask the muses. Humans, stories, tragedies, and wishes—everything leaves ripples in the world. Nothing we do is not felt; that’s a comfort. Nothing we do is not felt; that’s a curse.

“Stories are, at the most basic level, how we make sense of the world. It doesn’t do to forget that sometimes heroes fail you when you need them the most. Sometimes you throw your lot in with villains.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Thirteen (Part One): Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Super Long Book Titles

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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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is super long book titles.

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Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moria Fowley-Doyle

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

The Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twelve: On My Watchlist

Hello, lovelies! Today I want to talk about some book to movie (or tv!) adaptations. I have some that I’ve already watched that I think are great for the spooky season and some that I want to watch as a more general watchlist for the fall. There are also some where I’ve read the book and some where I haven’t. I will specify forr each what I’ve read or watched and haven’t. I’m going to start with some spooky/creepy choices that are perfect for this time of year.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer: I read the book and didn’t love. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love the movie either. But they were both weird and sort of freaky. I think both the movie and the book are read to read or watch for spooky season.

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry: I haven’t read the book. I didn’t even know it was a book until I was searching for adaptations for this post. But I did watch the Netflix movie and really enjoyed it. It was creepy and wonderful. Something I highly recommend you watch during spooky season.

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell: This is another one that I haven’t read the book for. I also probably won’t ever read it. But I liked the movie because I’m a sucker for anything with Blake Lively in it.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: I actually DNF’d this book. My book club read it together and I just couldn’t get through it. There’s something about books with footnotes that I can’t handle. But I was waiting to watch the show until I could read the book. So, this might be a show that I start soon. I love weird fantasy shows like this in the fall and winter time.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: For this one I’ve actually managed to read the book and watch the show. I mostly liked the book. It wasn’t anything crazy, but I had a good time reading it. But I totally loved the show. It’s full of drama and suspense and actresses I love.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I read the first two books in this series and just couldn’t continue. They were dramatic and totally over the top. So, I think I’ll much prefer the movie because that’s totally the type of movie I love.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: I haven’t read the book for this one. But I really want to. I’ve been on hold forever for the audiobook and even managed to start it a few times. But I haven’t finished it. I’m hoping to do that soon so that I can watch the show. Mostly becasue I love Reese Witherspoon.

Outlander by Diana Gabldon: I read the first few books in this series years and years ago. I want to reread them so that I can watch the show. Though, I’ve heard mixed things about both of them.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I love this series. I always will. There hasn’t been an announced release date for the Netflix show that’s been filmed. But rumors are for late 2020, and I’m really hoping they’re right.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: I haven’t read this series, but I really would like to. I’d also like to watch the show. I’ve heard such good things about both of them. I think this is the perfect time of year to start them.

These are some shows and movies that were originally books. Some I’ve read and some I haven’t (but want to!) and same for their adaptations. I’ve seen some and want to watch others. What book to move adaptations do you think are perfect to watch during spooky season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: A Million Junes by Emily Henry

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GoodReads Summary:
For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.
Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.
As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.
A Million JunesReview:
This book really surprised me. I actually almost unhauled it two different times. But I’ve since read Emily Henry’s adult romance novel and the novel she co-wrote with Brittany Cavallaro. So, I wasn’t quite ready to give up on A Million Junes. I am so glad I held myself back from unhauling because I gave this book five stars on GoodReads.
We follow June. She goes to the local carnival with her best friend, Hannah. This is when June see’s Saul Angert for the first time in three years. He left town with little explanation and now he’s back. June’s family has one rule, and it’s to stay away from the Angert family. No surprise here that she doesn’t. June finds that she’s sort of attracted to Saul. But Hannah has had a crush on him forever and June wants to respect Hannah’s feelings. I really appreciated this aspect of the story. The fact that June was so thoughtful of her best friend’s feelings really made me love their friendship. I also loved that even when she got Hannah’s okay to act on her feelings for Saul, June didn’t just blow Hannah off. I don’t love girls that blow of their friends once they get interested in a guy.
Now, for the romance. I really liked Saul and June together. I loved the forbidden aspect of their friendship. It definitely led to some funny parts of the story where the pair were trying to keep Saul’s identity a secret. I thought the things that they experienced, the losses that they had in common, were a beautiful part of this story. I also really enjoyed the two sharing their family stories and trying to get to the truth of the two versions.
Overall, this story was beautiful and heartbreaking. It’s a story of grief and love and figuring out how to continue living after losing those close to you. I loved the magical aspects of the story. They were beautifully written and the magic was beyond fascinating. I am now a huge fan of Emily Henry and I’ve bought her other backlist titles. If you like magical realism and stories filled with emotion, this is the book for you.

Quotes:

“Letting go is not forgetting. It’s opening your eyes to the good that grew from the bad, the life that blooms from decay.”

“Grief is an unfillable hole in your body. It should be weightless, but it’s heavy. Should be cold, but it burns. Should, over time, close up, but instead it deepens.”

“When people pity you, it’s like they don’t realize that the exact same thing is coming for them. And then I feel embarrassed and uncomfortable and have to pity them, because, like, do you not realize that it’s always someone’s turn? You haven’t noticed everyone gets a few blows that seem so big you can’t survive them?”

“Maybe for some people, falling in love is an explosion, fireworks against a black sky and tremors rumbling through the earth. One blazing moment. For me, it’s been happening for months, as quietly as a seed sprouting. Love sneaked through me, spreading roots around my heart, until, in the blink of an eye, the green of it broke the dirt: hidden one moment, there the next.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

GoodReads Summary:
When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.
August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.
The Wicker King by K. AncrumReview:
The Wicker King was incredible and I’m not really sure how to explain why I feel that way. The writing was the first thing that caught my attention that I liked. It wasn’t quite a stream of consciousness but sort of reminded me of that style. I really liked the writing style. It made the story really easy to devour. This was not an easy story to read. We follow August’s perspective as his best friend, Jack, lets his hallucinations get worse and worse. At first, the story seemed like a fun not quite fantastical story where the two boys were going to quest for whatever it was Jack’s other world needed to be saved. But as things got more serious it was clear that the pair were in over their heads, even if they didn’t want to admit it. Both come from not great home lives. August’s mom has depression and he takes care of her more than she does him. Jack’s parents are basically nonexistent. Both Jack and August are basically just doing the best they can.
Despite their struggles, it was really hard not to like both of them. The relationship they share is clearly incredibly special to them both even though it isn’t always a super healthy relationship. I also really enjoyed the side characters (the twins were my favorite). All of the side characters added something important to the story and I liked them all.
Overall, this story blew me away. This review is short and that is intentional because there isn’t a whole lot I can say without spoiling things. I especially liked the color formatting that was done as the story and the character’s progress. I definitely will be reading all of Ancrum’s books in the future.

Quotes:

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

“Where we are, there is light.” The wind blew hard from the east and the trees rustled their branches. “From where I’m standing… it is warm enough.”

“You deserve to heal and grow, too. You deserve to have someone to talk to about your problem; you deserve unconditional support; you deserve care and safety and all the things you need to thrive. Just because you may not have them doesn’t mean you don’t deserve them.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.