Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Summary:
Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range–five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.
As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.

Book Cover

Review:
Small Favors is a new release that I was extremely excited about. I got it as a gift for my birthday (Thanks, Antonia!) and I read it during my birthday weekend. This would have been an excellent book to read for spooky season (much like her debut novel, House of Salt and Sorrows). Small Favors follows Ellerie, who lives in a small town. She’s grown-up hearing myths and folklore about the monsters that used to live in the forest around the town. But most within the town never really believed them. When a supply party goes missing, those that believe in the old stories worry that the monsters have returned. The book follows Ellerie for a year, through all four seasons, so, as the seasons pass, strange things continue to happen. Are there really monsters in the woods? Or is there something else going on?
Ellerie was a character that I immediately liked. The only thing that I didn’t like about her was her attraction to Whitaker (a name that she gave him because he wouldn’t tell her his actual name). There was something suspicious about him from the beginning, but Craig managed to tell his part of the story in a way that I felt bad for him and ultimately liked him and how things played out for him and Ellerie. Aside from not liking Whitaker, I really liked Ellerie. She’s the second born child. But her older brother, Samuel, is a bit of a shit. He isn’t following through with his responsibilities to the family and he continues to make selfish choices for most of the book. Ellerie really steps up as the head of her family when something happens to her parents. There were some parts of this story that were slow, following Ellerie just trying to keep herself and family alive. But just because they were slow, doesn’t mean that nothing was happening.  There was something unsettling about this story. All throughout the story, there was an overall creepy feeling. A sense that something more was going on in this town than we were being led to believe.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There was a spooky feel to it, a mystery that was waiting to be unraveled. It’s a story full of questions just waiting to be answered. I really loved the characters. I liked the reveals of what was really happening to this town. I think it’s a fascinating story about how there is darkness in each and every person. I definitely would recommend this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s September TBR Jar Picks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochran

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Summary:
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

Book Cover

Review:
Grace and Glory is the third and final book in the Harbinger trilogy. If you haven’t read the first two books, you probably shouldn’t read this review. I’m going to do my best not to share any big spoilers, but as it’s the series finale, it’ll be hard not to mention things from the previous books.
The way that book two ended completely destroyed me. It was unexpected and a huge cliff hanger. So, I was more than eager to get started on book three. Things certainly did not go the way I expected once the story started. I actually kind of liked that things weren’t immediately back to normal with Zayne and Trinity. It was painful, but that pain served a purpose. There were legitimate and logical reasons why things were going the way they went in this book. I liked that the plot seemed to come full circle and all of little bits, pieces, and strings connected. I think Armentrout did an amazing job pulling the plot together by the end of this book. I also love that she always leaves her series mildly open ended so that she has the possibility to revisit them in the future if she chose to do so.
So, I loved this series. But damn this third book was painful. Zayne and Trinity are not all happy and in love like I want them to be. But that’s not really the focus, which I liked. The romance is definitely a big part of the story, but the actual plot isn’t overshadowed by the romance. I loved how action packed this story was. There was fighting and demons and angels and all the good stuff I love.
Overall, this is not a super great review, but I waited too long after finishing the book to write this. So, I love this series. I love this author. I highly recommend this book even if I haven’t shared any specifics or anything. That is all, thank you and goodbye.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

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

What are you currently reading?

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

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

What did you read most recently?

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

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

What will you read next?

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

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

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

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Crushes

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 Fictional Crushes.

Han from The Demon King by Cinda Williams China

Rhea from Seven Devils by Laura May and Elizabeth Lam

Rhysand from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Maya from A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Blue from This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Adrian from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Laila from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Wulfric from Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

Nesta from A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Who are your fictional crushes?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Fictional Crushes

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 fictional crushes. I’m going to share ten characters that I would go on a date with.

Roth from White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Jane from One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Cassius from House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Dani from Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Hypnos from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Nikolai from King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Adrian from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Elle from Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Kieran from From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Alucard from A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Who did you pick this week?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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

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

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

The Novice Path Entrance: read a book with a map

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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

Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Mist of Solitude: read a standalone

The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter

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

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Obsidian Falls: read a thriller or mystery book

Holdout by Jeffery Kluger

Tower of Rumination: read a five star prediction

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Orilium Academy Arc: a book with a school setting

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

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

Background

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

The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Province

Irtheria: read a book that features fae or elven characters

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Heritage

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

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Summary:
A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers.
Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.
Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.
Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.
Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.
And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.
This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.

Book Cover

Review:
Thank you, NetGalley for this review copy. Here is my honest review for The Book of Accidents. This story follows Nathan, Maddie, and Oliver, a family. They are moving back to Nathan’s childhood home because it’s a financially smart choice to make. But things are not alright in this town they’ve moved to. There is something dark living in this town.
Now, I have to start off by saying that this book was weird. I wasn’t sure if the ‘why’ behind it all was supposed to be magical or scientific for way too long. I guess the mystery of ‘why’ was done really well because I was left guessing. This was a dark, creepy story. There were definitely some more gruesome moments than I was expecting. This is a slow and wandering story. There are definitely moments of action and twists and suspense, but this is a slow story that takes its time getting to where things need to go. I liked that at times, and I didn’t like it at other times. I think because it took me so long to read this one, I was only sometimes in the mood for a slow story.
I think the characters were all really well developed. We really get to know them, their histories and the why behind who they are. I liked that we got to know the whole family.
Overall, I think I liked this one. It was definitely a bit weirder than what I usually read, but it was a gripping and well written story. I liked all of the characters. I liked the setting of a small town with a dark history. The magic was bizarre and fascinating. I still don’t know that I totally get it. I definitely think this would be a good one for horror fans.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Boarding School Recommendations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey

Summary:
Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve their dreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.
When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.
As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flipping disaste

Book Cover

Review:
Tools of Engagement follows Bethany who wants more responsibility when it comes to the family business. She wants to do a whole house, from demolition to decorations. But her father and brother don’t take her seriously. Enter HGTV jumping in and creating a sibling house flipping competition. Bethany is working with Wes while flipping the house and things get busy at the job site.
I still think the second book in this series is my favorite, but I did really enjoy this one. I liked the family aspects that were involved with Wes and his niece. I also liked seeing Bethany make an effort to show and be more herself.
I can totally understand why this series is so popular. I really had a fun time reading all three of these books. I read them back-to-back so I really got to enjoy the friendships and the romantic relationships all together. I will definitely be recommending this series in the future.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

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

What are you currently reading?

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

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

What did you read most recently?

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

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

What will you read next?

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

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

What’s everyone currently reading?

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

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 Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time.

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Year One by Nora Roberts

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams China

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Magician by Raymond E. Feist

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

What books do you wish you could read again for the first time?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Want to Read Again For the First Time

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 I wish I could read again for the first time.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke

These are some of my favorite books. I wish I could experience reading them for the first time again. What did you pick this week?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Hit or Miss Authors

Hello, lovelies! I’ve recently shared authors I love that I will always buy their books. I’ve also shared authors who are new but think have the potential to become an ‘auto-buy author’ of mine. So, I thought I would talk about a few authors that are hit or miss for me. I think it’s interesting how I can love one book by an author and feel differently about their other stories.

Ruth Ware
I really enjoyed The Lying Game, and I thought Turn of the Key was a wild ride, but I haven’t really liked what I’ve read of Ware’s backlist. I’m not sure I’m going to make Ware’s future books a priority.

Mindy McGinnis
This really surprised me when I read more than one book by McGinnis that I didn’t like. I think I will still make an effort to read McGinnis’ books because I really loved The Initial Insult, The Female of the Species, and Heroine.

Tahereh Mafi
I love Mafi’s contemporary books and her middle grade series, but I’m not a part of the Shatter Me series fan club. I’m excited to read more of her books in the future.

Courtney Summers
Sadie was a smash hit for many people I think. I was one of those people for sure. But I haven’t really loved any of her books since that one. I didn’t really like This is Not a Test but I did enjoy The Project. I will probably read more of her books when they come out.

Katrina Leno
This author is on the list solely for Horrid. I absolutely hated the ending. I am worried that she will have a similar ending again in the future. But I did really love Summer of Salt.

So, these are five authors that are hit or miss for me. I tend to wait and read some reviews before I read their new releases. I’ll borrow them from the library instead of buying. What are some hit or miss authors for you?

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Summary:
Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be, anyway. Now, Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with 10 years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.
Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous – yet surprisingly helpful – assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

Book Cover

Review:
Love Her or Lose Her is the second book in the Hot & Hammered series. I really enjoyed Fix Her Up so I was very excited to read the sequel. We follow Rosie and Dominic who are high school sweethearts. The story starts and Rosie is finally leaving Dominic. She doesn’t feel like they have a salvageable relationship, but Dominic doesn’t want to give up and agrees to therapy (which surprises Rosie). I don’t know what it is, but I really love romance novels about already married couples and this one continued that trend. I really liked Rosie. She has goals and dreams that she’s actively working on making reality. She has things that she wants and she’s not going to wait to get them any longer. But when things between her and Dominic start to get better, Rosie’s not sure if leaving him is the right thing to do anymore.
I loved this book. I think it’s my favorite in the series. I loved seeing Rosie and Dominic find their way back to one another emotionally. I think the book was totally steamy, just like the first one. I was easily invested in the chahracters and the romance. I rooted for them and felt the ups and downs alongside them.
Overall, I loved this one. I will be reading move from Tessa Bailey as soon as I get the chance.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.