The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

GoodReads Summary:
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.
The Starless SeaReview:
I feel like I start all of my reviews for books that I really love the same way. And I’m going to do it again. I don’t know what to say about The Starless Sea. It was such an incredible story and I just don’t know how to convert my love and emotions into words. So, if you take one thing from this review, it’s that I loved this book and every single thing about it. It might have just become my new favorite book, definitely a favorite, but maybe even the number one favorite.
The Starless Sea follows Zachary Ezra Rawlins when he finds a door as a boy. He’s fascinated by the door, but for some reason, he doesn’t open it. When he realizes his mistake the next day and goes back to try to open the door, it’s no longer there. The story goes forward many years, and Zachary finds a mysterious book in the library. Little does he know; this is his key to finding another door (sort of). This book tells stories of the Starless Sea (an underground world that few find their way to. It’s home to stories, with many different moving parts which we get to learn all about.) After he’s read the book several times, he starts to do some research to try and figure out if he can find out more about what the book really is. It leads him down a rabbit hole of secret societies and many, many questions. I had so many questions throughout the story, and that’s something that usually drives me crazy because not many authors can slowly give the answers I want quick enough for me, but Morgenstern did it wonderfully. Just as I was getting frustrated with being so confused, I’d get a few pieces to the puzzle. This book was a story for all of the people out there that wished to escape into a world of stories. I dreamed of finding a place like the Starless Sea so many times when I was younger. I mostly liked Zachary. I liked that though he was so interested in finding the hidden world he missed out on when he first found the door, he was still skeptical. He asked questions and only sometimes let himself get pushed into stuff he wasn’t sure about. I loved all of the characters that Zachary met along the way. Dorian and Max were so different, but both made the story better.
I have to talk about the writing. It was nothing short of stunning on every single page. While we’re following Zachary, we also get other stories in between chapters. We learn about a pirate who is in love with a girl. We learn about Simon and Elenore who fall in love out of time. We get several fairytale-like stories that were beautiful and thought-provoking. But the best part was that every single one of these stories was relevant and added so much to the overall plotline. I loved how we didn’t know this, but while reading and putting the pieces together and thinks started clicking, that ‘aha!’ moment was fabulous. I loved how connected this story was. It was a beautiful way to learn the history of the characters (in a roundabout way).
Overall, I loved literally every single thing about The Starless Sea. It was pure perfection. I think I said it already, but this book may have bumped all other books out of their places for favorites. I loved all of the characters. I loved the in-between stories and how they were related to the rest of the story. The way the author managed to weave all of the stories and characters together I am blown away by the beauty of this story. It very quickly found its way into my heart and it will not be leaving any time soon. Please read this beautiful, stunning masterpiece so you can love it as much as I do.

Quotes:

“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.”

“But the world is strange and endings are not truly endings no matter how the stars might wish it so.”

“Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are. It’s nice to finally have someone read stories I know so intimately.”

“Be brave,’ she says. ‘Be bold. Be loud. Never change for anyone but yourself. Any soul worth their star-stuff will take the whole package as is and however it grows. Don’t waste your time on anyone who doesn’t believe you when you tell them how you feel.”

“For a while I was looking for a person but I didn’t find them and after that I was looking for myself. Now that I’ve found me I’m back to exploring, which is what I was doing in the first place before I was doing anything else and I think I was supposed to be exploring all along.”

“Once, very long ago, Time fell in love with Fate. This, as you might imagine, proved problematic. Their romance disrupted the flow of time. It tangled the strings of fortune into knots. The stars watched from the heavens nervously, worrying what might occur. What might happen to the days and nights were time to suffer a broken heart? What catastrophes might result if the same fate awaited Fate itself?”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Day Nineteen: Unread 2019 Releases

fullsizeoutput_258e

Hellllllo, lovelies! Last week, I did a Blogmas post about the incredible amount of 2019 releases that I did manage to read this year. Previous years, I’ve had more unread than read, so I thought I could talk about the new releases that I bought and still haven’t managed to pick up and read yet. But, I do plan to make them a priority in early 2020. These are only the books that were published in 2019 that I already own, either physically or on eBook. I’m still really excited about all of these books (becasue I recently did an unhaul and these are all books that managed to keep their place on my shelf).

White Stag by Kara Barbieri

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Stain by A.G. Howard

The Matchmakers List by Sonya Lalli

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

The Test by Sylvainn Neuvel

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Lovely War by Julie Berry

Shout by Laurie Halse Andersonn

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody

Voices by David Elliott

The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie

How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox

The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

To be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers

These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

The End and Other Beginnings by Veronica Roth

Poemsia by Lang Leav

The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

Supernova by Marissa Meyer

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand

I’m pretty happy with the fact that this my list on unread 2019 releases. That’s not to say I don’t have other backlist books that I haven’t read yet (because I certainly do). But I managed to read more than half of the new releases I bought thhis year and I’m very pleased with that. What 2019 release did you buy this year but haven’t managed to read yet? Comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Twitter
GoodReads

Blogmas Day Thirteen: Read 2019 Releases

fullsizeoutput_258e

For today’s blogmas post I thought it would be interesting to talk about all of the 2019 new releases that I managed to read this year. It’s always a struggle to stay on top of those new books that come out each year so going over which ones we did read seems like a good way to highlight the accomplishment that is reading those new releases, especially since I read way more new releases this year than in previous years.

A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Shienmel
Robbergirl by S.T. Gibson
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
The Dysasters by P.C. & Kristen Cast
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib
King of Fools by Amanda Foody
Again but Better by Christine Riccio
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta
The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco
Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi
Vortex Visions by Elise Kova
Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savannah Ganucheau
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Girls of July by Alex Flinn
Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare & Welsey Chu
All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton
The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Under Currents by Nora Roberts
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
Call it What you Want by Brigid Kemmerer
100 Days of Sunlight by Abby Emmons
Chosen Champion by Elise Kova
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Let’s Call it a Doomsday by Katie Henry
Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
The Liars of Mariposa Island by Jennifer Mathieu
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund
A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
Rage by Cora Carmack
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
American Royals by Katharine McGee
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Finale by Stephanie Garber
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
Jackpot by Nic Stone
Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich

 

These are all of the 2019 releases I’ve managed to read this year! I honestly didn’t think I’d read this many, so I’m rather impressed with myself. What 2019 releases did you read this year? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Twitter
GoodReads

Amanda’s GoodReads Choice Awards Challenge – Update

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been making pretty good progress on reading the books nominated for the  GoodReads  Choice Awards. I’ve had to play catch up for a few series, but I still think I’ve been getting to a few books that I definitely should have read by now. I’m just going to talk about the categories that I’ve read books from. I will create a new post when the final nominees are released with which books I’ve already read from the categories and which I hope to get to before voting ends.

Fantasy

Year One by Nora Roberts
I have finished Year One and will be starting Of Blood and Bone later today.

The City of Brass & The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
I loved both of these, but will have to see the final nominees to see which book will get my vote.

Romance

The Kiss Quotient The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

I really enjoyed all three of these books, plus the ones nominated that I read earlier in the year. I’m excited to see which books make it to the final round.

Science Fiction

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

I loved this book. It was different from most of what I read but just absolutely beautiful. It will be hard to top this one, but there are a few from this category for me to read still.

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Toll by Neal Shusterman
I absolutely loved this. It got my vote for the semi-final round, but there’s still a few more books for me to read before the final vote.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
I plan to pick up Archenemies in the next few days so I can get to the finale of the series.

Caraval, Legendary & Finale by Stephanie Garber
While I enjoyed this series and I’m glad I finally read it, I don’t know that it can beat the others in this category.

Middle Grade & Children’s

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

I loved this but it’s up against some other books I really loved. Also, I still have a few to read from this category.

Have you read any of the books nominated for the GoodReads Choice Awards? Are you going to read any before the final round of voting ends? Let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Twitter
GoodReads

Blogmas Day Six – Anticipated New Releases

Happy Blogmas day six! Today we’re here to talk about our most anticipated releases for the upcoming year. There are tons of good sequels that are coming out in 2019.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco

Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

How to Make Friends With the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Under Currents by Nora Roberts

The Rise of Magicks by Nora Roberts

Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas

Let us know what new releases you’re looking forward to next year! We’re always looking for new books to add to our lists.