Blogmas Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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GoodReads Summary:
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless, she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.
Caraval (Caraval, #1)Review:
In an attempt to read all of the GoodReads Choice Awards Nominees, I am having to catch up on a few series that I have fallen behind on. Caraval is one of those series. I read this when it first came out in 2017. But never managed to pick up the second book when it came out. So, now the series is complete and the third and final book is a nominee, so I’m playing catch up.
I enjoyed this one. I don’t know how much of that was due to my love of the narrator and how much was actually due to the story. My all-time favorite narrator, Rebecca Soler, is really what brings life to this story. I was actually tearing up at one point because of the emotions she portrays.
Garber has created some really interesting characters in this story. Scarlett is annoying, but also, I couldn’t help but feel for her. She comes from a family that is not great. Her dad is abusive, her mother left, and her grandmother died. She’s planning to marry a stranger to escape her father. The one thing she wants most in the world is to protect her younger sister, Tella.
Tella is reckless and just wants to have fun. She doesn’t totally understand what kind of man her father is. I thought she was kind of selfish. I get choosing your own happiness, but at the expense of your sister? A sister that has done nothing but protect you her entire life? That’s selfish. I’ve heard the next book is more focused on her, so we will see if my opinion of her changes.
I really don’t even want to talk about the men. They’re all liars. They’re conniving and, dare I say, evil. I still kind of liked them though. The twist with Julian and Legend was a great one. I wanted to hate them, but…somehow couldn’t?
Overall, I enjoyed this. Though there were somethings I didn’t like, it was still a fun story. I would have liked to know a bit more about the world and the magic. The world wasn’t explained outside of Scarlett’s hometown and the island where Caraval happens. The magic was very undefined. There didn’t seem to be too many limitations and I was just left wanting to know more. I liked the characters well enough, even the ones I didn’t like really made me feel something. I had fun listening to the audiobook and I’m interested to see what’s going to happen next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s April Wrap Up

Happy May lovelies! Today we’re here with another wrap-up. For the month of  May, I managed to read seventeen books! A great month! I participated in the Magical Readathon as well as Tome Topple this month so most of these books were to fill challenges for those wicked fun readathons.

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Physical Books
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

eBooks
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
King of Fools by Amanda Foody
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Audiobooks
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

How many books did you read this month? Did you find any new favorites or reread any old ones?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s March Wrap Up

Hi, lovelies! It’s April fools day but its no joke that I managed to read twenty-four books in the month of March. I was motivated by the NoVaTeen Book Festival to read books by a handful of new authors before I got the chance to meet them. Because of that, I read a large number of eBooks from my library (and I found a few new favorites!) So, without further delay here, are all the things (good and bad) that I read in March.

Physical Books
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

EBooks
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
A Long way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
The Clouds Beyond Us by Rahf Alrashidi
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Audiobooks
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

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What did you read this month? Did we read any of the same books? Did you find any new favorite books or authors like I did?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Summary:
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school where the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with the sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ‘90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
MoxieReview:
Moxie was the chosen book for the Fierce Female Readathon in February. It was the absolute perfect book to celebrate Fierce Female Reads February. Moxie was jam packed full of feminism in all the best ways. I’ve read a fair bit of young adult fiction that is sprinkled with feminism and none of them come close to this story. It was fun and empowering and relatable in all the right ways.
Vivian Carter is a girl that many young girls should emulate. She grows so much in this book from the start. Trying to be more like her mother was growing up, she starts a movement that rollercoasters into something bigger than she’d ever imagined.
I think the friendships and other various relationships that we learn and love in this book are wonderful. They’re real and relatable. Most girls wouldn’t just automatically jump on the Moxie Girl bandwagon. Some might not want to get in trouble and some might just want to get through the days and escape the small town they live in. All of these girls are in this story. I think that’s what I like most. Even though we follow one characters perspective, we still see so many different characters that every reader of Moxie will find someone they can relate to.
The messages share within these pages were so important. Taking place in a small town in Texas where the football team seems to be the only thing anyone in town cares about, so many injustices get looked over. Moxie tells us that we shouldn’t let things like this go without action. It tells us that female revolutions are important and sometimes necessary when the adults aren’t doing their jobs to protect us. It tells us that the ladies need to stick together and stick up for our rights and fair treatment.
Overall, this story was fun and frustrating and rewarding. It was full of girl power and feminism the way it should be done. Girls banding together to fight inequality and sexism. I loved every minute of this story. I also listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a fantastic job. She made the story just that much better and I felt like I finished it in no time at all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.