Blogtober Book Review: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

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GoodReads Summary:
Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Review:
Our Dark Duet was the perfect ending to this duology. It did such a great job of answering all the questions I was left with at the end of This Savage Song. The story is dark and gritty and full of things that you don’t really want to think or talk about. It’s full of important themes, violence and crime, what it means to kill someone, and how the lines can be blurred when it comes to murder. Schwab wrote a beautiful story about a really challenging topic.
I still adore Kate. She’s a fierce woman, a force of nature. She’s left Verity to start over somewhere new. But of course, in her mission to hunt down the monsters, she’s led right back to her home. Only, her home is nothing like it was when she left. I really enjoyed her part of the story. Her struggle to keep this new monster at bay and her desire to take down the evils she had created. I really loved Kate.
Verity was not the only thing that was almost unrecognizable. August was not the same character that we met in This Savage Song. He’s lost himself, his more human side, after the things he’s had to do. I think the dynamic between Kate and August was my favorite part. They seem to bring out the best in one another. I really liked them together as a team.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this book. I enjoyed every page. The writing was beautiful. The characters were developed and likable. The story was compelling and fast-paced. It’s a new favorite for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: A Bite to Remember by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
Rule #1: Never get involved with someone who won’t be there for you when the sun comes up.
Once bitten, twice shy, and sexy PI Jackie Morrisey wasn’t going there again. Vincent Argeneau may be the hottest guy she’s ever met, living or dead, but she’s here to stop a killer from turning this vampire into dust, not to jump into bed with him.
Rule #2: Never kiss a vampire . . . it can be a pain in the neck.
Okay, so Vincent’s had four hundred years to perfect his kissing skills, and he does look rather tempting when he runs around the house shirtless. He’s also charming, protective . . . did we mention he can kiss? Jackie needs to be on her guard, or else she’ll have to come up with a new rule: If you’re going to fall in love with a vampire, make sure it’s a bite to remember.
A Bite to Remember (Argeneau #5)Review:
A Bite to Remember was fun because it was the first book in the Argeneau series where the love interest already knew that vampires existed and the history behind their creation. She was also a private detective so this was half romance and half mystery, which was really enjoyable.
Vincent is our Argeneau in this installment of the series. I really loved him. He’s funny and chipper and always trying to look on the bright side. Though he’s realizing that he may have been in danger of starting to fall into the depression that some vampires face where nothing is exciting anymore.
Enter Jackie, the private investigator Bastien has hired to help Vincent find out who is sabotaging his company. Jackie has some old prejudices against vampires because of a relationship she had with one when she was just starting to learn the ropes of her father’s business. Since then, she never lets herself trust or really get too close to any of their kind. I liked Jackie because she was willing to learn things about herself when her best friend points them out.
That brings up Tiny. I loved him. He was a no-bullshit guy and despite being large, he has many talents. I didn’t like how often his size was pointed out. I thought it was unnecessary. But I loved him. Even more after remembering who he ends up with.
I enjoyed the mystery we’re trying to unravel too. I thought I’d remembered who the villain was from reading this years ago, but I was wrong. I thought the big reveal and rescue was great.
Overall, another Argeneau novel that I really enjoyed. The writing was great. The characters were enjoyable and funny. The smut was also great. I just love this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
It bites: New York hotels cost an arm and a leg, and Terri had flown from England to help plan her cousin’s wedding. The new in-laws offered lodging. But they were a weird bunch. There was the sometimes-chipper-sometimes-brooding Lucern, and the wacky stage-actor, Vincent. (She couldn’t imagine Broadway casting a hungrier singing-and-dancing Dracula.) And then there was Bastien. Just looking into his eyes, Terri had to admit she was falling for him – someone even taller, darker and hungrier than the other two. She was feeling a mite peckish herself. And if she stayed with him, those blood-sucking hotel owners wouldn’t get to her!
Tall, Dark & Hungry (Argeneau #4)Review:
Tall, Dark & Hungry was almost the best book I’ve read in this series so far. Except for the last fifty or so pages. I didn’t like one choice that the female main character made, even though I understood her reasoning.
Bastien is my favorite Argeneau. He’s the man you go to when you need something. I love him. He heads up Argeneau Enterprises and handles business. So, when his house slowly starts filling with people, he has to juggle quite a few different things, which was certainly entertaining. He’s agreed to host Terri, Kate’s cousin/best friend/maid of honor, while she’s in town for the wedding. But then Kate has to leave because of work, so he’s left to house and entertain her. Also, Kate’s fellow editor has been injured and needs a place to stay. Oh, and Bastien’s cousin Vincent is in town for a play he’s starring in. So, it’s basically a madhouse. But then it gets worse. Kate and Lucern’s wedding slowly falls apart, from the flowers to the caterer to the tissue paper flowers. Bastien and Terri manage to fix it all.
Terri was honestly a little whiney. She’s scared to put herself out there and admit that she likes Bastien because of her experiences with her husband dying years and years ago. And when she is under the false assumption that Bastien has a terminal illness, she runs. I didn’t like that part of the story. Though I did like getting to meet her loved ones in England. They gave her the shake she needed to pull her head out of her butt and get things together.
Overall, I enjoyed this one more than the first three even though I didn’t always like what the characters did. The story was fun and had me laughing so much (which is a problem because I’m reading these at night when I’m snuggling my little one to sleep). I keep finding myself surprised to find that Sands is a really talented writer (stupid stereotypes on romance!) She uses several of the writing techniques I’ve been learning about in my college writing classes. Also, the sex scenes are A+. I’ve pretty much read nothing but this series since picking up the first one. I think I’m addicted.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
SWM – “Lucern.” Successful biographer of family, books recently categorized as “paranormal romance.” Something of a recluse. Hates crowds, aggressive women. Doesn’t like sunbathing, garlicky dinners or religious symbols. Likes old-fashioned values; spicy Mexican dishes; warm, nice-smelling neck; and plump red lips. Stronger than ten men and can vanish in the blink of an eye. Currently unaware he’s seeking a woman to share eternity.
SWF – “Kate C. Leever.” Newest editor of Romance at Roundhouse Publishing. Perky, fun. Has recently discovered a legacy author just dying to be broken out. In fact, her career could take off from it. (The tall, dark, handsome writer just needs to be taken to several romance conventions and introduced to his fans…and stopped from acting so strange in public.) Dislikes “difficult, rude, obnoxious, pig-headed writers.” Currently unaware she’s met the man of her wildest dreams.
OH, DEAR.
Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)Review:
Single White Vampire had the potential to be a favorite. But sadly, it wasn’t. It was actually my least liked book of the series so far. I blame that entirely on Lucern.
Lucern is basically an old grumpy man stuck in his ways. He ‘doesn’t like outgoing women’ and his mind is stuck in the 1800s. He’s constantly talking about how ‘women shouldn’t act this or that way’ which I really didn’t like. He is not as bad in the latter half of the book. But I just didn’t like his old-fashioned thinking. Though I could respect him keeping his word to go to the conference even though he’d sort of been lied to about what he was agreeing to do.
Kate, however, was the best. I adored her. She’s an editor at a publishing house and she makes sure to get what she wants. She’ll do anything for her authors and I loved her passion for her job. I loved this aspect of the story, as well as the romance conference. This was when Lucern and Kate’s relationship started. I really enjoyed the things he got her to do.
Overall, not my favorite Argeneau book, but I liked Kate enough to bump up my overall enjoyment.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Summary:
Jude has bound to the Wicked King, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)Review:
One half of me is upset I waited so long to read this series and the other half of me is upset that I didn’t wait until all three books were release. The thought of having to wait until November to see how the lives of these characters will play out is its own special kind of torture.
I loved The Wicked King. Holly Black writes a fascinating and completely compelling story. This book was so fast paced that I just couldn’t manage to put it down until the very last page. The writing sucked me in and spit me out an angry mess when it was over. I’m so mad at Holly Black for the way that she ended The Wicked King, but I’m also in complete and total awe of her talent.
Jude is such an interesting main character. Everything she does is for her family, and a little bit for herself too. She’s fiery and passionate. She doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. She will go after her goals with a bloody vengeance. I loved how fierce she was. She’s ruthless, intelligent, and clever—a dangerous combination.
Then there’s Cardan. I love everything but the tail. And of course, the things he did in the final pages. But I’m hopeful that he did what he did for good reason and not to be an asshole. I adored all of the scenes he was in with Jude and I’m really hopeful to see where things end up with them. I also really enjoyed seeing him fill the role of King. It was really interesting to see him take so well to a position he never wanted.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the characters. I loved the pace of the story. There was nothing but action and excitement and scheming and I loved every single page. I will very anxiously be awaiting the final book in the trilogy. If you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

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Summary:
Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.
When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.
Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.
Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.
StepsisterReview:
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Donnelly while she was doing the book tour for Stepsister. She was honestly so inspiring. I’ve been so excited to read Stepsister since that event. I finally managed to listen to the audiobook for the NEWTs.
Stepsister is the story of Cinderella’s sisters and what happens to them after Ella marries the prince and becomes Queen. I am in awe of Donnelly with the complexities of this story. Isabelle is being guided by two characters, Fate and Chance. It took me way too long to realize the significance of Chance other than it just being his name. Chance steals Isabelle’s life map from the Fate’s, and does everything in his power to change her path.
Isabelle was a really unlikable character. Which I’m pretty sure was the intention. This wasn’t a happy story. It was a story about growth. How to find the pieces of your heart and escape the title of ‘ugly step-sister.’
I am really not sure how to explain this story. But it was one of loss and regret and learning to love yourself. The things that Isabelle and her family endure could break anyone. But she doesn’t let it. She tries and tries, again and again, to do the right things, to be a better person. But she learns that it’s not that easy. Isabelle’s path is not an easy one, but despite the forces trying to hinder her, she finds her way.
Overall, this was a fascinating story. It was filled with unlikeable characters that learned how to be better, how to change their ways before it was too late, and how to love themselves even though they may not be traditionally pretty. Fate and Chance pulled the path in countless directions, keeping things interesting. If you’re a lover of fairytales, this is the story for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

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GoodReads Summary:
Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.
A distraction arises soon enough because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.
Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.
What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes, #2)Review:
I am officially obsessed with this series. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick it up. I think part of me was worried it wasn’t going to live up to the hype, but it absolutely does. The Last August was just as good as the first book in the series.
I love Charlotte Holmes. She’s flawed and so utterly human. But she’s also highly trained and is always thinking about a hundred steps ahead. I love the way her mind works and I wish we got more chapters from her point of view. She is really just a fascinating character.
Then there’s Jamie, sweet, dear Jamie. I just adore him. He’s always got something to prove. That he doesn’t need Charlotte’s training or affection. That he’s better than August. I enjoyed seeing his relationship with his dad get better over the course of the book. He finds himself in need of advice regarding the quirks of the Holmes family member, which I thought was an interesting way for them to bond.
The mystery in this book. Phew, it was a doozy. The ending was confusing and I’m honestly still not totally sure what happened. Every time I thought one thing was going on, Charlotte proved me wrong, over and over.
Overall, this was a fast-paced thrill ride with characters who have depth and real problems. I love this series and I cannot wait to continue on to the third book. If you haven’t picked up this series, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Love Bites by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
Etienne Argeneau’s three hundred years of bachelorhood were at an end. Either that, or he’d be forever alone. He could only “turn” one human in his lifetime, and most of his kind reserved that power for creating a life mate. If he turned the wrong woman…But what choice did he have? He had to save Rachel Garrett. He didn’t know her very well but the beautiful coroner had saved his life. To save hers he would make her immortal.
Rachel Garrett awoke surprised. All she’d wanted was to get off the night shift at the morgue; now here she was, staggering to her feet naked and in a strange place. But everything would be all right. She’d just make like a bat out of– Then she saw the man of her dreams emerging from his…coffin? And the look in his bright silver eyes said they’d be spending a lot of time together. She just hoped he tasted as good as he looked.
Love Bites (Argeneau #2)Review:
Book two in the Argeneau series, Love Bites, was one I enjoyed about the same amount as the first one (reviewed here). This is one of my favorite vampire romance series, mostly because of the twist on the vampire lore. They’re vampires created via science rather than magic and I just think that’s such a fun twist.
Rachel and Etienne are a pair that met by chance. And when Rachel is almost killed Etienne makes the choice to turn her as the one person he is ever allowed. This turns out great because they turn out to be life mates (surprise! not, hah).
I liked Etienne. He’s a video game developer that uses the truth about his race to create a hugely popular game. He also enjoyed spending time in a coffin, because it’s where he gets his best ideas. That really cracked me up. It also created some assumptions that complicated the story.
Rachel works nights in the morgue. She’s just finally gotten a job on the day shift when she’s almost killed and then turned. Upon waking, she is upset because she believes she’s now cursed to only walk the night. It was a little funny, already knowing the facts behind vampires, to see her so upset about all the things she won’t be able to do. I liked that she stood up for her beliefs with a certain situation that she’s involved in.
Overall, the second book in this series was another that I enjoyed but didn’t adore. It was fun and funny. The drama and the antics and the sex were all pretty good. This series is well written and easy to read.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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GoodReads Summary:
Survive the year.
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
The Grace YearReview:
The Grace Year was recommended to me by Alana @ The Bookish Chick. She and I are always sharing book recommendations back and forth. She absolutely loved this one, so I thought I would too. While I did really enjoy this book, there were a few things I didn’t love.
I really liked the concept of the story. A girl living in a society that treats her more like an object than a person. Women have a role and they are not to stray from that role. If they do, they may potentially be burned alive, hanged, or something else equally horrifying. It honestly made me so angry. But I think that means the author was successful with her writing. She really provoked some emotions from me.
I was fascinated by the mystery of the grace year. (Also, I’d like to know exactly how many times that phrase appeared in the book.) No one talks about the grace year, despite everyone over a certain age having gone through it. Then it’s time for Tierney and the others her age to go for their grace year. The idea is that they go away and expel all of their ‘womanly magic’ so that when they return it’s time to settle down and give their husbands children.
Things got a little wild from here. All of the facts behind the grace year were actually pretty fucked up. I think the author did so well with the drama and suspense during the time the girls are on their grace year. I was confused and dying to know what was actually going on. But I was also infuriated at the actions of some of the girls. I don’t often wish characters would die, but I texted Alana several times (in all capitals) wishing death on one particular character. The characters had such interesting personalities and they were pretty well developed. There were reasons why they acted the way they did.
Let’s talk about the romance. I didn’t like it at first, but then I loved it. Two people from completely different worlds, coming together? Who doesn’t love that? I hated how it ended though. That’s all I’ll say about that. The author did our love interest dirty and I don’t appreciate it, but I understand why it was needed for the way the story ended.
The final thing I didn’t like was parts of the ending. I went into this story thinking that Tierney was going to fuck some shit up and change everything about the way her people live. But she didn’t do this. She has the chance to spill everything about the grace year, to get the truth out there. But she doesn’t. She just keeps it between herself and the other girls of her grace year. She takes her role as wife and eventually mother. This really just annoyed me because what the hell was the point of the whole story if she wasn’t going to fix her horrifying society?
Despite this, I ended up liking the ending. She finds a nice partnership with her husband and I appreciated that. She also learns some things about a side mystery that’s been going on and I really loved that part.
Overall, this book was a wild ride. I loved the characters. I loved more of the story. I really enjoyed all the ideas and conversations explored in this story. The writing was compelling and I just couldn’t get enough. I actually stayed up until almost 3am so I could finish this book in one sitting.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

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GoodReads Summary:
Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her Oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.
But suddenly there’s a fork in the road in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, and her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it. Why does he act like he knows her so well—too well—when she doesn’t know him at all?
Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending the chapter of another: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule, or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac.
Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.
This Darkness MineReview:
This Darkness Mine was interesting in the sense that I couldn’t put it down and read it in just a few hours. But…that doesn’t mean that it was good. I have loved every Mindy McGinnis book that I have read so far, until this one.
While the story was compelling, it was also kind of screwed up and I hated everything about it when I finished the final pages. I never really like Sasha at any point in the book. She was cocky and not in a good way. She clearly had issues. I also didn’t like how she was to her family. She was stuck up and I just generally didn’t like her.
The one person I did like was Issac. I liked that he was the ‘bad boy’ but he really wasn’t. There was so much more to him than that. I hated how Sasha treated him, like a piece of meat. I also mostly liked Sasha’s friends. Though I don’t even remember their names so they obviously weren’t memorable enough.
I’m going to keep this short because even though this book was a pretty wild ride, I just didn’t like it. It didn’t sit well with me. Sasha was crazy and not in a good way. I don’t like to use that word to describe people, but she was honestly kind of a sociopath and I ended up hating her. I’m unhauling this book and I’m hopefully never going to think about it again.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

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GoodReads Summary:
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.
A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)Review:
I picked this one up as a part of my Contemporaryathon TBR. I’m beyond glad I finally got into this series. I cannot wait to pick up the next book. A Study in Charlotte turned out to be a little bit darker than I had anticipated, but I think all the heavy topics that are mentioned are discussed well and used wisely.
I really was surprised to realize that this book is told from Jamie’s point of view. I really enjoyed that. I thought it was interesting to be in his mind. I thought he was kind of annoying at first, but he mostly grew on me.
I completely adore Charlotte. She has problems and issues and she admits to them and accepts them. But she’s also always right. Seeing her and Jamie meet and grow together was the best part of this book. They have all this family history and are basically bound to one another regardless of what they want.
Overall, this was a captivating mystery with characters to die for. I thought the story was paced well and the writing was interesting. I am very eager to pick up the next book in the series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

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GoodReads Summary:
One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.
Now he has broken free.
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2)Review:
I found this sequel to be much slower than the first. I had to convince myself to pick it up and finish. The final one hundred pages or so was all action and I loved it. Despite it being a slow story, the world was fascinating. I love what Kagawa has done with Asian mythology. I loved all the different aspects of the world. I especially loved the Kitsune magic and seeing Yumeko learn more about it and herself.
This squad of unlikely friends gives me life. I love the way they bicker and argue. I loved the dynamics between them. There was a bit of male/male romance going on and I’m not sure how it will end but I’m so here for it. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but this group of friends is loyal and determined to beat the odds, to do what is right even if it leads to their deaths.
I definitely enjoyed the first book better, but I think that’s more because of my relationship with the fantasy genre is a little wobbly right now. I made myself read this rather than waiting until I was in the mood for it and that might have had en effect on how much I liked it. I definitely suggest it for anyone looking for fantasy that isn’t European based. It’s full of characters you can’t help but love, fascinating world-building, and myth and folklore that I’d never known anything about previously.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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GoodReads Summary:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)Review:
This Savage Song was a wild ride. It was fast-paced and everything I never knew I wanted in a book. I went into the story with as little expectations as possible. I’m glad I did because I ended up really enjoying it. It would have been a five-star read aside from the questions I was left with.
Kate was everything I could have wanted in a kickass female main character. She doesn’t take shit from anyone and does whatever needs to be done to reach her goals. I loved everything about her. She’s smart and fierce. I am very interested in what she does in the next book.
Then there is August, poor sweet August. He’s one of the rarest of the monsters. But he fights his nature every day. He’s good at heart, despite what he really is. I was really intrigued by August. He’s complex with how he feels. He loves his siblings even though he knows they are not all there. He loves his mother and father, and really just wants to do whatever he can to help in the never-ending fight against the monsters.
Once Kate and August meet, things get exciting. Seeing them try to figure out how to trust one another was beyond interesting.
The only complaint I have is that I still have so many questions about the monsters. I’m still not totally sure how they are created. Are they a whole new being? Or are they the person that sinned turned monster? I’m eager to get into the next book and learn more.
Overall, I loved this book. The world was fascinating. The characters were complex and held my attention. There was so much more to this story that seems to be outside of my ability to articulate at the moment. But I loved it. That’s all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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GoodReads Summary:
On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer, days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.
On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.
Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…
What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?
In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
The Walls Around UsReview:
I’ve been on a thriller/mystery kick for the spooky season. I’ve also been attempting to make a big dent in my physical TBR, so I’ve only been choosing books I bought a million years ago. This is one of those.
I was really interested in this book for the first half. It was mysterious and suspenseful, but also a little weird. I liked that it was weird. But by the end of the book, I still had no idea what had gone on. The characters were interesting and kept up the pace of the story pretty well. The characters were mostly well developed, and I enjoyed the few different perspectives the story was told through.
I’ve waited too long to write this review. So, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. I enjoyed most of this book. It was weird, I think in a good way. But it wasn’t anything that blew me away. A fun read for this time of year.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

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GoodReads Summary:
Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…
Before I Let GoReview:
This one was a miss for me. I was really interested in the first fifty pages or so, but after that, I found myself whispering, ‘what the fuck’ way too many times. I thought I was going to get an interesting and maybe creepy murder mystery. We got that, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. I had high hopes because of the bits of diversity that were included, but it just all around was not good for me.
I’ve put off writing this review for so long that I don’t have any specific things that I’d like to talk about, so I’ll just leave this short and sweet. I liked it at first, but after fifty to one hundred pages, it just started downhill and dumped me at the bottom of the said hill in the final pages.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.